Shabbat Shalom October 25, 2013

Shabbat Shalom October 25, 2013

Dear Friends and Family,

Health Equality
It is absolutely unacceptable and a Shanda that the website for was such a technical disaster as it seems they knew of the problems before it went “LIVE”.  (yes, I just criticized the Dems.) Hopefully, the best and the brightest will NOW fix the kinks and those who need insurance will be able to obtain it before the official deadline.  There were 48 million Americans without Insurance before ObamaCare which is the true Shanda of our nation.

Taft Anger
Republican president William Howard Taft held our highest office in 1909 and since then many of his decedents have held prominent political office; all within the Republican Party.  Today, though, the Taft legacy is fed up with the highjacked extreme measures of many who are tarnishing the Grand Old Party. William’s Nephew John G. Taft makes this message abundantly clear in this week’s NY Time’s Op-Ed:

Marriage Equality
Only 36 to go… New Jersey became the 14th State to institute Marriage Equality behind CaliforniaConnecticutDelawareIowaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMinnesotaNew HampshireNew YorkRhode IslandVermont, and Washington.  There is a Michigan ban on Same-Sex Marriage however there is hope on our horizon as a Federal judge announced this week that a February Trial will be held to determine if our ban is constitutional.

Another school shooting occurred this week (in Sparks, Nevada) when a 12 year old killed a (former Marine) teacher.  He also wounded two other 12 year olds and killed himself with a semiautomatic gun he took from his house.  We seem to be desensitize to gun violence since this horrific incident barely made the media print headlines.   

Graham Nash

Music Legend
Wild Tales is the new book out this week by Graham Nash.  It is a memoir which shares the rock and roll stories of his life in the Hollies and as the stabilizing force of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.  Graham (my favorite of the four) is a two time Hall of Famer, with each of his bands.  This new book includes behind the scenes explanations of many of his famous tunes.  Here’s an oldie from my favorite Nash album (Songs for Beginners):

Music Beauty
If you enjoy music, you should enjoy this incredible expression of trash to treasure as this symphony performs music from instruments created from garbage near the slums of a landfill.

Landscape Beauty
Detroit thanks are due to Dan Gilbert and his team for eliminating the Blight in our city (there are 78,000 abandoned building) and Hantz Farm for reforesting huge acres of our blighted land.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom,


Last minute addition: Check out Ethan Metzger’s poetry on being brainwashed by his parents (in a good way):


We lost another hero in our community this week with the passing of Hugh Greenberg, a beloved patriarch and family man.  Deepest condolences to his wife, Carolyn and his sons Danny and Ned and his daughter and daughters in law, Amy, Illana and Elisa.  May his spirit and dedication to our community and his family bring comfort to those who mourn his passing.
Correction: Shop4aCure booklets (mentioned last week) can be purchased through
Ellie Bittker by contacting her at 248-752-1771 or at her (correct) email address of

More Shopping for a cause:  dear friend, Liz Guz, will be hosting an open house to sell her beautiful and unique jewelry on Friday Nov. 1st  (11:00am-4:00pm), Sat Nov. 2nd (noon-4:00pm) and Sun. Nov. 3rd (Noon-4:00pm).  50% of all proceeds will be donated to the Prechter Bipolar Research Fund.  Liz lives in Franklin and you can get more details by calling her at 248-865-9620

Pasture Elementary Alumni Foundation is in need of children’s clothing.  Please contact Marcy Feldman at 248-514-5359 if you are able to help.

Ryan Fishman is running for State Senate (Birm., Bloomfield Hills, Troy, Royal Oak, Berkley, Clawson, Rochester and Roch. Hills). If you live in those areas please join him Wed. Nov. 20th at Blue Wheel Media Group office in Troy (1900 Stephenson Hwy) from 6-8pm for his campaign Kickoff.  He’s a great guy with a great background to represent these areas.  Read more about Ryan:

Mazel Tov on the arrive of Grandson, Binyamin to thrilled grandparents Bob and Anita Naftaly.

Mazel Tov to Carol Burnett on winning the Mark Twain award at the Kennedy Center this week.


 This week’s birthdays include:

Oct. 26th
Barbra Etkin Alter
Lori Cohn
Rick Herman
Steve Margolin

Oct. 28th
Leora Bar Levav

Oct. 30th
Paul Silverman
Leora Rothenberg
Shelley Alexis

Oct. 31st
Rachel Winer

P.S. Thanks for all of the wonderful birthday wishes.  I truly felt the warmth!

Shabbat Shalom October 25, 2013

Shabbat Shalom October 18, 2013

Shabbat Shalom October 18, 2013
Dear Friends and Family,

Lessons Learned
After 16 days and a $24 Billion price-tag, our country is up and running again.  What was accomplished?  Were lessons learned?

I hope so, since we’ll be at this same debt debate again in Mid-January. By the way, here are some Legislators who voted against the bill to re-open the Government: Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul (all potential 2016 Pres. Candidates), US Reps. Justin Amash (Grand Rapids), Kerry Bentivolio (Troy, Bloom. Hills, Birm…), Tim Walberg (Central/Lower Michigan), Candice Miller (Thumb area of Michigan) and Michele Bachmann. *


Lessons Articulated
Last week’s message included a greeting from JFK’s nephew. This week begins with JFK’s own words of respecting our common goal to safeguard our Nation and all its citizens. Like all Unions (from our United States to our united families), communication, negotiation, respect and compromise must prevail for a healthy and prosperous future.  Before Congressional Leaders take their Oath of Office, they should be require to attend Marriage Counseling to teach fair fighting before they start ruining, I mean running our Country. It is our jobs, next Nov. 4th (2014) to prevent the continuation of this severe Congressional infighting. Our Senate functions healthier since Whole States must be represented but some Congressional districts are shaped for monotone beliefs producing extreme views. The True Parties of our past were respectful opponents unlike a segment of today’s Red Elephants that would expel the likes of Reagan and Bush. Please get involved in your Congressional Races. We need sane voices on both sides of the aisle.

Musical Lessons
The insane message of Boycotting Israel has a brilliant, educational, musical and catching video (by Ari Lesser) to combat this hateful campaign.  This youtube succinctly magnifies where blame and boycott COULD be directed and points out the sad realities of the rest of the world (even the United States isn’t perfect). I first saw this video last Sunday and found it so compelling that I wanted to share it with you immediately, but I didn’t want to inundate your inboxes. Once a week from me is enough.  I hope this youtube spreads like wildfire so when you google Boycott Israel, this site pops up above the others:

Lessons Unknown
The above video is directed at those who either Hate or Love Israel, but what about the majority of people in this country who know nothing about Israel or even where it is on a map.  There is a new non-profit organization called reThink Israel that was created to bring Israel to the conscience minds of those who have no knowledge of the Land of Milk and Honey.  Please check out their new website and if you choose, please like them on Facebook

And, proudly, I must mention our son-in-law, Tzvi Raviv, works for this new initiative.

Missing Lessons
Did you know ONLY 5 (CA, FL, IL, NJ & NY) of our 50 States requires Holocaust education in their school’s curriculum. This is creating a generation of students who unwittingly are completely ignorant of the worst genocide of world history.  If we don’t teach our past, what will keep us from repeating it.  This (14 minute) video is an Eye-opener.  A teacher (and daughter of a Holocaust survivor) surveyed several students on a major University campus and sadly discovered the results of a lack of education.  Even if you can only watch a few minutes, its worth it to understand this failure in our educational system:

Indirect Lessons
I have one last Jewish Homeland Touting.  Israel, indirectly, is responsible for saving our planet. OK, that might be a stretch, BUT, 40 years ago (this week Oct. 17th), several Arab Nations attacked Israel on Yom Kippur.  The United States sent help which angered the Arab Nations, which caused the First Israel Boycott, which resulted in the Oil Embargo, which created higher gas prices for our cars, which forced us to evaluate fuel efficiency which instigated alternative energy initiatives…which is now saving our planet.  


 Wishing you and your loved ones a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom,



Mazel Tov…
…to Bob Benyas on your 90th birthday celebration on Oct. 12th
…to the (Chicago) Balonick family and (local) Victor/Harder family on the (two separate) recent weddings of their children. (didn’t want you to assume they married each other)
…on the arrival of Abigail to proud parents Nir and Miryam Buchler
…to Cory Booker on winning the special election this week for the NJ Senate seat.
Betsy Heuer on completing and publishing her book “Beer and Whine” available at (at the Kindle Books section).


Please join Jewish National Fund as they honor Dr. Mark Rosenblum on Wed. Nov. 6th (5:30pm). For more info: 248-324-3080

Please join this year’s Stomp Out Diabetes Wine event on Thursday Nov. 7th (6:30 VIP Party, 7:30 Main Event) at the Birmingham Townsend.  For more info:

Please help support our local (free) Jewish Dental Clinic by attending the Monte Carlo Night at Shaarey Zedek on SundayNovember 17th (6:00pm).  For more info: 248-497-6224

Please help Fight Pediatric Cancer by purchasing the Shop4aCure (discount booklet) where you can save 20% on stores and restaurants all over our Metro Detroit (and Ann Arbor) and 100% of all booklets sold will support The Matthew Bittker Foundation which funds pediatric cancer research.  I buy and use my booklet every year (valid this year 10/25-11/5).  If you’d like to buy one please contact Elli Bittker at 248-752-1771 or

Please check out and help support this wonderful organization call Heart 2 Hart Detroit that helps the homeless of our Tri-County area:

Thanks, in advance, for participating in any of the above opportunities that touch your soul or strike a passion in your heart.


Happy Birthday to this week’s celebrants…

Oct. 18th
Julie Zuckerman (Betsy’s daughter, not Noah’s wife)
Matthew Berg

Oct. 20th
Doron Levin

Oct. 21st
Karen Kahn (for real)
Alison Schwartz
Yoav Raban
Kerry Duggan

Oct. 22nd
Jocelyn Benson
Rick Radner
Marcia Gershenson

Oct. 23
Marion Freedman

Oct. 24th
(Lots this day, including me)
Haleli Raviv
Helene Cohen
Irving Nusbaum
Jim Safran
Karen Alpiner
Paul Borman
Jennifer Hermelin

Shabbat Shalom October 18, 2013

Shabbat Shalom October 11, 2013

Shabbat Shalom October 11, 2013
Dear Friends and Family,

The Nine
SCOTUS started another session this week with its traditional start date (and 1981 movie title) of The First Monday In October. How do you think the Supreme Court should vote on some of these tough topics on their current docket:  Do you think the store Hobby Lobby (yes, same one that doesn’t sell Jewish decorations) should be allowed to deny Contraceptive Care to its employees based on their Christian beliefs?  Do you think the race of African American students should be considered for University (of Michigan) acceptance?  Do you think abortion protestors should be able to come closer than 35 feet from clinic patients?

3 women
6 men
1 African American
1 (first) Latina
3 Jews
6 Roman Catholics

Level the Field
But the case that is most concerning involves political campaign contributions and efforts to eliminate the individual limit. Over 6 Billion dollars was spent in 2012 on political campaign races. Most of that money was raised from the top 1% of our population and corporations, but some of it came from many of your pockets. Aside from Super Pacs and Citizens United which gave corporations (as individuals) nearly free rein in contribution opportunities, there is still a limit of $2,600 by one person to one candidate per one cycle. Removal of this limit is now in front of SCOTUS. We need a complete overhaul of this system.  Buying influence, slinging mud via billions of dollars of Media Ads is NOT the way to elect our legislators.  There should be a level playing field with Town Halls, Debates and Door Knocking, but it doesn’t look like this situation will improve anytime soon and if the SC rules in it’s conservative manner, this last limit will also be removed.  Speaking of money…

Say Hello to our New 100 Dollar Bill.

Ben Franklin
They have been working on this new bill since 2003 and each one costs 12.5 cents to print.  There are many new features to prevent counterfeiters. The 100 dollar bill is our largest denomination since we stopped producing 500, 1,000 and 10,000 dollar bills back in 1969.  Did anyone really use a 10,000 bill?  100 dollar bills last around 15 years in circulation compared to 6 years for the 1 dollar bill.

First Female
Now for more money talk, the economic Glass Ceiling was shattered this week with the nomination of Janet Yellen as our (first female) Federal Reserve Chair.  Ms. Yellen (proudly from our national Jewish Community) is brilliant and will serve our country well. Back in 2007, she astutely predicted/warned about the 08 Recession and hopefully she can help keep our economy strong during her rein.

Brave Soul
Another outstanding female role model is 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani student who was shot by the (evil-minded) Taliban just because she was defending educational accessibility for girls in her community and county.  She is well deserving of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize and hopefully will win it. (The winner will be announced Friday, after I send this message). Here is Jon Steward’s interview with Malala. He was so genuinely enamored by her, he could barely contain his emotions.

Positive PR
Our global Jewish population is 0.2% yet Jews represent 22% of all Nobel Laureates including several more this year and many with Israeli roots.  Our global and national contributions should be celebrated yet Anti-Semitism continue to persist.  We could truly benefit from a Global PR campaign to educate the masses of our positive impact on the world.

This week’s Guest Shabbat Shalom Greeter is from a very prominent national family who’s contributions have made a tremendous impact on our society. I met him at this week’s event sponsored by the Alzheimer Association and Jewish Senior Life. He was gracious, friendly and very handsome.  The handsome part is a clue to his family. Enjoy and thanks, Nancy Heinrich and Carol Rosenberg for your efforts with his appearance:

Kwame Kilpatrick will serve 28 years in Federal Prison for the millions of dollars of damage and corruption he inflicted on our City of Detroit. May his punishment put an end to this despicable era as our city moves forward in a positive direction.

An estimated 700,000 people attended the (largest) funeral in Israel’s history for ultra-orthodox Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the revered and controversial leader of the Sephardic community.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom,


Bonus video:  I LOVE NYC and wished I was there yesterday asSir Paul popped into Times Square for a Pop-Up impromptu concert on his flat bed truck.  He also performed a surprise 90 minute concert to a Performing Arts High School in Queens.  I know it’s great PR but it’s also very cool:


Since it is still Clergy Appreciation Month, I can still appreciate one of my favorite Rabbis who I missed recognizing last week. Todah Raba Rav Joey Krakoff

Mazel Tov to Lori and Marc Siegel on last week’s wedding to son
Zach and his wife Diana.
Mazel Tov to Andy Levin on last week’s honor for his dedicated social justice work and the establishment of the new Project Micah.
Mazel Tov to Mary Lou Zieve on her well deserved honor from Jewish Ensemble Theatre on Monday Oct. 14th at Glen Oaks Country Club in Farm. Hills.  There is still time to honor Mary Lou by calling 248-788-2900.

Please join us at the (First Awards Dinner) of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters event on (my birthday) Oct. 24th at the Westin Book Cadillac where they will be honoring Congressman Gary Peters (among others).

Where and When can you get updates on Israel and Fashion at the same time?  Saks and Nov. 6th (5:30-8:00pm) is the answer when Gretchen Ruff will provide the hottest trends and David Victor will discuss the US-Israel relationship.  There is no cost to attend, but RSVPs are requested to Brenda Rosenberg at or 248-790-1544

Please join this year’s Shaarey Zedek Soiree on Saturday Oct. 19th at 8:00pm for music, dancing, supper and drinks. For more info: 248-357-5544

Please check out this wonderful blog by our friend, Kelly Victor, who has a PhD in Philosophy, has nearly completed her Health Coach certification in Integrative Nutrition and with her husband, David (mentioned above) are the parents of four children.  Her messages are poiyant and meaningful.  Please enjoy

Please help support Congressman Gary Peters efforts to succeed Senator Carl Levin.  Gary’s opponent Terri Lynn Land stands in support of Ted Cruz and others regarding our Government’s detrimental Shutdown.

Please help support Rudy Hobbs (current State Legislator) in his efforts to succeed Congressman Gary Peters.  Rudy is a bright, ethical and dedicated candidate who deserves to represent us in DC.

Please help me wish Happy Birthday to this week’s celebrants!

Oct. 11th
Kevin Dorn
Lisa Leopold Moed

Oct. 12th
Bunky Elyakin

Oct. 15th
Terri Orbuch
Lisa Beckwith Weisman
Randy Orley
(Same Big One as his cousin from last week, Gregg)

Oct. 16th
Idan Percy
Ron Oberstein
Hilary Borman

Oct. 17th
Alisha Siegel
Alan Schram
Jennifer Lerner Friedman 

The Situation Soap Box
The Situation in our country is toxic. This Shutdown has far-reaching effects for all of us.  Some also forget that we just cut cost with the Sequestration and now our Debt Ceiling is looming. Our recovering economy could be affected. There are still over 1/2 million people NOT working or receiving wages to pay their bills. Will they get paid retroactively… who knows? When will they return to work…who knows?  Here are some facts we do know…The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) is LAW and was affirmed by the Supreme Court and should NOT be a pawn for negotiations.  Our Health Care system was broken and cost were soaring out of control for Individuals, Businesses, Our Government and Hospitals.  Every Western Nation has some form of Health Care. Reform was needed and attempted UNSUCCESSFULLY in the 90s. It took 20 years for it to be attempted again but this time with major compromise just to get it passed. ACA IS COMPLICATED. It is not being clearly explained. 85% of our population has insurance and does NOT need to do anything different. 26 million people (who didn’t have med. ins.) are now eligible to get it.  On the first day alone 5 Million people attempted to navigate the new online marketplace. Debating the details of what might happen because of this LAW is futile.  Things WILL change, NOTHING can ever stay the same, but it won’t be catastrophic like some pundits predict.  In fact, most believe it will be beneficial to us as a modern society but the future history books will tell the tale not the Talking Heads (from news networks, not the 70s band).

Shabbat Shalom October 11, 2013

Shabbat Shalom October 4, 2013

Shabbat Shalom October 4, 2013
Dear Friends and Family,

Warning: Conservative friends, please skip to Topic 2.

Topic 1

Happy 123rd Birthday






Yosemite National Park had a birthday this week BUT there were NO guests to celebrate since the park, along with many other national parks, museums and offices, were closed due to the Government Shutdown.

800,000 government employees received unpaid “vacations”. The Park closures are sad but if this shutdown persist, FOOD (through the WIC* program), MEDICAL CARE (through clinical research at NIH**) and EDUCATION (through the Head Start program) will be halted. That could be devastating for millions of people.

Congress’ Ping Pong match is giving the American Public an ulcer, but as of Tuesday, 24 Million more adults can get their ulcers treated with Medical Insurance though the Affordable Care Act also know as ObamaCare that:
– can NOT deny coverage based on pre-exiting condition (like Cancer)
– requires 80% of Ins. premiums MUST (now) be spent on Medical Care
– gives tax credits to small businesses to offset Ins. cost
– eliminates lifetime medical fee caps for families

Why would ANYONE want to shut down the Government just to prevent these benefits which will help lower our country’s Health Care Costs and give medical hope to those who can’t afford it. Boggles the mind! Check out this “humorous” video of ObamaCare opinions:

Topic 2
It always seems like October is the Month of recognitions.

Here are just a few:
National Stamp Collecting Month
LGBT History Month
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
American Cheese Month
Auto Battery Safety Month (I am NOT making this up)
Clergy Appreciation Month (…So Todah Raba to: Paul, Harold, Aaron S, Aaron B, Norman, Bunny, Eli, Alon, Simcha, Marla, Dan, Danny and any other clergy on this list I may have missed.

Topic 3

In Olympia, Greece this week, the Torch began its relay to the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia (where LGBT History Month is NOT celebrated). This all sounds so nostalgic and momentous but when did this tradition begin?  Was it in ancient Greece?  Well, no. It was in 1936 Nazi Germany and conceived by Hitlers propaganda machine.  Greece is where the Aryan Race supposedly began which tied into Hitler’s agenda of staring the torch relay there.  Today, this tradition is “white” washed to remove any reference of it’s origins, but you can read more about it at this site:
Topic 4
I will NOT make any aryan segue statements to introduce this (amazing) vintage youtube of “Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum suffice to say, it’s believed the lyrics are about the doomed Titanic voyage. See if you can match the words to the tragic “Virgin Vessel”:
Topic 5
I am a huge fan of our very own Jimmy Wolk who grew up in our Subdivision, worked for Star Trax, went to Camp Tanuga and is now staring in a new Sitcom with Robin Williams called Crazy Ones. Please enjoy this clip of Jimmy singing with Kelly Clarkson. Talent, looks and a nice guy to boot:
Wishing you and your loved ones a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom,
WIC = Women, Infants and Children nutritional program.
** NIH = National Institute of Health


Upcoming Events

Tuesday Oct. 8th
Rudy Hobbs (for US Congress) fundraiser
Our house
Kristen Casewell or 517-214-6719

Thursday Oct. 24th
MI League of Conservation Voters
Honoring Congressman Gary Peters (among others)
Westin Book Cadillac, Detroit
Please contact Christine or 734-222-9640

Tuesday Nov. 5th
Film screening of “The Prime Ministers”
Maple Theater
Fundraiser for The Simon Wiesenthal Center
Tickets $50 (and above for sponsor levels)
Alison Pure-Slovin 312-981-0105 or

Bravo to (daughter) Liat Lis on the completion of her study of Herbalism.
Kudos to (sister) Sheri Mark on her exceptional Dancing With the Stars moves last week in support of the Pink Fund


 Oops, I jumped ahead for Karen Kahn’s birthday.  It’s Oct. 21st not 1st.  Please retract that “happy birthday” you may have given her.

Please help me acknowledge the following Birthdays:

Oct. 4th
Ruth Beitner

Oct. 5th
Patti Tapper
Steve Pestka
Wendy Rose Bice

Oct. 6th
Anessa Kramer
Jeff Zaslow (of Blessed Memory)

Oct. 7th
Ilana Liss
Josh Bennett
Miryam Rosenzweig

Oct. 8th
Brad Benyas
Deborah Orley
Ester Rubyan
Gregg Orley (Happy 60th)
Yehoshua Lis

Oct. 9th
Graham Orley

Shabbat Shalom October 4, 2013