Shabbat Addendum

Shabbat Addendum January 31, 2014
A remarkable woman who was blessed, beautiful and courageous passed away Thursday evening. Sonia Kudewitz, mother to Eleanor and Larry Jackier, grandmother to dear friends Sue and Michael Curhan, Jack and Amy Folbe, Ronda and Ron Ferber, Marla and Larry Butler, Adam and Amy Folbe, Arianna Jackier and Seth and Cory Jackier.  She also had a grandson, Craig Folbe who died as a baby.  Sonia and her husband survived the harrowing holocaust era in Poland and Russia when they were separated for 5 years while Sonia hid with Eleanor and Sam hid with son, Seymour, who sadly was killed as a child by the Nazis. Once reunited, Sam, Sonia and Eleanor arrived in the US to build and share a strong beautiful family that now includes 23 great-grandchildren.  It was a pleasure to know Sonia with her constant hugs and sweet nature.  I loved to watch her dance at all of her great-grandchildren’s B’nai Mitzvah.  She was always the Life of the party.  She is at peace and may her loving spirit be a blessing to those who mourn her passing.  Her funeral will be at Ira Kaufman this Sunday Feb. 2nd at 11am.
Shabbat Addendum

Shabbat Shalom Jan. 31, 2014

Shabbat Shalom January 31, 2014

Dear Friends and Family,

Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the flowers gone?
Young girls have picked them everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn? 

Pioneer Pete
These lyrics rang through my Camp Sea-Gulls years of the 70s and will forever bring back wonderful memories of Summer campfires.  Pete Seeger wrote this song as an anti-war anthem and it lived on through the many entertainers who recorded it (The Kingston Trio, Peter/Paul/Mary, Joan Baez and Marlene Dietrich in German and French).  Pete Seeger died this week at the ripe old age of 94.  He was an activist for many causes throughout his long life and for his outspokenness, he was blacklisted during the McCarthy era.  His father was an Ethnomusicologist (studied the music of different cultures) and taught at Yale.  Many would be surprised to learn that Pete attended preppy boarding school and then dropped out of Harvard. He worked continuously and even recored two albums in 2012.  His musical spirit will be greatly missed.

Israeli Folk Tune
He even sang hebrew lyrics in this version of Tzena, Tzena, Tzena








…if not now, when?

Recorded less than two years ago for a Jewish Retreat, here is Pete’s reflection on Hillel’s poiyant proverb “If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?” 

Bye Bye Love
Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers also died recently at the age of 74.
Phil and Don Everly were best friends with Buddy Holly and often toured with him. My favs, Simon and Garfunkel were heavily influenced by them and apparently so were Jimmy Fallon and Barry Gibb.  Please enjoy Jimmy and Barry’s duet of a few of their famous songs:

Phil and Don

Turn, Turn, Turn
(another song written by Pete Seeger)… A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance

Dance Lessons
Three steps forward, three steps back.  Egypt is dancing the Cha Cha as they celebrate the 3rd anniversary of their famous Tahrir Square uprising that overthrew the (30 year) Mubarak regime. Since then, The Muslim Brotherhood won elections and was given a pink slip on their first birthday.  A constitutional election just took place with 98% voting in favor, and pain and agony for those who dared to oppose the vote. Someone was playing hooky when Freedom and Democracy lessons were taught in Egypt.

  Egyptian apartment overlooking Tahrir Square

More (unpleasant) dancing
Four decades forward, four decades back.  Women are dancing the Tango (backwards) as many States continue to impose restrictions on choice, birth control and health care. If YOU don’t want to use birth control or have an abortion (for religious or whatever reason)… That’s fine, just don’t impose your beliefs on your neighbor and prevent them from make their life choices.  In the last 3 years, there have been 205 NEW abortion restrictions instituted in our nation.  Sadly this trend is increasing with 2013 as a record breaking year.  Then of course you get “brilliant” quotes from former Presidential candidates like Mike Huckabee who say “Democrats have made women believe they are helpless without Uncle Sugar (Sam) coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government”.The only way to halt and reverse this trend is to elect legislators who are NOT anti-choice. After 4 decades of legalized abortions, this battle should have been put to rest, but many people want to turn back the clocks and remove this freedom of choice.

Union Speech
As President Obama so aptly stated in this week’s State of the Union speech: “When women succeed, America succeeds.” And, when the middle class succeeds, America succeeds.  He promised a year of action, with or without congressional help.  If the past five years are his indicator, he’ll be using his pen as his only partner for the opportunities he plans to provide our Middle Class, our Women and our Nation.

Speak Up I
Bravo to Ambassador Caroline Kennedy for speaking up (via Tweeter) against Japan’s brutal (yet cultural) tradition of herding and slaughtering dolphins.  Dolphin meat is eaten in Japan so their response to her condemnation was to call it hypocritical as we butcher and eat millions of cows and chickens each year.

Speak Up II
As predicted, the bull-horns of the BDS clan condemned Scarlett for her SodaStream relationship. In response, Ms. Johansson, graciously, released the following statement: “a company that is not only committed to the environment, but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights. That is what is happening in their Ma’ale Adumim factory every working day.” In addition she stated she is “a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine. To continue this saga, Oxfam (International organization working to prevent poverty and injustice) criticized her because they “believe that businesses that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support. Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.”  These two quotes couldn’t be more opposite. Ms. Johansson (wisely) quit her job at Oxfam. Irreconcilable differences. By the way, where is Oxfam or the BDS clans outrage about Syria’s punitive demolition of homes and neighborhoods of their opposition.

Our love
Speaking of Israel (as I often do), here is more historical (biblical) proof of our ties to Israel and Jerusalem. If I forget Jerusalem, then let my right hand forget its own strength.” (Psalms 137:5) For a Jew, forgetting Jerusalem is like forgetting your own identity. Yet, by remembering Jerusalem, we identify with our very essence and inner-self. Many have denied our ties to Israel with lies and distortions, but TRUTH always comes out the winner in the end.

No Way
It is a travesty of justice that the Italian court system found Amanda Knox guilty.  NO WAY should our government even consider extradition.  She has been mistreated and abused by the Italian prosecution and this new verdict is another attack on her rights.

Weekend Sports
Go Seattle Seahawks, Go Denver Broncos…may the best team win and may those watching enjoy their beer and buffalo wings.

Wishing you and your family a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom,


Bonus I: My favorite Grammy moment was Carole King and Sara Bareilles.  You can skip the first minute of Cindi Laupers (awkward intro) and jump right to 1:02, enjoy:

Bonus II: Parting shot, for no redeeming value than utter pure entertainment, here are some creative photos that I found humorous:


Enough already
Please, dear Ground Hog, bring us come good weather news on (Your Day) Sunday Feb. 2nd.  Hope our Atlanta friends were safe from their “surprise” winter storm this week.
Super Sunday
Please support our Jewish Community by, either, asking or answering the pledge requests on Feb. 9th at Federation’s Super Sunday.
Yoga Rocks
Over 300 people have already signed up to help Detroit break the Guinness record of the largest Yoga Class.  Please join us at Ford Field on Saturday Feb. 22nd at 8:30am

Laughter Feeds the Soul and Stomach
Tickets are now on sale for the Forgotten Harvest 22nd annual comedy night with guest star Tim Allen.  Hope you can join us. Oh, did I mention that Hannan and I are co-chairing the event (with a great committee) and your support would be truly appreciated. Tickets range from $15 to $150. Corporate and personal sponsorship levels are also available.
Mazel Tov David Zuckerman on his new job at the Major League Baseball Network in NYC.  Now he is looking for a place to live in Manhattan.  Please email me if you can help.
Mazel Tov Lisa and Marc Weinbaum and their family as Jonah Weinbaum becomes a Bar Mitzvah this weekend.
Condolences to Rabbi Grossman on the loss of her mother-in-law, Lydia Naftolin Bloom. My her memory bring comfort to those in mourning.
Bravo to Kellogg Foundation for adding their assistance to the tune of 40 Million dollars for the Detroit Bankruptcy fund.  Enjoy an extra bowl of Special K this morning.  And the DIA pledged 100 Million dollars too. The dollars (and hopeful) signs are growing.

Jan. 30th
Hattie Rose Groskind
Happy 18th

 This week…

Jan. 31st
Shari Rogers
Jackie Robinson born 1919

Feb. 1st
Lauren Katz
Late Night with David Letterman premiers in 1982

Feb. 2nd
Alan Leifer
Gene Kelly died in 1996

Feb. 3rd
Steve Schlafer
Lori Katzman
Ingrid Grossberg
Amy Chapman
A plane crash kills Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper in 1959

Feb. 4th
Kathy Wilson Fink
Howard Lutz
Mark Zuckerberg launches Facebook in 2004
Rosa Parks is born in 1913

Feb. 5th
Randi Berman Sakwa
Laura Linney (great actor) born in 1964

Feb. 6th
Pamela Applebaum
Nell Dority
Queen Elizabeth crowned in 1952

For those who are forwarded this message by a friend or read it on Facebook, you can receive your own version each Friday morning at 6am by clicking on the above button.

Please excuse my typos, misspellings and human errors.  Thanks.

Shabbat Shalom Jan. 31, 2014

Shabbat Shalom Jan. 24, 2014

Shabbat Shalom January 24, 2014

Dear Friends and Family,

In recognition of Martin Luther King day, I too have a dream…
…that Israel will live in peace and prosperity
…that Detroit will be revitalized as a vibrant innovative City
…that Women’s rights and health will be protected and respected
…that Marriage Equality will be accepted Nationally and Globally
…that our Land, Oceans and Wildlife are kept safe from destruction
…that Hatred, Racism and Anti-Semetism disappear from our Earth

Repeated message
Where would our world be if MLK, Anne Frank, Yitzhak Rabin and Daniel Pearl had not been murdered?   I included this video last year when it debuted (by ADL).  It is worth another viewing since the message is powerful, meaningful and elegant.

Lessons Learned
In honor of this Monday’s commemoration of International Holocaust Memorial Day, UN Sec.Gen. Ban Ki-moon, attended Shabbat services last Saturday in NYC.  In addition, he experienced a moving and memorable visit to Auschwitz last November.  It should be required for ALL representatives of UN member countries to visit Auschwitz as sadly many UN voices chose to ignore the world lesson of the 30s and 40s.  And even the UN Sec.Gen can make mistakes but rectifying them sends an important message as Ban Ki-moon wisely UNINVITED Iran to the Syrian Peace Talks in Switzerland.

UN Gen./Sec. Ban Ki-Moon
Auschwitz Nov. 2013
Papal Progress
Along with my “Soap Box” and “Shout Out” sections, I should include an “I love the Pope” update. This week he announced his plans to unseal the Papal archives during the Holocaust era to reveal any neglect regarding the Jewish plight and then he kosherized his kitchen and hosted a meal with 15 Argentinean Rabbis to increase the Jewish-Catholic dialog.
The Pope and his Friends
Supposedly, the Iranians are complying with the (6 Country) agreement (commenced this week) to allow inspections (among other requirements) of their nuclear facilities.  The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed the limiting of uranium enrichment although the Iranian President has stated that they will not “under any circumstances” destroy centrifuges even as plans for a more permanent agreement are scheduled for the near future.  For now limited funds will slowly flow back into Iran according to the IAEA, though close monitoring of this situation will continue as many in our US Congress have suggested back up sanctions if any “fishy” behavior creeps up.
Ironically the Iranian and Israeli planes were
neighbors at the Swiss airport this week

Father’s Blessing
With the Iranians as our “Enemy”, here is an Iranian/Michigan story that ends by saving the lives of 7 strangers.  An Iranian student studying in Northern Michigan was beaten to (brain) death by her husband.  She arrived at Marquette Hospital completely alone.  The internet communication between the nurses and her father and sister (in Iran) formed a long distance family. When organ donation was discussed, her father sent this prayer to be recited by the surgeons, God I give you my child, so that she may save many great lives, for we are all your children.”  As cost prevented her remains returned to Iran, she is buried in Marquette where her nurse/family will continue to visit her.

Actress Activism
She is bright, beautiful and bold.  Scarlett Johansson (a tribe member) is the new face of Soda Stream, an Israeli company who’s product sales are soaring.  Their new commercial will showcase at the Superbowl yet many groupies from the Boycott, Divestment, Sanction (BDS) team will be bull-horning their complaints. If they did any research, they’d realize Soda Stream employs nearly 1,000 Palestinians (in 1 of their 4 factories) with competitive Israeli wages in addition to being environmental by eliminating the excessive use of bottles.  Here’s a glimpse of the commercial shoot and a longer article about the story:

Cool Runnngs
Good luck to the Jamaican Bobsled team for qualifying for Sochi and raising the needed fund (via the internet) to travel there. Stay safe and keep a close watch for any suspicious looking people.  The terrorist threat is on HIGH alert.

Wishing you and your loved ones a

Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom,


“We must learn to live together as brothers (and sisters) or perish together as fools.”  Martin Luther King, Jr.  

Bonus video:
In honor of my Aunt Chilly (102) who lives in Fleischman Residence on our JCC campus and for Carole Lasser, who introduced me to these wonderful musicians, please enjoy this uplifting video by the Piano Guys and their performance at a lucky Senior Living Facility in Utah. and if you want more of this musical frenzy.  Take a look at the Cellist sharing crazy activities (including skydiving) with his cello while performing the great Turtle’s tune “Happy Together”


Less Funds, More Votes
Four years ago this week (Jan. 21st), our “wise” Supreme Court christens Citizens United giving corporations the status of peoplehood so they can unlimitedly shower super PACs with mucho dinero.  Just as you can’t BUY Love… you can’t BUY Votes but oh do people try and oh do people fall for those $$ signs.  Fancy cars, expensive jewelry and lavish homes won’t anoint you with a stellar and respected reputation.  Only your humanitarian, philanthropic and civic actions will stand the test of time.  Billions of $$ of media ads will bombard us with lies and distortions but it is our job to sift through and search for the truth when selecting our candidates to support.  On the opposite side of the equation is that voting should be easier not harder.  Let’s vote online, lets vote for a full 24 hours,  lets increase absentee voting…  Opponents to easier voting say we must prevent voter fraud but in actuality, research proves there is a fraction of a 1% of voter fraud.  The voter fraud boggy-man does NOT exist.
Please resign
With reputation in mind and our City of Detroit at stake, Councilman Cushingberry should resign based on the allegations of his unseemly actions of driving under the influence and swindling a widowed client.
Logical Representation
There are 100 US Senators and only 20 are Women (20%)
There are 435 US Representatives and only 78 are Women (18%)
Women are 50.8% of our US population.
Men’s life experiences and some priorities are different than women’s so shouldn’t legislation affecting all Americans be determined by broader viewpoints.  Same holds true for minorities. There are only 2 African American Senators and only 43 African American Reps. and its worse for other minorities (Senators: 1 Asian American, 2 Hispanic Americans and 0 Native Americans) Aren’t we suppose to be “…a Government of the people, by the people, for the people…”
Sadly, the Texas hospital I wrote about a few weeks ago still refuses to take a brain dead pregnant woman off life support even though she (prior to her death spoke about never wanting to be “hooked up”), her husband and father all want her removed from the tubes.  Since she is pregnant, the fetus has more rights than her and her husband.  Also, it has been determined the fetus has brain damage and is deformed.  In addition, the hospital has indicated that the medical fees to keep her hooked up will be requested from the appropriate source (her family and insurance company).  This is a tragic nightmare for the family and a travesty of our legal system.
Yoga Rocks Ford Field
Please join us on Saturday Feb. 22nd (8:30am) for a huge community wide Yoga Class at Ford Field with partners Detroit Lions, Yoga Shelter, Lululemon, Quicken Loans, Michelob Ultra.  Your attendance is needed to help break the record of the largest Yoga Class.  Please join us!
Young Artist
If you are looking for an interesting afternoon, please mosey on down toShaarey Zedek Synagogue this Sunday Jan. 26th from 10am-4pm for a browse and shopping opportunity of the creative works of young local artist.
As we freeze our fingers and toes during yet another Michigan cold snap, many in our community have no mittens or gloves for warmth.  Please support Mittens for Detroit with their comedy night this Saturday evening 1/25.  Also, Weight Watchers meetings are collecting mittens for this worthy organization.
Sad News
Condolences to my cousin’s family on the abrupt passing of Marty Fingeroot(age 57), son to Annette and bother to Howard.  May his memory bring comfort to those morning his passing.

Sad News
Condolences to Heidi and Jeffrey Budaj on the passing of Magda Budaj (age 95), grandmother to Mark Fischgrund among many other grandchildren.  May her long life and spirit be a blessing to those who loved her.

Bravo to niece, Renee Ruiz, for her wonderful philosophy and expression of parenthood captured in this poiyant film about time priorities by local filmmaker,Jordan Vogt-Roberts.

41 years
Happy 41st birthday to Roe v. Wade this week.  May we continue to celebrate this milestone for…EVER!

This week…

Jan. 24th
Rabbi Aaron Star
Ellen Maizeloff
Gail Mayer
Birthdate of John Belushi (1949)

Jan. 25th
(Cousin) Sid Grossberg
King Henry VIII marries Ann Boleyn in1533
(pre-nup might have helped this marriage)

Jan. 26th
Brenda Naomi Rosenberg
Birthdate of Paul Newman (1925)

Jan. 27th
Dana Loewenstein
Diane Kaplan Orley
Jeff Schlussel
Max Klar
J.D. Salinger dies (2010)

Jan. 28th
Challenger Shuttle explodes in 1986
Alan Alda born (1936)

Jan. 29th
Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward wed (lasted 50 years)
Tom Selleck born 1945 in Detroit

Jan. 30th
Danielle Winterberger
Deborah Rubyan
Ken Gold
Mahatma Gandhi assassinated (1948)
Coretta Scott King dies (2006)

For those who are forwarded this message by a friend or read it on Facebook, you can receive your own version each Friday morning at 6am by clicking on the above button.

Please excuse my typos, misspellings and human errors.  Thanks.

Shabbat Shalom Jan. 24, 2014

Shabbat Shalom Jan. 17, 2014

Ariel Sharon 1928-2014
Shabbat Shalom January 17, 2014

Dear Friends and Family,

Final Farewell
The Israeli elder statesman, Ariel Sharon, passed away this week at the age of 85. Though many had bid him farewell 8 years ago when he descended into a coma, his organs and body finally surrendered to the inevitability of death last Saturday. His contributions to the survival and stability of our homeland ismonumentous and appreciated.  Though his last effort (and public appearance Jan. 1, 2006) was with a group of young Jews (from 12 different countries) when he emphasized the importance of year-long Masa (Journeys) to our homeland.  May his memory, spirit and triumphs be a blessing unto our peoplehood and may tributes of young journeymen/women descend upon Eretz Israel for many years to come.

Cycle of Life
Two other coma patients have pre-occupied our nation these last few weeks with opposite stories.  Sadly, tragedy struck a young girl’s family when a tonsillectomy caused the child to become brain dead, yet the family refused to allow the hospital to take her off life support and the opposite occurred when a blood clot of a young (14 week) pregnant woman denied oxygen to her brain yet the hospital was unable to disconnect her breathing tubes as Texas Law (and Michigan law) forbids the removal of life support from a pregnant women. In my opinion, Death is the next journey in the cycle of Life and hopefully will come after experiencing ample time on Earth. Sadly, sometimes that time is too short. The unknown provokes fear but since no one knows what happens after death, we are free to choose (which I do) an optimistic perspective.

Heroic Women
The Golden Globes were entertaining last Sunday but the best part was the (1 minute) Bing comerical featucing heroic women from all walks of life.  Truly inspiring video:

Thankful Miracles
“Wonders of wonders, miracles of miracles”, Fiddler is celebrating the 50th anniversary of it’s Broadway debut. Another wondrous miracle this week is the House passed the $1.1 trillion 2014 budget.  Senate will vote on it too (but after this email is sent). Thankfully an additional wondrous miracle occurred this week as the Iron Dome intercepted 5 rockets fired from Gaza at Ashkelon (our son-in-law’s hometown).


Old Packard Plant
Bravo to Fernando Palazuelo for committing time, money and optimism in buying the dilapidated Detroit Packard Plant.  May his efforts bring success for both our beloved city and his future bank account. Here is a photo of this handsome man, though I couldn’t find one of him smiling but hopefully his future expression will be brighter:

Fernando Palazuelo

First Woman
Bravo to Mary Barra, new GM CEO and the first women to head a global auto company. She is the most popular person at this year’s Detroit Auto Show as GM’s Stingray and Silverado were awarded the coveted Car and Truck of the Year honors. Its the first time in GM’s history that they won both awards AND the first time a woman is in charge…coincidence… I think NOT.

Mary Barra

Saving Grace
It’s not a done deal yet but bravo to all of those large and small, national and local foundations who raised $330 million to help save our DIA artwork and Detroit employee pensions.  Our State plans to kick in some funds too. This is just one of the many creative and supportive efforts exhibited to help our Bankrupt City.

Questionable Curriculum
While our high school students are taught the 3 Rs, a different curriculum is fine-tuned in Gaza.  13,000 students enrolled in the “art” of fighting Israelis, an elective in all Gaza schools. Hamas runs these program where they learn to shot AK-47s and dodge burning tires. 15 year old Osama Shehada wants to continue his studies in engineering so he can “learn how to make bombs and explosives to target Israel”.  The Hamas Education Ministry’s textbooks do NOT recognize Israel on the map or the Olso accords signed with the PLO.  While Israel is continuously bombarded with criticism and boycotts, where is the outrage against indoctrinating the youth of Gaza.

On the other side of the world and a world apart from the above story.  Here is a sweet and meaningful example of how thoughtful sensitive kids can teach a course in humanity and the lesson took place right here in Michigan:

We are a strange species with weird ideas.  Case in point was this Sunday’s No Pants Subway Ride 2014.  No joke, the 13th anniversary took place in 60 cities all over the world.

 Here’s proof:
 Did any of you take part?

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



Happy Tu B’Shvat – New Year for Trees
January 16th


Chris Christie has been doing lots of explaining lately for some political indiscretions. When in politics, keeping squeaky clean should be your motto.  Though lawmakers do seem to keep comedians stocked with material.  Jimmy Fallon is a master with this material and he and Bruce Springsteen delighted his audience this week with a new rendition of Born to Run.  You almost can’t tell which is the real Springsteen. Enjoy:

Michigan Senate Seat
Someone who’s keeps out of the limelight and public eye is US Senate republican candidate Terri Lynn Land.  She announced her campaign months ago but hasn’t spoken in public to express her views.  One view that concerns me is her extremely anti-choice stance even for rape, incest or the threat to the woman’s life.  Another concern is her independent wealth which she will supplement generously to the (seemingly unlimited) Koch Brothersfunds being used to smear Dem. Candidate

Gary Peters.  As election day (Nov. 4th) approaches, you will see many pleas in these emails to help educate and encourage election participation. In other words,  PLEASE, get to know who’s running and encourage voter turn out.

Our Choice
Our Michigan political scene is lopsided and specific leaning. From top to bottom, all political positions are Republican (Governor, both chambers of Congress, Attorney General, Sec. of State, Supreme Court).  Major amounts of pass-through contributions and super PAC funding have contributed to this imbalanced situation. (side note: we are in DESPERATE need of campaign finance reform). Because of this situation, more conservative laws are sailing through the system.  One example is the new law excluding abortions from insurance policies.  The Right to Life (signature gathering) movement and our Republican congress jammed this through without Veto options.  This is devastating for those who can’t afford the legal procedure of pregnancy termination even in cases of rape or fetal abnormality. A ballot initiative to repeal this law is risky and too costly so we Michigander REALLY need to vote with our Soap Boxes and Ballot Boxes to rightsize our Michigan political scene.

Sad News
Condolences to cousin, Shelley Wainer and her family on the passing of her beloved father, Robert Golden.  May his memory and love bring comfort to Shelley, David, Ashley, Lindsay, Ryan, Aria, Evann, Dylan and Harrison during their time of sorrow.
Wedded Bliss
Mazel to Marc and Suzanne Winkelman on the marriage last weekend of their daughter Alex Winkelman to Adam Zeplain. Wishing the newlyweds a lifetime of love, laughter, health and happiness.

Bonus video:  Ever need to open a bottle of wine but alas you have no corkscrew? Here’s your solution.

Jan. 17th
Bryce Sandler
Don Benyas
Perry Teicher
Michelle Obama born 1964

Jan. 18th
Yossi Peled
Barry Manilow’s Mandy is #1 song in 1975

Jan. 19th
Adam Blanck
Indira Gandhi becomes India’s first female prime minister in 1966

Jan. 20th
Robert Wittenberg
George Burns born in 1896

Jan. 21st
Tzvi Raviv (best son-in-law)
Rachel Stone
Roy Orbison inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 1987

Jan. 22nd
Bill Graham (Happy 70th)
Rose Kennedy died at 104 in 1995

Jan. 23rd
Lisa Sobel
Ronen Aviani
Sarah Rabin Butts
Cathy Rosenhaus
Casablanca release in Theaters in 1943

For those who are forwarded this message by a friend or read it on Facebook, you can receive your own version each Friday morning at 6am by clicking on the above button.

Shabbat Shalom Jan. 17, 2014

Shabbat Shalom Jan. 10, 2014

 Warm Shabbat Shalom January 10, 2014

Dear Friends and Family,

The Polar Vortex is the despised new phrase of 2014.  Sorry to start this message with it, but it has consumed our lives this week. Wishing those affected by it… warmth & safety and those sunning on a beach through it… appreciation.

We managed a quick jaunt to NYC this week where we checked off a few items on my “list”.  Billy Crystal entertained us Saturday afternoon with “700 Sundays” (the day before it closed) as it was taped for HBO.  Look for us when it airs.  I also recommend the off broadway production of “What’s it all about? Bacharach Remained”…awesome music, movement and arrangement. Two great films, Philomena (true story) and Her (not a true story, yet) rounded out the visit and dinner with dear friends, David and Nili, topped off the weekend.  Kol hakavod to David (Broza) on his new album East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem, debuting this Tuesday Jan. 14th.  Here is a sampling of the songs and discussion about the album with David and Steve Earle (producer):

Divine Visit
Bravo to Pope Frances for his decision to visit Jerusalem this Spring.  May his peace-loving messages bring hope to the peace process. Politicians have tried to make progress but maybe some divine intervention is needed.

History Lesson
I am currently reading a wonderful new book about Israel by Ari Shavit called My Promised Land. It is filled with historical facts explaining the reality of the region.  Many people forget, ignore or sometimes fabricate history, but the truth can’t be changed. History must be remembered to help lead us to the future. Here is a quote from Amos Oz about another historical fact that many forget…“When my father was a little boy in Poland, the streets of Europe were covered with graffiti, ‘Jews, go back to Palestine’ or sometimes worse: ‘Dirty Yids, piss off to Palestine.’ When my father revisited Europe fifty years later, the walls were covered with new graffiti, ‘Jews, get out of Palestine.’ “ Jews have continuously lived in that region for thousands of years and have a right to live there in peace and prosperity.

Boycott Update
Kudos to Wayne State University for their outspoken statement against the academic boycott of Israel. Thank you to those who spoke up against this bigotry. Here is WSU’s president’s statement: (thanks, Jocelyn Benson, WSU Law School Dean for sharing this info with me).  And here is the latest article related to the ASA boycott:

Three years ago this week, Gabby Giffords‘ life was altered forever. Three years later, little progress has been made to prevent future attacks.  Mass shootings and gun violence persists to terrorize our nation as gun regulations are sabotaged by the Gun Manufacture Lobby. The mid-term elections could be the key to future common sense gun laws. In the meantime, Gabby commemorated the day that changed her life with a skydive jump that was a common activity for her prior to the shooting.

Gabby was the congresswoman of the (non-polar vortex affected) city of Tucson where another friend is doing great work.  Mazel Tov to Hattie Groskind (daughter of Eric and Liz and sister to Sam) in recognition of her volunteer work with TRAK (Therapeutic Ranch for Animals and Kids):

Just as Tikkun Olam (Repair the World) is important, so is Tikkun Atzmi (Repair Yourself).  As humans, we make many mistakes.  Admitting error is difficult but a necessity in order to grow and flourish as people.  Quick to judge and assign blame was a mistake made by many regarding the Benghazi attack and even as evidence is now coming to light, many still can’t accept that an error in judgement may have occurred regarding that deadly day.  Nothing will bring back the lives lost but incendiary statements of blame and hateful rhetoric are just senseless and dangerous:

As Obama is attacked in the above article, Steven Speilberg was thinking about his next epic film (wink, wink).  As the premier director of our county, it makes sense he takes on the challenge of filming the life story of Obama.  But who could play the POTUS. Check out this (funny) video:

The moral distance between our POTUS and the North Korean leader is millions of miles long. Kim Jong-un‘s human rights abuses are legendary and an appropriate birthday gift should be permanent incarceration, yet foolish Dennis Rodman has pandered to the leaders poison.  Sadly his coattails snagged some unsuspecting athletes to provide a basketball game for birthday boy and his cronies. Rodman deserves to stay in North Korea for his loyalty to this vicious dictator.

Kim and Dennis

To end this week on a warm musically note, please enjoy this beautiful dance routine to Bob Marley’s “Is This Love”, uniquely performed by an “elderly” couple. Truly worth a peak, enjoy:

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



Sad News
Condolences to Sherri Ketai, Stacy Doctoroff, Marc Kay and their families on the passing of their beloved grandfather, Samuel Solomon. May his spirit, wit and memories bring comfort to his loved ones during their time of sorrow.
Mazel Tov Matt Levitt on being named The Washington Institute’s Fromer-Wexler Fellow.
Shame on the Dutch Soccer team who agreed to compete in Abu Dabi without their Israeli teammate who was denied entry to the county:

 This week’s celebrants:

Jan. 10th
Fern Kepes
Jamila Ross
Marc Kay
Rod Stewart

Jan. 11th
Rabbi Jonathan Berkun
Stanley Tucci

Jan. 12th
Dalia Shani
Jeff Slatkin
Susu Sosnick
Howard Stern

Jan. 13th
Robyn Lederman
Sheila Tyner
Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Jan. 14th
Rachel Wright
Tom Klein
Barbara Curhan Mendelson
Christen Giblin
Debbie Robbins
Jon Liebman
Lois Rubin
Faye Dunaway

Jan. 15th
Emery Klein (of blessed memory)
Martin Luther King, Jr. (of blessed memory)

Jan. 16th
Josh Berg
Susie Pappas
Ethel Merman

Shabbat Shalom Jan. 10, 2014

Shabbat Shalom January 3, 2014

Shabbat Shalom January 3, 2014

Dear Friends and Family,

Our Nation
Wednesday brought a slew of 2014 newness.  Detroit has a new Mayor, Mike Duggan. New York has a new Mayor, Bill De Blasio and Colorado opened its doors to the legal purchase of recreational Marijuana.  Hopefully this will be a trend for other States to continue progressive initiatives for our Nation’s future like Marriage Equality, saner gun regulations, immigration reform and sensible health care for Women.  To help us along this path, we’ll need to work hard during this year’s midterm elections to insure supportive voices in both our State and US congress.





Our Homeland
When Israel is slapped in the face, she responds with a helping hand. Boycotts pop up against her while pop-up medical tents appear in devastated cities bearing the Magen David Flag. There is no explanation for anti-Israel rhetoric from educated individuals other than flat out anti-semitism. Those who reads newspapers and history books know the facts regarding Israel’s equal society among all ethnicities, genders and sexual preferences.  They know the biblical roots to the land, the 1948 UN partition plan that legally established the State, the wars and lives lost to protect her citizens,  the innovative inventions developed to save, sustain and improve the global community (many of whom want her eliminated), the Israeli Arab doctors, judges, engineers, soldiers & merchants living (and educated) in the only democratic state in the Middle East. Only after the ’67 War (which was thrust upon her), did the West Bank and Gaza come under her control. And precedent has been set as complete withdraw from Gaza took place (Aug. 2005) in hopes of Peace but in reality of more war. Thousands of convicted prisoners (many stained with Israeli blood) have been release (with hundreds this week) in a good faith Peace effort yet security is still illusive and boycotts still persist. Though I am truly not a pessimist, unfortunately (I believe), attacks against Israel and anti-Semitism will continue well into the future UNLESS the educational cycle of teaching lies and hatred is stopped.

Typhoon Haiyan Assistance
Hope- HaTikva













Boycott Update
The American Academic Boycott started with the Asian American Studies Association(AASA), followed by the larger American Studies Association (ASA) and soon after the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) jumped on the bandwagon.

The good news is that 55 American universities and colleges have spoken out against the ASA boycott and 4 have pulled their membership.  If you are connected to (or sit on the board of) a University, please voice your opinion against this bias boycott.

Russian Restlessness
If I were a Winter Olympian, I’d be a tad anxious to venture to the (terrorist threaten) Russian landscape as suicide bombers took the lives of 34 innocent victims this week, just a few hundred miles from the Sochi Winter Olympic Village.  Security will be tight and safety concerns heightened.

Recently Fox News declared Santa’s ethnicity as White.
Now PA leader Mahmoud Abbas has defined “Jesus as Palestinian”.
I’m no theologian or historian, but wasn’t Jesus Jewish and
I think the Palestinian identity didn’t exist till the 20th century.  Mr. Abbas’ intent was to unify the Christian and Muslim Arabs of the region though historical accuracy in this attempt might bring more respect.
Century Old Structure
100 years ago our majestic Detroit Train Station was built overlooking its proud city.  At the time it was the tallest in the world with the finest accouterments.  25 years ago the last train left that station and none have returned since.  Owner and billionaire, Matty Moroun continues to keep it “unloved” though as the optimistic progress of our city chugs along, hope is on the horizon that new life will emerge from this stately structure.
Interior 1940
Exterior Today
Last Sunday evening I was memorized by the broadcast of the Kennedy Center honoree ceremony (filmed Dec. 8th) bestowing gratitude upon Martina Arroyo (opera singer), Herbie Hancock, Shirley MacLaine, Carlos Santana and Billy Joel.  The whole show was fantastic but the piece d’resitance was the last performance by Rufus Wainwright (who’s voice I love) singing Billy Joel’s NY State of Mind and Piano Man. If you appreciate either of these talents, then you’ll enjoy this youtube:
The first time I saw Billy Joel was at Israel’s HaBima in 1980. I’ll be in Israel next month when he performs here in Michigan but I hope to catch one of his Madison Square Garden shows. Though, I do look forward to seeing the Michigan concerts of Paul Simon/Sting(March 26th) and Cher (April 12th). Speaking of Cher, if you are interested in purchasing two tickets, please let me know. I ended up buying 2 extra tickets that I won’t be using.

On another musical note, this is the most incredible video I’ve even seen and it was created by an Israeli directer.  It is an interactive youtube of Bob Dylan’s song “Like a Rolling Stone” playing on each channel you flip to with the buttons at the side of the screen.  I don’t know how they made it but it is truly amazing. You need to play with it a bit before you realize the uniqueness. check out the button on the left of the screen to start the video and change the channels with the arrow buttons (at your whim while it is playing):

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


1. Bravo to Sparty from a 1982 Alum.
2. Well wishes to injured race-car driver, Michael Schumacher.
3. Prayers for Ariel Sharon as he nears death after 8 year coma.


Bravo to the Holocaust Memorial Center on its new exhibit opening this Sunday Jan. 5th on the Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals with guest speaker the Honorable Barney Frank, retired congressman from MA.

Please join my table at our Federation THANX event Tuesday Jan. 14th (7pm) at Shaarey Zedek with guest speaker, SPANX CEO, Laurie Ann Goldman.

Save the date for a night of laughs by Tim Allen at the Forgotten Harvest’s Comedy Night Fundraiser Saturday evening April 26th

Happy Birthday!


Jan. 3rd
Carla Schwartz 
Marilyn Victor 
Matt Curtis
Stephen Stills (Teach your children…)
Jan. 4th
Aaron Bailey
Gabi Klein
Jan. 5th
Mataan Lis (21 year old wonderful son)
Debbie Lederman
Sherry Kanter
Jan. 6th
Lisa Brody
Nimi Yarkoni
John Delorean (Back to the Future)
Jan. 7th
Bill Harder
Kenny Loggins (House at Pooh Corner)
Jan. 8th
Ben Falik
Lisa Rotter
Stacy Klein
Linda Klein
Danny Weberman
Jan. 9th
Eric Zuckerman
Mira Segal
Shabbat Shalom January 3, 2014