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

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