Shabbat Shalom Aug. 29, 2014

Shabbat Shalom

and Meaningful Labor Day

August 29, 2014

Dear family and friends,
After two weeks of computer Hiatus, I may have overloaded this week’s Shabbat email with issues, concerns and opinions.  Sorry for the length but the content is all meaningful to me and I hope to you. To begin…
Iceland was stunning…
Here are some of Hannan’s photos:
Iceland Geysir
Blue Lagoon
Gullfoss Waterfall
Steaming Hot River
Israel was also wonderful…More artistic photos from Hannan.
Typical Beach View
Tel Aviv Boardwalk
Israeli Hari Krishna
Breaking News
While on vacation, it seemed News was Breaking each day…Robin Williams, Ferguson Missouri, ISIS beheading, Metro Detroit Flooding, San Francisco Earthquake…not to mention sitting in the middle of the Hamas story.  While we were in Israel, two ceasefires were broken by Hamas rockets. Twice we needed to take cover as sirens blared in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Thank God for the Iron Dome yet it isn’t foolproof as the day we left a 4-year-old Israeli boy was killed in the south from a Hamas bombardment as his family was running for cover during the 10 second warning.  It is increasingly frustrating to read and listen to the inaccurate media coverage and the bias op-eds which seem to give license to Anti-Israel and Jew-Hating sediment and action. Just this week, a Jewish Comedian, Elon Gold, (who we’ve seen several times at Jewish Detroit fundraiser) was harassed while walking home from Shabbat dinner with his family.  A man yelled “Free Palestine” from his car and then jumped out and screamed “I hope your children die! Just like you are killing children in Gaza!” Here is Elon’s very poignant and articulate explanation of the frustrating and dangerous situation we live in.
In Memory
Before I continue to reflect on this week’s news, I must commemorate the one year passing of our beloved George Austin Orley z”l,  son of Randy and Diane and brother to Amanda and Sam. His young life touched so many with his passion for Friends, Family, Food, Sports and Detroit.  His legacy lives on in all who loved him as his goodness is engrained in their souls. His Detroit commitment also continues with the George Orley Social Impact Award initiated at TechTown Detroit this Summer. May George’s spirit be blessed and at peace
 George A. Orley z”l
I give you this one thought to keep –
I am with you still – I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awake in the morning’s hush
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not think of me as gone –
I am with you still – in each new dawn.
Going Viral
With 2.5 million participants all over the world from the famous to the unknown, raising nearly $90 million dollars (with more pouring in each day), surely the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a HUGE success and epitomizes “going viral”.  How does something so simple latch on to our global community? This is an attribute to the power of Social Media with some minor manipulations by Facebook. First, as of December, you’ll notice that videos are on autoplay (meaning they start playing just as you scroll past them, piquing your interest). Also, Facebook knows if you watch lots of video they places them at the top of your feed and then of course its the old Chain Letter mentality which many can’t resist. For whatever the reason, ALS research could surely use this added boost of cash and awareness.  This disease is the most dreaded as our family saw the devastating effects while watching it ravage my step-father, Dr. Bill Ross. It steals all physical abilities while keeping your mind completely intact essentially placing you as a prisoner of your own body.  We are fortunate to have the brilliantDr. Eva Feldman (U of M Hospital) dedicating her efforts to finding a cure for ALS and with this injection of donations, hopefully her success will be accelerated. For more info on this issue, please click on this site:
Dr. Eva Feldman        Dr. Bill Ross z”l
ACA and Mental Health
On another medical topic, 1 in 5 Americans have been diagnosed with Mental Health concerns and bravo to the Affordable Care Act as it has expanded the much needed coverage to millions of people who previously were unable to get help. Under the ACA mental health treatment must be covered by Medicaid and all private plans. Though there are stumbling blocks, this emphasis is in the right direction and will help many desperate people.
Elephant in the Room
Not surprising, Jimmy Carter will be the keynote speaker at the51st Annual Convention of the Islamic Society of North America held this weekend at Cobo Hall in Detroit.  Carter is known to be very outspoken against US policies in the Middle East and is a major critic of Israel to the extent I would call him anti-Israel. Governer Synder will also be speaking at the conference. I searched the convention’s program and was not surprised to find the LACK of content to address the elephant in the room of speaking out against Islamic extremism. Here is their website, maybe you can find any reference to dealing with the takeover of their religion by Zealots.
The boycott movement may have just shot themselves in the foot with their protest of SodaSteam which employed nearly 1,000 Palestinians.  The company will move its headquarters to the Negev and possibly shut the West Bank factory though they say their decisions are solely based on the financial benefit of the company.
After 50 days of rocket attacks from Gaza, there appears to be a ceasefire that hopefully will take hold.  But where do we go from here?  Israeli children will return to school and deal with their emotional distress while Gazans will return to their destroyed homes and cities.  Who will fund the rebuild of Gaza? Qatar, the same entity which provided weaponry to attack Israel.  But until Hamas is expelled from the area, there will NEVER be peace and the rockets will start up again. Take it from someone who was inside the Hamas. Check out Mosab Hassan Yousef’s (son of Hamas founder) powerful words:
History is destined to repeat itself unless drastic changes are made in the mindset of the Arabs.  Here is proof as this 1968 Wall Street Journal Op Ed is as relevant today as it was then.  The last two lines are the most powerful:
The IDF should be commended for their admirable efforts these last 7 weeks (and last 66 years). Here is a beautiful tribute TO them and BY them of one of my favorite Leonard Cohen songs translated into Hebrew:
Chabad Acts Kindness
Shabbat dinners were NOT interrupted even the night after the brutal murder and attack of the Mumbai Chabad Center in November of 2008 and continued throughout different locations in the city to this week when they reopened the Chabad Center which will continue their mission of exemplifying goodness and kindness through Jewish Programs.
In memory of Rabbi Gabi z”l and Rivky Holtzberg z”l


Know any Metro Detroiters age 21-26 interested in going to Israel. If so, please let them know that registration for the Winter Detroit Community Taglit Birthright Israel trip opens Sept. 9th. The trip departs Dec. 22nd (2014) and returns Jan. 2nd (2015). Spots fill up quickly so those interested should contact Shosh Cohen Silberstein at 248-502-2856 or or sign up at

Wonder Women
This week we celebrate National Women’s Equality Day as we commemorate the 19th Amendment which provided Women the privilege and responsibility to vote and contribute to our democratic process. If every woman took the time to vote, I’m sure the makeup and agenda of our congress would be more reflective of the true progressive majority of this nation.  Please help Get Out The Vote (GOTV especially among women, please help me on Sept. 14th, see below).  And speaking of women, this next photo is dedicated to the Victors of Breast Cancer. 
Schedule your yearly “Mammo-Graham”
Avenue Q had it right with their song “everybody’s a little racist” which is cute, funny and true:
But deadly when it comes to an all White Police force in a mainly Black community like Ferguson, MO. Sadly, Michael Brown‘s death caused riots which spotlighted the racial divide in our country.  Yes, I agree with Avenue Q and Nicholas Kristof in his op-ed this week on racism. Admitting the problem is Step One…how do we correct it?
Its never too late
Malala Yousafzai (the young activist shot by the Taliban for her efforts to bring education to the girls in her community) must be so proud of her mother as she is, now, learning to read and write.
Malala and her family

Your Help is Needed

Again this year, Hannan and I will be co-chairing the Forgotten Harvest (Food rescuers and redistributers) Fundraiser (Spring 2015) with comedian Tim Allen.  Your assistance on the committee would be greatly appreciated. Our first committee meeting (with free lunch) will be Thursday Sept. 4th @ noon @ the Weight Watcher’s office building. Please reply back to this email if you’d like to help.

Flood Recovery

Wishing those who were affected by the damaging Floods that destroyed the basements of Oak Park and Huntington Woods a speedy recovery to their lives.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom.  I was “Happy” to hear this version of Adon Olam


P.S. Music
Here are my music pics of the week.  Hope you enjoy:
The complete Musical History (amazing how they get all eras of music in one take):
Another version of “Happy” by Walk Off the Earth (really fun to watch these creative and talented artists):
Robin Williams – May this brilliant comic rest in peace as the illumination from his bright star continues to shine on our culture. His dear friend, Billy Crystal, “knocked it out of the park” with this beautiful tribute during the Emmys:
Howard “Tzvi” Sherizen z”l – We were in Israel when our friend, Howard died two weeks ago. May his memory, spirit and love be a blessing to his wife Nancy “Chana”, their children and extended family.
James Foley – May the senseless murder by the extreme evil zealots of ISIS shed light on all terrorist organization who wish to harm the democratic freedoms of our modern society.  May the current hostage, Steven Sotloff, be released safely as his mother pleads for his safety:
Richard Attenborough (age 90) – Acclaimed director of the epic film, Gandhi and famously portrayed Santa Claus in the classic movie, Miracle on 34th Street passed away this week.  May his film contributions be enjoyed by many generations to come.
Mazel Tov to Marcie and Rob Orley on the marriage last weekend of their son, Matthew to their new daughter-in-law,Samantha. May the new young couple be blessed with health, happiness, peace and prosperity.
Mazel Tov to Roz and Standford Blanck on this weekend’s wedding of their daughter, Lisa to her love, Peter. Wishing the beautiful couple a sweet and long lifetime together.
Sunday September 7th
Belinda Sue Fund for Ovarian Cancer Awareness and Research (3rd annual) Zoo Walk
Sunday September 14th
Get Out the Vote – Women’s event.
Brunch with Senator Debbie Stabenow and many more Women Political Leaders.
11:00am – 12:30pm our home
28619 Oak Crest Ct., Farm. Hills

To RSVP, please contact Marcie 810-877-8753


Wednesday September 17th
Detroit Public TV will present Hannan and I with the Dolores & George Riley Stewardship Award at their annual Premiere Night at the Westin Book Cadilac.  We hope you can join us.
Thursday September 18th (11:00am)
The innovative and creative founder of The Empowerment Plan, Veronika Scott will be the guest speaker at the Tikvah Hadassah luncheon at home of Hillary Shaw (350 Pine Ridge Dr., BH).  Veronika is a brilliant star in our Detroit community and if you don’t know her, it is worth your while to learn more about her efforts to help the homeless of our City.  Space is limited. Please RSVP to Barbara 248-481-9580 or Karen 248-481-8129
Thursday September 18th
Please join us at the Michigan Israel Business Bridge Ambassador’s Award Dinner at the Detroit Athletic Club honoring Chuck Newman.

Wednesday October 1st

Kadima’s Annual Benefit Celebrating 30 years!
An evening with Paul Reiser at the Max M Fisher Music Center

Thursday October 2nd
Michigan League of Conservation Voters will be honoring Congressman John Dingell and Senator Carl Levin for their decades of service to our nation and their efforts to help protect our environment at their Innovation in Conservation dinner at the Westin Book Cadilac.
Thursday October 2nd

The Pink Fund Dancing With the Survivors
My sister Sheri Mark is the Honorary Chair
Art Van Furniture
27775 Novi Rd., Novi

Monday October 6th
Yad Ezra will be honoring (worthy recipients) Anita and Bob Naftaly at their annual event held at Congregation Shaarey Zedek.
Tuesday October 7th
We will be celebrating our 10th anniversary of the Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Friends luncheon which benefits the West Bloomfield Henry Ford Breast Care and Wellness Center.  We are teaming up with the Detroit Lions this year as the Luncheon will be at Ford Field in Detroit.  For additional information please contact Ashley Abaloz at (313) 874-6139 or
Sunday November 9th
Holocaust Memorial Center Dinner at Congregation Shaarey Zedek honoring Dr. Richard K. Stoler with guest speaker Alan Dershowitz.
Aug. 29th
Joan Chernoff Epstein
Sherri Kukes (Happy 40th dear cousin)
Aug. 30th
Skip Schrayer
Aug. 31st
Shimon Weitzman (Hannan’s High School friend)
Sept. 1st
Shelley Wright
Susie Sills
Sept. 2nd
Michal Lis (Israeli niece turns 27)
Iair Raviv
Brenda Herman
Sept. 3rd
Ariella Lis Raviv (our first born turns 28)
Diane Klein
Alicia Stillman
Sept. 4th
David Broza (dearest musical friend)
Larry August

Blue Stripes

Shabbat Shalom Aug. 29, 2014

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