Shabbat Shalom May 15, 2015

Shabbat Shalom
May 15, 2015
Dear family and friends,
Community Sadness
Our local community is distraught as Rachel Jacobs z”l(daughter of Gilda and John Jacobs) was on that doomed Amtrak train headed from DC to NYC. Chaos and tragedy ensued after the speeding train (travelling twice the limit) crashed and killed 8 people in Philadelphia while injuring hundreds of others. Rachel was only 39 and was robbed of many vibrant years ahead to raise her family and continue her passions. Rachel grew up in the very tight knit community of Huntington Woods where the neighborhood is an extended family. Her parents are beloved and highly respected community leaders whose connections are deep and extensive.  Grief is heavy in the hearts and minds of all who know the Jacobs family. Prayers and condolences to all the victims and families of this senseless tragedy.

Rachel and her family


More deadly news occurred again in Nepal this week. After suffering a death toll of over 8,000 people from the last earthquake, another massive 7.3 quake hit the devastated country on Tuesday. Dozens more people have died with the count still rising.  Many people and organizations are working tirelessly to assist the Nepalese, but one dedicated Detroiter, Dr. Richard Keidan, has been connected to Nepal since the early 80s and has put his passion for this remote country at the forefront of his philanthropy. Detroit2Nepal was formed in 2010 and has since raised appreciated support for the people of Nepal. This past weekend, they raised funds through the Over the Edge event that set adventure seeking Detroiters repelling down one of our downtown skyscrapers.

As the weekend to honor Mothers has just past, this might be a good time to lament about our unhealthy U.S. maternity leave policy. Only us and the tiny countries of Suriname and Papua New Guinea (do you even know where those countries are…?) require no maternity paid leave compared to the former Soviet Union region which (financially) pampers their new mothers for a full year. This policy also affects our employment stats. As you can see by this map, Canada is gracious with their new moms which reflects in a higher percentage of women in the workforce…82% vs our 74%. However, if you live in NY, NJ, HI, CA or RI, these states do provide some form of paid leave. The health of our moms and babies would benefit greatly from a bit more mothering.  John Oliver did a segment on his show last weekend that highlighted this issue:

Red: no paid leave, Orange: less than 14 weeks,
Yellow: 14-25 weeks

Light blue: 26-15 weeks,  Dark blue: 52 weeks or more

Family Friendly
Now, some of you might find the next video a bit too progressive for your taste buds but I wholeheartedly agree on these 5 points to help make our country’s workplaces more family friendly.
If  “Women on 20s” got their way, our underground railway matriarch, Ms. Harriet Tubman, would soon be gracing our $20 bills and replacing the punim  of Andrew Jackson. With the tallies counted, Harriet surpassed Eleanor Roosevelt
by 7,000 votes.  Since this was a grassroot attempt, it is now up to our Secretary of State, Jack Lew, to take action with our President’s blessings. Here is the official appeal to the President:

On a related story, officials are asking Canadians to stop tampering with their $5 bill in memory of

Leonard Nimoy:

Happy App
I am a firm believer that happiness is derived from appreciating joyous moments in life and from giving your (time, help, money, assistance…) to those in need.
Nataly Kogan, after trailblazing the corporate world, researched the studies of happiness and developed an app ( ) that can assist us in increasing our happiness levels.  Nataly’s journey (via Russia to Detroit) is spotlighted in this 15 minute Ted Talk and worth the viewing for her inspiration on Happiness.
And for 10 quick and easy tips, try these on for size:
This week’s quiz
Can you match these location (Chicago, South Carolina, Ann Arbor) with their achievement…?
1. Millennials favorite place to live.
2. Home to Obama Library
3. Recipient of every Teacher’s grant requests
The answers:  Ann Arbor is where millennials want to live. Obama chose Chicago and Stephen Colbert funded every SC public teacher’s educational grant request to the tune of $800,000.
Bravo to…
We are proud of our talented banjo playing daughter,
Liat Tova Lis
and her band’s newly released EP recording:
Kudos to Fashion Forward niece,
Ilyse Mark
on the opening of her (very hip)
Denver Boutique Ily-Iley:
Congrats to
Jimmy Ketai (#4) 
Mark Schostak (#5)
as this year’s Champions of the New Economy:
Mazel Tov to
Treger Strasberg
on her inclusion of Oakland County’s Elite 40 under 40:
Smart Choice as
The Last Lecture by Jeff Zaslow z”l 
was chosen #3 Must Read
in honor of World Book Day (May 14).
Ditto on the Smart Choice of Canada and Michigan to name our new bridge after the beloved (by both homes)
Gordie Howe
Last but definitely not least, Bravo, to dear husband,
Hannan Lis
for his finalist status of the
Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award:
Wishing you and your loved ones a
Sweet and Meaningful Shabbat Shalom and hope you enjoy it with this acoustic soulful live (radio) version of
James Taylor singing “Woodstock”.
Beautiful harmony between his voice and his guitar:
Condolences to Stacey Deweese and the
Milberger family on the passing of her brother,
Dr. Avery Milberger z”l (High School classmate of mine). May his spirit and memory bring comfort to those who knew and loved him.
Condolences to Israel and Laura Lazar on the passing of their beloved daughter, Leor Lazar z”l (age 28). A life cut too short yet will be remembered and cherished in the hearts and souls of her loved one.
Now through June 16th
Detroit Zoo Biodigester 
Please join me in supporting this crowdfunder to raise matching funds to help build a Biodigester which will convert manure to energy.
May 17th 
Hillel Day School Annual Dinner
(My Alma Mater)
Audrey and William Farber with Dream Maker Award
Bob Canvasser with Rabbi Jacob Segal (z”l) Award
For more info, please contact Amy Schlussel
May 18th
Planned Parenthood Annual Luncheon
The Henry (Dearborn)
Guest Speaker: Senator Wendy Davis
For more info:
May 21st
Federation’s Awards Night
5:30 (no fee)
Hillel Day School (Farmington Hills)
Mazel tov to awardees:
Harvey Bronstein
Margot Halperin
Adam Blanck
Brian Satovsky
Regina Colton
May 28th
Jewish Historical Society of Michigan
Annual Meeting honoring Carl Levin
Gem Theatre, Madison Ave. Detroit
Program promises to be a historical
view of Detroit in the 30s & 40s through Carl and Sandy Levin’s memories.
May 31st
AISH ride2israel
Various leveled rides at various metro Detroit locations adding up virtually to the 6,013 miles from Detroit to Israel. Funds raised benefit the various Jewish programs of AISH.
June 1st
Marcy Feldman will receive the 2015 Activist Award
Adat Shalom Synagogue
June 3rd
Inaugural Rabbi Groner Memorial Lecture Series of Distinguished Scholars
Shaarey Zedek Synagogue
Distinguished Guest speaker: Rabbi David Rosen
For more info, please contact Shira Shapiro:
(248) 357-5544

June 12th
Detroit Zoo
Sunset at the Zoo Summer Chill
Creatively Wild Fundraiser (21 and older)
Spotlighting on the Polk Penguin Conservation Center

May 15th
Micki Berg
Brenda Steuer
May 16th
Mark Lit
Amy Shefman
Liz Schubiner
May 17th
Regina Colton
May 18th
Dawn Perlmutter
Michael Maddin
Elise Benyas
Sosie Berg
May 19th
Joel Kahn
Irwin Elson
May 20th
Vadim Avshalom
Ashley Wainer Oleshansky
Nanci Rands
Brian Adelman
Nathan Upfal
May 21st
John Steinberg
Sally Orley
Trudi Wineman

Blue Stripes


Shabbat Shalom May 15, 2015

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s