DC Blossoms are Blooming
Shabbat Shalom
April 1, 2016
"The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year."
  Mark Twain

"The man with the foolish grin is keeping perfectly still"
Happy April Fool's Day!  As the day commands, I feel obligated to start this week's message with "Foolishness" and who better than the current GOP front-runner to anoint as King Fool and his foolish followers. Every week more foolishness is emitted from his month and this week is no exception with his "Punishment for Abortions" comment. Andy Borowitz (normally a tongue and cheek guy) seems to identify the seriousness of this situation: "Stopping Trump is a short-term solution. The long-term solution - and its will be more difficult - is fixing the educational system that has created so many people ignorant enough to vote for Trump."  There are Trump supporters all around us... in our communities, neighborhoods and even families. They believe the impossible promises Trump feeds their primal and existential fears.  All our fears will be realized if Trump cons our US electorate into giving him the keys to the White House. 

"We shall overcome, someday"
According to a Pew Study, there are significantly more Democrats (or leaning Dems) in our Country, however apathy has blocked their ballots. http://www.people-press.org/2015/04/07/a-deep-dive-into-party-affiliation/
We need to change this lack of voting mentality and increase our meager voting percentages to reflect the honor and responsibility of our voting rights.  Bravo and BS to last week's Arizona primary.  Bravo to those who braved the 6 hour wait and BS to the system that created this unacceptable (developing world style) ballot casting fiasco. Blame goes to the Supreme Court for slashing the Voters Rights Act of 2013

"We are the world, we are the children..."
Easter Sunday around the world witnessed family gatherings and joyful activities until all hell broke loose in a Pakistani park where Islamic Terrorist in the form of Pakistani Taliban decided to attack the "soft target" of Christian families enjoying an Easter outing. The suicide bombing killed more than 70 people, mostly women and children and injured 341 innocent souls.  2% of Pakistani society are Christians and their lives continue to be threatened as some of the majority Muslim population want Sharia law to supersede the current government's legal system. Many countries do abide by Sharia Law as their societies condone barbaric forms of punitive measures like stoning and amputations.  

"I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony"
Thank God (pun intended) that Thomas Jefferson and his buddies were brilliant in introducing the concept of separating our Religious Beliefs from our State Laws. As our First Amendment says: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."  We must be vigilant in protecting our personal right to practice our religion of choice but avoid laws that allow public institutions from discriminating against individuals who "think differently" than them.  This exact issue was debated and thankfully will be vetoed by Georgia's Governor Nathan Deal after corporations like Disney and Coca Cola  threatened to boycott Georgia if the Governor allowed passage of the discriminating bill that would affect the rights of the LGBT community.   http://www.wsj.com/articles/georgia-governor-vetoes-bill-protecting-opponents-of-gay-marriage-1459176421

"People. People who need people, 
are the luckiest people in the world"
First they scheduled the film at the festival. Then  when asked to pull it, they denied the request.  But when it was explained that the writer/director (debunked anti-vaccine activist, Andrew Wakefield), was repeatedly discredited and barred from practicing medicine, Robert De Niro agreed to eject the screening of Wakefield's so-called documentary from the Tribeca Film Festival.  Many believed Wakefield would have gained (undeserved) respect by attending the festival and that would been detrimental to the Autism community and those fighting to return credibility to life-saving vaccines, including all forms of the meningitis vaccines.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/27/movies/robert-de-niro-pulls-anti-vaccine-documentary-from-tribeca-film-festival.html  Robert De Niro and his wife have a child with Autism but those working to improve the lives of people with Autism feel "blaming vaccines" creates victim-hood of damage.  In reality, Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder and many with the disorder live productive and meaningful lives. For example, the Israeli military values the perceptive skills of many Israelis who are on the Autistic Spectrum. These soldiers are recruited to do the tedious work (they find relaxing) of scanning high resolution images to detect potential dangers to soldiers on the ground. Their meaningful work has saved many lives. 

"and me, I'm flying in my taxis, 
taking tips and getting stoned"
Most experts agree that Drug A ddiction (both legal and illegal) is at epidemic levels and invades all levels of our society. Our prisons are filled to the brim with drug related crimes and treatment methods surely could benefit from Obama's pledge this week to inject $1.1 Billion into the problem. http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2016/03/31/why-drug-abuse-could-receive-more-attention-on-2016-campaign-trail/
But what if we looked outside the box for a solution.  Dan Baum has an  alternative suggestion on how to help battle the  dependence . He suggest to "Legalize it all" in his Harper's article. If legalized, regulations and taxation can help guide the usage.  Also, he references prohibition as an attempt that failed when making substances illegal. But most interesting, the war on drugs was a political maneuver during the Nixon era (and before) to demonize political detractors. Dan details his thoughts in this interesting NPR interview:   

"While my guitar gently weeps"
The Library of Congress adds 25 Sound Recording each year to the National Recording Registry,  here are two of my favorite from this year's selection.
Gloria Gaynor: "I will Survive"
Billy Joel: "Piano Man"
For the complete list of all 25 recordings plus more details on this registry than you'll need, check out his website:


Mazel Tov to these 3 amazing local activist on being honored with our Community's Young Leadership Awards. Thank you for your commitment:  Jay Hack, Josh Levine and Stacy Doctoroff. 

Wishing you and your family a 
Sweet Shabbat Shalom!
Each week's message is now posted and backlogged here:

Condolences to Ken and Mari Barnett and their family on the passing of Ken's mother, Marilyn Barnett z"l.  Marilyn was a trailblazer in her advertising profession and role model for many in our community.  May her spirit and love bring comfort to those who mourn her death. 

Condolences to Rabbi Lee and Rachel Buckman and their family on the passing of Rachel's Father, David Lieberman z"l
May his life be a blessing unto his family and community. 

Oscar winning actress, Patty Duke (age 69), died this week from an intestinal disease yet the last few years, she dedicated her life to helping break the silence about Bipolar Disorder. She was featured in the PBS film "Ride the Tiger: A Guide Through the Bipolar Brain" http://www.pbs.org/ride-the-tiger/home/   Her life, spirit and contributions to society were truly blessing unto our world.

z"l is the abbreviation of
Zikhrono (male) or Zikhronah (female) Livrakha 
which means  Of Blessed Memory

Week's Addendum 

For pure curiosity sake, Jimmy Fallon's "Life on Mars" rendition was the top "Click" last week and Levain cookies came in 2nd. Also, many are still shocked about the death of Garry Shandling.  Here is another fitting tribute as he drives along with his dear friends, Jerry Seinfeld: 

All the major details about the election:

Current Delegate Count:

Hillary Rodham Clinton: 1,712
Bernie Sanders: 1011
2,383 delegates needed to win
2,042  delegates up for grab

Democratic Convention
 Philadelphia, PA 
July 25th-28th, 2016 

 Donald Trump: 736
 Ted Cruz: 463
John Kasich: 143
(Rubio refuses to release his delegates till the convention)
1,237 delegates needed to win
943 delegates up for grab
Republican Convention
Cleveland, OH
July 18-21, 2016

Michigan State Primary Election is
Tuesday Aug. 2, 2016
(I will update you on ballot issues as soon as they are available)

Presidential General Election is 
November 8, 2016

Give what you can.

For Mother's Day
Looking for a perfect mother's day gift...? Please consider supporting the Joy Project which helps bring critical services to families in our community.  Call 248-592-2339 or click

April 11th (Monday)
Federation's Women's Philanthropy
Thanks Event
For Federation donors at $365 or above
Guest Speaker: Sharon Tal, Head Designer of the Israeli Fashion House, Maskit
Gem Theater

April 14th (Thursday)
Send a Kid to Tamarack Camp Comedy Event
Featuring Israeli comic, Modi
The Garden Theater in Midtown Detroit
Registration begins at 6:30 pm
Program starts promptly at 7 pm

April 17th (Sunday)
Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County
Honoring: Zingerman's Community of Businesses
Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor
3:00-5:00 pm

April 19th  (Tuesday) 
Emily Stillman Foundation
Spring Sensation Luncheon
Tam-O-Shanter Country Club
Guest Speaker:  Heather Thomson CEO of Yummie, Inc.

April 20th (Wednesday)
U of M Food Allergy Center
Spring Luncheon
Knollwood Country Club

May 1st (Sunday)
Jewish Historical Society of Michigan
57th Annual Meeting
Temple Beth El
2:00pm-3:15pm Tour of Rabbi Franklin Archives
3:30pm - Meeting
For reservations:

May 4th (Wednesday) 
Congregation Shaarey Zedek
Lois Linden Nelson Woman's World
Honoring Henrietta Weisberg
Featuring Paula Abdul
248-357-5544 Ext 48

May 6th (Friday)
Orchards Children's Services
2016 Gerald L. Levin Champion for Children's
Signature Event
Soundboard, Detroit
More details to come.

May 7th (Saturday)
Forgotten Harvest 
24th Annual Comedy Night
Featuring Jay Leno
Fox Theatre
To purchase tickets:
1-800-745-3000 or www.olympiaentertainment.com
Or please contact Marc Berke at 248-864-7525 for more information and sponsorship options.

May 11th (Wednesday)
City Year Red Jacket Gala
Ford Field

May 13th (Friday)
Planned Parenthood 100 Year Gala
Detroit Marriott at the RenCen
Save the date. More details to follow

May 17th (Tuesday)
Jewish Family Service Annual Meeting
Congregation Shaarey Zedek
Featuring Natan Sharansky
Honoring Operation Exodus Participants & JFS Award winners

May 19th  (Thursday)
ORT Spring Fundraiser
ORT and the City
Eastern Market, Shed 5
In collaboration with The Somerset Collection and CCS 
Sponsorship or more information

May 20th  (Friday)
Variety-The Children's Charity
A Star is Born
Honoring: Shinola
Emagine Royal Oak and Star Lanes, Royal Oak
RSVP to 248-258-5511 or Variety@Variety5Detroit.com   

May 22nd  (Sunday)
Hillel Day School Annual Gala
Beverly & Arthur Liss and Norma & Michael Dorman
For more info, please contact  Amy Schlussel 

May 22nd (Sunday)
Jewish Senior Life 
8 over 80
Congregation Adat Shalom

May 19th-25th
"Becoming American: The Jewish Experience"
Travel opportunity through EMU Alumni Association to
NYC, Philly and DC.
This experience is open to the public regardless of your University Affiliation, religion, race, age, shoe size...
Any questions can be directed to: 
And for further details of the trip:

June 8th  (Wednesday)
JCRC 2016 Activist Award
Honoring (well-deserving) Drs. Conrad and Lynda Giles
Adat Shalom Synagogue
7:00 pm
Guest Speaker: Dr. Mark M. Schlissel 
President, University of Michigan 

June 10th (Friday)
Starfish Family Service
Great Hearts Gala
Eastern Market Shed 5, Detroit
Honoree: Mariam C. Noland and the Community Foundation for SE Michigan

June 11th (Saturday)
American Cancer Society
Relay for LIfe
West Bloomfield High School

June 23rd (Thursday)
JVS Strictly Business
MGM Grand Detroit
Keynote Speaker:  John Rakolta, Jr.

April 1st
Jon Frank
Gilda Jacobs
April 2nd
Laura Freedman
Dan Carmody

April 3rd
Penny Orley (Happy Barkday)
Jeremy Wolfe
April 4th
Don Cohen
Karen Simons
Michelle Ross (Florida)
April 5th
Lynn Margolis
Mark Lewis
Karen Katz Sherman
Wendy Allen Schwartz
Bill Seikaly
April 6th
Jerry Sobel
Elyse Foltyn
Jarrett Friedland
April 7th
Lisa Weinbaum

I am prone to spelling, grammatical and birthday mistakes. Please ignore the typing mistakes but if I missed your birthday or got the wrong date,  please let me know.