Today is Earth Day and this week Mother Earth demonstrated her violent core with Earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador. Nearly 500 (and rising) deaths occurred between both Countries and thousands were injured. Ecuador's 7.8 magnitude shaking took a more brutal toll on its citizens while Japan's two quakes registered 6.4 and 7.3 on the Richter scale. There are still nearly 2,000 people missing in Ecuador. (Thankfully, friends Rick and Kim Chesbrough are safe after feeling the Ecuador quake). Both Japan and Ecuador are on the Ring of Fire, which is the horseshoe shaped band of land situated on our most active volcanic crust surrounding the Pacific Ocean. Scientist are not sure if these quakes are related but the death, devastation and homelessness is in immediate need of attention. As usual, our international Jewish community is often first on the scene with help. Chabad of Ecuador, who serves the 1,000 Jews of the country, were on hand to provide food and help to the victims. And JDC (The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee) and IsraAid stepped up to coordinate the essential medical and water needs. Wishing the victims and their families a rapid recovery and a return to normal life.
Will Israelis ever enjoy a normal life when they won't need to worry about bombs exploding on their busses, knife-wielding teens striking at any moment or illegal tunnels constructed for the sole purpose of terror. Sadly, this week isn't the week of peace. 21 people were injured when a pipe bomb exploded underneath a (thankfully vacant) Jerusalem bus but near many who were injured by the flames. Those who value death and destruction (Hamas and many others) were cheering and passing out candy in celebration. But all their evil efforts will continue to be thwarted as Israel continues to innovate protective measures, including new tunnel detection devices.
The Nature of Debate
Remember when your kids were on the debate team at school and they needed to defend issues like Pro-Choice, Marijuana Legalization or Animal Testing. Well, at the college level this week, the U.S. University Debating Championship forced students to defend this issue:
"This House Believes That Violence By Palestinians Against Israeli Civilian Targets Is Justified".
Seriously!?! Go ahead, plant the evil anti-semitic seed that now gives legitimacy to debate that it's OK to inflict terror upon Jews. The championship took place in Morehouse College in Atlanta, a historically Black institution that should be sensitive to social justice, but sadly not one objection from the crowd was observed when this debate question was poised.
The Nature of Residency
For those who do live in Israel and are subject to the reality of that ridiculous and offensive debate question, here is a debate question that should be discussed. If Arab have the civil right to live anywhere in Israel, why is it offensive for Jews to live in the West Bank. Of course, they aren't wanted there by the locals, but how often were Blacks or Jews or other non-white people "not wanted" in certain US communities. Many old (and now illegal) city deed restrictions are still floating around as proof. Check out
Caroline Glick's compelling argument on the Settlement Debate:
We should count our lucky stars for our safe and comfortable home, and
12 lucky Syrian refugees (of millions) will also find a home to appreciate as they were chosen but
Pope Francis to return to Rome with him. As these three families are settling into their new lives, 500 other very unlucky migrants drowned this week in the Mediterranean trying to escape their devastated home countries. As Jews, refugee status is in our history (ie. our Passover story) and in our soul, which keeps our concern and interest on high alert for those in need of help.
(Sarcastically) Thank you very much,
Lin-Manuel Miranda (though congrats on winning 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama), for catapulting Alexander Hamilton's persona into the stratosphere with your brilliant play that has now sabotaged the replacement of his face with a woman's on the $10 bill. But, all is not lost... Before some Joe Schmo creates a play about Andrew Jackson, plans are set to replace him (a slave owner) with
Harriet Tubman (a slave savior) on the $20 bill. Appearing in the year 2020, our bills will have a woman's face as well as scenes (on the back of bills) depicting women's contributions to society.
The Nature of Life
Rest in Peace,
Prince Rogers Nelson (his birth name), the prolific musician who passed away this week at the young age of 57. Prince won 7 Grammys among several other awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. May his music and spirit bring comfort to those who mourn his loss and may he add his musical prowess to the recently new band forming in the sky of David Bowie, Glenn Frey and Merle Haggard.
The Nature of Bruce
The big concert last week was
Springsteen at The Palace. Many of you attended and raved about it on Facebook. Rolling Stone's daily email included this video of
Tenth Ave. Freeze-Out and
Bob Seger. For those who were there, here's a reminder and for those who missed it, here's your chance to enjoy. I even saw friend, Brian Siegel, in the crowd. Maybe you can recognize others:
Though I must admit, it gets annoying when those around you are constantly recording the concert when they should just be enjoying it.
The Nature of Graham
We all have high hopes for tranquility in our homes.
wrote a beautiful song about this dream and he recently explained the muse to
which involved a deli breakfast with
. You have never heard this rendition (sans piano) recorded this week on the Howard Stern show:
Passover in a nutshell; Our holiday of Freedom:
Moses, as a baby, was saved by an Egyptian princess.
Jews were slaves in Egypt.
Moses demanded to "let my people go"
King Pharaoh said "No".
10 Plagues ensued till at last the Jews were freed.
2nd thoughts "plagued" Pharaoh's mind and a chase was on.
Jews ate Matza and Manna through the desert.
Jews crossed the split sea but Egyptians weren't so lucky.
Jews received the commandments and settled in Israel.
For a re-creation of Moses receiving the Commandments,
I refer to Mel Brooks.
Enjoy your Four Cups!!!
Israel is our Homeland but Michigan is where raised our family and this beautiful tribute song to our State is one of my new favorites. It's created by a young band,
, from Traverse City as they capture the love of our State. Enjoy
"Michigan and Again"
Wishing you and your family a
Sweet Shabbat Shalom
and a Wonderful Passover Celebration.
Each week's message is now posted and backlogged here:
Condolences to dear friends,
Debbie & Robert Chonoles and
Marla & Andy Moiseev and their families on the passing of Debbie and Marla's father,
Clifford Rogers z"l. 54 years of marriage between Anita and Cliff resulted in a beautiful growing family.
Dede and Warren Robinson,
Judy and Richard Kepes and their family on the passing of
Erwin Robinson z"l. May Erwin's spirit and memories bring comfort to his loved ones and may his life be a blessing unto his family and friends.
Mazel Tov to
Sue and Alan Kaufman on the birth of their granddaughter,
Golda Jade. Wishing the growing family peace, love and happiness.
Marcia and Bruce Balonick on the birth of their grandson,
Luke James Balonick.
Mazel Tov to Rabbis
on their forthcoming retirements. Todah Rabah to both of them for all their inspirational and motivational leadership to our grateful community.
Happy 90th birthday (April 21st) to
Queen Elizabeth, the longest reigning monarch in Great Britain history. Her official celebrations will take place in mid June when the weather is less questionable.
Congrats to the
Ethiopian Boston Marathon winners for the first time both male and female were from the same country. It's been 3 years since the bombing and the new movie about the terrorist act, starring
Mark Wahlberg was filmed at this year's marathon. Also crossing the Boston Marathon finish line was freeloader baby
Benson-Friedrichs riding within his mom, Jocelyn with dad, Ryan biking besides with any needed provisions.
Bravo to the
Canadian government for thinking humanely when approving their new assisted suicide law so people can
die with dignity.
Three criminal charges were filed by our Michigan Attorney Gen. Bill Schuette this week against 2 State employees and 1 City worker for their involvement in lead poisoning the people of Flint. This is just the start...move to come.
Looks yummy and worth a try "
Overnight Matza Breakfast Bake"
(and twin brother Tom)
Liat Tova Lis
(our lovely and talented daughter)
Lisa Brown (Howard's wife)
Marcy Feinberg Leland
Illana Panush Greenberg
Amy Frank Ostrow
New Yorkers voted in favor of fellow New Yorkers
as they both won (big) in their respective primaries. Bernie was hoping for a slimmer margin but is committed to continuing his efforts. I found this Forward article about the Dem's Choice by (historian, author and professor)
Dems' minds should be put at ease a bit after seeing these actual votes per candidate. As you can see Clinton received twice as many as Trump and even Sanders got 240,000 more votes than Trump.
Total New Yorker Votes
Kasich 214, 904
Current Delegate Count:
Hillary Rodham Clinton: 1,930
Bernie Sanders: 1,189
2,383 delegates needed to win
delegates up for grab
July 25th-28th, 2016
Donald Trump: 845
Ted Cruz: 559
John Kasich: 148
(Rubio refuses to release his delegates till the convention)
1,237 delegates needed to win
733 delegates up for grab
July 18-21, 2016
Michigan State Primary Election is
Tuesday Aug. 2, 2016
Brian Kepes for Treasurer
if you live in
(I will update you on more ballot issues as soon as they are available)
Presidential General Election is
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
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
Congregation Shaarey Zedek
Lois Linden Nelson Woman's World
Honoring Henrietta Weisberg (dear friend's mom)
Featuring Paula Abdul
248-357-5544 Ext 48
Brian Kepes for Bloomfield Township Treasurer
Oakland Hills Country Club
3951 W. Maple Rd., BH
$150 suggested contribution
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-383-5769
May 6th (Friday)
Orchards Children's Services
2016 Gerald L. Levin Champion for Children's
May 7th (Saturday)
24th Annual Comedy Night
Featuring Jay Leno
To purchase tickets:
Or please contact Marc Berke at 248-864-7525 for more information and sponsorship options.
May 7th (Saturday)
Museum of Contemporary Art
City Year Red Jacket Gala
May 13th (Friday)
Planned Parenthood 100 Year Gala
Detroit Marriott at the RenCen
Honoring (well deserving):
May 17th (Tuesday)
Jewish Family Service Annual Meeting
Congregation Shaarey Zedek
Honoring Operation Exodus Participants & JFS Award winners
ORT Spring Fundraiser
ORT and the City
Eastern Market, Shed 5
In collaboration with
The Somerset Collection and
Sponsorship or more information
Variety-The Children's Charity
A Star is Born
Emagine Royal Oak and Star Lanes, Royal Oak
Hillel Day School Annual Gala
Beverly & Arthur Liss and Norma & Michael Dorman
(Two amazing couples)
For more info, please contact
Jewish Senior Life
8 over 80
Congregation Adat Shalom
JCRC 2016 Activist Award
Drs. Conrad and Lynda Giles
Adat Shalom Synagogue
Dr. Mark M. Schlissel
President, University of Michigan
Starfish Family Service
Great Hearts Gala
Eastern Market Shed 3, Detroit
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
John Rakolta, Jr.
I am prone to spelling, grammatical and birthday mistakes. Please ignore the typing errors but if I missed your birthday or got the wrong date,
please let me know.