Shabbat Shalom 
April 7, 2017
From Slavery to Freedom
Global Suffering
As we approach our holiday of Passover with our Seder ceremony which celebrates Freedom, we must acknowledge the atrocities of the week. 14 people died and 50 were injured from the suicide bombing in the St. Petersburg, Russia. Plus the horrific gassing of Syrian* civilians caused 86 to suffer a suffocating death including 20 children.  In addition the devastating mudslides in Columbia took the lives of over 250 people and again children were among the victims. Prayers, thoughts and help is needed for this week's world victims as well as the many other invisibles who suffer, though without the glaring headlines or Facebook posts to expose their lack of freedom.

If Only
If all mankind would just lay down their weapons... Dayenu
If all nations took climate change seriously...Dayenu
If all minorities were treated equally and justly...Dayenu
If all women of the world were treated with respect...Dayenu
If all people of the world could afford clean water, healthy food, access to medical care..Dayenu
If all the raindrops were lemondrops and gumdrops...Dayenu would be enough.  We need to constantly work toward a day when we can comfortably sing "Dayenu"

Change is Possible
Can things really change?  Well certainly people can. And if people can come OUT from the extreme and INTO reality, then maybe there is hope.  Have you ever heard of Megan Phelps Roper?  Maybe not her name but certainly her family, as in the Westboro Baptist Church.  Megan, through an odd friendship with a twitter follower, was able to open her eyes to the real world of the imperfections of us all, including herself. She details this in her powerful Ted Talk of how her family's protest parallels today's political polarization. During her "coming out" journey, she spent time at the home of an LA Rabbi and this week she is gave two talks in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem on overcoming hatred. She has 4 steps to help us strengthen connections... from political rivals to romantic partners.  1. Don't Assume Bad Intent. 2. Ask Questions. 3. Stay Calm. 4. Make the Argument/Explain Your Case.  To learn more about this fascinating story, please check out this article and her Ted Talk.

The Option
Nukes are a bad idea. Nuclear proliferation is a good idea but North Korea, Russian and others don't seem to think so. Thank you Israel for proliferating the Nukes in Syria and Iraq. Nuclear options should only be a deterrent and a VERY last option. Yet, the wisdom of our Republican Senatorial leaders is to impose a political "Nuclear Option" to fight the filibuster against the confirmation of the current SCOTUS nominee. This will only continue to deteriorate the lack of consensus and compromise needed to effectively run our country. Senator Chuck Schumer summed it up neatly:  "When a nominee doesn't get 60 votes, you shouldn't change the rules, you should change the nominee,"  Republicans are crying wolf that a vote on a qualified nominee is being blocked.  How about a hearing and vote on the (highly qualified) previous nominee, Merrick Garland? In addition, big money was involved in this SCOTUS fight by an organization called Judicial Crisis Network but where did JCN get its big bucks. They won't tell even after several legislators sent a request for info letter. JCN spent $10 in support of Gorsuch and $7 million against Garland.

*More on Syria
50-60 American Tomahawk missiles destroyed the Syrian airbase and warplanes which dropped the deadly gas on civilian. The redline has finally been retaliated as we continue to watch for the reaction from Asad and his peers (Russia and Iran).  This attack was warranted as  Syria is experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII.  To compare any disaster to the Holocaust is a serious accusation, but this one is coming from Holocaust survivor,  Yisrael Meir Lau  (former chief Rabbi of Israel). Lau suggests that the Knesset intervene for an emergency session to help deal with the devastating situation occurring on Israel's border. The rabbi is very concerned about the world's response to this genocide and states: "the only thing we've learned from history is that we haven't learned anything from it."

The Count
Yes, Trump's approval rating will rise because of this hawkish attack on Syria. Yes, he removed Bannon from the National Security Council. However, according to former Labor Secretary, Robert Reich, there are 4 (for sure) and 1(soon to be proven) reasons why Trump should be impeached, but there are 237 (republican) reason that the House of Congress won't take that step.  Which is why we need to flip the House in 2018. Robert Reich, in this video, can explain it much better than me.
Count Down 

Play Ball
It's Detroit vs.  Boston today at 1:10pm in Comerica park for the Tiger's opening day.  Mother Nature isn't much of a baseball fan as she'll be blowing some cold winds and only warming up to the mid 40s. Last year's stadium delight, deep fried oreos, have replaced with deep-fried Snickers and these other new food items:  Little Caesars Coney Deep Dish Pizza, Cuban Sandwich, Jalapeno and cheddar-stuffed bratwurst poppers  and  Shawarma sandwiches. Cheers to the Tigers and Tums.

Hag Pesach Sameach
Hope you enjoy La La Land as it meets the Passover story by A Capella group Y-Studs.
And here's another new Passover video (by Aish and friend Michael HarPaz) using  Ed Sheeran's tune and adds our history's meaningful message of Freedom with past and present freedom fighters in the mix. 

Part of Being Jewish Is a Choice
Part of being Jewish is a choice
As one becomes an act of preservation.
Seders start the stream of admonition,
Stories meant to bind one to the past.
On words alone the exiles had to last,
Verses reified by repetition,
Each an heirloom of a generation
Reared to give those ancient words a voice. 

Wishing you and your families a 
Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom and a meaningful Passover holiday.
"Let my people go"
(sorry, not real matza flavor, though it should be)

Condolences to the family of Fred Safran z"l on his sudden passing.  Thoughts and prayers to stepson, Darren Findling and nephew Hy Safran and the entire family.  May his memories and spirit bring comfort to those who mourn his death.

Condolences to the family, friends and fans of comedian, Donald Jay Rickles z"l (age 90).  He rye sense of humor with comments like: " Who picks your clothes - Stevie Wonder?" brought him great fame throughout his long career. He appeared in dozens of TV shows and movies, most notable, for the small fries in your family, as the voice of Mr. Potato Head for the Toy Story movies. May he continue to garner laughs with those who've passed before him.

April 7th
Lisa Weinbaum
Drew Gershenson
  Asher Meisner
Terri Stearn

April 8th
Andrew Kramer
Rabbi Joey Krakoff
Jeff Brodsky
Richard Keidan
April 9th
Aviv Lis (L'Chaim to our 21 year old youngest)
Lindsay Acker
Julie Sonenberg 
Jeremy Zeltzer

April 10th
Edie Slotkin
Carolyn Tisdale
Darren Findling
Amy Weinberg Grosinger
Marjorie Saulson
David Sillman
Sheri Loeb
April 11th
Nancy Rivkin Winer
Carole Jo Lasser z"l
Ellie Morris
April 12th
Jennifer Driker
Tammy Rosen Gorosh
Barbara Tronstein
Pam Weinsaft Bloom
Ann Brodsky Rosenberg
April 13th
Neal Zalenko
Sandy Vieder
Jennifer Adler Rosenwasser
Rich Homberg
I am prone to mistakes so if I missed your birthday or got the wrong date, please let me know.

April 19 (Wednesday)
U of M Food Allergy Center Spring Luncheon
Knollwood Country Club

April 23 (Sunday)
Send a Kid to Tamarack 2017
Featuring Tamarack alum, actor and Comedian:
Jon Glaser and Go Comedy! Improv
The Berman Center for the Performing Arts
West Bloomfield
7:00pm (6:30pm registration)

April 23-30
Laurel Park Place

April 24 (Monday)
Michigan Israel Business Bridge
Israel Defense Mission Networking Event
7096 E 14 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48092
For more info please contact:

April 26 (Wednesday)
The Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation
Beyond the Game, A Night of Sports Talk
Tam O'Shanter Country Club
Benefiting  Dr. Steve (Z"L) and Evelyn Rosen Stars of  Tomorrow  Scholarship
Dinner and Sports Panel Tickets 75$ each

April 30 (Sunday)
Yom HaZikaron
Remembrance Day for Fallen Israeli Soldiers.
The Berman Center for the Performing Arts
West Bloomfield

May 3 (Wednesday)
Congregation Shaarey Zedek
Lois Linden Nelson Woman's World Luncheon
Celebrating 50 years of Woman's World
Woman of Valor honor: Sally Orley (well deserving)
Guest Speaker: Lesley Stahl (of 60 Minutes)

May 6 (Saturday)
Orchards Children's Services
Gerald L. Levin "Champions for Children Signature" Event, 55th ~ Emerald Anniversary
VIP  5:00pm,  General  6:00pm
The Henry Ford Museum
For more information, please contact Katora Cole at
or go to

May 6 (Saturday)
Variety, the Children's Charity
85th Anniversary
Hearts and Stars Gala
Townsend Hotel 
Honor Bruce Rosen
Call  (248)-258-5511  for more information.

May 7 (Sunday)
Walk for Israel
Temple Shir Shalom 
A family event designed to "celebrate Israel".  
Activities 12-4 
Lunch 12:30
Walk 1:30

May 10  (Wednesday)
Jewish Historical Society of Michigan
Annual Meeting
Temple Kol Ami
7:30 pm
Featuring Aimee Ergas and Aviva Kempner 
Discussing Jewish Heroes and Sheroes
Presentation of Leonard N. Simons History Award

May 10  (Wednesday)
Planned Parenthood of Michigan event
The Cube at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra 
Guest Speaker: Dr. Willie Parker

May 15 (Monday)
Federation's Women's Philanthropy 
Signature Event
Knollwood Country Club
7:30 pm
Featuring Jill Kargman (Bravo's Odd Mom Out)

May 11 (Thursday)
City Year Red Jacket Gala
Cobo Center, Grand Riverview Ballroom
1 Washington Blvd.  Detroit
Cocktails: 5:30pm
Dinner/Program: 7:00pm
2017 Idealist in Action Award:
Matthew Simoncini 
President and CEO of Lear Corporation

May 20 (Saturday)
Cabaret 313
Chuck Cooper and the Clan
Marlene Boll Theatre at the Boll Family YMCA
1401 Broadway St., Detroit
7:00pm and 9:30pm performances

May 21 (Sunday)
Kadima Youth Mental Health Conference
Birmingham Covington School
Morning Session for parents, caregivers, community
Afternoon Session for educators and mental health professionals

May 21 ( Sunday)
Eight Over Eighty
Honoring eight members of our community, all over the age of 80, who have demonstrated a dedication throughout their lifetime to Tikkun Olam - Repairing the World.
Congregation Adat Shalom
11:30 am
Beverly Bennett
Dr. Stuart Falk
Margot Gardner
Elaine Greenberg
Dr. Robert Matthews
Evelyn Orbach
Eunice Korman ring
Michael Weiss

May 22 (Monday)
The Emily Stillman Foundation 
Night of Laughs
The Berman Center for Performing Arts
West Bloomfield
Doors open: 7:30 pm
Featuring: Heather McDonald (from Chelsea Lately)

May 24 (Wednesday)
Federation's Awards Night
The Berman Center for Performing Arts
West Bloomfield
5:30 pm 
William Davidson Lifetime Attachment Awards:
John E. Jacobs and Marjorie Krasnick
Young Leadership Awards:
Rabbi Yisrael Pinson, Dr. Jennifer Sobol and Steve Migliore 

June 3 (Saturday)
American Cancer Society
Relay for Life
St. Mary of Orchard Lake

June 4 (Sunday)
Hillel Day School
Annual Dream Maker Gala
David and Nadine Farbman
Steven and Janice Traison
Alum awards:
Edward Alterman (class of 86)
Rabbi Jennifer Kaluzny (class of 91)
Jonathan Ozeran (class of 97)

June 6 (Tuesday) 
Jewish Family Service Annual Event
Congregation Shaarey Zedek
Evening with Author  Jennifer Teege
Who learned later in life that her grandfather was a Nazi Commandant.
Debra Marcus

June 8  (Thursday) 
Starfish Family Services
Great Hearts Gala
Cobo Center, Grand Riverview Ballroom
Honoring The Jewish Fund
Lori Fidler

June 12 (Monday)
Hank Greenberg Memorial Invitational Golf Outing
Franklin Hills Country Club
Honoring: Fergie Jenkins, Dick Enberg & Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg (Kids Kicking Cancer)
Benefiting  the Lawrence & Idell Weisberg Cancer Treatment Center - Karmanos
For more info:

June 13 (Tuesday)
Detroit Public TV
Bravo 2017
DPTV Riley Broadcast Center, Wixom
Spotlighting & Honoring:  Florine Mark (aka:Mom/Bubbie)
For more info: Jamie Westrick

June 16 (Friday)
Detroit Zoo
Sunset at the Zoo
This year's theme, Green is the new Black, will highlight the remarkable environmental & sustainability efforts of the Zoo. 

August 27 (Sunday)
The 2nd Annual Michigan Jewish Food Festival
Eastern Market

September 23 (Saturday)
Camp Sea-Gull Reunion
Camp Ticonderoga
5725 Rochester Rd, Troy, MI 48085
Please RSVP at this site:

Parting Thoughts...