December 8, 2017
Catch Up
After returning home from a refreshing 11 day jaunt to Tel Aviv, I am certainly NOT refreshed by the actions of our Congress.  A horrific Tax Bill was passed and Drumpf plans to tie a bow on it by Christmas. With the elimination of the ACA mandate, this tax bill could nearly demolish the affordable efforts for Health Care. But what wasn't demolished, as planned, last weekend was the legendary Silverdome due to faulty explosion wiring. It did come down a few days later. Coming down the pike are continued Sexual Harassment charges as new accused harassers are dropping like flies, unless of course you're Roy Moore or DJT.  Then of course, there is the big Jerusalem story.  Needless to say, there is much to discuss this week. 

This is typical GOP logic...

But first... They tried to kill us. We survived. Let's eat.  This pretty much sums up every Jewish holiday, including our 8 Day Candle Lighting holiday of Hanukah, which begins at sunset (5:00pm) this Tuesday evening. Side note: Sit tight, 6 months from now the sun will set at 9:09pm. For the Hanukah battle (over 2,000 years ago), it was the Greek-Syrian ruler, Antiochus, who played our nemesis. He was dead set on preventing us from studying our cherished Torah among other Jewish restrictions. The Maccabees fought gallantly against Antiochus' army and recovered the ruined Temple.  Upon restoring its glory, they lit a lamp which only held enough oil for one night but miraculously stayed lit for 8 days and 8 nights. Jews have been lighting Hanukiot (Hanukah Menorahs) ever since and placing them in windows for the world to see our pride.  We've proudly attended a few White House Hanukah parties in the past but this year while in DC, we'll be celebrating Hanukah at the Israeli Embassy rather than stepping foot in POTUS 45's residence. Below is a photo of the first Hanukiah given to the Truman White House by our beloved David Ben Gurion and Israeli Ambassador to the US, Abba Eban
This Hanukiah was a birthday gift to Pres. Truman

The United Nations has a longstanding bias (hatred) toward Israel as year after year, anti-Israel resolutions have been passed against her. No other country on this planet has more deceitful resolutions (filled with lies and distortions) stacked up against them...not North Korea, Syria, Iran or anyone else.  Last week was no exception to the anti-Israel attacks.  The main and recurring resolution is that Israel and Jews have no rights or connections to Jerusalem, regardless of archaeological evidence refuting that claim.   The mere mention of Jews and Jerusalem in the same sentence puts Palestinian leadership (which has historically done a poor job representing their people) into a tail spin. They will use any excuse to initiate anger and rage which is just want they expressed when POTUS announced this week that Jerusalem is Israel's capital.  Well, duh... Jerusalem has been Israel's legal capital since the legal establishment of the State back in 1948. West Jerusalem has been home to all governmental agencies since the beginning. And in 1967 when Israel regained control to the Old City and the Western Wall, she immediately provided access and respect to the Muslim and Christian quarters which was never reciprocated to the Jews when others held the Old City. And who says Jerusalem can only be one State's Capital.  Once the Palestinians decide to focus on Nation Building for their people rather than Nation Destroying of ours, then East Jerusalem can be their capital too.  Just don't hold your breath for the US Embassy to move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem anytime soon.  Just prior to Trump's Jerusalem announcement, he also signed the 6 month waiver kicking that can down the road, like every previous POTUS has done before him for the last 20 years.  They said it would take at least 3-4 years for the move to actually take place.

No Planet B
We have one planet to live on; There is no Planet B.  So, you'd like we'd do everything we can to protect our only home, but our current Administration and Congress seem to be doing the opposite with this week's actions. First, Alaska's Congresswomen Lisa Murkowski added a rider to that disastrous Tax Bill that would allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  Since 1960 when Eisenhower protected the Refuge, both Democratic and Republican administrations have safeguarded our Alaskan Arctic Refuge.  It's a sensitive landscape which would be negatively impacted by any drilling. Michigan Congressman Fred Upton is the current chair of the House Energy Committee and a call to his office asking him to remove the rider would be helpful in this effort to protect the Refuge. I've been told that calls are the most effective form (better than emails and letters) to lobby your legislator.  If you are so inclined to call Rep. Upton, his number is (202) 225-3761. The women I spoke to at his office was very nice but said not many calls have come in regarding this issue.  Your help to increase that Call Count would be greatly appreciated by the wildlife and human life of Alaska.
Then of course, we've got POTUS' actions this week to remove protections of two national monuments in Utah, Bears Ears' and Grand Staircase-Escalante.  Each of these park's boundaries  would be diminished   substantially and opened up to desecration of native and public land .  After calling Upton, you are welcome to sign this petition to stop the Utah monument desecration:

Thoughts, prayers and well wishes...
To the Hundreds of Thousands of Californians (near LA) affected by the massive and fast spreading wildfires devastating their community.  May relief from this disaster be swift and forthcoming.

To Linda Hayman and her family on the passing of her husband, Stephen Hayman z"l (age 77).  Stephen was the beloved father of Valerie Hayman (James) Sklar and Andrew (Becky) Hayman. May his spirit and memories bring comfort to those who mourn his passing. May his life be a blessing unto his loved one.

To the family, friends and fans (including myself) of Judi Schram z"l who passed away this week at the young age of 67.  Judi was one of those people in the community whom everyone loved.  She was vibrant, warm, funny, sweet, welcoming and a talented poet and writer. She will be greatly missed. She was the loving wife of Brad Schram and the devoted mother to Zachary Schram, Justin (Kate Zyskowski) Schram and Dr. Ali Schram (Dr. Danny Gorovets).  May her wit, wisdom, love and memories bring comfort to those who are mourning her death. She was truly a blessing unto her family and our community.  

To Miriam and Jeff Forman and their family on the passing of Miriam's father, Gerry "Jerry" David z"l.  May his memories and spirit bring comfort to those who mourn his passing.  Thoughts, prayers and hugs go the the Forman and Hack families. 

Mazel Tov...
To grandparents Debbie and Robert Chonoles,  Marc and Lori Siegel and Irene and Misha Gribov and especially new parents Carli and Sasha Gribov on the birth this week of their baby boy, Asher Charlie Gribov.  Wishing health and blessings upon the growing family. 

Thank you ...
To dear friend and Congressman Sandy Levin on his dedicated service to our state of Michigan and its residents since 1983.  He served with distinction as the Chair of the Ways and Means Committee and was a stalwart supporter of Israel. The Levin family is owed a debt of gratitude for their chosen profession to serve our State.  Kudos to U of M's Gerald Ford School of Public Policy for quickly snatching Sandy's talents to help inspire future public servants.  Sandy will be greatly missed in Congress though his contributions to our society will always continue.

Congressman John Conyers, after accusation of sexual misconduct, retired his seat this week and endorsed his 26 year old son, John Conyers III.  Conyers has a long list of accomplishment during his decades long service yet some might suggest he overstayed his welcome. Wishing the 88 year old a restful retirement. 

Farewell to (one of my favorite) Congressman Al Franken as he is the latest shoe to drop after sexual misconduct accusations.  
His admirable efforts in many aspects of congress especially the passage of the Violence Against Women Act will now sadly be overshadowed by his forced resignation.

To POTUS and the Republican National Committee for endorsing the unqualified, overzealous, bigoted, homophobic, xenophobic, gun-slinging, accused child molester and Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore

To Time Magazine's People of the Year Silence Breakers, a Speak-Up Movement to break the pattern of Sexual Abuse and Harassment. May this spotlight encourage the shift in gender attitudes leading to a more respectful society. 

"Do Something..."
Yesterday would have been Harry Chapin's 75 birthday.  I was/am a huge fan of his music and his philosophy "when in doubt, do something" which he did for many years to help fight Hunger when in 1975 he founded the non-profit Why Hunger.  To learn more about this agency, check out this website: or to support the cause and buy (a matching "Do Something" shirt to mine), check out this page:

This week's musical selections include humor and Hanukah.  First, check out the multi-talented, Bruce-impersonator and late night talk show host, Jimmy Fallon as he shares his political opinions through this famous holiday song:  And here is an upbeat sweet tune called "Shine" referring to Hanukah candles by Joe Buchanan and featuring Lior Ben-Hur, who adds some Hebrew rap. Lyrics include a famous Hillel quote and catchy chorus.  Hope you enjoy:  

Wishing you and your family a 
Peaceful and Sweet Shabbat Shalom and a Hug Hanukah Sameach (Happy Hanukah). 


A dear friend reminded me that the Holidays 
are a hard time of the year for lots of people.
Please reach out to loved ones 
and share this message of support.
Suicide Hotline 800-273-TALK (8255).

Happy Birthday!

Dec. 8th
Aliyah Schneider

Dec. 9
Ronda Ferber
Avi Brandvain
J.J. Modell

Dec. 10
Neal Elyakin 
Penny Blumenstein
Susan Rosenstein Slabotsky
Roz Blanck

Dec. 11
Dale Alpert Rubin

Dec. 12
Carol Blumberg Tarnowsky
Lauren Kepes Rubin 
Wendy Cohen Kohlenberg
Tedy Raviv
Julie Nelson-Klein
Paul Canvasser
Nicola Milgrom

Dec. 13
Elise Goldsmith Schostak
Liz Cooper Guz

Dec. 14
Ashley Israel
Marc Shaye
Joan Lowenstein
I'm prone to mistakes, so if I missed your birthday 
or got the wrong date, please let me know.

December 10 (Sunday)
Birthday Brunch Fundraiser for Senator Gary Peters
Home of Roz and Stanford Blanck
For questions, please contact  Elisa Malile
Gary is a good friend and an excellent Senator who deserves to continue his efforts at advocating for Michiganders and our nation.

December 12  (Tuesday)
Menora in the D 
Huge Hanukiah Lighting
Campus Martius
Festivities begin at 5:30pm
Candle lighting is 6:00pm
Also, the Detroit Pistons will host Jewish Heritage Night during their game against the Denver Nuggets at 7:00pm at Little Caesars Arena.

December 12 (Tuesday)
Calling on all DC Friends...
Michigan League of Conservation Voters
Electoral Soiree
At the home of Aviva Kempler
7:00 - 8:30pm
To Purchase Tickets or to Donate to Michigan LCV:
Or for more info  and the home address:
(734) 222-9650 or
Special Guest will be Senators Stabenow and Peters
Representatives Dingell, Kildee, Lawrence and Levin 

December 14 (Thursday)
Shopping to Support Bipolar Awareness and Research
ELLA Designs Jewelry and El-Mars Fur Salon
At the home of Liz Guz
25701 River Dr
Franklin, MI
3:00 - 7:00pm
For more info please contact:
Liz 248-762-0558 or Margie 248-398-3733

Parting Thoughts...
Israelis eat 24 Million Sufganiyot during Hanukah