Shabbat Shalom
December 9, 2016
Last Hurrah
Lame Ducks are reflected in the mirrors of many politicians right now. They can either hobble out of office or attempt a last hurrah.
Obama 's main lame duck efforts focus on securing his signature accomplishments before our president-elect is sworn in on Jan 20, 2017. He also has a long pardon list to review including a request by military deserter,  Bowe Bergdahl . Our US Congress is laying low during this "LD" session while it looks forward to majority rule in the House, Senate and White House "next semester."  One issue that was promised from this "LD" Congress was support for the Flint Water Crisis.  We'll see if it gets included but bravo to Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters for pressuring their peers. Meanwhile our Michigan (Republican-led) "LD" Congress isn't sweating bullets either as they too will control Lansing during the next session. Major Note: The national and statewide Democratic party truly needs a major overhaul.  But back to "LD" issues, there are 2 bills taking shape in Lansing right now that concern me.
1. The Voter ID amendment  will  require  Michigan voters to show their photo ID before voting or they won't be able to cast their ballot. The bill does have a provision to help the indigent obtain free ID's, but the big caveat is that voter fraud is a republican perpetuated myth to squelch turnout and requiring an ID will most definitely limit many from voting. For an actuate poll of citizenry, voting should be made easier not more cumbersome. This Voter ID bill will require you to present your photo ID when voting and will eliminate the current option to sign a waiver and present your ID at a later date. For perspective, of the just under 4 million Michigan votes cast in this past election, just over 18,000 didn't have their IDs and had to sign an affidavit to vote.  Those 18,000 people wouldn't be able to vote if this bill passes.  Only 7 over States have such stringent laws.  The bill is waiting for Snyder's signature. Now to add hypocrisy to this situation. The judge halting our Michigan voter recount stated "there was no evidence of such violations" of voter fraud.  Really...? Then what' the reason for this Voter ID Bill.
2. The Plastic Bags Bill  would null and void local ordinances like Ann Arbor's plastic bag ban taking control away from the county government's ability to ban or charge fees for plastic bag usage. This bill is also awaiting Gov. Snyder's blessing.
There are others bills in the works that deal with Wolf Hunting, Teacher Benefits, Energy Efficiency and much more.  Here is the full list: 

Crying Wolf
It is an understatement to say we are over-inundated (redundant to make a point) with News but the biggest problem we now face is determining which it Fact and which is Fiction.   Fake News is flooding our senses and just like crying wolf, these BS man-made conspiracy theories make it even harder to disseminate real news.  This past weekend a man drove hours to a DC Pizza joint with a shotgun because he believed it was a Child Trafficking Front perpetrated by Hillary Clinton.  These BS stories are published in BS news sources that cleaverly disguise themselves to look real (but they aren't), like Breitbart,,,,, and 100s of others. Some sites are just satirical but others are downright dangerous. For expample, the site claimed Sandy Hook was a hoax. Fact checking and deciphering our news intake could be a full time job but getting to the truth could heal the health of our humanity.  By the way, our presidnet-elect gets most of his news from Breitbart which was just reprimanded by the reputable Weather Channel for using their videos in fake anti-climate change stories.

Deep Wounds
Just as Obama attempted to heal the deep wounds of Hiroshima with his (and our first US president's) visit there, Japan's prime minister
Shinzo Abe will be the first Japanese leader to visit Pearl Harbor during the 75th year anniversary. Wednesday marked  "the date that will live in infamy" as President  Franklin D. Roosevelt so 
eloquently  described. FDR dictated his famous speech in a matter of minutes while his secretary typed it up.  A much longer speech was provided by his staff but he chose to use his hand-edited 6 1/2 minute speech that took our nation from isolationist statues to war to military strength. Bravo to the men and women of the "Greatest Generation", those who grew up during the Depression and WWII. 
Remembering Pearl Harbor

Ashes to Ashes
36 people lost their lives at the Ghost Ship Collective party last weekend in Oakland, CA.  The Ghost Ship Collective was a subpar alternative living environment attractive to those who live on the fringe of conventionality.  This warehouse was subdivided by landlord Derick Almena into living spaces and artist studios but without city safety regulators oversight.  Derick was certainly an eccentric person who many admired and others feared.  He is certainly derelict of protecting his tenants and some form of criminal charges will be in his future. Prayer and thoughts go out to the victims and their families.

Message of Unity
There is "beauty in us all" and Microsoft poignantly displays this in their new ad that is really a Public Service Announcement since their logo is subtle but their message of unity is strong.  I've seen the condensed version on TV but here is the extended one (still only a minute and half) with voice-over for more emphasis on inclusiveness and humanity, plus the tune is quite catchy. Last check it had 500,000 clicks though it deserves 50 million.

Bravo and BS

Bravo to Israel
Bravo to the Israeli paramedics who helped rescue 4,000 refugees over the last 5 weeks who were clinging to lifeboats in the Mediterranean Sea.

Bravo to the Fed
Bravo to the Federal Government on their decision to prevent the North Dakota pipeline's current route which would evade sacred land and potentially pollute drinking water.  Of course the Pipeline company is protesting this action and has filed a request to continue the work and complains the Army Corps of Engineers' decision to halt the project was based on political pressure.  This issue may take months and $Millions to settle but in the meantime the protesters continue to camp out in the North Dakota blizzard winter. 

Bravo to POTUS
Not that we are whoa-less about our economy.  There are many in this country who are still deep in economic despair.  However, bravo to President Obama for relinquishing the reins (to his successor) of a much stronger and healthier economy than he was given. 

Bravo to Evan
Bravo to the Sandy Hook Promise on producing this intriguing gun violence warning short film.  Warning signs are often hard to see. Please help it go viral.

BS to Ohio
BS to Ohio legislators who have just passed a bill to ban abortions after the detection of a heartbeat which usually occurs around 6 weeks. Many women don't even know they are pregnant hence eliminating the choice to terminate a pregnancy (even for rape or incest). Boldness to pass this bill was based on the direction of our new president-elect and his future Supreme Court selection. Conservatives feel they will have an ally on the SPOTUS by next year to uphold this women's infringement action. Pro-life Governor Kasich has ten days to veto this bill before it becomes law.
And while on the topic, BS to Texas for their new law to require burials or cremations for fetal remains. This just adds to Texas' already draconian anti-women laws. 

BS to DT
Yikes and BS to pres-elect on many of his cabinet appointments but especially on selecting Oklahoma Attorney General and fossil fuel friend Scott Pruitt to run our Environmental Protection Agency. Oh and Pruitt is one of the AGs suing the EPA so imagine what he'll do when he is running the show.  Next up, Trump will choose a Fox to protect the Hen House.

Arts and Entertainment

Top 20
Rolling Stone Mag picked their 20 favorite films of 2106.  We just saw #2
Manchester by the Sea last weekend and agree with RS but be prepared when watching this movie as it delves deep into dark emotions with genuine characters.

Favorite Music
I absolutely LOVE this song by  Corinne Bailey Rae and this rendition on last week's  Prairie Home Companion is sure to please your eardrums.  I was an early fan of Garrison Keillor's fictional Lake Wobegon, but now that he has passed the baton to the young hip 
Chris Thile, the show has taken on a fresh appeal.  This weekend's broadcast will feature the brilliant banjo pickin of Steve Martin and the smooth string caressing of Yo Yo Ma.  But in the meantime, hope you enjoy Corinne's catchy tune: "Put Your Records On" 

Wishing you and your family 
a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom

You can always read all current and past Shabbat messages at

Mazel tov to dear friends,  Brian and Fern Kepes on this weekend's nuptials of their daughter,  Lauren who will wed  Adam Rubin the son of
Lynn and Harvey Rubin. And also, Happy Anniversary to Brian and Fern who will now share their wedding date with the newlyweds.

Sadly our community lost a young man this week,  Jamie Daniel z"l (age 23).  Condolences to his parents  Lisa (FiancĂ© Kenneth Goldman) Daniels and Ken (Rebecca) Daniels.  He was also the brother of Arlyn Daniel.  Both of them attended Frankel Jewish Academy.  May his love and spirit remain strong in the hearts of those who loved him and may his life be a blessing unto his community.

Condolences to Jeremy Moss and his family on the passing of his grandmother, Gladys Allen z"l.  May her memory and spirit bring comfort to those who mourn her loss and may she be a blessing unto her family and friends.

Condolences to Mark and Nori Klar and their family on the passing of Mark's sister  Gale Klar Freidenreich z"l.  May Gale's love and spirit embrace the mourners during their time of sorrow.  May she be a blessing unto her family and community. 

Astronaut and Ohio Senator John Glenn passed away this week at the age of 95.  After 24 years of political life, he returned to outer space in 1998 and became the oldest space traveller at the age 77. 

At the younger age of 69, Greg Lake, co-founder of Emerson, Lake and Palmer died this past week. Just nine months ago, his bandmate, Keith Emerson also died. Carl Palmer is the only survivor of the band. This is my favorite ELP song, with the famous guitar riff:  
A dear friend reminded me that the Holidays are a hard time of the year for lots of people.
Please share this message of support.
Suicide Hotline 800-273-TALK (8255).
Happy Birthday

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 (the newlywed)
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

Dec. 15
Dana Siegel
Harvey Heller
Ari Simon

I am prone to mistakes so if I missed your birthday or got the wrong date, please let me know.

December 9-11
Celebration Rivertown
Grand Rapids
Film Screening of The Pickle Recipe

December 11 (Sunday)
Film Screening: 
Adat Shalom Synagogue
Shared Legacies: 
Honoring the Black/Jewish Civil Rights Alliance
Q & A led by Professor Susannah  Heschel
Reserve your (free) seats by contacting
Jodi Gross
248-851-5100 or

December 13 (Tuesday)
Detroit Public TV
Detroit Jewish Heritage Night
8:00pm - Andrew Goldberg's  Jewish Journey: America
9:34pm - New documentary   Hugs and Knishes: A Celebration of Our Jewish Foods and Traditions
Volunteers from the Jewish Historical Society will be answering the phones during this pledge drive which will help support DPTV to continue to broadcast interesting programs on history and culture to the 2 million weekly viewers. 

December 13 (Tuesday)
Tapper's Jewelry and Zoe's House of Pancakes
Pancakes and Prayers
Fundraiser for 12-year-old Andrew Hailo
Andrew's father is the security officer at Tapper's
Zoe's House of Pancakes in Orchard Mall, West Bloomfield
$25 per ticket
For more info, call or text 248-978-9683 by Dec. 10

December 16-22
Ann Arbor Michigan Theater
Screening of The Pickle Recipe

December 20 (Tuesday)
Gleaners Community Food Bank Fundraiser
Screening of The Pickle Recipe
Maple Theater
$20 per ticket

December 25 (Sunday)
Looking for a mitzvah opportunity on Christmas day.
Please join our Jewish Community for Mitzvah Day.

December 27 (Tuesday)
Menorah in the D
Campus Martius, Detroit
3:00-8:00pm Free Community Activities
5:00pm lighting of the Hanukiah (Hanukah Menora)

January 7  (Saturday) and January 8 (Sunday)
University of Michigan
UMS (University Musical Society)
(Israeli) Batsheva Dance Company

January 21 (Saturday)
Women's March on Washington
Lincoln Memorial
Here is an updated website with more details:

March 29 (Wednesday)
JVS  Trade Secrets 
Fundraiser for Women to Work Program
Troy Marriott
Keynote Speaker: Connie Holzer
For more info, please contact Andrea Stone
248-233-4210 or