Shabbat Shalom
February 19, 2016
Crime and Punishment
The day we left Israel coincided with the first day of jail time for Israel's first convicted Prime Minister.  Sadly political corruption is all too common in Israel.  Mayors, a president and many other elective officials can give ex-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert prison survival tips.  Olmert will spend 19 months in jail for accepting bribes and obstructing justice, though he insists he's innocent of any crime.  Here is ex-President/current convict  Moshe Katsav's advice (who's locked up for Rape and Harassment charges). Sorry to air Israel's dirty laundry but our homeland is just like any other country, exhibiting the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.  Olmert was not the only "celeb" to enter prison this week.  The famous Rabbi Pinto (considered one of the 10 wealthiest Rabbis in Israel and confident to many VIPs) began his one year prison sentence for bribery and money laundry.

Rest (in peace) and Responsibility
How did Supreme Court Justice  Antonin Scalia die?  We may never know.  Even though he died alone in bed at a Texas ranch, no autopsy will be performed.  It is presumed he died of natural causes.  I'm not a conspiracy theorist but surely an autopsy would put people's minds to rest.  At any rate, the battle to replace him will be the crescendo of the ongoing deadlock between the President and the Senate. Just hours after the death notice, the Republicans pledged to block any nominee put forth by Obama.  This childish tantrum puts our country at risk, gambles on the reactions of American voters in November and is basicly unconstitutional (though others would argue there's nothing in the constitution about stalling the vote). It is the responsibility of the sitting president to nominate justices and it is the obligation of the Senate to vote on confirmation.  Obama is our president for 11 more months and if Senator Mitch McConnell refuses to schedule a vote on his nominee, he is spitting in the face of our democratic system. "Obstructing is easy, senators. Governing is harder." (quoted from "Hamilton").  Our President and Congress are important pawns in our "democratic game", but the true long term impact on our future is determined by our Supreme Court. Important issues like Civil Rights, Immigration, Campaign Finance and others are determined by the final words of those 9 Justices (who hopefully represent our country's population). Our November ballot has a direct impact on who sits on our highest bench. Two last issues about this subject.  Opposites attract...Though he was one of our most conservative justices, his best friend leaned liberal. Antonin and Ruth (Bader Ginsburg)  were such dear friends that a comedic opera was created about them. Here is a lovely tribute by RBG in memory of Scalia which includes info on that opera.  And here is a saterial and funny Onion article about who Obama plans to nominate as Scalia's replacement.

Flint Update
Flint's water system is still leaking lead while it was also discovered that Flint's residents have been (disgracefully) paying higher water bills than most in our country.  Replacing the pipes is the immediate concern but how to do that seems to be contentious.  Flint's mayor and our Governor are on different time tables for the process. In the meantime, the children need high levels of Calcium, Iron and Vitamin C to help counteract the lead levels in their bodies. But in a poor city like Flint, with limited access to produce, this is a challenge for the residents who currently focus on maintaining enough bottled water for their families. 

Potty Talk
With all the problems in the world, South Dakota has decided to focus on Who's allow into Which Bathroom, with the passage of our Country's first Bathroom Bill, restricting bathroom and locker room  usage to the gender you were labeled at birth. This is an unnecessary discriminatory action which will cause more harm than "good" and rack up agony and legal fees.  The bill is waiting for the Governor's signature on Tuesday which, unfortunately, seems likely.

Last month was the 30th anniversary of the Challenger explosion when teacher Christa McAuliffe and six other astronauts perished. Here is a touching tribute and memorial to that devastating disaster.  

Congrats to the big Grammy winners this week: Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars. Meghan Trainor. Kendrick Lamar, Alabama Shakes and the Broadway Musical Hamilton, to name a few. If you missed the televised ceremony, here are 2 of my favorite moments:
Hamilton's opening song: 
Lady Gaga's tribute to Bowie: 

Another Winner
Congrats also to the 140th Westminster winner of Best in Show, C.J., a German Shorthaired  pointer.

Shabbat Shalom...hey!
Here is a bonus Shabbat video.  I don't know how I missed this when it originally aired back in the 70s. Here is Archie and Edith celebrating Shabbat Dinner:

Wishing you and your family a 
Sweet Shabbat Shalom 


Mazel Tov to the Kepes and Rubin families on the 
engagement  of Lauren Kepes and Adam Rubin. Love and hugs to the sweet couple and their families.

Mazel Tov to the birth of B'naya Chaim (Jerusalem, Israel) , son of Yami and Ellie Shashua and grandson of Susan and John Levin  and also Mazel Tov to the arrival of  Ilay Cyril (Manchester, England)  son of Eldan and Hila Kaye and proud saba, Jeff (and Danyelle) Kaye .

Condolences to Fran and Aaron Martin and their family on the passing of Fran's mother, Marcia Meyers z"l.  May her spirit and memory bring comfort to those who mourn her loss and may she be a blessing unto her community.

Condolences to the family of a 21-year-old IDF Sergeant Tuvia Yanai Weissman who was stabbed to death Thursday north of Jerusalem, while shopping for Shabbat dinner.

When is your State's Primary? 

What is your State's voting guidelines?

Where is your voting location?

Presidential Election is Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Political quote of the week from Pope Francis about Trump:
"A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian." 

2 Democrats
1. Hillary Rodham Clinton 
2. Bernie Sanders 

6 Republicans 
1.  Jeb Bush
2.  Ben Carson
3.  Ted Cruz
4.  John Kasich
5.  Marco Rubio
6.  Donald Trump 

March 9th (Wednesday)
JVS 8th Annual Trade Secrets
Benefiting the JVS Women to Work Program
Temple Beth El
Featuring the inspiring story of Linda Schlesinger-Wagner, Founder of clothing line, Skinny Tees.

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 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 4th (Wednesday) 
Congregation Shaarey Zedek
Lois Linden Nelson Woman's World
Honoring Henrietta Weisberg
Featuring Paula Abdul
Save the date. More details to follow

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

"It's mother. 
She's coming to help you enjoy your birthday"

Feb. 19th
Carrie Stauss
Nora Smokler Baron
Rosanne Kukes
Elana Kreinin Markovitz

Feb. 20th
Jennifer Rothenberg Siegel
Susan Banes Loss
Ariela Raviv (Ashkelon, Israel)
Feb. 21st
Florine Mark (aka. mom/bubbie)
She would LOVE a birthday message from you:
Parker Levin
Bob Naftaly
Feb. 22nd
Feb. 23rd
Carol Klein
Meir Segal
Brian Siegel
Rabbi Harold Loss
Amy Folbe
Danyelle Neuman Kaye
Dana Benyas
Feb. 24th
Amy Fishman Singer
Julie Berlin
Feb. 25th
Steve Perlman


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.