February 10, 2017
Shabbat Shalom
Happy Tu b'Shevat
The Love
Rather than starting out today's message with our continuing political dodgeball tournament, let's begin with the more pleasant themes of the week... Trees, Music and Love.  At Sunset this evening, our dedication to the magnificent Tree begins with our celebration of Tu b'Shevat. Though underground sprouts in Michigan are far from exposing themselves, it's a different story in Israel where the trees begin to blossom this time of year deserving of a birthday celebration. Trees are one of those vital items (Air, Water, Food, Sleep...) we can't live without.  So hug a tree and show appreciate for its fruits and nuts.  It's also time to hug a loved one for Valentine's Day and show our appreciation for music by awarding Grammys this weekend to our most prolific artists. Some of these Grammy nominated artists will be on tour this year.  I must admit, I didn't know many of these names but if you'd like to attend upcoming concerts of Sunday's nominees, check out this site:  https://goo.gl/YRsLc4
The renowned music lover, James Corden , will be hosting the Grammy's this year.  He seems to be BFF with all musicians evident by his brilliant Carpool Karaoke. Bravo to James for recently posting a selfie video exposing his ease in traveling through LAX airport with the ending statement: "Freedom of movement should be this easy for all legal immigrants. Not just the white and Christian ones."

The Mess
Oy, and now back to our political chaos. Yes, we live in a dangerous era. But were our ancestors' concerns any less threatening. We are resilient people. We've survived Widespread Epidemics, World Wars, Natural Disasters, Genocide, Potential Nuclear Annihilation... How we react to our current fears determines our future and our character. Now more than ever, we need to remember the powerful words of POTUS 32, FDR; "The only thing we have to Fear is Fear itself."  The knee-jerk fear reactions of our political leaders are not thoughtful strategies. In fact, some would argue there isn't ANY thought to most of what's coming from Trump and his surrogates.  Of course, there was never a Bowling Green Massacre (see my ending Parting Thoughts), and this was the 3rd time Conway blabbed about this fake story to the media.  https://goo.gl/Y1XcVt   And Kellyanne, did you know there are laws against White House staff using their "Bimah" to promote businesses like what you did for Ivanka's clothing line?  Then the Trumpettes insisted that the "very, very dishonest press" is avoiding stories of global terrorist attacks for political reasons while producing a list of 78 so-called attacks that were, in fact, highly covered by the media. Not to mention, their list was conspicuously absent of Right-Wing White US born terrorist and the numerous Israeli terrorist attacks.  
Unfortunately, there seems no end to dissatisfaction of this new administration: repealing health care, nominating unworthy and dangerous cronies, deregulating environmental and banking protections, barricading our borders, insulting our friends and befriending our enemies.  Remembering Greek philosopher Heraclitus'  wise words that, "Change is the only thing constant in life" will help us get us through this unsavory and hopefully short lived selfish era.  We must work hard to change our current political leadership in our next election but in the meantime, continue to express our opinions with our voice and feet.

The Fight
Bravo to the legal effort to halt the pernicious 7 country travel ban. While this legal case works its way toward SPOTUS, our doors reopened to continue to welcome students, sisters, teachers, techies, doctors, daughter, victims, victors who are now able to return home or make a new home on the backs of our immigrant ancestors.  For a fun quiz, see if you can test your knowledge of who is an Immigrant and who is Homegrown.  Billy on the Street brilliantly illustrates the obscurity of Trump's travel ban. Though this video is from November, it is more relevant today. The real meat of the message starts around 1:45 of the video. 
And s hame on all those republican legislators (minus Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins)  for confirming the completely inept, Betsy DeVos as our country's Sec. of Education. Sadly this shows perverse loyalty to party over people and foreshadows the rest of the confirmations.  It doesn't seem to matter that most nominees plan to reverse progress or completely eliminate the agency they are assigned to lead, or they are absurdly unqualified (ie. Dr. Ben Carson for HUD) Good bye, EPA, who needs the Polar Ice Caps*.  Adios, Health and Human Services, let's fight diseases with our current immunities. Hasta la vista,  Dept. of Labor, why not lower the minimum wage to $5 a day...worked for Henry Ford. Seems our country is going to Hell in a Handbasket
And what ever happened to Freedom of Speech, especially on the Senate Floor.  Elizabeth Warren was censured from sharing  Coretta Scott King's past concerns about  Jeff Sessions' anti-civil rights action of ballot intimidation.  But the censorship backfired as the info would have quietly remained in the Senate Chamber but now it's all over the news media. Though as mentioned above, it seems a  fait accompli that all nominations will be confirmed as our new AG Sessions also got the "Yea" vote this week. 
http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/08/politics/elizabeth-warren-coretta-scott-king-letter-jeff-sessions/ And lastly, what ever happend to the promise (welcomed by both sides) to fix our crumbling infrastructure?  Why haven't we seen any of his famous Executive Orders to get a jump start on fixing our deteriorating roads and bridges?  If he's working on this, where is the plan?  One example of our decaying roads is from stats on FedEx truck tires which seems to be wearing our twice as fast as twenty years ago. 

The Hero
Following in the footsteps of Michael Bloomberg, Michael Douglas and Itzhak Perlman is Sir Anish Kapoor.  Who is Anish Kapoor you might ask, as I did.  First off, he is this year's Genesis Prize recipient which is equivalent to a Jewish Nobel Prize. Secondly, he is a famous artist with pieces all over the world including the Cloud Gate (famous giant bent mirrored balloon) in Chicago's Millennium Park.  Third, he was born in Mumbai to his Hindu father and Jewish mother and grew up in Israel but now lives in England. Fourth, his main passion beyond art is social justice and has dedicated his life (and the $1 million price reward) to advocate for refugees. Bravo to this year's Genesis Hero. 

  Cloud Gate, Chicago
By: Anish Kapoor

~ High Five ~

Bravo to Queen Elizabeth II, at age 90 is the longest reigning royal as she commemorated her 65th year this week. There was little fanfare as usual since in her mind it also commemorates the death of her young father, King George VI. New coins, new stamps, new portrait and a gun salute helped the Brits honor QEII.

Bravo to the Patriots on their exceptional Super Bowl (come from behind) win giving them their 5th championship. Lady Gaga got deservedly rave reviews and the sneaky thief who stole Brady's jersey is basicly stuck since trying to sell it and getting caught could cost him 5-10 years in jail.  Also, High Fives, to teammates Devin McCourty, Martellus Bennett, Chris Long and Dont'a Hightower (as the list continues to grow) for opting out of the White House victory visit.  But on a positive note, maybe Donald can convince his BFF Vladimir to return Robert Kraft's Super Bowl ring once and for all. On the other hand, Putin might still be perturbed at Fox's Bill O'Reilly "killer" label.   http://fortune.com/2017/02/06/patriots-owner-kraft-putin-ring/

Bravo to Judge Neil Gorsuch, SCOTUS nominee, for expressing his displeasure about Trumps disrespect of our Federal Judicial system. Gorsuch called POTUS' actions "demoralizing and disheartening".  Gorsuch is a well respected judge however his beliefs on Church/State issues (voted in favor of Lobby Hobby to deny contraceptives to employees) and Death with Dignity laws (he is against them) are my major concerns. 

Bravo to Detroiters, Comedy Central's new show (Tuesday 10:30pm) filmed here and a hilarious portrayal of two advertising men and their antics.  Of course, the stars are Michiganders and friends, Tim Robinson (SNL) and Sam Richardson (Veep) with Jason Sudeikis and Lorne Michaels as producers. I hope this show has a long run.

Bravo to Jack Johnson on his new song, Fragments (those micro-plastics floating in our seas), which brings light to our polluted oceans. The song spotlights a short documentary called "Smog of the Sea". You can hear the new song embedded in this Rolling Stone article.  https://goo.gl/RYhRBM

Bravo to the brave Israeli who subdued a terrorist in Israel with a sewing machine (sounds unreal, but it's true). It's a miracle no one was killed or injured worse when an 18-year-old Palestinian terrorist went on a rampaged yesterday, with a submachine gun, at a Petah Tikva (central Israel) open air market.  http://www.timesofisrael.com/5-lightly-wounded-in-petah-tikva-shooting-stabbing-attack/

Bravo to all the random New York subway commuters who banned together to help remove anti-semitic graffiti from the walls, doors and windows of their train.  Did you know Purell works great on slurs written with a Sharpie. NYPD has reported a significant increase in bias crimes after Nov. 8th.

Wishing you and your families a 
Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom and a Happy Tu b'Shevat

Save the date
Camp Sea-Gull 2017 Reunion.
Saturday Evening September 23
(weekend right after Rosh Hashana)
Looking for an awesome location,
suggestions welcomed.

Condolences to David and Janet Gans and their siblings and family on the passing of David's father, Dr. Robert Gans z"l (age 84) husband of Susan Gans for 43 years.  May his memories and love bring comfort to those who mourn his death and may he be a blessing unto his family and friends.

Condolences to Nancy and Lary Goldman and Robert and Roberta Granadier and their families on the passing of their father,  Gerald E. Granadier z"l (age 86) beloved wife of Eileen Granadier.  May Gerald's spirit and memories help comfort those who mourn his passing and may he be a blessing unto his community.
Happy Birthday

Feb. 10th
"All the News That's Fit to Print" 
first appears in NY Times on this date in 1897

Feb. 11th
Ryan Friedrichs
(Big) Al Muskovitz 
Dodo Kepes
Keith Famie
Char Yates

Feb. 12th
Lori Oberfelder Siegel
Pamela Franklin Azaria
Steve Frank

Feb. 13th
Linda Zelch Rouff
Robert Stone
John Jacobs (Happy 70th)
Feb. 14th
Liz Kanter Groskind
Betsy Snider Heuer
Robin Tobin-Murav
Maurice Pogoda
Pam Feinberg-Rivkin
Richard Krugel
Robert Chonoles
Linda Berke
Lori Katz Cantor
Steve Rotenberg

Feb. 15th
Marcy Feldman
Fred Leeb
Cathy Radner
Doreen Hermelin
Stacy Gordon
Janice Rosenhaus
Rob Strasberg
Feb. 16th
Carolyn Glaser Bellinson (Happy 50th)
Rose Handleman
Barbara Nemer

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

February 11 (Saturday)
Cabaret 313
Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley
My Funny  Valentine
Riviera Court @ Detroit Institute of Art
7:00pm and 9:30pm performances

March 5 ( Sunday)
JSL Holocaust Survivors Annual Benefit 
Musical Journey - A Century of Jewish Music
Featuring  Cantors Dan Gross, Neil Michaels, Pamela Schiffer and Penny Steyer and the Cliff Monear Trio.
Benefiting the Program for Holocaust Survivors and Families
Congregation Beth Ahm
5075 West Maple Road
West Bloomfield, 48322

March 17 - April 1
St. Dunstan's Theatre Guild of Cranbrook 
Calendar Girls
Featuring (friend) Julie Yolles

March 18 (Saturday)
Detroit Zoo
Wildlife Conservation Gala (inaugural)
This new gala will spotlight the Detroit Zoo's world-renowned wildlife conservation efforts and the impact we have around the globe.

March 25 (Saturday)
Cabaret 313
Gabrielle Stravelli
Black Box Theatre @ Detroit Opera House
7:00pm and 9:30pm performance

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 astone@jvsdet.org

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

May 3 (Wednesday)
Congregation Shaarey Zedek
Lois Linden 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)
Save the date, more details to come.

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 kacole@orchards.org
or go to www.orchards.org

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

May 15 (Monday)
Federation's Women's Philanthropy 
Signature Event
Featuring Jill Kargman (Odd Mom Out)
Save the date, more details to come.

May 11 (Thursday)
City Year Red Jacket Gala
Cobo Center, Grand Riverview Ballroom
1 Washington Blvd.  Detroit
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

May 22 (Monday)
The Emily Stillman Foundation 
Night of Laughs
The Berman Theatre (West Bloomfield)
Featuring: Heather McDonald (from Chelsea Lately)

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

June 16 (Friday)
Detroit Zoo
Sunset at the Zoo
This year's theme is Green is the new Black and will highlight the remarkable environmental and sustainability efforts of the Zoo.   https://detroitzoo.org/events/zoo-events/sunset-at-the-zoo/

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

Parting Thoughts...