February's Greatness
For a short month, February is chock full of activities to celebrate, acknowledge and honor... like Black History Month, Groundhog Day, Superbowl Sunday, Valentine's Day, Presidents Day, Mardi Gras aka. Fat Tuesday followed by Lent and on then on the very last day of the month, our Jewish holiday of Purim will begin. But before we reached our 2nd month of the year, this week also brought our UnPrecedented President back to a Congressional Joint Session for his 2nd State of the Uniom.  Yes I misspelled Union just as someone on his staff did on the first batch of tickets issued for the event.

State Not So Great
We got the cookie-cutter teleprompter speech with half-truths and fake accolades. Yes, unemployment is down but it was going down prior to his arrival.  Yes, the stock market is rising, but it rose in Obama's first year too.  Yes, ISIS is shrinking in Syria and Iraq but the coattails were already flowing in that direction.  We didn't hear much about our burgeoning Deficit of nearly $440 Billion with the simple math that our government spent (in our last fiscal year) $4 Trillion while revenues were only $3.6 Trillion. Of course, this must be the perfect time for (the "Greatest") tax cuts ever, right? Add to that the $1.5 Trillion infrastructure plan that has no way of getting funded.  We also didn't hear him mention that our National Debt grew to nearly $19 Trillion warranting another rise for its ceiling, all happening as a budget deadline approaches next week which could threaten another Shutdown.  Then he offered his 4 pillars for immigration which includes spending billions on his Great Wall while using Dreamers as a bargaining chip.  Jimmy Kimmel is a comedian (with a heart) and he ventured into a serious topic this week as he tried to build a bridge between a Dreamer framily and some Trump supporters.  He was sadly disappointed and you may be too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QY5pLQqIYM
No, Doofus Don, our Union is not strong and our nation is heading down a dangerous path with you as its leader.

Household Necessities
In more "Give me a Break" news...apparently, Air Force One needs 2 new refrigerators and it will only cost us taxpayers $24 Million.  I kid you not, this is the cost to replace two (huge) refrigerators as they are meant to hold 3,000 meals since Air Force One is comparable to a flying White House.  I assume those 3,000 meals are light on Kale and Quinoa and heavy on KFC and McD's. I think this is the first time I've referenced Popular Mechanics as a source. https://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/airlines/a15912122/air-force-one-new-refrigerator-24-mil/  You know what would go good with those million dollar refrigerators...a gold toilet (called America) which was offered to the White House instead of the Van Gogh that was requested.  Someone at the Guggenheim Museum is not fan of Trump, so instead of providing him with a piece of art, he was offered a receptible for his deplorable actions.

It actually works.

To Life
If you eat like our POTUS, most likely you won't live to your full potential and definitely not for eternity. But who would want to live forever?  I'm reading the new Dara Horn book called Eternal Life and it's fascinating to imagine what it might feel like to live for 2000 years; from the biblical era until now; from animal sacrifice to digital currency.  Immortality is not such an enjoyable existence but the book certainly is fun to read.  
Generational Health
Since Rachel (from Eternal Life) is incapable of dying, she wouldn't need the new healthcare initiative that Jeff, Jamie and Warren are concocting for their employees. If these 3 brainies (Amazon, JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway) can't come up with a model Health Care product, not sure who can.  Aside from Universal Health care for all, maybe their new program could help solve the our nation's flawed system. Also, it's a good think our US Legislators have good medical coverage since, Tammy Duckworth will be the first Senator to give birth while in office.  This will be her 2nd child. You'd think a pregnant senator would have happened by now, but actually there have only been 51 total women senators since the senate was established in 1789. Apparently they must have been beyond childbearing age.  Senator Duckworth is also a military hero who lost her legs in Iraq and she is not shy about criticizing our "five-deferment draft dodger" POTUS (her description) on his poor presidential decisions.    
Duckworth and Biden 

Saudi Arabia and Ireland
You win some you lose some.  Israel has no choice but to be on the winning side of historical wars and conflicts.  The alternative would be the destruction of our tiny Jewish Homeland.  On the global Win side for Israel, last week a Saudi letter was sent to the Holocaust Center announcing that denial of the Holocaust is a "Crime to distort history". This is a great step for a positive future Saudi-Israel relationship.  http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Saudi-based-Muslim-body-rejects-Holocaust-denial-539946   But then this week, Ireland slapped the face of our homeland when it attempted to pass a bill to boycott Israeli products. The bill might be postponed for now but it's truly a global tango for Israel to be fully accepted by the world.  https://www.timesofisrael.com/after-israeli-protest-irish-senate-freezes-bill-to-ban-settlement-goods/  The liberal movement tends to be less favorable torward Israel these days, but there is an exception and that's Bill Maher who seems to do his homework and understands the facts on the ground.  Check out this video from his show last week and the pushback he got from NYT Michelle Goldberg: https://www.algemeiner.com/2018/01/28/hbo-host-bill-maher-praises-us-president-trumps-recognition-of-jerusalem-as-israels-capital/  

Music and Babies
Flu season is in full force so for those of you who have been bitten by the awful flu bug, I offer you some "Sunshine & Whiskey" as this week's musical selection by Frankie Ballard: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYKnP-6cDWE and couldn't resist sharing this feel good photo of our granddaughters, Dassi and Yuli.

Wishing you and your family a 
Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom.

Condolences to the Taubman family on the passing of
Julie Taubman at the young age of 50. Julie was the wife of Robert Taubman and the loving mother of Ghislaine "GoGo" Taubman, Theodore Taubman, Sebastian Taubman and Alexander Alfred Taubman.  May her spirit and memories bring comfort to those who mourn her death and may she be a blessing unto her family and friends.  
Condolences to Rabbi Aaron Bergman, his wife Ruth Bergman and their family on the passing of Aaron's father, David Bergman, z"l (age 86), husband of Sharon Bergman.  May his memory and love bring comfort to those who knew and loved him and may he be a blessing unto his community. 

Condolences to Matthew Kay (8th grader at Hillel Day School and Tamarack Camper) on the passing of his beloved mother, Ronna Harwood Kay z"l (age 63). Ronna was the widow of Douglas Kay z"l and the daughter of Dorothy Harwood.  May Matthew be surrounded with love by his family and community to help comfort him during his time of mourning.  May Ronna be a blessing unto her family and friends.

Condolences to Cindy and Steven Hughey and their family on the passing of Cindy's mother, Faylene Owen z"l, mother  of Cindy Hughey (Steven). May Faylene's spirit and memory bring comfort to those who mourn her death.  May she be a blessing unto her family and friends.

There are 276 Days till our  November 6, 2018  election with lots of new positions to fill.  I'll keep you posted on the races I'm supporting and will update you on the candidates and issues of concern.  We'll be voting on:
-Michigan  Governor
-Michigan Attorney General
-Michigan Secretary of State
-Re-election of Senator Debbie Stabenow
-All Congressional seats
-Various Michigan State and House seats
-University Regent and Trustee seats
-School Board seats
-County and city seats

More from the "Give Me a Break" department...
We elect and expect our Michigan legislators to pass bills to improve the lives of Michigander.  But it seems some are more focused on passing a frivolous bill like the one last week to allow women hunters to wear pink. Not to mention, there is already a law that allows pink as an option as long as the (safer seen) Orange is more prominent. Apparently, that wasn't good enough so more time was wasted to insist on Pretty in Pink for hunters.

Happy Birthday!

Feb. 2nd
Alan Leifer 

Feb. 3rd
Amy Chapman
Ingrid Grossberg 
Lori Katzman (Schulman) 
Steve Schlafer
Lindsey Rosen Maddin
Feb. 4th
Kathy Wilson Fink
Howard Lutz 
Marissa Miller Mark

Feb. 5th
Randi Berman Sakwa 
Linda Adler Hurwitz
Andrea Solomon
Yarden Blumstein
Lynn Isenberg
Feb. 6th
Pamela Applebaum
Nell Dority
Betsy Kellman
Rabbi Danny Syme
Stan Chodun
Aurora Goldberg
Feb. 7th
Amy Carson Schlussel
Rabbi Paul Yedwab
Jeffrey Jucewicz  
Suzanne Blas
Feb. 8th
Margaret Bornstein
Jill Mainster Menuck
Stacey Gordon
Glenn S. Anderson
Ronda Kutnick Mardiros

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

Starting January 14  (6-8 weeks)
Jewish Population Study will help us determine vital information about our community to help plan for our future.  Our last survey was 2005 and updated info is critutial so please participate if you are called.  Names and addresses will not be asked or used. 
For more info, please contact Linda Blumberg 

February 7 (Wednesday)
Fems For Dems
Candidate Speed Dating
The Corners
2075 Walnut Lake Rd.
West Bloomfield
Free Admission

February 13 (Tuesday)
Doing the Impossible - Israel Disaster Relief
Guest Speaker: Dr. Ariel Bar
Maple Theater
Bloomfield Hills
Free with limited seating. Registration requested by 2/7
Sponsored by JCRC/AJC & Jewish Federation of Metro. Detroit

February 24  (Saturday)
Jewish Historical Society of Michigan
Nosh Gen: A Night at the Schvitz
Re-discover this iconic building with current owners and special guests, Richard Meltzer (son of the original owner) and Rabbi Pinson (who is working to restore the Mikvah)
7:00 p.m. 
Dinner, Drinks and History

February 27 (Tuesday)
Detroit Crime Commission
Movie Night Screening
"Break the Chain"
An award-winning documentary produced and directed by Michigan filmmakers, Laura E. Swanson and Kirk Mason, that addresses the often "hidden-in-plain-sight" issue of Human Trafficking within Michigan communities and the United States.
Maple Theater
7:00pm Door open
7:30pm Screening
8:30pm Q & A with Directers
$10 admission plus donations of gently used clothing and/or hygiene products.
For more info and ticket registration

April 27 
Theme: "Standing up to Extinction"

May 3 (Thursday)
Jewish News 75th Anniversary Gala
Congregation Shaarey Zedek
Recognition of the Davidson, Gerson and Wetsman Families
Also Recognized: Those in attending who were born in 1942
Entertainment by: Klezmatics

May 18 (Friday)
Starfish Family Services Great Heart's Gala
Ford Field
Honoring: Beaumont Health
For information contact-Lori Fidler  734-713-9224

 Final Thought...