February 3, 2017
Shabbat Shalom
"Ain't No Sunshine"
Bill Withers 
Goodbye, January. You were a symbolically gloomy month for many in our Nation but Detroiters had the gloomiest reality of only 2 days of Sunshine causing our brains to produce less serotonin which has the potential for Seasonal Affective Disorder . Add that to the jittery groundhog who saw his shadow yesterday and predicted 6 more weeks of Winter. Hopefully the Sun will shine on all of us very soon, but the political climate seems doomed for much longer.  We can all use some Sunshine and Whiskey.  Hope this song  by Frankie Ballard brightens your day:

 Katy Perry
We thought (hoped) his campaign pledges were just Peacock Ruffling but our new reality is a Sabre Rattling impulsive world leader...OUR world leader who wants his team to "Go Nuclear" to get his new highly conservative (with a stellar resume) Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, confirmed. Interestingly enough and out of respect, Neil's first phone call was to the other very qualified nominee, Merrick Garland. Sorry, no transcripts known of that conversation. Unfortunately, this nominee is a clone of Scalia tilting SCOTUS back to the conservative side. Will the Dems fight this tooth and nail like the reverse happened. But Dems don't have control so not sure how much ammunition they have.  A continuing story...

"Express Yourself"
Charles Wright
We know how Dems, Liberals, Progressives and Centrists feel.  They're marching in the streets.  But where are all the Never-Trump Republican legislators who expressed great concern before Nov. 8th? Why are they sitting silent when this is when they're loud voices are needed most? Is there buyers remorse for Trump voters? Do they actually think his first two weeks of action are positive for our country. The only ones who can rightsize this "iceberg ahead" are the voices on the right.  Fox News is where Trump Supporters get their info. We are at the mercy of Rupert Murdoch to shed some truth onto our nation but please avoid using alternative facts. 

"What doesn't Kill You, Makes You Stronger"
Kelly Clarkson
There are major differences between Political Advisers and Policy Advisers but Trump with his dangerous decisions have blurred the line by unprecedentedly including the extremist views of Steve Bannon at the table of the National Security Council meetings and downgrading the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. These behind the scenes actions and their "Never Wrong" attitude should be very troubling to our Democratic Union. For example, the White House statement commemorating last week's International Holocaust Memorial Day was void of any reference to Jewish victims. Almost every Jewish organization criticized the omission from ZOA to J Street.  Did the White House acknowledge the mistake? No, they doubled down and pleaded "inclusivity".  From an expert's point of view, Deborah Lipstadt, this just fosters anti-semitic Holocaust denial. Deborah states her points clearly in this article and refers to the White House statement as softcore Holocaust denial: 
And certainly denying the Holocaust feeds anti-semitism as for the 3rd time in the last several weeks, 17 more JCCs were targeted with bomb threats. Reports have indicated that anti-semitic hate crimes have become more brazen and frequent.
This can not be denied.
"Big Shot"
Billy Joel
Almost all national and international Jewish organizations objected to Trump's draconian executive order (EO) which bans (yes it is a ban) entrance into the US of refugees and immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia.  I'm sure he will add more countries to this list in the future.  We are a country of immigrants.  Our melting pot is the strength to our nation.  A "yuge" number of tech companies were built by immigrants or their children. Tesla, Google, Amazon, Yahoo, eBay, Apple to name just a few. Studies have found that immigrants are twice as likely to start companies than those born in America. Plus, there is NO proof that this ban will keep us safer.  If you haven't noticed, the Doomsday Clock was just moved 30 seconds closer to Midnight.  So, is Prayer and more Religion the answer.  Trump attended the annual Prayer Breakfast this week and added a very concerning action item to his bucket list.  He plans to eliminate the Johnson Amendment which currently prevents non-profits, like Churches, from endorsing or opposing political candidates. Let's bring the Church into the back pocket of the Government and essentially destroy the needed separation of Church and State. 

"Oops, I Did It Again"
Britney  Spears
Someone who didn't object to Trump's other EO to build the Mexican Wall was none other than (keep your nose out of other nation's business), Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu who tweeted this...  "President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel's southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea."   There's a BIG difference between our Mexican Wall and the anti-terrorist barrier needed to separate Israelis from those who want to blow them up. It was obvious that Bibi was kowtowing to Trump in hopes of a BFF status.  How appropriate that their first meeting will be Feb. 15 (day after valentine's day). But late last night, the Trump administration put the brakes on Bibi's attempt to build new settlement homes which I'm sure was a "yuge" disappointment for Netanyahu. Of course, a strong US/Israel relationship is great as long as it benefits a future Two-State Peace Agreement. 
Check out the gold everywhere in this room. What type of person decorates their home that way?  Just, asking...

"Jerusalem of Gold"
Naomi Shemer
Bibi also agrees with Trump's idea that the American Embassy should be moved to Jerusalem.  This is an extremely complicated issue that many presidents have grappled with. Yes, Jerusalem is the capital and soul of Israel and Western Jerusalem is undisputedly Israeli territory.  Yet, some parts of the city are also sacred to Christians and Muslims.  The first Jewish Temple in biblical era was built on the hilltop of Jerusalem (making it one of the oldest cities in the world) and ever since, Jews have prayed there (when allowed).  When foreign rulers dominated Jerusalem, Jews were prevented from entering our holy sites (ancient Temple walls, forefather burial sites...). In 1967 Jews took control of the city and has since allowed all religions access to their respective sites. Now, back to the embassy. After serving as the American Ambassador to Israel for the last 5 years, it seems Dan Shapiro would know the best timing and implementation of how to move the embassy.  Here is his thoughtful analysis. 

Current Embassy in Tel Aviv

"A House is Not a Home"
Luther VanDross
If your neighbors home burnt down, would you give them the keys to your house.  After the Victoria (Texas) Islamic Center was destroyed by fire, the Jewish community welcomed the Muslim community to worship in their synagogue.  It is as natural as breathing for us to help others in need. 

"Take Me Home, Country Roads"
John Denver
Another kind of Jewish home (away from home) is sprouting up at festivals all over the country. They were at Sundance, SXSW, Coachella...It's called Shabbat Tent, open to all as they provide water, shade, bathrooms, Challa, Kabbalat Shabbat, Havdallah and much more.  They were listed in this year's Slingshot guide of new Jewish innovations. Check them out at your next festival visit: 

Our Jewish Tent: 
Tall,Wide and Inclusive.

"Run Baby Run"
Sheryl Crow
Good luck to the team you're rooting for during this weekend's Super Bowl.  We aren't much of a Football family but heard the ads might be worth watching as they take on a political slant this year, like this Budweiser commercial. 

Wishing you and your families a 
Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom!

Save the date
Camp Sea-Gull 2017 Reunion.
Saturday Evening September 23
(weekend right after Rosh Hashana)
More details to come...

Condolences to Belle and Jerry Kohen, Todd and Niki Fink, Ilana and Zachary Liss and their families on the passing of their mother and grandmother, Frances Fink z"l. May her spirit and memories bring comfort to those who mourn her passing and may she be a blessing unto her community.
Happy Birthday

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
Feb. 6th
Pamela Applebaum
Nell Dority
Betsy Kellman
Rabbi Danny Syme
Stan Chodun
Feb. 7th
Amy Carson Schlussel
Rabbi Paul Yedwab (Happy 60th)
Jeffrey Jucewicz  
Suzanne Blas
Feb. 8th
Margaret Bornstein
Jill Mainster Menuck
Stacey Gordon
Glenn S. Anderson
Feb. 9th
Michelle Guttenberg Wexler
Maria (Charlie) Kao
Richard Burstein 

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

February 4  (Saturday)
Nosh Gen: Bowling in the Motor City
Jewish Historical Society of Michigan & Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation
Food, Fun and A Dash of History
Century Bowl - Waterford
6:30 p.m. - Dinner and a brief presentation of Bowling History in the Motor City
8:15 p.m. - Bowling

February 5 - 9
The Jewish Federations of North America
Heart to Heart
Women's Journey to Israel

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 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 world.

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

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 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 eighty, who have demonstrated a dedication throughout their lifetime to Tikkun Olam - Repairing the World.
Congregation Adat Shalom

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 Winter Thoughts...