Keep the Dream Alive
January 13, 2017
Shabbat Shalom
(Happy Friday the 13th)
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere"

"Child of Mine" Carole King
They were only 20 years old. Soldiers fulfilling their civic duty. Daughters and a son, sisters and a brother, future spouses and future parents.  Cut short by pure brainwashed hatred. A sick-minded terrorist rammed his truck into innocent victims on a promenade overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem ( "City of Peace"). This City of Peace has seen far too much bloodshed.  These young victims and the 17 others who were wounded are sadly added to the long list of innocent souls (and their families) disseminated by the evil teachings of hatred and terrorism.  To add insult, supporters of this heinousness celebrated the murders by rallying in the streets of Gaza and the West Bank and passing out candy in jubilation.  How can we make peace with people who glorify murder and dedicate city streets and squares after terrorist and murderers? On the other hand, in solidarity with Israel, applauds is due for the Muslim Mayor of Rotterdam who flew the Israeli flag over the city and the Blue Star of David was projected onto the (Berlin) Brandenburg Gate and the Paris City Hall

"Way Over Yonder" Carole King
What's NOT going to help bring peace to the region is the upcoming Paris Middle East Peace Conference as one of the two parties being discussed (Israel) opposes this meaningless pow wow and neither entity will send reps. Surely the organizers and 70 country representatives (including our very own John Kerry) could have come up with a more pressing global concern than the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. How about brainstorming about the other Middle East country experiencing a 6 year destructive civil war.  Or what about discussing Libya, Yemen or a slew of other devastated nations.  As in the past, I defer to the brilliant and articulate David Harris to expand on this issue with his open letter to the French foreign minister to request the cancellation of the conference.

"We Didn't Start the Fire" Billy Joel
After the contentious and divisive year we just experienced, not surprisingly, 2017 has entered with a spike in hate crimes. Last week in chicago, 4 African American youths brazenly tortured a young mentally challenged white teen. This week 16 of our nation's JCCs were evacuated because of bomb threats.    Next week (on MLK day) a mass of neo-nazis will gather (with Hamas reps) for a legally armed (with their "open carry" guns) rally in Whitefish, Montana (population 6,300) to threaten the small Jewish community which have been attacked for weeks now.  We, in our sheltered lives, may not feel the direct hatred that is growing like a weed, but we need to focus our attention to weed out the closed-mindedness of hatred, racism and bias as.. ."An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."  - Martin Luther King, Jr.  

"I Want to Hold Your Hand" Beatles
Bravo to our hometown of Michigan for becoming the 16th State (only 34 more to go) to implement   legislation   against  the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement. Michigan and Israel have strong economic and social ties and this widely  supported bipartisan  bill will prohibit the State from contracting with businesses that discriminate  against  Israel. The main objective of the BDS movement is to delegitimize the State of Israel in the global arena and it's ultimate goal is to "wipe Israel from the face of the earth" as the BDS founder doesn't believe in right of Israel to exist.  Kol Hakavod ("bravo") to legislators  Robert Wittenberg, Jeremy Moss, Andy Schor (and others) for crafting and carrying this bill to fruition.

"Respect" Aretha Franklin
A bit of dirty Israeli Laundry of a long and contentious fight for women's rights was exposed this week as the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in favor of the right of women to pray at the National Holy Site of the Kotel (Western Wall of the ancient Temple) with their religious paraphernalia like Torahs, Tallit and Tefillin.  Rather than putting the onus on women to defend their method of prayer, it is now up to the Orthodox leadership who currently control the area to explain (within 30 days) why women shouldn't be able to pray as they choose (just as the men do). Kol Hakavod to Anat Hoffman for leading this initiative for equal rights. 

"I Say A Little Prayer"  Aretha and/or Dionne
Condolences to the victims and loved one of the terror attack at the Fort Lauderdale airport last Friday.  It seems our system failed us as the perpetrator knew he was experiencing mental illness and even seeked help.  After protocol of taking his semi-automatic weapon away and hospitalizing him for a few days, his gun was returned but so were "the voices" which encouraged him to go on his rampage.  Mental illness and guns should never mix. Half of all suicides are committed by guns.  With conservatives running our nation, it is unlikely we will institute the necessary gun controls we need but this doesn't mean we should stop trying. Jan. 8th marks the 6th anniversary of the Tucson shooting which took the lives of 6 innocent souls (one was only 9 years old) and wounded 13 others including Congresswoman Gabby Giffords who with her husband, Mark Kelly, have dedicated their lives to passing sensible gun control legislation. 

"Pink Cadillac" Bruce Springsteen and/or Aretha
Press days and the black-tie charity preview of the North American International Auto Show 2017 are currently the big Michigan news this week. Congrats to the Chevy Bolt EV for winning the top car honor this year.  Also, a hot topic at the show are the driverless and self-driving cars. The speed of this innovation is remarkable.  It's been mentioned that babies born today will never drive a car.  We'll see if this is true in 16 years.  The other vehicle that caught my eye was the new VW microbus (concept).  A VW Vanagon was our vehicle of choice during our child-raising era. 
New VW microbus concept vehicle

"Slip Sliding Away" Paul Simon
On the political scene, the confirmation hearings of Jeff Sessions and Rex Tillerson are progressing while Betsy Devos' was postponed due to ethical concerns.  Congress is moving full force on repealing ObamaCare though still no replacement plan in sight. Our president-elect held a press conference and continued on his path of inarticulation, denial, name-calling and bullying.  The event, sadly reinforced my concerns of his lack of presidential prowess. His words were abrasive and "post-truth" (Oxford Dictionary's word of the year, meaning: "objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than emotional appeals") in other words, truth (at least in Trump's world) is no longer relevant.  Apparently, the post-truth on CNN is they are now a Fake New Agency. Words, from our president-elect, are important, but his actions are where we need to focus our critique and take action ourselves if our rights are threatened.  Lastly, the TV show Blackish is phenomenal and this week's episode spoke volumes on the need to stop hating each other. I highly recommend watching this week's full episode, but here is the ending scene:  And last but not least, congrats to VP Joe Biden on receiving the well-deserved and highest honor of the Presidental Medal of Freedom.   Obama surprised
the veep (his "Brother") with the award that was filled with admiration and tears.

"Shower the People" James Taylor
Bravo to (my favorite) La La Land for winning a record number of Golden Globes last week and of course thunderous applauds for the poignant words of the highly respected (not overrated) Meryl Streep, "Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose."  (If you heard the speech, I have 3 comments: 1 There is lots of violence in movies. 2. I have nothing against Martial Arts. 3. Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem, Israel *)   And another momentous speech was seared into the nation this week as POTUS Obama appeared in his hometown of Chicago to deliver his final presidential message.  "Our Constitution is a remarkable, beautiful gift. But it's really just a piece of parchment. It has no power on its own. We, the people, give it power - with our participation, and the choices we make. Whether or not we stand up for our freedoms. Whether or not we respect and enforce the rule of law. America is no fragile thing. But the gains of our long journey to freedom are not assured."   Soon  he will be joining us on our journey and fight for our passions as an  ordinary  citizen (though, let's face it, he will always be a bit more extraordinary than all of us).  Also, extraordinary (and bringing me back to beginning of this paragraph) are the talents of Jimmy Fallon and his opening Gloden Globes montage to La La Land.  In case you missed it or loved it so much for a repeat viewing...enjoy:
La La Land is a modern day (old timey) musical.  If you are a broadway musical fan, here is a bonus video of Neil Patrick Harris and James Corden dueling broadway tunes.

Jan. 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968

"All I Have to Do Is Dream"  Everly Brothers
Monday is our nation's commemoration and celebration of the life of Martin Luther King Jr.  Though it may feel like the political odds are against us, optimism and action will help bring to fruition the dreams of MLK.  And the more basic dream of a disabled Ethiopian boy to play soccer is in progress as the mitzvah efforts of our bonus son, Josh Schaefer's aunt and uncle Lori and Doron Bacher (who live in Israel) are being realized at a hospital in Boston.  To learn more about his incredible international miracle, please read this article:

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

Camp Sea-Gull Alum, details of a 2107 reunion are in the works.
Stay Tuned...

Condolences to my niece and nephew, Ilana and Jason Fisher on the passing of Jason's grandfather, Gordon Fisher z"l.  Hugs Glen and Michele and their siblings on losing their father.  May Gordon's memories bring comfort to those who knew and loved him as he was a blessing onto his community.

Condolences to the Tilchen and Schostak family on the passing of Minda Tilchen z"l.  May her love and spirit bring comfort to those who mourn her passing and may she be a blessing unto her family and friends.

Condolences to the friends, family and fans of Marvelous Marvin Yagoda z"l (age 87).  Marvin was a legend in our community as the founder of his  Marvelous Marvin's Mechanical Museum (listed as one of the world's 100 weirdest museums).  If you were a child of Metro Detroit in the 80s (and beyond), you likely spent time as a child begging to go to Marvelous Marvin's, a collection of coin operated games. Marvin was also a huge Zionist and even had an Israeli flag tattooed on his tooth (true fact, I saw it). May our collective memories of Marvin's quirky Museum continue to keep his spirit alive. 

Sorry I missed expressing condolences to Mitch and Nanci Kantor and their family on the passing of Mitch's mother, Bebe Kantor z"l who died on Dec. 31st.  May her memory and spirit bring comfort to those who knew and loved her and may she be a blessing unto her family and friends.

* Zionist are sensitive when only Jerusalem without the connection of Israel are mentioned. We consider Jerusalem our homeland's capital and absolutely part of the county however even our State department disputes this fact since the Supreme Court upheld a ruling which prevents American parents, whose children are born in Jerusalem, to list Israel as a birthplace on their child's American passport. It must only state Jerusalem.  Also, this is why almost all countries refuse to house their Embassies in Jerusalem, though Trump says he might move our US Embassy there. We'll see...
Happy Birthday

Jan. 9, 2017
Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone
Happy 10th anniversary
Here's my birthday gift:

Jan. 13th
Robyn Lederman
Sheila Tyner
Rabbi Jonathan Kaplan
Judy Berris Herman
David Rossman

Jan. 14th
Barbara Curhan Mendelson
Christen Giblin
Debbie Robbins
Jon Liebman
Lois Rubin 
Rachel Wright
Tom Klein
Ben Weinstein

Jan. 15th
Nora Cascardo
Jill Sherman-Marx
Martin Luther King, Jr. ( Born 1929)

Jan. 16th
Josh Berg
Susie Pappas
Janice Adler Traison

Jan. 17th
Bryce Sandler
Don Benyas
Perry Teicher

Jan. 18th
Yossi Peled
Judi Schram 

Jan. 19th
Adam Blanck (Happy 30th)
Howard Friedman
Keith Weinbaum
Debbie Binder

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

Volunteer opportunities for all ages at 32 of our Detroit Jewish Community agencies are a simple click away.  Check out this easy to use website to get started.

January 15 (Sunday)
Save Health Care Rally
12:30 p.m.
Macomb Community College
14500 E. 12 Mile Rd.
Guest Speakers: 
Senator Bernie Sanders
Senator Chuck Schumer
Senator Gary Peters
Senator Debbie Stabenow
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell
Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence

January 21 (Saturday)
Women's March on Washington
The March will start at 
3rd and Independence Ave.
This updated website has more details:

January 21 (Saturday)
If you can't make it to the DC March, many States (including Michigan) are hosting their own Capitol March.  
Lansing, Capitol Steps
If you want to ride on the NCJW bus to Lansing, 
please contact Irma Glaser
248-355-3300 ext. 0

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 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

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 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

Parting Thoughts...