January 6, 2017
Shabbat Shalom
"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better person." 
- Benjamin Franklin

Make America Sick Again
Back to life, back to work, back to politics for this first Shabbat message of 2017. Though my 10 day computer hiatus has stiffened my typing creativity, I will plow through and exercise my mental muscles. The new year brought us a new Congress with the same old shenanigans. Actually, the night before our new Congress was sworn in (which is just like our old Congress but with a new WH boss), they took a secret vote to eliminate the Independent Ethics Office which oversees questionable behavior.  Certainly, legislators don't need their ethics checked, hence the move to eliminate the "unnecessary independent" oversight. But holds your horses, the republican leadership and our future POTUS kiboshed this action as frivolous when more pressing issues are at hand. For now the ethics office is safe but it could be curtained down the line. So onto those pressing issues like repealing Obamacare which has provided medical insurance for 30 million Americans who were (disgracefully) uninsured.  Repealing this lifesaving legislation has been the republicans mantra since Obamacare's 2010 inception. The Affordable Care Act is not perfect and does need its own chiropractic adjustment, but yanking it from those who need it most without an alternative plan is reckless and cruel. The Grand Old Party wants to "Make America Sick Again" as their actions will  Increase the Cost of drugs and premiums,  Empower Insurance Companies,  Jeopardize 30 Million Americans' health care and  Reduce taxes for the wealthy and raise them for the middle class.   Plus a horrible ripple effect will be felt by millions of Americans throughout our country.  Dems and supporters need to exert strength to protect those whose lives literally depend on this legislation.

Make Choice Safe Again
We shouldn't be fighting this battle anymore but here we are with our boxing gloves.  We need to fight like hell to protect women's rights to reproductive freedoms.  Our new VPOTUS, Mike Pence, is a staunch anti-choice demagogue who needs to be stifled and our strongest tool to fight this battle is Planned Parenthood.  With this in mind and a little help from Lin Manuel Miranda, our efforts could prove enjoyable.  Turns out, Lin's mom is on the board of the PP Action Fund so for as little as a $10 donation, you will get 100 entries to win...drum roll... 2 tickets to all three Hamilton productions (NY, Chicago and SF) plus 2 airfares and 2 hotel nights in each city.  There are only 5 days left for this offer but by the way, I plan on winning.  But if you want to participate, here is the website:  http://bit.ly/2iQYizJ

Make Morality Strong Again
Time and again, the world has treated Jews and Israel unfairly and unequally compared to everyone else.  We've been persecuted, scapegoated and blamed for almost everything.  We aren't the only ones treated poorly but we've experienced it all of our existence. And since the early days of our existence, we pride ourselves on the way we live up to a different/higher standard. Michelle wasn't talking about us, but we hold true the phrase,  "When they go low, we go high".  This brings me to the Israeli soldier who fatally shot an incapacitated Palestinian terrorist who had just stabbed a fellow soldier in the West Bank.  This 18 year old soldier was put into a situation beyond his capacity and his actions were wrong. He was convicted in Israeli court and found guilty of manslaughter. Another pride we value is our Moral Israeli Army. Many Israelis (who feel constantly threatened) have lost this sense of morality and are calling this soldier a hero who should be pardoned.  Even Netanyahu supports a pardon.  In my opinion, this is wrong on all accounts and sends a message that we have lost our moral compass. If we continue on this path, what will distinguish us from our neighbors?

Make Michigan Warm Again
Yeah!!  Michigan came in 2nd. Wait... we came in 2nd of 50 for the worst Winters, even ahead of Alaska.  Only Minnesota has worse winters than us according to this "highly scientific"
Thrillist grading system.  Poor Hawai, they came in dead last on this list.  https://www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/states-with-the-worst-winters-worst-us-states-for-winter

Make Keith Sing Again
Not to be redundant and negative, but we've been reminded repeatedly that 2016 was a tragic year on multiple fronts.  The saddest was the loss of so many talented souls, many at a young age.  The very much alive and very talented  Keith Urban performs a moving acoustic tribute (in his den) to the musical legends we lost this year. George, Leonard, Glenn, David, Merle and Prince.  Hope you enjoy this laidback version. He also rocked this same set on stage in Nashville on New Year's Eve.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P33OAlH4Kp4

Make Lights Shine Again
Another tragic loss this year was the mother daughter duo of
Debbie Reynolds and  Carrie Fisher . Carrie was brave to help bring awareness to mental illness and this issue is included in an HBO documentary called  Bright Lights filmed just prior to their passings.  Here is the trailer for the film which will air on Jan. 7th only two days after their private joint funeral.  https://goo.gl/zSSrdq

Make Travel Magnificent Again
Happy 150th birthday to  Canada and to celebrate this momentous anniversary, our neighbors to the north are giving the world travelers a gift.  All 200 Canadian National Parks and Historic Sites will offer free admission throughout the full year of 2017.  Those Canadians are a generous bunch.  Wishing them a generous supply of tourist to their beautiful country.  And once you knock Canada off our bucket list, here are 51 other global destinations recommended by the
New York Times. Proud to say,  Detroit is Number 9 even with our 2nd spot for the worst winters. 

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

Mazel Tov to the  HarPaz and  Meshnikov families as,
Lev, grandson (to  Natan and Norma z"l ), nephew (to
Michael and Natalie) and son (to  Daniella and Igor ) becomes a Bar Mitzvah this weekend. Wishing the celebration to be Sweet and Meaningful.

Mazel tov to Community Gem, Eli Mayerfeld on his new role as CEO of our Holocaust Memorial Center. May he go from Strength to Strength in this new leadership and educational commitment.   https://goo.gl/bgDFtQ
Happy Birthday

Jan. 6th
Lisa Brody
Eric Ersher
Nimod Yarkoni

Jan. 7th
Bill Harder
Sam Kelman Friedman
Eli Anders
Ray Henney
Diane Lux Krawitz

Jan. 8th
Ben Falik
Danny Weberman
Lisa Gottlieb Rotter
Stacy May Klein (Happy 50th)
Linda Zuckerman Klein
Julia Tapper
Debbie Duke-Beckwith

Jan. 9th
Eric Zuckerman
Terry Paule 

Jan. 10th
Fern Kepes
Jamila Ross Brown
Marc Kay
Marc Winkelman

Jan. 11th
Rabbi Jonathan Berkun
Margot Snyder Narens
Henrietta Hermelin Weinberg
Christine Greig
Marty Haberer

Jan. 12th
Dalia Shani
Jeffrey Slatkin
Susu Sosnick
Cheryl Linden

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 7  (Saturday) and January 8 (Sunday)
University of Michigan
UMS (University Musical Society)
(Israeli) Batsheva Dance Company

January 21 (Saturday)
Women's March on Washington (New Info)
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

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 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 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