Shabbat Shalom
March 17, 2017
A huge BRAVO to the Herculean efforts by hordes of utility repair workers from Metro Detroit and surrounding states who helped clean up our freak massive wind storm that knocked out the power of nearly 1 million homes/businesses. Many in our area suffered up to 6 days without electricity as they learned more about their resiliency than they had hoped to know. Then of course the Lion dumped March snow on us just as the power returned to our lives.  Though we dodged the bullet as the Northeast really got clobbered. It is now time for the Lion to enter his den as we welcome the Lamb into our lives.

"Blazing Saddles"
I'm back in the saddle again...back at my comfortable home computer, back to updating you on my thoughts of the week. Though I didn't heed the warning of one friend who said, "don't rush home, Trump is still president" and it doesn't give me solace that our founding fathers made it very difficult to get rid of a delinquent president.  Even impeachment doesn't guarantee removal. It seems obvious to us his corrupt attachment to Russia (among his many other indiscretions) and, Yes, this is being investigated. But the process is lengthy and timely especially with our Republican led Congress. Check out this article for the step by step details to impeachment.   So we must sit tight and keep vigilant against Drumfp, his cronies, his nonsensical tweets and his dangerous policies, like his persistence to eliminate health insurance for 24 million Americans. After the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) crunched the numbers, respectable agencies jumped onboard to protest this Administration's intent on destroying the progress of the Affordable Care Act (aka: ObamaCare). These groups have all expressed concern about the misguided Repeal and Replace proposition and they cover the gamut of our society from left to right to center to nonpartisan.   
American Hospital Association
Federation of American Hospitals
America's Essential Hospitals
Families USA
American Nurses Association
American College of Physicians
National Nurses United
National Physicians Alliance
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
American Academy of Pediatrics
Heritage Action
Cato Institute
Americans for Prosperity
Tea Party Patriots
Club for Growth
American Bridge
Center for American Progress
Our Revolution
Many legislators are also leery of this Health Care debacle so (I suspect) the likelihood of it's passing is dimming by the hour.  

Some think Global populism is running rampant as seen by the Brexit and Trump victories. But this week the Dutch voters broke the streak with the reelection of their centrist leader.  On the ballot and gaining popularity was far-right/anti-Islamic politician  Geert Wilders  whose been quoted to say "Islam is not a religion, it's an ideology, the ideology of a retarded culture." and "Islam is the Trojan Horse in Europe. If we do not stop Islamification now, Eurabia and Netherabia will just be a matter of time." Interestingly, Mr. Wilders is excessively protective of Israel.  Dutch Voter turnout was high (80%, unheard of in the US) and with 28 parties to chose from, Wilders came in a far 2nd swashing his chances of wielding much power as he won't be invited into the coalition.

"Lemon Tree"
Meanwhile, back in Trump's fantasy world, he sent his (completely inexperienced) envoy this week to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to help "kickstart" the elusive Peace Process with the ignorance that since the birth of modern Israel, there has never been a partner for real peace and there still isn't one in the 81 year old Abbas whose been in office for nearly a decade and a half. Abbas continues to support terrorism by glorifying the memories of Israeli murdering terrorist by naming streets and squares after them and supplementing the incomes of their families. Trump even invited Abbas to the White House for a future visit. Can a tiger change his stripes...? Miracles can happen but I'm not holding my breath. It is very disappointing that nearly 70 years after the legal establishment of the Jewish State of Israel, it seems Peace is even more distant than 7 decades ago. I am an optimist at heart but the only way to save Israeli lives, at the moment, is to isolate and protect until the emergence of a real partner who is willing to accept the right of a Jewish State to exist. There are grassroot coexistences efforts taking place in Israel that will hopefully sprout one day but only after the current political leaders on both sides "expire" and new more enlightened ones takes hold.  But with hope in mind, today in Rabin Square of Tel Aviv, there will be 1000 Israelis and 1000 Palestinians connecting to negotiate solutions for the conflict sponsored by an organization call Minds of Peace   There is great interest in the people of the region to end the conflict as their main goal (like all of us) is to focus on living a safe and comfortable life.  
"Life is Beautiful"
For 12 years there been a peaceful "Walk for Israel" in our Detroit community which unites all who support Israel's right to exit.  But for the first time ever, the Walk's website was hacked and hijacked this week for 3 hours with anti-semitic obscene rhetoric. Also this week, 7 more JCCs received bomb threats during their Purim celebrations. These increasingly hateful incidents should cause major concern for all.  Why the increase and why now...? Many speculate it is Trump's empowerment of the far right and his lackadaisical attitude toward their soap box.  Also his right hand man, Steve Bannon, is one of their leaders.
Then of course, POTUS is contemplating the elimination of the Anti-Semitism Envoy, Ira Forman, to help cut costs. Congress is urging him to rethink this mistake, especially now with the rise of Hate Crimes.  And where is the outrage of his daughter and son-in-law. SNL did a skit recently that advertised a new Ivanka Trump perfume called "Complicit". She seem to tout her pro-women, pro-environment stance but even with her "favorite daughter" status, she never seems to exert her presumed influence toward her father. This leave us to keep vigilant and protective of the safety of our community during this surge of anti-semitic incidents. 
Sunday May 7, 2017 

"The King's Speech"
The first official UK Royal visit to Israel has been confirmed to take place this year to honor the Centennial of the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which was a letter written by UK Foreign Secretary Balfour sent to Walter Rothschild to be delivered to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland.  The letter stated: " His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."  As time progressed and political situations changed, Great Britain didn't quite "use their best endeavours" to help establish the Jewish Homeland, but that's water under the bridge.  Whichever official Royal is dispatched will be welcomed with open arms by the Israelis.

"War of the World's"
6 years ago this week, it started with a peaceful anti-government protest but because of their ruthless dictator, Assad al Bashar's reaction, the situation quickly exploded into one of the most brutal civil wars in history with a growing death toll of over 1/2 million people (including 10,000 children) and 5 million refugees.  Add Iran, Russia and Hezbollah to Bashar's side as ISIS swooped into the chaos turning this region into a volatile catastrophe with no ending in sight.  This photo of an elderly man smoking his pipe and listening to his record player in his bombed out room speaks volumes. 

BS to Trump's cost cutting agenda on so many fronts, like the environment, HUD, transportation, education, FEMA, medical research, our Great Lakes, foreign aid, poverty programs, agriculture assistance, legal aid, arts and name of few.  But specifically for literally taking the food from our neediest elderly citizens.  In Trump's world, the tiny portion of government funding for  Meals on Wheels will be eliminated while huge increases to our Military Budget and the Mexican Wall construction will take precedence. 

BS to our disrespectful attitude toward our environment. The signs are everywhere but many (like our current president) are too selfish to accept them. We've bleached and destroyed much of (91%) our Great Barrier Reef due to global warming. This is a serious concern that needs immediate attention, unless of course we have a spare planet for us to live on. 

BS to the 5th year of declining salaries for Michigan Teachers causing less college students to choose this field. Without good teachers, there is no hope for our future.  They are the essential element for a healthy society and deserve much more compensation, respect, gratitude and assistance than we currently give them. 

BS to our lack of attention to the worst global humanitarian crisis since the inception of the UN back in 1945.  Famine faces 20 million people and without assistance this could get even worse.  Our POTUS' response is to block refugees from the worst hit counties. 

Bravo to the Maryland and Hawaii Federal Judges for blocking the new travel ban from 6 Muslim countries.  

Bravo to the underdog new Israel Baseball team and their unexpected wins during this week's World Baseball Classic. They were knocked on their block by Japan, who moves on to the next round. The all Jewish team is made up of mostly Americans but maybe this will inspire Israeli sport establishment to diversify into a new playing field. 

Bravo (in the nick of time as PP funding is being cut) to California for instituting Pro-Choice License plates with proceeds benefiting family planning for low income Californians. 15 States have anti-choice "Choose Life" plates (including Michigan) that funds crisis pregnancy center that oppose abortions.  We need more States to follow in CA's footsteps.

Bravo to Detroit's  Freedom House as the only agency in our county which provide support in all forms for asylum seekers (escaping torture and violence) with an excellent track record of success. For 20 years they've received 60% of their funding from HUD which will be ending as of April 1st (horrible April Fool's Day).  They raised over 70% of their lost funding but more is needed.  If you'd like to help, please click here to learn more about this amazing place and how you can help.  and check out this incredible video  If would be a true tragedy if this institution had to close its doors.

Bravo to Meijer Garden for spotlighting Chinese Human Rights activist and artist, Ai Weiwei with his first show in the upper Midwest and runs through Aug. 2107. 

Bravo to Ethan and Gretchen Davidson for sponsoring our Metro Detroit Jewish Music Festival March 23-26.  Check out some of the wonderful musical talents. 

Bravo to Nick Cave, Justin Bieber, Robbie Williams, Duran Duran,The Pixies, Radiohead, Macklemore and Aerosmith who all have concerts planned in Israel.  BDS tries to wield its devilish methods but many are ignoring their racist efforts.

I leave you today with  Pentatonix newest video of their interpretation of John Lennon's Imagine with self identification  labels emphasising the need to accept diversity.
And f or those of you celebrating
St. Patrick's Day, hope you enjoy your Corn Beef, Cabbage and Green Beer and for those of you enjoying
March Madness, hope your brackets are all winners. 

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

March 17th
Michael Berke
Patrick Mardney
Josh Schaefer (bonus son)

March 18th
Jeremy Cohn
Patrick Duggan
Jennifer Harmon

March 19th
Kelly Rogers Victor
Connie Gustafson

March 20th
Ali Benyas
Marc Brodsky
Jason Klein

March 21st
Sarah Krasnick

March 22nd
George Austin Orley z"l (missing you everyday)
Jacquelyn Pierce
Jennifer Chemtob
Lori Penner Feldman
Jennifer Noparstak

March 23rd
Elinor Ross
Lindsay Wainer Dembs 
Judy Hocher
Lee Ross (Bonus Brother)
Rod Brown
Anita Naftaly
Howard Luckoff

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

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

March 30 (Thursday)
Score for Mental Health Awareness
Sponsored by: 
The Wolverine Support Network
The George Orley Mental Health Wellness Initiative
The Friendship Circle
6892 West Maple Rd.
West Bloomfield
$50 suggested donation at door

April 3 (Monday)
Eastern Michigan University Jewish Studies 
5th Year Anniversary
Concert at The Ark
Galeet Dardashti and Divahn

April 23 (Sunday)
Send a Kid to Tamarack 2017
Featuring Tamarack alum, actor and Comedian:
Jon Glaser and Go Comedy! Improv
The Berman Center for the Performing Arts
JCC in West Bloomfield
7:00pm (6:30pm registration)

April 23-30
Laurel Park Place

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 Nelson 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)

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
or go to

May 6 (Saturday)
Variety, the Children's Charity
85th Anniversary
Hearts and Stars Gala
Townsend Hotel 
Honor Bruce Rosen
Call  (248)-258-5511  for more information.

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)
Knollwood Country Club
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.
Beverly Bennett
Dr. Stuart Falk
Margot Gardner
Elaine Greenberg
Dr. Robert Matthews
Evelyn Orbach
Eunice Korman ring
Michael Weiss
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 6 (Tuesday) 
Jewish Family Service Annual Event
Evening with Author  Jennifer Teege
Who learned later in life that her grandfather was a vicious Nazi Commandant.
Congregation Shaarey Zedek
For more info, please contact:
Debra Marcus

June 8  (Thursday) 
Starfish Family Services
Great Hearts Gala
Honoring The Jewish Fund
Cobo Center, Grand Riverview Ballroom
More info: Contact Lori Fidler

June 12 (Monday)
Hank Greenberg Memorial Invitational Golf Outing
Franklin Hills Country Club
Honoring: Fergie Jenkins, Dick Enberg & Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg (Kids Kicking Cancer)
Benefiting  the Lawrence & Idell Weisberg Cancer Treatment Center - Karmanos
For more info:

June 13 (Tuesday)
Detroit Public TV
Bravo 2017
DPTV Riley Broadcast Center, Wixom
Spotlighting & Honoring:  Florine Mark (aka:Mom/Bubbie)
For more info: Jamie Westrick

June 16 (Friday)
Detroit Zoo
Sunset at the Zoo
This year's theme, Green is the new Black, will highlight the remarkable environmental & sustainability efforts of the Zoo. 

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

September 23 (Saturday)
Camp Sea-Gull Reunion
Camp Ticonderoga
5725 Rochester Rd, Troy, MI 48085

Parting Thoughts...