Shabbat Shalom
October 28, 2016  
Principled Politicians
A quick 2 hour road trip brought us to Grand Rapids last weekend. While there, we visited the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library where I gained added respect for our Michigan born Republican president.  He was thrust into the job of POTUS during a time of great distress after Nixon's Watergate resignation and a potentially divisive future. President Ford was an experienced, dedicated and intelligent politician who made the difficult and deeply contemplated decision to pardon Richard Nixon .  A decision that may have cost his re-election but saved the country from years of pain. Many were angry at the time but those same critics came to appreciate his altruistic motive.  Decades later he was presented with the Kennedy Library "Profiles in Courage" award and a glowing tribute by Senator Ted Kennedy. Sometimes History doesn't become clear till years of hindsight. How will history reflex on this unprecedented presidential campaign?  There are no altruistic motives in Trump bandwagon.  His actions are purely egocentric. Will those hitched to his cart tarnish their political reputations? They must know they are on the wrong side of the Republican Party.  I look forward to a future with strong and principled politicians from both sides of the aisle who understand the importance of compromise and respect. Only then can all in this country  progress on a path of unity. Until then, maybe some cannabis will help ease the pain for those suffering from Election Stress Disorder. 

Peace Seeker
Passion and principals were not lacking in the spirit of  Tom Hayden, who passed away this week at the age of 76. Those Metro Detroiters who shared his philosophy were proud of his roots in Royal Oak. He was ahead of his time when he started his civil rights career at U of M by forming the Students for a Democratic Society (1961) with a platform to help end the war in Vietnam and he ended his lifelong commitment as the director of the Peace and Justice Resource Center in LA.  The years in between were filled with political positions and civil rights activism. After decades of dedicated commitment to liberal causes by his Soul on Earth, his Spirit deserves to Rest in Peace.  

Baby and the Bathwater
Every American deserves access to Health Care.  This is a Humane Right not a Privilege.  8 years ago about 15% of our US population was uninsured (around 40 million people). More people each year become insured under the efforts of ObamaCare and our uninsured rates have dropped to 11%. But working within our Capitalist Democratic system sometimes makes these types of efforts more complicated. Yes, we were told this week that some insurance rates will increase and Yes, ObamaCare needs to be improved to help make it more affordable and efficient.  But we can NOT throw out the Baby with the Bathwater.  Let's continue to shrink the uninsured population so they aren't forced to decide between meds or milk; so they can see a doctor at the first sign of a symptom rather than ending up in the emergency room after waiting too long or so they can feel the relief that most of us experience that IF they get sick, they won't spiral into debt and distress. Let's continue to fix the system rather than regressing back in time.

Quality Broadcasting
Alexander and Norman were expertly featured this past week on PBS.  Bravo to the efforts of our national Public Broadcasting Service for their quality programing as evident with these two shows which represent a small sample of the depths of the PBS programing.  If you missed either shows, here is your chance to view them.   Hamilton's American showcases Lin Manuel-Miranda's journey to spotlight this historic figure.
And  Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You is a creative honest peak into the 94 year long life of the man who changed the face of American television with his provocative views on cutting edge issue of the era.
Hope you enjoy...

Turing Law
A mixed bravo goes to Great British for their overdue posthumous pardon of thousands of gay men.  This package of pardons is called the Turing Law after WWII codebreaker and hero, Alan Turing endured despicable treatment as a gay man.  He committed suicide after being convicted of the crime of loving another man. GB's attempted good will comes with mixed reviews because the criminalization of homosexuality was unjust in the first place so an annulment would be more accurate since a pardon just forgives them for their "crime". We still have a long way to go in many countries to right the wrongs that are currently being committed against the Gay Community. In 74 countries (mostly in Africa and the Middle East) it's still a criminal offense and in 12 of those countries, executions are commonplace for a gay conviction. 

Our Lot in Life
Assaults upon the Jewish people and our homeland are a daily occurrence.  This is the lot of our lives since the biblical era.  Though thankfully, we've learned from history's lessons and are no longer defenseless lambs against these constant attacks. We have our voices and arms like the ADL, AJC and most importantly the IDF to combat injustice.  Last week UNESCO (the faux UN committee pretending to uphold Education, Science and Culture) for the 2nd time passed a resolution which wipes any Jewish history from the holy sites of our ancient Temples.  In response, the Israeli ambassador to UNESCO was recalled.  Also, this week, the Palestinian Authority named another school after the mastermind of the Munich Olympic athlete massacre. This is the 4th school in the West Bank or Gaza with his name, not to mention the hundreds of streets, city centers, building and much more bearing the names of Jewish blood soaked terrorists.  The European Union funds these schools and have been asked to intervene when terrorist are martyrized, teaching Palestinian children to idolize terrorist as heros. 

Skin Deep
For the most part, we, members of the Human Race are all the same.  We might look different on the outside but our hopes, our dreams, our souls share a very similar wish.  We wish for a peaceful happy life for us, our family and friends. But our outsides are very different. Most of us don't fit the unattainable beauty standards of the media. For one woman, her exterior was cruelly judges as the ugliest woman in the world by social media which is protected by an anonymous safety shield.  Check out the message of this brave woman who talks about the importance of inner beauty. 
Happy Birthday
This famous musician singing to Hillary was not as awkward at the last one (think Mary J. Blige).  Hope you enjoy Little Stevie singing his birthday song to #45 who turned 69 this week.
Thanks for all the birthday wishes last week.  To celebrate, we attended the  Acro-Cat Show  (it's a real thing) at the Jam Handy in Detroit.  A must see when it comes to your town. 
Here's to Cat Power

Happy Birthday
Happy 3rd birthday on November 3rd 
to our dear granddaughter Hadassa!

Dassi and I wish you and your family a 

 Peaceful Shabbat Shalom,


Each week's message is now posted and backlogged here:

Condolences to Kathy Wilson Fink and her family on the passing of her father, Don Wilson. Bravo to his patriotism as he volunteered in the Korean war at age 16. May his memory and spirit bring comfort to those who mourn his loss.  

Condolences to Sherry and Jerry Kanter and their family on the passing of Sherry's mother, Helen Grossinger z"l (age 82).  Helen was a community volunteer and activist for many years as well as a devoted wife, sister, mother, grandmother and friend to many.  May her love and spirit bring comfort to her family and friends as she was truly a blessing unto her community.

Condolences to Jo Rosen and Lindsey and Marty Maddin their family on the passing of beloved father and grandfather,  Lloyd H. Strausz z"l (age 99).  May his long life and spirit bring comfort to those who loved him and mourn his passing.  May his life be a blessing unto his family and community. 
Happy Birthday

Oct. 28th
Leora Bar Levav
Mike Hirsch
Rae Sharfman
Fran Wolok

Oct. 29th
Lois Shevsky
Sheldon Cowen
Terri Friedman
Mica Lior
Evva Hepner
Marsha Deitch

Oct. 30th
Leora Rothenberg
Shelley Alexis
Stacy Brodsky
Paul Silverman
Jeremy Baruch
Brenda Steuer

Oct. 31st
Ed Ross
Rachel Winer
Aaron Martin
Nov. 1st
Nov. 2nd
Karen Sosnick Schoenberg
Ronnie Ferber
Helen Curhan
Vered Segal
Elisa Malile
Nov. 3rd
Hadassa Raviv (3 on the 3rd)
Wendy Eichenhorn Stone
Ethan Orley
Rick Weinstein
Freddy Cohen
Bob Friedman

I am prone to mistakes so if I missed your birthday or got the wrong date, please let me know.
The choice seems so clear to me but some Americans are still undecided. David Sedaris could not have said it better with this  analogy.

Think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and offers these options:  "Can I interest you in the chicken  Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?"  

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

Please pick the chicken no matter how it is cooked.

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Tim Kaine
Donald J. Trump and Mike Pence

Presidential General Election
November 8, 2016
(10 days and counting)

Important Voting Information
You can vote absentee by requesting your ballot now and returning it (in most States) in person or postmarked by Nov. 7th.  Or you can vote early in many States.  For example, in Michigan you can vote early at your local Clerk's office from Sat. Sept. 24th - Nov. 7th. Here are early/absentee dates and deadlines for each State: 

Please join me in supporting...

Christine Greig - State Representative (my district)
Robert Wittenberg - State Representative
Tim Greimel - State Representative
Nicole Bedi - State Representative 
Jeremy Moss - State Representative
Andy Schor - State Representative

Vicki Barnett - Oakland County Executive
Andy Meisner - Oakland County Treasurer
Lisa Brown - Oakland County Clerk
Jim Nash - Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner
Jessica Cooper - Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney 
Marcia Gershenson - Oakland County Commissioner
Helaine Zack - Oakland County Commissioner
Charles Gaba - Oakland County Commissioner

Randi Berman Sakwa - W. Bloomfield s chool board member

Laurence B. Deitch - U of M Regent
Denise Ilitch - U o M Regent

Debbie Dingell - US Congress
Sandy Levin - US Congress
Brenda Lawrence - US Congress (my district)
Gretchen Driskell - US Congress
Suzanna Shkreli - US Congress
Lon Johnson - US Congress
Dan Kildee - US Congress
Anil Kumar - US Congress

Deborah Thomas -  Justice of Supreme Court
Frank Szymanski - Justice of Supreme Court

Yes  - Regional Transit Authority for SE MI
For more info, check out this video:

Hillary Clinton  - POTUS  

To review all of the candidates and proposals, please check out this site:

Wise words in the The Last Lecture 
by Jeff Zaslow z"l and the late Randy Pausch

October 30  (Sunday)
Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus
32nd Anniversary Dinner
Congregation Shaarey Zedek
Honoring: Rozie and Bernie Friedman
Guest Speaker: Dr. Deborah Lipstadt
For more info:
Ruth Stern

October 30 (Sunday)
National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW)
Human Trafficking Awareness Symposium
West Bloomfield High School Auditorium
4925 Orchard Lake Rd. 

November 1 (Tuesday)
Friends of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces)
20th Annual Gala Dinner
Congregation Shaarey Zedek
Speaker:  Brig. Gen. ( Res.) Joshua Shani
Lead pilot in Operation Entebbe Rescue Mission
6:00pm Strolling Dinner
7:30pm Program

November 2 (Wednesday)
Michigan Israel Business Bridge 
Awards Dinner
The Westin Southfield Detroit
1500 Town Center
Southfield, MI 48075 
Honoring: Mike Levine and Stanley Meretsky

November 3 (Thursday)
The Pickle Recipe
A film written and produced by 
Sheldon Cohn and Gary Wolfson (and others)
Opens at the Maple Theater 
Bloomfield Hill, MI
Opens around the country on Oct. 21

November 1 (Tuesday)
Detroit Jews for Justice
"Schlep for Transit" phone bank
Bring your charged cell phones and help promote the passage of the ballot proposal for Regional Transit
Red Door Digital
7500 Oakland St.
Detroit, 48211
November 2 (Wednesday)
Birmingham Temple
28611 W. 12 Mile Rd. 
Farmington Hills, 48334
For more info, please contact:

November 17 (Thursday)
Friends of Jewish Senior Life
3rd Annual Jeffrey Zaslow Media Night
Berman Center for the Performing Arts
Featuring: Duff Goldman of TVs Ace of Cakes
6600 W. Maple Rd., West Bloomfield
Tickets at
for more info: Leslie Katz
248-592-5062 or

November 26 (Saturday)
Cabaret 313
Featuring Broadway and TV star Megan Hilty
The Cube
Marjorie S. and Max M. Fisher Music Center

December 1 (Thursday)
Orchards Children's Services
Sip and Shop for a cause at the Franklin Village Boutique
Noon - 6:00pm

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