Shabbat Shalom
September 16, 2016  
DC Visit
A visit to DC for the Lion of Judah conference dominated my week and interfered with my writing hobby so this week's message is condensed and might contain a few more grammatical errors.  In addition, we are hosting a slumber party for our 2 ½ year old granddaughter, Dassi, while her parents are on a Federation mission to Israel.  
Our future Lion of Judah

Homeland Visit
As our kids pilgrimed to our homeland, millions of Muslims made their way to the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia this week for the annual Hajj. This location is Islam's holiest site.  Every adult Muslim, who is financially and physically able, is required to make the rigorous journey once in their lifetime. Specific rituals are conducted while there. No cussing, no nail or hair cuts, no plant crushing and no sex are some of the Don'ts. Walking 7 times around the focal point, throwing stones against a devil and partaking in a 3 day ending festival are some of the Dos. Wishing peace for this year's journey.  Past Hajjs have resulted in stampedes and death. 

What Year is it?
As the Muslim calendar reaches the year 1437, we Jews are approaching our new year of 5777 at Rosh Hashana in a few weeks.  I'm sure a few rabbis on this list can explain the discrepancy in our two religion's years as we both claim Abraham/Ibrahim as our founding father. 

Our Country
Speaking of founding fathers, what would our nation's first leaders think of the divisiveness in our country today? How did we get to a place where SO many Americans are SO fed up, they are willing to vote for ANYONE who isn't part of the "establishment".  What is SO bad about the state of our nation? Of course it isn't perfect, but I still consider it one of the best countries in the world.  Our democracy is messy and to corral the various voices into one, is nearly impossible. But stats coming out this week show that economically we are improving.  Our Median Household income jumped the highest precentage in many decades, our poverty level decreased and more people now have health insurance. Some might complain our progress is too slow, but we are moving in the right direction after our disastrous recession. Bravo to Mitch Albom 's article last Sunday as it beautifully conveys the importance of unity, a root word of our country's first name. 
The state of our Nation and World evokes this 
Talmudic message:
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. 
Do justly, now.
Love mercy, now. 
Walk humbly now. 
You are not obligated to complete the work, 
but neither are you free to abandon it."  

Thanks Due
Our US government has  done justly and certainly hasn't abandoned its strong ties to Israel as this week a record breaking 10-year, $38 Billion military aid package was signed by our two countries. This agreement benefits all, as a strong ally in a dangerous region can help protect against the menacing forces who are intent on the destruction of western civilization. Many feel this agreement is exceptional (including Bibi) however some advocates, like Senator Lindsey Graham, think it might be limiting since new needs might arise in the ensuing 10 years and the deal doesn't allow for any additional aid requests. This article has more details, if you are interested: 

No Thanks to Congress
We need to require a One Subject Per Bill limitation for congress so legislators only vote on one issue.  This would certainly help to get Zika funding passed without muddling it up with Planned Parenthood. We all want healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. Congress's actions are insuring the opposite by denying additional Zika funding and trying to cut Planned Parenthood aid. 

Bravo to the NCAA for adding their name this week to the boycott of North Carolina's unjust, anti-gay Transgender Bathroom Law call HB2.  The National Collegiate Athletic Association has pulled 7 major sporting events from North Carolina which sparked the Atlantic Coast Conference ( ACC) to follow suit.  Let's hope this effort is even more contagious so NC will feel the financial pain of their discriminatory decision. 

Bravo to the first woman and the first African-American, Carla Hayden, to run the 216-year-old  Library of Congress as she was swore in this week.

Bravo to the completion of the massive multi-story Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on the Mall in DC, which is set to open Sept. 24th. This grand museum houses 3,000 artifacts donated from people all over this country including a violin played by a slave that came from a Detroit family.

Bravo to Murals in the Market showcasing 50+ artists from around the world at Eastern Market in Detroit and lots of hands-on fun.  This free public festival runs from today thru Sept. 23.

Bravo to  Zenobia Ravji for speaking out on behalf of Israel and against the BDS movement. Her story is compelling as someone who is not Jewish, Christian or Muslim, but is a member of the persecuted minority ethnicity of the 
Zoroastrian Community.  
Her 2 minute speech is inspiring.

Condolences to Michael and Susie Sills-Levey and their family on the passing of Michael's parents, Cal and Frances Levey z"l  who died within hours of each other after 72 years of marriage.  Remarkable is the only word I can think of to describe this passage.  May their memory and spirit bring comfort to those who loved them.

Mazel Tov  to Kelly and David Victor and their family as Robert becomes a Bar Mitzvah this weekend.  May Robert's experience on the Bimah sustain a seed of inspiration throughout his life.

Mazel Tov to Linda Z. Klein, for the well deserved honor of this year's Fred M. Butzel Memorial Award to be presented at our Annual Meeting Sept. 29th.  See community events below for more details.

Wishing you and your family a 
Sweet and Peaceful  
Shabbat Shalom 
Each week's message is now posted and backlogged here:
Sept. 16th
Matthew Levine 
Amy Roth 
Gavin Dyer

Sept. 17th
Doron and Adina Levin 
Bonnie Laker Winkler

Sept. 18th
Risa Kraft Brickman
Patti Kelter
Joel Schwartz
Ruth Broder

Sept. 19th
(sister) Sheri Mark
Carol Meizels
Mark Bernstein
Daniel Kahn

Sept. 20th
Colleen Peters 
De McBroom 
Julie DeMaria 
Mary Hanlon Stone
Lori Cohen Weberman
Leah Ann Kleinfeldt
Nancy Grosfeld
Rick Chesbrough
Elizabeth Lykins
Sandy Zoldan Colvin

Sept. 21st
Kathy Brickner Finkel
Andy Dyer

Sept. 22nd
Rachael Avadevoh-Woods 
I am prone to mistakes so if I missed your birthday or got the wrong date, please let me know.

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

First Presidential debate
Monday September 26th 
Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.

Vice Presidential debate 
Tuesday October 4th 
 Longwood University in Farmville, VA.

Second Presidential debate 
Sunday October 9th 
Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

Third Presidential debate
Wednesday October 19th 
University of Nevada in Las Vegas, NV.

Presidential General Election
November 8, 2016

FYI, here are survey results of Jewish voters:

Important Voting Information
Please make sure the new voters in your life are registered to vote. Our Michigan deadline to register is Oct. 11th.
For info on how to register in every state, please check out this website: 

Also, 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: 

September 16   (Friday)
Cabaret 313
Opening night of their 4th Season
Players' Club Playhouse
7pm and 9:30pm
Featuring: Danny Gurwin and Erin Dilly
"To Broadway and Back Home"
For tickets: 313.405.5061

September 20 (Tuesday)
Jewish Women's Foundation
Women Lighting the Way
Detroit Athletic Club
Keynote Speaker: (gay rights)  Attorney Dana Nessel

September 22 (Thursday)
Friends of the IDF Women's Luncheon
Tam-O-Shanter Country Club
For more info, please contact Paul Lebowitz

September 23 (Friday)
Breakfast with Chelsea Clinton
At the home of Gretchen Whitmore
Lansing, MI

September 26   (Monday)
Dr. Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic
2016 Esteemed Women of Michigan
A few of the 19 "Esteemed Women" include:
Treger Strasberg
Dr. Mona Hannah-Attisha
Rabbi Jennifer Kaluzny
Alicia Stillman
Yours Truly
Centerpoint Marriott, Pontiac
For more info:
Julie Yaker

September 27 (Tuesday)
Detroit Zoological Society
Hidden Gems of the Detroit Zoo
at the home of Doreen Hermelin
6:00 Light Supper
6:30 Program
For more info or to RSVP: Gena Meadows

September 28 (Wednesday)
Yad Ezra Annual Dinner
Honoring (the wonderful) Rachel and Jason Zimmerman
Adat Shalom Synagogue
6:00pm Strolling Supper
7:10-8:00 Program
For more info:

The Berman Center for the Performing Arts
West Bloomfield
Honoring: (well deserving) Linda Z. Klein with the 
Fred M. Butzel Memorial Award 
for distinguished community service

October 1 (Saturday)
Humble Design
Gigs for Digs
The Fillmore, Detroit
Concert by: JR JR (Indie-pop band from Detroit)

October 7 (Friday)
Florine Mark's 17th Annual
Remarkable Women Charity event
Guest speaker: Actress Lainie Kazan
The Henry Hotel, Dearborn
For more info:
Sheryl Fellows 

October 10 (Monday)
MI Women Win 
Our home
5:30pm - 7:00pm
Hope you can support this effort to help bring more women legislators to Lansing. 

October 13 (Thursday)
Michigan League of Conservation Voters
Innovation in Conservation Awards Gala
Westin Book Cadillac Hotel, Detroit
Honoring: Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha 
Lifetime Achievement: Honorable Dr. Joe Schwarz

October 14 (Friday)
Detroit PBS
Detroit Performs Live
The Fillmore Detroit
For more info:
Michelle Gaisser

October 20 (Thursday)
The Pickle Recipe
A film written and produced by Sheldon Cohn
Opens at the Maple Theater
Bloomfield Hill, MI
and around the country

October 27  (Thursday)
Jewish Historical Society
Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Baseball History with Mike "Stoney" Stone
Detroit Historical Museum
Tickets $40
For more info: 248-432-5517

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