DJN January 6, 2022

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JEWISH NEWS 200 Jan. 6-12, 2022 / 4-10 Shevat 5782


From Israel to the Glass House Ford, with a renewed focus on innovation, recruits globally. Page 28



Sending gratitude & heartfelt thanks this holiday season and always. Thank you for your continued business & support!

— Cheers!

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contents Jan. 6-12, 2022 / 4-10 Shevat 5782 | VOLUME CLX, ISSUE 22


PURELY COMMENTARY 4-10 Essays and viewpoints. OUR COMMUNITY 11 The Connector

Julie Yaker embodies the real power of Jlive.


Help Wanted


An Interactive Tu b’Shevat Seder

Funders enable Jewish Family Service to grow despite COVID.

Hazon Detroit’s program intertwines art, clothing and dance to talk about Tu b’Shevat and climate change.




Opportunities for Teens


Connecting Jewish Singles


Shabbat Lights

Shabbat begins: Friday, Jan. 7: 4:58 p.m. Shabbat ends: Saturday, Jan. 8: 6:04 p.m.


* Times according to Yeshiva Beth Yehudah calendar.

ON THE COVER: Cover photo/credit: Gil Gur Arie. Courtesy of Ford Motor Co. Cover design: Deborah Schultz Follow Us on Social Media: Facebook @DetroitJewishNews Twitter @JewishNewsDet Instagram @detroitjewishnews

A chance to earn money and leadership training in the new year.

Matchmaking expert who has created thousands of dates shares dating advice.

Honoring his Parents Dr. Steven Lauter creates endowed scholarship at Wayne State.

25 Visit Global Jewish Communities Beth Ahm to host free

virtual program.

FACES & PLACES 26 Mezuzah Race at The Shul 27

Family Torah Learning at Young Israel of Southfield

SPORTS 31 From the JCC Maccabi Games to the Maccabiah Games Junior hockey star

Ryan Berke of Farmington Hills earns a spot on Team USA.

MAZEL TOV 33 Moments ERETZ 34 Meet the Olim

Gabriella Katz: ‘I Can’t See Myself Anywhere Else.’

SPIRIT 35 The Beginning of Time 37 38

Torah portion

Synagogue Directory

ARTS & LIFE 40 2021’s Greatest Hits Jewish film and TV had quite the ‘Unorthodox’ year.

42 A Beloved Entertainer New book profiles the life

and work of the legendary Soupy Sales.


Celebrity News

EVENTS 45 Community Calendar ETC. The Exchange 47 Obituaries 49 Looking Back 54

BUSINESS 28 From Israel to the Glass House Ford, with a renewed focus on innovation, recruits globally.

JANUARY 6 • 2022




Sing Me A House


f you are a fan of the DIY network, you are probably familiar with many aspects of the building trade. Maybe you have seen houses built or rebuilt. However, I would venture a guess that none of them was redone with music. Sy Manello “Home on Editorial Assistant the Range” has graced many a campfire; at holiday time, we know that we can go “up on the rooftop quick, quick, quick.” The actual parts of a house have been memorialized in many songs, if you think about it. And, of course, I am going to. The idea of a home as an entity has been captured in “Take Me Home” (Phil Collins),

“Nobody’s Home” (Deep Purple) and “Home” (Michael Buble as well as Sheryl Crow). Though a house would never be built this way, let’s start at the top and work our way down. “The Roof ” (Mariah Carey), “Rain on the Roof ” (Lovin’ Spoonful) and “Up on the Roof ” (Drifters) all give a shingular start. (Stay with me; it can only get worse.) We know of building walls, tearing down walls, climbing the walls and having seen the writing on the wall. Therefore, we are not surprised to find: Pink Floyd telling of “Another Brick in the Wall;” Bon Jovi has been concerned with “Walls;” Sam Smith has told us that the “Writing’s on the Wall;” Miley Cyrus has recounted being a “Fly on the Wall.”

To look in or to look out, what can serve better than a window? Melissa Etheridge has asked us to “Come To My Window;” the Temptations have assured us that “I’ll Keep a Light in My Window.” “O Mary, At the Window Be” was urged by none other than Ludvig van Beethoven. Whether it is protected by

CORRECTION In ‘No Jew Should Be Alone” (Dec. 23, page 12), Ellen Kershenbaum’s name was misspelled, and it should have said that Rabbi Hershel Klainberg is also retiring.


Israel Is Fast Approaching the Moment of Truth with Iran


he nuclear talks between world powers and Iran are moving forward and will soon reach the decision-making stage. To borrow a soccer analogy, the sides are done feeling each other out. The Iranians, Eliezer masters of Marom negotiation, tried conditioning the continuation of talks on the removal of sanctions and were rebuffed. It appears



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that this time the Europeans (mainly Germany, France and Great Britain) are more involved in the talks, while the Americans, who spearheaded negotiations under former President Barack Obama, are working more collaboratively with the other global powers. It seems that despite the mutual threats and prevailing sense that the talks were headed toward failure, an agreement will ultimately be reached that will restrict Iran’s pace of uranium

an additional screen or being double wide or lifts up to reveal the garage, a door is the portal to the structure. It has been the concern of several singing groups. Consider “Looking Out My Back Door” (Creedence Clearwater), “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” (both Bob Dylan and Guns N’ Roses) and “Behind Closed Doors” (both Diana Ross and Dolly Parton). So, you see you do not have to be good with a hammer or drawing plans or have electrical/plumbing skills. Just get some song sheets and start. Happy house singing!

enrichment and give Tehran what it wants with the removal of most of the draconian sanctions. Iran’s long-term strategic interest is to possess a nuclear weapon. In the short term, however, under the yoke of sanctions and a sputtering economy that threatens the regime’s survival, Tehran must get the sanctions lifted. The United States, under a president with plummeting approval ratings, needs an achievement to improve his standing. The Chinese and

Russians, which regardless don’t abide by the sanctions, will be glad to return to doing legitimate business with Iran — such that ultimately, all sides have an interest in reaching a deal. Israel is in the toughest position of all. If a deal is reached, currently sanctioned funds will be unfrozen, allowing Iranian terror and influence to run amok across the Middle East. We can expect the situation in Syria to change as well, and for the Iranians to apply even more pressure in an effort to cement their influence there. The Iranian nuclear threat won’t be eliminated, either, with the country remaining close to the threshold point. continued on page 10

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A New Year’s Message


escribing the meaning of community, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks wrote: “It is where I am valued simply for who I am, how I live and what I give to others. It is the place where they know my name.” Steven “Community,” Ingber Rabbi Sacks wrote, is “the place where we know we’re not alone.” I don’t know a better definition, nor one more relevant. Today, as we face the latest wave of the global pandemic, thousands of individuals in our local Jewish community remain vulnerable to social isolation, along with the loneliness, anxiety and depression that often come with it.

Fortunately, we live in one of the most caring and closeknit Jewish communities to be found anywhere. There are scores of incredible organizations working to enrich the lives of Jewish individuals of every age and interest, as well as a range of congregations welcoming those seeking spiritual and social interaction and growth. There are some, however, who remain outside our warm community “tent.” Some may have simply lost connection over time, while others, perhaps, have never been asked. One of my highest priorities as Federation’s CEO is to bring Jewish experiences and connection into the lives of more of our community members. We do this every day through our support for Jewish schools, camps and other organizations

that foster Jewish life — from BBYO and Hillels on Campus to the JCC and Jewish Senior Life, among others. It’s also the goal of our ever-expanding roster of Federation programs, which deliver Jewish content based on interests, stage of life, profession and almost every other category. Alongside our efforts to raise and distribute the resources necessary to take care of needs across the community, we also work to build a caring and inclusive Jewish home for everyone. If even a single Jewish individual feels alienated, alone or in need of support, our work is incomplete. We can all play a part in this effort. I would encourage you to reach out to anyone who might need assistance, connection or even a moment of

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JANUARY 6 • 2022

simple friendship. Remember that this is a time when chesed, the Jewish concept of kindness and compassion, is the most important thing you can share. And for anyone needing assistance, you can direct them to JHELP at or 1-833445-4357. I’d like to wish you all happiness and health in the coming year, as well as my deep gratitude. The Jewish Federation — and the work we do to take care of those in need and support this amazing community — is possible only through your spirit and generosity. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for our Jewish community. Steven Ingber is CEO of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.

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(Care)giving and Taking: Making time for you A four-part series to educate, empower, and connect family caregivers Taking care of a loved one can be difficult. So can ensuring that your own needs are being met during this challenging time. It’s easy to feel isolated but Jewish Family Service and Jewish Senior Life are here to offer family caregivers support, comfort and a sense of community.

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Take a Breath Brake

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February 10

January 13

Taking Care of the Caregiver

It’s Okay Not to Be Okay

March 10

April 14

Author Rabbi Laura Geller

Dr. Micky Golden Moore

To learn more or to register visit Questions? Contact 248.592.2313


Morality, Wisdom and Hope in 2022


s the turbulent 2021 came to an end, I was blessed to enjoy a family vacation to Washington, D.C. There, we oriented ourselves by the Washington Monument: to the north sat our hotel, just beyond the White House; to the west, the Lincoln Memorial gleamed; to the east of the Monument, the Capitol dome rose on the Hill; and to the south, the U.S. Holocaust Rabbi Aaron Memorial Center Starr shared its message with the world. As a family descended from Holocaust survivors, we believe the United States remains an idea that inspires visions of a better tomorrow and a land that offers refuge to the tired masses yearning to breathe free. Like the Washington Monument, Judaism stands among the world religions as a centering presence and directional support. Ever since our descent thousands of years ago into Egypt, and then again after the destruction of the First and Second Holy Temples, we Jews have served as an instrument of moral orientation, as well as a towering presence of wisdom and hope to the world. First, as individual Jews living actively Jewish lives in a Gentile world, we share with our neighbors the ethics and morality derived from a position of intergenerational otherness. Thirty-six times the



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Torah reminds us that we were strangers in a strange land and that we therefore possess an obligation to protect the vulnerable. As if the entire Torah were an answer from God to Cain’s query, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9), Moses pronounced one of the most important teachings that Judaism brings to our world: “You must not remain indifferent” (Deuteronomy 22:3). The wisdom of Judaism and, even more so the lessons derived from suffering of Jews, lead to the realization that humanity cannot stand when the powerful abuse the powerless. Second, Judaism declares that a family must take care of its own and that all within a nation are responsible for one another. Our Torah instructs us that maturity is only truly achieved upon seeing the suffering of others and responding with action. Twice we read that Moses grew up, the first in reference to his physical development and the second regarding his spiritual development when he arose passionately to cease the suffering of his kinsman. Moreover, when the Torah demands, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself ” (Leviticus 19:18), it speaks of one Jew’s need to care, respect, honor and show compassion toward his or her fellow Jews. As communities locally and nations globally continue to see their residents suffering

from the pandemic and poverty, violence and vitriol, they would do well to learn the wisdom of the Jewish people, whose profound sense of obligation toward one another far supersedes any sense of personal rights or self-entitlement. Third, we Jews exemplify the meaningfulness of joyful gratitude and true humility. At

home and at the synagogue, through the whisper of blessings each day to the singing, dancing and culinary rituals celebrating Shabbat and Jewish holidays, Judaism uplifts the spirit and nourishes the soul. Moreover, the brilliance of the mandate to disconnect from technology one day each week offers a powerful salve in a world tortured by the plagues of social media and the 24/7 news industry. Just as important, Judaism’s commitment to seeking truth and practicing radical listening, especially to those with whom we disagree, are the foundations of our educational process. In a world driven by ever-increasing commercialization, tribalism and the echo-chambers of social

media, the Jewish idea that life is richer through gratitude and humility offers a transformational path to healthier, happier lives. Beyond all this wisdom, though, perhaps the greatest direction toward which Judaism guides the world as we come into 2022 is the hope that comes from faith in God, and the pragmatic optimism that springs forth from the partnership between humanity and the Divine. It is the fervent Jewish belief in a messianic era, described as peace between nations and the satiety of human needs. In a time of terrible anxiety, bloodthirsty anger and profound suffering, the vision of a time in which every person shall sit under his or her vine and fig tree and that none shall make him/ her afraid should unite us in shared purpose and labor. There is strength in faith and power in hope. As we begin 2022, the morality, wisdom and hope of the Jewish people offer compass and stability to a world desperately in need of direction and calm. May we orient ourselves by our faith and our people, by our Washington Monument, so the rest of the world, too, can find its path forward to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Rabbi Aaron Starr is a spiritual leader of Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Southfield.


40 Years of Psychiatry: What Have I Learned?


good friend of mine suggested that I write about what I recall most vividly from my 40 years of practicing psychiatry. (Please notice that I said practicing and not mastering.) I decided to retire two years ago, just before COVID hit. It seemed like the right time for me to retire while I still was enjoyDr. Jeff ing my interacLondon tions with my patients and their families. I suggested to a colleague that I was trying to go out like Barry Sanders, at the top of my game. He laughed and suggested that if that were my plan, perhaps I should have hung up my cleats 10 years ago! (I think he was kidding.) Over the years, my practice evolved to focus on evaluation and medication management, mostly with children and adolescents. I saw many patients from childhood into adulthood. Some I only saw once because they or their parents didn’t choose to return. The recent events in Oxford are a sobering reminder, however, of how important even one contact with a mental health professional can be. LOOKING BACK What do I miss the most? I miss the warm feeling that comes from helping people. Making my living trying to improve the lives of others was a blessing. I also miss

meeting new people and hearing their stories. I miss the challenge of figuring out what was important and developing a treatment plan with my patients and their families. I miss my relationships with my colleagues, psychiatrists, therapists and secretaries. What do I not miss? Paperwork … fighting with insurance companies … conflicts with patients … missed appointments … calling in prescriptions … problems that seemed insolvable (although I was often surprised by how much people benefitted from having someone hear them out and validate their feelings, even if I didn’t have an easy answer!) I developed my own style, what I called my “Socratic method.” Why are you really here? Why now? What help do you think you need? What do you think that I have on my metaphorical shelf that may be helpful to you? Can we work together to find out what you really need? I borrowed from Socrates’ famous “Know thyself ” and the Serenity Prayer: You may not always be able to change yourself or accept yourself, but you can always try to know yourself better. And if I encourage your attempt to deepen your self-awareness, it usually makes it easier to change what you can and to accept what you can’t. I learned a lot from coping with my own problems. I saw a few therapists from time to time, some who helped and some who didn’t, and I

learned from those experiences. LEARNING FROM PATIENTS When I think about it, I did an awful lot of borrowing from others. Psychiatry is a lot like writing; stealing ideas from others is often the best way to find your own style. And I not only learned from national experts, I learned from my colleagues and, most of all, from my patients. A few examples come to mind. (Names and details have been altered.) Kathy presented with severe IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and intense anxiety. Her anxiety lessened, helped by cognitive therapy and Zoloft, but she continued to feel ruled by her bowel symptoms. Eventually, with a lot of help, she was brave enough to say to me and herself: “I’m tired of missing out on trips and family outings; even if I have to make three bathroom stops along the way, it’s better than sitting at home feeling sorry for myself.” Jake was a kid who never quite fit in at school. I treat-

ed him for ADHD with clear improvement, but he was still struggling academically and socially, despite counseling and medication. He was well-intentioned, but continued to get in trouble for his impulsive behavior. I worried about what would happen to Jake as he got older. I followed him through his high school years and once he started working at a local pizza place, I began to see a different side of him. Unlike at school, he showed a real aptitude for learning at work and was game to try everything from cleaning the floors to serving and even cooking. Once he graduated from high school (by the skin of his teeth), he briefly tried community college without much success. Instead, he began to work in the kitchen at the schools he had previously attended. Once again, his work ethic and positive attitude led to success and advancement. He continued to take his ADHD meds, which helped with his attention span and, when I retired, he had advanced to continued on page 10 JANUARY 6 • 2022




the position of head chef in the kitchen of a local high school. Jake and others taught me not to give up on people too early. Joyce came to see me after she had almost flunked out of medical school. She was distraught and discouraged. A careful evaluation by myself and a colleague showed symptoms consistent with ADHD-inattentive type and, once I started her on stimulant medication, Joyce was suddenly solidly in the middle of her class. She is now a successful doctor with a better understanding of herself and her patients. There are so many other patients whom I have helped along the way with symptoms of depression, anxiety, ADHD and family and school issues. But it’s interesting that the ones who most readily come to mind are those with whom I struggled at first, those whom I saw as unreachable or stuck.

I learned that sometimes I was truly the one who felt stuck. And this taught me to hear the voice in my head not as a defeat, but as a sign that I needed to take a step back and try to reach the patient in a different way, to slow down and redefine our goals. That doesn’t mean I was always successful or helpful. But this reminded me to sometimes question my assumptions and to search for an authentic encounter, to try to meet people where they were. While many people may not have seemed ready to work on their presenting issues, they needed first to feel safe enough to risk trusting another person to help them look beneath the surface. A FINAL MEMORY About 20 years into my practice, I received a letter from a former patient whom I had seen when he was a teenager. He told me in his letter that he had seriously

contemplated taking his own life at the time he was in my care. He had even gone as far as to obtain a gun. He had never shared that with me at the time, even though I had asked him directly about any suicidal thoughts or behavior. He went on to say that his relationship with me and his therapist had been vital in helping him choose to keep living. He subsequently went to college and was now working in the mental health field in another state. He wrote that he had wanted to encourage me by letting me know that I had made a difference for him and, he was certain, for others, in case I sometimes felt unsure. I still have his letter. The thought that one never knows the effect you might have in each encounter has helped me through the ups and downs of 40 years of practice. It was also a wonderful life lesson. As we all struggle to deal with COVID and the after-

math of the school violence in Oxford and elsewhere, we search for hope and the strength to carry on. As I look back on my practice, I realize that a subtle shift in thinking can often be the source of that hope. It must be tied to a valid reason to believe in ourselves, often borne of finding our hidden strengths and supports, which can lead to finding the courage to accept our problems and face our fears. I have tried to be part of the village. I have tried to find the goodness in others and myself. And when all else fails, I think back to Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. It turns out we mostly have the ability to get ourselves back to Kansas. We may think we need a balloon ride with a wizard. But we often just need a connection with another person to find our own way back home.

program; and the target date: fall of 2022. Despite the difficulties, it seems the time has come for the IDF to prepare a strike plan in conjunction with the country’s intelligence services. At the same time, Israel must prepare for an Iranian response from its soil, and via Hezbollah as well. There is no reason for panic — talk of war with Iran is overblown. Israel has been fighting Iran for over two

decades, and the IDF has the ability to continue coping with the Iranian threat and hitting Hezbollah hard. Beyond the operational preparations, Israel needs to prepare a diplomatic plan to legitimize a military strike and soften the international reaction.

Dr. Jeff London is a retired child psychiatrist from Farmington Hills.

ISRAEL IS FAST APPROACHING continued from page 4

The Iranians will be able to secretly move ahead with their nuclear program, which will bring them closer to nuclear breakout capability. Israel has the ability to attack Iran and will soon have no other choice because the proverbial sword is almost at its neck. It appears that the critical moment is fast approaching. We cannot rely on American military intervention, which most likely will not come. When



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Israel has faced significant strategic threats in the past and taken the initiative, the Israel Defense Forces has emerged victorious. The preparations currently underway are meant to improve the IDF’s attack capabilities and finalize a better plan of action. The IDF must receive a clear directive from the Israeli government, which defines the objective: devastating damage to Iran’s nuclear

Vice Adm. (ret.) Eliezer Marom served as commander of the Israeli Navy from 2007–2011. This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.



Connector Julie Yaker embodies the real power of Jlive.



Julie Yaker


tart-up culture has a buzzword for everything. Why be a smart person with a good idea when you can instead be a “thought leader” with a “disruptive innovation”? Why look for customers when you can have “early adopters” who latch on to your “freemium” content? There does not, however, seem to be a translation in start-up vernacular for hamish. So, Yiddish will have to suffice to describe the appeal of Jlive, a start-up being piloted here in Metro Detroit that aims to reinvent how Jewish organizations put on events. (Think: OpenTable for the Jewish community and you’re not far off.) Its down-home vibe is largely a credit to Julie Yaker, who heads up sales for Jlive but seems to take seriously the title in her email signature — “Person in Charge of Happiness.” “I knew nothing about start-ups. I knew events and I knew our Jewish

community. I knew the people in the rooms at the different buildings; I have the relationships,” Yaker said. Indeed, chances are good that if you’re reading this you already know Yaker or, at the very least, have interacted with her work, whether you’ve attended a JBaby class (which she started) or gone to a fundraiser or bar mitzvah she’s put on through her company, EyeCatcher Events. Jlive may be less familiar to you. An initiative of Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit and Federation CJA of Montreal, it launched in August 2020 and is still, per Yaker, in its “beta” phase. The JCC of Metro Detroit is also a key stakeholder and leader in the project, and the organization sees Jlive as a core aspect of its programming strategy. Today, some 25,000 people have already used Jlive to register for more than 500 events hosted by more than 125 organizations, from JFamily and Aish to Temple Shir Shalom and

Motor City USY. A more concerted rollout to users and expansion to other cities is already in the offing. The goal, in the coming months and years, is to become the one-stop shop for people looking to know what’s happening in the Jewish community and — through aggregated and anonymized data — to help organizations better understand what sort of programming those people desire. “The real power of Jlive is in our ability to empower organizations to improve their programming and create more successful and enriching opportunities for Jewish people and their friends of all ages to enjoy,” explained Zach Weisman, head of product for Jlive. Yaker, affable and disinclined to speak in tech jargon, professes to dwell little on the Big Data possibilities of Jlive and more on the day-to-day ways it can make the community she’s lived in all her life continued on page 12 JANUARY 6 • 2022



OUR COMMUNITY LEFT: Visit Jlive at BELOW: Young Adult programs featured on Jlive. app

continued from page 11

more accessible to everyone, in good times and bad. “I have teens, and they’re going through a really bad week right now. The fact that there’s something for me to log onto to get help, and that our community even creates such events, is amazing,” she said. (Yaker was interviewed the week of the Oxford High School shooting, to which JFS, We Need to Talk and the Jewish Community Center’s JTeen team, among others, responded with emergency outreach programming.) “And then the fact that there’s a place now where people can go to find it. You don’t have to know who’s hosting what.” We talked with Yaker at Federation headquarters to learn more about Jlive, as well as her journey in the Jewish community and how she, in her own hamish way, epitomizes the startup mentality. Here are her thoughts: “I LIKE CHANGE” I thrive on reinventing my career. I’ve worked at a PR agency downtown. Then I completed a 12-month master’s program at Michigan, studenttaught in Detroit and worked as an elementary teacher in Bloomfield Hills. It was so enriching. I stopped when my daughter Alexandra was born.



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In 2006, when my dad passed away, Hebrew Free Loan asked me if I wanted to take his spot on the board. I thought, “This is a way to honor his values — he just believed in giving back.” I really got involved with Federation because I was invited to go on the Grosfeld Leadership Program. Then — it was actually in this building — I heard Judy Loebl speaking about a new program they were thinking about starting here for new parents. I went up to Jeff Lasday and I said, “I am the person you are going to hire for this program.” And I ended up getting the job as the first director of JBaby Detroit. I did that for a couple of years. I worked with the team at Federation, and we created the structure, the classes, the logo, the name, the whole thing. I loved it. But then, you know, along the way, I’d been having people ask me to help them plan their events, and I’d always wanted to have my own company. So I opened EyeCatcher Events. I plan corporate, now mostly nonprofit, and bar and bat mitzvahs. I planned Israel@70 downtown and, this past October, I did JARC’s cool Rick Springfield fundraiser. The event planning is still going

on, but I’ve hit pause on taking new clients. Jlive has quickly become a full-time role. I still have plenty of events to keep me busy, but my three kids are getting older. My daughter Allie is in college, my son Noah is a senior in high school, and Levi is in eighth grade. I enjoy spending time with them on the weekends, especially if it’s a Michigan football weekend. JLIVE … EVERYTHING ROLLED UP INTO ONE In summer 2020, I was talking to some friends, Scott Kaufman, Brian Siegel, Ted Cohen and Robert Wolfe. They told me about their new project — Jlive. I thought, “OK, I don’t know what this is.” But I knew it had to do with events, with the Jewish community, and that — like Jbaby — there was an education component. So it seemed like everything (I had done) rolled up into one. So I started working on Jlive in

August 2020. There are three full-time staff members. Zach (Weisman, head of product), me and a director in Montreal. (There’s also a team of developers who report to Weisman.) I also recently recruited Becky Melamed, former director of PJ Library. We started putting events on Jlive in January 2021, and now people are really using it and really registering with it. And organizations are trusting us to put events on it. YOU CREATE THIS COMMUNITY FOR PEOPLE THEY DIDN’T KNOW THEY NEEDED Jlive is like a combination of Open Table and Eventbrite for the Jewish community. It gives organizations a really quick way to set up something. Even today, there was a program put on by Jewish Family Service and a few other organizations on how to talk to your teen about the (Oxford High School) tragedy. It takes five minutes to put the event on Jlive and put it out there, and people register. I do think, really soon, it will be the place to go to find things. (Right now) it’s a little bit like when Jbaby started. We had to call 10 people and say, “Are you pregnant? You want to be in this class.” And you create this community for people that they didn’t know they needed.

Julie gets ready for a party she’s putting on through her company Eyecatcher Events.

When you go on Jlive right now, you can see there are family events, there are teen events and young adult events. We’re going to continue to grow those. We’re going to have Jewish learning events. Eventually, it will filter for you based on what your interests are — you can currently create a profile where you put in your interests. And so many people are using it already and don’t even know it. If you go to the website for Adat Shalom — one of our early adopters — and sign up for an event, you’re using Jlive. We’ll plan to start pushing for users to sign up for their

Julie and her son at a JFamily event back in 2013

own personal accounts in the first quarter of 2022, which is right around the corner. It is really geared toward everybody. The goal is for everyone to find what they need. The only thing that has really slowed all the different niches is the pandemic. THE CUSTOMER IS THE WHOLE DETROIT JEWISH COMMUNITY I grew up here. I’m the oldest of three girls. My parents, my family are here. My husband, Daniel, (yes, he is a twin) is one of four boys. We’re all here. There’s a lot of us. I have been very lucky to have a group of supportive family and friends. We have been raising our kids together. I have always believed that it takes a village, and I envision Jlive as a tool for our larger Jewish village. Everything I’ve done is community based. I don’t think I realized it until recently. You’re planning Israel@70, it’s for the whole Jewish community … a bat mitzvah, it’s for members of our community. Someone recently said to me, “So it’s like your customer is the whole Detroit Jewish community.” And yes, the customer is really the whole Detroit Jewish community. This story first appeared on Federation’s

JANUARY 6 • 2022





JFS is using Uniper Care to keep connected with seniors.


Funders enable Jewish Family Service to grow despite COVID. BARBARA LEWIS CONTRIBUTING WRITER


hanks to the generosity of Detroit’s Jewish community and other funders, Jewish Family Service (JFS) has been able to expand its staff and volunteer corps over the past two years, reconfiguring and adding services to help the community cope with the stresses of COVID. The agency was able to pivot quickly to serving its counseling clients via Zoom, Facetime or video conferencing rather than in person. Insurers relaxed their requirements, making it easier for the agency to bill for remote services, said CEO Perry Ohren. JFS provides mental health services (counseling), services to older adults and community



JANUARY 6 • 2022

safety net programs, such as one-time cash grants to cover emergencies. Much of the recent expansion was made possible by grants that added $2 million to the organization’s annual budget, bringing it to $17 million. The infusion enabled JFS to increase its staff about 11 percent to 125, which in turn has helped to reduce the amount of time community members have to wait for services. The agency still has 14 open positions, said Wendy Uhrig, director of human resources, including a director of community initiatives, social workers and program managers. The COVID pandemic has taken a toll on all of us, Ohren

said. “Everyone on the planet arguably has more anxiety and depression than in the past.” And those who were JFS clients before COVID hit “need a little more than they did before.” JFS helps 15,000 people every year and provides ongoing services for more than 5,000. Last year, JFS got a grant from a partnership between Oakland County and United Way that enabled them to increase the number of emergency services recipients from 750 to 900. Grants from the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit helped JFS expand its counseling services to the Detroit area’s Jewish day

schools; the school-based social work services staff increased from five to eight. Marissa Preston joined JFS as an outpatient clinical psychotherapist in March 2021. Providing services remotely was a big adjustment for her because she previously worked at a residential treatment facility for children. She works primarily with children who are struggling with isolation. “I think we can agree that COVID-19 has impacted almost everyone’s mental health,” she said. JFS staff were also concerned about social isolation among older adults during the pandemic. Most of JFS’s approximately 1,000 senior clients live

South Florida Real Estate SHELDON JAFFEE Perry Ohren

Wendi Uhrig

independently, with workers visiting them at home as necessary. During the pandemic, said Ohren, direct care workers could continue to visit clients at home, but social workers and volunteers switched to remote connections. Because many seniors are less adept with technology than younger adults, JFS offered them Uniper Care, a service developed by an Israeli company that enables televisions to function like computers. With a TV remote, users can access Zoom and other Internet programs on their televisions. “A TV is not as scary for them as an iPad or a laptop,” Ohren said. JFS’s transportation services morphed to deal with pandemic changes, and none of its drivers had to be laid off. In the past, the drivers’ main duty was taking clients to appointments. They had fewer requests for rides during the pandemic, allowing redeployment to food deliveries for Yad Ezra, the kosher food pantry, and augmenting volunteer home delivery for Kosher Meals on Wheels. VOLUNTEERS WANTED, TOO The agency’s need for volunteers is also growing, said Melissa Pletcher, who joined JFS in October 2020 as director of volunteers after

Marissa Preston

losing her previous job to the pandemic. She is looking for volunteers to be social companions and technology advisers to older adults, provide pro bono legal services and deliver for Kosher Meals on Wheels. Pletcher said many supporters called JFS early on in the pandemic to ask how they could help. In two or three months, they added more than 60 volunteers for Kosher Meals on Wheels, she said. Although some of JFS’s increased funding was in the form of one-time grants, Ohren says the agency expects to be able to continue the programs. He expects the need for JFS’s services to grow. “There was a mental health crisis before the pandemic, meaning that there weren’t enough helping professionals at that point for the hurts people were needing help with. The explosion of the mental health crisis amidst the pandemic, with so many more people needing mental health support, has full-on exacerbated the problems,” he said. “We’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. Years from now, we’ll still be feeling the impact” of COVID in terms of the numbers of people needing services, he said. “This pandemic will have very, very, very long legs.”

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Groups (10+) (subject: Hairspray) OC open-caption performance Sunday, January 23 at 7:30pm

JANUARY 6 • 2022





This costume represents air.

An Interactive Tu b’Shevat Seder Hazon Detroit’s program intertwines art, clothing and dance to talk about Tu b’Shevat and climate change. DANNY SCHWARTZ STAFF WRITER



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or Tu b’Shevat, Hazon Detroit will be presenting a program entitled, “Elements of Life: Moving Together with Nature, Artistically Experiencing the Beauty of Tu b’Shevat,” an interactive, sensory-rich theater experience showcasing the elements that foster the life and growth of a tree. The program takes place 6-9 p.m. on Jan. 16 at the Berman Center for the Performing Arts. Specific viewings take place every half hour with six viewings total. The JCC Charach gallery exhibit, “Environmentally Speaking,” begins on the same day. “Environmentally Speaking” is

Big Bold Jewish Climate Fest

TOP: Choreographed dancers will dance around the four elements with the movements representing each element.

bringing together 15 artists from all over the country who will offer their interpretation of how they see the climate crisis. The exhibition will run until March 3 (look for a story about it in next week’s JN). Hazon Detroit Director Wren Hack says the two programs are completely separate, though “Environmentally Speaking” spurred Hazon to create its own program. “When they told us what they were doing and we had a meeting with one of the curators of the exhibit, it was like, wow, we could do something that complements what they’re doing that’s Tu b’Shevat-based,” Hack said. Hazon Detroit had artist Laura Earle take the four elements, earth, wind, fire and water, and create interactive sculptures emblematic of each. Hazon Detroit also had a clothing designer make one-of-a-kind designs based on the elements, made from all-natural fabrics. Each element has its own design that will be worn by a dancer and that dancer’s moves will be choreographed in such a way that will be emblematic of that element. “You’ll move around the Berman Theater

coming to each sculpture, and each sculpture will come to life with lighting, music, choreography and dancers, and then you’ll move through the four elements,” Hack says. “All of it ends at the Tree of Life.” For Hazon, this is a big step away from what it typically does, now using arts and culture to illustrate that a tree may not be able to grow when the elements are affected by climate change. “What we’re talking about is climate change in a very different, powerful and emotional way. A way of beauty and hope and through the arts,” Hack said. “We hope and believe the message comes through strongly that we are the caretakers of the Earth, and if we want our trees to grow to their full potential, then we must make sure the seed has all that it needs.” The program is funded through the William Davidson Foundation, D. Dan & Betty Kahn Foundation and other donors. Tickets are $18 to attend the Tu b’Shevat Seder performance. Call the Berman Box Office at (248) 432-5990 or visit theberman. org.

The Big Bold Jewish Climate Fest, a free, (mostly) online, collaborative festival, returns for a second year from Jan. 10-14. The Fest is an international Jewish climate festival reflecting a cross-collaboration of hundreds of Jewish organizations committed to making climate action a central priority of the Jewish community. The core planning team includes creators of the 2019 Urgency of Now: Seattle’s Jewish Climate Festival, and leading Jewish organizations Hazon and Dayenu. The second-annual Fest is a combination of curated virtual MainStage events and a groundswell of community-produced events from Fest partners and experts. Anchored in the holiday of Tu b’Shevat, the Fest combines theory, practice and action that participants can carry forward into their personal, professional and volunteer lives. To register and learn more, visit www.

JANUARY 6 • 2022




Opportunities for Teens

A chance to earn money and leadership training in the new year. JN STAFF


COHN-HADDOW ANNUAL WRITING COMPETITION The Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic Studies at Wayne State University is holding its seventh annual writing competition for Metro Detroit high school students. Submissions may be essays, short stories, or one or more poems relating to some aspect of Jewish life, culture or history. The goal of the competition is not only to encourage high school students to think and write on matters of Jewish importance — past, present and future — but also to cultivate fresh perspectives on what are often well-trodden and time-worn conversations, discussions and debates. Winning entries will be published online by the Cohn-Haddow Center. Deadline for submissions is March 1. First-place submissions in each category will be awarded a cash prize of $500, with cash prizes of $100 for honorable mentions in each category. For more information on competition guidelines, rules, suggested themes and where to submit entries, visit NCJW/MI JEWISH YOUTH AWARDS National Council of Jewish Women, Michigan, an organization guided by Jewish values and dedicated to social justice for women, children and families, will once again continue the tradition of honoring exceptional high school seniors who demonstrate strong leadership within the community.



JANUARY 6 • 2022


eens: Get your pens (or keyboards) at the ready. With some thought and effort, you can win some cash and great leadership experience for college. Here are three opportunities you need to know about.

All Jewish high school seniors are invited to apply. To be eligible, an applicant needs to fulfill the following requirements: • Complete the online information section of the application form at https:// • Complete the online leadership section of the form. Identify and describe leadership positions or other involvement in the Jewish and/or secular community during high school. • Upload a typed essay (600-800 words) on the following topic: What experience or person has had the greatest impact on your Jewish identity? • Be available for a personal interview by a panel of judges on Sunday, May 1, at 10 a.m. at the NCJW | MI Office in Southfield. • All application materials must be submitted on or before Feb. 22. Awards totaling $6,000 will be distributed to the finalists as follows: 1st place: $2,500; 2nd place: $1,500; 3rd place: $1,000; and four honorable mentions: $250 each. Finalists will be recognized at an Awards Ceremony Wednesday, May 11. TEEN ISRAEL LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE Applications are due Feb. 4 for the Center for Israel Education’s (CIE) next virtual Teen Israel Leadership Institute (TILI), to be held from noon to 3 p.m. ET on consecutive Sundays, Feb. 20 and 27.

TILI’s interactive presentations not only enhance ninth- to 12th-graders’ understanding of Israel, its complexity and its role in Jewish identity, but also provide skills for sharing that knowledge. Learning with and from peers, college students, communal professionals and CIE’s own experts, teens make valuable friendships and gain important critical thinking abilities they can apply across future endeavors. Hundreds of high school students have attended the intensive teen institute since spring 2018, joining more than 3,000 teens who have participated in online CIE programs in 2021 alone. Among other topics, TILI sessions will address: • Zionist and Israeli culture and politics through music. • Israel’s Jewish and democratic origins. • Identity and religion in Israeli society. • The process of state building for decades before independence. • Arab-Israeli relations and negotiations. • Being a critical consumer of media. • Israel on campus. Teens across the Jewish spectrum with any level of knowledge and perspective on Israel are welcome, but the most successful attendees are willing to engage with their peers and bring an open mind. The teen institute connects them with content and context to build their individual capacities to learn, own and be a part of Israel’s story. The registration fee for the institute is $54, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Access the application at, where you’ll find more information, including testimonials from participants and insights from CIE’s director of teen initiatives, Michele Freesman-Levenson, on the benefits of the program.


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Connecting Jewish Singles Local matchmaking expert who has created thousands of dates shares her dating advice. ASHLEY ZLATOPOLSKY CONTRIBUTING WRITER


or 10 years, Rebbetzin Rachel Tessler Lopatin has worked as a volunteer matchmaker for SawYouAtSinai, an online matchmaking platform for Jewish singles. She’s helped create thousands of dates worldwide, more than a dozen of which have led to marriage. “If you know the type of person they’re searching for, you will hopefully be able to connect them with great people,” she says of matchmakers like herself who strive to make connections between Jewish singles. The Lopatin family is Modern Orthodox, giving Tessler Lopatin a unique



JANUARY 6 • 2022

understanding of the community and an edge in Jewish matchmaking. She says family members will often tell her, “You understand the subtleties of it.” Recently, Tessler Lopatin, 54, of Huntington Woods and wife of JCRC/AJC Executive Director Rabbi Asher Lopatin, spoke about her matchmaking process and offered advice for Jewish singles on a new Jewish podcast, America’s Top Rebbetzins. “We all need to be thinking about people who are single,” she says of the human power to foster connections. “The more people you meet, the more people you are able to

connect other people with. There’s good that results from that.” While dating and finding a life partner may be the ultimate goal for many who turn to online dating platforms, Tessler Lopatin says the benefits go far beyond love. “Friendships have been made; jobs have been made,” she describes. “Sometimes I’ll introduce people and there’s no love connection, but they invite them to a Shabbat meal and then they connect with someone else there, or they see them at kiddush.” MAKING A MATCH Matchmaking is for

ABOVE: Rabbi Asher Lopatin, Rebbetzin Rachel Tessler Lopatin, children Judah, Shayna, Gideon and Cara Lopatin.

everyone, Tessler Lopatin believes. “I work with people from all backgrounds and all over the world,” she says. Many of her matches have been long distance, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when lockdowns and health restrictions made location matter less, and connection and interaction matter more. In making a match, Tessler Lopatin says she factors in different criteria: “What are the things that they can be flexible on and what are the things that they’re not willing to be flexible on?” “Are they flexible religiously?” Some people, she explains, look for a partner with the

same life experiences and religious values. Others prioritize location, while many seek out certain personality traits. “I encourage people to look outside their community,” Tessler Lopatin says. “People often reach out because they feel like they’ve met everyone around them. What I’m able to say is, ‘You actually haven’t met everyone.’ It’s important to keep stirring the pot.” By stirring the pot — or making introductions — a match is likely to be made, she believes. KEEP AN OPEN MIND Tessler Lopatin encourages Jewish singles looking for love to keep their minds open. Things like job and location, which some prioritize, are subject to change, she says. “A job is changeable,” she explains. “You have to look deeper; look for values. Is someone ambitious? Is someone hardworking? Is someone

caring and passionate?” Most importantly, she advises, is finding a partner who is compatible with you and cares about you, with lifestyle details coming secondary. It’s this advice and more that Tessler Lopatin shares on America’s Top Rebbetzins podcast, highlighting the importance of everyone striving to be a matchmaker. Now, as the ongoing pandemic continues to present new challenges in dating, sometimes making it hard for people to meet in person, these actions are more essential than ever, she explains. People are also embracing long-distance relationships more, a positive trend that Tessler Lopatin has seen grow since 2020. “A long-distance couple that I matched got engaged two weeks ago,” she says. “Keep an open mind and an open heart and I think you’ll end up meeting someone.” JANUARY 6 • 2022



OUR COMMUNITY Sadie and Reuben Lauter’s wedding day

Honoring His Parents

Dr. Steven Lauter creates endowed scholarship at Wayne State.


orn and raised in Detroit, Wayne State University School of Medicine alumnus Steven Lauter and his brothers were the first of their family to attend college. Their parents had difficult times, so finances were tight, but Sadie and Reuben Lauter encouraged their children to focus on education. Dr. Lauter took his parents’ guidance to heart, receiving full tuition scholarships and funding assistance for books and supplies for his undergraduate and medical degrees, both earned at WSU. “I have never forgotten that, and now on the occasion of my 50th reunion from the medical school, I feel the time is right to honor WSU and my parents, who did so much to motivate and encourage my older brother Carl and me to pursue careers in medicine,” Dr. Lauter said. With his recent gift to the School of Medicine, Dr. Lauter created the Sadie and Reuben Lauter Endowed Scholarship to help lighten the financial burden for current and future generations of medical students. STARTING IN AMERICA Both sides of Dr. Lauter’s family immigrated to the United States from Europe. Reuben Lauter moved to Detroit from what is now Ukraine, while his mother, Sadie Kaplowitz, was born in New York City to Russian parents. Sadie’s



family moved to Detroit and opened a kosher restaurant on Hastings Street, one of the largest Jewish settlements in southeast Michigan. While her parents worked, Sadie went to school. She attended Central High School and then transferred to graduate from the High School of Commerce. It served as a finishing school for female students in areas such as administrative skills, typing, penmanship, shorthand and bookkeeping. After graduation, Sadie held numerous positions, including a secretarial position at the North End Clinic, the precursor of DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital. “During that job, she developed a love and appreciation for the medical field, which likely influenced her to encourage us,” Dr. Lauter said. At the time, the city of Detroit was home to a robust community of Jewish immigrants. German and Central European Jews found their homes in the Hasting Street neighborhood around 1880, while Eastern European Jews arrived in Metro Detroit in the 20th century. Many more came to Detroit in the wake of WWII and the Holocaust. As the Jewish population grew, the community expanded to the 12th Street neighborhood. It was there that Sadie and Reuben started their life together as a married couple. The Lauters had three sons:



Carl, Ronald and Steven. Typical for their community at the time, Sadie and Reuben moved the family from small apartments to larger flats. Dr. Lauter said, “My older brother [Carl] reminded me that we were always cold and had difficulty convincing the landlord to increase the heat.” By the time their eldest son Carl was 9, the family purchased their first house, in the Dexter area. The neighborhood bustled with synagogues, grocery and drugstores, and kosher

butcher shops, restaurants and delis. It fed into Roosevelt Elementary and Durfee Junior High School, which all the boys attended. Carl and Ronald both graduated from Central High School, but Steven transferred to Mumford High School to participate in its science and arts program. “True to the American tradition,” Dr. Lauter said, “my father was kind, quiet and reserved, known for his strong work ethic.” Reuben balanced numerous continued on page 24

JANUARY 6 • 2022

OUR COMMUNITY continued from page 22

jobs until he became a bartender, which led to co-owning and operating a small bar. Sadie’s efforts were focused in the home, making sure the family had packed lunches and food on the dinner table. The family had Friday dinner together to light candles, and the boys were educated in the rituals and traditions of the Jewish faith, each having a bar mitzvah ceremony. “Despite being quite poor, my mother had several small tin tzedakah boxes into which she added small coins weekly. From an early age, we learned it was important to care for other people who had even less than us,” Dr. Lauter said. Reuben developed lung cancer and died at age 56, when Dr. Lauter was still a student at Mumford High School. His father’s untimely death put an enormous strain on Sadie, but she remained intently focused on seeing her sons through their education. Dr. Lauter’s brothers were both attending Wayne State University, Carl in the School of Medicine and Ronald as an undergraduate studying education. Together, the boys chipped in to keep the household afloat, but Sadie made sure her sons’ jobs didn’t detract from their educational pursuits. She looked up to those in the medical profession and considered them to be honorable people who improved the world. “Doctors are esteemed and respected, and she wanted her children to be respected as well. She had the right idea with helping people, too,” Dr. Lauter said. “My older brother Carl was also a graduate of the WSU School of Medicine and has always been a role model for me. He has had an esteemed career in the specialties of infectious disease and allergy/immunology, combining a career of clinical practice, teaching and



JANUARY 6 • 2022

Katie. Since their marriage, the family has expanded to include spouses and six grandchildren.

The Lauter Family: (seated) Sadie, Steven and Reuben; (standing) Carl and Ronald

research. We still enjoy long phone conversations discussing medical issues.” THE IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION Sadie and Reuben imparted to their children the importance of education, family and charity, and each of these values greatly influenced the course of Dr. Lauter’s life and career. He knew he wanted to enter the medical field and attend Wayne State University for his undergraduate and medical degrees, so he put in the effort to earn scholarships that covered his full tuition, books and equipment. “Wayne State was my place. Everyone was so nice and allowed me to be at home, work part time and to help my mother so that she wasn’t alone. The first two years were spent predominantly in the classroom, but the latter years were especially enjoyable as I rotated through the major specialties and electives. At Wayne, I had wonderful professors and role models, which further cemented my love for medicine.” After graduating from the School of Medicine in 1971, Dr. Lauter completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the Washington University School

of Medicine in St. Louis. Though he moved briefly for a stint as a major in the U.S. Air Force and a fellowship in rheumatology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, St. Louis became his home base. Dr. Lauter practiced rheumatology and internal medicine as a member of a multispecialty group from 1978 to 2016 while also serving as a clinical faculty member at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he trained students, residents and fellows. He later joined the faculty part time until his retirement during the COVID-19 pandemic. Family remains integral to Dr. Lauter. He married Sheryl “Sherri” Williams in 1974, and together they had two sons, Aaron and Robert. Sherri worked as an elementary school teacher and a pediatric counselor and volunteered in their community for many organizations until her death from breast cancer in 1997. Dr. Lauter was grateful that both Sherri and his extended family were able to commemorate his mother Sadie’s 80th birthday, as Sadie died in 1991 at the age of 84. Dr. Lauter later married Renie, also an educator, and mother of Marc, Jill and

PAYING IT FORWARD These life experiences inspired Dr. Lauter to establish the Sadie and Reuben Lauter Endowed Scholarship at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. “People there were always so kind to me and went out of their way to support me. I’ve donated over the years, but I always looked forward to feeling comfortable enough that I could really do something more to honor my parents,” he said. His scholarship is unique in that its funds are available for incoming medical students, which Dr. Lauter hopes will assist the School of Medicine in recruiting and graduating promising doctors who — much like him — couldn’t afford to attend without financial assistance. Recruiting scholarships such as the Sadie and Reuben Lauter Endowed Scholarship allow the School of Medicine to attract top candidates who demonstrate financial need. Students with less educational debt have the opportunity to explore all kinds of medical practice, so scholarships set them on the path to success without fear of future income potential. Dr. Lauter’s gift of gratitude for his education will make a remarkable and immediate impact in the lives of Wayne State University medical students. The School of Medicine is honored by his philanthropy and will be a proud steward of the scholarship that recognizes the life and legacy of his parents. To learn more about how to make a similar gift, contact Lori Robitaille at (313) 993-4070 or

Visit Global Jewish Communities Beth Ahm to host free virtual program. JN STAFF


ongregation Beth Ahm in West Bloomfield will host a Zoom series highlighting global Jewish communities on four Sundays in February from 7-8:15 p.m. Jewish travel guide specialists will present the history, cultural background and status of important sites central to Jewish communities in China, India, Spain and the Netherlands. On Sunday, Feb. 6, Israeli Eliaz Reuben-Dandeker, a descendant of leaders of the Bene-Israel community in India, will outline his community’s ancient story as well as Jewish involvement in 20th- century politics and culture like Bollywood. The evening also features American artist Siona Benjamin, originally from Mumbai, who identifies as a Bene Israel Jew. Jewish life in China, on Feb.

13, will explore three historic communities: Kaifeng, Harbin and Shanghai. Argentinian Pablo Faivel Levinton is studying in China and runs the YouTube channel “A Mole Around the World,” dedicated to showcasing faraway Jewish communities. Also, Hebrew Union College’s archivist Jordan Finkin will speak about a recovered Kaifeng Haggadah and other ancient manuscripts in the college’s collection. On Feb. 20, visit the Spanish island of Majorca, known for its beach resorts. However, for centuries, few discussed one of its biggest secrets: The Chuetas or Crypto-Jews, in response to the Inquisition, publicly professed Catholicism while privately practicing Judaism. Speaker Dani Rot-stein moved to Majorca in 2014 and became fascinated with their legacy. Participants will also learn about Ladino music and

the songs transmitted from mothers to daughters through music by Israeli musician/ singer Noam Vazanaon. The series will end with a presentation on Jewish Netherlands on Feb. 27. When people think of Amsterdam, they think about Ann Frank, but there is so much more. Nachshon Rodrigues Pereira is a community leader, cantor of the Bendigamos community and works for the Jewish Seminary of Amsterdam. Participants are urged to read House on Endless Waters, a novel by Israeli Emuna Elon. A brief book discussion will conclude the program. Registration for this series is free and open to the community at jewishcommunitiesaroundtheworld. This series is underwritten by Congregation Beth Ahm’s Sisterhood.

JANUARY 6 • 2022




Mezuzah Race at The Shul On Sunday, Dec. 12, children in JEMS (Jewish Education Matters) at The Shul in West Bloomfield explored the importance of the mitzvah of mezuzah. A mezuzah race around The Shul and a visit by Rabbi Levi Kagan, a skilled scribe from Oak Park, brought the lesson to life. Parents joined the children for the hands-on demo, which focused on the intricacies of

writing with a quill on parchment, and the love and care that goes into each letter on every scroll. The demo ended with an energized Q&A session about how long it takes to write a mezuzah and what goes into writing an entire Torah scroll. The highlight was the opportunity to actually write with ink on authentic parchment, using goose feather quills. What a special experience!

Rabbi Levi Kagan of Oak Park demonstrates various parchments and styles of writing.


Natalie and Nathan Yagudaev of West Bloomfield try their hand at writing like a scribe.

Rabbi Kagan assists Mia Rubinstein of West Bloomfield in using a feather quill and ink to write on parchment.

Zachary and Jordan Horowitz of West Bloomfield were excited to write their Hebrew names with ink and a goose feather quill on parchment.



JANUARY 6 • 2022

Daniel Ilsar and his dad, Itmar, of West Bloomfield proudly display their parchment.

LEFT: A partial view of the filled room in the Beit Midrash during Veshinantam Levanecha. MIDDLE: Kyle and Micah Lonn study Torah together in the Beit Midrash at YIOS. RIGHT: Following the weekly study, Rabbi Morris asks the children about what they learned.

Family Torah Learning at Young Israel of Southfield PHOTOS COURTESY OF YIOS


uring the fall and winter months, Young Israel of Southfield (YIOS) hosts a weekly Saturday night Torah learning program for the entire family. The program is called Veshinatam Levanecha, which is a phrase borrowed from the Shema, which means that you should thoroughly teach your children (words of Torah.) Approximately 30 minutes after Shabbat concludes, parents and children, both boys and girls, as well as grandparents and grandchildren, gather in the synagogue’s Beit Midrash to study Torah as a family unit. Each week, the entire Beit Midrash is filled to capacity with participants who are Young Israel of

Southfield members, as well as those who attend and participate from the larger Metropolitan Detroit Jewish community. Each family decides what they would like to study. The rabbi of the synagogue, Rabbi Yechiel Morris, also assists families to select areas of study that would be most appropriate. In addition, the synagogue recently dedicated a children’s Torah study library in the Beit Midrash that contains age-appropriate Torah study books that families have access to during the program. The library was donated by Young Israel of Southfield members in loving memory of Rabbi Morris’ nephew, Donny Morris, who passed away last year during

the festivities in Meron, Israel on Lag b’Omer. Following the weekly study, Rabbi Morris engages with all the children, asking them some thought-provoking questions and encouraging their answers and reflections. The synagogue’s youth director, Rabbi Ari Steinig, also makes youth-related announcements following the Torah study. The program concludes with pizza, snacks and drinks. The refreshments and the Torah study are sponsored each week by a different family. Veshinantam Levanecha has been in existence for 20 years. It was created by Rabbi Morris when he became rabbi of Young Israel of Southfield in 2002.

FAR LEFT: The Idler family studies in the new Donny Morris Children’s Learning Library. LEFT: The Reinhertz family studies together Saturday nights at YIOS. JANAURY 6 • 2022




From Israel

Glass to the

House Ford, with a renewed focus on innovation, recruits globally. ADAM FINKEL SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

Gil Gur Arie



DECEMBER 23 • 2021


n the biography of Steve Jobs on Gil Gur Arie’s bookshelf, author Walter Isaacson shares a story about the day Jobs unveiled the Macintosh computer. A reporter from Popular Science asked Jobs what type of market research he had done. Jobs responded by scoffing, “Did Alexander Graham Bell do any market research before he invented the telephone?” Ford’s CEO Jim Farley, with decades of experience in marketing, is a strong believer in innovation but not the kind where you just trust your gut. His vision is for Ford to be a data-first company and to keep data in mind for everything the company does, both miniscule and major. Since becoming president and CEO last October, he’s been recruiting near and far to help the company determine how data can guide the direction of the company’s future. These new recruits have come from noted names like Apple, the technology company founded by Jobs. Gil Gur Arie, who became an executive at Ford on May 1, 2020, is another such recruit. He now serves as the chief data and analytics officer for Ford. His first day at the office, during the start of the pandemic, ended up also being his last day at the office as he transitioned quickly to remote work. The Israeli native now has a home base in West Bloomfield, along with his wife, Hagit, and four children (ages 8, 10, 14 and 17). “As I reflect on my first year here with my family (relocating to Michigan), it was tough at the beginning. I would say the pandemic definitely didn’t help connecting, but I found a nice community here in West Bloomfield. The Jewish community as well. We got a bunch of challahs the very first Friday and my wife, who is a great cook and baker, made some for the neighbors as well,” Gur Arie told the Jewish News. “I would say, despite the pandemic, we have felt a warm welcome and a sense of belonging,” he added. His children, who began school on Zoom, now are back to in-person learning in the Bloomfield Hills School District. Gur Arie and his wife decided to tap into downtown areas on the weekends. So far, they’ve hit several locations, including Plymouth, Birmingham, Novi and Northville. JEWISH LEGACY AT FORD Wesley Sherwood, on the mobility communications team at Ford, mentioned that Ford had the distinction of having a prior CEO from the Jewish community, Mark Fields, as well as a previous treasurer within the community, Neil Schloss. With Gil’s appointment, he is now the most prominent Israeli and Jewish executive at the firm and also one of the most prominent Israel executives within the automotive world. Ford, with the largest revenue and employee base of any company in Michigan, has a history of global recruitment in recent decades. Norman Lewis, as one such example, previcontinued on page 30 JANUARY 6 • 2022



BUSINESS continued from page 29

ously served as the director of information systems at the company after having impressed the U.S. executives with his work around computer systems in the European office of Ford. The South Africa native, who made aliyah to Israel and completed a Ph.D. at Hebrew University, continues to reside in Metro Detroit. Gur Arie’s role is focused on transforming Ford into a data-led business, which includes modernizing all aspects of the company, including “translating connected vehicle data into quicker actions for customers.” Sherwood shares that Gur Arie’s team is leading Ford’s advanced artificial intelligence applications and is integrating artificial intelligence to improve its manufacturing efficiencies as well as its massive logistics and shipping operations. Ford’s team of global data and analytics members now spans 1,000 data scientists globally. The objectives for the team focus on key company priorities including the development of mobility, electrification, connective vehicles and autonomous driving technologies. A key objective for the global data team has

Gil Gur Arie

been on logistics over the last year with significant shipping challenges confronting the industry. Gur Arie mentioned how a year ago, Ford launched a system that uses historical data and machine learning algorithms to optimize shipments around the globe, which spans over 600,000 different parts, to send less freight while making sure the parts arrive at the right time. While optimizing all these moving parts across 80 plants has been challenging, the new system already saves more than $20 million a year.



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THOUGHTS ON DETROIT Gur Arie is a retired colonel in the Israeli Military Intelligence Corps, Unit 8200, who comes to Detroit with more than two decades of experience in data science, research and development, cybersecurity and intelligence technologies experience. His work in the IDF included establishing a technological unit with more than 1,000 employees, advancing hundreds of solutions within the intelligence community and establishing the profession of data engineer within the IDF where he was appointed as the data science representative. “I’m proud and humble to be part of the leadership of this company, coming from my background. Ford is highly open to diversity of thoughts, diversity of culture, trying to get to the best decision on day-to-day meetings and, overall, on the strategy creation. So, I’m proud to be part of that,” Gur Arie said. “I do see the connection to the Israeli ecosystem and in using the research center in Israel to tap into the local talent. So, I’m quite optimistic. I hope I’m not the last one from an Israeli perspective into the automotive business. I hope others will follow.” Gur Arie articulated what he witnessed firsthand since he began: The pandemic changed the face of the relationship between workers and employers. The company, more than ever before, is looking for talent wherever it is and to connect with the full global ecosystem — even if it means hiring remote workers.” Gur Arie said that he and his boss are passionate about talent in the tech area whether they be in Israel, India, Europe, China or other locations. Gur Arie, 46, has come a long way from his upbringing in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area of Hod Hasharon. Gil, whose name is often given in Hebrew by parents that want their children to embody a bright promise, not only carries with him a joyful demeanor — but also a sense of promise for the region he now resides in. “We see great opportunities here in Detroit.”

Ford Jewish Group The Ford Jewish group is part of the Ford Interfaith Network (FIN) Employee Resource Group, founded in 2000 as one of the original faith affinity groups. Prior to COVID restrictions, the FIN Jewish Group typically met for a lunch-andlearn type of event several times a year, inviting a guest speaker such as Rabbi Yisrael Pinson of Chabad in the D to lead a discussion. The FIN Jewish Group also participates in Ford Interfaith events such as the National Day of Prayer, the monthly Interfaith Discussion Forum (where each faith presents a short explanation of its teachings on the selected topic) and a FIN annual community service event. The Ford Fund (Ford’s charitable arm) has supported several Jewish charities and events in Southeast Michigan area over the years, including Yeshiva Beth Yehudah’s annual dinner (Mark Fields was honored one year), the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit and support for the Yad Ezra food bank through grants and the Ford Volunteer Corps.



sports HIGHlights

From the JCC Maccabi Games to the Maccabiah Games Junior hockey star Ryan Berke of Farmington Hills earns a spot on Team USA. STEVE STEIN CONTRIBUTING WRITER

ABOVE LEFT: Ryan Berke is in the middle between his Jersey Hitmen linemates Nolan Patrick (left) and Jack Noel. ABOVE RIGHT: Mark Berke (left) was his son Ryan Berke’s hockey coach for many years.


yan Berke helped make history in 2016. He was a member of the Detroit team that played in the first ice hockey competition at the JCC Maccabi Games. Fast forward six years. Berke is 19, in his third year playing junior hockey. And loving it. “Playing junior hockey has been great for me not only for my hockey career, but also for my personal growth,” he said. The North Farmington High School graduate is a center for the Jersey Hitmen Tier III team in the USPHL’s Premier Division. He had 24 points — eight goals and 16 assists — in 24 games this sea-

son before the holiday break. His coach, Dominick Manochio, raves about him. “If you have 20 Ryan Berkes on your team, you’re in good shape,” Manochio said. “He always wants to be the best version of himself. He always does things the right way.” Berke was the best version of himself when he tried out last summer in Philadelphia for Team USA’s open division (ages 19-40) hockey team that will compete in July in the Maccabiah Games in Israel. Skating against college players and even a professional player, Berke was named an alternate to the team in October, then in November he

learned he made the team. The Farmington Hills resident’s first trip to Israel will be a hockey trip. That’s not a surprise. “Hockey is all I do, but there’s nothing I enjoy more than hockey,” he said. “I love the speed of the game. I love playing a team sport.” Berke is looking forward to his journey to Israel. One of his best memories of the Maccabi Games, he said, was meeting Jewish hockey players from the U.S. and other countries. He played in the Maccabi Games in Stamford, Connecticut; Miami, Florida; and Orange County, continued on page 32 JANUARY 6 • 2022



sports HIGHlights continued from page 31

California from 2016-18, helping Detroit win a bronze medal in Miami. Berke’s hockey career began not too many years after he was born. After playing for several years in the Novi Youth Hockey Association, then in the Compuware and Victory Honda travel programs, he began his junior hockey days with a two-season stay with the Atlanta Capitals in the NA3HL, scoring 13 goals and dishing out 16 assists during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. A coaching change in Atlanta had Berke looking for greener pastures, so the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder tried out for the Tier II Hitmen team in the NCDC (National Collegiate Development Conference). He didn’t make the team. His USPHL Premier Division rights belonged to the Bridgewater (Massachusetts) Bandits, but the Hitmen made a trade for him, which is what Berke wanted. Berke has been practicing with the Tier II Hitmen team, which is loaded with Division I college players. If all goes well, he’ll play for the Tier II Hitmen team next season in his final year of junior hockey eligibility, which would be a huge step toward realizing his dream of being a Division I college hockey player. “Ryan is definitely a Tier II prospect,” Manochio said. “I’d be shocked if he didn’t make our Tier II team next season. Our Tier III team mirrors what our Tier II team does, so Ryan already has that knowledge.”



JANUARY 6 • 2022

Berke began this season playing on a line with wingers Jack Noel and Teppei Ueno, who temporarily left the Hitmen to join Team Japan for the World Junior Championship, which began Dec. 26 in Estonia. Nolan Patrick was signed by the Hitmen and joined the line with Berke and Noel. The trio has been practically unstoppable since Patrick climbed on board. “Those three guys clicked immediately. Flawlessly,” Manochio said. “Each guy has energy, smiles a lot, loves being at the rink and is into the new-age creativity of hockey players. They’re also close off the ice.” Berke agrees. “Our line has amazing chemistry,” he said. The Hitmen were 11-13-2 before the holiday break. But they got off to a slow start with just 14 players on the roster and Manochio being named coach just before the start of the season. With 27 players on the roster now and lots of talented players, the Hitmen are looking for a strong finish to the regular season and a long playoff run. “We expect to get 12, 13, 14 wins in our last 18 regular-season games,” Manochio said. Berke’s parents are Mark and Alisa Berke. Mark Berke was Ryan’s coach for many years on youth hockey teams. Ryan’s sister Linsday, 17, is an outstanding tennis player at North Farmington. Please send sports news to

Hillel International Honors MSU’s Robyn Hughey


illel International, the largest Jewish campus organization in the world, recognized outstanding Hillel professionals and campus Hillels who are leading the way in creating innovative programming and strengthening campus communities during this challenging time. Among those Hillel recognized this year was Robyn Hughey, associate director of MSU Hillel and the Hillel Campus Alliance of Michigan (HCAM). Hillel International named Robyn Hughey a Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence, which honors professionals in various stages of their careers whose remarkable passion and outstanding devotion to the Jewish campus community enrich the lives of Hillel students, ensures that the organization reflects a culture of excellence and sets a standard for all Hillel professionals to emulate. Hughey was one of eight professionals to receive this award. “Robyn Hughey represents Hillel at its best: uplifting and inspiring students, and building a thriving Jewish student community,” said Hillel International President and CEO Adam Lehman. “Hillel’s mission is more important now than ever, which is why we’re elated to honor leaders, like Robyn, who go above and beyond in bettering the lives of Jewish students and their campus communities.”

Robyn Hughey

The awardees, chosen because of how they symbolize Hillel’s culture of excellence, were honored before a virtual audience of over 1,000 Hillel professionals from around the world as part of Hillel International’s Global Assembly, an annual event that brings leaders together for professional development and networking. “On behalf of MSU Hillel, the Hillel Campus Alliance of Michigan, and thousands of Jewish students statewide, I am very proud of Robyn’s success and recognition with this award. She works tirelessly to support Jewish life on campus and greatly impacts the work we do every day,” said MSU Hillel and HCAM Executive Director Cindy Hughey.


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Meet Gabriella Katz ‘I can’t see myself anywhere else,’ she says. AVIVA ZACKS CONTRIBUTING WRITER


abriella Katz, 24, made aliyah in 2017 from Southfield six months after she got home from seminary. She initially lived in the Old City of Jerusalem and then moved to Givat Shmuel to start studying visual communications at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) of Herzliya. She graduated in 2020, lives in Givat Shmuel and works in Herzliya.

JN: Where did your Zionist education come from? GK: I went to Akiva (now Farber Hebrew Day School) and Camp Stone, and I davened at the Young Israel of Oak Park, which are all Zionistic. My parents also instilled Zionism in the home. My mom’s two sisters live in Israel, and my grandmother lives here most of the time. I’ve had Zionism infused in me my entire life. After high school, I went to Midreshet HaRova for a year and a half, which is all that Zionism times seven. Before I went to HaRova, I was planning to go to college in America and then come on aliyah. JN: How did you make your



JANUARY 6 • 2022

final decision? GK: When I decided to make aliyah, I texted my parents, “I’m making aliyah,” but I decided to go home for six months and live life out of the aliyah bubble. The whole time I was home, I just wanted to come back here. JN: What was your aliyah experience like? GK: I made aliyah on July 4. The date of my aliyah was 70 years from the day when my grandfather came to America after the Shoah. Seventy years was the time of Galut, and I had the choice to come back to Israel after such a horrible thing happened to our people. I was so happy to be on a charter flight where everyone was making aliyah at the same

time. When I got off the plane, I felt like a celebrity because there were a lot of people and there was a band playing welcome music. Then I heard my name, and it was my two aunts holding a sign. My friends and teachers from HaRova also showed up. JN: What are you doing now? GK: I am the content coordinator for a television production company in Herzilya. I love it. JN: What do you miss about living in Detroit? GK: I miss so many things: Brian’s Calzones, Slurpees, seven-layer, Dunkin’ Donuts, Target — all the materialistic stuff that you don’t get here. I miss my family a lot — my dad’s

mother who lives down the street from us, my cousins who live two blocks away, my parents, of course. I talk to them every day, but it’s not the same. I also miss snow. People from Michigan think I’m crazy, but snow is my favorite season. My dad called me recently to see the snow. JN: What do you love about living in Israel? GK: Waking up every day, there’s a purpose to my life because I live where my national history is unfolding. Also, there is an inherent caring about other people that doesn’t exist everywhere else. It’s like a family where you get annoyed with each other, and you yell at each other all the time, but at the end of the day, if the bus starts moving before I’m on it, someone on the bus is going to scream, “Stop!!” When all the rockets were hitting us this past summer, one fell in Givat Shmuel, where I live. I was home by myself that Shabbat, and it was really scary because it was the first time I had ever experienced that. After I heard a loud boom that shook our building and the siren stopped, I stepped out of my shelter and went outside. My neighbors asked me if I was by myself. I told them I was, and they immediately said to come to their house. I sat there for the rest of Shabbat, and it was so nice because I had barely talked to them before. JN: Do you have a message for any young person thinking about making aliyah while single? GK: It’s good to make aliyah before you go to college because you integrate better. College is a transition period, which makes aliyah a lot easier. I can’t see myself anywhere else. I’m here to raise my kids in Israel. I’m here because the people are amazing, yelling and all.





n the depths of slavery, a message comes to the people. A message from God about the future. A precursor to our freedom. The message takes the form of two key mitzvot given to the Jewish people long before we receive the Torah at Mount Sinai. These mitzvot relate to the Jewish calendar. The first is the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh. God says to Moses and Aaron: “This renewal of the moon shall be the beginning of the months for you. It shall be the first of the months of the year for you” (Shemot 12:2). God establishes the new moon as the beginning of the month. We know that the moon operates on a 29- or 30-day cycle. Starting Chief Rabbi off small with most of it Warren enshrouded in darkness, Goldstein the moon grows “larger” as the days go by, until it becomes a full moon around about the middle of the month. From there, it begins to diminish in size again, before eventually disappearing altogether. When it reappears for the first time, that is the new moon — Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the new month. Related to this mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh is another mitzvah more implicit in the verse: establishing the month of Nisan — the month of liberation from Egypt — as the beginning of the calendar, “the first month of your year.”

A TIMEFRAME FOR ALL TIME What is the significance of these two mitzvot? On a very basic level, God was framing the time for the Jewish people. He says to Moses and Aaron, today is the beginning of the month; on the 10th of this month, each household will set aside a lamb; and on the 14th of the month, they will slaughter that lamb and dab its blood on the doorposts. God was giving them a frame of reference for what to do and when exactly to do it. We know how important this was because when the angel of death swept through the land of Egypt, he passed over all the houses that had blood on the doorpost, and that night — the 15th of Nisan — the Jewish people were liberated from Egypt, as we relate each year when we tell the story of Pesach. But what happened to the Jewish people in that generation affects us to this day. Today, we celebrate each Pesach on the 15th of Nisan — the anniversary of the exodus from Egypt. God established the Jewish calendar at this point in our history, which framed events for all time. Jewish history is about to begin. Of course, it began with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and our forefathers, but that was Jewish history in terms of individuals. What begins on the night of the 15th of Nisan is national Jewish history. We see God intervening on the stage of history to liberate an entire people. And we need a calendar to mark the beginning of that history. Hence

the mitzvah of the Jewish calendar, which begins in this week’s parshah. WHY IS THIS MONTH DIFFERENT FROM ALL OTHER MONTHS? Why was Nisan chosen as the first month? The Ramban, Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, explains that this is the month of the great miracles that accompanied the Exodus from Egypt, and that designating Nisan as the first month is an acknowledgment of the seminal importance of these miracles in Jewish history. The Ramban points out that in classic Torah Hebrew there are no names for the months — they are only numbered in their relation to the first month, the month of our liberation. Similarly, there are no names in Hebrew for the days of the week, which are simply sequenced in their relation to Shabbos. We have Yom Rishon, “The First Day” (from Shabbos); Yom Sheini, “The Second Day” (from Shabbos), and so on. We count from Shabbos, and we count toward Shabbos. Shabbos is the focal point of the week. Says the Ramban, the days of the week are numbered in accordance with the importance of Shabbos, and the months of the years are numbered in accordance with the importance of the liberation from Egypt. Of course, we do also have actual names for the Hebrew months. Besides Nisan, we have Shevat, Tevet, Cheshvan, etc. However, these names only emerged later, after the Babylonian exile, as a reminder of the great miracles that accomcontinued on page 36 JANUARY 6 • 2022



SPIRIT continued from page 35

panied our liberation from that exile. In his commentary, Oznaim LaTorah, the great Lithuanian commentator, Rav Zalman Sorotzkin offers another interpretation for the significance of Nisan becoming the first month. We know that Nisan isn’t the only “first month” of the Jewish calendar. Tishrei, the month we celebrate Rosh Hashanah, also marks the beginning of the year. Put differently, Nisan marks the beginning of the months, whereas Tishrei marks the beginning of the year. What happened to shift the focus of the beginning from Tishrei to Nisan? Tishrei, we know, commemorates the physical creation of this world — a world made up of inorganic matter, plants, animals and human beings. A world that included the human soul, but nevertheless a world without Torah. The Torah only comes into the world after the Jewish people are liberated from Egypt. God guides them directly from Egypt to Mount Sinai to receive the Torah. And that is when the world can now fulfil its ultimate purpose — because a world without Torah is devoid of that purpose. Indeed, the very reason the world was created was to bring the Torah into it. We see now why Nisan superseded Tishrei as the focus of beginnings. With the liberation of the Jewish people from Egypt, history is really beginning because this leads us to the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. And it’s at this point that the world can begin to achieve its ultimate purpose. THE GIFT OF TIME So, the Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar as established in this week’s parshah. Because lunar months are 29 or 30 days in length, a lunar year of 12 months is about 11 days shorter than a solar year. To bring it into sync with the solar calendar, and therefore with the seasons of the year, we add in an extra month every two or three years, in accordance with our Oral Tradition. In this way, we don’t lose track of the seasons. Why was this mitzvah of the Jewish calendar given before the other mitzvot that were given at Sinai? Says the Sforno, the great 15th-century Italian commentator, it’s because up until now the Jewish people



JANUARY 6 • 2022

were slaves. And what is the difference between a free person and a slave? Time. When you are a slave, your time is not your own. When you are free, your time is your own. The mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh was God’s gift of time to the Jewish people; the message that now their time was theirs. And that’s why, explains the Sforno, the verse says, “This renewal of the moon shall be the beginning of the months for you.” It’s important to note, though, that tyranny and enslavement do not come only at the hands of a dictator like Pharaoh. Even in a free society, we can lose our freedom when we become so overburdened with work pressures and the constant demands that are made on us. There’s a simple way




to test whether we are truly free or not. We can ask ourselves, are we masters of our time or does time master us? Do we have the ability to allocate time to the projects that are important, to the people who are important, to mitzvot? Sometimes, even when we are able to allocate time to the important things in life, we opt not to. This, too, is a form of enslavement. Someone once said to a rabbi that they didn’t have time to go to shul or learn Torah, and his answer to them was, “Well, then you are busier than God intended.” How we allocate our time is often what determines who we are, and whether we are truly free. Do we truly live with freedom, proactively allocating time to the most important things in our lives, or are we

rushed and hassled into mindlessly ignoring the important things and running out of time for them? That is a test of freedom. IN OUR HANDS We know that the lunar month is either 29 days or 30 days depending on the cycle of the moon. What’s interesting is that the Sages of the Talmud, who were among the greatest astronomers of their day, knew exactly when the new moon was going to reappear — and yet they waited for two witnesses to come to Jerusalem to testify that they saw it. This system was unsustainable when the exile came, at which point the Sages set up a fixed calendar for all future generations. But until that time nobody knew in advance which day was going to be Rosh Chodesh; the mitzvah was to wait for the witnesses. And, in fact, the Sanhedrin — the supreme court of the Jewish people — even had the authority to move Rosh Chodesh by a day at their own discretion if they deemed it necessary. What’s the message here? Why wait for the witnesses when they knew when the moon was to appear? Why did the rabbis have the discretion to move Rosh Chodesh? Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, the great 19th-century German Jewish philosopher, says that Rosh Chodesh is a time of meeting with God. We also know that the date of Rosh Chodesh determines when each of our festivals occur. Pesach occurs on the 15th of Nisan, Shavuot on 6th of Sivan, and so on. And these are times when we meet with God. The Hebrew word for festivals is moadim, which comes from the Hebrew word va’ad, which means “to meet.” Says Rabbi Hirsch, when we meet with God it must be a choice that we make, rather than a forced meeting determined by the mechanical laws of nature. By being part of the process of setting up that meeting, we are in a sense initiating it. And so the renewal of the moon becomes a sign that we need to renew our connection with God, and that it must also come from our own initiative. That’s why the Sanhedrin had that discretion, and why the setting up of a fixed calendar was not the ideal. And Rabbi Hirsch says the reason why this mitzvah had to be given to the Jewish people while they were still in Egypt was


because it was a call to the entire nation that now was the time for spiritual renewal. One of the key teachings of the Torah is our capacity for renewal. We are not subjugated to the laws of nature. We can rise above our own instincts, our own nature. We can make ourselves into the people we were meant to be and live lives of greatness, and it’s in our hands to do that. Like God, Himself, who created the world from nothing, we, too, have the power to generate newness. And that power to transcend our circumstances comes directly from our Creator. The Jewish calendar embodies this idea of renewal because it calls on us every month to renew ourselves. We don’t live our lives in cycles of years and decades. We live our lives in cycles of months, with the opportunity to renew ourselves every 29 or 30 days. This is what Rosh Chodesh means. The word for “month,” chodesh, comes from the word chadash, which means “new.” This was God’s message to the people enslaved in Egypt — that we have the freedom to renew ourselves and achieve spiritual and moral greatness with the Torah’s guidance, renewing not just ourselves but the world in which we live. PARTNERS IN CREATION There is another idea here. We see that this mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh was really setting the tone for the entire relationship that God has with the Jewish people. And what is that relationship all about? In the words of the Gemara, we are called upon to be “a partner with God in the creation of this world.” This mitzvah that

we are given right at the outset exemplifies that partnership. God says the Jewish calendar will not be determined by Him alone and by the laws of nature He has created; rather the calendar will be forged as a partnership between God and the Jewish people. When the Sanhedrin declares that it is Rosh Chodesh, the new month, then that’s what it is. They have the discretion to move it, and even to add a month to the calendar, thereby determining when the festivals fall and infusing those days with holiness. Rosh Chodesh is a reminder to us that our relationship with God is based on partnership. It’s for this reason, also, that God asked us to put the blood on the doorposts. It’s as if He was saying to us, “You want to be redeemed from Egypt? Become active in this redemption.” We weren’t just passively freed from Egypt by God’s miracles; we made ourselves worthy of the redemption by slaughtering the gods of the Egyptians — the lambs — and sprinkling their blood on the doorposts as a bold declaration to the Egyptians that we are loyal to God and His Torah. To live a Godly life is to be His partner in making this world a better place. And that is why God predicated the journey of the Jewish people and their liberation from Egypt on this mitzvah of the new month, this representation of renewal, this declaration of Divine partnership. Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein, who has a PhD. in Human Rights Law, is the chief rabbi of South Africa. This article first appeared on

Hearing God’s Voice


n the midst of our Torah and says that the rest of the portion today, we read commandments of the Torah (Exodus 12:1): “The Lord were given at Sinai, in the said to Moses and Aaron in Tent of Meeting or on the the land of Egypt.” At first plains of Moab. glance, this verse seems very I believe that revelation common; we read is always here, in our numerous times in present moment. Rabbi the Torah, “The Lord Abraham Joshua said to Moses …” or Heschel wrote in God “The Lord said to in Search of Man, “God Moses and Aaron …” is not always silent … But here, in our read- Rabbi Robert There are moments in Gamer ing today, there is an which … heaven and additional phrase: “in Earth kiss each other; in Parshat the land of Egypt.” which there is a lifting Bo: Exodus These words might of the veil at the horizon 10:1-13:16; seem innocuous; after of the known, opening Jeremiah all, the Torah often a vision of what is eter46:13-28. identifies a particnal in time. The voice ular location where of Sinai,” concluded God speaks to Moses and Heschel, “goes on forever. Aaron, such as in the Tent of (Deuteronomy 5:19): ‘The Lord Meeting, on Mount Sinai or spoke these words to your in the steppes of Moab. whole congregation at the Today’s verse comes mountain, out of the fire and between the telling of the the dense clouds, with a great first nine plagues and the voice that goes on forever.’” For 10th plague. Because we Heschel, revelation is both a know that Moses didn’t leave moment in time and eternal. Egypt during the plagues, If God is always talking why does the Torah bother to to us, how do we hear that add the phrase, “in the land message? I believe that we of Egypt”? Is it not perfectly have a chance to hear God’s clear to us that Moses and revelations through study, Aaron are still in Egypt? prayer and living a life of Commentators have mitzvot. Torah is both eternal approached this phrase in and personal, meaning that differing ways. Rashi says we study the texts of our trathat Divine words were not dition “as if it were given to uttered in the capitol itself, us today.” which was full of idols; so, As the Talmud teaches, Moses went out of the city to every one of us stands at receive this revelation from Sinai; and every one of us God. Nachmanides says has the obligation to receive that the location is specified God’s revelation of Torah in because all the other comour day. mandments of the Torah were given at Mount Sinai. Rabbi Robert Gamer is the rabbi at Rahmbam agrees but takes Congregation Beth Shalom in Oak Park. a more liberal approach JANUARY 6 • 2022




Synagogue Directory CONSERVATIVE Adat Shalom Synagogue Farmington Hills (248) 851-5100

Temple B’nai Shalom Benton Harbor (269) 925-8021

Ahavas Israel Grand Rapids (616) 949-2840

INDEPENDENT Grosse Pointe Jewish Council Grosse Pointe Woods (313) 882-6700

Congregation Beth Ahm West Bloomfield (248) 851-6880 Congregation Beth Israel Flint (810) 732-6310 Congregation Beth Shalom Oak Park (248) 547-7970 Beth Tephilath Moses Mt. Clemens (586) 996-3138 B’nai Israel Synagogue West Bloomfield (248) 432-2729 Congregation B’nai Moshe West Bloomfield (248) 788-0600 Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue Detroit (313) 962-4047 Congregation of Moses Kalamazoo Congregation Shaarey Zedek Southfield (248) 357-5544



JANUARY 6 • 2022

Kehillat Hatzhav Hagadol Mackinac Island (906) 202-9959

Beth Tefilo Emanuel Tikvah Southfield (248) 559-5022 Birmingham-Bloomfield Shul Birmingham (248) 996-5818 B’nai Israel-Beth Yehudah Oak Park (248) 967-3969 B’nai Zion Oak Park (248) 968-2414

ORTHODOX Agudas Israel Mogen Abraham Southfield (248) 552-5711

Chabad House-Lubavitch of Eastern Michigan Flint (810) 230-0770

Ahavas Olam Southfield (248) 569-1821

Chabad Jewish Center of Commerce-Walled Lake Commerce Township (248) 363-3644

Ahavas Yisroel Oak Park (248) 298-2896 Aish Hatorah in the Woods Oak Park (248) 327-3579 Bais Chabad of Farmington Hills (248) 855-2910 Bais Chabad of North Oak Park (248) 872-8878 Bais Haknesses Hagrah Oak Park (248) 542-8737 Balfour Shul – K’Hal Rina U’Tefila Oak Park (732) 693-8457

Chabad Jewish Center of Novi-Northville (248) 790-6075 Chabad Jewish Center of Troy Troy/Rochester Hills (248) 873-5851 Chabad-Lubavitch of Bingham Farms Bloomfield Hills (248) 688-6796

Etz Chayim of Toledo Toledo, OH (419) 473-2401 First Hebrew Congregation South Haven (269) 637-1603 Kehillat Etz Chayim Huntington Woods Kollel Institute of Greater Detroit Oak Park (248) 968-1891 Mishkan Israel, Nusach H’ari, Lubavitch Center Oak Park (248) 542-4844 Ohel Moed Shomrey Emunah West Bloomfield (248) 737-2626 Or Chadash Oak Park (248) 819-1721 Sara & Morris Tugman Bais Chabad Torah Center of West Bloomfield (248) 855-6170 Shaar Hashomayim Windsor (519) 256-3123

Chabad of Western Michigan Grand Rapids (616) 957-0770

Shaarey Zedek Windsor (519) 252-1594

Dovid Ben Nuchim-Aish Kodesh Oak Park (313) 320-9400

Shomer Israel Oak Park (248) 542-4014

Shomrey Emunah Southfield (248) 559-1533 The Shul-Chabad Lubavitch West Bloomfield (248) 788-4000

Temple Beth El Battle Creek (269) 963-4921 Temple Beth El Bloomfield Township (248) 851-1100

Temple Israel West Bloomfield (248) 661-5700 Temple Jacob Hancock

Temple Beth El Flint (810) 720-9494

Temple Kol Ami West Bloomfield (248) 661-0040

Temple Beth El Midland (989) 496-3720

Congregation Shaarey Zedek East Lansing (517) 351-3570

Young Israel of Southfield (248) 358-0154

Temple Beth Israel Bay City (989) 893-7811

Temple Shir Shalom West Bloomfield (248) 737-8700

RECONSTRUCTIONIST Congregation Kehillat Israel Lansing (517) 882-0049

Temple Beth Israel Jackson (517) 784-3862

Yagdil Torah Southfield (248) 559-5905 Young Israel of Oak Park (248) 967-3655

Congregation T’chiyah Ferndale (248) 823-7115 Reconstructionist Congregation of Detroit (313) 567-0306 REFORM Bet Chaverim Canton (734) 480-8880 Temple Benjamin Mt. Pleasant (989) 773-5086 Congregation Beth El Windsor (519) 969-2422

Congregation Beth Shalom Traverse City 231-946-1913 Temple Beth Sholom Marquette Temple B’nai Israel Kalamazoo (269) 342-9170 Temple B’nai Israel Petoskey (231) 489-8269 Temple Emanuel Grand Rapids (616) 459-5976 Temple Emanu-El Oak Park (248) 967-4020

REFORM/RENEWAL Congregation Shir Tikvah Troy (248) 649-4418 SECULAR/HUMANISTIC Congregation for Humanistic Judaism of Metro Detroit Farmington Hills (248) 477-1410 Sholem Aleichem Institute Lathrup Village (240 865-0117 SEPHARDIC Keter Torah Synagogue West Bloomfield (248) 681-3665 Ohr Hatorah Oak Park (248) 294-0613

TRADITIONAL Woodward Avenue Shul Royal Oak (248) 414-7485 MINYANS Fleischman Residence West Bloomfield (248) 661-2999 Yeshivat Akivah Southfield (248) 386-1625


CONSERVATIVE Beth Israel Congregation (734) 665-9897 @BethIsraelCongregation ORTHODOX Ann Arbor Chabad House (734) 995-3276 Ann Arbor Orthodox Minyan RECONSTRUCTIONIST Ann Arbor Reconstructionist Congregation (734) 445-1910 REFORM Temple Beth Emeth (734) 665-4744 RENEWAL Pardes Hanah SECULAR HUMANISTIC Jewish Cultural Society (734) 975-9872 Please email factual corrections or additional synagogues to list to:

JANUARY 6 • 2022




Benicio del Toro, center, as painter Moses Rosenthaler, and Léa Seydoux, right, as the prison guard Simone in The French Dispatch. SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES

2021’s Greatest Hits

Jewish film and TV had quite the ‘Unorthodox’ year. ANDREW LAPIN JTA.ORG


new reality-TV sensation, a raunchy indie-film spin on shivahs and a rare glimpse into Turkey’s Jewish community made a big splash in 2021, while elsewhere, old favorites (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Jeopardy!, West Side Story) made big impacts in the Jewish world. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency covered every twist and turn that kept us entertained and enlightened during this difficult year. Here are the greatest hits of 2021. MOVIES A bold new voice in Jewish filmmaking



JANUARY 6 • 2022

emerged this spring: Emma Seligman’s independent dark comedy Shiva Baby follows a drifting college student who attends a shivah along with her clueless family, disapproving strangers, bitter ex-girlfriend … and sugar daddy. The future cult hit has been nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for best microbudget feature of the year, and successfully launched the career of its 26-year-old writer-director. Minyan, directed by Eric Steel, was another fresh take on a Jewish story: a queer comingof-age tale set among the Soviet Jewish refugee communities of 1980s Brighton Beach.

Starring Broadway star Samuel H. Levine, it was — in my estimation — the best Jewish movie of the year. Three major Oscar contenders this year have Jewish ties: Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner’s remake of West Side Story once again poses the question of who should make the musical; Licorice Pizza stars Jewish rock musician Alana Haim as a young Jewish aspiring actress in the 1970s; and The Tragedy of Macbeth marks the solo directing debut for Joel Coen, one-half of the greatest Jewish filmmaking duo of the modern era. Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, a celebration of midcentury print journalism and Francophilia rendered in the filmmaker’s distinctive style, included its fair share of nods to real-life Jewish intellectuals — and an explicitly Jewish character. The Vigil is a horror movie set in the Orthodox community, focusing on the mazzik, a Biblical demon. Director Keith Thomas spoke to JTA about how the film’s Talmudic terrors came together. A filmed version of the smash-hit Broadway musical Come From Away, a Sept. 11 story created by Jews and featuring Jewish themes, premiered on Apple TV+ for the 20-year-anniversary of the attacks. A real-life Jewish gangster gets his due —

the documentary Speer Goes To Hollywood explored the lifelong denialism of Hitler’s architect (though its methods have been criticized). The summer musical In The Heights told the stories of Dominican residents of a historically Jewish New York neighborhood. NETFLIX

and is played by Harvey Keitel — in Lansky. The top prizewinner at this year’s Berlin Film Festival was an angry satire about sex tapes, COVID, history education and antisemitism. Bad Luck Banging Or Loony Porn depicts Romanian citizens angry over a teacher’s private transgressions, but blind to their own ignorance about how their coun-

try has historically treated Jews. Israeli film imports to the U.S. shone brightly this year, with the disability family dramas Asia and Here We Are; melancholy comedy Golden Voices; and intergenerational, cross-continental LGBT+ drama Sublet. As Israel and Gaza burned this summer and national dialogue around the conflict turned ugly, Israeli filmmaker Ra’anan Alexandrowicz’s documentary The Viewing Booth explored how one American Jew’s preconceived views about the conflict impacted her interpretation of video footage from the region. In the world of Holocaust cinema, the documentary Final Account interviewed elderly former Nazis about their memories of the Third Reich; the documentary Love It Was Not depicted the unsettling relationship between a Jewish prisoner of Auschwitz and her SS guard; the Slovakian drama The Auschwitz Report told the story of two camp escapees who tried to warn the world about the horrors inside; documentary The Meaning Of Hitler tried to break down fascism’s appeal in the modern age; and


Fashion mogul Julia Haart, top center, and her children are featured in the Netflix reality series My Unorthodox Life.

The Club, a surprise-hit Turkish drama series from Netflix, explores Istanbul’s Sephardic Jewish community of the 1950s, and features a surprisingly large amount of spoken Ladino. The very Jewy Curb Your Enthusiasm returned to HBO for its 11th (and, some might say, Jewiest) season of Larry David’s legendary complaints. Plotlines this season included Larry fending off a Klansman with a shofar, and Jon Hamm learning Yiddish so he could deliver a fake eulogy for Albert Brooks. Curb co-star Jeff Garlin got into some hot water at his long-running ABC sitcom The Goldbergs, about a Jewish family in the 1980s; he’s exiting the show midway through its ninth season following an investigation into allegations of on-set misconduct. Shtisel, the slow-burn drama about Israeli haredi Orthodox Jews, released a long-awaited third season, to familiar acclaim. And it was announced that respected director Kenneth Lonergan will helm an American remake of the series. The second season of Dave, the heady sitcom from Jewish rapper Lil Dicky (Dave Burd), aired on FX and established its creator as a new force in TV comedy. It contained plenty of Jewish jokes and an entire bar mitzvah episode.

TELEVISION The biggest Jewish TV phenomenon of the year was the Netflix reality series My Unorthodox Life, following the controversial exploits of “ex-Orthodox” fashion designer Julia Haart and her family. The show spawned a new tabloid feeding frenzy; one of Haart’s daughters split from her husband, starting an internet obsession. The year was also dominated by Jeopardy! hosting drama, with Jewish actor/presenter Mayim Bialik eventually being crowned co-host of the long-running quiz show through 2022. The HBO phenomenon Succession introduced a Jewish character (played by Adrian Brody) who causes business trouble for the beleaguered Roy family. The mansion Brody’s character lives in is actually owned by a Jewish billionaire. A smash-hit podcast about a therapist’s obsession with his troubled client inspired the Apple TV+ miniseries The Shrink Next Door, starring Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell. The show has deep New York Jewish roots.

FROM LEFT: Comedian Eric Andre, Desus Nice and The Kid Mero are seen in The Village Temple in New York City during an episode of Desus & Mero.

The hosts of Showtime’s Desus & Mero visited a New York synagogue and, with the help of Jewish actor Eric Andre and a rabbi, had a bar mitzvah of sorts. Netflix’s academia satire The Chair featured a professor who causes controversy by jokingly performing a Nazi salute in class — an incident possibly based on real life. The PBS genealogy show Finding Your Roots welcomed Mandy Patinkin, and revealed that he had lost family in the Holocaust. JANUARY 6 • 2022




A Beloved Entertainer New book profiles the life and work of the legendary Soupy Sales.


nce upon a time, a star, a superstar, perhaps the leading television performer in all of America, lived right here in Jewish Detroit, seemingly next door to everyone. In the 1950s, when school children had a lunch break long enough to allow them to walk home, enjoy lunch with their stay-at-home mom and get back in time for afternoon class, Lunch with Soupy filled a need. It gave households — those that already had the brand-new luxury of a television — a focus for their time together. Soupy, wearing his oversized bow tie and his battered top hat, interacted with his family of characters, including a mostly offscreen pair of dogs, Black Tooth and White Fang, and a mostly offscreen angry neighbor. Often Soupy got a pie in the face as reward for his efforts. Somehow, Soupy also managed to eat his lunch during the show and tout his Jell-O brand dessert. Even the littlest children responded to the unthreatening slapstick of Soupy Sales and the cartoons he showed. Older siblings and their mothers came to love his ridiculous puns and zany skits. Remarkably, while Soupy perfected his program for children at noon, he also hosted a late-night program for adults. At 11 p.m., Soupy’s On featured



JANAURY 6 • 2022

music by Soupy’s guests, the greatest big-band and jazz musicians who appeared at Detroit music clubs, sophisticated conversation about music, and zany skits mocking various aspects of popular culture. Soupy would transform himself for these skits in an instant into the French actor Charles Vichyssoise, or the Western hero Wyatt Burp or noted author Ernest Herringbone. Segregation flourished in the 1950s: Club owners presented some local venues as “black and tan clubs,” where the audiences could include white and Black patrons. Other clubs were not so accommodating. The finest musicians, Black and white, were honored guests on Soupy’s On. Club owners even insisted on inserting a clause in performers’ contracts insisting that, in addition to performing at the club, they appear on Soupy’s program. While running a show at lunchtime and another at bedtime, what did Soupy Sales do with the rest of his day? He scheduled personal appearances all around Detroit, for



Soupy Sales autographing books at the Big Apple Convention in Manhattan, 2008.

nearly anyone who asked him. Dave Usher, Soupy’s manager at the time, said, “He would average about five or six calls a day from viewers asking, mainly because of his kid’s show, if he’d make appearance at various locations. So we’d show up whenever . . .” When he announced on television that he would show up at a Big Boy restaurant or a movie theater, thousands of his followers would swarm

him. He would also make appearances at private parties, just because someone asked. Soupy explained why: “He felt he owed it to the people of Detroit.” You learn all this and more in Francis Shor’s Soupy Sales and the Detroit Experience: Manufacturing a Television Personality (Cambridge Scholars Publishing). THE EARLY YEARS Soupy Sales started out as Milton Supman, born in


1926, firstborn son of the only Jews in Franklinton, North Carolina. His parents — like Jews all over the rural South — ran the general store. Milton’s father, Irving, died in 1931. In 1934, Milton’s mother, Sadie Berman Supman, married Felix Goldstein, and moved with her three sons to Huntington, West Virginia. Milton graduated from Marshall College (now University) in his hometown, where he began his career as a performer. After a stint in the U.S. Navy in World War II, he began his career as a radio, and then television, personality, eventually making it to Detroit. Shor writes: “It’s also clear from the archives of the Detroit Jewish News that Soupy did not want to forget his own connections to the Jewish community. Starting in the fall of 1953, right through the fall of 1959, he participated in a variety of events as a master of ceremonies or special guest.” He lent his talent to Jewish War Veterans posts’ Chanukah parties, to a children’s party of the Temple Israel Men’s Club and to an event at the Jewish Community Center of Northwest Detroit. He also headlined at Easter and Christmas events throughout Detroit. Soupy called his followers, the swarms of children who showed up wherever he went, the “birdbaths.” Eventually, he formalized the title. Children could send in “something like a dime” for an official membership card, identifying them as members of the Birdbath Club. With what in retrospect looks like extraordinary clumsiness, the station moved Lunch with Soupy from its natural hour at noon to breakfast time, and then to 4 p.m. His television audience somehow moved with him. Eventually, Soupy moved on to Los Angeles, and then to New York, going where his career took him. Francis Shor analyzes the appeal of Soupy Sales for children. Soupy somehow managed to be both wholesome and subversive. He gave children good advice, writing on his “Soupy Sez” blackboard such wisdom as “Be true to your teeth,

Sales on Lunch With Soupy Sales television program in 1960

and they’ll never be false to you.” Soupy treated children with kindness, while his skits seemed spontaneous and out-of-control, teetering on the edge of chaotic absurdity. Shor develops a pointed contrast between Lunch with Soupy and The Mickey Mouse Club, a blockbuster of children’s programming of the same era. The Mickey Mouse Club appears under tight controls, carefully scripted, resolutely virtuous, directed by serious adults. Lunch with Soupy appears as if unscripted, in Shor’s words, “ordinary, familiar and spontaneous.” Soupy seems unafraid of making a fool of himself, like a big kid himself, treating other kids as his peer group.

REDISCOVERING SOUPY If you are too young to have seen Soupy Sales on television or if you’ve never heard of Soupy Sales, you can scarcely recover the phenomenon from the internet. Almost none of his work survives in video files. You can see a few bits on YouTube. Soupy Sales published a book of his favorite gags, Stop Me If You’ve Heard It!, which includes this typical piece: Two goats are busy eating garbage. While they’re eating, one of them finds a roll of old film and proceeds to eat it up. After he finishes chewing on the film, the other

goat asks him, “Did you enjoy the film?” The other goats says, “Actually, I preferred the book!” Francis Shor has the qualifications to write this book: professor emeritus of history at Wayne State University, Shor has the Detroit connections and the research skills to uncover every scrap of information about Soupy Sales. Shor is also the right age for the enterprise; as a child enchanted by the magic of Lunch with Soupy Sales, he has remained enchanted. The subtitle of Shor’s work, “Manufacturing a Television Personality,” might give the impression that the professor intends to deconstruct the image of Soupy Sales, to show the performer as depressingly different from the performance. On Francis Shor the contrary, Shor’s extensive research reveals the performer’s authenticity. The broadcasting business built the image of Soupy Sales on the real person. Every bit of research reveals Shor’s continuing love for Soupy Sales. Soupy Sales and the Detroit Exper-ience is available at At checkout, enter promotional code PROMO25. Charges are In British pounds sterling, the equivalent of about $29, which includes shipping. JANUARY 6 • 2022







JANUARY 6 • 2022

mutual friend. They decide that “life is short” and they must take chances to shake up their lives. In other words, pivot from what they have been doing. Ginnifer Goodwin, 43, plays Jodie, one of the three friends. Her most memorable roles include playing the third wife of a polygamous renegade Mormon in Big Love on HBO (2006-2011); a romance-seeking young woman in the hit film He’s Not Just That Into You (2010); and Snow White on the ABC series Once Upon a Time (2011-2018). Goodwin is the daughter of a non-Jewish father and a Jewish mother. She was raised “both” Jewish and Unitarian (with more exposure to Judaism). In 2013, she said that she had left religion behind her 10 years before, but she had recently made a choice to embrace Judaism. The PBS celebrity ancestry show, Finding Your Roots, began its eighth season Jan. 4. The 21 celebs profiled this season include actress Pamela Adlon (fourth episode) and director/writer Damon Lindelof (ninth episode). I’ll say more about them just before their episode premieres. I previously noted that Willie Garson died last September, age 57. He was best known for playing Stanford Blatch, the gay LISA FRANCHOT VIA WIKIPEDIA

A THRILLER, FATHER/ box-office hits. Likewise, DAUGHTER SURGEONS, his TV series record isn’t PIVOTING WOMEN stellar. He has co-starred in AND MORE two American TV series that The 355, an action spy thrillweren’t renewed after their er, opens in theaters Jan. first 13 episodes aired. 7. Jessica Chastain stars Do check out Isaacs in as a CIA secret agent who The Death of Stalin (2017), a teams up with other intercritically acclaimed film that national agents to recover somehow managed to be a secret weapon. Simon Kinberg, 49, directed the film and he co-wrote it. He has co-written several X-Men films and he’s also a top film producer. Check out Good Sam, a CBS series that premiered on Jan. 5. New episodes air Wednesdays at 9 p.m. It’s easy to catch encore showings on-demand or free online. Here’s the capsule plot: Dr. Samantha Griffith (Sophia Bush) becomes the top surgeon at her hospital after her boss and father, Dr. Rob Griffith (British Jewish actor Jason Isaacs, 58), falls The late Willie Garson into a coma. Her life becomes complicated when funny and factually accurate. he awakens and wants to It depicted the fierce jockeyresume surgery. She’s now ing to be Stalin’s successor her father’s boss and deci(1953) as the dictator lay sions about his professional dying. Isaacs co-stars as career are now in her hands. Marshall Zhukov, the Soviet Isaacs was raised in a reliUnion’s greatest WWII hero. gious Jewish home, but he All the would-be Stalin sucis not religious as an adult. cessors courted Zhukov. He is best known for playing (Historians really love this Lucius Malfoy in the Harry movie.) Potter movies. His list of starPivoting, a dramedy series, ring or co-starring roles goes premieres on Jan. 9 (9 p.m., back decades. But he hasn’t Fox). Here’s the premise: had the best luck in picking Three middle-aged women, roles. Most of his films were who are friends, are jarred so/so in quality and weren’t by the sudden death of a

best friend of star character Carrie, on Sex and the City. I wrote that it wasn’t clear whether Garson had filmed episodes of the Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That, before his death from cancer. Garson did appear in the first four episodes of And Just Like That. His character was written out of the series in the Dec. 19 episode (the excuse being that he was taking a big job in Japan). Garson wasn’t gay in “real life,” but he didn’t want to talk about that. He thought that telling the media that you’re straight, while playing a gay character, could be taken by some that there is something wrong with being gay. His friendship with Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie) pre-dated Sex and the City. In a recent interview, she said she kept his illness confidential. Knowing his condition, she worried about the big health risk Garson took by filming during the pandemic. Parker also worried about the emotions Garson must have felt as his character attended the funeral (scene) of Carrie’s husband, Mr. Big. I recently learned that Garson was long involved with a woman who didn’t want children. Garson did and, after they broke-up, he adopted a 7-year-old boy. Reports are that Garson decided to stop acting in And Just episodes so he could spend his last months at home with Nathan, his son. Nathan, now 20, posted a moving statement about how much he loved his father on Instagram.





10-11 AM, JAN. 9

10:30-11:30 AM, JAN. 9

WOMEN & TALMUD 11 AM, JAN. 7-FEB. 25 Adat Shalom Synagogue invites you to join Rabbi Aaron Bergman on Zoom to read together the writings of great contemporary Talmud scholars such as Rabbi Dr. Judith Hauptman and Dr. Ruth Calderon to gain insight into how these texts can still create meaning for all of us today. All texts available free of charge at Free. To RSVP and receive the Zoom link, contact Jodi Gross, jgross@ or 248-851-5100, ext. 238.

YOGA EVENT 10-11 AM, JAN. 9 At Little Caesars Arena. Citizen Yoga will host this yoga community event to raise awareness and funds for the nonprofit Brilliant Detroit. Each $31 ticket purchased will include a fun, all-levels yoga class, a donation to Brilliant Detroit and a ticket to the Detroit Pistons vs. Toronto Raptors game on Jan. 14. The yoga class will be led by Citizen Yoga Founder Kacee Must and teacher Ann Fancy and will be approximately 60 minutes. Everyone is welcome to join this fully led yoga class held on the Pistons game court.

MEDITATION & MINDFULNESS 9:30 AM, JAN. 9 Adat Shalom Synagogue invites adults of all ages to join Rabbi Aaron Bergman for a class designed to help individuals find their internal spirituality and realize how Judaism can make them happier. The community is welcome. Free. For information, contact 248-851-5100 or visit

CURRENT AFFAIRS 10-11 AM, JAN. 9 Join Jewish Federation Israel & Overseas Department Israeli staff members for a free, fun and informal monthly coffee talk. Drop-in to exchange ideas, opinions, questions and answers on the timeliest affairs in Israel. Register: events/1315. After registering, check your email for your registration email. It contains the link to join the Livestream.

WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT 11 AM-5:30 PM, JAN. 9 Hadassah, America’s largest Jewish women’s organization, will present “The Power of Purpose,” its first women’s empowerment conference. The national event will bring together a diverse group of women who are changing the status quo in

a wide range of nonprofit sectors, from civil rights and civic engagement to women’s health and women’s rights, from pro-Israel activism and the fight against antisemitism to socially conscious entrepreneurship and venture capital investing. The conference will take place on Zoom. Members of the public can register for the conference at powerofpurpose.

MUSEUM TOUR 10:30-11:30 AM, JAN. 9 This online tour of the Museum of the Jewish People, Tel Aviv, is hosted by Congregation Beth Shalom, Oak Park. Cost is $10 per household to attend. A Zoom link will be sent to all who register in the week leading up to the event. Visit to sign up today.

FEMINIST TORAH STUDY 11 AM, JAN. 9 Adat Shalom Synagogue invites you to join Rabbi Blair Nosanwisch, director of spiritual care, for a spiritual, intellectual and conversational learning experience. You don’t have to know what “feminist Torah” is to show up. No fee to participate. RSVP to Mikki Shenkenberg at or 248-851-5100.

DEFY DETROIT 4:15-6:15 PM, JAN. 9 Join Aish HaTorah for a fun-filled kickoff event at Defy Detroit Trampoline Parks, 2737 Union Lake Road, Commerce. For boys ages 12-14. Cost is $30, includes snacks/drinks and a pizza dinner. Transportation available upon request. Register: events/1287.

FORGOTTEN GENOCIDE 1 PM, JAN. 10 The Jewish Theological Seminary will present online author Alexander Gendler when he talks about his book, KHURBM 1914-1922: Prelude to the Holocaust. The Beginning, a collection of eyewitness testimonies and other sources that reveal the destruction of Jewish life by the continued on page 46 JANUARY 6 • 2022




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PEOPLE | PLACES | EVENTS continued from page 45

Russian army during World War I. Register:;| 248-8515100, ext. 246. Future date Feb. 7.

WINTER WARM UP 11 AM-12:30 PM, JAN. 16

CHADD MEETING 7:30-8:30 PM, JAN. 10

Warm up with NEXTGen Detroit, JFamily and Hillel Day School for a cozy morning of crafts, cocoa and connecting with other young Jewish families in Metro Detroit at Hillel Day School, 322300 Middlebelt, Farmington Hills. Cost: $15 per family. Gym time fun, Tu b’Shevat planting, snow sensory stations, MLK Jr. Day activity. This program is geared toward children under 5 years old.​Siblings are welcome. Masks are required for those older than 2, and proof of COVID vaccination is required for adults. Donations will be collected for the Vernor Elementary School community for MLK Day of Service. In order of need, bring the following new items: shampoo, conditioner, body soap, hand soap, deodorant, hand sanitizer, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitary pads, lotion, crayons, dry erase markers and markers. Register in advance by ​Jan. 10: events/1313.

This will be a combined adult and parent meeting with Geraldine Markel, Ph.D. Topic: “Managing Your Mind Coaching;” “Actions Against Distractions: High Productivity and Low Stress for Adults and Adolescents with ADHD During Uncertain Times.” Paste the following link into your web browser by 7:30 p.m.: us02web. Meeting ID: 822 8823 0426. Passcode: 499023.

INTRO TO JUDAISM 7-9 PM, JAN. 10-MAY 23 Adat Shalom Synagogue invites you to join Rabbi Dan Horwitz for this class. Explore all the best of the Jewish tradition, from Torah to food to holidays to Israel and more. Cost $54/Adat Shalom member, $180 guest. Register: Info: No class Feb. 21, April 18.

TIME WITH THE RABBI 7 PM, JAN. 10 Adat Shalom Synagogue invites you to join Rabbi Aaron Bergman via Zoom for a discussion of things he finds interesting about Judaism. Free. To RSVP and receive the Zoom link, contact Kellie Yost,

ONLINE CONFERENCE JAN. 10-13 “Studies in Second Temple Judaism: A Global Enterprise” is organized by the U-M Frankel Center for Judaic Studies. This will be an international online conference, a study of Second Temple Jewish history, practice and belief. The Frankel Institute for Advanced Studies and the Enoch Seminar have invited 44 scholars from across the globe to present their work and engage in a conversation about the present status and the prospects of the field. Register:

CAREGIVER SUPPORT 1:30-2:30 PM, JAN. 11 Virtual Caregiver Support Groups for individuals who are care partners for those living with cognitive changes including several types of dementia. Contact Dorothy Moon, Brown Adult Day Program social worker, for Zoom link and more information: 248-233-4392,

AUTHOR CONVERSATION 7:30 PM, JAN. 11 The Jewish Theological Seminary of America will present Dr. Eitan

Dr. Eitan Fishbane

1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust. After registering, check your email for your registration email, which will contain the link to join the free YouTube Livestream. Register:

NOSH & KNOWLEDGE 12:30 PM, JAN. 13 Fishbane, who will discuss his book, Embers of Pilgrimage, a collection of original poems incorporating imagery from the Zohar and other Jewish mystical works. Register:

The National Council of Jewish Women / Michigan will present on Zoom “DIA Essentials” with Carlene VanVoorhies. This program will take you on a behind-the-scenes virtual experience of the DIA you know and love. Free event but RSVP required on



“Iran: What to Do Next” will be a Zoom program brought by the American Friends of Rabin Medical Center. Robert Siegel (former senior host of NPR’s “All Things Considered”) conducts the interviews. Free registration: After the initial program, it can be viewed on JBS TV and on AFRMC’s YouTube and Facebook. Learn more at For further information: afrmc@ or call 212-279-2522.

Taking care of a loved one can be difficult. So can ensuring that your own needs are being met during this challenging time. It’s easy to feel isolated but Jewish Family Service and Jewish Senior Life are here to offer family caregivers support, comfort and a sense of community. First panel: Lynn Breuer and Becky Eizen, JFS; Barbra Giles, JSL; Norman E. Richards, Esq.; Robin Hamilton-Morris, AAA1-B. Info: or 248592-2313.


Jeffrey Veidlinger

AUTHOR SPEAKS 7-8 PM, JAN. 12 Hosted by the Jewish Community Center and presented by SAJE and the Detroit Jewish Book Fair. Jeffrey Veidlinger of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan and Howard Lupovitch of the Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic Studies at Wayne State University, will discuss of Veidlinger’s book, In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of

Adat Shalom Synagogue invites you to join Rabbi Dan Horwitz for a (Zoom) discussion of Mitch Albom’s book The Stranger in the Lifeboat. A group of shipwrecked passengers pull a strange man from the sea. He claims to be “the Lord;” he says he can only save them if they all believe in him. No fee to attend. To RSVP and receive the Zoom link, contact Mikki Shenkenberg, or 248-851-5100. Compiled by Sy Manello/Editorial Assistant. Send items at least 14 days in advance to

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HEALTHCARE Caregiver seeking live-in position for elderly care. 15 yrs. exp. Call Melinda 248-550-5637 Exp. Compassionate Caregiver available evenings and weekends for the Metro Detroit area. Abby (248) 873-6181 Looking for Reliable & Loving Care for a family member don't hesitate to contact Ever Lasting Impression Home Healthcare. We provide experience care givers and nurse assistance in the private of your home. Please call Brandis (313) 296-3966. A1 CAREGIVER/COMPANION. Experienced, excellent references. 248-991-4944 Male caregivers available for 12 to 24 hour shifts, leave-in if needed. Areas covered are in Oakland County. If interested, please call (248) 954-5050. 24/7 Caregiver with 10+ years experience. Masters in mental health services. Errands and light housekeeping. Available weekends. Please call 248.752.1535 24-HOUR AFFORDABLE CAREGIVER w/ Memory Care, Med Reminder & Companionship

Experience. 26 Years of Excellent Services! References Available. Call April 586-335-5377 Cita Angels Home Care. Caregiver Services 24 hr. care. We assist in cooking, cleaning, bathing/grooming, doctor appointments, errands, etc. We accept private pay and Medicaid payment. Please call 1-866-542-6435. G&F Professional ServicesCompassionate, affordable, responsible and efficient homecare. Call Georgiana (248) 571-1837 (www. TRANSPORTATION Reliable Driver-Best Rates Airport, appts., errands, shopping & more or ask? Call David 248-690-6090 A1 DRIVER for Drs appts,shopping, errands,airports and more. (248) 991-4944

Free Attic, Crawl Space & Basement Inspections ANTIQUES WANTED. / BUYING / ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES COINS, STAMPS, WATCHES, CAMERAS Please Call (248) 259-8088 or Text (313)395-8599 Website= Email= MISCELLANEOUS FOR SALE MUDHEN SPORTS CARDS * huge inventory of HALL of FAMERS * PSA 7 and up * bday, bar mitzva, hanuka * Dixieland Flea Mkt, Waterford, SE corner Dixie Hwy/ Telegraph (tel.) 248-907-3820 Richard MISCELLANEOUS WANTED Seeking live in housekeeper with drivers license. Light cooking, cleaning and laundry. 2 person household, full time hours. Call 248-681-1011.

SERVICES Seeking Female Live-in Caregiver, Southfield Based. Full Time Hours. Please Contact Family 908-783-2131 AAA Cleaning Service. 15 yrs. in business.Natalie 248-854-0775

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AMY ABEL, 34, of West Palm Beach, Fla., formerly of Waterford, passed away on Dec. 17, 2021. Amy was the beloved daughter of Lori and Bruce Abel; dear sister of Brian Abel; loving aunt of Maddox Wilson; beloved by her aunts, uncles and many cousins. She was predeceased by her grandparents, Judy and Norman Sommers and Phyllis and Martin Abel. Interment was at I. J. Morris at the Star of David Cemetery of the Palm Beaches. Contributions may be made to The Shul, 6890 W. Maple Road, West Bloomfield, MI 48322,; Chabad Singer Island, 1051 Bimini Lane, Singer Island, FL 33404,; Alpert Jewish Family Service, 5841 Corporate Way, Suite 200, West Palm Beach, FL 33407, PHYLLIS BLUM, 91, of White Lake, died Dec. 15, 2021. She is survived by her sons and daughter-in-law, Laurence Blum, Arlin Blum, Keith and Dawn Blum; daughter, Adina; grandchildren, Breanna, Maxwell, Mia, Preston and Bentley; many other loving family and friends. Mrs. Blum was the beloved wife of the late Calvin H. Blum. Interment took place at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly. Contributions may be made to the Jewish War Veterans. Arrangements by Dorfman Chapel.



Everyone experiences loss differently. And while there is a certain structure in Jewish funerals and rituals, it’s important that it brings something meaningful to all. We understand that. And we treat your family’s wishes with all of the respect and compassion they deserve. From guiding the arrangements without pressure to the memorial service and the appearance of the chapel itself, we are here, fully here, to meet your every need. It’s not the only way we help ease the burden of a loss. But it’s a special type of caring that makes a Dorfman difference.



continued on page 50 JANUARY 6 • 2022



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OF BLESSED MEMORY continued from page 49

JOYCE BLUMER, 95, of West Bloomfield, died Dec. 27, 2021. She is survived by her husband of 75 years, Dr. Abraham Blumer; sons and daughters-in-law, Mark and Susan Blumer, Gary and Terre Blumer, and Dr. Robin and Dr. Kathleen Blumer; grandchildren, Justin and Amanda Blumer, Melissa Blumer, Erin and Sean Amirkhiz, Evynne Blumer, Paul Blumer, David and Aubree Blumer, and Daniel Blumer and Fleur Mak; great-grandchildren, Victoria Blumer, Henry Tiszenkel, Ryan and Mia Amirkhiz, and Theo and Amelia Blumer; sister, Madeline Winsten; sister-in-law, Edith Blumer. She is also survived by her devoted caregivers, especially Melissa, Regina, Helen and Alice; many loving nieces and nephews. Mrs. Blumer was the loving sister of the late Elaine Jacobi; and the dear sister-in-law of the late Dr. Seymour Winsten, the late Menachem Jacobi, and the late Nathan Blumer. Interment was at Adat Shalom Memorial Park. Contributions may be made to a charity of one’s choice. Arrangements by Ira Kaufman Chapel. DENISE CHOCRON, 60, of Nashville, Tenn., died Dec. 25, 2021. She is survived by her devoted husband, Larry Chocron; daughters, Carly Chocron, Emily Chocron and Rachel Chocron; sisters and brothers-in-law, Gini and Richard

Winer, Lynn and Eric Rosenberg; brothers and sister-in-law, Leonard and Jeanine Kaufman, Bruce Kaufman; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Elliot and Steffani Chocron; many loving nieces, nephews, other family members and friends. Mrs. Chocron was the daughter of the late Robert and Carol Kaufman. Interment took place at Adat Shalom Memorial Park Cemetery in Livonia. Contributions may be made to AKL Positive Inc. Arrangements by Dorfman Chapel. DR. SCOT F. GOLDBERG, M.D., M.B.A., 61, of Farmington Hills, died Dec.

21, 2021. He is survived by his wife, Judith Goldberg; daughter, Jessica Goldberg; son, Ryan Goldberg; sister, Hillary Goldberg; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Michael and Barbara Wegener; niece and nephew, Sarah Wegener and Joshua Wegener. Dr. Goldberg was the devoted son of the late Jacob and the late Joyce Goldberg; loving son-in-law of the late Zvi and the late Betty Wegener. Anyone who would like to share a memory of Dr. Goldberg (including stories, pictures, videos, etc.) may do so by sending an email to MemoriesOfScott@gmail. com. Contributions may be made to Sib4Sib, donate; or to a charity of one’s choice. Arrangements by Ira Kaufman Chapel.

LUBA BETH GRUNDY, 89, of Farmington Hills, died Dec. 24, 2021. She is survived by her devoted husband of 70 years, Allan Grundy; sons and daughters-in-law, Dr. Gurusahay (Mukta) Khalsa, Leon (Cris), Jeffry, and Dr. Bruce Grundy; seven grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; many other loving family members and friends. Mrs. Grundy was sister of the late Dr. Ramon Jacobs and the late Dr. Neal Jacobs; daughter of the late Dr. Joseph and the late Beatrice Jacobs. Interment took place at Adat Shalom Memorial Park Cemetery. Contributions may be made to the Sholem Aleichem Institute. Arrangements by Dorfman Chapel.

JOSEPH HIRSCH, 96, of Oak Park, died Dec. 22, 2021. He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Shimon and Miriam Hirsch; daughters and sons-in-law, Mindy and Sheldon Mandelbaum, Miriam and Yankel Horowitz, Yocheved and Dovid Parness, Hedy and Yochanan Danziger; brothers and sisterin-law, Isi and Phyllis Hirsch, Uri Hirsch; many loving grandchildren, great-grandchildren, other relatives and friends. Mr. Hirsch was the beloved husband of the late Dorothy Hirsch. Contributions may be made to a charity of one’s choice. A service was held at Hebrew Memorial Chapel. Interment took place at Hebrew Memorial Park. Arrangements by Hebrew Memorial Chapel.

HELEN INDIANER, 91, of Novi, died Dec. 27, 2021. She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Arthur and Helene Indianer; daughter, Dr. Phyllis Indianer; grandchildren, Brian and Riki Indianer, Stephanie and Jared Koenig, Stacy Indianer and her fiance, Adam Zuppke, Elana and Marte Rosen, and Seth and Kayla Rosen; great-grandchildren, Izzie and Ivy Indianer; brother, Dr. Herbert Kaufer. Mrs. Indianer was the beloved wife of the late Simon S. Indianer; the proud grandmother of the late Samantha Erin Rosen; the devoted daughter of the late Sam and the late Sally Kaufer. Interment was at Beth Abraham Cemetery. Contributions may be made

to Angela Hospice, 14100 Newburgh Road, Livonia, MI 48154,; or Jewish Hospice & Chaplaincy Network, 6555 W. Maple, West Bloomfield, MI 48322, Arrangements by Ira Kaufman Chapel. JONI MAHLER PEVOS, 76, of West Bloomfield, died Dec. 26, 2021. She is survived by her daughters and son-inlaw, Lesley and Andy Gutman, and Jennifer Pevos; grandchildren, Riley Gutman and Ryder Pevos; siblings, Dianne and Stanley Siegelbaum, Paula Mahler, Robert Rubin, Leslie and Russell Stambaugh; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Suzi and Bob Guerin; nieces and nephews, Harry Pevos, Debbie (Jeffrey Bussell) Pevos, continued on page 52

We believe that every Jew has a portion in the world to come. Trust us to prepare your loved one for that journey.

JANUARY 6 • 2022




OF BLESSED MEMORY continued from page 51

Eric Guerin, Jessica (Andy) Beach, Howard Siegelbaum, Steven Siegelbaum; many other loving family members and friends. Mrs. Pevos was the beloved wife of the late Ray Pevos; daughter of the late Harold Mahler, the late Betty Mahler and the late Adelle Mahler; sister-in-law of the late Sue (the late Dan) Pevos; aunt of the late Julie Sias. Interment took place at Clover Hill Park Cemetery in Birmingham. Contributions may be made to ALS Association. Arrangements by Dorfman Chapel. JOSEPH SHULMAN, 92, of West Bloomfield, died Dec. 22, 2021.



JANUARY 6 • 2022

He is survived by his sons and daughter-inlaw, Lawrence Shulman of Franklin, Richard and Trista Shulman of West Bloomfield; grandchildren, Nicholas, Kate, Alex, Sawyer, Ruby, Willow; nephews and niece, Terry and Tina Shulman, Jordan Shulman, Samson Shulman; great-nephew, Devan; special companion of many years, Barbara Stryck. Mr. Shulman was the beloved husband of the late Evelyn Shulman, and the late Baylee Shulman; dear brother of the late Robert Shulman. Contributions may be made to a charity of one’s choice. A service was held at Hebrew Memorial Chapel. Interment took place at Clover Hill Park Cemetery in Birmingham. Arrangements by Hebrew Memorial Chapel.

JEROME B. STURMAN, 79, of Delaware, Ohio, died Dec. 25, 2021. He is survived by his son and daughterin-law, David and Kathy Sturman; granddaughters, Hannah B. and Emily M.; sister and brother-in-law, Ilene and Dr. Allen Horowitz; nieces, Marisa Horowitz-Jaffe and Elana Horowitz-Fornaro; nephew., A.J. Horowitz. He is also survived by his good friend, Barbara Abramowitz;

other loving family members and friends. Mr. Sturman was the son of the late Beatrice (Eisensmith) and Meyer Sturman; husband of his late beloved wife, Michelle (Shelly) Sturman; good friend of the late Rachel Zook. Interment took place at Clover Hill Park Cemetery in Birmingham. Contributions may be made to a charity of one’s choice. Arrangements by Dorfman Chapel.

OBITUARY CHARGES The processing fee for obituaries is: $125 for up to 100 words; $1 per word thereafter. A photo counts as 15 words. There is no charge for a Holocaust survivor icon. The JN reserves the right to edit wording to conform to its style considerations. For information, have your funeral director call the JN or you may call Sy Manello, editorial assistant, at (248) 351-5147 or email him at


Then-Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid speaks during an address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference, May 23, 2011.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Had Deep Jewish Ties


hen Harry Reid was 19, he wanted to marry Landra Gould. Her Jewish parents had other ideas. Reid, a middleweight boxer who converted to the Church of Latter-day Saints as a college student, got into a fistfight with Gould’s father in her front yard. And then he and Landra eloped. Reid’s pugilistic sensibility served him well in politics, lifting him up from abject poverty in Nevada on to Congress, where he became the Democratic Party’s Senate majority leader. He helped Democrats score multiple major legislation victories, including President Barack Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act. Reid died Dec. 28, 2021, at 82 in Henderson, Nevada, a suburb of Las Vegas. The cause was pancreatic cancer. Within weeks of marrying Landra, Reid reconciled with his in-laws and introduced Jewish customs into his household. The Reids lit Shabbat candles in their home until Landra’s parents died. They kept a mezuzah on the door of their home in Searchlight, where Reid grew up. “My two oldest children have great affection for things Jewish, and my three younger children are aware of their mother’s lineage, and all of them are very proud of the fact that they are eligi-


ble for Israeli citizenship,” Reid told The New Yorker in 2005. Reid made close Jewish friends in Nevada, in part because he grew to love his wife’s Jewish roots — later in life, he wore his father-in-law’s ring — but also because it was inevitable in a state that Jews helped found and build. Reid started buying Israel bonds early in his career. “I’d say, ‘Harry, you can’t afford to give that much,’” a close friend, Neil Galatz, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in 2006, after Democrats swept Congress and Reid launched his eight-year stint as majority leader. “He’d say, ‘I can’t afford not to.’” Members of the Jewish and pro-Israel communities in Nevada appreciated having a fighter on their side. Reid was a leader on pro-Israel legislation and shepherded major sanctions targeting Iran through Congress in 2010 when, as majority leader in the Senate, he was busy muscling through the Affordable Care Act. That was also the year of the Tea Party political insurgency. Republicans, who despised Reid’s pugnaciousness — he called President George W. Bush a “loser” and a “liar” — were out for blood and raised big money for his Tea Party opponent, Sharron Angle. (Reid later apologized for calling Bush a “loser” but liked to say he never apologized for calling him a liar.)

Reid turned to pro-Israel donors for help, and they turned out for him, helping to elect him to his final term. Reid paid back the favor, making headlines in 2011 when he spoke at AIPAC’s annual policy conference and criticized Obama’s call for a peace deal based on 1967 lines. It was not the only time Reid sided with the pro-Israel community against Obama administration policies. In 2016, he joined five other top Democrats in rapping the administration for not extending its anti-boycott policies to products made in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. He sided with Obama, however, on the most significant difference the president had with the pro-Israel community, the Iran nuclear deal. In 2015, after announcing that he would not run again, Reid endorsed Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to be his successor as caucus leader, a move that would propel Schumer in 2021 to become the first Jewish majority leader, the highest elected Jewish political figure in American history. “Harry Reid was one of the most amazing individuals I’ve ever met,” Schumer wrote Tuesday on Twitter, announcing that flags at the Capitol would fly at half mast. “He never forgot where he came from and used those boxing instincts to fearlessly fight those who were hurting the poor and the middle class.” JANUARY 6 • 2022



Looking Back

From the William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History accessible at

A Design Icon


ew York City’s School of Visual Arts is currently displaying an exhibition in tribute to Milton Glaser (19292020). Glaser was an internationally acclaimed Jewish graphic designer and illustrator and, with partner Seymour Chwast, a co-founder of the Push Pin Design Studios in 1954. He worked there until he passed at age 91. Glaser’s career is impressive. The son of Hungarian Jewish immigrants, he graduated from Manhattan’s High School of Mike Smith Art and Design, and Cooper Alene and Graham Landau Union College in New York Archivist Chair City. Glaser also studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Bologna, Italy. From this point forward, one needs a lengthy scorecard to capture all his work. Glaser designed newspapers, magazines, logos, corporate identity and architectural projects, and co-founded New York Magazine in 1968. He believed that “All the work I do is basically work of persuasion.” A small sampling indicates the breadth of Glaser’s work. He did designs for PBS’s Mobile Masterpiece Theater, brochures for Steelcase Corporation in Grand Rapids, and packaging for Mattel’s Barbie Dolls and new Hershey candies. He designed more than 400 posters, including the famous psychedelic poster that was included with Bob Dylan’s first “greatest hits” album. And along the way, Glaser designed 10 different type fonts. Glaser’s most famous design is one that most, if not all of us, will recognize — the “I ❤ NY” — famous on coffee mugs, T-shirts and other souvenirs from the Big Apple. It is one of the most imitated designs in history, although Glaser himself did not like the acclaim for this icon. I was told that Glaser had a direct connection to the JN, so I decided to go into the William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish



JANUARY 6 • 2022

Detroit History for the story. Along the way, I found two additional connections. Glaser’s Push Pin group did a complete redesign of the JN in 1997. The JN had doubled in size from 72 pages per week in 1986 to 156 pages by 1996. Then-publisher Arthur Horwitz described the JN as “a house that kept adding new rooms and wings but no longer had a coherent floor plan” (July 18, 2017). So, he hired Push Pin Group, founded by “international icons of design,” to do a complete and radical redesign of the JN, from typefaces to a new logo, from rules for use of white space to content flow. The redesign debuted in September 1997 and was the foundation of the JN layout for many years (it should be noted that, never standing still, the JN has had various redesigns since then). In the Archive, I found that Glaser had two other direct connections to Detroit. First, there is an interesting sidebar with a Don Cohen article about Bob Dylan in the Sept. 22, 2005, JN. Speaking of his favorite Dylan music, Adat Shalom Rabbi Aaron Bergman revealed that Milton Glaser was his cousin. “Friendly Persuasion” in the Jan. 31, 2003, JN is about “two renowned Jewish artists” displaying their works at Center Galleries in Detroit: Murray Tinkleman and Milton Glaser. Milton Glaser became the first graphic designer to receive the prestigious National Medal of the Arts, presented to him by President Barak Obama in 2009. A well-deserved honor, indeed, for a great designer. Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at



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