Newsletter Issue # 39 – July 18, 2012

Dutch Jewish author Berthe Meijer, whose life intersected with Anne Frank’s, died of cancer July 10. Before the war, Meijer lived on the same Amsterdam street in a Jewish neighborhood where Frank attended a Montessori school. Both were imprisoned in Bergen-Belsen at the same time.

Naomi Zirkind, a mother of eight and electrical engineer who does research on robotics for the U.S. Army, manages to be a woman who stays true to Jewish traditions and values while still being part of a group of military engineers. Her friends from synagogue, know her as a quiet and modest figure who inspires others with her wisdom and Jewish insight.

The head of Germany’s Jewish community and a leading doctor is urging the government to create a new law that states clearly that circumcising boys for religious reasons is legal, following a regional court’s ban on the practice. Although the ruling applies only to the Cologne area, Jewish and Muslim groups responded angrily, saying it posed a threat to religious freedom in Germany.

After pondering on some of the recent articles and associated comments on a certain website, I felt that there is a significant problem in the Lubavitch community that must be addressed. one such problem is the prevalent practice of Lubavitch families employing non-Jewish women to work in their homes assisting with housework and/or child care.

Rabbi Yonah Bookstein for several years now. He’s a little more than 6 years my senior and I’ve looked up to him as a social media guru in the virtual Jewish community of the Web. I knew about his Detroit roots from a blog post he published back in September 2008 following a “Young Detroit in Hollywood” event that took place in California.

This July marks one year since choreographer, author, and innovator Liz Lerman parted ways with her dance company, formerly the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange now the Dance Exchange to fly solo as an independent choreographer. Known for her projects that integrate dancers from across the intergenerational spectrum, as well as explore the intersection of dance and science.

As I watched Detroit Tigers’ slugger Prince Fielder accept the 2012 Home Run Derby award on Monday night in Kansas City with his two adorable sons proudly standing next to him, I was emotionally moved. It also struck me as sad that Prince’s father Cecil Fielder wasn’t in that photo op as well.

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