Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles written by Marilyn Shapiro

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What goes around eventually comes around

Recently, the University of Southern California renamed the school track and field Allyson Felix Field in honor of the USC alumna and its illustrious 11-time Olympic medalist. Most media sources did not include in its coverage the previous name of th...


We need more Davids to fight the Goliaths of antisemitism

In 2021, ADL reported 2717 antisemitic incidents throughout the United States, a 34 percent increase over 2020. The recent mass shooting in Highland Park, Buffalo, Colorado Springs, and Virginia, are deplorable testimonies to the level of hate in...


Memorial Scrolls Trust loans out Torahs around the world

They escaped destruction by the Nazis, survived communism, and found their ways to new homes. This is a story of three Torahs that all have their roots in long-gone Czechoslovakian synagogues. Up...


Jewish singer brings 'lost' popular, historic music to the Fringe

My mother loved Judy Garland and Deanna Durbin. She would have loved Melanie Gall. My husband, Larry, and I first became acquainted with Melanie Gall, a Canadian chanteuse, in 2019, through our friend...


Sharing a family legacy in a new book

“Fradel’s Story,” my third book since 2016, is especially sweet as it was co-written with my mother, Frances Cohen. Ever since I could remember, my mother was the family storyteller. Give her an...


A hallmark Chanukah

Even though the pandemic has altered our world, my husband Larry and I will still maintain many of our traditions this Chanukah. Eating potato pancakes with applesauce. Lighting candles each night. “Betting” on which candle lasts the longest....


Holocaust survivor Albert Kitmacher and his five miracles

So much has been written about the Holocaust. But have we really learned from the past? Millions of words later, we are facing a terrifying upswing in anti-Semitism. What can we do? We can keep...


Victoria has a secret during the pandemic

She is NOT wearing an underwire. And so are many other women. Yes, we have expunged our Exquisite Forms, ousted our Olgas and wiped out our Warners. Instead, we have traded our confining, pokey...


Why I am not voting for Donald Trump

This article is in response to “Donald Trump: Social Justice President” (Rabbi Sanford Olshansky, Heritage, Aug. 28, 2020).  The High Holy Days will be very different this year for all of us. Rather than meeting fellow congregants in our...


Abbott's chocolate almond ice cream - and don't skimp on the almonds!

How will I celebrate a milestone birthday during the pandemic? That hoped-for week away with my family is out. A party at my home is out. Heck, my husband, Larry, and I can't even head to my favorite...


A bolt out of the blue

When I was six years old, I loved summer storms. As the sky turned dark, the thunder clapped, and the lighting shot across the sky, I would watch from the safety of our living room window. My mother...


I finally 'get it' - I'm sorry I'm late

In 1994, I attended, along with a number of my colleagues from the Capital District Educational Opportunity Center, an Office of Special Programs conference in downstate New York. After the opening night’s dinner, I wandered over to the venders...


My Top Ten list to get through this pandemic 

Some day-hopefully in the near future-the COVID-19 pandemic will be behind us. Medical interventions to those infected will alleviate  the pain, suffering, and deaths. A vaccine may be developed...


The personal impact of the corona virus

As we tread carefully through the fourth month of the corona virus pandemic, the emotional and physical devastation this plague has caused is felt acutely by so many. As our days of sheltering at home continue, it has become much more real, much mor... Full story


May the coronavirus passover us all

Biblical Irony: Passover seder may be delayed by the plague. Facebook meme One of Judaism’s most important holidays officially begins with the first seder on April 8. Pesach in the time of coronavirus, however, will be very different. During these... Full story


Purim-a time to be drunk on happiness

By Marilyn Shapiro Purim is around the corner, and not far behind are costumes and dancing and Purim shpiels and groggers and hamantashen. And, for some, alcohol. According to the Talmud, it is one's... Full story


Waking up the children... and us!

I do believe we woke up the children. You think the Flower Children of the 1960s were revolutionary? Just wait!  Full confession. Outside of wearing bell-bottom pants and trying marijuana once, I was not a flower child. My first vote for a president... Full story


Remembering Mr. Rogers

The murder of eleven Jews while they were observing Shabbat occurred in the heart of Mister Rogers's Neighborhood. The Reverend Fred Rogers and his wife Joanne owned a home and raised their two sons i... Full story


All I want for Chanukah is a new IPhone

According to Adobe Analytics, Cyber Monday 2018 generated over $7.9 billion in sales, with one of the top sellers spent on smart phones.  I will be one of those in the market. My iPhone 7, approaching its third year, is losing battery power. And,... Full story


We are thankful to have children living in beautiful places

When my daughter Julie headed out to Colorado in 2003, it was originally planned as a nine-month adventure teaching environmental science. Soon, however, Julie fell in love with the mountains, Colorado, and Sam, not necessarily in that order. They... Full story


A High Holy Day love story

The High Holidays are a special time, but it is even more special when family—and a little romance—are part of the season.  In 1951, Larry’s father, Ernie, a World War II veteran, was called back into the U.S. Army. Larry’s mother, Doris,... Full story


Remembering my dad-boats, bugs, bats, and all

Ten years ago this week, my father and I spent our last Father's Day together. My mother and he had moved up to an independent living facility in Upstate New York four miles from me. Two years later,... Full story


On Bonds and birthdays

My husband, Larry, was born the week that the State of Israel was born. For the rest of his life, his birthday celebration would be entwined with the founding of a new country. In 1961, Larry’s entire bar/bat mitzvah class and their families partic... Full story


Being Jewish in Alaska

When Dr. Liz Ross joins her fellow women congregants at Congregation Shalom Aleichem on the bima for the blessing over the candles, she pulls the hood of her kuspuk, her traditional Native Alaskan snow dress, over her head. And on her neck, her gold... Full story


Revisiting the Catskills from the staffs' perspective

In the classic movie "Dirty Dancing," Jack Weston's character Max Kellerman, the owner of the fictional Catskill resort, laments the changes down the road. "[I]t all seems to be ending. You think... Full story


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