Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles written by Marilyn Shapiro


Sorted by date  Results 1 - 25 of 61

  • The Danish resistance

    Marilyn Shapiro|Jun 7, 2024

    Much has been written about Righteous Gentiles, the men and women who risked their lives to help save the Jews in Europe during the Holocaust. One of the most successful rescues happened in Denmark, where Danish authority and innumerable private citizens working with Jewish community leaders came together to rescue thousands of their fellow citizens from certain death. Although the Nazis had occupied Denmark in 1939, initially there had been an uneasy peace. The Germans regarded the blond,...

  • 'To err is humor' - Mangled words, gaffes, and malapropisms

    Marilyn Shapiro|May 24, 2024

    A long-time fan of “Jeopardy!,” I have become more interested in recent months watching the popular quiz show’s championship series that pits the best against the best. Watching it with Larry, we enjoy playing along, supplying our own questions to the clues given in numerous categories. As was true for the two of us in our Trivial Pursuit days, I do well in the arts and entertainment areas, especially literature. Larry does well in history, geography, and sports. We don’t do as well in the sciences. I know that I will never be a “Jeopar...

  • Yom HaShoah event overflowing in Solivita

    Marilyn Shapiro|May 17, 2024

    On Sunday night, Shalom Club held its annual Holocaust Remembrance Day event as planned. When I took over chairing this event around four years ago, we had 25 people in attendance. Tonight, there were between 130 and 150 people in a room meant to be at capacity at 108. Fortunately, it was a first-story room, and several stood outside the doors as we had too many for the fire code. Lou Ziemba's story was read by his wife Beth Landa. Two musicians provided musical interludes. Julia Wood sang...

  • Remembering the Holocaust and those who survived

    Marilyn Shapiro|May 3, 2024

    Ludwig"Lou" Ziemba is a retired successful businessman, a descendent of "Jewish royalty'" and a Holocaust survivor. Lou's story begins in Poland. Rabbi Menachem Ziemba, was the chief rabbi of Warsaw, a renowned holy figure in the Ger sect of the Chassidic movement, and a key player in the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising through his pleas that urged inhabitants to fight against their captors. One of Rabbi Ziemba's nephews was Henoch, son of his brother Moshe. Henoch was a bit of a non-conformist...

  • 'Wonder of wonders, miracles of miracles'

    Marilyn Shapiro|Apr 19, 2024

    The story of Passover, more than any other Jewish holiday, is all about miracles. A burning bush. A staff that turns into a serpent. Ten plaques, each one worse than the previous one. The parting of the Red Sea. Manna coming down from heaven. Moses receiving the Torah. I have experienced what I consider miracles in my own life. Meeting Larry at a Purim party over 50 years ago. Holding our son and, three years later, our daughter, in our arms. Seeing flashes of ourselves and our children in our three beautiful grandchildren. Just this past...

  • The pest in the attic

    Marilyn Shapiro|Mar 8, 2024

    In October, on a miserable, windy, rainy day, Larry and I found a puddle on our kitchen floor. Looking up, we could see water coming from one of our recessed lights. Damn! We called a roofing company the next day. After spending an hour directing a hose onto spots on the roof, the roofer found nothing. “Just call us if it happens again.” It did. On Dec. 23, on another miserable, windy, rainy day, we had to again pull out the buckets to catch the water dripping from the same spot. As promised, the roofer came back free of charge. This time, he...

  • A beautiful holiday - Tu B'Shevat

    Marilyn Shapiro|Jan 26, 2024

    On a beautiful, chilly January morning, my family and I made our way up the path in Muir Woods National Monuments. As part of a planned family reunion, our children had made early morning reservations. A weak sun shone through the trees, a small creek caught the light, the redwoods soared above us. I was in the woods again - an absolutely pristine national monument that had survived fires and earthquakes to awe us with its beauty. Muir Woods, managed by the National Park Service, is located on...

  • The science of chili

    Marilyn Shapiro|Jan 12, 2024

    In mid-December, Central Florida was experiencing a cold snap, and I decided to make chili. I had the canned tomatoes and chopped green chilis and the soy meat crumbles for the recipe, and I had all the ingredients for cornbread, a must whenever I made it. Once I checked my pantry, however, I realized I was out for canned beans. No problem! I had been meaning to use up the dried red kidney beans tucked away for a while. What I quickly realized that the “while” was at least 9 years. Yes, as evi...

  • Inspiring kindness in the world through art

    Marilyn Shapiro|Dec 15, 2023

    Israel Tsvaygenbaum views what is happening in Israel as a painful reminder of his own family history. His father was 29 when he fled Poland in 1939 to escape the Nazis. The remaining family members were murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau. "I have always reflected in my paintings the theme of the Holocaust and, in general, human tragedy, the loss of people close to us," said the Russian-American artist, whose work representing the magic realism art movement is known throughout the world....

  • Eight thoughts for this Chanukah

    Marilyn Shapiro|Dec 1, 2023

    On Thursday, Dec. 7, Jews around the world will begin celebrating Chanukah. Each night, we will light the candles placed in our Chanukiahs to remember yet another time in our history when Jews faced the possibility of annihilation. In 167 B.C.E. Judah Maccabeus and his brothers led a revolt against Antiochus, the Seleucid king who had tried to eradicate their religion. This Jewish festival commemorates the recovery of Jerusalem and the subsequent rededication of the Second Temple Now, 2190 years later, Jews are facing another enemy whose goal...

  • Reliving an old memory

    Marilyn Shapiro|Nov 24, 2023

    In today's crazy world, it is hard to find things for which to be thankful. So I have been trying to find gratitude in the small things: a FaceTime with my children and grandchildren; a good cup of coffee with a piece of warm challah; a special moment with Larry. Recently, I reached back 54 years to remember an evening that still holds a special place in my heart. In 1969, my brother Jay, who was going for his master's at Cornell University, invited me out for the weekend. Jay arranged for me...

  • Documentary film 'Eva's Promise' debuts on TV in 2024

    Marilyn Shapiro|Nov 10, 2023

    On a train to Auschwitz, 15-year-old Eva made a promise to her brother, Heinz Geiringer. If he did not survive the camps, Eva promised to retrieve the paintings and poetry Heinz hid under the floorboards of his attic hiding place. Heinz Geiringer's story sits in the shadow of the better-known "Diary of a Young Girl." After the war, Eva became the posthumous stepsister of Anne Frank when her mother married Anne's father. While the world knows Anne's story, this film introduces Heinz, his...

  • I am enough

    Marilyn Shapiro|Sep 29, 2023

    Every year since 2015, my husband, Larry, and I have spent six weeks in Frisco, Colorado, a beautiful mountain town nestled in the Rockies. Our rented condo is a two-minute walk to my daughter, Julie, and her family. We breathe in the fresh mountain air and savor the beauty that surrounds us. We hike on miles of trail that take us under shimmering aspens, by flowing streams, and onto the shores of blue mountain lakes that reflected the snow-topped mountains. Frisco has always been a place of...

  • Just because it's about baking challah doesn't make it a cookbook

    Marilyn Shapiro|Sep 8, 2023

    As Jews around the world herald in the Hebrew Year 5784, I am celebrating Rosh Hashanah with the release of my fourth book, "Keep Calm and Bake Challah: How I Survived the Pandemic, Politics, Pratfalls, and Other of Life's Problems." Before you start getting out your baking pans, please be warned: No, this is NOT a cookbook! In March 2020, as the reality of COVID-19 hit home, I started baking challah, the delicious, braided egg bread that is typically eaten on the Sabbath and other important...

  • A Holocaust survivor revisits his past

    Marilyn Shapiro|May 19, 2023

    Standing in front of the Bielefeld, Germany, railroad station in June 2018, Harry Lowenstein traced his fingers over the all-too-familiar names etched into the Holocaust memorial: His father, David. His mother, Bernhardine. His sister, Klaere. Aunts and uncles and cousins. Friends and neighbors. During the Nazis' reign of terror, his family and hundreds of Jews from surrounding areas had stood on the station's platform before being herded onto railroad cars for the thousand-mile journey to ghett...

  • The road less traveled throughout history

    Marilyn Shapiro, First Person|Mar 31, 2023

    As I write this, I am at 9100 feet in Summit County, Colorado, spending time with my daughter Julie and my granddaughter, The Mountain Girl, while my son-in-law Sam is away on a once-in-a-lifetime rafting trip through the Grand Canyon. On one particularly beautiful morning, I dropped my second-grade Mountain Girl off at school and, with the help of trekking poles, started a hike on the bike path that runs through the county. After an invigorating hour work-out, I considered expanding my hike to...

  • What goes around eventually comes around

    Marilyn Shapiro|Feb 10, 2023

    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 the venue: Cromwell Field. What is the story behind the change? Dean Cromwell, known as the "Maker of Champions" headed the USC track and field team from 1909 through 1948. During his tenure, he guided the team to 12 NCAA team national championships and 34 individual NCAA titles. A darker story...

  • We need more Davids to fight the Goliaths of antisemitism

    Marilyn Shapiro|Dec 16, 2022

    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 this country. More recently, the New York Times has reported on the “unsettling stream of antisemitism. (“Between Kanye and the Midterms, the Unsettling Stream of Antisemitism,” Nov. 4, 2022). Then why does the online behemoth Amazon continue to sell material that profits from that hate? And more...

  • Memorial Scrolls Trust loans out Torahs around the world

    Marilyn Shapiro|Jun 10, 2022

    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 until World War II, Czechoslovakia had a thriving Jewish population rooted in hundreds of years of interaction with its Christian neighbors. With the rise of Hitler, however, came the rise of antisemitism and The Final Solution. Throughout Europe, synagogues were burned and Jews were deported to...

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

    Marilyn Shapiro|May 13, 2022

    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 friends Mike and Teri Chaves. The three had met in a Cancun resort, where Melanie was on vacation the week before her performance at the Orlando International Fringe Festival. The Chaves, with whom we had already made plans to go to the event, insisted that we join the three of them for dinner. Over...

  • Sharing a family legacy in a new book

    Marilyn Shapiro|Oct 1, 2021

    “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 opening, and Fran, or “Fradel” as she was known to her close family, would regale any audience with family stories of her grandparents’ and parents’ lives in Russia, her early years of marriage to “My Bill” Cohen, and their life in small towns in the North Country. She told of raising four children, watc...

  • A hallmark Chanukah

    Marilyn Shapiro|Dec 4, 2020

    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. Watching Hallmark Christmas movies. Wait! Hallmark Christmas movies? When did that become a tradition? For as long as I can remember, I have watched Hallmark movies. For many years, the famous card company aired shows specific to the holidays — Thanksgiving, Christmas, and of course Valentine’s Day. Ea...

  • Holocaust survivor Albert Kitmacher and his five miracles

    Marilyn Shapiro|Nov 6, 2020

    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 writing, keep recording, keep remembering. And we can make sure that the voices of those who perished and those who survived are preserved. As we commemorate the 82nd anniversary of Kristallnacht, here is one more for the record: The story of my husband's cousin, a Holocaust survivor. Albert Leon...

  • Victoria has a secret during the pandemic

    Marilyn Shapiro|Oct 23, 2020

    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 attire for the comfort of sports bras, bralettes, or maybe even nothing! Not since the 60s, when we were burning our Balis have women felt so liberated! I conducted a very scientific research study by posting the following question to my women friends on FaceBook: "Have you liberated your 'girls' since...

  • Why I am not voting for Donald Trump

    Marilyn Shapiro|Sep 18, 2020

    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 synagogues, we will be Zooming. As the first day falls on Shabbos, Reform Jews will have to wait until the closing moments of Yom Kippur to hear the sound of the shofar over the Internet. Holiday meals will be lonely affairs as most families are practicing social distancing. Fasting on the holiest day of the...

Page Down

Rendered 07/13/2024 14:33