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  • Trying to get back to normal after Oct. 7

    Natalie Sopinsky|Feb 23, 2024

    Just now, Friday morning, 10:45 a.m. I am in the kitchen, cleaning, cooking, making room on the refrigerator for a new Shabbat list. So many magnets and photos crowd the refrigerator door…what do I remove to make room. What don’t we need. I love all the photos. Here sticking out and taking up way too much space is a calendar from the Arad Country Club. This is where I swim during the winter. I got my daughter a membership, too. She likes the gym. I’m thrilled that someone in my family enjoys exercise! So many kids are lazy….not my girl! B...

  • Birthright trippers visit Israel during war

    Elana Sztokman|Feb 16, 2024

    When Alon Fishman visited Israel in early January on a group trip, it wasn't his first time in the country. But Fishman, 23, had never seen Israel like this before. When his Birthright Israel group arrived at the Western Wall, they found it uncharacteristically empty, and the plaza featured a new memorial with the names of the 1,200 victims of the Oct. 7 attack. For Fishman, a native of Rockland County, New York, the muted visit was a poignant reflection of the times - and a powerful emotional...

  • 'Is this the little play I carried?': 'Fiddler on the Roof' turns 60

    Dave Gordon|Feb 16, 2024

    (JNS) - As the Good Book says ... The musical "Fiddler on the Roof" first proclaimed Shalom Aleichem to Broadway audiences in 1964, with Zero Mostel belting out the iconic "If I Were a Rich Man" song as Tevye the Dairyman, the father of seven daughters (five of whom have roles in the play). Bea Arthur played Yenta in the production, whose Boris Aronson-designed sets evoked Marc Chagall's shtetl paintings. Sixty years later, Tevye's misquotations muddying the Torah, coupled with his witty...

  • Insights from The Orlando Senior Help Desk: Protecting your loved ones from an electrical accident

    Feb 16, 2024

    Encourage caregivers to familiarize themselves with some basic tips to help maximize the safety of the seniors in their care while minimizing the risks associated with electricity. Electrical accidents are a leading cause of home fires every year. Electrical fires are more common in older homes with aging electrical systems. Tips: 1. Verify that the home’s electrical system is in compliance with the most up to date electrical codes. Contact a licensed electrician to conduct a quick home electrical safety inspection. The electrician should d...

  • Remembering Hank Katzen and his commitment to the Jewish community

    Aaron Weil|Feb 9, 2024

    Last week, the Katzen family suffered the terrible loss of Harry "Hank" Katzen Z"L who succumbed to a cancer that was more stubborn than the man himself and that is saying something! This loss comes on the heels of the loss of Hank's father of blessed memory, Marc Katzen Z"L, who sadly died Dec. 4, 2022. This is a lot for any family to absorb in a short period of time much less because of the outsized role these gentlemen played in the lives of their respective families. However, for the...

  • With Oct. 7 on their minds, Jewish teens head to gathering of thousands with renewed sense of priorities

    Suzanne Kurtz Sloan|Feb 9, 2024

    When 18-year-old TJ Katz was elected last February to be international president of BBYO after four years of deep involvement with the Jewish youth organization, the New Jersey teen was exceedingly excited. Serving as the face of a movement that reaches over 70,000 teens in 62 countries, Katz told an interviewer, put him in a unique position "to tangibly impact the lives of thousands of people." After graduating high school, Katz deferred admission by a year to the University of Florida to...

  • Insights from The Orlando Senior Help Desk Organizing medical records

    Feb 9, 2024

    Keep a folder of all medical information. It is good to have a binder in addition to a folder on the computer, so you can take critical medical information with you to appointments. Information Needed: • Health insurance cards, Medicare cards, and so on • Appointment reminder cards from health care providers • A list of medications including dosages, frequency, date started and reason • A medical history • A list of emergency contacts, relationship, addresses and all phone numbers • A sheet for recording the date of visits, the provider and any...

  • Critic's account of classical music after the Holocaust is named Jewish book of the year

    Andrew Silow Carroll|Feb 9, 2024

    (JTA) - Music critic Jeremy Eichler's study of how classical composers made music after the Holocaust was named the book of the year by the Jewish Book Council, which will present the National Jewish Book Awards at an in-person ceremony in March. "Time's Echo: The Second World War, the Holocaust, and the Music of Remembrance" was named the Everett Family Foundation Book of the Year and won both the Gerrard and Ella Berman Memorial History Award and the Holocaust Award in Memory of Ernest W....

  • Learning from the history of Portugal's Jew

    Ashley Perry|Feb 9, 2024

    (JNS) — At the beginning of the 16th century, my family fled the Iberian Peninsula, which had been their home, according to family tradition, for the better part of two millennia, having been exiled directly from the Land of Israel. They appear to have left soon after the Lisbon Massacre of 1506, an antisemitic pogrom that killed thousands of Jews. This was only 14 years after my family entered Portugal from Spain after the Spanish Jews were expelled by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella’s infamous edict and 12 years since they tried to lea...

  • 'Origin' story: How Ava DuVernay's new movie connects the Holocaust, slavery and caste

    Andrew Lapin|Feb 9, 2024

    (JTA) - Early in the new drama "Origin," the Pulitzer Prize-winning Black author Isabel Wilkerson (played by Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor) calls her cousin from Berlin to share that, as part of her research into American racism, she intends to learn more about the Nazis' treatment of Jews. Her cousin is unimpressed. "Leave Jewish folks alone," Marion (Niecy Nash) advises Isabel. "They don't need you. Write about us." But this movie's version of Wilkerson can't abide by that. In her mind, the fates of...

  • UN hosts photographic tribute to Shoah survivors

    Feb 2, 2024

    (JNS) - An exhibition of photographs culled from an international tribute to some of the last Holocaust survivors was held at U.N. Headquarters in New York on Wednesday, three days before International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The event, dubbed "We're Still Standing," showcased 35 carefully selected photographs from a collection of 455 original pieces curated by renowned photographers Jim Hollander and Rina Castelnuovo and compiled in the "The Lonka Project." A panel from the "We're Still Stan...

  • Honoring the legacy of Ron Shader

    Personal Mini Storage staff|Feb 2, 2024

    It's with a heavy heart that Personal Mini Storage announces the passing of our co-founder, Ron Shader, an inspirational figure in the storage industry. Ron passed away peacefully in Dec. 30, 2023, at the age of 91, after dedicating over 40 remarkable years to the company, leaving behind a legacy of kindness, vision, and unwavering dedication to his work and those around him. Ron, along with his late brother Stan, founded Personal Mini Storage in 1982. Over the next four decades, they...

  • Insights from The Orlando Senior Help Desk: Medigap

    Feb 2, 2024

    Medigap is only for original Medicare enrollees not advantage plan participants. There are 10 federally approved plans with the letters a, b, c, d, f, g, k, l, m and n. Each letter plan must provide the same basic benefits regardless of the insurer or the location. Policies are sold by private insurance companies and there are a lot of choices. Prices vary dramatically. The best time to buy a Medigap plan is generally when you turn 65. While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face a...

  • A 35-foot challah in NYC attempts to break a Guinness World Record

    Julia Gergely|Feb 2, 2024

    (New York Jewish Week) - New York City kitchens are notoriously small. Nonetheless, on Friday Congregation Rodeph Sholom on the Upper West Side unveiled a 35-foot-long challah that they and their partners hope will break a world record. The gargantuan loaf was made in collaboration with the Jewish Federations of North America and the Orthodox Union with the aim of besting the current record-holder: a challah baked in Australia in 2019 that was just over 32 feet. The 35-foot challah - braided in...

  • 'Barbenheimer,' 'Maestro' and 'The Zone of Interest' lead large crop of Jewish-inspired Oscar nominations

    Andrew Lapin|Feb 2, 2024

    (JTA) – The year’s biggest movie phenomenon was a one-two punch of blockbusters with Jewish roots — and they both came up big at Tuesday’s Oscar nominations. “Oppenheimer,” Christopher Nolan’s biopic of the Jewish “father of the atomic bomb,” led the year’s nominations with 13, including best picture and director, and is favored by many prognosticators to win the big prize. The film’s rendition of J. Robert Oppenheimer covers a fair amount of Jewish ground, including his personal animus toward the Nazis; his recruitment of expelled European...

  • Picture book about family that celebrates Rosh Hashanah and Lunar New Year nabs book award

    Penny Schwartz|Feb 2, 2024

    (JTA) — A lavishly illustrated children’s book about a Chinese Jewish family who celebrate both Rosh Hashanah and Lunar New Year is among the top winners of this year’s Sydney Taylor Book Awards for Jewish children’s books. Meanwhile, the publisher of the imprint behind the popular Sammy Spider Jewish holiday books won an award for her lifetime of contributions to Jewish children’s literature. Both prizes were revealed Monday as part of the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards. Michelle Margolis, president of the Association...

  • Tu B'Shevat is the new year for trees

    Naftali Silberberg, Chabad.org|Jan 26, 2024

    According to Biblical law, there is a seven-year agricultural cycle, concluding with the Sabbatical year. When the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, on years one, two, four and five of this cycle, farmers were required to separate a tenth of their produce and eat it in Jerusalem. This tithe is called Maaser Sheni, the Second Tithe, because it is in addition to the (two percent which must be given to the Kohain, and the) ten percent which is given to the Levite. On the third and sixth years of the...

  • Insights from The Orlando Senior Help Desk: Exploring the vibrant world of South African seniors

    Jan 26, 2024

    Venturing into the heart of South Africa, Veronica Quinones embarked on a two-week journey of discovery, seeking to unravel the tapestry of culture, cuisine, and most importantly, the people. In a land known for its rich and diverse heritage, the elderly population stands as a testament to wisdom, experience, and invaluable contributions. A Tapestry of Tradition: South African Elderly Culture Respect for Elders: Picture a society where reverence for elders is not just a tradition but a way of life. In South Africa, this respect runs deep....

  • New York Times to Jews: Forget thy right hand

    Menachem Wecker|Jan 26, 2024

    (JNS) — Marc Tracy’s New York Times article on Jan. 14 refers to “left-wing” Jews and a “left-wing” Jewish publication, and a “far-right” Israeli government and its “extreme-right ministers.” The avian metaphors add up to the culture reporter to implications for human appendages as well. “If I forget you, O’ Jerusalem,” states Psalm 137:5, “let me draw a blank on my right hand.” The Times article headline has a different notion of the Jewish faith than does Jewish scripture. “Is Israel part of what it means to be Jewish?” the article asks, n...

  • 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...

  • Rep. Torres says 'words cannot express outrage at barbarism of Oct. 7'

    Jan 26, 2024

    (JNS) — Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) gave the annual Martin Luther King Jr. sermon at Central Synagogue in Manhattan, lashing out at American indifference or even enthusiasm in response to the brutality of the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas in Israel. Calling it “the moral crisis that we’re facing in a post-Oct. 7 world,” Torres said on Jan. 12 that he was “profoundly shaken not only by Oct. 7 but by the aftermath. I found it utterly horrifying to see fellow Americans openly cheering and celebrating the deadliest massacre of Jews since the...

  • Michael Solomonov's famous Zahav hummus now available at Whole Foods - with kosher certification

    Jackie Hajdenberg|Jan 26, 2024

    (JTA) - Israeli-American celebrity chef Michael Solomonov's renowned hummus has only been available in his Philadelphia and New York City restaurants - until now. Hummus using the recipe from Zahav, Solomonov's flagship Philadelphia restaurant, is now available at over 150 Whole Foods stores. The packaged hummus, like that at Zahav, doesn't use oil - just a lot of tahini. Unlike the hummus at Zahav, however, it is certified kosher, bringing the recipe to a new cohort of customers. The Whole...

  • 'Nazi Town, USA,' a new PBS documentary, examines the 1930s heyday of Hitler's acolytes in the US

    Linda Buchwald|Jan 26, 2024

    (New York Jewish Week) — Picture a group of children having fun at summer camp, learning archery, swimming and playing tug of war, all while the Nazi flag flies next to the American flag. Or a packed crowd at Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden, where men and women of all ages give the Hitler salute. These are some of the real-life disturbing images depicted in “Nazi Town, USA,” a new documentary about the German American Bund (organization) — a pro-fascist, pro-Nazi organization that, at its peak, had some 100,000 members in the United St...

  • Insights from The Orlando Senior Help Desk: Senior travel and health discount information

    Jan 19, 2024

    Here are some senior discounts you can use when traveling (train and car rental) gleaned from the Orlando Sentinel: Greyhound: 5 percent off for 62 and over Amtrak: 10 percent off for 65 and over Hertz Car Rental: various discounts to those 50 and over Avis: up to 30 percent off to AARP members Payless Car Rental: various discounts to AARP members Here are some senior discounts you can use when flying: Southwest Airlines: Offers various discounts for 65 and over United Airlines: Offers senior fares to selected travel destinations for customers...

  • UNRWA teachers Telegram channel glorifies Oct. 7 Hamas massacre

    Jan 19, 2024

    (JNS) — A Telegram channel for UNRWA teachers in Gaza with over 3,000 members contains messages glorifying the Hamas massacre of Oct. 7 and encouraging the execution of Israeli hostages, an investigation by Geneva-based human rights NGO UN Watch has found. “This is the motherlode of UNRWA teachers’ incitement to jihadi terrorism,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. The Telegram group provides a forum for Gaza-based education workers from the United Nations agency tasked with supporting Palestinians displaced during the 1948 wa...

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