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

By Gloria Yousha
Scene Around 

Scene Around


Carmen Weinstein

In Memoriam…

This tribute comes directly from the World Jewish Congress Digest:

“The World lost a lovely lady… and a wonderful leader of the Jewish Community Council of Cairo, Egypt.” (With Egypt in the news every night, I thought it would be appropriate to write about her.)

“Carmen Weinstein, 82, president of the Jewish Community Council of Cairo, passed away this past April.

“In the face of a dwindling population of Jews…from over 80,000 60 years ago to a few dozen senior citizens today, Carmen Weinstein led the Jewish community with tireless fervor. She championed the restoration of Maimonides Yeshiva and other monuments of Egyptian-Jewish history.

“She made the case to Egyptian leaders that failing to save Judaic sites and antiquities in their homeland was tantamount to letting the pyramids crumble; the government agreed.”

The WJC Digest continues:

“Living peaceably amongst Muslim neighbors with ever present tensions between Israel and Arabs, Carmen Weinstein quipped, ‘We have no troubles and we don’t talk politics.’

“Just weeks before her death, she celebrated Passover in the hall of Cairo’s main synagogue with her community members, expatriates and foreign dignitaries…including non-Jews.”

(Rest in Peace.)

New defense fund…

This is also directly from the World Jewish Congress Digest:

“The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington has established a fund to assist the release of Jews held unfairly abroad.

“The recently launched fund was set up to help free Jews believed to be unfairly imprisoned or held because of their religious beliefs.

“Based on the Jewish value of Pidyon Shvuyim, the redeeming of captives, the D.C. Council says that its first priority is to free ALAN GROSS, serving a 15-year sentence in a Cuban prison for helping connect the isolated Jewish community on the Island nation to the Internet.

“On the diplomatic front, the World Jewish Congress continues to pressure the United States State Department and Havana for Gross’s freedom.”

(A little something about Alan Gross:

He is a U.S. international development professional. He was arrested in Cuba while working as a U.S. subcontractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development in 2009 as part of a program funded under the 1996 Helms Burton Act. He was prosecuted in 2011 after being accused of crimes against the Cuban state for bringing satellite phones and computer equipment to members of Cuba’s Jewish community without the permit required under Cuban law.)

“Our love is here to stay…”

I bet you didn’t know that those beautiful words were written by one brother to another after his brother died prematurely. (Many couples use it as their love song at weddings, etc.) Actually, George Gershwin wrote the music, then died of a brain tumor at age 38. When his older brother, Ira Gershwin, added the lyrics, he dedicated them to George, who incidentally, is my favorite American composer. My cabaret show is titled “Gershwin And All That Jazz.” I have also recorded some of their beautiful songs.

The brothers Gershwin were born in Brooklyn, N.Y., sons of Russian-Jewish immigrants. Many years ago, I was looking through a book on George Gershwin’s life and came across a photo of me! (Actually, it was Rose, George’s mom, but I looked just like her!) I told a few people who warned me never to mention it as it could cause trouble because of all the money involved in the musical rights. Besides, I wasn’t sure if it meant anything.

The other night on television, the movie “An American In Paris” was shown, based on the ballet written by George, and included many of the Gershwin songs. My interest peaked. I looked him up on Google and found out, among other things, that he was born at 242 Snedicker Ave., Brooklyn. I, too, was born at 242 Snedicker Ave., Brooklyn! (I repeat… does it mean anything?)

More about entertainment…

BONNIE CHARYN of Bonnie’s Puppet Palace has been performing for more than 10 years and five county areas for organizations, events and parties. Children and their parents love her and her beautiful puppets.

Bonnie’s next special show will be a delightful performance for the charming city of Dundee at the Dundee Library from 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Aug. 7 at the rec. center. This is her second year in a row at that site.

The original production she will perform with her amazing puppets is titled “Tuno Tuna Fish And The Singing Sea Flower.”

A deserving Princess travels under the sea. An adventure ensues when the Wicked Witch kidnaps the Sea Flower.

Tuno Tuna Fish was created by Bonnie’s late mom, Clara Charyn. (See photo.)

This show is absolutely FREE to all. For directions phone the library at 863-439-9424. 

To book a special show for your precious prince or princess, call Bonnie at 407-422-2562 and see her web site at http://www.bonniespuppetpalace.com.

The puppet show will be followed by a session of posing with the puppets so be sure to bring your cameras. (No videos please.)

Come join Bonnie for Puppet Theatre Magic with Bonnie’s Puppet Palace. Hope to see you there.

Fabulous musical entertainment…

When I say the name CAROL STEIN you know it will be fabulous musical entertainment!

On Sunday, July 28, Carol Stein will bring her group to The Altamonte Chapel for a terrific musical show. It will feature Carol at the piano and on vocals; EDDIE MARSHALL on reeds; CHARLIE SILVA on bass; and BARRY SMITH on drums.

(I’ve performed with each of these great musicians. They are top draw!)

ALAN ROCK, well-known radio host of his own morning program on WUCF 89.9 FM, is the emcee for all the musical presentations at the Altamonte Chapel, which is at 825 E. S.R. 436 in Altamonte Springs. The phone number is 407-339-5208 if you need directions. The music starts at noon and goes until 2 p.m.

(Often, other musicians and vocalists “sit-in” during the later set to add to the afternoon’s entertainment.)

Fun stuff…

HILDE SANDS sends me interesting things via email from time to time. Recently she sent a YouTube video, “From Russia With Love,” showing Russian people in Moscow clapping and singing to a medley of Hebrew songs. I can’t seem to find the link. I hope Hilde will resend it so I can pass it along to you.

Other things she sent recently were a couple of rules to live by… especially for senior citizens like me… (oops, YOU):

I just took a leaflet out of my mailbox, informing me that I can have sex at 68. I’m so happy, because I live at number 72. So it’s not too far to walk home afterwards. And it’s the same side of the street. I don’t even have to cross the road!

2. Answering machine message, “I am not available right now, but thank you for caring enough to call. I am making some changes in my life. Please leave a message after the beep. If I do not return your call, you are one of the changes.”

One for the road…

(This is really not a joke… unfortunately, it is reality for some folks.)

Bonnie Charyn holding Tuno Tuna Fish

Izzy was playing a round of golf with Sidney when suddenly Izzy announces, “I want a divorce.”

“Why on earth do you want to do that?” says Sidney. “Why do you want to divorce your lovely Helen? She’s beautiful. And if I may say so, she seems so warm and gentle, with a great figure to got with it.”

“Look at it this way Sidney,” replies Izzy, as he removes one of his shoes. “Just look at this shoe. The leather seems soft and gentle, it looks great on my foot and its shape is very modern. Don’t you agree?”

“Yes,” replies Sidney, “but I don’t understand what you’re getting at.”

“Well,” says Izzy, “I’m the only one who knows the shoe is pinching my toes and it hurts terribly.”


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