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

By Gloria Yousha
Scene Around 

Scene Around


Oskar Schindler

“There, but for the grace of God...”

My late mom’s family fled the pogroms from the Ukraine to Canada where my mom was born in Montreal.

My dad’s family came from Poland to New York City where he was born in Brooklyn.

Each family unit (not including my great aunts, uncles, first, second and third cousins, unfortunately) got out of hell before the devil, Adolph Hitler, was even born. I was spared only because of the location of my birth here in the U.S., as were many of you.

The world must never forget the Holocaust and the more than six million Jews who perished.

Last week I watched the movie, “Schindler’s List” on television. I had already seen it when it first came out, and I have had the pleasure of meeting in person, STEVEN SPIELBERG, the producer, some years back as well.

Of course, seeing once again, the cruelty, hatred and horror of what my people suffered, made me feel sick inside. This movie, based on a very true story, should be required viewing throughout the Arab world!

Oskar Schindler, whose story the movie is based on, was an ethnic German industrialist, a German spy, and a member of the Nazi party who is credited with saving the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his enamelware and ammunitions factories, which were located in what is now Poland and the Czech Republic.

He is the subject of the movie, which reflected his life as an opportunist initially motivated by profit, who came to show extraordinary initiative, tenacity and dedication in order to save the lives of his Jewish employees.

Schindler grew up in Moravia, and worked in several trades until he joined the intelligence service (Abwehr) of Nazi Germany in 1936. He joined the Nazi Party in 1939. Prior to the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1938, he collected information on railways and troop movements for the German government. He was arrested for espionage by the Czech government but was released under the terms of the Munich Agreement in 1938.

Schindler continued to collect information for the Nazis, working in Poland in 1939 prior to the invasion of that country at the start of WWII.

Eventually, after Germany lost the war, Oskar Schindler went broke but was helped financially by the very Jews he helped save.

He was named “Righteous Among the Nations” by the Israeli government in 1963 and died on Oct. 9, 1974.

There are now thousands of descendants of Jews on his employee list who owe their very existence to Oskar Schindler.

Thank you, Steven Spielberg, for telling the world about him.

Mazel tov department...

How proud we all are of HARRIET JO-ANN MANIS, on her recent graduation from the University of Florida, School of Pharmacy. She earned her degree in doctor of pharmacy.

Harriet is the wife of MARC MANIS, the daughter of RITA PEARLMAN BLACK, and the step-daughter of SIGMUND BLACK.

The Blacks traveled from their home in Newton, Mass., for the festivities. They, and especially Marc, are so very proud of Harriet’s accomplishments!

On Aug. 11, Congregation Bet Chaim held a special celebration for Harriet, her family and friends.

(Harriet is a very special gal... smart, loving, caring and perfect to be a pharmacist for all who need her.)

I mentioned Brooklyn, N.Y...

I think I mentioned more than once that I come from a very tough Brooklyn neighborhood. So tough, in fact, that some guy pulled a knife on me once... but I stayed calm!

(There was butter on it.)

According to a recent poll, half of New Yorkers say they would never move out of the city... mostly because their probation won’t allow it. (I’m kidding, of course.) Enough with the New York jokes, you say? Well... just one more:

How does a single woman in New York get rid of cockroaches? She asks them for a commitment! (No more groaners, I promise.)

The one you know is in the drawer...

Of course, I’m referring to KENNY LEE when he does his female impersonation shows. But those who know him as well as I do, know another side of Kenny. (The fabulous man who’s not in the drawer!)

Recently, Kenny was named “Mensch of the Week” by the Jewish Federation. This is a well deserved honor because of all he does to brighten people’s lives.

According to the JFGO email, “each and every day, Kenny is a ray of sunshine in the JCC lobby on the Maitland campus. 

Kenny is a chef for Brown’s Deli and serves up delicious food to hungry community members. 

He always has a funny story to tell, a compliment to give, and a song to sing to brighten up the day of anyone that passes by. 

In the community, Kenny is a caregiver, cook and performer.”

(I agree and admit to loving Kenny... except when he looks so great in female costume. I can’t handle the competition!)

More mazel tovs...

Congratulations to DAVID MOSS who was recently hired as vice president of property and casualty for Insurance Consultants of Central Florida.

Also congrats to DANIELLE SCHEIMETY, who received the Frisby Griffing Marble Scholarship from Mississippi College School of Law.

Both David and Danielle are University of Central Florida graduates.

I don’t always write about service received...

Although I go out often (especially to eat) I rarely find superb service. When I do, I tell you about it.

My spouse and I went to Wendy’s one evening because we had a hankering for their chicken wraps and, of course, free drinks for senior citizens.

I know it’s hard to believe...but we are seniors. (Shut up!)

Manager, JOHANNA ARROYO, served us and couldn’t be nicer or more professional. She even gave us free desserts because our order was taking a little longer than expected. Another terrific waitress at the same Wendy’s, 365 University Blvd., Winter Park, MINNIE BALOGUA, deserves praise as well.

Check out Casselberry...

Check out all the fun and exciting adult fitness classes offered at the Casselberry Recreation Center, 200 N. Triplet Lake Drive.

The center provides quality fitness classes for adults and seniors to help you get and stay strong, flexible, fit and healthy! (Zumba too!)

For more information on classes and registration contact MARIO ALQARIN at 407-262-7700, ext. 1576 or malgarin@casselberry.org or http://www.casselberry.org/register.

One for the road...

With all the courtroom drama on television lately, here is a timely joke:

Abe, an elderly man, was in the witness box.

“How old are you?”, asked the attorney.

“I am, kayn ahoreh, 82.”

“What did you say?”

“I said I am, kayn ahoreh, 82 years old.”

“Please just give a simple answer to my question,” said the attorney, “How old are you!?”

“Kayn ahoreh, 82,” replied Abe.

The judge then intervened, “If you don’t want to be held in contempt of court, the witness will answer the question and only the question.”

The defense counsel then got up and said to the judge, “Your Honor, may I ask the witness?” and turned toward Abe.

“Kayn ahoreh, how old are you?”

Abe replied, “82.”


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