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

By Gloria Yousha
Scene Around 

Scene Around


I was reminded...

In last week’s column I wrote this:

“Instead of the gassing of innocent Syrian people including children, Congress (especially members of the House of Representatives) had to vote on whether or not to save Jews from the Holocaust. Can you imagine how that vote would go?  (I’m just saying.)”

Since last week, I was reminded by someone a little older than me, how the United States did nothing to save the Jews of Europe from the Holocaust. I was also reminded about our anti-Semitic State Department at that time...and I was reminded about the turning back of a ship filled with Jews who tried to escape their fate at the hands of Hitler’s Nazis.

True, many of our fighting forces knew nothing of the mass gassing and torture of Jews until they and Russian forces liberated the camps...but our country’s government heads knew...they knew and did nothing. (How sad.)

A most important event...

This is so important, I plan to repeat it in this column just before the event. It is a recently formed group at Congregation Ohev Shalom: The Israel Advocacy Committee of COS, chaired by RICHARD WOLFF, and Zionistas, a coalition of Christian and Jewish women united for Israel—founded in 2011 by SANDI SOLOMON, JUDY SHUJMAN, DIANA SCIMONE and EVA LONDON RITT—will host an informative seminar titled “Hatred Directed against Israel and the United States” on Tuesday, Oct. 15 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at COS. The guest speaker is Dr. JONATHAN MATUSITZ, associate professor in the Nicholson School of Communication at the University of Central Florida.

Dr. Matusitz studies globalization, culture, terrorism and health communication. In addition to contributing to 95 academic publications and giving more than 100 conference presentations, he taught at a NATO-affiliated military base in Belgium in 2010.  Originally from Belgium, he moved to the United States in 2000. In 2012, he was honored with a prestigious teaching award by the College of Science at the University of Central Florida.  In 2011, Dr. Matusitz’s research was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court. His recent book, “Terrorism and Communications A Critical Introduction,” was published in 2012 by SAGE.

The cost of the event is free and all are welcome to attend.

For further information, phone Sandi Solomon at 407-575-9899 or reach her online at sansolomon@hotmail.com.

Congregation Ohev Shalom is located at 613 Concourse Parkway, Maitland. The phone number is 407-298-4650.

So many good folks...

I love hearing from NANCY LUDIN, executive director of the Jewish Pavilion, often, because I get to hear about so many giving people. Nancy wrote an email about another of her wonderful volunteers:

“ELAINE GAMSON is a true mensch. Not only does she take care of her elderly mother at Horizon Bay, but she takes the time to visit with many of the other people who live there.”

(At the time Nancy wrote this to me, Elaine’s mom, Rebecca Gaeser, was still alive. She passed a few weeks ago. Rebecca was a wonderful woman... loving, sweet, kind and caring... all the things her daughter, Elaine, inherited from her.)

Nancy’s email continues:

“For several residents, Elaine has become their surrogate family.

As a Jewish Pavilion volunteer, she organizes a weekly game of Mah Jong which means so much to the residents who need a group in order to play. They feel extra special playing with Elaine and her  ‘young’ friends.

Elaine is also a dedicated  member of the Jewish Pavilion Board of Directors.”

I love Latin jazz...

And if you do too, this information is for you:

The Casselberry Latin Jazz & Art Festival Announces a Stellar Lineup of International Jazz Greats! Mingle with more than 5,000 other lovers of Jazz and Latin culture and music this fall at Casselberry’s signature cultural event, the Latin Jazz & Art Festival. With internationally renowned musical acts, savory cuisine, visual art demonstrations, specialty vendors, Latin dance presentations, Latin art exhibits, and delightful children’s activities, you won’t know where to look next! The festival, sponsored by 102.5 WLOQ Orlando’s Smooth Jazz and the Orlando Sentinel, takes place on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 4-9 p.m. at Lake Concord Park (located at 95 Triplet Lake Drive) in Casselberry.

International Saxophonist, ED CALLE kicks off the festival concert starting at 5 p.m.

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Calle is best known for his extraordinary Latin and contemporary jazz. He appears on Grammy-award-winning albums by Frank Sinatra, Arturo Sandoval, and Jon Sedaca. He also has recorded and performed around the world with such artists as Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias, Michael Bolton, Bob James, Bobby Caldwell, and Rhianna.

His solo recording, “Ed Calle Plays Santana” garnered a Latin Grammy Award nomination in 2005. His latest release “In the Zone” (2006) earned a Latin Grammy nomination in 2007.

Everyone is invited to bring a blanket, chairs and all of their friends to the lakefront amphitheater to enjoy an exciting evening that kicks off at 4 p.m. with flamenco dancers, Mariachi Festivos, and Latin art exhibits that will offer a visual explosion of brilliantly colored costumes and cultural expressions. The concert begins at 5 p.m. Admission and parking is free.

For more information, call 407-262-7700 ext. 1507 or visit the website http://www.casselberry.org.

Tonight is special...

“Disenchanted,” billed as a new musical that gives fairy tales the bird, will open at The Abbey, 100 South Eola Drive, Orlando, tonight (Sept. 20).

It is about what happens to storybook princesses once they learn that living happily ever after is a fairy tale. They become disenchanted.

(Hence the name).

First produced for the Orlando Fringe Festival in 2011, “Disenchanted” is an original theatrical stage musical written by DENNIS T. GIACINO, who gave us the book, music and lyrics.

For more information and dates, contact The Abbey, 407-704-6103.


A play on the word “nightmare” of course...but it may not be what you think. I’m writing this column on the 12th anniversary of 9/11. (Our family lost Alan Feinberg, a firefighter with Manhattan’s Ladder 4, who was killed in the collapse of World Trade Center Tower One while trying to save lives.) That was more than a “flight-mare.” That was a nightmare!

The flight-mare I refer to is a certain airline (phone me for the name) that not only charges for flights, but for seats and for snacks, juice, coffee...even water! (The expression “nickel and dime you” really applies here). They also charge for carry-on luggage!

(Oy vay!)

One for the road...

This is not a joke:

A Gabbai approaches a guest in the synagogue and says, “I want to give you Aliyah. What’s your name?”

The man answers, “Rifka bat Jacov.”

The Gabbai says, “No, I need your name.”

The man says, “I told you, it’s Rifka bat Jacov.”

The Gabbai asks, “How can that be your name?”

The man replies, “I’ve recently been in some serious financial difficulties and so everything is now in my wife’s name.”


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