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

By Gloria Yousha
Scene Around 

Scene Around


European anti-Semitism...

Yes. It exists! (What ever happened to "Never Again"?

As an example, here are some excerpts from the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) newsletter:

HUNGARY-Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister TIBOR NAVRACSICS, and Deputy Foreign Minister ZSOLT NEMET met with Rabbi COOPER and SWC International Relations Director Dr. SHIMON SAMUELS in Budapest and urged them to investigate reports of a growing relationship between Iran and Hungary's anti-Semitic, anti-Roma Jobbik political party. They also pressed for action in the trial of Nazi war criminal LASZIO CSATARY, located by Dr. ZUROFF in Budapest, and implicated in the murder of 15,700 Jews.

GERMANY- The Munich-based daily Suddeutsche Zeitung acknowledged its mistake in printing a visual depicting Israel as a ravenous monster following a SWC protest stating "This is a classic tool of dehumanization and animalization-such horrific stereotypes were all too devastatingly deployed by the propaganda machines of both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union."

TURKEY- SWC Government Relations Director MARK WEITZMAN met with Turkish Ambassador to the United States NAMIK TAN over anti-Semitic comments and insightful rhetoric. These included comments by Deputy Prime Minister BESIR ATALAY, who blamed "the Jewish  Diaspora" for the recent unrest in Taksim Park, while Istanbul Mayor YBRAHIM MELIH GOKCEK tweeted that the demonstrations are a "game of the Jewish lobby." Earlier, Turkish Prime Minister RACEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN called Zionism a "crime against humanity."

FRANCE-Paris' world renowned Jeu de Paurne contemporary art museum hosted an exhibition, Phantom Home: Death, highlighting 68 photos of Palestinian suicide bombers. This led Dr. SAMUELS of SWC to tour and document the exhibition. The SWC was also one of the principal organizers of two demonstrations outside the Jeu de Paurne, and a protest was delivered to UNESCO-based International Council of Museums president, HANS-MARTIN HINZ. In a Jerusalem Post op-ed, Himmler Meets Jihad in a Paris art museum, Dr. Samuels wrote "for the Jeu de Paurne, it seems, life is of so little value, if the victim happens to be a Jew."

HOLLAND-Dutch Deputy Prime Minister LODEWIJK ASSCHER, with Rabbi COOPER, who held SWC briefings in Amsterdam followed by a press conference in The Hague over Dutch incitement to terror and internet hate, along with concerns over anti-Semitism among Dutch Muslim students. The SWC uncovered a link from the Sharia4Holland website to a fatwa of the Salafist Sheikh ABU AL-MUNDHIR AL-SHANQITI in which the prominent Muslim religious leader sanctions terror attacks against churches and synagogues.

("Never Again"? Hopefully... but we must stay aware... and beware!)


That's how cold I felt in Chicago.

I'm just back from a nine-day stay in Chicago where the temperatures fell below freezing much of the time and snow was everywhere. I was afraid to drive in snow and ice and also afraid to walk in snow and ice. In fact, after trying the latter, I wound up in the Evanston Hospital Emergency Department with an injured foot!

Happily for me, the doctor that attended to me, Dr. JEFFREY G. GRAFF, is not only a wonderful physician and also Jewish, but has ties to Winter Park! His son-in-law, ZACH KLEIN, a media specialist, lived and worked here and now resides with his family in Atlanta, Ga.

And while there...

As cold as Chicago was, I had the good fortune of knowing KATE THOMAS, who is as warm as a human can be. I wrote about Kate a few years ago. She is a neighbor of one of my sons who resides in Wilmette, Ill., (north of Chicago) and she is also Jewish. Kate was my snack-giver and life-safer for many reasons. In spite of the fact she is married and the mother of two great kids, she took the time to make me feel comfortable in her cold town.

Obviously, as I write this column before the holiday vacations start, Kate is preparing to host her in-laws who will visit shortly. They are traveling all the way from their home in England. She offers advice to others who will host guests over the holidays. (You will read this when they are getting ready to leave):

"Be a gracious host. Be understanding. Plan special things to do and places to go over the vacation." Kate adds, "In our planning this year we are looking at what is a reasonable expectation because everyone is getting older, my spouse and I, the kids, and the visiting grandparents."

In years past, the grandparents knew to be a little flexible as the kids were young and plans had to be scheduled around naps and mealtimes. Now that they are in their teens, preparing for exams, team practice and music lessons have to be considered. "Also," Kate adds, "my son and daughter have their own social lives."

(I'm sure the grandparents will understand and Kate will be as wonderful to them as she was to me.)

Attention music lovers...

On Sunday, Jan. 26, (the last Sunday of the month), the fabulous program at the Altamonte Chapel will feature the super-talented TERRY MYERS in concert.

Terry's rhythm section will consist of other super-talents, JEFF PHILLIPS on piano; CHARLIE SILVA on bass; and WALT HUBBARD on drums.

Speaking of super-talents, our own ALAN ROCK will emcee the program, which still begins at noon.

The Altamonte Chapel is located at 825 East S.R. 436 in Altamonte Springs. The phone number is 407-339-5208. The music begins at noon and continues until 2 p.m.

The second set is usually open to other professional musicians and vocalists who would like to "sit in." (Bring your axe and your voice.)

For cost and directions, be sure to phone the Chapel.

On a somber note...

This is just a reminder to all the friends and relatives of BERNY RAFF and his spouse, the late Eleanor Raff.

The unveiling of Eleanor's stone will be on Sunday, Jan. 26 at 11 a.m. at the Congregation Ohev Shalom Cemetery located at 6034 Old Winter Garden Road, Orlando.

In respect for our own dear Berny and the wonderful Eleanor that we lost, try to attend.

P.J. Library  special event...

On Sunday, Jan. 19, at 10 a.m., Central Florida's PJ Library is turning 3 years old!

Join in the festivities at the Maitland JCC auditorium, 851 N. Maitland Ave, Maitland, for a morning of crafts, music, cupcakes and much more!

(Did I hear "CUPCAKES"?)

The cost of the event is $5 per family. RSVP by Jan. 10.

For more information, please contact BECCA GINNS at or 407-645-5933 x228.

One for the road...

Maurice and Becky are arguing over who should brew the coffee each morning.

Becky says, "As you get up first in the morning, Maurice, you should make it. Then we won't have to wait too long for our coffee."

"But you're in charge of all the cooking," replies Maurice, "so you should make it. And if I have to wait for my coffee in the morning, well, I don't mind."

"But it says in the bible that the man should make the coffee," says Becky

"OK, responds Maurice, "if you can show me where it says that, I'll never question you again."

Next day, Becky borrows a bible from her neighbor and shows Maurice that on the top of several pages it indeed says 'Hebrews.'


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