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

By Gloria Yousha
Scene Around 

Scene Around


Something is brewing?...

As someone who was alive during the years before World War II (although very, very young), I wonder if a poll of European Jews at that time would have come up with comparable results. This is word for word from the World Jewish Congress Digest (WJC). It is worrisome, to say the least:

"A revealing new survey by the EU (European Union) Agency For Fundamental Rights (FRA) has found that hate-crimes against Jews are on the rise and that Europe's Jews increasingly feel insecure.

The year-long study which polled 6,000 Jews from eight countries, shows a majority of European Jews are experiencing a rise in anti-Semitism.

The FRA, which provides expert advice to the institutions of the EU and its member states, noted that three quarters of all respondents felt anti-Semitism on the internet was a problem and had the impression that it had increased over the last five years.

"The survey also found that one in four European Jews, citing safety concerns, forgo wearing clothing or symbols in public that identify them as Jews, or stay away from Jewish events or sites altogether for fear of harassment. Forty-six percent said they worried about being verbally assaulted, and two thirds of respondents said that reporting incidents was either 'not worth the effort' or otherwise ineffective."

(I'm sure I mentioned before in this column, that when I was about five or six years old, living in the then tough Red Hook Section of Brooklyn, N.Y., I was beaten repeatedly for being Jewish. Finally, not able to bear any more, I learned my "Hail Mary's" and said I was Catholic. Years later, after WWII when I learned about the Holocaust, I felt ashamed of myself and pushed it out of my mind... or so I thought.)

To continue the WJC report:

"Among other survey findings, 57 percent said they had heard or seen someone claim over the last year that the Holocaust was a myth or had been exaggerated.

The WJC affiliate, European Jewish Congress (EJC), participated in the survey, and called on European leaders and institutions to take appropriate action.

'The fact that a quarter of Jews are not able to express their Jewishness because of fear should be a watershed moment for the continent of Europe and the European Union,' the EJC articulated."

(God Bless American. May she never lose her fairness and respect for all races and religions.)

And with the mention of WWII...

Comes this news about the oldest surviving past national commander of the Jewish War Veterans. He is 96 years old.

I refer to DAVID HYMES. (See photo).

JWV past National Commander David Hymes was born in Chicago in 1917 and entered the Army in 1941. His early career took him from duty in Panama to Officers Candidate School and eventually to England as a first lieutenant. He landed on Omaha Beach to carry out the assignment of furnishing all APO's with their supplies.

While on duty, in February 1945 he was wounded, and was hospitalized for nine months in England. He returned to civilian life in 1946.

Hymes has served the JWV family on local, state and national levels as a JWV post commander, Illinois department commander, and JWV national commander.

He has distinguished himself as a patriot of the highest order... working tirelessly for the betterment of our veterans. And that is why he is being mentioned here and probably in many other Jewish publications throughout the land.

Happy Birthday to PJ...

Central Florida P J Library's Third birthday is almost here!

On Sunday, Jan. 19, from 10 a.m. until noon, P J Library and all of us will celebrate this auspicious occasion!

It takes place at the JCC Auditorium, 851 North Maitland Ave., Maitland.

There will be crafts, music, cupcakes (yum!) and more.

(Who needs more? Gimme cupcakes!)

The cost is $5 per family. Register to attend ASAP!

For more information, please email bginns@jfgo.org or phone 407-645-5933 extension 228.

Oh, am I blushing!...

Casting has been announced for the Orlando premiere of "SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody," playing at The Abbey in downtown Orlando Jan. 29 through March 23.

"SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody" is the hilarious new musical that brings the naughty fun of the best-selling book to life. This new imagining of the characters comes to life in sharp-witted comedy, musical numbers, sexy striptease performances from the leading hunk, plus lots of surprises!

Tickets to "SPANK!" are on sale now and can be purchased at  or by calling 1-866-468-7630.

To purchase tickets in person, visit the Orlando Broadway box office located at 100 South Eola Drive, Suite 101, in downtown Orlando. Groups of 8 or more can purchase tickets by calling 407-704-6116. General admission tickets for "SPANK!" are $40. Table seating is available for $50 and includes a table and a complimentary glass of wine. VIP tickets are also available for $75 and include upfront table seating, a complimentary glass of wine, VIP lounge access, a cast meet & greet and a signed poster from the cast. 

For more information, visit http://www.AbbeyOrlando.com.

Fashtaste Yiddish?...

(I'm sure my spelling is all wrong... but then I never heard Yiddish spoken as a child. My mom was born in Montreal, Canada, and spoke French as her second language. I was trying to ask if you understand Yiddish.)

Anyway, the Jewish Federation chooses a Yiddish word of the week and this week's word is "Ferblunjit."

I know what that means because it pertains to me much of the time!

(At least my spouse thinks so.)

And speaking of Yiddish...

JOAN POHL knows much more than a bissel Yiddish for sure! I received the following email from NANCY LUDIN, executive director of the Jewish Pavilion:

"While mensch is the ideal term to describe Joan Pohl, you could also use words like baleboste, Maven or forsher. Joan Pohl has been teaching a monthly Yiddish class for the Jewish Pavilion for several years. The class meets monthly at Chambrel in Longwood. While some of the  participants are residents, most come from the general community. They grew up in a household where Yiddish was spoken by parents or grandparents. Many students understand the language but do not speak it fluently.

Joan is a speech therapist with dramatic flair who knows how to bring Yiddish to life. She tells and pantomimes vibrant stories that involve class participation and lots of humor. At the end of each lesson, students gather around MIMI SHADER at the piano and sing Yiddish songs. 

Everyone in the community is welcome to join the fun including those who do not speak Yiddish. Classes are held the third Thursday of the month at 10:30 a.m.

One for the road...

Miriam, a Hebrew class teacher, has just finished having a discussion with her class about the commandment to honor one's mother and father.

She then turns to the class and asks, "Can anyone here tell me what commandment tells us how to deal with our brothers and sisters?"

Sam immediately stands up and proudly replies, "Thou shalt not kill."


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