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

By Gloria Yousha
Scene Around 

Scene Around


Where are fellow Jews?...

This interesting and informative report comes directly from the World Jewish Congress Digest. It was checked for accuracy by me:

“A new study utilizing data synthesis, rather than polling, estimates that 6.8 million Jews live in the United States. The extrapolated results identify 1.6 million Jewish children, 4.2 million adults (who self-identify as Jews) and 1 million non-religious (who say they have a Jewish background).

Six states account for 65 percent of American Jewry; New York (20 percent), California (14 percent), Florida (12 percent), New Jersey (8 percent), Massachusetts and Pennsylvania (5 percent). Illinois, Maryland, Texas and Ohio combined are said to account for 15 percent. The population estimates, computed by the Steinhardt Social Research Institute and the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University, indicate that the numbers do not reflect an increase in the U.S. Jewish population.

The study blends data from 350 national surveys and thousands of respondents, both Jewish and non-Jewish. The major Jewish metropolitan areas remain New York City, Los Angeles and South Florida.” (So nu? What about Central Florida? We count!)

And speaking of Jewish numbers...

I received an email from CHAIM LANDA, media relations for Chabad.org.

I am passing it along: “ELIAS BENARROACH, 26, grew up with a strong connection to Judaism and Jewish life in the tight-knit community of Caracas, Venezuela. The software engineer said that he lost that feeling at the age of 13,

when his family immigrated to the United States and settled in South Florida.

He discovered his love of Judaism soon after arriving at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Two days after coming to campus, he received an invitation to a Shabbat meal at the Chabad center and home of Rabbi BERL and CHANIE GOLDMAN. From the moment he walked inside, Benarroach said he felt as if he’d found his second home. The only problem--if you could call it that--recalled the 2010 graduate, was overcrowding: Hosting programs, the Goldmans would often run out of chairs and space. Larger events, such as High Holiday services or Passover seders, had to be held in a permanent tent outside the Chabad center.

Didn’t it ever rain? ‘It’s Florida, of course, it did!’ replied Benarroach, ‘but we managed.’

The Gainesville community won’t have to manage anymore. On Feb. 9, some 450 people gathered for the official dedication and opening of Chabad at U.F.’s new $4.8 million, 23,000-square-foot state-of-the-art building. The multifaceted center was built to cater to a wide range of student needs and comes complete with a lounge, fitness room, laundry facilities, synagogue, and full kosher dining center where lunch and dinner will be served. In addition, a rabbi will be on site around the clock to assist students.

Central Florida, a great home for Jews...

Thanks, in great part to the Jewish Pavilion for keeping Judaism alive and well for all our seniors in various assisted living, long-term care and other facilities in the Orlando area. In fact, everyone is invited to join the Jewish Pavilion in honoring EVE HOMBURGER and VALERIE CHESTNUT of (Vitas Innovative Hospice) on Sunday, March 9 AT 5 p.m. at the Westin Lake Mary, 2974 International Parkway, Lake Mary. Both women have volunteered and provided Jewish holiday foods and gifts and offered companionship to our elders in senior living facilities. The couvert is $100 per person. The gala includes hors d’oeuvres, a gourmet dinner, live music from PAUL STENZLER’s band, dancing and a silent and live auction. It is particularly fitting that the Pavilion celebrate Purim at their gala since the Jewish Pavilion provides over fifty Purim parties for elders in long-term care all over Orlando. Costumes or cocktail attire will be worn at the gala. Costumes and masks are optional. Please RSVP as quickly as possible to NANCY LUDIN, executive director of Jewish Pavilion by phoning her at 407-678-9363. (What a truly special evening!)

A reminder...

On Sunday, March 2, 2 p.m., the Congregation Ohev Shalom Seniors meet for entertainment and refreshments at the synagogue. The entertainment is the talented musical group “Eastside.” Everyone is invited to attend. The cost is $5, COS Senior members; $8, all others. For more information and directions, phone BERNY at 407-767-6763.

Springtime and Jazz go together...

On Saturday evening, March 1, from 6 p.m. till 9 p.m., there will be a free musical event in Casselberry for all to attend. WLOQ, Orlando’s smooth jazz radio station and the city of Casselberry, present The Spring Jazz Fest, featuring saxophone sensation, MICHAEL LINGTON.

You are invited to bring a blanket or chairs and a lot of friends to this free concert that will be held at Lake Concord Park, 95 Triplet Lake Drive, Casselberry (behind Casselberry City Hall). (What a great way to spend a Saturday evening outdoors!)

Great service! Great guy!...

Recently, my “Mr. Wonderful” took me out for dinner at Carrabba’s Italian Grill in Winter Springs. It was a Monday night... dreary weather... same old, same old, etc. But, along with the always delicious food, our waiter was wonderful! He lifted us right out of the “dull-drums” with his charming personality.

His name is MICHAEL TINELLI and if anyone deserves a shout-out, it’s him!

One for the road...

Moshe was recovering in the hospital from prostate surgery. To make matters worse, his surgeon told him that it would be at least six weeks before he could become sexually active again.

His childhood pal, Paul, visited him in the hospital to wish him well. His cousin Robert visited him in the hospital also, to wish him a speedy recovery.

His business partner, Abe, visited Moshe’s wife. (Nuff said!)


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