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

By Gloria Yousha
Scene Around 

Scene Around


Jonah Pournazian and Dylan Siegel.

Literary genius to say the least...

Literary genius and hero for sure! The following information comes from a TV program and also confirmed by me on the Internet. While watching ABC World News with DIANE SAWYER tonight, I saw a wonderful story about a young boy and his friend in Gainesville where research is being done at the University of Florida Health, with Dr. DAVID WEINSTEIN. Read on: "To 6-year-old Dylan Siegel of Los Angeles, JONAH POURNAZARIAN is a 1-in-a-million kid. So why not try to raise $1 million for his best friend? Jonah, 7, has a rare liver condition called glycogen storage disease type 1B, for which there is no cure. The disease affects about 1 in a million people. Dylan is determined to raise money to find a cure, one chocolate bar at a time. Dylan uses the term 'chocolate bar' to mean 'awesome.' The first-grader has written a 16-page book titled "Chocolate Bar" that he hopes will sell enough copies to help his friend. 'I suggested that he set up a lemonade stand,' Dylan's mother, DEBRA SIEGEL, told the Jewish Journal, 'but he said he wanted to write a book.'

After just two months on the market, sales of the handwritten and illustrated book, along with donated chocolate bars, have raised (more than) $30,000, and Dylan's goal is $1 million, Dylan's father, DAVID SIEGEL, told ABCNews.com.

'We never dreamed that this was going to happen,' David was quoted as saying. 'It's just struck a nerve and now we don't want to stop until we've hit our mission.'

The 16-page book's first entry reads: 'I like to go to Disney Land. That is so Chocolate Bar.' It then goes into other 'chocolate bar' experiences, including going swimming and to the aquarium. It ends with 'I like to help my friends. That is the biggest chocolate bar.'

Dylan's charitable venture has gotten a boost from media exposure. The boys appeared on the CBS television show The Doctors last week and have also been the subject of stories on national broadcast and print media.

'Chocolate Bar' has a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a YouTube video and an Instagram page. Donations are also being accepted through a fund at the University of Florida Foundation (U of F Health Foundation is in Gainesville. Dylan's book sells for $20 and to date has raised $400K with sales coming from all over the country and also the world. To find out more about purchasing the book, you can go online to the social media sites mentioned here or just Google the name Dylan Siegel.)

According to U of F's Dr. David Weinstein, 'Dylan raised more money than all charities, the government, all donations up to this point.' (WHAT A KID. HE IS A HERO FOR SURE!)

I love to write about Mensches...

This comes from the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando:

"It is with great pride that we honor ALAN GINSBURG as our mensch of the week. Alan is not only one of the most prominent philanthropists in Central Florida, he is a dedicated supporter of the Jewish Federation of

Greater Orlando. At the Jewish Federation he has funded an array of programs and services mostly targeted at strengthening Jewish Identity and outreach. The Ginsburg Family Foundation is the major sponsor of the Women's Division Choices Event, which has become the community's platform for women to celebrate leadership, volunteerism and philanthropy.

"Within the Jewish community he is very committed to his synagogue, Congregation Ohev Shalom. He is also very supportive of our Jewish agencies and was a key donor to the expansion of the Maitland campus.

"The Ginsburg Family Foundation also supports Florida Hospital, a library at the new University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Rollins College scholarship endowments and the Hillel Foundation to support its new Northwood student facility. We are grateful to call Alan Ginsburg a supporter of the Jewish Federation. Central Florida is fortunate to have such a mensch in our community."

(Wow... we are fortunate indeed, Alan.!)

Our own super-talent...

Of course I refer to CAROL STEIN, a fabulous pianist/vocalist. Carol is the wife of another super-talent, ventriloquist, LEE WOLFSON, and the daughter of beautiful BETTY STEIN and the late Danny Stein. (Danny always made me smile with his jokes. What a gem of a man he was.)

Back to Carol... she and her group are the featured performers, "Carol Stein and Friends" this Sunday, March 9, for the Central Florida Jazz Society concert.

Carol and her fellow musicians have been making great music together for more than 20 years in live performance and recordings. The event begins at 3 p.m. at The Abbey, 100 South Eola Drive, Suite 100, Orlando.

Performing with Carol will be CHARLIE BERTINI, trumpet; EDDIE MARSHALL, saxophone; CHARLIE SILVA, bass; and BARRY SMITH, drums.

(They are all the best of the best... trust me. I know!)

Suggested donations for the event are as follows: Members, $13; non-members, $20; college students (with I.D.) $3; high school students and younger, Free. (Don't miss this concert, folks. NO WAY!)

"You are Israel..."

(I am too!) Actually "You Are Israel Day" will take place on Sunday, March 23 from 1-5 p.m at Congregation Ohev Shalom, 613 Concourse Parkway South in Maitland.

It is a fabulous afternoon of learning, featuring speakers from our community and beyond, sharing information about advances in technology, medicine, social justice and so much more. (We know that Israel is the leader in these fields.)

Israel Consul General for Florida and Puerto Rico, CHAIM SHACHAM, will give insight into the state of the State of Israel.

There will also be sessions led by Drs. MARK KLAFTER, DAN LAYISH and JEFFREY BORNSTEIN on the advances in different aspects of medicine in Israel; KAREN HAGAN, executive director of the Red Cross of Central Florida on life-saving developments of Magen David Adom; MARILYN and FRANK SCHWARTZ on life in Israel; SHANI and NIR BONEH on Ben Gurion University of the Negev and hi-technology innovations in Israel. (I've recently written about Ben Gurion University of the Negev and its medical breakthroughs): MARY ELLEN HOGAN, president, Jewish National Fund of North Florida on how Israel is making the world a better place; and ARI HOFFMAN, UCF student, founder of UCF chapter of Knights for Israel on why is an American college student making aliyah and joining the IDF?

This fantastic event is co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando, Zionistas, Jewish Community Center, Congregation Ohev Shalom, and Hillel of UCF. It is FREE and open to the public!

For further information, contact SANDI SOLOMON at 407-575-9899 or email her at sansolomon@hotmail.com.

One for the road...

Alan Ginsburg

Isadore and Faye are discussing their impending wedding and during their conversation, the subject of children comes up.

Faye says, "Oh Isadore, I just can't wait to marry you and have at least three children. I've always wanted a large family."

"That's too many, darling," says Isadore, "two is perfectly ample for me."

Faye then spends 10 minutes trying to change Isadore's mind but to no avail.

Isadore thinks he's ended the conversation when he announces, "In fact, after our second child, I'll just have a vasectomy."

Without a moment's hesitation, Faye responds to this challenge by saying, "Well, I hope you'll love the third one as if it's your own."

(Not naughty... very funny!)


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