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

By Gloria Yousha
Scene Around 

Scene Around


Holly and Benjamin Israel

Take heart, anything can be overcome...

To prove it, this blurb is from NBC news:

FRANKFURT, Germany-"At first glance, the afternoon gathering of nearly 30 elderly people in the cozy wood-paneled room of an apartment complex could be perceived as an ordinary 'coffee klatch.' But, the women and men that gather here in Frankfurt over coffee and cake once a week all share one common experience: the horrors of the Holocaust.

For many of the estimated 40,000 Jewish survivors still living in Germany, the dark memories prevail nearly 70 years after WWII. Special initiatives to tackle their trauma are being offered in the country's Jewish communities.

As 90-year-old RUTH THORSCH from Berlin, a passionate music teacher and herself a survivor of the Shoah, steps up to the old piano, she addresses her audience with the words: 'We need to bring some vibes to this dismal gathering.'

While she starts playing the famous Jewish folk song Hava Nagila (or 'Let us rejoice'), Thorsch calls into the room 'after all the things we have experienced, let us be happy.'

(If this gathering of people who suffered unthinkable horrors at the hands of Hitler's Nazis, can try to relax and rejoice, we, no matter what the circumstance we find ourselves in, can as well!)

An anti-Semitic comic?...

Wow! Now I've heard it all!

This comes directly from the World Jewish Congress Digest (WJC): "DIEUDONNE M'BALA M'BALA, the French comedian who has been prosecuted for inciting racial hatred through anti-Semitic jokes and comments and who is credited with the quenette gesture, (a reverse Nazi salute), has been banned from entering Britain.

Following public outcry, the 47-year-old, who has had several shows banned in France, dropped much of his offensive material, but his fans have attacked the French government, claiming censorship.

WJC affiliate, European Jewish Congress (EJC) expressed satisfaction that Dieudonne has been deprived of the ability to spread his hate and acts of provocation."

(Gee, I wonder who his fans are? If I say here in print what I think, I'm not much better than he is.)

Speaking of elderly...

(Ignore what I just wrote). Tomorrow is my birthday!  (Don't ask!)

It is also Flag Day, the day Betsy Ross created our beloved American Flag. Be sure to proudly fly the Stars and Stripes!

My spouse and I just returned from Chicago. While there visiting our family we met with a wonderful gal we hadn't seen in many years. Now she is a mother of four sons and we had the chance to meet her youngest.

Her name is HOLLY ISRAEL and her "baby" is five-year-old, BENJAMIN ISRAEL. They actually call Omaha, Nebraska home, but happened to be visiting family in Chicago at the same time. Lucky for us!

(Holly is in the mental health field... always handy for me!)

We also ran into a dear friend, KATE THOMAS, the wife of ALAN, and the mother of EDWARD and GRACE. She is very involved with current high school policies she deems unfair in Cook County, Illinois. We wish her luck. Chicago was great, but hot. (We were hoping for a chance to cool off a bit from our Florida weather.) No such luck! Glad to be back, though.

Jazz is alive and well...

My buddy, ALAN ROCK, radio personality, musician, emcee of the Altamonte Chapel musical programs, and a longtime member of our Jewish community, keeps me informed and I, in turn, keep you informed. The next program at the Altamonte Chapel, 825 East S.R. 436 in Altamonte Springs will take place on Sunday, June 29th, beginning at 12:30 p.m. DANIEL JORDAN will blow you away with his flute and saxophone along with the incredible CONNIE FAY on piano, MICHAEL ROSS, bass, and WALT HUBBARD, drums.

(Danny is one of the most in demand musicians in our area... believe me, I know. I've had the pleasure of performing with him.)

For further information, you can phone the Altamonte Chapel at 407-339-5208. The show lasts 2 hours and musicians and singers are always welcome to sit-in.

Another musician Iove to work with (and have often, even in NYC) is pianist, MICHAEL KRAMER.

On Tuesday, June 17th, he will perform a free concert live from WUCF's Studio A, beginning at 4 p.m. Michael will be accompanied by guitarist PAUL SCARVADA, bassist, BEN KRAMER and drummer, GREG PARNELL. (All great musicians.)

That date just happens to be Michael's birthday and it is part of the WUCF 35th anniversary celebration.

(Wow! What a coincidence! As I said, my birthday is on June 14th and WUCF's 35th just happens to be my age! (Oh shut up!) "Wiggin" Out Wednesdays...

The lovely DONNA FIEGEL emailed me about a new concept that just began at the Abbey, 100 South Eola Drive, Orlando.

Each Wednesday night from 5 to 8 p.m. (it just began June 11) there will be 80s themed drink specials, favorite MTV videos, giveaways and special performances by local artists! It's "Wiggin" Out Wednesdays!

(Sounds like great fun!)

The best service...

I want to give a shout out to the East Colonial Drive Red Lobster Restaurant's server, DUSTY HUMES for being terrific and I would also like to give a shout out to the fastest and nicest guy behind the deli counter at the Casselberry Publix Market, BRAD HANDLON.

One for the road...

Sarah is married to a well-known horticulturist, Murray, and is both proud and flattered when one day he creates a new type of rose and names it after her.

But her happiness is soon cut short when she reads the rose's description in the catalogue, "No good in a bed, but fine up against a wall."


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