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

By Gloria Yousha
Scene Around 

Scene Around


Before I even begin this column...

Whatever happened to "Give us your tired, your poor" at the base of the Statue of Liberty?

This country once sent back an entire shipload of Jews fleeing the Nazis because our State Department (at that time at least) seemed to be anti-Semitic. What will happen to these little children now at our borders? (I'm just saying.)

Israel in turmoil...

I have mentioned many times before, that I write this column far in advance of publication, so I really don't know what is happening in Israel as you read this, but the last I heard (Tuesday, July 9) there was a huge exchange of rockets between Israel and the Palestinians.

Much of the fighting it seems, was about the Israeli teens and the Palestinian teen who were murdered recently... but I worry about other issues as well. Read on:

Europe in turmoil...

The following comes directly from the World Jewish Congress Digest (WJC) with asides by me:

"Jews increasingly feel less welcome and more insecure, particularly in large parts of Europe. This was the finding of a report released by the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, in cooperation with WJC affiliate European Jewish Congress (EJC) and Tel Aviv University.

Results from the 2013 survey (just months ago) show that anti-Semitic attacks are growing in intensity and cruelty as attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions perpetrated with and without weapons, by arson, vandalism and direct threats... worsens.

In 2013 there were 554 reported violent acts against persons, synagogues, community centers, schools, cemeteries, monuments and private property, with the highest numbers occurring in France, Canada, Germany, Ukraine, Russia and Hungary. The increasing popularity of far-right parties, particularly in France, Hungary and Greece, is especially disturbing.

The report also cites that European Jews remain the most targeted minority, especially relative to their numbers. These findings, taken in conjunction with recent survey results released by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, prompted the EJC to warn that' normative Jewish life in Europe is unsustainable if such huge numbers of European Jews are forced to live in fear and insecurity. European governments must be pressed to address this issue with utmost urgency.'"

(The article goes on to note how hate and incitement can easily be translated into violence. Many anti-Semites just need the trigger and the opportunity to transfer their hate speech into violence.)

A book with me in mind?...

Our own lovely ENID JACKOWITZ has written a children's book with an important message. It is titled "Maya and the Magic Swing."

It will take you on a metaphorical journey where mistakes happen on a grand scale (here's where I relate) and are transformed into something positive. The book's message: No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. (Oy! Do I ever relate!)

Written by Enid, a psychotherapist, and illustrated by HAYLEY SCHAEFFER, a remarkably gifted 15-year-old, award-winning artist, "Maya and the Magic Swing" is not only fun to read but also to hear.

The book is ideal for parents, teachers, counselors, and therapists. It can help children from pre-school through third grade develop a constructive attitude toward making mistakes in a surprising and entertaining way.

"Maya and the Magic Swing" is available from Amazon.com or directly from the author by sending an email to Mayasmagicswing@aol.com.

The price is $14.95 plus tax and shipping.

(This book has a great message... "No one is perfect. We all make mistakes," and also according to Enid, "this is an important message for children in today's world.")

A scholar, a talent and a friend...

I believe that Heritage Jewish News wrote about two weeks ago, but it is so well-worth repeating in case you missed it:

"Cantor ISAAC KRIGER, has been officially engaged as permanent cantor and spiritual leader for Temple L'Chayim in Clermont, Florida. Cantor Kriger was born in Mexico, of Lithuanian descent. He has officiated as cantor extensively throughout Central Florida as well as Southern California, Boston, and in Las Vegas. He has also performed in concert for various Jewish organizations here in Central Florida as well as throughout the United States. Cantor Kriger's training and experience have given him the ability to daven in both the traditional and the contemporary style evident in the compositions of Cantor MEIR FINKELSTEIN, Debbie Friedman, and CRAIG TAUBMAN.

Cantor Kriger was a principle lead tenor with the Israel National Opera, and has concertized throughout Europe and the United States. He has appeared on national television on "The Jewish Entertainment Hour" and in concert at Lincoln Center.

Temple L'Chayim has Friday night services on the second and fourth Friday of every month at 7:30 p.m. The synagogue is located at 4420 South Hwy 27, Vista Center, Clermont, FL. 34711.

For more information, contact NATHAN AXEL at 352-242-6135."

(How fortunate congregants of Temple L'Chayim are to hear Cantor Kriger's magnificent voice!)

A most honorable mensch...

I recently received this email from the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando. It is about a wonderful man, Rabbi HILLEL SKOLNIK. Read on:

"Rabbi Hillel Skolnik is our mensch of the week. Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation's rabbi is a friendly, energetic and charismatic community member dedicated to enriching Jewish life throughout Orlando.

Rabbi Skolnik currently serves as the chairman for the Greater Orlando Board of Rabbis (GOBOR) which brings together the rabbis of our community to work together in unison.

Recently, Rabbi Skolnik has acted swiftly to put together programs for two solidarity events in support of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped and murdered. Rabbi Skolnik is a kind-hearted man who embodies the term mensch in every sense."

(I whole-heartedly agree!)

I'm a senior and I need help...


Luckily there is an Orlando's Senior Help Desk, a free service from the Jewish Pavilion. The four top reasons senior citizens use home healthcare services:

1. Help with the activities of daily living. As you begin to show the signs of aging you may need help with one or more of the activities of daily living, including bathing and hygiene, toileting, incontinence care, dressing, eating, walking, and transfers in and out of beds, chairs, wheelchairs and cars. (I need help opening bottles!) Help with housekeeping is also available.

(According to JOAN RIVERS, when she needs to clean her home, she calls 911 and reports that she's been robbed. They send police who dust for prints!)

2. Respite care. Respite care is substitute care given so the regular caregiver can take a break from the responsibilities of caregiving. Nursing services have the flexibility to provide nurses aides for a few hours once or twice a week, giving some much needed relief to the family caregiver.

3. Alzheimer's care. Unfortunately, dealing with dementia has become a big part of elder care in the United States. People experience Alzheimer's disease in different ways so there's no one approach to caregiving. If you are providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease then you know how difficult it can be. A person with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia can live in the comfort of their own home or caregiver's home provided that safety measures are in place to prevent wandering or driving. The abilities and needs of a person with dementia will change as Alzheimer's disease progresses. Professional caregivers can adapt a daily routine to support these changes with some creativity and flexibility.

4. Post surgery care. If you or a loved one are planning on having surgery, you've probably done lots of research finding the right doctor, understanding the procedure, and gathering all the information to make an informed decision. But have you thought about what happens after the surgery? After surgery you may be sent home or may go to a rehabilitation facility for physical therapy, occupational therapy, or respiratory therapy before going home. Recovery time may be as much as six weeks or more depending on the medical procedure. Assistance at home may be needed.

For more information, go online to http://www.OrlandoSeniorHelpDesk.org. or speak to EMILY NEWMAN, senior resource specialist, at 407-678-9363 or online at emilyjewishpavilion@gmail.com

One for the road...

This is an absolutely true story!

A nurse was on duty in the Emergency Room when a young woman with purple hair styled into a punk rocker Mohawk, sporting a variety of tattoos, and wearing strange clothing, entered... It was quickly determined that the patient had acute appendicitis, so she was scheduled for immediate surgery.

When she was completely disrobed on the operating table, the staff noticed that her pubic hair had been dyed green and above it there was a tattoo that read "Keep off the grass."

Once the surgery was completed, the surgeon wrote a short note on the patient's dressing, which said "Sorry... had to mow the lawn."


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