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

By Gloria Yousha
Scene Around 

Scene Around


This is indeed a small world...

The following is a poem titled “I’m Free.” The author is unknown to us:

“Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free, I’m following the path God laid for me,

I took his hand when I heard his call, I turned my back and left it all,

I could not stay another day, to laugh, to love, to work or play,

Tasks left undone must stay that way, I found the peace I sought today,

If my parting has left a void, then fill it with remembered joys,

A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss, Oh yes, these things I too will miss,

Be not burdened with times of sorrow, I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow,

My life’s been full, I savored much,

Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief, Don’t lengthen it now with undue  grief,

Lift up your hearts, and peace to thee, God wanted me now, he set me free.”

Many young people in our Jewish community were friends and acquaintances of my brother-in-law, Solomon Yousha.

I say “were” because Sol passed away of cancer, much too young, on Oct. 9 of this year. They may have known him as a spiritual leader in the Jewish community, a USY leader to Israel, a member of the staff of Camp (Ramah) Nyack, an educator, and much more.

Speaking of a small world, a few days after his death, I received a phone call at my home from my Heritage editor informing me of a Facebook tribute to Sol, written by the daughter of her close friend. The daughter’s name is EREN BODEN.

Eren wrote:

“The world lost an amazing man yesterday. Solomon Yousha, Mr. Yo, was my teacher and mentor for many years. I can safely say that everything I knew about participating in, following, and leading a service in synagogue, I learned from him. His beautiful singing voice will be forever embedded in my mind. Mr. Yo is waiting to sing the song of Shabbat ...(I’m) feeling a great loss.”

Eren’s Facebook post prompted many other posts from young folks... all lovingly mourning Sol’s passing. I printed them out and gave them to his widow and daughters and found out that hundreds of like feelings were expressed through posts on all social media by many who were touched by “Mr. Yo.” Our sons, and all the cousins were personally and deeply touched. Our eldest, David, a lieutenant commander in the U.S., said “Uncle Sol (a former Green Beret in Viet Nam) was most instrumental in my choosing a lifetime of government service.” (I never knew that.)

When my spouse and I attended Sol’s funeral at the Oceanside Jewish Center in New York, we were touched by the amount of people who turned out for the service. It was like attending the service for a head of state, literally standing room only for hundreds of people, inside the Jewish Center and outside.

Solomon Yousha touched a lot of lives in a wonderful and meaningful way. He will never be forgotten.

An important reminder...

This Sunday, Nov. 2, is very special.

Members of the Congregation Ohev Shalom Seniors invite everyone to attend a most terrific entertainment event beginning at 2 p.m. at the synagogue, 613 Concourse Parkway South, in Maitland. For directions, phone 407-298-4650.

The talented Company Players will perform “Fly Me To The Moon” in the ballroom. Great songs and refreshments are the order of the day.

The cost is $5,members; $8, all others. Questions? Okay... just ask BERNY RAFF, COS Seniors president, 407-767-6763.

A good ole Central Florida boy comes home...

I’m referring to JIM STAFFORD, a famous comedian, singer, musician, songwriter... (and charmer!)

Jim was born right here in Central Florida and besides his many years of performances all over, he has been headlining at his own theater in Branson, Missouri, since 1990. Jim is self-taught on guitar, fiddle, piano, banjo, organ and harmonica.

On Saturday evening, Nov. 15, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Mount Dora Community Building, Jim will be headlining during the Mount Dora Music Festival.

Tickets for the event are reserved, $30 & $45; VIP, $60; There will also be a “Meet & Greet.”

For more details, call 352-383-2627, 352-385-1010 or go online to http://www.mountdoramusicfest.com.

This makes me sooooo mad!...

I recently heard from the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) about the famous department store (all over the U.S.) Sears selling a most disgusting item under the guise of it being identified as “men’s fashion punk rock style jewelry.” It is a Swastika ring! (Yes, you read right!)

According to one media report, Sears has removed this listing. But the swastika ring is still available on the Sears website. They are treating it as just any other piece of jewelry, and not a symbol of the attempted genocide of the Jewish people.  

I understand that Sears continues to make the swastika ring available for purchase from third-party vendors on the Sears website.

Of course, I write far in advance and it may be gone, but you can check with the website to see if it is still available and if so, make your feelings known.

For those who never heard of ZOA:

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is the oldest and one of the largest pro-Israel organizations in the United States. With offices around the country and in Israel, the ZOA educates the public, elected officials, the media, and college/high school students about the truth of the ongoing Arab war against Israel. The ZOA works to strengthen U.S.-Israel relations through educational activities, public affairs programs and work on Capitol Hill, and to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias in the media, in textbooks, in schools and on college campuses.

One for the road...

(After that last story, I need a joke!)

Six retired Orlando men were playing poker one evening in Abe’s house when all of a sudden, one of them, Shlomo, loses $650 on one big hand, clutches his chest and drops dead at the table.

The other five continue playing but this time standing up to show respect for their departed friend.

Later, Abe asks, “Who’s going to tell his wife, Hilda?”

They cut cards and Moishe loses.

Before he leaves, he is advised to be discreet and kind and to try hard not to make a terrible situation any worse.

“Discreet?” says Moishe, “I’m the most discreet man there is. Discretion is my middle name. Just leave it to me and don’t worry about a thing.”

So Moishe goes over to Shlomo’s house and rings the doorbell.

Hilda opens the door and asks, “Nu, so what do you want?”

Moishe replies, “Your husband just lost $650 and is afraid to come home.”

On hearing this, Hilda yells, “SO TELL HIM HE SHOULD DROP DEAD.”

“OK I’ll go tell him,” says Moishe.


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