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

By Gloria Yousha
Scene Around 

Scene Around

 

Haley Gaeser

The law of the land?...

This article appeared in a recent Issue of the World Jewish Congress Digest (WJC) and I pass it along to you (with asides by me):

"A new law was recently approved by the Greek Parliament that sets prison sentences of up to three years and fines of up to $34,000 for individuals and $130,000 for groups convicted of 'inciting acts of discrimination, hatred or violence' over race, religion or disability. It also calls for similar punishment for those who deny or praise the Holocaust, (many people I come in contact with right here in town are deniers), genocide or war crimes against humanity.

The passage of this bill is seen as an important milestone in the fight against Greece's rising far-right Golden Dawn party (reminder of the Nazi party?), which recently scored election victories, sending its first deputies to the European Parliament.

(Would you believe?) It took more than a year of debate and the urging of the European Commission, the local Jewish community and the WJC for Greece to update the legislation.

In September 2013, WJC President Ambassador RONALD S. LAUDER said Greece had 'a moral obligation to unite against Golden Dawn,' whose members have been linked to at least two murders.

Golden Dawn leader NIKOS MICHALOLIAKOS has publicly denied the existence of Nazi gas chambers and crematoria and has called Adolf Hitler 'a major historical figure of the 20th century.' (I'm sorry I put his name in caps!)

Prior to WWII, some 78,000 Jews lived in Greece, mostly in the northern city of Thessalonik. This community was almost entirely wiped out during the Holocaust.

Greece's Jewish population today totals 5,000."

(How do I feel about this story? Don't ask!)

I need something more up-lifting...

Mazel tov to the adorable HALEY GAESER on recently being named a Jewish Federation Mensch:

"Haley Gaeser was recently selected as a convention coordinator for BBYO's new member convention at the end of January.

She serves on Regional Board as North Florida Region's Aym Ha'Chaverot, or membership chair. As coordinator, Haley will lead programs for 8-12th graders around standing up for the things they believe in, creating a community campaign, making a local impact, and forming authentic relationships with your Jewish peers.

Haley is also spearheading a brand new campaign titled '8 Crazy Nights,' a membership drive to engage eighth graders in local Jewish programs.

Her creativity and talent at connecting her peers makes Haley an excellent young leader in Orlando. We're lucky to have her in our community!"

(I recently had the opportunity to talk with Haley at a COS Seniors event, although I've known her beautiful mom, MARCI and her dad, Heritage owner, JEFF, for many years. Haley is not only beautiful, she is smart and positive! It was great to meet her!)

Speaking of Nazis (yuck)...

When Adolf Hitler took power in Germany in 1933, there were 160,000 Jews living in Berlin. By the end of WWII, only a few hundred remained in Germany's capitol.

In the book "The Last Jews in Berlin" (available in ebook Jan. 20, 2015 from Open Road Media) author, LEONARD GROSS tells the incredible true story of the Jewish men and women who went underground in Nazi Berlin and lived to tell the tale

Distilled from extensive interviews, Leonard details the harrowing accounts of a dozen men and women who through their own resourcefulness, bravery and at times, sheer luck, evaded the tragic fate of many of their peers. With the narrative force of a thriller, Gross weaves these true stories of perseverance into a heartbreaking, suspenseful, and moving account of survival against all odds. 

For more information on how to purchase "The Last Jews in Berlin," you can contact Open Road Media, 345 Hudson St, 6C, New York, N.Y.10014, phone 212-462-7884. This book is also available online at

(Somebody should send a copy to the leader of the anti-Semitic Golden Dawn party in Greece.)

A special Calendar girl...

Every year, for the past few years, the wonderful DORIS PINES makes and sends out a special calendar. This year's is titled "The Original Calendar Girl 2015" (2015? What ever happened to 1969?)

It's always tasteful and fun... so much fun, like Doris herself!

I don't write notes and appointments on the calendars... they are too special. I do save them and I love the idea of them. I even wish I thought of making calendars for my family and friends. (Oh shut up, Irving! I don't look so bad to others.)

I actually love all the photos of Doris, representing the months of 2015, but I do have favorites. For instance, February's Mardi Gras pose is fabulous!

October's Halloween photo had me really chuckling and November's was soooo funny I literally had convulsions of laughter.

(Unfortunately, because of gravity, I trip on my breasts!)

International Round Table (IRT)...

I recently heard from my friends (and Heritage associate) RACHEL and JIM SHIPLEY via email:

'A great city deserves great art.' That's a quote we hear quite a bit. But, it is true. When looking for a city to locate personally or for their companies, top executives ask about the level of the educational system, the political situation and the availability of art, music and theater. We welcomed the opening of the Dr. Phillips Center a few weeks ago. But beyond that magnificent achievement is a whole Central Florida area full of delightful artistic endeavors supported by United Arts of Central Florida. United Arts supports the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, the Shakespeare Theater, the Orlando Museum of Art, the Orlando Ballet, The Orlando Science Center and many more.

Flora Maria Garcia

The president of United Arts is FLORA MARIA GARCIA and she was the guest for the January IRT. In fact, IRT has many interesting speakers throughout the year. IRT meets at the University Club, 150 East Central Avenue, corner of Rosalind-across from the library. The meetings commence at 11:30 a.m. There is free parking next to the club but space is limited in which case there is a public parking garage a few doors west of the Club. For more information about IRT, send an email to Jim or Rachel at tradingwise@cfl.rr.com or call them at 407/222-5723. If you have a friend or business associate who might be interested in the IRT bring them along-just let us know so we can put them on our attendee list. If you make a reservation and find you cannot make it, please let us know - we order lunch for you unless you tell us different."

One for the road...

What do Jews do on Christmas Eve each year? I've often been asked by my non-Jewish friends. They eat at the Chinese Restaurant, of course! Read on:

Moshe was eating in a Chinese restaurant and was chatting to his Chinese waiter.

Moshe commented upon what a wise people the Chinese were.

"Yes," replied the waiter, "we're wise because our culture is 4,000 years old. But Jewish people are also very wise, are they not?"

Moshe replied, "Yes, we are. Our culture is 5,000 years old."

The waiter was surprised to hear this. "That can't be true," he replied, "where did your people eat for a thousand years?"

 

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