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

By Gloria Yousha
Scene Around 

Scene Around


Sarah Isabel Yousha

As I write this column...

(Well in advance of publication, of course), it is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, one of the horrible Nazi death camps where our people suffered and many died. 

Attention (I'm especially addressing possible Holocaust deniers)... Here is an article directly from the World Jewish Congress (WJC) Digest, written a few weeks before the anniversary day:

"More than 100 survivors of the Auschwitz death camp from across the globe will travel to Poland to participate in the observance of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz Birkenau on Jan. 27,2015.

Most of the survivors will be accompanied by a child or grandchild. For many it will be their first return to the site where more than one million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust.

The World Jewish Congress identified these survivors, who today live in 19 countries, and together with the USC Shoah Foundation and the Auschwitz State Museum, is making their participation in this historic event possible.

'This anniversary is crucial because it may be the last major one marked by survivors. We are truly honored that so many of them, despite their age, have agreed to make the trip,' said WJC President Ambassador RONALD S. LAUDER. ' Few moments in the drama that was World War II are more etched in our collective memory then the day Red Army troops came upon, perhaps, the greatest evil of our time.'"

Must change the subject...

(Because my heart is heavy just thinking about the Holocaust, I'll change it.)

The other evening while watching television, my favorite movie of all time was featured!

"Singin' In The Rain" starring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and DEBBIE REYNOLDS (Debbie is the only one still living and so her name is in caps!), just happens to be my very favorite of all the movies I've ever seen, both as a child (as I was in 1952 when the movie premiered) and as an adult. And I must admit, even as an elderly (oh shut up!) person, I am still delighted by it!

I can't help thinking how lucky we were to have been exposed to such great talent... not like the kids of today.

Even the music, known as "The Great American Songbook," (many written by Jews) is far better than the so-called music being played, sung and danced to these days.

(Oy vay... I hope my grandchildren don't read this column!)

So you think we had a cold spell?...

(I like to complain to my friends and neighbors that I'm moving to Florida if the weather doesn't warm up!)

Actually, we are lucky for the 50 and 60-degree weather, even with the occasional wind gusts, compared to what others are feeling elsewhere.

True, it's not the 70, 80 etc. degrees and sun we are used to, but compared to places like Minnesota, for instance, it is swimsuit weather!

My spouse and I just returned from a weekend in Minneapolis, Minnesota (Minnetonka) where we attended a most special family event!

SARAH ISABEL YOUSHA, a beautiful, smart and delightful young lady had her bat mitzvah at Beth El Synagogue in Minnetonka, with Rabbi ALEXANDER DAVIS and Cantor AUDREY ABRAMS officiating.

Family and friends from Florida, New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts etc. traveled in to take part in the festivities. Sarah made everyone proud, especially her parents, ALAN and MICHELLE, her grandparents and siblings.

Irv and I are kvelling, of course, as we are Sarah's great aunt and uncle. (I told her we are called "great" because we are! She smiled but said nothing.

(Smart girl!)

Speaking of "Great"...

Our own beautiful (inside and out) HARRIETT LAKE, was recently chosen the Orlando Sentinel's "2014 Central Floridian of the Year."

Actually, Harriett and her husband Hy (who is deceased) have been through the years, the most giving and caring people in our community.

Harriett continues to give and donate and she brings wonderful things to our community and to all of Central Florida, including the arts and all kinds of charities.

Our lives are so much better because of Harriett. I salute her! I love her!

I love to laugh...

Did you know there is a "Laughter Club" at our Jewish Federation?

Led by certified laughter yoga leader, DANA KAPLAN, the Laughter Club is a fun exercise to boost your happiness and well-being.

Now a global phenomenon, this class will bring joy and a social network into your life.

These classes take place each Monday from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. at the JCC in Maitland. It is an 18-week course that started in January but goes through May 18 so there is still plenty of time to attend.

The price is $5 per class; free for JCC members, and there will be NO class on Feb. 16.

If you are interested, phone the JCC at 407-645-5933 for more info.

(Maybe there will be jokes I can steal?)

This may be a sad time in your life...

The Jewish Pavilion and VITAS Healthcare are pleased to offer a FREE Grief Support Group for people who have lost spouses, children, parents or other loved ones. The first class was held on Feb. 4 but there are five more to attend thru March 4.

This six-week recurring program will include refreshments and socializing

and will be held at Brookdale Island Lake, 160 Islander Court in Longwood.

If you are interested, contact SUSAN SPARROW at the Jewish Pavilion, 407-678-9363 or susansparrow@jewishpavilion.org to RSVP.

A shout out...

I have favorite places to eat and favorite waitresses.

Irv and I eat out often because we love to experience different foods and restaurants...

(Aw heck! It's really because I'm a lousy cook!)

One of our favorite places just happens to be close to our home. It is Anthony's NY Pizza Italian Restaurant, Hwy 436 in Casselberry.

They say they pride themselves on making everything fresh daily.

They should also "pride themselves" on the service they give their customers, especially the care customers receive from their waitress, TERESA PRICE.

Teresa is a gem... and she's good-looking too.

(Uh oh... I can't handle competition at this stage of the game. I'll be dining in and taking Irv's portion out!)

One for the road...

My good friend, BERNY RAFF recently sent me some really funny jokes about elderly folks. (Could he be trying to tell me something?)

"A couple in their 90s are both having problems remembering things. During a check-up, the doctor tells them that they're physically okay, but they might want to start writing things down to help them remember.

Later that night, while watching TV, the old man gets up from his chair. 'Want anything while I'm in the kitchen?' he asks.

'Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?'


'Don't you think you should write it down so you can remember it?' she asks.

'No, I can remember it.'

'Well, I'd like some strawberries on top, too. Maybe you should write it down, so as not to forget it?'

He says, 'I can remember that. You want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries.'

'I'd also like whipped cream. I'm certain you'll forget that, write it down?' she asks.

Irritated, he says, 'I don't need to write it down. I can remember it! Ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream-I got it, for goodness sake!'

Then he toddles into the kitchen. After about 20 minutes, the old man returns from the kitchen and hands his wife a plate of bacon and eggs. She stares at the plate for a moment.

'Where's my toast?'


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