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

By Gloria Yousha
Scene Around 

Scene Around


John Garfield

Global Warming? Are you kidding? It's still snowing!...

I've had people actually say things like this to me when I mention the threat of global warming. I received a letter from the president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, KEN KIMMELI. I decided to pass it along (in part) to you with an aside in parenthesis at the end by me:

"Audacious... irresponsible... flat-out dangerous... However you describe it, there's no avoiding the relentless flood of misinformation polluting our public discourse and poisoning debate over some of the most critical issues of our time... from climate change and renewable energy to fracking and nuclear power.

Maybe you caught pundit TUCKER CARLSON brazenly telling viewers there's 'an emerging scientific consensus that we may be in for a period of global cooling.'

Or perhaps you saw the clip of Senator JAMES INHOFE taking to the floor of the U.S. Senate to argue that 'the global warming thing' is clearly a 'hoax' because it was cold out. Keep in mind, this is a lawmaker who sits on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

If you're at all like me, hearing this nonsense is infuriating. But the fact is, these deliberate distortions aren't just annoying... they're destructive.

And make no mistake, they're destructive by design. Because when myths like these take hold, they shape the public dialogue and set the context in which vitally important policy decisions get made.

That's why we can't let these myths stand unchallenged... we have to push back with hard evidence and expert analysis.

Whenever facts are cast aside in favor of ideology, partisanship, or willfully manipulated science... whenever public opinion or actual public policy is based on faulty, little, or no evidence... the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) steps in to set the record straight."

(I really don't know much about the UCS but I do agree with what they are saying... I do believe in global warming and I care very much about our planet for my grandchildren, great and great-great grandchildren and all the generations that will follow... even though as I write this column, it's very COLD outside! Brrrrrrr!)

I actually met the actor, Gregory Peck...

So when I turned on the television set and saw that one of my choices to view was the classic 1947 movie, "Gentleman's Agreement" starring Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and John Garfield, I got excited!

The movie was (according to my memory) the first to address the issue of anti-Semitism.

Actually, John Garfield, a superb actor who died at the early age of 39, was Jewish. Born in New York, his real name was Jacob Julius Garfinkle.

I also met and know the author of this wonderful book...

"Hidden child of the Holocaust redeems the shadows of her past." That's how MARIETTE BERMOWITZ, a family friend, describes her life in her book titled "Mindele's Journey, A Memoir of a Hidden Child of the Holocaust."

Mariette gives voice to those who were silenced.

Nicknamed "the wanderer," Mariette, author of "Mindele's Journey," writes for us and for herself, her need to hold onto treasured fragments of her past. The refrain, "Do you remember?" fills the pages as Mariette wanders, flees and returns to so many lives: as a Jewish child, as a Catholic, as a free-spirit in Brooklyn, as a wife, girlfriend and daughter.

In 1942, when Mindele was four years old, her mother and four siblings were deported to concentration camps whiled she was miraculously rescued and placed in a convent, then spent the remaining war years with a family in the Belgian countryside.

When her fathered returned to claim her, she no longer recognized him. Living in post war Brussels, a world filled with despair for the Jews who survived, was when "the war after the war" began for her.

"My story is a testament to a guiding force instilled in me by the nuns who sheltered me during the war," Mariette said. "I know what it's like to give up hope, but something always drove me on."

This is an inspirational story of a woman whose quest for meaning took her on a journey to find wholeness... and as I said before, my family knows Mariette and this is an absolutely true memoir. She and her father were the only survivors of the Holocaust from her immediate family.

The book, "Mindele's Journey, A Memoir of a Hidden Child of the Holocaust," is available for sale online at and other sites.

A great guy that I also know...

I refer to BILL KAHN, a good friend and a long-time member of our Jewish community.

Bill is always trying to protect good people from would-be scammers. He is a sharp guy... and a great guy, believe me. Here is his latest scam warning. He writes:

"Here is another rather nasty scam, one that has been around for years.

After a spouse dies, there are people who scour the obituaries. They do some research to find out who has money, wait awhile and then go after the partner. They usually make a consoling contact; become friends, sometimes bringing in a partner of the opposite sex.

Simply stated they later use some type of a sob story to get at their money. The clues are obvious, but my general rule is, if someone new contacts you through any media, don't fall for any pitch, just say BYE."

(Good advice). He continues:

"On the other end of the scam spectrum are business scams, completely different than the public ones. Here a company can be scammed and never even know it.

I have a seminar at  which identifies the clues to look for to stop business from falling into these type traps."

(Once again, thanks, Bill, for your great advice. I will check out your seminar.)

Shout outs...

I love TooJay's restaurant... because of their great food, but I've said that before.

I especially love their matzo ball soup... yum!

I've always received great service from the wait staff as well... but nothing as fabulous as this:

Just recently my spouse and I went to TooJay's in the Palm Springs Shopping Center in Altamonte Springs.

I ordered the matzo ball soup as usual but our waitress on this visit was not usual... she was special!

Her name is ALICIA KAPP, the absolutely most caring and sweetest person I've met in a long time. She has been working at TooJays for many years yet we've never met... but now that we have, I want to be her friend and not only when I have an urge for matzo ball soup.

In fact, I'm phoning her as soon as I finish this column!

One for the road...

I am a very nervous driver, but nothing like this:

Sharon and her friend Kitty, two little elderly ladies, are out for a drive in a large Mercedes with Kitty driving and Sharon in the front passenger seat.

After a few minutes, they come to some traffic lights but although the lights are clearly at red, the car just continues across the intersection. 

Mariette Bermowitz

Sharon says to herself, "I must be losing it. I could have sworn we just went through a red light." 

A few minutes later, they come to another set of lights and again they go through red, this time narrowly missing a car driving across them. Although Sharon is sure the light was at red, she is still convinced she is losing it. She is now getting very nervous. 

At the next intersection, the light is again showing red and as before, the car goes across without slowing. 

So Sharon turns to Kitty and says, "Hey, did you know that you just passed three red lights in a row? What on earth are you doing – are you trying to kill us?" 

Kitty turns to Sharon and replies, "Oy vay! Am I driving?"


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