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

By Gloria Yousha
Scene Around 

Scene Around


Betty Stein

Okay, you talked me into it...

I'm running for president! Is it any more ridiculous than Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Donald Trump? (Never mind. I'm not going to write about politics.)

What I will write about is the concern I have with growing anti-Semitism, not only in the Middle East and certain European countries like Belgium or Austria. Read about our "allies." These facts come from the World Jewish Congress (WJC) digest. I pass them along:

"According to a recent poll commissioned by WJC affiliate European Jewish Congress (EJC), one in four British adults between the ages of 18 and 35 believe that there is the likelihood that another Holocaust could happen in Europe during their lifetime.

Almost 60 percent of respondents did not know that six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. Fifteen percent agreed with the statement that the government should consider introducing laws that require Jews to carry a religious ID card. Another 20 percent answered 'don't know' and would consider the introduction of laws requiring Jewish-owned businesses to have some special form of identification. (21 percent felt the British government should consider introducing laws requiring businesses owned by Muslims to have special identification.) When asked whether these types of discriminatory practices were likely to be passed against Jews in Europe today, 25 percent answered affirmatively.

Stressing that these findings should 'shock us into action,' the EJC held a high level forum in Prague, in cooperation with the Czech government and the European parliament, to meet the challenges of growing anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia in Europe today."

And would you believe our close friend, Australia?...

This article also comes directly from the WJC digest:

"Anti-Semitic assaults, hate speech and harassment have increased by more than one-third in the past year, according to a register of incidents kept by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ). Among the incidents were a gang attack on the Jewish people, two of them over the age of 60; a Jewish family being pelted with dirt after leaving synagogue; and an attack on a bus of Jewish schoolchildren by drunken teenagers.

In the past year, more than 75 incidents of verbal harassment and physical intimidation were reported and the number of physical assaults tripled to 15. Overall, there were 312 incidents, an increase of 35 percent over the previous year.

The ECAJ attributed the rise to the Gaza war this (past) summer and the 'hostile media coverage' it sparked.

Hate speech online also increased, which ECAJ noted, 'may reflect a shift to a younger demographic as the source of anti-Semitic hate messages.'"

(All these facts make me very emotional and I keep remembering the statement from a Holocaust survivor that I wrote about in a recent column. His name is ROMAN KENT. He said "We do not want our past to be our children's future." Enough said.)

Still on a sad note...

One of the sweetest, dearest women in our community has passed.

Betty Stein, always with a smile on her face and such wonderful dimples, is gone from us. What a loss!

I didn't see much of Betty as she had a very active life, thanks to her devoted daughter, the talented CAROL STEIN and her equally talented son-in-law, LEE WOLFSON.

They took her everywhere and included her in everything.

But, in spite of not seeing much of her, I would always include Betty in my choice of all-time favorite people because she always greeted me with a loving smile and twinkling eyes.

I recently learned all about her charitable works, her school teaching, her volunteering for good causes, etc. None of what I learned surprised me. She was truly a wonderful human being.

Realizing this, Betty was just honored for a lifetime of giving on March 1st, (one month before she died) at the "8 Over 80" gala sponsored by Kinneret. She will be missed.

On a brighter note...

Fairwinds Broadway in Orlando and Florida Theatrical Association present "Pippin," a spectacular Broadway hit show, opening in Orlando on Tuesday, April 21, 8 p.m. at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S Magnolia Ave Orlando thru Sunday, April 26.

A young prince sets out on a journey to find the ultimate meaning of life in the vaudevillian spectacular of "Pippin," from "Godspell" creator Stephen Schwartz. The musical first wowed audiences in 1972 and is set to a 1970's rock score, including the hits 'Magic to Do' and 'I Guess I'll Miss the Man.'

"Pippin" is Broadway's high-flying, death-defying hit musical. Full of acrobatics, magical feats and songs from the composer of "Wicked." This production is the winner of four 2013 Tony Awards® including Best Musical Revival. For information, call 800-515-2171.

Music makes me smile...

Especially jazz... and our dear friend, ALAN ROCK, makes sure we have the finest here in town, what with his popular radio program each weekend morning on WUCF FM and also in live performances at the Altamonte Chapel where Alan is the emcee.

On Sunday, April 26th, at 2:30 p.m., DAN JORDAN will be appearing at the Altamonte Chapel with his terrific music. He is always an audience favorite.

With Dan will be MARK McKEE on piano, DAN WALTERS on bass and MICHAEL WELCH on drums.

The Altamonte Chapel is located at 825 East S.R. 436 in Altamonte Springs. The phone number is (407) 339-5208.

The Downbeat for the 'Jazz Jam' is 12:30 and goes until 2:30. And it is truly a "jazz jam" as professional musicians and vocalists are always welcome to "sit-in" during the second music set.

(Hope to see you there.)

More great entertainment...

I recently heard from DONNA FIEGEL about the wonderful Abbey Cabaret shows just added to the near end of season. The Abbey, located in downtown Orlando, is a multi-use venue designed to accommodate any occasion from cabaret performances, films and comedians to concerts and full-scale Off-Broadway productions. They are as follows:

On Monday, April 20th, MELISSA VASQUEZ will perform her show "Are you Gonna Eat That?" Last seen on stage in "Hairspray" at the Garden Theater, Melissa's all-new cabaret features a collection of fun songs and stories about the Holy Land Experience, dating, and enjoying life.

On Monday, April 27th, husband and wife team, ROBERT and ANDREA STACK present "Double Stack." Their debut cabaret features songs of experience, from young and dumb to dumb and not-so-young. Both veteran Disney performers, Rob has also been seen numerous times on The Abbey stage, starring in "Cabaret" and "Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody."

Tickets to each cabaret show are just $10 in advance and can be purchased at TicketWeb.com. Tickets will be $15 at the door.

For show times and more information, visit www.AbbeyOrlando.com.

One for the road...

By now you must realize that all of life is a "Joke." But here's one anyway:

The musical 'Pippin' is coming to town.

Izzy drives his friend Hyman to the shops in Winter Park. As they get out of the car, Izzy locks the doors in such a hurry that he forgets to remove the ignition key first. 

"Oy vay," says Izzy. 

"Why don't we get a coat hanger to open the door," says Hyman. 

"No, I don't think that'll work," replies Izzy, "because passers-by will think we're breaking into the car." 

"OK," suggests Hyman. We can use a penknife to cut the rubber seal around the driver's door, then I can stick in a finger and pull out the key." 

"No, absolutely not." replies Izzy. "Passers-by will think we're stupid for not using a coat hanger." 

"OK," says Hyman, "you'd better think of something else and quick. It's starting to rain and your sun roof's still open."


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