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

By Gloria Yousha
Scene Around 

Scene Around


Lord George Weidenfeld

Acknowledging wonderful people...

This comes from the World Jewish Congress digest this month. I pass it along to you in its entirety:

"Lord GEORGE WEIDENFELD, the 95 year old statesman, scholar and publisher, recently accepted the World Jewish Congress (WJC) Theodor Herzl Award at a gala dinner at London's Victoria and Albert Museum. The award recognizes outstanding individuals who carry forward Herzl's ideals for a safer, more tolerant world for the Jewish people.

WJC President Ambassador RONALD S. LAUDER presented the award, saying 'There are some people in our world... just a few... who have the courage and temerity to speak out when they see injustice. George Weidenfeld is one of these rare men.'

Ambassador Lauder recalled working with Lord Weidenfeld to expose to the world former U.N. secretary general and later Austrian President Kurt Waldheim's Nazi past. He further hailed Lord Weidenfeld's 'constant efforts on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people.'

Born in Vienna in 1919, George Weidenfeld emigrated to London following Germany's annexation of Austria in 1938.  During World War II, he worked with the BBC Overseas Service. In 1948 he co-founded the publishing firm Weidenfeld & Nicolson. The following year he was appointed Chief of Cabinet to Israeli President Chaim Weizmann. He was knighted in 1969 and created a Life Peer in 1976.

Previous WJC Theodore Herzl Award recipients include SHIMON PERES, ELIE and MARION WIESEL and HENRY KISSINGER.."

Acknowledging another wonderful man...

Sir Nicholas Winton just passed away this month at the age of 106.

He was a British humanitarian who organized the rescue of 669 children, most of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Second World War in an operation later known as the Czech Kinder transport.

The British hero celebrated hiis birthday with the news that he is to receive the Czech Republic's highest honor, the Order of the White Lion, for giving Czech children "the greatest possible gift: the chance to live and to be free".

His story became known to the public in 1988 when it featured on "That's Life," a BBC TV program hosted by Esther Rantzen. In 2003 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for Services to Humanity for this work. He was often referred to as the British Schindler.

(I honestly never heard of Sir Winton,  that is until, while watching local television here in Orlando a few weeks ago, his life and death were discussed and a video of him sitting in the audience in a British theater was shown. The announcer spoke about him and then asked if there were any of Winton's survivors in the audience. Everyone stood up! How touching!)

"Oy are we kvelling" Department...

I recently received an email from a lovely couple in our community, DIANE and RALPH BROWN. They have much to feel proud about, especially when it concerns their talented grandchildren. Here is the email:

"Hi Gloria,

I know how much you love musical theater, and I'm so very happy to share some 'nachas' news.  Our (Diane & Ralph Brown) three grandchildren are all involved in things that are good for others as well. MEGHAN, 24, graduated FSU in 2013, spent most of the year traveling around Europe before starting FSU Medical School. One year down-many to go!

Her equally awesome brother, HUNTER, 22, graduated Elon University on their Dad Andy's, birthday, May 23.  A week later Hunter returned to Forestburgh, (NY) Summer Playhouse where he is Shrek, two mornings each week, wowed audiences as Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees, and is currently playing six ensemble roles in "Young Frankenstein."

The rest of this ambitious season includes "Oliver," "Music Man," "42nd Street," "The Fantastiks," and "Driving Miss Daisy." This awesome cast also entertain in a variety of Cabarets. Anyone heading towards the Catskills can find some great entertainment.  For reservations and information, go to www.fbplayhouse.org or call 845/794-1194 

(Irv and I honeymooned in the Catskill Mountains of New York more than a half century ago... and they said it wouldn't last. Incidentally, Hunter received rave reviews as Joe Hardy in "Damm Yankees.")

The email continues about another grandchild:

"BENJAMIN ABRUDESCU, 10, son of Drs. NANCY and NICHOLAS, completed 2 weeks of Winter Garden Theater Camp by performing in High School Musical and surprised us all with a solo part. For years we've thought Hunter's talent was all from his terrific Mom, Kathy Milam's, side of the family. Now Benjamin has us rethinking there must be a Brown gene there too. You know we are qvelling like crazy!"

(What a great email to receive! What terrific grandchildren!  Diane and Ralph should be Qvelling as they spell it and kvelling as I spell it.)

On the subject of musical theater...

"Dames at Sea" will open at The Winter Park Playhouse, 711 Orange Avenue, Suite C, Winter Park, on July 24th and will run through August 22nd, with a preview on July 23rd.

Before 42nd Street, the hottest tap dancing musical was the show that made Bernadette Peters a star!

Diane Brown's grandchildren (l-r) Benjamin Abrudescu, Hunter Brown and Meghan Brown

This off-Broadway musical comedy is a parody of the large, flashy 1030's Busby Berkely style movie musicals in which a sweet "hometown" girl steps into a role on Broadway and becomes a star.

For ticket and other information, phone 407-645-0145.

One for the road...

Bernie is a very wealthy man indeed. 

One day in June, he goes on holiday with his latest, much younger girlfriend, Sarah.

As the days in the sun wore on, Bernie and Sarah began to talk about the differences in their ages and interests between them. 

Bernie took this opportunity to ask Sarah what was, to him, an important question.

He asked, "If I lost everything, all my money, my mansion, my Rolls Royce, tomorrow, would you still love me, Sarah?" 

"Yes, darling," said Sarah, "and I'd miss you too."


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