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

By Gloria Yousha
Scene Around 

Scene Around


Omar Sharif

A special commemoration...

I read this in my July issue of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) digest. It is a time for all of us to remember with much reverence. I pass it along to you:

"More that 100 survivors of the Nazi camp Bergen-Belsen, children born at the post-war displaced persons (DP) camp, British liberators and a WJC leadership group traveled to Lower Saxony, Germany, on April 26 to mark the 70th anniversary of the camp's liberation.

German president, JOACHIM GAUCK and WJC President Ambassador RONALD S. LAUDER were among the keynote speakers at the official ceremony. 'When Jews needed help, when they begged for help, all they got was silence,' said the WJC head. 'Silence always emboldens tyrants, and the final outcome is all around us today.'

Lauder went on to speak about the role of Bergen-Belsen as a DP camp, saying 'How does a human being become displaced? Jews became displaced because no one wanted them. After surviving Hitler's Final Solution, these displaced persons had two options: they could wait for the world to change their situation, or they could change it themselves. They chose the latter... they got on with their lives. Mourning gave way to thousands of marriages and new families emerged from the ashes.

The fact is, wherever Jews are allowed to live freely, those countries prosper. Jews win Nobel Prizes. Jews cure diseases. Jews build. They don't tear down. Anti-Semites tear down. Anti-Semites destroy. They create nothing. They save no one.

Bergen-Belsen became one of the most notorious Nazi camps where more than 50,000 people were murdered. The British 11th Armored Division liberated the camp in April 1945. A DP camp... the largest in post-war Germany... was later established nearby. It was closed in September 1950. An estimated 2,000 children were born to Holocaust survivors at the Bergen-Belsen DP camp.

A few weeks prior to the commemoration, Lauder strongly denounced anti-Semitism and criticized Hungary's far-right jobbik party during his keynote address to a crowd of more than 10,000 attending the annual March of the Living in Bupapest. 'I stand here today as a proud Jew... proud of my Hungarian heritage. But I know that if my grandparents had not left Hungary, if I had been born here in 1944, I would have been one of the tens of thousands of Jewish children gassed at Auschwitz,' he said.

Approximately 560,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, most of them in 1944. Today, Hungary's Jewish community numbers around 100,000 and is still the largest in Central Europe.

Who knew?...

I always thought that handsome actor Omar Sharif was Jewish. Boy, was I wrong!

Maybe I thought that because he played famous Jewish gambler and husband of Jewish comedienne, Fanny Brice, Nicky Arnstein, in the movie "Funny Girl."

Anyway, he died this month and his talent will be missed.

And speaking of great talent...

I received this email from EMILY NEWMAN of the Jewish Pavilion and pass it along to you:

"More than three years ago I returned as program director for Jewish Pavilion after a few years hiatus.

When former Program Director ROXANE ABELOW handed me the baton with it came Cantor ALLAN ROBUCK of Congregation Ohev Shalom as the key volunteer and Shabbat leader at Village on the Green. 

For some time before I started and ever since, Cantor Robuck has lead songs, prayers, insightful teachings and discussion on top of his expert piano playing and superb sense of humor. You can imagine the pure joy his leadership and devotion brought to the Jewish community at Village on the Green.

I could always count on Cantor to be there every second Friday of the month.

There were times when he was pulled in other directions on a Friday afternoon no less, but he remained devoted to his commitment to Jewish Pavilion and the residents at Village on the Green.

At this time I must thank him publicly and from the bottom of my heart for the long-time dedication he has given to the organization. I am sad to see him step down from this 'honor' (volunteering is an honor, you know) but I promise to recruit him in the future when he retires, if ever he retires. Kol HaKavoad to Cantor and Todah Rabah!"

(I whole-heartedly agree with Emily about Cantor Robuck. He is truly a talented and wonderful man!)

More about music...

The Lakeside Inn, 100 North Alexander Street, Mount Dora, is holding a "Saturday Summer Concert Series."

On Aug.15th JazzPresso will perform jazz (of course.) The starting time is 7:30 p.m.

For further information about this event, phone 352-383-4101.

A Shout-Out...

I recently went into one of my favorite shopping markets, Publix on Aloma Avenue, Winter Park, because I felt a mistake was made.

It seems I was charged 30 cents too much for an apple pie.

Customer Service representative, BRIAN BUXTON, was so nice and helpful... and when he gave me back $6 dollars and change instead of the 30 cents I was expecting, I was in shock!

Cantor Allan Robuck

Brian explained that it was store policy to give a full refund for such an error. (Wow! What a great store policy!)

I want store manager JEFF MACKEY to know how kind Brian was to me that day... and how much I love the Publix policy!)

One for the road...

Two lawyers, Levy and Cohen, opened an office in Central Florida.

As this was not known to be a section with many Jews, they decided to call their firm Christian and Christian in order to attract non-Jewish clients. 

But on their opening day, they forgot to tell their switchboard operator what to say.

When anyone phoned in and asked for Mr. Christian, she answered, "Which Christian do you want, Levy or Cohen?"


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