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

By Gloria Yousha
Scene Around 

Scene Around


Jazz Big Band & Combo.

I'm really getting nervous...

According to a new report from the World Jewish Congress (WJC) digest, "Violent anti-Semitism in Europe rose dramatically in 2014." This is very disturbing to me and most of you, I'm guessing. Not only for myself, but for my children and grandchildren and...

Here is the report:

"A newly released annual report on global anti-Semitism, issued by Tel-Aviv University, found the situation of Jews in Europe more dangerous and precarious than ever before.

The report registered 766 violent anti-Semitic acts perpetrated with or without weapons and by arson, vandalism or direct threats against Jewish persons or institutions, including synagogues, community centers, schools, cemeteries and monuments, as well as private property.

These figures represent a sharp increase 0f 38 percent compared with 2013, when 544 violent incidents were reported. When broken down, the number of attacks on Jewish people increased 66 percent over the previous year; arson attacks more than tripled, and attacks against synagogues increased by 70 percent.

Once again, the highest number of violent attacks was registered in France, up by 23 from the previous year to 164 in 2014.

Sharp increases in violent attacks were also reported in Britain (141 compared to 95) Germany (76 compared to 36), Belgium (30 compared to 11), Italy (23 compared to 12), Sweden (17 compared to 3), and Austria (9 compared to 4).

Outside Europe, Australia and South Africa also saw a large increase in violent attacks."

And if this report isn't disturbing enough, I received the following letter from DAVID HARRIS, AJC executive director. Here it is in part:

"Across Europe, warning bells are ringing. Here in America, are we answering? Are we answering the call that we have been taught our whole lives to heed? Are we rising from the security of our own safety to the needs of our own people? From our youngest days we have been taught that world Jewry failed to notice the first signs of Europe's gathering catastrophe. We learned how our ancestors saw anti-Semites march in the streets and dismissed them as ragtag extremists... witnessed sacred Jewish spaces desecrated and thought it was mere vandals at work... knew of physical attacks on Jews and assumed... or hoped... it was isolated instances of hooligans getting out of control. These were storm clouds portending disaster. 2015 may not be 1933, but this is a defining moment for Jews around the world. How we respond will define us for generations. What does it mean when, as we watch from the security of America, our brothers and sisters pry mezuzot off their doorposts lest their homes be identified as Jewish? What does it mean when they will not go outside wearing anything that identifies them as Jews?

What concerns me every bit as much as what is happening in Europe is what we must make here at home...a united stand from American Jewry. A day could come when our children and grandchildren and theirs will look us in the eye and ask 'What did you do?' The answer must be: We spoke, we fought, we demand that our country use its tremendous influence, we pressed European leaders to act, not that we spoke as isolated individuals, not that we wrung our hands, but that we rose as one Jewish community.

History will call us to account for how we rose to this moment... or how we looked away."

Let's lighten up a little!...

On Sunday, Aug. 30th, at 2 p.m. sharp in the sanctuary, the Congregation Ohev Shalom Seniors, under direction of President BERNY RAFF, is inviting everyone to a wonderful free concert and ice-cream social! (Music and ice cream... YUM!!!!)

Berny wants everyone to "help us celebrate the beginning of a quarter century with music, music and more music."

Featured will be the Jazz Big Band & Combo. It is a 17-piece jazz band that performs traditional swing and big band music including hits from Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin.

(My kind of music for sure!)

No reservations are needed and I repeat... everyone is invited! An ice cream social is on the menu!

For any questions or directions, phone Berny at 407-657-8215.

There will also be a three-winner raffle... 1 for $1 or 6 for $5.

Congregation Ohev Shalom is located at 613 Concourse Parkway South in Maitland.

(I hope to see you there!)

More about music and a wonderful "mensch."...

While many people in the Jewish Community know Susan Bernstein as the Congregational Life Coordinator at Temple Israel, she is known as a musician and service leader at the Jewish Pavilion.

Every month, under the auspices of the Jewish Pavilion, Susan brings the children from Temple Israel to visit with their elders at Brookdale Island Lake. They conduct services, schmooze and serve Shabbat and holiday foods. Over the months, their interactions have increased and wonderful friendships have been forged. Susan also volunteers her time as a monthly service leader at Brookdale Island Lake. Her superb guitar skills coupled with her Judaic knowledge make her the ideal person to lead the seniors in prayer.

One for the road...

This story takes some thinking... but I find it funny and you will too (after a few seconds).

Abe's father is a widower and a multi-millionaire.

He also has a terminal illness and is likely to pass away soon.

Abe, a single man, decides he needs a woman with whom to enjoy his soon-to-be-received fortune.

He thinks to himself where better to find one than in a single's bar. 

With luck, on his first visit, Abe meets Rifka, a woman whose beauty literally takes his breath away. 

"I'm just a standard kind of a nice guy," he says to her, "but in a week or two's time my dear father is expected to die and I'll inherit over $20 million dollars."

Rifka goes home with Abe and the following day becomes his stepmother.

(Think about it!)


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