By Gloria Yousha
Scene Around 

Scene Around

 

Phyllis Kamenoff

Anti-Semitism is alive and well and HERE!...

I received mail from Hillel International President and CEO ERIC D. FINGERHUT, and in the wake of the anti-Semitic flyers posted around the campus of our own University of Central Florida, I thought I should pass it along in part:

"As Thanksgiving break has come and after it, the mad rush toward final exams for 400,000 Jewish college students across the United States, there is something I must urgently convey about life on today's campuses.

Is it that Jewish students sometimes face intimidation and harassment? Unfortunately, that is unavoidable.

Is it that Israel is so frequently the target of such violence, whether it emanates from protesters or professors, that it is increasingly difficult to distinguish it from anti-Semitism? That, too, is inescapable.

It is a time when the anti-Israel movement is thriving and efforts are underway on some campuses to separate our young people from Israel.

The Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement, which is pushing universities to pull any investment associated with Israel and even to boycott intellectual exchanges with Israeli scholars, is trying to make the Jewish State the equivalent of apartheid-era South Africa, a renegade outlaw state.


Our job at Hillel International is to provide not just a counterbalance to these forces, but also a positive, affirming and joyful celebration of Jewish identity to 400,000 Jewish students on 550 campuses in North America. In the last year, we have been doing precisely that."

(And I thank you for that!)

What a special day this is!...

Exactly 54 years ago today my spouse and I became parents for the first time! Our son, DAVID BRIAN, was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Irv and me.

More wonderful memories...

While watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, I remembered the day, 70 years ago, when I actually attended the event in Manhattan! My father took me. I was just a little girl. (A very little girl and I'm NOT saying how little so stop trying to guess my age!)

I became very emotional, especially when one of the visiting marching bands played a salute to our American servicemen and women. I am not a veteran, but my Irv served with the Army during the Korean War; our son, David, served with the Army during the Iraq War and is now a Lt. Commander in the Navy; our son, STEVEN, is a psychologist who worked with recruits at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station in Illinois; and our son, RON, served with the Navy on a minesweeper in the Persian Gulf.


Irv is buried at the National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida. I was told, although not a veteran, I will be buried with him (one on top of the other).

A year ago, when these arrangements were made, Irv told me I had to die first because I weigh too much! (He had a great sense of humor... I hope!)

Thanksgiving is past... Chanukah is now...

On Sunday, Dec. 13th at 5:30 p.m. there will be a super celebration compliments of Chabad Lubavitch of Greater Orlando.

"Chanukah on the Park" will take place at Central Park on Park Avenue in downtown Winter Park.

It will feature a grand Menorah lighting, JAO and JCC kids performing a sing a long, a comedy ventriloquist, Chassidic dancers, Chocolate Chanukah gelt, Jewish rock music, sufganiot-donuts, grand $1,000 drawing, hot dogs, chips, and drinks will also be available.

Our hosts want everyone to know that this Chanukah event is free and open to the entire Orlando community regardless of affiliation, race or creed.

(This is always a wonderful celebration. I've attended year after year and never have been disappointed. Hope to see you all there!)

On this very same day, Chabad Center of Jewish Life will hold a "Car Menorah Parade" on International Drive. Line up is at 5:30 p.m. at the Chabad Center, 7347 W. Sand Lake Road. The departure takes place at 6 p.m.

(Happy Chanukah to all!)

A most deserving mensch...

What a deserving honor was bestowed recently on our own PHYLLIS KAMENOFF by the Greater Orlando Jewish Federation. I pass it along:

"We honor Phyllis Kamenoff, one of the earliest members of the greater Orlando Jewish community and a volunteer for almost 70 years.

Phyllis is a founder of the Jewish Community Center of Orlando, a lifetime member of Hadassah, a member of the Jewish Pavilion, The Holocaust Memorial Research and Education Center, and Jewish Family Services.

She has served on the boards of numerous Central Florida Civic organizations.

As a breast cancer survivor, she has devoted many hours to counseling others undergoing treatment at Orlando Regional Medical Center. In 2011 she was in the first group in Orlando chosen for "8 Over 80" because she was still contributing at her age.


Phyllis' primary participation through all these years has been at Temple Israel, having served in almost every capacity in Sisterhood.

She has received a leadership award from the Women's League, was chosen Temple Israel's Woman of the Year and was honored with The Golden Jubilee Award in recognition of over 50 years of service to the Temple.

This year she became a Simchat Torah Honoree. She is still actively assisting many of the Temple Israel committees."

(Is it any wonder that she was recently named to the Greater Orlando Jewish Community Federation's Mensch Hall of Fame?)

She came a long way...

I'm referring to actress JENNIFER GREY, daughter of famous actor, JOEL GREY and granddaughter of bandleader, MICKEY KATZ.

Jennifer was recently a guest on the MEREDITH VIEIRA television show. She was telling folks about her new comedy series "Red Oaks" (I could use a good laugh about now!)

A shout out...

For Thanksgiving, my son, Ron, took me out for dinner at Seasons 52 in Altamonte Springs. The food was delicious as usual and the service was exceptional, thanks to our waiter, ERIC GETTINO. He made the evening even more special!

One for the road...

This joke is one of comedian Carrot Top's favorites:

He said "I bought a dog the other day. I named him Stay.

He continued "It's fun to call him. I say Come here Stay!

And I repeat Come here, Stay!"

The dog went insane!

(Oy vay. I love animals and I HATE this joke!)

And one more...

Sadie and Itzak were having one of their usual arguments as "happily" married couples often do.

Itzak said to Sadie, "If it wasn't for my money, this enormous house we live in wouldn't be here."

Sadie replied, "If it weren't for your money, I wouldn't be here."

(I hate this joke less than the first one!)

Jennifer Grey

 

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