Humor and BFFs always in fashion with Jewish Pavilion honoree Marlene Adler


BFF's Susan Livingstone (l) and Marlene Adler, in 2015 when Susan was Fashion Show honoree and Marlene keynote speaker. This year the two friends switch places, with Marlene as honoree, and Susan as speaker.

If you are looking for Jewish Pavilion Fashion Show honoree Marlene Adler try giving her BFF, Susan Livingstone, a call. That's how Marlene's husband, Lee Adler, recommends finding her when she doesn't pick up her own phone. Marlene calls Livingstone, "My sister separated at birth, though one of us was born in Brooklyn and the other Dublin. The best way to tell us apart is by our accents."

It is no coincidence that Adler and Livingstone are both Fashion Show honorees, the former the current honoree for 2017, the latter honored in 2015. Just after last year's fashion event, Livingstone nominated Adler as "resident funny woman" and Friends Board secretary. With the "Spring into Fashion Show" just around the corner on April 20 at Bloomingdale's in Orlando, the pair of friends are getting ready for updates to their wardrobes. Adler, usually clad in jeans or navy blue, jokes that the event will take place in the "denim section."

The two women offer a bit of 'yin and yang' to the monthly Monday Morning Pavilion Friends meeting. Livingstone delivers the meeting's D'var Torah, a moving monthly inspiration that brings pause, gratitude, and tears or a smile. Meanwhile, Adler's quip-filled note-taking (which she credits Lee with typing) brings out an appreciation for the lighter side, guaranteeing a smile and some belly laughs as the group reviews the (sometimes) lengthy agenda.

Both woman enjoy volunteering with the Pavilion as Adler explains, "It's a place where every skill is needed. Some of us visit with seniors, some of us bake treats, knit blankets, help behind the scenes in the office, or even take photos. Everyone is welcome and appreciated."

Recently, Lee and Marlene have added 'volunteer photography' to their list of contributions, with Lee photographing seniors and honorees, and Marlene assisting and helping make subjects feel comfortable.

Adler and Livingstone met relatively soon after each arrived in Orlando. Adler comments, "Susan and I met in the 1980s. Susan didn't have a car, so I started taking her around."

Livingstone reports, "Just 10 days after arriving in the country from Ireland, I met Marlene at a synagogue function. While many members said they would call after the event, it was Marlene who reached out to me two days later, inviting me to a sisterhood meeting. It turns out we were neighbors in the same Altamonte Springs subdivision. When I told her I didn't have a car, she drove me, and that began our friendship and driving adventures."

The two friends became active in Hadassah together and five years ago, Adler joined Livingstone on the Jewish Pavilion's Friends Board at the suggestion of mutual friend Ruth Darvin.

Adler and Livingstone share lunches, holidays, Mahjong games and more, with their now adult kids growing up together like family. Livingstone shares that with a two-minute walk between houses, if their kids didn't like what was in their own refrigerator, they would walk to the Adler's and check out theirs (and vice versa). With the recent passing of Livingstone's beloved husband, Ron, the pair has never been closer.

Livingstone will deliver the keynote address on behalf of her friend at the fashion event, just as Adler did for her. Get ready for some friendly inspiration that will bring pause, gratitude, and tears along with smiles.

The entire community is invited to The Jewish Pavilion's "Spring into Fashion" and enjoy a morning of friendship, fun and finger foods, generously sponsored by the Adler family, while helping raise funds for seniors in long-term care in more than 70 facilities throughout Greater Orlando.

The Jewish Pavilion's Spring into Fashion Show will be held on Thursday, April 20, at 10:45 a.m. at Bloomingdale's Orlando, Sutton Level 2.

Couvert: $25, general admission; $50, Fashionista-enjoy front row seating; $100, Couture Patron-enjoy front row seating, be entered in a drawing to win gifts from Bloomingdale's; $500, Benefactor-enjoy front row seating, be entered in a drawing to win gifts from Bloomingdale's, have your name listed in an ad honoring Susan Livingstone.

Please RSVP at or call 407-678-9363.


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