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

Scene Around


April 21, 2017

Gene Wilder

A sign of the times we live in...

I received the following in a letter from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) written by JONATHAN GREENBLATT, CEO and national director, and I pass it along to you:

"After 69 bomb threats were received by Jewish Community Centers in at least 27 states in late January, followed by the desecration of a 120-year-old Jewish cemetery in Missouri last month, ADL issued a security advisory to Jewish institutions nationwide. 'If you receive a threat, take it seriously, ' we warned. 'Clear the premises and contact law enforcement.'

I want you to know that ADL is taking this new, more dangerous environment very seriously. And it's not just bomb threats that are making us question our security. What else can we think when Holocaust Remembrance Day was recognized with a message that deliberately omits any mention of the Jewish victims?

Should we ignore white nationalist extremists, emboldened by the current climate of hate and divisiveness, who viciously threaten Jews on the Internet? And how can Jews, with our history, possibly feel safe when a travel ban targets Muslims for their religion and refuses entry to refugees fleeing war?

The only way we can feel secure under these circumstances is to stand up for ourselves and for any other group that is being scapegoated, misrepresented, hated and targeted for violence."

(This is my opinion too. I agree wholeheartedly!)

We lost two Jewish greats...

Don Rickles, who always made me laugh hard, died on April 6th from kidney failure. He would have turned 91 years old on May 8th.

(He was, like me, a native New Yorker. He surely will be missed.)

The other super-talent we lost was Gene Wilder (real name, Jerome Silberman), who died on Aug. 29, 2016, of complications of Alzheimer's disease. He was the son of a Russian Jewish immigrant. He once said "I feel very Jewish and I feel very grateful to be Jewish."

(I always loved him in every one of his movies but, especially as Willy Wonka in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." In fact I saw that movie recently on television and couldn't help but notice that the "Oompa Loompas" had orange faces. But their hair was green not yellow!)

More about a movie worth seeing...

Again I'm speaking of "The Zookeeper's Wife." I read recently on social media, a note from a lovely gal who has family right here in town! She loved the movie and is urging everyone to see it. Her name is CALIE CANDIA. She wrote, "Exquisitely filmed and beautifully acted, 'The Zookeeper's Wife,' starring Jessica Chastain, tells the true story of the compassionate acts of mercy by the zookeeper and his wife (played by Chastain) in hiding Jewish refugees smuggled from the Warsaw Ghetto, at the risk of their own death. I think Chastain's performance was Oscar worthy and I was moved to tears more than once at the witnessing of the Nazi brutality, and the courageous defiance to the Nazi agenda to wipe out a whole race. Bring Kleenex, go see it."

(You know I agree, and by the way, beautiful Calie is my niece!)

An important upcoming event...

I recently heard from my talented friend, DEAN JOHNSON, former entertainment editor of the Orlando Sentinel. He wrote on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Orange County. He is on the LWVOC Membership Committee. Here is his email:

"The League of Women Voters Orange County, the largest LWV chapter in the country, presents its semi-annual League Showcase & New Member Orientation at 6 p.m. on May 16th at the Winter Park Community Center, 721 E. New England Ave., Winter Park 32789.

The event is a chance for new and established members to get together and learn about the League and its numerous activities in everything from gun safety to the environment to education.

Wine and snacks will be served, and both women and men are invited. Admission is free. There is ample free parking in the center parking lot. For further information, phone 407-599-3275."

(I'm going for sure... wine and snacks? Yum!)

It's a secret, but oh boy!...

That's the way Congregation Ohev Shalom Seniors President BERNY RAFF made us feel about the next COS Seniors show that will take place at the synagogue on Sunday, May 7th at 2 p.m.

All he would tell us is that the show is named "Sammy and Justin." He asks us to "trust his judgment" that we will enjoy.

(I do trust Berny... and I love my cookies!)

The cost is $5 for COS Senior members; $8 all others. Everyone is welcome and refreshments will be served as usual. (YES!!) Questions? Ask Berny at 407-767-6763.

Terrific Thursdays...

The JCC 39ers will hold a "Dine Around Town" on April 27th at 1 p.m. at Nonno's Italian Restaurant, 1140 E. Altamonte Dr. #1018, Altamonte Springs.

(How am I going to keep from gaining weight????)

One for the road...

Don Rickles

Lionel, Benny, Max and Hyman are out fishing early one Sunday morning. After an hour of fishing, Lionel suddenly breaks the silence and says, "You three have no idea what I had to do before I could come out fishing today. I had to promise my Rivkah that I would decorate our bedroom next Sunday." 

"That's nothing," says Benny, "I had to promise my Leah that I would build her a new terrace by the swimming pool." 

"Well," says Max, "you both had it easy. I had to promise my Sharon that I would completely refit our kitchen with new mahogany cupboards and the latest state of the art equipment." 

But Hyman has not said a word so they ask him what he did to come out fishing. Hyman replies, "I just set my alarm for 5:30 a.m. When it went off, I gave my Faye a firm nudge and said, 'Fishing or Sex?' She replied, "Don't forget your sweater."


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