Scene Around


April 16, 2021

William Shatner

Once again, I repeat, "getting old is not for sissies ...(me)

I am astounded by all the famous folks that I didn't know were Jewish. For instance, WILLIAM SHATNER. I just learned that he was from Montreal, Canada (where my mom was born! His ancestry is identical to mine ... Canada, Russia, Ukraine, maybe Austria, maybe Poland.) He is about 90 years old ... NOT ME!!

And, because I'm thinking about me (what else is new?), I want to mention two of my favorite songwriters who are also Jewish ...

"Love laughs at a king, kings don't mean a thing on the street of dreams." "Street Of Dreams" is one of my favorite all time songs. It was composed by Victor Young and the lyricist was Sam M. Lewis (real name, Sam Levine.

Sam was a member of ASCAP, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. I am also a member of ASCAP for my song "SugarLoaf" and three others.

Back to Austria ...

I read this recently in a copy of World Jewish Congress digest and pass it along:

"Austria experienced an average of 43 anti-Semitic incidents per month during the first half of 2020, the WJC affiliated Jewish community of Vienna (IKG) found in a recent report.

From January to June 2020, 131 episodes of verbal abuse or harassment, 26 instances of destruction of property, and three physical assaults were reported to authorities. (How many weren't reported, I wonder?)

IKG Secretary General BENJAMIN NAGELE noted that the study highlights only "reported cases that have been verified by our experts.(See, I was right!)

The coronavirus pandemic is likely linked to the number of incidents. In January, prior to the introduction of safety lockdowns, there were 60 anti-Semitic incidents reported, but in April, at the height of the pandemic, there were 23 cases reported.

By June, when lockdown orders were more lenient, anti-Semitic incidents rose to 51 for the month.

Chancellery Minister KAROLINE EDSTADLER said in response to the report: 'This number is a call to action for all of us. Forty three anti-Semitic incidents per month is 43 too many.'

In late May, the Jewish Community of Vienna published a separate report that found that anti-Semitic incidents had increased 9.5 percent in 2019 and 2018, and more than doubled from five years ago."

I love Israel ...

Of course, my late spouse and I visited Israel and toured all over it. That was the best trip ever!

I will, from time to time, mention how wonderful I feel Israel is. For instance, they have a commitment to democracy. (I hope we in the U.S. still do!)

Israel is a liberal democratic state rooted in liberty, the rule of law, free and fair elections and full civil rights for all it citizens ... and Israel guarantees freedom of speech, press and religion. (I hope we still do.)

Winter Park Playhouse ...

I have written about this probably a couple of times (or more) because I love the topic. "Respect: A Musical Journey of Women" will be running thru April 24. Please hurry and make reservations because it will sell out soon!

For details, phone 407-645-0145 or email .

The Jewish Pavilion ...

It's "2021 Fashion Show" honoring mother and daughter, NANCY LUDIN and GLORIA NEWBERGER, will be held at Dillard's at the Altamonte Springs Mall on Thursday, April 29 at 9:30 a.m. General admission is $25 (and well worth it!) Social distancing will be in place and masks are required.

There are many ways to donate to the Jewish Pavilion as well. (A wonderful thing to do!) Also, you can purchase tickets online at

The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando ...

Attention: Jewish Singles in Orlando!

If you are in your 40s, 50s or 60s this is information is for you. (Why did you stop at 60s? What if I'm in my 70s? OH SHUT UP!)

Anyway, this is a private group that has 61 members at the moment.

They have important rules to follow for members as follows:

Be Kind and Courteous

We're all in this together to create a welcoming environment. Let's treat everyone with respect. Healthy debates are natural, but kindness is required.

Respect Everyone's Privacy

Being part of this group requires mutual trust. Authentic, expressive discussions make groups great, but may also be sensitive and private. What's shared in the group should stay in the group.

No Promotions or Spam

Give more than you take to this group. Self-promotion, spam and irrelevant links aren't allowed.

No Hate Speech or Bullying

Make sure everyone feels safe. Bullying of any kind isn't allowed, and degrading comments about things like race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, gender or identity will not be tolerated.(Sounds great! OK, so I'm too old!)

I have no desire to go to Germany ...

Ovadia Baruch was born in Salonika in 1922 to a family of eight children.

In June 1942, Hitler's racial laws were applied to the Greek Jews and his neighborhood became a ghetto. On March 15, 1943, the ghetto residents were ordered to buy one-way train tickets to an unknown destination, and the following morning they were loaded onto cattle cars, 100 per compartment, without food, water, or amenities. Seven days later they arrived at their destination. The doors were flung open, and search lights thrust into their faces. SS soldiers awaited the passengers, shouting, whipping them, and throwing them onto the platform. In the confusion, Ovadia lost his family members and never saw them again.

Ovadia was among a group of young Greek men who passed Nazi Mengale's selection and were taken to Auschwitz. They were immediately sent to work.

Due to the hard labor, harsh conditions, and constant torture, only five of the group survived, and it was decided that they should be murdered. but they were saved by one of the prisoners who could speak German and insisted that their professional skills could be utilized.

Ovadia Baruch

While in prison, he met a young prisoner, also from Salonika. She was very lovely and eventually, they fell in love. In January 1945, Ovadia was sent on a death march to Germany but on May 5, 1945, he was liberated by American soldiers. Back in Greece, he was overjoyed to locate his girlfriend. They married and immigrated to Palestine. Ovadia had five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He died in 2010.

(As a Jew, I never want to visit Germany!)

One for the road...

A young man walks down the street yelling: "Call me a doctor! Call me a doctor!"

A passerby asks: "What's the matter? Are you sick?"

He says: "No. I just graduated from medical school!"


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