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

Scene Around


Dick Van Dyke

So maybe that's why I'm funny? ...


Pointing out more Jewish funnymen of my day, I must include Groucho, Harpo and Chico Marx. (Born in New York City, of course.)

I also feel I must mention this super-talent, (although he's not Jewish), DICK VAN DYKE. I was watching the 43rd Kennedy Center honors on television (naturally. What else is there to do?) and he was one of those given the honor. I must mention him because he always gave me joy ... in his acting, his joking and especially his dancing!

And, speaking of the Kennedy Honors, one of the special board members is DAVID RUBENSTEIN (a brilliant guy) and Jewish!

A Shoah Legacy ...

I read this recently in the World Jewish Congress bulletin and pass it along:

"At a time of increased anti-Semitism and the rise of hatred globally, a book of poetry by MENACHEM Z ROSENSAFT, the son of two survivors of the Nazi Germany death and concentration camps of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, was published on international Holocaust Remembrance Day this past April. The book focuses in large part on themes of the Holocaust from simultaneous personal, universal, and often theological perspectives.

The collection, Poems Born in Bergen-Belsen, published by Kelsay Books, confronts God, the perpetrators of and the bystanders to the genocide of European Jewry during World War II. Many of the poems reflect on the Holocaust's relevance to contemporary historical moments.

Born in 1948 in the Displaced Persons camp of Bergen-Belsen, Rosencraft has built a life around writing about and educating on the Holocaust. He is the associate executive vice president and general council of the WJC, and also teaches about the law of genocide at Columbus Law School and Cornell Law School.

"My poems try to articulate and come to terms with painful themes and issues that don't necessarily lend themselves to prose discussion," Rosensaft said.

"I decided to have this collection published now in hope that it may sensitize young people to some of the horrific dimensions of the Holocaust, and also to make clear that if we want others to deal with our own tragedies, whether it's Auschwitz or others, we can't ignore the persecution, oppression, and suffering of other people and groups."

A number of his poems are rooted in the death of his 5-year-old half-brother, Benjamin, his mother's son who was gassed upon arrival at the Auschwitz –Birkenhau death camp... three years before Rosensaft was born. "Once upon a time," he writes, "my brother used to laugh, used to play, used to sing, used to have tomorrows, but that was before ... before he went with his father and grandparents into a blackness without end."

In what he considers to be his spiritual and literary legacy to his grandchildren, Rosensaft also reflects on other genocides, physical separation during the COVID-19 pandemic, and why Black Lives Matter, among other themes.

His book is available for sale at Amazon.

(Reading this and writing this made me feel sick to my stomach, but the book is a MUST READ!)

The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando ...

Discover one of the most powerful keys to Jewish survival.

This 4-session course of the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning explores the impact of collective memory on our ongoing historical development and our understanding of Judaism today. 

Participants will encounter in a number of different ways one of the most powerful keys to Jewish survival: the enduring determination to never forget.

For more information, phone the Federation at 407-645-5933.

The Winter Park Playhouse ...

I know I mentioned this before in print but it is toooooo good to miss! (And I plan to mention it again!)

From July 30 through Aug. 22, the show "Crazy For Gershwin" will be performed. (Previews take place on July 29-30).

Take a stroll down memory lane as tribute is paid to two of America's most well-loved composers of all time, George and Ira Gershwin!

David Rubenstein

I'll tell you more about this fabulous musical next week ... and next and maybe even next.

(I'm so very proud!)

For more details, you can phone the theater at 407-645-0145.

One for the road ...

Levi meets his friend in the park one day and says "I heard you were turned down for the radio announcer's job."

His friend Sidney replied, "You h-h-heard right! Wh-wh-who g-g-gives a Jew a ch-ch-chance???"


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