Scene Around


What a surprise!...

I’m referring to the late, great Madeline Albright who passed away at the end of March. She was brought up as a Christian, but her parents converted from Judaism to Christianity, which is understandable since they (and Madeline) were from Czechoslovakia and were around during the time of Hitler. (Madeline was never told that her parents once were Jews.)

Madeline and her family came to the United States in 1948 after the Communist coup in Prague.

When she grew up she became the first woman to reach such a high position as United States Secretary of State.

WJC President Ambassador RONALD S. LAUDER, spoke at her funeral:

“It is with sorrow that we note the passing of former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, an outspoken champion of peace and international human rights.” He continued:

“As America’s top diplomat, she was a fierce advocate of the two-State solution and took an unambiguous stand against terrorism. “it can never be justified,” she said. “it kills the innocent not by accident, but by design.” (And its design in the Middle East is to murder the peace process by shredding security and destroying the hope for peace!)

Lauder continued: “She was also a stalwart ally in the international efforts on behalf of Holocaust survivors. We know well our inability to provide true justice to Holocaust victims. We cannot restore life nor rewrite history. But we can make the ledger slightly less out of balance by devoting our time, energy and resources to the search for answers, the return of property and the payment of just claims.”

(She was a wonderful lady that I will never forget!)

And speaking of wonderful ladies …

Ruth Bader Ginsburg comes to mind!

Let’s delve into her past:

Just starting out, Ruth looked at the list of law journals in the library. The one she needed wasn’t there. She thought it was probably at Lamont Library. She hurried across the Harvard campus.

“You can’t come in here,” a guard said. “Women are not allowed.” There were only nine women among the five hundred law students in her class. They often heard the words (you can’t)

Since Ruth was young, people had told her, “you can’t” because you’re a girl.” Luckily her mother told her she could. But she still felt angry when she heard these words.

“Well, she said, “I’ll stand at the door and you can bring me the journal,” she said to the guard who stopped her. He refused. She had no choice but to leave.

When Ruth graduated from law school in 1959, she was tied for first place in her class. Not one law firm offered her a job. She was not surprised. Most law firms did not hire Jews or women. She was recommended to clerk for Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter. He refused to even meet her.

Ruth decided the “you can’t” had to stop. She went to court to challenge laws that discriminated against women. She argued five cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. (She won all five.) People began to take notice of her fine legal mind.

In 1980 Ruth Ginsburg was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, In 1993 she became the second woman justice to serve on the United States Supreme Court!

(Wow! How proud she made us all!)

And speaking of Proud! ...

How proud I am to know that Dr. Jonas Salk was Jewish and how grateful I am that I received the polio vaccine when I was a child.

Every year polio infected tens of thousands of people all over the world. Most became temporarily weak and then recovered. Some became permanently paralyzed.

Dr. Salk had permission from many parents to use the vaccine he created on their children who had all recovered from polio.

Actually Jonas hardly slept in the next thirty days after injecting them because he was worried about the outcome. It was a success! The vaccine worked!

Next he tried out the vaccine on people who never had polio including himself, his wife, and children. It worked! Then their were mass trials on one million children (including me). By 1959 ninety-one countries used Salk’s vaccine!!

The World Jewish Congress on Ukraine and Israel …

My ancestry on my mom’s side is Ukraine (although she was born in Montreal , Canada) and, of course, as a Jew, my heart and my homeland will always be Israel. Fortunately, I was all over Israel a few years ago and hopefully will visit again. I read this recently in a WJC letter:

“As we witness the continuing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, we understand, as Jews, that a threat to one’s homeland is an existential threat to its people and future.

Israel is the only Jewish State in the world. But it is so much more. No matter what country we live in as proud citizens, Israel is our homeland, our safe haven, and the beating heart of the Jewish people.

Just back from Chicago …

I have to inform myself of the goings on in the Jewish community in upcoming days as I was out of town.

I suggest, though, that you phone the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando and the Roth Family JCC at 407-645-5933 to be notified and, I will try to catch up as well.

One for the road …

After synagogue on Saturday morning, a young boy suddenly announced to his mother, “Mom I’ve decided I’m going to be a rabbi when I grow up.”

“That’s okay with me,” the mother said, “but what made you decide to be a rabbi?”

“Well, the boy replied, “I’ll have to go to Shul on Saturday anyway, and I figure it will be more fun to stand up and yell.”


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