Monday, February 24, 2014
Even though years go by there are some things that you never forget, they just stay with you. What I'm thinking about today is a Yiddish group that I conducted at a Jewish day care center about thirty-five years ago.
I've always enjoyed speaking Yiddish. My grandmother lived with my family when I was a little girl. Fortunately for me she preferred speaking her "mother tongue" so when I wanted to communicate with her I had to speak Yiddish.
Over the years I've always looked for a group or class where I could use my Yiddish. When I spent my winters in Florida I found a synagogue, a temple or a community center where I could spend an enjoyable few hours using "my mother tongue."
Well right now I don't remember what inspired me to start that Yiddish group so many years ago but I can tell you it was one of the most rewarding and enjoyable undertakings that I have ever experienced.
In those days there were still many Jewish people that could speak Yiddish and because their physical or mental needs necessitated they spend some of their time at the center, they came looking for companionship and activities.
From the first day that I conducted "my class" they were hooked and so was I! The group consisted of about twelve people, I got them speaking Yiddish, laughing and singing. The day that I was getting ready to go to the class I had a spring in my step and when I left the group I was flying high! I still remember walking out of the center feeling like a million bucks!
So many years have gone by and I still have that warm feeling when I speak Yiddish.
Here at Brooksby they have a Winter program called "Live and Learn" where residents are invited to participate in a program of residents teaching residents.
A bell went off in my head, "why don't I offer a class in "Yiddish Conversation." I did not have any idea of how many people would be interested in signing up but I really wanted to give it a try. I did emphasize that I would not be a teacher but we would help each other find the "right word."
We have met for two classes so far and what a group we have!!! There are four people in the group that speak a good Yiddish, one lady brought in some good old Yiddish songs that we have sung, one lady brought in a huge Jewish dictionary that helps us when we can't think how to say a word, and a couple of men have contributed some humor.
So far, so good. I signed up to conduct four sessions. Two more to go. We have had some laughs, sung some songs and reminisced.
A few weeks ago I had some health issues and many tests - "seek and they shall find" - well, they found something that needs to be taken care of so in a few weeks I'll be off to the hospital "to be taken care of."
My group wants more "Yiddish" so we are all looking forward to talking a blue streak when we get together again!
Watch more Millie's Yiddish Class videos here.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
THE DOCTOR, THE DINNER AND THE BUTLER
Did you ever have the experience that while it was happening you thought, "this is just not working out right." Well that's what happened to me yesterday.
Monday night is movie night here at Brooksby. Usually it's a good old film. Last night was different! "The Butler," a 2013 film was to be shown at 7:15. The girls and I made plans to have an early dinner so we'd be sure to make the film at 7:15.
It so happens that I had a late afternoon appointment with a doctor - yes, I'm still seeing those guys. I showed up on time but the doctor was running a half hour late. (so what else is knew) eventually I got seen, had to meet the girls at 5:00 in the dining room. Somehow I made it!
We were a party of six, needed a large table so we had to be seated in the private dining room. We told the host that we had plans to attend the evening movie. We were seated and waited and waited - no one showed up! I went to the front desk and told the host our problem. He found out that someone had neglected to assign a server for our table!
We were seated at 5:25 and did not get our entree until 6:40 p.m!
When we arrived at the movie it was 7:10 p.m. Biggest crowd we've ever had!
Ok, it's 7:15 - nothing is happening! Finally the person in charge told us the PROBLEM she was experiencing. "The person who was supposed to bring and show the film was not responding to her telephone call. What to do!!!
Someone had to go to the man's apartment and find out WHY!
Come to find out, he forgot!!!
Meantime this large crowd was waiting patiently. (I wonder if young people would have been so patient)
There was a gentleman in the crowd that said he would be able to show the film once it got to the theater.
While we were waiting the lady in charge told a few jokes and some people in the audience put their two cents in too.
The jokes were corny but very well received by the audience!
The Butler took me through a vivid trip of three decades of history while he served eight presidents.
Considering all the things that were not going right, in the end we laughed about the whole experience!
Saturday, February 01, 2014