The Sunday Simcha

Event Hours(1)

  • Sunday

    1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

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THIS WEEK’S SUNDAY SIMCHA  ~  September 27, 2020 ~ 9 Tishrei, 5781
Program will be in archive following broadcast
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Shanah Tovah! We have a beautiful program this week with music to usher in Yom Kippur that includes classic and contemporary melodies performed by Cantor Marsha Attie, Netanel Hershtik, North Dakota State University Concert Choir, Comunidad Bet El de México, Comunidad Amijai of Buenos Aires, Noam Katz, Cantor Juval Porat, Yuval Ron Ensemble, Koolulam, Cantor Shmuel Barzilai, and Howard Lutwak.

Last week’s broadcast of September 20th remains in our archive until this Sunday’s broadcast. With music by Shlomo Katz, Daniel Saadon, The Goldmark Choir of Hungary, The Western Wind and Chorus, Cantor Alberto Mizrahi, The Shir Chadash Choir of Santa Barbara, Rick Recht, Josh Goldberg, Craig Taubman, Alain Chekroun, The Maccabeats, and A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth—from Spoken Word Artist and Poet Rick Lupert, that program celebrated melodies of Rosh HaShanah from traditional Sephardic, Oriental, and Ashkenazic melody along with contemporary American liturgical settings.

Join me, Joy Katzen-Guthrie, this and every Sunday from 1-2 PM at 88.5 FM Tampa, or here at or on our WMNF App, and listen from our archive throughout the week. If you ever miss a broadcast or desire to hear it again, email me at [email protected] for download link. L’Shanah Tovah u’Metukah and G’mar Chatimah Tovah. May the year bring only sweet things to you and your loved ones.

Shanah Tovah! Early 20th century American High Holy Day postcards, images courtesy of Winners Auctions.

LAST WEEK’S SUNDAY SIMCHA  ~  September 20, 2020 ~ 2 Tishrei, 5781
Program is in archive until September 27th broadcast.

Our programs through this month have featured music to inspire reflection, insight, peace and joy as we experience The Days of Awe, the High Holy Days. This week’s music celebrated themes and beautiful contemporary and traditional melodies of The High Holy Days presented by RebbeSoul and Shlomit Levi, Mordechai Ben David, Roslyn Barak, Nancy Linder, Shlomo Katz, Yamma Ensemble, Sue Horowitz, Moshav, and Asher Schick. A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth—was provided by stand-up comic Raanan Hershberg in his national television debut just this past January. L’Shanah Tovah Tikateivu. May the year ahead be sweet, joyous, and healthful for you in every way.

THIS WEEK’S SUNDAY SIMCHA  ~  September 13, 2020 ~ 24 Elul, 5780
PROGRAM CURRENTLY IN ARCHIVE until after September 20th broadcast
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Our programs through this month have featured powerful and memorable music to inspire reflection, insight, peace and joy as we approach and experience The Days of Awe, the High Holy Days, through Rosh HaShanah (beginning sunset Friday, September 18th) and Yom Kippur (beginning sunset Sunday, September 27th). This week’s music by Shlomo Katz, Daniel Saadon, The Goldmark Choir of Hungary, The Western Wind and Chorus, Cantor Alberto Mizrahi, The Shir Chadash Choir of Santa Barbara, Rick Recht, Josh Goldberg, Craig Taubman, Alain Chekroun, The Maccabeats, and A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth—from Spoken Word Artist and Poet Rick Lupert celebrated melodies of Rosh HaShanah from traditional Sephardic, Oriental, and Ashkenazic melody along with contemporary American liturgical settings.

LAST WEEK’S SUNDAY SIMCHA  ~  September 6, 2020 ~ 17 Elul, 5780
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Our programs this week and through this month feature powerful and memorable music to inspire reflection, insight, peace and joy as we approach The Days of Awe, the High Holy Days, through Rosh HaShanah (beginning sunset September 18th) and Yom Kippur (beginning sunset September 27th). This program features performances by A Great Big World, Moshav, Davis Academy, C. Lanzbom and Noah Solomon, Shlomi Shabat, Yuval Dayan, Idan Amedi, and Guy V’Yahel, Omer Adam, Eliana Light, Noah Diamondstein, Daniel Saadon, The Klezmatics, and A Bisl Freylichkayt–A Little Mirth—from Jeff Stambovsky.

Historic Middle Street Synagogue, Brighton, England

LAST WEEK’S SUNDAY SIMCHA  ~  August 30, 2020 ~ 10 Elul, 5780
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Our program this week and through this month features powerful and memorable music to inspire reflection, insight, peace and joy as we approach The Days of Awe, the High Holy Days through Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. This program features performances by Avishai and Itzhik Eshel, Emmet Cohen, Jon Simon, Lipa Schmeltzer, Lev Tahor, Static & Ben El Tavori, Schola Hebraica, Cantor Benzion Miller, Cantor Yudi Cohen, Betty Klein, Bat Ella, Eli Schwebel, and The Resonate Trio with Cantor Abbe Lyons.

I am so grateful for your many kind comments for my August programs and how much you enjoyed Great Songs and Great Performances within various genres of Jewish music as well as my Countdown of the Top 25 Greatest Songs in Jewish Music. If you have not heard or downloaded those programs, email me to request copies at [email protected]. Today’s program remains in our archive through the week until next week’s broadcast.

LAST WEEK’S SUNDAY SIMCHA  ~  August 23, 2020 ~ 3 Elul, 5780
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All month I have been bringing you Great Songs and Great Performances within various genres of Jewish music that led up to WMNF’s last week’s Great Songs Week. Today I continue a countown of the Top 25 Greatest Songs in Jewish Music that I began last week, starting with #13 and counting down to #1. It has been a pretty heady task and great fun considering the possibilities. Great composers and performers on this program include Georgian Folk Tour Band, Israel Goldfarb, Ensemble Fontegara, Chava Albertstein, Hirsh Glik, Uzi Hitman, Jerusalem Academy, Aaron Lebedeff, Sholem Secunda, Jack Yellin, Lew Pollack, Karsten Troyke & Suzanna, Belle Baker, Zarah Leander, Ray Charles, Yana Rabinovich, Gali Atari & Milk and Honey, Kobi Oshrat, Naomi Shemer, Nurit Hirsh, Harry Belafonte, Azi Schwartz, the Israeli Concert Band and more.

Leon Zernitsky’s “Klezmer on the Roof.”

LAST WEEK’S SUNDAY SIMCHA  ~  August 16, 2020 ~ 26 Av, 5780
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The great music continues on this week’s program, which falls during WMNF’s Great Songs Week. All month I have been bringing you Great Songs and Great Performances within various genres of Jewish music. This week and next, I am counting down the Top 25 Greatest Songs in Jewish Music—a pretty heady task I tell you, and you wouldn’t believe the fun I had considering the great possibilities—or maybe you would.

This week, I begin with #25 and count down, sharing much about the songs and their history and significance. I’ll continue next Sunday with the last half of these 25 Greatest Songs in Jewish Music—as selected by Yours Truly. Great songs, composers, and eclectic performances on this program include Winnipeg’s Finjan Klezmer, Molly Picon, Abraham Ellstein, Moshe Dor and Yosef Hadar,HaParvarim,Nira Chen, Rika Zarai, Debbie Friedman, Shir, Issachar Miron & Yechiel Chagiz, Einat Betzalel, Chad and Jeremy, Sholem Secunda, Alexander Olshanetsky and Jacob Jacobs, Seymour Rechtzeit, Netania Davrath, Mark Warshawsky Martha Rock Birnbaum & Barbara Dechario, Abraham Goldfaden, The Ornaim Zabar Troupe, The Barry Sisters, and more.


Philately Fun with the stamp series “Music and Dance in Israel,” First Day of Issue 9/23/1997, Israel Philatelic Federation

LAST WEEK’S SUNDAY SIMCHA  ~  August 9, 2020 ~ 19 Av, 5780
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Throughout August, we’re featuring Great Songs and Great Performances on The Sunday Simcha as we lead up to WMNF’s Great Songs Week, August 15th – 22nd. This week’s program was devoted to Great Songs of Jewish Joy, featuring some of our most beloved celebratory songs as brought to you by Aaron Bensoussan and Zohar, Itzhak Perlman and the Klezmer Conservatory Band, Zupfgeigenhansel Official, King Django, Muzichenko with Paul Tkachenko, Eitan Katz, The NEC Jewish Music Ensemble, Preßburger Klezmer Band, HaDudaim, The Springfields, The Feenjon! Group, Elana Jagoda, Oran Etkin, and Mickey Katz and his Kosher Jammers. It was an eclectic fun program with horas, bulgars, mambos, disco, flamenco, and even a native American dance if you like. 

Our Simcha this week includes celebratory wedding music among other songs of Jewish Joy. Leon Zernitsky’s Joy of Jewish Wedding [view original photo here].

LAST WEEK’S SUNDAY SIMCHA  ~  August 2, 2020 ~ 12 Av, 5780
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Throughout August, we’re featuring Great Songs and Great Performances on The Sunday Simcha as we lead up to WMNF’s Great Songs Week, August 15th – 22nd. All WMNF programmers in their various formats will bring you music they feel is great —timeless, notable, influential, of particular note. This week’s program was devoted to Great Songs and Classic Performances of the Jewish experience from the musical stage—featuring truly great moments from The Band’s Visit (2016), The Rothschilds (1970), Rags: The New American Musical (1986), Milk and Honey (1961), Molly Picon, Budapest Klezmer Band, Fiddler on the Roof (1964), Fidler Afn Dakh—Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish (2018), Oliver (1963), and a double dose of Freylichkayt with Barbra Streisand in I Can Get it For You Wholesale (1962), and Fanny Brice in the Ziegfeld Follies (1921). A fun and insightful program of Jewish experience as told through the musical stage. 

The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s Amerike—The Golden Land. Look back at musicals of the Jewish experience, some of which (along with others) are featured in our August 2nd program.

THIS WEEK’S SUNDAY SIMCHA  ~  July 26, 2020 ~ 5 Av, 5780
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It is an eclectic celebration of world rhythms and melodies in Jewish music old and new on this program, including a tribute to Kulanu, Inc—which has been presenting a powerful summer series of online programs regarding world Jewish communities ( We featured spirited music by French Yiddish singer Talila Guteville with Ensemble Kol Aviv, the KlezKamp Concerts and David Krakauer, Michael Alpert, David Licht as well as The Bagelman Sisters with Dave Tarras. We’ll have a tribute to the Jews of India with music by Zohar Fresco with Miguel Hiroshi & Ghatam Suresh and Irene Orleansky with B’nei Ephraim and B’nei Israel Jewish communities of India. East meets West with powerful music by Hillel Tigay, Bat-Ella, and Shuly Nathan, which included Bat-Ella’s stunning rendering of music by Debbie Friedman. And Yerachmiel Begun and the Miami Boys Choir and the Moscow Choral Academy Male Choir brought a holiness to prepare us for the sacred observance of Tisha B’Av. A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth—was supplied by Allan Sherman with a couple of (old) new visits to Jewish summer camp at Camp Granada that I’m guessing you may not have heard.

The Spring 2020 issue of Kulanu Magazine features the Jews of India among its other communities. Visit to view Kulanu’s online program offerings and to learn of the worldwide Jewish communities that Kulanu supports.

LAST WEEK’S SUNDAY SIMCHA  ~  July 19, 2020 ~ 27 Tamuz, 5780
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We featured an inspiring program of music and information for you on The Sunday Simcha this Sunday, featuring music of Bar Yona, Shalom Hanoch, Yehudit Ravitz, Avery Gosfield, Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys, Desert Wind, Orlika, Tracy Friend and Andrew Dennen, Moshe Denburg and Tzimmes, Sam Glaser, and the 2020 Festival Art Kaleidoscope Israel Children’s Chorus. You’ll also hear about coming expansion and renovation of the Venice Jewish Ghetto Museum, scheduled to begin this October. A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth is provided by Jackie Mason from a very early national television appearance in 1961.

Main Square of the Jewish Ghetto of Venice.  Photo ©Didier Descouens   (

SUNDAY SIMCHA  ~  July 12, 2020 ~ 20 Tamuz, 5780
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The Sunday Simcha this Sunday (July 12th) remembered the Edict of Spanish Expulsion—issued in 1492—requiring practicing Jews to leave kingdoms under Spanish rule by the end of July. The music on the program was entirely devoted to the Sephardic music of Spanish Jews and their descendants who found refuge in The Balkans and elsewhere, for whom Ladino remained a central tongue. We will hear music in Ladino, Turkish, and Hebrew, featuring Alhambra, Los Desterrados, The Chloe Pourmorady Ensemble, Rosa Eskenazi, Victoria Hazan, Yasmin Levy, Jo Amar, Claudia Nurit Henig, Ofra Haza, Liat Cohen and The Parvarim, and Judy Frankel. We also featured a tribute to Carl Reiner with A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth—from Reiner and the 2000-Year-Old Man, Mel Brooks of course.  

“The Expulsion of the Jews from Spain (in the year 1492)” by Emilio Sala Francés. The Grand Inquisitor ,Friar Tomás de Torquemada, in 1492 offers to the Catholic Monarchs the Edict of expulsion of the Jews from Spain for their signature. Oil by Emilio Sala y Francés (1889).

SUNDAY SIMCHA  ~  July 5, 2020 ~ 13 Tamuz, 5780
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This July 4th weekend, the July 5th The Sunday Simcha celebrated Jewish music from around the world that has touched American Jewish lives. It is a program of fun, eclectic and historic music from Europe, Israel, Australia, and America by Ziggy Elman’s Orchestra, Kayah, Jingle Django, Nikitov, Eléonore Biezunski, Jewish Monkeys, Uri Banai, Zohar’s Nigun, Aris San, and Ernest GoldA Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little MIrth—is provided by stand-up comiJessica Kirson.

Hebrew Publishing Company image, 1901 (public domain) Under the Imperial Russian coat of arms, traditionally dressed Russian Jews, packs in hand, line Europe’s shore as they gaze across the ocean. Waiting for them under an American eagle that holds a banner with the legend “Shelter us in the shadow of Your wings,” are their Americanized relatives with outstretched arms.


Each week the program remains in the archive and may be streamed on this page or downloaded until the next program replaces it. To download an mp3 of the broadcast, right click on the listen icon under the “Listen On Demand” box to your right on the red WMNF 88.5 FM WMNF.ORG – SUNDAY SIMCHA bar. You’ll be offered the opportunity to download the linked file and to rename it and save it on your desktop or where you desire. Note that if you bookmark this page or an audio file, it will be gone after the next week’s program because it remains in the archive only until then—so download it if you wish to save it, or contact us at [email protected] to obtain a copy of a program from a previous archive.


The Sunday Simcha is the only program of its kind at WMNF and one of only a handful of programs remaining on the air on American radio devoted entirely to Jewish music.
We do have premiums for your donations. If you desire one, please request it when you  make your pledge. 

Eternal: a Jewish Historical Novel by award-winning author Dara Horn – $54 pledge
• Sinners and the Sea: a novel by Rebecca Kanner (signed) – $54 pledge
• Stand With Israel T-shirt: available in S, M, L, XL, and 2X – $54 pledge
• The Histories of the Jewish People of Pinellas County: 700+ pages of Jewish history/photographs of Pinellas County by Herman Koren – $72 pledge
• Three-CD Set of Jewish music by Joy Katzen-Guthrie: Seasons of Joy/The Heart of Ancient Promise/How Good and How Pleasant (signed by request) – $108 pledge
Guest Co-Host the Sunday Simcha!  Circle of CHAI – $18 per month for 12 months OR $216 pledge
Your Own Private Concert or House Concert by Joy Katzen-Guthrie  – $1,000 pledge  (OR $84 per month for 12 months, total $1008)

Available as supply allows as a Circle of Friends member giving by monthly donation of $5 or more:
• The WMNF 40 Years and Into The Future T-Shirt

Available for Circle of Friends Members pledging $50 a Month ($600 annually):
• Your name/dedication inscribed in stone on WMNF’s People’s Patio

To Make A Pledge:

√  Call the office line during the week at at 813-238-8001 and indicate your support is for The Sunday Simcha.
√  Click the tip jar on this page at any time to pledge in honor of The Sunday Simcha or pick up a premium by requesting one. 
√  Email Joy at [email protected].
√  Call our program while on air Sundays 1-2 PM to make a pledge at 813-239-9663.
√  Or visit The Sunday Simcha Facebook page and leave a message for Joy at

WMNF Sunday Simcha Summer Pledge Drive Show 6.23.19

Laura Taylor & Shlomo Schwersky join Joy Katzen-Guthrie, Summer 2019 Pledge Drive Program


Since 1980, The Sunday Simcha has featured the gamut in Jewish entertainment and information: music from Jewish artists and communities around the globe, local (Tampa Bay Area and Central Florida) events and activities, news of Jewish culture, arts, and happenings from around the world, comedy, interviews, and weekly spiritual features. Our audience has grown over the years to include an international listenership, both Jewish and non-Jewish.

Among WMNF’s earliest programs after going on air in 1979,The Jewish Sound—as it was originally named—was hosted by Oded Salpeter from 1980-1985.  In 1986, when Oded Salpeter left WMNF to take over a similar position with WKAT-Miami, Mike Eisenstadt officially took over as host (after serving as a reporter/guest host frequently in the years prior), giving it the name by which it has been known since—The Sunday Simcha. Until his passing in 2005, Mike dedicated himself with whole heart to this program and to WMNF Radio as he brought news of the local Jewish community, Israel, and Jewish community worldwide and aired news and cultural features in addition to the range of Jewish music and comedy for which the program became well known. Rabbi Shalom Adler, Founder of Chabad/Young Israel of Pinellas County, brought listeners a recorded or live Weekly Dvar Torah—a tradition carried forward by his son, Rabbi Pinchas Adler, in a live interview each week. Kevin Frye and Shlomo (Steve) Schwersky served as hosts of The Sunday Simcha following Mike’s death. After Kevin’s untimely passing in 2016, Shlomo carried on as host with his daughter Jordyn Schwersky, who had joined the program as a co-host in 2014. During their tenure, they dedicated themselves to informing the public of Jewish news around the world and expanded the library of music on The Sunday Simcha to become highly contemporary. The two announced their plans to retire in spring 2019, after which Joy Katzen-Guthrie came aboard as host of the program beginning June 16, 2019.

Our music is an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary, Klezmer, Chassidic, Israeli, Yiddish, Ladino, Mizrachi, Liturgical, and a variety of Jewish folk, pop, and film music from artists around the globe. Each week, Milot Chochmah—Words of Wisdom—brings rabbis, cantors, and Jewish spiritual leaders from the Tampa Bay Region to share a Dvar Torah, personal insight or teaching. Each week’s program also is also spiced with a touch of humor via A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth. Community Kvell is a celebration of members of the local community, and The Kehillah Calendar on this page and in announcements on the program details events in the weeks ahead.

We are grateful for your comments, suggestions, ideas, creativity, monetary support and for your ears! We hope you join us as a listener every week and keep us abreast of music, community happenings and community news/updates for our Community Kvell and any creative ideas you have. Contact us at [email protected]

The Sunday Simcha 6.16.19

(L to R) Zachary Aborizk, Joy Katzen-Guthrie, Mark Guthrie (Executive Producer), Rande Friedman ( on Joy’s first broadcast as Host of the Sunday Simcha, June 16, 2019


Our deepest appreciation to The Jewish Press of Tampa Bay (Pinellas/Hillsborough Counties) for its extensive features on The Sunday Simcha, first on April 5, 2019 — reprinted online at and at — as well as on September 6, 2019  — reprinted online at and at

At the WMNF Volunteer Appreciation event on Sunday, August 18th, I (Joy) was named WMNF New Programmer of the Year 2019. I am so grateful to be acknowledged for the programs I bring you and to be part of the legacy of this broadcast. In the months that I have had the joy of hosting The Sunday Simcha, I have been told by both Jewish and non-Jewish listeners how much this program means to you. Thank you for allowing me to represent this community and to be part of a dedicated team of broadcasters and staff at WMNF that brings creative, insightful, memorable, and important music and information to the Tampa Bay region and the entire world.

Mark C. Guthrie & Joy Katzen-Guthrie

Mark Guthrie (Executive Producer) & Sunday Simcha Host Joy Katzen-Guthrie with their award at The WMNF Radio Volunteer Appreciation Event 8/18/19

New Programmer of Year Award 2019

WMNF Radio New Programmer of the Year 2019 THANK YOU!


The Sunday Simcha brings you the Kehillah Calendar — brief updates of community happenings in the immediate weeks ahead.
Send us word of your community events and news at [email protected] 

Because of the frequently shifting events in the Jewish community locally, nationally, and internationally during this unusual time, our standard calendar has been removed and we refer you to local congregations and organizations to view their individual current events. Provide your events information to [email protected] to be added to these lists as well as mentioned on the Sunday Simcha. Contact these individual communities to receive email updates in order to be informed of their congregational and community events.


Jewish Press of Pinellas County:

Gulf Coast Florida Jewish Federation Community Calendar:

Tampa Jewish Community Centers and Federation Community Calendar:

Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee Community Community Calendar:

Greater Miami Jewish Federation:

Jewish Federation of North America Calendar:

World Jewish Congress:

Orthodox, Conservative, & Reform Synagogues/Congregations in Hillsborough County:

Jewish Press listing of Hillsborough Congregations
Jewish in Tampa Bay Hillsborough Congregations Hillsborough/Polk Congregations
Chabad of Tampa Florida Congregations

Orthodox, Conservative, & Reform Synagogues/Congregations in Pinellas and Pasco County:

Jewish Press listing of Pinellas Congregations
Jewish in Tampa Bay Pinellas Congregations Congregations

Orthodox, Conservative, & Reform Synagogues/Organizations in Hernando, Polk, Marion and Citrus Counties:

Jewish in Tampa Bay Pasco and More Congregations

Synagogues/Congregatons of Sarasota/Manatee Counties:

Sarasota Chabad Congregations
Synagogue Council of Sarasota Manatee Congregations
Jewish Federation Sarasota Manatee

Please note that many other Jewish organizations and all Jewish residential/living communities provide Shabbat and festival worship services and activities as well. Visit or contact these sites for their separate listings of area organizations as well.

Hosted By...

Joy Katzen-Guthrie  [email protected]

Joining the Sunday Simcha as its new host in June 2019 is Palm Harbor-based Cantorial Leader and Jewish educator/concert/recording artist (among other genres of music) Joy Katzen-Guthrie.

A resident of the Tampa Bay region since 1981, Joy is originally from Memphis. She moved to this area after receiving degrees in broadcast communications and music from Stephens College in Columbia, MO, becoming active with the Jewish community immediately after relocating to the area—at the time joining Temple B’nai Israel in Clearwater (in 1981) and serving in volunteer positions with that synagogue and with the JCC and Pinellas Jewish Federation. In the years since, she served as Cantorial Leader with congregations in Gainesville, Bradenton, Sarasota, and the Tampa Bay region as well as a visiting concert artist/cantorial soloist/scholar in residence for congregations and educational organizations outside our area. She has been a concert artist of Jewish and much other music, and is a longtime instructor/concert artist for OLLI at Eckerd College (from 2000 to present) and USF OLLI (from 2000-2006) along with a number of other educational programs. Many of those courses are of Jewish interest in addition to music history and culture, music of stage/film, and other subjects related to entertainment. She served as a creator and scholar in residence for six Jewish heritage tours to China and another to Turkey and has developed Jewish heritage tours to other areas of the world in conjunction with several travel agencies that have offered those tours to their clients. Joy also has been a contributor to the Encyclopedia Judaica on the subject of the Jews of Alaska, and she speaks nationwide on the subject of the Jews of China.

Joy's husband, Mark Guthrie, with whom she operates Tune-of-the-Century Music®, a recording studio and music/audio engineering services, will assist Joy on the program as Executive Producer.

Joy has radio experience as well. When she moved to the Bay Area in 1981, she joined WPLP News/Talk Radio as Traffic Director, then Executive Producer and finally Operations Manager; she also was an announcer/producer and Public Affairs Director for WXCR Classics 92 and traffic reporter for WDAE/W101, all in the 80s. She has retained a part-time voiceover career in addition to music in the years since.

Joy had an association with longtime Sunday Simcha host Mike Eisenstadt, appearing as a guest on his program several times (and on other programs at WMNF) in addition to working often with Mike’s band and Simcha host Kevin Frye through the early 90s. She traveled to Israel with Mike and his group in 1999.

Her vision of Sunday Simcha involves a wide variety of Jewish music from around the world—traditional and contemporary, Ashkenazic, Chassidic and Sephardic, Yemenite and African, European, Latin American, Oriental, American, liturgical, stage, and folk—and of course, a wide collection of Israeli artists from a range of recorded music of Israel and the Middle East from the mid-20th century to the present. She envisions free-ranging musical programs as well as themed programs developed around holidays and Jewish festivals and various subjects of Jewish life, as well as composers, performers, and genres. Another aspect of the show will be features with the region’s Jewish clergy and community leaders along with visiting artists, speakers, and scholars to the Tampa Bay area.

For Joy, the aesthetic experience of Jewish music and Jewish culture and its significance culturally and historically from around the world is of great interest, and she'll share her enthusiasm of those subjects with listeners.

Shlomo & Jordyn Schwersky  [email protected]

After serving for 13 years as hosts of The Sunday Simcha, Shlomo and Jordyn Schwersky retired as hosts in June 2019—but we are so pleased they will continue to be heard as guest hosts for The Sunday Simcha when Joy is unable to be present because of prior commitments or travel.

Shlomo moved to Clearwater in 1972 and has been an active member of the Jewish community ever since, and a WMNF volunteer beginning in 1984 when he first hosted WMNF’s morning show and afternoon drive time show. He joined Kevin Frye as co-host of the Sunday Simcha in December of 2010 until Kevin's untimely passing in 2016, when he took over as host of The Sunday Simcha with his daughter, Jordyn, who joined the program as a contributor in 2014.

Jordyn Schwersky was born and raised in the Tampa Bay Area and has been an active member of the Jewish community since attending pre-school at the Golda Meir Jewish Community Center. She received her Bachelors degree in Journalism and spent five months working as a reporter at the Jerusalem Post in Israel. Jordyn began her stint with the Sunday Simcha by joining Kevin and Shlomo as a guest host until she became Shlomo's official co-host in 2016. She has been honored to bring her voice to the Tampa Bay airwaves.

Both Shlomo and Jordyn devoted themselves to expanding the WMNF Sunday Simcha music programming, particularly with regard to current and rising artists. Their devotion to Jewish music, Jewish culture, and Israel shines through everything they do and has added a unique and fulfilling distinction to the Simcha that has made it a favorite with listeners around the world, Jewish and non-Jewish alike.

In August 2020, Shlomo took over as President of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Federation of Florida's Gulf Coast. He has been a Federation Board Member for more than a decade and is a member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and B'nai B'rith International, as well as a former board member of Temple B'nai Israel of Clearwater.

Kevin Frye  

Kevin Frye served as host of The Sunday Simcha from 2005 (taking over the show after Mike Eisenstadt's passing), until his own passing in December 2016 at only age 48.

How does one describe an individual as vital, gifted, and beloved as Kevin Frye? "He was a teacher who touched countless lives in his career, a dedicated man of faith, and wonderful friend to so many," said his friend and colleague John Stephan to Creative Loafing magazine in 2016. The words only begin to capture what Kevin was to all of us.

He came to the Tampa Bay Area in 1972 from his native New York, graduating from USF with a Master's Degree in Music Conducting after undergraduate studies in trumpet performance.

And boy could Kevin make that trumpet sing! His instrument and his voice became a centerpiece of The Mike Eisenstadt Band for more than 15 years until Mike died—after which he took over the band, serving as its Director until his death 11 years later. He was also a dedicated member of the Florida Wind Band, as well as Orchestra Director at Madison Middle School, where his love and enthusiasm for music influenced everyone who met him and served as an inspiration to his students.

Kevin was devoted to the Tampa Jewish community, not only through music, but through participation in community events and synagogue life. He was a gift to The Sunday Simcha, keeping it alive after all of us were stunned to lose Mike, and he brought continuing joy to all in the Tampa Bay Community and to listeners of the Simcha around the world.

Mike Eisenstadt   

The name Mike Eisenstadt remains a legend in the Jewish community of Florida and well beyond. Mike not only brought joy through Jewish music, but was renowned in Jewish life and community life in Tampa Bay. No matter where he went around town, it seemed as if everybody knew Mike. Originally from Bristol, Rhode Island, he caught the music bug from his multi-generation family of klezmer musicians. The “Buckler Family Band” gathered for many a family simcha and community event.

But it was The Tampa Jewish Federation's need for music entertainment for a fundraising gala in 1988 that inspired the creation of The Mike Eisenstadt Band—which for the next 27 years under Mike's direction became the band that everyone Jewish (and many others) in Florida called for a Simcha—locally in the Tampa Bay Area, as a touring and recording group, and as one of the state's most successful rock'n'roll party bands.

But klezmer was Mike’s musical love. Taking over as producer and host of The Sunday Simcha in December 1985 after the departure to Miami of Oded Salpeter, the program's original host (1980-1985 as The Jewish Sound), Mike renamed the two-hour broadcast The Sunday Simcha in 1986 after asking listeners to suggest a new name. From more than 100 submissions, he selected the name The Sunday Simcha and devoted himself wholeheartedly to WMNF Radio and his radio audience.

A highlight of Mike's shows was his "Mazel Tov" section at 11:45 AM. The segment became increasingly popular as more and more listeners called or wrote Mike to provide their "mazel tov's." Including announcements of meetings, events, and news of interest to the Jewish community, Mike expanded The Sunday Simcha to the role of community bulletin board. Frequent guests visited the show to discuss a wide variety of issues, ideas, and concerns of the Jewish community. Combined with diverse Jewish music and comedy, the program was great fun to hear and gained a tremendous audience. All in a pre-internet/email era, by the way—when Mike invited listeners to mail in their announcements, news, ideas, and comments to the station's street address, then on Nebraska Avenue—and a steady stream of them did.

As an authority on Jewish humor, Mike served as a lecturer for the Florida Humanities Council as well. He and his wife Debbi were founding members of Congregation Kol Ami in Tampa, where Mike was a constant presence and served a term as President. In 2001, after 25 years as a volunteer Jewish community activist, Mike took over as Director of Community Relations for the Tampa Jewish Federation. Additionally, he was a member of the Board of the Tampa Jewish Federation and Jewish National Fund as well as a co-founder of Tampa PRIMER (Promoting Responsibility in Middle East Reporting).

Then there were the trips to Israel that Mike and Debbi organized and led. Many in the community experienced the fun, insight, and discovery anew of Israel through traveling with Mike.

In 2003, Mike and his band recorded a first collection, "Ta'am," that included contributions from Cantor Moshe Friedler, at Bill Dudley's studios north of Tampa (Yes, that's host of WMNF's Live Music Showcase, Bill Dudley). In late 2004, as he battled cancer, he and his band joyfully recorded his CD "Chazak!" ("Strength!") at Morrisound Studios in Tampa and enjoyed a massive CD release party in early 2005 in which the entire Jewish community and many more turned out.

When Mike passed away in September of 2005, the entire Tampa Bay community and Sunday Simcha listenership felt a gaping hole. Just before he died, the Tampa Jewish Federation honored Mike and Debbi for their contribution to the Tampa Bay community. After his death, in 2006, WMNF Radio dedicated the “Mike Eisenstadt Live Music Studio”—still so named today—an integral part of life at WMNF Radio and the studio from which live broadcasts continue to emanate.

For eleven years after Mike's death, Kevin Frye took over as bandleader and retained the name "The Mike Eisenstadt Band” to carry on Mike's legacy and music. After Kevin Frye's untimely death in 2016 and again after the passing of one of the band's devoted longtime pianists, Bonnie Lefkof (Bonnie Lynd) in 2018, the surviving members of Mike's band have continued to perform individually, though the collective joyous force that was The Mike Eisenstadt Band now lives only in unending memory and in the joy of his recordings. It is possible still to view the band's website as it remained before Kevin's death at