The Sunday Simcha

Event Hours(1)

  • Sunday

    1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

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THIS WEEK’S SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ September 15, 2019 ~ 14 Elul, 5779

Joining us this Sunday, September 15th, is Rabbi Barbara Aiello (, formerly serving in Sarasota, the first female Rabbi in Italy now in her 11th year as Italy’s liberal rabbi, and a Vice President of the Board of Directors of Kulanu, Inc. ( This superlative interview features a discussion of the Jewish community of Italy, the Crypto-Jews of the Spanish Inquisition, the organization Rabbi Aiello founded (The Italian Jewish Cultural Center of Calabria) and the synagogue she founded (Ner Tamid del Sud), the only active synagogue in the South of Italy in 500 years, and Kulanu’s coming celebration of Jewish communities around the world (November 15-17), Kulanu Across the Globe. Our music will be a celebration of global Sephardic Jewish communities. Bringing us Milot Chochmah—Words of Wisdom—will be Rabbi Carla Freedman of Beth Israel Jewish Congregation of Sun City Center and A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth—will be a little High Holiday humor from Tampa-based comedian David Glickman (

Join me, Joy Katzen-Guthrie, this and every Sunday from 1-2 PM for The Sunday Simcha on WMNF Community radio Tampa.

Rabbi Barbara Aiello

Rabbi Barbara Aiello—guest on The Sunday Simcha on September 15th.

LAST WEEK’S SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ September 8, 2019 ~ 7 Elul, 5779

Our September 8th guest was Canadian concert/recording artist/composer Aviva Chernick (, whose stunning new CD of songs by herself, traditional folk Sephardic songs, and legendary Ladino singer/songwriter Flory Jagoda will be released on September 16th. In addition to speaking with Aviva, we heard selections from her CD, samples of other Sephardic music, and music to usher in the High Holidays. by The Mike Eisenstadt Band, Cantor David Propis, singer/songwriter Linda Hirschhorn, Canadian guitarist Lana Ross of the Andrei Krylov Band, and Rabbi Danielle Upbin-Weizman of Congregation Beth Shalom of Clearwater, who brought us Milot Chochmah—Words of Wisdom. A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth— was an encore performance from Rabbi/Stand-Up Comic Bob Alper, who appeared in concert as part of the Hadassah Tampa Ameet Chapter event at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC in Tampa). Rabbi Alper brought us comedy last week and is so funny, I couldn’t resist bringing you more as a prelude to his visit to Tampa.

Joining us next Sunday, September 15th, is Rabbi Barbara Aiello, the first female Rabbi in Italy and a Vice President of the Board of Directors of Kulanu. We’ll discuss the Jewish community of Italy and Kulanu’s coming celebration of Jewish communities around the world, Kulanu Across the Globe November 15-17. Our music will reflect the distinct sounds of Jewish communities around the world. Bringing us Milot Chochmah will be Rabbi Carla Freedman of Beth Israel Jewish Congregation of Sun City Center.

Join me, Joy Katzen-Guthrie, this and every Sunday from 1-2 PM for The Sunday Simcha on WMNF Community Radio Tampa following The Third Opinion from noon to 1 PM, with Mike Deeson and Laurine Jaffe, and catch our programs in the archive each week until the following week’s broadcast on this page.

Canadian Concert/Recording Artist/Composer Aviva Chernick

Canadian Concert/Recording Artist/Composer Aviva Chernick

The stunning WMNF 40th Birthday Party was a fabulous celebration at the historic St. Petersburg Coliseum on Saturday evening, September 14, 2019 with a sold-out crowd celebrating WMNF. In addition to a spectacular show by St. Paul & The Broken Bones, WMNF had on display a fantastic collection of photos, articles, and station memorabilia from the past 40 years, with a tribute to long time show hosts, volunteers, and staff that included a touching memorial to Mike Eisenstadt. To be present at this event as a part of WMNF and The Sunday Simcha was quite special.

WMNF Celebrates 40 Years with a Spectacular Birthday Celebration 9/14/19 at the St. Petersburg Coliseum

Shlomo and Jordyn Schwersky return to host the Sunday Simcha on November 10th and December 15th.

Shlomo & Jordyn will return to host on 11/10/19 and 12/15/19.

At the WMNF Volunteer Appreciation event on Sunday, August 18th, I was deeply touched to be 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 two months that I have had the joy of hosting The Sunday Simcha, I have been told by many—both Jewish and non-Jewish—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!

GIFT CD DOWNLOAD ~ Cantor Azi Schwartz and the German National Radio Choir of Berlin

On our recent programs, we have featured breathtaking performances of Sim Shalom, Kaddish, and Hatikvah by Cantor Azi Schwartz (of Park Avenue Synagogue, Manhattan) with Germany’s National Radio Choir of Berlin. These selections are featured on the recent Azi Schwartz CD, Heritage. Cantor Schwartz has made available a download of every song within this collection as a gift, via his own site. You may hear as well as download his recording of the performances in the collection by visiting  The site provides additional details regarding the recording of each selection in the collection as well.

Azi Schwartz will appear in concert at the Sarasota Opera House on Sunday, January 12, 2020 at 7 PM, sponsored by Temple Beth Sholom of Sarasota. Call the Temple office at 941.955.8121.  Tickets went on sale August 25th. Call 941.328.1300 at the Opera House, or visit


Rande Friedman joined us to discuss his new web site devoted to the West Central Florida Jewish Community, connecting Jewish synagogues, organizations, clergy, events, culture, food, and community in Pinellas, Pasco,  Hillsborough, Marion, Citrus, Hernando, and Polk counties at the moment, with plans to expand further into the Bradenton/Sarasota region in the future, gives you an opportunity to input your happenings, news, opinions, and experiences of Jewish life that you wish to share with our entire region. Rande is also seeking WWII vets with whom to video interviews. If that is you, please let Rande know, or if you have any questions or need information, contact Rande via the site email [email protected] or  [email protected] 

Our first A Bisl Freylichkayt on Joy’s first show of June 16, 2019 featured Tampa Bay-based comedian David Glickman (, who, by the way, will show up on future appearances of A Bisl Freylickhayt—we have a lot of David’s material you won’t want to miss. David has contributed to Read his feature at!


Hear The Sunday Simcha every Sunday live from 1-2 PM on WMNF 88.5 FM or here at or via the WMNF App. Did you know you are able to download The Sunday Simcha broadcast? 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 file, it will be gone after next week’s program because it remains in the archive only until then—so download it if you wish to save it.


Our appreciation to The Jewish Press of Tampa Bay (Pinellas/Hillsborough) for its extensive feature on The Sunday Simcha on April 5, 2019, reprinted online at

Rabbi Nathan Farb of Tampa’s Cong. Schaarai Zedek on our 7.7.19 Sunday Simcha


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. 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. The weekly feature—Milot Chochmah—Words of Wisdom—brings insights from rabbis, cantors, cantorial soloists and spiritual leaders of synagogues and Jewish organizations in Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco Counties. Community Kvell is a celebration of members of the local community and The Kehillah Calendar provides an overview of coming events in the week ahead. A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth—features Jewish comedy and comic songs as a lift to the show’s completion. We are grateful for your comments, suggestions, ideas, creativity, monetary support and for your ears! We hope you will 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.

The Sunday Simcha 6.6.19

The Sunday Simcha 6.16.19 with (L to R) Zachary Aborizk, Joy Katzen-Guthrie, Mark C. Guthrie, and Rande Friedman


Among WMNF’s earliest programs after going on air in 1979, The Jewish Sound 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, 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.

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.

WEEK OF September 9, 2019 AND BEYOND

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]

ONGOING SHABBAT WORSHIP SERVICES AND SELICHOT (Saturday, September 21) and HIGH HOLIDAY SERVICES  (September 29-October 9) 2019/5780
For details of individual worship services in the Tampa Bay region, visit individual congregations from these listings of all congregations in our region from

Orthodox, Conservative, & Reform Synagogues/Congregations in Hillsborough County:
Orthodox, Conservative, & Reform Synagogues/Congregations in Pinellas and Pasco County:
Orthodox, Conservative, & Reform Synagogues/Organizations in Hernando, Polk, Marion and Citrus Counties:

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


Ongoing – The Tampa JCCs & Federation are launching CONNECT, a new program designed to welcome individuals who have recently relocated to the Tampa area, as well as those not yet connected to the Jewish community.  The Tampa JCCs & Federation’s goal for the CONNECT program is to create an easy way for people to feel welcome and involved in the Tampa Jewish community.  Volunteers are requested to help newcomers to feel welcome and involved in the Tampa Jewish community in a variety of ways. To get involved or to sign up to get connected, visit or contact Rachel Sperber, Director of Philanthropic Engagement at (813)-769-4770 or [email protected].

OngoingYoung Israel of Tampa seeks to complete its new Norman Jewish Library. If you would like to help, visit

Mondays, 9:30-11 AM, Ongoing – Focus on events past and present throughout Jewish history and the Jewish exile as Rabbi Laser Rivkin leads study of Jewish views of the afterlife and mystical concepts Mondays at the Cohn campus JCC from 9:30-11 AM. Visit

Mondays, 11:15 AM AM and Wednesdays 7 PM, Ongoing – Congregation Beth Shalom of Clearwater offers Talmud classes with Dr. Priscilla Nathanson. The class explores ancient legal traditoin and is open to all levels of knowledge. The Monday class is held following minyan from 10-11:15 AM and the Wednesday class is at 7 PM. Visit

Mondays, 10-11:30 AM, Ongoing – Complimentary sessions of Monday Morning Links are offered in the new Tampa Bay Job-Links office at Austin Center, 1211 N. Westshore Blvd., Suite 300, Tampa. The September 9th topic is “Rules for Resumes.” Visit

Mondays, 11:15 AM and Wednesdays, 7 PM, Ongoing – On Mondays and most Wednesdays, explore ancient legal tradition with Dr. Priscilla Nathanson at Congregation Beth Shalom, Clearwater. The class is open to all levels of knowledge. Monday classes are held after minyan from 10-11:15 AM, and Wednesday classes are at 7 PM. Visit

Tuesdays, September 3, 10, & 17 at 7 PM – Congregation B’nai Israel presents guided discussion of Teshuvah, Tefilah, and Tzedak to prepare congregants for the High Holiday season, with Rabbi Weintraub and Maureen Sechan. The program concludes Saturday, September 21 at 8 PM before the Selichot program. For details, visit

Tuesdays, 11 AM, Ongoing – The class Sharing Life’s Lessons is held Tuesdays from 11 AM to noon at Congregation Kol Ami, Tampa. There is a different topic, readings, and leader for each weekly session. Visit

Tuesdays, 1:30-3 PM, Ongoing – The Sisterhood Needle Workers of Congregation Kol Ami hold weekly knitting sessions from 1:30-3 PM Tuesdays in the boardroom. The knitters make fabric quilt wall hangings and knitting and crocheting squares to make quilts that are donated to charity. For information, call the Kol Ami office. Visit

Tuesdays, 7-9 PM, Ongoing – Tampa’s Israeli dance troupe meets Tuesday evenings at Congregation Mekor Shalom and offers lessons. All are welcome. Beginniners dancing 7-8 PM. Intermeditaet 8-9 PM. Visit

Tuesdays, 7:30 PM, Ongoing – Learn to chant Torah during classes on Tuesdays from 7:30-8:30 PM at Congregation Kol Ami, Tampa, in the synagogue library. Is your child having a b’nai mitzvah this year and you would like to chant a Torah portion? Ethel Pila is teaching a beginners Torah reading class Tuesday evenings. Visit

Wednesdays, 11:15 AM, Ongoing – Join Rebbetzin Miriam Hodakov of Chabad of Clearwater for Torah and Tea, exclusively for women on Wednesdays at 11:15 AM. RSVP to [email protected], or call 727-265-2770. Visit

Wednesdays, Noon-1 PM, Ongoing – Chabad of Spring Hill presents Torah study classes weekly, taught by Rabbi Chaim Lipszye. These classes are not sequential, so drop-ins are welcome. Brunch and coffee are served. For information regarding the classes, please call 352-600-2779. Visit

Wednesdays, 1:00 PM, Ongoing – Join Rabbi Yossi Eber of Chabad of West Pasco for weekly Torah class. Visit

Wednesdays, 6:15-7:00 PM, Ongoing – Enrich the soul and mind with a touch of Kabbalah. Learn practical spirituality for everyday life. Classes are held at Congregation Bais Menachem Chabad of Tampa on Wednesday evenings. For information, contact Rabbi Levi Rivkin, 813-504-4432, or email [email protected]. Visit

Wednesdays, 7 PM, Ongoing – Learn more about your heritage or becoming Jewish with classes at Congregation Rodeph Sholom of Tampa. To register, visit

Wednesdays, 7-8 PM, Ongoing – The Chabad Center of Greater St. Petersburg presents The Inside Story, a weekly Torah class with Rabbi Alter Korf. The class reads the Torah portion every week and every year begins the cycle again. RSVP to [email protected].

Wednesdays, 7:30 PM, Ongoing – Congregation Bais Menacham Chabad of Tampa offers a weekly Torah class at the University of Tampa. The class explores contemporary issues through a Torah perspective. For information, contact Rabbi Levi Rivkin, 813-504-4432, or email [email protected]. Visit

Thursdays, 9:30 AM, Ongoing – Join Rabbi Rosenberg on Congregation Beth Am on Thursday mornings for Talmud study. For information, contact Rabbi Rosenberg at 83-968-8511 or email [email protected]. Visit

Thursdays, 9:45 AM, Ongoing – Congregation Beth Shalom of Clearwater presents Lox & Learn. Explore the treasures of the weekly Torah portion, led by Rabbi David Weizman. Come for breakfast at 9:45 AM, minyan at 10 AM, then discussion with the rabbi. Visit

Thursdays, 12:30 PM, Ongoing – Join Rabbi Danielle Upbin for a new series of classes called Every Day Holiness, Thursdays at 12:30 PM, Congregation Beth Shalom of Clearwater. Students explore personal and spiritual growth through a variety of guided meditation practices and discussion of contemplative Jewish texts. RSVP to the synagogue office at 727-531-1418. Visit

Thursdays, 1 PM, Ongoing – Join seniors of Temple B’nai Israel of Clearwater for mah jongg, Mexican train dominoes, or bridge. Cofee and cake are served. For information, contact Linda White at [email protected] or 727-276-3404.

First Thursday each month, 10-11:30 AM, Ongoing – A support group for caregivers meets at Temple B’nai Israel, 1685 S. Belcher Rd., Clearwater. The meetings are sponsored by Empath Health. To register, call 727-735-8743 or email [email protected], or call 727-301-7884 or email [email protected].

First Thursday each month, 3:30-5 PM, Ongoing – Menorah Manor offers a support group for Alzheimer’s caregivers at the Samson Nursing Center at Menorah Manor, 255 -59th Street, N., St. Petersburg. For information, call Rabbi Aaron Lever at 727-302-3720. Visit


On Exhibition through March 1, 2020 – The Florida Holocaust Museum’s new original exhibition, “Beaches, Benches, and Boycotts: The Civil Rights Movement in Tampa Bay, focuses on the specific civil rights history, events, challenges and achievements of the Tampa Bay/Sarasota region, which continued through the dawn of the Civil Rights era. Many local institutions and establishments held out on integration for several years after Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, with Jim Cros laws affecting every aspect of African-American life in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota. The exhibit details the timeline of events and the leadership that led to desegregation and improved living conditions for the region’s African-American community and the region’s continuing struggle with racial equality. This special exhibit is offered in addition to other visiting exhibitions and the permanent collection/exhibits at the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg, 55 Fifth St., S.  For information, contact, call 727-820-0100.

Monday, September 16, 6 PM – Congregation Beth Shalom of Brandon’s book club meets to discuss The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish. A light dinner will be provided, non-members welcome. For details, visit

Tuesday, September 17, 6 PM – Congregation Beth Shalom of Brandon presents a Dutch Treat “Dinner with the Tribe” event at Bonefish Grill, Brandon, 1015 Providence Rd., for members, non-members, friends and family to get together to eat, schmooze, and enjoy one another’s company. RSVP to Anita at [email protected] by September 15.

Wednesday, September 18, 9 AM – Get to know Rabbi Weintraub and congregants of Congregation B’nai Israel of St. Petersburg over coffee and conversation at Station House, 260 First Ave., S., St. Petersburg. Visit

Wednesday, September 18, 11 AM – 1 PM – Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services sponsors a Rosh HaShanah luncheon honoring Holocaust survivors from Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco counties will be held at Temple Ahavat Shlaom, 1575 Curlew Rd., Palm Harbor. Funding is provided by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and private donations. Holocaust survivors who wish to attend should RSVP to Barbie Bawgus at 727-479-1811 or [email protected]. Transportation can be arranged for those who need it.

Wednesday, September 18, 7 PM – Chabad Center of St. Petersburg presents this year’s Mega Challah Bake at DeSeta Hall at Admiral Farragut Academy, 501 Park St. N., St. Petersburg. In preparation for the New Year, all Jewish women and girls in 5th grade and older are invited to make their own sweet challah. Participants will make their own dough, choosing their own sweet fillings/toppings and then learn various twisting techniques to form a round challah that can be used at their Rosh HaShanah dinner. All supplies are provided and refreshments include wine and dessert. RSVP necessary. For information, visit or call 727-344-4900. Visit

Wednesdays, September 18, & 25, October 16, 23, 30, November 6, 13, 20, & December 4, 11, 18 – 6:30-8:30 PM – Congregation Schaarai Zedek and Rabbis Joel Simon and Nathan Farb present an “Introduction (or Reintroduction) To Judaism,” with a multi-part lecture series on the nature of Judaism, God, Torah, worship, life cycle observances, and holidays. The course is open to all who wish to learn about basic Judaism and Jewish practice and is required for anyone who desires to convert. Call Ming Brewer for information or to register, 813-876-2377, x202. Or visit

Thursday, September 19, 11:30 AM – Congregation Schaarai Zedek’s Senior Luncheon features The Valerie Gillespie Ensemble with “Mid-Day in the Garden,” reminiscing about the life and music of Johnny Mercer. Seating is open at 11:15 AM. RSVP to Lisa Kiev-Chen at 813-876-2377, x 229, or visit

Thursdays, September 19 and 26 and October 3, 12:30 PM – Join Rabbi Danielle Upbin-Weizman of Congregation Beth Shalom of Clearwater for a series of classes called Every Day Holiness. Students explore personal and spiritual growth through a variety of guided meditation practices and discussion of contemplative Jewish texts. RSVP to the synagogue office at 727-531-1418. It is not necessary to attend all sessions to benefit from the class. Visit

Fridays, September 20th, 7:30 PM – Temple Beth El of St. Petersburg presents Soulful Shabbat service this month in honor of Elul—”Heart Healthy” month—time for your annual heart and soul check-up with unique services with music, meditation, and contemplation. Visit

Fridays, September 20 at 7:30 PM – Join Temple Ahavat Shalom for Get Acquainted Service geared especially toward new community members and those who are unaffiliated. No RSVP necessary, come as you are. For information, call the Temple office at 727-785-8811. Visit

Saturday, September 21, 8-11 AM – Congregation Schaarai Zedek calls for volunteers of all ages (children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult) to join the temple and Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful in a Hillsborough River & Coastal Cleanup at Cypress Point Park, 5620 W. Cypress St., Tampa, 33607. Volunteers will collect items and record data to identify the number and types of items found to share with the Keep America Beautiful and the Ocean Conservancy to provide a local and global perspective. To volunteer or for information contact Donna Wood by September 16 at 813-876-2377, x 229, or visit

Saturdays, September 21, 28, 9-10 AM – Congregation Schaarai Zedek’s Saturday Morning Torah Study, “Mapping Judaism,” Led by Rabbi Nathan Farb. Come read a chronological atlas of the Jewish People from the Torah to the present. Coffee and refreshments included. For information, contact Rabbi Farb at [email protected], or 813-876-2377, x 229, or visit

Saturday, September 21, 6 PM – Temple B’nai Israel of Clearwater and Temple Beth El of St. Petersburg invites the community to sit-in as the case of Humanity vs. Eve is tried before Judge Raymond Gross, retired circuit court judge of Pinellas County. A joint project between the two congregations, the evening begins with a vegetarian potluck dinner at 6 PM followed by trial at 7 PM and Selichot service at 8 PM. Those attending are requested to bring a vegetarian dish associated with the Garden of Eden. Jurors will be members of Temple Beth-El and other participants in the trial will be from Temple B’nai Israel, and the event takes place at Temple B’nai Israel, 1685 S. Belcher Rd., Clearwater. Visit or

Saturday, September 21, 8 PM – before the Selichot service, Congregation B’nai Israel of St. Petersburg and Congregation Beth Shalom of Clearwater will present the program, “The Wisdom of Star Trek: The Original Series,” led by the clergy of both congregations. For details, visit

Sundays, September 22, October 13 & 27, November 3, December 8, at 9:45 AM – Congregation Beth Am of Tampa hosts a parents’ discussion group led by Hope Buksbaum, Youth Committee Chair, based on the book Blessing of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel. The book distills Jewish teachings and contemporary psychological insights into nine “blessings” that address key parenting issues. If interested or for information, email [email protected].

Sunday, September 22, 6 PM – Temple Ahavat Shalom of Palm Harbor presents guest speaker Jeffrey Cohan, executive director of Jewish Veg, at a potluck dinner buffet of healthy, plant-based foods. Cohan will speak on “Organized Religion: Friend or Foe of Plant Based Diets?” Admission is one plant-based dish (serves 6-8) with no added oil and minimal salt and sugar. All are welcome. RSVP to Paula Rosoff at [email protected] or Marcia Satinoff at [email protected].

Wednesday, September 25th, 7:00 PM, the Tampa Jewish Federation’s 2020 Campaign Kockoff event features “From Baghdad to Brooklyn,” an original one-woman performance of story and song with Michelle Azar.  Join Michelle Azar as her show travels from Iraq to Israel to the United States. She shares her quest to balance her Middle Eastern heritage with her background of American culture. With an angelic voice, deep sentiment and humor, Michelle tells a timely story of a family’s love and dysfunction set against a historical and redemptive backdrop. For details, visit:

Friday, October 4th – Application deadline for Hope Cohen Barnett Leadership Institute Coming this fall. Do you have a passion for making a difference? Want to take a leadership role in making the Jewish community stronger? Experience the Hope Cohen Barnett Leadership Training Institute (HCBLI) for emerging leaders this October. Applications are now available online. Apply by September 20 for application discount. For more information, please contact Lisa Robbins.

Sunday, October 6th, 9 AM – 2 PM at local beaches, Young Adult Division (YAD) of Jewish Federation of Florida’s Gulf Coast sponsors at Reverse Tashlich Volunteer Event. For information, visit

The Tampa Jewish Federation presents its monthly Family Sunday Series, Sundays from 10-11 AM (except in January, which is a Monday event), welcoming families to come together to explore values and traditions with a Jewish twist through stories, activities, songs, and conversations. All families with young children of all faiths are backgrounds are welcome for this free program. Programs run on Sundays from 10:00-11:00am. For more information, and to RSVP, contact: Jen Goldberg, Executive Director of Education [email protected] | 813.769.4738.  The following programs are scheduled:

  • October 13 – Welcoming Guests
  • November 10 – Gratitude
  • December 1 – Tzedakah and Gifts
  • January 20* – Mitzvah Mania (*Special Monday event)
  • February 16  – Caring for the Earth/Environment
  • March 15 – Kindness to Animals
  • April 19 – Health and Wellness
  • May 17 – Bedtime Pajama Party

Wednesday, October 16th, 7 PM – The Lylah Chapter of Hadassah will host guest speaker Dr. Karen Ezrine, vice-chair of Hadassah Medical Organization, with an update on medical research including details of breast cancer research at Hadassah facilities. The meeting takes palce at the preserve of Clearwater, 2010 Greenbriar Blvd., Clearwater. All Hadassah and community members are welcome. A coffee and dessert reception follows. RSVP by October 8th by emailing [email protected], or call Cheryl Schwartz at 551-265-2745.

Thursday, October 17th, 7:30 PM, JCC on the Cohn Campus, 13009 Community Campus Drive, Tampa, FL 32365, presents the Sue & Jef Schoenbaum Annual Community Leadership Awards, recognizing those who have made a significant impact within the Tampa Jewish Community Centers and Federation and other local Jewish community agencies. Each award is named after a community member embodying the principles of dedicated leadership, tikkun olam and commitment to enriching the continuity of Jewish life locally and worldwide. RSVPs are not necessary but appreciated. For details:

Friday, October 18, 7-9 PM – the Young Adult Division (YAD) of Jewish Federation of Florida’s Gulf Coast presents a Halloween Shabbat in downtown St. Petersburg. For information, visit

Sunday, October 27th, 1-3 PM, Weinberg Village presents the Stephen Weinberg 8 Over 80 Awards t Congregation Kol Ami, 3919 Moran Rd., Tampa 33618. For information, call 813-969-1818 or visit

October 27-November 3, 2019 – Mission to Experience and Explore Israel with the Tampa JCCs & Federation has only a few spots left. 8 days, 7 nights. To see full itinerary and make reservation, contact [email protected] or call 813-769-4726.

November 1-3 –  The Florida Holocaust Museum sponsors its tour, New York – Jewish Style. For information regarding this itinerary, contact [email protected].
November 15-17, 2019 – The Tampa JCCs and Federation sponsor the tour, New York – Jewish Style. For information about this itinerary, visit
Sunday Itineraries differ on each tour. Space is limited to 25 people/trip.

Monday, November 4, 2019, 11 AM – 1 PM – Schaarai Zedek Sisterhood Star Event featuring award-winning attorney/advocate for family causes and feminist rights, Gloria Allred. Renaissance Tampa-International Plaza, Tampa. For details and sponsorship opportunities, contact Faith Alexander at 813-508-05444, or email [email protected]. Contact Schaarai Zedek Sisterhood
[email protected] and view additional details at

Sunday, November 9th, 7 PM – Hillels of the Florida Suncoast host the second annual Bubbles and Bubbly Gala to benefit the Tikkun HaYam [Repair The Seas] and Sucbi Jew programs. The event takes places at the Florida Aquarium on Channelside Drive in Tampa and features Dr. Ellen Prager, marine scientist and author of Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Ocean’s Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter. The gala begins at 7 PM with VIP cocktail reception followed by main event at 8 PM. For details, visit or call 813-899-78–2788 or visit [email protected]. RSVP’s requested by October 25th.

Sunday, November 24th, from 9:30-12:30 PM, The Jewish Federation of Pinellas/Pasco presents part 2 of its county-wide KESHER program: SPEAKING AND LIVING OUR VALUES, followed by lunch. Kids, teens, and adults are invited to participate in this educational county-wide initiative.  One Jewish parent, two Jewish parents. Adoptive, step, single parent, and blended families. Jewish grandparents of any number. Synagogue member or not. Jewish-curious. If you connect in any way with shared Jewish values, this event is designed for you. It will take place at the St. Petersburg College Seminole Campus at 9200 113th St, Seminole, FL 33772. Registration opens at 9:30 AM; Program begins at 10:00 AM and ends at 12:00 PM; Followed by Lunch. For details, visit and

Sunday, December 8, 2019 –  Join IMPACT for their Young Professionals Annual Bucs Game and Tailgate with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they face the Indianapolis Colts for the first time in eight years. For more information, contact Lisa Robbins.

Sunday, January 12, 2020, 7 PM – Temple Beth Sholom of Sarasota, in conjunction with the Sarasota Opera, presents Cantor Azi Schwartz in concert at the Sarasota Opera House. This concert is nearly sold out. Tickets to the general public go on sale August 25th. Visit for information or to purchase tickets, or call Temple Beth Sholom of Sarasota at  941-955-8121.

January 19-26, 2020 – Congregation Schaarai Zedek travels to Cuba on a “People to People” mission, with visits to Santa Clara, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, and havana. To be contacted with information of the itinerary and details, contact 813-876-2377, x202, or visit

Sunday, April 26th, 2020! The Jewish Federation of Pinellas/Pasco presents the third in its KESHER series, “Connect to Israel,” a morning program followed by lunch. For details, visit

For a detailed list of Tampa Bay Area region and surrounding regional happenings, visit:


WMNF Sunday Simcha Summer Pledge Drive Show 6.23.19

Laura Taylor & Shlomo Schwersky join Joy Katzen-Guthrie on The Sunday Simcha Summer Pledge Drive Show on June 23rd.

We are thrilled that WMNF exceeded its goals for the 2019 Summer Pledge Drive. Our thanks to all who supported The Sunday Simcha during this period. 

DONATIONS ARE WELCOME YEAR-ROUND to support this station and this program. The easiest way is to click the Tip Jar above with any donation—or take advantage of the great premiums for donors below. Select a premium and make your pledge and voila! It will be on its way.

Available for a $54 pledge are these:

• Gracia: a CD by Israeli Ladino artist Sarah Aroeste (signed)
• Ora de Despertar(Time To Wake Up): CD of original Ladino children’s music by Sarah Aroeste (signed)
• Eternal: a novel by award-winning author Dara Horn
• Sinners and the Sea: a copy of the novel by Rebecca Kanner (signed)
• Stand With Israel T-shirt: available in S, M, L, XL, and 2X
• The Histories of the Jewish People of Pinellas County: 700+ pages of Jewish history/photographs of Pinellas County by Herman Koren
• 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)

• And many other gifts from the WMNF collection upon your request when you make a pledge.

Available for an $88.50 annual pledge as a Circle of Friends member ($7.37/mo)
The WMNF 40th Anniversary Radioactive T-shirt.

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

To Make A Pledge:

√  Call the office line at 813-238-8003 and indicate your support is for The Sunday Simcha.
√  Click the tip jar on this page to pledge in honor of The Sunday Simcha or pick up a premium with a pledge below.
√  Email us during the week at [email protected].
√  Call our program during the show to speak with Joy and make your pledge at 813-239-9663.
√  Or visit The Sunday Simcha Facebook page and leave a message for Joy at

Thank You Gifts available from The Sunday Simcha
Gracia, a CD of Ladino Music, by Sarah Aroeste
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A signed copy of Gracia, a collection of Ladino songs by Ladino recording artist Sarah Arrestee.

$54.00Add to bag

Eternal, A Novel, by Dara Horn
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A copy of the novel Eternal, by award-winning author Dara Horn.

$54.00Add to bag

Joy Katzen-Guthrie: Three CD Set
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This three CD-set of Joy Katzen-Guthrie’s original collection of Jewish songs includes SEASONS OF JOY features songs/narration explaining the holidays of the Jewish year. THE HEART OF ANCIENT PROMISE features Yiddish & Hebrew standards (with English translations). HOW GOOD AND HOW PLEASANT features music from the Friday evening Shabbat service. Upon your request, the CD’s will be signed.

$54.00Add to bag

40 Years RadioActive T-Shirt
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On September 14th, WMNF will be celebrating 40 years of local, independent radio.  Celebrate this anniversary by supporting 88.5 and getting a “40 Years RadioActive” T-shirt. Purchase for $88.50, or even better, join our Circle of Friends and buy it for $7.37 a month. Both in men’s and women’s style.  The women’s shirt is a V neck.

$88.50Select options

Sinners and the Sea, for Sunday Simcha
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A signed copy of Rebecca Kanner’s novel about the great flood and the life of Noah’s wife.

$54.00Add to bag

History of the Jewish People of Pinellas County, for Sunday Simcha
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Learn about the individuals and families who built the Jewish community in Pinellas County from Dr. Herman Koren’s extensive research of the Jewish people, organizations, and history/development of Pinellas County from 1883-2005. A monumental volume more than a decade in the writing, of enormous interest to any who desire to know of the Jewish history of the West Central Region of Florida.

$54.00Add to bag

Sarah Aroeste CD: Ora de Despertar, for Sunday Simcha
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A signed copy of Ladino artist Sarah Aroeste’s children’s CD, Ora de Despertar

$54.00Add to bag

Stand with Israel T-Shirt, for Sunday Simcha
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Stand with Israel T-Shirt

Available in:

S (one available)

M (one available)

L (six available)

XL (five available)

and 2X (one available)

$54.00Select options

40th Anniversary WMNF Brick Paver
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You can set in stone your love of WMNF on our People’s Patio! Put your name or dedicate it to a loved one! 100% tax-deductible!  For a limited time includes a WMNF 40th Anniversary logo.  Be a part of the celebration get the paver for a Circle of Friends monthly contribution of $50.00.

$600.00Add to bag

These are exclusive gifts of The Sunday Simcha, more Thank You gifts available

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 more than a decade 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.

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