The Sunday Simcha

Event Hours(1)

  • Sunday

    1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

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THIS WEEK’S SUNDAY SIMCHA  ~  April 5, 2020 ~ 11 Nisan, 5780

In our second program prerecorded from our home studios as all but a handful of WMNF staff are able to enter the station as a result of the state’s Stay-At-Home Executive Order, we’ll be bringing you vibrant music of the season by  Shabbat Unplugged, Saul Kaye, Yossi Azulay with Enrico Macias, The Jews Brothers Band, Moshe Oysher, Shir Yaakov Feit and Yosef GoldmanBernie Knee provides A Bisl Freylichkayt by taking us to Passover on the Range. 

Our program includes additional readings for these times and an extended interview with Rabbi Debrah Shenefelt of Congregation Or Ahavah of Tampa, as we discuss the observance of Passover (which begins with the First Night Seder this Wednesday evening, April 8th at sundown) during our modern plague of Coronavirus. How do we remain positive and create a sacred holiday when we are unable to gather with friends and extended family and congregations this season? Rabbi Shenefelt offers her thoughts on the blessings of these times in addition to ways to overcome the challenges. 

Join us live today from 1-2 PM on WMNF 88.5 FM Tampa or here at or via the WMNF App—and listen from the archive through the week on this page. 

My thanks to Laura Taylor, operating my program from the studios at WMNF, and though I will not be there to receive your calls, texts, or comments via the studio email, I welcome your emails at or my personal email at

Join me, Joy Katzen-Guthrie, today from 1-2 PM and every Sunday from 1-2 PM at WMNF Community Radio 88.5 FM Tampa or via the WMNF App or on this site. May you and your loved ones be soothed, be safe and be well in the days and weeks ahead. And PLEASE—support our program and the station with your donations—we need them more than ever during these challenging (and frankly, expensive) times.

Love to all, and Chag Pesach Sameach—A Joyous Passover. ~Joy


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 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.

This May, we’ll bring you a special Anniversary Tribute Program as we celebrate 40 years on Tampa’s WMNF Community Radio—which has been devoted to this program since its inception.

We have added new premiums for your donations—all are listed at the bottom of this page with details—scroll down to read about each one. They include several brand-new exciting options!

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
WOW! Guest Co-Host the Sunday Simcha!  Circle of CHAI – $18 per month for 12 months OR $216 pledge
• WOW! Your Own Private Concert or House Concert by Joy Katzen-Guthrie  – $1,000 pledge  (OR $84 per month for 12 months, total $1008)
• And many other gifts from the WMNF collection upon your request when you make a pledge including the WMNF 40 Years and Into The Future T-Shirt

Available 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 making a pledge below.
√  Email Joy at
√  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

We were joined in the studio on November 24th by Ron Becker— Spiritual Leader and Archivist of The JCC of West Pasco / Beth Tefillah, Catherine R, Eskin, Archivist for Temple Emanuel of Lakeland, and Barbara Rosenthal, filmmaker of the recently released Seders & Cigars–A History of Jews in Tampa, for a discussion of the Jewish history of the West Central Florida region. If you have stories to share of local Jewish history or have questions or comments for today’s guests, contact: Ron Becker (JCC West Pasco) at • Catherine Eskin (Temple Emmanuel Lakeland) at • Barbara Rosenthal (Tampa) at


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

The Sunday Simcha 6.16.19

(L to R) Zachary Aborizk, Joy Katzen-Guthrie, Mark Guthrie (Executive Producer), Rande Friedman (


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!

April 6, 2020 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

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:
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.


NOTICE REGARDING PROGRAMS LISTED: ALL ON-SITE PROGRAMS AND CLASSES HAVE BEEN CNACELLED.  Please check with congregations or organizations regarding the availability of live-streamed or rescheduled programs. Stay safe, be well, and be comforted during this challenging time.

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

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, 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 AM and Wednesdays 7 PM, Ongoing – Congregation Beth Shalom of Clearwater offers Talmud classes with Dr. Priscilla Nathanson. The class explores ancient legal tradition 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, starting January 27, 2020, at 1 PM, Ongoing – Congregation Beth Shalom of Clearwater offers a new beginners class of Yiddish facilitated by Henri Stein. “The Joy of Yiddish” uses the text Yiddish, An Introduction to Language, Literature, and Culture by Sheva Zucker. 

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, 7-8 PM, Ongoing – Bible study classes with Rabbi Joshua Lobel of Temple B’nai Israel in Clearwater. For details, call the temple at 727-531-5829. 

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

Third Tuesday of Each Month, Noon  – Lunch and learn with Rabbi Jason Rosenberg of Congregation Beth Am of Tampa. Participants will cover the basic structure of the prayer book, look at some of the individual prayers to see what they’re really saying, and talk about how we can use our prayers to have more spiritual experiences.

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, 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, 5:15 PM Ongoing – Temple B’nai Israel of Clearwater begins Weekly Tai Chi lessons on January 15th, with an open house on January 8th for potential students to meet the teacher.

Wednesdays, 6 – 7:15 PM, Ongoing – Temple B’nai Israel of Clearwater offers a Readers Theater group focusing on dramatic literature through a Jewish lens, led by Cantor Laura Berkson. Participants take turns reading different roles and delving into the characters, scripts, and their creators. Each play has a Jewish connection. For details, contact the temple at 727-531-5829. 

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 Visit

Wednesdays, 7 PM, Ongoing – Learn more about your heritage or becoming Jewish with classes with Rabbi Josh Hearshen at Congregation Rodeph Sholom of Tampa. All are welcome. To register, call 813-837-1911 or 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

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 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 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 or 727-276-3404.

Thursdays, 6:30 PM, Ongoing – Thursday Night Torah Study. Congregation A.F. Zichron Kedoshim (The Tampa Kollel) invites you to Thursday night Mishmar at 6:30 PM at Young Israel of Tampa, 13207 N. 52nd Street, Temple Terrace, FL  33617. Cholent and Chavrusa, one-on-one learning at your level, delicious fleshig cholent. For additional information, call or text Zev at 917-439-5888.

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, or call 727-301-7884 or email

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

Sundays, 9-10 AM, Ongoing – Every Sunday, try a BLT (Bagels, Lox and Tefillin) at the Chabad Center of West Pasco in Trinity. Don tefilin and enjoy hot bagels and an assortment of smoked fish and spreads.

Sundays, 11 AM to Noon, Ongoing – Adult education classes at Congregation Beth Tefillah/JCC of West Pasco include an examination and better understanding of the 613 mitzvot of Judaism.  All are invited and any may join the class at any time.

Sundays, Noon to 1 PM, Ongoing  –  Congregation Beth Tefillah/JCC of West Pasco offers elementary Hebrew language class. All are invited and any may join the class at any time.


NOTICE REGARDING PROGRAMS LISTED: ALL ON-SITE EVENTS HAVE BEEN CNACELLED.  Please check with congregations or organizations regarding the availability of live-streamed or rescheduled programs. Stay safe, be well, and be comforted during this challenging time.


Sunday, April 5, 6:30 PM – SKYPE Festival of Jewish Books and Conversations, Chapter Seven, presents Melanie Benjamin, author of Mistress of the Ritz. Bryan Glazer Family JCCTickets include Sips & Nosh and can be obtained at

Wednesday, April 8, 2020, 6:30 PM Congregation Or Ahavah presents its VIRTUAL first night Passover Seder in a joyous, fun, delicious, and meaningful evening—All are welcome. For details, contact

Wednesday, April 8, 2020, 6:30 PM CANCELLED Congregation B’nai Israel of St. Petersburg’s (399 -58th St., N., St. Petersburg) Community Passover Seder, call 727-381-4900 or visit

Thursday, April 9, 2020, 5 PM CANCELLED Temple B’nai Israel of Clearwater Second Night Passover Seder, call the temple office at 727-531-5829.

Sunday, April 19th, 2020, 10-11 AM – The Tampa JCC at the Cohn Campus features VIRTUAL PROGRAMS to engage families with young children to explore values and traditions. For information, contact Jen Goldberg at 813-769-4738 or email

Various Sundays, April 19th through May 17, 2020 – 10-11 AM – POSTPONED 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 | 813.769.4738. 

Sunday, April 26th, 2020 – CANCELLED  The Gulf Coast Jewish Federation and its partners (Cong. Beth Shalom, Cong. B’nai Israel, Temple Ahavat Shalom, Temple Beth David, Temple Beth-El, Temple B’nai Israel, Hillels of the Florida Suncoast, and Menorah Manor) present recording artist Rick Recht in the third in its KESHER series, “Connect to Israel. For all details, visit

Monday, April 27, 2020, 7 PM POSTPONED—NEW DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED  Bay Area Cantorial Association, comprised of cantors and cantorial soloists from the Tampa Bay and Bradenton/Sarasota regions, presents its 17th annual Concert, B’chol Libi—With All My Heart—Songs of Love—at Temple B’nai Israel of Clearwater, 1685 S Belcher Rd.; concert begins at 7 PM. For details, call(727) 531-5829 or visit or email Joy at  All  proceeds benefit cantorial scholarships. Details at

Thursday, April 30, 2020, 11:30 AM-1:30 PM POSTPONED  Israel Bonds Tampa Bay Women’s Division presents Dr. Leslie Weiss z”l 3rd Annual Tribute Event with luncheon and featuring guest speaker Daniel Sahalo, who immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia as a child in Operation Moses. For information, contact Monica DiGiovanni at 727.282.1124 or

Sunday, May 3, 2020, 6:30 PMVIRTUAL Festival of Jewish Books and Conversations, Chapter Seven, presents Michael David Lukas, author of The Last Watchman of Old Cairo. Bryan Glazer Family JCCVisit

Tuesday, May 5, 2020, 7 PM – Tampa JCCs and Federation honor individuals for their steadfast commitment to the medical, financial services, entrepreneurial, real estate and legal communities, including Scott Jaffe (Montefiore Society), Brian Katz (Entrepreneur Society), Michael Leeds, Real Estate Society, Ellis Norsoph (Maimonides Society), Mark Wolfson (Cardozo Society). RSVPs are necessary. For more information please contact Michele Moretti at 813.769.4721. Reserve at

Friday, May 6, 2020, 3 PMPOSTPONED  Israel Tennis & Education Centers Foundation presents a Tennis Exhibition from 3-4:30 PM at Davis Islands Tennis Complex, 59 Columbia Dr., Tampa 33606, followed by Shabbat dinner at 7 PM at the home of Michele and Mark Miller. RSVP to Cathy Mullin at or 954.480.6333

Wednesday, May 13, 5:30 – 8:30 PM – POSTPONED   #Gather Florida Orchestra Happy Hour Concert at Armature Works, 1910 N Ola Ave, Tampa. Members and guests welcome. Enjoy a casual one-hour classical music concert with the Florida Orchestra at Tampa’s historic Armature Works building. Come early to meet the group for food and drinks before the concert in Armature Works’ open-air courtyard. Concert begins at 6:30pm. Register here.

Saturday, May 16, 2020, 6 PM POSTPONED  Temple B’nai Israel presents the 2nd Annual Rabbi Daniel Treiser Memorial Invitational Texas Hold-Em Poker Tournament, featuring poker, food, drinks, and fun, as well as first, second, and thired place prizes. Donation admission includes food and two drink tickets. Sponsorship packages available. Contact Matt Sperber at Reserve your seat or request information from the temple office at 727-531-5829.

Sunday, May 17th, 2020, 10-11 AM – POSTPONED  The Tampa JCC at the Cohn Campus features a program to engage families with young children to explore values and traditions. This month features a Bedtime Pajama Party. For information, contact Jen Goldberg at 813-769-4738 or email

Friday, May 29, 2020, 7:30 PM  Congregation Or Ahavah of Tampa presents its Shavuot Ice Cream Social and Study at 7:30 PM. Ice Cream Provided. Bring your favorite topping to share. All welcome. For details, contact

SAVE THE DATE FOR NEXT YEAR: February 20, 2021 has been secured for the Florida Holocaust Museum’s next To Life benefit. Details will be announced.

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

Thank You Gifts available from The Sunday Simcha
Your Own Private Concert or House Concert by Joy Katzen-Guthrie
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Concert/Lecture Artist and Composer/Lyricist Joy Katzen-Guthrie will come to your home or your business or your venue and entertain you and your friends, guests, family or organization with a 90-minute concert of music, history, and stories that will mesmerize your guests. With Joy’s repertoire of 4,000+ songs from the big band era to popular songs, historical songs, Israeli, Yiddish, Sephardic, and American Jewish music, to the American Popular Songbook to her own original music—plus fascinating, little known stories and facts about the composers, songs, shows, and the era that are a distinct part of her concerts, your guests will love this event! It is a spectacular gift for yourself, your family, a friend, or an organization you support. There is only one—hurry and grab it now! Available for a $1,000 donation that will support The Sunday Simcha—keeping Jewish music and Jewish culture alive in Tampa Bay for 40 years and bringing Tampa Bay and Jewish music and culture to an international audience via the internet. Available for a $1,000 pledge  OR …   $84 per month for 12 months ($1008 total)

$1,000.00Add to bag

GUEST CO-HOST the Sunday Simcha with Joy Katzen-Guthrie!
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Join Joy Katzen-Guthrie and Executive Producer Mark C. Guthrie on-air for one hour co-hosting THE SUNDAY SIMCHA.  You pick the date and the Jewish music, and Mark runs the board so you can share your favorite Jewish stories, jokes, news, comedy, guests, and fun with listeners. Select the music with Joy by either bringing in the music you want to play or tell us what you want and we’ll find it. Bring in friends to join you in the studio! You will receive an audio copy of the show and we’ll take photos for you too!

A great gift for yourself—or a fantastic gift for a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah, for a friend, colleague, or member of the family—all for a donation of CIRCLE OF CHAI—$18 a month for one year ($216 total). SUCH A DEAL!

Read more about WMNF Guest hosts!

Guest Co-Host for the Sunday Simcha

$216.00Add to bag

40 Years and Into The Future T-Shirt
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This soft and stylish gray t-shirt features the great logo “40 Years Radio Active and Into the Future”!

$88.50$120.00Select options

Eternal Life: A Novel, by Dara Horn
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For a $54 donation, receive a copy of the novel Eternal Life: A Novel, by award-winning author Dara Horn. A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2018, Booklist Editors’ Choice Book (January 2019), and Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2018. Longlisted for the 2019 Simpson Family Literary Prize and the 2019 Wingate Prize. What would it really mean to live forever? Rachel’s current troubles—a middle-aged son mining digital currency in her basement, a scientist granddaughter trying to peek into her genes―are only the latest in a litany spanning dozens of countries, scores of marriages, hundreds of children, and 2,000 years, going back to Roman-occupied Jerusalem. Only one person shares her immortality: an illicit lover who pursues her through the ages. But when her children develop technologies that could change her fate, Rachel must find a way out. From ancient religion to the scientific frontier, author Dara Horn pits our efforts to make life last against the deeper challenge of making life worth living.

Dara Horn in 2007 was chosen by Granta magazine as one of America’s “Best Young American Novelists.” Her first novel, In the Image, published when she was 25, received a 2003 National Jewish Book Award, the 2002 Edward Lewis Wallant Award, and the 2003 Reform Judaism Fiction Prize. Her second novel, The World to Come, received the 2006 National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, the 2007 Harold U. Ribalow Prize, was selected as an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times Book Review and as one of the Best Books of 2006 by The San Francisco Chronicle, and has been translated into 11 languages. Her third novel, All Other Nights, published in 2009 was selected as an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times Book Review and was one of Booklist’s 25 Best Books of the Decade. In 2012, her nonfiction e-book The Rescuer was published by Tablet magazine and became a bestseller.

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Joy Katzen-Guthrie: Three CD Set
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For a $108 donation, receive, this three CD-set of Joy Katzen-Guthrie’s original collection of Jewish songs, including SEASONS OF JOY featuring songs/narration explaining the holidays of the Jewish year; THE HEART OF ANCIENT PROMISE featuring Yiddish & Hebrew standards; and HOW GOOD AND HOW PLEASANT featuring music of Shabbat. Upon your request, the CD’s will be signed.

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Sinners and the Sea: A Novel by Rebecca Kanner, for Sunday Simcha
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For a $54 donation, receive a signed copy of Rebecca Kanner’s novel, Sinners and the Sea, about the great flood and the life of Noah’s wife. The young heroine in Sinners and the Sea is destined for greatness. Known only as “wife” in the Bible and cursed with a birthmark that many think is the brand of a demon, this unnamed woman lives anew through Rebecca Kanner, who gives this virtuous woman the perfect voice to make one of the Old Testament’s stories come alive like never before.

Rebecca Kanner holds a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from Washington University in St. Louis. Her writing has won an Associated Writing Programs Award and a Loft Mentorship Award. Her stories have been published in numerous journals, including The Kenyon Review and The Cincinnati Review. Her personal essay “Safety” is listed as a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2011. She is a freelance writer and teaches writing at The Loft in Minneapolis.

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Histories of the Jewish People of Pinellas County, for Sunday Simcha
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For a $72 donation, receive a copy of the 700+ page volume of Histories of the Jewish People of Pinellas County, Florida 1883-2005, 5643-5766. A meticulously researched history of the congregations, individuals and families who built the Jewish community in Pinellas County—including St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Palm Harbor, and surrounding communities in the Tampa Bay Area. Dr. Herman Koren’s extensive research of the Jewish people, organizations, and history/development of Pinellas County from 1883-2005 is supported by hundreds of photographs. 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 and the state of Florida.

Herman Koren is Professor Emeritus of Environmental Health and Safety at Indiana State University. He is a highly experienced practitioner of 62 years, in environmental health, protection, sustainability, safety and public health, and has been an active Registered Environmental Health Specialist since 1961. He Is the author of 20 books including his latest one-of-a-kind in the world, “Best Practices for Environmental Health: Environmental Pollution, Protection, Quality and Sustainability”. Dr. Koren is the recipient of the prestigious Walter S Mangold Award, Diplomate Laureate (7 of 8) Of the American Academy of Sanitarians and has received four Presidential Citations from the National Environmental Health Association.

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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.

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

Hosted By...

Joy Katzen-Guthrie

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

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