The Sunday Simcha

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  • Sunday

    2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

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THIS WEEK’s SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ August 14, 2022 ~ 16 Av 5782
This program appaers in our archive following this week’s broadcast
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Rande Friedman has a wonderful program planned for this week’s Sunday Simcha (August 14, 2-3 PM EDT) in observance of Tu B’Av, the 15th of Av, often called the Jewish Valentine’s Day — a holiday celebrating the joy, power, and spiritual values of love. Rande’s special guest is Rabbi Michael Weiss to talk about the significance of Tu B’Av and much more, in addition to songs that span Broadway, pop, jazz, and cabaret from some of the most gifted voices in modern music. Don’t miss it!

Listen to and download our programs from this page every week for the full week following broadcast. And join us every Sunday on WMNF Listener-Supported Radio at 88.5 FM Tampa and globally at WMNF.org. Joy Katzen-Guthrie will return to host the program on August 21st. Email us at [email protected] if you miss a broadcast or have questions or comments regarding the show—we’d love to hear from you.

Join Rande for a celebration of Tu B’Av on our August 14th broadcast



PAST 2022 SUNDAY SIMCHA BROADCASTS

The Sunday Simcha 6.16.19

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

THE SUNDAY SIMCHA: A TRADITION IN TAMPA BAY SINCE 1980

Since 1980, The Sunday Simcha has featured Jewish entertainment, culture, and information with music from Jewish artists and communities around the globe, local Tampa Bay/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 an international listenership, both Jewish and non-Jewish.

Among WMNF’s earliest programs after the station signed on air in 1979, The Jewish Sound (as originally named) was hosted by Oded Salpeter from 1980-1985. In 1986, when Oded took a similar position with WKAT-Miami, Mike Eisenstadt took over fully as programmer/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 and daughter Jordyn Schwersky, co-hosted the program, dedicating themselves to giving Jewish news around the world and expanding the music library of the program. The two announced their plans to retire in spring 2019; Joy Katzen-Guthrie took over as host of the program beginning June 16, 2019 and Rande Friedman joins Joy as a co-programmer/host of the program beginning May 15, 2022.

With an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary, Klezmer, Chassidic, Israeli, Yiddish, Ladino, Mizrachi, Liturgical, and a variety of Jewish folk, pop, stage, and film music from artists around the globe, features have included Milot Chochmah—Words of Wisdom—in which rabbis, cantors, and Jewish spiritual leaders from the Tampa Bay Region share a Dvar Torah, personal insight or teaching. Programs are additionally 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 provides events in the weeks ahead.

We are grateful for your comments, suggestions, donations and for your ears! Join us weekly, hear our program in the weekly WMNF archive on this page, and contact us any time at [email protected]



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ August 7, 2022 ~ 9 Av 5782
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Our Sunday Simcha of August 7th fell on the observance of Tisha B’Av, a fast day in remembrance of tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people throughout history. Our program featured moving prayer song and chant for this day, including Evening and Morning Kinot for Tisha b’Av and a cappella music by Moscow Male Jewish Cappella, Milken Archive of Jewish Music, Ensemble of Payytanim Ashdod, Shasha Family, Pitt-Johnstown Concert Choir, Jerusalem Oratorio Chamber Choir, Elaine Silver, Mezumenet, Cantor Azi Schwartz, and RIAS Kammerchor Berlin, Kippalive, The Li-Ron Herzeliya Children’s Choir, and Master Chorale of Washington Chamber Singers.

Image by Wal 172619, pixabay.com



THIS WEEK’s SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ July 31, 2022 ~ 2 Av 5782
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Our Sunday Simcha of July 31st featured uplifting music in preparation for the High Holy Day spiritual season by Laura Copel & Joe Buchanan, Asaph Neve Shalom, Elana Jagoda, Ani V’Ata, Marty Haugen, Avishai Cohen, Mika Karni, Birgitta Veksler, Yonatan Razel, Abie Rotenberg & Eig8th Day, Melita and Isaac, Maya Avraham, and Rita.

Panoramic Jerusalem by kristianwin, pixabay.com



SUNDAY SIMCHAS ~ July 24 and 17, 2022 ~ 25 and 18 Tamuz 5782
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Rande Friedman brought Jews of Jazz to our July 24th Sunday Simcha from 2-3 PM EDT, along with special guest Will Adrian and music of Any Winehouse, Tony Bennett, Spyro Gyra, and who else—Will Adrian! Our July 17th Sunday Simcha featured Jewish artists representing centuries of life and musical collaboration globally, with bands and selections from Europe, Africa, Asia, America, and the Mideast, including the music of Neta Elkayam, Yonatan Razel, Mitzi Schwarz, Akiva Ben-Horin with the Klezmeraya Ensemble for Jewish Music, Jonathan Bar Giora and Nitsan Khen Razel, Nora Bisele, Kitka, Michał Hochman, Rubinstein Klezmer Project, Effi Netzer Singers, Naomi Censored, Preßburger Klezmer Band, Tamar Giladi with Rami Harel, and Mezumenet.

Spanish Synagogue of Prague (The Jewish Museum of Prague), Czechoslovakia
Photo by Aviv Perets, pexels.com | used by permission



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ July 10 2022 ~ 11 Tamuz 5782
This program remains in our archive until after our July 17th broadcast
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On our July 10th Sunday Simcha, Rande Friedman celebrated Oscar-winning songs by Jewish composer/lyricists, featuring the voices of Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, Jerry Orbach, Bob Hope, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, Dean Martin, Bette Midler, Astrud Gilberto, James Baskett, Idinia Menzel, Nat King Cole and Frankie Laine from productions like The Gay Divorcée, Goldiggers of 1935, Swing Time, Broadway Melody of 1938, The Wizard of Oz, and more.

Rande Friedman features Oscar-winning songs by Jewish composer/lyricists on our July 10th Sunday Simcha.
View and hear a Spotify playlist of every Oscar-winning song from 1934 to 2018 here.



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ July 3 2022 ~ 4 Tamuz 5782
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Our July 3rd Sunday Simcha was a varied program celebrating the birthday of Israel’s foremost songwriter Naomi Shemer with a walk through her life — including performances by Shemer herself, The Karmon Israeli Folk Singers, The Carmelim Singers, Shefita, Sam Glaser, Chava Alberstein, Sarit Hadad, and Koolulam. Additionally, we’ll discover more of the Jewish Ukrainian community through the music of Halev vHamaayan (The Heart & The Wellspring), Les Nuages Ensemble, Arkady Gendler, The She’Koyokh Klezmer Ensemble, and Max Zalkind. And we’ll honor the Fourth of July with music of Leonard Bernstein from Barbra Streisand.

We celebrate what would have been the 92nd birthday of Naomi Shemer this month on the Sunday Simcha of July 3rd.
Image of Naomi Shemer by Center for Israel Education. Flag images courtesy of pixabay.com. Montage by Joy Katzen-Guthrie



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ June 26, 2022 ~ 27 Sivan 5782
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Rande Friedman brought a program of Broadway music on this week’s Sunday Simcha (June 26th, 2-3 PM EDT). We want to again thank the many who honored us with pledges to sustain our program this month. If you have not pledged and you love our program, please click the tip jar above and note that your gift is for The Sunday Simcha. We do have pledge premiums — email us at [email protected] to find out more. Enjoy Rande this Sunday, and Joy returns the first Sunday in July. We hope you’ll be with us every Sunday from 2-3 PM on WMNF 88.5 FM Tampa and here at WMNF.org.

Rande Friedman hosts The Sunday Simcha this week on June 26th.



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ June 19, 2022 ~ 20 Sivan 5782
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Our Sunday Simcha of June 19th was a celebration of Juneteenth and Father’s Day featuring Jewish gospel concert and spiritual artist Joshua Nelson and The Kosher Gospel Singers, along with contemporary and classic music by Yamma Ensemble, Jaffa Road, Miqedem, Yuval Dayan, Tal Sondak, Mooki, Sophie Tucker, The Golden Gospel Singersand Eddie Fisher.

Copy of the Emancipation Proclamation as designed by a 14-year-old boy and signed by Lincoln.
From the collection of Gilder Lehrman. Our June 19th Sunday Simcha honors Juneteenth.



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ June 12, 2022 ~ 13 Sivan 5782
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Looking through the Simcha files, I was delighted to come across this feature from just over a year ago appropriately acknowledging Rande Friedman for the Mensch that he is. Rande joined The Sunday Simcha as co-host last month. This week, on our WMNF Community Radio Summer Pledge Drive program, Rande — joined by our Development Director Laura Taylor, encouraged you to drop some gelt in our Sunday Simcha pushke. Show Rande and me and The Sunday Simcha your love and click the Tip Jar at WMNF.org to leave a gift in honor of the Simcha.

Last year, Rande Friedman was honored as Mensch of the Week
by the Tampa Jewish Federation’s Shalom Tampa.



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ June 5, 2022 ~ 6 Sivan 5782
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Look at the three dapper young men below! Rande Friedman center, with Tom Collins (left) and Drew Farmer (right) assisting him for his first broadcast two weeks ago programming/hosting our Sunday Simcha. Rande took the reins again this week with The Borscht Belt! with music, comedy, food talk and a lot of fun — plus music by Mickey Katz, Tito Puente, Machito and his Orchestra, Sam Gaillard, The Barry Sisters, The Irving Fields Trio, Sonny Rossi & The Concord Orchestra, Parez Prado, Ethel Merman, and comedy from Allan Sherman, Jerry Lewis, and other favorite Borscht Belt moments.

Tom Collins, Rande Friedman, and Drew Farmer at the helm
on Rande’s first show as a Simcha host, May 22, 2022.



SIMCHA ~ May 29, 2022 ~ 28 Iyar 5782
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This Sunday’s program (Sunday, May 29th, from 2-3 PM ET on WMNF Community Radio 88.5 FM Tampa and globally here at WMNF.org) is a celebration of Yom Yerushalayim with a mix of traditional and contemporary songs of Jerusalem and more by Jaffa Road, Derech Achim, Nourith & Grégory Turpin, Yossi Azulay, Margalit Ankory & Feenjon, Nissim Black & Eric Gerstenfield, El Avram Group, Helena Hendel, Shoshana Damari, Margalit Jakob, Boaz Mauda, Beri Weber.

Rande Friedman’s first broadcast hosting the Sunday Simcha last week (May 22) remains in our archive through the weekend on this page until after this Sunday’s program with a mix of American Jewish music. Rande will be with you in the next two weeks as well on June 5th and June 12th bringing you a mix of Jewish music, interviews, comedy and more. Call in and say hello at 813-239-9663 or text 813.433-0885 or email [email protected] and send your warm welcome and wishes. Please join us—Joy Katzen-Guthrie and Rande Friedman—this and every Sunday from 2-3 PM ET for The Sunday Simcha. Email us at [email protected] with questions or comments about any broadcast or if you miss one.

Jerusalem ancient and modern—City of Gold, by Walkerssk, pixabay.com, used by permission



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ May 22, 2022 ~ 21 Iyar 5782
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Rande Friedman hosted his first Sunday Simcha on Sunday, May 22nd and looks forward to sharing everything American Jewish culture is about: comedy, Broadway, music, the arts, and of course, food! There will be interviews with people who have made an impact on the Tampa Bay Jewish Community and the world. Rande is a longtime resident of Tampa Bay, a realtor who has been plugged into the Jewish community of central Florida for many years, and he was our first guest on the Simcha on the first program in June 2019 in which Joy took over hosting the show. He’s well known for creating Tampa’s Greater Seder event 17 years ago and he’ll be bringing a new dimension to The Sunday Simcha. After all, he notes that he has been told he has a great face for radio!



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ May 15, 2022 ~ 14 Iyar 5782
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Our Sunday Simcha of May 15th (14th of Iyar—Pesach Sheni) featured a global mix of music as Rande Friedman joined us in the studio as co-host. If you do not yet know Rande, you’ll have a chance to meet him and hear his ideas for the program in today’s show. We featured music by Klezmer Conservatory Band, Ziggy Elman & Orchestra, Abie Rotenberg and Joey Newcomb, Maureen Nehedar, Hayelala, Mika Karni, Yosef Gutman Levitt, Esther Rada, and Accent. Rande Friedman is a longtime resident of Tampa Bay, a realtor who has been plugged into the Jewish community of central Florida for many years, and Rande was our first guest on the Simcha on the first show in June 2019 in which Joy took over hosting the program. He’s well known for creating Tampa’s Greater Seder event 17 years ago and he’ll be bringing a new dimension to The Sunday Simcha. Rande will be your host on May 22nd. Please give him a warm welcome to the Sunday Simcha!

Israel’s Negev Desert by mexx_s, pixabay.com, used by permission



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ May 8, 2022 ~ 7 Iyar 5782
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Our Sunday Simcha of May 8th was devoted in its entirety to an interview and music of David Broza regarding his newly released recording and Kabbalat Shabbat musical worship experience called Tefilah — Prayer. David provided an intimate look at this captivating original musical service commissioned by NYC’s Temple Emanu-El as a major new initiative to reach new congregants, including young Jewish professionals, unaffiliated families, and seekers of spiritual life. It premiered Friday evening, May 6th with the first of a series of special Shabbat services. The next of these services is June 3rd, for ages 21-39 at 8 PM followed by oneg. See more at JTA, Jerusalem Post, at David Broza’s site, and at Temple Emanu-El. David Broza is among Israel’s most renowned singer/songwriters and is from a family of deep musical heritage. He has lived in Spain, England, Israel and the US, has loved music of worldwide pop, rock, folk, ethnic, and liturgical genres, and has for decades broken musical barriers globally, working with renowned artists of many genres, fusing the musical influences of his life with a profound love of poetry and thoughtful lyricism. Click to hear our interview with David Broza.

Our May 8th program is devoted to David Broza and his new Kabbalat Shabbat worship experience
for New York City’s Temple Emanu-El, Tefila



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ May 1, 2022 ~ 30 Nisan 5782
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Our Sunday Simcha of May 1st, was a joyous, spirited celebration of Yom HaatzmautIsraeli Independence Day — beginning at sunset, May 4th, with music by Eitan Freilich, Eig8th Day, Eyal Golan, Matisyahu, Yasmin Levy, Shlomo Carlebach, Yardena Arazi & Lior Narkis, Miriam Zairi, Noam Katz, and David Broza — with whom I’m speaking on our May 8th program featuring a beautiful interview and music devoted to David’s newly-released CD and Shabbat musical worship experience called Tefila — which premiered Friday evening, May 6th at NYC’s Temple Emanu-El with the first of a series of special Shabbat services. The next service is June 3rd for ages 21-39 at 8 PM followed by oneg. See more at JTA, Jerusalem Post, at David Broza’s site, and at Temple Emanu-El.

In this program, Jill Weisberg spoke regarding Hadassah St. Petersburg Florida Chapter’s and Lylah Pinellas Hadassah’s drive and programming as part of Women’s Health Awareness Month in partnership with five synagogues/sisterhoods throughout Pinellas County as well as Lady Business and 2020 Mom to provide drop-off points. The drive is to collect throughout the month of May women’s sanitary products & children’s diapers to be distributed to schools, shelters, and low-income mothers who need them most. Jill describes the issues that women and girls experience when they are unable to afford these products, as well as how all of us can help. Information is on the Hadassah St. Petersburg Florida Chapter Facebook page, or call 727-917-3748 or email [email protected].

Israeli Independence is something to dance about! Tel Aviv photo by Aviv Peretz, pexels.com, used by permission



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ April 24, 2022 ~ 23 Nisan 5782
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With the conclusion of Pesach (Passover) 5782, we observed Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, beginning at sunset Tuesday, April 26th. On our Sunday Simcha of April 24, I featured poignant music by The New York Cantors Azi Schwartz, Yaakov Lemmer, and Netanel Hershtik, Sato Knudsen, Meshouge Klezmer Band, LOKA, The Alibi Sisters, Abby Gostein, Jay Black, Counterpoint Vocal Ensemble, Voix Du Ghetto/Voices of the Ghetto, The Maccabeats, Talila, and Isabel Frey.

Star of David, photo by wal_172619, Pixabay, used by permission



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ April 17, 2022 ~ 16 Nisan 5782
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Our Passover music continued on the Sunday Simcha of April 17, featuring spirited songs by Bat Ella, Shira Kline, Shabbat Unplugged (Rabbis Rayzel Raphael, Margot Stein, Myriam Klotz, Micah Becker-Klein, Shawn Zevit, and Juliet Spitzer), Robbi Sherwin and Laura Copel, Cantor Shira Ginsburg & Michael Hunter Ochs, Kyra Goldman & Sue Horowitz, Susan Colin, Shulem, Ian Callanan, David Broza (whom we will feature on our program of May 8tg) and the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda with Rabbi Gershom Sizomu, who are featured in a stunning interactive Abayudaya Uganda Haggadah issued this week by the Cantors Assembly that may be downloaded online here. Additionally, Tampa playwright Mark E. Leib discussed his Stageworks Theatre Tampa event of Sunday, April 24 at 3 PM featuring a staged reading of his newly written work, When the Righteous Triumph, about the 1960 lunch counter sit-ins in Tampa and the desegregation that resulted. That event on April 24th is open to the community and may be reserved by visiting Stageworks Theatre.

Centuries-old view. Black and White Jerusalem, by Michael Holz, Pixabay, Used by Permission



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ April 10, 2022 ~ 9 Nisan 5782
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Our Spirit of Passover Sunday Simcha of April 10, 2-3 PM ET, features uplifting music of Pesach by Danny Maseng, Jeremy Gaisin & Shmueli Schwartz, Elana Jagoda, Abayudaya Jews of Uganda Putti Jewish Community, Miriam Margles and the Hadar Ensemble, The Jews Brothers Band, François Atlan, Raiz & Radicanto, Tova Ben Zvi, The Lori Cahan-Simon Ensemble, Judy Tellerman, Beth Torah Benny Rok Campus, Moshav, Micha & Lisa (Micha Biton & Lisa Silverstein Tzur) and Charles Segal.

Spring in Jaffa, Israel, photo by TC Perch, Pixabay, used by permission



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ April 3, 2022 ~ 2 Nisan 5782
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The The Sunday Simcha of April 4, 2-3 PM ET, was dedicated to songs of the land as the first program of Earth Month, in addition to Sephardic and Ladino song as we remember the anniversary of the Expulsion of Jews from Spain this week in 1492 — an event that began a global migration that reshaped the world and spread Sephardic music throughout the globe. We’ll hear recordings featuring Cantor Magda Fishman and Shorashim, Nefesh Mountain, Laura Nyro, Sapari with Gadi Seri, Sonia Theodoridou, David Broza, HaParvarim d]Duo, Dafne Kritharas, Joaquin Diaz, Annwn, Psalteria, Timna Brauer & Elias Meiri Ensemble and Chanah Ambuter.

April in Israel, photo by Avner Nagar, Pixabay, used by permission



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ March 27, 2022 ~ 24 Adar II 5782
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The The Sunday Simcha of March 27th was comprised of music by request, including Eastern European Klezmer and Sephardic/Ladino song. Jewish music has always brought us joy, comfort, and release in times of challenge, and this program was created with the hope that it would lift us all, featuring Orit Atar, Klezmerata Fiorentina, The Klezmer Lounge Band, Irena Urbanska, Miriam Zairi, Orchestre Klezmer, Brio, Jewsers, Qiyans Krets and Oscar Fredriks Kammarkör, Sarah Aroeste, Ben Zion Shenker, musique en route, and Eleanor Reissa.

Visualizing the swift manifestation of peace for Ukraine and our entire world.
Image by Alexandra Koch, pixabay, used by permission.



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ March 20, 2022 ~ 17 Adar II 5782
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Uplifting voices of women filled this Sunday’s Sunday Simcha Radio Show from 2-3 PM ET at WMNF.org and WMNF 88.5 FM Tampa as we honor Women’s History Month. The powerful and poignant music is by Sue Radner Horowitz, Juliet Spitzer, Nizza Thobi, Deborah Sacks Mintz and the Hadar Ensemble, Melita, Carmit Esther Shaham, Orit Shimoni, Susan Colin, and my dear friend Mindy Simmons, whom we lost in recent weeks and for whom the folk music community gathered this weekend to commemorate in Fogertyville (Sarasota), Mindy’s home for many years. Please join me each Sunday from 2-3 PM Eastern Time to hear our program live, or from our archive on this page in the week following the broadcast, where our March 20th program is currently stored.

A Woman’s Prayer, photo by Barbara Jackson, pixabay, Used by permission



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ March 13, 2022 ~ 10 Adar II 5782
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With Erev Purim this week, the Sunday Simcha of March 13th featured joyous Purim songs from Ukraine and eastern Europe as well as songs that have been composed for Ukrainian Jewish children in challenging times — a musical reflection of the many emotions that we have been experiencing during a week that should be such fun for all ages, yet one in which many children suffer. Our featured music was by Irene Urbanska and Klazmergy, Beyle Schaechter–Gottesman, Theodore Bikel, Kapelye, The Lori Cahan-Simon Ensemble, Tova Ben-Zvi, Loyko, Sarah Gorby, Raasche, Abe Schwartz and Orchestra, Orchestre Klezmer, The Klezmatics, Adrienne Cooper and Zalman Mlotek, Eleanor Yarrow, Talila and Ben Zimet, Los Desterrados, and Geulah Gil among others.

Bakers worldwide join Polish Humanitarian Action in the Hamantashen For Ukraine campaign for emergency aid.
Photo ©2022 Polish Humanitarian Action



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ March 6, 2022 ~ 3 Adar II 5782
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My Sunday Simcha of March 6th featured a moving collection of Yiddish song from Ukraine or by composers/performers from Ukraine or whose ancestry is Ukrainian. To open Women’s History Month and to honor International Women’s Day on March 8th, every voice on our program was that of a woman, including Netania Davrath, Tanja Solnik, Ruth Rubin, Mary Feinsinger, Zahava Seewald, Lisa Wanamaker, Hanna Igiel with Stafania Quaranta, Talila and Ensemble Kol Aviv, Adrienne Cooper, Noëmi Waysfeld, Nechama Hendel, Isabel Frey, Yaffa Yarkoni, Chava Alberstein, and Zlata Ognevich.

Monument at Babi Yar (Babyn Yar), Kyiv — site of the 1941 Nazi massacre of nearly 34,000 Jews as well as prisoners of war, Roma, communists, and Ukrainian nationalists, with an estimated total of 150,000 murdered at this site, which was struck by a Russian missile this week in the shelling of Kyiv by Russian forces. Photo by Alex Long.



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ February 27, 2022 ~ 26 Adar I 5782
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My guest on our Sunday Simcha of February 27th in an extensive interview was actor/vocalist/Yiddish & Broadway star Eleanor Reissa (https://www.eleanorreissa.com) to discuss her riveting new book, The Letters Project: A Daughter’s Journey, in which she recounts her discovery, after her mother’s death, of 56 letters written by her father to her mother in the late 1940s and the journey inspired by that discovery to translate the letters and rediscover her parents’ lives in Poland and Germany before, during, and after the Holocaust. In our interview, Eleanor shared the moving story of her parents before and after they met in a DP Camp, her father’s survival from Auschwitz and their lives in the US as well as how deeply her views of them and of those who lived and died in the Holocaust have changed since these discoveries. Her discussion calls on all of us to take a powerful new look at these individuals and their fight for life.

Eleanor was gracious enough to gift us copies of her CDs Vilde Mekhaye: Wild Ecstasy— in which she is backed by her frequent concert partners Frank London & The Klezmer Brass Allstars—a CD that cannot be heard on YouTube and Spotify as it is exclusively available on CD—for our listeners who become Circle of Friends sustaining members of WMNF Community Radio for $10 per month for one year. In our pledge program and last week, we received new sustaining donors who took that CD as a premium and we have just a few copies remaining for you to take advantage of this opportunity and to receive as premiums with a Circle of Friends membership at $10 (or more!) per month to WMNF. Take advantage of that opportunity now by clicking the tip jar at the top of the page, and noting that your gift is for The Sunday Simcha and that you are selecting the ELEANOR REISSA CD as your gift—it will be mailed to you immediately. Or call WMNF during business hours today or any weekday at our office line at 813-238-8001 to become a Circle of Friends sustaining members on behalf of the Sunday Simcha and to request this CD as your premium..

Eleanor Reissa‘s Yiddish music and poignant interview regarding her new book, The Letters Project: A Daughter’s Journey are featured on our Sunday Simcha of February 27th.



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ February 20, 2022 ~ 19 Adar I 5782
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I hope you joined me for this week’s Sunday Simcha — our Spring Pledge Drive Program (Feb 20th from 2-3 PM ET). Not only did I feature special music, but special premiums for you and you may pledge to our program at any time. Click the tip jar on this page to make a gift in honor of The Sunday Simcha. WMNF Program Director Samantha Hval joined me in the studio and in addition to our wonderful WMNF premiums for pledges, the fabulous Yiddish vocalist & Broadway star Eleanor Reissa gifted her CDs, Vilde Mekhaye: Wild Ecstasy, for the first listeners who pledge to our program who took advantage of her gift. We still have a few copies of her CD as a premium for those who become a Circle of Friends supporter at $10 or more per month. In addition to Eleanor’s music with Frank London & The Klezmer Brass Allstars, with whom she has performed around the world, I featured music by The Klezmer Tunes, Sharon Ben-Zadok, Ishay Levi, The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band, BGKO – Barcelona Gipsy Klezmer Orchestra, and Ceilizemer.

Eleanor Reissa—hear her music on our February 20th and 27th programs and our interview with her on February 27th.



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ February 13, 2022 ~ 12 Adar I 5782
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Our program of February 13th offered a a powerful and beautiful observance of Black American Heritage Month and Jewish and Black musical collaborations. Additionally, I shared an informative and poignant interview with playwright/USF Instructor Mark E. Leib, Stageworks Theatre Artistic Director Karla Hartley, and Arts Consultant Wendy Leigh regarding the Stageworks Tampa Theatre production of The Diary of Anne Frank—on E. Kennedy Blvd.—and the staged reading of Mark Leib’s two-act play, An Angel From Auschwitz, on Sunday, February 20th at 7 PM. Mark, Karla, and Wendy discussed both productions and their continuing relevance for understanding anti-semitism, racism, and behaviors of intolerance and hatred toward specific groups of people. Music punctuating this important broadcast included songs by Jewish composers and poets performed by some of America’s gifted and renowned black vocalists of their era and today, including Billie Holiday, Ethel Waters, Lena Horne, Mahalia Jackson, Audra McDonald, Louis Armstrong, The Ravens, and Pastor Chris Harris, Sr. with songs that are significant to both cultures.

Spirit of Joy, photo by cottonbro (pexels.com) & Dachau Monument photographed by Jordan Holiday (pixabay.com)
photos used by permission



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ February 6, 2022 ~ 5 Adar I 5782
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I celebrated love on The Sunday Simcha of February 6th with songs of the people, places, and things we love. This inspiring program featured music of Mah Tovu, Nava Tehila Community of Jerusalem, Hadar Nehemya, Josh Warshawsky, Cantor Daniel Kramer with Janis Siegel & John Di Martino, Eleanor Reissa, Annikki Tähti, Eliyahu SIlls, Cantor Natalie Young, Kate Wolf, Voci Angeli of Musica Antiqua New York, and more.

Shuk Hapishpeshim, Jaffa, Israel • Photo by 2goldi at Pixabay • used by permission.



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ January 30, 2022 ~ 28 Sh’vat 5782
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Our one-of-a-kind program of January 30th featured an interview with Giles Howe, creator of a stunning new grand scale musical dramatic work titled Soviet Zion that connects a little-known and eye-opening historical Jewish narrative with a fictional one. The entire program is given over to this powerful production and enlightening interview that I believe you will find fascinating and informative as Giles shares music from his project and tells of its amazing creation—all in connection with this week’s observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27th

Giles Howe, creator of the new musical drama SOVIET ZION, is our guest our Sunday Simcha of January 30th



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ January 23, 2022 ~ 21 Sh’vat 5782
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Diverse global and American Jewish music filled our, January 23rd Sunday Simcha, including music of Sabbathsong Klezmer Band with The Budapest Gypsy Orchestra, Alejandra Czarny, Yitzchak Fuchs, Olga Avigail Mieleszczuk, Hibat Hapiyut Project, Klezmerson, The New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars, Ros Schwartz, Mikey Pauker, Sue Horowitz, Roni Dalumi and for A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth—Mark Rubin, Jew of Oklahoma.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is this Thursday, January 27th.
Jewish Memorial at Dachau, photo by Jordan Holiday, pixabay.com, used by permission



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ January 16, 2022 ~ 14 Sh’vat 5782
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Our January 16th Sunday Simcha was devoted to music related to Tu Bishvat—The New Year of the Trees and the season of planting in Israel. This is the season in which fruit-bearing trees of Israel begin to bloom and the species of trees and the harvest in Israel are celebrated. It’s a beautiful and uplifting program of music from recent recordings as well as traditional songs from pioneering days in Israel to the present. You’ll hear music by Ronit Ophir, Avraham Perrera, Dorit Farkash, Ofer Kalaf, Naomi Shemer, Claudia Meyer, Oshy Tugendhaft, Susan Cogan & Fran Avni, Danny Maseng, Chavurat Renanim, Miriam Makeba, Ofra Haza, The Portnoy Brothers, Saul Kaye, and for A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth, Arlo Guthrie.

Celebrating Tu Bishvat—the new year of the trees and the beginning of the planting season in Israel
on our January 16th Sunday Simcha. Photo by Bessi, Pixabay, used by permission



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ January 9, 2022 ~ 7 Sh’vat 5782
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Our January 9th Sunday Simcha brought diverse artists and themes to continue our celebration of the new year, including Cantor Lisa Levine, The Brothers Nazaroff, Ellen Lippman Finn, Musique En Route, Karsten Troyke, Veretski Pass, Ljuti Hora, Dina Pandzarisz, The Mike Eisenstadt Band, Nissim Black, Guy Kark & Between Times, Aaron Lebedeff & Alexander Olshanetsky, and Eric Lagerström & Hearts United Band.

The year will fly—let’s slow down and enjoy the moment. Photo of Tel Aviv by Edy Fertel, pexels.com, used by permission



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ January 2, 2022 ~ 29 Tevet 5782
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We opened 2022 on January 2nd with music to celebrate the new year by Joel Rubin and the Epstein Bros. Ensemble, Pharaoh’s Daughter, The Preßburger Klezmer Band, The Hiba Orchestra Players of Jerusalem, Bat Ella, Joey Newcomb, Neshama Carlebach, Sarit Hadad, Sue Horowitz, Linda Hirschhorn and Vocolot and A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth—from Mickey Katz.

Wishing you a healthful, uplifting, prosperous, and joyous year ahead.
Beautiful multi-cultural Haifa, Israel. Photo by Kostiantyn Stupak, pexels.com, used by permission.



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ December 26, 2021 ~ 22 Tevet 5782
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On our final Sunday Simcha Radio Show of 2021 on December 26th, we celebrated and reflected upon year’s end with the music of Yonatan Razel, Janis Siegel, Cantor Daniel Kramer, and John Di Martino, The Irving Fields Trio, Dimitri Dourakine, Di Naye Kapelye, Shiri Maimon, Frank Loesser, Idina Menzel, Vanya Green Assuied, Mati Caspi & Yehudit Ravitz, Joey Newcomb, and Zusha. A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth—was another selection by Dean Friedman from his newly released CD titled American Lullaby.

Reflections of 2021, Sunset on The Mediterranean Sea at Tel Aviv, photo by Adam Grabek, pexels.com, used by permission



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ December 19, 2021 ~ 15 Tevet 5782
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As we approach 2022 thinking of the things that matter most to us in the year ahead, our music on The Sunday Simcha of December 19th spoke to those reflections. And as part of WMNF Community Radio’s December mission of diversity, I featured a highly diverse collection of artists on the program, including Shuli Rand, Maayan Band, Gilad Segev/Passerby, Ofri Eliaz, Carmit Shaham, Hazzan Alisa Pomerantz-Boro and Michael Hunter Ochs, Choni G, Arlo Guthrie, Ariel Root Wolpe, Gaya, Quarter to Africa, and Shoshana Bean. Listen live this Sunday from 2-3 PM as well as in the archive throughout the week following the broadcast.

The time is flying: 2022 is around the corner. Jaffa Clock Tower, photo by Noam Armonn, Wikipedia Commons



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ December 12, 2021 ~ 8 Tevet 5782
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With Hanukkah behind us, our Sunday Simcha of December 12th (2-3 PM EST) carried us toward 2022 with music by Stacy Beyer, Benny Friedman, Light in Babylon, Batya Levine, Yosef Gutman Levitt, Gefilte Drive, Derech Achim, Mostly Kosher, The Barry Sisters, and Joey Newcomb. For WMNF’s December mission of Diversity, I featured India Arie and her work with Israeli composer/recording artist and producer Idan Raichel. A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth—was from a newly-released collection by Dean Friedman. I also highlight music from the film Exodus, released this week in 1960.

Jerusalem Chai, photo by Skylar Kang at pexels.com, used by permission



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ December 5, 2021 ~ 1 Tevet 5782
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Our Sunday Simcha of December 5th in the hours before the lighting of the 8th candle continued our Hanukkah Extravaganza, with both exuberant and poignant contemporary and traditional solo, choral, and ensemble Hanukkah music of multiple genres by Nefesh Mountain, Michelle Green Willner featuring Cantor Marcus Feldman with the AJU Chorus & Los Angeles Jewish Community Children’s Choir, The Lori Cahan-Simon Ensemble, Jessie Silverstein & Fred Vogel, King Django, Muriel Hirschman & Myriam Molinet, Zamir Chorale of Boston, Yosef Karduner, Yonina, Mostly Kosher, The DC Accidentals, Cantor Jonathan Schultz, Erran Baron Cohen, Kosha Dillz & Nissim Black, Sarah Aroeste, and the Austin Gay Men’s Chorus.

Chag Urim Sameach from The Sunday Simcha as you light the last candles of Hanukkah.
Photo by Rodnae Productions at pexels.com, used by permission



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ November 28, 2021 ~ 24 Tishrei 5782
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Our program of November 28th just before Hanukkah’s 1st night at sunset was a Thanksgivikkah Extravaganzakkah, with music by The Indigo Girls, The Lori Cahan-Simon Ensemble, Sarah Aroeste, Rabbi Neal Katz, Nefesh Mountain, Judy Frankel, Peter, Paul and Mary, Klezmer Conservatory Band, Shira Kline, Charlie Hope, Cantor Ilysia Pierce, Comunidad Bet El de México, Blackmore’s Night, PS22 Chorus, Beth Styles, Members of the Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene and more.

Wishing you a joyous and uplifting Hanukkah. Photo by cottonbro, used by permission



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ November 21, 2021 ~ 17 Tishrei 5782
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Our Sunday Simcha of November 21st featured Thanksgiving & Hanukkah music in addition to a most interesting interview with Aaron Kula, who—along with members of his Klezmer Company Jazz Orchestra—will be in concert on Sunday, December 5th at 3 PM, as part of Congregation Beth Shalom of Clearwater’s Hanukkah Celebration, open to the community both at the temple and via livestream (details & registration here. We also featured just-released Hanukkah music by Ruth and Emilia and Sarah Aroeste in addition to music to celebrate Thanksgiving and Hanukkah by David Roth, Michael Hunter Ochs, Beth Schafer, Mischpoke, Gad Elbaz & Nissim Black.

Aaron Kula was our guest on November 21st to discuss his Klezmer Company Jazz Orchestra and his coming concert
at Congregation Beth Shalom of Clearwater on December 5th at 3 PM. More details here and here.



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ November 14, 2021 ~ 10 Tishrei 5782
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On our Sunday Simcha of November 14th, we featured a lovely interview with the mother/daughter team of Ruth Hertz Weber and Emilia Lopez-Yañez as I shared music from their stunning just-released CD project, I Had A Dream: Songs of an Immigrant—in which Ruth set to music the poems of her late grandmother, sharing the story of her impoverished childhood in Russia, her escape during the Bolshevik Revolution, and her life as an immigrant in America—and in which Ruth and Emilia lovingly arranged and recorded the songs to forever memorialize their grandmother and her life. That program is currently in our archive until our next broadcast. Discover more about this CD at Ruth’s site, and discover the music of their children’s projects together at Ruth and Emilia, and all their projects at Youtube channel, Facebook page, Instagram page, Soundcloud page, Amazon, and across the web.

Ruth Weber & Emilia Lopez-Yañez are guests on November 14th with songs from I Had A Dream: Songs of An Immigrant.



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ November 7, 2021 ~ 3 Tishrei 5782
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On our Sunday Simcha of November 7th, I featured a beautiful program of music by Korin Allal, Beth Schafer, Moshav, Yair Levi, Glykeria with Shlomi Shabat, Lipa Schmeltzer, TootArd, Samuel Torjman Thomas, Shlomo Artzi, Meyolia and AquaBella. A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth—was supplied by Israeli comedian Noam Shuster-Eliassi.

Jerusalem, photo by Taghian Abod at pexels.com, used by permission



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ October 31, 2021 ~ 25 Heshvan 5782
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On our Sunday Simcha of October 31st from 2-3 PM ET, I featured an an eclectic program of Israeli, Sephardic, and Meditarranean music by Ayala Ingedashet, Matan Cohen, Zehava Ben, C Lanzbom & Noah Solomon (Soulfarm), Derech Achim, Shaina Ettel, Rachel Hyman, Susana Behar, and Aman Aman. A Bisl Freylichkayt was supplied by the comic genius Mort Sahl, whom we lost this week at the age of 94.

Image Credit: Port of Jaffa, photo by Noam Armonn, used by permission, https://www.dreamstime.com/armonn_info



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ October 24, 2021 ~ 18 Heshvan 5782
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On our October 24th Sunday Simcha, Development Director Laura Taylor and Program Director Samantha Hval joined our Fall Pledge Drive program. Additionally, I featured music by Kroke Klezmer Trio, Craig Taubman, Klezmer Juice, Orit Shimoni, Nadav Bachar-Pshita, Trivium Klezmer and Judy Frankel.

WMNF new Fall 2021 T-Shirt, available for an annual pledge of $88.50 or more. Click for details.



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ October 17, 2021 ~ 11 Heshvan 5782
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Our October 17th Sunday Simcha captured a range of emotions by Jewish composer/lyricists and concert-recording artist, including Josh Warshawsky, Yair Levi & Shai Sol, Stav Goldberg and Aviv Peck, Eti Bitton, Ayala Levi, Nurit Galron, Yosef Gutman Levitt, Tomer Matana, Itay Levi, Barbra Streisand, Ofer Golany, Miri Mesika, and Meyolia. A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth—will be provided by Israeli Comic Noam Shuster-Eliassi

Colors of Jerusalem. Katie Evensen Photography, pexels.com, used by permission.



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ October 10, 2021 ~ 4 Heshvan 5782
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The Torah portion of our October 8-9 Shabbat was Noach—Chapter 9 of B’reishit—Genesis, describing God’s covenant with earth, humanity and all living beings, displayed through the sign of the rainbow. Our Sunday Simcha of October 10th was a celebration of the rainbow and more, with the voices of Ella Fitzgerald, Alma Zohar, Esther Ofarim, Baby Oriental, Sheldon Low, Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo`ole, Paul Williams, Gidi Gov, Lora Itzhak, Zehu Zeh, Arik Einstein, Algeir, and Rita Yahan-Farouz.

Ella Fitzgerald with The Oscar Peterson Trio as part of Jazz at the Philharmonic—in Israel 60 years ago—April 9, 1961. We’ll hear Ella’s voice among others on our October 10th Sunday Simcha.



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ October 3, 2021 ~ 27 Tishrei 5781
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The many faces and voices of Vancouver-based singer/songwriter, producer/arranger, recording/concert artist, conductor/bandleader/worship leader Moshe Denburg and his band Tzimmes filled our October 3rd Sunday Simcha. We came to know Moshe and heard his own music as well as recordings of his band Tzimmes and his amazing Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra. Hear Moshe’s music at Bandcamp, hear the music of his Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra here, and at his official site. Moshe’s music and sheet music are also available on Oysongs. Reach Moshe at [email protected].

The many faces and voices of Moshe Denburg, our guest on our October 3, 2021 Sunday Simcha



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ September 26, 2021 ~ 20 Tishrei 5782
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Our Simchat Torah broadcast of September 26th featured new and classic horas and Sephardic and Yiddish songs by Playin’ Tachles, Danny Maseng, Rubinstein Klezmer Project, Yale Strom and Hot Pstromi, Cabalá Buenos Aires Klezmer Band, Agrupación Danzas Del Mundo, Effi Netzer & Sharona Aharon-Broza, Riki & Andre, Alhambra Sephardic Music Ensemble, Yossi Azulay, Zupfgeigenhansel, Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band, The Klezmer Conservatory Band and Moshe Denburg (who will be my guest next week, October 3rd, to discuss his newly-released double-CD, The Road Never Travelled, celebrating the 34th anniversary of his band Tzimmes).

“Simchat Torah, The Feast of the Rejoicing of the Law at the Synagogue in Livorno, Italy” by Solomon Hart, 1850, Public Domain



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ September 19, 2021 ~ 13 Tishrei 5781
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I brought you such a lovely collection of music for our Sukkot broadcast of The Sunday Simcha for our Sunday, September 19th broadcast. Our program highlighted music and themes of Sukkot old and new, with recordings of classic songs of Israel in addition to new settings. I will feature music by The San Diego Jewish Men’s Choir, Hillel & Aviva, Hazzan Alisa Pomerantz-Boro, Lucie Skeaping with The Burning Bush Ensemble, Itamar Cohen, Nefesh, HaParvarim duo, The Ensemble of Female Cantors Around the World produced by JVocals in Israel, HaDudaim, Nancy Linder, The Maayan Band, and Moshe Denburg & Tzimmes, who will be my guest on the October 3rd broadcast of The Sunday Simcha).

Postcard reproductions of paintings by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim (German 1800-1882): Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), 1867 • Conclusion of Shabbat, ca. 1883 • On The Eve of Yom Kippur, 1873, Items from The National Library of Israel collection.



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ September 12, 2021 ~ 6 Tishrei 5782
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Our Yom Kippur broadcast for our September 12th Sunday Simcha highlighted both contemporary and traditional settings of Yom Kippur liturgy. I featured music by David Taub, Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot, Judy Tellerman, Isaac Sheffer, Cantor Sofia Falkovitch, The Portnoy Brothers, Cantor Roslyn Barak, Artists of Israel, Cantor Shira Ginsburg and Michael Hunter Ochs, Cantor Azi Schwartz, Bonia Shur, Northwest Girlchoir, Danny Maseng, Alexandra Violin, and Moshe Denburg & Tzimmes (who will be my guest on the Sunday Simcha on October 3rd).

The Great Synagogue of Budapest sparkles under blue sky. Photo by Tiff Ng at pexels.com, used by permission



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ September 5, 2021 ~ 28 Elul 5781
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On the cusp of Yamim Noraim–the Days of Awe, our Sunday Simcha of September 5th highlighted contemporary and traditional music for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur from Moshe Denburg and Tzimmes (who will be my guest on the Sunday Simcha on October 3rd), Gilad Segev (Passerby), The Idan Raichel Project, Origen, Abby Gostein, Rachel Weinstock, Azi Schwartz, Rebecca Garfein, Yisroel Willinger, Sonia Disappear Fear, Yonatan Razel and the Razel Family, Neshama Carlebach, Rabbi Menachem Creditor, and Musica Antiqua of New York.

Wishing you an insightful and uplifting Yom Tov. Photo by cottonbro at pexels.com, used by permission



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ August 29, 2021 ~ 21 Elul 5781
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With only ten days to Rosh HaShanah, The Sunday Simcha of August 29th continued to set the mood for Yamim Noraim, the Days of Awe, with prayerful and powerful music by Yonatan Razel, Beth Schafer, Nava Tehila, Chava Mirel, Dan Nichols and Eighteen, Barry & Batya Segal, Josh Warshawsky, Bryce Emily Megdal, Ohman Yisrael and the City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. A Bisl Freylichkayt—a Little Mirth‚ was supplied by Mikey Greenblatt.

Grand Choral Synagogue, St. Petersburg, Russia

Grand Choral Synagogue, St. Petersburg, Russia, completed 1888. Image by cottonbro at pexels.com, used by permission



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ August 22, 2021 ~ 14 Elul 5781
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Our distinctive Sunday Simcha of August 22nd featured an outstanding new recorded project and interview with composer/lyricist and Sephardic recording artist Sarah Aroeste, whose newly-released CD, Monastir, is inspired by her family’s roots in Macedonia and the thriving Jewish community of Monastir (today’s Bitola) that once was.

Montage from Aroeste’s notes for her new CD. Download the complimentary CD notes here.

When Aroeste’s ancestors fled Spain following the Alhambra Decree in 1492, they, like many other Spanish Jewish families (known as Sephardim), migrated east and settled in Monastir, a Balkan city at the commercial crossroads between Turkey and Western Europe, in what is now North Macedonia. For centuries, the Jewish community of Monastir flourished alongside its neighbors and enjoyed a unique history, with its own customs, religious observances, linguistic patterns and more—until it was nearly entirely wiped out by the Nazi invasion of 1943, when 3,275 of Monastir’s Jews were rounded up and transported to their deaths in Treblinka.

For years, Sarah Aroeste has devoted herself to creating a project to their legacy. The result is a stunningly beautiful visual and recorded project titled Monastir that features Macedonian, Ladino, and Hebrew songs that join members of the community of today’s Bitola and ancestors of the Monastirian ancestral community in Israel with the voices of Aroeste and many of the finest musicians and vocalists of Israel and the world Jewish community who came together remotely over the period of the pandemic to create this eye-popping and ear-popping project.

Aroeste was our guest on our August 22, 2021 Sunday Simcha, along with selections from her CD and her wonderful and informative interview.



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ August 15, 2021 ~ 7 Elul 5781
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This week’s Sunday Simcha (August 15, 2021) continued the spiritual tone for the year ahead with superlative music by The Portnoy Brothers, Tofa’ah, Joey Weisenberg, Cantor Shira Ginsburg and Michael Hunter Ochs, Sue Horowitz, Dan Nichols and Eighteen, Janine LaMendola and Beth Styles, Joey Newcomb, Comunidad Amijai, Benny Friedman and Victor Loboda. A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth—was supplied by comedian Myron Cohen.

“B’reishit” by Digital Seriagrapher Rudi Wolff, on exhibit at Congregation Or Zarua, Upper East Side New York City



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ August 8, 2021 ~ 30 Av 5781
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This week’s Sunday Simcha observed Rosh Chodesh Elul and set the spiritual tone for High Holy Days and a new year with luscious music by Pumpadisa, Eitan Katz, Pharaoh’s Daughter, Darshan Project, Ellen Allard, Jessi Roemer, Ishay Ribo, Batya Diamond, Zusha, Rick Recht, and Ronny Matthes. A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth—was provided by Victor Borge, who arrived on American shores, escaping the Nazi occupation of Denmark, 80 years ago this month—surviving near death to lift the world with his unique gifts of humor and love.

The breathtaking restored Subotica Synagogue of northern Serbia. Photo by Ivan at pexels.com, used by permission.



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ August 1, 2021 ~ 23 Av 5781
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This week’s Sunday Simcha featured music from new projects by Tzimmes with Moshe Denburg (www.tzimmes.net) and Avishai Cohen (avishaicohen.com/), as well as music and poetry to inspire as we approach the new year, including the work of Hazzan Jessi Roemer, Sababa!, Jon Nelson, Iris Belson, Melita & Isaac, Allan Soberman, Maayan Band, Nurit Galron, Zusha, Eli Levin & Pumpadisa, and Alexandra Babakhanov. A Bisl Freylichkayt—A little Mirth—was supplied by Jackie Mason, whom we lost last weekend at the age of 93.

Looking toward the year ahead. Photo by cottonbro of pexels, used by permission.



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ July 25, 2021 ~ 16 Av 5781
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Our July 25th program featured a range of contemporary folk, pop, rock, Chasidic, Yemenite, Caribbean, and Sephardic Jewish music by Craig Taubman, Lea Shabat and Dindin Aviv, Yemen Blues, Madeira, Habanot Nechama, Elior Cymbler, Aviva Semadar, Yehudit Ravitz, Birgitta Johanna Veksler-Lundvall, and Susana Behar. A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth, was provided by Mike Nichols & Elaine May.



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ July 18, 2021 ~ 9 Av 5781
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Our Tisha B’Av Sunday Simcha of July 18th featured an uplifting program of poetry, cantillation, and a cappella music by individuals, groups, and choirs in observance of Tisha B’Av, including The Moscow Male Jewish Cappella, Milken Archive of Jewish Music, Rabbi Hazzan Ira Rohde and Schola Hebraeica, Eli Gerstner and the Chevra, Simcha Leiner, Family Shasha, Jerusalem Oratorio Chamber Choir, Cantor Azi Schwartz, Libana, Vocolot, Aquabella, The Master Chorale of Washington, The Pitt-Johnstown Concert Choir, Ari Goldwag, and Ofir Ben Shitrit.

Spoils of Jerusalem, depicting an event mourned on Tisha B’Av—destruction & sacking of Jerusalem’s Second Temple. Replica of Triumphal Arch of Titus (Rome) in Beth Hatefutsot: Museum of the Jewish People, Tel Aviv. Public Domain Photo



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ July 11, 2021 ~ 2 Av 5781
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Our program of July 11th featured poignant music by diverse Israeli, American, and world artists, including Danny Robas, Boaz Sharabi, Rivka Zohar & Liron Lev, Danny Bassan with Hani Furstenberg, Shoshana Damari, Blue Fringe, Dafne Kritharas, Noam Banai, Hanan Yovel, Harel Ska’at, and Tampa’s own Cantor Tanya Greenblatt. A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth—was supplied by composer/lyricist Frank Loesser, whom we lost at only age 59 on July 28, 1969.

Spanish Synagogue, Prague, Public Domain Photo, needpix.com



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ July 4, 2021 ~ 24 Tammuz 5781
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For our July 4th program, what better way to celebrate than with music of the Great American Songbook? Our Fourth of July Sunday Simcha was a celebration of one of the greatest gifts Americans have given the world, and one of the greatest gifts Jews have given America—their far-ranging contribution to the arts and to the American Popular Songbook. I shared the songs of Woody Guthrie, George & Ira Gershwin, Harold Arlen & Ted Koehler, Jack Yellen & Milton Ager, Gus Kahn & Walter Donaldson, Dorothy Fields & Jimmy McHugh, Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers, Yip Harburg, Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II, Leonard Bernstein, and Irving Berlinwith the magnificent talents of Blossom Seeley, Ben Selvin & Orchestra, Mel Tormé, Daniel Kahn, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles and The Count Basie Orchestra, Mandy Patinkin, Roberta Alexander & Tan Crone, Joan Morris, William Bolcom, and the comments and talents of George and Ira Gershwin, Dorothy Fields, Yip Harburg, and Irving Berlin discussing and sharing their own music.

The View from Liberty Island. Creative Commons photograph, Pixabay/Pexels.com



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ June 27, 2021 ~ 17 Tammuz 5781
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Monday, June 28th, marked the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York. Our program of Sunday, June 27th celebrated Pride, cultural diversity and collaboration with music by SONiA disappear fear, Rita Yahan-Farouz with Offer Nissim, Yehonathan, Ivri Lider, Dana International, Laroz with Rechela Khaleeji, A-WA, Janet Jak Esim, Quarter to Africa, Ran Danker, Light in Babylon, Joey Weisenberg & The Hadar Ensemble, and Nemţoi Nadim. A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth, was supplied by Tampa-born comedian Ester Steinberg.

Our June 27th program celebrates Pride, diversity, and collaboration. Photos by Ronê Ferreira from Pexels (top left, bottom right), Los Muertos Crew (bottom left), and Brett Sayles (top right), all at Pexels.com.



SUNDAY SIMCHA ~ June 20, 2021 ~ 10 Tammuz 5781
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The Sunday Simcha celebrated Father’s Day on what was my 100th broadcast as programmer/host of this program since I joined as host in June 2019 with music by The Amsterdam Klezmer Band, Eleanor Reissa, Shlomi Shabat, Sarit Hadad, Eli Levin, Nefesh Mountain, Gerard Edery, Lily Storm, Gaia Nostra, Tzimmes, Craig Taubman, Neka Sebiskveradze, ODO Ensemble, and Elinor Benhamo. A Bisl Freylichkayt is supplied by—who else on Father’s Day—comedian Tom Papa.

View WMNF’s new program schedule which begins Monday, June 21st. The Sunday Simcha moves to 2-3 PM on June 27th.



SUNDAY SIMCHA  ~ June 13, 2021 ~ 3 Tammuz 5781
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Our Sunday Simcha of June 13th featured joyous music in addition to an interview with Brandy Gold, Arts & Culture Dir. of Tampa JCCs & Federation regarding the 3rd production in the J-Stage Tampa Vivid Theatre Company Summer Series at the JCC on the Cohn Campus in Tampa. On this program, Brandy discussed this production as well as other offerings of the JCCs Tampa and the coming Fall Speakers series. Featured music was by the Abayudaya Uganda Jewish Community with the Cantors Assembly, Tantz, Gregori Schechter’s Klezmer Festival Band, Amsterdam Klezmer Band, Moshav, Cantor Abby Gostein, Lea Shabat, and Brien Todio. A Bisl Freylichkayt—A Little Mirth—was supplied by comedian Steven Wright.

Brandy Gold of the Tampa JCC’s and Federation joins our program Sunday to discuss this week’s opening of the Arthur Miller play, All My Sons, at JStage. Visit https://www.jcccohncampus.com/jcc/arts-culture/j-stage



SUPPORT THE SUNDAY SIMCHA

The Sunday Simcha is among a handful of programs remaining on the air on American radio devoted entirely to Jewish music and culture. We do have premiums for your donations. If you desire one, request it when you make your pledge and we will let you know what is available.

To Make A Pledge:

√ Call during business hours at 813-238-8001 to make a pledge
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WMNF Sunday Simcha Summer Pledge Drive Show 6.23.19

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



THANK YOU, JEWISH PRESS OF TAMPA BAY

Deepest appreciation to The Jewish Press of Tampa Bay (Pinellas/Hillsborough Counties) for its extensive features on The Sunday Simcha, reprinted online at:

Jewish Press, April 9, 2019
Jewish Press, April 9, 2019 Archive
Jewish Press, September 10, 2019
Jewish Press, September 10, 2019

At the WMNF Volunteer Appreciation event on Sunday, August 18th, Joy was named WMNF New Programmer of the Year 2019. From Joy: “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 an international audience of listeners.”

Mark C. Guthrie & Joy Katzen-Guthrie

Mark Guthrie & Joy Katzen-Guthrie
WMNF Radio Volunteer Appreciation Event
August 18, 2019

New Programmer of Year Award

WMNF New Programmer of the Year

 



Hosted By...

Joy Katzen-Guthrie  [email protected], [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.

Rande Friedman  [email protected]

Joining the Sunday Simcha as co-programmer/host in May 2022, Rande Friedman hails from Chicago, where in his words, his parents wanted to raise the family in worse weather—so they moved to Buffalo when he was two. Rande worked in the family shoe stores in both Buffalo and then in Tampa Bay. After 25 years in retail, he became what he says is his perfect profession, a realtor.

Within Tampa Bay's Jewish community, Rande’s main claim to fame is through his creation of the Greater Seder event in 2005, when Rande proposed the production of a musical comedy Seder and immediately drew support. He and friends and colleagues formed a troupe, “The Kosher Hams,” and have since entertained thousands while raising money for The Tampa Jewish Family Service’s Food Bank.

With his background in musical comedy, his love of speaking, interviewing, comedy, and his easy-going nature, Rande Friedman adds another dimension to the Sunday Simcha.

Shlomo & Jordyn Schwersky  

After serving for 13 years as hosts of The Sunday Simcha, Shlomo and Jordyn Schwersky retired as hosts in June 2019.

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

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

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

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

Kevin Frye  

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

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

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

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

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

Mike Eisenstadt   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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