Since 2010, The Jewish Historical Society of South West Florida (SWFL) has been collecting and preserving the evidentiary trail of the emerging Jewish community of the region and its pioneering and notable individuals.
The newest film of the Telly Award-winning Jewish Historical Society of SWFL’s original documentary series is Gene Goodman –The Song Meister.
Originally from Chicago, at 104, Gene Goodman is virtually a charter member of a small, elite group of music publishers. Abe Olman Publisher Award recipient, Mr. Goodman was inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame and is the man who brought you countless classics, like Frank Sinatra’s “That Old Feeling,” the immortal “I’ll Be Around,” recorded by the Mills Brothers, and that favorite Christmas song “I Saw Mummie Kissing Santa Claus.” Although never trained as a musician, like his famous older brother, clarinetist Benny, Gene’s music publishing career spanned seven decades. In this intimate interview captured last summer, he reminisces about his songwriting and much more from his Naples FL home.
Elena Rosner “When Destiny Called” is about a SWFL Jewish Pioneering woman. Like many Holocaust survivors, Elena is resilient and intuitive. The ability to put the two and two together helped her in many situations and, in a way, groomed her for the ultimate experience of becoming the idea generator and, together with her Marco Island beach buddy, Marjorie Seltzer, chief organizer of the Jewish congregation on the then developing island. There were other Jewish people living on the island, some for a decade or longer at the time. None of them made that important common-sense connection to secure a plot that had been already designated as a potential church by the land developer and reassign it to the Jewish house of worship. It took a woman, who lived through the bombings in Rome and knew the terrible outcome of religious persecution firsthand to get off her comfortable beach chair and just do it.
Marina Berkovich is a non-practicing CPA who enjoyed a successful accounting career, followed by teaching and serving as dean of college administration. Over the past twenty years, Marina moved into documentary film and music production, and is a co-recipient of multiple TELLY Awards. Her first book was Russian lyrical poetry, One-Way Correspondence. She is now completing her next two books and serves as President of the Jewish Historical Society of Southwest Florida.
Thursday, April 29
3pm EDT | 2pm CDT | Noon PDT
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Photo Courtesy: Jewish Historical Society of Southwest Florida website