+ Today, he is a fountain pen
Jeremy Lisitza was bar mitzvahed Saturday, April 2, at the offices of the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee. The “fountain pen” joke dates to when that was the gift of choice for the bar mitzvah boy. The ceremony marks the passage of a 13-year-old Jewish male into adulthood and full religious responsibility, though it can take place at any age older than that. It includes the proclamation, “Today, I am a man.” Lisitza, 49, says, “It was something I have been trying to do for 20 some years and it all came together now.” Rabbi Barbara Aiello, from the Kobernick-Anchin retirement community, was his teacher and officiant.
+ 91 is the magic number
Pre-eminent Sarasota philanthropist Bea Friedman recently celebrated her 91st birthday with a “Honey of a Party” at the home of daughter and son-in-law, Ilene Friedman and Greg Gregory. It was accidental that 91 guests were expected but totally deliberate that Phil Mancini got his pastry chef to put 91 bees on an amazing cake with a hive large enough to accommodate them! Among the celebrants: Paul and Doris Wolfe, Joe McKenna, Barbara Simon, Frank and Anne Folsom-Smith, Gretchen and Hal Serrie, Bob and Dottie Garner, Mickey and Marty Fine, and Claire Love and her daughter and son-in-law, Marshal Love and Martin Bosland, visiting from New Jersey.
+ Flamingos invade Casey Key
From the invitation to the lawn, flamingos were all over the place at the Mad Hatter Tea, a brand new event benefiting the local Red Cross, held April 14, at the home of Ping and Fritz Faulhaber. Chairwoman Diane McNeel lost her voice that morning, but Cliff Roles, onsite as a photographer, filled in. Raymond Peper and Nancy Blackburn were in charge of the hat contest. “Most Creative” winner Jeanine Stetson made her own mini chapeau in support of earthquake victims in Japan, where she once lived. Buddy Turman had reserved a special room exclusively for his Gentleman’s Committee but it, too, was invaded — by the distaff side. See photos at YourObserver.com and page 10.
Exit entertaining … Marie Monsky, outgoing board chairwoman of Jewish Family and Children’s Service, and her husband, Donald, hosted a reception for the organization’s major donors at the Sarasota Yacht Club. … Too much of a good thing … A regular on the benefit circuit was recently heard to say, “I can’t take it any more. I need to eat home alone, and I want tuna fish.” … Another sell-out … Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee’s Women’s Seder was a sell-out with 350 guests. Instead of the usual cookbook, guests received a booklet of funny Passover songs. Rich Bergman was the lone male, and he left for the gym before the ladies sat down … Phelps fans take note … Rumor has it that Chef Steven Phelps and partner Rob Trosten are making $100,000 worth of renovations to open Indigenous in the Canvas Café space (and also briefly an Indian restaurant) in Towles Court. Look for it early this summer … Overheard … At a recent Junior League event: cookbook author Katie Lee is still friends with ex-husband Billy Joel and the two even dog sit for each other. How domestic!
+ Black Tie Affair
‘Moonlight FantaSea’ Gala
6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 14 • Sarasota Yacht Club • Ticket $200 • Reservations 953-3877, Ext. 138
Children First was one of the first to hold a major gala at the Sarasota Yacht Club when the new clubhouse opened last year, and it was so successful that it is back again this year. The aquatic theme will drive not just graphics and décor but the auction as well, which includes a trip to Costa Rica, a Sarasota Yacht Club membership and a party for 30 at Sharky’s on the Pier. Children First prepares children from low-income families to enter kindergarten. Event proceeds fund the daily services provided to 600 children from 12 locations in Sarasota County. This is the organization’s largest event of the year; was close to selling out at press time.
+ Today, he is a fountain pen