Compiled by Michelle Colesanti,

Rabbi/Stand Up Comic Appearing At Congregation Beth Shalom

Enjoy 90 minutes of non-stop laughter at Congregation Beth Shalom of Brandon, 706 Bryan Rd. in Brandon on Saturday, January 6, when ‘the world’s only practicing clergyman doing stand-up comedy…intentionally,’ returns to Derry by popular demand in a program open to all in the community and universally enjoyable.

There’s a reason why Sirius/XM satellite radio plays Rabbi Bob Alper’s comedy bits several times daily, often sandwiched between Bob Newhart and Jerry Seinfeld: Bob’s unique background…he’s an ordained rabbi who served congregations for 14 years and holds a doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary…prepared him well for a 28 year comedy career with wonderfully unique material presented in a way that’s intelligent, sophisticated, and 100% clean.

He is the author of three books that further showcase his considerable talents: Life Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This, an inspirational collection now in its fifth printing, the award-winning full-color cartoon book A Rabbi Confesses, and the newly-published Thanks. I Needed That. He has also produced two best-selling comedy CDs, and a 102-minute DVD, What are you…a comedian?

Tickets are on sale and cost $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The show begins at 7 p.m.

Call 681-6547 for more information or visit and follow the link to purchase tickets online.

Next Level Church FishHawk Opens Doors At Its Permanent Location

Next Level Church (NLC) FishHawk invites you to its official launch on Sunday, January 28 at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. at its permanent location at 10540 Browning Rd. in Lithia. Regular service times will continue on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.

For the past three years, NLC has been among the top 10 fastest-growing churches in America. It continues to live out its mission by opening new locations to reach as many people as possible with the hope and love found in Jesus.

If you are interested in learning more about NLC FishHawk, check out or email the FishHawk pastor at or 740-225-3095.

Congregation Beth Shalom Presents An Evening With Author Morris Wolff, Esq.
Meet and hear Morris Wolff, Esq. who unraveled the mystery of Raoul Wallenberg’s disappearance and sued the former Soviet Union for Wallenberg’s release.

It will take place at Congregation Beth Shalom, 706 Bryan Rd. in Brandon on Saturday, January 20 at 7 p.m.

Raoul Wallenberg, a Righteous Christian who saved thousands of Jewish lives during WWII mysteriously disappeared when the Soviet Union liberated Hungary. Wolff has been awarded the United Nations Peace Award for Humanitarian Service, and the National Council of Christian and Jews Medal for humanitarian service for his work in contributing to the United States Civil Rights Act of 1964. A private wine and cheese event will kick off the evening.

Tickets for the private event are $18. Wolff will present highlights from his book, Whatever Happened to Raoul Wallenberg and will autograph copies for sale. Donations appreciated and all are welcome. Please RSVP to the congregation office, at 681-6547.

Scrapbooking Event At Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church Benefits Missions

Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church is hosting a weekend scrapbooking event on Friday, January 19 from 6:30-10 p.m. and Saturday, January 20 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Registration fees include workspace and a light dinner for Friday; a light breakfast, lunch, drinks and dessert for Saturday. You must bring your own supplies. Registration fees for both days are $45 (Friday only is $25 and Saturday only is $30). There will be raffle prizes and a Creative Memories rep will be there on Saturday for some make-and-takes. 

Proceeds from this event will benefit Holy Innocents’ mission trips. The event will be held at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church, 604 N. Valrico Rd. in Valrico. You can register at  For more info, call the church during business hours at 689-3130.

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Michelle Colesanti
Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.