Search results may contain past events.

I need Help.

People You Should Know: The MCA Volunteers

By Marc Rosenweig

If you’re interested in kayaking, biking, pickleball, science, current events, book club, trivia and more, MCA has a lot to offer. But it’s only possible through the work of members who volunteer to run these activities. Let’s meet some MCA members who make things happen.

Bob Davidson runs the MCA science group along with Mel Kaplan. Davidson’s background as an engineer made him a natural for the science group.  

Bob and his wife Shellie Specter met in college in Wisconsin and became full-time Naples residents when he retired in 2017.  

Shellie got connected to WCA and told me about MCA,” said Davidson. Specter is well-known as someone who welcomes newcomers to the community through both WCA and Temple Shalom.

“We define science very broadly,” said Davidson. “We explain things that are going on in science that are interesting to people.” MCA members volunteer as speakers with an occasional outside speaker. Topics are wide ranging. There are approximately six sessions each season.

The group has heard about chemical process safety (very timely after the train derailment in Ohio) and how carbon has shaped civilizations. When we spoke, the group, which usually numbers 20 to 30 participants, was about to hear about EV battery development as the push to electric cars heats up. 

At one session, a FGCU professor discussed the latest in DNA analysis. Of course, climate change related issues are often on the agenda. Davidson is looking for someone to discuss artificial intelligence. 

Davidson appreciates the value of MCA. New friendships develop and knowledge is shared. He adds, “It’s a really great thing to have in your life.”

Stan Farb runs the MCA book club. He’s originally from the Baltimore area where he was an ear, nose, throat, head and neck doctor. He considers moving to Naples one of the best decisions of his life, along with marrying his late wife, and going into medicine.

“We were not Florida lovers,” said Farb. “In 1995, we were at Marco Island and celebrated a birthday dinner at the Ritz Carlton on Pelican Bay. Three days later, we bought a condo at Pelican Bay.”

Farb says he was part of the original MCA group when it was founded more than a decade ago. He later took on the book club. He says about two-thirds of the books they read are non-fiction. There are some World War II books, including several on the Holocaust. 

Recent titles include Tough Luck, about the legendary Chicago Bears quarterback Sid Luckman, whose father went to jail for murder. They also read Billion Dollar Whale, which focuses on a thief in Malaysia who also bankrolled the movie Wolf of Wall Street.

The book Breakthrough looks at the discovery of Insulin. Ticking Clock takes readers behind the scenes at CBS’s 60 Minutes through the eyes of its award-winning former producer Ira Rosen.

“My contribution to MCA pales in comparison to time others spend,” said Farb. He says it’s a very valuable experience to volunteer through MCA at the food bank or on Mitzvah Day. “You see that many people have needs in Collier County that you didn’t realize.     

“It’s gratifying to see MCA grow to about 780 members after Covid,” said Farb, who adds that reading books can provide knowledge, excitement, romance and fun. 

Ron Mutchnik leads the MCA current events group and often arranges trivia contests. As a youngster, he lived four blocks from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, then moved to New Rochelle, N.Y. By full disclosure, we both graduated from New Rochelle High School (NRHS) at different times. 

Mutchnik played tennis at NRHS and SUNY New Paltz, then went on to a career as a school principal and tennis coach. 

He says current events group participants receive articles each month from The New Yorker magazine to spark discussions on specific topics. They’ve looked at two views of wars and two views of the importance of statistics. 

“All you have to do is ask ‘what do you think?’ and the group carries the ball,” said Mutchnik. “We have lively, but respectful debates. We try to avoid politics. We have people who know a lot, especially when it comes to history and Israel.”

In March, he organized the first in-person trivia session since Covid. “I love trivia,” says Mutchnik. “It amounts to opening a box in my head. There’s something for everyone. It gives me a lot to look forward to. It’s like Cheers where everybody knows your name.”

2022 - 2023 MCA Volunteers

Here’s a list of other volunteers.  Thanks to each of you for all of your help. MCA could not succeed without you. And if we didn't include your name, we apologize for the oversight. Please know that we greatly appreciate your assistance. 

Don Belmont

Spencer Forman

Ira Kushnir

Steve Schreier

Morris Binder

Sid Freund

Jay Leib

Jim Sernovitz

Bob Blank

Ken Getnick

Marty Levine

Bruce Sherman

Burt Blumkin

Mark Goetz

Bob Lubin

Phil Sherman

Gene Briskman

Dick Goldblatt

Ken Marcus

Jerry Shier

John Caragliano

Gene Goldenziel

Jeff Margolis

Chuck Siegel

Neil Chessin

Avi Goldstein

Ed Margulies

Jim Simon

David Cohen

Larry Goodman

Michael Marks

Michael Sobol

Harvey Cohen

Alan Gordon

Jeff Morgenstern

Dan Sussman

Mark Cohn

Michael Gordon

Ron Mutchnik

Michael Swartz

Bob Davidson

Howard Greenfield

Les Nizin

Richard Wajs

Dan Downing

Burton Hirsch

Harvey Oriel

Terry Weiner

Stan Farb

Steve Iser

Glenn Perrin

Max Weisberg

Gary Farber

Larry Israelite

Barry Potekin

Larry Weiss

Michael Feldman

Marty Isserlis

Richard Prosten

Mel Zahn

Miki Fields

Mel Kaplan

Marc Rosenweig

Marc Fleisher

Jerry Kumin

Ed Rozen

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software