Tiles - Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU Summer 2023

Page 1

The New

Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU

Annual Digital Newsletter

Summer 2023

Chairman’s Message

Dear Friends,

It’s been 30 years since the Giller family first became involved with MOSAIC, the traveling exhibit, and then the Jewish Museum of Florida! During that time, there have been two constants: change itself and Giller support of the Museum.

In last year’s message, I wrote about our coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic and how the Museum managed to successfully maintain a presence in the community. A year later, much has changed. Normalcy returned to our lives as well as JMOF-FIU! In fact, we had a very successful year with “in person” programs and exhibits.

The Marcia Jo Zerivitz exhibition reflected on the accomplishments of our Founding Executive Director and her dream of collecting the wonderful history of Florida Jews. Marcia created our core exhibit which spans from 1763 through the early 21st century and documented it in her book Jews of Florida: Century of Stories. Much has changed in 250 years and continues to change today. This year, we begin the updating of our core exhibit through the generous support of Elliot Stone, past Chair. The 21st century technology and interactivity will make more of our collection accessible to visitors, especially the younger generations.

Change has come, once again, to our Board as two new directors have joined. Michael Kosnitzky, a prominent attorney and civic leader, has immediately engaged in bringing new Jewish Floridians into the Museum orbit. Reggie FeldmanGoldstein a seasonal resident of Miami Beach, docent and philanthropist, has generously brought new technology to our exhibition system so we can tell a better story.

At my request, each board member has “owned a piece of the Museum” by engaging in a leadership role on a Museum project. Reggie Feldman-Goldstein and Judith Wurtman (another generous supporter) are leading the development of the new core exhibit with our staff and exhibit consultant. Stephen Fain is developing outreach to all of Florida. Dan Weiss provides insights to the future art exhibits under consideration and recommends potential new board members. Elliot Stone liaises with the FIU Foundation and senior university staff.

Sadly, change also came with the passing of our past Chair Norman Levine. Norman was the largest single fundraiser for the Museum, part of the original Museum board, and the longtime sponsor of the Klezmer concerts.

Through all this change, the Giller family support of the Museum has been constant. The support began with my father, Norman Giller, as the Museum’s first president. I have continued as the next generation leadership role in 2006-2008 and since 2018. The Museum’s facilities have been my “baby” since I first put pencil to paper in its design in 1993. I invite you to join me in the adding to the support of JMOF-FIU as I continue the Giller family’s leadership and financial support.

Engage your passion!

Advisory Board Officers Chair Vice-Chairs Advisory Board Members Past Presidents * Linda Widrich Weitz, Miami Beach Leonard A. Wien, Miami Beach Sharyn Wittner, St. Petersburg Linda B. Zilber, Bay Harbor Executive Director Susan Gladstone Pasternack FoundingExecutiveDirector Marcia Jo Zerivitz, L.H.D. * Deceased

Executive Director’s Report

Dear JMOF-FIU Family,

Wherever you are in the world, if you’re reading this, it means that you are already a Museum stakeholder. Which means you have been touched by our rich programming, trailblazing exhibitions, and meaningful mission that guides this institution. If that is indeed the case, this letter is my opportunity to request that you do two simple things.

First, I ask you to visit JMOF-FIU. Whether you are local or have plans to travel to Miami Beach this summer, make it a point to come say hello. Set aside a few hours to soak in all the stunning changes that our hardworking staff has made over the past few years, including a shimmering new roof and fresh coat of paint inside and out. Let history envelop you as your eyes are guided from polished floors bathed in the light streaming through our 80 historic stained glass windows now more visible than ever thanks to our reimagined core exhibition design. Stroll through the sun lit Bess Myerson Gallery to view everchanging exhibitions of photography, paintings, textiles, and more. If you’ve been unable to visit us recently, this is your chance to see JMOF-FIU as you’ve never seen it before. I guarantee you, it will take your breath away.

My second request is equally straightforward; while you’re here, I ask that you take a few minutes to renew your membership. It is only through the support of our members, donors, and sponsors that we are able to bring groundbreaking exhibitions and programming to our vibrant, international, and cross-generational community. It is because of people like you that JMOF-FIU is not only a beautiful place to visit, but also the only place that collects, preserves, and interprets 250+ years of Florida Jewish history.

Now more than ever, it is essential that you step in and step up as a member. When you renew, consider joining at a higher level, perhaps becoming part of the Stained Glass Window Society, a community of donors dedicated to making an even larger difference to Jewish culture and education in Florida. Whatever you are able to give, know that your membership counts. If you’re unable to visit us, please renew your membership TODAY at www.jmof.fiu.edu/support.

In other articles in this issue of Tiles, you will read about the enriching exhibitions and programs we’ve hosted this year, as well as the exciting plans we have for the upcoming season. You may also know that JMOF-FIU is the recipient of a GO Bond from the City of Miami Beach, which will enable us to make further major capital improvements to the interior and exterior of our historic buildings, rendering the JMOF-FIU even more of a gem. None of this would be possible without the small but mighty staff, Nancy, Jacqueline, Todd, Luna, Daniel, Pierre, Eva and our dedicated security guard Evans, who work day and night, weekdays and weekends, to bring everything together behind-the-scenes and to keep us safe. I am incredibly grateful for their dedication, and I want all who care about JMOF-FIU to know how hard they work to bring a world-class cultural arts experience to our visitors.

The Museum is in excellent hands now all it needs is your continued support. Make the choice today to visit us, renew your membership, and continue to be a treasured, essential part of our story.

With gratitude,


From the Curator: Jacqueline Goldstein

This past year the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU held exhibitions from diverse topics, ranging from architecture, environmental art, the stories of the Venezuelan Jewish community, a travelogue from Professor Tudor Parfitt, distinguished scholar, artist Bonnie Lautenberg and the Jewish community in Columbia.

Beginning in May 2022, we presented Giller + Giller: Adventures in Architecture which illustrated the story of Norman Giller, who is considered the founder of Miami Modern (MiMo), a regionalized style of Modernist architecture. Two of his projects, The Carillon Hotel and The Diplomat Hotel, are iconic symbols of the glitz and glamour that transformed Miami into an urban playground. Giller’s work demands attention and recognition and there was no one better than his son, architect Ira Giller, to guide us through this retrospective of Norman’s work. With Ira’s invaluable insight and extensive commentary from Norman himself, the projects shown were more than just brick and mortar, they were windows into a man’s creativity. Ira’s own style builds upon Norman’s legacy with his own renowned work and creative ingenuity adding to the narrative.

On view in the Bess Myerson Gallery was LA ALEGRÍA DE VIVIR: A Moment in Venezuelan Jewish Life Through the Eyes of Silvia Cohen Silvia chose unique moments from her own family and friends’ stories to illustrate Venezuela’s vibrant Jewish community.

Tudor Parfitt’s Remarkable Jewish Journeys explored the travels of Professor Tudor Parfitt. Featuring fieldwork journals, rare photographs, cultural artifacts, and more, this exhibition documented Professor Parfitt's extensive travels over 40 years to some of the most remote Jewish communities on earth. Parfitt is a Distinguished University Professor, the President Navon Professor of Sephardi and Mizrahi Studies, and Founding Director of the Program for Global Jewish Studies at FIU.

Also on view in the Myerson Gallery was the exhibition honoring the life and career of Marcia Jo Zerivitz. (see page 6).

This past year also saw the implementation of The Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab (WPHL) Internship in Community Data Curation here at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, funded by the Mellon Foundation. This internship is an ongoing initiative titled “Community Data Curation: Preserving, Creating, and Narrating Everyday Stories.” The project works in close partnership and collaboration with eight community partners, including the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, where we have been conducting oral histories from local members of the Jewish community, including Bob Hauser, nephew of famed architect Henry Hohauser.

In November of 2022, we opened Environmental Art: Fragile Beauty which explored the powerful allure of nature alongside its fragile state today.

The installations by Beatriz Chachamovitz (seen here), Lauren Shapiro, and the late Myra Lehr utilized different media to convey the elegance of our aquatic ecosystems as well as to cultivate a broad awareness of their delicacy. The artists sought to bring awareness to the beauty of nature in a tangible way, taking art one step further than simply illustrating landscapes.

Through the fall 2023, a retrospective of the work of internationally renowned photographer Arnold Newman is on display along with antique cameras from the 1930s – 1970s, followed by Raymond Elman: The Portraits, on view in October for the Art Basel season. The exhibition features 20 large-scale, mixedmedia portraits accompanied with videos from the people in the portraits, including Jane Leavy, Michelle Oka Doner, Khalila Ali and Sebastian Junger.


From The Registrar: Todd Bothel

It has been a productive year in the registration department. As part of the Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab (WPHL) Mellon Foundation Grant, six oral histories have been conducted and videoed. Four have been edited and uploaded to the dPanther (FIU) online digital platform. Seven additional oral histories recounting the Surfside building collapse were also recorded, two of which have been uploaded to FIU’s dPanther site. In addition, digitized audio of 15 previous oral histories from the museum's collection and their transcripts have been saved. Seven hundred MP3 files of older oral histories from the collection were transferred, digitized, and uploaded to the Registrar’s computer. Over twelve hundred images from the Jewish Floridian photograph collection have been digitally scanned and added to the Master Image Files. All of this work was completed by Alejandro Gonzalez, our Mellon Grant intern.

Additionally, 136 ephemera, photographs and artifacts were cataloged, photographed/scanned, and added to the museum's computerized database. This included a collection of materials from the Eagle ArmyNavy Stores owned by the William Weintraub family (collected during the History Harvest event in March), a Golda Meir sculpture, material from the Etz Chaim Synagogue in Jacksonville, a menu in Hebrew from the Sun City Motel in Miami Beach, a set of Tropic Topics newsletters from the 1969 class from John F. Kennedy Junior High School in North Miami Beach, set of sermon booklets by Rabbi Joseph R. Narot, and a set of commemorative medals (Bess Myerson, Isaac B. Singer, Dara Torres) from the Jewish American Hall of Fame. Last fall, the museum purchased a new computerized collections database system (Re:Discovery) to enhance our collection management. To date, 2,216 records from the old Filemaker Pro system have been converted into Re:Discovery. There are approximately 38,000 records that need to be converted. The to-date completed database will be available online in the coming months. Also, last August, the museum purchased four wireless digital temperature/relative humidity sensors and tracking software from Conserv. The real-time tracked data (updates every 15 minutes) is accessible from the Cloud and helps us better monitor the museum's environment and make adjustments as needed.

History Harvest Continues

We invite you to help us fill gaps in the JMOF collection so that we can better represent our community’s past and present. Bring your old photographs, artifacts, objects, memorabilia, and stories to share with us or use the QR Code to submit photos of items for consideration.

Examples of what we are looking for include: historic ritual objects, artifacts or ephemera related to Sephardic/Mizrahi communities, LGBTQ+ experience among other topics. We will also be collecting oral histories that connect to Florida For additional information contact the JMOF

Marcia Jo Koenigsberg Kerstein Zerivitz, LHD: A Lifelong Passion for Jewish Life & Continuity

This past Spring, JMOF-FIU presented an exhibition honoring the life and career of Marcia Jo Zerivitz. The exhibition documented Marcia Jo’s journey from a small town in West Virginia to established expert on Florida’s Jewish history through many artifacts, documents and photographs.

Public historian Marcia Jo Zerivitz, L.H.D., Founding Executive Director, Jewish Museum of Florida–FIU, is a native West Virginian who has lived in Florida for more than half a century. A leader for Jewish causes since the fifth grade, she has been a trailblazer in the American and Floridian Jewish communities serving national, state, and local organizations and has broken the “glass ceiling woman in many positions.

In 2016, Florida International University awarded her a Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa for her vision and leadership throughout her life to expand knowledge, enrich collective historic memory and cultivate diversity.

The museum hosted a VIP opening reception in honor of Marcia Jo. Guests included Mayor Dan Gelber of Miami Beach, Former Florida State Representative Elaine Bloom, JMOF-FIU Board Chairman Ira Giller and family and friends of Marcia Jo and Elliott Zerivitz.

Following the exhibition opening, Marcia Jo was presented with a proclamation from Mayor Dan Gelber.

We invite you to honor Marcia Jo by making a contribution to JMOF FIU in her honor at jmof.fiu.edu/support. These donations will benefit the Marcia Jo Zerivitz Endowment Fund for Collections and Research.

JMOF Advisory Board Member Dan Weiss, Merle Weiss, Susan Gladstone Pasternack Marcia Jo Zerivitz, Wendy Belkin, Hon. Elaine Bloom Mayor Dan Gelber , Marcia Jo Zerivitz

Education &PublicPrograms:LunaGoldberg

In another exceptional year, the museum hosted 45 academic lectures, musical performances, creative workshops, panels, and more! This year brought with it partnerships new and old, with organizations including the Miami Jewish Film Festival, Miami New Drama,

Exhibitions Opening Soon

Our annual Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Week, presented with Hillel at FIU and the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program at FIU, was the largest to date, welcoming over 700 students to campus, the museum, and beyond. Developed in partnership with more than 30 outside organizations and FIU departments, programs ranged from film screenings and talks on fighting racism and antisemitism, to a powerful ceremony marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day with descendants of Holocaust survivors.

In partnership with The Wolfsonian, the Jewish Museum FIU was proud to once again participate in the City of Miami Beach STEAM+ Program, delivering arts integrated and STEAMinfused curricula to nearly 500 Miami based publicschool students in 8. Our education department welcomed students back to the museum for person field trips and dispatched educators to 14 M Miami Beach for multiple program touchpoints throughout the school year.

The museum also hosted a number of private school groups for in-person field trips to the museum around themes of immigration, family history, and the museum’s 80 historic stained-glass windows.

Seeing Torah (August 16– October 15) The quilt exhibition by Anita Rabinoff-Goldman is a stunning artistic interpretation of a verse from each of the Torah’s 54 portions done with fabric. The small quilts are a visual commentary illuminating the spiritual, political, and feminist lessons of the 54 portions of the Torah that personally resonated with her as an artist, woman, wife, mother, and grandmother.

Raymond Elman: The Portraits (October 22– March 3, 2024) will feature approximately 20 large-scale, mixed-media portraits, combined with curated video clips of the people in the portraits that can be accessed via QR code on a mobile device (phone or tablet). The exhibition will include portraits of Richard Blanco (5th Presidential Inaugural Poet), Michele Oka Doner (creator of mile-long embedded brass sculpture floor at Miami International Airport), Lourdes Lopez (artistic director of Miami City Ballet) and others.

Sponsored by CARTA | FIU, Elman founded the Inspicio Arts publication platform in 2015. The heart and soul of Inspicio Arts is its 500+ video conversations with impactful people in the arts – Pulitzer Prize recipients, United States Poet Laureates, Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, Tony and Pritzker award winners among others.

Richard Saul Wurman Architect, author, artist, creator of the TED Conference

Exhibition Highlight

Lady Liberty: A Bonnie Lautenberg Retrospective

JMOF-FIU kicked off the Art Basel season with the premiere of Lady Liberty: A Bonnie Lautenberg Retrospective. The exhibition celebrated images of powerful women including photographs of Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Hillary Clinton, alongside conceptual works from her series Artistica: Hollywood Meets Art History. Other prominent works in the exhibition featured the Statue of Liberty in Guns Kill, and Tears of Roe, a 7ft x 7ft light-box showing the Statue of Liberty crying bordered by the dates synonymous with the enactment and repeal of Roe v. Wade. Bonnie, who was married to the late New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg, has an extensive background in art and politics and focuses much of her work on American political issues and international relations.

“Our museum was thrilled to premiere this retrospective of Lautenberg’s work,” said Susan Gladstone Pasternack, Executive Director. “The exhibition was so popular that we held it over for an additional month giving us the opportunity to host additional lectures and luncheons featuring Bonnie as guest speaker.” Susan added “every year, our museum’s exhibitions, get attention in the press, on social media, and are talked about everywhere. This can be said about all our exhibits, but this one stood out among the rest.”

Bonnie Lautenberg & Steve Leber Lee & Ray Elman, Leslie & David Lefkowitz Trudy Cejas, Bonnie Lautenberg, Jerry & Adrienne Cohen Jordan Levin, Merle & Danny Weiss, Sandra Schulman Harvey Burstein, Ray Breslin Jose Lima, Bill Spring Michael Kosnitzky, Andrew Gottlieb Susan Gladstone Pasternack & Bonnie Laura Vailati

The Giffords Foundation to Protect Americans from Gun Violence chose JMOF-FIU last March to celebrate the organization’s 10th anniversary. The VIP event showcased a new work by Bonnie Lautenberg titled Guns Kill which was on display as part of the exhibition Lady Liberty: A Bonnie Lautenberg Retrospective Lautenberg created the artwork especially for Gabby Giffords. “I added tears streaming down the face of the Statue of Liberty, the two simple words ‘Guns Kill’ on her crown, and locations of mass shootings written across Lady Liberty’s arm. It saddens me deeply that the list of so many places keeps growing where Americans continue to lose loved ones to gun violence” said Lautenberg.

Speakers at the event included Gabby Giffords, Bonnie Lautenberg and former Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who is now a senior advisor to Giffords.

Contributors to Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence received a first edition, fine art print of the artwork signed by Bonnie Lautenberg. For additional information, contact Giffords.org.

Our museum offers a plethora of programming, events, and exhibitions that are culturally unmatched. We have interesting and thoughtful panel discussions, fun-filled opening parties, and continuously create art and education exhibitions that are both powerful and beautiful. However, with a vacancy in a communications manager, getting the word out on what was going on was a challenge. In steps Daniel Zayas, a communications professional with experience in some of South Florida’s most prominent agencies. Now, with a new communications manager we are able to implement new and effective strategies to continue to push news and information to the public in meaningful ways.

Since Daniel’s arrival in December, we have secured nearly 20 media placements in online and print publications across the country. From articles covering our book talks in Jewish Journal, to cover stories on Mann About Town Magazine about our history, organic secured media has been strong in getting our name and mission out to the masses.

n addition to the museum’s revamped media relations efforts, JMOF-FIU launched an ad campaign to raise awareness surrounding its History Harvest (reference page 5). We partnered with multiple regional Jewish newspapers around Florida to promote the History Harvest in print advertisements, with the goal of enhancing our collection by filling and updating gaps of Florida Jewish history.

Our media and marketing efforts don’t stop there. Since the start of 2023, we have coordinated several media interviews with outlets who are looking to cover our museum, its history, and the stories we house within our walls. These long-lead media opportunities include sit downs with journalists for Moment Magazine, Jewish Currents Magazine, WUCF’s show titled Florida Road Trip and more. Look for JMOF-FIU in your favorite news outlet!

9 Gabby Giffords At JMOF-FIU
Ariel Roman-Harris, Gabby Giffords, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Bonnie Lautenberg, Susan Gladstone Pasternack, Nancy Cohen AsseeninJewishPressof TampaBay, HeritageFlorida, JewishFederationofSarasotaManatee

Membership and More from Nancy Cohen

Dear Friend,

This August, I will begin my 11th year at JMOF-FIU. I was hired in 2013 to oversee museum membership and to run the Jonathan Symons Bnai Mitzvah Project. Prior to joining JMOF-FIU, I worked for one year at Miami Jewish Health Systems and for nine years for Broadway Across America.

I have been fortunate to have had some pretty incredible jobs and worked with some very amazing people. But, the most rewarding has been and continues to be my work on behalf of the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. First as Membership Manager and now as the proud Assistant Director, I have helped our team present more than 50 unique exhibitions and hundreds of programs with diverse themes and subjects. My favorites have included Irene Williams: Queen of Lincoln Road (July 13, 2017-Nov, 2017), Charlie Cinnamon: Legendary Press Agent (June 19 - Sept. 9, 2018), and Through the Hat: The Art of Steve Marcus (March 6, 2019 - May 21, 2019). These and all of our exhibits help to fulfill our mission to advance the understanding and appreciation of Jewish culture, and preserve and share the stories of Jewish life in Florida. I am sure that you too can recall a few of our exhibits that have made an impact on your life and have motivated you to become a member or make a donation to JMOF-FIU.

In recent years, I have seen our membership numbers decrease, a trend that is shared by museums everywhere. JMOF-FIU is considered a major entity in the world of Jewish museums, and it deserves your support. If you were once a member and have allowed your membership to lapse, please renew. If you have never been a member, please join us today. Every member is important to the future of JMOF-FIU from our senior members who contribute $36 annually to our Stained Glass Society members who give $1,250 and above. You can help us reverse the trend and raise our membership levels back up to pre-pandemic levels. Thank you for your continued support of JMOF-FIU. I know you won’t let us down.

Thank You Volunteers & Docents

A steady stream of local, national, and international visitors keeps Eva and our hardworking docents busy. We would like to extend a special thank you to our dedicated docents including Howard Brayer, Reggie Feldman-Goldstein, Melissa Kishel, Elaine Litvak, Caroline Blumberg, Leslie Baum, Harry Zupnik and our newest docent Paula Friedman.

We do need more volunteers. If you love history, meeting new people and are looking to spend a few hours a week doing something worthwhile, please contact Eva at 786-972-3176 or eshvedov@fiu.edu to become a Museum docent or Volunteer. JMOF-FIU needs you!

Where’s Isabel?

One of our most dedicated volunteers was Isabel Bernfeld Anderson. For more than 20 years, Isabel served on the JMOF-FIU Advisory Board and helped out in the administrative office with membership duties including billing, filing and making follow up calls to our new, renewed and lapsed members. She recently moved to Philadelphia to be closer to her family. The Board and Staff wish Isabel all the best in her new home. If you want to send Isabel a note, please contact Nancy Cohen.

We love you Isabel !!!

South Beach Jewish Walking Tour

The two-hour (live) tour, includes an overview of the more than 100 years of Jewish history of Miami Beach; discussion of significant Jewish people and organizations, both present and past, in Miami Beach; and a review of various architectural styles found in the city, including Jewish contributions.

Call Eva at 786-972-3176 information. Cost is $25.00 per person.

Memorials and Tributes

Marking a donation to the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU is a thoughtful and generous way to honor special people for an occasion such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and other celebrations or to pay tribute to loved ones, friends and family who have passed way. To make a donation, log onto jmof.fiu.edu and select Donate. JMOF-FIU gratefully acknowledges these individuals who have made contributions to the museum this year.

In Memory of….

Murray Dubbin

Beth & Les Adler

Judy Benjamin

Marilyn Benjamin

Bruno Barreiro

Alvin & Jane Blake

Ken & Barbara Bloom

Shelly Brodie

Cummings Family

Jared Danziger

Joe & Helene Davis

Judith Feldman

Nancy & Lew Fishman

Judy Gilbert-Gould

Dolores Harris

Larry Hoffman

Daniel Jacobson

Neisen & Ana Kasdin

Robert & Viccy Krawcheck

Gerald & Bonnie Mason

Jan, Jay & Howard Miller

Stephen Morris

Edward & Cathy Newman

Patsy Palmer

Pam Perry

Susan Gladstone Pasternack

Craig & Cammi Rosen

Steve & Joan Rosenthal

Martin & Sharon Rothberg

James Schiff

Davis & Sydney Schaecter


Harriet Segal

In Honor of….

Marcia Jo Zerivitz’s Exhibition

Wendy Belkin

Marcia Jo Zerivitz

Judy & Mark Teitelbaum

Howard Brayer

Catherine Drake

Brianna Johnson

Yaakov Knobloch

Get Well Wishes

Melissa Kishel

Eva Shvedova

Kenneth Bloom

Ellen Rosenblatt

Shirlee Schiller

(Murray Dubbin cont.)

Sarah Shonbrun

Sandra Simon

Jean & Bill Soman

Jeff Stubins

Laurie Turner & Jeff Rubinstein

Brian Perlin & Wendy Traurig

Jacqueline Traurig

Lisa Treister

Daniel & Merle Weiss

Lynn Wiener

Joseph Wieselberg

Keith Arthur & Gail Wicks

Marcia Jo Zerivitz

Arline & Matthew Zucker

Rita Cohen

Ken & Barbara Bloom

David Cypkin

Susan Danis

Carolyn Harrigan

Norman & Minda Katz

Robert & Rosalind Rosenblum

Roberta Segal

Stanley & Joni Tate

Jacqueline Traurig

Brian Perlin & Wendy Traurig

Erich Wasserman

Daniel & Merle Weiss

Rose Lee Ross

Lenore Danziger August

Stephen Fechtor

Janice Rothstein

Cyndi Riccio

Jackie Traurig’s Birthday

Marsha & Jeffrey Gilbert

Elliot Stone’s Birthday

Mitchell Burnstein

Joel & Nancy Poznansky

Amelia Stone

Shirley Kahn’s Birthday

Sandra & Harry Sacks

Carolyn Stein

Norma Orovitz’s Birthday

Harold Marcus

Charles Sands Birthday

Norma & Michael Orovitz

51st Anniversary

David Lefkowitz

Leslie Lefkowitz

Marjory Drewes

Lenore Gaynor & Family

Inge Gatto

Eva Shvedova


Harriette Gilbert

Amy & David Scharlin

Norman Levine

JMOF-FIU Board & Staff

Marcia Jo Zerivitz

Chana & Abram Kozolchyk

Marta Olchyk

Rita Sipser

John Arvanitis

Shirley Seitlin

Arlyne Wayner

Richard Wurtman

Eva Shvedova

JMOF-FIU Board & Staff

Steve Turner

Charles & Susan Stratton


Metropolitan Klezmer returns to Miami Beach Bandshell on Sunday, January 21th, 2024.

Presented by JMOF-FIU, this klezmer group brings eclectic exuberance to Yiddish musical genres from all over the map. Performing vibrant versions of lesser-known gems from wedding dance, trance, folk, swing and tango styles, as well as soundtrack material from vintage Yiddish films, they reinvent tradition with both irreverence and respect. Tickets on-sale soon!


Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU By the Numbers

9,800 Museum Visitors

JMOF-FIU is truly an internationally known cultural destination. In the past year, the museum’s guest book logged visitors from Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, England, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Russia, Scotland, Venezuela and more.

Museum staff created welcome packages in different languages including Hebrew, Russian, Portuguese and Italian.

9 Unique museum exhibitions

1,300 Miami Beachbased public school students in grades


Grants and Donations


Estate of Richard Wurtman

$50,000- $99,000

City of Miami Beach

Florida Department of State

Jeffrey & Reggie Feldman-Goldstein

Estate of Norman Levine

Miami Dade Cultural Affairs

Elliot Stone & Bonnie Sockel Stone


Helene Dubbin & Family

Greater Miami Jewish Federation

Ira & Honey Giller

Commissioner Sally Heyman

15 Community Partnership Programs

54 South Beach Walking Tours


Barbara & Kenneth Bloom

Fain Family Foundation

Michael Kosnitzky

Leslie & David Lefkowitz

Joel & Nancy Poznansky

Jacqueline Simkin

Solomon Family Foundation

John & Jo Sumberg

Meryl & Daniel Weiss

Judy Wurtman

Mollie Zweig Foundation

15 Meetings & Special Community Events

45 academic lectures, musical performances, creative workshops, panels

Thank you to the generous supporters listed here. Through their philanthropy they have helped preserve the museum’s extensive and growing collection of Florida Jewish history.

They have made it possible for JMOF-FIU to provide free multicultural educational programs to our area school children and provide resources to create our groundbreaking exhibitions.

But more than all this, their donations ensure the FUTURE of our museum for this generation and for future generations. You can make a difference too! Please consider making a gift TODAY!


An afternoon with Fran Weissler

The Broadway producing legend reminisced and shared “behind the curtain” stories about her storied Broadway producer career.

Exhibition Opening LA ALEGRÍA DE VIVIR: A Moment in Venezuelan Jewish Life Through the Eyes of Silvia Cohen

Upon Thy Gates, The Elaine K. and Norman Winik Mezuzah Collection arrives at JMOF-FIU from the Oregon Museum of the Jewish People and Center for Holocaust Education in Portland. Curated by Kenneth Helphand and sponsored by Jo & John Sumberg

Gail Koch, Linda Swartz, Fred Swartz, Bernice Schwartz and Frieda Dragifi Jerome Cohen, HarveyBurstein, Larry Cohen Jeff & Reggie FeldmanGoldstein Liz Kitzer, Danielle Desrochers Silvia Cohen and Friends at the Opening of LA ALEGRÍA DE VIVIR Curator Prof Kenneth Helphand

Around the Museum

A sampling of programs and events in 2022-2023

Prof. Oren Stier, Luna Goldberg, Toshimi Abe-Janiga, Rabbi Elchonon Abramchik, Dr. Steven Heine Photographer Heidi Harf Emerging Jews of Cali, Colombia Susan Gladstone Pasternack & Polish Ambassador Marek Magierowski Cast Members of The Courage. Presented by Miami New Drama Author Gloria Nagy in conversation with Jacqueline Goldstein Members of the GMCVB: Petra Brennan, Graylyn Swilley-Woods, Connie Kinnard, Herlinda Lombardi, Ella Pedre with Nancy Cohen Lauren Shapiro, Beatriz Chachamovitz, and Silvia Cohen at Children from Chabad of South beach enjoy a pony ride in the JMOF-FIU parking lot for Purim Bonnie Lautenberg at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation Women’s Philanthropy Luncheon

Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU

301 Washington Avenue

Miami Beach, FL 33139



The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU serves as a major cultural attraction and source of information for a wide audience of residents, tourists, students, and scholars of all ages and backgrounds from throughout the state, nation, and the world. Located in a former synagogue that housed Miami Beach’s first Jewish congregation, the Museum’s restored 1936 Art Deco building and 1929 original synagogue are both on the National Register of Historic Places. The 301 building features nearly 80 stained glass windows, a copper dome, marble bimah, and many Art Deco features including chandeliers and sconces. The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

Wednesday - Sunday 10am-4pm

Next time you visit the museum, be sure to stop by the Orovitz Museum Store, your one-stop shop for classic and modern Judaica, all hand-selected by Store & Group Tour Manager, Eva Shvedova. Whether you’re searching for gifts, precious seder plates, designer mezuzah cases, Florida history books or unique jewelry, you’re sure to find something you and your family will cherish for years.

The Orovitz Museum Store is open

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