Federation Star - May 2024

Page 1

Community-wide Yom HaShoah

Everyone is invited to a May 4 service and candle lighting ceremony. More about this and other May events … 10

Discover your creative side this summer! 10

State of our Federation

In 2022, our Federation made a strategic plan for the years 2022-2027 in which our Federation’s vision and mission were clearly stated:

• Vision – For our Federation to be the central communal voice for the Jewish community of Naples and to be the supportive thread of our Jewish community.

• Mission – To enhance and enrich the quality of Jewish life by supporting charitable, educational, humanitarian and social service needs of the Jewish community locally, nationally, overseas and the state of Israel. With our vision and mission stated, Jewish Federation of Greater Naples is in full bloom, and we are well on our way to establishing a major presence within our local, national and international communities.

New building, members and programming

membership has reached 1,650 women, and MCA’s membership has reached 860 men. Through the leadership of Patti Boochever and Michael Sobol and their boards, WCA and MCA, along with our own Jewish Federation of Greater Naples committees, have had more than 750 various programs this season in our building. That means that more than 1,500 people visited our building each week. Federation programming through the 2023-2024 year included our celebration of Israel (Yom Ha’Atzmaut), Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), hosting the Israeli Scouts, a Kristallnacht program

that was sponsored by the Catholic/Jewish Dialogue and, of course, our community solidarity event for Israel in October, at which more than 500 community members in person and 200 people online showed their love, care and support of Israel.

Our Jewish Federation of Greater Naples community, with support of the greater Naples community, has been able to raise over $1 million dollars for the Israel Emergency Campaign in support of Israel and its ongoing war.

We also enjoyed magician, Joshua Jay, and the Matzah Ball for those younger than 55. The Jewish Book Festival began with Mitch Albom, who has authored multiple wellknown books such as “Tuesdays with Morrie,” then continued throughout the season with eight additional authors and lectures. Our Annual Community Campaign Kickoff featured Joshua Malina. We participated in Naples’ Annual MLK Walk. Our Major Gifts event featured Julie Platt (who is Board Chair of Jewish Federations of North America and cousin of Jane Schiff). We filled Schiff Hall and enjoyed a sing along with the Alta Rockers, a Pink Challah evening for Breast Cancer Awareness and multiple Lion of Judah and Pomegranate events for the Women of Philanthropy. Our PJ Library program for younger children featured numerous programs throughout the year, including Rick Recht, Oil on Canvas Art Classes

The Nina Iser Jewish Cultural Center has enabled our Federation to host major events and has enabled the Women’s Cultural Alliance and the Men’s Cultural Alliance to reach unprecedented memberships. WCA’s

continued on page 2

Published by Jewish Federation of Greater Naples CELEBRATING JEWISH LIFE IN GREATER NAPLES, ISRAEL AND THE WORLD STAR FEDERATI N SERVING NAPLES, MARCO ISLAND AND THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES INSIDE THIS ISSUE: 16 Women’s Cultural Alliance 18 Men’s Cultural Alliance 20 Community Focus 25 Tributes 23 Jewish Interest 25 Organizations 27 Rabbinical Reflections 28 Synagogue News 31 Focus on Youth 35 Community Directory Jewish Federation of Greater Naples 4720 Pine Ridge Road Naples, FL 34119 Non Profit Org U.S. Postage PAID Fort Myers, FL Permit No 521 www.JewishNaples.org Y May 2024 – Nissan/Iyar 5784 Y Vol. 33 #9 NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE Contribute to the Annual Community Campaign today Click “Donate” at jewishnaples.org OF GREATER NAPLES
PLEASE HELP US BUILD COMMUNITY! Publishing the FederationStar would not be possible without our advertisers.
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Nat Ritter Federation Board Chair
Save the Dates Two summer Federation events are already planned for those staying in Paradise. 14

state of our federation...continued from page 1 a guitarist who performed family singalongs here at our Federation. I have not mentioned the programming WCA and MCA had. Combined, at least 700 of their programs were held this year as well. These are only a few of the events that Federation has hosted … we would be here until next season if I named them all!

Wow, what a year this has been! Not everything has been ideal. We have had our hiccups. We finally resolved the sound issues in Schiff Hall (we think), and we continue to try to resolve the HVAC issues in the building. We added a full-time security guard, and we continue to search for additional personnel to allow the building to be open on more weekends and additional evenings.

Under the guidance of Steve Stome and the Finance and Audit Committee, the outstanding bank loan on the Nina Iser Jewish Cultural Center could be satisfied by the end of this fiscal year or the end of this calendar year. The Finance and Audit committee also commissioned an agent to determine how much money should be reserved annually for future building repairs and maintenance.

New and improved website

If you have not checked out Jewish Federation of Greater Naples’ new website, please do so. It is informative, concise and presents our Federation in a new light. I’m sure you’ve all noticed huge changes in the platform of our emails.

Our average open rate for our emails is now 61%, roughly double the nonprofit industry average. Under the supervision of Tammy Katz and Beth Wolff, the Marketing Committee has made outstanding strides in the presentation and subject matter of our social media. Whenever you see these ladies, please let them know how much you appreciate all their talent and hard work along with our wonderful emails and website. Thank you, Tammy and Beth!

Dynamic education

Jeff Zalasky and Myra Benedikt, chairs of the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Israel and Overseas Committee, respectively, have done an incredible job of offering dynamic speakers and educating our Jewish community on antisemitism, the history of the Israeli/ Palestinian crisis, a worthwhile Day of Learning and much, much more to make their committee’s speakers and programs most memorable. Thank you, Jeff and Myra!

“Lives Secure” and other initiatives

A new initiative, the Secure Community Network (SCN), has started throughout the U.S. called “Live Secure.” Through SCN, JFGN has formed a consortium with the Federations of Lee and Charlotte Counties and the Gulfcoast Federation. We will share a regional security advisor who will evaluate the security needs of Jewish agencies in their respective

“When Harry Met Sally”


Tuesday, June 25, 3-4:30 p.m. to discuss why the movie

"When Harry Met Sally" still resonates with us and the magic of Billy Crystal.

Watch this movie in advance at your leisure, then come talk about it.

$10 pp.

Refreshments and appetizers will be served.

Please register at https://JFGN.regfox.com/when-harry-met-sally-discussion so we can plan accordingly.

Nina Iser Jewish Cultural Center

regions. It will then be up to each agency to implement the recommendations and find funding for the improvements.

Michael Masters, president and CEO of the Secure Community Network, will be in Naples May 7 to discuss “Live Secure” and its benefits to our community.

An additional program, brought to Federation’s attention by Larry Israelite and expected to be initiated this summer, will match community members who are unable to (or should not) drive with volunteer drivers who can take them where they would like to, or need to, go. Initially, the service will focus on members of the Jewish community who want to attend Federation events, local synagogues or temples, doctor appointments and/or a grocery store. Later, we hope to expand to include all members of the greater Naples community. More information will be available as the final program is developed.

And yes, our Federation is still planning our mission to Israel, Dubai, and Abu Dubai Oct. 28-Nov. 13. An informational meeting was held April 15 at the Nina Iser Jewish Cultural Center. We hope you were able to attend.

It takes a village

Let us not forget the importance of our strong staff — Reneé Bialek, Alicia Feldman, Courtney DeVault, Eduardo Avila, Amber Ferren, L.C. Velasco, Michelle Cunningham, Linda Sherman, Erika Francisco, Phil Zoltek, Pat Pastorius and T.J. Swartz. Without their

support, we would not be able to achieve the extraordinary goals we have set for ourselves.

Also, I would like to thank all Jewish Federation of Greater Naples’ committees and subcommittees and our Annual Campaign Committee for all their wonderful support and work. Without you, we could not have supported numerous agencies and had all the wonderful programs this year. We would also like to thank Marcy Aizenshtat for her creativity, time and effort with centerpieces for the annual meeting.

Finally, we want to continue our strong programming and educational development so we can continue to meet the expectations of our Jewish community. As you are aware, CEO/President Jeffrey Feld has announced his retirement effective Jan. 31, 2025. Our search committee, headed by Jane Schiff and Marc Saperstein, is tasked with filling the chair that Feld has nurtured and cared for. Think about the progress our Federation has made in the 10 years he has been part of our community. He intended to build a community and create community spirit — and that he has! The search will be no simple task with all that Feld has accomplished.

We are so fortunate to have a strong, healthy and growing Jewish Federation of Greater Naples. “ Chazak, chazak, v’nitchazek … from strength to strength, may we be strengthened.”

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Dr. Nathaniel Ritter elected as Board Chair for second year Power of Community Celebration and Annual Meeting

n Sunday, April 7, Jewish Federation of Greater Naples held its Power of Community Celebration and Annual Meeting. Federation Board Chair Nat Ritter convened those assembled to begin the program and meeting.

Nominating Committee Chair Jane Schiff first thanked board members whose terms have expired: Paula Filler, Merlin Lickhalter, Robin Mintz, Stuart Price and Jeff Zalasky, who each received a certificate of appreciation. Schiff then read the names of board members with terms expiring in April 2025 — Frank Baum, Myra Benedikt, Rosalee Bogo, Harvey Cohen, Marcia Cohodes, Steve Iser, Jane Schiff, Anne Schuchman, Arlene Sobol, Steve Strome, Jay Weiss and Beth Wolff.

The nominating committee has recommended the following for the slate of board members with terms that will expire in April 2026: Felicia Anchor, Shelly Bell, Mark Blaskey, Max Deifik, Cheryl Ginsburg, Mia Hyatt, Larry Israelite, Tammy Katz, Elliot Lerner, Joel Pittelman, Nat Ritter, Michael Rubenstein and Marc Saperstein. Schiff made a motion to elect the board members recommended by the

Nominating Committee. The motion was seconded from the floor and passed when Board Chair Nat Ritter took the vote.

In addition to voters present, Federation received 274 proxies in favor of electing these candidates.

Ritter then asked Schiff to present the slate of Federation officers for the 2024–25 year. Schiff announced that the Nominating Committee recommended the following:

• Board chair – Nat Ritter

• Vice Chairs – Robin Mintz, Marc Saperstein and Arlene Sobol

• Secretary – Rosalee Bogo

• Treasurer – Steve Strome

• Immediate past chair – Jane Schiff

After Ritter instructed that only board members could vote, Schiff made the

Committee. The motion was seconded and the board voted in favor of this motion. As Federation president and CEO, I installed the board members and the officers.

Numerous awards were presented at the Power of Community Celebration: Patricia J. Adkins Youth Leadership Award, Human Needs Award, Stand up for Justice Award, Annual Community Campaign Award and the Power of Community Award.

Ritter expressed his appreciation to everyone for attending, then adjourned the meeting/program.

3 May 2024 Federation Star JEWISH FEDERATION
motion to elect the slate of officers as recommended by the Nominating
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Karen Deutsch presented Ne’Eman award

The Board of Directors of Jewish Federation of Greater Naples was pleased to present the distinguished award of “Ne'Eman" to Karen Deutsch at its March board meeting. This award was provided to demonstrate our gratitude for her dedication and hard work in various leadership positions at Jewish Federation of Greater Naples. The entire board wanted to recognize Duetsch’s personal contribution of time, energy and passion in serving our community for more than 10 years.

As many of you know, Deutsch was a member and then became chair of the Allocations Committee. This committee does the challenging work of making sure only the worthiest of beneficiary organizations receive our financial support. Later, Deutsch began working on the Annual Campaign to help raise funds. She quickly became chair of the Annual Campaign with the enormous responsibility of organizing, training and leading a cadre of volunteers who are responsible for all the fundraising. Each year, the Annual Campaign supports all our programming and funds our entire philanthropic

initiatives here in Naples, the United States and wherever Jews are in need around the world.

After her outstanding performance in this area, Deutsch was given the additional responsibility of raising funds for our Capital Campaign and legacy initiative, assuming the role of finance and

resource development chair. Later, she also assumed responsibility as vice chair of the board. We are deeply grateful for all of Karen Deutsch’s selfless dedication to making a positive difference in our community and for Jews in need around the world.

Welcome guests with a brick paver

Would you like to add your name to a brick paver as a welcome to guests visiting our new Nina Iser Jewish Cultural Center? Contact me at eavila@jewishnaples.org or 239-263-4205.

4720 Pine Ridge Road Naples, FL 34119

Phone: 239.263.4205


Email: info@jewishnaples.org


Board Chair: Nathaniel Ritter

Vice chairs: Robin Mintz, Marc Saperstein, Arlene Sobol

Secretary: Rosalee Bogo

Treasurer: Steve Strome

Immediate Past Chair: Jane Schiff

Board of Directors

Felicia Anchor, Frank Baum, Shelly Bell, Myra Benedikt, Mark Blaskey, Patti Boochever, Harvey Cohen, Marcia Cohodes, Max Deifik, Paula Filler, Cheryl Ginsburg, Mia Hyatt, Steve Iser, Larry Israelite, Tammy Katz, Elliot Lerner, Joel Pittelman, Michael Rubenstein, Anne Schuchman, Michael Sobol, Jay Weiss, Board Member Emeritus: Alvin Becker, Emerita, Phyllis Seaman

Past Board Chairs

Gerald Flagel, Dr. William Ettinger, Ann Jacobson (z’’l), Sheldon Starman, Bobbie Katz, Rosalee Bogo, Judge

Norman Krivosha (z’’l), Alvin Becker, Jane Schiff

Synagogue Representatives

Stan Alliker, Cantor Donna Azu, Rabbi Ariel Boxman, Rabbi Ammos

Chorny, Joshua Garfield, Rabbi Mendel

Gordon, Rabbi Mendy Greenberg, Rabbi Mark Gross, Joseph Henson, Rabbi Howard Herman, Rabbi Adam Miller, Charles Flum, Rabbi James Perman, Dr. Arthur Seigel, Len Teitelbaum, Rabbi Fishel Zaklos


Jeffrey Feld: Federation President & CEO

Eduardo Avila: Campaign Associate

Reneé Bialek: Program Director

Michelle Cunningham: Receptionist

Courtney DeVault: Accounting Manager

Alicia Feldman: Development Director

Amber Ferren: PJ Library Coordinator

Communications Manager

Federation's mission is to enhance and enrich the quality of Jewish life by recognizing and supporting the charitable, educational, humanitarian and social service needs of the Jewish community locally, nationally, overseas and in the state of Israel.

Programs include:

• Annual Community Campaign

• Celebrate Israel

• Educational & Cultural Programs

• Israel and Overseas Committee

• Israel Scouts

• Jewish Book Festival

Indicate how you want your engraved brick to read, using the grid below for the size brick you are purchasing. Each square is the space for one letter or number. Each row counts as one line of text, only use the amount of lines specified below for your brick.

12” x 12” Engraved Brick - room for 8 lines of text with 20 characters per line ($1,800)

8” x 8”


room for 6 lines of text with 20 characters per line ($720)

x 8” Engraved Brick - room for 3 lines of text with 20 characters per line ($360)

• Jewish Community Relations Council

• Jewish Young Professionals

• Jewish Russian Cultural Alliance

• Men’s Cultural Alliance

• PJ Library

• Publication of the Federation Star and Connections magazine

• Singles Social Group

• Women’s Cultural Alliance

• Women’s Philanthropy

• Youth Activities Committee –sponsoring youth education and scholarships for Jewish Summer Camp and Israel Experiences

4 May 2024 Federation Star JEWISH FEDERATION
Manager Published by Published by Jewish Federation of Greater Naples CELEBRATING JEWISH LIFE IN GREATER NAPLES, ISRAEL AND THE WORLD STAR FEDERATI N SERVING NAPLES, MARCO ISLAND AND THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES BRICK PAVER ORDER FORM - Donor Information Name ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address _________________________________________________________________________________________________ City ________________________________________________ State _________________ Zip Code __________________________ Email __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Donation Amount (S) ______________________________________________________________________________________
Pat Pastorius: Facility
Receptionist Phil
to: JFGN, 4720 Pine Ridge Road, Naples, FL 34119.
Make your check payable to JFGN and send
with this completed form,
Marcia Cohodes, Phyllis Seaman, Goldie Bertone, Honoree Karen Deutsch, Jane Schiff, Rosalee Bogo, Lisa Ratner and Paula Filler

Our core purpose at the Nina Iser Jewish Cultural Center

Our season is coming to an end and so many of our friends are heading back to their other home up north. It has been a wonderfully active season in the first full year in our beautiful Nina Iser Jewish Cultural Center. Everything we dreamed for the building has happened. Meetings, fundraising events, lectures, book and film festivals and much more have all brought well over 1,500 people to our building each week.

Building community is just one of the purposes of this incredible structure, but more importantly, it is the business location of the Federation, whose purpose is to raise money to support social welfare, social services and educational needs for the Jewish people and to ensure Jewish continuity.


does this mean?

• We provide food, health care and companionship so no one fights adversity alone.

• We make Jewish learning accessible by providing scholarships when needed, send kids to Jewish camp and attempt to give them a strong sense of identity.

• We give aid worldwide for those in distress, and we are at the forefront when emergencies arise. We have done this in Ukraine, Israel and for emergencies of nature.

Where Your Dollars Go 2023

Many people come from communities that do not have a Federation educating their members on how JFNA takes on this responsibility for all Jews around the world. Maybe your Federation was located in a JCC and less emphasis was on the humanitarian work Federation does. I hope you will acknowledge what our Federation has provided for this community. A secure, beautiful place to enjoy yourselves with Jews from all over North America. Your generosity in helping with our campaign will help us succeed in practicing tikum olam (repairing the world), and we can continue to support this beautiful building and provide security for you when you return next season.

Our 2024 Annual Community Campaign will end on June 30. We recently set up a banner showing the thermometer of the campaign currently and another banner showing where the money we raise is allocated. It will be moved to different locations around the building. We hope by providing this list of where the money goes, it will give more guests and members who are in the Nina Iser Jewish Cultural Center a reason to

support what Federation is making possible for this community, for Israel and around the world.

Help us reach our goal of $1,750,000. Allocations begin soon, and the needs that must be met are great. Thank you to all who have made their pledge for this campaign.

Now more than ever, no gift touches more lives.


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Lion of Judah Society members enjoy brunch

Royal Poinciana Golf Club provided a beautiful setting for the Lion of Judah member brunch on March 17. Held in the lovely Garden Room and decorated with a variety of spring flowers within a white bird cage, the spring theme continued with napkin rings featuring birds and butterflies. The 52 attending members considered the brunch and speaker a roaring success!

Speaker Jeannie Opdyke Smith described an emotional story of horrific events endured by her mother, Irena Opdyke, the heroine of the day. Celebrated as a Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem for saving lives during the Holocaust, Irena was a Catholic woman. Her daughter describes the stunning brutality, sexual assaults, eventual survival and the amazing coincidences that followed her life’s story. This smart, strongwilled, savvy woman saved others through her cunning intelligence, both during and after the war. She made it her life’s work to make sure the world could not deny the atrocities and inhumane brutality that occurred during the Holocaust.

Irena’s daughter became the torch bearer of her mother’s personal story in an emotional and moving way, bringing many teary eyes to the audience. In the end, this story of courage and resilience during the darkest hours of human history became a positive, uplifting dialogue.

Describing her mother’s inspiring life has become Smith’s life’s work. For her efforts, she received a Lion of Judah pin, which she proudly wears to all her speaking events. Our Lions felt she was truly

one of us and were incredibly honored and grateful to hear her mother’s story.

Our thanks to the Jewish Film Festival for sharing Smith with us. The engaging film, “Irena’s Vow,” was shown later that evening at the Nina Iser Jewish Cultural Center.

Lion of Judah Co-chair Estelle Price and I appreciate the strong support from our Greater Naples Lion of Judah Pride throughout this year. Please keep an eye on your mailbox for next season’s save the date card. We are already hard at work planning a fantastic season of events.

We hope everyone enjoys a wonderful spring and summer and look forward to seeing every Lion during the 2024-25 season. Happy Passover!

6 May 2024 Federation Star JEWISH FEDERATION
2024 new Lion of Judah Society member, Joan Meltzer Blumkin, receives her pin. Speaker Jeannie Opdyke Smith tells her mother’s story, “Irena’s Vow.” Lion of Judah Co-chairs Estelle Price and Gail Smith Phyllis Seaman and Susan Pittelman Rosalee Bogo and Goldie Bertone share a laugh. Carolyn Lichter and Lin Klein Estelle Price leads the women in the Bracha before brunch. Judy Levitt and Judy Zahn


Last month, I discussed drywood termites and the headaches they cause Southwest Florida homeowners. Did you know there is actually an insect people often confuse with termites?

It is important to differentiate between these two flying, wood-destroying pests – the carpenter ant and the termite. Both pests are very similar in color, size, and shape. Knowing what pest you have will make getting rid of them faster, easier, and safer, saving you time and money in the long run.

According to a recent study by the National Pest Management Association, termites cause an estimated $5 billion in property damage each year. Homeowners are generally aware of the devastation termites can leave in their wake, but carpenter ants can also prove to be destructive to the wood found both in and outside of the home.

Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not actually eat the wood they come in contact with but instead hollow out galleries inside the wood for nesting and living as they feeding on food left behind by people (especially meats and sweets). Carpenter ants are frequently mistaken for winged termites during mating season when the male and female ants leave the colony to find a suitable mate.

If an infestation from either pest is left unde-

tected for a prolonged period of time, they each can cause expensive damage.

There are certain characteristics that can be used to differentiate swarms of carpenter ants as compared to termites, the most important being the appearance of elbowed antennae and small or pinched waist with wings that are longer in the back than the front pair. In addition, carpenter ant wings are partially translucent, while termite wings are opaque or appear to be silver in color.

Although carpenter ants are not typically a year-round concern for homeowners, during spring swarm season, they travel en masse to find new nesting locations. Their nests consist of an expansive network of tunnels and passages within the structure of your home. Over time, these nests can seriously weaken your home’s structural integrity.

Meanwhile, termites can be a huge problem anywhere. While they maintain nature's balance by breaking down dead wood and other plant material outdoors, an average home suffers $7,900 in damages before termites are detected and termite damage may not be covered by many homeowners' insurance.

Also problematic are the nesting habits of many termite species which can make them

difficult to spot. Termites can cause serious structural damage to any home in a matter of months if left untreated.

The first step in controlling a pest problem is identifying the pest itself. Saving a sample of the insect can help chart the correct course.

Therefore, prevention is key and early discovery provides you a head start in solving this problem. If you are unsure which pest you’re dealing with or if you need help eliminating a pest infestation, contact your local pest control professional.

(Anna Wallace is the Manager for Truly Nolen in Naples. Her service office can be reached at (239) 643-2555. Founded in 1938, Tucson-based Truly Nolen of America (www.trulynolen.com) is one of the largest family-owned pest control companies in the United States. To learn more about Carpenter Ants, please visit https://trulynolen.com/pest-control/ants/ carpenter-ants/ .)

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A legacy workshop

Recently, I became the 100th member of the Lion of Judah Society here in Naples. The first event I attended was the Lion Behind the Pin Luncheon. At this event, speakers and some of our local members presented the concept of the legacy of being a Lion of Judah, which moved them to convey these ideas to their descendants. Up until this point, I hadn’t considered philanthropy in these terms. After the luncheon, there was an invitation to participate in a small group Legacy Writing Workshop to further explore this concept, which I attended.

especially my nieces. I always thought that living my commitment was enough. I suppose an additional reason I held back was because I felt it might be considered an unwelcome imposition.

At the workshop hosted by Paula Filler in her home, a small group of women created a feeling of trust that enabled a level of sharing of our thoughts, deeply held beliefs and desires for our legacy. In that session, I discovered that there are some different ways to share thoughts about Jewish philanthropy and, perhaps, guide my family in loving and helpful ways.

The process of thinking through some of my deeply held values awakened in me a desire to communicate my feelings regarding what I valued most about giving back to the community; feelings I cherished but hadn’t yet clearly shared with certain members of my family,

Join us in May

These workshops will hopefully make possible more open family discussions about our values. If you choose to attend one of these Legacy Writing Workshops, you may, as I did, come away with new friendships and a refreshed approach to philanthropy.

Everyone is invited to join us on Sunday, May 5 at 4 p.m. for the Community-wide Yom HaShoah program. Rabbis, clergy, Holocaust survivors and GenShoah members will

be either homemade or store-bought, but it must be kosher-style dairy. This lunch & learn is a partnership of Jewish Federation of Greater Naples, The Jewish Historical Society of SWFL and Temple Shalom. Please email me at rbialek@ jewishnaples.org with the name of your kosher-style dish by Friday, May 10. I will be attending the virtual Jewish Book Conference this month, and I look forward to sharing the line up for next season’s Jewish Book Festival with the entire community in the upcoming months. Please visit www.jewishbookfestival.org as we update the page with information.

participate in a service and a candle lighting ceremony. Come hear Abe Asli’s story, “Holocaust and Raoul Wallenberg.” Please register for this free program at www.jewishnaples.org.

Come celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut, aka Israel Independence Day, and Jewish American Heritage Month on Tuesday, May 14, noon at the Nina Iser Jewish Cultural Center. We will enjoy a community lunch while listening to speakers. Bring your favorite Israeli dish to share. It could

Join us for free weekly games at Jewish Federation of Greater Naples. Please make sure to register so we can plan accordingly.

Mondays – Scrabble at 1 p.m. Tuesdays – Chess at 1 p.m. (starting April 2024)

Thursdays – Super Samba card game at 12:30 p.m.

Monthly summer Bingo is coming too!

We now have two separate single groups! Jewish singles in their 40-50s will meet on May 4. The Singles Social Group, singles who are 55 and up, meet monthly. Please email Michelle at mcunningham@ jewishnaples.org to let her know you are a JFGN member, Jewish, single and ready to meet new friends.

Please register for all events at www.jewishnaples.org.

Dates and times of upcoming events are announced on our website homepage. If you aren’t receiving our weekly Monday e-blast, please email me at rbialek@ jewishnaples.org.

8 May 2024 Federation Star JEWISH FEDERATION JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER NAPLES THE STRENGTH OF A PEOPLE. THE POWER OF COMMUNIT Y. If you would like more information on becoming a Lion of Judah in the Greater Naples area, feel free to contact Lion of Judah Co-chairs Estelle Price or Gail Smith or call, Alicia Feldman, Development Director, at 239-449-8266.
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Jewish Federation of Greater Naples announces awards at Power of Community Celebration

Winners include Collier County teachers, local nonprofits

Jewish Federation of Greater Naples honored a slate of local residents making a difference with its annual Power of Community awards, presented at a celebratory brunch on Sunday, April 7.

“These awards truly celebrate the lifechanging impact we can make on both our local community and the wider world when we join together,” said Jeffrey Feld, president and CEO of Jewish Federation of Greater Naples. “We are honored and privileged to shine the spotlight on this latest crop of exemplary individuals and organizations working for the greater good of the community.”

The event celebrates Federation’s Annual Community Campaign, the organization’s fundraising arm, to meet the financial needs of local, regional, national and overseas humanitarian organizations and beneficiary agencies. A committee of volunteers and the Federation staff balance available resources with community priorities through a grant process.

Beneficiaries include community-wide needs as well as various educational and cultural programs conducted by local synagogues, the Holocaust Museum & Cohen Education Center, other local Jewish organizations and social, educational and vocational needs throughout the Jewish world.

Several awards were presented at the event.

Human Needs Award

The Human Needs Award is an annual monetary award created by the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Federation to acknowledge positive contributions of small nonprofit organizations serving severely means-limited disadvantaged populations. The 2024 winners were:

• NAMI Collier County, which provides free mental health support, advocacy and education that inspires resilience and strengthens communities in our region.

• Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a worker-based, human rights organization that has been internationally recognized for its achievements in fighting human trafficking and gender-based violence at work.

Stand Up for Justice Award

The Stand Up for Justice Award is an educator grant that recognizes school educators who are innovative in bringing respect for others’ differences into their activities in a transformative, impactful and caring way. The 2024 winners are:

• Jory Lawson of Big Cypress Elementary School, who established a friendship ambassador program to meet and greet new students.

• Rachael Cordeiro, Eden Park Elementary School, who led the school’s efforts with a new class for deaf and hearingimpaired students, including a buddy program and weekly lunch bunches.

• Kelly Stevenson-Crews and Carrey Van Dyne, Golden Gate High School, for a high school transition program that promotes unity and kindness.

• Jennifer Szczepkowski, Naples High School, for organizing a Best Buddies club affiliated with a national organization.

• Catherine Crawford, Beacon High School, for her student support efforts at this alternative high school.

• Annina Cosentino, Pine Ridge Middle School, for programs promoting World Kindness Day and combatting bigotry and bullying.

• Lonzo Morgan, Immokalee Middle School, for a suicide awareness and prevention program.

Power of Community Award

The Power of Community Award recognizes outstanding commitment and support demonstrated by a communal agency, congregation, community organization or individual in strengthening community partnerships and cooperation. The 2024 recipient is Clark Hill, general manager of Hilton Naples, who was recognized for leadership, commitment and dedication on behalf of Jewish Federation of Greater Naples.

Patricia J. Adkins Youth Leadership Award

The Patricia J. Adkins Youth Leadership Award honors the achievements of Collier County high school seniors

demonstrating leadership in their activities at their respective congregation and or BBYO, the leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement. Recipients receive a $2,500 scholarship. 2024 recipients included Bella Schaab, Kylie Bell and Sam Kelley.

Community Campaign Award

The Community Campaign Award recognizes exemplary support for charitable fundraising efforts in support of the community. The 2024 winner, Paula Filler, personally called or met with more than 100 Federation donors.

Community Campaign Award winner Paula Filler (right) was honored by campaign chair Rosalee Bogo. Beth Povlow (far left) and Arnie Rubin (far right), co-chairs of the Stand Up for Justice Award Committee, with recipients of the award Recipients of the the Patricia J. Adkins Youth Leadership Award with Federation Chair Nat Ritter (left) and Federation President/CEO Jeffrey Feld (right) Representatives of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and NAMI Collier County with JCRC members Ida Margolis and Liz Jaffe (center), who presented the Human Needs Awards.

Oil on canvas art classes with Lee Kaye

Discover your creative side this summer with oil on canvas art classes on Mondays in May, June and July. Instructor Lee Kaye has been an accomplished artist for many years. She started her art career while attending the Boston Public Schools and continued her art studies at the Boston Museum of Art. She has been a volunteer at the Von Liebig Art Museum and has

• Turpentine

• Paper towel

• Paint brushes

• Oil paints: yellow ochre, white, paynes grey, crimson, blue, green and burnt umber

• Table easel

All supplies (other than the Copal medium) can be purchased at Michael’s Art Store.

continued her studies with local art teachers. She has shown and sold her oil paintings during juried art shows in Naples and has also won prizes at local shows in Massachusetts. She was a featured artist in Naples Magazine

Here's how it works

Bring a favorite photo to copy on canvas along with the following supplies:

• Copal medium (buy on Amazon)

• Palette paper pad


Here are the dates

May 6, 13, 20

June 3, 10, 17, 24

July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Class runs from 1 to 3 p.m. Register for one class or all classes. Come to all classes to complete your painting. $40 per class* (2-hour session). Register at https://JFGN. regfox.com/canvas-art-classeswith-lee-kaye.

*A donation from these classes will benefit Jewish Federation of Greater Naples.

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10 May 2024 Federation Star JEWISH FEDERATION
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An Introduction to Moorings Park’s Three Communities & Our Executive Chef’s Top Culinary Delights

Here’s your chance to get a taste of what life is like at Moorings Park’s three stunning Naples communities.

Attainable Luxury Begins at $552,000

Successful aging expert and Vice President Tom Mann will introduce you to our three premier Moorings Park communities. Discover an innovative approach to successful aging as you learn valuable details on costs, oor plans, healthcare, dining, and waiting lists.

During this presentation, you’ll enjoy a video tour of each community’s clubhouse and model residences, all while savoring top culinary delights from our executive chef.

RSVP today by scanning the QR code, visiting MooringsPark.org/Events, or calling 239-842-2558.

Discover Our Secrets to Successful Aging

Thursday, May 30th | 10:30 a.m.

Moorings Park Grande Lake Clubhouse 7410 Little Lane, Naples, FL 34105

RSVP by May 28th by calling 239-842-2558, visiting MooringsPark.org/Events, or scanning the QR code.

Unable to attend? Join our webinar on Friday, May 31st at 10:30 a.m. To register, visit MooringsPark.org/Webinar.

Prices from $ 552 ,00 0 to $9M+ 7410 Little Lane, Naples, FL 34105 | 239-842-2558 | MooringsPark.org

11 May 2024 Federation Star
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Moorings Park Communities is a nationally accredited, non-pro t, Medicare-certi ed organization and one of the only Life Plan providers with A or A+ ratings by Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings.

Notice the Jewish Russians in neighborhoods near you

Jewish Russian Cultural Alliance (JRCA) serves as “home base” for Jews from the former Soviet Union and countries that evolved after its collapse. We are a very unique cultural group under the umbrella of Jewish Federation of Greater Naples.

Why are we so unique? Because we are, for the most part, people of the first generation of settling in USA. That is, each of us made the journey out of USSR back then or left USSR successor countries after its collapse. Some of us came to the U.S. in the 1950s, some in the 1970s, most in 1989 and after. Some of us were denied exit from the USSR and spent years waiting for the miracle of regime change. We carry specific knowledge of the part of history that is no longer being taught. We carry specific respect for the U.S. that only the immigrants who escaped the clutches of Marxism-socialism, like the Cubans, Chinese or ex-Soviets, appreciate and praise daily.

Our group meets four times a year to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, Purim and Victory in Europe/Israel Independence.

We never forget how nearly impossible it was to be a Jew in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. We pass that grim knowledge to our children, neighbors, friends and, inasmuch as we can, hope to educate the world through our experiences of what not to desire. We sometimes succeed. Other times, the world is gullible or indifferent as it always has been.

Last Purim, we met for a wonderful community meal. Mark Livstone played his Jewish repertoire on his bayan. Some of us even sang or danced. It was a very happy Purim, indeed. Livstone is a Holocaust survivor, who was born deep in the Belarus forests when his parents hid in the swamps from the Nazis. Although many of his ancestors were

killed in 1941, he was destined to be born and survive, even after the commander of the partisan encampment, fearing discovery, ordered parents to kill their younglings. Livstone usually shares his survival story, as told to him by his extraordinary partisan mom, during our VE Day commemoration.

Everyone in our group had family in the battlefields or camps during WWII. It is our most important annual commemoration. We are all survivors and survivors’ children or grandchildren; survivors of socialism-Stalinism and socialism-Nazism.

The most recent wave of escapees from Russian-speaking lands are families escaping war in Ukraine and its ripple effects. We understand the long-lasting devastation of wars firsthand. We were reared on such legacies.

grandchildren serving in IDF … praying for their safety and the safe return of hostages … desiring a better understanding from the world.

We, the former political “hostages” of the USSR, who were freed due to involvement of the American Jewry, understand how imperative it is to have a strong United States and how critical U.S. support is to Israel’s survival. We live in strange and sad times. Antisemitism has gained enormous power since the events of Oct. 7. Instead of aligning their sympathies with the victims, governments, organizations and masses are misaligned against Israel, effectively calling for the next extermination.

Every life is unique and deserves to be remembered in a special way. The professionals at Hodges Funeral Home at Naples Memorial Gardens are dedicated to helping

you and your loved ones honor the heritage of the Jewish faith with a meaningful memorial that truly captures the essence of the life it represents. deserves We offer our deepest gratitude for giving us the opportunity to assist you through one of the most challenging times in life, and for allowing us to earn and keep your trust. HONORING TRADITIONS, strengthening faith

I am not in favor of comparing tragedies. Each one is uniquely terrifying. But the Jewish tragedy in Gaza affects all our members’ families. The predominant majority of us speak to our relations in Israel daily … wondering about their children and

On Sunday, May 12 from noon to 3 p.m., JRCA will celebrate VE Day (May 8, 1945 for Europe; May 9, 1945 for the USSR) and Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel's national day commemorating the Israeli Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948.

Please email JRCAGroup@gmail.com to receive future detailed notifications.

12 May 2024 Federation Star JEWISH FEDERATION Past President of Temple Shalom and Federation Member since 1998. 10% of my net commission will be donated to Jewish Federation of Greater Naples in your honor. You deserve the care of a Real Estate Specialist. DebbieSellsYourHome4You.com D ZDEBORAH ZVIBLEMAN REALTOR® PA Deborah Zvibleman, PA ABR, AHWD, CIPS, CLHMS, PMN, RSPS, SRES, SFR,TRC DZvibleman@johnrwood.com 239.272.8878 525 11th Avenue North | Naples, FL 34108 239-597-3101 | www.HodgesNaplesMG.com
Mark Livstone plays his bayan at JRCA’s 2024 Purim celebration. Credit: Gallya Gordon JRCA 2024 Purim King Credit: Elena Novik

Reflections on being the JYP coordinator

When I moved to Naples in November of 2021, I knew I wanted to continue my involvement in the Jewish community. Following my involvement in the Jewish community at Hillel at University of Illinois, I was aware that continuing to have this community was

large Jewish population to a locale with so few young Jews was a bit of a shock to my system. Where I hoped to be able to join a community already made, I was tasked with building it from the ground up. I was disappointed, but determined, knowing that three people together was more than one person alone. Slowly, but

important to me. I reached out to the Federation in hopes of being able to join an existing group of young people, but with COVID just barely in the rearview mirror, there was not an active group. I offered to revive it.

My first event had three people, including myself, and it did not feel great. Coming from a university with a

surely, more people started to show up, with events nearing 15 people. Having this community has felt like having a family away from home --many of us are far from our families, moving here for employment. Having people to celebrate the holidays with, to light Shabbat candles with, to get together with, has kept me grounded

and even more sure of my Jewish values. As I move on from Naples, I am confident that this group will continue to strengthen and grow, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for it!

A note from Federation

On behalf of Jewish Federation of Greater Naples and the Jewish Young Professionals, we wish Maya a Yasheer Koach and a big Todah Rabah for all that she has accomplished in the short time she was here in Naples. Maya, thank you!

13 May 2024 Federation Star JEWISH FEDERATION
Broadway’s most beloved toe-tapping classic SPONSORED
IN THE NEW KIZZIE THEATER THROUGH NaplesPlayers.org 239.263.7990
JUL 21
you are interested in being part of the JYP, please contact Renee at rbialek@jewishnaples.org.

Exercise and nutrition tips for cancer survivors

Join Sharsheret at your Federation at the Nina Iser Jewish Cultural Center Thursday, June 20 from 1 to 2 p.m. to learn about exercise and nutrition tips for cancer survivors from the professionals, Certified Cancer Exercise Specialist Tracey Hecht and Registered Dietician Greer Burcky.

This event is open to all ages, men and women, with or without a cancer experience.

Please register for this free program at https://JFGN.regfox.com/ exercise-and-nutrition.

Summer book club discussion with author

Dan Petrosini

Friday, July 26 at 11 a.m.

You’ll love “Buried at the Lake” by Dan Petrosini, the latest release in the Luca mystery collection, because the twist nobody sees coming changes all the math.

The presumption was murder

Everyone assumed they knew the killer … but what if they were wrong about the crime? It was the most beautiful house on the lake. When a girl’s remains are found on the property, Bill Miller seems to know something. For 10 years, there had been whispers about what happened to the girl.

What was he hiding?

Her case wasn’t Luca’s priority. Between his sick wife and the Park Shore murder, his plate was full. The press was all over it, and he needed to find out who murdered the innocent woman relaxing in her backyard. Worth millions, but without any known enemies, what was

Was it mistaken identity? Or some -

Those thoughts danced through his head as he tried to get a handle on

what happened to the girl. With the other murder unsolved, he shouldn’t be focused on her but he couldn’t help it.

Something was off. It didn’t add up.

If he could just figure out what that something was, Luca’s gut said the rest would fall into place.

Will Luca see through the fog and lies?

Read the book in advance (you can purchase it on Amazon), then come hear a short presentation and ask the author questions on Friday, July 26 at 11 am. Attend in person or join via Zoom.

Bring your book, and he will sign it!

Register for this free program at https://JFGN.regfox.com/dan-petrosinibook-club-discussion.

PJ Library Beach Shabbat

10 day cruise aboard the luxury ship, Oceania Marina

All meals on board including gourmet dining

Tours & $600 shore excursion credit


For more information and to register for the trip:


May 3: 7:42 p.m.

May 10: 7:46 p.m.

May 17: 7:50 p.m.

t was so nice to see all of you who attended our Passover event at Jewish Federation of Greater Naples. We hope you had fun learning the story of Passover, making crafts, playing and be doing a Beach Shabbat! Join us Friday, May 17, 4 p.m. at Lowdermilk Park. We

By Amber Ferren, Coordinator for PJ Library & PJ Our Way UPCOMING EVENTS!

will enjoy friends, sand play, challah, juice, Shabbat blessings and songs — and don’t forget the beach toys! Hope to see you and your families there!

Please be sure to follow PJ Library - Federation of Greater Naples on Facebook and @naplespjlibrary on Instagram for upcoming events and up-to-date info on all things local for PJ Library.

Candle lighting times


May 24: 7:54 p.m.

May 31: 7:57 p.m.


14 May 2024 Federation Star JEWISH FEDERATION
This program is brought to you by the Jewish Federation of Greater Naples Greer Burcky Tracey Hecht
March 20 April Shabbat Laila

Celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut and Jewish American Heritage Month

Come enjoy a community lunch while listening to speakers.

Tuesday, May 14 at noon

Nina Iser Jewish Cultural Center

Bring an Israeli dish to share at the community lunch & learn

The favorite Israeli dish you bring can be either homemade or store-bought, but it must be kosher-style dairy.

Please make enough of your favorite dish for 12 people. Also bring serving utensils and an 8” x 10” copy of the recipe. If you enjoy it, capture it with a click of the photo app on your phone!

Please email Renee, rbialek@jewishnaples.org, with the name of your kosher-style Israeli dish by Friday, May 10.

This lunch & learn is a partnership of Jewish Federation of Greater Naples, The Jewish Historical Society of SWFL and Temple Shalom.

Sunday, May 5, 2024 • 4:00 PM Nina Iser Jewish Cultural Center 4720 Pine Ridge Rd

Please join us for a special program. Everyone is invited to attend.

15 Federation Star
Naples Jewish
Jewish Congregation of Marco Island.
This program is brought to you by: Jewish Federation of Greater Naples, The Holocaust Museum & Cohen Education Center, Temple Shalom, Beth
GenShoah SWFL,
Congregation, Chabad of Naples, and
Register for this free program at www.jewishnaples.org

We don’t have to say goodbye for the summer!

What a season it has been! These past few months, filled with friendship, learning and fun, seem to have flown by. Many of our members are now saying their goodbyes to friends who are staying in Florida, as they return to their homes up north.

The “Year Rounders,” WCA members who are permanent residents of Florida and are here over the summer, also said a “goodbye” of sorts to each other. With the exception of the Mahjong, Canasta, Bridge and Book groups, WCA activities pretty much came to a halt when “season” ended and our snowbirds left. Those of us who remained in Florida did not have planned opportunities to get together. But from now on, things will be different!

More and more WCA members are choosing to remain in “paradise” all year long — fun fact: approximately 35% of WCA members are full-time residents of Southwest Florida! As a result, the WCA Board of Directors wants to provide more programming during the summer to give members who are here a chance to be together.

In February, WCA Membership Chair Harriett Kleinman formed a committee of nearly 20 “Year Rounders” to create summer programming. The women who came to the meeting were most enthusiastic

and created a long list of activities for consideration. The committee met twice again in March to further hone the list and select which events they each wanted to work on.

Planning is now underway for an exciting summer! A Summer Kickoff, under the leadership of Ronna Hain and Natalie Lewis and their committee, will be held Tuesday morning, May 22 at the Nina Iser Jewish Cultural Center. The tentative schedule has lots to offer. There will be many events centered around food — from luncheons to cooking classes and farmers sharing samples of their crops. Several speakers will impart

their knowledge about what’s going on in Southwest Florida. Classic movies, games and dancing will keep members out of the heat. Year Rounders, watch your WCA newsletter for more details!

What about snowbird members who leave after season? Nearly 10 years ago, WCA created Summer Branches in response to requests by members who go north for the summer to “take WCA home with them.” There are currently WCA Summer Branches in nine geographical locations in North America. Each branch is led by a liaison (or two), who plan gatherings for the women in their geographical area. Some branches

have one special event each summer; others plan several.

If you are returning north to one of the areas that has a WCA Summer Branch, be sure to register with the liaison so that you receive email notices about upcoming events. The list of Summer Branches is below. Liaison contact information is under “Groups” on the WCA website: www.wcanaples.org.

Our WCA Summer Branches, along with the new initiative to plan activities for our Year Rounders, will ensure that wherever a WCA member will be this summer, there is a good chance that WCA friends and fun will be nearby!

16 May 2024 Federation Star JEWISH FEDERATION WOMEN’S CULTURAL ALLIANCE www.wcanaples.org / 518-852-3440
Metro North Connecticut
(New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware) Illinois Michigan
York City Metro/ New Jersey
DC, Virginia, Maryland
information for liaisons is under “Groups” on the WCA website: www.wcanaples.org.
SUMMER BRANCHES Berkshires Boston
The Boston group gathered at the beach, followed by lunch. The DelVal group visited the Sculpture Gardens in Hamilton, NJ. Harriett Kleinman (second from left) organized a Raku class last summer for “Year Rounders.” DeeDee Reminick, Mary O’Haver and Sarah Landy from the Maryland group. The Berkshire group: Anne Schnesel, Ann Cowen, Gail Kedrus and Lisa Freund March planning meeting

WCA women revive ancient Purim tradition

Fourteen WCA women took to heart the ancient Purim tradition of giving “Shalach Manot,” a Hebrew term which means “sending gifts,” to residents of the Baker Senior Center who are Holocaust survivors. The gifts of edible goodies were not sent through Amazon, FedEx, UPS or any modern delivery service, but were received the old-fashioned way, by hand delivery. This special group of geographically diverse women became friends through WCA. They have been gathering regularly for a “Girls Night Out” since COVID-19 struck in 2020. It started with dinners at restaurants (outside seating of course!)

and evolved into meeting at members’ homes for a night of food, fun and games. Each gathering has a different theme based on a Jewish holiday, Academy Awards, geographic locations and even a Murder Mystery Night.

This month, the group decided it was time to give something back to the community, hence a Purim Costume Party complete with Shaloch Manot bags.

“The bonds we have formed over the years have created a sense of deep friendship and extended family. This has been such a wonderful gift, and we wanted to spread the joy we feel to others in the community,” said co-hostesses Donna Goldstein, Susan Koeppel, Debbie Kohler and Darlene Muller. “If these Purim bags bring a little smile to the faces of those survivors, that is a gift in and of itself.”

Purim is a time for giving, and that is exactly what this group of WCA women have done.

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Community of Friendship
Attorneys Amanda Dorio and Katie Kohn have represented clients from the Naples community for more than 20 years. Amanda works with her clients in estate planning, trust administration and wills, and guardianship. Katie assists clients
law. They both use understanding, compassion and experience to
WCA is a
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be with other wonderful women! Visit our website: wcanaples.org QUESTIONS? Contact Membership Chair Harriett Kleinman at hmkleinman@gmail.com
Susan Koeppel, Donna Goldstein, Darlene Muller, Peggy Brown, Debbie Kohler, Elaine Marcus, Marsha Schoenberg, Dorothy Schwebel, Rita Silverstein,Jaimie Blatter, Marci Fisher, Charlene Kerner and Debbie Lurie Darlene Muller, Susan Koeppel, Debbie Kohler and Donna Goldstein

MCA mission helps struggling Cuban Jewish community

Cuba is only 90 miles from Key West, but it is another world. On the plus side, there are the vintage cars from the ’50s, mojitos with Havana Club rum and the finest cigars. You can enjoy entertaining shows at the historic Nacional Hotel and Buena Vista Social Club and pay a visit to Ernest Hemingway’s estate. But there is a considerable downside.

“Cuba is a third world country,” said MCA member Marc Fleischer in prepping our MCA group to visit the island. For about two decades, Fleisher and MCA member Bob Cherry have been leading trips to Cuba to support the dwindling Jewish community on the island.

I had the privilege of being part of their largest group to date. There were 30 of us — MCA members, spouses and a couple of WCA members. We visited four of the five synagogues in Cuba in March. Three are in Havana, along with the Patronato community center. The other synagogue is in Santa Clara. We brought a total of 200 pounds of clothing, medical supplies and other items for the Cuban Jewish community. Many of us left donations in the Tzedakah boxes. The World Jewish Congress estimates there are only about 500 Jews remaining on the island. That’s compared to 15,000 just prior to the Cuban revolution in 1959. Poverty is evident. Inflation runs about 80% annually. Next to beautifully restored historic buildings, we often saw crumbling structures with little likelihood of renovation.

“It’s concerning, remarkable, eyeopening, valuable…” said MCA member Andy Barth, reflecting on his range of emotions during the trip. Barth was a TV news reporter in Baltimore for 35 years. “I was especially struck by the banking situation.”

Cubans ask for U.S. dollars from visitors. But to buy goods in any store they have to turn in the dollars at the bank in exchange for a Cuban credit card funded by pesos. When they receive the card, the government imposes a service charge. Then, it’s on to the ATM to cash in the card for pesos. Around the country, we saw long lines at the ATMs. Some run short of cash.

There are also serious food and power shortages. Even sugar is rationed. The Cuban sugar industry was number one in the world in the 1960s. Now it’s hobbled by antiquated equipment and a lack of trading partners due to embargoes.

Against this backdrop in Havana, we entered the Patronato and Temple Beth Shalom next door, bringing a large donation of used clothing and medical supplies. The Patronato runs a pharmacy.

Hella Eskenazi Flores, who runs the Patronato, said they provide meals for those in need. She also emphasized the educational program for the few young people remaining and their participation in the Maccabi games in Israel, representing Cuba.

At the Centro Hebreo Sefardi De Cuba, several women sold us homemade challah covers to provide funds to aid the elderly.

Samuel Zagovalov Montero, a 77-year-old who runs the synagogue, said that prior to COVID, 120 seniors were brought to programs there 20 times per month, but

visited the Tikun Olam synagogue. It’s in a renovated home and has a large rooftop deck with an impressive tile mural of Jerusalem created by a local artist. Victor Tacher took over as president of the synagogue last year from his brother, David, who moved to Israel for better health care and financial reasons.

Tacher said there are only about 18 members of the congregation. Services are held once a month and on high holidays. Many participants come from other towns in central Cuba.

now the skyrocketing cost of gasoline is limiting services and only 40 seniors remain in the program.

Zagvalov Montero said in the early ’90s, Fidel Castro finally allowed Cuban Jews to leave for Israel, further reducing the congregation. The original large sanctuary is now rented to a major dance company. There is a striking Holocaust memorial in the lobby, donated by Steven Spielberg, who visited in 2018.

It’s a three-and-one-half-hour bus ride to the city of Santa Clara, where we

Tacher directed our bus driver to the Jewish cemetery on the outskirts of town. Inside the walls, there are about 30 graves, including some of children. The group paused there to say mourner’s Kaddish in front of a Holocaust memorial that includes a stone from the Warsaw Ghetto and a recreation of railroad tracks to remember those who were murdered.

It was back to Havana the next day, with a visit to Adath Israel, the only Orthodox synagogue in Cuba. It has a daily minyan and is the spiritual home of the only Kosher butcher.

Rabbi Jacov Berezniak is allowed, by the government, to purchase cows. He’s able to provide three-quarters of a pound of meat to his congregants and those at other synagogues once every nine days.

“It’s impressive they’ve kept the community going,” said MCA member Marc Saperstein. “But it’s a challenge. Another group is making aliyah next month.”

“We believe in miracles and the continuation of the congregation,” said Rabbi Berezniak. “There’s no antisemitism in Cuba. We don’t need a policeman at the door.”

There were many other enlightening moments during the visit to Cuba. Some were highlighted by our knowledgeable guide, Dora. The trip is best summed

up by a thank you sent to Bob Cherry and Marc Fleisher from Michael and Sara Landy:

“What a unique experience you provided to our entire group … You have opened our eyes to a remarkable culture, one with a resplendent past and perhaps an uncertain and sad future. However, due to individuals such as yourself, who have introduced so many enthusiastic groups to the otherwise hidden traditions and life experiences of Cuban society (Jews and non-Jews alike), perhaps a flame of hope might be rekindled for the Cuban people.”

You might be asking, “How can I visit the Cuban Jewish community?” The U.S. State Department lists 12 criteria that may qualify for a visit. The MCA group went under the banner of “support for the Cuban people.”

When will Bob Cherry and Marc Fleisher make a return trip? Fleisher says, “If 10 people want to go, we’ll arrange another trip.”

On the final night in Havana, several of us strolled down the wide Paseo de Marti, toward the esplanade, along the coast known as the Malecon. It was difficult to cross the street with the fast-moving traffic, but a middle-aged Cuban man helped us.

“USA” he smiled before we said a word. “Cuba, Cuba,” was our response. For a moment, there were smiles on all sides. We felt welcome in a troubled land.

18 May 2024 Federation Star JEWISH FEDERATION
MEN’S CULTURAL ALLIANCE www.MCANaples.org / 508-733-9427
MCA Group at the Patronato Cemetary in Santa Clara Holocaust Memorial in Santa Clara

Thank You!!

MCA exists solely because of the many volunteers who think of, plan, and run MCA events. On behalf of the members of MCA and the Board of Directors, we thank you for your time, effort, generosity and commitment.

Jack Abel

Neil Adelman

Arni Aronovitz

Don Belmont

Morris Binder

Bob Blank

Burt Blumkin

Gene Briskman

John Caragliano

Neil Chessin

Harvey Cohen

Mark Cohn

Mitch Dannenberg

Bob Davidson

Max Deifik

Barry Denkensohn

Paul Doppelt

Dan Downing

Stan Farb

David Feldman

Michael Feldman

Miki Field

Marc Fleischer

Spencer Forman

Sid Freund

Ken Getnick

Howard Gilbert

Mark Goetz

Avie Goldstein

Larry Goodman

Alan Gordon

Jim Gordon

Michael Gordon

Howard Greenfield

Burt Hirsch

Andy Ichel

Steve Iser

Marty Isserlis

Larry Israelite

Mel Kaplan

Meir Kehila

Bob Koppel

Gerry Kumin

Ira Kushnir

Jonathan Latsky

Jay Leib

Marty Levine

Colin Lewis

Bob Lubin

Ken Marcus

Ed Margolious

Jeff Margolis

Michael Marks

Jeff Morgenstern

Frank Muller

Ron Munchnik

Les Nizin

Glenn Perrin

Richard Price

Richard Prosten

Arnie Pulver

Andrew Radding

Fred Rosenfeld

Steve Rozen

Jim Sernovitz

Peter Sherer

Phil Sherman

Bruce Sherman

Jerry Shier

Larry Sibrack

Chuck Siegel

Michael Sobol

Neil Stein

Michael Swartz

Richard Wajs

Terry Weiner

Max Weisberg

Mel Zahn

Doug Zipes

If you are interested in becoming more involved with MCA in any way, please email us at help@mcanaples.org.

19 May 2024 Federation Star

At the Museum

ith every student field trip the Museum hosts and every Holocaust education program we present in schools, we have the unique opportunity to help form the next generation of Southwest Florida Upstanders. As students learn about the horrors and lessons of the Holocaust from the past, their perspectives on life expand. They become more aware of hatred and bigotry in the present and learn they have the power to make a positive difference to others now and in the future.

Many thanks

I am so grateful to those who support our mission to teach the lessons of the Holocaust to inspire action against bigotry, hatred and violence. Their gifts of time, talent and treasure are what makes our important work with students and the public possible.

On May 5 at 4 p.m., we commemorate Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance. GenShoah co-chairs Shelley Lieb and Ida Margolis have designed a meaningful program, and we invite all

to attend. It will be held at the Nina Iser Jewish Cultural Center in Naples. Please register for this important gathering at jewishnaples.org. Nearly 80 years have passed since the end of WWII and the Holocaust, and it is our collective responsibility to honor the memory of those who perished as well as those who survived the horrors, and to work to spread mutual respect rather than hate.

Today, our mission is more important than ever. Please contact me at Susan@ hmcec.org or 239-263-9200, ext. 203 if you’d like to learn more.

Happening in May

As the school year and season begin to wrap up, we are still hosting field trips and private group tours by appointment. Contact Education Specialist David Nelson for more information and schedule availabilities at David@hmcec.org.

Complimentary admission on VE Day

We are offering complimentary admission on VE Day. Reservations are required as space is limited. Please visit our website hmcec.org to reserve your spot.

Matching challenge grant increased

Great news! The matching challenge grant for the “Boxcar Education Project” was just increased from $100,000 to $125,000! Many thanks to Jack and F.E. Nortman and friends of the Boxcar Foundation, for their generosity! The authentic World War II-era boxcar is an important part of the Museum's Holocaust education programming and has been seen by well over 250,000 people during its travels. The project also provides schools with educational materials including the boxcar's history and a teacher's guide. Often, there is associated programming, such as a Survivor Talk or a performance of a short play about a survivor’s experience. The exhibit is on loan to the Museum from Jack and F.E. Nortman and Boxcar Foundation.

New Exhibit

“Lawyers without Rights — Jewish Lawyers in Germany

Under the Third Reich” is on

display through June 23, 2024. This traveling exhibit, explores the Third Reich’s 1933-1938 systemic exclusion of German lawyers and jurists of Jewish ancestry from the legal profession. By 1938, a general occupational ban was firmly in place, forbidding these lawyers from practicing. The exhibit highlights the dire consequences to targeted populations when the “just” rule of law is replaced by an “arbitrary” rule of law. The American Bar Association and the German Federal

Bar have partnered to create this exhibit, reflecting their shared interest in reminding future generations of the horrors of the Holocaust and the importance of the just rule of law in any society. The Museum has a connection to a lawyer affected by this discrimination. Dr. Ernst Flatau, a distinguished entertainment lawyer in Berlin, was the father of late Holocaust survivor and Museum Docent Dr. Fred Flatau. Although Ernst Flatau received the Iron Cross for his World War I service and had a fine reputation, sadly none of this protected him or his family.

Recap of a busy April

Last month’s Volunteer Appreciation Brunch celebrated the people who make a visit to the Museum so special. For those heading back home, we look forward to seeing you next season, and for those who live here year-round, we look forward to enjoying the summer and fall seasons with you!

Our Spring 2024 Teachers Workshop was attended by teachers from elementary, middle and high schools across Southwest Florida. The full day session brought the educators up to date on the latest developments in the field of Holocaust education and provided them with classroom-ready materials for their students. The workshop was provided at no charge to the teachers, thanks to a generous legacy grant from the Merrill Kuller Educator Series.

The Museum was notified it is a finalist for “Best Museum in Collier County” in Gulfshore Life Magazine’s 2024 “Best of the Gulfshore” annual reader survey. Thank you to all who voted for us. Category winners will be announced in the magazine’s May issue.

The Museum was represented at Senator Rick Scott’s recent Naples press conference by Chair Stuart Price, Vice Chair Stuart Mest and myself.

We look forward to seeing you at the Museum soon!

Holocaust Museum & Janet G. and Harvey D. Cohen Education Center



Temple Shalom events open to the community

Registration is required for all events and programs.

Torah Study

Every Saturday, 8:30 a.m.

Join our virtual Torah Study every Saturday morning via Zoom. Led by a member of our clergy or a lay leader, this interactive session welcomes all to explore and connect

with Jewish teachings. Please call the Temple Shalom office for the Zoom link.

Soulful Shabbat

Friday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m.

A community favorite! Soulful Shabbat is a musical Shabbat conducted entirely in song and accompanied by the talented Temple Shalom Band.

Rabbi Harold Kushner Book Review Series

Sunday, May 5 at 10:30 a.m.

Join Rabbi Frank Muller for the final class of a year-long series on the books of Rabbi Harold Kushner. The May session will center on Rabbi Kushner’s book, “The Lord Is My Shepherd.”

Temple Shalom



20 May 2024 Federation Star COMMUNITY FOCUS

Prize-winning author Rebecca Donner Zooms with GenShoah SWFL

Prize-winning author Rebecca Donner Zooms with GenShoah SWFL

Rebecca Donner, prizewinning author of “All the Frequent Troubles of our Days,”

Zoomed in from her Harvard office to talk with GenShoah members about this book and how she conducted the intensive, meticulous research required for this non-fiction story. Rebecca has won many prestigious awards, including the 2022 National Book Critics Award for Biography and the Chautauqua Prize for the story of her great-great aunt, Mildred Harnack, an American who was part of the Nazi resistance in Germany and was beheaded in 1943 on Hitler’s orders.

Historians identify Harnack as the only American in the leadership of the German resistance, yet her remarkable story remained largely unknown until Donner wrote it. “Fusing elements of biography and political thriller, Donner brilliantly interweaves letters, diary entries, notes smuggled out of a Berlin prison, testimony of survivors and a trove of declassified intelligence documents into a powerful, enthralling

Estelle Kafer leads “All the Frequent Troubles of our Days” book discussion.

story, reconstructing the moral courage of an enigmatic woman nearly erased by history.”

Donner, who was brought to GenShoah SWFL by Estelle Kafer, was gracious with her time, not only explaining

At Beth Tikvah

This past season at Beth Tikvah has been educational and exciting. Our lecture series included insights into art, national parks, the dangers of our world, DP camps, how

to age well, and more. We had a musical night and learned how to bake hamantaschen. We toured the Holocaust Museum and watched a film while sharing the horrors of the Holocaust and the bravery of those fighting it with GenShoah.

We had an intimate look at Raul Wallenberg from a Holocaust survivor. Scholars in Residence gave us insights into the horrors of the Warsaw Ghetto alongside a vital and hopeful love of learning and the history of several Jewish war military heroes.

We supported Hadassah and collected over 8,000 items to fight the menstruation supply shortage here in Southwest Florida. We partied together, prayed together and hoped for a brighter future for Israel.

I’ve shared just a bit of all that we did together in just a few months! Happily, Beth Tikvah will continue to do more things. We are hoping that you will join us in that endeavor.

Beth Tikvah



how she acquired the documents necessary for her research and how she met one of the key characters in the book, but she also answered every question posed to her by those participating in the program.

While there are thousands of books about the Holocaust, both fiction and non-fiction, this book will reveal many facts that even the most well-read individual is likely unaware, and this tragic, heartbreaking story is one that will stay with the reader and should be shared.

Kafer will be selecting books for next season’s GenShoah book discussions and information will be in future GenShoah newsletters as well as Federation Star and L’Chayim. If you would like to receive the GenShoah SWFL newsletter, email GenShoahSWFL@HMCEC.org.

GenShoah SWFL


Reflections on Yom HaShoah

Stange as it may seem in our Tik Tok/Instagram era, “Holocaust,” as a definite noun, did not come into common usage until almost two decades after WWII. However, by the beginning of this century, “The Holocaust” was the benchmark against which all evil was measured, and its remembrance a touchstone of identity for many American Jews.

We have dedicated time, talent and vast resources to “learning the lessons of the Holocaust” on the assumption that understanding this monstrous crime would somehow suspend the churn of history and make the world a safer place.

The Oct. 7 atrocities and the ensuing war, the tsunami of systemic Jew hatred and the Western betrayal of Israel have challenged that assumption and, in the words of Bari Weiss, “the holiday from history is over.”

We rediscovered that antisemitism was not dead, only dormant. It has been resuscitated and thrives on campus, in media, government and the public square. While we universalized and contextualized the Holocaust, our enemies trivialized and weaponized it against us.

Much of the post-Christian West wants the Jews out of its headspace and out of its conscience. The democracies of Europe and America do not like to

be reminded that they hosted and abetted the Holocaust. For them, it is an unwanted ghost from a fading past; and an independent Jewish state rising from its ashes is as welcome as a successful Jewish merchant in Venice.

“Never again” has a very different meaning in Arabic. For the Muslim world, the final solution was fully compatible with Islamist theology and an understandable part of Europe’s 20th-Century tribal wars, in which they inveterately aligned with the losing side. Then, as now, they were ready and willing to solve their own Jewish problem.

The world has not learned the lessons of the Holocaust for a simple reason, it does not want to.

Several years ago, I had the privilege of touring Auschwitz with the iconic survivor, Eva Mozes Cor (z”l). She never forgot what she endured at the hands of Josef Mengele, but later in life, she very publicly forgave him, and the rest of the Nazis, in order to get them out of her mind and save her sanity.

We will remember the Holocaust until the last Jew departs this world, but it was a mistake to let it define us, and it is a mistake to count on our enemies “learning its lessons.”

21 May 2024 Federation Star Stay connected. Visit www.jewishnaples.org COMMUNITY FOCUS
Author Rebecca Donner discusses her book with GenShoah.

Jewish students are scared with good reason

It is still difficult for many of us to grasp what took place on Oct. 7, 2023. If you receive mail from the World Jewish Congress (WJC), you probably recently received an envelope that contained a “Hate on Campus Map.” The examples noted included Columbia University, George Washington University, Ohio State University, Cornell University, UC Berkeley School of Law, University of Wisconsin-Madison, The Cooper Union and Stanford University. At Stanford, an “instructor was accused of telling Jewish students to stand in the corner of a classroom, saying, ‘This is what Israel does to the Palestinians.’” At The Cooper Union in New York City, “Jewish students sheltered in a library as anti-Israel demonstrators banged on the doors of the building.”

Certainly, many of you receive emails from organizations with updates about the current situation in Israel as well as the rise of antisemitism throughout the U.S., Canada and internationally.

The following are all from recent reports that were in emails or on the internet: “Open hatred of Jews surges globally, inflamed by Gaza war,” (Reuters); “As a Jew, I’m scared for the first time in my life. After Oct. 7, Jewish persecution is no longer just a part of history,” (Congressman Dan Goldman); Ted Deutsch, CEO of The American Jewish Committee stated that a study showed that “antisemitism that was really just a simmering flame is now, especially since Oct. 7, a 5-alarm fire.” The U.S. Jewish community is facing a threat level that’s unprecedented in modern

times. The ADL Center on Extremism, which tracks, gathers and reports antisemitic incidents, recorded more antisemitic acts in the first three months after Hamas’ massacre in Israel on Oct. 7 than normally seen in an entire year.

An ADL email stated, “In these dangerous times, antisemitism is spreading and mutating in alarming ways. This onslaught of hate includes bomb threats, swatting, vandalism and physical assaults that have put communities across the country on edge. Meanwhile, 73% of Jewish college students say they have experienced or witnessed some form of antisemitism since the start of the 20232024 school year. These students feel unsafe, and on many campuses, unprotected by the leaders of their universities.”

An ADL email that was recently sent said that white supremacist propaganda incidents have reached historic levels.

During many meetings of descendants of Holocaust survivors, this question is raised, “Our parents must have known how bad things were, why didn’t our

parents leave?” It is often followed up with, “If we feel danger will we know when to leave?” In the past, when this discussion occurred, most attendees at the meeting of descendants did not feel scared, rather they felt secure where they lived in the U.S. or Canada — and they felt they have someplace to go; they have Israel.

How do we now answer the question, will we know when to leave? Since Oct. 7, where will we go? We are bombarded by statistics and articles about the international rise in antisemitism, violence against Jews, and that a place where our children felt safe — colleges — are no

longer necessarily safe. Are we alarmists? Jews have often been accused of being alarmists and told not to worry, that things would be fine. The 2Gs say that Jews were told that in the ’30s and things were certainly not fine. Perhaps there will be an answer soon.

If you want to meet with other 2Gs in the area, stay in touch with GenShoah SWFL at genshoahswfl@hmcec.org. There will be an opportunity for 2Gs, 3Gs and survivors to get together at 3 p.m. before the Yom HaShoah commemoration on May 5 at the Nina Iser Cultural Center, 4720 Pine Ridge Road, Naples.

Guess what’s coming to dinner

Zoog mir in Yiddish

When it comes to Mother’s Day, we Yidlec’h do a great job of honoring our one and only. From songs like “My Yiddishe Mameh,” to “Ah Brivele De Mameh” (A Letter from Momma), we remember who it was that gave us life. Our Jewish mothers play such an important role in who we are, what we’ve become and, sometimes, how we determined our careers.

Sol Awend


too. She reminisced about the antics of her seven brothers and sisters or learning how to make hamantaschen with her mother.

Food held a special place in ah Yeedish Heim (a Jewish home). The glorious meals and snacks she made, standing there with a smile, watching you eat even when you couldn’t take another bite. “Nem noc’h ah shtik’l!” (“Take another piece!”)

Even our beloved Yiddish language has a synonym: Mameh Looshen (Mother Tongue). And what warmth is embedded in those words and phrases. They just pour over into our emotions as we remember those descriptions and her words of wisdom.

Oh sure, Dad would sometimes put his two cents into the conversation. Many times, he was holding his pasik (belt). Mameh would step up and stop any further action with Loz oop! (cease and desist!)

It was with deh Mameh , where you found a haven and a resting place. How you would sit with her on occasion, mit ah keech’l un ah gloowez tei (a cookie and a glass of tea) and she’d tell you stories about her life; sometimes tinted with sadness and her longing for loved ones no longer here. But there was laughter

And Friday nights … Shabbos… watching her light the candles, chanting the prayer and covering her eyes. When it was time to eat, it was a feast! From kompot (compote) to raz mit yowec’h (rice with chicken soup), you knew it was the real deal, because the yowech ot geh haat oygen (the soup had eyes), referring to the circles of shmaltz (fat) floating on the surface. Whatever the main course, it always ended with ah shik’l shtrood’l (a piece of apple strudel).

I know that those who still have our Mamehs will kiss and hug them endlessly. I hope you do, for there are those who can only nod and fondly cherish memories that never dim.

(Would you like to hear some original Yiddish poems about motherhood? Send me an email at solawend@gmail.com. In return, I will send you an audio and a written version of the selection.)

22 May 2024 Federation Star See our full menu and order online at KatzNYDeli.com Our full menu remains available! In addition, we also now have Bagels & Lox • Baked Salmon Whitefish Salad • Katz Hot Dog Hours: Monday-Friday 11-6 • Saturday 11-3 Catering and platters available
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Coping when your adult child has cancer Aging Jewishly — What our traditions teach us about growing old.

As Carole came to terms with her adult daughter’s cancer diagnosis, she sprang into action. News reports tell us that “She’s ferried and fetched (the grandchildren), taken them to school sports matches and given them endless support. She’s been a real Mary Poppins-like figure.”

And although the Carole of our story is Carole Middleton, mother of England’s future queen, she is not exempt from experiencing a frightful statistic; nearly 8% of cancer patients, or 160,000 U.S. young adults ages 20-44, and about a similar percentage (based on population) in the UK, are currently diagnosed with cancer. Given these numbers, it stands to reason that thousands of these young persons’ parents are navigating the unchartered emotional territory of how to support their adult children who are coping with cancer.

Princess Kate is Carole Middleton’s daughter. Kate is also 42 years old and a married mother of three – an upsidedown circumstance that can have challenging implications for the parentchild relationship.

Todd Krouner, father of cancer survivor, 29-year-old Jessica, would agree. In a 2019 interview posted on UCLAHealth, Krouner shared his wisdom via “10 Things I Wish I Knew Before My

Daughter Was Diagnosed with Cancer.”

As a father deeply concerned about his daughter and unsure of exactly how to support her, when he noticed that Jessica began losing her hair from chemotherapy, Krouner proposed that both he and Jessica shave each other’s heads. Jessica says, “He didn’t just get a buzz cut, he went fully bald. He’s the best.”

With an important show of solidarity under his belt, Krouner forged ahead with his 10 tips, among them a realization that even as a parent, “You are not in control.”

Krouner notes that “As parents, we dedicate ourselves to protecting our children, so it’s especially frightening when we have no control.”

Included in Krouner’s list are positive suggestions like “Do control what you can control,” such as the flow of medical information. He notes that it is helpful to choose a family member or trusted friend to serve as the point person to share regular updates.

Nearly8%of cancerpatients, or 160,000 U.S. youngadults ages20-44, and about a similar percentage (basedon population) intheUK, arecurrently diagnosed with cancer.

One item especially important on the Krouner list is “Keep the faith and cover the bases.” He recalls, “When my Jewish grandmother was at a Catholic hospital, a priest asked her if he could say a prayer for her. She said yes. When the priest left, my mother expressed shock at my grandmother’s acquiescence. My grandmother replied, “I just want to cover all of the bases.”

Krouner goes on to say, “My daughter is highly spiritual and took her strength from all corners. Her rabbi weighed in, my wife’s rabbis weighed in, her friends and clients offered prayers, my Christian clients prayed for her and my dry cleaner prayed for her.”

The list, which includes handling the effects of chemotherapy and relationships with in-laws, grandchildren and caregivers, concludes as Krouner recalls the wise words of a friend, “Be optimistic. There’s always time to be pessimistic. In fact, you don’t have to look for

tsuris (misery). She will find you when she wants you.”

Tsuris has found the Middleton’s as well, but according to reports, Carole has remained undaunted. Tara Cobham, journalist for The Independent, writes that Katherine’s mother “has provided the young family with the “three R’s.” She’s come to the rescue, provided reassurance and has been a rock to Katherine and William …” Or, as Krouner would say, provide your child with comfort, support and a positive outlook. “The best thing you can do for your child is just be a parent.”

For 10 years Rabbi Barbara Aiello served the Aviva Campus for Senior Life as resident rabbi. Her most popular columns are now published in her new book, “Aging Jewishly,” available on Amazon books. Rabbi Barbara now lives and works in Italy where she is rabbi of Italy’s first Reconstructionist synagogue. Contact her at Rabbi@ RabbiBarbara.com.

For a continuously updated community calendar,
23 May 2024 Federation Star

A Holocaust series, three comedic movies, a comedy series, and more Stars of David

EOUR THANKS TO YOU, the Greater Naples community, for a very successful Jewish Book Festival.

Robin Mintz, Chair and the Book Festival volunteers:

Cantor Donna Azu

Patti Badiner

Lea Bendes

Emily Berkowitz

Patti Boochever

Ann Cowen

Linda Denning

Gayle Dorio

Larry DuKatz

Linda DuKatz

Judith Finer Freedman

Louise Forman

Spencer Forman

Ken Getnick

Molly Getnick

Jan Goldman

Carole Greene

Sherry Greenfield

Lenore Greenstein

Lee Henson

Burton Hirsch

Carol Hirsch

Bobbie Katz

Carolyn Kimmel

Lisa Lauber

Barb Lefkowitz

Arlene Litow

Ida Margolis

Jeff Margolis

Howard Margolis

Marci Margolis

Rochelle Miller

Andy Mintz

Darlene Muller

Rabbi Frank Muller

Joel Pittelman

Susan Pittelman

Ellaine Rosen

Gale Schulman

Dorothy Schwebel

Dina Shein

Iris Shur

Linda Simon

Marc Simon

Elaine Soffer

Phyllis Strome

Steve Strome

Leslie Wasserman

Jack Wiadro

Nancy Wiadro

Steve Yussen

Suzann Yussen

Joni Zalasky

Renee Bialek, Program Director

ditor’s Note: Persons in bold are deemed by Nate Bloom to be Jewish for the purpose of this column. Persons identified as Jewish have at least one Jewish parent and were not raised in, or identify with, a faith other than Judaism. Converts to Judaism, of course, are also identified as Jewish.

Here are new films and new series this month with a Jewish connection:

"Tattooist of Auschwitz"

This 6-episode, Peacock original series that premieres on May 2 is based on the real-life story of Lale Sokolov and Gita Furman , who met in Auschwitz and, after the war, married and settled in Australia. Sokolov sat down with writer Heather Morris after Furman’s death in 2003. He finally was ready to tell his “Auschwitz story.” Morris used Sokolov’s story to write a historical novel that changed some details but was essentially true to what he told her. The (Morris) book version of “The Tattooist” was a huge seller and the series is based on the novel.

Morris is a character in the series. We see Morris (Melanie Lynskey) talking to the elderly Sokolov ( Harvey Keitel , 84). The young Sokolov is played by Brit actor Jonah Hauer-King , 28. Furman is played by Anna Prochinak, a Polish actress.


A comedy film that premieres May 3 on Netflix, “Unfrosted” chronicles the competition between Kellog’s and Post cereal to produce a revolutionary pastry in 1963.

The screenplay was co-written and directed by Jerry Seinfeld , who turned 70 on April 29. This is the first film Seinfeld has directed, and he also stars in it. The large supporting cast includes Melissa McCarthy, Hugh Grant, Amy Schumer , 42, and Dan Levy, 40.

“Prom Dates”

This comedy film premieres on Hulu on May 3. Basic plot: everything goes haywire for two teen girls when they break-up with their boyfriends just before prom. Chelsea Handler , 49, has a juicy supporting role as the mother of one of the boyfriends.

“The Idea of You”

Premiering May 2 on Amazon Prime, this romantic comedy chronicles the love affair between Solene, a single mother (Anne Hathaway) and the lead singer of a popular boy band, who is about 16 years younger than her. Solene’s daughter is played by Ella Rubin , 22. The film was directed by Michael Showalter , 54, and it was co-written by Showalter and Jennifer Westfeldt , 53 (“Kissing Jessica Stein”).

Showalter and Westfeldt have a Jewish mother and a non-Jewish father. Both identify as Jewish.


Virtually all the “premium” outlets have series that have much shorter seasons than broadcast network series. It is rare when HBO, Amazon, etc. have series that “offer” more than 10 episodes per season. Then, you have to wait a whole year, or more, for a second, third, etc. season.

A case-in-point is “Hacks,” a very good comedy that received great reviews for its first season. It features Jean Smart as Deborah, an aged, once-very-popular comedian, and Hannah Einbinder , 28, as Ava, a struggling comedian who takes a job writing funny stuff for Deborah. Einbinder is the daughter of Laraine Newman, 72, an original “SNL” cast member.

“Hacks made us wait a whole year for the second season (May 2022); it was only eight episodes and not as funny as the first year. They waited two years (!) to finally stream a third season (begins May 13; 9 episodes).

I don’t understand why they are doing things this way, and it’s certainly not funny.

“Greedy People”

Opening in theaters on May 16 is “Greedy People”, a comedy mystery. It follows the residents of a small island town as they cope with unusual events: a sensational murder and the finding of a million dollars.

Three Jewish actors have big roles: Joseph Gordon-Levitt , 43, Tim Blake Nelson , 59 and Simon Rex, 49.

“Back in Black”

This biopic about the late British Jewish singer Amy Winehouse (1983-2011), opens in theaters on May 17. I could be wrong, but it looks like this film has all the signs of not being very good, and it may be a total disaster.

British actress Marisa Abela , 27, plays Winehouse. Her mother is Jewish. Abela isn’t a well-known actress, but the British filmmakers had to find some Brit who is Jewish to play Winehouse. All the other real Jews in the film are played by non-Jews.

The trailers for the film have been trashed by fans. Anxiety about Abela’s ability to competently sing Winehouse songs has been rising as more clips of the film are released and, at the last minute and without warning, the filmmakers cut the scenes in which top music producer and songwriter Mark Ronson , 48, an American Jew, supervises the making of Winehouse’s best songs and albums. Why? I don’t know.


Hadassah’s global impact

adassah National President

Carol Ann Schwartz shares,

“In just the last decade, we have helped to save and improve lives in more than 35 countries. Also, if you include countries from which students came to Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) to study in the international masters in public health program, the number reaches well over 100 countries.

Your support has a world-reaching impact on five of the world’s seven continents.”

While the Israel-Hamas war continues to rage on, your support helps Israelis and injured soldiers to receive rehabilitation and psychological care. Our new Rehabilitation Center was completed on an urgent turnaround after Oct. 7 due to great need. To help heal the minds of those affected with PTSD and horrific sexual violence, Hadassah also maintains the Bat Ami Center for the growing number of victims of sexual abuse.

Our hospital is among the leading medical centers of the world and has been cited by US News and World Report as a leader in cardiology, oncology and smart technology. Hadassah is known globally

Collier/Lee Hadassah honors its 2024 Inspiring Women

Hfor its cutting-edge research and collaborates with 50+ research partners around the world that include major U.S. labs, hospitals, institutes and pharmaceutical companies in a variety of countries. Hadassah research has led the way on many medical and scientific matters.

Hadassah International spans many continents with groups in many countries: Israel, France, the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Brazil. The volunteer men and women of Hadassah International believe that advancement and cooperation in medicine transcend politics, religion and national boundaries.

Hadassah has a history of sharing its knowledge and skills. In the 1940s, during World War II, Hadassah Hospital experts educated British Military officers in the Middle East about dysentery, malaria, typhoid, typhus and other tropical diseases.

During the same period, the Polish government awarded Hadassah the Golden Cross of Merit for developing an anti-typhus vaccine used by Polish troops and refugees.

In addition to Hadassah’s world-class research hospital, the organization has built and developed five schools for medical professionals in Israel, including schools of medicine, nursing, pharmacology and dentistry.

In addition to its healthcare work in Israel, Hadassah develops support programs in the U.S., such as women’s healthcare education, advancing the value of Zionism and fighting against antisemitism. Living our Jewish values of Tikkun Olam and Suddukah, Hadassah works to empower women and all are cornerstones of what we do in Hadassah.

onorees had a wonderful day at Hadassah’s Third Annual Inspiring Women Brunch where the organization honored its 2024 group of outstanding women who make a difference: Gayle Dorio, professional designer and community leader; Sonya (Sunny) Lubner, philanthropist and community leader; and Ellaine Rosen, educator extraordinaire and community leader.

Hadassah trained medical personnel in South American hospitals during COVID on how to treat their patients and manage their hospital care and staff during the pandemic. Our Hadassah medical staff travel to the scene of crises around the world, including Ukraine where our doctors and nurses set up trauma services right over the border in Poland as evacuating Ukrainians left their country. Many orphaned Ukrainian children were taken to Hadassah’s Youth Aliyah Villages. They were still there on the dark day of Oct. 7, and they survived.

The Collier/Lee Chapter of Hadassah created the Inspiring Women event to recognize the importance, value and impact empowered women make in our communities.

Hadassah medical staff teams travel to crises around the world dealing with tragedies such as earthquakes and tsunamis to provide assistance and share their knowledge of trauma medical care.

Your support keeps Hadassah at the table on key decisions, such as its recent presentation at the congressional roundtable on gender-based violence against Israeli women and at the 68th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

With a 112-year history rich in caring and service, we believe that Hadassah is a bridge to peace for the world through health and medicine.

On March 3rd, the Collier-Lee chapter of Hadassah held a brunch to honor three “inspiring” women. I was honored to be one of them. We three recipients spoke and were given beautiful awards.

At this time, it is so important to remember what Hadassah is about; so important to work for Israel’s survival. Am Yisrael Chai. Hadassah has been an integral part of Israel, working to provide outstanding medical care, research and advocacy for important causes. Providing youth villages for at-risk children is another essential part of Hadassah. Knowing how hard Hadassah works to carry out the mission of Tikkun Olam fills my heart

with gratitude. It is an honor to be part of this magnificent organization.

We are lucky when we are successful in our careers, when we have a wonderful family and good friends. When we have good health, we are blessed. I believe it is when we think outside ourselves, when we recognize what we have, that we share. When we all work for peace and understanding, when we counter hate and people learn to love instead, that is when we are all inspiring people.

Thank you to the other recipients for their efforts, and thank you, Hadassah! May we all be blessed with peace everlasting. Thank you.

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COLLIER/LEE CHAPTER OF HADASSAH www.hadassah.org / CollierLeeHadassah@gmail.com
Nancy Wiadro, Presidents Council; Ellaine Rosen, Honoree; Janett Edelberg, Presidents Council; Sunny Lubner, Honoree; Diane Schwartz, Presidents Council; and Gayle Dorio, Honoree.
Thank you, Hadassah
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Jewish American Heritage

ince Oct. 7, I find myself in numerous new Jewish circles, particularly those on social media, where tens of thousands of younger American Jews try to find some answers and understanding of a world filled with previously unexpected antisemitism. On way too many occasions, I find myself in a position of knowledge, responding to calls for the establishment of Jewish History Month in the U.S., with explanations that we already have a Jewish American Heritage Month annually in the month of May.

Why was I not surprised that so many of our youth have no idea? Because, it is not being taught or as widely publicized as, say, Black History or Women’s History months. So, I’m counting on each one of you to help me spread the word to those you know who might still be in the dark.

President George W. Bush proclaimed that May would be Jewish American Heritage Month. That announcement was made on April 20, 2006. This was the result of efforts by the Jewish Museum of Florida and South Florida Jewish leaders that led to resolutions introduced by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL) and Sen. Arlen Specter (PA). The resolutions urged the president to proclaim a month for recognizing the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture. These resolutions passed unanimously, first in the House of Representatives (December 2005) and later in the Senate (February 2006).

The month of May was chosen following the highly successful celebration organized by the Commission for Commemorating 350 Years of American Jewish History in 2004. Implementation of the annual celebration was led by the Jewish American Heritage Month Coalition, which was formed in March 2007. United Jewish Communities, the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the

American Jewish Archives and the American Jewish Historical Society, the Library of Congress and the National Archives and Records Administration formed this coalition.

Learn more at https://www.jewish heritagemonth.gov. This site presents only a part of the digital and physical archives from the Library of Congress and other participating agencies.

How else can you help make Jewish American Heritage Month better known both locally in Florida and everywhere else in the U.S.? Come to the community lunch event on May 14 at noon to learn more. This lunch, in partnership with Jewish Federation of Greater Naples, and will achieve two goals:

• celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut, aka Israel Independence Day

• teach about Jewish American Heritage Month and spread awareness throughout the community

Bring your favorite Israeli dish to share. It can be homemade or store-bought, but it must be kosher-style dairy. Attendance is free! Enjoy the tasty lunch and pick up some knowledge from charismatic impassioned speakers. Our community is united pro-Israel, so bring your friends (Jews and non-Jews) to join in! Register with Reneé by emailing RBialek@jewish naples.org. See you there!

Stay historically connected through us. Your generosity and membership help The Jewish Historical Society of SWFL in our research, future films, events and presentations. Donate online, by mail or contact us at office@jhsswf.org. Sign up to receive announcements, reminders and news. To sponsor A. Goldstein’s recording of a new music composition, please reach out to us directly. We can be reached at The Jewish Historical Society of Southwest Florida, 8805 Tamiami Trail North, Suite # 255, Naples FL 34108, 833-547-7935 (833-JHS-SWFL) www. jhsswf.org, office@jhsswf.org.

The Jewish Historical Society of Southwest Florida is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Contributions are deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

26 May 2024 Federation Star
JEWISH HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SWFL www.jhsswf.org / 239-566-1771 ORGANIZATIONS Nina Iser Jewish Cultural Center Thursday, June 27 7-9 pm $18 pp Desserts will be served REGISTER AT WWW.JEWISHNAPLES.ORG Mc’d by Spotlight Entertainment OF GREATER NAPLES Everyone is welcome to join us for a fun night at the
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Redeem the captives


n the sacred journey from Passover to Shavuot, we traverse a profound period of spiritual growth and renewal. As we commemorate our liberation from bondage and receive the Torah at Sinai, we are reminded of the enduring commandment to "exhaust all efforts to bring captives back to their fold" (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De'ah 252:1). This commandment, rooted in the deepest wellsprings of our tradition, calls upon us to embody the principles of compassion, justice and redemption in our daily lives.

The period between Passover and Shavuot serves as a poignant reminder

of the plight of those who remain captive, whether in body or spirit. Just as our ancestors yearned for freedom from the shackles of slavery in Egypt, so too do countless souls yearn for release from the bonds of oppression and despair in our own time. It is incumbent upon us, as inheritors of the legacy of liberation, to heed the call to action and work tirelessly to bring about the redemption of those who are still captive.

But what does it mean to "exhaust all efforts" in the pursuit of redemption? It requires more than just lip service or token gestures of sympathy. It demands a concerted and sustained commitment to seeking out the lost, the marginalized and the downtrodden, offering them a pathway to freedom and renewal. It means advocating for the rights of the oppressed, providing support and assistance to those in need and extending a hand of compassion and

To be or not to be

The self you really want to


HRabbi Howard S. Herman DD

ave you ever contemplated what it might mean to become your best “self?” What is the best vehicle to showcase the likeness of our best selves? Does Judaism give us any guidance for this and, finally, does it matter? The first two questions that come to mind are “what do we mean by best and what is a self?” I think the simplest and most direct way of putting it is “living authentically.”

Living our best selves requires that we know and acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses. It is also important to realize that our weaknesses can, at times, also become our strengths. We need them to do the work we are called to do. They are inexorably linked. We often try to get rid of our weaknesses as if they were defects, ‘quality control’ errors or black spots on the soul. We are the way we are made for a variety of reasons. For example, if we are granted the gift of persistence, it also sometimes adds to the characteristic of stubbornness. We need them both to do the work we are called on to do. We have persistence for a reason. The challenge for us is to keep it from hardening into stubbornness.

solidarity to those who have been forgotten or forsaken.

In our modern world, the call to redeem the captives takes on many forms. It may involve advocating for the release of political prisoners, working to end human trafficking and modern-day slavery or offering support and assistance to those struggling with addiction, mental illness or other forms of bondage. It may require us to confront systems of injustice and oppression that perpetuate cycles of poverty, violence and marginalization and to work towards building a society that affirms the dignity and worth of every human being.

But what does it mean to "exhaust all efforts" in the pursuitofredemption?

As we journey through the period between Passover and Shavuot, let us recommit ourselves to the sacred task of redeeming the captives. Let us heed the call to action with courage and determination, knowing that our efforts have the power to bring about transformation and renewal in the world. And let us draw inspiration from the words of our sages, who remind us that "whoever saves a single life, it is as if they have saved an entire world" (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5).

May we be blessed with the strength and wisdom to fulfill this holy mandate, and may our actions be a source of blessing and healing for all. May it be God's will, to grant us success in all our endeavors, and to bring about the ultimate redemption of all who are still captive, speedily and in our days.

Rabbi Ammos Chorny serves at Beth Tikvah.

list on your resume: the skills you have that contribute to your external success. Eulogy virtues are the virtues that get spoken about at your funeral: the ones that exist at the core of your being. Many of our ancestors attempted to be their best selves. Some did not. But the unique characteristic of them all was that they acknowledged their strengths and their weaknesses. They didn’t try to cover up the weaknesses, thereby acknowledging that they exist. The Torah implores us to focus on life and living by prizing life and living. Our chief concern becomes how to best live that life here and now.

“Sometimesyou thinkyouaredoing whateverpossible to live into and to become the best versionofyourself, butinreality, youarenot.”

Other religions have a central figure from the past whom they venerate and often deify. It is either the son of God, God’s last prophet on Earth, the Buddha or some other central divinelike figure from the past. In Judaism, there is no such central figure. The closest we get to that is Moses. Yet, no one knows where Moses is buried because the Torah clearly did not want his burial place to become a shrine. At his request, Moses was replaced by Joshua, who was given the same power as Moses. If you read the book of Joshua, it is striking how infrequently Moses is mentioned. After Moses died, Judaism moved on without him as a personality.

you think you are doing whatever possible to live into and to become the best version of yourself, but in reality, you are not,” Amir says.

Often the Jewish High Holy Days provide us with a vehicle to go inward and conduct a review. But first you need to have some idea of what living in that best self looks like. How would you describe your best self? What qualities would you exhibit if you were living the most ideal version of yourself? How would you describe yourself?

We are all born with the potential to become our best selves. Most of us, at one time or another, get offtrack during our lifetime. We then set new targets, but invariably miss them, then think we no longer possess that potential. We feel as if our best selves have vanished. But that is not true. In fact, you don’t really need

to return to your “best self.” Just “turn” toward him or her. You need only to express the person you already are. Your best self is there. It just needs to be put on display and be seen.

Rabbi Dov Heller, a licensed marriage and family therapist, intimates that there are seven things you can do to become your best self: be self-aware, be self-accepting, be self-forgiving, be self-defining, be self-navigating, be self-building and be self-transcending.

The Jewish sage Hillel said “If I am not for myself who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?” The time to exhibit your best self is now. Don’t wait! Find that self you truly are and let it shine.

Shalom Uvracha.

Rabbi Howard S. Herman DD serves at Naples Jewish Congregation.

In the book “The Road to Character,” author David Brooks tells us that we live our lives by two different sets of virtues: “resume virtues” and “eulogy virtues.” Resume virtues are the ones you would

The idea that one person can lead a group forever, even posthumously, stems from a uniquely human failing. We see it with all dictators. Without democratic institutions greater than themselves to keep them in check, they try to hang onto power forever. They sometimes try to outmaneuver death by transferring power to their children.

Therapist Nina Amir suggests that a life review provides an indication of whether you are living your best self. “Sometimes

27 May 2024 Federation Star
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~Therapist Nina Amir

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Please visit https://JFGN.regfox.com/bone-builder and click on the Physicians Form.pdf. Print this out and bring to the first class.

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• Doctor’s note and consent form (see 2 forms above).

Artificial intelligence is taking the world by storm. I have dabbled a bit with it. For instance, apropos of this month, I asked CoPilot (Microsoft’s AI) “Why do we celebrate Lag B’Omer?”

Its reply: “Lag B’Omer is a festive day on the Jewish calendar celebrated on the 33rd day of the Omer count, which is the counting period between Passover and Shavuot. The celebration includes various customs such as outings, bonfires, parades and visiting the resting place of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in Meron, northern Israel. This year, Lag B’Omer falls on May 26. The day commemorates two significant events:

1. The life and teachings of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai: It marks the anniversary of the passing of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, a great sage and mystic who was the first to publicly teach the mystical dimension of the Torah known as the Kabbalah and is the author of the Zohar. He instructed his disciples to mark the date as “the day of my joy,” celebrating the revelation of the esoteric soul of Torah.

2. The end of a plague during Rabbi Akiva’s time: Lag B’Omer also honors the end of a plague that afflicted the disciples of Rabbi Akiva, who did not show proper respect to one another. The day thus carries the theme of loving and respecting one’s fellow (ahavat Yisrael).

If you do not have a printer, please come to the Federation office to pick them up.

Register at: www.jewishnaples.org

Please arrive at 9:15 am to check in with the instructor

If you can't attend certain dates in June & July, please email Reneé.

*no class on June 13 or July 4

How else can AI help us learn about our heritage? I asked it to give me five trivia questions from the Torah. Its answer: “Here are five trivia questions and answers from the Torah:

Question: At what age did Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt?

Answer: Moses was 80 years old when he spoke to Pharaoh and led the Israelites out of Egypt.

Question: When Jacob fell in love with Rachel, what did he agree to do in order to marry her?

Answer: Jacob agreed to work for Rachel’s father, Laban, for seven years.

Question: What is another name for the Pentateuch?

Answer: The Pentateuch is also known as the Torah, which can refer to the first five books of the Hebrew Bible or more generally to the entirety of the Hebrew Bible and its commentary.

Question: Which English philosopher of the 17th century questioned the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch?

Answer: Thomas Hobbes prepared a list of passages that seemed to negate Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch.

Question: What is the significance of the rainbow in the story of Noah’s Ark?

Answer: The rainbow is a sign from God to Noah that He would never again flood the entire earth, serving as a covenant between God and all living creatures.”

Enjoy these trivia questions and share your knowledge with others!

Trivia is a way to impart knowledge. When I conduct services, I play Jewish Jeopardy rather than a sermon. The congregation both enjoys the game and learns something about Judaism in the process.

How is your Jewish knowledge?

Perhaps you should pick up a book of Jewish trivia or better still, come to Naples Jewish congregation for the rabbi’s lifelong learning classes. Or come for a dose of Jewish trivia.


IStan Alliker President

hope all our readers had a very Happy Passover. JCMI enjoyed its annual seder.

In May, our summer activities continue with religious services every Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. followed by an Oneg Shabbat. All are welcome to attend.

Planning for the upcoming season is in full swing. JCMI is planning to hold Bubbles Bakery in December, and we need volunteers to bake. If you are a baker and want to make some Jewish baked goods, contact the JCMI office at 239-642-0800.

Monday night bingo will continue. Come and join us for an evening’s entertainment featuring a kosher hot dog dinner and the chance to win game prizes and large jackpots.

Have a safe summer!

28 May 2024 Federation Star SYNAGOGUE NEWS
Jewish Congregation of Marco Island
/ 239-642-0800
NAPLES JEWISH CONGREGATION www.naplesjewishcongregation.org / 239-431-3858
Learning Jewish heritage through AI
Charles Flum
When does “never again” mean never again?

hange is a theme that is often discussed. There is the very successful book about change from 1999 that is still read today: “Who Moved My Cheese?” Change is at the heart of my favorite song from “Fiddler on the Roof:” “sunrise, sunset swiftly flow the days.” Probably the best-known quote about change is from Greek philosopher Heraclitus, who in 500 BCE, famously wrote, “There is nothing more constant than change.”

As Jews, we celebrated Purim last March, which took place about the time Heraclitus was writing. The Purim story tells of a reversal of destiny as Queen Esther, whose Jewishness was revived when confronted with calamitous events placed before her, puts her life on the line to stop the impending destruction of the Jews at the hand of unremorseful antisemites.

Since that event 2,500 years ago, one thing that has not seemed to change is the recurring blood lust by a revolving set of individuals for the uncontrolled slaughter, torture and moral depravity toward the Jewish people. The latest iteration of this was the savage terrorist attack of Oct. 7. This was the wickedest mass slaying of Jews since the Shoah.

Almost immediately, Israel’s allies issued statements of strong support. In Israel on Oct. 18, the President said “to families of the hostages: You’re not alone. We’re working with partners throughout the region, pursuing every avenue to bring home those who are being held captive by Hamas.” Now, not even six months removed from that horrendous event, comes a neck-snapping change from one side to the other. On March 25, the United States’ UN delegation, by abstaining, allowed passage of a Security Counsel

cease-fire resolution without requiring at least a partial return of hostages.

With this possible rift between the U.S. and Israel, Hamas and Iran’s leaders are delighting in the cease-fire call and the United States’ non-vote, saying a “fateful turning point” as Iran praised Hamas for proving the “myth” of Israel's “invincibility” in the region. Both boasting that the existence of even a handful of Hamas fighters and leaders is a Hamas victory as Israel could not dislodge them from Rafah.

With that abstention, Hamas (again) has Israel right where it wants them. Should Israel begin military operations in Rafah to achieve its justified objectives of removing Hamas as Gaza’s governing authority and eliminating Hamas as an organized military force with the capability of carrying out another Oct. 7 pogrom, Hamas can then cry “Occupiers,” “Colonizers,” “Palestinian Genocide” even louder.

Simultaneously, Hamas turns its powerful PR megaphone up another notch to provoke the students and faculty at generally elite universities in the U.S. and Europe, and their compatriots, in the street. They are protesting with the intent of increasing pressure on elected officials, not to do the right thing, but to do what the protesters deem is the politically correct action of cease-fire and withdrawal. For the politicians, it is quite likely the politically expedient thing to enhance election support among some voter segments.

By the time this article is in publication, we should know if Israel has accepted a cease-fire that will last until Hamas breaks it again. Since the establishment of the Gaza blockade, Israel has been involved in many military confrontations with Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups in Gaza — rocket attacks, incendiary ballons and tunnel incursions. Cease-fires have proceeded the last four previous major hostilities between Israel and Hamas: in 2008–2009, 2012, 2014 and 2021.

If Israel does not eliminate Hamas from Rafah this time, will this cease-fire be different than those that came before it? Just when does “never again” actually mean never again?

The Cardozo Society is formed as a way to network the many existing and new Jewish attorneys in our legal community. The Jewish Federation of Greater Naples continues to reach out to raise awareness through this association of Jewish attorneys promoting professionalism, cooperation, and identification with our Jewish community.

For more information contact Joshua Bialek at jbialek@porterwright.com
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The confidence to say “I don’t know”

he news out of Israel has been hard in the last few weeks. The talking heads on TV and other media have been quick to point the finger at Israel for all sorts of bad behavior related to Israel’s war of self-defense in Gaza. Even those of us who love Israel have been challenged by the pictures and accounts of the suffering on the ground. It would be easy to jump on the bandwagon of criticism and declare that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) should or shouldn’t do XYZ, because certain words and ideas have taken root in the public discourse.

Having just returned from Temple Shalom’s second Volunteer Mission to Israel, I know that the picture is not as simple as the media narrative would have us believe. While there, we were privileged to meet and share a meal with soldiers of several units, including elite fighters and officers in the air force. Every single one of these young men and women was exemplary. Their stories of bravery and sacrifice had us in tears and filled us with pride.

When not in uniform, they are engineers, teachers, parents and our fellow Jews. We all commented that they reminded us of our own children and grandchildren, while also recognizing that our kids do not shoulder the burden of conscription, war and decades of reserve duty in order to keep the Jewish people safe. Simply put, the warm, friendly and engaging young people we interacted with could not be more different from the IDF you hear about in the media.

In the IDF, as in any army, everyone has a particular job. The cooks, the engineers and the officers all have different, but important roles to play. As Jews, I

believe that we now have a job to do as well. I don’t need to understand the inner workings of IDF military maneuvers to know in my bones that Israel is fighting an existential battle with the forces of evil and that she must prevail in order to preserve the Jewish State and the safety of Jews all around the world. I also know that if the United Nations and western governments would pressure Qatar or Hamas, who is ultimately responsible for every single death and injury in Gaza, (including journalists and aid workers) to return the hostages and surrender, that the war would stop and the people of the region could start to think about “the day after.”

My job as I see it, is to support Israel in her time of need. I am making a conscious decision to root for “my team” and give them the benefit of the doubt when there are challenging episodes, because I don’t know whether Israel could or should be doing anything differently. I have no expertise in urban warfare, precision bombs, drone warfare or artillery fire. Guess what? Neither do most of the “experts” pontificating about the IDF’s

conduct! So, no, I will not side with those who are sitting in judgment of Israel’s prosecution of this war, wagging my finger about all the things that they could be doing better, because I don’t know What I do know is that Israel’s democracy and society are not perfect, but they strive to live up to the values enshrined in the Israeli Declaration of Independence and be a “Light unto the Nations.”

Diaspora Jews have a right and even an obligation in some circumstances to weigh in on matters that affect us in our spiritual homeland. But there is a saying in Israel that “you can’t see from there what we can see from here.”

When it comes to matters of war and peace, life and death, I think that there are times when we need to be brave enough to say “I don’t know” but “hineini!” I am here for you, nonetheless. Our people in Israel are going through a hard time right now and they need friends who will trust them, and their democratically elected leaders, to make the right decisions – not pile on when there are plenty of talking heads and politicians who are unthinkingly repeating anti-Israel talking

points from the comfort and safety of the western world.

Note: During the time I was writing this article (4/4/24), there were three sirens activated in Israel, alerting the residents of 17 communities to seek shelter because Hamas fired rockets at their homes, schools, hospitals and playgrounds (Sderot, Ibim, Nir Am, Zikim, Karmia, Ashkelon, Noam Industrial Zone, Beit Hagdi, Netivot, Shibolim, Sharsheret, Zimrat, Shuva, Kfar Maimon, Tushia, Havat Izra’am and Kfar Azza). Unless you follow Israeli media, I bet you didn’t hear about that.

30 May 2024 Federation Star SYNAGOGUE NEWS
SHALOM www.naplestemple.org / 239-455-3030

Temple Shalom Preschool’s Purim Food Truck Palooza

The Temple Shalom Preschool's Purim Food Truck Palooza was a resounding success, drawing a crowd of more than 500 attendees who were eager to partake in the festivities. The event was a vibrant tapestry of community and celebration, featuring an array of activities that catered to all ages. The raffle baskets, brimming with luxurious surprises, were a hit among the guests, while DJ Ceron and performances by Backstage Dance Academy added a dynamic flair to the atmosphere. The science show by Super Science & Amazing Art of SWFL sparked

curiosity and wonder, complementing the lively Kid Zone, where games and kid-friendly activities were facilitated by Moonwalk & More’s rock walk and inflatables, Amazing Athletes’ sports games and Daisy’s Pony Parties petting zoo. The heart of the Palooza, however, were the delicious and diverse offerings from local food truck vendors,

providing a taste of the community's culinary talents. This event not only brought joy and excitement to those who attended but also showcased the spirit of unity and tradition inherent in the celebration of Purim. We’ve already started planning next year’s Palooza!

31 May 2024 Federation Star FOCUS ON YOUTH TEMPLE SHALOM PRESCHOOL www.naplestemple.org / 239-455-3030
your kids,
Rabbi Ariel Boxman
sand toys, join us in saying the Shabbat blessings, and enjoy challah and juice with your PJ friends!
at programs@jewishnaples.org Join PJ Library for a Beach Shabbat
Friday, May 17th 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. Lowdermilk Park RSVP

Spring at the preschool

pring is a season of hope, excitement and renewed vitality. I absolutely love this time of year at the Jay and Patty Baker Preschool of the Arts, when we get to truly appreciate all the natural gifts that we benefit from, like flowers, green grass, warm weather, sunshine, chirping birds, fluttering butterflies and lively animals. Although we are lucky enough to live in the Sunshine State all year, spring always holds the promise of new beginnings and plenty of adventures to come.

At the Jay and Patty Baker Preschool of the Arts, we feel that pulsing energy every day as the children bring their youthful spirit and joy for life into our classrooms. We feel so blessed to be a part of our children’s first educational experience and are constantly inspired by their love for learning and curiosity for the world around them.

April was very exciting at POTA as we explored two themes: the holiday of Passover and the lifecycles of chickens. In preparation for Passover, our students “cleaned” their classrooms for the

The Big Build is taking shape! With each passing day, we’re one step closer to creating a space that will inspire, educate and empower generations to come.

holiday to get rid of “chametz.” Children love to do real work and had a blast making their classrooms sparkling clean with small brooms, feather dusters, rags and spray bottles filled with water.

The children also learned all about the story of Passover, starting with the story of baby Moses who floated down the Nile River in a basket. In a science and sensory lesson, the children used the water table to discover different items that sink or float like Moses in the basket. In art, the children designed their owned kiddush cups and matzah covers.

April was also the perfect month to learn about burgeoning life, and every year, we conduct a school-wide project to hatch baby chicks. It’s one of the

highlights of the year!

Our children made daily visits to the eggs/chicks to check on their progress and discuss the various developments they could see, hear, touch and smell. This presented an excellent opportunity to build vocabulary while learning about the senses and early science. Our older students kept journals to document their learning and observations throughout the hatching project.

This month, on May 2, we celebrate Teacher and Staff Appreciation Day!

Our Preschool of the Arts team is passionate, dedicated and committed to making our children the best they can possibly be. This team of loving professionals are carefully selected for their warmth and passion for early childhood education. Every day, they expertly model the values of friendship, kindness and gratitude that make up the ethos of our school. Throughout the year, they are dedicated to not only educate but love our students, guiding them to reach their full potential.

Our annual Teacher and Staff Appreciation Day is a chance for our entire POTA family to come together and express heartfelt thanks for everything

our educators do. This year, Rabbi Fishel and I are hosting a “Sunset on the Beach” picnic dinner for our staff where we will shower our well deserving team with gifts and surprises, while our parents give generous gifts of appreciation. Our teachers feel so cared for by the loving gestures from our wonderful parent body.

Soon after, we will host a “Colors of Love” Mother’s Day celebration on May 10. Our fun, multicolor-themed event will allow our adorable young artists to express their appreciation for the most important woman in their lives: their moms! At POTA, we know that the mothers give their all to our children every single day and deserve all the recognition in the world. We cannot wait to shower them with gifts and love!

Want to learn more about our preschool and summer programs? Visit www.NaplesPreschooloftheArts.com or call 239-263-2620. Thank you for reading.

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32 May 2024 Federation Star FOCUS ON YOUTH
PRESCHOOL OF THE ARTS www.chabadnaples.com / 239-262-4474
239.592.9377 Info@NaplesEnvelope.com • Bar/Bat Mitzvahs • Event Invitations/Programs • Business Identity Packages • Events & Tradeshows • Signs, Banners, Posters • Mailings • Promotional Items • Stationery FREE Jewish books kids will love, sent every month! Learn more at jewishnaples.org/pj-library OF GREATER NAPLES OF GREATER NAPLES OF GREATER NAPLES Add Jewish connections to reading time with curated stories for ages 0-12

Our unforgettable Seussical Purim celebration at the Jay and Patty Baker Preschool of the Arts:

The Federation Star is a subsidized arm of JFGN. Its purpose and function is to publicize the activities and programs of Federation as well as ongoing activities of recognized Jewish organizations in Greater Naples.

The goal of JFGN is to reach out and unite all Jews of the Greater Naples area. While differing opinions and points of view exist on many issues of importance to Jews, the Federation Star will confine itself to publishing only items that report the facts of actual events of concern to Jews and offer commentary that clearly intends to unite all Jews in a common purpose.

Critical or derogatory comments directed at individuals or organizations will not be published.

To avoid misunderstandings, controversies and destructive divisions among our people, the Officers and Board of Trustees of Federation have adopted the following publication policy: Advertisements: All advertisements, regardless of their sponsor, shall be paid for in full, at the established rates, prior to publication. The contents of all advertisements shall be subject to review and approval of the Federation board or its designee. Commercial advertisers may make credit arrangements with the advertising manager, subject to the approval of the Federation board.

33 May 2024 Federation Star FOCUS ON YOUTH
Naples. Special Announcements: Special announcements shall be accepted from established Jewish organizations in Greater Naples and may, at the discretion of the Federation board, be subject to the conditions applicable to paid advertisements, as set forth above. News Items: Only those news items pertaining to matters of general interest to the broadest cross section of the Jewish community will be accepted for publication. Note: Items of controversial opinions and points of view about political issues will not be accepted for publication without prior approval of a majority of the Federation Officers and Trustees. All persons and organizations objecting to the actions and rulings of the Editor or Publications Committee Chair shall have the right to appeal those rulings to the Officers and Board of Trustees of JFGN. Federation Star Publication Policy
Regular Columns: Regular columns shall be accepted only from leaders (Rabbis, Presidents, Chairs) of established and recognized Jewish organizations in Greater Naples and the designated chairs of the regular committees of Jewish Federation of Greater

BBYO Naples and Fort Myers

March was a busy month for Naples BBYO. The teens held two events and participated in one volunteering opportunity. Nine of our Naples BBYO teens painted pottery at Cone06 Pottery in Naples on Sunday, March 3. They made some beautiful designs and colors on their choice of pottery.

Later in the month, four teens volunteered with the Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte County by distributing Purim Shalach Manos to Jewish residents of three assisted living facilities: two located in Bonita Springs and one in Estero. The teens bore the rush-hour traffic to help those residents feel special on such a joyous holiday.

Our second event was a delicious challah bake, which was held in conjunction with Florida Gulf Coast University Chabad on Sunday, March 31. The 11 teens got to know and meet some Jewish FGCU students through an ice breaker, learned about opportunities to continue their involvement in Jewish clubs and organizations post-high school, decorated their own challah covers and, most importantly, baked a challah from scratch.

Naples BBYO offered teens another volunteer opportunity with a beach cleanup on Sunday, April 14.

Our Naples BBYO teens were excited to attend North Florida Region’s Spring Regional Convention in Orlando, FL between April 19-21, where they got to see their other NFR BBYO friends, learn more about AZA, BBG, and BBYO, celebrate Shabbat together and elect a 2024-2025 NFR Regional Board.

We are happy that Naples BBYO has been able to offer scholarships to assist with the costs associated with membership in BBYO and with attending BBYO member exclusive events such as Spring Regional Convention. Thank you to all that have donated to Naples BBYO this past year.

We hope everyone had a nice and easy Passover holiday with friends and family.

What is BBYO?

BBYO is a diverse and inclusive Jewish youth group to encourage Jewish teens to become more immersed and interested in meaningful Jewish activities and programs. This organization accepts Jewish teens attending 8th through 12th grades of all backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender, race, denominational affiliation or socioeconomic status. BBYO currently reaches over 70,000 teens worldwide, with participants in over 60 countries and hundreds of chapters across the United States.

Supporting our teenage Jewish community

It is crucial to engage teens post-B’nai Mitzvah age in Jewish activities. Having

teens get involved in BBYO and be eager to create and confidently continue their own Jewish community within their greater Jewish communities is critical to our future.

The BBYO chapter of Naples has entered its 11th year of partnership with Jewish Federation of Greater Naples, Temple Shalom, Chabad of Naples and Beth Tikvah. Each organization provides financial support, volunteers and community involvement opportunities for the BBYO teens. We thank each and every one of our BBYO alums, friends and other supporters for making this a safe and positive environment for the teens of BBYO Naples and Fort Myers.

If you know of someone who has a teen who might like to join BBYO Naples or Fort Myers or know of someone who may want to be an advisor to our chapters, please email me at cschreier@bbyo.org. You can also follow us on Instagram @Mishpacha_BBG and @Negevaza. Scholarships to attend BBYO conventions and summer programs are available through both Jewish Federation of Greater Naples and the Temple Shalom Men’s Club. Please contact me for more information on scholarships. If you are a BBYO alum and would like to be included in our Friends and Alumni of BBYO mailing list, please email us at mjs0821@aol.com.

34 May 2024 Federation Star FOCUS ON YOUTH
azabbg.bbyo.org/on-demand/home BBYO OF GREATER NAPLES Jewish Young Professionals Jewish 20-40 year olds! The Jewish Young Professionals of Greater Naples invite you to come socialize! Please email or call Renee’ to be added to the roster. rbialek@jewishnaples.org 239-263-4205 Activities include: • Happy Hour • Game Night • Movie Night • Shabbat Services • Volunteering • Holiday Parties • Zoom Meet & Greets • and more! We want to hear yourandsuggestions ideas for upcoming events! PLEASE HELP US BUILD COMMUNITY! Publishing the FederationStarwould not be possible without our advertisers. Please patronize our advertisers and tell them you saw their ad in the FederationStar.


4630 Pine Ridge Road, Naples, FL 34119

Phone: 455.3030  Fax: 455.4361


Rabbi Adam Miller, MAHL

Cantor Donna Azu, MSM

Rabbi Ariel Boxman, MAHL, MARE, Director of Lifelong Learning

Rabbi James H. Perman, D.D., Rabbi Emeritus

Deborah Rosen Fidel, J.D., MAJPS, Executive Director

Len Teitelbaum, President

Dr. James Cochran, Music Director

Shabbat Services:

Shabbat Eve - Friday 7:30 p.m.

Shabbat - Saturday 10 a.m.

Sisterhood Men’s Club


991 Winterberry Drive

Marco Island, FL 34145

Phone: 642.0800  Fax: 642.1031

Email: manager@marcojcmi.com

Website: www.marcojcmi.com

Rabbi Mark Gross

Hari Jacobsen, Cantorial Soloist

Stan Alliker, President

Shabbat Services

Friday 7:30 p.m.

Seasonal: Saturday Talmud-Torah at 9:30 a.m.

Rabbi’s Lifelong Learning Series

Sidney R. Hoffman Jewish Film Festival

Saul I. Stern Cultural Series JCMI Book Club


Services are held at: The Unitarian Congregation 6340 Napa Woods Way

Rabbi Howard Herman 431.3858

Email: rabbi@naplesjewishcongregation.org


Charles Flum, President

Jane Galler, Cantorial Soloist

Shabbat Services

Friday evenings 7 p.m.

May - August: services once a month

Sisterhood • Men’s Club

Adult Education • Adult Choir

Social Action • Community Events

BETH TIKVAH (Conservative)

1459 Pine Ridge Road

Naples, FL 34109

(just west of Mission Square Plaza)

Phone: 434.1818

Email: office@bethtikvah.us

Website: www.bethtikvahnaples.org

Rabbi Ammos Chorny

Joseph Henson, President

Roberta Miller, Secretary

Shabbat Services

Friday evenings 6:15 p.m.

Saturday mornings 9:30 a.m.

Youth Education

Adult Education

Community Events

Bonita Springs, FL 34135

Phone: 239-949-6900

Email: chabad@jewishbonita.com

Website: www.JewishBonita.com

Rabbi Mendy & Luba Greenberg Co-directors


Sunday 9 a.m.

Monday through Friday 8 a.m.

Shabbat 10 a.m.

Adult Education

Challah of Love

Community Events

Daily Minyan Services

Hebrew School

Kosher Grocery

Kosher Meals on Wheels

Smile on Seniors

35 May 2024 Federation Star COMMUNITY
Jewish National Fund Joshua Mellits, 941.462.1330 x865 Jewish War Veterans Post 202 Commander, Harvey Sturm, 261.3270 Men’s Cultural Alliance President: Michael Sobol, 508.733.9427 Naples BBYO Cayla Schreier, 845.405.1991 Naples Friends of American Magen David Adom (MDA) SE Reg Dir: Joel Silberman, 954.457.9766 PJ Library Coordinator: Amber Ferren 239.263.4205 Women’s Cultural Alliance President: Patti Boochever, 518.852.3440 Zionist Organization of America President: Jerry Sobel, 914.329.1024 The Federation Star is published monthly, September through July, by Jewish Federation of Greater Naples 4720 Pine Ridge Road • Naples, FL 34119 Phone: 239.263.4205 E-mail: info@jewishnaples.org • Website: www.jewishnaples.org Volume 33, No. 9 • May 2024 • 36 pages USPS Permit No. 521 Publisher: Jewish Federation of Greater Naples Editor: Sharon Hood • 239.591.2709 • sharon@marketcrank.com Design: MarketCrank, Inc. Advertising: Joy Walker • 941.284.0520 June 2024 Issue Deadlines: Editorial: May 1 • Advertising: May 8 Send news stories to: sharon@marketcrank.com WWW.TOPJEWISHFOUNDATION.ORG Ellen Weiss Executive Director 813.769.4785 ellen@topjewishfoundation.org Set aside charitable funds when it's convenient Together, we are ensuring a Jewish future. DONOR ADVISED FUNDS (DAFs) DAFs make giving easy Make Deductible Gifts Now, Recommend Gifts to Your Favorite Charities Later Giving appreciated securities to DAFs maximizes philanthropy (no capital gains tax). DAFs offer the highest degree of confidentiality DAFs can empower the next generation. Contact us to learn how to open a DAF at TOP Elyse Hyman Director of Philanthropy 813.769.4769 elyse@topjewishfoundation.org
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Articles inside

BBYO Naples and Fort Myers

page 34

Spring at the preschool

pages 32-33

Temple Shalom Preschool’s Purim Food Truck Palooza

page 31

The confidence to say “I don’t know”

page 30

When does “never again” mean never again?

page 29

At Jewish Congregation of Marco Island

page 28

Learning Jewish heritagethrough AI

page 28

To be or not to be

page 27

Redeem the captives

page 27

Jewish American Heritage

page 26

Thank you, Hadassah

page 25

Collier/Lee Hadassah honors its 2024 Inspiring Women

page 25

Hadassah’s global impact

page 25

A Holocaust series, three comedic movies, a comedy series, and more

page 24

Coping when your adult child has cancer

page 23

Guess what’s coming to dinner

page 22

Jewish students are scared with good reason

page 22

Reflections on Yom HaShoah

page 21

At Beth Tikvah

page 21

Prize-winning author Rebecca Donner Zooms with GenShoah SWFL

page 21

Temple Shalom events open to the community

page 20

At the Museum

page 20

MCA mission helps struggling Cuban Jewish community

page 18

WCA women revive ancient Purim tradition

page 17

We don’t have to say goodbye for the summer!

page 16

PJ Library Beach Shabbat

page 14

Summer book club discussion with author Dan Petrosini

page 14

Exercise and nutrition tips for cancer survivors

page 14

Reflections on being the JYP coordinator

page 13

Notice the Jewish Russians in neighborhoods near you

page 12

Oil on canvas art classes with Lee Kaye

page 10

Jewish Federation of Greater Naples announces awards at Power of Community Celebration

page 9

Join us in May

page 8

A legacy workshop

page 8

Lion of Judah Society members enjoy brunch

page 6

Our core purpose at the Nina Iser Jewish Cultural Center

page 5

Welcome guests with a brick paver

page 4

Karen Deutsch presented Ne’Eman award

page 4

Dr. Nathaniel Ritter elected as Board Chair for second year

page 3

State of our Federation

pages 1-2
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