February Issue - Northeast Florida Jewish Life Magazine

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Contents 6


6 How Do We Keep Living Jewishly from Becoming Expensive and Lonely? 8 Chess4Solidarity Strengthens Ties Between Countries 10 'Come Sunday': Super Sunday 14 A Bridge to Overseas



16 Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida Facts... Did You Know?

February 2022


L’DOR V’DOR 20 Generations of Care at River Garden 21 Community Grants Support River Garden Library 22 The Serve Love Endowment Fund

23 L'dor V'dor on the Bench 24 River Garden Names Mary Dacorta as 2022 Minnie Schreiber Leadership Award Recipient

25 "Loaves" of Excitement at the Kids Mega Challah Bake

17 A Letter from the FBI

18 What is the Federation's Partnership2Gether? 19 Federation's Shaliach

Cover photo by: Emlyn James Photography



26 Forever Lions – A Legacy of Women as Philanthropists and Leaders 28 A Place for Every Generation

29 L'dor V'dor Jacksonville Jewish Center 30 Jewish Family & Community Services - The Quiet Agency









32 Apricot and Squash Puree


FAITH & INSPIRATION 34 B'nai Mitzvah 35 I Am a Dedicated Jewish Woman

Cover Photo Forever Lions in alphabetical order: Allison Jacobs, Iris Kraemer, Joan Levin, Barbara Resnick, Diane Rothstein, Judy Silverman, Kimberly Sisisky, Kellie Smith, Haley Trager, Brenda Wolchok, and Eunice Zisser.


LETTER FROM OUR CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER When I saw the cover of this month’s magazine which features some of our Forever Lions, I immediately thought of a quote I am often heard saying. I must frame this by stating that I attended an all-women’s college and started my professional career in the Women’s Division of UJAFederation of Greater NY, so you know the context for what could be understood as a feminist thought. I frequently say, “You educate a woman; you educate a generation.” The theme of our publication this month is l’dor v’dor. When hearing this phrase, so many interpret the meaning as, from grandparent to children to grandchildren. Being a product of two professional and cultural women empowerment organizations, I immediately think of women, like those on the cover, who model philanthropy and leadership for so many in our community. Their influence, like our male counterparts, reaches well beyond immediate families. According to Council for Jewish Elderly SeniorLife, l’dor v’dor literally means from generation to generation. Typically, it is understood to mean the transmission of

the culture’s values, rituals, traditions, and history to the next generation. But what if we expanded this understanding, that l’dor v’dor is not unidirectional from older to younger people? Rather, it is a communal obligation to strengthen the bonds between and among all generations for certainly we, as a community, embody more than just two generations.

One of the key roles of the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida is an obligation and responsibility to strengthen and ensure a strong and vibrant Jewish community in the region and around the world for future generations. Just like those who came before us and built our Jewish organizations, schools, and shuls, it is our turn to model philanthropy, leadership, and love of community. Not just through brick and mortar, but to build using our resources including finance, intellect, and time. I encourage you to join with our Forever Lions, volunteers, professional leadership, and close to 1,000 community philanthropists as we collectively build for the future with our footprints. I look forward to working and envisioning with you as we enhance and grow our community as part of our legacy, and our responsibility to express l’dor v’dor.

Jewish Federation & Foundation Staff Mariam Shpeen Feist Chief Executive Officer mariamf@jewishjacksonville.org Stav Brener Community Shaliach jaxshlichut@jewishjacksonville.org Pat Burke Director, Finance & Administration patrickb@jewishjacksonville.org Savannah Feustel Marketing Assistant savannahf@jewishjacksonville.org Bonnie Hayflick Interim Magazine Editor bonnieh@jewishjacksonville.org Faye Hedrick Director, Young Professionals & Families fayeh@jewishjacksonville.org Rachel Heiser Campaign & Donor Relations Coordinator rachelh@jewishjacksonville.org Jennifer Rensch Foundation Manager jenniferr@jewishjacksonville.org Lauren Rickoff Director, Campaign & Women’s Philanthropy laurenr@jewishjacksonville.org Kellie Smith Director, Foundation kelliek@jewishjacksonville.org





By Kellie Smith, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida

I recently read an article that suggested two of the most urgent priorities facing the American Jewish community are making Jewish life more affordable and revitalizing the Jewish dating scene. This got me thinking—with Jewish life being rather expensive and the constant challenge of meeting Jewish singles, are we standing in our own way of having a thriving Jewish community? We must work to make Jewish life more affordable, and in the absence of your Jewish mother living down the street to fix you up, we must make it easier for Jewish singles to connect!

Financially, the cost of Jewish Day School is one of our greatest challenges. Thankfully, our local Federation Annual Campaign provides funding to assist families with tuition. However, we must still consider that the price of tuition to attend a private Catholic K-8 school locally is roughly $8,000, while it costs nearly double that to receive a Jewish education—a reality of which I am very aware since I send my son, an only child, to a private Jewish Day School. In addition, the cost of Catholic religious school in Jacksonville is approximately $200 per year, while Jewish religious school can cost up to five times that amount. Since only an estimated 2.4 percent of U.S. adults are Jewish and since we are a community that shuns active proselytizing, we must rely on a

high Jewish birthrate to sustain. In order to sustain our Jewish identity in a secular, American culture, we must ensure our children are given the highest standard of Jewish education in both day schools and religious schools. To help parents make the decision and feel financially confident with their decision, we need the community's help to make this happen, from generation to generation, by being partners and sustaining Jewish education.

Culturally, the Jewish dating scene is in crisis, as more Jews than ever remain single in their thirties and forties, holding out for someone who is Jewish but unable to find anyone. It’s proven difficult for young Jewish singles to meet and fall in love, especially when families are so spread apart, separated geographically by parts of town that are labeled “more Jewish.” One of the many missions of our local Federation is to provide ample networking opportunities. Programs like our Young Professionals & Families and Shalom Northeast Florida exist to serve a diverse and modern cross-communal and unaffiliated community. But, we must continue to do more to provide a lively Jewish social scene into the future to keep our next generation engaged and connected. We must shift our focus from capital projects to investing our

COMMUNITY money into more efficient, dynamic infrastructure— moving from a brick-and-mortar mentality to an outreach and programming-based orientation.

There is no simple solution, but we must learn from what other organized religions have done. How can we begin to repair these issues and secure our Jewish future? I believe part of the answer lies in Endowment Funds—permanent investments that grow over time, established to fund the institutions they were created to support, in perpetuity. For example, the Catholic Archdiocese is worth $3.5 billion, and through long-term investing and endowments, has made it possible for Catholic life, culture, and education to thrive for generations even in the face of societal recession and hardship. Throughout history, Jews have paid a far higher price than money to hold onto our traditions, so how ironic that without proper preparation, an economic downturn could be the catalyst which ends up knocking countless Jewish families out of the possibility of Jewish practice. Consider this: Did you save for retirement? Did you make plans to leave your family an inheritance? In the same

vein, we must proactively invest in the protection and survival of our community. I know that particularly in the midst of the pandemic, so many families are forced to shift their focus from saving and providing for tomorrow to day-to-day spending; however, how will there be a next generation of Jews if we do not make a conscious effort to provide for their future sustainability? The mission of our Jewish Foundation is to ensure the long-term financial health of our community and secure the ability to live Jewishly for generations to come. As our Endowment Legacy Campaign motto states, “We are Here for Jewish Futures.” To ignore the financial and dating predicaments facing our community is to ignore the importance of l’dor v’dor and potentially watch a generation of Jews fall away from their traditions—not out of disinterest, but out of a lack of organizational resources. Help preserve a thriving Jewish life in Northeast Florida for your children and grandchildren, by committing to tomorrow, today. Start the conversation about creating your Jewish legacy by contacting me at kelliek@jewishjacksonville.org or (904) 512-3796.



An interview with Lior Aizenberg - Director, Chess4All and founder of Chess4Solidarity initiative. By Stav Brener, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida Community Shaliach

What is the purpose of Chess4Solidarity and how did it start?

Chess4Solidarity is a peer-to-peer (P2P) initiative that strengthens ties between countries and promotes camaraderie through the game of chess while influencing diplomatic relations and a growing fondness for the State of Israel.

online participants only. The first event was on Holocaust Remembrance Day with Haim Arbiv, a holocaust survivor, telling his story and playing chess against his opponents. The next event was organized by my friend, Alon Cohen, as the Blitz Battle between teams called Sons of Ibraim and Abraham. Players from Arab countries participated with more than 8,000 players worldwide.

Started in May 2020 when COVID-19 brought restrictions and quarantines to Israel, Chess4All and Israeli chess players had the option to compete with

As the Founder, the initiative has great meaning for players and the bonds created are important to me. I was boycotted four years ago from entering a world chess championship that was held in Saudi Arabia because of my Israeli nationality. I spent more than a year launching media campaigns and a legal process in order to make a change. I now have friends who are players and organizers from many countries who don't have diplomatic connections with Israel. It is a personal triumph.

The organization is recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a positive intercultural initiative. Events have received endorsements from celebrities, ambassadors, and politicians with an international staff of arbiters and commentators. More than $40,000 has been awarded to players and we’ve donated chess equipment to five countries.


How are you personally connected to this initiative?

Tell us about some of your major achievements with Chess4Solidarity.

We’ve held more than 30 events with thousands of viewers and bring visibility to relationships between more than 150 countries with acceptance from key influencers and from chess notables including Gary Kasparov and Judith Polgar. We create an environment of playing well together and not against each other. What are the future plans for Chess4Solidarity?

We hope to hold courses and international events with delegations that travel to and from Israel and online events between countries. Our plan is to have more than 1,000 players in each event and online groups with more than 20,000 members. How can our community connect to Chess4Solidarity?

Anyone can play chess at all levels. For example, in remembrance of the Holocaust, we will share testimonials and include ongoing information on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/chess�all. Any personal words you want to share with us?

I would like to thank my staff of arbiters, commentators and organizations, and individuals who support us; the ambassadors of Israel for their cooperation; and, participants interested in connecting through the cultural language of chess. Contact Lior Aizenberg at +��2�2���2���, email Chess�all��@gmail.com.

Natan Sharansky, former Chairman of the Executive for the Jewish Agency with Lior Aizenberg.


'COME SUNDAY': SUPER SUNDAY By Faye Hedrick, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida

One Sunday each year, passionate and committed volunteers make calls to the community in an effort to raise dollars for the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida’s annual campaign. This campaign supports our local Jewish agencies, synagogues, and day schools, as well as Israel, and more than 70 countries worldwide. Mark your calendar for this year’s Super Sunday, February 27, 2022!

Throughout the morning, volunteers will make calls, asking community members to take part in the age-old Jewish tradition of tzedakah. This year’s Co-Chairs, Leah Palestrant and Sarah Schwartz are excited to welcome volunteers to our “It’s Give O’Clock Somewhere” themed morning. Callers will be greeted with mocktails and “Bagels In Paradise!" In addition, raffle prizes, Jimmy Buffet tunes, and camaraderie with old and new friends will be a few of the fun things in store. Outdoor calling stations and social distancing protocols will allow for a safe event. If you’re not up to making calls asking donors to give, join us in making thank you calls to those who already have.

Leah summed it up perfectly when she shared, "Super Sunday is an exciting day for volunteers, professional staff, and community members alike to come together in the collective spirit of giving. Especially in what continues to be a challenging year for so many in our community, it is powerful to bear witness to our Jewish community here in Northeast Florida supporting one another." But wait…there’s more! We are excited to offer a text-togive component, providing donors the option to close their pledges via text message through a simple, easy-touse platform. We will also allow donors the opportunity to make their gifts through a monthly payment option instead of the traditional yearly payment if they choose. This allows for regular, reliable donations, making it easier to budget and plan for both parties.

Check out the meaningful ways our dollars make an impact in Jewish Northeast Florida and around the globe: •


Your dollars provide counseling for those in crisis.

• • • •

Your dollars provide scholarships towards Jewish education.

Your dollars provide meals for Holocaust Survivors. Your dollars provide resources for rescuing Jews in danger. Your dollars provide global crisis response.

During times like this, and with challenges unlike anything anyone could have predicted, the needs are even greater. The demands on our local and overseas partners are significant. We have to look for new, safe ways of coming together to help one another, and fundraising is more important than ever! Every dollar, every donor, and every volunteer will ensure that our Jewish community remains strong, vital, and prepared for the future. Volunteer to make calls during this year’s “It’s Give O’Clock Somewhere” themed morning. The Federation provides training, a call script, and everything needed to set you up for success!

Most importantly, please answer the call when your phone rings on February 27, and if you’re able to help support our community, say “YES” when your volunteer caller asks for a gift to the 2022 Annual Campaign.




Super Sunday 1��2: Bruce Warschoff, Barry Schuster, and Evan Yegelwel phone Super Sunday results to United Jewish Appeal via Hotline.

Super Sunday 1��2: For Super Sunday, the worldrenowned comedian, Henny Youngman, visited with Women's Division Chairman Marsha Pollock, Super Sunday 1��2: Phones ringing around town. Federation President Joan Levin, and Campaign Chairman Richard Sisisky.


Super Sunday 2002: Mauri Mizrahi, Sam Levin, Michael Weiss, Mark Kraemer, Gary Kitay, Henry Gare and Ken Jacobs. 11


PLANT SEEDS AND WATCH THEM GROW By Goldie Lansky, Hadassah Jacksonville

Robin Morris is the stem of a very strong Hadassah plant. Her grandmother and aunt planted the seeds of Zionism and served as active members of their Hadassah chapters. Today, Robin’s daughters and grandchildren are the flowering buds of the future.

The story begins with Robin’s grandmother, Ida Paillet, who together with Robin’s aunt, Julia Cohen, organized many celebrations for Hadassah New Orleans. Bess Saliman, Robin’s mother, could not wait for marriage and children to become a Hadassah lady. She joined Junior Hadassah when she was in high school and served as its President. After graduation from Sophie Newcomb College of Tulane University, she married Fivel Saliman (z”l) and became active in Hadassah Denver. Bess knew Hadassah would be a route to lasting friendships upon arrival in a new town, which it was. Of course, it was not long before

Bess became President of Hadassah Denver. Strong leaders cannot be ignored.

Bess’ daughters have followed in their mother’s footsteps. Cathy Saliman Holleb is active in Hadassah Chicago and Robin Saliman Morris has been President of both the Shir-Li group and the Hadassah Jacksonville chapter. Their children and grandchildren are life members, making it five generations of proud Hadassah members! Hadassah Jacksonville is proud of the fact that we have many multi-generational members in our chapter. As an organization that has always empowered the next generation of Hadassah women to make an impact on the organization and within their communities, we welcome more! If you are a Zionist woman who wants to implement solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing our generation, advance women’s health, advocate for women’s issues, support a strong Israel and instill Jewish values in future generations, consider joining us today.


More than ever, it is vital that we take the opportunity to recharge our physical, emotional, and spiritual batteries. Our Jacksonville community has a unique chance to do so at Etz Chaim’s Shabbaton with Harry Rothenberg on February 18th and 19th. Harry will be guiding us on overcoming one of the most difficult challenges of our time – How to Successfully Navigate the Balance Between Judaism and Professional Life.

Harry is a renowned expert on how to do just that. As a partner at The Rothenberg Law Firm and Magna Cum Laude graduate of Harvard Law School, he has represented countless victims of catastrophic injury, helping them to rebuild their shattered lives. But while he is well known for his successes in court, Harry is also passionate about speaking on Jewish topics. He is a highly sought-after lecturer for his many crowd-pleasing talks, and holds a popular weekly vlog about the Jewish holidays and the Torah portion of the week. I have personally benefited from Harry’s unique gifts on two journeys of personal and spiritual growth that could only be described as life changing. Two years ago, I travelled on a Momentum trip to Israel with Harry as our

trip leader, and more recently, last Spring, at a retreat in Orlando. We experienced inspiring classes learning vital lessons on themes such as Jewish parenting, marriage, and identity. We explored what Pictured above: Harry Rothenberg “living awesome lives” meant to each of us, and returned ready to bring our growth and inspiration home to have a positive impact on ourselves, our families, and our communities. Admission to this unique Shabbaton is free to our community. Please contact Rabbi Feigenbaum for further information at avifeigenbaum@gmail.com


Supporting Israel and fighting antisemitism around the world is the mission of StandWithUs since 2001. As the newest addition to StandWithUs Southeast, (SWU) the Northeast Florida group is well on its way to becoming another major player in our Jewish community with education about Israel and combatting antisemitism. Since 2013, SWU Southeast has trained and educated our students to serve as interns in our local schools and has underwritten the IsraelLINK program for our middle schoolers in the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School, and synagogue supplemental schools. The interactive computer

program teaches students about modern day Israel and has been very well received. This year we are delighted to have a SWU Emerson Fellow at the University of North Florida.

Our local SWU group has already partnered with Jacksonville Hadassah in November and Congregation Ahavath Chesed in December to sponsor SWU highly trained and educated speakers in our community. We look forward to collaborating with any organization whose mission is to stand up to misinformation and hate. SWU has already trained eight local high school interns. 13



By Faye Hedrick, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida

On Thursday, January 9, the current BRIDGES cohort met for their fourth session, “A Bridge to Overseas.” The goal of the session was for participants to leave with a better understanding and to explore how our reach, as the single largest Jewish philanthropic organization in Northeast Florida, extends to Israel and over 70 countries around the world. Before taking that journey, participants first needed to understand the history and relevance of Federation & Foundation and our umbrella organization, the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).

The Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida’s CEO, Mariam Feist, gave participants an overview of how the federated system first began in Boston in 1895. Eighteen years later, in 1913, the first Community Chest was founded in Cleveland. The Community Chest was the precursor to United Way. Mariam likes to say she used to describe Jewish Federations as the Jewish United Way; she now likes to say United Way is the secular Jewish Federations. However, Jewish Federations are much more than a fundraising and allocation organization. Mariam went on to describe our local Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida and JFNA’s relevance today.

With this understanding of Federation's work overseas, immediate past Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida President, Iris Kraemer, spoke to the cohort about the work of our overseas partners: the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), and World Organisation for Rehabilitation through Training (ORT). One of the many examples noted was Operation Solomon, a JDC rescue operation that brought 14,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel within a 36 hour span. This resulted in one of the fastest and most successful rescue missions in modern history. Not only are we proud to 14

support efforts such as this, but also we are proud to support JDC’s assistance in relocating Jews displaced by war and conflict. Without this aid, many Jewish families would not be here today. Iris continued to explain that JAFI programs include help in providing quality, subsidized homes for Israel’s most vulnerable populations. Additionally, they provide opportunities for high school graduates to participate in the Masa Israel journey. Masa programs connect Jewish youth to Israel a through work, study, or volunteer opportunities. These opportunities help todays youth gain a deeper connection to Israel and its people. Iris emphasized that the critical work of both JDC and JAFI would not be possible without the support of the Federation & Foundation’s annual campaign. Several participants were surprised to learn our dollars also support Birthright Israel, the organization that sponsors free ten-day heritage trips to Israel, a trip in which many of the BRIDGES members had already participated in. When the group was posed with the question, “What do we, as Jews, all have in common,” the answer was simple to class participant, Marissa Kaeser. She quickly replied, “All Jews are responsible for one another. The Jewish tradition of giving is strong, especially

because tzedakah is an important part of our culture and religious identity.” The class went on to discuss the motivation to sustain the Jewish people, to enhance Jewish life, and to strengthen the Jewish community for today and the future.

BRIDGES Co-Chair, Brandon Suggs said, “Together with this year’s BRIDGES cohort, I left the last session with a new understanding of the Federation & Foundation’s long-standing history and its overseas efforts. I thought I had a grasp on the outreach we do; however, even more, life-saving efforts were brought to my attention tonight. Knowing we’re involved in these efforts is something we can all be proud to be a small part of. I wouldn’t be able to confidently get my dollars across the world for them to make an impact like this alone.”

Having a background and understanding of federated giving and being able to speak about the efforts we are all a part of, from Hurricane Harvey relief to connecting Jews to Israel, can be a source of pride for us all. One where, if our grandparents were to ask, “What are you doing to help the Jewish people?” as Iris asked us at the end of our time together, while holding a picture of her

late grandparents, we would let them know, with pride, we were a part of the Federation system. A Federation system where we are confident that every Jewish person, no matter where they are in the world, feels an unbreakable bond to one another and to Israel so that they continue to play a role in our ongoing Jewish story.

BRIDGES is the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida's premier leadership development initiative. The mission of the program is to expand the vision of Jewish volunteer leaders, deepen their Jewish knowledge of community both locally and abroad, and inspire them to exercise transformative leadership. The program is funded through a B’nai Tzedek grant awarded from the Jewish Foundation. BRIDGES nurtures future leaders in both their personal and professional lives, leaders who will give back to our community now and into the future. At the end of the program, each candidate will be encouraged to choose an area to move into more permanently, either within the Federation such as the Young Professionals & Families Division, Women’s Philanthropy, or as an ongoing volunteer within the community at a Federation partner agency, school, or synagogue. Contact fayeh@jewishjacksonville.org for more details.



JEWISH FEDERATION & FOUNDATION OF NORTHEAST FLORIDA FACTS... DID YOU KNOW? Reprinted from the community-wide security update email, January 1�

Like everyone, we are deeply relieved by the outcome of the hostage taking at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. And, like everyone, we are shaken to the core that this act of hate and terror happened in the United States and in a house of worship. It gave us time to reflect and to support a decision of action on behalf of our Jewish community.

Those who watched the press briefings after the successful release of the hostages heard the FBI acknowledge and thank the Jewish Federation and Secure Network Community (SCN). They pledged to continue its work with both organizations on the safety of all the Jewish communities in this country. "In the last hour of our hostage crisis, the gunman became increasingly belligerent and threatening. Without the security training from Jewish community experts, we would not have been prepared to act and flee when the situation presented itself." Those are the powerful words of Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker recounting the role of Jewish community security training in helping end the harrowing 11-hour ordeal at Congregation Beth Israel in January. For those unaware, our Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida is one of 146 Federations throughout North America. Our umbrella organization, Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) has taken responsibility for developing and implementing comprehensive security plans for each community. JFNA also created SCN to provide expertise and support for these efforts, and to work directly with law enforcement agencies, especially the United States Department of Homeland Security and the FBI. In the past few months, our Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida Board of Directors has made bringing a Community Security Initiative (CSI) to our community a priority. The Director of CSI, to be housed in the Federation’s Foundation office, would be overseen by both the community and SCN. The security of our Jewish community is of vital importance, and we 16

cannot wait any longer to start implementing an initiative that supports and protects all aspects of Jewish life in Northeast Florida. We want to make you aware of our intentions and pledge to keep the community informed of upcoming SCN visits and community-wide training programs as we develop a plan to fund and implement this critical initiative.

As Mark Wilf, JFNA Board Chair, wrote in a recent memo, “Our Jewish Federation system was built to provide leadership on challenges for which the only path forward is a coordinated, collective action. Security is one such challenge. We will not hesitate, and we will not fail." - Mariam Shpeen Feist, CEO and Jennifer Plotkin, Board President





WHAT IS THE FEDERATION’S PARTNERSHIP2GETHER? By Bonnie Hayflick, Interim Editor of Northeast Florida Jewish Life magazine

Our Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida's Israel Partnership Program is also known as Partnership2Gether. Northeast Florida is a part of the HaderaEiron/Southeast Consortium Partnership. Partnership2Gether is an opportunity for members of the Jewish community in the Northeast Florida area to make people-to-people connections with Israelis living in our partnership city of Hadera-Eiron, Israel.

The goal of Israel Partnership is to cultivate relationships among the 11 Southeast U.S. Jewish communities, Prague, the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, and the Hadera-Eiron region which includes the City of Hadera, the City of Pardes Hanna-Karkur, Menashe Regional Council, and Alona Regional Council. Local programs include educator exchanges, teen summer exchange programs, young leadership programs, artist projects, medical professional delegations, music programs, firefighter exchanges, and running delegations.

This month, Parthership2Gether Fellows Jasmine Habara and Rabbi Michal Ratner Ken-Tor from our Partnership community Hadera-Eiron, will lead women of all ages from the Southeast U.S. Jewish communities, Israel, and Prague in a Rosh Chodesh Women's Group study session.

Israel Partnership also offers the opportunity for recent college graduates to spend a year in Israel in the HaderaEiron region as a Southeast Fellow. This meaningful experience helps post-college adults between the ages of 22 to 28 grow professionally and personally and share their experiences of growing up Jewish in the Southeast U.S. If you are interested in participating in this program next year, contact the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida at info@jewishjacksonville.org. 18

Applications are due no later than February 28.

Since the early 2000s, the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida has participated in Partnership2Gether and has made a difference in the lives of hundreds of participants. Bringing Israel to Northeast Florida, Israel Partnership has provided the opportunity for true, meaningful, and lasting relationships with our brothers and sisters in Israel. For more information, visit our website at www. jewishjacksonville.org.

DID YOU KNOW THE FEDERATION HAS ITS OWN SHALIACH? By Bonnie Hayflick, Interim Editor of Northeast Florida Jewish Life magazine

Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida Shaliach Stav Brener with a Torah Academy of Jacksonville class.

Stav Brener, our Community Shaliach, serves as an Israel Emmisary to our local Northeast Florida Jewish community. Schlichim are Israeli men and women dedicated to teaching about Israel in American Jewish communities. Stav was selected and hired for his role by members of our Northeast Florida Jewish community. This Jewish Agency For Israel program assigns between 250 to 300 young Israelis to Jewish communities, youth movements, and Hillel organizations on campuses across the world. The main goal of the program is to engage all age groups in Jewish cultural, educational, and social activities.

As the Shaliach at the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida, Stav coordinates members of the community who wish to become actively engaged with Israel. Specific groups are formed based on their interests. These groups increase Jewish awareness, knowledge, and pride, and they serve to bridge the gap between Jews of different backgrounds and Israel while promoting an understanding of Israel and its ideals.

Stav Brener at the Israeli-American National Summit 2021.

In our community, the Shlichut program returned in 2016 after a more than quarter-century hiatus thanks to a partnership between the Jewish Federation and Foundation of Northeast Florida, the Jewish Community Alliance, and a generous contribution from a private donor in the community.

“I have the pleasure of working with a large variety of Jewish agencies around the community, including the different synagogues and schools. As part of my work here in northeast Florida, I conduct different programs, lectures, and educational opportunities about Israel, including a community-wide celebration of Israel’s Independence Day known as Yom Ha’atzmaut,” said Brener. “I am incredibly honored to be the Israeli community Shaliach in our area, and really appreciate all the support the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida has given me to bring Israel to everyone in the community.” For more information, contact Stav at (904)448-5000 ext. 1210, or at his email, jaxshlichut@jewishjacksonville.org.




GENERATIONS OF CARE AT RIVER GARDEN By Mauri Mizrahi, River Garden Senior Services

An original photo of the Ladies Hebrew Sheltering Aid Society. Pictured: Lois Schneider, Irene Sloat and Lea Hershey

On Shabbat we sing “l’Dor v’Dor yagid gadlekha” which means from generation to generation we will extol Your greatness.

The “generation to generation” piece has been the engine for Jewish life and culture at River Garden for its founders, volunteers, board members, professionals, and community members for the past 75 years.

River Garden’s story actually began in 1922 with the Ladies Hebrew Sheltering Aid Society, now known as the River Garden Auxiliary, who brought people, and commitment together to make the Home a reality in 1946. For the past 100 years, the auxiliary has maintained its purpose to give service from the heart and enhance the residents’ comfort and tranquility.

The founders could not possibly have dreamed that the partially renovated estate home on Stockton Street would grow to become the premier geriatric long term care and rehabilitation center in Northeast Florida. 20

During the past seven and a half decades, buildings have come and gone. The Home relocated from four acres in Riverside to a 40-acre multipurpose campus in the heart of Mandarin. While the physical structures have changed and moved, each generation has maintained the commitment to care for the aged with dignity and honor. The Fifth Commandment, “Honor your father and your mother so that your days may be long upon the earth which the Lord, your G-d gives you” has mandated l'dor v'dor responsibility. This duty has guided each generation and is the essence of River Garden which has remained unchanged.

Many community members and families have supported River Garden and have passed this love from generation to generation. In the process, they have created a culture out of which has grown the extraordinary programs, services, and facilities. Together, each generation has participated in nurturing the “Caring Community” which is River Garden’s past and future.



2022 Resident Council Vice President, Emma Collings, with Secretary, Roma Heaven. The Linda DuBow Beautification Fund of the Jewish Foundation of Northeast Florida and THE PLAYERS Championship Red Coats each recently awarded River Garden with a grant to fund the renovation of the Sylvia and Harry Nestler Library. Located on the first floor of River Garden Hebrew Home, the library is in need of a renovation to beautify the space and improve the functionality which will better serve the residents.

Libraries are an essential resource for seniors and one of the greatest pleasures River Garden residents have is reading. Additionally, scientific studies have found many benefits of reading for older adults. These include everything from reducing stress and enhancing sleep to improving memory circuits, sharpening decision-making, and possibly even delaying the onset of dementia. Funding from the grants will enhance the library with upgrades that include improved shelving, signage, lighting, furnishings and technology. Also, rolling library carts will be purchased to transport books throughout the Home to residents who are unable to come to the library.

Judith Reiz, 2022 Resident Council Treasurer “It warms my heart to think of how pleased Linda DuBow, of blessed memory, would be about this project. We are grateful for the incredible support from the Jewish Foundation's Linda DuBow Beautifucation funding committee and the Red Coats of THE PLAYERS. Their long standing partnership and friendship means the world to us,” shared Mauri Mizrahi, CEO.


THE SERVE LOVE ENDOWMENT FUND: GIFTING TENNIS & VALUES TO THE NEXT GENERATION By Jennifer Rensch, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida

Foundation of Northeast Florida. This fund will exist in perpetuity to provide tennis scholarships and equipment to benefit teens and children in need. He wanted to gift this experience, which has been so impactful in his own life, to others—particularly those of the next generation who might not otherwise have had the opportunity.

Steven Clapp grew up in the Baltimore/Washington DC corridor, where, although there were many Jewish communities spread throughout the area, he said there seemed to be little interaction among them. Upon relocating to Jacksonville in 1992, he was drawn to the spirit of unity he found here, “In Jacksonville, we seem to have one Jewish community where everyone is interconnected. For me, there is a powerful sense of family here.” After over twenty-five years of membership, Steve is quick to acknowledge the integral role that the Jewish Community Alliance has played in creating that sense of family for him personally and for our entire Jacksonville community. As a father of two and an avid tennis player, Steve firmly believes in the important social and developmental benefits that learning a sport provides.


“I have made so many friends through tennis at the JCA and had the opportunity to learn from others, teach a few others, develop sports strategies, and improve my game. Everyone should have the chance to play a sport that only requires investing in a racquet and shoes and gives you the chance to meet some great people,” Steve said. This is what prompted him to found The Serve Love Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Alliance, invested within the Jewish Federation &

Reflecting on his hopes for the future of our community, Steve said, “To realize that to thrive in today's uncertain political, environmental, social, financial, and health climate, we must do all we can to create pathways to success for those that cannot fully help themselves.” Steve hopes to show his children through the establishment of his own Jewish legacy that anyone and everyone can do their part to help and there is no limit to what we can do to support each other. When asked about his own philanthropic role models, Steve replied, “I admire all those whose lives are full of work, family, and other day-to-day obligations yet still find the time and resources to give back to their community. We all have the power and the means, whether in small or large ways.” May we all be inspired and challenged by Steve’s tremendous philanthropic passion and commitment— which truly exemplify the essence of l'dor v'dor—to find the time and resources to give back. Through Steve’s legacy and the legacies of many others like him, we will continue to strengthen Jewish life for generations to come and ensure that our children and grandchildren enjoy the same rich traditions and closeness of community that we have. Contributions to the Serve Love Endowment Fund can be made online at jewishjacksonville.org/ serveloveendowmentfund. To learn more about creating your Jewish legacy and strengthening Jewish life for generations to come, contact Foundation Director, Kellie Smith, at kelliek@jewishjacksonville.org or (904) 512-3796.


By Kellie Smith, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida

Pictured above: The Honorable Jerry Funk

Looking back on a law career that spans five decades, Jerry Funk fondly remembers where his working days began—back in his North Georgia hometown, alongside his father in the textile mills as a young teen, often being assigned the hardest and dirtiest jobs. This instilled the work ethic for which he would be admired in the years to come.

After earning his law degree from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, Jerry and his wife, Maxine, moved to Jacksonville, where they raised their daughter Amy and built a wonderful life in this community. After several years as a solo practitioner, Funk diversified his practice and went into partnership with attorney Mark Green. Mark shared his fondness for Jerry, stating that he was an incredibly devoted husband and father, but what stood out most to him was his easygoing nature and mild-mannered approach to work and life. For 17 years, the two practiced law together, and in all those years, Mark said they never once had a disagreement or a fight. Jerry applied to become a bankruptcy judge in 1992 and was appointed to the bench in 1993. “It was tough, but it turned out to be the best job I’ve ever had,” he said. The Honorable Jerry Funk went on to preside over many high-profile cases, including the Chapter 11 reorganization of Winn-Dixie Stores, the personal bankruptcy of former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell, and the liquidation of Jacksonville-based Stein Mart, a longtime staple of our Jewish community.

seriously, but I don’t take myself seriously. You have to maintain a sense humor,” he said. In his personal life, Jerry is a proud father and grandfather, avid runner, reader and a great friend to many. After graduating from the same Alma Mater as his predecessor, Jacob “Jay” Brown became Funk’s Law Clerk in 1998. When asked why Funk chose Brown to be his Clerk, he said “the kid was smart, there was something special about him and he could make pickled eggs.” Now, two decades later, Jay will succeed him on the bench.

Reflecting on the impact of Jerry’s guidance over these past 21 years, Jay said, “I will be forever grateful for my clerkship with Judge Funk and his mentorship thereafter. He inspired me to be a great lawyer, serve others and the community as he always did himself with a kind spirit and great sense of humor. In my new role as his successor, he checks in on me almost daily and continues to inspire me to be a great judge.” With an unwavering work ethic and a strong commitment to mentoring the next generation, Jerry retires only to embark on a three-year term of reserve status. During this time, Judge Funk will remain down the hall from his colleagues and prodigy, the Honorable Jacob “Jay” Brown — exemplifying the practice of l’dor v’dor by continuing to invest both personally and professionally in the success of those who will follow him.

As a judge, his demeanor was greatly appreciated by the attorneys who practiced in his court. Funk was known for his ability to disarm those around him with his modesty, Pictured above: The Honorable Jacob "Jay" humility and a profound Southern intellect. “I take my job Brown and the Honorable Jerry Funk 23



For almost twenty years, Mary DaCorta has been an integral part of the Social Services team at River Garden. Throughout her tenure, she has been an advocate for River Garden residents and has helped countless families navigate the challenges of elder care with grace. The late Minnie Schreiber, for whom the award is named, was River Garden’s board president from 1974-76 and remained a board member until her passing in 2010. Schrieber was passionate about the welfare of staff and in her honor the board established this annual award.

Mary joined River Garden in 2004. She had grown up in New York City, New York, but to escape the snow, Mary relocated to Florida where she earned a Master’s Degree from Florida State University. Before joining River Garden, she worked in mental health and for Community Hospice.

Mary’s portrait will be on display in the Price Welcome Center at River Garden throughout all of 2022. Since joining River Garden, Mary has worked primarily with the Memory Care families. Families and colleagues describe Mary as “caring, kind, and a consummate professional.” Fittingly, one of Mary’s favorite quotes is “Kindness is contagious.”

Mary is the proud mother of two sons, Logan and Liam. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, reading, and spending time with Bear, the family dog. Prior to the pandemic, Mary regularly volunteered at an area food pantry. When asked why Mary has been a steadfast member of the River Garden staff, Mary replied, “I’ve stayed at River Garden because I know that this agency can be counted on to make decisions in the best interest of the residents it serves. River Garden is a community that feels like family and it has a unique culture that strives for excellence.”

"LOAVES" OF EXCITEMENT AT THE KIDS MEGA CHALLAH BAKE By Devorah Hamford, Chabad of St. Johns County

On Sunday, February 13 at 3:00 p.m., join the Kids Mega Challah Bake for a day of unity, inspiration, and "loaves" of fun. We’ll roll up our sleeves, and together, we’ll bake delicious Challah. Think dozens of eggs. Cups of oil. Sticky hands. Lots of bright, smiling faces! Think mini aprons, lots of Jewish kids from all over Northeast Florida, and loads and loads of flour! “It’s an opportunity for Jewish children from all backgrounds and affiliations to come together and get their hands dirty for a fun, creative and meaningful experience,” said Mrs. Dini Sharfstein, one of the event organizers.

Baking bread has always brought people together, and challah is extra special because it’s a mitzvah. The Kids Mega Challah Bake is for all ages and is open to all children regardless of affiliation, background or knowledge. This “Challah Bake” was started by a group of Jewish moms from various backgrounds with one common goal: unity through challah. This program is joined and co-sponsored by Chabad of St. Johns and PJ Library with the Jewish Family & Communty Services (JFCS). Make sure to reserve a spot for your kids. All children must be accompanied by an adult. To RSVP and for more info visit www. jewishsjohnscounty.com or call (904) 701-4422.

Forever Lions – A Legacy of Women as Philanthropists and Leaders

By Lauren Rickoff, Director of Campaign and Women's Philanthropy, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida

Swimming in the pool at the Jewish Community Alliance (JCA), Havdalah at Jewish overnight camp, prepping for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah at religious school, and your first trip to Israel may be some early memories of being Jewish. What memories do you want your children and grandchildren to create? What legacy do you want to entrust? What does forever mean to you?

A total of 25 Forever Lions have chosen to support our Northeast Florida Jewish community in perpetuity. These women ensure that the work they are doing with their time, energy and philanthropy will live on. They are ensuring that the community they are building today is here for future generations as they exemplify l’dor v’dor, which is Hebrew for "from generation to generation." Passing on their values and sharing the significance of a vibrant Jewish community are of immense importance. We honor them: Sue Eaglstein

Debbie Gottlieb

Allison Jacobs

Irene Jaffa

Barbara Jaffe

Debbie Parker

Jennifer Plotkin

Barbara Resnick

Kim Robbins

Emily Rostholder

Stacie Wilf

Brenda Wolchok

Eunice Zisser

Iris Kraemer

Diane Rothstein Haley Trager 26

Ilene Levenson Debra Setzer

Phyllis Vandroff z"l

Joan Levin

Judy Silverman

Sue Levine

Kimberly Sisisky

Marilyn Mass

Kellie Smith

Forever Lions are among the Lions of Judah, some of the most dynamic, philanthropic Jewish women in the world. They are strong, dedicated women of all ages in an international sisterhood of thousands of global activists who care deeply about the Jewish future. Lions of Judah play a vital role in creating social justice, aiding the vulnerable, preserving human dignity, building Jewish identity, and more.

Brenda Wolchok, one of the first Forever Lions in Northeast Florida said, “I am grateful that I have had the opportunity and privilege, through my gifts to Federation, to help meet the needs of our entire Jewish community locally as well as in Israel and all over the world. More importantly, as a Forever Lion, I am ensuring that not only future needs will be met, but also that my children and grandchildren will know how important such giving is to me.” The Forever Lions have chosen to ensure that our local Jewish community is always supported and that Jewish life for their families are honored wherever they are in the world.

“Through my involvement in Jacksonville, as well as with National Young Leadership Cabinet, I’ve had the opportunity to see so much of the good work of the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida. Because of this, as well as a desire to honor my daughter’s birth and to do my part to secure a Jewish future for generations, becoming a Forever Lion was an easy decision for me,” said Haley Trager, Annual Campaign Chair and Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida’s youngest Forever Lion. All Forever Lions will be recognized at this year’s Lion of Judah Lunch on March 10. Carolyn Gitlin, Jewish Federation of North America’s National Women’s Philanthropy Chair will share national and global updates throughout the Federation system. Also, a special tribute will be held to honor Phyllis Vandroff z"l, the Federation’s first in memorial Forever Lion. For more information regarding the Lion of Judah Lunch, contact Lauren Rickoff, Women’s Philanthropy Director, at laurenr@jewishjacksonville.org or (���)22�-����. For more information on becoming a Forever Lion, contact Kellie Smith, Foundation Director, at kelliek@jewishjacksonville.org or (���)��2-3���.

A Place for Every Generation By Beth Milograno Berry, Jewish Community Alliance

L’dor v’dor is known as the transmission of our Jewish culture, values, rituals, traditions and history from one generation to the next. With the literal meaning of the Hebrew phrase being, “from generation to generation,” l’dor v’dor is what our founders planned for the Jewish Community Alliance and what our community now embodies for families throughout Northeast Florida. “After moving to Jacksonville in 1974, the first thing we noticed was there was no Jewish Community Center. It was a surprise that a city the size of Jacksonville with a large, diverse Jewish community, didn’t have a common meeting ground. Our daughters were growing up without the experience of meeting children from all the synagogues,” explains our charter member Philip Adler who with his wife Karen, and hundreds of our founding members, embraced a vision to create a place for every generation in our community.

“We worked to investigate what we wanted the JCA to be and envisioned a facility that would not only bring our Jewish community together but one that would benefit the entire greater Jacksonville area,” says Karen Adler. “I longed for a community like this for my family. We wanted a place that would have something for everyone, be all-inclusive, and exemplify the diversity in our community.” With a mission to contribute to the continuation of Jewish life by providing a common meeting ground in the tradition of our heritage, our founding members left a legacy for future generations to learn, prosper and grow.

From generation to generation for more than 30 years, we are proud to share all we do at the JCA to provide a better future for families throughout Northeast Florida.

Today, our JCA is the community gathering place for people of all walks of life in every generation throughout Jacksonville. Through our Michele Block Gan Yeladim Preschool & Kindergarten, variety of youth programs, enrichment classes, our free cultural art events, as well as a wide array of Jewish programming, celebrations, and educational opportunities, our JCA embodies Jewish values and traditions, while helping shape the future of our great community. The success of our founders’ vision is evident throughout our entire campus, but perhaps the best testaments are the now second and third-generation founding members who continue to inspire, support and enrich our environment of fun, harmony and friendship.

From generation to generation for more than 30 years, we are proud to share all we do at the JCA to provide a better future for families throughout Northeast Florida. As our mission continues, the generosity of our annual donors and sponsors allows us to continue our founders’ vision and respond to the needs of every generation through scholarships and financial assistance, and by providing an array of recreational, educational, social and cultural opportunities to families throughout the greater Jacksonville community.

For more information about the JCA please contact Ben Marcus at (���) �3�-2��� ext. 3�� or via email at ben.marcus@jcajax.org. 28

L'dor V'dor Jacksonville Jewish Center By Liat Walker, Martin J. Gottlieb Day School and DuBow Preschool

Rachel Lasry

I still remember being in Mrs. Judy Paul’s Pre-Kindergarten class at the DuBow Preschool and the fun we had every day! (It is a treat to see her at the school as she is still teaching there!) Of course it has evolved since the time I attended, but so much is still central to the education my children receive today including the pride of being Jewish, Jewish ritual practice, the importance of Israel, kindness, and simply what it means to be a friend. To this day, some of my closest friendships are those that I made at the DuBow Preschool. The school taught me a love of Judaism that has stayed with me throughout my adult life.

While my husband and I were living and working in New York, our children were born. When we thought about what we wanted for their future, we immediately thought of the DuBow Preschool. We returned to Jacksonville and our boys now attend the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School and the DuBow Preschool where they are thriving. They insist on lighting the Shabbat candles, love Jewish Studies, recite Hebrew with a perfect accent (thank you, Morah Irit) and, most importantly, are happy, loving, kind and proud of their heritage. I know they are learning a love for Judaism and a respect for themselves and others that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Eli Fleet

When you have children, you want to give them all the best parts of your childhood. When we decided to move our family back to where I grew up, I was excited for my kids to grow up in the Jacksonville Jewish Center community, where I spent my foundational years, learning and making lifelong friends. I wanted my kids to develop the same love and confidence in both secular and Jewish education that I received growing up.

Registering at the DuBow Preschool was an obvious decision. It has a great reputation and was an easy way to immediately integrate ourselves into the Jewish community. What we did not anticipate was for our kids to immediately feel so comfortable with their peers, that respect and kindness would be key tenets in their classroom’s learning objectives, or that their teachers would take the time to discover the qualities in my children that we were sure only our family would notice and love about them!

With our oldest now in Kindergarten at the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School, I love that our children are attending a school where they will grow up confident in their Judaism, comfortable leading a seder or participating in a service, no matter where they are in the world. But for now, we are just so happy to be a part of this wonderful bubble, where our kids have found a second home running around the campus with their friends just as I did at their age. l'dor v'dor.


Jewish Family & Community Services "The Quiet Agency" By Hilary Bettman, Jewish Family & Community Services

There are many things I’ve learned about Jewish Family & Community Services in my eight years of working at the agency: People come to Jewish Services in crisis. We provide services and support that is confidential and professional. Our clients don’t shout from the rooftop when we help them with issues like substance abuse or domestic violence. Parents aren’t talking about how we helped their children deal with crippling anxiety or depression. Your neighbor doesn’t talk about how we helped keep their lights on or that their main meal of the day is provided by us. We are boots on the ground! Here is just some of what we do that many may not be aware of…

Counseling: Domestic violence, children, teens, substance abuse. Six free sessions are provided with Federation dollars. We utilize insurance when possible, but as long as clients are making progress and committed to the therapeutic relationship, we find ways to approve more support and funding. Our Case Management clients are encouraged to attend therapy as well. They are processing trauma, gaining positive coping skills, and attend their sessions under strict confidentiality. Financial Assistance: Rent, utilities, medication. We keep the lights on and a roof over the heads of families. Clients see a case manager to better assess where their money is going. Are they helping out an aging family member? Is there an issue with substance abuse? Again, very important issues, although not something people who use our services want to talk about with others.

Meals4You: For our seniors, this is their main meal of the day. Every year we ask this question on our satisfaction survey and every year it is the same response: "...this is our main meal." Many Jewish people in the community would go hungry without it. And all of our clients have access to the Max Block Food Pantry. Call-to-Go: Our aging community needs safe transportation to medical appointments, the grocery store and other vital appointments. We use pre-booked Lyft

rides so they look like regular passengers, like everyone else in the community.

EPIC: We ensure kids who aren’t typical learners have the support they need to attend Martin J. Gottlieb Day School or Torah Academy of Jacksonville. At the request of the schools, we have added counseling services. We provide teachers with resources so all children can be included in the day schools.

Holocaust Education: During the pandemic we formed a Speakers Bureau, composed of Second-Generation survivors. Their mission is to tell their family stories to the greater community. We also launched a Holocaust Education program which provides resources, training, and support to educators teaching the Holocaust.

Case Management: Scenarios we hear often include, “My parents moved to town but I live far away. I’m not sure what they are eating. Can you look in on them?”. And “I can’t take care of my aging wife at home anymore… where should she go? How do I pay for this?”. Also, “I will not leave this house… but I need someone to help with cooking, cleaning and driving me around town. What should I do?”. Every week we get calls from the Jewish community about these issues, and more.

Case Managers provide resources, referrals, support and planning. We help transition loved ones into assisted living or long-term care. How do you tell your elderly mother that she can no longer live safely in the home she has lived in for more than 50 years? We help facilitate that conversation. We help adult children process their history and see their parents as they are today, older and maybe more frail.

Every year we conduct a survey. We rate customer satisfaction and see what we can improve upon. One response we received is simple yet speaks to the heart of why we do what we do: “We are grateful that you did not forget us.” 30



APRICOT AND SQUASH PUREE By Claire Soria, Jewish Family & Community Services

My mother-in-law (from Tunisia) used to make this recipe when apricots were in season. I make this recipe with at least ¾ pound of fresh apricots and instead of squash, I use zucchini. After I am done, I store the apricot spread in mason jars and my family enjoys spreading it on Italian bread as an appetizer or snack. (You can store it like jelly or jam.)

INGREDIENTS 1 ½ cups (½ pound) dried apricots, cut into small pieces ½ cup sugar ½ cup olive oil 2 onions, finely chopped 1lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½ inch dice 2 cups water ¼ cup fresh lemon juice 1 tsp ground cinnamon Salt to taste Couscous (optional)

DIRECTIONS Yields 3 cups

1. Soak the apricots in hot water for 1 hour to soften. Drain apricots.

2. In medium, heavy saucepan, heat the sugar and oil over high heat until the sugar is melted and pale caramel in color. (Don’t worry if some sugar solidifies. It will melt as the onions cook.) 3. Add the onions, reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender. About 10 minutes.

4. Add the squash and water and cook until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Add apricots, lemon juice and cinnamon, and cook until you have a slightly chunky puree. 5. Test for salt. Serve warm or at room temperature as an accompaniment to couscous.

B ' N A I M I T Z VA H



Mazel Tov to Adam Tesler and Kyle Schatz on becoming a Bar Mitzvah! Through their participation in Chain of Memory they demonstrate the importance of remembering the past as well as educating the future. Chain of Memory makes it possible for B’nai Mitzvah to remember one of the �.� million children who were murdered by the Nazis before being able to fulfill the mitzvah of learning Torah. The B’nai Tzedek Program, with the support of Mel and Debbie Gottlieb, helps young people learn about leadership, service, financial literacy, and long-term investing to use their tzedekah for good. The Gift of Israel Program, designed in cooperation with the Levin family, was established to encourage teens to visit Israel by providing them with a $��� subsidy towards an accredited travel program. Adam Tesler for Chain of Memory and Gift of Israel

Adam Tesler attends Bernard & Alice Selevan Religious School and is interested in modern Jewish history. His favorite holiday is Hanukkah and in his free time Adam enjoys playing soccer and basketball.

As part of the Center’s B’nai Mitzvah program, Adam chose 13 mitzvot that engaged the family in strengthening their Jewish home, synagogue, and community, including donating to various foundations, reciting prayers before meals and Shabbat, as well as inviting friends and family for dinner. Out of all of them, Adam's most meaningful mitzvah was having his friends and family over for dinner, because spending time with his loved ones means everything to him Adam has chose to dedicate this special occasion to the memory of Franco Cesana.

Franco Cesana was born to a Jewish family living in the northern Italian city of Bologna. He had two brothers: 34

Ermanno, born in 1918, and Lelio, born in 1920. Even though a fascist leader, Benito Mussolini, came to power in Italy in 1922, Bologna's Jews continued to live in safety. Like many Italian Jews, Franco's family was well integrated into Italian society. Franco attended public elementary school. When Franco was 7, Mussolini enforced "racial" laws against the Jews: Franco was expelled from school and went to a Jewish school hastily organized in makeshift quarters in one of Bologna's synagogues. Franco could not understand why he had to leave his friends just because he was Jewish. His father died in 1939, and he moved with his mother and older brother, Lelio, to Turin, where he began religious school. 1940-44: Mussolini was overthrown in July 1943. Two months later, German forces occupied Italy and gained control of the north, the part where Franco's family and most of Italy's Jews lived. The Italians had been protecting the Jews, but now Germany controlled Italy. The Cesana family went into hiding in the mountains. To evade the Germans, they moved from hut to hut. Lelio joined the Justice and Liberty, partisan group. Though only 12, Franco joined as well, proud that so many Jews were fighting in the Italian resistance. Franco was shot by Germans while on a scouting mission in the mountains. His body was returned to his mother on his 13th birthday. He was Italy's youngest partisan.

B ' N A I M I T Z VA H


Kyle Schatz for Chain of Memory and Gift of Israel

On January 15, Kyle Schatz became a bar mitzvah at Beth El - The Beaches Synagogue. Kyle is an eighth grader at Landrum Middle School. Kyle plays on the varsity baseball team at Landrum and loves rooting for his favorite teams, the Mets and Jets, collecting cards and playing with his friends. He loves celebrating Jewish holidays with his family and how it provides a link to his relatives and heritage. For his Mitzvah project, Kyle is gathering pre-owned bicycles from his neighbors and others in the community and will be delivering them to The Honey Pot Bike Collective, a local non-profit that will repair the bikes and distribute them to those in need within Jacksonville. Kyle, who has been passionate about helping the less fortunate

since he was very young, loves the freedom that his bike provides him and wants to be able to ensure that other kids and adults have this opportunity too.

Kyle chose to dedicate this special occasion to the memory of Nadine Schatz. Nadine was born to immigrant Jewish parents in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, settling there following the Russian Revolution of 1917. Nadine attended elementary school in Paris and was fluent in both Russian and French. After France declared war on Germany in September 1939, Nadine's mother moved the family to Saint-Marc-sur-Mer, a small village on the coast of Brittany, hoping it would be safer. There, Nadine resumed her schooling. However, victorious German troops reached Saint-Marc-sur-Mer in June 1940, as France surrendered to Germany. Nadine and her mother then moved to the nearby city of Nantes, but local French officials frequently cooperated with the occupying Germans to help enforce anti-Jewish laws. In 1942, Nadine and her mother were arrested by French police and separated. Twelve-year-old Nadine was deported to Auschwitz on September 23, 1942, and was gassed shortly after arriving.



As an involved and dedicated member of my synagogue, I am spiritually moved by our Rabbi, the congregation, and the good work we do for the community. Personally, recent challenging times began with a tough first week of the New Year, as my family battled COVID-19 for a repeated time. The stresses of life tried to invade our home. However, the challenge inspired me, and my faith rescued me with participation in Beth El. The remarkable and reinvigorating moment experienced through faith, spirituality, and a belief that

there is a plan for all of us, helped me to embrace my purpose. During a day when stress began to occupy my life, I met the challenge with more important and fun tasks, and created clarity which brought me back to center. As a Beth El congregant, Board Member, Education Chair, and Communications Chair, my involvement has reminded me to come back “home.” In difficult and distracting times, it is my belief that speaks to me. I am a dedicated Jewish woman, who is guided by her inspiration through faith. 35



CHAMPAGNE BRUNCH 2022! In spite of freezing temperatures, more than 100 women attended the Women's Philanthropy Champagne Brunch on January 23 at Jacksonville Jewish Center. It was a fun and festive morning, celebrating the first in-person Champagne Brunch in two years. Guest speaker and author Elise Scheck Bonwitt, shared tips from her book, More, How to Get More Out of Life with Less Complication. Mazel Tov to Jenn Neuman and Sandy Shapiro, event co-chairs, and their committee on a wonderful event! Everyone left with a copy of the book and a few lucky women won fantastic raffle prizes. Thank you to the following businesses for donating to the raffle: Ally with Shine Massage & Spa, Baby Boldly, Bailey's Gym, Cabi by Lisa Silvers, Independent Stylist, Club Pilates of Mandarin, Durbin Park, Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beach, Fresh Market, Friend of Federation, Hair Flair Salon, Jacksonville Jewish Center Judaica Shop, Jewish Community Alliance, Publix, Settle In Retreat, Simply Christine Hair at Sola Salons, Tanya with Arodasi Skin Therapy, Taverna, and Trader Joe's.

JF&F President, Jennifer Plotkin; CEO Mariam Feist; Guest Speaker, Elise Scheck Bonwitt; Women's Philanthropy Chair, Diane Rothstein; and Annual Campaign Chair, Haley Trager

Lauren Setzer, Jodi Rogozinski and Danielle Leder

Lisa Silvers with a raffle prize

Tammy Shumer, Katie Kight, and Karen Freedman

Samantha Holtzman, Nicole Brown and Haley Trager

Champagne Brunch Co-chairs: Jenn Neuman and Sandy Shapiro



Women's Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida hosted it's inaugural Connections event at the beautiful home of Sherrie Saag. The group held a lively and interesting discussion around Corie Adjmi's book, Life and Other Shortcomings. Monthly connections programs are planned through June and the next one will be March 10 at 7:00 pm at the home of Suzie Becker. Featured: Claudia Margolis, Beth Wolpoff, Diane Rothstein, Sherrie Saag, Eunice Zisser, Suzie Becker and Marcy Sandler

October 1�7�, photo provided by Joan Waitz. Jacksonville Jewish Community members joined 3,000 American Jews in Israel for the UJA conference in 1�7�, led by Arnold z"l and Phyllis Vandroff z"l. The Jacksonville Group led a solidarity march to the Western Wall.


Employee Recognition at River Garden: The tenure of staff at River Garden is truly remarkable. Here, Mauri Mizrahi recognizes the 25-year service anniversary for Sheri Samuels.

Members of the Coves out on the town: Alberta Marks, Matthew Jackson, Vangie Smith & Harriett Dame enjoy dinner at Peony's

Joey Hamoui from the Jewish Student Union deliver cards to Leslie Held, Director of Jewish Life. The cards offer encouragement to residents and members. Thank you!

Sherry Herring and her mother, Esther Michelson, enjoy an afternoon concert on the Edelman Patio. Cousin surprise on the Edelman Patio! Janet Kronenberg and Janice Hayflick are neighbors on the River Garden campus.

The Kollel launched a new weekly parsha class at The Coves. Every week, residents discuss ideas related to the weekly torah portion, led by one of the Kollel Rabbis.



Participants from the Center's Jewish Teen Leadership Initiative (JTLI) made blankets to donate to a worthy cause as the colder weather hits North Florida. Featured: Blake Zaner, Avigail Barak, Jadyn Reff, Ava Jaffa, and Aidan Kempner.

Martin J. Gottlieb Day School 7th grade Science Fair winners will attend regional fair: Itamar, Joey and Eli

Martin J. Gottlieb Day School students experiencing a lesson from a visiting Sofer.

Martin J. Gottlieb Day School and DuBow Preschool families provided holiday gifts for 50 children who are either in the foster care system through JFCS or are supported by the MaliVai Washington Foundation.


In November, the Bernard & Alice Selevan Religious School held a Hanukkah Gift Drive in partnership with Jewish Family & Community Services (JFCS). Students provided gifts for seven members of the greater Jacksonville Jewish community and taught our students about the power of giving. Thank you to our volunteer room parents. Students also welcomed our Community Shaliach, Stav Brener, to our school for the first time. Stav spent time in several classes, teaching students about Israel, reading stories, and playing games.

Life members, Ruth Cohn and Helen Hill, sporting their Hadassah masks at a recent outdoor lunch.


Our Shaliach Stav Brener brought a special speaker to our community - Marom Shmueli, a Shaliach from Youngstown, Ohio to speak about his Israel Defense Forces service as an Iron Dome Fighter and about the Iron Dome system. Marom and Stav visited the Torah Academy of Jacksonville school and the Jacksonville Jewish Center religious school, as well as speaking at the Jewish Community Alliance for the whole community and also met with the Congregation Ahavath Chesed, Temple 20s & 30s group!

Women of Reform Judaism - Temple Sisterhood Membership Appreciation Dinner was held at Epping Forest. The evening was enjoyed by everyone who attended. Featured: Monique Miller, Carolyn Kantor Susan Board, and Sisterhood President Ann Stone.

At Etz Chaim Synagogue, parents and their children come together to learn.


SEE & BE SCENE Latkes & Vodkas at the Jacksonville Jewish Center. Food and drink were served alongside live music and various casino games, such as blackjack, poker, craps, and roulette. At the end of the event, a raffle took place with the number of chips a player earned corresponding to the number of tickets they received for the raffle.

WORTH THE SCHLEP The Science of Thriving with Dr. Elliott Rosenbaum February 7, February 14, February 21, February 28 Now, more than ever, people are searching for the secret to happiness. Thankfully, scientists have been studying happiness and have found some pretty compelling answers by researching thousands of people who are thriving. This relatively new science is called Positive Psychology. Join Dr. Elliott Rosenbaum for a three-part series on The Science of Thriving. In Person at Etz Chaim and on Zoom. Zoom Meeting ID: 843 906 9742 Passcode: Etz For more information please contact Rabbi Avi Feigenbaum at avifeigenbaum@gmail.com JCA Cultural Arts Festival Extension Event: Alison Hammer February 8 7 PM 8505 San Jose Blvd. Following her acclaimed debut novel, You and Me and Us, in Little Pieces of Me, Alison Hammer offers a deeply moving story of family, identity, relationships and Jewish culture. Free to the community. Advance registration is required. For more information, please contact Rachel Sandler at (904) 730-2100 ext. 271 or rachel.sandler@jcajax.org. Rabbi Matuson’s Retirement Celebration February 12 6:30 - 10:30 PM Sawgrass Country Club 10034 Golf Club Dr. Ponte Vedra Beach

occasion of his retirement. Better Late than Never, Epic Bar Mitzvah Party!

JCA Cultural Arts Festival Extension Event: Laraine Newman February 15 7:00 - 9:00 PM 8505 San Jose Blvd.

JCA The Berman Family Concert Series: Steven Banks February 13 3:00 - 5:00 PM 8505 San Jose Blvd.

Laraine Newman’s memoir May You Live in Interesting Times, chronicles her life and experiences such as being a founding member of the groundlings and an original cast member of Saturday Night Live all while dealing with “demons,” getting sober, having children and reinventing herself. Free to the community. Advance registration is required. For more information, please contact Rachel Sandler at (904) 730-2100 ext. 271 or rachel. sandler@jcajax.org.

The Jewish Community Alliance is proud to announce our featured artists in 2022! Zhu Wang, Steven Banks and Albert Cano Smit. These young musicians have performed in concert halls around the world and will take the stage in our Bessie Setzer Frisch Auditorium at the JCA! The Berman Family JCA Concert Series at the JCA is free and open to the entire community thanks to the generosity of the Berman family. Advance registration is required. For more information, please contact Heather Terrill at (904) 730-2100 ext. 265 or heather.terrill@jcajax.org. Red Sofa Series February 13 1 PM P2G Fellows are hosting a panel on The Rise of New Antisemitism with Neil Lazarus, and internationally acclaimed expert in the fields of Middle East politics, public diplomacy, and effective communication training. RSVP here: www.bit.ly/3nAbNGW Kids Mega Challah Bake February 13 3:00 PM Durbin Creek Elementary School, 4100 Race Track Rd, St. Johns

Congregation Ahavath Chesed Parent-and-Me Playdate! February 16 & 27 9:30 - 11:00 AM 8727 San Jose Blvd. Free and open to the community. Activities are geared to ages 0-4 and their caregivers (older siblings welcome). Sunday at the Temple featuring crafts, storytimes, and music-and-movement classes 9:00 AM Free Breakfast 9:30 AM Parent-and-Me Program RSVP to garad@thetemplejax.org Jacksonville Jewish Center Virtual Lunch and Learn with Clergy February 16 12:00 - 1:30 PM 3662 Crown Point Rd. "White Lie" Liar: Pants on Fire? Zoom link located at www.jaxjewishcenter.org/engage/ full-calendar

RSVP at www.jewishsjohnscounty.com Please join us in celebration as we honor Rabbi Michael Matuson on the


WORTH THE SCHLEP Mah Jongg Tournament February 17 10:30 AM - 2:00 PM 10 Fair Banks St., St. Augustine Temple Bet Yam is sponsoring a Mah Jongg Tournament at the St. Augustine Duplicate Bridge Club! For the fee of $30.00, lunch and prizes will be provided. Please send your reservation(s) and check, indicating Mah Jongg Tournament in the memo, to Temple Bet Yam, PO Box 860098, St Augustine, 32086. Note that there are no walk-ins and masks will be required. For more information, contact Teresa Freedman at (774)994-2066. Beaches Ladies Night Out Pt. 2 February 17 7:00 PM Location provided upon RSVP Beth El The Beaches Synagogue, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida, and PJ Library will be hosting part 2 of Ladies Night Out! Chef “bee” Cheryl will share the benefits of Mediterranean and vegan food. Register at www. events.idonate.com/blno2 An Evening with Jack Romberg: Doorway to Heroism February 19 7:00 - 9:30 PM 2055 Wildwood Dr. "Doorway to Heroism", the biography of WWI decorated German soldier, protesting against Hitler and heroic Silver Star decorated U.S. WWII soldier, will be discussed by the author, W. Jack Romberg, the great nephew of hero Richard Stern. Copies of the book will be available upon request. Masks will be required. Sponsor: Life Long 46

Education and Ways & Means Committees Cafe Israeli February 24 7:00 - 9:00 PM 8500 San Jose Blvd. Come hang out with our Shaliach Stav, drink coffee, eat Israeli snacks and talk about Israel! For more information, please contact Stav Brener at jaxshlichut@ jewishjacksonville.org. Advance registration is required. Sharsheret: Cancer Prevention February 24 7:00 PM 8500 San Jose Blvd. February is National Cancer Prevention month. Join Sharsheret, a national Jewish breast and ovarian cancer organization, and Dr. Samiian of Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center to learn what you can do to protect against cancer and what support services are available. This is a partnership with the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida Women’s Philanthropy, Baptist Health, and Sharsheret. Federation Super Sunday 2022 February 27 8540 Baycenter Rd. This year’s co-chairs, Leah Palestrant and Sarah Schwartz are excited to welcome volunteers to a “Margaritaville: It’s Give O’Clock Somewhere” themed morning. Outdoor calling stations and social distancing protocols will allow for a safe and fun event! Sign up for a volunteer opportunity to either make

thank you calls OR raise dollars for the 2022 Annual Campaign at www.bit.ly/neflsupersunday Congregation Ahavath Chesed Community Breakfast February 27 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 8727 San Jose Blvd. Guest Speaker, Israeli Nadav Kidron, discussing Israel - The Startup Nation. 10:00 AM Registration & Breakfast 10:45 AM Program Begins Open To All! $5 Members, $10 Non-Members, pay at the door RSVP to: garad@thetemplejax.org Rosh Chodesh Women’s Group: Courage February 27 Virtual 1 PM Join with neighboring Jewish women from the Southeast U.S. Jewish communities, Israel, and Prague for study sessions about leadership, courage, liberation, and love in the world of women and Judaism. Led by Partnership2Gether Fellow Jasmine Hubara and Rabbi Michal Ratner Ken-Tor from our partnership community of Hadera-Eiron, these sessions will help build your connections around the world. Register today at www.bit.ly/3FgQ2BT



River Garden is the go-to resource for high-quality adult care in Jacksonville. Honoring our Jewish traditions, the dedicated staff, leadership and volunteers are all committed to a best-in-class experience. Whether it is for you, your spouse, parents or friend, be sure to request River Garden.

PJ Library, the award-winning free program for books and music is open to all families with Jewish children in Jacksonville. If your children are between the ages of six months and eight years, they are eligible. Please sign up now by going to pjlibrary.org/ communities/jacksonville or calling Melissa Willams at (904) 394-5724.

JFCS, in partnership with Margo's Catering, is pleased to bring you our meal program Meals4You. Meals are delicious, nutritious, convenient and delivered right to your door. Jewish dietary laws are observed. Call Nicole Andrews at (904) 394-5810 for more information.

Through a partnership with GO GO Grandparent and a grant from the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, JFCS is now offering immediate rides through our Call2Go program. Riders will no longer have to call to book transportation. They will now be able to use an "on demand" service available at their fingertips! GO GO Grandparent will have booking agents available 24/7. When a client calls, the agent will book, monitor and stay available to the client until the ride is complete. Riders MUST pre-register with Nicole Brown at (904) 394-5724 and have a cell phone (texting is not necessary) to use this service. Call2Go is available to those in need of transportation to attend synagogue, medical appointments and other important outings. A sliding fee scale is available. Don't be deceived by the name. . .you don't have to be a grandparent to use the program. Call Nicole today!

Admissions (904) 886-8420 Adult Day (904) 288-7858 Home Health Care (904) 288-7851 Outpatient Rehab (904) 886-8454 The Coves (904) 292-2683 Volunteers (904) 886-8429 Foundation (904) 886-8430 MAIN (904) 260-1818

Searching for identity hosts writing workshops for second and third generation holocaust survivors. Meet monthly in a confidential and judgement-free setting, in-person/ online, to explore experiences, capture important stories and explore identity. RSVP at www.searchingforidentity.org/ writing-workshops.


Every Tuesday from 3:15 to 4:15, Torah Academy hosts a free kosher food program sponsored by the USDA for children under 18. The program helps provide food during these trying times. For more info, contact shorowitz@torah-academy.com.


8505 San Jose Blvd Jacksonville, FL 32217


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Jewish Family Community Services - The Quiet Agency

pages 30-48

L'dor V'dor Jacksonville Jewish Center

page 29

L'dor V'dor on the Bench

page 23

River Garden Names Mary Dacorta as 2022 Minnie Schreiber Leadership Award Recipient

page 24

A Place for Every Generation

page 28

The Serve Love Endowment Fund

page 22

Forever Lions – A Legacy of Women as Philanthropists and Leaders

pages 26-27

"Loaves" of Excitement at the Kids Mega Challah Bake

page 25

Community Grants Support River Garden Library

page 21

'Come Sunday' Super Sunday

pages 10-13

A Bridge to Overseas

pages 14-15

Chess4Solidarity Strengthens Ties Between Countries

pages 8-9

What is the Federation's Partnership2Gether?

page 18

Generations of Care at River Garden

page 20

How Do We Keep Living Jewishly from Becoming Expensive and Lonely?

pages 6-7

Jewish Federation Foundation of Northeast Florida Facts... Did You Know?

page 16

Federation's Shaliach

page 19
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