Jewish Life A PUBLICATION OF THE JEWISH FED E RAT ION & FOUNDAT ION OF NORT HE AST F LO R I DA
JUNE/JULY 2021 SIVAN/TAMMUZ/AV 5781 JEWISHJACKSONVILLE.ORG
2020 - 2021 Year in Review
LETTER FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
As we approach the end of each fiscal year, we dedicate our monthly publication to our Jewish community’s Year In Review. If we were to create a list to illustrate, “Why is this year different from all other years?” we would need a book! For every member of the Jewish community, for every one of our local and overseas partner agencies, for all the dedicated volunteers and professionals, for all the clergy, there has never been a year quite like this one. I recall back in the fall how difficult it was to wrap my brain around the loss of 70,000 lives as a result of the pandemic. I never would have thought it possible that we as a nation would approach 600,000 precious lives gone from this virus. As dark as this shocking reality, in spite of the pandemic, there is so much light that reflects what has been accomplished in our Jewish community this year! This issue of Jewish Life showcases these accomplishments. I’m proud to share that our Jewish Federation & Foundation has touched the lives of more than 2,000 people, not to mention the 4,500 monthly household readers of our magazine. For the past year, we have brought nearly 100 virtual programs to the community. Women’s Philanthropy, Annual Campaign, Israel Partnership, Young Professionals & Families, Society of Healers, Shalom Jacksonville, our Jewish Foundation, our Shaliach, and coordinated volunteer efforts have shined brightly throughout these difficult months. And, we couldn’t have done it without help from our dedicated lay leaders, volunteers and donors. At our virtual Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 6, at 12:00 p.m., Iris Kraemer will complete her two years as our president. When Iris was installed as president, she surely did not envision that 16 of the past 24 months would be during a pandemic. Iris has done a wonderful job, providing leadership to our Jewish community and making it possible for us to keep it together. It has been my honor and a pleasure to be her partner. Please join us for our Annual Meeting on June 6. In addition to the election and installation of our board, Yona Leshets, our guide for our November 1 – 10 Mission to Israel, will present a live program – a Virtual Tour of the Negev. In closing, I want to express my appreciation to the members of our professional “dream” team. Jill Abel, Isabelle Balotin, Stav Brener, Pat Burke, Charlie DuBow, Savannah Feustel, Faye Hedrick, Jennifer Rensch, Lauren Rickoff, Mitzi Saul, Kellie Smith and Courtney Snyder have all performed exceptionally this year, exceeding all expectations. I am extremely proud and appreciative of their dedication.
Jewish Federation & Foundation Staff Alan Margolies Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Lauren Rickoff Director, Campaign & Women’s Philanthropy email@example.com Kellie Smith Director, Foundation firstname.lastname@example.org Faye Hedrick Director, Young Professionals & Families email@example.com
Pat Burke Director, Finance & Administration firstname.lastname@example.org
Courtney Snyder Stewardship & Finance Specialist email@example.com Mitzi Saul Marketing & Communications Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Jill Abel Director, Israel Partnership email@example.com
Jennifer Rensch Campaign Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Stav Brener Community Shaliach email@example.com Savannah Feustel Marketing Assistant firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you to Barry Zisser for proofreading this issue.
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COMMUNITY WOMENS LEADERSHIP THERESA LEVY: LEGACY CONTINUES HYBRID MEGA CHALLAH BAKE RIVER GARDEN 75TH ANNIVERSARY DAY
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L'DOR V'DOR FACES OF FITNESS: BOBBY BARONE GAN YELADIM FINAL SCHOOL YEAR TRIP THE EIGHTH ANNUAL COMMEMORATION
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YEAR IN REVIEW RIVER GARDEN & JFCS CONGREGATION AHAVATH CHESED JACKSONVILLE JEWISH CENTER JEWISH COMMUNITY ALLIANCE TORAH ACADEMY & TEMPLE BET YAM ETZ CHAIM JEWISH FEDERATION & FOUNDATION OF NORTHEAST FLORIDA
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JEWISH FEDERATION & FOUNDATION BOARD MEMBER FOCUS: NICOLE BROWN Jewish Federation & Foundation Board Member Nicole Brown is a second generation Floridian. She was born in Miami, raised in Orlando, and called Jacksonville home 15 years ago. She graduated from Florida State University with a master’s degree in social work and has worked as a licensed clinical social worker with a wide range of clients over the years. She currently works at JFCS as a therapist in the counseling department and intake specialist for Jewish Services. Tell us a little bit about your family life. Where did you meet your husband? I met my husband Andy at a Federation event! We shared a lot of the same values of community, tzedakah, and family. We married in 2013 and welcomed our twin boys Emmett and Grayson in 2015.
How have you been involved with our organization? What drives you to give your time, talent and treasure? My involvement has changed over the years. When I first moved to the community, the Federation was a place that helped connect me with peers. Some of my closest friendships are the result of Federation bringing us together. As a single social worker at the time, I was not in a position to give a lot of treasure, but was able to give my time and talent. It was a Federation trip to Israel in 2011 that expanded my view of what the
Federation does locally and abroad. I am dedicated to the work our Federation and Foundation does because we can reach a broader span of Jews in need. In addition to serving on the Federation and Foundation's board, I also serve on JCA and Temple Ahavath Chesed’s boards.
Why have you chosen to be involved? My why has shifted over the years. Right now my “why” is my boys and their future. I work hard to instill in them the same values Andy and I built our relationship on. They often ask to help stock the shelves at the food pantry, donate to the clothing closet, and shop for kids in need during the holidays. Though a board meeting may take away an hour or two of time with them, the example I set for them is worth it. The look of pride they have in their eyes when they see me speak at an event or meeting, perform acts of kindness, or make a positive impact in our community, is worth every minute. I can see my actions helping mold them into confident, proactive, empathetic boys and later men. It's important that my boys feel a connection to the Jewish community and take ownership of our Jewish community's future. What does the Jewish Federation & Foundation mean to you? I believe in the work the Federation does, I support their efforts to strengthen the community, help those in need, and support Jews locally and abroad. My plan is to continue to support the needs of our Jewish community to the best of my abilities.
Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida
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WOMEN LEADERS REPRESENT NORTHEAST FLORIDA AND BEYOND By Lauren Rickoff, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida
Women are at the heart of our Federation, leading the way as volunteers. They lead with passion, warmth, and a determination to help those in need here in Northeast Florida, in Israel and throughout the world. We’re thrilled to introduce some of the women leaders representing Northeast Florida nationally and locally. The National Women’s Philanthropy (NWP) Board of the Jewish Federations of North America has members from over 60 communities from all city sizes across North America. Members include current or past Federation presidents, general and women’s philanthropy chairs, endowment chairs or women who serve influential positions within the Federation system. During their eight-year tenure on the board, members go through several leadership trainings, attend exclusive events during the International Lion of Judah Conference and General Assembly, are invited to informative conference calls, and network with like-minded women from across the continent. Members serve as ambassadors between the Northeast Florida Jewish community and the national system. Allison Jacobs: New Member “I am still in shock about being nominated to the National Women’s Philanthropy Board. I am humbled and thrilled to be part of such an amazing group of women from around the country and look forward to learning and growing with them. I also look forward to serving as a liaison between the global Jewish community and our own. Participating in how JFNA enriches the lives of Jewish people around the world will certainly be an honor and a privilege. I look forward to sharing ideas to help our Federation & Foundation grow and ﬂourish in the years to come.” Joan Levin: Lifetime Board Member “As Chair of the Council of Jewish Federations (CJF) Women’s Department, I was on the committee that merged the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) with CJF. The Women’s Department and the Women’s Division which were separate entities became one, and after several iterations became National Women’s Philanthropy. It has been very exciting for me to participate as a Board Member with so many accomplished and talented women.” Judy Silverman: 7th Year Board Member "NWP is an amazing network of female philanthropists and leaders dedicated to providing a thriving future for the global Jewish world. It is an honor to work with such special and committed women."
Iris Kraemer: 3rd Year Board Member "NWP is a branch of JFNA that includes philanthropic women in leadership positions from across North America. It educates and inspires through online programming and travel experiences, with a focus on actively enriching Jewish life in our local communities and throughout the world." 6
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The National Women’s Philanthropy Emerge Program is an initiative that brings 23 women from Federations across North America together virtually each month between February and December 2021. The program will culminate with a celebration at the 2022 Lion of Judah Conference in Phoenix, AZ. Selected to participate on Northeast Florida’s behalf are Nicole Brown and Rachel Morgenthal.
“It’s easy to do something when you’re passionate about it. I always ask myself, 'Is this what I want to spend my time on?' I’ve found this program to be worthwhile. I’m learning so much about the Federation system and how it applies locally, as well as building a network with other committed women throughout the country.” - Rachel Morgenthal
“I’ve participated in various Federation trainings and I like that this one is innovative and I’m learning new things. This program takes a deep dive into our community, the national system and ourselves. The program also oﬀers opportunities to meet like-minded women who can share information over monthly coﬀee dates.” - Nicole Brown Women’s Philanthropy RISE Program:
The inaugural Women’s Philanthropy RISE Program is a three-part series designed to educate, inspire, and further connect women with our Northeast Florida Jewish community. The purpose of RISE is to educate women on the goals of Women’s Philanthropy; show the strength of the Federation system; and enhance personal leadership skills. Through RISE, participants will have the opportunity to network and form friendships with female leaders; experience a variety of dynamic speakers; explore who they are and their potential; gain an awareness of the Federation, and its place within the community, the national and international system; and receive meaningful leadership training that can prove valuable for the community. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to chair such an important event for women's philanthropy, especially when it has been so hard to keep people engaged and connected during these crazy times. Rae Ringle, our featured speaker, is inspiring, energetic and just what we needed to help bring this amazing group of women together. Having experienced the first two sessions, it is obvious that the women participating in RISE are the perfect people to move our community forward in a very positive and successful way." - Risa Herman, RISE Chair
Our new Women's Philanthropy Chair, Diane Rothstein!
“What an honor to serve as the Women’s Philanthropy Chair, and to work with such fabulous women at the professional and volunteer levels. Aside from being surrounded by like-minded women - I love being part of the great things that Federation accomplishes every day, and every year to elevate Jewish communities in need - in any way, in any place, and at any time!”
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BEQUESTIONS WITH KELLIE SMITH By Kellie Smith, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida
Do I need a new will if I moved to Florida? –Maxine, a new resident of Northeast Florida
Many couples choose to make their home in Florida later in life but the past year has shown us that a pandemic can also encourage a southern migration from younger folks. Once your move is complete and you’ve settled in, please remember that moving to another state can affect the validity of a will. Florida accepts any will as valid if it is valid under the law of the state in which it was executed. If your will was valid in your previous state, it will be valid in Florida, too. Military wills are always valid if they follow federal law, regardless of the state you live in. While many out-of-state wills are not completely invalidated in Florida, differences in estate laws could affect the content of your will and how your property is distributed. However, there are a couple exceptions to this rule. Florida never accepts holographic (self-written) or nuncupative (oral) wills. If your will is holographic or nuncupative, you will need to redraft a will in Florida. Just because your will is considered valid in Florida does not mean that it will be executed as you expect. Differences in Florida’s laws could affect how it is interpreted. Here are a few examples of laws that could differ from your previous state’s laws and affect your will: • In Florida, your personal representative must be related to you by blood and/or be a Florida resident. This means that if the personal representative currently in your will isn’t related to you and doesn’t live in Florida, they will not be recognized when your will is executed. • Your will is only considered “self-proved” if witnessed and signed by two witnesses and a Notary Public. If you moved to Florida from another state and still retain ownership of real property in your old home state, it would be wise to consult with a Florida estate planning attorney. Florida laws governing inheritance of real property are different from those in other states. In addition, if you desire to avoid leaving your heirs with an estate that has to go to probate in both Florida and another jurisdiction, you may want to set up a trust that could own your out of state property but not your Florida property. These things are complicated but you can avoid a lot of problems if you get good advice about arranging your financial assets to take advantage of the state laws that govern your particular situation. Power of attorney designations and advanced health care directives, such as health care proxies and living wills, should always be updated after a move so they are consistent with the laws of your new state. In most cases, power of attorney designations should remain valid in your new location. But some institutions resist or delay the acceptance of documents that do not conform to state statutory requirements or preferences. Therefore, it is a smart practice to update your power of attorney designations when reviewing your other estate-planning documents. Even if your will is technically valid after you move to Florida, it is very important to talk to an experienced Florida estate planning attorney. You want to ensure that nothing in your will has changed and that your will still fully upholds your wishes. If a new will needs to be executed to coincide with Florida law, an attorney can guide you through the process and help you understand everything you should consider. The Jewish Federation & Foundation does not provide legal or tax advice. Please consult with your professional advisor before taking any action. If you are in need of a trusted professional, please contact me at (���) ���-37�� or KellieK@JewishJacksonville.org for a referral to one of our trusted legal or tax advisors. 8
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SEPTEMBER'S 'FOOD FOR THOUGHT: A BOOKCLUB' By Faye Hedrick, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida
Book discussions are a great way to begin dialogue with other women. “Book clubs are a starting point for conversation,” says Helen DuBow, Book Club volunteer, and we could not agree more. Women like to gather around food and conversation. Lunchtime can be an opportunity to escape the ‘day-to-day’ and surround yourself with others to discuss perspectives about topics that matter. Many of us have participated in book clubs and even led a few ourselves. Someone I respect and admire once said, “Look around the boards you serve on or the book clubs you participate in, does everyone look similar to you?” I thought about this for a long time and realized, unfortunately, my answer was yes. I hadn’t thought to seek out the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations with others who could provide different perspectives than what I had been surrounded with. It was fortunate our Jewish Federation & Foundation had recently offered a program with 904WARD’s CEO, Dr. Kimberly Allen. Kim was my first call. I knew parts of our organization's mission statements aligned. Take for instance, our mission to Jewish life and learning and the aim to support, strengthen, and build a vibrant Jewish community through a wide range of cultural and educational offerings. An inclusive community begins with understanding each other better. 904WARD’s mission creates healing and equity through deep conversations and learning, trusting relationships, and collective action. Our organizations are partnering on a meaningful initiative to build understanding and authentic relationships between Jewish women and Black women. Our first meeting will be held on the book So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo via Zoom on Wednesday, September 22. Directly following the meeting, a follow-up email with book options will be sent and participants will then choose the next book for our second meeting, six weeks later on November 3. Co-chair Leah Palestrant can’t wait to see what book will be chosen next and neither can I. Be thinking of women in your life who you’d like to invite to join you. Anticipate something wonderful!
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COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: MARK SHLYANKEVICH By Faye Hedrick, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida
Tell me a little bit about yourself. How did you end up in Jacksonville? I'm originally from Connecticut, which is where my family settled after immigrating from Russia in 1989. I attended Indiana University-Bloomington and love my Hoosier Basketball. In 2012, I moved to Brooklyn to work in the NBA for the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center. I met my future wife the old-fashioned way, at a bar. We got married on 8/18/18 (chai!). After 7 years in Brooklyn, we left our jobs to travel the world. Our favorite travel experiences were in Vietnam and Israel. Ten countries and two crosscountry road-trips later, we landed in Jacksonville. Tell us a little bit about your job with the Icemen. As a Senior Account Executive, my role with the Icemen is to help organizations and individuals attend games. That includes season memberships, suite rentals, group outings and sponsorship opportunities. Some of these organizations include a variety of different companies, schools, nonprofits and youth sports.
What was your ﬁrst impression upon moving to Northeast Florida? My first impression was how spread out the area is. I didn't know Jacksonville is the largest city in land area in the country. I also thought it was going to be hot year-round but quickly learned in December that Jacksonville has seasons. I’m just another Northerner moving down here to take advantage of the weather. Do you like living here? If so, what's your favorite place or experience that you've had since locating here? From the beach to downtown to Riverside, there’s always a new place to visit with a different vibe. I really enjoyed visiting Fernandina Beach and St. Augustine. Of course, I love going to Icemen games and can’t wait to attend other local sporting events. 10
What is important to you about connecting with your Jewish community? I’m proud that I helped set up the Icemen’s first Jewish Heritage Night and look forward to building on that into next season. In the past I have had the pleasure of working with youth organizations to create events that result in positive impact. It’s important to me to be responsible for creating opportunities for our Jewish community. Connecting to local Jewish youth is not only about faith, but feeding into the culture, passing along important traditions and learning from others.
Anything else you'd like to include? The Jewish Federation played a monumental role helping my family settle in the United States. They helped a young Russian couple with two kids under the age of 5 find jobs, a place to live and adjust to a completely different lifestyle and culture compared to the Soviet Union. I was too young to remember those days but the Federation will always have a special place in my heart. To this day, my wife and I use the same plates they donated over 30 years ago. I hope one day I can give back to our Federation for everything they did for my family.
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THERESA LEVY'S LEGACY CONTINUES By Chelsea Jarrell, Jewish Community Alliance
Theresa Levy first started working at the JCA as a substitute teacher when her children Bernie and Marie-Claire attended Gan Yeladim Preschool back in 1992. Her passion for children continued to grow as she became a mommy and me instructor, the assistant director, and then the Early Childhood Education Director. Gan Yeladim preschool saw tremendous growth in enrollment under Theresa’s leadership. She continually aimed for excellence in everything she did. Theresa went through a rigorous process of maintaining our National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation. She started long lasting partnerships in the Jacksonville community with places such as The Jacksonville Symphony, The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, The Museum of Science and History and The St. Johns Riverkeeper. These partnerships benefitted the students directly by providing enriching experiences. Theresa started the Early Childhood Annual Professional Development Conference which grew into the Educator Support Network and is offered to professionals in our community still today. Her hard work, efforts, and love for Gan Yeladim and our community for the past 29 years have not gone unnoticed. We are excited for Theresa to continue on to the next step of her life as she retires. Her retirement ends one chapter and opens another as she will be stepping into our Early Childhood Education Alumni Coordinator role.
Theresa Levy celebrating Shabbat with the entire Gan Yeladim Preschool and Kindergarten
Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida
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CONGRATULATIONS TO THE JCA AND SHELLY HUGHES By Adam Chaskin, Jewish Community Alliance
Congratulations to the JCA and Shelly Hughes, JCA Theatre Department Director, for being recognized by JCCA with an Excellence Award for “Facebook Live with Zoe’s Clubhouse,” a program developed in response to the pandemic. Zoe and her little brother, Riley, lead children on multiple adventures in their imaginative world, Magicland. This interactive and creative program for children ages 2-8, kept children engaged in imaginative play while isolated at home during last year’s building closure enabling them to maintain personal connections with other children. Each episode included an easy art project and allowed children and parents to interact by using “likes” and “comments” on Facebook. The episodes were filmed live using smart phones in socially-distant settings outdoors. To date, the episodes have had hundreds of views with some reaching more than a 1,000 across Florida and other states. Shelly presented her program at the JCCA’s ProCon 2021 Virtual Conference as part of the Excellence Showcase on Wednesday, April 28, where she provided insights on developing this initiative to other JCC’s around the country. Zoe’s Clubhouse is once again live and in-person throughout the year; for information about this program, other youth theatre programs, or Stage Door Summer Camp, call Shelly at 730-2100, ext. 252, or shelly.hughes@ jcajax.org.
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JFCS ROCKSTAR VOLUNTEER, CECILIA CRISTOL HONORED BY UNITED WAY By Donna O'Steen, Jewish Family & Community Services
Congratulations to Cecilia Cristol for receiving recognition from the United Way of Northeast Florida for Outstanding Volunteer Service! Cecilia was one of seven volunteers in the Jacksonville community selected by the United Way for 2020-21 Outstanding Volunteer. Cecilia has been a volunteer with Jewish Family & Community Services for many years. She first got involved with JFCS to honor her mother, a Holocaust survivor by participating in the Senior Food Delivery program. According to Cecilia, “What I thought would be a small way to get involved turned out to be incredibly rewarding. I have become close and built strong relationships with many of the people I deliver food to and look forward to visiting with them each time. She enjoyed volunteering with JFCS so much that she expanded her volunteer responsibilities by working in the Max Block Food Pantry on a weekly basis, and for three years has been a fixture there. When the pandemic hit, Cecilia continued her service by assisting the staff to put together a food program that was safe for staff and clients. When asked why she volunteers with JFCS, Cecilia said, “Volunteering with Jewish Family & Community Services inspires me. It continues to amaze me how much impact a small act of kindness can have on those who are struggling. Volunteering is my way of paying it forward. If in the process of doing it I happen to make a positive impact on someone else’s life, then I have made a true difference.” Cecilia and her husband, David, have agreed to help JFCS even further by chairing the 2022 Annual Fundraiser. Congratulations, Cecilia, on this welldeserved honor!
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By Michael Graybill, Jewish Family & Community Services client
In 2018, I was put into my Aunt’s care. I had a therapist for a year before coming to JFCS. After a year, I was given the option to go without therapy for a while. I knew I still had a lot to work on. I was in a shell I created to protect myself from others. I was not confident in myself. My self-esteem was very low, and I had considerable anxiety. A month later, things took a turn for the worse. I could not see positivity in life. I sought help from my school counselor, and he referred me to JFCS. I was assigned a counselor, Nicole Brown, and she began helping me set goals for myself. I have gone through a lot in my 14 years and I chose to get help. I was scared at first because I don’t associate with a lot of people. I had a fear of people. I was always told, “Don’t be a victim. Advocate for those who are scared to get help.” Nicole was easy to talk to. I began to lower my guard. I felt comfortable with her. I felt safe to tell her everything, and in time, I started to feel like I had more
control over my life. She helped me to realize that I was safe with my aunt and uncle. Some say it’s a weakness to show emotion and open up to a person for help. I used to believe that, and I was depressed because of it. The truth is, identifying with our emotions makes us stronger. Talking about your feelings relieves the pressure you put on yourself. I have worked on my personal goals for over a year now. I have accomplished many things in the last year. My coping skills, self-esteem, and desire to be a good person have improved, but I couldn’t have done it without Nicole. It definitely took a team to inspire me to change. I am now a more positive and confident person and I don’t worry about what other people think of me anymore. JFCS and their staff is the best. Not many people are willing to do for others what JFCS has done for me. I am but one example of them helping people help themselves.
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WHAT DID YOU READ DURING THE PANDEMIC? By Helen Hill, Hadassah Jacksonville
More than a year into the pandemic, those of us who love books are reading more than ever. Though I understand some people found reading difficult, at least at the start of the lockdown, I am grateful that I was able to keep reading. The act of picking up a book can be transformative. And now more than ever, books can distract us, transport us, entertain us, engage us, and open doors to learning and self-realization. Many readers whose opinions I sought said that reading provided an escape to another place and time. Some favored distraction through murder mysteries, fantasy, and humor while others found themselves drawn head-on into narratives that tackled pandemics or other dark times in history. Still others found this time to be
an opportunity to increase knowledge, choosing nonfiction, biographies, or books on a multitude of interests or self-improvement. We choose different books for different reasons and research shows we read because it makes us feel good, relaxed, entertained, and enriched. While we may have been confined to our homes, books kept us going and allowed us to discover new worlds without ever getting off the couch. Now, whether we plan to remain home for a second summer or plan to venture out a bit, it is time to think about our summer reading lists. Whatever you may have read during this past year, virtual book clubs kept readers connected. When groups couldn't get together in person, a reported 65 percent continued to meet via Zoom. Hadassah Jacksonville will be holding its Annual Summer Book Reviews, on July 6, 13, 20, and 27 (see “Worth the Schlep” for details). I invite you to join us and discover some good books for your summer reading pleasure—pandemic or not!
NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE
KNEADING BREAD AND SHARING STORIES AT THE HYBRID MEGA CHALLAH BAKE
By Sarah Schwartz, Hybrid Mega Challah Bake Chair, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida Though this year was a bit different than in years past, the Northeast Florida community had an amazing turn out for the first Hybrid Mega Challah Bake! At this hybrid event there were two locations where people could attend in-person and a virtual Zoom option to join in on the fun. The two inperson options were at the parking lot of Beth El - The Beaches and The Temple - Congregation Ahavath Chesed in Mandarin. An amazing committee with more than ten members representing different synagogues and organizations planned for months keeping social distancing and everyone’s health in mind. The committee also recruited volunteers to help with set-up. The results? Both locations were at capacity with
approximately 50 challah bakers at each location. Because of the pandemic, we didn’t know how eager people would be to register. The committee prepared one hundred sets of ingredients and was so glad each and every one was claimed. While the dough was given time to rise, the groups were joined by Toronto based singer, Moran Sabbah who led us in song. The Challah Bake is such a fun event and is held every year. Everyone gets together, prepares challah, enjoys each other's company, and goes home to bake challah surrounded by the smell and thoughts of fresh baked goodness and friendship. If you missed this year’s bake, make sure you keep an eye out for the next one!
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RIVER GARDEN AUXILIARY By Kari Bell, River Garden Senior Services
Although many activities of the River Garden Auxiliary cannot take place, they are always doing their very best to raise money for our very special River Garden residents. By way of example, they raised over $13,000 for the Home with Tombola this year! Winners were • 1st prize of $2,500 - David Wagner • 2nd prize of $1,000 - Merle Cherry • 3rd prize of $500 - Donna Burnside • 4th prize of $500 - Esta Rubinstein and brother Charles Young The Auxiliary hopes to be able to resume our luncheons in the fall. The following is the slate of officers proposed for the 2021-2023 term for the River Garden Auxiliary. President - Mimi Kaufman President Elect - Ellen Rubens
Treasurer - Nancy Mizrahi Recording Secretary Shirley Bielski Corresponding Secretary - Marilyn Mass Social Secretary - Sandy Mimi Kaufman, Selwitz Financial Secretary - Carol President D'Onofrio Membership VP - Carol D'Onofrio Life Membership - Betty Fastenberg Fund Raising Co-Chairs - Michelle Steinfeld, Jennie Bermudez Parliamentarian - Marilyn Garber Members at Large - Margo Ruby, Ruth Nachman, Fran Albert Immediate Past President – Shirley Bielski
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RIVER GARDEN 75TH ANNIVERSARY DAY By Kari Bell
River Garden hosted its 75th Anniversary Day and Annual Meeting on Sunday, March 21, 2021. Ms. Randy Kammer served as Chair of the Day. In light of the pandemic, few gathered in the Cohen Auditorium, but hundreds gathered on YouTube. A recorded version of the event can be viewed online: https: //www.youtube.com/ watch?v=aelWXtr3jgE River Garden installed board leadership and trustees. Continuing presidents of their respective boards include: Gloria Einstein, Senior Services board; Dr. Lawrence Goldberg, Hebrew Home board; Sandy Zimmerman, Foundation board; and Dennis Lafer, The Coves board. Matthew Lufrano, Judy Mizrahi and Shari Shuman were installed as a new trustees to the Foundation board. Also during the meeting, presentations honoring Kathy Osterer and Marty Goetz were done. David and Linda Stein also made a special presentation.
Incoming CEO, Mauri Mizrahi, was the closing speaker. In her remarks, she promised to honor River Garden’s history through the telling of stories about the people who have lived at the Home, cared for the residents, and supported and led the institution. She pledged to honor and be guided by the Fifth Commandment, ‘Honor thy father and thy mother,’ and vowed to treat the residents, families, staff, boards and the campus with dignity and respect, true to the agency’s mission. She said she is looking forward to reopening the campus to the community and welcome all visitors as soon as it is safe and reasonable to do so. Lastly, Mauri expresses her gratitude to the River Garden Senior Services board and the community for the opportunity to lead River Garden into the future.
W H AT ’ S H A P P E N I N G I N N O R T H E A S T F LO R I DA
We’ve been here for so many years - our school - our synagogue - our congregants. Whether you’re on this side of “the ditch” or beyond, we are constantly designing and redesigning programs to meet your every need. With the synagogue opening up, covidly conscious of course, we welcome you to come worship, to greet old friends, make new ones, and enjoy our ABC’s of programs from A to Z. With some license being given, we’ve got you covered: A is for our Annual Night Of Giving B is for Brotherhood and BELLES (Sisterhood) C is for Celebrate The Seasons and Confirmation D is for Dinner With The Rabbi (Brotherhood) E is for Educating all our wonderful kids (Religious School) and adults, too F is for Family Passover and our fabulous Fashion Show (Sisterhood) and Family Shabbat G is for our Golf Tournament H is for our Hanukkah Celebration and Healing Service I is for our Interfaith Thanksgiving Service J is for our Judaica Shop (Sisterhood) shop ‘til you drop! K is for Kindergarten Consecration L is for our Lending Library M is for Mitzvah Day, Miriam’s Seder (Sisterhood), Madrichim Program (Religious School) and Marriage Reconsecration N is for our New Member Shabbat O is for our Onegs ( I can’t wait for our Onegs) P is for Pizza and Trivia Night and Purim Carnival (Religious School) and Pot Luck Break The Fast (Sisterhood) Q is for Questions only the Rabbi can answer (that was a hard one!) R is for the Rabbi’s Discussion Group, Religious School for Grades K-7 S is for Sisterhood and Shir Shalom and Student Led Shabbat (Religious School) T is for Torah Study U is for oUr and Us - commUnity, spiritUality, sUpport, yoUth, and SynagogUe V is for our Variety of programs (I’m cheating
here!) and Volunteering (our lifeblood) W is for Ways and Means (Ways to get involved) and (the Means to do just that)! X is for… Not A Clue! Y is for Yom Kippur in our synagogue (Covid free!) Z is for Zooming - adopted to meet this year’s past challenges Beth El The Beaches Synagogue warmly welcomes interfaith families into our congregation and encourages participation as we truly are “A Home for Jewish Families”.
For more information about membership, please contact Elissa Feldman at ���-�73-���� or elissa@ bethelbeaches.org For more information about enrollment in or teaching at Religious School, please contact Vickie Kennedy at ���-�73-���� or email@example.com
Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida 19
NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE
MACCABEE OF THE MONTH: RICHARD RIDGE By Sarah Perfido, Jewish Community Alliance
60-year-old Richard Ridge works out five times a week at the JCA. Richard joined the JCA with his wife Andrea three years ago. Native to Jacksonville, Andrea grew up at the JCA and her family are charter members. She left for college and met Richard at another gym, but soon returned to the JCA in search of higher quality facilities, staff, and programming. Richard started bodybuilding at 25 and has since competed in 20 shows. In 2011, he took first place in NPC Men’s Bodybuilding Masters Over 50 at Orlando Metropolitan Championships, Jax Physique Competition and Gateway Classic. He’s planning his next contest at age 70. Preparing for a bodybuilding show requires intense training and months of strict dieting. Richard shares his advice to build muscle and get leaner at any age: Nutrition and food preparation are key. Stay away from sugar and processed food. Eat clean protein like fish, chicken and high-quality red meat. Find healthy foods you enjoy. Meal prep everything, so it’s ready to go. Your food intake should be a habit. Find a trainer. It’s tough going into a gym and not knowing anything, but coming is the biggest first step. Work with a trainer who is knowledgeable about building muscle. Start out slow. Form is everything. Everyone can lift heavy stuff sloppily. Make sure the movement is correct then focus on getting stronger. You can build muscle at any age. It comes down to dedication. If you really want it, you can do it. Stay in good health, work out, eat right. If it were easy, everyone would have this type of physique. You may not ever be a bodybuilder, but you can be healthy and confident. The Maccabees were Jewish rebel warriors and heroes of the Chanukah story. Maccabee means “hammer” and has become a symbol of physical might, spiritual strength, and mental resilience in the face of adversity.
Richard at a Bodybuilding Competition
L’DOR V’DOR F A M I LY, E D U C A T I O N A N D S E N I O R L I V I N G
FAITH & INSPIRATION By Rabbi Shira M.T. Rosenblum
After our ancestors embarked on their long journey through the desert, they wandered about for 40 years, never once missing an opportunity to complain. “Where is the water!” “Give us meat!” “We were better off as slaves in Egypt! At least there we had melons, leeks, and fish!” The Israelites were so preoccupied with how their lives had been when they were slaves that they were unable to appreciate the opportunity God was giving them. As a Jew living in the 21st century, I always had a difficult time relating to their situation. Although I appreciated that it might take time to adjust to being free and autonomous after generations of servitude, the constant complaining and failure to acclimate to their newfound freedom demonstrated a lack of gratitude that always frustrated me. After the experiences of this past year, I have gained insight and understanding as to their mindset during those first few weeks in the desert. Our ancestors longed to return to what they knew, to the modest life of a slave, whose basic needs were met by their master. Similarly, many of us have expressed a desire for life to simply “go back to normal,” whatever that means. On the holiday of Shavu’ot, we commemorate our ancestors standing at Mount Sinai and receiving the Torah. After weeks of wandering, they finally received the 10 Commandments, a structural framework for how to live as free people. While our period of uncertainty has lasted much longer than seven weeks, and we may often feel as though we are wandering aimlessly with no end in sight, now is the
time to remember that this isn’t over. It is incumbent upon all of us to do whatever is in our power to make the world a safer place, both for ourselves and for those around us. Despite ever-changing guidelines regarding safe activities, we cautiously resume “normal” activities, we must remain vigilant if we are all to reach the Promised Land.
Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida 21
NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE
JFCS BOARD SPOTLIGHT: CHASE ZIMMERMAN By Donna O'Steen, Jewish Family & Community Services
Chase Zimmerman was born and raised in a small town in Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Mississippi, Chase moved to Colorado, where she worked for two years before moving across the United States to Atlanta, where she met her husband, Morrie. Chase has been active with many local not-for-profits in the Jacksonville community, including the Jewish Community Alliance, the Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art, where she serves on the board of directors, Wolfson Children’s Hospital, the American Cancer Society and Pace Center for Girls, among many others. Of everything Chase has accomplished in her life, the most meaningful for her is being a mother. “I feel that every child should be cared for and loved. It is my hope to make a difference in the lives of those who have not had that opportunity. That is one of the reasons I joined the Jewish Family & Community Services Board of Directors,” Chase explained. “I am so honored to be considered a part of this organization. Together with my family, we can continue to support the First Coast community and help those who cannot help themselves.” When Chase is not working, she and her husband travel and she stays busy. Morrie and Chase have two children, Bennett and Wendell, both in college. JFCS is so thankful to have Chase on our Board!
F A M I LY, E D U C AT I O N A N D S E N I O R L I V I N G
JCA FACES OF FITNESS: BOBBY BARONE By Sarah Perfido, Jewish Community Alliance
Bobby is a certified personal trainer with over three decades of industry experience. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, he moved to Jacksonville in 2018 and began working at the JCA. As a child, Bobby witnessed his family struggle with weight and its negative affects on their health. Despite yo-yo dieting for years, at her heaviest, his mother weighed 300 pounds. Bobby did not want this for his life, so he started to work out and never turned back. After sports injuries requiring major knee reconstruction, Bobby’s knowledge of training allowed him to successfully rehabilitate himself, ultimately leading to him to competing in body building from 1995 to 1997. He was also a strength and conditioning coach for the National Hockey League New York Islanders. His private obstacles informed his ability to relate and empathize with clients, making him particularly compassionate and skilled working with people overcoming a variety of injuries and personal barriers. Bobby considers himself fortunate to have made a career as a role model and mentor of living a healthy lifestyle.
What does being Jewish in the ﬁtness industry mean to you? As a Jewish fitness professional, I feel like I’m breaking a barrier and helping shatter the weak, non-athletic, nerdy Jewish stereotype. I hope I’m an inspiration to a lot of people to know that in addition to being intelligent and studious, you can also be strong and physically fit.
What is your best trainer tip? “Put your oxygen mask on first.” You can’t take care of other people if you don’t take care of yourself. You must prioritize your health, hygiene, and happiness. You age gracefully when you take care of your body, eat properly, and keep physical activity as part of your daily life. The Jewish Community Alliance has a vision to provide the place in the tradition of our heritage
where all people come together throughout their lives, to enhance body, mind, and spirit. Faces of Fitness shares how the JCA Fitness Team is committed to the Jewish value of “Shmirat Haguf” to care for your body.
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NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE
GAN YELADIM PRESCHOOL & KINDERGARTEN’S FINAL FIELD TRIP OF THE SCHOOL YEAR By Danielle Wirsansky, Jewish Community Alliance
Kindergarters took their final field trip of the school year to Little Talbot Island. It was the perfect send off for Michele Block Gan Yeladim Preschool & Kindergarten’s graduating class. All year, both classes were immersed in nature studies from bugs to birds to bees. It has long been a tradition for the final field trip of the year to be at Little Talbot Island. Due to pandemic restrictions, all the school’s field trips this year were in outdoor locations, and the beach was a fan favorite among the Kindergarten students, which made the choice to return to Little Talbot Island once more a no-brainer. “I like going to the beach because it reminds me of my grandma, who lives at the beach,” Ellie Harris, a kindergartner in Mrs. Ledesma and Ms. Telon’s class, said. “I was excited for our field trip because it was my first time going to the beach since I lost my first tooth! I had never been to the beach without all of my teeth before.” According to Florida State Parks, “Little Talbot Island is one of a handful of undeveloped barrier islands remaining in Northeast Florida. Boasting more than five miles of pristine beaches and three miles of bike trails, Little Talbot offers untouched natural beauty and diverse ecosystems for visitors to explore.” Ben Brown, a kindergartener in Mrs. Satterfield and Mrs. Manning’s kindergarten had mixed feelings about the very last field trip and the end of the school year. While he is excited for a new journey with new friends and a change to his pace of life, he 24
will also miss his friends. He said, “I’m excited to make new friends but I will try not to be sad because I will still see everyone when I come to the JCA.”
F A M I LY, E D U C AT I O N A N D S E N I O R L I V I N G
THE EIGHT ANNUAL COMMEMORATION By The St. Augustine Jewish Historical Society
On June 18, 1964, acting on behalf of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., rabbis came to St. Augustine to support justice, righteousness, the Civil Rights Movement, and to break the U.S. Senate filibuster of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. During this movement, 16 rabbis and a reform Jewish administrator were arrested and held in the St. Johns County jail. This would become the largest mass arrest of rabbis in U.S. history. Overnight, they wrote a letter entitled “Why We Came to St. Augustine.” This year, on June 18 at noon, the Eighth Annual Commemoration of the mass arrest will take place outdoors at the Hilton St. Augustine Historic Bayfront, 32 Avenida Menendez, St. Augustine. Their letter from 1964 will be read during the event. This is a free 30-minute
commemoration sponsored by the St. Augustine Jewish Historical Society. Attendees are requested to wear masks. A Zoom link to attend virtually is available upon request through the “Contact” tab at www.sajhs. com or email sajhs����@gmail.com. For further information contact SAJHS at (804)-914-4460.
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YEAR IN REVIEW Life changed dramatically in March 2020 when it became clear that nationwide efforts at containing COVID-19 were going to be unsuccessful, and that seniors, especially those residing in nursing homes were most at-risk of severe illness and dying from complications of the virus. Everyone at River Garden stepped up to meet the challenge and we are grateful to our staff for the care and compassion they give each day. This past year we have not been able to welcome community groups or students to River Garden for holidays and programs with the residents. And for two years in a row, we were unable to host 500 people on our campus for our Annual Meeting and Anniversary Day. Our Gala and Golf Classic events were also impacted. Despite these disappointments, the community has been supportive and we thank you all.
Our Jewish Life department has continued to meet Jewish need with creative programming and virtual connections. We have also been able to live stream Shabbat services and other Jewish programming on our internal TV channel. During the holidays when visitation has been very limited, friends and families joined us in many new ways. This past year we’ve also seen a change in leadership, wishing happy retirement to Kathy Osterer, Chief Development Officer, and Marty Goetz, Chief Executive Officer. We welcomed Christina Levine and Mauri Mizrahi, respectively, to these roles and are positioned well for continued success. Thankfully, we are well on the way to recovery, but the challenges are not over. Although many of us are vaccinated, we still must limit visitors in River Garden, test often, wear masks at all times, wash our hands correctly and remain mindful of physical distancing. By this time next year, we hope to again be a destination to unite friends.
COVID-19 what? Nothing could stop the Holidays from being a success. During the 2020 Holidays, JFCS provided over 2,000 children, seniors and Holocaust survivors, thanks to over 400 donors. Above: Chi Phan delivers gifts for �� children.
Jewish Family & Community Services (JFCS) commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27 with a special event that offered virtual tours of the Frisch Family Holocaust Memorial Gallery’s latest exhibit, Spots of Light: To be a Woman in the Holocaust. This first ever virtual event gave people a way to honor the millions who were lost during the Holocaust in a COVID-safe way. The event was watched over 1,600 by people all over the U.S. on ZOOM and Facebook Live.
YEAR IN REVIEW When the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global health emergency and the world came to a complete stop, Congregation Ahavath Chesed was resolute and kept an uninterrupted schedule of worship, programming, and support available to our community. Cantor Barry led us through an arduous year with her beautiful singing, compassion, and dedication to our Temple members. Our Caring Committee rose to the occasion to ensure those in need were attended to whether it was shopping for them, making a call, or offering a helping hand. There was never a gap in worship services, not once. We were fortunate to be able to celebrate the holidays, enjoy progressive dinners, weddings, and b’nai mitzvah virtually throughout the quarantine. Sisterhood stepped in for our annual Gift Giving
Renee Weinstein with food donation
for JFCS and over 500 bags of groceries were collected at the Brotherhood Food Drive. We offered our members numerous and varied programs. They included Sacred Cinema; Our Families, Our Selves (Issues that affect Temple families and how Jewish texts and tradition can be a guide); Jews in the Civil War; Abrahamic Religions using historical linkages, book reviews, and programs with Shaliach Stav Brener that ranged from cooking his grandmother’s Parsa recipe to participating in a live conversation with a Reform Rabbi in Israel dealing with a recent Israeli Supreme Court ruling. We created a Biblical Garden through the generous support of the Jewish Preservation Fund of Dr. Larry & Kathy Kanter. The Biblical Gardens enhance our Temple grounds and provide a tangible link to our rich history. Created in partnership with the Biblical Botanical Garden Society, the Biblical Gardens cultivate community outreach and engagement and allowed us to dedicate a Date Palm in honor of our former Executive Director, Goldie Lansky. What stands out the most for Congregation Ahavath Chesed from this past year is hiring Rabbi Maya Y. Glasser to lead the clergy team at Temple. We look forward to welcoming Rabbi Glasser to the congregation. Temple is grateful to the membership, clergy and staff who have stood by us this year.
Dr. Larry Kanter, Goldie Lansky, and Dr. Bez at Biblical Garden Dedication
During 2020-21, the Max Block Food Pantry served a record number of families and individuals. In order to meet the demand, we expanded our reach by partnering with Inspire to Rise, located on Jacksonville’s Westside, George Washington Carver Elementary School on the Northside and included deliveries by Door Dash, serving over 62,200 meals to more than 6,914 clients facing hunger in Northeast Florida.
Purim Pasta Challenge volunteer Alyce Bessman
Every year JFCS is trusted with millions of dollars of financial assistance funding from agencies United Way, The First Coast Relief Fund, TD Bank, Bank of America, Community Foundation, Women’s Giving Alliance, City of Jacksonville and the Department of Treasury. In 2020-21, JFCS provided over 1,066 households affected by the global pandemic in Northeast Florida with financial assistance.
Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida 27
YEAR IN REVIEW
The 2020-2021 year has been interesting, to say the least. We have been reminded, in the most impactful ways, of the value of community and specifically the value of having a spiritual home, a synagogue, and Jewish family to support us all. Our year began in quarantine. Since the holidays were all virtual, we made sure to connect in new and creative ways. In addition to our virtual offerings, we offered numerous opportunities for the community to celebrate holidays together outdoors including blowing the shofar around town and our annual Latkes & Vodkas Hanukkah party. Our congregation worshipped and learned together over the past year, holding virtual and in-person evening minyanim and Shabbat services. Our clergy have taught our congregation about a variety of topics through multiple on-line series. We began a weekly healing service and added opportunities to learn during the day most weeks. We were even able to have our annual interfaith dialogue during Ramadan virtually as well as our Safer Shabbaton. The calendar was filled with a number of musical offerings. One highlight was a month of music from our Artist-inResidence Eliana Light, who taught in our schools, led virtual services, and sang in a virtual concert. Other virtual offerings included Hazzan's Yom Ha'Atzma'ut sing along, singing in the rain and Some Good Nus. Todd Morse and Haz were back in the sanctuary for Shabbat in the Underground, and our Lag B'Omer Family Fun Day featured the first outdoor performance by local legends, String Theory. We also had a very successful year at the DuBow Preschool and Martin J. Gottlieb Day School. During the summer, we welcomed our new Head of School, Tina Silva, who jumped right into this new challenge with her whole heart. Amazingly, we opened our doors on August 13 to students who were ready to learn, with many COVID safety protocols in place, as well as a virtual option. Our school was proud to offer the wonderful combination of general and Jewish education that we’re known for providing. Our middle school students successfully partnered with River Garden & the Coves, combined with “Better Together in a Box,” as a part of their Mitzvah program. Under the new leadership of Rabbi Rosenblum, our Bernard & Alice Selevan Religious School successfully resumed in-person classes on Sundays while remaining online for midweek sessions on Wednesdays. We got creative in finding alternative classroom spaces and utilized our garden and Beth Shalom Park to keep the students socially distanced while fostering meaningful peer interactions and joyful Jewish learning. At the end of the school year, half of our students came back on Wednesdays for new in-person Hugim (electives): Gardening, Art, or Archery! All of our students thrived this year, and we look forward to returning in the Fall
to continue to grow and learn together. COVID may have hindered youth from getting together in-person in 2020, but after Michelle Penson joined our team, we hit the ground running with safety protocols and mostly inperson events. Our Center youth participated in fun programs such as Cookie Decorating with a Twist, Minute-to-Win-It Games, and an Amazing Race Scavenger Hunt. Chalutzim, Kadima and USY numbers grew this Winter and Spring, culminating in weekends where over 60 3rd-12th graders were in attendance across the three youth groups. We held our annual Youth Banquet, installed our new youth group boards, and are already planning for 2021-22. In what could have been a lost year, memories were made and lifetime friendships were formed. Our 8th-11th graders participated in the Jewish Teen Leadership Initiative and explored issues relevant to Jewish teens living in the 21st century. After nearly a full year of meeting online, we finished the year with a few in-person sessions. Our Siyyum 12th grade Confirmation program reflects the link between Jewish learning and social action. This year’s confirmands also played a central role in our community-wide virtual Yom Ha-Shoah program, and are now leaving for college, ready to represent the Center and the greater Jewish community. As we learned to offer services and programs safely, we have continued to open our doors, slowly increasing the numbers while making sure every event is well thought out and planned appropriately for the COVID world we continue to maneuver. We are also growing in membership as new families find us through our virtual offerings, or simply by relocating to our area. So many silver linings in this difficult year!
YEAR IN REVIEW
It has been a journey, to say the least, but with 10,304 visits in April – the most we have had since reopening last year – and a positive membership trajectory, the JCA is not only back on track but coming out of this pandemic stronger than ever. Even though our annual fundraiser – known for being an awesome party celebrating our JCA – was completely virtual this past February, we broke fundraising and attendance records, demonstrating our strength and resilience, and allowing us to increase the amount of financial assistance we can offer from $330,000 to $430,000 this year. We felt it necessary to reopen in May of last year, after closing for nearly two months, because community members needed help with everything from a safe place for children to participate in remote learning while parents in essential jobs worked to access physical training and wellness programming for our senior members. Members and staff have adapted to intensive cleaning schedules, spreading equipment and classes out, mandatory masking policies, and hand sanitizing stations to keep us all safe, and we are incredibly thankful for the patience and effort of everyone coming into our building. While our JCA experienced a loss of over $1 million over the course of this past year, we weathered the worst of the pandemic because of our community’s generosity and commitment to keeping us open. Members, funding partners, and donors stepped up to make sure we had the resources necessary to keep everyone employed and provide a safe facility, and our staff went above and beyond to check in with and support those in our community who became suddenly isolated because of the crisis. Having to cancel in person classes was difficult and we innovated in the virtual space, providing physical training, fitness classes, and cultural arts programming when coming into our building was not possible. The JCA Fitness Facebook group
Folio Award winners Eiﬀel Gilyana (Fitness Director) and Gisela Reis (Personal Trainer)
was transformed into a virtual gym, with thousands of hours of JCA-produced content shared for free, and we saw more attendance at our Cultural Arts Festival, and other events, held almost exclusively virtually, than when they were held only in person. People are itching to stay connected, and we aim to continue to be the “common meeting ground.” We are working to build virtual components into our programming going forward to meet people where they are. The return of our summer camp is shaping up to be a great one, and we are proud to be able to provide a muchneeded fun summer for kids after a year of physical distancing. Continuing our demonstrated excellence, we were the recipient of Folio’s Best of Jax award in fitness center, fitness Facebook group, personal trainer, and yoga instructor categories and runner up for best nonprofit. It is an honor to serve Jacksonville, and we are always looking for the best ways to do so. We have exciting new offerings in fitness and athletics, cultural arts, and youth programming, with more coming soon. Come see us!
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YEAR IN REVIEW A
cknowledge: This year I have seen the hand of Hashem guide me and the school in ways that I did not anticipate. Thank you Hashem for your love and kindness! ultivate: We cultivated a culture of self care and an awareness of the employees’ and students’ state of mental health. Healthy mind, healthy body! daptability: Teachers adapted to changes on the fly. The art teacher brought her supplies on a cart from room to room and the middle school teachers taught in the Etz Chaim social hall. Teachers rock! edicated: Three of our teachers had babies and they missed a combined total of three days of school (male teachers, lol). We love our teachers (and they love their students)! nergy: The teachers in both Judiac and general studies developed creative, engaging, and exploratory projects in their classes. The energy in the rooms was palpable and contagious. If I had another “C” I would write “creativity”. Positive energy! eaningful: The seventh and eighth graders help distribute food boxes for over two hundred children every single Tuesday! Many families have benefited tremendously from this program. I am so proud of the tikun olam that the students have been involved in. The students did not just flex their physical muscles lifting the boxes; they strengthened their spiritual and caring muscles as well. Teamwork! outhfulness: Want to feel young and rejuvenated? Be a giver. Our teachers are prime examples of giving of themselves above and beyond their job descriptions. The board of directors gave of their time and resources. The parents gave their support and encouragement. And the students? They gave us smiles and tears. They gave us love and challenges. They gave us the wisdom to know that no matter what situation or challenge we face in life, we can always rise above and grow.
The school year of 2020-2021 will be remembered by everyone. Parents, students, and faculty all have their own perspective on how successful the school year was. I would like to share with you the profound success that Torah Academy has had during a pandemic year through the eyes of an administrator.
Tactful: Navigating the Federal, state, local, and school
health committee guidelines was a delicate balance. We stayed on course with our health committee's recommendations and were open for every full single school day! rganized. Some students did zoom. The teachers were incredibly organized teaching in person and on zoom at the same time. Go teachers! igor: We kept the same academic standards of excellence. In fact, we added a new halacha program to the curriculum and we introduced EOC testing for seventh and eighth grades in order to receive high school credits. Amazing! ccountability: Every teacher stayed the course, and every student took the NWEA standards test which monitors and evaluates progress. Almost every student progressed on or above grade level. Fantastic! elpful: There were difficult days. There are special parents and community members who offered encouraging emails and words (and virtual hugs). Angels!
Despite our inability to be together physically, the Temple Bet Yam family has maintained strong connections during the pandemic. Throughout Covid we have had via ZOOM our Friday night Shabbat services, Torah Studies, Religious and Hebrew School classes, Sisterhood and Mens Club, Book Club, Life Long Learning and virtual fund raisers. Our Social Justice committee has continued its work within the St Augustine community. We look forward to the new year when we hope that we may be together, in person, once again.
YEAR IN REVIEW As with almost every area in life, the COVID season has upended congregational life. Our synagogue deeply values both the cherished values of public health and safety and offers the community a communal prayer platform. Our shul has been open for weekday and Shabbat services since June 2020, and we update our protocols on a bi-weekly basis by our COVID task force. Our task force is comprised of lay leaders, physicians, and rabbis as we constantly assess and formulate policies paying close attention to our cherished values. With the High Holidays, our task force spent an extraordinary amount of time planning a schedule of in-person services that would be meaningful but not compromise on safety in any way. The taskforce recommendations were for us to have three separate minyanim in different locations that would allow for appropriate social distancing. Our Sephardic Minyan was located in our social hall to allow for more social distancing. Its service was enhanced with all the unique Sephardic customs and tunes, enabling the men and women to pray and connect to their own heritage. There was an outdoor minyan that was located adjacent to the building. We rented a tent from an event company that was outfitted with special fans to enable for better ventilation. All congregants were required to wear masks the entire time, and that included the outdoor minyan. There were staggered start and end times for the three minyanim to arrive and depart at different times. We were fortunate to present a blue ribbon caliber of programming throughout the year despite the strict COVID protocols in place. There were dual offerings of both inperson and virtual education offerings throughout the year. Rabbi Fisch teaches our Daf Yomi class of daily Talmud, and he was teaching that both in person at 5:45 a.m. and on Zoom for whoever preferred that option. One of our members, a long-term resident at River Garden, participated in this class via Zoom. Every Shabbat in the place of Seuda Shlishit, Rabbi Fisch taught an in-depth class on a variety of topics. One series, in particular, garnered lots of interest and that was the Controversial and Polarizing Topics in Halacha. The weekly sermons were taped before Shabbat and uploaded to our YouTube channel. Rabbi Feigenbaum delivered his famous Morning Minute as a word of inspiration every morning, and that was posted to our What’s App and YouTube channels. His popular Lunch and Learn program was presented in a hybrid model as it was both in-person at the JCA and simultaneously broadcast on Zoom.
We presented a multi-faceted educational program called Winter Wisdom, and Ken and Allison Jacobs sponsored that throughout the winter. This program hosted various outstanding speakers from all over the world who spoke on a variety of topics. Ken Spiro, a well-known historian and tour guide from Israel, taught a four-part series on Jewish History During the Medieval Empires. Nissim Black is a Jewish rapper, and he spoke about his journey to Judaism among many challenges along the way. Rachel Frier is an Orthodox Jewish woman who serves as a judge on the New York City Criminal Court, and she spoke to us about the different challenges that she has to balance in her career. Recently, we hosted Nancy Chrisman, a well-known life coach who facilitated a Couples Night Out series. There were three evenings over the course of three weeks where we had 15 couples for date night. The event was held outdoors in a socially distant manner. The couples studied the book Eight Dates by John and Julie Gottman. Each date, they focused on a different topic, and they worked on these meaningful and sometimes challenging conversations with their spouses. The three topics covered over the three sessions were Trust, Resolving Conflict, and Living Your Dream Together. All the couples commented that the sessions were helpful in strengthening the Shalom Bayit with their spouses.
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YEAR IN REVIEW
By Faye Hedrick, Director of Young Professionals & Families
In spite of the pandemic, the Young Professionals & Families (YP&F) division of our Jewish Federation & Foundation has persevered, continuing on with many successful, outstanding initiatives this calendar year. We led some classics and introduced some new programs. We’d like to highlight a few that made us proud. These programs brought insight, entertainment, and joy to our Northeast Florida community. From networking to family life. We did not skip a beat! Together with PJ Library and the JCA, we held the virtual Rosh Hashanah program, “What's the Buzzzz On the New Year?” for families. We held a discussion on HAMILTON the musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda called, “Hamilton: The Story of Tonight,” with Rabbi Jonathan Lubliner and Dr. Danton Kostandarithes, making connections to Judaism and history. We also offered, “Financial Literacy: Mortgages 101” with community professionals Scott Goldstein and Erica Jolles. The two answered questions about mortgages and loans and addressed common myths associated with home buying. We hosted three informal community networking series sessions to learn how various business entrepreneurs got started in their field of expertise. Speakers Jacques Klempf, Ken Babby, and Donna Orender shared their backgrounds and work history, keys to success, and personal connections to Judaism and philanthropy. The series was moderated by Howard Wolpoff. Please reach out if you’re interested in learning about future speakers. The BRIDGES Leadership Development Initiative restarted in December with the inaugural class graduating virtually during “A Night In with Federation.” This group is now more prepared and connected to our local work, the Federation & Foundation, and the important needs of Jews around the world. One volunteer initiative, in partnership with JFCS, has been an ongoing food and clothing drive for George Washington Carver Elementary School. This drive helped to open a food pantry and clothing closet site for children and families in need. As a result, over 260 children now have access to essential items. Another remarkable volunteer effort was helping to successfully secure volunteer shoppers for Coves members at River Garden for over one year after the JCA began the initiative at the beginning of the pandemic. Last November, we offered several social justice programs to our community. “Where Race Meets Religion: Intersectionality, Identity, and Allyship,” was a two-part
series with the first program addressing how identity and intersectionality impact the relationship between Black people and Jewish people, and featured Dr. Richmond Wynn and Rabbi Jonathan Lubliner. The second program addressed what it means to be an ally to a marginalized group. Then in December, Dr. Kimberly Allen and Cantor Jesse Holzer spoke to the topic. “AntiSemitism: In Our Backyard,” a collaboration with StandWithUs and addressed how to effectively respond to antisemitic rhetoric and incidents. Over the course of seven days, Super Week volunteers raised money towards the 2021 Annual Campaign. We weren’t able to gather in groups but were able to kick-off the week together at the home of Zachary and Sarah Schwartz as volunteers made calls to past donors and continued to make calls during the week. If cooking was your interest, we offered some traditional Jewish fare. Etz Chaim, the Jewish Federation & Foundation, the JCA, and PJ Library collaborated on a wonderful outdoor hamentashen bake. We also helped pull together this year’s Mega Hybrid Challah Bake, and the many programs that connected us virtually with cooking, from James Beard Chef Michael Solomonov to Taverna’s head bartender whipping up a signature cocktail for “Quarterly Cocktails.” By initiating the IMPACT $365 Campaign, YP&F encouraged more donors, aged 21-45, to make an annual contribution of a-dollar-a-day to our Annual Campaign, resulting in an increase of overall YP&F giving by 22 percent! The Society of Healers held two wonderful programs, “It’s Not Just for Women: The Big C” on men’s breast health in partnership with the Men’s Breast Cancer Coalition and Sharsheret and “Proof to Practice: History of the COVID-19 Vaccine,” a two-part series. The first focused on vaccine development with Dr. Michael Koren, principal investigator for Pfizer and Moderna studies. The second featured Dr. Jennifer Fulton, a pulmonologist with Baptist Health, and Dr. Wendy Sapolsky, a pediatrician at the Carithers Group. Your Federation & Foundation continues to welcome and connect those new or back to the Northeast Florida area. The welcome program, Tuesdays Together helps develop friendships and foster Jewish community engagement. We encourage community members to reach out and let us know about newcomers to our area.
YEAR IN REVIEW By Lauren Rickoff, Director of Campaign and Women's Philanthropy The Annual Campaign remained strong despite the unusual times COVID provided. All programs and events celebrating the 2021 Annual Campaign were virtual yet the enthusiasm and energy to support the community was felt by all that participated. During the Major Gifts Event, spearheaded by Major Gifts Chair, Haley Trager, a lively game of Jewish geography was played, which provided a lot of laughs for those watching. Contestants participated in the virtual game, Who Knows One, participating in a head-tohead battle to find the “chosen one” first. This year’s A Night Out (IN) with Federation, which featured a Saturday Night Live theme, and was co-chaired by Lynn Maiman, Joey Mintz, and Erik Rostholder entertained and inspired all those watching. The night featured the launch of the community endowment campaign, the presentation of the annual leadership awards, musical guest Chris Thomas Band, and a special appearance by former SNL cast member, Jon Lovitz. It was a fun evening celebrating our Federation & Foundation community.
In this year of virtual programming, Women’s Philanthropy remained connected through a variety of educational programs and events. A highlight of the year was the Champagne Brunch with Jewish cookbook author and food writer, Leah Koenig. The special event was cochaired by Shylie Bannon and Erica Jolles, who even created fun videos highlighting Leah’s recipes. Another highlight of the virtual year was the International Lion of Judah Conference. This year’s conference was an opportunity for all Lions, their daughters and granddaughters, and future Lions to learn from inspiring speakers like Sheryl Sandberg the COO of Facebook; the daughters of Lions who are on their leadership journey through the Jewish Changemakers program; and Heidi Zak, co-founder and CEO of Thirdlove. In addition, the Women’s Philanthropy Dignity Project coordinated the collection of 1000s of feminine products which were distributed to Jewish Family and Community Services, PACE Center for Girls Jacksonville and George Washington Carver Elementary School.
By Kellie Smith, Director of Foundation
The Foundation started the fiscal year with Jewish Grant Making where we awarded grants to five local Jewish nonprofits to assist in technology, modified mitzvah projects and other pandemic-related needs. In addition, we awarded $10,000 in Summer camp scholarships to promising young Jewish leaders, grew our Forever Lion den to 25 and increased our Assets Under Management to $35 million. We are well on our way to securing Jewish tomorrows! In February, we launched a communitywide endowment campaign to increase our community assets to $50 million by 2025. The kick-off event during "A Night In with Federation" was a major success and continues to start conversations throughout the community. Sadly, 2021 began with the passing of two longtime fund holders Walter Field and Bill Rein, as well as one of our founding donors Paul Rothstein. In addition, we unexpectedly lost Dr. Mike Solloway who had just recently created a legacy fund with our Foundation that will support several partners within our Jewish community. By planning ahead while they were alive, they left legacies in our Jewish community and a special place in our hearts forever.
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YEAR IN REVIEW By Jill Abel, Israel Partnership Director
The Israel Partnership Program had an incredibly busy year. While we spent the year together on Zoom, we engaged over 215 members of the Northeast Florida Jewish community through online virtual tours of Israel, cooking programs, and Jewish holiday celebrations that brought us together to celebrate special holidays in Israel with members of the Hadera-Eiron Region. Locally, we celebrated Tu B’Shevat and our 20th year of Israel Partnership participation by recognizing the six agencies--Congregation Ahavath Chesed, the Jacksonville Jewish Center, Ez Chaim Synagogue, the Jewish Community Alliance, Jewish Family & Community Services and River Garden Hebrew Home--that have partnered with us in programming since we began! Each agency received a Japanese Blueberry Tree in honor of the holiday and our special milestone in Jacksonville.
By Stav Brenner, Israeli Community Shaliach
Wow! What a year it has been for me. My year started in September when I arrived from Israel. I had a month full of meetings with people from this wonderful community. Right after that, I started establishing my regular programs, such as my Hebrew speaking classes, Israeli kids’ meetings, and teaching students at Torah Academy and Martin J. Gottlieb Day School. I was happy to use Zoom to bring special stories from our community, which we would usually not hear about. Our special talk with the CEO of Wolfson Hospital in Israel, a Reform rabbi from Israel, people from different Israeli NGOs and more! I was thrilled to talk with members from our community about my IDF service, about meaningful Israeli leaders, and host cooking programs. The most meaningful projects interacting with our community were for Israeli National Days. We created 10 videos to highlight our local Jewish organizations and their connection to Israel, and I was so amazed by how meaningful Israel is for them. We also created, with the help of community members, a very meaningful Yom Ha’Zikaron ceremony which is our most important Memorial Day. I was so honored to share that day with you.
National Men’s Health Month is all about encouraging men to take care of their bodies by eating right, exercising, and working to prevent disease. The purpose is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of diseases including cancer, heart disease, and depression. In this month’s Jewish Life magazine, read about the common health issues that are specific to men and how to prevent men from getting hurt!
Men: Live longer & stronger
tist Wellness Co nn e
Men have a bad reputation of avoiding doctor visits until something is seriously wrong. How can men use their medical team to help stay healthy and prevent disease? Heart disease, cancer, stroke, unintentional injuries, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes are leading causes of death and disability in men. There are also health conditions that primarily affect men, such as testicular and prostate cancer, erectile dysfunction (ED), and low testosterone. Maintaining a healthy weight and staying physically active have a huge effect on your health and hormones. Obesity can lead to diabetes and decreased testosterone. High blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack and kidney problems. And taking blood pressure medications such as diuretics or beta blockers can lead to ED. Even if you don’t have symptoms, it’s a good idea to get checked annually. Knowing your Ti m C h r i numbers can help you protect yourself and your family. All men should start prostate s to n ph o Xi screening at age 40, or younger if you have signs of prostate enlargement or increased frequency of urination. Suicide and depression are other leading men's health risks. Your emotional health is just as important as your physical health. There is help if you’re feeling sad or hopeless and have decreased libido or loss of interest in normal activities. Your medical team can be your best ally for maintaining health with preventative care. Talk with your doctor to determine which screenings are right for you.
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Research supports that those who meditate, pray, or participate in spiritual activities have better attitudes, express more gratitude, mindfulness, and self-control, and experience greater emotional health and healthier interpersonal relationships. How can men connect to their spirituality through the lens of our Jewish heritage and tradition? The word Torah means “instruction,” and it provides guidance for our lives. In it are mitzvot which are commandments from G-d. In all, there are 613 commandments in the Torah that are comprised of ethical, social, and ritual issues for the basis of Jewish law. This includes physical things to do to become more spiritual. As exercise builds up our physical body, mitzvot build up our spiritual strength. By doing actions or refraining from doing something, we are building our spiritual health. Teshuvah (repentance), tefillah (prayer), and tzedakah (charity) are important for all of us. For men, the mitzvot of putting on tefillin and wearing tzitzit can also provide options to nourish your soul, as well as your body. Co
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Eiffel Gilyana, Fitness & Wellness Director, Jewish Community Alliance Exercise is a huge part of living a healthy lifestyle, maintaining healthy weight, lowering risk of diseases and chronic conditions, and maintaining self-suﬃciency with age. Beyond the basics, what advice can you share for men to improve their workouts and results? In general, men tend to focus on arms, chest, and abs. Most guys think top down when they should work from the bottom up. Focus on legs and glutes – these are key performance enhancers. I’m not saying don’t do isolation or concentrated training, but you should incorporate full range of motion, multi-joint functional movements such as the squat or deadlift on at least 3 days. It’s best to perform smaller, isolation exercises after the big, complex lifts. Another common mistake I see is doing a full cardio workout before your lift. Some aerobic warm up is necessary to increase your core temperature, but twenty to thirty minutes of cardio will drain your glycogen stores, leaving no fuel in the tank to have an effective workout. This makes your lift weak. Five to ten minutes of a dynamic warm up is enough to prime your body for performance enhancement, not fatigue. Including cardio is important, but it’s best done after your lift or in a separate workout session.
Testosterone is crucial to build muscle, increase strength and energy, and stay leaner. It also boosts libido, protects against osteoporosis, and boosts cognitive functions like memory and attentiveness. But levels naturally decline by about 1% per year after age 30. If you recruit more total muscle mass by incorporating compound movements and training with high intensity, you will help your workouts naturally boost your testosterone to reap all the health, athletic, and aesthetic benefits you desire.
nutrition We all know the importance of eating a healthy diet. What specific nutrition and lifestyle recommendations can you offer men to improve their health and vitality? Let’s talk Testosterone. It’s the major sex hormone in men, essential for masculinization, muscle mass, bone density, sex drive, sperm production, and vitality. Making smart nutrition and lifestyle decisions can help optimize your testosterone levels. The brain sends a message to testicular cells to convert cholesterol to Stacy Seslowsky, RD, LDN, MSN testosterone. Insufficient sleep, high stress and/or a lack of fulfillment in Functional Nutrition Dietitian, relationship/job can quiet the brain’s messaging and diminish testosterone Jewish Community Alliance production. A diet too low in cholesterol could result in insufficient building blocks necessary for testosterone synthesis. Plastics (BPA’s), pesticides, and other toxins in food, personal care products, or cleaning supplies can alter normal hormone balance by reducing testosterone levels and increasing estrogen in men. Excess body weight will also convert testosterone to estrogen. Adequate detoxification (regular bowel movements, sweating, sleep, and movement) is required for continued hormone recycling.
strive for the following:
3. 4. 5.
Sleep 7-8 hours per night, manage stress, maintain healthy relationships, and exercise daily. Reduce your toxic load: use glass instead of plastic, avoid products containing parabens and phthalates, and choose organic. Visit EWG.org for a list of safer products. Eat a nutrient dense, nutrient diverse wholly-unprocessed high fiber diet. Include omega-3 fatty acids found in wild-caught fatty fish, grass-fed/grass-finished meats, poultry & eggs from pasture-raised, organic, and cage-free animals for adequate cholesterol levels. Promote regular bowel movements: consume fruits and vegetables at every meal, eat foods high in resistant starch such as rice, potatoes, beans, bananas, or oats, drink half your body weight in ounces of water, and add movement throughout every day. Experiment with avoiding common food intolerances such as gluten, dairy, corn, and soy. Vitamin D and zinc supplements can increase testosterone in those with deficiency. Consider herbal supplements such as maca and cordyceps for an added boost.
great nutrition for wonderful men N Registered
If you are reading this, then you have or have had a man in your life. It might be you, your father, your brother, your son or any relative or male friend. When it comes to the best solutions for caring for men’s health, in some respects the equation is simple: Eat Well, Play Well, Rest Well. On the other hand, there are some subtle and powerful nutrition tools that work across the board for good health too. Depending on the stages of life, nutrition always plays an important role in how well one performs or feels. The key areas of health that always remain important to male health are heart disease, hypertension, cancer prevention, diabetes prevention and care, and prostate health. The National Institute of Health (NIH) and each of the individual boards of health (American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association) have evidenced-based research to support their goals and recommendations. Dietary Guidelines for Good Nutrition Health According to the NIH’s 2020 Dietary Guidelines: Eat in healthy patterns throughout your lifetime; et
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focus on variety and nutrient content; limit extra sugars, fats and sodium intake; focus on managing a healthy weight and adjust calories accordingly. So how do we live in these current times and make nutritional choices that support men to be their best? Start with calories and weight management. Weight does make a difference. Once your Body Mass Index (BMI) goes into the obese classification, you are now at risk of medical issues: heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. The latest guidelines from the NIH for healthy weight are based on BMI. BMI reflects the relation of weight to height, as an important tool for accessing healthy weight. BMI is based on a formula of weight in kilograms, divided by height in meters, squared. Not everyone who falls in the “elevated” risk category is at a higher risk for disease. For example, a CrossFit athlete may appear to be overweight by the BMI table, but he is probably not “over fat.” Use this link to calculate your BMI: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/ health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm • A BMI of less than 19 is considered to be underweight. • A BMI of 19-25 is a healthy weight. • A BMI of 26-30 is overweight. • A BMI of 31-39 is obese. • A BMI greater that 40 is considered to be very much higher risk.
Be aware that any of these characteristics can lead one towards the possibility of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is not a disease but includes a group of risk factors for heart disease and other disorders, including diabetes. Research shows that having metabolic syndrome could increase your chance of developing heart disease and diabetes even if your LDL cholesterol isn’t high. Heredity could also determine if you develop metabolic syndrome, but the basic causes are associated with abdominal obesity (a large waist), and lack of physical activity. Metabolic syndrome is also connected to a condition called “insulin resistance” which can lead to diabetes. Insulin is a hormone that supports turning glucose, or sugar in your blood into energy. If insulin resistance is present, your body cannot properly use the insulin it creates. Are you or someone you love at risk for metabolic syndrome? If you have three or more of the following risk factors, you could be at risk: • Large waist measurement: 35-inches or more for women, and 40-inches or more for men • Triglyceride level of 150 mg/dL or higher • HDL cholesterol of less than 50 mg/dL in women, less than 40 mg/dL in men • Blood pressure of 130/85 mmHg or higher • Fasting blood sugar of 100 mg/dL or higher Just do your best remembering that each step forward is a step towards better health. Always check in with your medical professional. When it comes to hypertension, research sponsored by the NIH has shown that the DASH diet can lower blood pressure as well as medication. Good news, too, the results are fast! Many people see results such as lower blood pressure in only 14-days since starting the DASH diet.
Adding weight loss when needed and exercise to the DASH diet will further improve your blood pressure numbers. A diet rich in minerals, high in fiber, and low in saturated fat is key to lowering blood pressure. Many of our healthy nutrients are found in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods. The old food guide pyramid recommended eating daily: 2-4 fruits and 3-5 vegetables. The DASH diet recommends eating daily: 4-5 fruits and 4-5 vegetables When it comes to nutrition to prevent cancer or prostate health, the guidelines are fairly similar. The big components are to keep your fiber high, choose fruits and veggies from a variety of colors for their cancer protective benefits and limit and reduce smoked foods and high fat protein choices. Choose fresh or frozen fish, lean proteins such as chicken, lean beef and lean pork. Watch out for a lot of additives. Select vegetables and fruits with fewer pesticides. Summing It All Up To keep our wonderful men in tip top shape, do what historically has proven to be the best formula for good health. Eat lean, eat your reds and greens (fruits and vegetables) eat with variety, limit processed foods and maintain a healthy lifestyle filled with activity, fun and love. Nancy Cohen is a member of Temple Bet Yam in St. Augustine. For more information visit www.feedingthebodyfeedingthesoul.com
NOSH ON THIS SHARING
MY GRANDMOTHER'S APPLE KUGEL By a Holocaust survivor's granddaughter
This recipe reminded me of the wonderful and fun times I had with my mother when we picked fresh apples together. My mother would forget to bring the basket, so I would pick the apples as she held out her apron to carry back to our home. The smell of this baking was amazing, and even now, when I make it, I think of my mother and grandmother. The soft scent of apples. The desire to eat it as soon as it came out of the oven. The sweetness. All good memories from a time before the horrors of the Holocaust. This recipe is good all year round, including Pesach. It is my favorite and I want to share it with you.
5 medium apples (yellow delicious are my preference) 2 medium eggs 1 cup Matzo meal 1/4 cup sugar (add more if you like it sweeter) 1 cup orange juice 1/4 cup oil 1/4 cup raisins 1/4 cup chopped Walnuts Cinnamon Lemon rind (optional, but makes it so good)
Preheat oven to 375 ̊.
Peel apples and slice thinly; set aside.
3. Add all liquid ingredients to bowl; mix together. 4. Add dry ingredients to liquid mixture (except for cinnamon and apples); mix well. 5. Stir in apples and pour into a wellgreased 9x11 casserole dish. 6. 7.
Sprinkle cinnamon on top.
Bake for approximately 1 hour.
NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE
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PERFECT PRE-FAST MENU Tish’a B’Av culminates the three-week mourning period for the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. If you are observing the fast, it’s traditional to eat a Seudat HaMafseket (Meal of Cessation). Traditional mourning foods have round shapes to remind us that misfortunes are part of the life cycle. These foods don’t have mouths which remind us that mourners grieve in silence. Joyous foods such as wine and meat are avoided. Fasting is no easy task, especially in the heat of Florida summer. Here are my top recommendations to optimize nutrition intake for a healthy and successful fast. Tzom kal!
TIPS & TRICKS Eat protein, ﬁber, and resistant starch. • Protein is essential for every functional process (immune, hormonal, metabolic, etc.) and structural component in our bodies. Animal sourced protein (beef, poultry, fish, eggs) is complete and the most bioavailable form. Plant protein must be eaten in specific combinations to provide a complete protein. For example, rice with beans. • Fiber helps regulate digestion speed and blood sugar. Soluble fiber normalizes blood sugar (found in oats, beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds, apples, pears, strawberries) while insoluble fiber promotes healthy bowel movements to eliminate toxins (found in whole grains, brown rice, nuts, seeds, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, celery, dark leafy vegetables, grapes, tomatoes). • Resistant starch nourishes the gut microbiome which also helps regulate blood sugar and promote bowel regularity (found in potatoes, beans, lentils, rice, oatmeal, bananas). Hydrate well. Drink at least 8 cups of water the day before. Adding salt and/or electrolytes is helpful to ensure the water is absorbed into the cells. Avoid C.R.A.P. Skip the Caffeine, Refined Sugar, Alcohol, and Processed Foods to inhibit inflammation, blood sugar imbalance, fatigue, brain fog, and other discomforts. Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida 41
WORTH THE SCHLEP N O R T H E A S T F LO R I DA’ S E V E N T C A L E N DA R Positively Charged (Virtual) June 1 National Best-Selling Author Jon Gordon 7:30-8:30 p.m. Jewish Educational Loan Fund (JELF) Register at https://jelf.org/ jongordon Healing Service Hosted by Hazzan Holzer (Virtual) June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and July 6, 13, 20, 27 5:00-6:00 p.m. Jacksonville Jewish Center Attend any Center morning or evening service to observe a loved ones Yarzheit and participate in a virtual minyan to say Kaddish.
Why Didn’t I Ask? (Virtual) Hadassah Jacksonville June 1 7:00 p.m. Stacey Goldring will interview Hadassah member Ruth Cohn, as we launch a new program series on the importance of telling our life stories. Ruth's story will include her pioneer family in "Palestine" in the 1800s, and a time she worked for Hadassah in New York. RSVP jacksonvillehadassah@gmail. com to receive Zoom link
Jewish Women: Radicals, Rebels & Reformers (Virtual) Hadassah Jacksonville June 2, 16 and 20 7 p.m. A three-session program with Santa Fe College professor emerita of history, Dr. Barbara Oberlander. This series will discuss a diverse group of American Jewish women who were trailblazers and leaders in social causes, labor fights, politics, art and photo-journalism. $36 for the series. Contact jacksonvillehadassah@gmail. com for registration link. Jewish Book Club (Virtual) June 2 7 p.m. Join us to virtually meet the author, Susie Orman Schnall of "We Came Here to Shine." To register for the Zoom link, call (904) 730-2100 ext 228, register online, or email Rachel Sandler at rachel. firstname.lastname@example.org
7:00-8:00 p.m. Congregation Ahavath Chesed Phone (904) 733-7078 to join Zoom The Temple Shabbat Worship (Virtual) June 5, 12, 19, 26 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Congregation Ahavath Chesed Phone (904) 733-7078 to join Zoom Israeli Story - A Child’s Journey to Beat Cancer (Virtual) June 6 1:30-2:30 p.m. Meet Dor, 11, who is recovering from cancer to find out how kids are beating cancer in Israel. Hear from his mother Noya, and Dor about his journey. RSVP: jaxschlichut@ jewishjacksonville.org.
The Temple Erev Shabbat (Virtual) June 4, 11, 18, 25
JFCS Recovery Mondays (Virtual) June 7, 14, 21, 28 and July 5, 12, 19, 26 4:00-6:00 p.m. For those seeking personal recovery from addiction for themselves. This is a safe, confidential Zoom meeting. Contact Jodi at (904) 254-2322. Coping with Loss (Virtual) June 9 and 23 3:00-4:00 p.m. Jacksonville Jewish Center Israeli Update (Virtual) June 9 7:00-8:00 p.m. Full update on the results of the Israeli elections, the status of COVID in Israel, and more. To register, contact Stav at jaxschlichut@ jewishjacksonville.org.
Your Coffee, Our Torah w/Rabbi Jonathan Lubliner (Virtual) June 3, 10, 17, 24 and July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Jacksonville Jewish Center Shoobee Doobee Shabbat (Virtual) w/Hazzan Holzer June 4, 11, 18, 25 and July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 10:00-11:00 a.m. Jacksonville Jewish Center
Hanna Karkur in celebrating the opening of their joint virtual exhibit with a Watercolor Workshop. Both artists engage in a multidisciplinary art. A supply list will be emailed to all registered participants a few days prior to the workshop. To register, visit https://bit.ly/3tpeKtX
Watercolor Painting Workshop & the Opening of the Joint Virtual Exhibition June 6 12 p.m. Join Sarah Roper from Richmond, VA and artist Ayelet Gad from Pardes-
Jacksonville Jewish Center Trivia Night! (Virtual) June 9 and 23; July 7 and 21 7:30-8:15 p.m. Visit https://us02web.zoom. us/j/86154936028.
NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE Lunch & Learn with Jacksonville Jewish Center Clergy (Virtual) June 16 12:00-1:30 p.m. Jacksonville Jewish Center
Augustine Jewish Historical Society. All are welcome. Wearing of masks requested. RSVP to rabbi32164@gmail. com. Caregiver Support Group (Teleconference) June 24 1:00-2:00 p.m. Phone (904) 868-4400
Eighth Annual Commemoration of Largest Mass Arrest of Rabbis June 18 12 p.m. Hilton Garden Inn, Bayfront, 32 Avenida Menendez, St. Augustine Annual Commemoration of the largest mass arrest of rabbis in U.S. history will take place outdoors. Free event sponsored by the St.
Hadasssah Summer Book Reviews (Virtual) Hadassah's Annual Summer Book Reviews. Join us on four consecutive Tuesdays in July. Tuesday, July 6 @ 11 AM Hadassah’s Annual Summer Book Reviews. The Golden Age, by Joan
London, will be reviewed by Carole Feldman. RSVP jacksonvillehadassah@ gmail.com to receive Zoom link. Tuesday, July 13 @ 11 AM The World That We Knew, by Alice Hoffman, reviewed by Jill Weisberg. RSVP jacksonvillehadassah@ gmail.com to receive Zoom link. Tuesday, July 20 @ 11 AM. The Bridge Ladies, by Betsy Lerner, reviewed by Sally Wahl Constain. RSVP jacksonvillehadassah@ gmail.com to receive Zoom link. Tuesday, July 27 @ 11 AM Mortality, by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, reviewed by Cantor Carrie Berry. RSVP jacksonvillehadassah@ gmail.com to receive Zoom link.
Join J Institute Program Manager Heather Terrill to learn about Jacksonville’s collection of public art. The tour begins on the Southbank near MOSH and ends in Downtown Jax. Register at https://events.idonate.com/ artwalk
Young Professional & Families (YPF) Art Walk July 18 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida 43
SEE AND BE SCENE THROUGH THE LENS IN NORTHEAST FLORIDA
ETZ CHAIM EVENTS
Thank you Resnick, Mirkis, and Schey families for sponsoring the Paroches, Bima cover, and Shtender covers.
Thank you To Dr. Eugene and Brenda Wolchock for their generous donation towards the reconstruction of the pond bridge. 44
SEE AND BE SCENE
THROUGH THE LENS IN NORTHEAST FLORIDA
CELEBRATING THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE RIVER GARDEN CLASSIC By Christina Levine, River Garden Foundation
River Garden was thrilled to be back on “course” this year with the 25th Annual River Garden Classic on April 28th at Deerwood Country Club. Founding and long-term tournament chair, Mark Lodinger, was honored for his incredible leadership and dedication. River Garden extends much gratitude to HardageGiddens Funeral Homes and Cemeteries for their generous commitment as title sponsor for 10 years and Tom Harris as tournament chair. Special thanks to generous sponsors, committee members, volunteers, players and staff who contributed to the success of this event.
Jody Brandenburg of HardageGiddens honors Mark Lodinger with a special gift
New and long-time friends supporting River Garden
We love our partnership with title sponsor HardageGiddens Funeral Homes & Cemeteries
RIVER GARDEN MAKES A SPECIAL EFFORT TO CELEBRATE ITS STAFF
The Environmental Services team enjoys a gorgeous day outdoors for lunch. These ladies are part of a dedicated team that works to keep River Garden beautiful & clean.
Betty Sorna and Carol Thomas receive roses in recognition of their work anniversaries at River Garden. Betty has been with the agency for �� years and Carol has reached the 3�-year milestone. Congratulations, ladies!
Bobbie Jo Mentz, Darla Williams, Tom Helvey, Mauri Mizrahi and Bernadeth Palompo gather for a photo on Mauri's first day as CEO.
Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida 45
CHAIN OF MEMORY PROGRAM REMEMBERS THE PAST AND EDUCATES FOR THE FUTURE By Kellie Smith, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida
The "Chain of Memory" program managed by the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida makes it possible for Bar/Bat Mitzvah children to remember at least one of the �.� million Jewish children who were murdered by the Nazis before being able to fulfill the mitzvah of learning the Torah. Evelyn Martin for B'nai Tzedek and Chain of Memory
Evelyn Martin is a 7th grader at Julia Landon Middle School. She enjoys baking, dancing, art and music. Evelyn attended preschool at the JCA and participated in summer camps, Baby Bear Ballet and theatre performances. She's participated in several community volunteer projects and enjoys raising money, grocery shopping and collecting food for the FANN food pantry. Evelyn attended religious and Hebrew school at Congregation Ahavath Chesed until this past year. In preparing for her Bat Mitzvah on May 15, her Aunt Tamar Sternfeld from Charleston, SC was her virtual tutor and religious guide. Mazel tov to her parents Julie and Tony Martin, her brother David, and Grandparents Susan and Garry Nadler, of blessed memory, and Jeanie Martin. Evelyn has chosen to dedicate this special occasion to Paulette Grynzspan, of blessed memory. Paulette was born in Paris-Seine, France on May 16, 1932. During the war, Paulette was in France with her parents, Joseph “Yosef” and Natalka Grynszpan. Separated from her family, Paulette was deported with Transport 23, Train 901-18 from Drancy, Camp, France to Auschwitz Birkenau, Extermination Camp, Poland on August 24, 1942 at the age of 10. She was survived by a sibling and the records of her murder in the Shoah were submitted by her niece Nadine Frant Ghez. Evelyn shares her birthday with Paulette and has chosen to participate in the "Chain of Memory" program to honor the memory of Paulette. By participating in this program, she demonstrates the importance of remembering the past as well as educating the future. Mazel Tov to Evelyn. She has chosen to participate in the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida's B'nai Tzedek Youth Philanthropy Program by creating her own Philanthropic Fund at the Foundation from which she may contribute to Jewish causes of her choice in years to come. For more information about these and additional programs oﬀered through the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida, contact Kellie Ann Kelleher-Smith at (���) ���-37�� or KellieK@jewishjacksonville.org.
COMMUNITY RESOURCES HELP ACROSS NORTHEAST FLORIDA 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.
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
T ORAH A CADEMY OF JACKSONVILLE
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.
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 email@example.com.
Become a Jewish Healing Network volunteer at JFCS. We need volunteers to make weekly visits or phone calls to a senior or deliver food to those who cannot get out. For more information, call Hilary Rotenberg at (904) 3945722
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 preregister 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!
JFCS Recovery Mondays meets weekly at 4 p.m. for those seeking personal recovery from addiction for themselves. This is a safe, confidential Zoom meeting hosted by Jodi S through JFCS. If interested please contact Jodi S: (904) 2542322 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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