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NORTHEAST FLORIDA

Jewish Life A PUBLICATION OF THE JEWISH F E D E RAT ION & FOUNDAT ION OF NORT HE AST FLO R I DA

Celebrating

Older

8505 San Jose Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32217

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MAY 2021 - IYAR/SIVAN 5781 JEWISHJACKSONVILLE.ORG

Americans Month


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LETTER FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR My father’s mother, Annie, lived in Brooklyn at the intersection of Coney Island Avenue and Avenue J. She was a beautiful and kind woman. Other than my father, Annie was perhaps the nicest person I have ever known. She was shomer Shabbat, kept a kosher home, and went to shul every Saturday. She had a profound influence on me, even though I was not cognizant of this as I was growing up. In my early 20’s, I would often speak with her about whatever realizations I was having, resulting from whatever epistemology I was delving into at the time. My Bubbie would always respond telling me, “Alan, it is all in the Torah.” Years later, when I began to learn from organizations such as CLAL (Center for Learning and Leadership) and the PARDES Institute of Jewish Studies, and study with local rabbis in our community, only then did I come to understand how right my grandmother had been. I believe that we are all in so many ways reflections of our parents and grandparents. When they are no longer with us, the manner in which we choose to live our lives, is how we keep their memories alive. This month’s issue has the theme of “seniors.” It is an awakening to one day look in the mirror and realize that many of us have become one! I am deeply proud of the work carried out by our local and overseas partner agencies providing life-saving services to seniors. Today, there are an estimated 1 million Jews in the former Soviet Union. Many are seniors and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee provides food and medicine, without which they simply could not survive. Our local partners help seniors feel connected and less isolated. At the JCA, in the midst of this pandemic, we see seniors participating in programs every day. I know of many who say that without the JCA they would be lonely and that the JCA keeps them alive. JFCS is currently providing for 104 Holocaust survivors in Northeast Florida. What a mitzvah to take care of these precious people in their final years. River Garden has been recognized by US News, World Report, and by Newsweek as one of the finest institutions of its kind in North America. The work River Garden accomplished these past 14 months during the pandemic has set a standard for all other senior facilities. Our synagogues have managed to continue to reach out to their senior members via Zoom keeping them engaged through a year of isolation. As we continue to come out of this dark time, let’s remember to honor the seniors among us in the community. Let’s never stop savoring the simple pleasures that have been denied to us—hugging our parents, grandparents and friends, celebrating simchas and visiting loved ones living outside of our community.

Alan Margolies



Jewish Federation & Foundation Staff Alan Margolies Executive Director alanm@jewishjacksonville.org

Lauren Rickoff Director, Campaign & Women’s Philanthropy laurenr@jewishjacksonville.org Kellie Smith Director, Foundation kelliek@jewishjacksonville.org Faye Hedrick Director, Young Professionals & Families fayeh@jewishjacksonville.org

Pat Burke Director, Finance & Administration patrickb@jewishjacksonville.org

Courtney Snyder Stewardship & Finance Specialist courtneys@jewishjacksonville.org Mitzi Saul Marketing & Communications Manager mitzis@jewishjacksonville.org Jill Abel Director, Israel Partnership jilla@jewishjacksonville.org

Jennifer Rensch Campaign Coordinator jenniferr@jewishjacksonville.org

Stav Brener Community Shaliach jaxshlichut@jewishjacksonville.org Savannah Feustel Marketing Assistant savannahf@jewishjacksonville.org Charlie DuBow Marketing & Communications Intern charlied@jewishjacksonville.org

Cover models Barry (86) and Eunice (39 forever) Zisser are active seniors in the Jewish community. Barry is a board member of the Jewish Federation & Foundation and a former member of the Jewish Foundation Board of Directors. Eunice is a Lion of Judah and one of the first “Forever Lions,” as well as past president of the Women's Division.

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COMMUNITY 5 BUBBY'S LEGACY 6 JEWISH FEDERATION & FOUNDATION NEW BOARD MEMBER: LARRY GOLDBERG 8 JCA NEW DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT 13 SYE YOUTH GROUPS ENJOY BEING TOGETHER IN A COVID WAY 16 JEWISH MUSEUM OF FLORIDA REOPENS 18 L'DOR V'DOR 20 MACABEE OF THE MONTH 20 JACKSONVILLE BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION VISITS GAN YELADIM 22 KINDERGARTEN & PRE-K STUDENTS CHOOSE THEIR HEBREW NAMES 24 B'NAI MITZVOT REMEMBER THE PAST & EDUCATE FOR THE FUTURE 28 FEATURE HONORING & RESPECTING OUR SENIORS PROVIDING A LIFELINE TO OUR MOST VUNERABLE SENIORS HONORING THE ELDERLY RESILIANCE

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NOSH ON THIS HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR HUNGARIAN GULYAS

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WORTH THE SCHLEP

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SEE & BE SCENE YOM HA'ATZMAUT CELEBRATION

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IT'S YOUR BUSINESS

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COMMUNITY RESOURCES

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COMMUNITY 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 L O R I DA

'TUESDAYS TOGETHER' WARMLY WELCOMES NEWCOMERS TO NORTHEAST FLORIDA By Faye Hedrick, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida

When you’re new to a community, with much to learn, adjust and adapt, it’s definitely a lot easier to 'be together' with others who are in the same boat while being shown the ropes from welcoming liaisons. Tuesdays Together is a new initiative from your Jewish Federation & Foundation which aims to help those new to the community, recently moved back, or even thinking about making a move to our area, to develop new connections and friendships with those involved and connected to our Jewish community. Co-chair Lauren Setzer shares, “When first moving to Jacksonville 12 years ago, I was blown away by the warm welcome I received from the Jewish community. Through ‘Tuesdays Together,’ I want newcomers to feel the same way I did when first moving here. I love working with Co-chair Joan Rosenberg on this program because it allows us to connect with new people and share our love for the community.” Joan and Lauren encourage volunteer ambassadors to invite those new to Northeast Florida to programs and events they’re attending to allow newcomers to make early connections and friendships.

At the first virtual meeting, participants shared where they were from and what brought them to the area. They met with various community members and were able to ask questions. When you’re new to a community questions range from “Where are the synagogues in town?” to “Do you know of a great seamstress?” We’re here to help! If you or anyone you know just moved, is moving, or thinking about moving to the area, please share my contact information and also let them know about the next 'Tuesdays Together'. We will meet July 6, October 5, and January 4, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. Showing warm hospitality and making connections to our wonderful Jewish community is always at the forefront of our minds. Joan reiterates, “I moved to Jacksonville five years ago, and was so moved by the warm welcome I received from the Jewish community. I knew I wanted to be a part of this wonderful community right away. I'm excited to help newcomers ease their way into life here, and help make their transition a wonderful experience.” Please reach out to me at Fayeh@jewishjacksonville.org or (904) 512-3797 for more information.

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Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida

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NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE

BUBBY'S LEGACY

By Kellie Smith, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida

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Women not only own and control greater wealth than ever before, they are also changing the direction of wealth management and the goals of wealth creation. As women and the next generation rise in financial power they will fundamentally change the meaning of legacy. I spent many nights at my Bubby’s house as a child during weekends, school vacations and entire summers. I still remember waking up to challah french toast and fresh fruit. Bubby never did sleep in. She was always an early riser and had usually lived an entire day before I’d even put my feet on the floor. She devoted herself to volunteering and serving her community, never working for a paycheck or managing the household finances until my grandfather died and she was forced to manage it all. Never one to miss a single minute, she worked from early morning until sometimes late at night. Never on any major task but to her, nothing was small enough to put off until tomorrow. Never put off for tomorrow, what can be done today. While we work and raise families, we are planning for retirement, so the next step would be planning for what happens after we pass away. Most do not plan for the legacy they will leave behind outside of the families they created. Bubby was passionate about the causes she volunteered for, confident that we would continue to live generously and passionately the way that we saw her living her life. Legacy is L’dor V’dor, generation to generation. The very last and greatest lesson Bubby ever taught me was not to measure my life by the minutes I wasted or the things I’d done but rather to measure it

by the people I was surrounded by. The summer before she died we were all visiting and I remember sitting with her on the side of the room and watching her as she watched everyone else. I recall asking her if she was okay and did she need me to get her anything. I’ll never forget what she said to me, “No, I’ve got everything. I’m just watching my life. It was a pretty good one.” With that she smiled and just went about watching everyone. Focus on the legacy you intend to leave behind, creating a legacy that will inspire for generations. Start the conversation today, contact Kellie Smith (904) 512-3796 or by email, kelliek@jewishjacksonville.org.


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WALTER FIELD OF BLESSED MEMORY By Kellie Smith, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida

To me, the philanthropic community is a community of heroes, it truly is worthy of its own series of trading cards. Individual inspiration for significant giving is, of course, personal to the donor, as is the donor’s response to the kudos of others. Some prefer accolades and others anonymity. On January 8, 2021, our community lost a quietly generous man unknown to many. Walter B. Field was born on February 29, 1928 in the Borough of Manhattan in New York City, New York to Tillie Gerber Field and Bennett A. Field. Having been born on a leap year, Walter was only able to celebrate his birthday every fourth year. However, he lived 92 years. He was raised in Cedarhurst, New York on the South Shore of Long Island, and graduated from Lawrence High School in Lawrence, NY. He was an Eagle Scout and served as an Assistant Scout Master. He moved to Jacksonville from Cleveland, Ohio where he had worked for 30 years as a chemist for Harshaw Chemical Co. He was a graduate of Penn State University (B.S.) and Case Western Reserve University (M.S.) with degrees in chemistry.

After serving honorably in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, Walter held many patents through his work at Harshaw and although a modest and quiet man, he was an unassuming philanthropist. During his life, Walter supported a vast number of charitable institutions and universities providing major scholarships and grants for medical research and for other charitable causes that were important to him. Having adopted the Northeast Florida Jewish community as his hometown, he generously supported the Jewish Community Alliance (JCA), Congregation Ahavath Chesed and the Jewish Foundation. Passionate about the JCA, Walter’s name is prominently displayed in the front vestibule. Walter volunteered at University Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio with a prominent cardiologist who specialized in the rehabilitation of cardiac patients through a

program of diet and exercise. He followed the valuable lessons that he learned from this program throughout his long life. He worked out regularly at the JCA often seen swimming laps or lifting weights which he gave credit for living as long as he did. Residing in Mandarin, Walter regularly chatted with his neighbors while walking his beloved beagle, Alex. Walter was predeceased by his twin sister, Betty Field Aster, and leaves behind his older sister, Carol Field Agress; Carol’s daughter, his niece, Bonnie Purpura and Bonnie’s children, his great-nieces, Jennifer Purpura Woodling, Rachel Haines, and Sarah Purpura; Jennifer’s children, Cole Woodling and Olivia

Woodling; and Rachel’s children, Jacob Haines and Haley Haines; and Carol’s son, his nephew, Richard Agress, M.D., and Richard’s children, Bernie Agress and Caroline Agress. In 2010 Walter created a Legacy Plan with the Jewish Foundation. His legacy fund will produce annual gifts for the JCA and Congregation Ahavath Chesed. His legacy of giving back will live on in our community in perpetuity. We are forever grateful for Walter’s efforts to secure Jewish tomorrows. If you’d like to make a gift in his memory, contributions are tax deductible and can be sent to Kellie Smith at Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida, 8505 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32217 or online at jewishjacksonville.org/ foundation/existing-funds.

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NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE

JEWISH FEDERATION & FOUNDATION BOARD MEMBER FOCUS: DR. LAWRENCE GOLDBERG Dr. Lawrence “Larry” Goldberg grew up in Levittown, Pennsylvania. After high school, he attended the University of Pennsylvania graduating cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a major in Psychology. He met the love of his life, Phyllis in college. They were married after his first year of medical school at NYU and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last June. After having lived in New York for more than ten years, he and Phyllis moved to Jacksonville in 1978 and found it to be quite a culture shock! However, they became affiliated with the Jacksonville Jewish Center soon after moving because as Larry says, “It was important for us to establish a connection with the Jewish community.” He served as Chief of the Department of Gastroenterology at University Hospital (now UFHealth). After five years, he joined what is now Borland Groover Clinic and practiced for 39 years until his retirement just two years ago. You’ve lived in Jacksonville for a long time. What other leadership positions have you held? I’ve served on the board of Borland Groover Clinic as well as on the medical boards of Baptist Medical Center and St Luke’s Hospital where I also served as Chief of Gastroenterology for several years. I have served on the board and executive board of the Jacksonville Jewish Center, and have participated in numerous search committees for rabbis and heads of school. I also have served on the board of JFCS, and over the last ten years have served on the board of River Garden Senior Services. I was drawn to River Garden because they do such a wonderful job in caring for the elderly. My wife’s grandmother was a resident on Stockton Street. They have always fulfilled its mission of caring for the elderly in such a straight-forward ethical and compassionate way. As president of River Garden Hebrew Home, I am so proud of our professional staff and board members who are there for the mission. It is rare to see such uncomplicated dedication. 8

What drives you to give your time and talent as a board member of our Jewish Federation & Foundation? My motivation to serve Jewish agencies comes from the Jewish concept of Tikun Olam. Pirke Avot says, “The World is built on three things—Torah, Service and the Performance of good deeds. It is not your duty to complete the task; but you are not free to desist from it”. You can judge a community by the way it treats its most vulnerable. The Jewish people have survived for 6,000 years and it is our duty to take the baton of Jewish service from the previous generation and pass it on to the next generation. The best way is with education not only for children but also for adults. Children should be proud of their rich tradition of wisdom and protect it. Likewise, it is important that the community treat the elderly with respect and understand the hard-fought contributions they have made to build the Jewish community and life that it currently enjoys. Our Jewish agencies that care for the vulnerable are eager to help. Never has this been more apparent than during this pandemic. The Federation is instrumental in supporting the agencies that are key to the well-being of the Jewish community and its future. Not only does the Federation support our community locally but is committed to improving the life of vulnerable Jews throughout the world. And the Jewish Foundation is dedicated to ensure that Jewish life as we know it continues in Northeast Florida. A true dedication to Tikkun Olam. As an older member of the board, it’s gratifying to see our children, educated in our schools leading our community. Never has L’Dor V’Dor meant more to me than seeing our efforts come to fruition in our young leadership. They are continuing the tasks we cannot complete. Please tell us a little bit about your family life? I have two daughters: Emily Rostholder (husband Erik), a practicing gastroenterologist with Borland Groover Clinic and Cara Grossman (husband Larry), who works with children with special needs for Duval County Public Schools. We also have three brilliant and beautiful grandchildren.


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WHY DIDN'T I ASK? THE POWER OF STORY TELLING By Helen Hill, Hadassah Jacksonville

It is said that every

person has a story to tell. If

Why Didn’t I Ask?

This program will feature life member, Ruth Cohn,

we’re lucky, storytelling

who has many memorable stories of her family who were

table or when family comes

interesting stories from when she worked at Hadassah’s

happens around the kitchen together for a holiday. It is

natural to reminisce and share one’s past experiences with

loved ones. Research has shown when a senior shares their

pioneers in Israel in the mid-1800’s, as well as some very National Headquarters in Manhattan in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

Ruth will be interviewed by Stacey Goldring who in

story, it is also good for their mental health.

addition to helping launch this series, will be offering a

purpose as they grow older,” says Beth Shorstein, LCSW.

be a great opportunity to learn how to tell our own

“Many seniors struggle with finding a sense of

“This feeling is often combined with other losses: an inability to care for themselves and to safely live

independently. Telling stories about themselves when they were younger and more active is a vital way to for them

stay connected and feel meaningful,” she continues. “Life

stories can serve as a reminder of their accomplishments,

monthly Searching for Identity Writing Workshop. It will stories so future generations won’t have to say, Why Didn’t I Ask?

To RSVP to the June program, or for more information

about the writing workshop, contact jacksonvillehadassah@ gmail.com.

their interests and the connections throughout their lives. It can be a bridge between themselves and other generations.”

Sharing past experiences can help with one of the

most challenging health care issues today: loneliness and social isolation. The stories of our life become part of a

larger story of community. We are entwined with each other’s stories.

And yet, how many of us – myself included – have

pondered the question, "why didn't I ask?"

Why didn’t I ask my grandmother the name of the

town she was born in and how did it feel to leave her

home in Lithuania?” I know bits and pieces of the story

but now, when I want to document family stories for my own grandchildren, I realize I don’t even have the basic facts.

With that in mind and recognizing that there are also

amazing stories in our own Jewish community, Hadassah Jacksonville is kicking off a series, entitled appropriately,

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NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE

JEWISH CHANGEMAKERS By Faye Hedrick, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida

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The Jewish Changemakers Fellowship is back for summer 2021 with two date options: June 7-24 or July 12-29. Changemakers is for aspiring Jewish leaders, 20-24 years old, looking for valuable career development, networking, and one of the best summers of their lives. A three-week interactive, online global leadership experience, Changemakers requires approximately 12 hours/week and pays a $350 stipend for those who complete the Fellowship. Convenient timing fits into most summer schedules. After the summer, Changemakers have access to ongoing leadership development, curated to meet their needs and interests. According to last year's Changemaker Sabrina Mail, "I was honored to participate in the Jewish Federation of North America’s first-ever Jewish Changemakers Fellowship. The program brought together young Jewish individuals from North America to strengthen our leadership skills. I was really impressed with the quality of the Fellowship that JFNA quickly created in this time of COVID-19. Each speaker was incredible and taught us about Jewish organizations affecting change and making our world better." Please let the young adults in your life know about this incredible opportunity! Check out this detailed FAQ page at bit.ly/3thb662 for more information. Encourage them to apply today at https://bit.ly/�dWTh�� or reach out to Fay Hedrick at fayeh@jewishjacksonville.org. Space is limited.


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FUTURE LEADER SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS

This year, four outstanding and motivated youth teens will be awarded the 2021 Len and Judy Elikan Young Leader Camp Scholarship. All candidates have serviced the Northeast Jewish community throughout their lives and are excited to continue their journey through the support of the scholarship program. In his youth, Len Elikan’s Jewish faith and identity strengthened when he was awarded the opportunity to attend a Jewish sleep-away camp by

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his rabbi. After moving to Jacksonville later in life, Len and his wife Judy gave back through the community with their scholarship. “When Len and I decided to create our Jewish legacy, we felt this was the way for our dream of helping young people experience Jewish summer camps to become a reality,” said Judy. Since its creation in 2011, the scholarship has been awarded to over 50 candidates. Below are our Summer 2021 recipients:

Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida

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NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE

RABBI MAYA GLASSER TO LEAD CONGREGATION AHAVATH CHESED - THE TEMPLE By Congregation Ahavath Chesed

Congregation Ahavath Chesed is pleased to announce the engagement of Rabbi Maya Glasser to lead the congregation beginning July 1, 2021. The Rabbinic Search Committee, led by Miriam Greenhut and Isabel Balotin, found Rabbi Glasser to be captivating, passionate, and engaging. These traits, combined with her mission to keep Judaism alive for the next generation, make Rabbi Glasser a welcome leader of the Temple’s sacred community and the community at large. Rabbi Glasser has served as Assistant Rabbi at Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick, NJ since 2018. She was ordained at HUC-NY in 2018 and graduated from NYU in 2011. She completed HUC’s first-ever Certificate in Pastoral Care and Counseling. Rabbi Glasser identified her

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career goal of being a Jewish leader at a young age and acted as a worship leader from 2006-2018 at Woodlands Community Temple in White Plains, NY, her hometown congregation. Rabbi Glasser radiates the warmth, charisma and authenticity that appeals to all demographics, and is an engaging worship leader and a talented writer and speaker. Rabbi Glasser’s duties will include the full range of congregational life— leading worship, conducting life-cycle events, and providing pastoral care. She looks forward to meeting as many congregants as possible, as well as getting acquainted with her colleagues and other Jewish leaders in our area. Rabbi Glasser is a devoted Mets fan, loves musical theatre and enjoys knitting. The Temple family is excited to welcome Rabbi Maya Glasser and her husband, Jake Bayer, and looks forward to a long and mutually rewarding relationship.


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NEW DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT AT THE JCA By Jewish Community Alliance

After eight

amazing years with

the JCA, Lior Spring moved on in early

March to her next

great adventure and handed the reins of the Development Ben Marcus, JCA Director of Development

Department to new

hire, Ben Marcus. Ben

spent years working with nonprofit organizations to

increase constituent engagement and develop “best foot forward” approaches to fundraising and relationship development. He has real love for Jewish causes and

Jacksonville and holds a Bachelor’s in Social Science and

Master of Public Policy from Jacksonville University. Ben

served two terms as an AmeriCorps Member (City Year and VISTA) and continues to serve as a volunteer for a

number of causes. Raised in the Reform Jewish community and surrounded by incredible diversity, he was instilled with the ethos of "Gemilut Chassadim" (acts of loving

kindness) and a deep belief in a power higher than all of

us. Ben, his wife, Roxanna Garcia Marcus, and their three

children – Judah, Elijah, and Emilia – live in the Sunbeam

neighborhood after moving to town in 2014. While he has big shoes to fill, he is incredibly excited for the opportunity to serve the community. In his free time Ben enjoys

spending time with his family, gardening and spending time outside, and playing drums. You can reach him at

ben.marcus@jcajax.org or (904) 730-2100 ext. 318, or stop by the Development Office next time you’re at the JCA to chat.

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NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE

WHY BOTHER WITH RECOVERY MONDAYS? By Jewish Family & Community Services

When I was a little girl, I thought I was bulletproof from the alcoholism that runs in my family. Being Jewish added another layer of secrecy. I believed I could outsmart alcoholism. Somewhere along the way it became a regular source of numbing and the thought of a healthy, successful, and fulfilled lifestyle started to crumble. One morning in July 2014, my mother related to me how drunk I had been the night before. At that moment, God gifted me the ability to listen to my mother without judgment. During my entire life, I tried to be in control of everything and everyone around me. My drinking never affected my ability to work or do all that I needed to do in daily life, but the truth was I was miserable and stressed out all the time.

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About six weeks later, I reached out to AA’s Intergroup Office. They helped me find a 4:00 meeting at the beach. That afternoon, as I sat in the meeting, I felt this wildly diverse group of people not only shared my problem, but learned how to live with it, and enjoy life one day at a time. I picked up a white chip because I heard that it represented a desire to stop drinking. Almost seven years later, I find I have learned not only how to stop drinking and stay stopped, but how to live ‘Life on Life’s Terms’. I also learned that to stay happy, joyous and free, I have to give back that which has been so freely given to me. Recovery Mondays are a confidential invitation to you, as a Jewish person, who may be struggling with drinking or drug use. No judgment here. Just a path to serenity. Jodi S. (904) 254-2322


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MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH By Donna O'Steen, Jewish Family & Community Services

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there have been myriad concerns about mental health. As providers of mental health services, our community relies on JFCS to foster the development of cognitive and emotional skills that allow them to cope with life’s many challenges. They look to us to help support them as they work to discover deeper purpose and connection in their lives. Because of safety requirements due to the pandemic, our agency developed organizational strategies that would allow us to safely provide these urgently-needed services to the community. As the number of local coronavirus cases grew, our counseling group transitioned our in-person services to tele-counseling: video chats or phone meetings that effectively serve as a remote counseling session. To date, we’ve held more than 1,800 of these sessions with both new and existing clients. Unexpectedly, we have been able to reach more clients, and we’ve reached people who historically had trouble receiving services before. Our work during the COVID-19 crisis has expanded our capabilities and deepened our relationships with clients in surprising ways, but the silver lining that shines brightest is our vision for the future of counseling – a direct result of the successes we’ve seen in our clients. Tele-counseling is beginning to be appreciated not just as a workaround, but as a mainstay method of critical mental health services. If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, contact Dupont Counseling Group at (904) 394-5706 or email us at referrals@jfcsjax.org. There is help.

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NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE

SYE YOUTH GROUPS ENJOY BEING TOGETHER IN A COVID WAY By Rabbi Shira M.T. Rosenblum, Jacksonville Jewish Center

Over the past few months, the Setzer Youth Education (SYE) programs at the Jacksonville Jewish Center found a new energy and zest for community and togetherness. Whether kids were just “Zoomed out” or most of our participants are attending in-person classes daily, we found that our youth simply wanted to be together. We have worked hard to ensure that each event aligns with our Covid protocols, masked and socially distanced, and outside whenever possible. At our first weekend of programming in April, we welcomed 60 youth across our three youth groups: Chalutzim, Kadima and USY. The kef (fun) and ruach (spirit) were palpable! We are busy planning for next year and registration is now open for all rising 4th-12th graders in the greater Jacksonville community. Next year, we are expanding our SYE Youth Group Boards to improve member participation by asking each member to join one of our Shvatim (Tribes).

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Michelle Penson, our new Director of Youth Engagement, is excited to invite all post b’nai mitzvah teens to attend “Turtle Time'' on Wednesday afternoons and Sunday mornings, whether it is to socialize, volunteer in our Madrikhim program with students in the Bernard & Alice Selevan Religious School, study and do homework, or just be at the Center with their friends. Lastly, with some Covid modifications, we anticipate hosting at least two Sub-Regional or Regional Conventions here at the Jacksonville Jewish Center in the 2021-2022 school year! While this past year has been challenging for us all, we are proud of the steps we are taking to engage all Jewish youth in our community. We invite you to check us out and get involved. For more information, please contact Michelle Penson at mpenson@jaxjewishcenter.org or our Setzer Youth Education team at SetzerYouthEd@ jaxjewishcener.org.


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JEWISH COURT OF ALL TIME FOR RELIGIOUS SCHOOL STUDENTS By Rabbi Shira M.T.Rosenblum, Jacksonville Jewish Center

Kitah Zayin (7th Grade) students from the Bernard & Alice Selevan Religious School at the Jacksonville Jewish Center are participating in an exciting and innovative pilot for congregational schools in the Jewish Court of All Time (JCAT) simulation game this Spring. Students in our very own Martin J. Gottlieb Day School have been privileged to participate in JCAT over the last several years, and we are thrilled that students in the Bernard & Alice Selevan Religious School now have the opportunity to participate as well! Created in 2009, JCAT is an educational project in which middle school students learn about and portray significant historical and contemporary figures. They then discuss, in

character, issues surrounding a fictional trial on a relevant contemporary issue with Jewish historical roots, in the voice of those characters. This year, the students are looking at the legacy of the planned march of neo-Nazis in Skokie, IL, during the 1970’s, and talking about how to respond to extremism and hate speech. Some of the characters our students have chosen to portray include Alexander Hamilton, Charlie Chaplin, Anne Frank and Mark Twain. For more details about the Bernard & Alice Selevan Religious School or to request enrollment information for the 2021-2022 school year, please contact Rabbi Shira M.T. Rosenblum at srosenblum@jaxjewishcenter.org or (904) 292-1000 ext. 134.

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NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE

THE JEWISH MUSEUM OF FLORIDA REOPENS ITS DOORS By Erica Corsano, Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, Florida International University

On April 6, the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU (JMOF-FIU) in Miami Beach reopened its doors to the community. Last March, JMOF-FIU temporarily closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and transitioned to virtual tours, digital content and social media outreach. While the museum’s virtual and digital programs will continue in full force, JMOF-FIU is welcoming back guests safely, by appointment. Currently on view at the museum are “Will Eisner: Comic Creator, Illustrator and Innovator,” “The Sanctuary,” and “Jews of the Florida Panhandle.” “Will Eisner: Comic Creator, Illustrator and Innovator,” features Eisner’s work, a career of seven decades, including original illustrations, first edition comic books from The Spirit comic book series, works from his army days, graphic novels and selfportraits. “The Sanctuary” is the premier exhibition in JMOF-FIU’s newly restored main gallery. The exhibition showcases 80 magnificent stained-glass windows that surround the gallery, and other historic Art Deco features within the museum’s main building. The exhibition also includes artifacts – which illustrate Jewish customs, holidays and lifecycles – that were selected from the Collections of the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, originated by Marcia Jo Zerivitz, founding executive director. Also on display in “The Sanctuary,” is the recent 18

promised gift of Robert B. Feldman, a New Yorkbased art collector, of a large-scale installation by Mira Lehr. The artwork, titled Sacred Dreams, is comprised of 183 aerial sculptures that descend from the ceiling of the museum, and is estimated at a value of $300,000. The installation is currently on view at the museum as a temporary loan from Feldman, and will become part of the museum’s permanent collection in September. “We are housed in a building that was once a synagogue and this particular gallery was once its sanctuary. We have now curated this space to enhance the feeling of peace and community the room has always exuded, when it was a congregation and now as part of our museum,” said Susan Gladstone Pasternack, the museum’s director. "Jews of the Florida Panhandle” is part of a series showcasing the history of Jews throughout the state of Florida. The series launches with the Northern part of the state as this is where the first documented Jews arrived in 1763 in Pensacola, Florida. “We are part of the cultural fabric of FIU and of the state of Florida, and are thrilled to welcome guests back safely and continue our important storytelling in person as well as online, with our globally-reaching virtual programming,” Pasternack said.“While I think a hybrid virtual-meets-in-person model is the new normal for us, and for most museums moving forward, we are thrilled to be able to reopen after a full year of being closed and welcome the public back to our beautiful museum. We will of course continue to offer a wide range of dynamic programming online to our virtual participants in Florida and far beyond. Visitors who wish to come in person can review our guidelines, hours and make their appointment online.”


COMMUNITY

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

THE MAX BLOCK FOOD PANTRY MATCH CHALLENGE By Donna O'Steen, Jewish Family & Community Services

One in five children in Duval County receives their only meal while in school – and school ends June 3rd. Are all kids in school? The Max Block Food Pantry at JFCS meets the needs of hundreds of families that struggle throughout the summer months, closing the food gap that is created by school being out. In 2020, 2021, and throughout the pandemic, JFCS partnered with local non-profit Inspire to Rise to extend the reach of the Max Block Food Pantry. We also collaborated with United Way and Door Dash and served a total of 62,226 meals and with the assistance of the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida, opened a satellite pantry at George Washington Carver Elementary

School to assist those facing food insecurity in the 32208 zip code. Last year taught us to be prepared for anything. A donation to the Max Block Food Pantry could save thousands of families struggling with food insecurity. It can also help to feed the over 115,000 children who will begin their summer vacation and not receiving the free or reduced lunches they receive at school. Thanks to the Block Family, who has graciously again agreed to match your donation dollar for dollar up to $25,000, you can make twice the difference. Please take a moment to visit jfcsjax.org/ donate and make a gift to the Max Block Food Pantry. If you would like to coordinate a food collection drive at your office or with a group, or you are interested in volunteering at the Max Block Food Pantry, contact Donna O’Steen at dosteen@jfcsjax.org.

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MACCABEE OF THE MONTH: LOUISE RAPP By Sarah Perfido, Jewish Community Alliance

Louise will tell you that she has had a "truly remarkable life," even as it has come with some sorrows. Pre-deceased by her husband of 50 years and two children, Louise relies on her faith and her JCA family to help her forward. Blessed with over 90 years of life, she does all she can to encourage others to “live each day to the max.” Louise maintains her health and connects socially with others through a daily routine at the JCA. A member since 1997, she wakes up early, starts her day with three 8-oz glasses of water and a protein-fueled breakfast of eggs and yogurt and then works out with her JCA personal trainer Grant Helm five times per week. She also walks several times per week around her neighborhood or on the JCA indoor track and she keeps her mind sharp by playing online bridge. Louise trains to improve balance, stability, and strength. She can hold a 30-second plank and works on variations of pushups, pull ups, and squats, and even completes drills on the agility ladder. Louise has worked with various trainers for 15 consecutive years, including through bilateral hip replacement, and most recently, a fall that resulted in five broken ribs, several weeks of hospitalization, and a monthlong stay at River Garden for full-time care. In that time, she lost 20 pounds of muscle, but she never gave up. Louise’s unwavering resolve and positivity has made her an inspiration to the entire JCA community. Now she is recovered, stronger than ever. Her dedication to a fitness routine allows Louise to live completely independently, and she remains in her family home of 40 years. With the JCA, Louise plans to achieve her goal of living to 100! 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.

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A BIBLICAL GARDEN GROWS IN JACKSONVILLE By Ellen Berson, Congregation Ahavath Chesed

Congregation Ahavath Chesed is proud to announce the construction of a Biblical Garden in front of its sanctuary at 8727 San Jose Boulevard. Funding provided by the Dr. Larry & Kathy Kanter’s Jewish Preservation Fund and Temple Congregants. Reverend Dr. Ed Bez, of the Biblical Garden Society – USA, is furnishing design and construction supervision. The garden's centerpiece is a Date Palm in honor of Goldie Lansky’s 12 years of service as Executive Director to the Temple. Palms are symbolic of peace and plenty, grace and elegance, a true reflection of what Goldie brought to the Temple community. Dr. Larry Kanter commented: “The biblical garden is a joint effort between church and synagogue. It will add an educational and spiritual experience to the Jacksonville community.” David Kaufman, President of the Board of Trustees, stated: “It’s a privilege for our congregation to be the setting for this special garden. Ours and one being constructed at nearby Christ the Messiah Church are the only Biblical Gardens on the

First Coast.” The gardens, designed to complement each other, will stand as commitments to interfaith cooperation and understanding. On Wednesday, March 17, the Date Palm was planted with special guests, Temple members, and the community present. Goldie received a gold shovel to do the honors.

Goldie Lansky, Dr. Larry Kanter, Reverend Dr. Bez .

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JACKSONVILLE BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION VISITS GAN YELADIM By Danielle Wirsansky, Jewish Community Alliance

As the school year has gone on, Michele Block

Gan Yeladim’s Kindergarten classes have become

fascinated with insects of all kinds. Teachers planned

around this fascination and each month have focused on a different kind of insect. This March/April, they

focused on bees and got a special treat—a visit from the Jacksonville Beekeepers Association.

prepared for the children, where each child reached into

a bag (full of cheese puffs) and drew out a hand covered in cheese dust. Everything the children touched became covered in cheese dust too. This illustrated to the

children just how the pollination process of bees works. The children were most excited by the bee colony.

The beekeepers had placed a blue dot on the queen bee

The Jacksonville Beekeepers Association’s mission and the children were engrossed in trying to find her

is development and promotion of practical beekeeping within the constantly moving colony. Even classes from methods; to act as an educational resource in the

other age groups stopped by to take a peek at the colony,

public and community; and to represent the best

Busy Bees. Students of all ages were enthralled by the

development and promotion of beekeeping for the interests of Jacksonville beekeepers in government matters. They were gracious about coming to the

school and excited to educate the students all about bees.

Beekeepers came to the school, including the

Association President, Carol McBryde, and brought with them a small, portable bee colony for the

students to examine. They taught the students about

bees and pollen and why bees are so important for the environment. The beekeepers had a sensory activity 22

including a class of 1-2 year olds, funnily enough called bees and the beekeepers themselves.


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EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION AND JEWISH LEARNING By Erik Rostholder, VP of Education, The DuBow Preschool and The Martin J. Gottlieb Day School

As I continue to speak with people in the community about the importance of Jewish education and the extremely high quality of education at the DuBow Preschool and the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School, I have learned that there are misunderstandings about our schools that I wanted to clear up: • A family does NOT need to be a member of the Jacksonville Jewish Center (JJC) to attend our schools. Any Jewish person may attend regardless of synagogue affiliation. Families who choose our schools are members of Etz Chaim, The Temple, Chabad, and The JJC. A family may also choose to be unaffiliated. All Jewish families are welcome. We support and respect a family’s private choice to believe and daven how they wish. We believe in the need for a strong and respectful Jacksonville Jewish community. To build and sustain our community, all denominations are incredibly valued, important and respected. • Price and membership: The cost of attending our schools is the same regardless of synagogue membership or if a family is unaffiliated. • Need based financial aid is offered to families in our community who are Jewish regardless of synagogue affiliation – period. We are thankful for the support from our community through our L’Dor V’Dor campaign as well as the generosity of the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida. • Our graduates continue to excel. Students who graduate from our middle school (really a hidden gem of education in Jacksonville) continue to get into the high schools of their choice and succeed in high school as indicated by the quality of college acceptance letters. As core to our values, we teach the importance of Tikkun Olam and Tzedakah. Our children and graduates return to Jacksonville after their schooling is complete and take active roles in our Jewish community as professionals, lay leaders, neighbors and family members – thereby completing the circle and hopefully, beginning a new one. Please reach out to Tina Silva, Head of School or Brooke Zaner, Director of Admissions at (904) 268-4200 to learn more about our amazing schools. I believe we offer the best education in Jacksonville and I encourage those who have not visited our schools recently to do so. We take enormous pride in educating the next generation of our collective Jacksonville Jewish community and we thank you for your trust.

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NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE

KINDERGARTEN & JK STUDENTS CHOOSE THEIR HEBREW NAMES

By Danielle Wirsansky, Jewish Community Alliance The Kindergarten and Junior Kindergarten classes have been on a yearlong study, learning Hebrew alongside their other studies. Besides learning vocabulary, songs, and prayers in Hebrew the students also got to choose their own Hebrew name. A Hebrew name has much significance attached to it. Jewish author S.R. Hewitt explains, “Whether a person uses it on a regular basis or not, a Hebrew name is one of the critical totems of Jewish identity. It connects a person to his/her family and to generations of Jews.” Hebrew names also give children the opportunity to attach new meanings to and associate specific traits with their identity Junior Kindergartner Grayson Sachs chose the Hebrew name Gabi, which means “God is my strength.” He says that he liked that it sounded similar to his English name but most importantly, he liked what it meant. “Choosing this name made me happy,” he said, “Because I was already brave and strong, and this name helps to show that I am.” Grayson was glad that he got to choose his name for himself. The Hebrew names have become very important to the students and have been incorporated into different aspects of their study. Many students like introducing themselves by their Hebrew name at the beginning of their Hebrew lessons. Students use handwriting strips to practice their names in English and in Hebrew. Mrs. Ledesma and Ms. Telon’s Kindergarten class practiced writing their Hebrew names free hand and turned the papers into beautiful works of art, rife with connection and meaning.

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Kindergartner Grayson Kindergartner Cameron Brown proudly displays the Elder shows off his Hebrew Hebrew name his parents name, Chai, that he chose for chose for him, David. himself.


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GAN ISRAEL OF ST. JOHNS! By Esther Hamford, Chabad of St. Johns County

There are soccer and theater camps, science and ballet camps, but when children connect to their Jewishness while having an awesome time with their friends, they create happy, healthy Jewish memories that will last a lifetime. For the last 6 summers St. Johns County’s Ultimate Jewish Summer Camp Experience rocked the city with its enriching Jewish program: fantastic day trips, art projects and a spirited staff - plus a bunch of Jewish kids who were begging for camp to go on forever. Our warm and spirited counselors will fill the Gan Israel days to the brim with exciting trips and activities. Most importantly, they’ll keep everyone on their toes until they’re happily exhausted at the end of each day. Before you know it, summer will be here, and the outrageously jam-packed Jewish adventure Gan Israel of St. Johns County - is back in town! Gan Israel will run from Monday, June 28 through Friday, July 9. From Rebounderz to Adventure Landing… from

Bubble Magic to Crazy Hair Day to the Jewish Hero Fashion Show… it’s bound to be another unforgettable experience. Get ready to laugh your heads off and make lots of new Jewish friends. We can’t wait to see you at camp! To register visit www.JewishSJohnsCounty.com/ Camp For more info Email Info@JewishSJohnsCounty.com or call (904) 701-4422

Authentic Greek Food

with 20% off your dinner! *not valid with any other coupon

9551 Baymeadows Rd. Ste. 21-22-23 Jacksonville, FL 32256 Open: M-F: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 4:30-9:30 p.m. Sat.: 4-10 p.m. Closed Sun. Phone: 904-503-3008 Website: athenianowljaxfl.com Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida 25


NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE

JCA FACES OF FITNESS: PAULA SARAGA By Sarah Perfido, Jewish Community Alliance

As a young adult, Paula became interested in spirituality and was drawn to yoga’s meditative aspects. While she immersed in yoga, Paula connected with the Iyengar style’s focus on anatomy and movement quality, eventually becoming a yoga teacher and even studying at the Iyengar Institute of Yoga in Pune, India. As her journey into fitness continued, she obtained a master’s degree in Body-Oriented Psychology and certifications as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and massage therapist. Now Paula enjoys using her vast knowledge of biomechanics to help people move efficiently and effectively in all areas of life. What’s it like working for the community you grew up in? I grew up going to Hebrew school at the Jacksonville Jewish Center and was a member of USY, BBG, and Young Judea. Although I moved away for 40 years, I returned to Jax to spend time with my parents who are still here. They were charter members of the Jewish Community Alliance, which didn’t even exist when I was a child. It’s a pleasure to reconnect with friends, classmates, and community from my youth. It feels like my life has come full circle to now work as a yoga instructor and personal trainer at the JCA. What is your best trainer tip? “Life is a never-ending cycle of change.” At nearly 70 years old, I am the oldest trainer at the JCA. I have firsthand knowledge of how ageing has affected my 26

body, my abilities, and my fitness routine. I cannot do all the things I could do in my youth, but in some ways, I can do so much more. We must listen to our needs and find new ways to move and stay active that serve our changing bodies. Sometimes we must learn to do the things we love differently or learn to love doing different things. 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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THE COVES CELEBRATES 26 YEARS: ENJOYING SENIOR LIVING - THE COVES AT RIVER GARDEN By Kari Bell, River Garden Senior Services

In March, The Coves at River Garden celebrated its 26th anniversary with a special dinner and dessert treat from Nothing Bundt Cakes. In case you are not familiar, The Coves is a unique apartment rental community for independent seniors. There’s nothing quite like it in Jacksonville. The Coves was added to River Garden in the early 1990s. All of the garden-style apartments are on the ground level, and all are equipped with a private kitchen and laundry. Rent includes one meal per day, housekeeping and activities. It offers a maintenance-free lifestyle with no large, equity buy-in or community fee. Members of The Coves are active and engaged, ‘aging in place’ with the confidence that support

services are available to them through River Garden, if needed. The accommodations are perfect fit for those who can manage on their own, but enjoy the closeness of friends and supportive care nearby. Approximately 65% of the members are Jewish. If you would like to visit The Coves for a tour, please contact Margaret Davis, Coves Administrator at (904) 886-8935.

BINGO is an all-time favorite and Amy Stracener shows off her winning card.

New member, Don Young, waits for the special anniversary dinner to be served.

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NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE

B'NAI MITZVOT REMEMBER THE PAST AND EDUCATE FOR THE FUTURE 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 Torah. Joshua Smith for B'nai Tzedek and Chain of Memory

Joshua attends the Bernard & Alice Selevan Religious School and is currently in the 7th grade at Mandarin Middle School. As part of the Jacksonville Jewish Center's B'nei Mitzvah Program, Joshua chose 13 mitzvot that engaged the family in strengthening their Jewish home, synagogue, and community including volunteering at a food pantry, attending Shabbat services, and donating food and supplies to charitable organizations. Through his participation in the “Chain of Memory” program, Josh has chosen to dedicate this special occasion to the memory of Aharon Tajer. By participating in this program, Josh demonstrates the importance of remembering the past as well as educating the future. Aharon Tajer, z"l, was born in 1931 in Poland. He resided in the town of Bilgoraj, Poland, with his mother, Bela (Mantel) and his father Moshe Tajer. His wartime residence was in Tarnopol (Ternopil), Ukraine. In 1940, Aharon was separated from his family and murdered in the Shoah at age 9. Aharon was survived by his sister Rachel Verech. Rachel dedicated herself to ensuring her brother’s memory was kept alive through her volunteerism with Yad Vashem and the remembrance efforts to document records and images of those children we lost.

Eden Wajsman for B'nai Tzedek and Chain of Memory

Eden is currently in the 7th grade at the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School. As part of the Jacksonville Jewish Center's B’nei Mitzvah Program, Eden chose 13 mitzvot that engaged the family in strengthening their Jewish home, synagogue, and community including her parents learning to read Torah, fulfilling the mitzvah of hearing the full Megillah, building a Sukkah, purchasing a Lulav & Etrog to use during Sukkot, and refraining from gossiping. Through her participation in the “Chain of Memory” program, Eden has chosen to dedicate this special occasion to the memory of Natan Wajsman. By participating in this program, Eden demonstrates the importance of remembering the past as well as educating the future. Natan Wajsman was the brother of Eden Wajsman’s Grandfather, Zev Wajsman. Natan was born in Lublin, Poland, in 1927. In 1939 when the Nazis invaded, Natan’s father was able to smuggle some of the family to Russia. Because of the dangers, limited resources, and tragic circumstances, Natan and his mother had to stay behind in Lublin. Natan’s Mom attempted to hide him from the Nazis in an orphanage, hoping there was greater safety there. But on the 24th of March 1942, the German occupying forces arrived at the orphanage and removed more than 100 children and their guardians. As part of the liquidation action carried out in the Lublin district of Podzamcze, the children were marched out and shot in a field outside Lublin. The children were executed on the premises of a former sand mine, their bodies buried in a mass grave prepared on the site. Natan is one of the few known victims of this massacre.

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Harper Rae Gardner for B'nai Tzedek and Chain of Memory

Harper attends the Bernard & Alice Selevan Religious School and is currently in the 7th grade at Palm Valley Academy where her favorite Judaica subject is Jewish History. As part of the Jacksonville Jewish Center's B’nei Mitzvah Program, Harper chose 13 mitzvot that engaged the family in strengthening their Jewish home, synagogue, and community including: planting a tree in Israel in memory of her grandfather, Alvin Coplan, who recently passed; reciting the traveler's prayer before taking a family vacation; refraining from gossiping or talking negatively about others for 24 hours; and participating in a charity run/walk. Eva Heyman, of Blessed Memory was the only child of a cosmopolitan Hungarian Jewish couple, Eva grew up in a city on the border between Romania and Hungary. Nearly one-fifth of the city's population was Jewish. She was a small child when her parents divorced and she went to live with her grandparents. When the Germans reached Budapest on March 19, 1944, Eva and her grandfather took a walk in Oradea's Bishop's Park but did not see any German soldiers. Six weeks later, the Germans arrived in Oradea, ordering Eva and her grandparents to the ghetto. They waited three days until they were taken by truck to 20 Szacsat Street. Their new home was stripped of furniture and packed with families. Rules were posted on every house; to disobey meant death. On May 29, 1944, they heard they would be "resettled in the East." In June 1944 Eva was deported to Auschwitz. She died there four months later on October 17, 1944. Eva was 13 years old. Through Harper’s participation in the “Chain of Memory” program, Harper has chosen to dedicate this special occasion to the memory of Eva. Harper chose a child from Romania to honor her grandfather Alvin Coplan, z”l whose family originated from Romania. By participating in this program, Harper demonstrates the importance of remembering the past as well as educating the future.

Ita Shapiro for B'nai Tzedek

As Jews, we value our heritage as people committed to making the world a better place. One of the principles we pass from generation to generation (L’dor V’dor) is the value of charitable giving. The Jewish Federation & Foundation B’nai Tzedek program was created to grow the next generation of Jewish philanthropists by developing young leaders and empowering our next generation to view themselves, even in their youth, as strategic donors. Ita is very involved in the JCA theatre program, she has been active in theatre there since 2018. Past interests were flag football, dance and piano, but theatre is her main love. She helps out at Torah Academy by volunteering through the food boxes program, and her favorite thing to do is organize rooms. She hopes one day to be an interior designer.

Mazel Tov to Joshua, Eden, Harper, and Ita. They all have chosen to participate in the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida's B'nai Tzedek Youth Philanthropy Program by creating their own Philanthropic Fund at the Foundation from which they may contribute to Jewish causes of their 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 (���) ���-���� or KellieK@jewishjacksonville.org. Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida 29


Honoring and Respecting Our Seniors

Each May, the Administration for Community Living leads our nation’s Older Americans Month. This year’s theme is Communities of Strength, recognizing the important role seniors play in fostering the connection and engagement that build strong, resilient communities. Strength is built and shown not only by bold acts, but also small ones—a conversation shared with a friend, working in the garden, or trying a new recipe. According to the U.S. Census, in 2019, one in five people in Florida were 65 or older. These seniors have a lifetime of experience and a huge impact on our society. They comprise a generation that has survived The Great Depression, World War II, Vietnam and The Great Recession. Seniors have great wisdom to impart, and much to teach us about handling life’s adversities. The Torah has numerous references regarding seniors. The 70 elders who accompanied Moses during his journey to Mt. Sinai were advisors to him and the Israelites during their time in the desert (Numbers 11:16). The Torah also instructs us to "honor the elderly" (Leviticus 19:32). On public buses in Israel, for example, front seats are marked with signs of the verse, “You shall rise up before the aged and show deference to the old,” to remind passengers to give up their seats to senior riders. In this month’s issue, we acknowledge and honor our seniors. We will learn how our dollars are providing critical support to poor seniors in the former Soviet Union, how 8th graders “honor the elderly” by being virtual buddies with seniors, and how seniors are building resilience during these challenging times. We can all learn the importance of respecting our elders and make time to listen and spend quality time with them. If you’re a senior, we thank you for your wisdom and for helping us build a stronger community.


Providing a Lifeline to the most Vunerable Seniors Throughout the pandemic, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has continued to provide critical services like homecare, food, and medicine to Jews in over 2,000 communities in 11 countries across 11 time zones — all while minimizing risk to clients and staff. Thanks to funds distributed by the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida, other Federations, and many other contributors, JDC was able to quickly mobilize its existing operations, staff, and trained volunteers to provide humanitarian aid to poor seniors in the former Soviet Union. From January to June 2020, JDC has provided a lifeline to needy elderly. Here’s how: • More than 80,000 elderly Jews received critical assistance • 66,587 seniors received food assistance • 27,809 seniors received homecare • 14,018 seniors received medicine or medical services • 6,309 seniors were helped in emergency situations

When the pandemic hit the countries of the former Soviet Union, JDC was there to help through its locally-based programs. They quickly adapted services to the changing restrictions and lockdown measures on the ground, providing: • Continued homecare while ensuring health and safety • Supplemental food, medicine, ongoing and emergency care for those in need • Hotlines for vulnerable elderly to monitor their needs and break their isolation • Community engagement by mobilizing teens and young adults as volunteers to help care for seniors These services made a tremendous difference to people like 84-year old Sofia.

Sofia worked as a preschool teacher in Kishinev, Moldova, all her life. Today, Sofia is completely alone, without family or children. She moves around her apartment with a walker, and relies on her homecare workers to go food shopping, and help her cook, clean and bathe. "My homecare worker is like family to me. She helps me with everything I need, and she does it with heart." Sofia's homecare worker continued to come regularly during the pandemic, providing life-saving care and much-needed companionship.

“Thank you for helping to bring food to the hungry, medicine to the sick, and provide life-saving care to homebound Jewish seniors. Your generosity brings dignity and hope to tens of thousands of vulnerable Jews and reminds them that they are not alone and part of a global Jewish community that cares.” — Shaun Goldstone, JDC Director, Strategic Partnerships JDC is a partner agency of the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida. By giving to the Jewish Federation & Foundation, your dollars help aid the most vulnerable Jews on the planet. Visit jewishjacksonville.org to learn more and to support seniors locally and in over �� countries around the world.


Honoring the Elderly BY EDITH HOROVITZ, MARTIN. J GOTTLIEB DAY SCHOOL "Honor the elderly," Kibbud Z'kanim is deeply ingrained in Jewish life and is one of the mitzvot stressed as

part of the Mitzvah Program at the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School. So, how do you perform this mitzvah during a pandemic when seniors are at high risk and not allowed visitors? Middle school students solved this dilemma by

participating in the "Better Together in a Box" program designed to empower teens to partner with the elderly in a meaningful way. The students were paired with seniors at River Garden and The Coves as buddies, and regularly communicated via mail, emails, video cards, Zoom meetings, and specially packed boxes filled with goodies. It has been a life-altering program for students and a lifeline in difficult times for our senior buddies.

Noam Tzabari, an �th grade student, shares his experience with his buddy, Sheldon Gendzier, a ��-year-old

living at The Coves.

The Mitzvah of “Honoring the Elderly” is something I’ve been learning about for years. This mitzvah is

about giving due respect to those that have lived a long and fruitful life. To honor someone means to give

them respect and to listen to their wisdom. It’s not about looking to get something out

of the person, but when you honor them, you do gain something: you get a piece of their wisdom if you listen and are curious. Why is that so important? A

society that honors its elderly will benefit from listening to their wisdom, and that means we can gain and learn from those that came before us. We don’t have to start over with each new generation: we can take the learnings of past generations and grow from there. That means we can advance as a

society if we listen and learn. The benefit to the elderly when we honor them, is that in their older age, they have company and companionship.

It’s important that we respect and take care of the elderly, not just their

basic needs, but also their need for human connection. This is why the Mitzvah of Honoring the Elderly is so important.

I recently have had personal experience with this Mitzvah. I

was connected through my school, Martin J. Gottlieb Day School, with an elderly man, a 92 year old gentleman named Mr.

Sheldon, but he said I could call him Mr. G so that’s what I’ll


be calling him here. I learned a lot about Mr. G during our conversations. Mr. G opened up to me about his life, what he did as a career, his kids, and what it was like to be a kid during the Great Depression. We also baked Challah bread together over a zoom chat on a Friday afternoon. From my kitchen to his room, we

talked while making the bread and got to know each other better. My favorite story from Mr. G was during the Great Depression, his mother would mix bread into the hamburger meat. Younger Mr. G thought this was to make the meat taste better, but when he got older he realized that was how his mother made the meat stretch more to feed the family.

What stands out the most to me in my time with Mr. G is how much we actually have in common. For

one, we both like history. And what I like, he’s lived through, so he told me about World War II, the atomic bombs, and the Korean War in the 1950s. Mr. G also told me that he liked to play Bridge, which is his

favorite card game, but he can’t anymore because of Covid. Mr. G said he was lonely because of the isolation and he hopes that we’ll be able to meet in person soon.

I recently came across a quote while researching this very essay. It’s a quote by Leo Buscaglia, who was a

motivational speaker, writer and professor at University of Southern California.

often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a " Too listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. " Now, I don’t think that I changed Mr. G’s life very much. I definitely

didn’t “turn a life around” as the quote states. But through my

conversations with Mr. G, I think we affected each other for good. He definitely impacted my life. He gave me a new perspective on

history, because he actually lived through the things that I only

see as historical events. To me, they are historical events; but to him, those were his life experiences. When I talk with him, and he tells me about history, I get connected to history a little bit myself. Maybe someday I’ll be able to meet Mr. G in person and thank him with a handshake.


Re•sil•ience

[ri-zil-yuhns]

(noun) The ability to respond, absorb and adapt to, as well as, recover from a disruptive event.

BY KARI BELL, WITH MEMBERS OF THE COVES AT RIVER GARDEN Throughout this past year, in the tough times of COVID, our community has found strength in people. At River

Garden, we’ve seen this time and again as friends, volunteers and other agencies have found new ways to support us. We have faced new challenges and become stronger.

Personally, I have noticed the quality of resilience – the ability to withstand challenges and bounce back. It

made me wonder, how does one develop or learn resilience?

So, I went to some experts nearby. Recognizing the important role older adults play in fostering our values, I

asked members of The Coves at River Garden for their wisdom. Through their experiences, successes and difficulties, I can see they have built resilience. Here’s how they did it:

I

Miriam Goldstein

think of resilience as a choice in how we meet life’s

challenges. If we start with the premise that life never gives us more than

we can handle, that we have the inner strength to meet what comes our

way, then we can address our life experiences with resilience. In my own life I have had many physical challenges including 19 surgeries, and

recently a drawn out case of COVID-19. Life has touched me and most of us with loss and troubled times. I approached these experiences as an opportunity to move through them with one foot in front of the other, doing what was necessary to come out of ‘whatever’ with a good attitude and knowing I can keep on keeping on.


M

Debby Katz

y resilience is trying to recover from the pandemic and how I keep myself

busy day after day.

My grandkids call me “Grammy Gamer.” I love to play games and try to

figure out puzzles. When we were notified about Covid, I was playing

Mahjong on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and on Thursdays, I played bridge with friends. I also was the Coves self-elected librarian. When everything closed, my games and librarian duties stopped.

At first, to keep myself busy I did 1000 piece puzzles within three to four days. Then I borrowed puzzles from Cheryl Fisch's office until she ran out. Once we could go outside, I bought puzzles from the Dollar Tree. Today I have completed over 80 puzzles!

As restrictions have lifted, I have been able to pick up bridge, Mahjong, visit friends. and work on

books in the Club Room again. Additionally, every Saturday evening, I Zoom with my sons and their families. They haven’t missed one week since the pandemic started. In addition to catching up with

everyone, one of my favorite things is to answer trivia questions on a game called Fribage. It’s so much fun and the gamer in me loves it. So do my kids and grandkids!

I

Louise Leve

had a housekeeper once who taught me about resilience. She

worked very hard for our family and hard for her family, too. She had a

grandson who she was practically raising, her daughter was just 16, the father was in jail and there were several other children somewhere. Quite frequently, she would bring the baby to work.

Time marches on. She was committed to his having a good

education and she drove him this way and that, to school and

activities. She persevered with him. Time marches on. Today, that boy is now a CPA.

Not too long ago, I had attended his wedding. In attendance

at the event were doctors, attorneys and a judge. He’s keeping very good company, and I think it’s all because of the resilience of his grandmother.


I

happen?”

Jack and JoanSawinkski

said to my wife the other day “We’ve been married for 64 years”. She said “How did that

Next year we will be 90 years old, and instead of asking, “How did that happen?” we’d rather look back

and say “Thank God we’ve made it.” And we didn’t get to stay so long on this earth without being resilient. Albert Camus famously said "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger."

So our approach has always been to face challenges and look at them as “bumps in the road” instead of

“problems”. Our approach was to look at the proverbial glass as half-full instead of half-empty – not always easy but certainly the right way to go. When you think that way then solutions will develop.

Looking back at the way we raised a large family, we always handled the trials and tribulations with a

positive approach. We managed to get through difficult situations, but the important thing we realized is that we could not have done it without support from family and friends.

I also have to give credit to my mom. She was always upbeat. Her early life was not easy because her

mother died when she was 10. So she had to raise herself and her brothers, with help from her father. She worked hard when young and throughout her life. She went to work when my dad lost his job due to illness, even though she had to change her last name because they weren’t hiring persons of Polish

extraction at that time. But she was positive throughout her life and lived it to its fullest. She loved to sing and laugh and made childhood for me and my sister a fun experience. Her resilience was a key factor, and her success gave me the confidence that I could also do well in my life. Her inspiration helped me bounce back when those bumps in the road popped up.

"Success has many fathers". The accomplishments in our lives were only possible because of help and

assistance from others. Our resilience would not have been there if not for all the good friends and associates who were with us all along the way.

It’s clear that developing resilience takes experience, a

positive attitude and help from people around you. As we bounce-back from this pandemic, thank you for fostering connections that build strong, resilient

communities. We look forward to seeing everyone again soon at River Garden!


Barry and Eunice Zisser BY THE JEWISH FEDERATION & FOUNDATION OF NORTHEAST FLORIDA Married for nearly 62 years, active seniors Barry (86) and Eunice (39 forever) Zisser can be seen

several days a week at the JCA schmoozing with others, using the fabulous facilities and, just as important, Eunice working out with her personal trainer, Shirley Steele. In fact, Eunice trains every Tuesday and

Thursday, in addition to taking classes with fitness instructor Lynnell Grimes. The Zissers believe that taking care of their body and mind are the keys to a long and healthy life.

They also enjoy seeking out new trails and parks to discover and hike. Eunice says, “We are so fortunate

to have so many parks and trails in the Northeast Florida area, including nature preserves, Tillie Fowler Park, etc.”

In addition to physically taking care of themselves, they both read a great deal and sit outside on their

porch on beautiful days enjoying the view, the weather and each other.

According to Barry, who mentors several young lawyers and, before his retirement from the active

practice of law, provided pro-bono services for Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, “We enjoy being seniors because of the accumulation of knowledge learned by experience, allowing us to be sought as mentors by friends, colleagues, professionals, and our family.”

Leading an active volunteer life, the Zissers certainly have made and continue to make a difference in

our Jewish community and beyond. Barry is currently a Jewish Federation & Foundation board member and Eunice is a past president of Women's division, Hadassah Jacksonville, Beth

Shalom Sisterhood, and spent many years on the JFCS board. She served on Jacksonville’s Mayor Advisory Board for Women. The couple were founding members of Beth Shalom Congregation, and Barry was a past president and a member of its board of directors and board of trustees for most of its 40 year existence. When asked about the secret to their longevity, Barry replies, “The

good fortune to have been born healthy, to have been raised with love and care, to respect others, regardless of conflicting opinions on

certain subjects, and to treat others as we would wish to be treated. And, to be fortunate enough to marry your best friend, soul mate, confidante, and lifetime companion!”


NOSH ON THIS SHARING

RECIPES

HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR HUNGARIAN GULYAS By Hilary Bettman, JFCS

In 2018, Jewish Family & Community Services partnered with Feeding Northeast Florida to tackle food insecurity among our Holocaust

Survivors. A team of volunteers was recruited, bi-monthly delivery logistics were formulated, and the Holocaust Food Delivery Program was launched. The goal of the program was clear: to provide nutritious food to home

bound Holocaust Survivors who were otherwise struggling to keep food on the table. The end result was much more.

A team of dedicated volunteers has remained intact since the program's

inception. These volunteers have formed meaningful friendships with the

recipients of their deliveries and through this small act of kindness, it has reminded local Holocaust survivors that they are important, they are

thought of, and they are loved. The survivors have been lifted up in ways no one anticipated and frequently tell their case managers how much they enjoy their deliveries. While visits are brief, volunteers bring more than groceries, they bring connection to the community. Food is more than nutrition. It is a chance to nourish our bodies and our souls.

Hungarian Gulyas (Goulash) INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat oil or lard in a large pot. Add the onions with a few This makes a very large pot of soup! If you'd like to spoonfuls of water and a pinch of salt. Cook slowly over very low freeze some of it, do it before adding the vegetables. heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the onions are clear and glassy. 2. Remove from heat and add paprika, pepper, and caraway seeds. 3 tablespoons oil or lard Stir quickly to combine and add a tiny bit of water. Add meat and 5 medium onions, diced garlic and cook over high heat, stirring, until the meat is slightly 2 1/2 teaspoons salt browned (about ten minutes). Turn the heat down to low, add a 2 1/2 liters (2 1/2 quarts) water, plus a few extra few spoonfuls of water, and cook for 15 more minutes, until the spoonfuls meat is nearly cooked through. 3 tablespoons Hungarian paprika (sweet) 3. Add the rest of the water and keep cooking over low heat for at 1/2 teaspoon black pepper least an hour, or until the meat is tender enough to serve. This 1 tablespoon caraway seeds could take hours, depending on the cut of beef you used. 1.5 kg (3 1/4 lbs.) beef, chopped into bite-sized 4. When the meat is nearly done, add tomatoes, carrots, parsnips, pieces and potatoes and cook for about 15 minutes, or until they are 2 cloves of garlic, chopped tender. 5 medium carrots, sliced into bite-sized rounds 5. If you are using csipetke or another kind of small pasta, add it to 2 medium parsnips, sliced into bite-sized rounds the soup before serving. You can serve this soup with hot pepper 2 large potatoes, cubed or hot pepper paste. 2 tomatoes, diced Csipetke (pinched pasta), optional

38


NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE

SHAVUOT DAIRY-FREE CHOCOLATE NUT CHEESECAKE By Stacy Seslowsky, RD, LDN, MSN, Jewish Community Alliance

Stacy is a Functional Nutrition Dietitian with a master’s degree in Human Nutrition and Functional medicine. Stacy uses individualized food and lifestyle modifications to help people achieve optimal health.

This vegan, dairy-free cheesecake includes dates, cacao and nuts, ingredients that are especially healthy for bone density, heart health, and hormone balance. This tasty treat also swaps sugar with maple syrup, providing the sweetness we crave along with antioxidants, prebiotics, and numerous vitamins and minerals, all while having a lower glycemic index. This delicious pareve dessert is perfect with your fleishig Yomtov meal or for those with milk sensitivities due to lactose and casein. Happy Shavuot!

INGREDIENTS CRUST • 1 cup packed pitted dates • 1 1/2 cups raw walnuts • 1/4 tsp sea salt

FILLING • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews • 1 tsp vanilla extract • 1/3 cup maple syrup • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk • 1/4 tsp sea salt • 3 Tbsp coconut • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

TOPPINGS • 3/4 cup packed pitted dates (plus water to blend) • 3/4 cup roasted salted peanuts • 3/4 cup chopped vegan dark chocolate • 1 Tbsp coconut oil (optional)

DIRECTIONS 1. Add cashews to a bowl and cover with boiling hot water. Let set uncovered, for 1 hour. Drain thoroughly. Line an 8x8-inch baking dish* with parchment paper. Set aside. 2. Make crust by adding dates to a food processor. Blend/mix until small bits remain or it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside. 3. Add walnuts and sea salt to the food processor and process into a meal. Add dates back in and blend until a loose dough forms - it should stick together when you squeeze some between your fingers. 4. Press the crust into the parchment-lined dish, until flat. Set crust in freezer to set. 5. Next make date caramel by adding 3/4 cup dates to the food processor. Blend until a paste forms, then add hot water a little at a time until it forms a nice caramel-like paste that's spreadable. Set aside. 6. Add drained, soaked cashews to a high-speed blender, along with vanilla, maple syrup, coconut milk, sea salt, oil, and lemon juice. Blend on high until creamy and smooth. 7. Pour filling over the crust and tap on the counter to release any air bubbles. Add half of the date caramel in small spoonfuls and swirl with a toothpick. 8. Sprinkle peanuts on. Cover with plastic wrap and seal the top with foil. Freeze for 4-6 hours, or until completely set and firm. 9. When ready to serve, set out cheesecake to thaw and top with remaining date paste and more roasted peanuts. 10. To prepare the chocolate sauce, add chocolate and coconut oil to a ceramic bowl and set over a small saucepan with 1 inch simmering water over medium heat. Stir occasionally over the simmering water until melted. 11. Drizzle the chocolate over the cheesecake and enjoy. Store leftovers in the freezer up to 3 weeks. Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida 39


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 The Temple Shabbat Worship (Virtual) May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 Congregation Ahavath Chesed Phone (904) 733-7078 for Zoom link.

Reform Judaism in Israel (Virtual) May 2 2:00 pm The effects of the new ruling by the Supreme Court of Israel on the Reform movement. RSVP to Stav Brener, jaxshlichut@ jewishjacksonville.org or (904) 448-5000 ext. 121 Foundations of Judaism (Virtual) May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 10:15 am-12:00 pm Jacksonville Jewish Center Go to www.jaxjewishcenter. org/engage/full-calendar/ for Zoom link. PJ Library “One Good Deed” Book Walk May 2 1:00 – 3:00 pm Jewish Community Alliance RSVP: https://bit.ly/2P0tYYc Contact Melissa Williams at: mgwilliams@jfcsjax.org. Jacksonville Mega Challah Bake May 2 5:00 pm Two outside locations are available: Outside at the Temple or Beth El - The Beaches. RSVP to jaxmegachallahbake@gmail. com or you can participate online via Zoom.

40

Jacksonville Jewish Center Online Family Learning (Virtual) May 2 7:00 – 8:00 pm Jacksonville Jewish Center

Rahav loved. Bar died during the "Tzuk Eitan" operation in 2014. Advanced registration appreciated. jaxshlichut@ jewishjacksonville.org

PJ Library “One Good Deed” Book Walk May 3 9:30 am – 1:30 pm Jacksonville Jewish Center RSVP: https://bit.ly/3srYF6t Contact Melissa Williams at: mgwilliams@jfcsjax.org.

Jacksonville Jewish Center Sisterhood Hot Topic May 5 11:00 am Gather together for a presentation about Ultrareligious communities in New York. There will be a documentary film followed by discussion. Rsvp to margieholzer@ email.com in order to receive the Zoom link.

JFCS Recovery Mondays (Virtual) May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 4:00-6:00 pm For those seeking personal recovery from addiction for themselves. This is a safe, confidential Zoom meeting hosted by Jodi through JFCS. Contact Jodi at (904) 254-2322 Healing Service Hosted by Hazzan Holzer (Virtual) May 4, 11, 18, 25 5:00-6:00 pm Jacksonville Jewish Center Attend any Jacksonville Jewish Center morning or evening service to observe a loved ones Yarzheit and participate in a virtual minyan to say Kaddish Matkon im Zikaron (Taste of Memories) (Virtual) May 4 6:30 pm Gather together on Zoom to cook blintzes that Bar

Your Coffee, Our Torah w/ Rabbi Jonathan Lubliner (Virtual) May 6, 13, 20, 27 12:30pm - 1:30pm Jacksonville Jewish Center Shoobee Doobee Shabbat (Virtual) May 7, 14, 21, 28 10:00-11:00 am Jacksonville Jewish Center with Hazzan Holzer The Temple Erev Shabbat (Virtual) May 7, 14, 21, 28 7:00-8:00 pm Congregation Ahavath Chesed Phone (904) 733-7078 for Zoom link.

Healthy Shavuot Cooking Class (Virtual) May 11 7:30-8:15 pm 5:00 pm Join JCA Functional Nutrition Dietitian Stacy Seslowsky, RD, LDN, MSN, for a virtual cooking class to learn healthy and delicious Shavuot recipes. Receive ingredients list and Zoom link upon registration. Register at www.jcajax.org or call (904) 730-2100 ext 228. Cost $25. Coping with Loss (Virtual) May 12 and 26 3:00-4:00 pm Jacksonville Jewish Center Jacksonville Jewish Center Trivia Night! (Virtual) May 12 and 26 7:30 pm - 8:15 pm Visit https://us02web.zoom. us/j/86154936028 Bring your own food, drinks, snacks, phones, tablets, laptops, desktops!

JFCS Through Original Art (Virtual) Created by our Clients May 14-28 Experience unique and thought-provoking art created by JFCS clients.


NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE View a unique video that captures the essence of clients hardships, hopes and dreams. Available online from May 14-28. Register at https://bit. ly/3sGUh3G No Place for Hate Day 2021 May 14 Join ADL for a day committed to: Challenging Bias, Championing Justice, Creating more equitable spaces. To register, visit: https://bit.ly/3dV8IeW A “Safer” Safer Scholar-in-Residence (Virtual) May 2, 23, 24 www.jaxjewishcenter.org/ virtual/ Join Rabbi Daniel Nevins in his virtual topics: “Jewish Law & Frontiers of Science” May 2 at 7:30 pm “Jewish Law & Human Dignity” May 23 at 7:30 pm “The Future of a Movement” May 24 at 7:30 pm Shavuot on the Grill Meet & Meat with Gilis kitchen. May 17 521 A1A N Ponte Vedra Hear the 10 Commandments then socialize & shmooze outdoors with a dazzling array of barbecue delights catered by Gili’s Kitchen. Tented seating available. RSVP required by May 10th. www. chabadbeaches.com for further info call Dafne (904) 770-0502. Anti-Semitism, Racism, Hate, Extremisim in 2021 (Virtual)

May 20 6:30 pm Featuring one of Time Magazine’s 2020 most influential people in the world, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. To register, visit: https://bit. ly/3sfSiTt

Jewish Kayaking Journey May 22 8 am Six Mile Landing Boat Ramp, 1700 Ponte Vedra Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach Join Justin Sakofs for a Jewish spirituality kayaking experience. Advance registration required. Call the JCA at 730-2100 ext 228 or go to jcajax.org

about the chaos of Israeli immigration and resettlement. Advance registration required. To register, please call the JCA registrar’s office at 7302100 ext 228 or register online at jcajax.org. Caregiver Support Group (Virtual) May 27 1:00-2:00 pm Jacksonville Jewish Center Email bethshorstein@ gmail.com Support Group Facilitator Call: (904) 868-4400 Positively Charged (Virtual) National Best-Selling Author Jon Gordon June 1 7:30-8:30 pm Jewish Educational Loan

Fund (JELF) Register at https://jelf.org/ jongordon Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida 2021 Annual Meeting (Virtual) June 6 12 pm Register at events.idonate. com/annualmeeting2021 Chabad at the Beaches Friendship Circle Bi-Weekly Sundays Fletcher Park/Sunshine Park Teenage volunteers spend quality time with children with special needs. Register: www. chabadbeaches.com Dafne 904-770-0502

Disabled, Not Half a Human Being (Virtual) May 23 12 pm Join us on Zoom to hear from the leaders of Disabled, Not Half a Human Being organization, working for the rights of people with disabilities in the State of Israel. Free to the community. Advance registration required. To register, please call the JCA registrar’s office at 7302100 ext 228 or register online at jcajax.org. Discover Israel Film Series: Sallah Shabati May 26 Jewish Community Alliance Auditorium 6:30 pm 1964 Israeli comedy film

Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida 41


SEE AND BE SCENE THROUGH THE LENS IN NORTHEAST FLORIDA

CELEBRATING PASSOVER AT RIVER GARDEN With the Egyptian pyramids in the background, Leslie Held and Laura Platzer performed 'Passover Live' by playing a colorful cast of personalities from the Exodus story. Please visit the link below to view the production: https://youtu.be/wpotY6Uim_g

UNBOXING THE BUDDY BOXES

Martin J. Gottlieb Day School students & their buddies welcomed Passover with a Chocolate Seder.

42 

"Buddy Box is a very clever, enjoyable experience. I hope I am able to meet them face-to-face soon." - Lois Chepenik

GIFT SHOP RE-OPENS

The River Garden Auxiliary has remained a constant source of support for River Garden Hebrew Home since its beginning. And, the Gift Shop they manage is a favorite spot on our campus. It is wonderful to see it re-opening on a limited basis.

Evelyn Peck reviews inventory and prepares for the Gift Shop re-opening.


SEE AND BE SCENE

THROUGH THE LENS IN NORTHEAST FLORIDA

YOM HA'ZIKARON CEREMONY

Our community shaliach hosted a meaningful Yom Ha'Zikaron Ceremony in the memory of fallen Israeli soldiers and victims of terrorism. Thank you to all the volunteers who participated and helped commemorate this special day.

YOM HA'ATZMAUT CELEBRATION

JAFI (The Jewish Agency for Israel) provided �� Israeli game kits for families in our community. Thanks to PJ Library Jacksonville for helping us to spread the word about these awesome gifts for Israeli Independence Day!

WOMEN'S PHILANTHROPY

Women's Philanthropy held another successful collection of feminine hygiene products for women and girls. Hundreds of products were delivered to our partner, Jewish Family & Community Services, and to the food pantry at George Washington Carver Elementary School, and PACE Center for Girls Jacksonville. The Dignity Project through Women's Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation & Foundation launched last fall and has contributed thousands of items throughout Jacksonville. Dignity Project Chair, Jenn Neuman is proud of the support and is thrilled to coordinate this effort so women and girls who do not have easy access to basic feminine hygiene products can receive the supplies they need.

Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida 43


NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE

STUDENTS CELEBRATED A SAFE SEDER Kindergarten - �th grade students at the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School were able to safely participate in Passover seders with parents invited at the Ansbacher Family Gazebo.

44

Sometimes you just need a laugh laugh! Here with their crazy hats, Ernest Barnes, Cheryl Fisch and June Meinstein make everyone at The Coves smile!


SEE AND BE SCENE

THROUGH THE LENS IN NORTHEAST FLORIDA

DOGGIES IN THE WINDOW FOR RIVER GARDEN RESIDENTS

Aiming to lift the spirits of elderly residents in the area who are missing out on visits from friends and family due to the pandemic, K9s For Warriors created the "Doggies in the Window” parade concept. Thanks to Nan Rothstein, a River Garden Board member, the organization’s service dogs-in-training visited the River Garden campus for a safe, yet intimate encounter. The River Garden visit was their fourth parade to-date at Greater Jacksonville-area senior care facilities.

'Pops' hurried to the parking lot to say a quick hello-goodbye.

Residents were able to meet nearly �� dogs, all in-training to be service dogs.

Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida 45


IT'S YOUR BUSINESS S P OT L I G H T O N J E W I S H - O W N E D B U S I N E S S E S S

ALL WET SPORTS

By Mitzi Saul, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida As I walked into All Wet Sports, Jacksonville’s premier water sports store, I was immediately filled with wonder and watercraft possibilities. The store’s front door with mezuzah attached on the side and wood planked floor greets customers looking for adventure. Owner Andy Fraden grew up in Arlington and has lived in Jacksonville all his life. He remarked, “I’ve always had a passion for water and knowing the expression, ‘Do what you love so you’ll never work a day in your life,’ I thought, why not turn my hobby of water sports into an occupation?” Back in early 2002, when Andy was still working with his brother, sister and father at Fraden Produce, he opened his tiny 800 square foot store on Southside Boulevard. He’d go to work at his family’s wholesale business in the morning then head to open his retail store in the afternoon. Business was so good that within a year he expanded the store to 1,600 square feet. In 2005, he saw a “For Lease” sign outside what used to be Jimmy’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken on Beach Boulevard, and relocated to his current location. All Wet Sports sells everything you can think of for recreational water sports: kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, surf boards, wake-boards, wake-surfers, wake-skates and skis, tubes, knee boards, as well as all the accessories from life vests and water shoes to paddles and kayak racks. The store sits on Pottsburg Creek where they rent kayaks, canoes and paddleboards, and also give hour lessons from their backyard ramp. According to Andy, “It’s a lovely way to relax on the water and see lots of wildlife. We’ve seen otters, yellow-bellied slider turtles, and all kinds of birds including egrets, herons, bald eagles, and ospreys. Two days ago we saw a manatee!” Fortunately, his business had its “best season ever” this past year. People are taking advantage of outdoor recreation during Covid. But Andy’s seen his share of downturns. In 2007 when the economy tanked, he turned to renting U-Haul trucks to keep him afloat during those hard times. 46

During Hurricane Irma, an ankle-deep flood from the creek had him scrambling to dry out the store to keep his inventory from floating away! “It’s wonderful that our Jewish agencies provide so much support to our community. When I was growing up we didn’t have this support network that we have now. I’m delighted that the Federation & Foundation can spotlight my business, too.” Andy seems to have it all figured out. He has two adult children, Sarah Bloom and Erica Fraden, and three grandchildren, and appreciates spending quality time with family. He enjoys running his business, welcoming newcomers to Jacksonville’s waterways, and helping families to paddleboard, kayak or canoe down a river together. Don’t be surprised if you instantly buy your next kayak or paddleboard after visiting his store. I did exactly that and can’t wait to get out on the water! All Wet Sports is located at ���� Beach Boulevard, just west of Southside Boulevard and open Monday through Saturday, �� a.m. to � p.m. and Sunday, �� to � p.m

Jewish Kayaking Journey May 22 at 8 AM Infuse the tranquility of kayaking with Jewish spirituality by joining Justin Sakofs for a kayaking experience at Six Mile Landing Boat Ramp in Ponte Vedra Beach. See “Worth the Schlep” on page 41 for details.


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 shorowitz@torah-academy.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 info@jfcsjax.org.

Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida 47


Profile for Northeast Florida Jewish Life Magazine

May Edition - Northeast Florida Jewish Life Magazine  

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