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NORTHEAST FLORIDA

Jewish Life A PU B LICATION O F T HE JE WI S H FE D E RAT ION & FOU N DAT ION OF N ORT H E AST F LO R I DA

NOVEMBER 2020 - CHESHVAN/KISLEV 5781 VOL. 33 NO. 25 | jewishjacksonville.org

8505 San Jose Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32217

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For more information about legacy giving, please contact Kellie Kelleher-Smith: Kelliek@jewishjacksonville.org | 904.512.3796

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LETTER FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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hen studying Hebrew, we learn that the roots of words are important to gaining an understanding to this challenging language. Here’s a fun fact. I learned that the Hebrew word for turkey is hodu. And the Hebrew word for “we give thanks” is also hodu. The Hebrew noun todah means “thank you.” Somewhere there must be a connection to Thanksgiving! It’s in our roots! We have much to be thankful for. With all of the challenges during the past eight months, we still have much to be thankful for as we look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving later this month. We have much to be grateful for. We live in the greatest country in the world. Participating in elections is one of the key freedoms of American life. Many people in countries around the world do not have the same freedom, nor did many Americans in centuries past. No matter what we believe or whom we support, it is important to exercise our rights. I encourage everyone to make our voices heard and to vote on November 3. We have much more to do. Prepandemic, we met with all of our local and overseas partners to take an in-depth look at their unmet needs. Examples of what we uncovered were: • Increased financial assistance for members of the Jewish community (such as support for children with special needs, meal delivery, affordable transportation, services and medical advocacy for seniors, Holocaust survivor services) and Jewish Family & Community Services (JFCS) • Increased need for scholarships at both Jewish day schools • Funding to allow the Jewish Community Alliance (JCA) to reach out to areas

outside of Mandarin • Funding to allow River Garden Senior Services to maintain its Kosher facility • Increased demand for Aliyah (Jews immigrating to Israel)—The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) • Increased demand for feeding seniors in the former Soviet Union—The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) There is no question that all of our partners have significant unmet Jewish needs. The pandemic has exacerbated these needs and uncovered significant and unanticipated additional needs adding up to more than $3 million in lost revenue! The Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida is the only organization supporting all of our Jewish partner agencies. Your gifts to the annual campaign play a significant role in helping our partners provide for Jewish community. We live in one of the best Jewish communities in North America. Raising a Jewish family in Northeast Florida is a joyful experience thanks to our partner agencies, schools and synagogues. As we express our thanks and celebrate Thanksgiving with our families, let’s keep in mind those who are vulnerable and in immediate need of our assistance. Now more than ever, your financial support is needed and can make a big difference in their lives. Please go to jewishjacksonville.org and make your gift to the 2021 Annual Campaign today. Happy Thanksgiving and Todah Rabah,

Jewish Federation & Foundation Staff

Alan Margolies Federation 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 Val Battini Finance Specialist valb@jewishjacksonville.org

Mitzi Saul Marketing and Communications Manager mitzis@jewishjacksonville.org Isabel Balotin Director, Shalom Y’all shalomjax@jewishjacksonville.org Jill Abel Director, Israel Partnership jilla@jewishjacksonville.org

Jennifer Rensch Campaign Coordinator jenniferr@jewishjacksonville.org

Stav Brener Community Shaliach jaxshlichut@jewishjacksonville.org Charlie DuBow Marketing & Communications Intern charlied@jewishjacksonville.org Ellen Cohen Wilcox Sales Representative ellenw@jewishjacksonville.org Your Strategists, LLC Communications & Editorial Team jjn@jewishjacksonville.org

Alan Margolies

Cover photo: Diane Rothstein, Women’s Philanthropy Lion of Judah chair and daughter Sophie, Young Professionals and Families Steering Committee member, share a love for giving.

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contents COMMUNITY 5 WOMEN'S PHILANTHROPY LUNCH IS GOING GLOBAL BEQUESTIONS WITH KELLIE SMITH 8 BLUE DOT IN A SEA OF PINK 11 L’DOR V’DOR TORAH ACADEMY CELEBRATES SUKKOT MITZVAH DAY

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NOSH ON THIS 21 RECIPE FROM AUTHOR LEAH KOENIG IT’S YOUR BUSINESS MARGO'S CATERING NATIVE SUN

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THE GIVING ISSUE WOMEN GIVING BACK GIVING TO OTHERS WITHOUT GIVING OUT GIVING BACK THROUGH SOCIAL JUSTICE A PANDEMIC PUTS GIVING INTO PERSPECTIVE

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WORTH THE SCHLEP

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SEE AND BE SCENE

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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 D A

WOMEN'S PHILANTHROPY CHAMPAGNE BRUNCH IS GOING GLOBAL By Lauren Rickoff, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida

The 2021 Women’s Philanthropy Champagne Brunch is sure to transport us out of Northeast Florida. The guest speaker, Leah Koenig, Jewish cookbook author and food writer, will highlight the global inspiration behind some of her most popular recipes. Leah has traveled throughout the world, visiting Jewish communities to immerse herself in their culinary history and taste. Her latest project focuses on the Roman Jewish community. The unique local Jewish cuisine features delicious items like fried artichokes and garlic marinated zucchini. Leah will share a bit about her exploration of Budapest. Tragically, the city lost much of its Jewish community and culinary heritage during the Holocaust. In recent years Budapest has had a small, but exciting, Jewish cultural renaissance. It includes a handful of Jewish restaurants serving traditional dishes like Hungarian cholent and matzo ball soup made with goose instead of chicken.

During a cooking demonstration, Leah will highlight her inspiration behind becoming a cookbook author. When she began writing about food full time, developing recipes came along with it. She found the process of developing recipes incredibly satisfying—both creatively and intellectually. It is complicated work to get a recipe to work reliably. Leah is looking forward to the Champagne Brunch. “Cooking with groups is one of my favorite parts about being a cookbook author. I love interacting with people, sharing stories and Jewish history, and creating something delicious together. Of course, nothing beats being in the same space, but I have been happily surprised by how intimate and engaging the experience can feel, even over Zoom. I look forward to meeting everyone for this important event.” The Champagne Brunch, co-chaired by Shylie Bannon and Erica Jolles, is Sunday, January 10, 2021. For details, contact Laurenr@jewishjacksonville.org. Check out Leah’s recipe for Potted Sweet-And-Sour Meatballs on page 21.

Jewish cookbook author and food writer, Leah Koenig

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NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE

JFCS VOLUNTEER ROCKSTAR: GAYLE BAILYS

By Donna O'Steen, Jewish Family & Community Services

Gayle Bailys is a true Rockstar at Jewish Family & Community Services—and

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for the entire Jewish community! Gayle grew up in Beachwood, Ohio. She studied Recreation Management at Indiana University before moving to Jacksonville over 35 years ago with her husband, David. Much of her career was spent at the Jacksonville Jewish Center where she held a number of positions, including Youth Director, Recreational Programming, Summer Camp Coordinator and many other youthrelated jobs. Over the course of her life, Gayle has served on several boards and committees in the

Jacksonville Jewish community (JFCS, Jacksonville Jewish Center, River Garden Hebrew Home and the River Garden Auxiliary). She co-chaired the JFCS Annual Event, Heroes Among Us, in 2016 and the River Garden Gala in 2002. Gayle has been an integral part of the JFCS family, always going above and beyond to provide support and caring attention to every project she participates in. She always gives her whole self to each event that she is involved with and does it with positivity and complete commitment to making it a

success. In her spare time, Gayle loves to play tennis, spend time with her family— especially with her new granddaughter—and volunteering with various organizations. This year, Gayle is serving as Chair of the Holiday Gift Giving program at JFCS. She has worked hard to make the program a success for many years and now we are excited for her to lead it! We are so thankful for Gayle. She is a true Volunteer Rockstar and friend to all! Thank you, Gayle, for always helping JFCS help others help themselves. You ROCK!


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AMERICANS AND ISRAELIS: MANY DIFFERENCES YET OUR SIMILARITIES CONNECT US

By Jill Abel, Israel Partnership

When my family moved to Jacksonville over 25 years ago, I knew that we could rely on the Jewish community to help us acclimate to a new city. We joined the Jewish Community Alliance (JCA) and a local synagogue. We worked hard to engage in activities and meet people — important steps in becoming part of the larger Jewish community. Many years later, as we realized that summers of our children wanting to travel with us were numbered, we decided to join a Jewish Federation Family Mission to Israel. I had never been and neither had our children. This trip would become a turning point in our family for many reasons. Primarily, it was the first of many times we would visit the HaderaEiron region and learn about the Israelis who lived there. Since that Family Mission in the summer of 2009, I have traveled to Israel many times. Most trips have been leading delegations of Americans seeking to make connections with Israelis through our Israel Partnership Programs. Some trips have been with teens and some with medical professionals and young community leaders. While all of these groups were different, they all had one thing in common. All were

Jill and Mike Abel with their P2G Hadera-Eiron Family

people who knew of the American Jewish experience and chose to travel to Israel to learn more about the Israeli Jewish experience. We marveled at how different Shabbat felt in Israel. We learned about how a different democratic government system worked. We faced the reality that mothers and fathers in Israel send their children to the army at age 18 while we Americans send ours off to college. We also learned about some characteristics of Israelis that make us feel more different. Israelis tend to be incredibly straight forward. They say what’s on their minds. We Americans tend to be more reserved. Israelis don’t worry about planning as we do; A meeting or a party will begin

when they arrive. However, we don’t worry about other countries sending rockets over to our cities in the middle of the night. Our worries are different—no less significant but very different. Yet in every single one of my visits to Israel, in every single delegation I have taken to Israel, we are repeatedly reminded of one very important commonality. While there are as many differences as miles between us, we are all one big Jewish family at heart. We come from different places, but we love our families and will do whatever we need to do in order to protect them and ensure that their future is better than our present. We value community and we take care of each other— from our youngest to our oldest community members.

And, we believe strongly in education and the telling of our story. As Jews, we have learned that we must never forget from where we have come and we must always have a vision for where we are going. Israel Partnership Programs bring people together with people. We learn about each other and what unites us and we develop friendships that become lifelong family ties. I encourage you to get involved in an Israel Partnership or Partnership2Gether program. Let me help you find your family in Israel. For more information about upcoming projects and programs, contact me at jilla@jewishjacksonville.org.

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NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE

BEQUESTIONS WITH KELLIE SMITH

By Kellie Smith, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida

“How do I give and feel connected to the mission I am supporting when I often feel excluded?” Philanthropy can certainly provide connection, meaning and purpose both to those who give, and to those who receive. While many who invest in Jewish philanthropy give because of relationships, others base Jewish

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philanthropy on the idea of tzedakah, charity, or justice. Some maintain that Jewish philanthropy remains too homogenous and self-serving; however, Jews around the world support non-Jewish causes. According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, “Jewish donors – especially those of modest means – are among the most generous Americans,” says a new report. “Many of them make a high proportion of their gifts to causes that have nothing to do with their faith. About 76 percent of Jewish donors say they made a charitable gift last year, compared with 63 percent of non-Jews.” The Nonprofit Quarterly reports that American Jews lead in per capita giving

“because it is ingrained in philanthropy and peoplehood. their traditions of charity, or For one, philanthropy can and tzedakah…60% of Jewish should be relationship based households earning less than and collaborative. Effective $50,000 a year donate, philanthropy, in a sense, might compared with 46% of provide connection, meaning non-Jewish households in that and purpose both to those income bracket…And while who give and to those who Jews, like other Americans, receive. It might guide not just give to religious institutions, the what, but the why and the they give relatively less to how of giving. Philanthropy religion and more to secular has provoked major causes. While culture is critical, consolidations in operations of Jewish giving is boosted by local and national institutions, two additional factors – with the confluence of education and wealth…” mergers, partnerships, We all want to feel closures, and merely staying connected, find meaning and relevant. have purpose. I believe Jewish For as many challenges as philanthropy connects to we face in the Jewish peoplehood, and yet we have a community, there is great long way to go for a fully opportunity for philanthropy inclusive and collective culture. to revive and revitalize. These overlapping themes say Trustees and boards of a good deal about BEQUESTIONS, cont. pg. 13


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WORKSHOP FOR CHILDREN & GRANDCHILDREN OF HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS

By Stacey Goldring, Searching for Identity

If you identify as a child or grandchild of Holocaust survivors, you are invited to become a part of the monthly Searching For Identity

Workshop. You do not have to be a writer to attend! In fact, you don’t have to write or say a word. The workshop serves as environment where children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors can

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discuss and write, if they chose, about their experiences, growing up in a survivorship household and the issues, responsibilities and legacies that are these children and grandchildren inherit. For those who do write, the workshop offers an idea community to refine essays, speeches, etc., ensuring that the lessons of the Holocaust are shared publicly or privately, for families and or the public, from generation to generation, for no one to deny. The workshop is Searching For Identity’s flagship

program, inspiring documentary films, educational curriculum, publishing and public speaking opportunities and performing and visual arts programming open to the public. Thanks to a generous grant from a private foundation, the monthly discussions and writing continue. This year, the monthly workshops are online, with both daytime and evening meetings. Any questions? Please contact 904-419-9915 or info@searchingforidentity.org Find us on Facebook or at searchingforidentity.org

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NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE

JFCS WELCOMES NEW CFO NELSON GIBSON

By Donna O'Steen, Jewish Family & Community Services

JFCS is honored to welcome Nelson Gibson as our new CFO. Nelson assumed the role after longtime CFO, Manny Pineda, retired in early October. A native of Michigan, Nelson received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Embry Riddle University. He joins the JFCS team after a successful 19-year tenure at Hubbard House. His leadership successfully led the organization to financial success with the

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help of his team. Nelson believes in leading by implementing positive feedback, good oversight. and by providing the guidance necessary to empower his team. Nelson and his wife Diana (Dee-ah-nah) live in Jacksonville. They met as teenagers when Diana was an exchange student from Holland. Ten years later, she returned to the United States and the two reunited and fell in love. They have been married for 18 years. In his spare time, Nelson enjoys yard work, exercising, and has a love for cars, owning four of his own, including a 1977 completely

remodeled Corvette, previously owned by his father. His wife, is an avid horseback rider and will be competing in the World Championship Western Dressage show in the coming weeks. When asked why he chose as his new place of employment, JFCS, Nelson responded, “I spent 18 years at Hubbard House and loved every minute of working in social services. I went home each night feeling accomplished because I worked at an agency that provided support to women in need. JFCS is so respected in the community and it felt like a good fit—it felt like I

was meant to be in this position, with this agency. It was a proud moment when I was offered the position.” JFCS is proud to have you, Nelson! Welcome to the team!


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BLUE DOT IN A SEA OF PINK

By Ronald Rapaport, Local Breast Cancer Survivor

I am a cancer survivor who is on a mission to educate all people—especially men of Ashkenazi descent— to be aware of the signs and symptoms of male breast cancer. Here are the facts: There are approximately 2,600 men in the U.S that will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020. Approximately 520 men will die this year due in part to lack of awareness of this tragic disease. Sadly, one in 40 men and women of Ashkenazi descent carries a genetic gene mutation that greatly increases the risk of developing breast cancer. I was diagnosed in early 2019 with invasive ductal carcinoma in the left breast tissue. I learned that anyone

with breast tissue has a chance of getting breast cancer. With support from my family, friends, and Beth El at The Beaches synagogue family, I made it through the medical crisis. After my mastectomy, I did not need chemotherapy or radiation because I was lucky to catch it early. Early detection is the key to survival. Knowing the risks, signs, symptoms and doing a monthly breast exam is a must. After being diagnosed, I reached out to the Male Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) for support since it is a rare disease compared to female breast cancer. Men face a host of challenges such as isolation, depression and emasculation from thinking they have a woman's disease. As a result, many men ignore their symptoms, delaying treatment and are diagnosed at stage three of the disease. A woman who knew I was having cancer surgery asked me what kind of cancer I had. I told her I had breast cancer and she laughed profusely thinking I was joking. At that moment, my

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embarrassment turned to empowerment and my pain turned to purpose. I vowed if I made it through the journey in good shape that I would advocate for male breast cancer awareness so no man would ever feel alone when hearing the words, "You have breast cancer." For a downloadable breast self exam card explaining the proper procedure to check your breast tissue and the signs and symptoms of male breast cancer, visit malebreastcancercoalition.org Since my diagnosis, I have always been open to talking about my breast cancer. This is something I think was meant to happen to me so

that I could help others. Ronald Rapaport lives in Ponte Vedra Beach and is active in the Jacksonville and national cancer scene hosting a virtual support group for men, being a “Real MEN Wear Pink” participant for the American Cancer Society, doing speaking engagements, and advocating at local events. You can hear more from Ron firsthand on November 19th from 7-8PM at the next Federation Society of Healers program, "It’s Not Just for Women, the Big C," in collaboration with national organizations, Sharsheret and JScreen, local cancer survivors, and someone recently diagnosed. Register at events. idonate.com/SOHNov2020.

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NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE

CELEBRATING FOSTER TEEN BIRTHDAYS DURING A PANDEMIC By Donna O'Steen, Jewish Family & Community Services

Celebrating birthdays is the one thing the teens in JFCS’s care want the most. They want to be acknowledged and experience the love and care put into someone selecting a special gift for them. They want a favorite dessert. They want to feel normal, and it’s been a long time since most have been able to do anything remotely (no pun intended) normal! Our teens have missed six

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Our amazing May Foster Teen Birthday volunteers (from left to right): Karen Wekstein, Thelma Nied, Shelli Richter, Cecilia Cristol and Lonnie Steinberg! Thank you for sponsoring a foster teen for his/her birthday!

months of birthday celebrations, so we thought, “maybe we can still celebrate…just a little bit differently.” So how can we still celebrate during a pandemic? It’s still unsafe to have in-person celebrations in restaurants, and we have come up with an alternate way to celebrate until we can safely resume face-toface interactions When we started the program, the concept was to provide our volunteers with the opportunity to meet a foster teen and celebrate their birthday in a restaurant over lunch. Since we can’t do that, we have restructured the celebrations to be virtual. We have contacted volunteers that previously

signed up, and asked if they still want to participate. For those who agreed, we asked them to: 1) Shop for gift(s) and a cake/dessert for a teen in our foster program from a wishlist they filled out. 2) Bring the gift(s) and cake/ dessert on a pre-selected day to the 8540 Baycenter location, where it will be picked up by the teen’s caseworker and delivered later that day. 3) Send a “Happy Birthday” video, for the teen. The plan may not be perfect, but it is something we feel is important to resume—both for our teens and for our volunteers. For more information on the birthday program, contact Donna O’Steen at dosteen@jfcsjax.org.


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HOLIDAY GIFT GIVING SPREADS LOVE By Donna O'Steen, Jewish Family & Community Services

As Ruth Bader Ginsburg so eloquently put it, “help repair the tears in your community and make things a little better through the use of whatever ability you have, because you get much more satisfaction for the things you do for which you were not paid.” The Jewish Family & Community Services Holiday Gift Giving program gives you the opportunity to do just that - come together as a community to make a difference in the lives of children and seniors in need during the Holiday season. JFCS donors are the true heroes and during the BEQUESTIONS, from pg. 8

directors have an important role to play as the stewards of

holidays, your selfless support spreads love throughout the community. This year has been particularly challenging and as we approach the holiday season we anticipate the needs of those we serve to be greater than we’ve seen in previous years. We ask, again, for your help in providing those less fortunate with something they may not have without you – a happy holiday. If you would like to enrich the lives of our families during the holiday season, we hope you choose to sponsor a child or a senior to shop and purchase gifts for. Contact Donna O’Steen at dosteen@jfcsjax.org. If you would like to help, but you are unable to shop, a both private and family foundations, and the nonprofit beneficiaries whom they fund

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and lead. Greater partnerships between lay and professional, more intentional mentoring of volunteer leaders, additional data aligning performance with organizational metrics, and a new paradigm of board structure and process may be needed. More than anything, a culture of inquiry might move boards in the right direction to foster a greater collaborative and curious approach to philanthropy. For the philanthropic relationship to evolve, a greater sense of trust is needed. I encourage participation, inquiry and a deeper understanding of the missions and organizations for your tzedakah. Philanthropy can strengthen

Jewish peoplehood by focusing both on the individual and the collective. We are moving towards more inclusive grant committees that involve community members, students, educators, and other direct beneficiaries in the process of giving. We have a duty to convene and promote equitable and inclusive thought as we shape our future. I hope that everyone finds a place to be involved and be heard. Jewish philanthropy, like Jewish peoplehood, can be a guiding light for our ethics and morals. As we invest our time, talent and treasure in the community, we must all find our path and strength.

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NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE

MANAGING DIABETES, MANAGING GOOD HEALTH MAKING FOOD THE SOLUTION NOT THE PROBLEM

By Helen Hill, Hadassah Jacksonville

Over 7 million people with diabetes are undiagnosed, and 1 in 3 American adults are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. According to Dr. Gil Leibowitz, head of the Hadassah Diabetes Center at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem—and himself

diabetic since age seven, "Diabetes is on track to become the largest epidemic in human history." The truth is, if type 2 diabetes were an infectious disease, passed from one person to another, public health officials would agree with Dr. Leibowitz and say we are in the midst of an epidemic. This difficult disease is striking an ever-growing number of adults, and with the rising rates of childhood obesity, it has become more common in youth. The good news is, no matter what your age, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are largely

preventable. About 9 in 10 cases in the U.S. can be avoided by making lifestyle changes. And—not surprising —these same changes can also lower the chances of developing heart disease and some cancers. According to medical and health care experts, the key to prevention can be boiled down to five words: Stay lean and stay active. Stacy Seslowsky, Functional Nutrition Registered Dietitian with the JCA says that inflammation is the underlying cause of diabetes, whether type 1 or type 2—as well as other chronic illnesses. “Food can act as a long-term side-effect

free medicine to address inflammation, prevent and/ or reverse chronic illness," she adds. We hope you will join Hadassah Jacksonville and the JCA when Stacy Seslowsky and Elaine Bergstrom, a life-time member of Hadassah and a Type 1 diabetic, will present this timely program, "Managing Diabetes: Making Food the Solution & Not the Problem" on Tuesday, November 17th at 1 p.m. (see "Worth the Schlep", for additional information). Let's work together getting lean and staying active—all of us!

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JF&F BOARD MEMBER FOCUS: DEBBIE BANKS

By Charlie DuBow, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida

Where were you born and raised, and can you provide a little bit of background of your life? I was born and raised in New York City. I have a degree from Brandeis University, where I met Garry, and I have a graduate degree from Temple University. We moved to Jacksonville in 1996 when Garry accepted a job at Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute. What have you gained a better

perspective on during this pandemic? The pandemic has been an interesting time for me. Conducting my “outside” activities in my home has increased my engagement in these activities. In my work with Federation, I've had more opportunities to connect to and learn from others in Jacksonville and beyond. Most acutely though, I recognize not just the need for community but the need for physical community. Speaking of volunteering, what have you been a part of since living in Jacksonville? I have served on the Jacksonville Jewish Center board, the JCA board, and have been president of the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School PTA. I am currently on the Federation board, Generation WOW Advisory Board and the chair of

JACKSONVILLE KOLLEL'S YOUNG PROFESSIONALS

By Joey Hamaoui, Jacksonville Kollel

The Jacksonville Community Kollel’s Young Professionals division is on fire! We just launched our new Holy Smokes BBQ program for Young Professionals with an incredible turnout of over 25 participants. This new program brings Jewish Young Professionals from all walks of life together for a fun BBQ with some words of inspiration tied in. This past month we heard inspiring words from Sarita Weltman, while enjoying great

food and beverages. This program is open to the public and there is no cost to join us. It’s a relaxed and easy way to meet other Jewish Young Professionals and get a dose of inspiration to carry you through the month. We will be continuing this program monthly and will be hosting our next one on November 15th. To learn more about our Young Professional’s division and upcoming programs contact Joey Hamaoui at (305) 764-7212 or JoeyHamaoui@ JacksonvilleKollel.com.

the Women’s Philanthropy division. If there was one worldwide problem you could eliminate (aside from this current pandemic), what would it be and why? No question, I would eliminate hunger. Food, of course, provides nutrition, which is required for good activity and brain function. Food also builds community and binds cultures to one another, which can be a catalyst for peace. What influential celebrity would you want to have dinner with and what would you ask them? At this point in time and history, I would want to share a meal with the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She lived her life Jewishly by the commandment

in Deuteronomy “Zedek, Zedek tirdof.” “Justice, justice, shalt thou pursue.” As a champion of women, minority groups and the disabled, she dedicated her life to fighting for equality for outsiders. I would ask her, what gave her the courage to pursue her goals? How the state of Israel influenced her vision of the world? And what was her favorite meal that her mother cooked for her as a child? Debbie and her loving husband Garry have three kids, all graduates of the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School: Jonah (26), a graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, Shira (24), a graduate from the University of Michigan, and Aaron (21), currently a senior at Washington University in St. Louis.

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NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE

JCA JEWISH CULTURAL ARTS FESTIVAL FORMAT BRINGS NEW POSSIBILITIES

By Lior Spring, Jewish Community Alliance

This year’s JCA Jewish Cultural Arts Festival is all about firsts! Large indoor gatherings are a no-no, and the stellar Jewish Book Council authors we look forward to are not engaging in airline travel this year. The reality of virtual programming provided the festival committee a chance to expand its lineup and bring new events to Jacksonville. “We hope our community embraces these new literary and cinematic events and joins us as we explore virtual cultural opportunities brought directly to your living room,” says Sherrie Saag, festival

chair. Among our 2020 firsts is a series of film shorts! On November 8, the festival presents three award winning Jewish films (none longer than 24 minutes.) that showcase the creative genius behind storytelling in short form. In Wig Shop, Emily Mortimer is an LA Orthodox woman who uncovers some surprising truths while being fitted for a wig. A Jew Walks Into A Bar profiles a man attempting to find his place in the world; using jokes as his compass to navigate the unknown. In the comedy, The Chop, a young, handsome and charismatic Israeli loses his job at a Kosher butcher only to find his employment

options very limited. A parenting program on November 11 could not come at a better time. Dr. Abigail Gewirtz’s When the World Feels Like a Scary Place offers practical solutions—like scripts and dialogue—to raise capable kids while bad things are happening in the world. Engagement for older elementary and middle school readers is also a festival first! In partnership with PJ Library, Book of Secrets author and illustrator Rabbi Mat Tonti will lead a hands-on virtual program on the art of illustration on November 8. On November 4, the festival presents an evening of compassion and empathy on LGBTQ rights in partnership

with JASMYN, a northeast Florida advocacy group for LGBTQ youth, and sponsored by Glenn and Michael Miller. Authors Mimi Lemay, What We Will Become, and Jo Ivester, Once A Girl, Always a Boy, share highly personal and courageous stories of raising transgender children. All events are free and open to the entire community thanks to the generosity of our sponsors. Advance registration is required to 730-2100 ext. 228. For additional information or to donate, contact Lior Spring at 730-2100 ext. 318 or visit jcajax.org/jcafest.

JFCS BOARD FOCUS: CHRISTEN LUIKART

By Donna O'Steen, Jewish Family & Community Services

Christen Luikart is a partner at the law firm of Murphy & Anderson, P.A. located in historic San Marco. She is an experienced litigation attorney who has handled over 70 jury

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trials, bench trials, and arbitrations, including a recent full defense verdict as lead defense counsel. Whether handling a case on behalf of a Fortune 500 company or a local business owner, Christen is dedicated to reaching the most successful resolution possible for her clients. Christen attended law school at the University of Florida, where her strong advocacy and writing skills earned her honors and a position as a teaching assistant for legal research and writing and for appellate advocacy. Christen served as a member of the Attorney General Staff for the University of Florida

Student Honor Court and as an Ambassador to Law School and the Legal Profession. While in law school, she volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House and Habitat for Humanity. Her performance in law school, along with her dedication and community involvement, earned her the Presidential Award for Outstanding Contributions at UF. She has been selected by her peers as a “Florida Trend’s Legal Elite” and previously as an “Up and Comer”. She was also named a Florida Super Lawyer (2017-present) and Florida Super Lawyer Rising Star (2016). In 2019,

Christen received the Unsung Shero and Hero Award from the Women’s Center of Jacksonville for “quietly making a positive difference in the lives of women” in the local community. Christen is originally from New Port Richey, Florida. She moved to Gainesville and obtained her Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees at the University of Florida on a full academic scholarship. When she is not working, Christen enjoys being outdoors, traveling, and spending time with her husband and children.


COMMUNITY

By Rabbi Yaakov Fisch, Etz Chaim Synagogue

As with almost every area in life, the COVID season has upended congregational life. Our synagogue deeply values both the cherished values of public health and safety and offering the community a platform for communal prayer. Our shul has been open for weekday and Shabbat services since June and updated our protocols on a weekly basis by our COVID taskforce. Our task force is comprised of lay leaders, physicians, and rabbis as we constantly assess and formulate policies paying close attention to our

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

FAITH & INSPIRATION cherished values. With the High Holidays, our taskforce spent an extraordinary amount of time planning a schedule of in-person services that would be meaningful but not compromise on safety in any way. The recommendations that are taskforce put forward were for us to have three separate minyanim in different locations that would allow for appropriate social distancing. Most seats were marked off in the main sanctuary and only those unmarked were able to be occupied. The only people allowed to sit next to each other were folks from the same household. Mandatory

registration was required and everyone was assigned a seat in advance. Our Sephardic Minyan was located in our social hall to allow for more social distancing and its service was enhanced with all the special Sephardic customs and tunes enabling the men and women to pray and connect in their own heritage. There was an outdoor minyan that was located mediately adjacent to the building. We rented a tent from an event company that was outfitted with special fans to enable for better ventilation. All congregeants were required to wear masks the entire time and that included the outdoor minyan.

There were staggered start and end times for the three minyanim to arrive and depart at different times. With the three minyanim our Rabbis and Chazzanim were floating between the various location to be a resource for all those who came to participate in services. We are very grateful to all the community members who participated in our services and demonstrated that we were able to have a season of uplifting prayers that were meaningful and inspirational while not compromising public health and safety.

BONO’S PIT BAR-B-Q PRESENTS "SAUL & RUBY, TO LIFE" AT JCA JEWISH CULTURAL ARTS FESTIVAL OPENING

By Lior Spring, Jewish Community Alliance

The JCA Jewish Cultural Arts Festival opens Sunday, November 1 with Saul and Ruby, To Life!, a documentary about a pair of sprightly Holocaust survivors who bring their tuneful call for peace and healing from their assisted living facilities in South Florida to the rest of the world’s stage. This uniquely uplifting tribute to the human spirit is sponsored by Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q and Kirsten and Josh Martino. Thanks to their generosity, the film’s beloved stars, Saul Dreier and Ruby

Sosnowicz, will participate in a live question and answer session via Zoom and play a sampling of their beautiful music at 7 pm on November 1. The festival continues through November 17 with a wide variety of author events and films; a diverse array beyond the scope of what has been previously offered due to the virtual format. Festival books are on sale now at San Marco Books and More—1971 San Marco Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207. The JCA has partnered with San Marco Books and More as our festival bookseller. You may purchase visiting

author books in-store or by visiting http://bit.ly/ JCAFest2020. With each book sold, San Marco Books and More will generously donate to the JCA Jewish Cultural Arts Festival. You may ship books (costs apply) or opt for free, in-store pick up. Festival events are free and open to the entire community thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and supporters. This year’s festival proceeds will also support a year of cultural arts programming at the JCA. Visit jcajax.org/jcafest to donate and learn more about the exciting lineup of events. Advance registration

is required to 730-2100 ext. 228. Links to all programs will be provided one-week prior to each event. Contact Lior Spring at lior.spring@jcajax.org for additional information about the festival. JCA WISHES TO THANK JEWISH CULTURAL ARTS FESTIVAL SPONSORS:

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L’DOR V’DOR F A M I LY, E D U C A T I O N A N D S E N I O R L I V I N G

NEW BIRTHDAY TRADITIONS IN THE CLASSROOM

By Rachael Ledesma, Jewish Community Alliance

It used to be celebrating a birthday in the classroom meant decorating a party hat and eating cupcakes with your classmates. However, I recently found a new way of celebrating that is much more meaningful to the child. One thing that makes it so special is that the celebration includes the family as well. Several weeks before a child has a birthday, I send the family an email asking for pictures from each year of their child’s life with a small description or cute story about their child for each given year. Parents are

more than happy to partake in this. On the day of the student’s birthday we all sit in a circle. In the middle of the circle is a sun we made and painted as a class with a flameless candle. I give the birthday child a globe for them to carry. We sing a song about how the Earth goes around the sun as the child walks and takes a trip around the sun. Before each trip around the sun, we share their photos and stories. We learn a lot more about each student and it makes them feel very special on their big day. After, we take all the photos and descriptions sent by the family and make a book that will be displayed

in the classroom. This ritual fosters Brit, which is a sense of belonging and commitment. It allows us to partner with the families and is a way for them to feel involved in the classroom. It also gives each child a sense of belonging and it honors their individuality. Rachael Ledesma is a kindergarten teacher at Michele Block Gan Yeladim Preschool & Kindergarten and

has taught at the school since 2004.

TORAH ACADEMY CELEBRATES SUKKOT

Torah Academy preschoolers build model sukkahs out of legos and magnatiles. 18

Kindergarteners symbolically throw away their sins during tashlich.


L’DOR V’DOR

F A M I LY, E D U C A T I O N A N D S E N I O R L I V I N G

GET READY FOR MITZVAH DAY!

By Rhoda Goldstein, Jacksonville Jewish Center

POSITIVELY

Yours

Safely tucked away on 40 acres in Mandarin is a special place that many people call home, including June & Steve Meinstein. After 32 years trekking from Upstate NY to Jacksonville each year, these snowbirds traded in their tire chains for bike pumps. Their 30-year history with River Garden has culminated in an active lifestyle at The Coves for nearly four years.

Do a Mitzvah and have a great day outdoors at the same time! This year on our list of things to do and ways to help will be at 12 of Jacksonville’s parks. You can help by picking up trash and while you and your family and friends are there, you can enjoy the park’s amenities and enjoy a picnic lunch. Parks will be listed on Sign Up Genius at the beginning of December and you will be able to sign up for your park. Some of the other things that we will be doing is helping JFCS by collecting toothbrushes and toothpaste

for children going into foster care. We will be making pillowcases for children who are here in our community hospitals. We will be delivering baskets of prepackaged snacks to our first responders. During this year of COVID, we will be changing some of the things that we have done for the past several years. Watch for information on more opportunities that will be available for this year’s Mitzvah Day. For more information, please contact Rhoda Goldstein at rhodagoldstein@ hotmail.com or by calling at 904-268-8124.

ADVANCED CURRICULIM TAUGHT WITH COMPASSION AND ENTHUSIASM. When students enjoy learning, more learning occurs. Bolles.org

Visit RiverGarden.org or call (904) 260 .1818

ALL THINGS POSSIBLE Pre-K through Grade 12, Day & Boarding School

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Save the date!

JOIN US FOR THE 4TH ANNUAL *1ST OUTDOOR*

LATKES & VODKAS SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12TH 8:00 IN THE EVENING AT THE JACKSONVILLE JEWISH CENTER Everyone is invited to attend (21 & up) * $36 per person * $20 for young adults * 20


NOSH ON THIS SHARING

RECIPES

SWEET-AND-SOUR POTTED MEATBALLS By Leah Koenig, The Jewish Cookbook

From The Jewish Cookbook by Leah Koenig, featured guest speaker at this year’s Women’s Philanthropy Champagne Brunch on January 10, 2021. Ashkenazi Jews typically serve these meatballs as an appetizer or as hors d’oeuvres at a wedding. But served over rice, they make a lovely weeknight or Shabbat main dish as well. Old World cooks relied on sour salt (citric acid crystals) to give the tomato sauce its mouth-puckering tang but red wine vinegar makes a fine substitute that is more suited to the contemporary palate. Serves: 6 | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

For the sauce: 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 large onion 1 can (15 oz/425g) tomato sauce (seasoned passata) 1 tablespoon tomato paste (puree) 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar ½ cup (60g) light brown sugar 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper For the meatballs: 2 lb (90 g) ground (minced) beef 1 medium onion, grated on the large holes of a box grater 1 egg, lightly beaten ½ cup (70 g) dried breadcrumbs or matzo meal ½ teaspoon garlic powder 1½ teaspoons kosher salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

PREPARATION

1. Make the sauce: In a Dutch oven (casserole) or large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, 6-8 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce (seasoned passata), ½ cup (120 ml/4 fl oz) water, the tomato paste (puree), vinegar, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then taste and add more salt, if desired. Remove from the heat. 2. Make the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the beef, onion (with any juices), egg, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and mix well to combine. 3. Place the saucepan back over medium heat. Scoop out rounded tablespoons of the meat mixture, form into balls, and nestle in the sauce. (It is okay if not all of the meatballs fit under the sauce.) Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer the meatballs, gently stirring once or twice, until cooked through, 30-35 minutes. Serve the meatballs hot with sauce spooned on top.

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IT’S YOUR BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT ON JEWISH-OWNED BUSINESSES

MARGO'S CATERING Since 1973, my family has owned and operated Margo’s Catering, a Kosher caterer that began in my mother Margo Ruby’s home on the Southside of Jacksonville. Over the years, my parents Margo and Stanley employed all four of their children, and catered for many dignitaries including President Bill Clinton, Shimon Peres, the current President of Israel, Skitch Henderson, Benny Goodman and numerous celebrities throughout Northeast Florida and Southern Georgia. I’ve worked with my mother since I was a teenager. My wife Catrina and I were honored to continue her legacy when she retired in 2012. While I specialize in creating buffet designs, one-of-a-kind fruit sculptures and menu creations, Catrina is our head pastry chef, baking delectable confections from homemade chocolate chip cookies to three-tiered wedding cakes. She is also the kitchen and office manager. Together, we execute the simplest events to the most elegant. In addition to catering, we offer full-service event design and coordination. Our Certified Wedding and

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By Andrew Ruby

Special Event Planner and daughter, Jessica Ruby Levine (Margo's granddaughter) provides our clients with peace of mind that every detail has been carefully addressed. After earning her BFA in Stage Management from the University of Central Florida, Jessica moved back to her hometown to work as a project manager for a special event production company. While there, she focused primarily on weddings and social events. Jessica's services include full event planning, décor services, and coordination

packages. How have we adapted since the pandemic? Since the middle of March, many events that were booked had to be cancelled or postponed. We have been able to cater smaller events, like a wedding for 24, office boxed lunches, summer camp lunches and in-house staff meetings. However, most of our business has turned into take-out, whether it be a random weeknight dinner, Shabbat dinners or Holiday meals. We are grateful that the Dubow Preschool and Martin J. Gottlieb Day School

have reopened. One of our focuses now is our school lunch and snack program for our kids. The way we serve these meals has changed to keep our kids safe yet still provide them with a healthy Kosher lunch. On August 1, 2020, Margo’s Catering quietly celebrated our 20th Anniversary as the Jacksonville Jewish Center’s exclusive Kosher caterer. We hope to celebrate this monumental simcha with our community once this pandemic is over. We are eternally grateful not only to


IT'S YOUR BUSINESS

•

SPOTLIGHT ON JEWISH-OWNED BUSINESSES

my mother for allowing us the opportunity to continue her legacy, but the entire Jewish community for always supporting our family for over 47 years. We hope to continue for many years to come. Our family has deep roots in the Jacksonville Jewish Community and the Federation has rooted itself into our lives and hearts. The Federation is a pillar to our community as it not only helps the Jewish community but other communities in Jacksonville and beyond. We all support each other. It is the key to keeping us all together and connected. We love being a part of the big picture.

The DuBow Preschool & Martin J. Gottlieb Day School's plan for a safe school environment allows for a"five-day, full-day" educational experience for all our students with the flexibility for at-home learning should that be YOUR choice. There are a limited number of spots across 1-year old - 8th grade. Please contact our Head of School, Tina Silva, to learn more at tsilva@dubowgottlieb.org, (904) 268-4200 or visit our website at www.dubowgottlieb.org.

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NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE

NATIVE SUN NATURAL FOODS MARKET By Aaron Gottlieb

Think Globally. Act Locally. When I was a kid, I bought a shirt from a local business that said, “Think Globally, Act Locally.” That statement means more to me now than ever before. Big Box stores and online giants have reaped financial benefits from the pandemic while local businesses like ours struggled to creatively find new ways to keep the doors open for just a few more days. Small business owners took risks, such as applying for loans when they didn’t know if they would be in business long 24

enough to pay them back. Life was, and still is, difficult for the local businesses that make our community feel like home. As the owner of Native Sun, I know what it feels like when outside businesses come into our community and are the “new shiny toy”. Using seemingly endless resources, they move in, undercut prices, and wait out the demise of those that make our community unique. Although some of the players in our particular space have failed, they took out Native Sun in the process,

and there are countless other businesses in jeopardy right now. Between the challenges presented by COVID-19 and corporate invasion, it is tough to keep our heads up as we work to provide quality offerings for our community. Fortunately for us, an outpouring of support helped us to reopen our Beaches location. I wanted to help bring all that is great in our community under one roof, and create a local hub in our newly reopened store. When the pandemic came into our lives, the team at Native

Sun fast-tracked our mission and began calling our friends around town to see how we could work together. For months, we have been working hard at Native Sun to Think Globally and Act Locally, partnering with dozens of local restaurants and artisans to sell what we refer to as "The Best of Jax." As more national mega-brands move into the area at a time when your neighbors are struggling, I believe it is time to make a bold statement and act upon it: Buy Local, or Bye-Bye Local.


IT'S YOUR BUSINESS

As local businesses, we pay taxes, support local art, music, youth sports and much more. We are here for our customers because we are literally your neighbors. We want what's best for our community because we live in it, work in it, and raise our families in it. That's a far cry from large outside companies who provide products to your homes but pay little or no taxes or siphon millions out of our local economy. Life is slowly returning to normal for so many, but hundreds of thousands of small businesses are now in immediate jeopardy, including many here in

•

SPOTLIGHT ON JEWISH-OWNED BUSINESSES

our area. It has taken years for us to build our community of diverse small businesses, but we can lose so much of what makes it unique in a matter of months. Know that each dollar you spend in a local business is a vote for what you want your neighborhood to look like. We want our local business scene to look the same or better post-COVID as it did pre-COVID. I urge you to support

ALL local businesses at this time, and thank you for all of your support! Aaron Gottlieb is the owner of Native Sun

Natural Foods Market, a community grocer for the past 23 years. The store is located at 1585 3rd Street North in Jacksonville Beach.

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Introducing Jacksonville’s newest Family Law firm. It’s made up of two of Jacksonville’s oldest Family Law Firms.

(from left) Jonathan Zisser, Carolyn Zisser, Elliot Zisser

Jacksonville has a new, even more skilled, Family Law firm — Zisser Family Law. Two of the regions most accomplished, pioneering firms have combined to help clients transition through their most difficult family conflicts and related Criminal Law issues.

Zisser Law and Zisser Family Law. Not a standard practice, just the highest standards.®

The new Zisser Family Law has greater depth and now even more experience to provide expert solutions in the most complex cases. *

904.353.3222 | zisserfamilylaw.com


WOMEN

W

"WHAT I LOVE ABOUT GIVING TO FEDERATION IS I CAN SEE WHERE MY MONEY GOES. THEY DO A GREAT JOB OF SHOWING THE IMPACT OF MY GIFT." Sophie Rothstein, Young Professionals and Families Steering Committee Member

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hen it comes to giving, women are the influencers for philanthropic giving within their household. According to the IUPUI Women’s Philanthropy Institute Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, across income levels and generations, women are more likely to give, and give more than their male counterparts. Women also seek an emotional connection, using their philanthropy as a way to connect with other women who share their values and beliefs, and to be a role model for their family. Throughout the Jewish Federation system, women began to put into action in how they give years ago, culminating in a movement that created the Lion of Judah recognition level ($5,000 and above) in 1972. Since then, thousands of women around the world have given their money, their energy and time to Federation. Here in Northeast Florida, there are 104 Lions of Judah, 36 women on the Women’s Philanthropy Steering Committee, and nearly 1,000 female donors. It is inspiring to hear how and why women have chosen to be involved with our Jewish Federation and Foundation. Women’s Philanthropy Lion of Judah Chair Diane Rothstein became involved when she moved to Jacksonville 33 years ago from New Jersey. Diane had great role models in her own parents, who gave generously throughout her life. When she arrived in Northeast Florida, she became involved because she admired the women who were

“Who run the world (girls)” —Beyonce

BACK

working with the organization for their commitment, and she liked being with them. She could see that women were working together to make the world a better place (tikkun olam), she could participate in philanthropy at a greater level, and she could do greater good, for both Jacksonville and Jews around the world. While she and husband Mitch were raising their three children, Adam, Sophie and Nina, it was important to them to continue the tradition, L’dor V’dor, of community involvement and philanthropy. They wanted their children to grow up with strong Jewish values and an appreciation for mitzvot. For their Bar/Bat Mitzvah projects it was important to Diane and Mitch to incorporate their centerpieces into their project as well as give 25% of their gift money to a charity. This helped their children begin a tradition of giving. Sophie, now an attorney in Jacksonville, is following her mother’s example by her membership on the Young Professionals and Families Steering Committee, participating in the Bridges Leadership Initiative, and by making a first-time gift in her own name. “It resonates for me the importance of charitable giving. It may not always be easy or convenient, but it is so important. What I love about giving to Federation is I can see where my money goes; Federation does a great job of showing the impact of my gift.” Philanthropic giving is not just about donating money. Being involved also means giving of one’s time and talent. There are many ways to engage, through mitzvah


By Lauren Rickoff, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida

projects and committee work. For instance, Women’s Philanthropy recently collected feminine products which were distributed to Jewish Family and Community Services and PACE Center for Girls Jacksonville. Earlier this year, they refurbished three visitation rooms at JFCS, among many other projects throughout the years. Currently, there are over 30 women on the planning committee for the 2021 Women’s Philanthropy Champagne Brunch. These women are the key to any event success. Today, the top two leaders of the Federation are women, Iris Kraemer is the president of the board and Jennifer Plotkin is the annual campaign chair. These women are influencing the Jewish community, bringing new projects and change that will help shape our community for years to come. Together they have over 30 years of involvement with our Federation and want to see our community continue to grow and thrive. “My Federation involvement began 15 years ago, shortly after I went on a mission to Poland and Israel,” says Iris Kraemer. “I served as local chair of our P2G program and then SE Consortium co-chair. I now have the honor of serving as Federation president. Although I am only the third woman to serve in this position, gender is no longer a factor in leadership advancement. Female leaders are prevalent inside and outside the world of Jewish philanthropy, both in volunteer and professional capacities. I will be followed by both female and male leaders who qualify based on experience. Most of us will leave our positions with life-changing perspectives and continued commitment.”

Iris is also a member of the National Women’s Philanthropy Board, bringing home to Northeast Florida ideas from around the country. Through National Women’s Philanthropy, we can offer more exclusive programming locally such as speakers who are involved at the highest political and professional levels. Currently, National Women’s Philanthropy is running a Current Event Series for Lions of Judah and recently, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright addressed the group via Zoom. In addition, there are monthly book and author reviews and various upcoming opportunities to participate. Locally, Women’s Philanthropy is hosting their annual Champagne Brunch on Sunday, January 10 with cookbook author, Leah Koenig. It is another way for women to show the power of their involvement. Kraemer is proud of what we’ve accomplished locally, “Women's Philanthropy segments of Federations are often the driving force behind engagement and successful annual campaigns, the two pillars that enable us to care for the entire Jewish world. The Lion of Judah campaign has proven to be the most successful fundraising program in history, and we must continue building on anything that yields success. I believe that those who support and work for Federations should do so in a way that makes them feel best about the roles they play, regardless of demographics. All are warmly and enthusiastically welcome to join us in the ways that are most meaningful to them.”

"FEMALE LEADERS ARE PREVALENT INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE WORLD OF JEWISH PHILANTHROPY, BOTH IN VOLUNTEER AND PROFESSIONAL CAPACITIES." Iris Kraemer, President of the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida.

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I

YOUR TIME TO OTHERS WITHOUT

t’s the most wonderful time of the year, as the saying goes. How could you not look forward to the chilly weather, the smell of fall in the air and decorations for Chanukah and Christmas at every turn? For some, the holiday can be upsetting. It can leave people lonely and depressed. It can take a toll on your emotional wellness and has been widely reported to lead to suicide, drug and alcohol use, and domestic abuse. Many times, when things are going well, we take the happiness and bustle of the holidays for granted, not considering what others might be going through—if they are going through anything at all. We don’t think about those who may not be able to celebrate the holidays because they may not have a family to call their own, they’ve lost someone close to them during the holiday season, or they are in the middle of marital discord and just cannot bring themselves to celebrate. We never know what others are experiencing. There are many ways to combat the holiday blues: 1. VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME Find a cause that you are passionate about. Many non profits are busy during the holiday season and are looking for assistance from volunteers. Whether it is helping at a local food pantry or volunteering to raise money for a charity, volunteer opportunities can provide several important things: CONNECTION If you are feeling lonely, depressed and isolated, volunteering can connect you to people and community interested in the same thing—helping a worthwhile cause. CONFIDENCE AND SELF-ESTEEM Research shows that volunteering is particularly useful and can boost your self-esteem and confidence. It gets you

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OUT

out of bed and out the door. By taking this positive action, you are breaking the cycle of negative thoughts and low moods and replacing them with productive behaviors. PHYSICAL HEALTH Studies have shown that volunteering over a long period of time can decrease blood pressure, manage chronic health conditions, help you lose weight and live longer. MENTAL HEALTH Oftentimes, when volunteering, it’s almost impossible not to experience that warm, fuzzy feeling when you know you are doing something that is going to impact someone’s life in a positive (possibly even a life-changing) way. Additionally, volunteering reduces stress and takes our minds off of destructive habits, providing us with a sense of accomplishment and purpose. It makes us feel happy! 2. REACH OUT TO FRIENDS We all experience stress in our daily lives. During the holidays, there is generally added pressure. Sometimes it’s the financial burden. Other times, it could be a myriad of things that add to the stress of the holiday season, including an overextended social calendar, family and relationship drama or the fatigue associated with them. Reaching out to close friends can help ease the stress of this overwhelming time. Sometimes just talking to and spending time with someone is enough to reset the mind and change perspectives. Hanging out with a friend also boosts your mood. 3. EXERCISE REGULARLY The last thing you might want to do when you are facing holiday blues is exercise, but it is so important. Going to the gym regularly can be tough, add into that the stress of the holidays and you have a recipe for disaster if you don’t take


By Donna O'Steen, Jewish Family & Community Services

care of yourself. You don’t have to be a slave to the treadmill or weight machine during this time to feel the benefits exercise can provide. Take a casual walk each night with your dog or with a friend. This break from the stress can provide your mind a reboot and reduce stress to keep holiday blues at bay. The message we all need to keep in mind as the holidays approach is twofold. We must take care of ourselves, while at the same time taking note of our physical and mental health. The holidays are a time of giving and receiving. A time of tzedakah and Tikkun Olam. We give back because it’s our duty and it’s what we are supposed to do, but there is a bonus in the enjoyment in doing so. So why is giving back during the holiday so important? Thinking and doing good for others goes hand-in-hand with

Ghandi’s famous quote, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Each and every one of us are connected in some way. Assisting others is a privilege. It’s a feel-good opportunity to change a life. Giving back gives you something too—it gives you a sense of purpose and satisfaction that you did your part to repair the world. No matter how small the deed is, every little bit makes a big difference. As you give back this year during the holidays, keep in mind that while you are impacting others’ lives that you must take care of yourself as well. In the Jewish tradition of helping people help themselves, remember that everything you do is making the world a better place than when you found it.

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By Jacqueline Witte, Temple Bet Yam

S

BACK THROUGH SOCIAL JUSTICE

ocial Justice is one of the cornerstones of Temple Bet Temple Bet Yam participates in events commemorating the Yam which provides opportunities for Temple mass arrest of 16 Reform rabbis who joined Martin Luther King members to perform good deeds throughout the Jr. in St. Augustine in 1964. We have a presence on the year. Leading Compassionate St. Augustine the program Advisory Board and are co-chairs Community Conversations Andi and Joe Marx along on Race hosted by Grace with their dedicated United Methodist Church. committee. We support Recently, during one of our community organizations Yom Kippur afternoon that are engaged in discussion groups, co-Chair Tikkun Olam, both Jewish Joe Marx hosted a Zoom and non-Jewish. discussion with Grace This belief has United's co-Pastor David developed into a very Williamson to share ideas on strong Social Justice the very relevant topic of community outreach race relations. We also program. Through our partner with the St Dining with Dignity Augustine Interfaith program led by Heather Community Board to Chupella, we have built a present the Interfaith Program co-chairs Andi and Joe Marx strong rapport with St. Thanksgiving service and Paul AME Church to help Interfaith Passover Seder. feed the homeless and indigent in St. Augustine. Before Rabbi Nadia Siritsky leads discussions organized by the Social Covid-19, which put a halt to in-person interactions, our Justice committee which encourage reflections from diverse congregants helped monthly with set up, loading up the van, and community leaders on the spiritual lessons we can glean from serving meals to the clients. Since COVID-19, food is dropped their respective faith traditions, and how these traditions can off at Temple where donations are collected on specific days and help us gain insight into our own Jewish journey. Committee hours and then brought to the church where St. Paul's volunteers member David Kasriel sits on the Advisory Board of the ASSIST prepare the take-out containers. This insures that the needy will program which helps unaccompanied youth in the St. Johns continue to have at least one healthy meal. TBY continues with school district by providing both supplies and mentoring its High Holiday Food drive where non-perishable food is services needed for school. collected to donate to St. Francis House in St. Augustine and/or Through our deep commitment to Social Justice, we present to other needy food banks. Another initiative enthusiastically to our St. Augustine community a better understanding of undertaken by Temple members was to recycle plastic bags into Judaism and our Jewish identity. plarn to be crocheted into waterproof sleeping mats for the homeless in our area. These mats were then donated to Home Again St. Johns.

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A PANDEMIC PUTS

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INTO PERSPECTIVE

uffice it to say, for the past eight months, our lives have been turned upside down. Whether one spends hours on Zoom video calls, finds unique ways to connect with family and friends, or juggles parent and teacher responsibilities, life as we know it has changed dramatically. If you’re like me, your perspective has changed, too. During this pandemic, I’ve had an opportunity to take stock of what’s important, what truly matters in my life and how I can make a difference for others in need. For me, one way to make a difference is working as the new Marketing and Communications Manager for the Jewish Federation & Foundation. The pillars of our mission— Strengthen the Community, Help Those in Need, Support Jewish Life and Learning, and Support Israel & Overseas— speak to my Jewish values and traditions. In addition, by preparing stories and helping to produce our monthly Northeast Florida Jewish Life magazine, I’m able to connect to my Jewish community in a meaningful way. During these difficult times, why does Jewish Life matter more than ever? • It connects us when we feel separated and surrounded by chaos. With Jewish Life, we are not alone. We are all in this

By Mitzi Saul, Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida

together as a community. • It provides news and stories with a Northeast Florida focus while sharing information about our partner agencies, Jewish schools and synagogues. • It demonstrates the need for funding our local and overseas partner agencies. • It lets us know what’s “Worth the Schlep” to attend virtually. • It spotlights local Jewish-owned businesses who may be struggling during this time. Jewish Life is an invaluable resource mailed to more than 4,500 households and distributed throughout the region for no charge to recipients. Who pays for it? Your Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida. We depend on advertising to offset the costs of designing, printing and mailing to our Jewish community. But like other small businesses, Jewish Life is also being negatively impacted by effects of the pandemic. That’s why your help is needed today. Your contribution to the 2021 Annual Campaign makes certain that Jewish Life can continue to matter—more than ever during these turbulent times. Please give generously so Jewish Life remains relevant and sustainable—to all of us and Jewish Northeast Florida. Go to jewishjacksonville.org to make your gift today.

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Thank you Andrea Shlipak Mail For her extraordinary leadership as Momentum’s (formerly JWRP) Board President. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your vision, commitment, and passion and for impacting thousands of Jewish individuals, families, and communities across the world.

With love and admiration, THE MOMENTUM FAMILY

MomentumUnlimited.org

#ItStartsWithWomen


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

Healing Service hosted by Hazzan Holzer (Virtual) November 3, 10, 17 & 24 5:00-6:00pm jaxjewishcenter.org/ engage/full-calendar/ JCA Cultural Arts Festival November 4, 8 & 11 7:00-9:00pm On Nov. 4, the festival presents an evening of compassion and empathy on LGBTQ rights in partnership with JASMYN. Nov. 8 the festival presents three award winning Jewish short films, Nov. 11 is a parenting program featuring Dr. Abigail Gewirtz’s When the World Feels Like a Scary Place. All events are free and open to the entire community thanks to the generosity of our sponsors. For information, contact Lior Spring at 904-730-2100 ext. 318. Your Coffee, Our Torah (Virtual) November 5, 12, 19 & 26 9:30–10:30am Jacksonville Jewish Center Your Coffee, Our Torah with Rabbi Jonathan Lubliner: jaxjewishcenter. org/engage/full-calendar/ Virtual Kabbalat Shabbat Under Ground November 6, 13, 20 & 27 6:00-7:00 pm jaxjewishcenter.org/ engage/full-calendar

Shoobee Doobee Shabbat (Virtual) November 6, 13, 20 & 27 10:00-11:00 am Jacksonville Jewish Center Visit https://www. jaxjewishcenter.org/ engage/full-calendar/ Zoom link. Virtual Jewish Spirituality Retreat November 8 9:00 am-5:00 pm Virtual Jewish Spirituality Retreat, presented by NESHAMA/The Jewish Meditation Community of Jacksonville. The day will include meditation, yoga, chanting and more – all within a Jewish framework. Open to anyone currently practicing and to those who want to learn about Jewish Meditation. For Zoom link, contact gailsgreenfield@gmail. com Coping with Loss (Virtual) November 11 & 25 3:00-4:00 pm jaxjewishcenter.org/ engage/full-calendar/ Honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Legacy Rooted in Jewish Tradition (Virtual) November 12 7:00 pm Dr. Barbara Oberlander will present a program remembering and honoring Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with an

emphasis on how her Jewish values played an important role in her legacy. RSVP jacksonvillehadassah@ gmail.com 28th Annual River Garden Foundation No-Go Gala November 14 For more information on how you can participate in our "No-Go Gala" please visit our website at rivergarden. org/rivergarden-foundation/ river-garden-gala/ or call Kathy Osterer at 904.886.8430

Jacksonville Kollel Youth Professionals November 15 Learn about our upcoming programs, contact Joey Hamaoui at (305) 764-7212 or JoeyHamaoui@ jacksonvillekollel.com Managing Diabetes: Making Food the Solution Not the Problem (Virtual) November 17 1:00 pm Join in on a discussion with Functional Nutrition Registered Dietitian, Stacy Seslowky, and Elaine Bergstrom, a Type

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NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE 1 diabetic. Learn how making good food choices impacts everyone's overall health. Great information for those with diabetes as well as anyone interested in eating healthier. Register at programregistrar@jcajax. org Financial Literacy: Mortgages 101 (Virtual) November 18 7:00-8:00 pm Join us for a crash course in home buying! Together with local realtors, we will address the different types of mortgages and loans, as well as common myths associated with mortgages. Register at events.idonate.com/ mortgages101

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Sisterhood Hot Topic November 18 11:30 am-1:30 pm Jacksonville Jewish Center in Lobby 1/2 of Setzer Social Hall jaxjewishcenter.org/ engage/full-calendar/

Morning Services (Virtual) M-Th & Su November 7:10 am Jacksonville Jewish Center jaxjewishcenter.org/ engage/full-calendar/

SAVE THE DATE FOR THESE UPCOMING JEWISH FEDERATION & FOUNDATION OF NORTHEAST FLORIDA EVENTS:

It’s Not Just for Women, The Big C (Virtual) November 19 7:00-8:00 pm What do I do and who should I turn to? Tune in to learn about genetic testing and steps to follow after diagnosis. Register at events. idonate.com/ SOHNov2020

Evening Services M-Th & Su in November 5:15-5:45 pm Jacksonville Jewish Center In person and virtual services jaxjewishcenter. org/engage/full-calendar/

January 10 Women's Philanthropy Champagne Brunch

December 14 Major Gifts Event

February 18 A Night Out In with Federation


SEE AND BE SCENE THROUGH THE LENS IN NORTHEAST FLORIDA

Laura Platzer & Leslie Held educate & entertain in the sukkah at River Garden.

River Garden staff Jenny, Lisa, Ernestine & Sarah prepare for a busy week ahead: Helping residents prepare for voting is just one of the tasks at-hand.

Patsy Kinney helps decorate the sukkah.

Janice Hayflick & Samantha Derrick at River Garden show up in look-a-like pants. 37


NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE

TOP: Ladies of The Coves are now able to join small group exercises, with proper physical distancing, of course. Pictured here: Marcia Kleiman, Debby Katz, Alberta Marks, Louise Leve, Lottie Smith and June Meinstein.

BOTTOM: Lisa Poremba, Life Enrichment Director, takes a selfie with Steve Meinstein, avid bicyclist and member of The Coves.

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SEE AND BE SCENE

•

THROUGH THE LENS IN NORTHEAST FLORIDA Jean Pozin turned 100 on Yom Kippur. She has six children who all live in Jacksonville; Marcia and Dan Weinstock, Fred and Wendy Pozin, Arnel Pozin, Elaine (Zissy) Pozin, Jan Pozin and Dawna Berlin. Plus 12 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren!

The Marcus family enjoys their dinner under the sukkah at the JCA, “It was great! A very much needed respite. Thank you so much for offering the opportunity!

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NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE Torah Academy students assisted Rabbi Avi Schochet of Etz Chaim Synagogue to prepare the lulavs and etrogs for the community.

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SEE AND BE SCENE

THROUGH THE LENS IN NORTHEAST FLORIDA

The Bernard & Alice Selevan Religious School prepared for Sukkot by making beautiful decorations for the Goldman Sukkah at the Jacksonville Jewish Center. Our families then celebrated Sukkot in style at our annual “Pizza in the Hut” program, both in-person and online. Participants in both programs enjoyed a variety of activities including Sukkot Bingo, shaking the lulav and etrog, building model Sukkot, and storytelling. We even played a game to learn some of the rules for building a kosher Sukkah. A great time was had by all! Contact info@basrs.org for more information.

Pool noodles make great garlands for the Sukkah

We shake the lulav and etrog up, down, and all around!

Learning rules for building a kosher Sukkah.

41


NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE

More lulav and etrog in the Sukkah.

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Upcycling CDs as Sukkah decorations.

Getting creative as we build model Sukkot.


SEE AND BE SCENE

•

THROUGH THE LENS IN NORTHEAST FLORIDA

Jacksonville Jewish Center Tashikh at the Beach & Tashikh at Mandarin Park were enjoyed by many families the week between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. People arrived by land and boat to participate in this age old tradition.

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NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE Several generous mask wearers were seen around town sporting their branded Jewish Federation & Foundation masks for last month's challenge. Pictured clockwise: Jewish Federation & Foundation Board Member Jeanine Rogozinski at JCA; Board Member and local Lion, Barry and Eunice Zisser; Board Member Michael Setzer at Midtown Table; and Board Member Erik Rostholder at Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar.

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SEE AND BE SCENE

•

THROUGH THE LENS IN NORTHEAST FLORIDA

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NORTHEAST FLORIDA JEWISH LIFE Women’s Philanthropy held a month long collection for it’s Dignity Project, a program that collects feminine products for women and girls. Throughout the month of September, thousands of individual products, including tampons, pads, and deodorant were collected locally and even throughout the country via an Amazon Wishlist. The recipients were Jewish Family and Community Services and PACE Center for Girls Jacksonville.

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COMMUNITY RESOURCES HELP ACROSS NORTHEAST FLORIDA 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

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.

Love to shop? We need grocery shoppers until the end of 2020. Sign up today to volunteer grocery shop for our community's Coves residents at River Garden.

Easy sign up: signupgenius.com/go/8050A4FA9AA2BABF49-coves Where: Publix, 11250 Old St Augustine Rd. When: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10:30 am If you have any questions, please email Faye Hedrick at fayeh@jewishjacksonville.org.

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 is now using a Lyft product called Concierge, to arrange rides on behalf of its clients, including the ability to schedule rides up to a week in advance. Lyft has also partnered with GreatCall, a senior focused cell phone company, to help seniors without the smart phone app. Anyone using a Jitterbug phone can now press ‘0’ and arrange a ride with the company. To learn more or schedule rides, contact Nicole Brown at 904-394-5724

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.

JFCS, in partnership with Margos 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.

Become a Jewish Healing Network volunteer at JFCS and help us fulfill the mitzvah of Bikkur Cholim. 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 904-394-5722

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! 47


FESTIVAL OPENING NIGHT SUN, NOVEMBER 1

FILM: SAUL AND RUBY, TO LIFE! USA – 2019 – 80 MIN – DOCUMENTARY

A pair of sprightly Holocaust survivors bring their tuneful call for peace and healing from assisted living facilities in Florida to the world stage, in this uniquely uplifting tribute to the human spirit. The film’s beloved stars, Saul Dreier and Ruby Sosnowicz, will participate in a Q&A and play music at 7 pm via Zoom.

Discover Culture Films Posters 2020.indd 1

9/29/2020 3:47:08 PM

Advance registration required to 730-2100 ext. 228. Links will be emailed out one week prior to the program.

For more information, contact Lior Spring at 904-730-2100 ext. 318 or lior.spring@jcajax.org. Donate online at jcajax.org/jcafest.

Sponsored by:

AND JOSH & KIRSTEN MARTINO

ENGAGEMENT AND CONNECTION FOR THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY!

Profile for Northeast Florida Jewish Life Magazine

November Edition - Northeast Florida Jewish Life Magazine  

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