Here's what's happening around the neighborhood with our Congregants and their families!

Yasher koach to Les Oppenheim (and Catering by Les) for winning the “Golden Latke” award competition on November 29, 2018, at Vi at Aventura, a senior living community. Local delis and top area caterers presented their signature latkes and were judged by a panel of local media representatives and community leaders. Vi at Aventura residents donated $500 to Les' charity of choice. Watch video

Karen & Alan Serure served as Co-Chairs of the UM Hillel Casino Night on November 29, 2018 at University of Miami Hillel: Braman Miller Center for Jewish Student Life, 1100 Stanford Drive, Coral Gables. The Braman Miller Center is a hub for innovation, social entrepreneurship and celebration of Jewish life at the University of Miami. It is a leading venue for engaging and thoughtful conversations, renowned guest speakers, hands-on workshops and international conferences. Alan serves on the UM Hillel Board of Directors.

Congratulations to Frank D. Marks, Sc.D., who has been honored with NOAA's Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Dr. Daniel L. Albritton Outstanding Science Communicator Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in communicating the meaning and value of NOAA-related science and research to non-scientific audiences. Director of the Hurricane Research Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Frank was cited for outstanding communication of NOAA research and its relevance to the American public. His work to advance the state of tropical cyclone knowledge has fostered improvements in ground-based, airborne and spaceborne radar technology, data analysis and numerical modeling. His role as Co-Chair of the NOAA Hurricane Irene Service Assessment team has contributed to increased interaction between stakeholders and the storm-affected public, as well as the development of recommendations for NOAA and NWS to improve communications of the risks to our customers.

Rebecca & Arnaud Karsenti served as Chairs of The Pacesetter Event of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, December 13, 2018 at the Hilton Miami Downtown. Headlining the event was Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D., renowned lecturer and New York Times-bestselling author. The Pacesetter Event is one of the most important yearly gatherings for the annual Greater Miami Jewish Federation/UJA Campaign, and raises millions of dollars to support vital social services in Miami, in Israel and around the world.

William C. Sussman, Esq. was honored by Legal Services of Greater Miami with its "Legal Justice Pro Bono Small-Solo Firm Award" at a reception at City National Bank in Coral Gables on October 25, 2018. Legal Services of Greater Miami provides free civil legal services for the low-income communities of Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties and is recognized as one of the most outstanding legal services programs. Bill is a longtime volunteer at Temple Beth Am, providing comfort to patients and their families through visitation to local area hospitals.

From October 14–19, 2018, a delegation of 20 American congregational rabbis met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem to discuss ways of mending relations, which have come under unprecedented strain in recent years. The mission was organized with the help of Ron Dermer, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States in Washington, D.C., who was born and raised in Miami Beach. In an effort to resolve a crisis with Reform and Conservative Jews in the United States, the Israeli government decided to bypass the movements’ leadership and reached out directly to congregational rabbis viewed as less critical of its policies. The participants spent four days meeting with Netanyahu, as well as in discussions with Michael Oren, a Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, and with opposition leader Tzipi Livni. Representing South Florida were (from left): Rabbi Fred Klein, Executive Vice President of the Rabbinical Association of Greater Miami; Judith L. Siegal, Senior Rabbi of Temple Judea in Coral Gables; and our own Jeremy Barras, Senior Rabbi of Temple Beth Am, Pinecrest. Read more

Yasher koach to the Mendelson Family — including Lisa & Victor Mendelson — who will be honored by AJC Miami and Broward at its 2018 National Human Relations Award Dinner on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at 6:00 pm at Jungle Island, Miami. They are being honored for their good works in the community and beyond, and for their generosity of spirit. Among the Dinner Chairs and Co-Chairs are Aaron S. Podhurst, and Yolanda & Jeffrey Berkowitz. AJC is the leading global Jewish advocacy organization, with 33 offices worldwide, plus partnerships with 36 international Jewish community organizations.

Pamela Lear, immediate Past President of Sisterhood of Temple Beth Am, was installed on October 20, 2018 as VP/Marketing of the Women of Reform Judaism Southeast District for 2018–19. WRJ Southeast held its Biennial Conference at the Miami Marriott Dadeland October 18–21, 2018. WRJ, established in 1913, is the women's affiliate of the Union for Reform Judaism, the central body of Reform Judaism in North America, and now represents more than 65,000 women in nearly 500 women's groups in North America, Israel and around the world.

The Miami Herald published an article on October 20, 2018 about Brock Osweiler, who replaced Ryan Tannehill as Miami Dolphins quarterback — "The Mind of Brock: How a national punching bag put together the game of his life." Quoted in the article was Bill Aronson (left), a former military psychologist who now teaches sports and development psychology at FIU. "Osweiler is a special case, a lot of people would bail out and quit,” Bill said. “He’s able to hang in there. He has intrinsic motivation.” He has followed Osweiler’s up-and-down career since the beginning, and believes the quarterback has an innate inner strength that has been bolstered by supportive family, teammates and coaches. “He’s learned from those losses and those cuts and excelled.”

Above (from left), Jack Young, Joaquin Levy and Danny Lang were featured in a CBS4 Miami news report.

A group of BAFTY 78 students teamed up with the Miami Dolphins Football Unites Captains Program and Feeding South Florida to pack boxes of food to help the 700,000 people who go to bed hungry in South Florida each night. Football Unites is a diversity and inclusion initiative that brings school students from various backgrounds together once a month for a day of learning about tolerance, acceptance and leadership. Roughly six dozen students participated in the event on October 9, 2018. Among our BAFTY 78 team were Danny Lang, son of Beth & Chad Lang, Joaquin Levy, son of Nancy & Adam Levy, and Jack Young, son of Marisa & Josh Young. Click here to watch news report

   Baptist Health South Florida embarked on a promotional campaign in October 2018 — "Embrace tomorrow by getting your mammogram today" — featuring two congregants who are survivors of breast cancer. Interviews with Rabbi Rachel Greengrass and Jodi Mazer are used in a compelling video, and their images and comments are part of a series of full-page newspaper ads. We are so proud that they have shared their personal stories to help others in the community to be proactive in seeking preventative measures. Click here to view video

Les Standiford, founding director of Florida International University's MFA program, has been named recipient of the 2018 recipient of FIU's President’s Council Worlds Ahead Faculty Award. The award recognizes faculty who engage in significant research, partnership or creative initiatives that make an impact in their field, in the community and/or the world, and demonstrate distinguished leadership within the university, the profession and the larger community.

During Senior Game Day on August 2, 2018 at the Palmetto Bay Library's Edward and Arlene Feller Community Room, one of the guests was Logan Spiegelman, a junior at Miami Palmetto Senior High School. Logan — son of Danielle & Mark Spiegelman — was there to help seniors with their tech devices as well as with the Internet and social media. His project, "Log-On," endorsed by the Village of Palmetto Bay, is designed to help seniors who are having trouble with new technology. Pictured at left, Logan helps a senior with her tablet. Read article in Pinecrest Tribune

Amid fake gunfire, hostage and checkpoint scenarios, first aid training and defense techniques, journalists from all over the world received a one-of-a-kind safety training to prepare them for any situation they might face out in the field. The Miami-Dade County training July 24–26, 2018 was funded by the Steven Sotloff Memorial 2Lives Foundation, whose mission is to provide scholarships to those seeking careers in journalism. Shirley & Art Sotloff started the foundation after their son, journalist Steven Sotloff (pictured at the Great Sphinx in Egypt), was beheaded by ISIS in 2014. In an article in the Miami Herald on August 9, 2018, Art explained: “It’s important to me because if I can make a difference in one journalist’s life, it’s all worth it.” Read more

Nicole Markus, a sophomore at Miami Palmetto Senior High School, was featured in the August 2018 edition of Pinecrest magazine for her efforts in founding and operating the non-profit SharingWear, which sells shirts and sweatshirts, and donates the profits. Nicole, daughter of Mona & David Markus, also works with customers to custom-design shirts for family members. Through SharingWear, she hosts Miami Palmetto Senior High School's PTSA uniform store, and those profits are split between PTSA and her charity of the month.

By investing in prevention, obesity does not have to be Miami’s destiny is the title of a July 19, 2018 Miami Herald Op-Ed piece co-authored by Gabriela Aklepi, daughter of Rabbi Jaime & Alex Aklepi. "Unfortunately new research now suggests that more than half of children in the United States are projected to become obese by age 35, with another study reporting that 37 percent of Floridians are obese. In Miami-Dade, this does not have to be our children’s destiny," is the theme of the article, which Gabriela penned with Justin Stoler, assistant professor of geography and public health sciences at the University of Miami, where she is an undergraduate majoring in exercise physiology.

Panter, Panter & Sampedro has awarded Alexa Drucker, a senior at Miami Palmetto Senior High School a $1,000 scholarship. Alexa, daughter of Julie & Andy Drucker, was chosen as the recipient of the annual scholarship award at Miami Palmetto Senior High based on community service and academic achievements. Pictured with Alexa is Mitch Panter, managing partner of the South Florida law firm. See article

They may still have been in high school, but students age 16–18 from disadvantaged homes were in boot camp during summer 2018, learning coding and app development, thanks to TechLaunch@FVI's second year of helping to run the camp. The boot camp, in session across Miami-Dade, is a busy place to spend six weeks. Arnie Girnun, co-chair of TechHire Miami, chief success officer of TechLaunch@FVI and president of New Horizons South Florida, says the boot camp expected more than 600 students this year. TechHire Miami, TechLaunch@FVI and CareerSource South Florida all have played a major role in the creation of the tech camp. Read more in the July 10, 2018 edition of the Miami Herald

Congratulations to the following attorneys, who were listed in the Top 100 Miami Area Lawyers and ranked in the 2018 edition of Florida Super Lawyers, as published on June 17, 2018:
John Leighton, Leighton Law, P.A.; David Oscar Markus, Markus/Moss; Jason S. Mazer, Cimo|Mazer|Mark Law Group; Marty L. Steinberg, Hogan Lovells; and Mitchell E. Widom, Bilzin Sumberg.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The patented selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. Super Lawyers magazine features the list and profiles of selected attorneys and is distributed to attorneys in the state or region and the ABA-accredited law school libraries.

Students who organized the annual Miracle Games 3 on 3 Charity Tournament were (from left): Sam Zimelman, Dylan Weingarden, Ben Lipson, Ross Ladis, Zachary Friedland and Blake Rubenstein.

On a rainy May 19, 2018, almost 100 high school students gathered in the Temple Beth Am gymnasium, to raise money for Achieve Miami, a group dedicated to achieving literacy for underprivileged elementary school students in Miami. Among the organizers of the 10th annual Miracle Games 3 on 3 Charity Basketball Tournament were Zachary Friedland, son of Nicki & Jon Friedland; Ben Lipson, son of Michele & Mike Lipson; Blake Rubenstein, son of Jamie & Jon Rubenstein; and Dylan Weingarden, son of Melissa & Scott Weingarden. The event also included the 3s for Z three-point contest started in 2011 to honor the memory of Palmetto High School graduate Zander Standiford, late son of Kimberly & Les Standiford. “Zander touched the lives of many. We are grateful to be a part of this wonderful community event," said his mom, Kimberly. Read more in the June 24, 2018 edition of Miami Herald Neighbors

Two Miami Palmetto Senior High School seniors have been profiled in the Pinecrest Tribune's "Positive People in Pinecrest" — Milena van der Reis in the June 11, 2018 issue and Matthew Solomon in the May 28, 2018 edition. Milena, daughter of Elise & Danny van der Reis, is co-captain of the undefeated Palmetto girls’ tennis team that won the state title in spring 2018. At Palmetto’s end-of-the year awards ceremony, the senior took home the Brown Book Award and won the Palmetto Tennis Coach’s Award and Outstanding Leadership Award. She is President of the school's French Honor Society. Her community service includes being a member of the Achieve Miami Junior Board, where she was an academic mentor at Holmes Elementary School in Liberty City. Matthew earned a Panther of Distinction honor at the April 2018 awards ceremony at Palmetto. Son of Staci & Steven Solomon and grandson of Lorraine & Bobby Schatzman, he is a board member of Tutoring for Tomorrow, which matches tutors to students who request help. Matthew is a member of the Palmetto varsity swimming team and is President of Palmetto's Mu Alpha Theta. In December 2016, he participated with Temple Beth Am's YERS delegation to the L'Taken Social Justice Seminar in Washington, D.C.

Artist/writer Franklin Einspruch has won a Vienna Fulbright two-month art residency in 2019 to create comics poetry. The residency is a cooperative effort between the Fulbright U.S. Scholar program and Q21, a collective of more than 60 alternative arts groups within the MuseumsQuartier. The MuseumsQuartier is one of the largest districts for art and culture in the world. Franklin, son of Edith & Norman Einspruch, is Director and Editor-In-Chief of Boston-based Delicious Line, Inc.

Twice each year, the Miami Herald enlists new members for its weekly CEO Roundtable. As chief executives at businesses small, large and nonprofit in a range of industries, these business leaders are intimately familiar with the local economy and the topics that affect companies and their workforce. Dr. Julio Frenk, president of the University of Miami since 2015, is one of the CEOs who will be asked each week a question about a topic of South Florida interest.

Congratulations to Donald McClaskey, recipient of the 2017–18 Harry Gunther Service Award, presented at the Temple Beth Am Congregational Annual Meeting on June 10, 2018. The award is recognizes a deserving Beth Am member who has worked for the benefit of the Temple community in a way which would be considered "above and beyond." Read more

In the lead-up to this fall's elections, the Miami Herald launched on June 4, 2018 a conversation around the policy issues which are most important to our state as voters make decisions about candidates for public office — Meet The Influencers The Herald newsroom has recruited 50 of the most influential people in Florida, including Richard Fain, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. In the May 26, 2018 edition of Barron's, Richard was recognized in a cover story "World’s Best CEOs: 30 Leaders With Talent to Spare." On November 16, 2017, he participated in a CEO Roundtable conversation — "Divining the Future." He is serving a two-year term as Chair of the University of Miami Board of Trustees.

The Jewish Volunteer Center of the Greater Miami Federation held South Dade Gives Back: Serve With Your Sole on June 3, 2018 to help make a difference in the lives of high school students living at the Miami Rescue Mission. The South Dade Branch and JVC collected shoes, backpacks and school supplies, then came together to stuff the backpacks. Among the members of the South Dade Gives Back committee were Lauren Amron, Chair, Elaine Brown, Jane & Avi Gold, Claudia Gomberg, Lisa James, Leo Kluger, Kerri Stone and April Stuzin.

On June 1, 2018, Temple Beth Am celebrated a special Kabbalat Shabbat Service honoring all of our graduating high school seniors. Highlight of the service was presentation of the Gary Eisenberg Shem Tov Award to Federico Zalcberg. Honorable mentions were presented to Jonah Snyder and Daniel Gitlin. Yasher koach to all of our high school seniors.

Temple Beth Am is so proud of the high school seniors nominated for the Miami Herald's 2018 Silver Knight Awards and who were honored at a ceremony May 17, 2018. Paloma Aisenberg, Coral Reef Senior High, was one of Miami-Dade's 15 winners, earning a Silver Knight in the Music & Dance category. Daughter of Jacqueline & Sergio Aisenberg, she was recognized for her music project “Love Is the Answer,” to benefit the Hancock French Woods Arts Alliance, an organization that offers educational and financial support for low-income children and young adults to pursue the arts. Paloma was a 2016–17 Social Justice Teen Fellow at Temple Beth Am.

Among this year’s other nominees within the 15 categories were: Steven Bacall (TERRA Environmental Research Institute), son of Anne & Richard Bacall, who earned an Honorable Mention in World Languages; Lindsey Drucker (Miami Palmetto Senior High); daughter of Julie & Andy Drucker, Journalism; Noah Sperber (Riviera Preparatory School), son of Deborah & Robert Sperber, General Scholarship; Jacob Spigelman (Miami Palmetto Senior High), son of Meryl & David Spigelman and grandson of Helene & Abe Benyunes, Business; Dylan Weingarden (Miami Palmetto Senior High), son of Melissa & Scott Weingarden, General Scholarship; and Federico Zalcberg (Miami Palmetto Senior High), son of Yanet & Daniel Zalcberg, World Languages.

The Silver Knight recognizes outstanding students who have not only maintained good grades but also have unselfishly applied their special knowledge and talents to contribute significant community service. The program was instituted in 1959 by John S. Knight, past publisher of The Miami Herald, founder and editor emeritus of Knight-Ridder Newspapers and 1968 Pulitzer Prize winner. The program is open to seniors with a minimum unweighted 3.2 GPA in public, private and parochial schools in Miami-Dade and Broward. Justin L. Firestone, founding partner of Wheels Up, served as a Silver Knight judge for the Business category.

Yasher koach to Tracey Spiegelman, who was honored at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation's 80th Annual Meeting on May 31, 2018 with one of its most important leadership awards, the 2018 Robert Russell Fellowship Award. Named in remembrance of the late Robert Russell, once President of Federation, the award is presented to a community member who has shown active interest in the Federation and, in particular, Jewish communities overseas. A member of GMJF's Board of Directors, Tracey has been active on the board of Women's Philanthropy, serving as VP-Outreach and Development, and she was Chair of the Women’s Amutot Initiative, which empowers women to improve Israeli society. She currently serves as Temple Beth Am's VP-Religious Practices. In 2013, Tracey received another prestigious award — the Stanley C. Myers Presidents’ Leadership Award, named in honor of Federation's first President, and father of Judy Gilbert-Gould.

Women’s Philanthropy of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation held its Annual Meeting and Installation Brunch on May 16, 2018. Among the 2018–2019 Executive Board which was installed were: Ilene Kossman, Campaign Chair; Melissa Buckner, Vice President of Area Campaign Development; Belinda Gilbert, Parliamentarian; and Alisa Oppenheim, a Member-at-Large. Women’s Philanthropy is organized into regional areas — North Dade, South Dade, Miami Beach and Central Area — an inspiring group of women who provide leadership and are united by a passion for the Jewish value of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and to the common goals of providing for the welfare of the Jewish people.

Congratulations to Nancy Kraemer, who on May 13, 2018 was honored with the 20th annual Talmud Torah Award, recognizing a congregant who has contributed significantly to the Temple by engaging thoughtfully in our adult education programs. Read more

Lily Serviansky, representing The Foundation of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, was honored at PhilanthropyMiami's  21st annual Donor Next Door Luncheon May 10, 2018, an opportunity for local nonprofits to celebrate an individual or organization that inspires philanthropy in Miami. PhilanthropyMiami is dedicated to the growth of non-profit professionals, to elevating the service of board members, and to inspiring our community's generous donors, leaders who are committed to inspiring Philanthropy in Miami.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) Miami and Broward presented the 2018 Judge Learned Hand Award on May 8, 2018 at Jungle Island Miami, honoring Brian L. Bilzin. Dinner Chairs were: Aaron S. Podhurst (2015 recipient), John C. Sumberg and Harley S. Tropin (2016). Among those serving as Dinner Co-Chairs were: Scott L. Baena, Hilarie Bass (2017 honoree), Ezra Katz, Richard J. Lampen, Edith G. Osman, Richard A. Pollack, Marty Steinberg (2014) and Richard Yulman. Established in 1964, the award cites legal professionals for excellence and contributions to the legal community. Recipients embody much of what the Judge represented: the rights of the individual and the importance of democratic values in an orderly society. Judge Hand (pictured above right), who was Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, has been quoted more often by scholars and the Supreme Court than any other lower-court judge.

Chad K. Lang, a partner in SMGQ Law in Coral Gables, was a panelist at the Law & Order: Hospitality Legal conference sponsored by the Greater Miami & the Beaches Hotel Association at the SLS Hotel Brickell on May 2, 2018. Chad is Chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Group, focusing in the areas of labor and employment, complex commercial litigation and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. He serves on Temple Beth Am's 2017–18 Board of Directors.

Andrea Askowitz, founder of the storytelling podcast, Writing Class Radio, participated in the Miami Book Fair's "Lip Service Presents a Night of True Stories, Out Loud" on April 21, 2018 at The Lightbox at Goldman Warehouse in Wynwood. True Stories' theme was “Moving On,” and featured eight true stories in a blend of theater, storytelling and literature. Writing Class Radio is a podcast of a writing class.

Some 500 South Floridians celebrated Israel's 70th Independence Day in Miami at an evening reception hosted on April 19, 2018 by the Consulate General of Israel. The event drew local, state and federal community leaders and included musical performances by Israel Defense Forces soldiers. The consulate also honored U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for her years of service to the United States and her support of Israel. Rabbi Jaime Aklepi, representing Temple Beth Am, offered a prayer for the State of Israel.

Women of Tomorrow honored its "Mentors of the Year" — among them Elaine Feldman — at WOT's 2018 Gala on March 10, 2018. Established in Miami in 1997, the Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship Program was born out of the belief that caring professional women sharing their knowledge, expertise and support with at-risk and disadvantaged girls can be the catalyst for success by inspiring them to aim higher, by providing them with the skills necessary for personal and professional success – allowing them to find the strength and determination to transform their lives despite the obstacles stacked against them. Girls who would have otherwise likely dropped out of high school not only graduate, they pursue higher education.

On March 23, 2018, students from the Gulliver Prep varsity lacrosse team found a way to honor the resilience and courage of the lacrosse players from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Before hosting the team on the field, they held a fundraiser — organized by Gulliver Prep junior and varsity lacrosse player Scott Hellinger — to sell T-shirts with proceeds going toward the MSD victims’ fund. “We recognized the determination of the MSD lacrosse team to continue their season despite the recent tragedy and knew that we had to do something to show our support,” Scott said. A $3,000 check was presented to the MSD team. Scott, son of Nanci & Michael Hellinger, is pictured above at right along with Gulliver Coach Jim Piggot and MSD Coach Ryan Burton. Read more

Kayla Spigelman, a sophomore at the University of Virginia studying systems engineering, has been named "Volunteer of the Week" by Learning in Action, the front door to public service at UVA in Charlottesville. Daughter of Meryl & David Spigelman and granddaughter of Helene & Abe Benyunes, Kayla is passionate about science and sustainability, participating in the Society of Women Engineers, where she helps with Girl Scout Day to inspire young girls to pursue careers in STEM. She is community outreach chair of FoodAssist, an organization which bridges the gap between food waste and food insecurity, and she also is involved in the Jewish community tutoring B'nai Mitzvah students.

Jamie Rubenstein served as South Dade Teen Service Chair for the annual J-Serve, an international day of service for Jewish teens on April 29, 2018 at the Miami Beach JCC, 4221 Pine Tree Drive. Teens from around Miami volunteered for S.T.E.A.M. Day (Sports, Technology, Engineering, Arts and More), participating along with Guitars Over Guns. J-Serve is a program of the Jewish Volunteer Center of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.

"Pursue your passion — even if business fails." That's the message shared in Business Monday on March 26, 2018 by long-time Coral Gables child psychologist Jerome Poliacoff, whose business plan for WeAgree2 won the Miami Herald's Business Plan Challenge in 2009. The service he proposed provided parenting plans for divorcing couples, and was spurred by a change in Florida law that removed terms like “custody” and “visitation” and instead called for more collaborative parenting plans, yet the idea fell victim to the Great Recession. Still, winning the Business Challenge brought him increased attention as an expert. He has since served as marketing committee chair for the Collaborative Family Law Institute, a professional group. Read full article

More than 120 congregants and clergy from Temple Beth Am participated on March 24, 2018 in the March For Our Lives — a unified coalition of young adults and community members in solidarity for the lives lost at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting — which marched from Miami Beach Senior High School to Collins Park as part of a national grassroots movement demanding change. The march's goal was to combat gun violence in wake of the tragedy with action and policy change. Among the marchers was Mia Crabill, daughter of Jackie & Brad Crabill, who was pictured (above center) on the front page of the Miami Herald.

"Delving Into Israel" was the topic of a blogpost on March 19, 2018 by Senior Rabbi Jeremy Barras, writing from the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) 2018 Convention. In the post, Rabbi Barras wrote about attending the AIPAC policy conference in Washington, DC a few weeks before, and the contrasting viewpoint among the scholars, rabbis and thinkers attending the CCAR gathering in Irvine, California. Read Blogpost

Adam M. Moskowitz, founding partner of The Moskowitz Law Firm, has been elected Conference Topics Coordinator for the Duke Law Center for Judicial Studies Advisory Council. Adam, who is in his 25th year on the faculty at the University of Miami School of Law teaching Class Action Litigation, joins the top eight plaintiff and defense class action lawyers in the country on the Advisory Council. The Duke Law Center for Judicial Studies works to advance the study of the judiciary through interdisciplinary scholarship and cooperative thinking from multiple perspectives.

The Temple Beth Am Day School Annual Auction on March 15, 2018 was a great success, featuring a host of silent and live auction items, including original art pieces created by the students of both the Early Childhood Center and Elementary School. A special shout-out to our dynamic Co-Chairs Barbara W. Havenick and Jessica Moskowitz, and to the other amazing chairs who helped ensure that the auction was a magnificent celebration.

Luis Silberwasser, President of the Telemundo Network, was among the panelists who participated in a Miami Herald CEO Roundtable conversation on the changing media landscape and what it means to business and the Miami economy, on February 28, 2018. The event was hosted by The Miami-Dade Beacon Council, our area's economic development agency. Telemundo is a leading Spanish-language television network featuring original productions, theatrical motion pictures, news and first-class sports events, reaching U.S. Hispanic viewers in 210 markets.

Each year, Temple Beth Am is proud to recognize an outstanding family of volunteers. Yasher koach to the Bailine FamilyRyan, Rachel, Sasha, William and Edward — who have been honored as recipients of the Committee of 100’s 2018 “Family of the Year” Award, for their continued participation in our Temple community and their ongoing commitment to congregational leadership. Read article

Mark Buchbinder is helping to bring attention to the URJ and Religious Action Center's North American Immigrant Justice Campaign, an effort to increase Community Immigration Legal Screenings in South Florida. The effort is seeking attorneys and non-attorneys to assist Americans for Immigrant Justice, Catholic Legal Services, CASA Education & Immigration Services and Justice for Our Neighbors, providing free legal screenings to the community. As many as 16% of the undocumented community is eligible for immigration relief under existing laws and policies. Yet, they need volunteer attorneys, interpreters and general assistance to help with deportation defense and other services. A retired attorney, Mark was recognized in 2013 by the Religious Action Center as one of its "50 Faces of Justice." Contact Mark at or 305.742.5501 for more information on how you may assist.

Kerri L. Stone, a professor in the Florida International University College of Law, was honored on January 6, 2018 with the inaugural "Section of the Year Award" at a Section Leaders breakfast during the 2018 Association of American Law Schools (AALS) annual meeting in San Diego, California. Kerri, who teaches Employment Discrimination, Employment Law, Labor Law and Contracts, is chair of the AALS Section on Women in Legal Education.

In response to emerging needs within the local Jewish community, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation has approved a series of incubator grants, intended to support creative new social-service, educational and identity-building programs. Federation’s Jewish Incubator Grants Committee has distributed a total of $50,000 to 12 local organizations, including the Hillel at FIU series “Being Jewish in a Multi-Cultural World.” Committee Chair Bruce Kohrman notes, “The Grants Committee identifies and funds new organizations and programs that address unmet needs in our community. Using the recent Miami Jewish Demographic Study as our lens, we focus on innovative projects that engage our teens, millennials and young professionals, our Latin Jewish community and our Miami Israeli community.

Rabbi Rachel Greengrass served as Program Chair for "The Refugee Crisis: The Jewish Response," on January 15, 2018 at Temple Beth Sholom, Miami Beach. The program, presented by HIAS, explored the nature of the refugee crisis, how we can respond as Jews and speak about this issue in an informed way, how we can advocate for the United States’ Refugee Resettlement Program and talked about what was a bipartisan issue in an increasingly politically polarized environment.

Florida International University dedicated The Rabbi Herbert Baumgard Learning Hub at FIU's Green Library on January 17, 2018. Rabbi Baumgard, who died on April 15, 2016 at age 95, was Founding Rabbi of Temple Beth Am, which opened in 1955 as the South Dade Jewish Center. All of Rabbi Baumgard's sermons have been digitized and are available in the Learning Hub, and his extensive book collection is now housed there.

On February 12, 2018, more than 1,000 people came together at the Hilton Hotel Downtown for the Greater Miami Jewish Federation's The Main Event 2018, an annual celebration of Miami’s Jewish community and its commitment to helping Jewish people in need in Miami, in Israel and around the world. Nadine & Steve Foldes (right) served as Chairs of The Main Event, which honored Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen with the 2018 Friend of Israel Humanitarian Award. Tracey & Larry Spiegelman were among those serving as Vice Chairs. Keynote speaker was Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, who served as Chief of the General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces until his retirement in 2015.

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