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

Tamara Donnenfeld, Director of Lifelong Learning at Temple Beth Am, will be honored with presentation of the 2017 JPro Miami Jewish Communal Professional of Excellence Award at JPro Miami's Year-End Lunch on Wednesday, May 24th, 12:00 pm. JPro Miami is the local chapter of the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA) in United States and Canada.

Temple Beth Am is so proud of the six high school seniors nominated for the Miami Herald's 2017 Silver Knight Awards and who were honored at a ceremony May 17, 2017. 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.

This year’s nominees within the 15 categories were: Jordan Schwartz (New World School of the Arts), daughter of Laurel & Steven Schwartz, in the Arts category; Rachael Osman (Coral Reef Senior High), daughter of Alyson & Scott Osman, Athletics; Robert Feder (Coral Reef Senior High), son of Heidi & Paul Feder, English & Literature; Julie Bowers (Miami Killian Senior High), daughter of Lisa & David Bowers, General Scholarship; Remy Farkas (Miami Palmetto Senior High), daughter of Julianne & Dan Farkas, Journalism; and Ethan Paikowsky (Miami Palmetto Senior High), son of Julie & Steven Paikowsky, in Speech.

Women’s Philanthropy of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation held its Annual Meeting & Installation Brunch on May 17, 2017, where it installed its new Board. Among Temple Beth Am congregants serving in leadership positions for the 2017–2018 term are: Ilene Kossman, Campaign Chair; Alisa Oppenheim, Vice President of Education & Leadership; Melissa Buckner, Parliamentarian; and Member-at-Large Belinda Gilbert. Guest speaker was Felicia Knaul, Director of the University of Miami’s Institute for the Advanced Study of the Americas. Women’s Philanthropy is organized into regional areas — North Dade, South Dade, Miami Beach and Central Area — 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; helping those in need in Miami and around the world; educating our children; and sustaining Jewish life now and in the future.

Yasher koach to Dan Levine, who was named 2016–17 winner of The Harry Gunther Service Award, awarded to 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." The award was presented at the Temple Beth Am Annual Meeting on May 7, 2017. Read more

Congratulations to Joseph Jacoby, recipient of the 19th annual Talmud Torah Award, honoring a congregant who has contributed significantly to Temple Beth Am by engaging thoughtfully in our adult education programs. The award was presented on May 5, 2017. Read more

Ilene Kossman will be honored at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation's 79th Annual Meeting on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at Jungle Island Miami with one of its most important leadership awards, the 2017 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. Ilene is a member of the Board of Directors of Women's Philanthropy and serves as its Major Gifts Chair. She served recently as Miami Delegation Chair of the International Lion of Judah Conference in Washington, D.C.

Each year, Temple Beth Am is proud to recognize an outstanding family of volunteers. Mazel tov to the Behar FamilyRobert, Ana, Emma & Ruben — and the Marcus FamilyJeff, Niki, Zach & Tyler — who have been selected as recipients of the Committee of 100’s 2017 “Family of the Year” Award, for their continued participation in our Temple community and their ongoing commitment to congregational leadership. Read full article

The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce presented its 2017 South Florida R.E.A.L. Awards (Real Estate Achievers & Leaders) on April 21, 2017 at its annual Real Estate Summit at Jungle Island, Miami. Ryan D. Bailine (left) and Anthony Askowitz were recognized as Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees. Ryan, who was chosen in the Real Estate Attorney category, is a land development and real estate partner at Greenberg Traurig. Anthony, a Broker-Owner with RE/MAX Advance Realty II in Kendall, was selected in the Real Estate Broker-Residential category.

Richard D. Fain was the guest speaker at the North Dade Business Breakfast of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation on April 5, 2017 at Beit David Highland Lakes Shul in Aventura. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Richard was named Chair of the University of Miami Board of Trustees in May 2016 for a two-year term. He has been active in a variety of local civic and professional organizations, and is a member of the Advisory Council of the United Way of Miami-Dade County and former Chairman of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Richard Yulman was honored with the presentation of the Dermot McGlinchey Lifetime Achievement Award from Tulane University and the Tulane Alumni Association on April 1, 2017 at The National WWII Museum in New Orleans. The McGlinchey Award was established in 1996 and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated service, volunteer involvement and commitment to Tulane and their hometown communities. Richard, former Chairman of Serta International, is a Vice Chair of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and former Chair of The Foundation of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.

Congratulations to Marcia Reisman, who was honored on March 25, 2017 by the League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade County at its “Women That Shine 2017” event, recognizing outstanding women who have a meaningful impact on our community and who are role models for the community. In her career as an attorney for Dade Legal Aid, it troubled her to know that, at age 18, children age out of foster care and are sent out to fend for themselves. This sad reality led her to help create Casa Valentina, which fills a void with housing, case management and comprehensive life-skills curriculum. Today, Marcia serves on the board as Vice Chair of Development. A Past President of the Dave & Mary Alper Jewish Community Center, she is a mentor for at-risk high school girls with Women of Tomorrow.

The Health Information Project — founded in 2009 by Risa Berrin and her sister, Valerie — on March 22, 2017 celebrated the 1,400 peer educators who teach health awareness to 32,000 ninth-graders in 54 schools in Miami-Dade County. HIP Day at the University of Miami's Watsco Center featured testimonials and breakout discussion groups on such critical teen health issues as obesity, depression, anxiety, pregnancy, eating disorders, suicide, bullying and sexual assault. Risa was a law school graduate preparing to take the bar exam when she decided to apply her passion for helping troubled kids into life-changing action. The school system eliminated health education from the curriculum; HIP filled the void. Read more

Dermatologist Joely Kaufman, M.D. (left) talks to students about skin cancer prevention during a session at HIP Day. More than 1,000 Miami-Dade high school students gathered to discuss and learn more about key health issues that affect teens — anxiety, depression, bullying, eating disorders, pregnancy, obesity, suicide and sexual assault.

Yasher koach to brothers Tyler & Zach Marcus, who along with their parents Niki & Jeff Marcus, are serving as Chairs of the 3rd annual 3-on-3 Dunks for Diabetes basketball tournament fundraiser Sunday, April 23rd, 12:00–7:30 pm. The tourney — held at Temple Beth Am’s Basketball Courts in the Hessel Family Youth Complex — is being presented by Temple Beth Am’s Tikkun Olam Committee, and is to help promote awareness of diabetes and to raise funds for the American Diabetes Association. The event is open to all players in 3rd–8th grades. Tyler is a 3rd grade student at Temple Beth Am Day School. Zach, a graduate of Temple Beth Am Day School, is in the 7th grade at Ransom Everglades School. Read more

The Temple Beth Am Day School Annual Auction on March 16 2017 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 Jessica Moskowitz and Barbara W. Havenick, and to the other amazing chairs who helped ensure that the auction was a magnificent celebration: Bianca Gabay, Food and Beverage Chair; Gina Beekman, Gift Basket Chair; Klaudia Brown & Claudia Storper, Photography Co-Chairs; and the members of the Executive Committee — Yafit Ferrer, Ali Proman, Lizzie Schaul and Lauren Schwartz.

Les Adler is serving as President of the Hillel Florida State University 2016–17 Community Board. A partner in the accounting firm Kabat, Schertzer De La Torre, Taraboulos & Co., Les presides over the board which provides direct oversight to Foundation activities. Rabbi Jaime Aklepi is a Member at Large on the Community Board. FSU is home to nearly 4,000 Jewish students, and Hillel FSU and the members of the Jewish Council provide diverse opportunities for making Jewish choices while being a student at FSU.

Two Temple Beth Am congregants will participate in the 20th World Maccabiah Games, which will take place July 4–18, 2017 in Israel, as part of Maccabi USA, a team of some 1,100 athletes who will join the 8,750 Jewish athletes from 80 countries, participating in 43 different sports. Jarrett Hyder (left), son of Lisa & Vic Hyder, has been named to the U.S. Juniors Boys Baseball Team. A junior first baseman for Miami Palmetto Senior High School, Jarrett joins 16 other boys on the baseball team. Kelly Fertel, daughter of Alan Fertel, has been named to the U.S. Women’s Swimming Team. A freshman swimmer for the University of Florida Gators, Kelly is a specialist in the Individual Medley and breaststroke. Since 1932, over 62,000 athletes have participated in the Maccabiah Games, a celebration of Jewish strength and solidarity. Team USA’s success is not only measured by the medals won, but by the impact that the Maccabiah experience has on their lives as well as the friendships they form. 

Leah Messing, daughter of Adrienne & Steve Messing, was a Vice Chair of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation's annual Super Sunday and Good Deeds Day on March 19, 2017. Super Sunday is Federation’s largest annual phonathon, where hundreds of volunteers gather to make phone calls to Jewish households in Miami-Dade County, asking for participation in the annual Federation/UJA Campaign. Leah operates Admission Ignition, a South Florida firm dedicated to preparing students for higher education.

Robert C. Gilbert, Esq., a partner at the South Florida law firm Kopelowitz Ostrow Ferguson Weiselberg Gilbert, served as Co-Chair of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation’s 33rd annual Judicial Reception March 9, 2017 at Jungle Island, Miami. The event paid tribute to two respected members of the South Florida legal community — Legal Services of Greater Miami Executive Director Marcia K. Cypen, Esq. and the Honorable Stanley Marcus, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Cypen received the Attorneys’ Division’s 2017 Community Service Award while Judge Marcus received the 2017 Honorable Theodore “Ted” Klein Lifetime Achievement Award.

Congratulations to Louis Wolfson III, who was among five recipients honored by MCCJ (formerly known as the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews) on March 5, 2017 at its annual Humanitarian Awards dinner. Louis, a founding partner of Pinnacle Housing Group and PHG Builders, received MCCJ’s 2017 Silver Medallion. He is a fourth-generation Floridian and serves on the Board of Directors of the Miami-Dade College Foundation and is Co-Founder/Co-Chairman of the United Jewish Federation's Investment Institute, which brings together over $13 billion dollars worth of endowment monies from Jewish Federations throughout North America.

The magnificent Lion of Judah sculpture at the main entrance to the Greater Miami Jewish Federation’s Stanley C. Myers Building has undergone a restoration, thanks to Laurel Susman Schwartz (right) and Jordan Schwartz, a mother-daughter team who wanted to express their deep appreciation to Federation. The LOJ sculpture was a gift of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat during Federation’s 2012 Mega Mission to Israel, a symbol of the everlasting bond between the people of Israel and Miami's Jewish community. For Jordan and Laurel, the restoration of the Lion has been a labor of love, recognizing Federation’s direct impact on their family. “My mother, Betty Rosenbach Susman, is a Holocaust survivor,” explained Laurel, a fifth-grade teacher at Temple Beth Am Day School, one of 10 Federation-funded Jewish day schools in Miami-Dade County. “She was at the Warsaw Ghetto and then was taken prisoner by the Russians to Siberia. When the war ended, my mom spent some time in a German displaced persons camp. In 1949, the Federation system was instrumental in facilitating her transfer and relocation to Miami.” Jordan, a senior in the Visual Arts Program of the New World School of the Arts and a graduate of Temple Beth Am Day School, was equally excited to take part in the project. She will continue her Holocaust education when she joins the 2017 March of the Living.

The Brotherhood of Temple Beth Am sent a crew to the 2nd annual Rotary Club of Coral Gables Chili Cookoff on February 26, 2017 at Fred B. Hartnett Ponce Circle Park in Coral Gables. Funds raised help the Rotary Club’s charitable foundation, all of which will go right back into the community in the form of civic and charitable grants. Pictured above are (from left): Brotherhood board member Miller Myers, President Donald McClaskey, Recording Secretary Ed Schwartz, Membership Chair Jeff Rosenberg, Chief Cook Andy Cohn and Jeff Granoff.

Miami Stories, a partnership of HistoryMiami, Miami Herald Media Co., WLRN and the National Conference on Citizenship, sponsors articles in the Miami Herald Neighbors. February 26, 2017 featured Fran Sokol Hertz, who wrote: "I love this cosmopolitan city with its beaches and diverse culture. I have been blessed with teaching ESOL both in Dade County Schools and at Miami Dade College for over 40 years. My students from all over the world and many different cultures have taught me so much. Miami has changed a lot, but my heart is still here in this balmy metropolis with ocean breezes and life-long friends and memories." Read “Miami High grad recalls life in segregated South Florida”

Amid a six-month battle with stage 2a breast cancer, friends and family surprised Ileana Cohn at the Lennar Foundation Medical Center in Coral Gables on February 8, 2017 to celebrate her final chemotherapy treatment. Earlier in the day, UM Head Football Coach Mark Richt visited Ileana, a 2006 grad who frequently attends UM sports games with her husband, Andrew. They met at UM “when I was a freshman and he was a sophomore,” she said. “He actually broke up with me because he said ‘a lot of girls liked him and he couldn’t stay with one person.’ We got back together our junior year and got married the following year.” Sign of the U: Ileana celebrated her final chemotherapy session with (from left) UM mascot Sebastian the Ibis, husband Andrew, daughter Sofia, son David and Mark Richt. Read more in the Miami Herald

The 19th Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge has been launched, the newspaper’s annual celebration of South Florida innovation in one of the most entrepreneurial regions in the nation. Sponsored by the Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center at Florida International University, the contest welcomes business plan entries from any industry. There are three tracks — a Community Track, an FIU Track and a High School Track, co-sponsored by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Among the judges for the Community Track are Melissa Krinzman, Managing Partner of Krillion Ventures. Read about the judges

In a move that will help cement two local institutions’ role as stewards of Florida and early American history, the Jay I. Kislak Foundation is donating thousands of priceless items — including rare books, maps, manuscripts and artifacts — to the University of Miami and Miami Dade College. Jay Kislak, a founding member of Temple Beth Am, announced on January 23, 2017 that MDC plans to create a permanent 2,600-square-foot exhibition gallery in the Freedom Tower in downtown Miami, adjacent to the historic New World Mural, which celebrates Ponce de Leon’s 1513 discovery and naming of Florida, a fitting place for a Kislak collection replete with pre-Columbian and early American historical pieces. At UM, the Kislak donation will enhance a collection pertaining to South Florida history, and Caribbean and Cuban culture. At 94, Jay remains active in both corporate and philanthropic endeavors, especially in Miami where he has lived for more than 60 years. Read article in the Miami Herald

Hilarie Bass, Co-President of law firm Greenberg Traurig, has been named recipient of the 2017 Judge Learned Hand Award from AJC Miami and Broward on May 17, 2017 at Jungle Island Miami. 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, 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. Dinner Chairs are Aaron S. Podhurst (2015 recipient) and Harley S. Tropin (2016). Among the dinner co-chairs are: Adam M. Moskowitz, Richard A. Pollack, Marty Steinberg (2014 honoree) and John C. Sumberg.

Members of Temple Beth Am completed a mission to Cuba in December 2016 to connect with Jewish people in the island nation. The trip was organized by Cantor Rachelle Nelson, whose late mother was born in Cuba to Russian immigrants who escaped pogroms, organized massacres of Jews. Read more about the group’s trip in the February 2017 issue of Pinecrest magazine

Jack H. Levine, broker and President of Levine Realty, Inc. and owner of Levine Properties, has been installed as Treasurer of the Miami Association of Realtors for 2017, an organization of which he was Chairman of the Board in 2011. The Miami Association of Realtors represents over 35,000 Realtors in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. He is presently a member of the Board of Governors for the Realtors Commercial Alliance of Miami. Jack was recognized as “2011 Realtor of the Year” by the Miami Association of Realtors.

Leonard Kalman, M.D, Deputy Medical Director and Chief Medical Officer of the new Miami Cancer Institute, served as a Co-Chair of “The Grand Gala,” held on November 12, 2016 by Baptist Health Foundation. The Grand Gala was celebrated on the campus of the event’s beneficiary, Miami Cancer Institute, a destination cancer center which opened in January 2017, featuring the first proton therapy center in South Florida, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Kudos to Temple Beth Am Day School 5th grader Emma Behar for her extraordinary effort to help Shoes for Streets collect gently used sneakers and blankets for the homeless for the holiday season.  After loading up the items brought by fellow Day School families, Emma and her twin brother, Ruben, and her parents, Ana & Robert Behar, hit the streets of Miami’s inner cities to work with Shoes for Streets to deliver the sneakers and blankets to our area’s homeless. Shoes for Streets was founded by former professional MMA fighter Gabriel Varona, a personal trainer at M Cycle in South Miami.

Author and storyteller Andrea Askowitz, founder of Lip Service Stories, performed on January 11, 2017 at Mina’s Mediterraneo in Miami as part of the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Empowerment Series. Andrea is the author of the memoir My Miserable, Lonely, Lesbian Pregnancy and the editor of Badass: True Stories, the Double Album. She presented a story-crafting workshop on September 24, 2017 at Temple Beth Am as part of our S’lichot celebration.

Shirley & Arthur Sotloff, whose son Steven was killed by the Islamic State on September 2, 2014, gave their first major television interview to CBS’ “60 Minutes” on January 8, 2017. They talked about their son, a graduate of Temple Beth Am Day School, and the United States’ policy concerning Americans held hostage. 60 Minutes’ correspondent Lesley Stahl (center) spoke to the Sotloffs in December. “We’ve waited such a long time to speak out. Now, we not only want people to know what really happened to our family and Steven, but also where we are headed,” said Art. “We started the 2Lives Foundation and basically, hopefully, this will be a story about his life. Before we agreed to that, we didn’t want it to be us smashing the government, but the government did nothing for us. We wanted it to be well-rounded. This is a story about his life and accomplishments and what we are doing to create a legacy and make it a different world.” The 2Lives Steven Joel Sotloff Memorial Foundation was established to endow scholarships for journalism students at the University of Miami, Florida International University, Miami Dade College, the University of Central Florida and Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire, which Steven attended.

Jessi Berrin, Director of Government and Community Relations at Baptist Health South Florida, spends most days away from her desk, driving to events, sending email from the road and making her own schedule. While her work arrangement might seem nontraditional, in a way she represents the flexible work style millennials expect. Jessi was profiled on January 2, 2017 in the Miami Herald’s Business Monday in an article entitled “2017 looks like it will be a big year for workplace flexibility,” and said she sees 2017 as the year when her generation gets more of what they want in the workplace: “The traditional 9 to 5 is not at all appealing to millennials, especially with technology moving faster than anyone can grasp. We want to work for employers who meet us where we are.

On Wednesday, February 15, 2017, more than 1,000 people will come together at the Hilton Hotel Downtown for the Greater Miami Jewish Federation's The Main Event 2017, 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. Colleen & Richard Fain (right) are serving as Chairs of The Main Event, which will feature a keynote address by noted journalist David Gregory, former moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press and an analyst at CNN. The evening also will feature a special performance by Grammy-award winning violinist Miri Ben-Ari.

Andrew Shodell is passionate about the environment. So passionate that he successfully worked to convince the administration at Palmer Trinity School, where he is a sophomore, to begin a composting program. At Palmer Trinity, he also is Treasurer of the Debate Club. In addition to being an active member of Temple Beth Am’s youth group BAFTY, Andrew is a teaching assistant in the YERS Madrichim program. The son of Ellen Schwartzbard & Matt Shodell, Andrew was profiled in the December 12, 2016 edition of the Pinecrest Tribune's "Positive People in Pinecrest."

On December 4, 2016, Temple Beth Am's Rabbi Jaime Aklepi was a guest on WPBT-Channel 2's public affairs program, Viewpoint. This month's show, titled Looking Ahead to 2017 – Rebuilding Communities, focused on the year 2016. Between a polarizing presidential election, ongoing racial tensions and the largest terror attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, it was a trying year for Americans and our belief systems. Other South Florida religious leaders who shared what’s on the minds of their congregations and how faith can help rebuild communities moving forward were: Very Rev. Wilifred Allen-Faiella, St. Stephens Episcopal Church, Coral Gables; Shaikh Shafayat Mohamed, Darul Uloom Institute, Pembroke Pines; and Pastor Danny Slavich, Pembroke Road Baptist Church, Miramar.

Sol Colsky, M.D., who worked as a primary-care doctor until his retirement in 2008, hosted a reunion on December 3, 2016 to honor his former employees. The Tennessee native, 87, received his bachelor’s from Johns Hopkins University and a medical degree at the University of Tennessee School of Medicine. Following a fellowship at Johns Hopkins, Sol served for two years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, and then moved to Miami to begin his practice. He was Baptist Hospital Chief of Staff from 1974–1978 and Charter President of Baptist Health South Foundation. Read “This old-school doctor stuck to his roots” profile in Miami Herald Neighbors

In observance of Veteran's Day on November 11th, Temple Beth Am salutes Leo Korchin, 102, who had a distinguished career as a maxillofacial surgeon, both in his military and civilian life. He was recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American College of Dentists for his outstanding work as a maxillofacial surgeon. Dr. Korchin, who retired as a Colonel from the U.S. Army Dental Corps, served in a field hospital with General Joseph Stillwell in the Burma Theater during World War II.

Pamela Lear, Immediate Past President of Sisterhood of Temple Beth Am, has been installed as a Florida Area Director for the Women of Reform Judaism’s (WRJ) Southeast District, composed of 58 affiliate Sisterhoods with some 7,000 affiliated women in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina. She is a member of the international Board of Directors of WRJ, which has promoted Reform women’s issues and leadership for more than 100 years. In August 2016, Pamela published a blog article in the WRJ Weekly Digest, entitled “Strategies for Sisterhood Success: I Want What She's Got.

The Women’s Event, a premier program of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation Women's Philanthropy, featured guest speaker Emmy-award winning actress Debra Messing on November 18, 2016 at the Hilton Miami Downtown. Among the committee members who planned the event were Kelly Fodiman. Other congregants who are board members of Women's Philanthropy include: Ilene Kossman, Major Gifts Chair; Alisa Oppenheim, VP-Education & Leadership; Melissa Buckner, Parliamentarian; Fran Berrin, Endowment Society Chair; and Belinda Gilbert, Member-at-Large.

Rabbi Jaime Aklepi (right) offered the benediction at the grand opening celebration of Ocean Bank’s Pinecrest Branch at US One and SW 136th Street on October 27, 2016. Also pictured are congregants Adam Hellman, Ocean Bank Senior Vice President, and Pamela Frank, VP/Marketing Products Administrator.

Mike and John Lederman, co-owners of Joanna’s Marketplace, a gourmet store founded in 1992 by their parents Jo Ann & Alan Lederman, were profiled in Miami Herald Neighbors on October 23, 2016. The article — “It’s not just kale and quinoa as gourmet shops adapt to changing tastes” — talks about how Joanna’s has had to adapt to survive. Changing consumer tastes, shifting demographics and increased competition from big chain stores have forced locally owned shops like Joanna’s to emphasize what makes them unique, whether it’s specialty products or lower prices or creating a strong neighborhood atmosphere. “People like to come here to feel at home. We’re their neighbors. We’re their friends,” John said. “That’s how we differentiate ourselves.”

Felicia Knaul, director of the University of Miami Initiative for the Americas and a breast cancer survivor, hosted a symposium on “Women’s Cancers in the Americas: Strategies for Synergy” at UM on October 5–6, 2016. “Lack of financial resources and lack of access to medical care contribute to breast cancer deaths, and obstacles like poverty, illiteracy and discrimination also diminish survivorship for Latin American women,” she said. Felicia is founder of the non-profit Cancer de Mama: Tómatelo a Pecho and a UM health sciences professor.

Nicholas Shapiro-Lopez (second from right) and his brother, Julian, spearheaded the organization of Miami Coral Reef Senior High School students to participate in the St. Jude's Walk to End Childhood Cancer on September 24, 2016 at Tamiami Park. Julian and Nicholas, graduates of Temple Beth Am Day School and the sons of Natalia Lopez de la Cruz & Jason Shapiro, brought together 32 students to raise over $1,000, an increase of 60% over last year's numbers.

Create a Jewish Legacy (CJL) — a collaborative program sponsored by The Foundation of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation — continues to reach its goals, achievements based on the power of the community behind it. Foundation Chair Lily Serviansky, a past President of Temple Beth Am, notes: “Success doesn’t happen by itself, and it is because of the commitment and talent of the professionals and lay leadership at each of these organizations that we have been able to accomplish so much together.” Through one perpetual gift, CJL allows donors to support interests most important to them, such as caring for the elderly, Jewish education, Israel advocacy and experience programs, and much more. Temple Beth Am is one of 13 participating agencies in the program.

Adam M. Moskowitz was honored on September 21, 2016 by the University of Miami School of Law with its Law Alumni Achievement Award, presented at its annual Miami-Dade County Judicial Reception and recognizing his many years of leadership and dedication to the UM Law School. A 1993 graduate, this is his 20th year teaching Class Action Litigation at UM, and he donates back his salary each year. Adam manages the Class Action Practice at Kozyak, Tropin & Throckmorton, where he is a partner.

Spence Levy, CEO and President of Air Esscentials, a scent-marketing and branding company based in South Miami, was the subject of a spotlight in the Miami Herald Business Monday on September 19, 2016. Spence, who founded the company in 2007, said his major key to success: “Our customer service! That is our most important factor, since Day One. That has always been very important to us and our business.” He added: “We are constantly pushing to do better and come up with creative ways for scent marketing to make an impact.”

Hazel Goldman and Evan Goldman, the mother-son team behind Goldman Residential Group, were profiled in an article “All in the Family” in the September 2016 issue of Pinecrest Lifestyle magazine. Evan, pictured above with his wife, Stephie, sons Ryan and Miles and twin daughters Brooke and Joely, talked about what makes Pinecrest special. “Pinecrest has given us so much as a community, and that’s why our family business has deep roots here.” Both Stephie and Evan attended pre-kindergarten at Temple Beth Am Day School, where Ryan graduated last year, and Miles is now in kindergarten and the girls began in Early Childhood this fall.

Mazel tov to Louise Stubins on being honored with the Hannah G. Solomon Award, presented on May 22, 2016 by the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) Kendall Section. The award is presented to a woman who has helped change and expand the role of other women in vital areas of community life, and whose leadership has motivated others to fight for change. It commemorates the spirit of Hannah G. Solomon, who established NCJW in 1893, and led the organization in its landmark battles for laws restricting child labor, for child welfare programs, and for improved housing, education and health care for the poor.

Personal injury attorney John Elliott Leighton has been recognized by Orlando Style magazine, with a profile in its August 23, 2016 issue of Orlando's Legal Elite. The article talks about how for 30 years John has represented people who have been seriously injured and the families of those killed by negligence, and how he receives referrals for serious, complex and catastrophic cases from around the state. John, whose Leighton Law has offices in Miami and Orlando, fought for passage of the first parasailing safety law in the U.S. after his client’s daughter was killed while parasailing off Florida’s coast. It took seven years but the regulations were finally passed in 2014.

Congratulations to Sarah Davidoff and Fare to Remember Creative Catering for being named to the South Florida Business Journal's 2015–16 List of Top 25 Women-Owned Businesses. Founded in 1999 and Temple Beth Am's in-house caterer, Fare to Remember was listed in 22nd place on the annual list.

Remy Farkas, daughter of Julianne & Dan Farkas, was profiled in the August 22, 2016 edition of the Pinecrest Tribune's "Positive People in Pinecrest. Remy is immediate past President of BAFTY, Temple Beth Am's Youth Group for high school students, and she serves as a Madricha in the Religious School on Sundays. A senior, she is editor-in-chief of Miami Palmetto Senior High School's newspaper The Panther, Treasurer of the Senior Class and President of the Honor Society. Remy also is involved with She's the First, a not-for-profit that works to help girls in third-world countries go to school.

Matthew J. Hoffer-Hawlik, an analyst in Boston with investment banking firm Outcome Capital and the son of Diane Hoffer & Joseph Hawlik, was the winning contestant on the nationally-syndicated game show Jeopardy on July 6, 2016 and catapulted to the win with a correct answer in "Final Jeopardy." Unfortunately, he was unsuccessful defending his championship the following night. Matt is a graduate of the Temple Beth Am Day School and is an alumnus of the High Holy Day Choir.

Ali Samek, daughter of Fern Samek & Ron Rosen, has been named “2016 Miami Woman of the Year” by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and was recognized at the group’s “Journey of Hope Gala” on June 11, 2016. Ali, a sales professional, was honored for helping to raise funds for life-saving blood cancer research and raise awareness of LLS’s mission: to cure leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.

Hazel Goldman, a broker with Goldman Residential Group and RE/MAX Advance Realty, has written a column published on June 27, 2016 in the Miami Herald's Business Monday. In "Broker's View: Don’t ride Miami’s real estate curve — Be ahead of it," Hazel addresses a recent Herald report which stated that top real estate professionals in the region think the market is softening. Hazel also discusses how popular views on real estate are often wrong and offers suggestions on how to "zig" when everyone else is "zagging."

Congratulations to the following attorneys, who were listed in the Top 100 Miami Area Lawyers as ranked in the 2016 edition of Florida Super Lawyers:
Brett M. Amron, Bast Amron; Scott L. Baena, Bilzin Sumberg; David M. Buckner, Buckner + Miles; John E. Leighton, Leighton Law; David Oscar Markus, Markus/Moss; Aaron S. Podhurst, Podhurst Orseck; Jack R. Reiter, GrayRobinson; Marty L. Steinberg, Hogan Lovells; Harley S. Tropin, Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton; and Mitchell E. Widom, Bilzin Sumberg.

Pinecrest ceramic artist Rosario Levine exhibited her "Rhythm in the Jungle" collection at Pinecrest Gardens from June 23–August 23, 2016. Rosario’s flights of fancy celebrate the exuberance of life and the intoxicating sensuousness of nature. Illusion and reality intermingle happily in her diverse microcosms, but it is color, fluidity and repetition that give her work its complex energy. Ultimately, she strives to make the world a little happier by transforming life’s confusing journey into brilliant displays of hope and interconnected joy. At the opening, Rosario also showed examples of her ceramic sculptures: "Moments in a Series of Ripples."

Edward Beiner and his Italian partner, Guido Balocco, President of the Edward Beiner Eyewear Group, competed in the historic Peking-to-Paris Motor Challenge, June 12–July 17, 2016 across two continents following in the steps of Prince Borghese, one of the first to embark on this journey. The race covered some 9,000 miles through the deserts of Mongolia, the steppes of Russia, the heart of Europe and culminate at Place Vendome in the center of Paris. This feat has been achieved only five times since 1907. Along the way Ed and Guido will alternate roles as pilot and navigator as they cross rivers, transverse mountains and repair their automobile, if and when the elements prove too powerful. They carefully selected a 1940 Chevrolet Master Coupe, which was known among “moonshiners” for its speed and agility, and is the same car used by famous Formula One driver Juan Manuel Fangio of Argentina. A native of Brazil, Ed's passion for vintage cars began in childhood and today he drives two Austin Healeys, including the model 3000 pictured here.

Marissa Singer-Rosenberg, daughter of Miriam Singer & Jeff Rosenberg, served as a delegate to the Global Youth Summit on the Future of Medicine at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA June 26–July 2, 2016. "The next generation of health care providers will practice in an environment hard to imagine just a few years ago. Leading-edge science is rapidly changing the practice of health care," said Steven Goldstein, Chairman of the Global Youth Summit. A junior in Coral Gables Senior High School's International Baccalaureate Program, Marissa was selected for the seven-day residential program for rising high school students who have demonstrated leadership and interest in medicine and science.

Brett M. Amron, a partner with the Miami law firm Bast Amron LLP, has been elected as President of the University of Florida Hillel Board of Directors, and began his term of office on July 1, 2016. UF Hillel in Gainesville serves one of the largest Jewish student communities in the world. Brett was a member of the Temple Beth Am Board of Directors from 2008–2011, and among his professional affiliations he serves as Chair of the American Bar Association's Developments Sub-Committee, Business Law Section, D&O Liability Committee.

Stuart Debowsky and his firm, Debowsky Design Group, were profiled in the June 2016 issue of Pinecrest Lifestyle magazine in an article entitled Architect Stuart Debowsky’s boutique design firm makes every house a home. “I think of myself as a tour guide on the journey of improving your home,” explains Stuart, who founded the firm in September 2009 during the “height of the recession.”

Robert G. Berrin was honored by the Greater Miami Jewish Federation at its 78th Annual Meeting at Jungle Island, Miami, on June 1, 2016. He was recognized for his service as Federation's Chair of the Board during 2014–16. Bob, who is President of Capital Realty Services, Inc., is a past President of Temple Beth Am and served as 2012–14 Federation Campaign Chair.

At the Greater Miami Jewish Federation's 78th Annual Meeting, five outstanding Jewish leaders were honored with leadership awards, and two of our congregants were recognized. Amir Gold received the 2016 Robert Russell Fellowship Award. Named in remembrance of the late Robert Russell, once President of the Federation, the award is presented to a community member who has shown active interest in the Federation and, in particular, Jewish communities overseas. Amir is a Vice President in the Private Wealth Management Division at Goldman Sachs. Also honored was Arnaud Karsenti with the Sandra C. Goldstein Young Leadership Award. Created by Miriam & Sam Goldstein in memory of their daughter, Sandra C. Goldstein, this award is presented annually for leadership and service to Miami’s Jewish community. Arnaud is Managing Principal of 13th Floor Investments.

Yasher koach to Melissa Buckner and Pamela Lear, 2015–16 recipients of The Harry Gunther Service Award, presented to 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." The award was presented at the Temple Beth Am Annual Meeting on May 22, 2016. Read more...

On May 20, 2016, three Confirmands were honored for outstanding service during 2015–16. Anna Bogus earned the Jeremiah Award for Outstanding Achievement in Jewish Studies, which recognizes exceptional oral and written contributions. Jonah Snyder received the Erwin Lesser Award for Outstanding Confirmand, which honors behavior that exemplifies “derekh eretz” and what it means to be a “mensch.” A second Jeremiah Award was presented to Federico Zalcberg.

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