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

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.

Adam Goldstein, President and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., has been selected as one of the speakers at the FIU Center for Leadership 2016–17 Lectures Series, which features influential leaders with expertise ranging from business and philanthropy to public service and academic research. Adam, who is serving as Chairman of the Board of the Cruise Lines International Association, will speak on February 16, 2017.

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.

Congratulations to Andrew Boas, son of Lisa & Edward Boas, and Kayla Spigelman, granddaughter of Helene & Abraham Benyunes, who are among the 15 high school seniors in Miami-Dade who were named as winners at the Miami Herald's 2016 Silver Knight Awards at a ceremony May 18, 2016. Andrew, who won in the World Languages category, is a senior at Gulliver Preparatory, and Kayla is a senior at Miami Palmetto Senior High School, winning in the Science category.

Earning Honorable Mention honors were: Adam Block (Palmer Trinity School), son of Janet Nesbitt & James Block, and Jennifer Leight (Ransom Everglades), daughter of Elizabeth & Nathan Leight, in the Science category; and Saige Drecksler (Miami Coral Park Senior High School), granddaughter of Jackie Rose, in the Mathematics category.

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.

Evan Fisher, son of Robyn & Randy Fisher, has been named a winner of the 2016 Howard Newman Award, presented for exemplary work performed by a Capstone team at New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. The team's efforts were for a New York City Department of Transportation project. Evan was recognized on May 17, 2016 at the commencement ceremony for NYU Wagner, where he earned a Master's degree in Social Impact Investing.

Kudos to Mitch and Glenn Widom, Co-Chairs of the 12th annual Sabadell Keymorada Invitational Fly-Spin Tournament May 10–13, 2016 at the Cheeca Lodge & Spa in Islamorada, for yet another successful event — raising some $700,000 to benefit the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) and the UM Crohn’s & Colitis Center. Nearly $6 million has been raised for the CCFA since 2005 by the Keymorada tourney, which was created by the Widom brothers after Mitch’s daughter, Taylor, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.

Mazel tov to Karen Willner, recipient of the 2016 Talmud Torah Award, presented at a special Talmud Torah Award Shabbat May 13, 2016, honoring a congregant who has contributed significantly to the Temple by engaging thoughtfully in our adult education programs. Read more...

Congratulations to Sarah Benjamin, daughter of Donna & Jeff Benjamin, who has been selected as the first recipient of the Gary Eisenberg Shem Tov High School Senior Award. The award is a perpetual life estate annual award of a $1,000 scholarship to an outgoing Temple Beth Am high school senior who has brought honor to his or her family's name and who has continued his or her Jewish education through the 12th grade. The graduating senior must be committed to learning and doing acts of kindness (tzedakah) and work toward repairing the world (tikkun olam). Sarah is a senior in the International Baccalaureate program at Miami Coral Reef Senior High School and will enter the University of Florida in the fall. From left: Gary Eisenberg, Sarah Benjamin, Beth Am's Director of Youth Engagement Jacki Altman and Tamara Donnenfeld, Director of Lifelong Learning/YERS.

Diversity Honors, which supports the Harvey Milk Foundation and The Pride Center at Equality Park, honored four civic and community leaders — including our own Judge David Young — at a gala at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on May 13, 2016. “It is such a privilege to host this event where we honor men and women who remind us all of the diversity of the human spirit, the values that define us and the potential that lives inside of all of us,” said Stuart Milk, co-founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation. David, who was elected on May 6, 2016 to the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit and will assume his seat on the bench in January 2017, was a Judge of the Circuit Court from 2001–2007, and served on the Miami-Dade County Court from 1993–2000.

Ben Joseph, son of Beth & Seth Joseph and a fifth grader at Temple Beth Am Day School, has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the Carson Scholars Fund. Carson Scholars are students in grades 4–11 who must have a minimum GPA of 3.75 and display humanitarian qualities through community service. Ben Joseph is pictured wearing an Olympic-sized medal and holding his scholarship certificate, along with former Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson (left), who made the presentation at an Awards Luncheon in Bonita Springs on May 7, 2016.

A commemorative plaque at the entrance to The Braman Miller Center for Jewish Student Life — the newly renovated home of the University of Miami Hillel — was installed on May 3, 2016 honoring Howard Wolofsky and Frank Hessel, who served as Co-Chairs of Hillel's building project in 2012–2015. The Braman Miller Center, which stands at the entrance to the UM Coral Gables campus at 1100 Stanford Drive, was re-dedicated on December 9, 2015, and features remodeled multipurpose spaces which can be used for worship, celebration or other programs, a Kosher cafe and a 3rd floor rooftop lounge.

Cyndi Hibnick (far left) served as Auction Chair of the Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade’s 2016 “Power of the Purse” on April 7, 2016 at the BankUnited Center. The event earned some $350,000 to help improve the lives of women and girls in Miami-Dade through grant making, research, advocacy and education. Cyndi, Of Counsel at the South Florida law firm Lubell Rosen, is a board member of the Women’s Fund, which was founded in 1993 and has encouraged women of every economic level to become philanthropists. Also pictured is fashion icon Elle Macpherson, who returned as Honorary Event Chair. Congregant Hilarie Bass (see news item below), Co-President of Greenberg Traurig, was presented with the Fund’s Marilynn Gladstone Lifetime Achievement Award, named for the Fund's founder.

Hilarie Bass, Co-President of Miami law firm Greenberg Traurig, has been selected as a member of the Miami Herald CEO Roundtable, which — through the end of 2016 — will offer views on important civic and economic issues of the day for Business Monday. The CEOs come from a variety of companies and nonprofits, both big and small, across Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Hilarie is President-Elect of the American Bar Association and will take office in 2017 as President of the most important private organization for lawyers. In January 2016, she sponsored the second annual Celebration of Women’s Athletics along with fellow University of Miami Trustee Barbara Havenick.

Yasher koach to Richard D. Fain, who has been named Chair of the University of Miami Board of Trustees, and began a two-year term on May 13, 2016. Richard, who is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., has served as Vice Chair of UM's Board since 2014. Active in a variety of local civic and professional organizations, he is a member of the Advisory Council of the United Way of Miami-Dade County and is former Chairman of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Spanish American League Against Discrimination (SALAD) honored six area judges at its 7th annual Judicial Reception on May 3, 2016 at Island Gardens Deep Harbour Marina, Miami. Among the honorees was the Honorable Scott M. Bernstein, Administrative Judge in the Family Division of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida. SALAD was created in 1974 by a group of area Hispanic and Cuban-American residents in response to the under representation at the time of Hispanics in the school system, local government and the judicial system. Since then, SALAD has been a force in challenging discriminatory practices in housing, employment, education and immigration.

The artwork of Rachel Levy was featured at a fund-raising auction at the 14th annual Tropical Nights benefitting the Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD) May 7, 2016, at the Intercontinental Miami. CARD is based at the University of Miami and Nova Southeastern University, and is one of seven state-funded, university-based outreach and support centers in Florida dedicated to optimizing the potential of people with autism spectrum disorders, dual sensory impairments, sensory impairments with other disabling conditions and related disabilities.

Jacquelyn Schatzman, daughter of Lisa & Jeffrey Schatzman, was an Honored Local Hero to lead the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America’s annual Take Steps Walk at Bayfront Park in Miami on May 7, 2016. Approximately 400 volunteers and participants attended the walk to raise awareness, funds and support for the CCFA, a volunteer-driven organization whose goal is to educate, assist and research cures for Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis, bowel disorders that affect more than 1.6 million Americans. Diagnosed with Crohn’s in 2007 at just nine years old after more than a year of chronic pain and weight loss, Jacquelyn and her family have been involved with the CCFA ever since, serving as committee members of the South Florida Chapter. The Miami Killian High School senior heads up her own fundraising group, Jacquelyn’s Joggers, and hopes to pursue a career in pediatric gastroenterology after she graduates. Jacquelyn is pictured with Miami Heat Hall-of-Famer Tim Hardaway and parents Lisa & Jeffrey Schatzman. Read article

Harley S. Tropin, senior partner at Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, received the 2016 Judge Learned Hand Award from AJC Miami and Broward on April 13, 2016. 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 Co-Chairs included Hilarie Bass, Adam M. Moskowitz, Aaron S. Podhurst (2015 recipient), Marty Steinberg (2014) and John C. Sumberg.

The late Arthur Teitelbaum (left) and slain journalist Steven Joel Sotloff were honored posthumously by the Anti-Defamation League on March 5, 2016 at Miami In Concert Against Hate, hosted by Larry King.

Special tribute was paid to Art Teitelbaum, who served as the Anti-Defamation League's Miami and Southern Area Director from the late 1960s to early 2000s. In a post-9/11 interview, he remarked: “Now we have an extraordinary situation created by events here and in the Middle East... I can’t think of a better time to talk than right now.” In a flood of hate, Art built bridges.

Grandson of Holocaust survivors, Steven Sotloff graduated from Temple Beth Am Day School and majored in journalism at the University of Central Florida. He worked for major media outlets covering the Arab Spring, Al-Qaeda, Benghazi and more. On August 4, 2013, he was kidnapped by ISIS, and went to great lengths to conceal his Jewish faith and dual U.S./Israeli citizenship during his captivity before he was murdered on September 2, 2014.

At right are Steven’s sister, Lauren (center), and his parents, Shirley & Art Sotloff, who created the 2LIVES Foundation to provide scholarships for journalism students, implementing global safety best practices for journalists working in conflict-torn regions and promoting policy changes in worldwide hostage laws.

The Temple Beth Am Day School Annual Auction on March 11, 2016 was our most successful ever, 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 Chair Rachel Bailine, and to the other amazing chairs who helped ensure that the auction was a magnificent celebration: Gina Beekman and Bianca Gabay, Silent Auction Co-Chairs; Lindsay & Julie Spalding-Steven, Sponsorship Liaisons; Klaudia Brown and Claudia Storper, Early Childhood Art Projects; Barbara Latham, Food and Beverage; and the members of the Executive Committee — Barbara Havenick, Jessica Moskowitz, Lizzie Schaul and Lauren Schwartz.

Each year, Temple Beth Am is proud to recognize an outstanding family of volunteers. Mazel tov to the Levine FamilyDan, Lauren, Jaclyn and Ray — who have been selected as recipients of the Committee of 100’s 2016 “Family of the Year” Award, for their continued participation in our Temple community and their ongoing commitment to congregational leadership. Read full article

Congratulations to Youth Engagement Director Jacki Altman, who has completed HUC-JIR’s Certificate in Jewish Education for Adolescents and Emerging Adults, which offers professionals working with youth and young adults a nine-month program of study focused on critical topics. The program consists of online courses, face-to-face intensives, a 7-day institute (which took place in New York City January 3–10, 2016), mentorship and a field-related action project.

Jordan Schmidt, son of Dianne & Ed Schmidt, has started “Give For Guitars Raffle,” a community service project to buy guitars for at-risk youth. Jordan’s love of the guitar, playing music and performing led him to Guitars Over Guns Organization (GOGO), an organization founded in 2008 by Dr. Chad Bernstein (Miami) and Bob Bernstein (Chicago), to help at-risk and underprivileged youth to learn and play music. $3,256 was raised through a raffle drawing on February 28, 2016.

Harley Tropin, Esq., President of Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton in Coral Gables, served as a Co-Chair of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation's 32nd annual Judicial Reception on March 9, 2016, at Jungle Island, Miami. The event was sponsored by the Attorneys' Division of Federation and featured presentation of several awards to distinguished attorneys and jurists. Congregants who recently have been honored at the annual reception include Judge Scott Bernstein and Aaron Podhurst, Esq.

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