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

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; 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.


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.


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.


Yasher koach to Tracey Spiegelman, who will be honored at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation's 80th Annual Meeting on May 31, 2018 at 5:30 pm at Jungle Island Miami, 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.


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.


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 buchbim@gmail.com 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.


On December 14, 2017, Frank D. Marks, Sc.D., Director of the Hurricane Research Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, was interviewed by DesignSafe Radio in "Episode 20 Legends of Hurricane Hunting (Part 2)." For the past 37 years Frank has accumulated thousands of hours probing the hearts and souls of hurricanes, getting to know them from their birth to their death. In 2016, he spent more time flying into the storm along with some 18 other scientists and professionals. Click here to read more. This past hurricane season, Frank was a big help to Temple Beth Am keeping us up-to-date with the latest NOAA forecasts for Hurricane Irma.


The Anti-Defamation League has presented its 2017 ADL Miami Jurisprudence Award to Edward Blumberg, Esq., a partner at Miami law firm Deutsch Blumberg & Caballero, P.A. Ed was honored at a luncheon on December 13, 2017 at the JW Marriott Marquis in Miami. The Jurisprudence Award was established to recognize individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the legal profession and to the community at large, while exemplifying the principles upon which the Anti-Defamation League was founded. Scott Baena served as a Co-Chair of the Luncheon Committee.


Congratulations to Jay Kislak, who was honored on November 17, 2017 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals as a 2017 National Philanthropy Day honoree for Lifetime Achievement. Jay turned 95 on June 6, 2017, and he celebrated in style — with a party in New York City on board the USS Intrepid, an aircraft carrier he once flew off of while a naval aviator in World War II. The festivities celebrated a man who has been a fixture in South Florida’s real estate and mortgage community for nearly 65 years. The patriarch of The Kislak Organization, founded by his father Julius in New Jersey more than a century ago, Jay moved to Miami in 1953 to grow the mortgage business. A founding member of Temple Beth Am, he is best known for the real estate empire he built over the decades, but Jay also is a passionate collector and philanthropist. Read full profile in Business Monday


Richard Fain participated in a CEO Roundtable conversation — "Divining the Future" — sponsored by the Miami Herald on November 16, 2017. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Richard is serving a two-year term as Chair of the University of Miami Board of Trustees. 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.


In November 2017, 40 members of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation’s South Dade community participated in the "Fall in Love with Israel" Mission, chaired by Adrian & Ken Dubow. Participants traveled throughout the country for seven days, visiting some of Israel’s most popular and meaningful destinations, such as Yad Vashem, the Kotel, Masada, Machne Yehuda market, Tel Aviv's Independence Hall and more. Ken said, “Mission participants experienced firsthand how their donations to Federation are being used in Israel to help improve the lives of so many people.” For example, the group spent Shabbat with participants of Federation-supported programs. “It was an incredible week,” said Adrian. “Witnessing the work of Federation is always something special, but doing it as community — strengthening those bonds between South Dade residents — takes the trip to a whole new level.”


Congratulations to Jeff Rosenberg (left), who was honored as “Man of the Year” at the Brotherhood of Temple Beth Am’s Opening Event on October 25, 2017. The award was presented at “An Evening with Ron Magill,” of which Jeff served as Event Chair. Jeff was recognized for his extraordinary service as Dinner Chair for the past two Opening Events, and as Membership Chair during Brotherhood’s inaugural two years. Making the presentation was Brotherhood President Donald McClaskey.


The Women’s Event, a premier program of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation Women's Philanthropy, featured guest speaker Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, Co-Founder of OPI Products, known as the “First Lady of Nails,” on October 31, 2017 at the Hilton Miami Downtown. Among the board members of Women's Philanthropy who helped plan the event were: Ilene Kossman, Campaign Chair; Alisa Oppenheim, VP-Education & Leadership; Melissa Buckner, Parliamentarian; and Belinda Gilbert, Member-at-Large.


Justin Firestone, founding partner of Wheels Up, was profiled in the October 9, 2017 issue of the Miami Herald's Business Monday. In an article, "Wheels Up finds altitude in private jet marketplace," Justin discusses the elite world of private jets, fractional ownership and jet-sharing, their 80-plane fleet, including 65 King Airs, and their plans to have more than 100 planes by the end of 2018.


Congratulations to Michelle Nahmad, daughter of Patricia & Raymond Nahmad, who won first place for her short film The Shochet in the Student category at the AT&T/Warner Brothers Shape competition in Los Angeles. The AT&T Film Awards is an open competition seeking imaginative, undiscovered short films from aspiring filmmakers who want their voices heard. Michelle recently graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York, where she earned a Masters in Visual Narrative. Click here to view her film, The Shochet


On August 15, 2017, Miami attorney Hilarie Bass became President of the American Bar Association, steering the nation’s 400,000-member professional association as the group’s 141st president for a one-year term. The organization’s mission includes improving the profession and assuring meaningful access to justice. Hilarie, a prolific trial attorney who serves as Co-President of Greenberg Traurig, will continue working on issues she has championed throughout her career, including equal access to the law and diversity within the legal profession.


In 2009, Erica Sokol was a University of Florida freshman volunteering in pediatrics at a local hospital. She spent time playing with kids, many of whom had cancer. But with not enough volunteers to go around, she noticed that most of the children were by themselves, without a buddy like her. After graduating in 2013, Erica created the nonprofit Students Care and expanded the program to other hospitals and nearby college campuses. So far, over 500 kids have been helped by her university volunteers in three hospitals in Florida, Pennsylvania and Michigan. By September, Students Care will be in another three hospitals. In January 2017, she received her first grant of $115,000, enabling her to grow the non-profit fulltime with the help of a paid staffer. Now living in Philadelphia, Erica — daughter of Lauren & Brad Sokol — hopes one day that hospital buddy programs are in every pediatric floor in the country. Read full article in People magazine online


Bari Gold was never one for tutus. At 4, her mother gave in to her daughter’s competitive spirit and enrolled her in a soccer program. While other girls picked daisies on the field, Bari played fiercely against her opponents. She joined a travel team at nine and worked her way through school and club teams. The first time she was hit in the head with a ball in December 2016, the captain of the Miami Palmetto Senior High School team complained of a headache but blamed it on dehydration. Two games later, she was hit in the head again. Bari, daughter of Roberta Gold and Matthew Gold, couldn’t read the words on her history test. Bari is featured in Health & Fitness in the July 23, 2017 edition of the Miami Herald


Martha (Marti) Snyder, Ph.D., PMP, a member of the Board of Directors of the Dave and Mary Alper JCC, served as a Co-Chair of the JCC Maccabi Games & Artsfest in Miami. The Maccabi Games — held August 6–11, 2017 — is an Olympic-style sporting competition held each summer in North America and one of the largest organized sports program for Jewish teens (ages 13–16) in the world. This week-long, multi-sport and cultural event utilized venues throughout Miami-Dade County, of which Temple Beth Am was one of the drop-off locations, as well as the site for many basketball and volleyball matches.


Rehabilitation therapist Sharon Lessner-Eisenberg was featured in the Miami Herald on July 18, 2017 in an article entitled “Jackson Hospital improves its help for burn patients,” which talks about renovations to the burn unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital, which originally opened in 1962. The new UM/JH Burn Center was officially unveiled in July at the Ryder Trauma Center, which provides a comprehensive team approach to the care of burn victims.


Florida's U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson on July 12, 2017 announced the membership of the Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission for the 115th Congress. The JNC is charged with identifying and recommending to the senators highly qualified individuals for consideration to become U.S. District Judges in each of the three judicial districts in Florida. Among new members of the JNC for the Southern District are attorneys Daniel Foodman and Harley S. Tropin. Read more


Two Temple Beth Am congregants participated in the 20th World Maccabiah Games July 4–18, 2017 in Israel, as part of Maccabi USA, a team of some 1,100 athletes who join the 8,750 Jewish athletes from 80 countries, participating in 43 different sports. Jarrett Hyder (left), son of Lisa & Vic Hyder, was a member of the U.S. Juniors Boys Baseball Team. A junior first baseman for Miami Palmetto Senior High School, Jarrett joined 16 other boys on the baseball team. Kelly Fertel, daughter of Alan Fertel, was 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.

UPDATE: Kelly Fertel on July 10, 2017 set two new records and earned a gold medal at the Maccabiah Games in the 400 Individual Medley in a time of 4:45:54.

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.


On June 4, 2017, our Senior Rabbi Jeremy Barras was a guest speaker at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Coral Gables, where he taught a class and delivered the Sunday sermon. Rabbi Barras is pictured at right with The Rev. Mario E. Milián, Rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church.


Paloma Aisenberg, a senior at Miami Coral Reef High School, has created a music project called “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. An active participant in our YERS program, Paloma was a 2016–17 Social Justice Teen Fellow at Temple Beth Am and has performed in more than 20 productions with the Miami Children’s Theatre, and has earned critic's choice awards at various statewide thespian competitions.


When he was five Federico Zalcberg and his family moved to the U.S. from Uruguay. “My parents moved here so I could have a better future,” he says. Now a rising senior at Miami Palmetto Senior High School, Fede — son of Yanet & Danny Zalcberg — has learned to embrace his heritage. When he returned recently to Uruguay, he studied at a high school for two weeks and learned about Ronald McDonald House. He came back from his visit determined to do something to help, and settled on a baby supply drive, and now he’s collecting everything for babies from clothing to diapers. A member of the National Honor Society, an officer in Mu Alpha Theta and President of the Spanish honor society, Fede was a 2016–17 Social Justice Teen Fellow at Temple Beth Am and was part of the group which traveled to Guatemala in November 2016. In 2017–18, he will serve as BAFTY Programming Vice President. Read profile in the June 26, 2017 edition of the Pinecrest Tribune's "Positive People in Pinecrest."


Ellen Schwartzbard, M.D., who practices Obstetrics and Gynecology at Women’s Health of South Miami, was featured in the Summer 2017 edition of Baptist Health’s Resource magazine. In an article “Myth vs. Fact,” Ellen talks about whether DEET mosquito repellent is safe to use. “Pregnant women have to weigh the risks of contracting Zika and other mosquito-borne viruses,” she noted. “Most patients understand that the threat of these diseases is more dangerous than the potential risks of using DEET products.”


Mark Gilbert (far left), Director of the South Florida Capital Markets Group of Cushman & Wakefield, and Jay Massirman, Managing Director of Rivergate KW Residential, are serving as 2017–18 Co-Chairs of the Real Estate Division of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. Among its networking opportunities, the Real Estate Division co-hosts the Speaker Series, a popular trio of breakfast sessions of interest to professionals such as architects, brokers, builders, developers, contractors and others affiliated with the real estate and construction trades.


Congratulations to the following attorneys, who were listed in the Top 100 Miami Area Lawyers and ranked in the 2017 edition of Florida Super Lawyers, as published on June 18, 2017:
Brett M. Amron, Bast Amron; Scott L. Baena, Bilzin Sumberg; Edward R. Blumberg, Deutsch & Blumberg; David Oscar Markus, Markus/Moss; Aaron S. Podhurst, Podhurst Orseck; Jack R. Reiter, GrayRobinson; Marty L. Steinberg, Hogan Lovells; and Harley S. Tropin, Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton.

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.



On June 2, 2017, 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 Remy Farkas and Grace Gilbert. Honorable mentions were presented to Javier Cohen, Robert Feder, Samantha Joseph and Leo Romano. Yasher koach to all of our high school seniors.


Tamara Donnenfeld, Director of Lifelong Learning at Temple Beth Am, was honored with presentation of the 2017 JPro Miami Jewish Communal Professional of Excellence Award at JPro Miami's Year-End Lunch on May 24, 2017. Guest speaker at the event was David Lawrence, Jr., children's advocate and former Editor of the Miami Herald. JPro Miami is the local chapter of the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA) in United States and Canada.


Just weeks after being removed from his post by the Trump administration, former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy returned to old stomping grounds on May 18, 2017 at Miami Palmetto Senior High School. A 1994 Palmetto graduate and class valedictorian, he said he had a promise to keep. He had been invited by Shelby Loeb, a Palmetto senior who did research on electronic cigarettes — a subject he says is dear to him. Shelby caught Murthy’s attention several months ago when she emailed him a copy of her school project on electronic cigarettes that showed very similar findings to the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey, which revealed that the majority of youth aren’t aware of the dangers of e-cigarette use. The surgeon general — who during his tenure paid close attention to the subject — published a report on electronic cigarettes in December 2016. Shelby is pictured above with Dr. Murthy (2nd from left) and her parents, Andrea & David Loeb. Read more


At the Confirmation Shabbat on May 19, 2017, three Confirmands were honored for outstanding service during 2016–17. Sabrina Fradette received the Mark Light Award for Outstanding Service to Temple Beth Am. The Jeremiah Award for Outstanding Achievement in Jewish Studies, which recognizes exceptional oral and written contributions, was presented to Ben Robbins. Andy Shodell received the Erwin Lesser Award for Outstanding Confirmand, which honors behavior that exemplifies “derekh eretz” and what it means to be a “mensch.”




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