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

On Monday, January 27, 2020, more than 1,000 people will come together at the Hilton Hotel Downtown for the Greater Miami Jewish Federation's The Main Event 2020, 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. Susan & Michael Meister are among those serving as Vice Chairs of The Main Event, which is marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Professor Deborah Lipstadt will be honored with presentation of the 2020 Friend of Israel Humanitarian Award.

Senior Rabbi Jeremy Barras is a candidate on the Reform Slate for the World Zionist Congress elections, scheduled from January 21 to March 11, 2020. A national board member of the Association of Reform Zionists of America, Rabbi Barras is a native of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and descends from a long line of rabbis who have passed on the traditions of Jewish scholarship throughout the generations. The World Zionist Organization is a non-governmental entity that promotes Zionism, and the 38th World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem is from October 20-23, 2020.

On Christmas Day 2019, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation went to the Salvation Army Shelter on NW 38th Street in Miami to feed lunch and bring stockings to some of the area's homeless. Above, William Bailine is pictured on the front page of the Miami Herald as he was one of the volunteers helping to serve the Christmas meal. Will, son of Rachel & Ryan Bailine, is a third-grader at Temple Beth Am Day School.

“This is an opportunity to show our kids, you know, people are struggling. But here’s a way to make people feel great about themselves and feel wanted,” said Elisah Lewis, Chair of Federation's South Dade Gives Back program. “They’ve really had a chance to grow up volunteering and helping.” Read article

Above right, volunteer Alexis James helps serve meals on Christmas Day. Alex is a seventh-grader at Miami Palmetto Middle School and the daughter of Lisa & Jason James.

Some 5,000 delegates from across North America and around the world gathered December 11–15, 2019 at the URJ Biennial Conference at McCormick Place in Chicago to learn, pray, share ideas, dance and sing, hear from inspiring speakers and the leaders of our Movement, reunite with old friends, create new connections, and make decisions about the policies of the Reform Movement.

Among the Temple Beth Am delegation at the URJ Biennial Conference were: (seated, from left) Rabbi Jeremy Barras, Shari Debowsky, Stuart Ratzan, Edith Osman, Paul Pataky; (standing, L-R) Karen Kammer, Sheri Lieberman, Andrea LeVine, Cantor Rachelle Nelson, Aída Littauer, Scott Bernstein, David Young, Rabbi Rachel Greengrass, Brian Chartock, Carolina Gurland, Harvey Gurland, Jr., Jeffrey Agron and Josh Laurence.

The following congregants are among South Florida attorneys who have been recognized as "Lawyer of the Year" honorees by Best Lawyers, a peer review publication in the legal profession, in its 2020 South Florida edition released on December 12, 2019. From left are: Andrew S. Berman, Young, Berman, Karpf & Gonzalez, P.A., Mergers & Acquisitions Litigation; Ronald L. Kammer, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Insurance Law; Charles R. Lipcon, Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A., Admiralty & Maritime Law; David Oscar Markus, Markus/Moss, Criminal Defense White-Collar; Stuart N. Ratzan, Ratzan Law Group, Product Liability Litigation; Jay B. Shapiro, Stearns Weaver Miller, Antitrust Litigation; and Robert A. Zinn, Duane Morris LLP, International Mergers & Acquisitions.

Recognition by Best Lawyers is based on peer review, with methodology designed to capture the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

Scott Weingarden, JD, CFP, CIMA, Vice President of the Starner Group of Raymond James, served as Moderator of The Foundation of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation's South Dade Professional Advisors Council program on December 11, 2019 at The Collection in Coral Gables. The program was entitled "The Role and Responsibilities of a Trustee."

Arnaud Karsenti, Managing Principal of 13th Floor Investments, has been named to the Miami Herald CEO Roundtable, where for the next six months local CEOs will share their views on the most important civic and economic issues of the day. The CEO Roundtable represents leaders from a variety of companies and nonprofits — both big and small — across Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Since founding 13th Floor Investments, a real estate investment and development firm based in Miami, Arnaud has been involved in acquiring, developing and managing nearly $2.0 billion in real estate assets.

Yasher koach to Hon. David H. Young, a Circuit Court Judge in the Family Division, who was honored on November 16, 2019 by KidSide Miami with its Maxine Cohen Lando Award. KidSide is an organization which augments the capabilities of the system in assisting parents and children caught in the web of Family Court Services, a unit of the Miami-Dade County Eleventh Circuit Court. Proceeds from the annual fund-raiser — "Havana Nights Casino Royale" — are used to support the needs of children immersed in family court conflicts. The award is named in honor of the late Maxine Cohen Lando, who died in 2012 while serving as a Judge in the Family Division, 11th Judicial Circuit.

Congratulations to the Held family on their 3rd place finish in the 2019 edition of the Herald Hunt on November 3, 2019. Longtime contestants Shayna, Pamela & Gary Held (son Dave participated by phone from Pittsburgh) were among the thousands competing in the daylong puzzle hunt originally called the Tropic Hunt and whipped into life by columnist Dave Barry and former Tropic editor Tom Shroder. It has been held on and off from the 1980s and discontinued in 2012.

Rabbi Jaime Aklepi was a panelist on October 29, 2019 following a screening of the documentary film "Same God" at the Coral Gables Congregational Church. The award-winning documentary — directed by Linda Midgett — explores the December 2015 political rhetoric against Muslims following an incident at Wheaton College near Chicago. The panel was comprised of local community religious leaders from multiple faiths, and was sponsored by COSMOS, Jaffer Center at FIU, MCCJ and Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ.

Cantor Rachelle Nelson was inducted into the Miami Beach Senior High School Alumni Association's "Hall of Fame" at its 21st annual Induction Luncheon on November 15, 2019 at Temple Israel in Miami. Rachelle, a 1974 graduate of Beach High, has been selected in the Public/ Community Service category. In addition to promoting alumni activities, the MBSHAA annually awards scholarships to deserving students.

Stacey Deutsch Shoer, a 1989 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, received the "Alumni Award of Merit" on November 8, 2019 at the 85th annual Alumni Award of Merit Gala, sponsored by Penn Alumni at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. A celebration of Penn's most passionate and dedicated alumni volunteers, the gala is a chance to recognize alumni, among the 290,000 living Penn graduates.

Rita Swichkow, veteran Guardian Ad Litem for the past 38 years and a pioneer in child advocacy, was honored on October 25, 2019 by Voices For Children at its 25th annual "Be A Voice Luncheon" at Jungle Island Miami. Rita is being recognized for her many years selflessly serving vulnerable children in our community. Voices For Children is a leader among peer organizations concerned with the support and future success of abused, abandoned, or neglected children and youth.

Larry Spiegelman, M.D. chaired a Medical Mission to Israel October 28–November 3, 2019, sponsored by the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. The trip offered Miami-area healthcare professionals a unique opportunity to see the Israeli medical and biotech sectors up close. Mission highlights included a visit to an IDF medical training base, a ride-along with Israel’s first responders and a high-level security briefing. Larry is an obstetrician-gynecologist affiliated with Baptist Health South Florida. has published its list — Influencers: The Top Names in Multifamily — and recognizes Matthew Rieger, president and CEO of Housing Trust Group, the largest affordable housing developer in Florida. As a third-generation Miamian and former corporate and real estate attorney, Matthew has been focused on expanding the company’s capacity to deliver more units. The Housing Trust Group is not only the largest affordable developer in Florida but also one of the largest affordable housing developers in the nation. is an online destination for commercial real estate content.

Anthony Askowitz, broker-owner of RE/MAX Advance Realty, provided the "Broker's View" in the October 7, 2019 edition of the Miami Herald's Business Monday section. The article, "Miami real estate boosted by rates cuts," reviews recent FHA rules for condominiums owners, which affect create interest rates and expanded condo financing. Read article

Tracy Ellyn's art series, "Genesis," has been installed at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem in the Neurology/Epilepsy Department in memory of her son, Colby. The fragile pieces were hand-delivered by Dianne Gottlieb, a Temple Beth Am member who is a Hadassah national board member. Sisterhood of Temple of Beth Am generously sponsored some of the framing, which was done in Jerusalem. Tracy's fine art is often found in healing venues such as Sylvester Cancer Center, Lennar Medical Center and other places of healing where art can uplift body and soul. "Once I had my art in Jerusalem, my soul was complete," she said.

Juliana & Alex Krys served as Event Co-Chairs for the annual Diamond Ball — benefiting the Nicklaus Children's Hospital Foundation — October 19, 2019 at the JW Marriot Marquis Miami. The Diamond Ball is a gala celebration of the patients and families served by Nicklaus Children's Health System. Philanthropists from across South Florida and around the world gather for an evening to benefit and enhance the quality of life, programs and services that support the health and wellbeing of our children.

"The global climate strike is just the start. We need to keep speaking out for our planet," is the title of an Op-Ed article in a September 24, 2019 opinion piece in the Sun Sentinel written by Nicole Markus, a junior at Miami Palmetto Senior High School in Pinecrest. Daughter of Mona & David Markus, Nicole writes: “If we do not continue to make our voices heard once the global climate strike is over, all of it will be for nothing. Every day, we need to talk about solutions, lobby the government, and change habits to reduce our collective carbon footprint.” Click here to read more

Congratulations to Stuart M. Debowsky, AIA, NCARB, a registered architect and owner of the Debowsky Design Group, who has been honored with the Family First award presented by Gentlemen's Journal, a fraternal organization which promotes concepts of “Family First, Business Second,” “Honor Above Profit” and “Be Your Brother’s Keeper.” Their annual awards gala was held August 17, 2019 at the UM Newman Alumni Center. DDG is a Miami-based architecture and interiors firm committed to design excellence, sensitivity to budget and sustainable building practices.

Emily Cohen, daughter of Michelle & Stephen Cohen, was featured in the August 5, 2019 edition of the Pinecrest Tribune's "Positive People in Pinecrest." An incoming Miami Palmetto Senior High School junior, Emily has made an impact through her work for the Miami Diaper Bank, where she collects new disposable diapers to be donated to low-income, struggling families with babies. “Diapers are not funded by the government. They are taxed and they are expensive. I collect them and they are distributed through the Diaper Bank to those in need,” she says. Emily hosted her first diaper drive in December 2018, and ran the collection drive through Key Club, where she is now serving as Assistant Treasurer. At Palmetto, she’s a Vice President for the class of 2021, and is VP of the English Honors Society. Emily is very involved with Temple Beth Am's Youth Group, BAFTY, where she is Communications VP.

Circuit Court Judge Scott M. Bernstein (far right) has been named 2019 recipient of the Chief Justice Award for Judicial Excellence, honoring his service to and leadership within Florida's judicial branch. Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles T. Canady presented the award during a ceremony August 5, 2019 in Naples, Florida at the Conference of Circuit Court Judges of Florida. Scott was first elected to the bench in 1998, and now serves as administrative judge in the Family Division of Miami-Dade's Eleventh Judicial Circuit. He earned his law degree from the University of Florida College of Law. A dozen of his colleagues signed a letter recommending Judge Bernstein for the award. "He has an amazing knowledge of the law," his fellow judges wrote.  "Whenever we have questions on a new or novel issue, or if we just need advice on how best to handle a difficult situation, Scott is the Judge we call."

The Miami Herald's Business Monday section on August 5, 2019 edition asked developers about Miami-Dade’s housing affordability crisis. Among the essays published was one by David Deutch, a partner and co-founder of Pinnacle Housing Group, which develops both affordable and luxury housing in Miami. Among the points in his essay, David writes that immediate actions that will make a difference in solving the current crisis include: Public sector assessment of policies and procedures affecting housing development; Expedited permitting and streamlined approval of projects; Freeing up more public land for affordable and workforce housing; Diligence in promoting and incentivizing communities that mix both incomes and uses within the same development; and The new House Bill 7103 by the Florida Legislature presents an opportunity to craft realistic goals along with meaningful incentives. Read article

Congratulations to the following attorneys, who were listed in the Top 100 Miami Area Lawyers and ranked in the 2019 edition of Florida Super Lawyers, as published on June 16, 2019: Brett M. Amron, Bast Amron; Michael S. Olin, Buckner + Miles; Jack R. Reiter, GrayRobinson; 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 May 31, 2019, 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 Ben Robbins, son of Molli & Jonathan Robbins. Honorable mentions were presented to Julia Damsky, daughter of Laura Weinfeld and Paul Damsky, and Andy Shodell, son of Ellen Schwartzbard & Matt Shodell. During the Graduating Seniors Shabbat, reflections from the March of the Living 2019 trip were shared by Leo Ratzan, son of Mycki & Stuart Ratzan. Congratulations to all of our high school seniors!

Susan Racher was one of the "Bold" speakers at The Women's Fund Miami Luncheon "Power of the Purse" on May 23, 2019 at the Hilton Miami Downtown. Susan, Vice President and CFO of the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, is President of the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Miami Dade County, which provides education, support and advocacy for individuals living with mental health challenges and their families.

Yasher koach to Joshua Kaye, 2018–19 recipient of The Harry Gunther Service Award, presented at the Temple Beth Am Congregational Annual Meeting on May 19, 2019. The award recognizes a deserving Beth Am member who has worked for the benefit of the Temple community in a way which would be considered "above and beyond." Read more

YERS presented its annual Confirmation Shabbat on May 17, 2019, honoring the 18 members of the Confirmation Class of 5779/2018–19. During the service, special awards were presented to those Confirmands who excelled during the past year. Congratulations to the following 10th graders who were recognized: Erwin Lesser Award to Jordan Schmidt, son of Dianne & Ed Schmidt, and Robbie Mazer, son of Jodi & Jason Mazer; Mark Light Award to Maia Snyder, daughter of Marti & Roger Snyder; and Jeremiah Award to Camila Djurinsky Zapolski, daughter of Sandra & Fabian Djurinsky Zapolski. Watch the Confirmation Shabbat

Temple Beth Am is so proud of the high school seniors nominated for the Miami Herald's 2019 Silver Knight Awards and who were honored at a ceremony May 16, 2019. Among this year’s nominees within the 15 categories were: Joseph Kravetz (Miami Palmetto Senior High), grandson of Merle Kravetz, who was recognized with an Honorable Mention in Speech; Aliya Hollub (Ransom Everglades); daughter of Amy & Harry Hollub, Arts; Rachel Seymour-Newton (Coral Reef Senior High), daughter of Jaime & Rupert Seymour-Newton, Journalism; Matthew Solomon (Miami Palmetto Senior High), son of Staci & Steven Solomon and grandson of Lorraine & Bobby Schatzman, Mathematics; and Milena van der Reis (Miami Palmetto Senior High), daughter of Elise & Danny van der Reis, Athletics.

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.

Mazel tov to Ilene Kossman, who was installed as President of Women’s Philanthropy of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation at its Annual Meeting and Installation on May 15, 2019. Some 100 women gathered at the Miami Beach Jewish Community Center to recognize Board members for their dedication and service. Ilene previously served on the Executive Board as Campaign Chairman for Women's Philanthropy, an inspiring group of women who provide leadership and are united by a passion for the Jewish value of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and to the common goals of providing for the welfare of the Jewish people.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) Miami and Broward presented its 2019 Judge Learned Hand Award on May 14, 2019, honoring Miami attorney Mark F. Raymond. Among those serving as Dinner Co-Chairs were: Scott L. Baena, Edward Blumberg, Edith G. Osman, Aaron S. Podhurst (2015 recipient) and Richard A. Pollack. Established in 1964, the award recognizes 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 from 1951–1961, has been quoted more often by scholars and the Supreme Court than any other lower-court judge.

The Miami Herald has launched its Influencers Series to discuss state issues before the 2020 election cycle. Now in its second year, the Miami Herald, el Nuevo Herald and the Bradenton Herald are promoting a discussion about the important issues facing the state of Florida, and has assembled a panel of 50 influential Floridians from a variety of industries and perspectives who will offer their views through the end of the year. Among the "Influencers" is Dr. Julio Frenk, President of the University of Miami.

Congratulations to Jonathan I. Kislak, who on April 5, 2019 was honored with the annual Dr. Lenore Kipper Talmud Torah Award, recognizing a congregant who has contributed significantly to the Temple by engaging thoughtfully in our adult education programs. Read more

John C. Sumberg was one of the six honorees who were recognized on March 23, 2019 at the 2019 MCCJ Humanitarian Dinner & Silver Medallion Awards presentation at the Intercontinental Miami. John, Chairman of the Bilzin Sumberg law firm, where he leads the business and strategic operations, was honored in appreciation of those who have helped to build a more welcoming, inclusive, just and cooperative society. MCCJ was founded in 1935 as the Miami branch of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Since 2011, it has been known only as MCCJ.

Yasher koach to Edward Beiner, founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Edward Beiner Purveyor of Fine Eyewear, who was selected as the winner of Vision Expo's 2nd Annual OPTImum Retail Award. His award was announced during a Boutique Buyer Panel on March 23, 2019, at Vision Expo East in New York City. Ed was one of five finalists. To determine the finalists, a committee of the industry’s top leaders deliberated and voted on which stories they feel are most deserving of the award. Click here to read more about the finalists

Lani Kahn Drody, President of Lowell International Realty, served as Host Committee Chair of Baptist Health South Florida's "The Grand Gala" on March 16, 2019, raising more than $6.5 million to benefit the organization’s activities in South Florida. The Gala, which is Baptist Health's leading fundraising event, was attended by more than 2,000 guests at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

The Temple Beth Am Day School Annual Auction on March 14, 2019 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 Auction Co-Chairs Jenny Efron-Duffy and Lauren Schwartz, and to the other amazing chairs who helped ensure that the auction was a magnificent celebration.

Andrew H. Wolf, an independent insurance consultant with 35 years experience, was honored at Philanthropy Miami's 22nd annual "Donor Next Door" Luncheon on March 13, 2019. Andy, a member of Temple Beth Am's Board of Directors, is Chair of Federation's South Dade Branch and previously served as Chair of the Professional Advisors Council of The Foundation of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.

Each year, Temple Beth Am is proud to recognize an outstanding family of volunteers. Yasher koach to the Moskowitz Family — Jessica, Adam, Serafina, Michael and Samantha — who were honored on March 10, 2019 as recipients of the Committee of 100’s 2019 “Family of the Year” Award, for their continued participation in our Temple community and their ongoing commitment to congregational leadership. Read article

Dorothy & Aaron Podhurst were honored at the PAMM Art of the Party presented by Valentino on March 9, 2019. The event is the Pérez Art Museum Miami's largest fundraiser event of the year. The Podhursts have been helping to shape the cultural landscape in Miami for more than three decades. As Chairman of PAMM for the majority of that time, Aaron currently Chairs the Executive Committee. Together, they were among the visionary founders and leaders whose generosity and unwavering commitment helped PAMM grow from its inception as the Center for the Fine Arts into a world-class cultural destination.

Leslie Miller Saiontz moderated United Way of Miami-Dade’s 18th annual Women United Breakfast on February 22, 2019 at the Watsco Center at the University of Miami. The breakfast featured keynote speaker Indra Nooyi, former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo. Elizabeth Leight, Psy.D., was among the Table Hosts. Leslie is founder of Achieve Miami, a foundation that launches, scales, and develops programs that narrow the achievement gap.

Oliver Friedland, son of Julie & David Friedland, was a contestant in the 79th annual Miami Herald Spelling Bee competition on February 19, 2019. This year, 166 spellers from elementary and middle schools in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties gathered at the University of Miami’s Donna Shalala Student Center to test their skills. Students began with a written test — 30 words to spell and 10 vocabulary questions. All of the spellers then went on stage to spell a word. Oliver is a 5th grader at Pinecrest Elementary School, where he qualified for the Herald competition after becoming School Spelling Champion earlier in the year.

Mazel tov to Jordan Schmidt (left), winner of the 2019 Anselm Rothschild Memorial Song Competition at NFTY's (North American Federation of Temple Youth) 2019 National Convention in Dallas February 15–18, 2019. Jordan, a 10th grader at Gulliver Preparatory School and son of Dianne & Ed Schmidt, co-wrote "Lo alecha ha m'lacha ligmor" with co-winner Jacob Fishman (right) from Congregation Schaarai Zedek in Tampa. Their song is an interpretation of a text from Pirke Avot 2:21: "You are not expected to complete the task but neither are you free to desist from it." Jordan also was one of the NFTY-STR song leaders at the Dallas convention, attended by some 1,000 teen leaders, college students, Jewish educators and alumni. He is a member of our 2019 Confirmation Class. Watch video

Darin Schatzman, CPA, MBA, PRP, a Senior Benefits Consultant at Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., has been chosen as Chair-Elect of the University of Florida Hillel’s Board of Directors. He will be installed as Chair in July 2020. Darin has remained an active UF alum since earning his Bachelor's in Accounting in 1988. UF Hillel is listed among America’s top 50 innovative Jewish organizations, and has been acknowledged for shifting its programming model, focusing on training future leaders to positively impact the world through a Jewish lens. The Gainesville Hillel serves the largest population of Jewish students in the country.

Huracán, a filmed-in-Miami psychological thriller about an aspiring mixed martial arts fighter with Multiple Personality Disorder, was selected as an entry in the 2019 Miami Film Festival and had its premiere on March 8, 2019 at the Olympia Theater in downtown Miami. The film marked the debut of director Cassius Corrigan (Steven Fine), son of Victoria Corrigan Fine & the Hon. Alan Fine, who are among the executive producers of Huracán. Cassius, who also stars in, and wrote and produced the film, is a graduate of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, where he completed with honors the Directing Intensive program instructed by Oscar-nominated director Michael Toshiyuki Uno. Tickets here

Adam M. Moskowitz served as Topics Coordinator for a National Town Hall Meeting Addressing Addiction, Anxiety & Depression in the Legal Profession February 28–March 1, 2019. The conference, presented by the Bolch Judicial Institute of Duke Law School, University of Miami and Dade County Bar Association, was held at the UM Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables. This event brought together top medical experts, judges and legal practitioners from around the country to discuss and highlight these life-threatening issues, to examine the recommendations of the American Bar Association's National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, and to identify the most promising best practices for the bench and bar. Adam, founding partner of The Moskowitz Law Firm, is in his 26th year on the faculty at the University of Miami School of Law teaching Class Action Litigation.

Jack H. Levine, broker and president of Levine Realty, Inc., was honored on February 1, 2019 by the Miami Association of Realtors at the Industry Leaders & Awards luncheon with its 2018 Advocate of the Year award. Jack was 2011 Chairman of the Board and presently serves as treasurer of the Miami Association of Realtors, representing over 46,000 Realtors in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. He was recognized as Realtor of the Year in 2006 and 2010 by Miami Realtors, and was the recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Leadership Award and the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Congratulations to Laura Haim, a math teacher at Pinecrest Elementary School and daughter of Evelyn & Bruce Greer, who was honored with the 2020 Francisco R. Walker Miami-Dade County Rookie Teacher of the Year award, presented by the Miami-Dade School District on January 31, 2019. Laura is a homegrown success, beginning her career teaching math and science at the school she attended as a child: Pinecrest Elementary. Her mother, Evelyn, is a former Miami-Dade School Board member and former Pinecrest Mayor.

The advanced orchestra at Miami Palmetto Senior High School in Pinecrest doesn’t usually accept freshmen, but the band director made an exception for the exceptional redheaded violin player, Daniel Solomon, son of Staci & Steven Solomon and grandson of Lorraine & Bobby Schatzman. You have to look carefully to realize the boy with the thick glasses is legally blind. Freshman class treasurer, Daniel is always busy, always finding ways to navigate the challenges of high school. In seventh and eighth grades at Palmetto Middle, he organized band concerts which raised over $5,000 for his school’s music program. Daniel is in the midst of organizing a bigger event this year, and he also started a mentoring program, persuading his orchestra peers to visit middle school musicians every week. “I think of myself as an advocate for people with disabilities,” he says. Watch video of Daniel on NBC News on January 18, 2019

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

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