Synagogue hosts blood drive in advance of Hurricane Irma

In advance of Hurricane Irma, Temple Beth Orr in Coral Springs partnered with OneBlood to conduct an emergency blood drive on Sept. 6.

At press time, Irma is a powerful Category 5 hurricane that’s threatening South Florida, and both OneBlood and the synagogue feel that the most critical time for blood donations is before any storm hits in order to sustain the blood supply during and immediately after the event.

At the blood drive, which took place at the synagogue, 14 people attempted to donate. Nine units were donated and five people were ineligible due to low iron.

Melissa Kenny, the blood drive’s chair and co-president of the synagogue’s Sisterhood, was impressed people came out to the blood drive despite the preparations they needed to make for the storm.

“There is warmth, kindness and caring at Temple Beth Orr, unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” she said. “There is a movement to the community, and not just to the Temple Beth Orr community, but to the community at large.”

Initially, the synagogue made arrangements with OneBlood in response to Hurricane Harvey.

“The original intent was to help Texas,” Kenny said. “Given how much flooding and destruction they had, they were unable to do their own emergency drive after the hurricane, so the Southeast United States was helping to support the blood supply for Texas. We were doing this blood drive in response to help Texas, but then with Hurricane Irma coming, the intent of the blood drive needed to shift more to a proactive collection in advance of the storm.”

Kenny said that the synagogue and OneBlood are community partners.

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Rock Shabbat combines Hebrew prayers, popular music

Congregation Kol Tikvah in Parkland will be ready to rock on Sept. 8.

That evening, Kol Tikvah (6750 North University Dr.) will host a Rock Shabbat service that includes rock melodies performed by the congregation’s band fused with liturgical prayers and songs.

The service begins at 6:30 p.m. but attendees can come early at 5:30 p.m. for a Shabbat tailgate dinner through the food trucks on property or by bringing their own dinner. Prospective synagogue members will have the opportunity to meet with the clergy, staff and other families of the congregation at this event which is also an open house for the whole community.

The congregation’s Rock Shabbat takes place monthly from September through June. Rabbi Bradd Boxman, the congregation’s spiritual leader, started these services almost a decade ago.

“I felt that I wanted to have a kind of a service that would be contemporary, that would have a very musical element to it, that would be received well by younger families and folks that have good memories of different rock melodies and that would give freedom for people to get out of their seats to sing and dance and to pray from more than just their mouths, but their whole bodies,” Boxman said.

Boxman continued, “Due to its nature, it’s not as formal as a regular service, and for some people, especially if they’re in mourning and they have to say some prayers for a loved one or maybe they’re not in that kind of a mood to have that kind of service, we offer an alternative service at 7:30 that’s led by the cantor.”

Boxman noted that the Rock Shabbat is “truly a Shabbat service.”

“We’re not skipping anything. We’re not throwing together a bunch of songs and calling it a service. We actually follow the structure of a Shabbat evening service and in between the different pieces of music, my role is to give a short two-minutes max inspirational lead-in to the song, so interspersed between the music is my role to kind of lift up this service with spiritual insights.”

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Springs teen wins bronze in Maccabiah Games’ taekwondo competition

Amber Avroya, 17, of Coral Springs felt a great deal of Jewish pride while competing at the recent 2017 Maccabiah Games in Israel where she won a bronze medal in Taekwondo.

The Maccabiah Games, known as the Jewish Olympics, are an international Jewish and Israeli multi-sport event held quadrennial in Israel.

This recent competition strengthened Avroya’s Jewish identity. It was the first time she’s visited Israel.

“I learned a lot about the country and I had the opportunity to see a lot of things I never got to see before that I’ve always wanted to see.”

Among the many highlights for Avroya on this trip were seeing the City of David, the Western Wall, Dead Sea, Masada, and the Children’s Memorial that recognizes the children that were murdered during World War II.

Julie Blandford, Avroya’s mother, said her daughter’s been looking forward to this opportunity since she found about the Maccabiah Games.

“She’s wanted to make the team since she was 11 year old and when she did make that team, she was very excited to connect to her Jewish roots, to experience Israel and meet family she’s never met before.”

Avroya said, “It was an honor to compete in my father’s home country while representing my country, the USA.”

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Coral Springs teen wins bronze in Maccabiah Games’ Taekwondo competition

Amber Avroya, 17, of Coral Springs felt a great deal of Jewish pride while competing at the recent 2017 Maccabiah Games in Israel where she won a bronze medal in Taekwondo.

The Maccabiah Games, known as the Jewish Olympics, are an international Jewish and Israeli multi-sport event held quadrennial in Israel.

This recent competition strengthened Avroya’s Jewish identity. It was the first time she’s visited Israel.

“I learned a lot about the country and I had the opportunity to see a lot of things I never got to see before that I’ve always wanted to see.”

Among the many highlights for Avroya on this trip were seeing the City of David, the Western Wall, Dead Sea, Masada, and the Children’s Memorial that recognizes the children that were murdered during World War II.

Julie Blandford, Avroya’s mother, said her daughter’s been looking forward to this opportunity since she found about the Maccabiah Games.

“She’s wanted to make the team since she was 11 year old and when she did make that team, she was very excited to connect to her Jewish roots, to experience Israel and meet family she’s never met before.”

Avroya said, “It was an honor to compete in my father’s home country while representing my country, the USA.”

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Erev Tisha B’Av service in Parkland moves, enlightens congregation

An unfortunate case of laryngitis couldn’t prevent Cantor Malcolm Arnold from leading a powerful and meaningful Erev Tisha B’Av service at Congregation Kol Tikvah in Parkland.

Tisha B’Av is an annual holy day commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. It has been called “the saddest day in Jewish history” and is also one of general mourning for the numerous catastrophes that have coincidentally befallen Jews on the ninth of Av.

Arnold noted he was pleased with the turnout of about 50 people. “I was expecting 30 people, and I would’ve been happy with 30,” he said.

Kol Tikvah is a Reform synagogue that began hosting this service eight years ago.

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Temple Beth Orr’s new senior rabbi excited to lead congregation

There’s a new senior rabbi at Temple Beth Orr in Coral Springs.

Rabbi Marci Bloch, who became the senior rabbi at Temple Beth Orr on July 1, said regarding her new leadership position, “I’m really excited about this opportunity to bring my heart and my passion for Judaism and my love of people to this community.

I’m looking forward to us all growing together.”

Before her assuming her new role at the synagogue, Bloch, 43, served as the associate rabbi at Congregation B’nai Israel in Boca Raton for 12 years. At B’nai Israel, she was involved in all aspects of congregational life, including pastoral care, Jewish healing, creative ritual, religious school, b’nai mitzvah, teen programs and the early childhood center. She also served as the assistant rabbi at Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation in Indiana for two years. Ordained through Hebrew Union College, Bloch also has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan.

Bloch, who is passionate about family education, adult learning and working with youth, said she’s received a positive reception since becoming the synagogue’s senior rabbi.

“Congregants have been very warm, loving and welcoming. It’s been wonderful.”

Bloch said, regarding her goals for the congregation, “My goals are really to help the congregation grow in their souls and help them to really be the beauty and wonder in Judaism.”

Bloch said she learned so much in her 12 years as associate rabbi at B’nai Israel and grew a tremendous amount there.

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Reform synagogue commemorating Tisha B’Av with service

Congregation Kol Tikvah in Parkland will host what is anticipated to be an enlightening and moving Erev Tisha B’Av service on July 31 at 7:30 p.m.

Tisha B’Av is an annual holy day commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. It has been called “the saddest day in Jewish history” and it also one of general mourning for the numerous catastrophes that have coincidentally befallen Jews on the ninth of Av.

Cantor Malcolm Arnold of Kol Tikvah, a Reform synagogue, will lead this upcoming service. Arnold said the congregation began hosting this Tisha B’Av service eight years ago and that it is something most Reform synagogues don’t observe. As far as the look of the service, he said it won’t be much different than a Friday evening Shabbat service.

“I will be leading the service by myself, both doing the music and readings, but what we’ve done is we’ve incorporated a lot of the traditional ingredients of a Tisha B’Av service. Because it’s not an Orthodox type of service, we don’t observe some of the customs of sitting on the floor or on boxes as if you’re in a house of mourning. We do dim the lights and we do minimize the socializing in that it is a sad holiday, but it is a sad holiday with a message of reconstruction of almost celebrating the fact that despite the numerous tragedies that we’ve faced as a people, we are still here, which is quite unique.”

Arnold said there are several things that people can take away from attending the service.

“I think we need to show respect and empathy for those who have died in honor of Judaism or by just the fact they were born to be Jews and suffered consequences at the hands of history. I think it’s important to remember that.”

Arnold continued, “It’s also a significant holiday on the calendar, whether we believe in all the ambitions of the holiday to rebuild the Temple.

We don’t particularly believe in that, but we do see that it’s worth immersing ourselves in. It is the same way in which we study the Book of Leviticus, which is mostly information dealing with the temple cult. It doesn’t exist anymore but we still study it because it’s part of who we are and part of our history.”

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South Floridians train to volunteer in Israel

Numerous South Floridians are now trained and certified emergency responders who can volunteer in Israel when a crisis breaks out there.

Approximately 60 people attended the Emergency Volunteers Project’s recent training sessions at the Plantation Fire Department Administration Building and the Coral Springs Regional Institute of Public Safety. EVP is an Israeli organization that assembles a team of able-bodied volunteers who are trained to provide non-military support in Israel in the event of a crisis there.

The Volunteers were certified by the State of Israel, Federal Emergency Management Agency and EVP to become local and international responders through initial training and orientation meetings. They will serve in Israel for 10 days, if needed, during the next war or other crisis. These volunteers would include: doctors, firefighters, nurses and paramedics, and community volunteers who would serve in the municipality emergency depots, deliver water and food to shelters and provide various support services in towns drained by call ups of military reserve personnel.

EVP has also partnered with the Jewish Federation of Broward County and the city of Nesher to assemble a team of local volunteers that would serve in Israel if needed on behalf of the Federation.

“Jewish Federation of Broward County‘s support of EVP is an expression of our unwavering commitment to the people and the State of Israel,” said Michael Balaban, the Federation’s president and chief executive officer, in an email statement. “We are united with Israel in moments of calm and crisis. Combining our financial and volunteer support, our community is proud to be a part of this project.”



Documentary highlights Boca rabbi

CAPTION

Rabbi Merle’s Singer’s fight against Parkinson’s disease is the subject of a documentary being aired over the next few nights on WXEL and WPBT.

Rabbi Merle’s Singer’s fight against Parkinson’s disease is the subject of a documentary being aired over the next few nights on WXEL and WPBT.

Israel police arrest suspect in threats on US Jewish targets

CAPTION

Israeli police say they have arrested a 19-year-old Israeli Jewish man as the primary suspect in a string of bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers in the U.S.

Israeli police say they have arrested a 19-year-old Israeli Jewish man as the primary suspect in a string of bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers in the U.S.

Trial date scheduled for Aventura synagogue bomb suspect

CAPTION

James Gonzalo Medina’s trial is scheduled for August 21 in Miami. He has until May 26 to decide if he wants to plead guilty.

James Gonzalo Medina’s trial is scheduled for August 21 in Miami. He has until May 26 to decide if he wants to plead guilty.

Second bomb threat in nine days at Davie JCC

CAPTION

Students were evacuated Tuesday, March 7, 2017 from the David Posnack Hebrew Day School on the Jewish Community Center campus because of a telephoned bomb threat.

Students were evacuated Tuesday, March 7, 2017 from the David Posnack Hebrew Day School on the Jewish Community Center campus because of a telephoned bomb threat.

Davie's new food pantry offers Kosher feeding program

CAPTION

The Cupboard in Davie offers an all-kosher feeding program and what’s known as a “choice-market” pantry, where limited-income people can shop for what they want.

The Cupboard in Davie offers an all-kosher feeding program and what’s known as a “choice-market” pantry, where limited-income people can shop for what they want.

Brian Strelitz, EVP’s East Region manager, said that the volunteers’ passion, dedication and commitment during the training sessions enabled them to be able to go to Israel to do “an incredible service at the time of a crisis.”

Strelitz mentioned that the volunteers worked on hose drills with Israeli equipment and firefighters so they would understand not only how to work with it, but also the differences between the Israeli and American equipment.

Billy Hirth, EVP’s director of operations/fire teams who was one of the trainers, said the training focused on getting the volunteers to mainly adapt to the Israeli way of doing business and also the differences and mindset between the Israeli and American way.

evpflorida@gmail.com for more information on EVP, including future trainings.

Article source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/fl-jjbn-training-0628-20170621-story.html

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Beit Café benefit supports training for Israeli trauma surgeon

A recent entertaining Saturday night at Congregation Kol Tikvah in Parkland featured food, coffee, live music, dancing as well as important information about trauma centers.

Kol Tikvah’s Association of Reform Zionists of America Committee hosted its second Beit Café that featured live musical performances from musician Eduardo Macadar and his band – The Emac Band – as well as Rhonda Virgin and the congregation’s band.

All donations for the Beit Café, which is translated to coffee house, supported the local training of Dr. Alon Schwarz, a trauma surgeon at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Schwarz is training at the Ryder Trauma Center in Miami to help keep Israel’s trauma system strong.

David Beale, co-chair of the congregation’s ARZA Committee, described the ambiance of the evening as “festive” and noted that the nature of this fun event for a great cause allowed it to be a success.

“That’s why we had the support we had,” Beale added. “There was a lot of coffee and wine and entertainment. People learned a little bit about trauma hospitals and they learned some Israeli songs and the band played ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon and they sang it in Hebrew.”



Documentary highlights Boca rabbi

Caption

Rabbi Merle’s Singer’s fight against Parkinson’s disease is the subject of a documentary being aired over the next few nights on WXEL and WPBT.

Rabbi Merle’s Singer’s fight against Parkinson’s disease is the subject of a documentary being aired over the next few nights on WXEL and WPBT.

Israel police arrest suspect in threats on US Jewish targets

Caption

Israeli police say they have arrested a 19-year-old Israeli Jewish man as the primary suspect in a string of bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers in the U.S.

Israeli police say they have arrested a 19-year-old Israeli Jewish man as the primary suspect in a string of bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers in the U.S.

Trial date scheduled for Aventura synagogue bomb suspect

Caption

James Gonzalo Medina’s trial is scheduled for August 21 in Miami. He has until May 26 to decide if he wants to plead guilty.

James Gonzalo Medina’s trial is scheduled for August 21 in Miami. He has until May 26 to decide if he wants to plead guilty.

Second bomb threat in nine days at Davie JCC

Caption

Students were evacuated Tuesday, March 7, 2017 from the David Posnack Hebrew Day School on the Jewish Community Center campus because of a telephoned bomb threat.

Students were evacuated Tuesday, March 7, 2017 from the David Posnack Hebrew Day School on the Jewish Community Center campus because of a telephoned bomb threat.

Davie's new food pantry offers Kosher feeding program

Caption

The Cupboard in Davie offers an all-kosher feeding program and what’s known as a “choice-market” pantry, where limited-income people can shop for what they want.

The Cupboard in Davie offers an all-kosher feeding program and what’s known as a “choice-market” pantry, where limited-income people can shop for what they want.

Virgin, whose band also performed “The Sounds of Silence” by Simon Garfunkel in Hebrew as well other American and Israeli songs, said it was a great opportunity for the congregation’s house band to perform at this event.

“Generally we lead services the first Thursday of every month and we normally do liturgy in a rock style so this was really a great opportunity for us to express ourselves in a non-religious setting. It was really an honor to be able to do this.”

The event also included a presentation from Schwarz on trauma centers.

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Anti-Semitic incidents in Florida rise 51 percent

According to the recently-released Anti-Defamation League Annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, there was a 51 percent increase of incidents of anti-Semitism in Florida from 137 verified incidents in 2016 up from 91 the previous year.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), founded in 1913, defines itself as the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

The ADL has been tracking anti-Semitic incidents in the United States since 1979. The audit includes both criminal and non-criminal incidents — including acts of harassment and intimidation; distribution of hate propaganda; threats; and slurs.

Compiled using information provided by victims, law enforcement and community leaders — and evaluated by the ADL’s professional staff — the audit provides an annual snapshot of this nationwide problem while identifying possible trends or changes in the types of activity reported.

The annual ADL Audit encompasses all incidents reported to the ADL Florida office, law enforcement, media or other sources. These include incidents of vandalism, assault and harassment targeting Jewish individuals and institutions.



Documentary highlights Boca rabbi

Caption Documentary highlights Boca rabbi

Rabbi Merle’s Singer’s fight against Parkinson’s disease is the subject of a documentary being aired over the next few nights on WXEL and WPBT.

Rabbi Merle’s Singer’s fight against Parkinson’s disease is the subject of a documentary being aired over the next few nights on WXEL and WPBT.

Israel police arrest suspect in threats on US Jewish targets

Caption Israel police arrest suspect in threats on US Jewish targets

Israeli police say they have arrested a 19-year-old Israeli Jewish man as the primary suspect in a string of bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers in the U.S.

Israeli police say they have arrested a 19-year-old Israeli Jewish man as the primary suspect in a string of bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers in the U.S.

Trial date scheduled for Aventura synagogue bomb suspect

Caption Trial date scheduled for Aventura synagogue bomb suspect

James Gonzalo Medina’s trial is scheduled for August 21 in Miami. He has until May 26 to decide if he wants to plead guilty.

James Gonzalo Medina’s trial is scheduled for August 21 in Miami. He has until May 26 to decide if he wants to plead guilty.

Second bomb threat in nine days at Davie JCC

Caption Second bomb threat in nine days at Davie JCC

Students were evacuated Tuesday, March 7, 2017 from the David Posnack Hebrew Day School on the Jewish Community Center campus because of a telephoned bomb threat.

Students were evacuated Tuesday, March 7, 2017 from the David Posnack Hebrew Day School on the Jewish Community Center campus because of a telephoned bomb threat.

Davie's new food pantry offers Kosher feeding program

Caption Davie’s new food pantry offers Kosher feeding program

The Cupboard in Davie offers an all-kosher feeding program and what’s known as a “choice-market” pantry, where limited-income people can shop for what they want.

The Cupboard in Davie offers an all-kosher feeding program and what’s known as a “choice-market” pantry, where limited-income people can shop for what they want.

This information assists the ADL in developing and enhancing its programs to counter and prevent the spread of anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry.

“There is no doubt that anti-Semitism is still deeply embedded in our society,” said Yael Hershfield, the ADL’s Florida interim regional director. “The increase in its manifestations is sobering — and should alarm us all.

“This year’s audit is a painful reminder that anti-Semitism still poses a threat. Our work assisting victims of anti-Semitism and pro-actively working to create a society free of bigotry is needed now more than ever.”

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