Soref golf tournament to benefit needy children, families

The 22nd annual Soref Jewish Community “Love Fore The Kids Golf Classic” to raise funds, mostly for children’s scholarships to attend many JCC camps and school programs, takes place on April 20 at 7:30 a.m. at the Parkland Golf and Country Club in Parkland.

“The ‘Love Fore The Kids Golf Classic’ has been successful to raise funds for our scholarship programs. More than 200 children from less fortunate families, as well as those with special needs, are able to attend our high quality preschool, after school and summer camp programs,” said Donald Graw, executive director of the Soref JCC.

“Since the inception of the JCC in 1977, we have provided over $8.5 million of children’s scholarships and this year alone, we will surpass $500,000.”

Graw also noted that the golf event has also provided funding for the WECARE Food Pantry that provides non-perishable food to approximately 10,000 Broward County residents.

The event offers many prizes to be won at the Golf Classic for a testing of skills, such as a prize for the golfer who hits a shot closest to the hole.

“Last year, we had 40 golfers and this year, we expect at least 100 golfers,” said Adam Steinberg, chair of the golf event committee and JCC board member.

A golfer who will be the first to hit a hole-in-one will win a car, according to Steinberg.

Other contests at the event include prizes for the golfer who hits the longest drive, the lowest score of the day by a golfer and for the team with the lowest score of the day, among other contests.

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Book club historian shows kindness to others at Atlantic Tech

This is one in a series of profiles this school year of students who are nominated by teachers and chosen by editors as best exemplifying the six character pillars: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, caring, fairness and citizenship. 

Brianna Seepersad

Age: 16

School: Atlantic Technical High School, Coconut Creek

Parent to Parent: Helpful tips on weathering a storm

Caption Parent to Parent: Helpful tips on weathering a storm

Broward County’s assistant director of Public Communications, Ric Barrick, and Roxanne Vargas of NBC6 discuss helpful tips every family should know before, during and after a hurricane.

Broward County’s assistant director of Public Communications, Ric Barrick, and Roxanne Vargas of NBC6 discuss helpful tips every family should know before, during and after a hurricane.

Supermoms of Broward organizes events for mothers and their kids

Caption Supermoms of Broward organizes events for mothers and their kids

Supermoms of Broward is a fast-growing social group that is part support, part referral service, and part discounter on local activities.

Supermoms of Broward is a fast-growing social group that is part support, part referral service, and part discounter on local activities.

Tradewinds  Atlantic Railroad keep the train tradition on track

Caption Tradewinds Atlantic Railroad keep the train tradition on track

Volunteers of the Tradewinds Atlantic Railroad keep the train tradition alive by giving rides on diesel-powered mini trains to the public in memory of Jon Hollahan.

Volunteers of the Tradewinds Atlantic Railroad keep the train tradition alive by giving rides on diesel-powered mini trains to the public in memory of Jon Hollahan.

“I feel good inside when I do these deeds and I think other people should be kind, too,” Brianna says. “I feel like if more people did this, we could communicate better.”

Margie Rohrbach, media specialist: Brianna Seepersad is a new sophomore here and she is a model student. She is in my Women of Tomorrow and Book Club and she is studious, extremely responsible and helpful. She has volunteered to help with WOT and Book Club, so she will now be historian of Book Club and will work on the Bulletin Board. She is here every morning working and is always respectful, polite and friendly.

Rajdaye Seepersad, mother: You can teach your kids to be kind, but that doesn’t mean that they are going to do it. Most kids practice what you preach at home, but when they are alone, they are a completely different person. Some kids are just born with a kind heart. This is like instinct for them. Brianna has always been this way – kind, giving and loving. She’s always willing to give a helping hand to anyone in need.

There was a time I remember when she was in elementary school. The teacher would always call on her to help in class because they know she is always willing to go that extra mile in assisting. Her classmates never appreciated her kindness and called her names like a ‘goody two shoes’ or a ‘teacher’s pet.’ That never kept her back from being that wonderful person to everyone. She has always been the first one to help anyone in need.

Brianna has always been a shy person and doesn’t have many friends. I think she goes out of her way to be extra caring to people in hopes to come out of her shell and be a good friend. It’s nice to know others beside myself have recognized how special she is. She brings joy to everyone.

She is always doing good deeds. Brianna volunteers at the library and at her middle school’s PTSA. She is always willing to stay back to give that extra help when needed. If you don’t ask her for help, she will ask you if you need help. We believe in karma; what goes around comes around. If you send out good energy and treat people with love, then this will also come back to you. This is an old saying in our culture to do good to others and this is what she does.

Brianna Seepersad: I don’t really do anything extra in hopes of being noticed or praised. This is something I do on a normal basis. I sometimes help other students with their work when they’re stuck or I might open the door for someone else to walk in first.

I think I have always been kind to others. I just like to be kind to others; it makes me feel good about myself. I know that there might be someone who might be having a bad day and they are feeling bad about themselves. If I do something, even something small, it can make their day. Something small could be helping someone feel better, helping others with their work, etc.

I feel good inside when I do these deeds. I have heard from people that they admire that I am always willing to lend a helping hand to them. I often try to go out of my way to make sure they understand or get something. I do believe that these deeds have impacts. I have also been told that when I do something like make sure they are OK, it helps their day go a little better.

I would say I exhibit these traits often. I don’t really keep a track of everything I do. I automatically do it without even thinking. This is because I think it’s an essential part of life.

-Beth Feinstein-Bartl

Article source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/fl-cn-koc-briannaseepersad-0402-20170401-story.html

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Mitzvah madness connects congregants to community

Mitzvahs were performed in abundance and unity on a recent Sunday morning at Temple Beth Orr in Coral Springs.

TBO hosted Mitzvah Day 2017, known as “Mitzvah Madness,” that drew approximately 200 people of different age groups, including children from the congregation’s preschool and religious school to some of the older congregants.

Melissa Kenny, the Mitzvah Day chair, said the event was very successful.

“Coming together as a congregation to work and help those in the community who are either struggling or less fortunate is a great feeling.”

Among the many volunteer projects that event participants took part in included: making sandwiches that went to homeless shelters; challah baking; a car wash where the money raised benefits Camp Jenny; collecting socks and underwear for children and teens that are cared for by Jewish Adoption and Family Care Options; collecting all kinds of toiletries for the Broward Outreach Center and the Jewish Family Services Domestic Abuse Program; and working with the Orchard Supply Hardware team to give the north side of the congregation a little facelift.



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.

Rise in anti-Semitism causes South Florida Jewish community to look for ways to combat it

Caption Rise in anti-Semitism causes South Florida Jewish community to look for ways to combat it

In recent weeks, swastikas were etched into cars in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood in Miami Beach and one was spray-painted on a car in a largely Jewish community west of Boca Raton.

In recent weeks, swastikas were etched into cars in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood in Miami Beach and one was spray-painted on a car in a largely Jewish community west of Boca Raton.

“There was a feeling of camaraderie, there was a feeling of purpose and there was a feeling of connection not only to each other but to our community as we worked to help them,” Kenny said.

Kenny noted, “I hope that they [participants] take away that it doesn’t matter how big or small you are or how old you are, you can help make a difference and that a little bit of kindness and caring go a long way.”

Another one of the projects that participants took part in that day was sorting plastic caps that were collected for Caps of Love, an organization that raises money to provide wheelchairs for disabled individuals under the age of 21 in the United States by recycling plastic caps and lids.

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Six million steps walk raises Holocaust awareness

The “Six Million Steps to Holocaust Awareness” walk is an idea that was initiated a few years ago by Hebrew school students of Temple Beth Torah Sha’aray Tzedek in Tamarac and has turned into an annual-wide community supported educational program.

The third annual walk takes place on April 2 from 9 a.m.-noon at the Coral Springs Sportsplex Track at Coral Glades High School, 2700 Sportsplex Dr. This event is meant to bring the community together and heighten the awareness of the atrocities that occurred during the Holocaust as participants walk six million steps in the memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. All proceeds will be donated to the Broward County March of the Living Youth Scholarship Fund.

Ronit Goldstein, Hebrew school director at Temple Beth Torah Sha’aray Tzedek, instructed her students a few years ago to come up with an action plan that would involve the community with Holocaust awareness. Goldstein said there many ideas by these students – who she taught and were then in sixth grade – such as a radio show and a color run aside from a walk.

“They had so many wonderful ideas but the problem was that I knew I wouldn’t be able to execute them. However, I thought the walk was something that was doable, so I went over to our rabbi and was told to create a committee, and then I approached another temple member who was willing to be head of the committee and suggested to reach out to the community to see who would be willing to cooperate with us.”

Goldstein continued, “We reached out to different temples, and Temple Beth Am [in Margate] actually decided to join us, and that’s when we started working tighter in community collaboration with Temple Beth Am.”



Holocaust Survivor Band returns from Poland

Caption Holocaust Survivor Band returns from Poland

Polish-born Holocaust survivors Saul Dreier and Reuwen Sosnowicz returned home Wednesday after an unforgettable trip to Poland and Israel.

Polish-born Holocaust survivors Saul Dreier and Reuwen Sosnowicz returned home Wednesday after an unforgettable trip to Poland and Israel.

Weston philanthropist to build Holocaust rooms at Nova

Caption Weston philanthropist to build Holocaust rooms at Nova

A gift from Craig and Barbara Weiner will benefit Nova Southeastern Universty’s Alvin Sherman Library to create a new Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room.

A gift from Craig and Barbara Weiner will benefit Nova Southeastern Universty’s Alvin Sherman Library to create a new Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room.

Sherman tank on display at the Holocaust Documentation  Education Center

Caption Sherman tank on display at the Holocaust Documentation Education Center

A Sherman tank used in combat during WWII was unveiled at the Holocaust Documentation Education Center Friday at 303 North Federal Highway in Dania Beach.

A Sherman tank used in combat during WWII was unveiled at the Holocaust Documentation Education Center Friday at 303 North Federal Highway in Dania Beach.

Temple honors people where Torah is from.

Caption Temple honors people where Torah is from.

On Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, May 5, members of Temple Beth Kodesh in Boynton Beach will recite the names of people who died in the Holocaust from Kutna Hora, Czechoslovakia, the town their Torah is from.

On Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, May 5, members of Temple Beth Kodesh in Boynton Beach will recite the names of people who died in the Holocaust from Kutna Hora, Czechoslovakia, the town their Torah is from.

Students at Stoneman Douglas share lunch, stories with Holocaust survivors

Caption Students at Stoneman Douglas share lunch, stories with Holocaust survivors

90 Holocaust survivors gathered on Thursday for a special luncheon hosted by students at Stoneman Douglas High School.

90 Holocaust survivors gathered on Thursday for a special luncheon hosted by students at Stoneman Douglas High School.

Goldstein noted that it was decided by the students that proceeds support the Broward County March of the Living Youth Scholarship Fund.

Hosting organizations for this year’s walk include Temple Beth Torah Sha’aray Tzedek, Temple Beth Am, the Jewish Federation of Broward County, Orloff Central Agency for Jewish Education and The Jewish Agency for Israel.

According to Goldstein, other Broward County Religious schools will be part of the event, as well as clubs in different public schools throughout the county. As the Hebrew school has been part of the Jewish Federation of Broward County‘s Nesher twining program for many years, the program will take place both in Coral Springs and Nesher, Israel this year.

sixmillionstepstoholocaust@gmail.com for more information, including registration and payment. There is a $6 minimum donation to honor a Holocaust victim.

Article source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/fl-jjbn-steps-0322-20170320-story.html

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Atlantic Tech senior makes academics her priority

This is one in a series of profiles this school year of students who are nominated by teachers and chosen by editors as best exemplifying the six character pillars: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, caring, fairness and citizenship.

Amanda Gonzalez

Age: 18

School: Atlantic Technical College Technical High School, Coconut Creek

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Synagogue’s executive director connects to congregants

Many synagogues, especially larger ones, tend to be dominated by male executive directors. In the case of Congregation Kol Tikvah in Parkland, a woman – Jennifer Levin-Tavares – serves as its executive director with the aim of being a good role model for the entire congregation, including children, adults and staff.

Levin-Tavares, 54, lives in Coconut Creek and is also active in the National Association for Temple Administration, a professional network of Reform Jewish synagogue executive directors where she is on the Membership Committee and co-chair of its mentoring program. She attained senior status in 2013 and became a Fellow in Temple Administration in 2014.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be serving as a leader at Congregation Kol Tikvah and in NATA and I do hope I inspire and have a positive impact on those whose lives I touch,” she said.

Levin-Tavares grew up in a small Jewish community in Knoxville, Tennessee and most recently served as executive director at Congregation Mishkan Israel in Hamden, Connecticut.

“One thing I had come to realize is that growing up in a small Jewish community can really strengthen your Jewish identity and that can lead toward Jewish communal service,” she said. “For instance, I had seven people in my religious school class when I was growing up. We had a very small synagogue. There was one other girl in my class and she became a rabbi. I think there’s something about growing up in that kind of environment that draws you into wanting to be in the Jewish world.”



Holocaust Survivor Band returns from Poland

Caption Holocaust Survivor Band returns from Poland

Polish-born Holocaust survivors Saul Dreier and Reuwen Sosnowicz returned home Wednesday after an unforgettable trip to Poland and Israel.

Polish-born Holocaust survivors Saul Dreier and Reuwen Sosnowicz returned home Wednesday after an unforgettable trip to Poland and Israel.

Weston philanthropist to build Holocaust rooms at Nova

Caption Weston philanthropist to build Holocaust rooms at Nova

A gift from Craig and Barbara Weiner will benefit Nova Southeastern Universty’s Alvin Sherman Library to create a new Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room.

A gift from Craig and Barbara Weiner will benefit Nova Southeastern Universty’s Alvin Sherman Library to create a new Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room.

Sherman tank on display at the Holocaust Documentation  Education Center

Caption Sherman tank on display at the Holocaust Documentation Education Center

A Sherman tank used in combat during WWII was unveiled at the Holocaust Documentation Education Center Friday at 303 North Federal Highway in Dania Beach.

A Sherman tank used in combat during WWII was unveiled at the Holocaust Documentation Education Center Friday at 303 North Federal Highway in Dania Beach.

Temple honors people where Torah is from.

Caption Temple honors people where Torah is from.

On Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, May 5, members of Temple Beth Kodesh in Boynton Beach will recite the names of people who died in the Holocaust from Kutna Hora, Czechoslovakia, the town their Torah is from.

On Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, May 5, members of Temple Beth Kodesh in Boynton Beach will recite the names of people who died in the Holocaust from Kutna Hora, Czechoslovakia, the town their Torah is from.

Students at Stoneman Douglas share lunch, stories with Holocaust survivors

Caption Students at Stoneman Douglas share lunch, stories with Holocaust survivors

90 Holocaust survivors gathered on Thursday for a special luncheon hosted by students at Stoneman Douglas High School.

90 Holocaust survivors gathered on Thursday for a special luncheon hosted by students at Stoneman Douglas High School.

Levin-Tavares became Kol Tikvah’s executive director on Feb. 1, 2016. In addition to overseeing this Reform synagogue’s operations, she serves as a resource to facilitate members’ integration into congregational life as she believes strongly that a synagogue is more than a place, it’s also a community where everyone feels at home.

“I have always been drawn to smaller to mid-sized congregations because my goal is to try to really know each congregant individually,” she said. “That is a difficult enough task in a medium sized institution and practically impossible in a large one.”

Levin-Tavares believes the synagogue is a second home for most people.

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Rudner often includes Jewish upbringing in her act

Jewish comedienne Rita Rudner stars in her stand up 90 minute comedy show on Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Coral Springs Center for the Arts in Coral Springs.

Known for her slow delivery and acute observations, Rudner’s first interest in show business was in dancing, growing up in the Coconut Grove section of Miami.

Rudner’s life changed drastically when her mother died of breast cancer when Rita was 13. Her father, attorney Abe Rudner, married again within a short period of time.

“I was very unhappy with my stepmother, who is not Jewish. I felt determined to become independent, so I graduated high school at age 15 and went to live in New York soon after my graduation to become a professional dancer,” said the 63-year-old Rudner in a phone conversation from her Las Vegas residence..

“I was young, brave and stupid but I found my way as a dancer. I performed in many Broadway shows, such as “Follies,” “Promises, Promises” and “Zorba,” among other musicals.”



Holocaust Survivor Band returns from Poland

Caption Holocaust Survivor Band returns from Poland

Polish-born Holocaust survivors Saul Dreier and Reuwen Sosnowicz returned home Wednesday after an unforgettable trip to Poland and Israel.

Polish-born Holocaust survivors Saul Dreier and Reuwen Sosnowicz returned home Wednesday after an unforgettable trip to Poland and Israel.

Weston philanthropist to build Holocaust rooms at Nova

Caption Weston philanthropist to build Holocaust rooms at Nova

A gift from Craig and Barbara Weiner will benefit Nova Southeastern Universty’s Alvin Sherman Library to create a new Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room.

A gift from Craig and Barbara Weiner will benefit Nova Southeastern Universty’s Alvin Sherman Library to create a new Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room.

Sherman tank on display at the Holocaust Documentation  Education Center

Caption Sherman tank on display at the Holocaust Documentation Education Center

A Sherman tank used in combat during WWII was unveiled at the Holocaust Documentation Education Center Friday at 303 North Federal Highway in Dania Beach.

A Sherman tank used in combat during WWII was unveiled at the Holocaust Documentation Education Center Friday at 303 North Federal Highway in Dania Beach.

Temple honors people where Torah is from.

Caption Temple honors people where Torah is from.

On Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, May 5, members of Temple Beth Kodesh in Boynton Beach will recite the names of people who died in the Holocaust from Kutna Hora, Czechoslovakia, the town their Torah is from.

On Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, May 5, members of Temple Beth Kodesh in Boynton Beach will recite the names of people who died in the Holocaust from Kutna Hora, Czechoslovakia, the town their Torah is from.

Students at Stoneman Douglas share lunch, stories with Holocaust survivors

Caption Students at Stoneman Douglas share lunch, stories with Holocaust survivors

90 Holocaust survivors gathered on Thursday for a special luncheon hosted by students at Stoneman Douglas High School.

90 Holocaust survivors gathered on Thursday for a special luncheon hosted by students at Stoneman Douglas High School.

By the time, Rudner was in her late twenties, she knew that her time as a professional dancer would be coming to a close. So, she turned her passion for dance into a passion for comedy.

“I learned and studied from the best comedians, such as Woody Allen and Jack Benny. There were not that many women who did comedy when I started, with Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers being the biggest names in the 1970s. I am shy and quiet, very different from Joan and Phyllis, and felt confident that I would have a unique style that would connect with audiences.”

Rudner’s observations of the world around her have connected to audiences both on stage and television. She has starred in HBO television comedy specials and performed often on the Johnny Carson and David Letterman late night television talk shows.

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Tradewinds student organizes buddy program

Brianna Breslaw

Age: 11

School: Tradewinds Elementary School, Coconut Creek

Grade: Fifth

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Kids of Character: Lola Simcox

This is one in a series of profiles this school year of students who are nominated by teachers and chosen by editors as best exemplifying the School District of Palm Beach County‘s six character pillars: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, caring, fairness and citizenship.

Lola Simcox

Age: 6

School: Tradewinds Elementary School, Coconut Creek

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Trial starting for ex-Air Force major accused of trying to kill his wife and her dad in Broward

Hours before retired U.S. Air Force Major Thomas Maffei shot and seriously injured his estranged wife and her father in Coral Springs, he went to a Veterans Administration crisis clinic in Palm Beach County and told staff he was under extreme stress.

When Maffei goes on trial Monday in Broward Circuit Court on attempted murder and other charges, he won’t dispute that he fired three shots through his then-wife’s apartment door as she and her father leaned against it, trying to keep him out.

Some of those hollow-point bullets struck Katherine Ranta Maffei and her father, Robert Ranta, before Maffei forced his way inside and shot both victims again on November 2, 2012, prosecutors say.

Maffei, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq before he was diagnosed with severe back pain, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), will present an “intoxication defense” at trial, his lawyer Fred Haddad said.

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