Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles written by Sam Friedman


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  • Raising expectations

    Sam Friedman, Chief Development Officer Shalom Orlando|Mar 3, 2023

    Join Shalom Orlando in celebrating Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month. We recognize JDAAIM because we know that nearly 20 percent of our population live with a disability. To put that in perspective: • 52 million adults in the United States live with a disability • 10,000 Jews in Central Florida live with a disability • 55 children in the Richard S. Adler Early Childhood Center live with a disability, which is almost three per classroom. In short, everyone knows someo...

  • Help save lives at the Shalom Orlando Golf Tournament

    Sam Friedman, Chief Development Officer Shalom Orlando|Jan 6, 2023

    When the Roth Family JCC and the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando joined together earlier this year to create Shalom Orlando, we did so with the knowledge that our community demanded better engagement opportunities, a stronger commitment to Jewish values, and for Shalom Orlando to step up and lead the future of Jewish life in Central Florida. That mandate requires us to take a step back, look at the white board and decide what we keep, what we sunset, and what we adapt. And by now we hope you realize that it is fun to build the future. If...

  • Building the Emerald City

    Sam Friedman, First person|Sep 17, 2021

    When asked about the quality I most admire in a leader, the answer is always vision. Perhaps it was the years of working with the former CEO of Central Florida Hillel, the irreplaceable Aaron Weil. Or the general lack of vision I see in so many organizations (Jewish and not), but an inspiring leader who knows the potential of their organization makes me want to sign up, donate and get involved. That is why at our recent board retreat, the Stetson University Hillel student board started with...

  • New Israeli government should be celebrated

    Sam Friedman|Jun 18, 2021

    Whether you like Prime Minister Netanyahu or not, you cannot deny that during his 12 years in the premiership Israel has advanced technologically, financially, and influentially on the world stage. By all accounts, and obviously last month not withstanding, it was a time of relative security in Israel. You also cannot look at the coalition voted in and not see that his leadership was divisive and not supported by the vast majority of Israelis (if you’re concerned about my use of the word ‘vast’ I direct you to the latest voting results … or tho...

  • The story behind the Hillel under the sea photo

    Sam Friedman, Central Florida Hillel|Aug 4, 2017

    A photo the Heritage ran last week of Hillel staff displaying their banner underwater was more than just a cool picture. These Hillel members are focused on "tikkun hayam"-repairing the seas-and are making a stand to "dive against debris." For the sea is His, He made it-Psalms 95:5 Most people with a moderate amount of biblical knowledge can recite the opening line of the Torah without having to give it much thought: In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:1 But what co... Full story

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