Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Year In Review 5773


The Roth Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando first Ladies’ Golf Outing.


Scott Richman appointed president of the Roth Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando.

Or Hadash announced new board-Dara Blonde, president; Eric Sandigo, vice president of marketing and Natalie Lauber, vice president of outreach.

Bunny Rosen is honored by the Jewish Pavilion.

Jewish Academy begins search for new head of school.

Congregation Bet Chaim welcomes Cantor Karen Braunstein as its new spiritual leader.


Congregation Beth Am honors Jim Riola and Joanne Weiss with special Simhat Torah prayers.

Jewish Family Services honors Ivan and Fern Lefkowitz at the Annual Evening of Valor.

Tess Wise is honored at the International Lion of Judah conference.

Congregation Beth Am welcomes Rabbi Yonina Creditor as an interim associate rabbi.

The Roth Jewish Community Center holds its first Ladies’ Golf Outing at the Rosen Shingle Creek Golf Club.

Chabad at the University of Central Florida shared Shabbat dinner with leaders from the Jewish National Fund; 250 people attended.

More than 600 walkers participated in the Jewish Pavilion’s 3rd Annual Walk in the Park.


The Roth JCC appoints Robby Etzkin as its assistant executive director.

Kinneret Council on Aging and Kinneret Apartments holds its 2nd Annual Senior Care Health Expo.

The Jewish Community Center Rosen Campus receives childhood obesity grant, funded by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation.

Chabad Jewish student group at the University of Central Florida and the Student Government Association put together a Shabbat dinner for 500 students and faculty.


More than 500 people attend Orlando Stands with Israel Rally for Solidarity at the Roth JCC. Speakers included Kyle Trager of the Miami Israeli Consulate and anti-terror expert John Loftus.

The Jewish Federations of Tampa, Orlando, Pinellas and Pasco counties came together for the first joint mission to experience Israel through the performing arts. Orlando attendees included Roz Fuchs-Schwartz, Marilyn Crotty, Ina Porth, Susie Kleiman and Shelley Fleet.

Chabad of Greater Orlando, with support of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando, presented Chanukah on the Park in Winter Park’s Central Park. The highlight was the lighting of the Grand Menorah for the 18th year.

Lake Mary Home Depot holds menorah workshop. Using PVC pipes, elbows, wood, glue and shellac, and under the guidance of Rabbi Yanky Majesky of Chabad Lubavitch of North Orlando, the children made their own menorahs.


Temple Israel dedicates Harriett’s Park, in honor of Harriett Lake. This joins the other recent projects at Temple Israel including Harriett’s Kitchen.

Mardi Shader receives the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando Women’s Division highest honor, the Harriet Ginsburg Woman of Choice Award.

Kinneret Apartments scored high marks from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Multifamily Project Center. “Your staffs’ hard work and effort has paid off. This is an excellent accomplishment considering the number of units maintained and the age of the facilities,” said Mark Scivllo, HUD project manager.

Gloria Max, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Volusia & Flagler counties is honored by the Florida Memorial Medical Center with the Missionary Award.


The Congregation of Reform Judaism and Congregation Beth Am jointly sponsored an interpretation of the Book of Job by best-selling author Rabbi Harold Kushner. Held at CRJ, the event drew more than 700 lay people and clergy.

The Jewish Academy of Orlando is named an “Apple Distinguished School” for 2012-2013.

Marcie Katzen is honored by the Jewish Pavilion at its Annual Spring into Fashion at Bloomingdales Orlando.

Congregation Ohev Shalom holds “Dancing with the Ohev Stars!” to raise money for the activities at the synagogue.


Hillel at Florida State University builds its new home. More than 100 FSU students, alumni and community leaders gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony for the student life building.

The Heritage launches a new website and Facebook page. “The new website,” said Gaeser, “is user friendly and now includes the entire edition of the paper.”

Debbie Meitin and Cathy Swerdlow are honored at the Jewish Pavilion Celebration of Traditions for their devotion to the service of their community“supplying loving care to those who can no longer care for themselves.”

Whistle-blower-journalist, filmmaker, and rabbi-Rabbi David Nesenoff, who turned the light on Helen Thomas, visited Chabad of North Orlando.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando hosts 250 guests at its second annual Man Cave event.


The 10th Annual Trees for Peace event held April 9 led by Louise Franklin Sheehy, director of the Multi-faith Education Project, brought together students from the Geneva Christian School, The Jewish Academy of Orlando and the Leaders Prep School to plant trees for peace in Winter Park.

Congregation Ohev Shalom hosts ‘Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ presented by the COS Youth Theater.

More than 200 people attend the Kinneret gala to honor ‘8 over 80’. Honorees included Claire Mercer, Anita Hara, John Lowndes, Bunny Rosen, Gloria Newberger, Madeline Wolly, Irv Shargaa and Charlotte Rotenberg.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando names Olga Yorish its new executive director.

Rabbi Steven Engel of the Congregation of Reform Judaism is presented with honorary doctor of divinity degree.

Cantor Jacki Rawiszer of CRJ is elected secretary of the American Conference of Cantors.

The Roth JCC honors Robin and Rick Lerner at the annual golf tournament.

Passover with Chabad at UCF bring 250 attendees to the Seder.


The Congregation of Reform Judaism honors Dr. Norman Wall, retired cardiologist and lifelong Zionist, with a multi-year fellowship for Israeli heart specialists.

The Rosen JCC appoints Brian Forman as new Sports, Youth and Camp director.

Adam Sherman, who teaches English and Leadership Development at Lake Brantley High School, is named Seminole County Teacher of the Year.

Aaron Gorovitz is appointed to the Meritas board.

The Jewish Academy of Orlando honors Lynne Shefsky. She retires at the end of the school year.


Laura Abramson named new Jewish National Fund campaign executive.


Rabbi Thomas Werthman named spiritual leader of Congregation Bet Chaim.

The Heritage Human Service Award recipient is Nina Oppenheim.

Congregation Ohev Shalom celebrates 95 years!

More than 500 people attended Orlando Stands With Israel Rally.

Talia Joy Castellano, an honorary COVERGIRL, dies at age 13 after a long battle with cancer, but wins the hearts of millions as she inspired people to live life to the fullest.


The Heritage receives two Florida Press Association Awards.

Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation unveils its Holocaust Memorial designed by Max Walder.

Chabad of North Orlando welcomes its inaugural Torah.

At the Annual Meeting of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando three awards were given out in recognition of individuals who devote time to make the Jewish community a better place. The Byron B. Selber Young Leadership Award was presented to Jeremy Udell. Ina Porth was the recipient of Jerome J. Bornstein Senior Leadership Award. The Jewish Communal Professional Award was given to Eli Bercovici, who retired after 31 years as the sports director at the Jewish Community Center.


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