Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Impact of the Pulse massacre discussed at Temple Israel

In response to the Pulse nightclub massacre, Temple Israel organized a campaign to raise funds for the One Orlando Fund through the sale of T-shirts. The unique design, created by Emily Raij, incorporated remembrance of the 49 victims in a tree-of-life with Jewish symbols and a rainbow. But just contributing money was not enough. According to Cathy Swerdlow, Sisterhood co-president at Temple Israel, "We wanted to continue the conversation with the greater community and understand the ongoing needs."

To that end, Hannah Willard, Public Policy director at Equality Florida Institute, has been invited to be a guest at Shabbat services on Friday evening, Sept. 23. The entire community is invited to hear her as she delivers a sermon on the impact of the Pulse massacre on the LGBTQ, Hispanic and greater Orlando community. Following the service, she will also lead an informal discussion addressing the issues and needs that continue to face our community.

Willard's work encompasses community outreach and civic engagement around non-discrimination legislation and family recognition, building teams of empowered volunteers and leveraging the influence of unlikely messengers to multiply its impact.

Friday evening services begin at 7 p.m. with a Meet and Greet. Services begin at 7:30 p.m. at Temple Israel, 50 S. Moss Road, Winter Springs.


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