Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

I didn't know they're Jewish... AND from Orlando

Of all the interesting facts and statistics you will learn at Kehillah: A History of Jewish Life in Greater Orlando exhibition, perhaps the most fascinating will be the people you will meet-their stories, their accomplishments, and their role in building the Central Florida community.

Did you know...

A Jew helped write the charter of the village of Orlando? After opening Florida stores in Bartow, Fort Meade and Fort Ogden in the 1860s, Jacob Raphael Cohen settled in Orlando in 1873. He bought property from Jacob Summerlin and operated a general merchandise store. In 1875, he helped write the city charter and was elected alderman.

Did You know...

The founder of the Dr. Phillips Foundation, Dr. Philip P. Phillips, was an early Jewish citrus baron, with 5,000 acres of groves and two packing houses? Dr. Phillips and his wife, Della Wolf Phillips, hosted concerts in their home and contributed greatly to the cultural development of the city. The Phillips citrus business was sold in 1954, and his legacy continues to fund many charitable community projects.

Did you know...

The Guinness Book world record holder for the largest collection of Converse sneakers is Jewish and lives in Central Florida? Penny Gold grew up wearing Converse sneakers in Brooklyn, N.Y. She and her husband, Barry, moved to Longwood more than 25 years ago, when she began to collect the shoes-892 pairs and counting!

Did you know...

Boone High School grad Malcolm Bricklin manufactured the Bricklin SV-1 (short for Safety Vehicle), a two-seat, gull-wing door, sports coupé in 1974, and was Jewish? Bricklin began his business career in Orlando with a chain of hardware stores called Handyman. He later founded Subaru of America, imported the Yugo, was an early proponent of electric cars and built his own car, the Bricklin SV1, which rivaled the Chevrolet Corvette.

Did you know...

The winner of the 1968 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Dr. Marshall Warren Nirenberg, was Jewish and grew up in Orlando? Dr. Nirenberg (1927–2010) graduated from Orlando High School (1944) and received his bachelor's and master's degrees in zoology from the University of Florida where he was also a member of Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity. He received his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Michigan in 1957. Nirenberg received the Nobel for "breaking the genetic code" and describing how it operates in protein synthesis.

You'll discover these and many more outstanding Jewish Central Floridians who influenced music, the arts, film, theater, science, literature, politics, philanthropy, and a broad swath of other fields when you visit the incredible Kehillah exhibition at the Orange County Regional History Center.

Who knows? You may even discover something you didn't know about yourself.

Kehillah: A History of Jewish Life in Greater Orlando, is a collaborative exhibition presented by its host institution, the Orange County Regional History Center, and the Greater Orlando Jewish Community. The exhibit will be on display from Nov. 12-2017 through Feb. 20, 2018.


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