Anti-Semitic incidents in Florida rise 51 percent

According to the recently-released Anti-Defamation League Annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, there was a 51 percent increase of incidents of anti-Semitism in Florida from 137 verified incidents in 2016 up from 91 the previous year.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), founded in 1913, defines itself as the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

The ADL has been tracking anti-Semitic incidents in the United States since 1979. The audit includes both criminal and non-criminal incidents — including acts of harassment and intimidation; distribution of hate propaganda; threats; and slurs.

Compiled using information provided by victims, law enforcement and community leaders — and evaluated by the ADL’s professional staff — the audit provides an annual snapshot of this nationwide problem while identifying possible trends or changes in the types of activity reported.

The annual ADL Audit encompasses all incidents reported to the ADL Florida office, law enforcement, media or other sources. These include incidents of vandalism, assault and harassment targeting Jewish individuals and institutions.



Documentary highlights Boca rabbi

Caption Documentary highlights Boca rabbi

Rabbi Merle’s Singer’s fight against Parkinson’s disease is the subject of a documentary being aired over the next few nights on WXEL and WPBT.

Rabbi Merle’s Singer’s fight against Parkinson’s disease is the subject of a documentary being aired over the next few nights on WXEL and WPBT.

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.

This information assists the ADL in developing and enhancing its programs to counter and prevent the spread of anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry.

“There is no doubt that anti-Semitism is still deeply embedded in our society,” said Yael Hershfield, the ADL’s Florida interim regional director. “The increase in its manifestations is sobering — and should alarm us all.

“This year’s audit is a painful reminder that anti-Semitism still poses a threat. Our work assisting victims of anti-Semitism and pro-actively working to create a society free of bigotry is needed now more than ever.”

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Temple program is both solemn and festive

A solemn Yom Hazikaron (Israel Memorial Day) ceremony remembering Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror transitioned into a festive Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) celebration on May 1 at Congregation Kol Tikvah in Parkland.

“It’s always hard to go from the transition of Yom Hazikaron, which is a sad day, but in unique Israeli and Jewish perspective, that’s what we do,” said Rabbi Bradd Boxman of Congregation Kol Tikvah during the Independence Day celebration. “We don’t dwell on the sad. We try to remember that life goes on and we live for the living and we remember those who died by living our lives most fully, even in the shadow of sadness. We go from sad to happy, even in the flick of a switch.”

This annual Israel Memorial Day ceremony took place in the congregation’s sanctuary and commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War, which was fought in June, 1967 between Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Israel was victorious and recovered large tracts of Arab territory, including the Jordanian portion of Jerusalem that includes the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

Boxman estimated that more than 500 people attended the event and thought the ceremony was emotional, meaningful and especially current.

“Many people lived through the Six-Day War and can remember that, so it’s very personal for a lot of people and I thought it was a very beautiful service as it always is. It was an honor for our congregation to be able to host the event for the 13th year.”



Documentary highlights Boca rabbi

Caption Documentary highlights Boca rabbi

Rabbi Merle’s Singer’s fight against Parkinson’s disease is the subject of a documentary being aired over the next few nights on WXEL and WPBT.

Rabbi Merle’s Singer’s fight against Parkinson’s disease is the subject of a documentary being aired over the next few nights on WXEL and WPBT.

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.

The ceremony included a minute of silence, lowering of the Israeli flag to half mast, a candlelighting ceremony in memory of family members lost in different Israeli wars, a powerful and emotional short movie about the Six-Day War that included the iconic song “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav” (Jerusalem of Gold), a moving photo presentation of faces of the fallen, reading of texts of soldiers that died in wars, a personal war story that received applause and more.

Ariela Benit, the organizer of the annual Memorial Day program, said that the audience was very moved by the ceremony.

“I feel that most of the moving opinions I heard were from the elderly, because they were in that war, so I believe the movies and the stories really impacted them much more than the younger generation, but in general I got many positive reactions,” Benit noted. “People loved it very much. I was surprised to hear that many loved the idea of singing along. I was amazed to hear that.”

Israel Defense Forces veterans, Raina Russo of Delray Beach and Avital Greenfest of Boca Raton, felt that this transition is what they grew up with.

“That’s what Israel is all about,” Russo said. “This event feels very Israeli. We go from recognizing what we fought for, remembering the fallen and then celebrating Israel.”

Greenfest said, “I think it’s really nice to see everyone come together, even when they’re not in Israel, to still remember in community.”

Kevin Dutt of Coconut Creek said the event’s transition was a “wonderful thing.”

“It gives fullness to life because one can only experience true joy by experiencing unfortunate circumstances.”

Article source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/fl-jjbn-koltikvah-0510-20170505-story.html

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Events to remember Israel’s soldiers and celebrate independence

With Yom Hazikaron (Israel Memorial Day) beginning on the evening of April 30 and Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) the next night, Jewish institutions in South Florida will both remember Israel’s fallen soldiers and celebrate the Jewish state’s birthday with community events on May 1.

At Congregation Kol Tikvah, 6750 North University Dr. in Parkland, Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror will be honored during its annual Yom Hazikaron service starting at 7:30 p.m. This memorial service commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War and is scheduled to last approximately an hour at the synagogue’s sanctuary. Attendees are asked to wear a white shirt.

Ariela Benit, the organizer for this annual program at the synagogue, decided to do the ceremony in both English and Hebrew.

“Even though most of the people who are coming are Israeli, I know there are a group of Jewish Americans who don’t know much of what’s going on. They’re not connected to the tradition and the culture of the Israeli people. Although for Israelis, coming to the ceremony is a must and a part of their life, for the Americans it’s not, so by doing this ceremony in English and in Hebrew, I make sure the Americans get it as well.”

Benit says she has gotten responses from Americans who have been moved by this ceremony over the years.

“I know Jewish American have been coming every year for many years, so I guess I’ve managed to make some impact on them,” Benit said.



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.

The service includes blessings, candle lighting ceremony in memory of family members lost in different Israeli wars, reading of texts of soldiers that died in wars, musical performances, photos of faces of the fallen accompanied by songs and a short film on the Six Day War.

Following the service, the event transitions into a celebration of Israel’s 69th birthday with Israeli dancing, music, birthday cake, refreshments and celebration.

Israel Defense Forces at Entebbe Airport in Uganda on July 4, 1976. Guest speakers include Entebbe Rescue Mission survivors Benny Davidson and Shay Gross. The ceremony includes a Daglanut (flag show), choir performances and more. The Memorial Day commemoration transitions into a celebration of Israel’s Independence with Israeli music, a fireworks display and Israeli food available for purchase.

Meirav Kravetz, the Hebrew Academy’s foreign language coordinator and event’s main organizer, said that it’s very important to have the transition of Israel’s Memorial Day to Independence Day at this community event.

“Thanks to the sacrifice of the soldiers that gave their lives, we’re remembering that we have the ability to celebrate and have our homeland, so we’re building on that.”

Kravetz also mentioned that the event is emphasizing the contributions of Hebrew Academy students who are serving in the army as their names will be highlighted.

Rabbi Zvi Kahn, head of school, said, “The fact that we have the memorial ceremony and program for the loss of Israeli soldiers in the wars since 1948 connects people in a very real way to what it means to live in Israel and to serve in the army.”

Kahn noted that to then have the Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration at the event following the memorial commemoration shows that it’s vital to “celebrate the fact that Israel is a state, it’s thriving and is the homeland for the Jewish people.”

“Those two things together [Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut] are very important for our identity.”

The event is free and open to the community. Call 305-532-6421 for more information.

Contact your nearby Jewish institution for information on other local events commemorating both Israel’s Memorial Day and celebrating Israel’s Independence Day.

Article source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/fl-jjbn-israel-0426-20170424-story.html

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Events to honor community and temple leaders

Three Broward County gala fundraising events taking place April 22-23 will honor community and temple leaders for their accomplishments over the past year.

Temple Beth Orr in Coral Springs will honor seven of their leaders in the “Cruise Around The World” gala fundraising dinner on April 22 at 6:30 p.m. The sold out event, which include many raffle prizes and an auction, is expected to have more than 400 people in attendance.

Congregation Kol Tikvah Men’s Club in Parkland will have its seventh annual Richard G. Schwartz “Mensch of the Year Award” gala dinner in honor of Stuart Leeman on April 22 at 7 p.m.

Soref Jewish Community Center in Plantation will have its 21st annual Humanitarian of the Year Award gala event in honor of two Broward community leaders on April 23 at 6 p.m. at the Signature Grand in Davie.

TBO will honor their President Steve Feinstein (Man of the Year), Sandy Friedland (Woman of the Year), Jerry and Joyce Rubin (Couple of the Year), Abbe Fineberg (Rising Star), Harriet Radin (Golden Kippah) and Lesley Zafran (Spirit of Judaism) at the gala.



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.

TBO is the only South Florida Reform congregation not to have an annual membership fee, so the gala raises funds for its many programs.

“Our mission is to remove traditional barriers and welcome those to a spiritual, warm and welcoming Jewish community. We have a pledge based membership support system instead of a traditional annual dues structure,” said Feinstein.

To learn more about Temple Beth Orr, 2151 Riverside Dr. in Coral Springs, call 954-753-3232 or go to www.templebethorr.org

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Coral Glades senior brings ‘good vibes’ to peers

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.

Juan Rivera

Age: 18

School: Coral Glades High School, Coral Springs

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Six million steps taken to raise Holocaust awareness

When many Jews think of the number six million, the victims of the Holocaust come to their minds. However, this number can also refer to the amount of steps that South Floridians of various ages took on a recent Sunday morning during the third annual “Six Million Steps to Holocaust Awareness” walk.

This walk, which took place at the Coral Springs Sportsplex Track, brought the community together with the intention of heightening the awareness of the atrocities that occurred during the Holocaust as participants walked six million steps in the memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Shoah. All proceeds benefit the Broward County March of the Living Youth Scholarship Fund.

This 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.

Ronit Goldstein, Hebrew school director at Temple Beth Torah Sha’aray Tzedek, noted there were approximately 300-350 participants at this year’s walk. She thanked everyone for coming and noted there were more participants than last year and that new synagogues also participated this year.

“The community is more involved and the community is more engaged,” Goldstein said. “There’s more awareness and hopefully we will increase involvement for next year as well.”

Participating organizations for this year’s walk included Temple Beth Torah Sha’aray Tzedek, Temple Beth Am in Margate, Temple Dor Dorim in Weston, Temple Solel in Hollywood, the Jewish Federation of Broward County, Orloff Central Agency for Jewish Education and The Jewish Agency for Israel. This year’s program took place both in Coral Springs and Nesher, Israel at the same time.

Amir Watynski, president of Temple Beth Torah Sha’aray Tzedek, said during the walk, “This is a very important community event and we have to show that we will never let it [Holocaust] happen again.”

“For personal reasons, my grandparents were survivors of the Holocaust, so as I’m walking I have them in mind,” Watynski continued.

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Project trains South Floridians to volunteer in Israel

South Floridians have the opportunity to volunteer in Israel during its next war or crisis through the Emergency Volunteers Project.

EVP, an organization that assembles a team of able-bodied volunteers who are trained to provide non-military support in Israel in the event of a crisis there, will have training and certification sessions on June 4 and 5 at Coral Springs Fire Academy. Volunteers will be certified by the State of Israel, Federal Emergency Management Agency and EVP to become local and international responders through initial training and orientation meetings. They will serve in Israel for 10 days, if needed, during the next war or other crisis.

South Floridians with a connection to Broward County can join a team that the Jewish Federation of Broward County, in partnership with EVP and the city of Nesher, is assembling. The partners are looking to put together a Broward County team of 60 local volunteers that would serve in Israel if needed on behalf of the Federation. These volunteer would include: doctors, who will receive temporary licensure to practice medicine in Israel; firefighters, who will work alongside their Israeli counterparts riding on fire tracks and responding to lifesaving emergency calls; nurses and paramedics, who will provide lifesaving assistance at the hospitals and in the bomb shelters; and community volunteers, who will serve in the municipality emergency depots, deliver water and food to shelters and provide various support services in towns drained by call ups of military reserve personnel.

Brian Strelitz, EVP’s East Region manager, said, “We believe that what we’re doing with the Jewish Federation of Broward County is going to be the template that can be replicated in different cities throughout the country.”

“No Federation that I know of in the country has its own emergency response team, so this would be a first for EVP to partner with a Federation,” Strelitz continued. “They’re allowing EVP to set everything up but under their name and under their umbrella. This is totally unique. Besides the fact that it’s a first, it really gives the community something to rally around.”

Strelitz noted, “Like every partnership, every partner has their own interests, and every partner shares an interest, so there’s the shared interest of supplementing the human resource shortage in Israel during a crisis.”

“The beautiful thing about this is it’s win-win-win. It’s totally great for the shared interest of helping Israel out during a time of crisis.”

Michael Balaban, president and chief executive officer of the Jewish Federation of Broward County, said, “Beyond assisting Israel during times of crisis, the Jewish Federation’s EVP team provides a physical linkage between the Broward community and Israel during its most critical moments.”

evpflorida@gmail.com for more information, including registration.

Article source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/fl-jjbs-evp-0412-20170410-story.html

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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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