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January 18, 2013     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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January 18, 2013
 

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PAGE 8A in recent years, the Jew- ish Museum of Florida has inaugurated Florida Jewish History Month by saluting "Florida Jews in the Military" or studying "Florida Jews of Polish Descent." This year, the kick-off featured leader- ship of the St. Augustine Jewish Historical Society as a central part of a presenta- tion exploring the question "Could Jews, as Conversos/ Crypto-Jews, have been living in St. Augustine in the 16th Century?" Historical Society Presi- dent Rabbi Merrill Shapiro along with Treasurer/Re- searcher Carl Lindenfeld ad- dressed a group of 60 attend- ees including an academic committee from Florida International University and the University of Miami, laying out the evidence with which the St. Augustine group is working. Suitably impressed, the attendees heard of prog- ress being made identifying HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 18, 2013 St. Augustine Jewish Historical Society kicks off Florida Jewish History Month called "Ten Lost Tribes of Israel" left everyone with a great deal of food for thought. Some discussion ensued about the museum's repre- sentations that there were no Jews in Florida until the arrival of the British in i763. This reflects the understand- ing of the National Museum of Arnerican Jewish History in Philadelphia and other sourc- es that make no mention of the significance of even a muted Jewish existence of any sort in Northeast Florida prior to early nineteenth century. - Seen as an essential role of the St. Augustine Jewish Historical Society, making the importance of our region in the context of the history . of American Jewry known, is one of the very reasons, the family names from among St. Augustine's early settlers and the making of comparisons with lists of known Marrano last names. Evidence was pre- sented in the form of records of the voyage to Florida by Pedro Menendez de Aviles, who, after registering a completed passenger manifest, under cover of nightfall and from a remote peninsula, took on an additional 150-300 "undocu- mented" passengers. The dates of Menendez' landing in Florida with an otherwise unexplained delay to allow for the passage of Yom Kippur 1565 and the naming, of the rhission as "Nombre de Dios," literally "The Name of God," were also discussed. Finally, an examination of the burial practices uncovered by archaeologistsatthe Founta!n of Youth Archaeological Park coupled with the understand- ing of the Spanish colonialists that the native Americans buried there were of the so- Society came into existence. "In such areas as early Jewish settlement through the early history of American Public Education and the Civil Rights 4 The Sisterhood of Temple Israel will celebrate Purim by holding a banquet in honor of Queen Vashti, the first woman to tell King Ahasuerus "No" when she was asked to dance at the King's drunken party. The event will take place on Sunday, Feb. 3, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Temple Israel social hall. According to Lisa Kogan, Program/Education director of Women's League for Conserva- tive Judaism,"Vashti's Banquet was designed to capture the joyful and triumphal atmo- sphere of Purim as well as to allow women to experience a taste of the sisterhood within an imagined Persian harem of long ago." Cathy Swerdlow, chairperson of the TI event, says, "This programwill appeal to women of all ages." There will be many activities throughout the afternoon. Linda Flower Gross will use the power of song, sacred text and holy conversation to envi- sion our possibilities and grow our dreams. Gross is a Hebrew Chant leader and Spiritual di- rector in the Jewish tradition. There will be belly dancing in- struction and demonstrations by Natasha. Attendees will be able to visit Shuk-Market Place where they will fin d vendors of jewelry, Scentsy, pocket books and more. Also, there will be henna painting, massages, appetizers and desserts from the Middle East and a parade of "masks" which participants are being asked to fashion at home. Entrance fee is $18 (with a reservation) or $25 at the door. For more information or to make a reservation, please call the synagogue office at 407-647-3055. "Natasha" will demonstrate and perform belly dancing at Vashti's Banquet. ................. Vashti's Banquet at Temple IsraeL.. sometimes it takes a little chutzpah Caron Reflecting Back view, acrylic on canvas, 2009. MIAMI BEACH--The Jew- Florida Jewish heritage, arts ish Museum of Florida-FlU, and culture, ispresenting"Mi- theonlymuseumdedicatedto ami Mosaic: Portraits by Inez tellingthestoryof250yearsof Hollander," opening Feb. 12. Larry Dreaming About the Beach, acrylic on canvas, 2008. This portrait series created by sketches people representing Hollander, a lifelong resident Miami's multifaceted and of Miami, includes bold and contrasting community. vibrant colored paintings and A self-described chronicler and storyteller, Hollander's Miami Mosaic series docu- ments the Miami of today: a community teemirg in diver- sity. Through Hollander's use of primary colors and strong, unrelenting brush strokes, she captures the emotions of her subjects, enabling the viewer to see not only the many faces of Miami as a" whole, but also as individu- als. Her work is influenced in color, style and composi- tion by artists such as Andy Warhol, Vincent Van Gogh, David Hockney and Elizabeth Peyton. Hollander states that she "teaches through the eyes of Matisse." "Everyone will find images that symbolize people they recognize in the many faces of Miami portrayed in this exhibit," saidJoAnnArnowitz, executive director and chief curator of JMOF-FIU. "In keeping with our mission Of presenting the Florida Jew- ish experience as an example Of the acculturation process of everyone's family in our multicultural state, this ex- hibit showcases the work of a Florida Jewish artist and highlights the ethnic diversity in our community." The inspiration for the Miami Mosaic series began with models from Hollarider's class at Miami Art League in 2003, where her subjects included a lawyer, real estate agent, floral assistant, con- structionworker, hairdresser, mother of three, trying to become a singer, Tango dance teacher working with blind students and a retired civil service worker known as the "King of the Nude Beach." Hollander realized that this diverse group coincidentally represented a cross-section of Miami and thus began her Miami Mosaic series. Hol- lander considers the series a work in progress, with more than 200 portraits to date, including, watercolors, oil pastels, water-soluble crayons and acrylics. Hollander's impetus for the series stemmed from her frustration of the media repre- senting the city as a crime and drug ridden home to gang- sters anddelinquents, The first piece, "Time Flies Over Miami" depicting a pelican and a Rolex, was in response to the media's over dramatiza- tion of finding a Rolex watch on a crime victim in the 1980s. It was her artistic statement that Miami has more to offer, such as its ecology and sub- tropical environment. Hollander is a graduate of Miami Beach Senior High School, where she had her first art education internship. She earned her BA from the University of Miami, where she studied with Gene Massin and Clayton Charles (who was the head of the liberal arts program at the time). Upon seeing her work, both Massin and Charles were instru- mental in finding HOllander a scholarship, enabling her to study full-time. In 1983, after a 13-year hiatus from painting, Hollander took a workshop with renown art- ist Roberto Juarez in Miami. Previously she had painted with watercolor and oils, and with this workshop, she be- gan using acrylics and mixed metaphor. Hollander has been teach- ing and exhibiting in the South Florida community for more than 40 years. She has been involved with The Bass Museum School, WLRN, South Florida Art Center and Miami Watercolor Society and her work has been featured in American Artist Water- color magazine and Palette Magazine. Miami Mosaic will Ie on display from Feb. 12-May 5, with a members only opening event at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11. Admission is free for JMOF- FIU members at the $125 level" or above; all other museum members are $18 per person. The opening event will also , include the presentation of this year's Avis Lee &Abraham Neiman Judaica ConteSt win- ners for the statewide artists' original designs of Havdalah spice boxes. RSVPs must be received by Feb. 4 to 786-972- 3175 or info@jewishmuseum. com. To become a member of the museum, call 786-972- 3164 oremail membership@ jewishmuseum.com. 'Miami Mosaic: Portraits by Inez Hollander' SAJHS officers, I to r, Moses Styzlerman, Carl Lindenfeld, Rabbi Merrill Shapiro at Miami's Jewish Museum of Florida movement of the 1960s, speak up now, the future of Northeast Florida rarely our past is doomed!" seems to be mentioned," says Rabbi Shapiro. "If we don't