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March 21, 2014     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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March 21, 2014

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PAGE 8A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 21, 2014 Mark Jacobs, son of honoree Eve Homburger, dressed up as Queen Esther and Adam Crasnow dressed as King Ahashuerus. They wished all gala attendees "Happy Purim" and gave out Purim necklaces. By Pamela Ruben The Jewish Pavilion threw its largest Purim party to date on Sunday, March 9, at the Westin in Lake Mary where more than 250 supporters attended their annual gala honoring dedicated sponsors and volunteers Valerie Chest- nut and Eve Homburger. "Our Purim celebrations are a favorite at our elder fa- cilities, bringing some sparkle to a darker time of year. The costumes, hamentaschen, and playfulness uplift our seniors, while bringing back memories of past celebra- tions. Our annual gala and Purim party captures the same festive spirit, and mir- rors the feeling of community and culture we bring to our elders," said Nancy Ludin, the Pavilion's executive director. The festive evening was marked by moving speeches, backlit by glittering cos- tumes and crowns. Shim- mering honorees--Chestnut, Homburger, and a host of volunteers--shared glow- ing experiences of bringing companionship and Jewish connections to seniors in more than 50 nursing homes and assisted-living facilities throughout Central Florida. Former Pavilion volunteer and current Oakmont resi- dent Marge Drayer delivered the keynote address. Drayer shared the satisfaction she had experienced as a Pavilion volunteer helping seniors at Savannah Court and Grande Villa. Then noted, "Now the tables have turned and I am the resident.., receiving the volunteers at Oakmont Vil- lage." Drayer mentioned how she had come to treasure Friday visits "with the won- derful volunteer and friend Karen Selznick," along with Shabbat services run with the dedication of the Pavilion's Cathy Swerdlow and Emily Newman. Homburger and Chestnut reflected on their experiences with the Pavilion, sharing tales of volunteerism, fam- ily, and community ties. Homburger appeared on the podium with her 10-year-old son, Marc Homburger-Jacobs, by her side. The Jewish Acad- emy fourth-grader lit up the stage (and smiling faces) as he comically came in full Purim dress as Queen Esther, and Marc's friend, Adam Crasnow, dressed as King Ahashuerus to the delight of everyone. Homburger noted that she and Marc had been spending time with Jewish elders for many years, with hopes that he would learn to value seniors and his Jewish culture. Later in the evening Marc passed on these family values, leading the Hamotzi (prayer) over the challah, his enthusiasm and Purim spirit carrying har- mony throughout the room. Valerie Chestnut remarked that working with seniors over the past 30 years had brought tremendous re- wards, including an introduc- tion to the Jewish Pavilion as community liaison with Vitas Hospice. Chestnut noted that when she met Nancy Ludin at a conference and said "they just clicked," and "what started out as business relationship turned into a"~, friendship." She shared tha( she was honored to serve on committees with the Pavilion, spend time with its seniors, and now serve on its board of directors. Chestnut was honored to have daughter, Camille, in attendance, who had flown in from Philadelphia to share in the festivities. A celebration of the honor- ees, along with Pavilion volun- teers, continued throughout the evening, which included a full dinner and a silent auc- tion. Gala co-chairwomen Elise Schilowitz and Susie Stone graciously thanked the gala committee, members of the Pavilion's Friends Board, as well as its board of direc- tors for their dedication and support. Ludin concluded, "Tonight's Purim party, gala, and silent auction help make it possible to have a calendar year of celebrations with Jew- ish elders. The feeling of joy at this event brings light to our seniors all year tong." )) The topic of anti-terror activities is particularly of interest to the Tampa Orlando Pinellas Jewish Foundation (TOP), as it laanched a unique anti-terror irvestment policy in close conc(rt with the State of Florida a~d the work of HANDYMAN SERVICE Handy man and General Maintenance Air Conditioning Electrical Plumbing Carpentry Formerly handled maintenance at JCC References available STEVE'S SERVICES Call Steve Doyle at (386) 668-8960 Friedman & Friedman Excellence in Real Estate Jeffrey and Barbara Friedman 407-222-6059 - Direct One Team. Twice the Knowledge, Service and Experience Serving the Central Florida Jewish Community for over 12 years United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) in 2012. Wednesday, March 6, the TOP cosponsored an eventwith the Jewish Com- munity Relations Council. The evening's speaker was David Ibsen ofUANI.Anot-for-profit, non-partisan, advocacy group that seeks to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to obtain nuclear weapons, UANI was founded in 2008 by Ambas- sador Mark D. Wallace, the late Ambassador Richard Hol- brooke, former CIA Director Jim Woolsey and Middle East expert Dennis Ross. UANI's private sanctions campaigns and state and federal legislative initiatives focus on ending the economic and financial sup- port of the Iranian regime by corporations at a time when the international community is attempting to compel Iran to abandon its illegal nuclear weapons program, support for terrorism and gross human rights violations. UANI has spearheaded a number of formalized and grassroots efforts across the Shown here (l-r): David Ibsen, Sam Parks and Alain Nozil. nation to raise awareness and communicate that a nuclear Iran is not acceptable. Grass- roots efforts have included auto campaign and hotel protests, corporate marches, crane campaigns, and many J--gWn,, CoA;el, Rayna Cohen, daughter of Mike and Joanna Cohen of Winter Springs, was called to the Torah as a bat mitzvah on Saturday, March 8, 2014, at Congre- gation Beth Am. Rayna is in the seventh grade at Indian Trails Middle School where she is a straight A student, a member of the Beta Club and mixed chorus. She enjoys reading and anything related to the Food Network. Rayna is also a longtime member of the Girl Scouts. Sharing in the family's simcha were Rayna's sister, Dara; grandparents, Robert and Helen Cohen, and George and Eleanor Snyder; as well as relatives from around the country and England. others. UANI also developed and maintains an "Iran Busi- ness Registry,'which individu- als and corporations can use as a source of reference to learn about international business in orwith Iran. With the goal of increasing economic isolation of the Iranian regime, anyone can use the registry for peace- ful activism, and from the information found within can increase product awareness, divest, contact businesses and elected officials, and learn more about the Iran Business Certification Act. Since many of the attendees had just returned from the AIPAC policy conference, there was a lively question and answer session. Ibsen spoke about the role that state legislation like the Protecting Florida's In- vestment Act play on the fight against funding terror. He en- couraged everyone to continue to raise their concerns to state legislators, siting the tremen- dous progress that can be made through these channels. To learn more aboutJFGO's impact locally through the Jewish Community Relations Council please visit, www. Jewish Family Services is continuing its Pantry Restock Challenge through April 30 and now offers a virtual food drive. This approach allows companies and organizations the ability to set up a food drive via the Internet. It's easy to join individu- ally or as a group. Instead of bringing bags in to the office, or lugging items to JFS, simply go online at www. and click on virtual food drive. Custom- ers are then directed to "go shopping" where they can click on the food they want to donate and checkout when they have reached the desired contribution. To set up an organization's Food Drive, call Michael Coo- per at 407-644-7593, ext. 241. 205 \V. Fairbanks Avenue fh,mi,, I lill,na. \Vinter Park, Florida 32789