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June 16, 2017     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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June 16, 2017

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 16, 2017 PAGE 3A Arts Festival Week's coordinators (l-r): Jean White, workshops coordinator;, Jill Goldsmith, event chairwoman; Michael Tabb, cabaret coordinator and Cultural Arts Collective chair- man; Cantor Jacqueline Rawiszer, arts community leader;, and Nina Chatham, gallery and art curator. Justice Milsom and his son, Adam, play a combination of Classical music and Beatles songs at the gallery opening. The Hippy Dippy Chicks. Sculptures in the Art Gallery. By Michael Tabb At the end of May 2017, the Congregation of Reform Juda- ism hosted their first-everArts Festival Week that included an art gallery, a variety of free arts workshops, and multiple performances. Each featured the talents of local painters, sculptors, photographers, craftspeople, singers, both classical and modern musi- cians, creative writers, and even a couple homegrown comedians. Yet, if you had asked anyone at the temple if that kind of response would be possible just one year earlier, the reply would have been, "Take it easy there, tiger. Let's just see if anyone shows up to a meeting." The CRJ Arts Festival Week started over coffee between Ca~tor Jacqueline Rawiszer and a congregant who relo- cated from the hustle and bustle of the entertainment industry in Hollywood to Cen- tral Florida for a job teaching screenwriting classes in the Creative Writing MFA pro- gram at Full Sail University. The cantor asked the educa- tor and former performer to spearhead a new arts commit- tee at the shul with the hope of launching some kind of entertainment performed by and for the temple member- ship. Little did these two art enthusiasts know they had just founded CRJ's Cultural Arts Collective. Even though both of them only had personal experience with the performing arts, they opted not to limit the purview of the committee to any specific type of art. All artists were invited to bring their talent to a casual meet- ing where an accompanist was The fifth annual com- memoration of the largest mass arrest of rabbis in U.S. history, an event that took place in St. Augustine in June 1964, will be held on Monday, June 19, at 12:30 p.m. at the historic Columbia Restaurant, 98 St. George Street, St. Augustine, Flor- ida 32084. The 60-minute event will include the reading of the letter written by the rab- bis in the Flagler County jail. All are welcome, no advance arrangements are necessary. Discussion will follow this event. Luncheon available from Columbia Restaurant Menu. RSVP to 804-914-4460. Call 904-819-6365 for best directions. provided. Singers sang, actors did monologues, musicians brought their instruments, fine artists showed and dis- cussed their paintings, and a comedienne attempted to teach everyone gibberish~ The variety was a revelation: Leaders stepped forward. Event chairwoman, Jill Gold- smith, took up the monumen- tal task of organization while Cathy Lieblich coordinated all the volunteers it took to manage the weekend. Nina Chatham stepped up as the art gallery curator and or- chestrated the gallery open- ing. The Hollywood writer stepped forward to spearhead the performing arts cabaret. Jean White organized the workshop schedule featuring classes in collage, fine arts, and creative writing to name a few. Judith Lazev, the temple's art educator, put together a reli- gious school-wide art project, Ari Azbel, the son of Rus- sian Jewish immigrants, is a senior at Lake Highland Pre- paratory and a former student of the Jewish Academy of Or- lando. He is also the founder of OrlandoMath Circle (www., a 501(c)3 organization founded in the tradition of Eastern Eu- ropean math circles to pro- vide opportunities to lo- cal students to do novel and enriching mathematics, as well as to provide teaching and leadership opportunities for high school, college, and graduate students. "Our mission is to create a diverse and inclusive com- munity of student mathemati- cians," said Azbel. Math circle pro- grams first appeared in the U.S. in the 1990s, as more and more Eastern Europeans came to the U.S. and wanted to organize math circles in their new home country. To- day, Math Circle programs are run by leading Universities and have chapters in Califor- nia, Massachusetts, and New York among other states. Orlando Math Circle is a relatively new entrant with a mission is to create a diverse community of mathemati- cians by promoting equitable Artwork in the Art Gallery. involving the congregation's youth. Gary Borenstein, a community graphic and media artist, did the artwork for flyers and posters. Cantor Rawiszer made sure everyone received a spotlight, directing the CRJ's Got Talent variety show. Clas- sical guitarists and cellists, comediennes, Shakespearean monologues, sung original guitar duets, Broadway show tunes, and a little rock and roll were featured. Most importantly, no Jew could forget the culinary arts. Leni Puccio lead the charge to create a series of wonderful bite-sized foods to punctuate the gallery opening and the Sunday arts day. One of the mostmeaningful aspects of this week was high- lighted by how all the artists supported one another. They attended one another's work- shops, came to each other's performances, and reminded one another that what they do is beautiful. For what started out as a very modest under- taking, the arts festival team hopes this is only the first of many more to come. If you're interested in hear- ing more about the CRJ Cultural Arts Collective, reg- ister here: https://crjorlando. org/cultural/cultural-arts- collective/. Michael Tabb is a mem- ber of the Congregation of Reform Judaism and the Hollywood writer mentioned in this article. He currently has a film in production for Universal Studios and is developing a TV series with producer Sean Daniel and Evan Spiliotopoulos. He is an instructor at Full Sail University, where he teaches screenwriting in the Creative Writing MFA program. Read more about Tabb at www. 5 win aw; access to mathematics and greater .student participa- tion in Central Florida. OMC has already made an impact in the Orlando com- munity in several ways: • Bringing the first K-12 Math Kangaroo competi- tion to Orlando • Holding month- ly Math Circle events for el- ementary age students • Bringing Math Circle activities to Meadowbrook Middle school • Starting a Mathematical Library available to any of our students • Organizing the Orlan- do Trianglethon, a commu- nity math and arts event • Bringing guest speak- ers to discuss math-related ca- reers and projects to students Orlando Math Circle has five participants who placed at the national level and won top awards in the state. Among these five, three were state winners in the USAMath Kangaroo competition held in Orlando on March 16, 2017: • Nikhil Katiyar of Pride Elementary school won first place in Florida and fourth place nationally at level three. • Kateryna Simachova of Cypress Woods Elementary, won second place in Florida and fifteenth place nationally at level one. • Adwaith Praveen of Tampa Palms Elementary won third place in Florida and placed twelfth nationally at level three. The final two of the five, Brian Lee of Tampa Palms ElementaryandAmal Francis Papali of Seminole Science Charter school, placed 11th and 18th, respectively, in the U.S. at level four. Math Kangaroo is the largest competition for 1st- 12th grade in the world, with Over 5,000,000 participants in more than 50 countries. This year, USA had over 28,000 participants. The competition is held annually on the third Thursday in March. The mis- sion of Math Kangaroo is to encourage mastery of Math- ematics at all levels and to instill confidence in students. Orlando Math Circle is a non- profit that uses activities like Math Kangaroo to further its mission of creating a diverse and inclusive community of student mathematicians. OMC provides opportunities to do novel and enriching mathematics outside of school as well as leadership and corn- OMC on page 15A