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Heritage Florida Jewish News
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August 24, 2012     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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August 24, 2012

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 24, 2012 PAGE 3A The Holocaust Center in Maitland has announced a reception to mark the opening of its new exhibit, "The Civil Rights Struggle, African-American GIs, and Germany." It is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday Sept. 23 and will feature Dr. Alzo Reddick, director of Spe- cial Programs .and Defense Transition Services at UCF. Special guests will include two local Tuskegee Airmen, Daniel Keel of Clermont and Robert Hall Jr. of Maitland. One of the many nearly forgotten stories of the Holocaust is the history of African-American GIs who served overseas. They were often given the most mun- dane work assignments and most riskymissions, fighting against Hitler's racism while painfully aware of the Jim Crow laws at home. A new exhibit, which opens at the Holocaust Center on Sept. 15, is on loan from the Heidelberg (Germany) Center for American Studies. Its photographs and text provide a unique perspec- tive on the impact that the war had on soldiers, communities and nations. Service in the war shook up the patterns of social and economic segregation and gave African-American sol- ders a glimpse of a different world. For many African- Americans, the encounter with Germany left a deep impression, one that gave them the fire and the expe- rience to devote themselves to the growing civil rights movement at home. A series of other events will support the message of the exhibit. At 6 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 17 the Teachers' Forum will explore the experience of African-American GIs and its impact on the civil rights struggle in America, presented by the Holocaust Center's Resource Teacher Mitchell Bloomer. At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7 Father Nelson Pinder will be speaking at the Holocaust Center: Rector for 37 years of the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist, the "Street Priest of Orlando" took a leading role in the campaign for civil rights in Orlando. Hewill be discuss- ing his experiences as "What Did We Do in Orlando?" Thursday Dec. 13 the Orange County Regional History Center's Artist & Author series will feat.ure a presentation by Osha Gray Davidson, author of "The Best of Enemies: Race & Redemption in the New South." His award-winning book sheds light on how C.P. Ellis (a poor white member of the KKK) and Ann Atwater (a poor black civil rights activist) went from being hostile enemies to forming a respectful, long-lasting friendship. The Wells'Built Mu- seum of African-American history and Culture will also be hosting Special .events during the exhibit. including a presentation by Rep. Geraldiaae Thomp- son about the desegrega- tion of Orange County schools and a screening of a documentary, includ- ing behind-the-scenes insights about Red Tails. the history of the Tuske- gee Airmen. More information about the programs can be found at Anniversary celebrations of the founding of the first European city in what would become the United States of America, have long had major Catholic components. After all, the founding of St. Augustine was celebrated with the first Catholic Mass on soil that would become the United States. The founders came to ad- vance Catholicism in North America. Catholic clergy were important leaders of the enterprise that was begun by Pedro Menendez de Aviles on Sept. 8, 1565 in establish- ing a Spanish presence on continental North America. The St. Augustine Jewish Historical Society (SAJHS) hopes to make the 447th an- niversary of the founding of St. Augustine a little bit dif- ferent from the previous 446 celebrations by noting the possibility, and some suggest the likelihood, that this is also the 447th anniversary of the first Jews/Marranos/ Crypto-Jews/Conversos/New Christians arriving and set- tling in what was to become the United States. SAJHS will hold a special program from 4 p.m. until 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6 open to the public on the eve of a larger celebration Sept. 8, the actual date of the anniversary falls, this year, on Shabbat. Thus, the 60-minute SAJHS program, that will include a tour of the latest archaeologi- cal sites presented by the St. Augustine Archaeological Association's Carl Lindenfeld and Moises Sztylerman, will be held at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, 11 Magnolia Ave St. Augustine, less than a mile north of Castiiio de San Marcos National Monument, on Thursday, Sept. 6. All are welcome to' attend; this event is open to the public. The entry fees to the park are published at http://www. tickets.php and range from no cost for St. Johns County residents to $12 for those who are not residents of S.t Johns County. Seniors (over 60), students, children, active military and AAA members receive special rates. Further information about this event is available at 904-797-6770 and at http://staugustinejew- ishhistoricalsociety.word- When you enter the archaeological park you will be setting foot on the place where U.S. history began. Lindenfeld and Sztylerman, directors of the St. Augustine Archaeologicat Society, are among those who actively dig at archaeological sites around St. Augustine in the quest to understand the past of the United States' first Eu- ropean city. Their advanced knowledge provides some of the clues to the puzzle over whether or not Jews first came to the First Coast as early as 1565. The SAAA was estab- lished in 1985 by profes- sional and avocational archaeologists--as well as other interested commu- nity members to encour- age wider participation in documenting and ,pre- serving our area's unique history. The SAAA helps professional archaeologists in area excavations and assists in the analysis of recovered material from local, national and in- ternational topics and organizes member field trips to archaeological and historic sites and publishes a quarterly newsletter that highlights recent excava- tions or research carried out in Northeast Florida and offers educational out- reach to schools, commu- nity and civic groups. SAAA members range from pro- fessional to armchair ar- chaeologists anyone who shares an interest in (and a respect for) the people who first settled the area. The the prehistoricperiodto the SAAA, a not-for-profit or- recent past. The association ganization, is the regional also offers monthly pub- chapter of the Florida An- lic lectures concerningthropological Society. The Jewish Pavilion has announced that it will honor two couples--Joe and Bernice Davids and Suzanne and Hank Lander--at its annual Volun- teerAppreciation Luncheon at 11 a.m. Sept. 6 at Maison and Jardin restaurant. Joe and Bernice Davids have" been volunteering for .the Jewish Pavilion for a few years. Their love affairwith the Pavilion began when Bunny Rosen, chair of this year's event, invited them to attend a Shabbat luncheon at Savan- nah Court. The couple were so moved by the experience that they started coming monthly and invited their son, Dr. Mark Davids, to lead the holiday celebrations. Before you knew it, Bernice and Joe were also coming every week to Savannah Court for Jewish Pavilion Ice Cream So- cials. Since Joe is super strong, he soon became responsible for scooping more than 50 ice cream sundaes a week. For most retired couples vol- unteering weekly would have been enough, but this was not true for the Davidses. When they heard that help was need- ed in the Pavilion office, they readily agreed to assist. "They have participated in numerous mailings and projects over the years," said executive director Nancy Ludin. "When I thank Joe and Bernice each week for their volunteer efforts, I can see they are uncomfortable receiving praise. They are used to giving of themselves, and we are so fortunate that they are willing to share their time and compassionwith our organization." Bunny Rosen The couple have been mar- ried for close to 60 years. They have three adult children Mark, Enid and Idelle and two grand- sons, Aaron and Benjamin. Suzanne and Hank Lander recruited their entire Bet Chaim congregation to share in their volunteer work with the Jewish Pavilion. They have led a monthly Shabbat service at various facilities around town for the past five years. When the service falls close to a Jewish holiday, it is a double celebration. The Landers and fellow congregants run their Shabbat and holiday parties as if they. are entertaining guests. They set a beautiful table and provide every Shabbat and hol- iday food that someone would expect at a home celebration. In addition to countless hours ofservice as Shabbat and holiday leaders, Hank Lander is credited with donating, in- stalling and fixing the phone system at the Jewish Pavilion office. "The Landers are an incredible couple, generous Suzanne and Hank Lander caring and exceptionally warm people who have taken a lead role in enhancing the lives of seniors in our community," Ludin said. "The Jewish Pavilion staff and the residents of the fa- cilities where we have held Shabbat services over the years have always told us how much they have enjoyed our Shabbat services and what it means to them to have us come and visit," said Suzanne. "What they don't often realize is what it means to those of us who volunteer. I sometimes think we get more out of these visits than the seniors do. They have much to teach us and just as much to give, and I look forward to ohr monthly visits." Hank added, "I feel a sense of greater purpose when I participate in our community worship service at Savannah Court. It is one mitzvahl~roject that my fellow congregants know impacts the lives of these seniors in a meaningful way. Ethel and Harry Glasner, of blessed memory, set an ex~ ample with their support and have inspired us to continue our outreach efforts." The Landers have one daughter, Jessica, age 24, who lives in San Francisco. Community members often wonderwhere they can find the Jewish Pavilion. While the tiny Pavilion administration office is on Montgomery Road in Altamonte Springs with just two full-time employees, its work with seniors in assisted living homes-takes place in more than 50 locations around Central Florida. The Guide for Caregivers of the Jewish Elderly published in 2012 by Pamela Ruben, with help ;f Ludin and Pavilionvolunteers, states, "The Jewish Pavilion is not a home for the elderly, but a resource that provides Jewish cultural support and continuity of heritage to over 50 facilities for the elderly, with the assistance of four part-time program directors. We are not a Jewish home for long-term Joe and Bernice Davids care, buta'mobile' community center that brings holidays and programming right to the resident's door." Longtime volunteer, Pat Rubenstein added, "There have been times when our seniors have been too sick or weak to attend our programs, and we have brought services right to their bedside. We fall in love with our seniors, and they become like family to us." The Pavilion is able to maintain a miniscule staff, due to its pool of more than 400 volunteers. These committed helpers provide companion- ship for the elderly by attend- ing services, holidays, and/or special programming. Once involved, volunteers are able to participate in mah jongg, musicales, happy hours, ice cream socials, intergenera- tional activities and farmore. "Our elders deserve more than the basics of food, cloth- ing and shelter," Ludin said. "Our role is to bring the com- munity to their doorsteps to ensure that they feel loved and appreciated and they have the opportunity to celebrate Shabbat and Jewish holidays and share their Jewish heritage with the other residents. With- out the help of our amazing volunteers, like Bernice, Joe, Suzanne and Hank, residents in long-term care would be forgotten." It is the mission of the Jewish Pavilion to enhance the quality of life of seniors in long-term care and strengthen their connection to the Community. Visit for more information on the , luncheon orthe organization.