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October 5, 2012     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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October 5, 2012

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d,,~ ~- HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 5, 2012 PAGE 3A Kinneret residents are taking steps toward a happy and healthy New Year! On Sept. 25, more than 50 residents participated in a Balance Screening Test con- ducted by LifeCare C.O.R.F. Falls are one of the great- est causes of serious health problems for seniors 65 years or older. The balance screening test can help as- sess the individual's risk of falls. LifeCare C.O.R.F. is one of almost 50 vendors who will be participating in the Kinneret Health Care Expo from 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1. As they waited for the balance testing, residents took advantage of the watch and battery repair services brought into the Jessie Ren- der Social Hall by Culpepper Jewelers. For information on the Health Expo, contact Leslie Collin at 407-425-4537. The Health Expo will take place in the Delaney Dining Room at Kinneret Apartments, 515 S. Delaney Ave: in Orlando. Vendor space is available until Oct. 21. This event is open to the public. Residents of Kinneret Apartments are screened for potential falls on the Biodex Balance System. new year Culpepper Jewelers briny in a mobile watch repair and batte~l service to Kinneret residents. The inaugural meeting for the Holocaust Center's Religion 101 took place Sept. 13 with a strong showing by community members. Pam Kancher, executive director of the Holocaust Center, welcomed about 80 attendees to the event, noting that the series was created to help the community be more knowledgeable about other faiths so they Can "agree to disagree respectfully, as friends." She acknowledged that claims from various re- ligions are different, but that understanding of other faiths "can't be based on myths, rumors and YouTube." The first in "the nine monthly presentations was led by Zen abbot Claudia Schippert, who provided a thoughtful overview of the history and beliefs of Bud- dhism. She described the beginnings of the faith in the life of Shakyamuni Gautama, the historical Buddha, who lived during the late sixth and early fifth centuries Before the Common Era. From his life experiences came the core teachings that have become central to that faith, particularly in the emphasis on moral behavior and medi- tatiori. According to Schippert, many ofthe"numbers'--the four noble truths, the eight- fold path, the three jewels, the six realms of existence andthe fiV aggregates--help visualize Buddha's "middle way" between the two worlds of overindulgence and denial. Using a projected image, she explained the concept of the Wheel of Life that described the Buddhist concept of the realms of existence. Included in theWheel are three poisons whose antidotes are common to many faiths: generosity, compassion and wisdom. They are brought about, she said, by meditation, which can be as simple as sitting and watching yourself think. Sh ppert's presentation was followed by a lively ques- tion and answer period which covered subjects ranging from reincarnation to the origin of the universe to the use of meditation to reduce Stress and improve health. Pastor James Coffin, ex- ecutive director of the In- terfaith Council of Central Florida and co-sponsor of the Religion 101 series, said he was very pleased at the audience response. He said that the goal for the series was to "make it easy and fun for the busy person to become much more knowl edgeable about the teachings and practices of the various faith traditions, and in that respect, the program was a resounding success." The next presentation in the series will be an overview of Islam with Imam Ashiq Kermali. It will be held Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Holo- caust Center. Reservations are recommended, and no admission is charged. For more information see www. or call 407- 628-0555. Pictured, from left: speaker Dr. Claudia Schippert, Pastor James Coffin of the lnterfaith Council, and Holocaust Center E.D. Pare Kancher MIAMI BEACH--Enter a room where mah jongg is being played and the first thing you'll hear are sounds of happiness - laughter and chatter, tiles clacking, and "mah jongg!" cried out by a triumphant winner. People play anywhere four can fit around a table--or in the case of Miami Beach, a swimming pool! Project Mah Jongg is an innovative cultural exhibition coming to the Jewish Museum of Florida (JMOF) in October that sheds light on the little- known historical dimen- sions of the game, provoking memories and meanings of the intergenerational tradi- tion of this still popular icon in Jewish-American culture. The exhibit includes early game sets made of bone, Bakelite and bamboo; vintage photo- graphs and advertisements; household items; Chinoiserie; and instructional materials. The exhibit also illuminates mah jongg's influence on contemporary design, art, literature, theater, fashion, and cuisine, with works by designer Isaac Mizrahi,writer/ artist Bruce McCall and il- lustrators Christoph Niemann and Maira Kalman. JMOF has added a Florida connection to the show, with mahjongg sets and memorabilia from Jewish families throughout the state. There is also a mahjongg table in the exhibit where visitors can sit and play, in addition to a variety of programs and events where people can learn to play and host their own mah j0ngg games. How did the ancient Chi- nese table game mah jongg, the invention of which is attributed to Confucius in 500 BCE, become a favorite pastime = often, a social lifeline - for generations of Jewish women in America? Mah-jongg was introduced in the United States around 1920 by the American businessman Joseph P. Babcock, a repre- sentative for the Standard Oil Company in China, who was fascinated with the exotic world that mah jongg repre- sented. He started importing sets around 1922, at which time he simplified the game for an American audience through his book "Rules for Playing the Genuine Chinese Game Mah-Jongg." Since then, the game has ignited "the popular imagination with its beautiful tiles, mythical origins, and communal spirit. Throughout its history in the U.S., mah jongg has played a role in everything from family gatherings to charitable events, from im- migrant neighborhoods to resorts and retirement vil- lages, and it has enjoyed popularity from Hollywood, Calif. to Hollywood, Fla. Mah jongg was--more than anything a community builder. The game was a staple that followed many from their summers in the Catskills 'to their winter homes on Miami Beach. As Mafia Kalman said about the game, "When I heard that women would get together and play mah jongg and talk about their problems, I realized there was a lot of therapy going on that could not be done in an official way. Manyworries andwisheswere voiced." Today, hundreds of thou- sands of people enjoy the game, as it continues to be a vital part of communal, personal, and cultural life. Some play to gather with friends, some have inherited the mah jongg sets of their mothers and grandmothers and they seek to connect to past generations, while others are drawn to the retro appeal of the game and a by-gone way of life in our high tech society. The clacking mah jongg tiles echo the memories, fantasies, identities and intersections of our cultures - past and present. Project Mah Jongg accu- rate and is circulated by the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, New York. This exhibition was made possible through the generosity of the National Mah Jongg League. Additional support provided by Sylvia Hassenfeld and the 2wice Arts Foundation. Local funders include: Rob- ert Arthur Segall Founda- tion, Funding Arts Network, Charles & Sandra Simon, Joni & Stanley Tate and Kenneth & Barbara Bloom in recognition and appreciation of the con- tinuing support of the Robert Arthur Segall Foundation to the Museum and its mission (as of 9/4/12). PROGRAMS AND EVENTS AT JMOF 1. Mah Jongg Mania: Ameri- can Beginnings, Project Mah Jongg Exhibit Curator Tour & Talk Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, 11 a.m. Melissa Martens, Director of Collections and Exhibi- tions at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in NYC, will explore the early and unknown roots of the game of mah jongg in America. From the World's Columbian exposition, to elite social clubs, to Chinatowns, suburbs, Hollywood and Jew- ish resorts- discover how the mysterious tile game of "a thousand wonders" became a national pastime. 2. Mah Jongg Tourna- ments 2-Day Tournament- Sunday, Oct. 21 - Monday, Oct. 22. 1-Day Tournament - Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013 (Super Bowl Sunday) For tournament regis- tration, call 786-972-3163 or download the forms on website: www.jewishmu- 3. Book a Group Tour of the Exhibit - $5/person - groups 5. Mah Jongg Lessons: 4 weel~ class: Nov. 12, Nov. 19, Nov. 26 and Dec. 3 from 1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m, Cost: Museum members $40, n0n-members $50, including 2012 National Mah Jongg League card. Limited space, reservations: 786-972-3175. JMOF will also offer films, lectures, Chinese cultural performances, cooking dem- onstrations and much more, plus mah jongg specialty items in the museum store. of 10 or more. To reserve a Check the website regu- GroupTour, callEvaat 786- larly for updates: www. 972-3176. 4. Reserve the Mah Jongg Table for your Mahj Group (2-hour time slots) Museum members $5 per person; non-members $10 per person (includes Mu- seum admission) To reserve the Mah Jongg Table, call Eva at 786-972-3176. About the Jewish Museum The Jewish Museum of Florida is housed in two adjacent restored historic buildings on South Beach that were once synagogues for Miami Beach's first Jewish congregation. The museum's focal point is its core exhibit MOSAIC: Jew- ish Life in Florida - 1763 to the Present and temporary history and art exhibits that -change. periodically. A Col- lections & Research Center, several films, Timeline Wall of Jewish history, Museum Store filled with unique items and Bessie's Bistro for snacks complete the experi- ence for visitors of all ages and backgrounds. Accredited by the Ameri- can Association of Mu- seums, the Museum is located at 301 Washington Ave., South Beach. Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Mondays,civil and Jewish holidays. Admis- sion: Adults/S6; Seniors/S5; Families/S12; Members and children under 6/Always Free; Saturdays/Free. For information: 305-672-5044 or Attorney Tom Host of Olsen on Law Radio Show for 26 years Saturdays at 11 a.m. on FM 96,5 WDBO * Olsen Law Partners, LLP Orlando, FL