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October 24, 2014     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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October 24, 2014
 

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 24, 2014 Wolf Kahn community-minded regardless of race One of the swim teams coached by Kahn in the 1950s. baynews9 By Christine DeSouza Assistant Editor In conjunction with the JCRC's Bagels and Grits Brunch, over the next few weeks, The Heritage is running a series of articles about local Jewish commu- nity members who made an impact on the Civil Rights movement. This is the sec- ond in the series. The magnanimous, com- munity-minded Wolf Kahn did not wait until the Civil Rights movement started to take a stand for African- Americans. According to his son, Robert, while serving in World War ll Wolf noticed the black soldiers were treated like second-class people. "How can we be fighting Boundless Judaism: More than the sum of its parts Temple Israel will pres- ent a 12-week course titled "Boundless Judaism" begin- ning on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. and each Wednesday thereafter as will be indi- cated in the course syllabus, which will be provided to participants at the first class. If you've ever felt lost in the beautiful woods of Judaism, the "Boundless Judaism" program will help you fit it together. Judaism is hands-on. It is practical and detail oriented. As a Jew, you want to know what to do and how to do it. We love our history and rituals. Our cul- ture and art are everywhere. However, this leads most of us to learn our Judaism piecemeal. We learn about weddings before we have one. We learn about keeping kosher when we set up our kitchen. We read parts of the Torah each week but rarely have the opportunity to take a step backward to look at the big picture. "Boundless Judaism" will give you that opportunity. The unifying theme of the series will be the Sephirot (The Tree of Life) from the Kaballah. Thus, we will present an introduction, one lecture about each Sephira, and a concluding lecture. Temple Israel members may attend at no charge. Non- members may attend at $10/ session or $72 for the series. For more information, please visit Temple Israel's website at www.tiflorida. org or call 407-647-3055. More detailed information about each installment of the series will be printed in this publication as the start date gets closer. However, in the meantime, if you would like a course syllabus (at no charge), please call the num- ber listed above. a power that is known for their discriminatory ways and here we are doing the same thing?" His sound reasoning was a reflection of his own life growing up in Germany under the Nazi regime. He saw the correlation of be- ing Jewish in Germany as the same as being black in Orlando. "He didn't understand why just because you were a par- ticular race or religion that you should be punished," Robert told The Heritage in 2010. Back in the '40s and '50s Orlando was a very segregat- ed town. Restaurants posted signs in their windows that read: "No n_gg_rs, no dogs, no Jews." The Kahn fam- ily was subject to ridicule for being Jewish and for having a father who was a civil rights pioneer. None of this swayed Wolf, who was once arrested under false pretenses and jailed for three days, and whose family suffered much ridicule and a cross-burning in their front yard: Robert said that his father was unmoved by all this. He would not let it get to him. What was Wolf's "great sin"? He taught black chil- dren and adults how to swim. Blacks were not allowed in the public swimming pools back in the '50s, so many of them used Lake Mann near Washington Shores to cool off from the summer heat. After two black chil- dren drowned in the lake, The Eagles have landed! Shown here (l-r): Drei Graham, Aaron Bilsky and Nathan Kluger. Aaron Bilsky, Nathan Kluger and Drew Graham of Boy Scout Troop 641, in Maitland, earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Their Court of Honor ceremony was held at Temple Israel on Oct. 5. As guests arrived, they were greeted by a bald eagle from the Audubon Bird of Prey JCenter in Maitland. A requirement for the rank of Eagle Scout was for each scout to organize a community service project. Aaron's Eagle project orga- nized a music clinic and held a concert for participants at the Easter Seals Winter Park campus. Nathan's project was to build 20 screech owl boxes from scratch for the Bird of Prey Center that have been placed in locations throughout Central Florida. Drew and his volunteers picked roughly 3000 pounds of oranges that were then donated to Second Harvest Food Bank, through Society of St. Andrew's Harvest of Hope program. Boy Scout Troop 641 has a history of preparing Scouts for the rank of Eagle. For more information on Troop 641, visit troop641orlando. org or email the Scoutmaster at scoutmaster@troop641or- lando.org. The Troop meets Sunday afternoons at the JCC in Maitland. PAGE 3. A. baynews9 Wolf Kahn giving swim lessons in the 1950s. Wolf asked a City Council if anyone was teaching these children to swim. No one was, so he, being a certified swimming instructor, gave swimming lessons to black children in the alligator-in- fested waters of Lake Mann. Later, he taught swimming, life-saving and instructor classes at the Carter Street Pool and served as a coach to the Jones High School Swim Team. Wolf once smuggled his swim team into an all-white swim competition by hiding them on the floor of his car and covering them with blankets. After persuading the officials to let his team compete, they won the meet and took home the winning trophy. In the fall and winter months, Wolf shared his talented art skills with about 45 black students at Carter Street Housing Project and also gave drum lessons to children at Shiloh Baptist Church and taught band at Jones High, supplyingthe equipment and his time at no charge. This simple act of giving swimming lessons helped fight discrimination in Or- lando. The Grits and Bagels Brunch, featuring Brad Herzog, will be held Sun- day, Nov. 2 at 1 pm in the auditorium of the JCC. Admission is free but RSVP is requested. The program is hosted by the Jewish Com- munity Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando and is sponsored in part by The Florida Humanities Council and Landry's Restaurants. For more information about Grits and Bagels, please contact Lisa Sholk at 407-261-3175 or lsholk@ jfgo.org. Dedicated To Serving Our Jewish Community Call on Central Florida's Exclusively Jewish Funeral Home for Details Regarding: Traditional Jewish Funerals Non-Traditional Services Interstate Shipping Pre-Arranged Funerals (Shalom Assurance Plan) Headstone, Grave Markers (Cardinal Memorials) 407-599-1180 640 Lee Rd. Orlando, Florida W,E, "Manny" Adams, LFD Samuel P, (Sammy) Goldstein, Executive Director