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2016-04-22 digital edition

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2019 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


April 22, 2016  RSS feed
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Sonya Miller to receive award at international conference

Years ago, when Jews were not welcome in the area’s country clubs, Sonya Miller and her now late husband, Irwin, ran what many considered the first Jewish community center at the Hotel Rellim on St. Pete Beach.

The hotel was the center of Jewish social life in the beach community for many years, but that was not the only way in which Sonya Miller served the local Jewish communiy.

As one of the founding members of Temple Beth-El, Sonya Miller, a rare Florida native, has served as co-chair of the Temple Beth-El art show for four decades. This highly acclaimed fine art exhibit and sale is known as one of the premier shows in the Southeastern United States and raises more than $100,000 for the temple.

In recognition of her many contributions to the local community and for her example of exceptional leadership, Sonya Miller will be honored this September during the International Lion of Judah Conference in Washington, D.C., with the prestigious Kipnis-Wilson Friedland Award.

Miller has been a Lion of Judah for 30 years and a Ruby Lion for nearly 20 years. Lions of Judah are women in the community who give an individual gift to their local Jewish Federation’s annual campaign of $5,000 per year; additional levels exist to honor higher levels of giving, including Ruby ($10,000).

Miller’s financial contributions have contributed to many local Jewish organizations including the Florida Holocaust Museum, Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services and Menorah Manor. Her impact on the Jewish community will be realized well into the future as she has also created a plan to leave a philanthropy legacy.

In recognition of the Kipnis- Wilson Friedland Award, Miller will be honored locally at a private brunch in late May, hosted by Patti Novack, Carol Lane, Margie Green, and Nancy Wygle, to be held at the former home of Thelma (z”l) and Maurice (z”l) Rothman.

“It is so meaningful to see my Mom recognized for all the wonderful things she (and my Dad) helped to accomplish in our community, and for the Rothman home to be where this event for our local Lions is taking place is an extra special touch. Aunt Thelma and Uncle Maury were one of my parents’ first friends as a married couple, and their friendship was extraordinary … a true example of devotion to each other. To be celebrating Mom there will be moving for all of us,” noted Jan Sher, Miller’s daughter.

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