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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 © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


 

July 15, 2016  RSS feed
Culture

Text: T T T

Reflections

Dr. Robert Entel

Having been raised in Dunedin in the early 1960s, my family is proud to have participated in the magnificent growth of our Jewish community.

Over the past 55 years, I can appreciate the impact that our community has made in Tampa Bay in areas of medicine, social services, and the arts – just to name a few. Things have certainly changed. In the 1960s, I can remember my parents purchased an old Pinellas house where the original deed restricted “Hebrews and negroes” from ownership.

When the annual Florida Achievement test (FCAT equivalent) was administered on Yom Kippur Day, my mother pulled me out of class after the test that morning to attend temple services. In the early 1960s Hebrew teachers were a scarcity, so my mother, who never learned Hebrew herself, would study at home during the week in order to teach a class to children the following week in Sunday School.

I can also remember Charlie Rutenberg at the onset of the 1967 Six- Day War, asking my father to participate in an emergency meeting with other leaders in the Jewish community to raise money for Israel. Looking back on those years, it is personally gratifying to be a lifetime member of our growing and diversified Jewish community in Tampa Bay.

We all should be proud of our many congregations, and important organizations and institutions such as the Florida Holocaust Museum and Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services – and our contributions to the Israelis through such organizations as JNF, AIPAC, State of Israel Bonds and Hadassah.

The future of the Jewish community is bright, and I am confident that our vibrancy and growth will continue for generations to come.

Entel is on the national council of AIPAC and has been recognized for his medical and humanitarian accomplishments.


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