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July 15, 2016  RSS feed

Text: T T T


Judith O. Rosenkranz

The biggest changes in the past thirty years?

SIZE! Just plain numbers of Jews in our area. That is the change that seems the most obvious to me. Numbers of people, numbers of preschools, numbers of synagogues, just plain size of the Jewish community.

Do not be misled by these remarks, this does not mean that our affiliation percentage has increased (it hasn’t) but with a larger populace it FEELS as though it has. This is one area that remains to be addressed.

And these increased numbers are widespread and far flung. Our Jewish community is everywhere!

Don’t try to find a “core,” it is not there. Geographically, the new Bryan Glazer Family Jewish Community Center will be about as central as it gets around here. And that is rejuvenating an old facility. It is not even open yet but we know that it will be a fabulous addition to Jewish life in the metropolitan Tampa area.

With increased population has come increased fundraising. This is still the measuring stick to rate a community. We have greatly increased our numbers, but not to where we should be. And that sentence refers to numbers of people giving as well as dollars raised. This gives us some areas to develop while we are taking great pride in how far we have come. By size of our community, compare us to any other community of the same size. We are not measuring up!

One thing that would be a unifying force to this community is still not in our grasp. That is a weekly Jewish newspaper. We know how fresh and timely it was when there WAS a weekly Jewish paper. As our numbers have increased, I hope that one of the forthcoming developments is to move to a weekly paper (okay the summer months can still be served on a bi-weekly basis.)

This would need the business community to be truly supportive of this endeavor ... an ad now and then would not suffice!

We cannot say that the next 30 years will see the explosion in size of the last 30 years. Let us hope that it sees the development within the Jewish community to make what we have stronger, more unified and more sustainable. And Always Proud!

Rosenkranz was the founding editor of The Jewish Floridian of Tampa and served in the past as president of Tampa Jewish Federation, the Schaarai Zedek Sisterhood and Women of Reform Judaism.

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