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2016-07-15 digital edition

TODAY in the Jewish World:

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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.


July 15, 2016  RSS feed
Front Page

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TIMELINE: Jewish Press headlines 2006-2016


3/24: The JCC of Pinellas County moves into a new facility on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. It has space for administrative offices and for establishing programs.

8/18: More than 200 people march along Belcher Road in Clearwater to show solidarity with Israel. Meanwhile, a ceasefire is declared Aug. 14 in Israel’s war with the Hezbollah, which began when Hezbollah launched rockets at Israel on July 12.

9/1: The Pinellas County Jewish Federation approves a name change to reflect its geographical coverage. The new name is the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties.


1/12: The Histories of the Jewish People of Pinellas County, Fla. 1883-2005, by Dr. Herman Koren goes on sale as a fundraiser for Temple B’nai Israel.

6/14: Faced with declining enrollment, the Golda Meir/Kent Jewish Center announces it is closing its preschool after 20 years of operation.

9/14: Pinellas County Jewish Day School begins a $3 million fundraising campaign and plans major expansion to nearly double its classrooms with the purchase of adjacent buildings. The school began in 1980 with 26 students in grades K-2 and now has 205 students in K-8.

9/28: Menorah Manor plans a $20 million, 80-apartment assisted living facility on the 11.5-acre Golda Meir/Kent Jewish Center property for a purchase price of $1 million. The existing building and aquatic center will be demolished to make way for new construction.

10/12 Congregation Beth Shalom in Clearwater plans its 50th anniversary celebration.


6/20: Construction begins on Pinellas County Jewish Day School expansion.

10/23: Golda Meir/Kent Jewish Center and the Pinellas County JCC merge their summer camps into a new Camp Kadima, offered at Pinellas County Jewish Day School.


1/30: Golda Meir/Kent Jewish Center and JCC of Pinellas County boards vote unanimously to create one unified board to steer the transformation of the two centers into one JCC for the county.

2/13: The Pinellas County Jewish Day School finds itself in serious financial trouble, but vows to remain open.

2/27: 100-year-old Rabbi Israel Dvorkin leads services at Congregation Beth Sholom in Gulfport.

7/17: Jewish Press captures the Simon Rockover Award for Excellence in Jewish Journalism, taking first place for small papers in the special sections category. The award, considered the “Jewish Pulitzer,” is for Connections: A Guide to Jewish Living in Pinellas and Pasco Counties, a 68-page magazine produced by Jewish Press and Jewish Federation.

9/25: The remodeled and expanded JCC of Pinellas County reopens at 5023 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg.

11/20: Jewish Press announces it will offer an online version of its papers by the end of the year.


3/19: Pinellas County Jewish Day School launches restructuring plan aimed at keeping the school open. A $1 million fundraising campaign is launched.

4/30: Pinellas County Jewish Day School announces it will close at the end of the school year. The last graduation will be June 2.

8/13: The Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, the Tampa Jewish Federation and the Hillel School of Tampa are cooperating to give students in Pinellas and Pasco an opportunity to attend Hillel School after plan for new school in Pinellas fails.


1/14: Groundbreaking is held Dec. 21, 2009 for Menorah Manor’s Inn on the Pond assisted living facility.

1/28: The Jewish Agency for Israel opens a regional office in the Tampa Bay area.

3/25: Some Jewish Pinellas County high school seniors have to choose between being observant or attending their graduations, due to a scheduling conflict that has some graduations falling on Shabbat or Shavuot.

5/6: Congregation B’nai Israel and Temple Beth-El create the Jewish Burial Society of Pinellas County in order to buy, restore and upgrade the Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery in Largo.

8/12: The Pinellas County school board grants approval for a Ben Gamla free public charter school to open in in August 2012. The school will teach Hebrew as a second language and the history and culture of the Hebrew language, but will not be permitted to teach Judaism.

8/26: The Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg opens a new room in honor of longtime museum supporter Harvey Hertz. The room, for meditation and prayer, is designed to look like the Western Wall and allows room for placement of messages.

8/26: A new population study shows that outside of Southeast Florida, Pinellas County has the next highest number of Jews, estimated at 13,500 Jewish households. Hillsborough’s number of Jewish households is estimated at 11,750.


1/13: Ben Gamla Charter School officials announce that the school will open in August on the Temple B’nai Israel campus.

3/9: Menorah Manor’s Inn on the Pond, the first Jewish assisted living facility in north Pinellas, prepares for a grand opening on April 1 on the site of the former Golda Meir/Kent Jewish Center site.

3/23: The Tampa, Orlando and Pinellas/Pasco Federations announce the formation of the Tampa-Orlando-Pinellas Alliance, with Tampa Federation CEO Gary Gould to oversee the new organization. The alliance aims to use economies of scale to help curb costs for all three federations and to give the allied federations a greater voice on a variety of issues.

8/24: The JCC Suncoast takes over the Temple B’nai Israel preschool, which the temple had run for more than 30 years. The preschool opens in the same classrooms, sharing the campus with the temple and the new Ben Gamla Charter School, which opened with 70 students enrolled.


2/22: JCC Suncoast announces it will cease operations at its Central Avenue facility in St. Petersburg and move some programs to Temple Beth-El.

4/19: The Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties reach an agreement with JCC Suncoast for the Federation to take over the JCC.

7/12: The Ben Gamla Charter School closes after one year of operation.

11/1: JCC Suncoast programs operating under the Pinellas & Pasco Federation end programming at Temple Beth-El in St. Petersburg and at Inn on the Pond in Clearwater amid continuing financial woes.

11/15: Days after JCC Suncoast program cuts are announced, the organization announces the JCC Suncoast Preschool at Temple B’nai Israel in Clearwater is shutting down, effective Dec. 20.


4/11: The Pinellas/Pasco Federation launches its inaugural 8 Over 80 celebration to honor seniors 80 and older who have contributed to the local Jewish community. The event draws a crowd of nearly 400.

8/15: In Pinellas County and Tampa, Jews gather in prayer and at solidarity rallies in support of Israel in its latest battles with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

11/7: An international windsurfing competition scheduled to take place in Israel was moved to Clearwater Beach, due to fears the Gaza conflict would keep competitors away. The local Jewish community turned out in support of the team from Israel.

12/19: Shock and sadness ripples through the Jewish community when Rochelle Tatrai Ray, CEO of Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services, was slain in a domestic violence murder-suicide. Tatrai-Ray was remembered as a loving mother and respected leader.


2/27: The USF chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine places a billboard on Fowler Avenue near the campus, claiming that the university foundation ignored a petition by 10,000 students seeking an end to investments in Israel. With the constant vigilance of the Hillels of the Florida Suncoast, the university has repeatedly rebuffed the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

7/17: Hillels of the Florida Suncoast Rabbi Ed Rosenthal leads a group for the first ever scuba Birthright trip to Israel.

9/25: Temple B’nai Israel, celebrates a more than year-long renovation project to its sanctuary and other facilities, which were originally dedicated 43 years ago.


1/29: The Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, as well as its Tampa counterpart, pledge funds to assist USF Hillel in opposing BDS promoted on campus by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). The USF Student Government approved a SJP-backed BDS resolution, but USF Foundation officials immediately reject it. The USF Senate president and vice president also veto the resolution.

3/11: Local Jewish officials applaud action by Florida Gov. Rick Scott to sign a bill that takes aim at the BDS movement by prohibiting the state pension fund from investing in companies that boycott Israel. The state Legislature also approved resolutions proclaiming state opposition to the BDS movement.

5/6: The Pinellas/Pasco Federation’s Annual Campaign tops $1 million for the first time since 2012.

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