2022-06-17 E-Edition

After a ‘minimalist’ life, woman leaves Tampa JFS with largest ever donation

Even though Beth Ann Gemunder received $1 million from the late Adele Bernett last month, the two never met. Ok, to be clear the money was not for Gemunder herself, but for the agency she runs – Tampa Jewish Family Services (TJFS). Gemunder says the gift is the largest in the 68-year history of TJFS and “has truly changed our […]

Deal to ensure Rodeph future on Bayshore

In a deal that Congregation Rodeph Sholom President Lloyd Stern says should ensure a vibrant future for the synagogue for “100 years or more,” the synagogue plans to sell about half its property to a Miami-based developer for a 29-story luxury condominium project. Stern says the deal includes sale of the parking lot and the building housing the Tampa JCCs […]

A new, old name for one Holocaust survivor

Holocaust survivor Mary Wygodski has always known Mary wasn’t her given name. Born in Poland and facing Nazi barbarism, she was used to changing where she lived, the language she spoke, and her identity. It never occurred to her that learning her true name was a crucial piece of her Holocaust story, but a researcher at the Florida Holocaust Museum […]

Researching the living memories of Holocaust survivors

Ursula Szczepinska is a detective for survivors of the Holocaust. In her role as director of research and education at Florida Holocaust Museum (FHM), she spends a lot of time with survivors searching for answers to their unanswered questions – usually revolving around what happened to their friends and family during the Holocaust. Her work for survivor Mary Wygodski was […]

New abortion law violates Jewish tenet, suit claims

A South Florida synagogue has filed a lawsuit challenging the state over a new law prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks. Under current law, Florida allows abortions up to 24 weeks. Congregation L’Dor Va-Dor, a 25-year-old independent synagogue in Boynton Beach, claims the new law, which has been signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and is set to take effect on July […]

Ebb and ‘Flo’ of circus clown’s life told in niece’s tribute

In the 1960s Deb Carson grew up taking family vacations from Baltimore to visit extended family in Sarasota during winter break. Every year, Carson celebrated Hannukah with her mishpocheh, including her Uncle Albert, who she said, “had this amazing story.” Carson’s uncle was a famous Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey Circus clown while leading a double life: one as the […]

Schick Family Scholarship winners announced

Avi Reich of St. Petersburg and Orli Adler of Palm Harbor have been selected as the winners of the 2022 Schick Family Scholarship of the Jewish Federation of Florida’s Gulf Coast. The scholarships provide recipients up to $2,500 for a Jewish educational program, Jewish summer camp program or Jewish/Israel experience. About the winners Orli Adler, daughter of Nava and Haim […]

‘Don’t Fence Me In’

I’m rather certain that Cole Porter and Robert Fletcher were not thinking about labels or classifications of Jewish Americans when they penned the music and lyrics to the Western classic hit, “Don’t Fence Me In”. However, I cannot seem to get this song out of my head as I am attempting to understand the current demographics of our Jewish community. […]

Chabad of Clearwater celebrates completion of new Torah

A crowd of about 150 gathered on Tuesday, May 31 at Chabad Center of Clearwater to celebrate the completion of a new Sefer Torah for Chabad of Clearwater. The event took place on Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5782, the 3334th anniversary of the Jewish people reaching Mount Sinai in preparation for receiving the Torah from G-d, said Rabbi Levi Hodakov, leader […]