Atlantic Tech senior makes academics her priority

This is one in a series of profiles this school year of students who are nominated by teachers and chosen by editors as best exemplifying the six character pillars: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, caring, fairness and citizenship.

Amanda Gonzalez

Age: 18

School: Atlantic Technical College Technical High School, Coconut Creek

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Six million steps walk raises Holocaust awareness

The “Six Million Steps to Holocaust Awareness” walk is an idea that was initiated a few years ago by Hebrew school students of Temple Beth Torah Sha’aray Tzedek in Tamarac and has turned into an annual-wide community supported educational program.

The third annual walk takes place on April 2 from 9 a.m.-noon at the Coral Springs Sportsplex Track at Coral Glades High School, 2700 Sportsplex Dr. This event is meant to bring the community together and heighten the awareness of the atrocities that occurred during the Holocaust as participants walk six million steps in the memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. All proceeds will be donated to the Broward County March of the Living Youth Scholarship Fund.

Ronit Goldstein, Hebrew school director at Temple Beth Torah Sha’aray Tzedek, instructed her students a few years ago to come up with an action plan that would involve the community with Holocaust awareness. Goldstein said there many ideas by these students – who she taught and were then in sixth grade – such as a radio show and a color run aside from a walk.

“They had so many wonderful ideas but the problem was that I knew I wouldn’t be able to execute them. However, I thought the walk was something that was doable, so I went over to our rabbi and was told to create a committee, and then I approached another temple member who was willing to be head of the committee and suggested to reach out to the community to see who would be willing to cooperate with us.”

Goldstein continued, “We reached out to different temples, and Temple Beth Am [in Margate] actually decided to join us, and that’s when we started working tighter in community collaboration with Temple Beth Am.”

Goldstein noted that it was decided by the students that proceeds support the Broward County March of the Living Youth Scholarship Fund.

Hosting organizations for this year’s walk include Temple Beth Torah Sha’aray Tzedek, Temple Beth Am, the Jewish Federation of Broward County, Orloff Central Agency for Jewish Education and The Jewish Agency for Israel.

According to Goldstein, other Broward County Religious schools will be part of the event, as well as clubs in different public schools throughout the county. As the Hebrew school has been part of the Jewish Federation of Broward County‘s Nesher twining program for many years, the program will take place both in Coral Springs and Nesher, Israel this year.

sixmillionstepstoholocaust@gmail.com for more information, including registration and payment. There is a $6 minimum donation to honor a Holocaust victim.

Article source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/fl-jjbn-steps-0322-20170320-story.html

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Synagogue’s executive director connects to congregants

Many synagogues, especially larger ones, tend to be dominated by male executive directors. In the case of Congregation Kol Tikvah in Parkland, a woman – Jennifer Levin-Tavares – serves as its executive director with the aim of being a good role model for the entire congregation, including children, adults and staff.

Levin-Tavares, 54, lives in Coconut Creek and is also active in the National Association for Temple Administration, a professional network of Reform Jewish synagogue executive directors where she is on the Membership Committee and co-chair of its mentoring program. She attained senior status in 2013 and became a Fellow in Temple Administration in 2014.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be serving as a leader at Congregation Kol Tikvah and in NATA and I do hope I inspire and have a positive impact on those whose lives I touch,” she said.

Levin-Tavares grew up in a small Jewish community in Knoxville, Tennessee and most recently served as executive director at Congregation Mishkan Israel in Hamden, Connecticut.

“One thing I had come to realize is that growing up in a small Jewish community can really strengthen your Jewish identity and that can lead toward Jewish communal service,” she said. “For instance, I had seven people in my religious school class when I was growing up. We had a very small synagogue. There was one other girl in my class and she became a rabbi. I think there’s something about growing up in that kind of environment that draws you into wanting to be in the Jewish world.”



Holocaust Survivor Band returns from Poland

Caption Holocaust Survivor Band returns from Poland

Polish-born Holocaust survivors Saul Dreier and Reuwen Sosnowicz returned home Wednesday after an unforgettable trip to Poland and Israel.

Polish-born Holocaust survivors Saul Dreier and Reuwen Sosnowicz returned home Wednesday after an unforgettable trip to Poland and Israel.

Weston philanthropist to build Holocaust rooms at Nova

Caption Weston philanthropist to build Holocaust rooms at Nova

A gift from Craig and Barbara Weiner will benefit Nova Southeastern Universty’s Alvin Sherman Library to create a new Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room.

A gift from Craig and Barbara Weiner will benefit Nova Southeastern Universty’s Alvin Sherman Library to create a new Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room.

Sherman tank on display at the Holocaust Documentation  Education Center

Caption Sherman tank on display at the Holocaust Documentation Education Center

A Sherman tank used in combat during WWII was unveiled at the Holocaust Documentation Education Center Friday at 303 North Federal Highway in Dania Beach.

A Sherman tank used in combat during WWII was unveiled at the Holocaust Documentation Education Center Friday at 303 North Federal Highway in Dania Beach.

Temple honors people where Torah is from.

Caption Temple honors people where Torah is from.

On Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, May 5, members of Temple Beth Kodesh in Boynton Beach will recite the names of people who died in the Holocaust from Kutna Hora, Czechoslovakia, the town their Torah is from.

On Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, May 5, members of Temple Beth Kodesh in Boynton Beach will recite the names of people who died in the Holocaust from Kutna Hora, Czechoslovakia, the town their Torah is from.

Students at Stoneman Douglas share lunch, stories with Holocaust survivors

Caption Students at Stoneman Douglas share lunch, stories with Holocaust survivors

90 Holocaust survivors gathered on Thursday for a special luncheon hosted by students at Stoneman Douglas High School.

90 Holocaust survivors gathered on Thursday for a special luncheon hosted by students at Stoneman Douglas High School.

Levin-Tavares became Kol Tikvah’s executive director on Feb. 1, 2016. In addition to overseeing this Reform synagogue’s operations, she serves as a resource to facilitate members’ integration into congregational life as she believes strongly that a synagogue is more than a place, it’s also a community where everyone feels at home.

“I have always been drawn to smaller to mid-sized congregations because my goal is to try to really know each congregant individually,” she said. “That is a difficult enough task in a medium sized institution and practically impossible in a large one.”

Levin-Tavares believes the synagogue is a second home for most people.

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Rudner often includes Jewish upbringing in her act

Jewish comedienne Rita Rudner stars in her stand up 90 minute comedy show on Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Coral Springs Center for the Arts in Coral Springs.

Known for her slow delivery and acute observations, Rudner’s first interest in show business was in dancing, growing up in the Coconut Grove section of Miami.

Rudner’s life changed drastically when her mother died of breast cancer when Rita was 13. Her father, attorney Abe Rudner, married again within a short period of time.

“I was very unhappy with my stepmother, who is not Jewish. I felt determined to become independent, so I graduated high school at age 15 and went to live in New York soon after my graduation to become a professional dancer,” said the 63-year-old Rudner in a phone conversation from her Las Vegas residence..

“I was young, brave and stupid but I found my way as a dancer. I performed in many Broadway shows, such as “Follies,” “Promises, Promises” and “Zorba,” among other musicals.”



Holocaust Survivor Band returns from Poland

Caption Holocaust Survivor Band returns from Poland

Polish-born Holocaust survivors Saul Dreier and Reuwen Sosnowicz returned home Wednesday after an unforgettable trip to Poland and Israel.

Polish-born Holocaust survivors Saul Dreier and Reuwen Sosnowicz returned home Wednesday after an unforgettable trip to Poland and Israel.

Weston philanthropist to build Holocaust rooms at Nova

Caption Weston philanthropist to build Holocaust rooms at Nova

A gift from Craig and Barbara Weiner will benefit Nova Southeastern Universty’s Alvin Sherman Library to create a new Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room.

A gift from Craig and Barbara Weiner will benefit Nova Southeastern Universty’s Alvin Sherman Library to create a new Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room.

Sherman tank on display at the Holocaust Documentation  Education Center

Caption Sherman tank on display at the Holocaust Documentation Education Center

A Sherman tank used in combat during WWII was unveiled at the Holocaust Documentation Education Center Friday at 303 North Federal Highway in Dania Beach.

A Sherman tank used in combat during WWII was unveiled at the Holocaust Documentation Education Center Friday at 303 North Federal Highway in Dania Beach.

Temple honors people where Torah is from.

Caption Temple honors people where Torah is from.

On Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, May 5, members of Temple Beth Kodesh in Boynton Beach will recite the names of people who died in the Holocaust from Kutna Hora, Czechoslovakia, the town their Torah is from.

On Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, May 5, members of Temple Beth Kodesh in Boynton Beach will recite the names of people who died in the Holocaust from Kutna Hora, Czechoslovakia, the town their Torah is from.

Students at Stoneman Douglas share lunch, stories with Holocaust survivors

Caption Students at Stoneman Douglas share lunch, stories with Holocaust survivors

90 Holocaust survivors gathered on Thursday for a special luncheon hosted by students at Stoneman Douglas High School.

90 Holocaust survivors gathered on Thursday for a special luncheon hosted by students at Stoneman Douglas High School.

By the time, Rudner was in her late twenties, she knew that her time as a professional dancer would be coming to a close. So, she turned her passion for dance into a passion for comedy.

“I learned and studied from the best comedians, such as Woody Allen and Jack Benny. There were not that many women who did comedy when I started, with Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers being the biggest names in the 1970s. I am shy and quiet, very different from Joan and Phyllis, and felt confident that I would have a unique style that would connect with audiences.”

Rudner’s observations of the world around her have connected to audiences both on stage and television. She has starred in HBO television comedy specials and performed often on the Johnny Carson and David Letterman late night television talk shows.

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Tradewinds student organizes buddy program

Brianna Breslaw

Age: 11

School: Tradewinds Elementary School, Coconut Creek

Grade: Fifth

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Kids of Character: Lola Simcox

This is one in a series of profiles this school year of students who are nominated by teachers and chosen by editors as best exemplifying the School District of Palm Beach County‘s six character pillars: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, caring, fairness and citizenship.

Lola Simcox

Age: 6

School: Tradewinds Elementary School, Coconut Creek

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Trial starting for ex-Air Force major accused of trying to kill his wife and her dad in Broward

Hours before retired U.S. Air Force Major Thomas Maffei shot and seriously injured his estranged wife and her father in Coral Springs, he went to a Veterans Administration crisis clinic in Palm Beach County and told staff he was under extreme stress.

When Maffei goes on trial Monday in Broward Circuit Court on attempted murder and other charges, he won’t dispute that he fired three shots through his then-wife’s apartment door as she and her father leaned against it, trying to keep him out.

Some of those hollow-point bullets struck Katherine Ranta Maffei and her father, Robert Ranta, before Maffei forced his way inside and shot both victims again on November 2, 2012, prosecutors say.

Maffei, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq before he was diagnosed with severe back pain, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), will present an “intoxication defense” at trial, his lawyer Fred Haddad said.

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Cleveland Clinic to open Coral Springs facility; construction to start in March

— Cleveland Clinic’s expansion project into Coral Springs is expected to break ground within months.

The 74,000-square-foot Family Health Center at the southeast corner of the Sawgrass Expressway and University Drive will begin construction in March.

The $32 million project, with 40 exam rooms, a surgery center with four operating suites, and several procedure rooms, is expected to open in 2018.

Dr. Wael Barsoum, the president of Cleveland Clinic Florida, said in a prepared statement that the move will provide the area with “innovative treatments and therapies which allowed us to earn the ranking as the No. 1 hospital in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area.”

Cleveland Clinic to open Coral Springs facility; construction to start in March

Cleveland Clinic to open Coral Springs facility; construction to start in March

— Cleveland Clinic’s expansion project into Coral Springs is expected to break ground within months.

The 74,000-square-foot Family Health Center at the southeast corner of the Sawgrass Expressway and University Drive will begin construction in March.

The $32 million project, with 40 exam rooms,…

— Cleveland Clinic’s expansion project into Coral Springs is expected to break ground within months.

The 74,000-square-foot Family Health Center at the southeast corner of the Sawgrass Expressway and University Drive will begin construction in March.

The $32 million project, with 40 exam rooms,…

(Lisa J. Huriash)

lhuriash@sunsentinel.com or 954-572-2008

Article source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/fl-coral-springs-cleveland-clinic-20170130-story.html

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Multicultural program teaches diversity

At least 25 different countries were represented during Temple Beth Orr’s Kuhn Early Childhood Center’s recent Multicultural Day.

This annual project, which took place at Temple Beth Orr in Coral Springs, celebrated the different cultures of the students’ families. It featured the students singing the song “Hello to all the Children of the World!” with their families in the audience. The families also brought dishes from different countries, including Belgium, China, Cuba, France, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Venezuela and others.

Naomi Gordon, the early childhood center’s director, said, “Since they came back from winter break, the children have been learning about diversity. This is the culmination of everything they’ve learned.”

Gordon also noted, “I think the most important lesson I teach the children the entire year is to love all people.”

Lois Kutchera, a pre-kindergarten teacher at the center who noted the event is tied with Martin Luther King Day, said, “We teach the kids about diversity, acceptance and how we all may look different, we all may wear different clothes and we all may be from different places, but inside we’re all still the same.”



Holocaust Survivor Band returns from Poland

Caption Holocaust Survivor Band returns from Poland

Polish-born Holocaust survivors Saul Dreier and Reuwen Sosnowicz returned home Wednesday after an unforgettable trip to Poland and Israel.

Polish-born Holocaust survivors Saul Dreier and Reuwen Sosnowicz returned home Wednesday after an unforgettable trip to Poland and Israel.

Weston philanthropist to build Holocaust rooms at Nova

Caption Weston philanthropist to build Holocaust rooms at Nova

A gift from Craig and Barbara Weiner will benefit Nova Southeastern Universty’s Alvin Sherman Library to create a new Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room.

A gift from Craig and Barbara Weiner will benefit Nova Southeastern Universty’s Alvin Sherman Library to create a new Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room.

Sherman tank on display at the Holocaust Documentation  Education Center

Caption Sherman tank on display at the Holocaust Documentation Education Center

A Sherman tank used in combat during WWII was unveiled at the Holocaust Documentation Education Center Friday at 303 North Federal Highway in Dania Beach.

A Sherman tank used in combat during WWII was unveiled at the Holocaust Documentation Education Center Friday at 303 North Federal Highway in Dania Beach.

Temple honors people where Torah is from.

Caption Temple honors people where Torah is from.

On Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, May 5, members of Temple Beth Kodesh in Boynton Beach will recite the names of people who died in the Holocaust from Kutna Hora, Czechoslovakia, the town their Torah is from.

On Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, May 5, members of Temple Beth Kodesh in Boynton Beach will recite the names of people who died in the Holocaust from Kutna Hora, Czechoslovakia, the town their Torah is from.

Students at Stoneman Douglas share lunch, stories with Holocaust survivors

Caption Students at Stoneman Douglas share lunch, stories with Holocaust survivors

90 Holocaust survivors gathered on Thursday for a special luncheon hosted by students at Stoneman Douglas High School.

90 Holocaust survivors gathered on Thursday for a special luncheon hosted by students at Stoneman Douglas High School.

When asked about the value of the students, who range from ages two months through five years old, learning diversity early on in life, Gordon responded, “They think we’re all the same, and that’s the whole point, to teach our children at an early young age to accept people of different ethnicities.”

Gordon feels that teaching the students about diversity exemplifies the Jewish value of tikkun olam (repairing the world).

“We teach this every day to our children,” Gordon noted. “It’s very important to teach tikkun olam to these children.”

Gordon was also amazed with the parent participation at the event.

“I’ve worked 25 years in the business and I’ve never seen anything like this. The parent participation is second to none. If it’s not a parent, it’s a grandparent or an aunt or uncle here. Almost every child has somebody here for them.”

Parent Stacy Kardys of Coral Springs, who attended the event, said, “I love that they teach the children so much about other cultures, not just about Judaism.”

“I also love that parents can be involved,” she continued. “We’re not just hearing about it or seeing it afterwards. We actually get to be here at the same time, so that’s great.”

Student Emma Perkins, 4, said through the center’s lessons on diversity, she learned about the old days when African Americans had to sit in the back of the bus, how one man – Martin Luther King – made a difference and that “now, everyone has to be equal.”

Rabbi Norman Klein, the synagogue’s interim rabbi, thought it was a nice project.

“From what I understand, they try to encourage everyone in the early childhood education program to be open to different cultural influences and accept everyone. Even though it’s a Jewish preschool, everyone is allowed to come. Everyone is welcomed. They respect everyone’s ethnicity.”

Article source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/fl-jjbn-multicultural-0125-20170123-story.html

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Deafening cheers by 400 South Florida supporters at Trump watch party

Cheers rose to deafening levels as a crowd estimated at more than 400 jammed into Wings Plus to cheer Donald Trump’s first moments as the 45th president of the United States on Friday.

There was joy, relief and sometimes contempt as the scenes of a new president and party taking the reins of power unfolded on the TV screens. Wings Plus was the scene of what organizers claimed as the biggest watch party in the area.

Red, white and blue balloons festooned the restaurant’s exterior. Inside, pins bearing the new president’s likeness and T-shirts with pro-Trump slogans were the apparel of choice. The crowd was so thick waitresses had to carry trays above their heads to deliver beverages and food to tables.

Many in the crowd wore red “Make America Great Again” baseball caps just like Trump wore on the campaign trail. The ones for sale at the restaurant also bore the restaurant name under the slogan.

“Let’s do this Donald!” Lee Ballos, a Fort Lauderdale real estate agent, said as Trump joined Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to put his hand on the Holy Bible. “Take America back, baby.”

Inauguration protests and Trump priorities

“Yes, he will,” another patron responded.

Bob Enik, 73, of Jacksboro, Tenn., retired from sales, had heard about the gathering on a local radio show and wanted to mark the moment he couldn’t believe had arrived.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I met Trump years ago on a Palm Beach golf course.”

He made an impression, Enik said. And he agrees with his policies, too.

As Indiana Gov. Mike Pence became Vice President Mike Pence, Lana Markina, a Pompano Beach grandmother of two, originally from Jerusalem, declared, “Joe Biden, you’re fired! Joe Biden, you’re fired!”

South Florida Democrats pan Trump's inaugural speech

South Florida Democrats pan Trump’s inaugural speech

The inauguration may be over, but for the Democratic minority, resistance has just begun.

Three of the four Democratic congresspeople who represent Broward and southern Palm Beach counties were at the inauguration. And they say the scene there left them flabbergasted.

“My first impression was that…

The inauguration may be over, but for the Democratic minority, resistance has just begun.

Three of the four Democratic congresspeople who represent Broward and southern Palm Beach counties were at the inauguration. And they say the scene there left them flabbergasted.

“My first impression was that…

(Dan Sweeney)

And when it was President Trump’s turn, a full minute of cheers erupted. And then fell silent as his speech began. Lily Olinick, 58, of Coral Springs, said she felt the tears welling up.

“This is one of the happiest days of my life,” the real estate agent said. “Everything he believes is what makes this nation great.”

When the camera panned to a sitting President Obama, middle fingers were raised at the TV and others yelled, “Loser!”

The crowd erupted when Trump declared, “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”

Dolly Trevino Rump, chairwoman of Trump’s Broward County campaign, organized the event and said she couldn’t think of many more moments in her life that left her more exhilarated.

“For eight years this country has been headed into the abyss,” she said. “He has saved us.”

As Trump’s speech drew to a close, many spoke the last words along with him: “Together, we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And yes, together, we will make America great again.”

ageggis@sunsentinel.com, 561-243-6624 or @AnneBoca

Article source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/fl-trump-watch-party-coral-springs-20170120-story.html

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