Miami-Dade County School Board member Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, likes to let others — especially young people — know that she grew up in "the projects" in Liberty City. She does this because she wants them to know anyone can be an over-comer.
This is the message she gave to single moms when she was a principal at Lillie C. Evans Elementary School. Many of them were inspired by Bendross-Mindingall and went back to school and became professionals, by attending a learning center she opened in a Miami-Dade housing project. The center was designed to educate and provide opportunities for parents to transition from welfare to employment.
Recently Bendross-Mindingall was awarded the Julia Tuttle Award for exemplary community service for the citizens of Miami. I don’t know of a more deserving individual for this award. As a classroom teacher, principal, adult-education administrator and public servant, Bendross-Mindingall has made a lifetime of using education to unlock the doors of opportunity for others to walk through. It is a little-known fact that she founded the first state-charted male role model program in Florida.
Before she was elected to serve as the School Board member for District 2, in November 2010, Bendross-Mindingall had served for four consecutive terms as Florida state representative for District 109. She has proffered policy legislation that streamlined Minority/Women Business Enterprise(M/WBE) certification, improved safety on school buses, lead to M-DCPS’ absorption of Head-Start centers throughout the county and much more.
The Julia Tuttle Award is named for the Miami pioneer. And according to a press release, it is awarded by the city of Miami’s Commission on the Status of women to an individual who exemplifies the same "unwavering support and work on behalf of the residents of the city of Miami as Tuttle did".
Past winners include Georgia Ayers, Dorothy Quintana, Jennifer Valoppi, and Alberta Bachelor Blecke.
Walk for Autism
You can join Beth David Congregation, the Gordon Schools and the Autism Speaks community to walk to change the future for all who struggle with Autism at 8 a.m. today at JC Bermudez Park, 3000 NW 87th Ave. in Doral.
This is an important cause for Beth David. The Gordon Schools of the synagogue, 2625 SW Third Ave.,. has an arm of the school called the Tikvah Center, It is the only Autism-specific program within a Jewish Day School in Florida. The walk is the single most powerful force to fund vital research that will lead to answers in finding a cure for autism.
Registration and a resource fair will be at 8 a.m. and the walk starts at 10 a.m. For more information go to www.walknowforautismspeaks.org/miami/bethdavid.
Holocaust Remembrance Day
The Dorothy Serotta Social Justice Forum invites the community to a Holocaust Remembrance Day program and the screening of the acclaimed PBS documentary, "Worse Than War," at 10 a.m. today in the Board Room of Temple Israel of Greater Miami, 137 NE 19th St.
The documentary is an examination of the causes of genocide and ethnic cleansing along with recommendations for how to prevent them.
Rabbi Tom Heyn, the spiritual leader of Temple Israel, will introduce the film. It’s free and open to the community.
Farmers Market in Miami Beach
The community is invited to experience the Farmers Market at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays.
Also featured is a gardening workshop at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.; Yoga at 12:30 p.m. (free for members) and an orchid exchange and plant sale.
The garden is at 2000 Convention Center Dr. in Miami Beach. For more information call the garden at 305-673-7256.
Events to tackle subject of Jewish identity
Temple Israel of Greater Miami and Next@19th will partner with other community groups to present Vanessa Hidary — known as the "Hebrew Mamita," for a weekend of programs , April 12-14.
Hidary, who is known to be engaging, funny and outspoken, has earned many fans from her acclaimed one-woman show, Culture Bandit, appearances on HBO’s Russell Simmons Presents, Def Poetry, and her recent book, The Last Kaiser roll in the Bodega.
She has taken her show, which speaks about Jewish identity, from the Bronx to Tel Aviv and has toured high schools, colleges, Jewish organizations, poetry lounges and cultural centers. She tackles stereotypes and dissects the question of "What does Jewish look like to you?"
The weekend of programs include a Friday night Shabbat Dinner with Hidary at 6 p.m. on April 12 in Wolfson Auditorium. the cost is $25 for adult temple members, $32 for non-members, and $12.50 for children age 13 and younger. there will also be a limited number of complimentary dinners for young adults 18-28. Dinner reservations are required. Email the temple office at email@example.com or call 305-573-5900. Hidary will also join in a Shabbat evening service at 7:30 p.m. A festive Oneg will follow in the temple’s Bertha Abess Sanctuary.
Hidary will be on stage at 9 p.m. on April 13 performing her bold and frank reflections on intercultural Jewish identity, experience and community at Next@ 19th on the temple’s campus. Tickets are $25 general admission; $20 for students and seniors and artists at Brown Paper Tickets or by calling 800-838-3006, or by calling Next@19th at 305-542-77732 or at info@Nextat19th.org.
At 10 a.m. on April 14, Hidary will lead a Youth Writing Jam with the Religious School students grades 5 and up. The youngsters will be led through free-writing and self-expression to help them realize their Jewish identities in relation to their b’nai mitzvah studies.
From 3 to 5 p.m. on April 14, the program "Writing Workshop with Vanessa" will be at Books and Books, 265 Aragon Ave. in Coral Gables. During the event Hidary will share some of her signature poems and short stories, lead discussions, group presentation and performance techniques and free writing. The program is sponsored in part by the Center for Literature and Theatre at Miami-Dade College.
For more information call the temple at 305-573-5900.