Hope you had a great Christmas


I guess by now many of you are trying to decide what to do with all the food left over from the family Christmas dinner, while some others are caught up in the long lines of department stores, trying to return unwanted gifts.

Whatever you are doing today, I hope your Christmas was a wonderful and blessed one. I know mine was. As usual, I spent the holiday in New York with granddaughter Afra and her mom Mary Anne. I’ll be back home by the time you read this.

Afra, you might remember, is the dancer in the family. She has been a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall for several years, but didn’t dance with them this year because she is appearing in the Broadway musical Motown.

Anyway, Christmas in New York is always wonderful, but it's great to be back home.

‘Linking to Latin America’

The series “Linking to Latin America” at Temple Bet Tov-Ahavat Shalom, will continue at noon Sunday at the synagogue, 6438 SW Eighth St. in West Miami.

The event will begin with a kosher lunch followed by a presentation by Pablo Rozingsway, who will speak on Jewish life in Cuba.

It’s free, but donations will be accepted. If you go, make your reservation by calling 305-205-3846, 305-279-8150 or 305-261-9821.

Kabbalat Shabbat

Rabbi Mark Kram, the spiritual leader of Temple Beth Or, 11715 SW 87th Ave., wants the community to know that Kabbalat Shabbat services are at 8 p.m. every Friday through Jan. 31 at the synagogue.

It’s free. For more information, call the temple at 305-235-1419 or go to

Interfaith Shabbat

Here’s something you should put on your calendar for the new year, God willing:

It’s the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Shabbat Service held at 7 p.m. on January 17th at Temple Sinai at North Dade, 18801 NE 22nd Ave. in North Miami Beach.

For this special Shabbat service, Rabbi Alan E. Litwak, senior spiritual leader of Temple Sinai, and Bishop Victor Curry, senior pastor and teacher at New Birth Baptist Church in Northwest Miami-Dade at 2300 NW 135th St., will bring their congregations together for this most wonderful interfaith worship service to honor the memory and legacy of Dr. King.

The two spiritual leaders have worked together since 2008, on similar services, in an effort to inspire their congregations and raise awareness of the historical bonds between their faiths.

According to a press release, the annual Shabbat service was inspired in part from an event in 1965, when Dr. King and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and other religious leaders walked arm and arm in a march at the forefront of the human rights movement during a period of civil unrest in our country.

One of the highlights of the service will be when the choirs from both houses of God join their voices in praise and celebration for the continued bonds of faith.

“Power is the theme that I rejoice on,” said Bishop Curry. “Nothing works without it; we need power both in the natural and the spiritual realms. This event is time to celebrate that ability of humanity.”

Rabbi Litwak said, “The African-American and Jewish communities share similar histories and Dr. King’s birthday is a great time to remind us of his message of justice, equality and peace.”

The event will be an evening of prayer and is free and open to everyone.

For more information, call New Birth at 305-685-3700, or Temple Sinai at 305-932-9010.

New Buddhist Center

The grand opening of the Drolma Kadampa Buddhist Center Miami will be on Jan. 11 at 1273 Coral Way, with an open house to be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event is free and will feature free introductory meditation session in both English and Spanish. The English session will be with resident teacher and modern Buddhist monk Gen Kelsang Norbu. The meditation session in Spanish will be with modern Buddhist nun Kelsang Deshe.

Drolma Center is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale and presents a variety of modern Buddhist meditation classes, study programs and events at the new location in both English and Spanish.

Gen Kelsang Norbu said, “This place belongs to the people of Miami, as a place of meeting, a place of peace, meditation, spiritual learning, discussion, practice, development, growth and awakening ... we are most happy to welcome and meet you.”

For more information, go to or call 786-529-7137.

Judaism 101

A series of four classes with the clergy of Beth Torah for Jews, non-Jews, or those who are intermarried will be on Jan. 16, 23, 30 and Feb. 6, at the Beny Rok Campus, 20350 NE 26th Ave. in North Miami Beach.

The series of classes in called, “A Touch of Judaism at Beth Torah” and will be held from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Classes will include such topics as “Introduction to Jewish Values,” “Life Cycles,” “Jewish Calendar and Rap Up.”

Interested persons should call Maria Cohen at 305-932-2829, ext. 7818.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Religion Notes, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.

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