On Dec. 16, at a program Rabbi Sam Intrator calls “Bridging Worlds in South Beach,” the rabbi, known as the South Beach Rabbi, hosted an evening of singing, praying and learning at The Temple House, 1415 Euclid Ave., in South Beach.
The idea of the event, the rabbi said, was to show how the prayers and rituals of Judaism contain important messages and wisdom for our time, and how launching the program on prayer at The Temple House was so important.
“In Jewish Kabbalistic mystical literature the holy sparks of yesteryear always seek connection to the here and now.” He said the venue was once a large and well-attended synagogue, and that years ago a great cantor sang there. “He was a Holocaust survivor, whose beautiful voice helped him to survive.”
The title of the evening was “How to be happy and fulfilled in life.” During the service, Intrator analyzed prayers and rituals that have inspired Jews for thousands of years — through the worst and best of times. For this reason Judaism has an “amazing track record and has something important to say to our generation.”
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An example Intrator said, is “The first prayer a Jew recites in the morning is to thank God for returning his soul to him. When we say that prayer, we plant a seed of gratitude and thankfulness the first thing in the morning. That seed is supposed to grow throughout the day, looking for the positiveness in life and being thankful.”
(I can till you this prayer also works for non-Jews. Upon rising in the morning, the first prayer I say is to give thanks to God for another day. It gets me going and keeps me positive throughout the day.)
The rabbi said the service is also a way to bring the synagogue to the people who otherwise don’t go to synagogue. “The Temple House, now converted into a party venue, used to be a synagogue,” he said.
Dan Davidson, who bought the famous Art Deco building in 2003, said it had served as “... a place for assembly use and congregation since the late 1930s.” He restored the property and said it now serves as a source of inspiration to people from across the globe who come to celebrate momentous occasions in their lives.
Intrator said he sees another important side benefit to hosting the services at The Temple House. “With the great divide and polarization that currently exists in Judaism between the old and new, programs like this can serve as a healing and unifying force to bridge worlds that rarely meet.”
He said it’s significant that the first “Bridging Worlds” service was held in the renovated former synagogue because Davidson was able to maintain the building’s original ambiance.
To learn more about the programs Intrator will host monthly in different locations in Miami Beach, email him at: email@example.com.
Buddhist center provides well-being
Kagyu Shedrup Choling (KSC), is a Buddhist center located at 60 NW 86th St. in El Portal, which provides educational as well as spiritual well-being opportunities for the community.
In addition to instruction in meditation, yoga and the principles and practices of Buddhism, the center offers a free class on the introduction to meditation and Buddhism at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, and Thursday in Spanish. Yoga classes are held at 2 p.m. Sunday and Buddhist services are held at 7:30 p.m. Friday and at 9 a.m. Sunday.
New Neighbors Club begins new year
The New Neighbors Club of South Florida will ring in its New Year of monthly meetings with singer and comedian Errol Dante at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 13. The meeting will be at Devon’s Seafood + Steak restaurant, 11715 Sherri Ln. in the Town and Country Mall in Kendall.
YoungArts Week coming up
A great way to begin the new year is to offer support to our youth.
With that in mind, national YoungArts Week will be Jan. 4-9, and will feature approximately 160 YoungArts winners in the visual, literary, performing and design arts. The youngsters will take part in the week-long intensive program and work with masters in their field.
The schedule is as follows:
▪ Jan. 4, 8 p.m., Classical, jazz, pop and singer/songwriter voice performance, New World Center, Main Hall;
▪ Jan. 5, 8 p.m., Theater and jazz instrumental performance, New World Center, Main Hall;
▪ Jan. 6, 8 p.m., Dance performance and cinematic arts screening, New World Center, Main Hall;
▪ Jan. 7, 8:30 p.m., Classical music concert, New World Center, Main Hall;
▪ Jan. 8, 6 to 7:15 p.m., Writers’ readings, YoungArts Campus, 2100 Biscayne Blvd., Jewel Box, Third Floor. RSVPs required; 7:30 to 9 p.m. Visual Arts, photography and design exhibition, YoungArts Campus, Gallery, first and second floors and Jewel Box, third floor. RSVPs required.
▪ Jan. 9, 7 p.m., YoungArts Backyard Ball;
For more information and for tickets for YoungArts Week, email Katie Breuil at, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next Generations reaching out
The Palm Beach-based Next Generations, a nonprofit organization comprised of children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors and those who are committed to educating future generations about the horrors of the Holocaust, has expanded its membership to Broward and Miami-Dade counties in an effort to reach more second and third generation Holocaust survivors and committed individuals.
The organization believes the empowerment of education is the most effective tool to prevent future genocides. It’s aim is to increase knowledge and understanding of the massive violation of human rights during the Holocaust by promoting and instituting Holocaust curricula in its educational, digital and social media platforms.
Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends and Neighbors, c/o Neighbors, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172 or email email@example.com. Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.