Miami-Dade County

Neighbors in Religion: Local ceremonies commemorate Kristallnacht

It was on a night, pretty much like any other night 76 years ago, when one of the most tragic events in modern history happened in Germany and parts of Austria. That’s when a series of coordinated attacks against the Jews took place.

The event, called Kristallnacht, or the “Night of Broken Glass,” happened on Nov. 9 and 10 in 1938, and marked a major turning point in Adolf Hitler’s campaign to annihilate the Jews. On that fateful night, Jewish-owned businesses and synagogues were destroyed leaving the streets covered with broken glass from the shattered windows of the buildings, stores and temples that were vandalized and looted during the attacks. At least 91 Jews died in the attacks, and another 30,000 were sent to concentration camps.

On Nov. 9 and 10, freedom-loving people everywhere will remember Kristallnacht with ceremonies commemorating the event.

One commemoration will be presented by the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach, a committee of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, at 6 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Holocaust Memorial, 1933-1945 Meridian Ave. in Miami Beach. The program will include inspirational addresses, poetry readings, musical performances and remembrances.

The keynote address will be given by Erica Leib of Aventura, who was a teenager on Kristallnacht, when the Gestapo and brown-shirted Nazi sympathizers invaded and tore apart her family’s apartment in Vienna, Austria. She will give an eyewitness testimony about the kindness of a building janitor who hid her family in the immediate aftermath of Kristallnacht. Leib will also tell of her family’s escape from Vienna and their flight through various countries before settling on the Isle of Wight off the coast of England.

The program is free and open to the community.


At 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 10, Temple Sinai will commemorate Kristallnacht with a program that will feature Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger, who will speak about his book, A German Life: Against All Odds Change is Possible.

In his book Wollschlaeger, a board-certified family physician in private practice in Aventura, will tell of his struggles growing up in Germany in the shadow of his father, a highly decorated WWII tank commander and Nazi officer. When Wollschlaeger learned of his father’s history, he so disagreed with his father’s beliefs that he eventually converted to Judaism, emigrated to Israel and served in the Israel Defense forces as a Medical Officer.

The program will also feature a candle-lighting ceremony, where first-, second- and third-generation of Holocaust survivors in the community will be honored.

The event will be in the temple’s Jacobson Sinai Academy at 18801 NE 22nd Ave. in North Miami Beach. It’s free and the community is invited. For more information, call the temple office at 305-932-9010, ext. 212 or email:


Congratulations to Bishops Billy and Catherine P. Baskin and the congregation at New Way Fellowship Praise & Worship Church on the 39th anniversary of the church.

In keeping with the anniversary, the church at 16800 NW 22nd Ave. in Miami Gardens will celebrate Convocation Week Nov. 10-14. The theme is: “Moving in Fearless Faith: Impossible Says I’m Possible.”

The convocation will begin at the 7:30 a.m. worship service with the Rev. Marie White of Immanuel Temple as the guest speaker. At 10:45 a.m., Evangelist Chantale Ferguson of Christian Live Center will lead the worship service.

The celebration will continue with worship services held nightly at 7 p.m. on Nov. 9-16.

Featured speakers for the week will be: Monday, the Rev. John White of Immanuel Temple and congregation; Tuesday, Pastor Barbara Broussard and the congregation of Church of the Rock “Jesus Christ;” Wednesday, Pastor Alphonso Jackson and the congregation of Second Baptist of Richmond Heights; Thursday, Pastor Avery Jones of Holy Spirit Ministries and congregation, and Friday, Pastor Eddie Gervais of Christian Community Church and congregation will lead the service.

Nov. 15 of Convocation Week will begin at 5 p.m. with a “Hallelujah Evening of Glorifying God with Our gifts.” The guests will include Terrance Clayton and Spirit of Excellence; the Koinonia Youth and Young Adult Choir; violin virtuosos Sons of Mystro; Christian comedian Althea “The Bag Lady” Tate; Carolyn Johnson, actress; mime ministry Silent Worshipers, and the New Way Fellowship Praise Team and Ministry of the Arts. A reception will follow in the church’s fellowship hall. It’s free.

The week of celebration will culminate on Nov. 16 with Missionary Hermerde Thomas as the speaker at the 7:30 and 10:45 a.m. worship services. Recording artist Minister Sherry Moses, will be featured at the 10:45 a.m. service.

The community is invited to all worship services. For more information call the church office at 305-625-7246.


It is a grand occasion when a church can celebrate its 100th anniversary. And on Nov. 9, that is exactly what First United Methodist Church of South Miami will do.

The commemorative service will begin with an organ recital at 10 a.m., followed by the worship service at 10:30 a.m., when the Rev. Dr. Richard W. Neal will be called to the pulpit as the guest speaker. This will be a homecoming for Neal, who served the church from 1981 to 1989 as its senior pastor.

The First United Methodist Church of South Miami was founded in 1914 in the home of J.P. Dowling in the Larkinsarea, where it remained until 1915, when the first church building was constructed near the 6000 block of Sunset Drive. Its present home is at 6565 Red Rd.

In 2008, the Rev. Cathy Felber was called to pastor the church. And in 2009, the church received a local historic designation from Coral Gables.

First United Methodist of South Miami serves up more than spiritual food to the community. It also feeds the hungry and ministers to the homeless by offering food for the body and soul at 5:30 p.m. each Wednesday, when free community meals are also served along with volunteer opportunities, leadership training, worship and prayer, Christian fellowship and small group experiences. Felber also leads a Bible study at from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays. All are welcome.


OK husbands, get your suits pressed and your shoes shinned. Wives, get out your best dress and nicest shoes: You are going on a “Date Night” for married couples.

The event will be from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Archdiocese of Miami pastoral Center, 9401 Biscayne Blvd., in Miami Shores.

Hosted by the offices of Parish Life and Evangelization and Family Life, the night will offer information as well as interactive exercises over a pizza dinner in a fun setting.

The cost is $15 per couple in advance, and $25 per couple at the door, and includes dinner as well as a copy of The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman for couples to take home. The book will be discussed at the event by guest speaker Chris Codden, director of Marriage and Family Life at the Diocese of St. Cloud in Minnesota. Codden is also co-author of The Fully Engaged Premarital Inventory.

According to a press release, participants will learn “simple steps to a healthy, mutually beneficial relationship and how to effectively apply them to married life. To register and for more information call, 305-762-1127 or send an email to:


If you have never heard the Edward Waters College Concert Choir perform, you are in for a treat if you attend the concert to be from 5 to 7 p.m. on Nov. 15, at Greater St. Paul A.M.E. Church.

Presented by the Coconut Grove Black Heritage Music Series, the choir is directed by Barbara McNeely-Bouie.

Said McNeely-Bouie: “We sing all genres of music and we pride ourselves on that. We’ll do some Bach and some Mozart; some African songs, some Negro spirituals and of course, some gospel.”

The one performance only concert will be in the sanctuary of St. Paul, 3680 Thomas Ave., in Coconut Grove. Adult tickets are $32.50 and tickets for teens are $30 each. Children 12 and under are free.

For tickets and for more information call: 305-790-5836, or visit:


Warm congratulations to Ruth Glassman and William Deutschman, who will be honored at the Temple Beth Tov Ahavat Shalom Honor Gala at 4 p.m. Nov. 9.

According to a press release from the temple, Glassman and Deutschman have been dedicated members for many years and have tirelessly given of themselves to the temple. So to honor them is quite fitting.

The gala will include a “sumptuous dinner and outstanding entertainment, with more than seven musician performing.” The program will also include a “This is Your Life” segment.

The Conservative synagogue is at 6438 SW Eighth St. in West Miami. Call 305-205-3846 for more information.

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