Community Voices

Friends and Neighbors: A warm, rainy South Florida? It could be much worse

If you are one of those persons who has ever complained about our weather — it’s too hot or it’s raining too much — just take a little time to watch the evening news and see how the rest of the country is faring. In some places people open their doors to show piled as high as the roof.

Others spend hours shoveling their sidewalks and driveways, only to get into their cars and try to drive them over ice-covered highways, often slipping and sliding into another vehicle.

I know there isn’t anything we can do about the weather; it’s going to happen, no matter what we do. But we can take a little time to be thankful for our weather here in South Florida, and think about our friends in other parts of the country who would love to have only rain to complain about.

Although my mom was Florida-born and bred, one of the things she feared most was a hurricane. When my brother and I were children, all Mom had to do was hear that there was a hurricane coming our way and she would pay someone to drive us farther inland. For some reason, she thought we’d be safer. There, we’d stay with family or friends, until “the storm had passed over, hallelujah!” (to borrow from an old gospel song).

Then, when I was 10, my family moved to Fort Worth, Texas. It was going to be our new home until that winter, when Fort Worth was hit with one of its worst winters. Mom got so tired of slipping and sliding on ice-covered streets and sidewalks on the way to the bus stop as she tried to get to work, she vowed to move back to Miami and weather the hurricanes.

Mom might have changed her mind and stayed in Fort Worth. After all, we loved the people and the city. But with the spring that year (1949) came a tornado and flood waters. That did it. and it was back to Miami for us as soon as school closed. Mom decided that the evil bigger than summertime hurricanes were Fort Worth’s harsh winters and uncertain springtimes.

We stayed a year in Fort Worth, then came back to Miami for good. And you know what? I don’t think I ever heard my mom complain about the weather again. And we never ran from a hurricane again, either.

So when I watch the evening news and see the piles and mounds of snow, and watch drivers crashing into each other on ice-covered roads, I simply pray for a break in the weather for them. And then, I thank God that I live in Florida — with its hurricanes and all.

Women of Impact

A warm Friends and Neighbors salute to the 2015 Women of Impact Honorees: Annabel Brewster, Judge Gill S. Freeman, Millie Herrera, JoAnn Roberts, Lucia Soria, and Dr. Lenora Yates.

The women will be honored at an early dinner in celebration of Women’s History Month, 3 p.m. March 8 at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables Hotel, 50 Alhambra Plaza.

The event is presented by the Women’s History Coalition of Miami-Dade County. The theme: “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives.” In addition to the dinner, the event will feature a photo exhibit of Women of Impact from 1989-2015.

Self-parking is $10 and valet parking $12. For more information, contact Margaret Slama at 305-255-4944 or email

Church celebrates anniversary

Sunday is a great day at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, 39 NW 57th Ct.

Not only is March 1 the 62nd anniversary of the church’s establishment in Miami but the special guest for this occasion is the newly appointed Bishop Bohdan J. Danylo of the Eparchy of St. Josaphat in Parma, Ohio.

The church, which recently underwent extensive renovations, will be blessed by the bishop. He will mark the occasion with a liturgy at 11 a.m., followed by a luncheon at the church hall.

Everyone is welcome.

Holocaust documentary ‘Shoah’ to be screened

The 30th anniversary screening of the film Shoah, a 566-minute documentary on the Holocaust, will be shown Sunday and March 8 at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, 301 Washington Ave. in Miami Beach.

Rather than rely on archival footage, Shoah, which was first released in 1985, relies on testimony both from those who survived the Holocaust and those who perpetrated it.

The film will be shown from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and from 3 to 7:15 p.m. Sunday. The 3 p.m. screening begins with a lecture by Annette Insdorf, director of undergraduate film studies at Columbia University. She has written five books, including the landmark study Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust.

Shoah will be shown again at 12:30 p.m. March 8. Refreshments will be available at each event and admission is included with the regular museum fee of $6 for adults. Admission is free for FIU ID card holders and members of the museum or the Miami Jewish Film Festival.

Also at the museum: A lecture on the approach of Hasidic Judaism to women will be at 7 p.m. Monday.

In her talk, French scholar Hana Barouk will focus on the views of Rabbi Manachem M. Schneersohn, the late leader of Chabad Lubaavitch, the best known Hasidic movement.

Barouk was born and raised in Paris and received her Ph. D. in languages, literatures and civilizations from the University of Lille II. She was educated at both Hasidic and non-Hasidic schools and gained an appreciation for the Chabad way of life and a sense of its potential for society.

Her talk is sponsored by the Global Jewish Communities Initiative and is a part of Mondays at the Museum. Tickets are $10 per person for the public and $5 per person for museum members, and free to students with ID. For tickets and more information call 786-972-3175 or email

Two run/walks for good causes

If you want to have a run or walk for a good cause, here are two good reasons:

At 8 a.m. Saturday, on the birthday of my son, the late Pastor James F. Hines Jr., Brothers and Sisters on a Mission (BASOAM), an organization he founded, will sponsor a run/walk at Miramar Pineland Park, Shelter #3, at 3600 SW University Dr. in Miramar.

My son was devoted to making a difference in the lives of children who have a dream of going to college or a trade school. His wife, Debra, has picked up the baton and is determined to carry on his mission.

The run will honor my son’s memory, while also raising funds for scholarships. Sponsors are need to “Walk for a Child’s Future” at $25 per person. The fee will also include a T-shirt. If you would like to participate, call 954-243-5726 for more information.

Then, there is the Feeding South Florida fifth annual March Against Hunger 5K Walk/Run from 7 to 10 a.m. Saturday at Charnow Park, 300 Connecticut St. in Hollywood. The walk will be along the Hollywood Beach broadwalk and beach area.

If you go, you can help make a difference in the effort to end hunger for the 871,920 residents of Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Each individual registration fee of $30 will supply 150 meals.

Awards will go to the top three participants in each age group and overall first, second and third places. Each person who registers will receive a T-shirt and certificate of participation.

To register online go to: For questions and more information email Anggie Rocco at

Church chicken barbecue

This is always a yummy one: The Silver Palm United Methodist Men will host their 41st annual Chicken Bar-B-Que from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the church, 15855 SW 248th St. Take-out service will begin at 2:30 p.m.

The slow-cooked, half-chicken dinner with all the trimmings includes dessert and costs $10 for adults; $6 for a quarter-chicken dinner for children under 12.

I’ve been told this is one of the best times to take a Saturday drive to church in the Redland and treat yourself and your family to a great chicken meal. You might want to make it a special outing and stop by the Knauss Berry Farm, across the street from the church. Knauss Berry Farm is known for its baked goods and fresh produce.

Call 305-247-7409 for tickets or just show up and get your ticket at the door.

Jewish Cuban-American scholar to speak

You are invited to hear Dr. Ruth Behar, a Victor Haim Perera Collegiate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, who will speak on “Thoughts and Experiences — As a Cuban, a Jew and an American” from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday at The Betsy Hotel, 1440 Ocean Dr. in Miami Beach.

Behar is a Cuban-American author, scholar and poet. She will tell her story of migrating from Cuba and growing up in the U.S. as a Cuban American with roots in both Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jewish traditions.

She is the author of several books, including Translated Woman:Crossing the Border with Esperanza’s Story; The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart; An Island Called Home:Returning to Jewish Cuba and Traveling Heavy: A Memoir in Between Journeys.

Email to RSVP.

National prayer week for AIDS awareness

March 1 through 7 is recognized National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS, an annual HIV-awareness campaign to mobilize faith communities and highlight the contributions and impact congregations are making in areas of HIV prevention. Now in its 25th year, the week-long prayer for the healing of AIDS is an initiative of the Balm in Gilead.

Stating Sunday and continuing through Saturday, all worship centers — churches, synagogues, mosques and other faith-based organizations — are requested to pause for moment of prayer for the healing of this devastating disease at some point during their worship service. These houses of worship are also asked to provide AIDS information to their communities.

The week-long event will feature a community prayer, a pastoral prayer brunch and news conference, and an HIV/AIDS forum and gospel concert.

The prayer brunch will be from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday at Bethel Apostolic Temple, 1855 NW 119th St. and will be hosted by the Rev. Carol Nash-Lester, pastor of the church. The Rev. Billy Strange Jr. of Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, will be keynote speaker.

A Sing for a Cure Concert will be 7 p.m. Friday, March 6, at Bethel. Confidential Rapid HIV testing will be available at all events.

The Rev. Darryl Baxter, an associate pastor at Bethel and president of The Family Foundation, is chairman of the Churches United Conference. For more information, contact him at 305-978-7100. You may also call Pastor Nettie B. Davis, co-chair of Churches United Conference and senior pastor of God’s Amazing Grace Outreach Ministries. She can be reached at 305-409-4655.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends and Neighbors, 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.