Community Voices

Neighbors in Religion: Thursday workshop to encourage ending the shame of sexual assault

Diego and Gisela Lowenstein
Diego and Gisela Lowenstein

Perhaps some of you will disagree with me for placing the following announcement in a column that is geared to news about different religions and faith.

However, to me, it is as much about faith as anything I will ever write about.

It is about a workshop encouraging sexual-assault victims to end their silence. I believe every person of faith should stand behind its message of not blaming the victim. It is the only way we will ever bring this awful blight on our society to an end.

People who hurt women, children and, yes, some men should be called out. And there is still time for you to attend the workshop, “The Reality About Sexual Assault in America,” to be held 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at The Actors Community Theater of Davie, 3801 Pine Island Rd.

If you go to this free workshop, please bring with you a small notebook and pen to take notes.

The workshop will provide information, education and training on:

▪ The practices to safeguard yourself against sexual assaults/sexual violence.

▪ Ending sexual assaults on college campuses.

▪ Advocating to end sexual assaults in America.

▪ Ending victim-blame and victim-silence.

▪ Gaining confidential assistance and guidance as a victim of sexual violence/sexual assault.

▪ How to become an effective and proactive advocate to help bring an end to sexual assaults and sexual violence.

The workshop is sponsored by Women United Forward and features a $300 on-site raffle drawing. Lunch will be provided for workshop attendees.

To reserve your space and for more information, go to the website, or call 561-868-2021.

Temple fundraiser to honor Lowensteins

Temple Judea will have its annual fundraiser at 7 p.m. Saturday at the temple, 5500 Granada Blvd. in Coral Gables.

The Argentinean-inspired evening will feature dancing, dinner, a silent auction and cocktails. The dress is cocktail attire.

The event honors Gisela and Diego Lowenstein, who were born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and moved to Miami in 2000. Since becoming members of Temple Judea, the Lowensteins have been active in charitable work, including programs that deal with underprivileged children and youth. One of their projects is Leladeinu, a program in Argentina that protects the rights of Jewish children who suffer from abuse and abandonment.

Married in 1993 in Buenos Aires, the Lowensteins are the parents of three.

Temple Beth Am 60th anniversary gala

Happy birthday to Temple Beth Am, which celebrates 60 years of “faith , service and community” at a gala from 7 to 11:30 p.m. on April 18 in the synagogue social hall, Lewis Family Religious Complex, 5950 N. Kendall Dr. in Pinecrest.

The gala will honor its past leaders and the generations of devoted families and the pioneer visionaries who made the milestone anniversary possible. In addition, a 350-page Anniversary Book will be debuted at the event.

The event will also mark the departure of long-time Rabbi Terry Bookman and his wife Karen Sobel, as well as welcoming incoming Rabbi Jeremy Barras, who will take the pulpit in July.

“We are thrilled to be celebrating such an important anniversary,” said Robert Hersh, executive director of the synagogue. “Temple Beth Am has such a rich and beautiful history, and we are so proud to be a part of this incredible legacy.”

Since the early 1950s, the temple has created a foundation for what has become one of the most important Jewish institutions in the Miami-Dade community. Its day and religious schools are celebrating 45 and 59 years respectively and continue to be “dynamic” centers for Jewish education and cutting-edge learning with record enrollment. The day school is the largest and most-recognized full-time institution of its kind in South Dade. It’s integrated curriculum plays a critical role in sustaining Jewish life.

For more information about the gala, call 305-665-6228 or go to:

Cantor to officiate as rabbi at Beth David Congregation

Congratulations to Cantor Julie Jacobs, who will be officiating as rabbi at Beth David Congregation starting April 24. Ordained this past January, the installation coincides with Rabbi Jacobs’ 10th anniversary at Beth David.

Jacobs is the mother of four children, two of whom have an autism spectrum disorder. She is on the Advisory Board of Autism Speaks and to date, has raised more than $70,000 for the nonprofit organization. She also created the Tikvah Center at Beth David Gordon School — Miami’s first Jewish day school program for children on the Autism Spectrum.

To celebrate Jacobs’ milestones, the temple will host a weekend of ceremony and song, starting with an installation ceremony on April 24, presided over by Rabbi Joseph Potasnik and will feature the Shabbat Pasi’on Band. The ceremony will be followed by an oneg celebration.

On April 25, Jacobs will lead the morning service and at noon a kiddush luncheon will be held in her honor.

The weekend of celebration will continue with a live acoustic performance by Jewish music phenomenon Matisyahu, the American rapper known for blending Orthodox Jewish themes with reggae, rock and hip hop. The artist has released four albums and in 2004, his single King Without a Crown was a top 40 hit across the United States.

The celebration will conclude April 26, with a family brunch and Israeli Independence Day celebration and a “Meet and Greet and Israeli Flag football with NFL quarterback Sage Rosenfels” of the Miami Dolphins. The guest of honor will be Paul O. Zelinsky, award-winning writer and illustrator of children’s books.

The community is welcome to attend the celebration. Call the temple at 305-854-3911, ext. 203, for more information.

Holocaust Memorial Day to be observed in Miami Beach

The 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camps, along with the 25th anniversary of the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach, will be observed during a solemn observance of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

At that time, hundreds of local residents will gather at the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach to hear testimony from Magda Bader, a Hungarian concentration camp survivor, and George Katzman, a soldier with Gen. George Patton’s Third Army, when it liberated portions of the Dachau and Langwasser Lager concentration camps.

Other speakers will include Chaim Shacham, Israel’s Consul General to Florida and Puerto Rico; Andrew Hall, chairman of the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach; Norman Braman, chairman emeritus of the memorial; and Eliza Diane Schemama, a witness to recent European anti-semitism.

The program will also feature a musical performance by members of the New World Symphony, creative readings, cantorial solos, a memorial candle-lighting and community prayers.

Everyone is invited.

Sistah to Sistah Connection outreach forum

The Sistah to Sistah Connection will meet from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday for its by-monthly Women’s Outreach Forum, at Parkway Professional Building, Suite 204, at 6151 Miramar Pkwy. in Miramar.

Following the the forum, the women will meet at Bahama Breeze for lunch. for more information contact the organization at or by email,

Savior Lutheran Church community health fair

Our Savior Lutheran Church will have a free community health fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 18 at the church, 2362 NW 95th St. in Miami.

If you go, have your blood pressure monitored and glucose levels checked by representatives from North Shore Medical Center.

The Miami-Dade Health Department representatives will distribute information on mammograms, women’s health issues and HIV/AIDS, and the American Red Cross will give CPR training. There will also be face painting for children, and refreshments will be served.

For more information, call Pastor James Leggett at 305-691-1672.

Jehovah’s Witness Bible talk

The Jehovah’s Witnesses invite the community to a special Bible talk titled “A Promise of Perfect Family Happiness” at 11:30 a.m. Sunday at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 2901 NW 168th Terr. in Miami Gardens.

It’s free.

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.