Community Voices

Neighbors in Religion: Summer Community Arts Program underway at Coral Gables church

For 30 years, the Community Arts Program (CAP) at Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ has presented a unique opportunity for concertgoers to be entertained by some of the music industry’s most talented and revered classical and jazz artists.

Since the tradition began in 1985, more than 64,000 people have been entertained. Today, it is also a part of a program that provides music education to children within its Conservatory for the Arts.

“The Community Arts Program Summer Concert Series is a a rare opportunity to hear world-renowned artists in the intimate and beautiful Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ,” said Shelly Berg, dean of the University of Miami’s Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music. “The CAP Conservatory for the Arts provides high-quality music education to children, many of whom would otherwise be denied access to the wonder of music and the beauty of the artistic spirit.”

The 2015 Summer concert Series started June 4, and will be held at 8 p.m. every other Thursday through Aug. 13 in the church sanctuary at 3010 De Soto Blvd., Coral Gables.

The next concert will be June 18 and features classical cellist Amit Peled. Born in Israel, Peled is acclaimed as one of today’s most exciting instrumentalists on the concert stage.

The program will include Peled’s Homage to Pablo Casals” in which he will recreate Casals’ 1915 Peabody Institute Conservatory of Music recital, performed on Casals’ very own cello, a Goffriler (ca. 1733), personally handed to Peled by Casals’ widow, Marta Casals Istomin.

The program will also include pianist Noreen Polera, performing the music of Handel, Bach, Beethoven, Faur’e, and Saint-Saens.

“It’s an honor to welcome concertgoers locally, and from across the state and as far away as Europe,” said Mark Hart, CAP’s executive and artistic director. “It is also rewarding to see the growth of our music education program for kids. In all, we’ve come to provide exceptional cultural and educationally enriching experiences for more than 3,000 children and adults each year.”

If you go, CAP recommends ordering your tickets early because they sell out quickly. General tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door, if available. Patron tickets are $50 in advance and $55 at the door, if available, and include opening night gala, reserved general seating within rows one through nine, and a catered pre-concert reception. Mini-patron series tickets are $190 for your choice of four concerts.

Order tickets by calling 305-448-7421, ext. 153. You may also go online to order at

In addition, you may also inquire about Young Musicians’ Summer Master Classes, to be given by artists Peled, Awadagin Pratt, Jason Marsalis, and Arturo O’Farrill, from 10 a.m. to noon, on the Friday morning following their concert.

Young Giants at Jesus People Ministries

The Young Giants at Jesus People Ministries Church International, 4055 NW 183rd St. in Miami Gardens, will present “Young Giants Let’s Get Supersized” at 7:30 p.m. on June 19.

Hosted by Pastor Richelle Williams, the event will include appearances by special guests Uncle Reece and Caleb Rowe. A Young Giants afterparty will be from 9:30 p.m. to midnight, with comedian Marcus Wiley and music by DJE, at Don Shula’s Hotel and Golf Club, 6842 Main St. in Miami Lakes. Entry fee is $5 per person.

Lutheran Church Day Camp

St. Thomas Lutheran Church, in partnership with Christ the King Lutheran and the Luther Springs Camp and Retreat Center, will have a Lutheran Church Day Camp for children grades one through six, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the week of June 29 through July 3. The day camp will be at St. Thomas Lutheran, 17700 Old Cutler Rd. in Palmetto Bay.

The theme of the day camp is, “A Love that Never Ends” and children will learn of God’s love for them through Bible stories, games, crafts, songs, and skits.

Registration is $60 per child. Before and aftercare is available for an additional fee of $20 per child, For more information, contact Callie Howland at 305-665-5063, ext. 213.

New youth engagment director for Temple Israel

A Neighbors in Religion welcome to Karen Chait Susman, who joins Temple Israel of Greater Miami, 137 NE 19th St., as its new director of education and youth engagement.

Susman has worked in Jewish education for more than 25 years. For the past 15 years, she worked in Los Angeles and Jacksonville. In Jacksonville, she served as chaplain of the Jewish community at Jewish Family and Community Services.

She began her career as a youth director and then wen t into formal Jewish education. She has traveled to Israel 18 times. She is the single mother of twin sons, Evan and Bryan, who are both educators teaching music.

Susman said she is excited about returning to South Florida and joining Temple Israel.

Student choir to perform in concert

The Teen’s Loving Christ Student Choir of Orange Park Untied Methodist Church, will appear in concert at 7 p.m. Friday at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 14260 Old Cutler Rd. in Palmetto Bay.

The choir is made up of 35 middle and senior high school students from Jacksonville and is directed by Dr. Mark Stallings. Choir members will share their musical program entitled What If...?

The tour is part of a faith-building mission with the goals of becoming a more caring Christian community and being worthy ambassadors of Jesus Christ, as well as strong representatives of the broad ministry of Orange Park United Methodist Church.

It’s free.

Ru’ach Pride Seder at Temple Israel

The 15th annual Ru’ach Pride Seder will be at 5:30 p.m. on June 24 at Temple Israel of Greater Miami, 137 NE 19th St.

The Seder will mark Florida becoming the 36th state to achieve same-sex marriage equality and will pay tribute to those whose unions are now legally recognized in Florida.

Speakers who will focus on the Jewish community’s involvement in Florida marriage equality include:

Attorney Richard C. Milstein and Temple Israel’s Rabbi Tom Heyn, who was among the spiritual leaders who conducted a multifaith renewal of vows ceremony for same-sex couples on Jan. 6 at Miami Beach botanical Gardens.

The Pride Seder will include personal stories , uplifting songs and food. It is modeled after the Passover Seder, which tells the story of the Jewish people’s liberation from bondage.

For more information call the Temple Israel office at 305-573-5900 or contact the temple at,

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.