Community Voices

Friends and Neighbors: Yom Kippur service to include a special evening of reflection

Bea Hines
Bea Hines

Yom Kippur services at Temple Beth Am, 5950 N. Kendall Dr. in Pinecrest, will include a special evening of reflection 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22, by the synagogue’s young professionals group, Miami Jews 22-29.

The traditional service for Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 23, will be led by Rabbi Jeremy Barras, the temple’s new senior rabbi.

“This year, when we hear the sound of the shofar, let us resolve together to see hope in our future and to work toward making our community and our world a better place,” Barras said.

Feeding South Florida

Feeding South Florida will continue to stage a variety of events for the rest of the month to raise awareness about the 785,040 South Floridians who always go to bed hungry. The number includes 280,000 children.

Dubbed Hungry Awareness Month or HAM, the activities will include several food distribution events, two of them were hosted by elected officials — state Rep. Sharon Pritchett, D-Miami Gardens, and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston.

According to Paco Velez, president and CEO of Feeding South Florida, those of us who don’t know what it is to be hungry can take “many actions to end hunger. Those struggling to put food on the table are our neighbors who live right in our own communities.” He said that during September, the community is challenged to raise awareness, volunteer, donate food and funds, and simply “Go Orange” to end hunger and set the table for everyone.

Although it is late in the month, it is still not too late to join the bandwagon to fight hunger along with Feeding South Florida.

Other events include:

▪ Mustache Monday on Sept. 21, which involves taking a picture of yourself in an orange mustache. Tag Feeding South Florida on social media @feedingsfl, and use #FSFgoesorange #MustacheMonday #HungerAction.

▪ Burger 21 promotion on Monday, and on the 21st of each month, Burger 21 will donate 10 percent of all daily sales (including alcohol) to Feeding South Florida. From Sept. 21-25, Burger 21 will collect canned goods to donate to Feeding South Florida.

▪ Fashion for Hunger Relief at Dressbarn in Palmetto Bay from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 24. The store will host a style show with women’s dresses and clothing ranging from size 4 to 24, with dresses designed for work, date night, weddings, and other special occasions. Those attending will receive a 15 percent off coupon and be entered to win a $50 gift card. The store is at 13611 S. Dixie Hwy. in Palmetto Bay.

▪ South Florida Adult Sports Kickball Tournament, from noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 27 at Peacock Park, 2820 McFarlane Rd. The rules require teams of 11 players minimum with at least four women per team. Registration is $25 per person and includes a Hunger Action Month T-shirt.

▪ A Happy Harvest Business and Networking Luncheon begins 11 a.m. Sept. 29 at the Conrad Miami, 1395 Brickell Ave. Guests are encouraged to wear something orange, perhaps orange ties for men and orange dresses for women. Those attending will meet with farmers, grocers, and food donors who support the hunger relief efforts.

▪ Wine Pairing at Hoffman’s Chocolates from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept 30 at 5190 Lake Worth Rd. in Greenacres.

Also, every Wednesday throughout September, Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar, at select locations, will donate up to 20 percent of the check amount (on a sliding scale) to Feeding South Florida. For groups that spend up to $2,000, Buffalo Wild Wings will donate 10 percent; for groups spending $2,000 to $3,000, 15 percent; and any group spending more than $3,000, 20 percent will go to Feeding South Florida. The Westfield Broward Mall location will donate 10 percent of any amount with the fundraising ticket only. Call Christina Rodriguez at 954-723-9350 for the participating locations.

Soprano signs with management agency

Congratulations to South Florida lyric spinto soprano Jouvanca Jean-Baptiste, who recently signed with MIA Artists Management and is now a part of the organization’s artist roster.

Jean-Baptiste has studied voice with Oscar Diaz Jr., director of Performer’s Music Institute since 2005, and is a fast-emerging artist in the opera world.

In 2014, Jean-Baptiste sang the title role in Puccini’s Tosca with the Florida Grand Opera. Previously she has a string of successes with Opera San Jose in such varied works as the title role in David Carlson’s Anna Karenina; Mimi in Puccini’s La Boheme; Violetta in La Traviata and Marguerite in Gounod’s Faust.

International Day of Peace

The Miami-Dade County Community Relations Board (CRB) and the Miami-Dade County Youth Commission invites you to a celebration of the International Day of Peace from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Dr. in Miami Beach.

Participants will gather at the Peace Pole for activities aimed at strengthening the ideals of peace among South Florida’s diverse people. The event will include a visual art showcase, peace assembly, peace march, youth dialogue, musical and theatrical performances, a brown bag lunch and lots more.

For more information call the CRB at 305-375-1406.

Christmas in September

The community is invited to Christmas in September, an evening of art, poetry music, comedy and the unveiling of Christmas greeting cards by former Opa-locka Commissioner Rose Tydus.

The event will be from 6 to 7:45 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, followed at 8 p.m. by presentations and the Christmas card unveiling at The Arc, 675 Ali-Baba Ave. in Opa-locka’s historic arts district.

The program will feature the art of Jasmine Estrada, comedy by The Bag Lady — Sister Resusitate and entertainment by DJ William Penhouse. Admission is free. Donations will benefit the Provider and Shield Foundation.

Lectures about Islam

The Coalition of South Florida Muslim Organizations (COSMOS) will partner with Miami Dade College, Homestead Campus, for a year-long series of free lectures about Islam.

The first lecture will be 11 a.m. Sept. 29. The speaker. Shaikh Zakaria Badat, along with other speakers will speak about Eid Ul Adha (festival of sacrifice by Prophet Abraham).

For more information and to reserve your seat contact, or

Also, congratulations to Khalid Mirza, one of the founders of COSMOS, president of the Islamic Center of Greater Miami and president for UHI Community Care Clinic, on being named a board member of American Immigrants for Justice.

Catalyst Miami

Catalyst Miami will present a 10-week leadership development program with a strong community focus, starting Sept. 29 at Charles R. Drew K-8 Center, 1775 NW 60th St. in Liberty City.

Entitled “People Empowering People”, the program was created by Cheryl Czuba, and builds upon individual life experiences and strengths to encourage growth in communication and problem solving skills, parent/family relationships, and community involvement.

To apply and for more information, contact Gina Ha, Family Leadership director at Catalyst Miami, 786-414-1296, or email

Breakthrough Miami

Breakthrough Miami will have its third annual “Support-a-Scholar” celebration at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, at Sagamore, the Art Hotel, 1671 Collins Ave. in South Beach.

The event will feature music by J Marcos of Videosync and the works of collaborating artist Antonia Wright. Tickets are $150 per person. Proceeds will help Breakthrough reach its goal of funding 200 scholars.

A fund-a-scholar $1,600 donation will include two complimentary tickets to the event and will cover the annual cost of one Breakthrough student.

For tickets and more information call 305-646-7210.

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.