Community Voices

Friends and Neighbors: Major Leaguer hosts fundraiser for Boys and Girls Clubs

The Friends and Neighbors column tips its hat to Jon Jay, Miami native and St. Louis Cardinals outfielder and an alumnus of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade, for his willingness to give back to the organization that helped him as a child. He will host the Jon Jay FMS Bonds (a municipal bond firm) Celebrity Bowling Challenge to be from 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 31 at the Splitsville Lanes, 5701 Sunset Dr. in Miami.

At the event, Jay will be joined by other Major League Baseball stars during the fundraising event. It will be a fun-filled occasion with red carpet arrivals, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and bowling matches.

Alex Rodriguez-Roig, president of Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami Dade said, “We are grateful that for the third consecutive year, Jon Jay is partnering with Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade for this wonderful community event. With the efforts of individuals such as Jon, we continue to make a difference in the lives of many area youth.”

Jay said: “We’ve been thrilled by the enthusiastic response to this event and we are looking forward to raising even more funds for the ... club in 2015.”

The event will open with the red carpet arrivals at 6 p.m. followed by cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Opening remarks and the bowling challenge will start at 6:45 p.m., with the announcement of the winners at 8:45 p.m.

Individual tickets are $125 per person and $475 per bowling team. If you would like to be a sponsor or for more information, call Jennifer Brasile at CAA Sports, 212-277-9000 or send an email to:

You may also visit:

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade has served youth in the community since 1940. It started out as a single building and site for boys only and has grown to five clubs serving thousands of boys and girls year round. The organization provides programs in the areas of character and leadership development, educational enhancement, career preparation, health and life skills, cultural arts and sports, fitness and recreation, and a lot more. The programs are designed to inspire and enable young people and provide them with the resources to succeed and share in the American Dream.

Project for Poinciana Park Elementary

Communities in Schools of Miami will join AmeriCorps participants and community mentors to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., by participating in a beautification project at Poinciana Park Elementary from 9 to 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19.

Each year, Americans across the country come together on MLK Day to serve neighbors and local communities. The event is a part of the MLK Day of Service, which is a part of United We Serve, President Obama’s national call to service initiative. The Poinciana Park Elementary project is one of many taking place during National Mentoring Month, which occurs each January.

“By investing time and resources in our students, we help them academically while simultaneously helping them to prepare for the workforce and learn the value of giving back to their community,” said Clinton Powell, FPL volunteer mentor.

Powell and other volunteers open the doors to their workplace every month to provide personal and academic mentoring to students.

Now, that's a good thing.

Lecture on Schlemiel

According to my source, everyone laughs at the schlemiel, and sees him as awkward, unlucky, and not too bright.

Matthew Menachem Feuer, however, offers a new view. He says the schlemiel is simply a “broken saint” — humble, innocent and forgiving.

At 7 p.m. Jan. 26, Feuer, who teaches Jewish studies at York University in Toronto, will explain his concepts when he speaks at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. In his talk, Feuer will focus on Morris Bober, the main character in Bernard Malamud’s story The Assistant.

Feuer, who is a “schlemiel theorist” is also a blogger, reviewer and essayist on this comic character in Yiddish literature. He is also the subject of a documentary called Schlemiel.

His talk is a part of the Mondays at the Museum Series. Admission is $10 for the general public; $5 for museum members, and free to students with a valid ID. The museum is at 301 Washington Ave. in Miami Beach.

For more information, call 786-972-3175 or send an email to

Convivencia Miami begins Tuesday

The kickoff celebration of Convivencia Miami will be from 7 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20 at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Dr. in Miami Beach.

Presented by The Arts at St. Johns, Convivencia Miami’s kickoff will be hosted by Tiffany “Hanan” Madera. The cost is $30 in advance, $35 at the door, or five tickets for $125.

Convivencia Miami celebrates the medieval La Convivencia period in Iberia (Spain and Portugal) at a time when Muslims, Christians and Jews lived, created and worked together in relative harmony.

For more information email:

South Dade Black History

“South Dade Black History: 1900 to the Present” will be presented by Bob Jensen at noon Feb. 2, at the Florida City Commission Chambers, 404 W. Palm Dr. in Florida City. The presentation is part of the Homestead Center for the Arts Bea Peskoe Lunchtime Lecture series.

In his presentation, Jensen will use photos and commentary based on 35 years of research and photo collection. Jensen will share information about South Dade’s first black pioneers John and Belle Thomas; St. Paul’s Missionary Baptist Church’s beginnings and the Florida East Coast Railway. Blacks’ contributions to the World War I and World War II efforts will be highlighted.

Jensen will also speak on the impact of United States Government photographer Marion Post Wolcott on improving living conditions for farm workers, as well as the black Civilian Conservation Corps camps at Flamingo and Cape Sable.

The program will begin at noon. An optional simple lunch will be available by reservation at 11:30 a.m. for $10, by calling Barbara at 305-230-9185 before 1 p.m. Jan 30. Attendees may also bring their own brown bag lunch.

The presentation is free and open to the public.

Human trafficking forum on Jan. 27

The Fourth Annual Human Trafficking Forum, hosted by State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and Donna Shalala, University of Miami president, will be at 2 p.m. Jan. 27, at The Robert and Judi Prokop Newman Alumni Center, 6200 San Amaro Dr. in Coral Gables.

The theme is: Combating the Glamour and Demand: Media, Education and Services.

If you go, RSVP to Barbara Pacheco at 305-547-0749 or send an email to:

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.