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September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Miami Beach’

Red Miracle Van

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

The Schwartzes had three vehicles but only two drivers. At any given time the third vehicle, the 2005 red Ford van, could be seen on different driveways throughout the neighborhood – and sometimes even in Miami Beach and Hollywood, Florida. The Schwartzes kept a third vehicle, knowing that not everyone had a car.

Many people come to South Florida because of the excellent medical care, and while there they must deal with the cost of housing and food – and the loss of income. The Schwartzes wanted such people to at least be sure they had transportation and didn’t have to rely on renting a car or paying for a cab.

They first came up with the idea when Rabbi Rosen was in town for a liver transplant. The rabbi’s family was with him and they didn’t have transportation to get around. The Schwartzes realized Rabbi Rosen was saddled with many concerns and although they couldn’t solve all of them, transportation was one burden they could remove. For the few months that the Rosens were in town, they drove the red Ford van.

When other people were in town for medical procedures, they drove the red Ford van as well. When a member of the community lost his job and couldn’t afford to replace his car, the red Ford van showed up in his driveway. When someone had an accident and the insurance didn’t cover a rental, the red Ford van appeared in his driveway. The red van was a lifesaver to many people.

One day, Mr. Schwartz’s sister was in town and took the Schwartz children with her. An accident occurred and the van was totaled. No one knew how anyone got out of that van alive, but none of the Schwartzes or the driver received so much as a scratch.

The Schwartzes’ van was always a lifesaver for everyone. Perhaps that’s why it was a lifesaver for them.

China Beach: Delicious For Pesach And All Year

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

China Beach Kosher Chinese restaurant is a wonderful place to dine for Pesach and year round. The restaurant, located at 3919 Alton Road in Miami Beach, is under the glatt kosher supervision of the KM, Kosher Miami.

A much anticipated Passover menu will be released soon and China Beach chefs promise a wide selection of scrumptious kasher l’Pesach choices.

The regular menu is full and every item is flavorful and fresh. The tasty appetizers and soups are a lovely start to a meal. Entrees include choices of well-prepared chicken and beef selections. Chop suey, lo mein, fried rice, tofu and vegetables are all mouth-watering. Noodle dishes are especially delightful. The children’s menu is yummy. Desserts are sweet and delicious.

China Beach offers lunch and dinner specials, family packs and Shabbat meals. Let them cater your next party or make a tray for a special occasion. Dine in or take out and take advantage of the convenient delivery service.

The restaurant will be open until 11 p.m. Thursday night, April 5, before the holiday. They will kasher and clean all the rest of that night, and reopen kosher for Pesach on Monday morning after the first two days of Yom Tov.

Call China Beach at 305-534-3034 for more information or to place an order.

Finish Line (Conclusion)

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

At certain points in each of our lives, we are given challenges – some big, some small. Some people embrace it, welcoming every chance they get to grow and mature, while others are deathly afraid of any sort of change in their blissful, comfortable routine.

I was given many challenges over the past year and a half, none of which I would have ever chosen to face had I been given the choice. But as we face the challenges head-on that come our way and overcome them, we grow and become better, wiser and more understanding people. Our struggles are what make us who we are and determine how we relate to others. And hopefully, we can look back at our challenges and appreciate the level of trust God has in us to overcome them.

Regardless of the painful experiences I was dealing with, there was one challenge that I took on with anticipation and determination. Running a half-marathon – 13.1 miles – is not something I ever thought I would do, yet that’s exactly what I did this past January in Miami Beach. Along with 134 other members of Team Yachad, I ran in support of Yachad, the National Jewish Council for Disabilities.

My adventure started about six months ago in a New Jersey high school with my first meeting with some of the dedicated staff members and runners. I also met with Coach Jasmine (“Jaz”) Graham, who patiently answered every question I threw at her, and who provided me with my very own training regimen to fit my schedule.

Training for the half-marathon was a challenge I both dreaded and looked forward to. Unfortunately I have never before been able to incorporate regular fitness into my daily routine, as there never seemed to be enough time in the day to get to the gym or enough energy to hit the treadmill. Training with Yachad was the motivation I needed to start moving, and thus began my personal journey to fitness, awareness, and self-discovery.

Team Yachad 2012

I was extremely self-conscious the first time I went running. I kept looking around to see if there was anybody that I knew, and comparing my speed with the numerous other people who were running through the park. At the end of my run, I was both exhausted and exhilarated. The fact that I was able to run the few miles, despite never accomplishing this before, gave me an enormous feeling of pride. I felt like I wanted to do this every single day.

That feeling lasted about 10 or 12 hours – until every bone in my body began to ache and bring me pain. Yet the incredible rush that running gave me motivated me to continue, and I was determined to support and run along with Team Yachad in the half-marathon. Running gave me an opportunity to be alone with my thoughts, to clear my head, and to escape (at least for that hour or so) the chaos that was going on in my personal life. Something about the fresh air, the rhythmic sound of my feet hitting the pavement, and the peace and quiet through the park was soothing. It was exactly what I needed at that point in my life.

After a few weeks of training, I began to notice a change in myself, both during my workout and in general. I was feeling more confident, more sure of my abilities and myself. I ran with better posture, I wasn’t comparing myself to the other runners in the park, and I felt like I could do anything. I never realized the impact that the training alone would have on my life.

After several months and a few bumps along the road, including a bad fall and a torn ligament, I finally arrived in Miami Beach for the Yachad marathon weekend. The Shabbaton was incredible, and I met many special people during my trip. The marathon itself was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will stay with me forever. The incredibly gratifying feeling of satisfaction and pride after finishing the race with Team Yachad is indescribable. It was also quite inspirational to see the display of unity, the inclusion of every single person – including 15 runners with disabilities – and the dedication each runner displayed toward Yachad and each other.

Looking back, I am honored to have been part of such a moving experience. It was humbling to meet Yachad’s special people, along with its staff, members, volunteers, and everyone who participated in the event. I still continue to run when I can, feeling much more secure and comfortable when I do. Yachad has influenced my life in many ways, and inspired me to take on something I never thought I could do. For those feelings alone, I am truly grateful.

The Amazing Race (Part III)

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

As some of you may know, either through my previous articles, numerous online posts, or non-stop chatter about the topic, I recently had the pleasure of attending Yachad’s marathon weekend event in Miami Beach, Florida. I was invited to participate in this incredible experience, both as a writer and as a runner, and to feel firsthand what the words unity, commitment, dedication, and inspiration truly mean.

It all started three years ago when Yachad, the National Jewish Council for Disabilities, put together a team of 29 runners to participate in the ING Miami Marathon and Half Marathon, with the goal of raising much-needed funds for this incredible organization. The following year, that number doubled, with 77 runners committing to and running the marathon. This year was their most successful one yet, with 135 runners fundraising, training for, and running 13.1 or 26.2 miles, all with the same goal: to help Yachad continue their dedicated work of enhancing the life opportunities of individuals with disabilities, and ensuring their participation in the full spectrum of Jewish life.

My experience with Yachad began well before the actual marathon, dating back about six months or so when I first signed up to join the team. After my initial meeting with some of the dedicated staff members and runners in a New Jersey high school, I attended a couple of training sessions with Coach Jasmine (“Jaz”) Graham, who patiently answered every question I threw at her, and who provided me with my very own training regimen to fit my schedule.

Team Yachad 2012

After months of training and hard work, I hopped on a plane from rainy New York City to beautiful, sunny Miami Beach. The weekend began with the entire group meeting on Friday and registering for the race at the Miami Beach Convention Center, which was packed with booths, vendors, visitors and excited runners who were gearing up for Sunday’s race. After that, it was off to the beautiful Newport Beachside Resort in Sunny Isles, Florida on a chartered bus, followed by a lovely Friday afternoon lunch.

Then it was off to our hotel rooms to get ready for Shabbos. Walking into the beautiful room that the staff at Yachad had prepared, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a travel bag waiting for me, filled with goodies like snacks, drinks, health items, orange Team Yachad T-shirts, headbands, and several other surprises. On the bag were two tags; one had my name with the title “runner,” the other had my three-year-old daughter’s name with “fan club” underneath. It seemed like Yachad had taken care of every detail – from the couch-bed pulled out and made up for my daughter, to the many bottles of Gatorade that were provided for us even before the actual race.

It has been quite a number of years since I’ve attended summer camp, but that’s exactly what Shabbos with Yachad felt like. From the beautiful Friday night davening, to the heartfelt singing at the Shabbos table, to the warm feeling of unity that was felt throughout the entire Shabbos, from beginning to end. Many of the runners were high school students who are connected to or involvedwith Yachad and are tremendous supporters of its work. Other runners included college students, grad students, and professionals who took time off of work to support Team Yachad. Others were staff members from different branches of the Orthodox Union throughout the country, and came with their families, some even recruiting their spouse to run right along with them. However they got there or whatever their motivation, every member of Team Yachad contributed to the Shabbaton and to the entire weekend in their own unique way – helping make it as special as it was.

Shabbos afternoon consisted of a beautiful Shabbos lunch, followed by a chance for everyone to enjoy the boardwalk, the beach, or to simply rest. Right after shalosh seudos, everyone gathered in a circle to sing Shabbos zemiros as a group. This was followed by one of my personal highlights of the weekend: a question-and-answer session with Richard Bernstein. Bernstein, 37, is blind since birth, and ran with Team Yachad for the first time in this year’s ING Miami Marathon. He has completed 15 marathons – including seven NYC Marathons, the Ironman Triathlon and the Israman Triathlon. An attorney, he is a tireless advocate for disabled rights and was so excited to run as part of Yachad, an organization that works hard at enhancing the life opportunities of individuals with disabilities, the very same mission to which he has devoted his life. It was a privilege to hear him speak and to have him share inspiration with the entire team.

Another inspirational moment for me came at the end of Shabbos, during Havdalah. As many of the team members were teenagers, I expected them all to race out of the shul the minute Shabbos was over and head straight toward their cell phones/laptops/iPods/cameras/iPads, etc. Much to my surprise, Havdalah was a lengthy and very beautiful ritual that I don’t normally have the pleasure to witness. When it was over, the kids started singing, “Six more days ‘till Shabbos…” and formed a circle, singing and dancing as if they didn’t want Shabbos to end. It was incredibly inspiring.

NCSY Honors Rabbi Shraga Gross

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

NCSY, the international youth movement of the Orthodox Union, recently honored Miami Beach native Rabbi Shraga Gross as an inductee into the Ben Zakkai Honor Society (BZHS) at its annual scholarship reception.

New members of BZHS are nominated by, and voted on, by current members based on the nominees’ service to NCSY and the Jewish community. The society’s main function is to raise funds for scholarships for high school NCSYers for summer programs in North America and Israel and for teens to continue their Jewish education after high school. The society has helped pay tribute for more than forty years to esteemed NCSY alumni and community leaders who have demonstrated their dedication to Torah and their service to the Jewish people.

Shraga Gross, principal of Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva (RPRY) in Edison, New Jersey, since 1993, finds interacting with his students the most “exciting and enjoyable part” of his job.

Dr. Simcha Katz, Rabbi Steven Burg, Rabbi Steven Weil, Rabbi Shraga Gross, Paul Glasser, Dr. David Luchins

Rabbi Gross credits his dedication to avodat hakodesh to his parents’ total commitment to Torah education. His father, Rabbi Alexander S. Gross zt”l, was charged with the mission of building Torah and providing a Jewish education for every Jewish child by his rebbe, Reb Shraga Feivel Mendelowitz, zt”l. Together with his mother, Rebbetzin Shirley Pelcovitz, he succeeded and The Rabbi Alexander S. Gross Hebrew Academy in Miami Beach attests to that legacy.

Rabbi Shraga Gross found that inspiration as the impetus for involvement with NCSY, his first love. He served as president of his local chapter, Har Hanegev, in his native Miami Beach, when the chapter was awarded Chapter of the Year and Rabbi Gross was named NCSYer of the Year at the 1971 National Convention.

OU Executive VP To Be Scholar In Residence At Beth Israel Cong.

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Rabbi Steven Weil will return to South Florida to serve as scholar in residence at Beth Israel Congregation for Shabbat February 17-18, Parshat Mishpatim. The OU member synagogue is located in Miami Beach at 770 W 40th Street.

Rabbi Steven Weil

Rabbi Weil will give the Shabbat morning drasha on “Men Are from Mars, Women from Venus: The Orthodox Version.” He will present a shiur for men and women, beginning at 4:40 p.m., discussing “Mishpatim: The Great System That Makes or Breaks the Jewish People.” Rabbi Weil will also speak at seudat shlishit.

(Next week Rabbi Weil will lead a delegation of the OU’s top representatives who will be visiting 10 separate synagogues across South Florida to provide strength to the communities as they face today’s Jewish challenges.)

For further information, contact the synagogue at 305-538-1251.

RASG Hebrew Academy At Day-School Conference

Friday, February 10th, 2012

More than 700 Jewish day school leaders and educators gathered for the third annual North American Jewish Day School Conference (NAJDSC) in Atlanta on January 15-17. The conference brought together over 300 schools and professional organizations.

Attending on behalf of Rabbi Alexander S. Gross Hebrew Academy in Miami Beach were Head of School Dr. Roni Raab; Associate of Head School Rabbi Elisha Paul; and Dean of Academics Rabbi Avi Bossewitch.

Dr. Raab said of the experience, “The benefits of convening with day school leaders from across the country are immeasurable. It was nice to hear what other schools are doing, and to share our successes with our colleagues.”

The North American Jewish Day School Leadership Conference is supported by the AVI CHAI Foundation, The Covenant Foundation, ERB, the Kohelet Foundation, Measuring Success and several anonymous funders.

For more information on the conference, including multimedia materials from many of the sessions, visit www.jewishdayschoolconference.org.

The Hebrew Academy is a Miami Beach-based Orthodox day school serving students from birth through Grade 12. For more information about the school and its programs, call 305-532-6421.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/south-florida/rasg-hebrew-academy-at-day-school-conference/2012/02/10/

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