Dear Members and Friends,
As Thanksgiving approaches and in the midst of these challenging times we need to give thanks that we are seeing “light at the end of the tunnel” with the upcoming news of the vaccines and other therapeutics.
We hope you enjoy your Turkey Day as best you can and are able to be with family or be with family via Zoom reunion as I am doing with mine. It is best we reduce the risk to our health by heeding the CDC guidelines until we are rid of the virus.
As your President, I want to wish you Health and Happiness and give many thanks to you for the continued support of our Temple.
On behalf of the Staff Avi Ashkenazi, Marivi Leander, our volunteers and our Board of Directors we want you to know we appreciate you and always are thankful for your calls, emails and good wishes and the confidence you have bestowed on us to carry on with our beautiful Legacy.
Happy Thanksgiving, Enjoy the Day!
Gay Pride or LGBT Pride is the promotion of self-affirmation, dignity, equality and increased visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as a social group. Pride is opposed to shame and social stigma.
HISTORY OF PRIDE MONTH
In New York on June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in Greenwich Village, which resulted in bar patrons, staff and neighborhood residents rioting. Among many leaders of the riot were black, Trans, bisexual, gay men and women. This lasted 6 days, the message was clear, protesters demanded the establishment of places where LGBT and people could go and be open about their sexual orientation without fear or arrest.
Pride Month is largely credited as being started by bisexual activist Brenda Howard, known as “The Mother of Pride.” Brenda organized Gay Pride Week, this eventually morphed into what we know now as the New York City Pride March. Today the biggest International Gay Pride Parade is in Telaviv, Israel. Miami Beach is the host to the world known Gay Parade with weeklong activities.
The famous rainbow flag came about when gay politician, Harvey Milk asked a talented designer friend, Gilbert Baker, to design an all-encompassing symbol to take to the San Francisco Pride March in 1978. This flag is used today universally as a welcome sign.
Bill Clinton was the first US President to officially recognize Pride Month in 1999 and 2000. Then, from 2009-2016 Barack Obama declared June LGBT Pride Month.
In getting ready to re- open for Shabbat services we have complied with City of Miami Beach ordinance, Miami Dade County Emergency Order 23-20, Faith Base Task Force and CDC. We will be opened Saturday, May 30, 2020 for Shavuot.
• Implement procedure to ensure all participants remain 6 feet apart
• Facial covering MUST be worn by congregants or they may NOT enter building.
• Provide alcohol base hand sanitizer.
• Provide disinfected wipes
• Provide gloves
• Sanitize bathrooms
• There will be NO hugs, kiss, shaking hands or moving around during services.
• Participants must reserve in advance by phone or email in order to attend. This will allow us to limit the number of attendees.
We will start with 10-12 people. If you have not reserved you will not be let in. We will not open to the Public at this time.
• Comply with 50% occupancy restriction as we move forward
• Refrain from gathering before and after services including food service.
• There will be NO sit down Kiddush time. The Women’s League has prepared Kiddush To Go bags.
• There will be NO touching of the Torah except for the Rabbi while conducting service.
• Aliyots will be given and done by standing up directly from your seat.
No one will approach the bima except for the Rabbi.
• All prayer books used during services will be placed in the back table to be sanitized.
• After services Tallits and Kippot are to be dropped in a green box to be sanitized.
• No challah bread will be offered. A symbolic blessing will be said
• For the wine, disposable mini cups will be used. After drinking they are to be disposed in a no touch waste bin.
• There will be an orderly entrance and exit of service.
Doors will open at a certain time and they will close at a certain time. Doors will NOT open once services have started.
If anyone has symptoms of fever, cough, sniffles or weakness they should not leave their home to attend services. They will be asked to leave. The Rabbi will follow up with them at a later time.
As the President of Cuban Hebrew Congregation I must comment on the recent headlines and articles that were circulated among many Jewish publications regarding the state and future of Cuban Hebrew Congregation.
A reporter who seems to be quite negative in her view of our Congregation called our Rabbi out of the blue and showed up on our doorstep on a Saturday while we were conducting our Shabbat services. She showed up late but sat for the remainder of the services, she also took part in our kiddush following services. At the end of services she was quite insistent and "pushy" about an interview right there and then and proceeded to turn on her recording device which she manipulated on and off at will. My protestations of it being Shabbat and she can come during the week fell on deaf ears. She claimed this is the only opportunity she had available as she was leaving town and was expected someplace else. By the way she never interviewed the Rabbi which we thought was her purpose for contacting him in the first place.
Little did we know and now after publishing her infamous headlines that her intentions were less than honorable. I requested that she send us the article prior to publication which she did not do and which we find unprofessional and untrustworthy. This conduct on her part should have been an indication that she was not upfront about her purpose for coming to our Temple and she meant to do us harm.
Let me assure our friends and Jewish community that the headlines of our "struggling" and "future in jeopardy" and of our “premature demise” are greatly exaggerated and unfounded. It is true that at one time under different leadership we were suffering but NOT NOW. The truth is that our Congregation is doing better than ever. Under this current Administration and Board of Directors we are moving forward and finally are starting to see the "light at the end of the tunnel".
After doing many improvements to the Temple and together with our new exclusive world renowned Chef and Kosher Caterer Shaike LLC, Venue2020 we are proud to say that we are again booking weddings, bar mitzvahs, conferences, tours, concerts and other major events with maximum participation and success. Not everything is about membership numbers or if our congregation has still many elderly congregants. They are people also and deserve respect and not the condescending and dismissive attitude exhibited in the article.
The NEW Cuban Hebrew Congregation is moving in a new direction and expanding our horizons. We are focusing on becoming a Learning Center and we have much interest developing in this direction. Our facilities are perfect for it.
I want to reassure our friends and members that the "State of the Union" of our beloved Congregation is in great shape. Our finances are finally solid and our future looks bright. The finances of our Temple were never discussed with this reporter so where she got this information must be from parties who do not believe in our Congregation.
Let me further assure everyone that Cuban Hebrew Congregation is NOT FOR SALE now or in the near future. If that ever becomes something the Board of Directors wants to entertain we will let our community know.
All the rumors and innuendos as a result of the headlines and this article are just plain “Lashon Hara”. It is propagating unpleasant and harmful facts which is forbidden and a serious sin in the Jewish tradition. Please think before you speak and if you have any questions related to the article or our status, feel free to call the Temple office at 305-534-7213 but do not speculate on what is going on. You can speak with myself, Becky or any Board Member.
Join us for Shabbat Services and our Kiddush, we promise you will enjoy it.
Have a Blessed Shabbat. Shabbat Shalom,
With much love, Your President
Cuban Hebrew Congregation has just acquired 10 cemetery lots in the beautiful Mount Sinai Cemetery located at 1125 N.W. 137th St. [Opa-Locka Boulevard], Miami, FL 33168.
These lots will not be available for long.
If you would like to purchase a cemetery lot please contact Becky Cohen @ 305-534-7213
Cuban Hebrew Congregation of Miami, Inc.
Cuban Hebrew Congregation of Miami, Inc. 1700 Michigan Avenue Miami Beach, FL 33139 US
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