When strolling around Miami Beach on a Saturday afternoon, admiring the giant fur hats of black-cloaked men walking with their families, one finds it difficult to imagine that Jews have been allowed to live in the state of Florida since only 1763. The first Jews settled in Pensacola and slowly made their way across the state, which is now home to the third largest Jewish community in the nation. To recognize the rich heritage and contributions of Florida Jews, the Jewish Museum of Florida is set to kick off the third annual Florida Jewish History Month.
Todays opening day celebration will feature keynote speaker Chris Monaco, a documentarian and historian from Micanopy, who will discuss his new book, Moses Levy of Florida: Jewish Utopian and Antebellum Reformer, and all attendees will receive a tasty (and free!) slice of key lime pie courtesy of Joes Stone Crab.
Local history lesson: The first Jewish residents of Miami Beach, Joe and Jennie Weiss, chose the site of their restaurant (11 Washington Ave.) because at that time Jews were not allowed to own property north of Fifth Street. The festivities begin at 10:30 a.m. Call , or visit for a complete schedule of programs.
Sun., Jan. 8