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Temple Israel

Temple Israel

Building Community Since 1954
A Progressive Conservative Synagogue Serving Central Florida

(407) 647-3055 | office@tiflorida.org
50 S. Moss Rd., Winter Springs, FL 32708

Temple Israel In The News

Heritage Articles

Federation helps community cope through virtual programming
When our community and society were faced with the life-changing challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando stepped up to fill the void brought on by the loss of our normal active lives.
What’s Happening
MORNING AND EVENING MINYANS (Please note, because of the coronavirus, all minyans have been canceled.) Chabad of South Orlando—Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. and 10 minutes before sunset; Saturday, 9:30 a.m.; Sunday, 8:15 a.m., 407-354-3660. Congregation…
Spotlight on local author Joni Okun
“I have written all my life,” said Joni Okun, Maitland resident and author of the historical fiction “To Hold the Throne.” I’ve written several children’s books that are currently off the market, but I’ve considered publishing them.””You have to step into the river,” she replied. “You have to think to the best of your imaginational ability what Miriamne would have thought under the circumstances. I had to find my voice, which is her voice, after hours upon hours of research and study. I wrote Miriamne in first person past tense, I combined that with writing King Herod in third person past tense. King Herod was a little more challenging because he was a man and so complex. As an author, you have to find a way to let yourself go in order to put your mind into King Herod’s.”
A Constructive Way to Disagree
In partnership with the Pardes Institute of Judaic Studies, Temple Israel is offering a five-week course open to the entire community and led by Rabbi Joshua Neely called “Mahloket Matters: How to Disagree Constructively—The Beit Midrash Way.” The first of the hour-long weekly session starts on Thursday, Feb. 6 and runs from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Temple Israel Library at 50 S. Moss Road in Winter Springs. The final session is Thursday, March 5.
Congratulations to this year’s ‘8 Over 80’ honorees
Kinneret’s 10th annual 8 Over 80 Gala honors eight remarkable people in our community, each over 80. Shown here are (top row, left to right): Barney Chepenik, Jes Baru, Henry Schilowitz, Harry Lowenstein, and (bottom row, left to right): Joan Forino, Harriet Weiss, Elaine Gamson and Sandi Solomon.
Jews in the Land of Disney
“My passion is teaching,” Rabbi Joshua Neely told me as we talked about why he chose his career path. “Becoming a rabbi for me seemed to be a logical choice. I’ve always been very inquisitive. Still am. At a young age, eight, nine years old, I was asking questions about life and Judaism. I’ve always been this way,” Neely said. “Perhaps, my mother’s questioning nature… led us to this point. In this regard, I’m very much like her,” he shared, adding, “You may be surprised that my mother was raised in a nominally Christian environment.”
Jewish Pavilion volunteer Susan Bernstein engages seniors with music
After more than three years of leading services and offering Jewish holiday programming at various senior living facilities around town, Bernstein knows how to engage her audiences and quickly win them over. The services she leads incorporate musical instruments and include insights into the prayers and traditions, delivered with warmth and humor.
A special dual-language Shabbat service at Temple Israel
As for the goal of the community presentation, Garcés summed it up, saying “We hope to shed light on how the Jewish and Latino communities can and should collaborate to defeat anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias, and we look forward to developing a lasting relationship with our new friends in the Orlando area.”
MAGAL students celebrate Mitzvah Day and support community
Kindergarten through second-grade students in the Meitin Alliance for Growth and Learning (MAGAL), Temple Israel and Temple Shir Shalom’s collaborative religious school, participated in their first annual Mitzvah Day on Sunday, April 8.

Artists-in-Residence event at Temple Israel
Sam Glaser, one of America’s foremost composers, performers and interpreters of Jewish music will be visiting Central Florida Jan. 19-21 as the Artist-in-Residence at Temple Israel and Temple Shir Shalom in Winter Springs.

Sam Glaser
Time for the annual Temple Israel Sisterhood bus trip
On Sunday, Nov. 5, Temple Israel Sisterhood, together with friends and community members, will head south to Pompano Beach for a day of adventure and camaraderie.

Sisterhood Bus Trip 2016
Kehillah: A History of Jewish life in Greater Orlando opening November 12
Thematically based on the citrus industry-one of the early businesses that attracted Jews to the area-the exhibit will include more than 500 historical photographs, interactive displays, important artifacts that hearken back to past pioneers, and examples of current generations’ contributions and extraordinary accomplishments.
The Kehillah Task Force
Kehilla Task Force
Inez ‘Teddy’ and Myron Snyder honored at Jewish Pavilion’s Music Fest
The Share family will pass on the Snyder’s love and cultivation of the arts by honoring them at the Jewish Pavilion’s Annual Fall Festival, “Music Fest 2017.”
Inez 'Teddy' and Myron Snyder
Inez ‘Teddy’ & Myron Snyder
Eagle Scout project rebuilds Temple Israel fire pit
The Scouts of Troop 641 showed their support of Eagle Scout candidate [and Temple Israel member] Steven Kluger [on Sunday, July 30].
Eagle Scout Project at Temple Israel - Fire Pit
A day in the life of MAGAL
The Meitin Alliance for Growth and Learning (MAGAL) is a collaborative religious school between Temple Israel and Temple Shir Shalom. MAGAL, the name by which the school is known, is the Hebrew word for “circle” and a symbol of oneness. Classes are held at the synagogue located at 50 S. Moss Road in Winter Springs

MAGAL students gather around the ‘food stand’ to talk about their new project
with the JFS Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry.
These gals put the ‘8 Over 80’ event together
The 8 Over 80 Honorary Dinner on March 5, sponsored by Kinneret Council on Aging, is to be a lovely affair, with eight octogenarians showing the community what it is to create a legacy of activism, philanthropy, and leadership.

Phyllis Kamenoff (l) and Mollie Savage.
Congratulations to 2017’s ‘8 over 80’ honorees
Plans are well underway for The Kinneret Council on Aging’s (KCOA) seventh annual 8 over 80 Honorary Dinner that will be held on Sunday, March 5, 2017. The 8 over 80 event recognizes individuals over the age of 80 who continue to contribute to our community through their volunteer and philanthropy efforts. This year’s honorees are a dedicated and dynamic group of individuals [that includes one of Temple Israel’s longstanding members, Edie Fenster].
8-over-80-temple-israel-2017
Seated (l-r): Edie Fenster; Judy Cohen; Sonia Mandell; Sheldon Brook; Standing (l-r): Phyllis Englander; Dick Appelbaum; Mel Kohn; Helen Tetenbaum.
OJO hosts discussion for interfaith couples
Our Jewish Orlando, the young adult division of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando, hosted a conversation about interfaith relationships, “Celebrating Traditions,” on Dec. 8 at Infusion Tea in College Park. The discussion was led by Rabbi Joshua Neely of Temple Israel in Winter Springs.
rabbi-joshua-neely-ojo-2016
Rabbi Neely of Temple Israel leads discussion at OJO interfaith dialog.
Federation honors new class of Bornstein grads
Members of the 2015-16 Bornstein class were honored in a graduation ceremony at Central Florida Hillel last month. Federation officers and Board members, along with several Bornstein alumni, were on hand to celebrate with the graduates [one of whom is Temple Israel’s own Mollie Savage].
bornstein-class-2016
The 2015-16 Jerome J. Bornstein Leadership Development Class (from left): Ari Vinokur, Andrew Gluck, Mollie Savage, Sam Friedman, Alaina Wilder, Isaac Greenberg, Ming Marx, Heidi Zissman, Jessica Hoch and Marissa Branisavljevic. (not pictured: Michelle Zaltsberg).
JP Gala honors community gem, Geanne Share
While Jewish Pavilion Gala honoree, Geanne Share, first began volunteering with Orlando’s seniors, almost 20 years ago, she noted that she began her charitable work “while practically still in the womb.”
share-geanne
Geanne Share
Federation awards JTEN grants
JFGO’s Jewish Teen Education Network (JTEN), now in its third year, awards the grants to support ongoing academic Jewish teen educational programming in the Central Florida community. For the 2016-17 academic year, six Central Florida congregations received awards: Temple Shir Shalom/Temple Israel, Congregation of Reform Judaism, Congregation Ohev Shalom, Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation (SOJC) and Congregation Beth Am.
JTEN-logo
Two separate congregations create klal Israel under one roof
The two synagogues [have] agreed to join forces to create a collaborative religious school they named The Meitin Alliance for Growth And Learning, or MAGAL, which is the Hebrew word for circle.
 The Meitin Alliance for Growth And Learning (MAGAL) Hebrew School at Temple Israel in Winter Springs, FL
The Meitin Alliance for Growth And Learning (MAGAL) Hebrew School
at Temple Israel in Winter Springs, FL
Eagle Scout honors Jewish War Veterans
Working closely with Laurence Morrell, an officer of the cemetery corporation and chair of the grounds committee, Daniel [Brown] designed flagpoles in the center of a stone path and garden in the pattern of a Star of David [named the Jewish War Veterans of America Memorial Flagpole Garden Path].
Jewish War Veterans of America Memorial Flagpole Garden Path
Jewish War Veterans of America Memorial Flagpole Garden Path – Temple Israel Cemetery
New Religious School knows no boundaries
There is a new, one-of-a-kind religious school in Winter Springs to provide your children with a strong Jewish education and identity whether you consider yourself Conservative or Reform. Temple Israel and Temple Shir Shalom have joined forces to create a collaborative religious school called the Meitin Alliance for Growth And Learning.
MAGAL-2016
Temple Israel students with Rabbi Joshua Neely making their own tallitot.
Tree of Life T-shirt honors Pulse victims and families
To honor the victims and families of the tragic Pulse Club massacre in Orlando on June 12, Temple Israel has produced, and is offering for sale, a custom-designed commemorative T-shirt which shows the Jewish community’s support and love for all who were affected by this event.
Temple Israel - OneOrlando T-Shirt Drive
Shown here (l-r): wearing Tree for Life T-shirts at the Sh’loshim Jewish communal event on July 10, are Arlene van de Rijn, Rabbi Joshua Neely, Ina Porth, Natan Brener,
Rabbi David Kaye and Cathy Swerdlow. Front, center is Nathaniel Neely.
Remembering my mother, Lena Sami (by Renee Sami)
Born in New York on a cold winter’s night by candlelight, Lena Sami was a beaut extraordinaire. She was the ideal.
Lena Sami
Lena (Lee) Sami
Passover happenings courtesy of the Jewish Pavilion
While many Jews were shopping, cleaning, preparing a guest list and shopping list, several senior living communities in town were doing just the same for their Jewish community.
Buddy, Al and Penney - Oakmonte Village Residents
Buddy, Al & Penney – Oakmonte Village Residents
Duo represents Federation at national PJ Library conference
[Temple Israel member] Jennifer Cohen, JFGO’s director of Outreach and Engagement, and Aleah Mathews, volunteer co-chair of JFGO’s Shalom Families committee, represented Greater Orlando at the [8th Annual PJ Library ] conference.
Aleah Mathews and Jennifer Cohen
Aleah Mathews & Jennifer Cohen
First Owl Award goes to Alex Kahn
When Alex Kahn, son of [Temple Israel members] Valerie and Dr. Bernard (Bernie) Kahn of Maitland, joined Startup Institute Chicago’s web development course in fall 2014, he’d already been a technologist at heart and was ready to take this passion to the main stage.
kahn-alex
Startup Institute alum, Alex Kahn, holds his Owl Award.
Bat mitzvah project entertaining and beneficial to the IDF
Got talent, drive and a strong desire to help the IDF? Miriam Crane does! As her bat mitzvah project Crane produced, directed and served as MC for a talent show held on March 6, 2016 at Temple Israel to benefit the Friends of the IDF (FIDF).
Rachel Crane
Miriam Crane-producer, director and MC of the FIDF Talent Show.
Explaining cancer: The risks, misconceptions, prevention and research
On Feb. 25, an appreciative audience gathered to hear medical experts from UF-Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health discuss cancer risks, clarify misconceptions, explain the latest research, and give a primer on various prevention and treatment options. [The evening was moderated by cancer activist and longtime community member Sheryl Kashuk Schwartz.]
Sheryl Kashuk Schwartz
Sheryl Kashuk Schwartz
Educators learn about Arab-Israeli conflict at UCF
At the International Society for the Social Studies (ISSS) conference held at UCF on Feb. 25, Professor Terri Susan Fine led a session on “Teaching the Arab-Israeli Peace Process and Conflict.”
professor-terri-susan-fine-stenzler
Professor Terri Susan Fine Stenzler
Purim plays the Jewish Pavilion way
Purim festivities abound at the Jewish Pavilion and parties are planned in facilities all over town. Jewish and gentile residents revel in the festivities. A Purim skit, written by [Temple Israel’s] Cathy Swerdlow, is performed in more than 30 senior communities.
Purim Plays
Temple Israel partners with Share the Care
Debra Markowitz, TI congregant and extraordinary baker, demonstrated how to mix, bake and, of course, eat a challah at the first STC program, which began on Feb. 4.
Debra Markowitz
Debra Markowitz braids the challah, almost ready for the oven.
Acting out history at Temple Israel
The characters portrayed by students in Eliana Gershon’s third through fifth grade class at the Meitin Religious School at Temple Israel, whether admired or feared, were key players in transitioning our people out of Hellenistic Judaism into the early stages of what would become modern day Rabbinic Judaism.
wax-museum-group
In costume are (l-r), Will Berg, Emma Berg, Leor Adelman, Mckenna Sachs and Rachel Crane.
Havdalah for the animals
On Saturday night, Feb. 13, Temple Israel held a Havdalah service in honor of the members’ four-legged friends.
Pet Havdalah
Scouts from all over attend Scout Shabbat at Temple Israel
Scouts from the Central Florida Council area took part in the annual Scout Shabbat. The event was co-hosted by Troop 641/Children of Abraham Foundation and Temple Israel in Winter Springs.
jewish-boy-scouts
HMREC reflects on its 30 years
Throughout 2016 the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida will be celebrating its 30th anniversary. During the year they will present special programming that honors both the past and the future of the Center.
Abe & Tess Wise
Abe & Tess Wise
Pearls of the Pavilion ‘Share’ Luncheon with Orlando Ballet
The Jewish Pavilion’s *Pearls of the Pavilion luncheon will take on a whole new spin when it is held at the Orlando Ballet on Tuesday, Jan.12. The event is generously sponsored by Geanne Share of Orlando who has served on the board of both organizations.
Jewish Pavilion Board member Geanne Share with her husband Adrian with photos for the Jewish Pavilion in the background.
Jewish Pavilion Board member Geanne Share with her husband Adrian
with photos for the Jewish Pavilion in the background.
Students visit with senior citizens
Each month of the school year, students from Temple Israel’s Meitin Religious School visit the residents at Brookdale Island Lake Assisted Living Facility in Longwood bringing songs, stories, celebration and good cheer.
http://www.heritagefl.com/story/2016/01/01/news/students-visit-with-senior-citizens/5538.html
Shalom Families enjoy a butterfly encounter
More than 40 moms, dads and children turned out on Sunday, Aug. 30, to celebrate Rosh Hashanah at Lukas Nursery and Butterfly Encounter in Oviedo. The event was organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando’s Shalom Families program.The families were joined by Rabbi Joshua Neely of Temple Israel, who helped make the day special by reading “A Very Hungry Caterpillar,” leading the families in blessings, and blowing the shofar.
butterfly-encounter
The value of mitzvot
Temple Israel, along with several other groups from the Orlando area, spent two hours on July 15 bagging potatoes for the Second Harvest Food Bank, a private, nonprofit organization that collects and distributes donated food to more than 550 nonprofit partner agencies in six Central Florida counties.
Second Harvest Group Shot
Summer Sunday fun, food and friendship
Temple Israel, in partnership with the Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando, co-sponsored a day of fun, food and swimming on July 12th.
Summer Sunday Group Shot
Kinneret introduces new officers
The Board of Directors for the Kinneret Council on Aging (KCOA) and Kinneret I and II Apartments have announced their new Executive Board for 2015-2016, and we are proud to have several members of Temple Israel among them.
Geanne and Adrian Share
Geanne & Adrian Share
 Many awards and recognitions given at JCC annual meeting
RAISE employee Cameron Rohme spoke to the audience about the positive impact the JCC has had on him this year as part of the collaboration between the JCC and Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando’s RAISE program, developed and implemented by community leader Loren London. RAISE is an employment inclusion program for adults with special needs.
Shown here (l-r): David Wayne; Cameron Rohme; Barbara Chasnov, RAISE volunteer; and Art Louv, Cameron's grandfather
Shown here (l-r): David Wayne; Cameron Rohme; Barbara Chasnov, RAISE volunteer;
and Art Louv, Cameron’s grandfather
Pavilion Golf Society Tees up to Honor Pavilion Founders
“Thanks to the generosity and the persistence of the Meitin family, Jewish residents in long-term care can now feel at home in over 50 facilities throughout Greater Orlando,” – Jewish Pavilion Executive Director Nancy Ludin
Sheryl & Julian Meitin
Sheryl & Julian Meitin
Runway Pets: Canine Couture for a Cause
… when Aubrey [Stern] was told one of the requirements of becoming bat mitzvah is to perform community service, she chose to support a local no-kill animal rescue organization.
Aubrey Stern and Judy Sarullo
Aubrey Stern (l) with Judy Sarullo, founder of Pet Rescue by Judy, and one of the models, Gracie.
New Youth Director at Temple Israel
Eliana Gershon is Temple Israel’s new youth director. Raised in Dallas, Texas, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Michigan.
Eliana Gershon, Youth Director
Tu B’Shevat springs up at Brookdale and the Jewish Pavilion
On Friday, Jan. 31 a Tu B’Shevat seder sprung up at Brookdale Island Lake in Longwood with the help of the Jewish Pavilion. Longtime volunteer and president of the Jewish National Fund Board, Debbie Meitin, led the 30-minute service and celebration.
Debbie Meitin
Ways to help Kinneret and honor the 8 over 80 honorees
New this year is Kinneret Council on Aging’s Giving Auction. A Giving Auction is much like a traditional Silent Auction, except instead of donating funds to receive an auction gift; you will be making a contribution to fund Kinneret Council on Aging’s year-round resident programming.
8 over 80 Committee 2015
The 8 over 80 committee, (l-r), Phyllis Kamenoff, Molllie Savage, Faye Novick, Carol Fuererman and Leslie Collin. Not shown are Jacob Hara and Geanne Share.
Mitzvah day at Temple Israel
On Dec. 25, 2014, members of Temple Israel gathered for their second annual mitzvah day. In-house projects were started and finished as well as community projects, and it all ended with dinner prepared by congregant Julia Fineberg.
Meet the 2015 KCOA ‘8 over 80’ honorees
The 8 over 80 event recognizes individuals over the age of 80 who continue to contribute to our community through their volunteer and philanthropy efforts.

The ‘8 over 80’ honorees, (standing, l-r), Mark Silverberg, Harvey Titen, Sandy Silbert, Avie Abramowitz;
(seated, l-r), Morris Rashy, Helen Hosid, Betty Stein, and Ron Shader.
Meitin president of JNF Board
Jewish National Fund (JNF) is proud to announce the appointment of Debbie Meitin as president of JNF’s Board of Directors in Orlando.
One last hurrah-with pizzaz
Laurence Morrell wasn’t looking for fame or shiny trophies. He signed up for the Golden Age Games in Sanford for “one last hurrah,” as he put it, after a 12-year hiatus, and he got more than he bargained for.
The work must continue to bring about racial equality
Hosted by the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando, the event was a featured part of the community’s 50th anniversary commemoration of the Civil Rights Act.
Pavilion seniors experience shared history at Lunch and Learn
While the Pavilion has been breaking bread with seniors in long-term care since 1998, there is much more to the organization beyond the challah.
Gloria Titen – a gracious, caring woman, mom and grandma
You so rarely hear of anyone these days described as a “lady,” but indeed, Gloria Titen was just that. Uncomplicated and welcoming, she cared deeply for her family and her friends, of which she had many. She loved big and she was loved big in return.
JFGO awards synagogue grants for Jewish teen education
Earlier this summer, JFGO announced the formation of the Jewish Teen Education Network (JTEN). Temple Israel is one of six recipients of the Fall 2014 JTEN Grant Awards.
A walk to remember Bunny Rosen
Although she has been gone for more than a year, Rosen’s legacy lives on throughout Jewish Orlando.
PJ Library, Shalom Families learn about Rosh HaShanah
PJ Library Families were treated to story time led by Susan Bernstein. Later in the morning, Rabbi Neely blew the shofar and explained the meaning of the different blasts to the children.
Bernstein new Congregational Life Coordinator at Temple Israel
Susan Bernstein has been hired as Temple Israel’s Congregational Life Coordinator.
Passport to Hebrew at Temple Israel
Passport to Hebrew is Temple Israel’s summer children’s program for Hebrew enrichment
Light up Havdalah at Temple Israel
A camera was set up with a long exposure that enabled everyone to create light art.
Our community mourns with the Jewish world
On Wednesday July 2nd, the Jewish community came together to mourn the loss of the three Israeli teens who had been kidnapped on June 12th.
Boy Scout Troop 641 Goes To Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico
The members have trained since August 2013 for their 80-plus mile hike through the mountains, where they will live in tents, backpacking up mountains, and into valleys.
Brown’s Deli celebrates first anniversary
According to owner, Lauren Brown, “The first year of a restaurant is the most challenging. We have been very pleased with the reviews and responses to our product and service.”
 
Woman of The Year & Sisterhood Board for 2014-2015 Announced
Sunday, June 8, Fabienne Kaplan was chosen Woman of the Year at the closing luncheon of Temple Israel Sisterhood for the year 2013-14. The luncheon was held in the Roth Social Hall at the synagogue, and new officers for 2014-15 also were announced.
Fabienne Kaplan - Woman of The Year 2014Temple Israel Sisterhood Board Officers 2014-2015
A new perspective on Jewish history through Lag B’Omer games at Temple Israel
Wearing T-shirts emblazoned with 10 symbols of Jewish historic periods the students traveled through time to experience a piece of life from each era.
Jewish Pavilion helps families find support groups
The work that the Jewish Pavilion of Central Florida does to help families cope with the challenges of our aging loved ones is important and essential, however we cannot overlook the role that an organized support group plays in alleviating the stress placed on families trying to care for their family members.
Boy Scouts ‘shine’ Jewish cemetery
If you saw a group of boys cleaning the headstones in Temple Israel’s cemetery in Gotha recently they were Scouts from Troop 641.
Temple Israel members bring Torah scroll home to German synagogue
Temple Israel members bring Torah scroll home to German synagogueA delegation of members from Temple Israel will accompanied Temple Israel’s “Goold Torah” to Berkach, Germany, for the 160th anniversary of the opening of the building that housed the then-newly-built Berkacher Synagogue (1854).
A Temple Israel bar mitzvah project
A Temple Israel bar mitzvah project. Children from the Meitin Religious School at Temple Israel together with members of the Temple Israel congregation were proud to participate in Steven Kluger’s bar mitzvah project: Feeding Children Everywhere.

Current Events

Yiddish spoken here
A small group of Orlando residents are answering this question and meeting this challenge by attending a monthly gathering called “A Nosh of Yiddish,” sponsored by the Jewish Pavilion, at Brookdale Island Lake each third Thursday of the month at 10:30 a.m. For more information, please contact Susan Bernstein at susanjewishpavilion@gmail.com.
Temple Israel members wine and dine in the sukkah
Temple Israel members take a break from their wine and cheese party on Wednesday, Sept. 26, to show off their “Pink Shabbat” T-shirts in the sukkah. As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Temple Israel had a special Shabbat service, “Sisterhood & Sharsheret: Empowering Jewish Women,” on Saturday, Oct. 6 in the Rein Sanctuary. The special service featured guest speaker and survivor Geanne Share. Sharsheret is a Jewish breast and ovarian cancer organization.

Orlando Sentinel Articles

Temple Israel Homeland Fund Grant 2019

Orlando has more than doubled its anti-terrorism funding to $3.25 million, just two years after the region was shut out entirely of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security program, the area’s congressional delegation announced. On top of that that, three nonprofit Jewish organizations received a total of $270,000 in security grants from Homeland Security to harden campuses from potential threats. “Orlando metro has faced multiple threats in the past years, adding alarming risks to the safety and well-being of our community,” U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, D-Kissimmee. “These funds will enhance our law enforcement’s preparedness ad prevention methods.” Decisions on funding are made by law enforcement across the region through a task force called the Urban Area Working Group. Through that, run the by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, entities bring forward projects for funding and the task force ranks them based on priority. Previously, the funding has been used for regional hazmat and search-and-rescue teams as well as the Central Florida Intelligence Exchange and an infrastructure-protection program. Sheriff John Mina said the funding would aid agencies from Orange, Seminole, Lake, Osceola and Volusia counties, helping fund a regional intelligence exchange “Fusion Center” as well as other regional benefits. Other projects are agency specific: the Orange County Sheriff’s office will get cloud cyber security, for instance, while Seminole County requested a device used to help detonate suspicious packages. Mina, who in 2016 along with then-Sheriff Jerry Demings testified before congressional subcommittees after a two-year gap without funding, was happy to see the increase. “We’re very, very happy with the funding and want to continue to remain on the list [and] as more and more people continue to move to the Central Florida area we believe our ranking should improve,” Mina said. In 2014, the region received $1 million but didn’t see funding again until 2018, when it received $1.5 million. “Residents and visitors alike should know the federal government is providing the support needed to protect them from terrorist threats,” U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Winter Park, said in a statement. “Their safety must be our number one priority.

Home Land Fund
Bipartisan group strives to inject civility, respect into political process
The ACCoRD Project, a new bipartisan group that advocates for respectful political conversations. Its mission is to encourage political leaders and average citizens to speak with civility, cooperation, respect and dignity.
Professor Terri Susan Fine StenzlerPolitical-science professor Terri Fine spoke this month at the first educational program sponsored by a new Central Florida Group, ACCoRD, which promotes civility in politician discussion.

Lake Mary Life Articles

Canines Take The Runway
To honor her community service requirements for becoming bat mitzvah at Temple Israel in Winter Springs, seventh grader and animal lover Aubrey Stern hosted a canine modeling show in support of local no-kill animal rescue organization, Pet Rescue by Judy (PRBJ).
Aubrey Stern Dogshow Featured in Lake Mary Life
Click on image to expand and read the article