Celebrate Florida Jewish History Month with a mini film festival at the Jewish Museum of Florida, beginning at 3pm, Sunday, January 18.
Three short films by native Aaron Davidson will be screened; all focus on Miami Beach Jewish history. A film student (who began taking classes at the Miami Children's Museum when he was just 14), his Rascal House, Abraham’s Bakery and A Slice of Life will be screened.
The Rascal House Restaurant was a Miami Beach fixture for more than 50 years, opening in 1954. When we visited my grandmother in Florida, and when we later lived in southern Florida we ate there. There was only one Rascal House. Davidson recorded the restaurant and its nostalgic customers on its last day.
Abraham's Kosher Bakery has been open for more than 30 years and is one of the last "old fashioned" bakeries. Davidson shows making challah, hamentaschen and other yummies. We missed this piece of Miami life as we had moved to Los Angeles before Abraham's opened!
A Slice of Life records Miami Beach's kosher butchers. When we returned from Teheran to Miami Beach in 1978, there were only a few still open out of dozens in the old days. Joe Goldstein, his customers, sons and grandchildren share their recollections about a nearly vanished way of life.
The film festival is free if you purchase museum entrance tickets, so come early, enjoy the museum and see the films.
You didn't know there was a Jewish Museum of Florida or what it does?
The museum collects, preserves and interprets material evidence of the Florida Jewish experience from 1763, when Jews were first allowed to settle, to the present and to interpret this history in the context of the American Jewish experience.
It explores Florida's richness and diversity of Jewish life, the part that Florida Jews play in the historic and cultural dynamics of Florida, the nation, and the world; and discrimination issues against all peoples in Florida over history.
The museum is active in collecting and preserving, interpreting, research, restoring and maintaining two National Register synagogues and providing a location for these activities and other programs, which include exhibitions, collections and research, education, publications, outreach, a store and a cafe. In the planning stages are a magazine featuring Florida Jewish history, family diaries, oral histories, a Florida Jewish History book and a scholarly journal.