Included in this month’s LIGHT

•     Give Miami Day Results
•     Upcoming Gallery of Light Events
•     Meet Our Next Unsung Shero
•     Update on Daffodil Project
•     Announcing New Jewish Book Review Series
•     Chanukah Trivia Night
•     Shabbat Reminder
•     Tributes
Beth Or’s Give Miami Day Sets Records

Congratulations to us! Beth Or’s Give Miami Day was a HUGE success.

Here’s how the numbers break down:

Give Miami Day 2020 Donation total:
$35,458 Donated Dollars
Give Miami Day You Snooze You Lose Bonus
Give Miami Day Bonus Dollars
Total Give Miami Day for Beth Or
$38, 728
This appeared in the Miami Herald!
Beth Or’s Give Miami Day was spearheaded this year by Ilien Hechtman. She viewed the efforts as a great success.

“I am beaming with pride! Beth Or’s Give Miami Day results prove that when we come together we can make a big impact for our community,” Ilien said. 

“Beth Or won the $1,500 ‘You Snooze You Lose’ prize awarded for the highest donation dollars for a small organization on Early Giving Monday,” Ilien continued. “The prize money and the Give Miami Day bonus dollars resulted $3,270 added to our donor donations for a grand total of $38,328. AMAZING!” 

Beth Or is deeply grateful to everyone who participated in this year’s Give Miami Day. Here is an alphabetical listing of everyone who donated to Beth Or:

Cynthia Amar, Sheri Atwood, Wendy Bandklayder, Diane Barkow, Pat Barron, Celia Belsky, Eva & Ron Bernstein, Jen & Rob Berse, Stan Bilsker, Vicki Brail & Jeanne Covert, Robin Bramson, Judith & Dan Casale, Ellen Cohan, Dick Dorn, Irene Elliott, Janie & George Emerson, John Emerson, Linda & Shep Faber, Robyn & Randy Fisher, Kathy Fisler, Marti & Tom Gammon, Enid Garber & Mark Rosenblum, Linda Goodman, Molle Grad, Ossie & Harry Hanauer, Ellen & John Hanson, Elliott Harris, Molly & Larry Harris, Ilien & Keith Hechtman, Vicki & Michael Henry, Gail Hochheiser, Gail Ironson, Carol Kaminsky, Rita Kaplan, Annette & Stephen Katz, Nancy Kirsner, Merle Klein, Carol Klock, Mindy & Mark Kram, Amy Lomaskin & Mel Tenen, Andrea Loring & Marvin Dunn, Mark Mandel, Alison McLaney, April & Scott Miller, Adrienne & Lenny Nabutovsky, Michael Newman, Lynn Olian, Diane Pearl, Terri Pearson, Marcy Prince, Adrienne & Howard Hochman, Laurie Russell, Ellen Siegel, Deborah Solana, Bette Spector, Rose Spector, Karen Steinberg-Lewis, Rhoni & Ned Tannenbaum, Cathy & Bert Tesserot, Marilyn Traeger, Jeff Tucker, Phyllis Winnick and Allan Yudachfski. 
What’s on tap in the Gallery of Light?
Chanukah in the Gallery
Join us in the Gallery of Light at Beth Or at our virtual opening of works of many South Florida Artists.This juried exhibit will expand your perception of light during Chanukah.

Join us Saturday, December 12th at 7:15 pm for Havdalah followed by discussion
with the participating artists on this opening night.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 899 4946 6391
Passcode: 331662
Call in number: 1-929-205-6099
A Virtual Wynwood Walls tour December 22
Join the Gallery Of Light for a virtual tour of “Wynwood Walls” on Dec. 22 as we “walk” with talented artist and devoted educator Desiree Capote. As part of the MDCPS Museum Education Program, Desiree has enlightened over 2000 students on tours in and out of museums, offering different perspectives on life through an artistic lens. She will discuss the history, process and beauty of the murals in Miami’s famous Wynwood District. This is no “drive by” experience from the highway. You will be inspired by this art form, the artists who created them, and feel a new connection to our city. Zoom information to follow.
Unique among synagogues, Beth Or’s Gallery of Light Brought to Life by Marilyn Traeger and a Team of Visionaries
Marilyn Traeger likes to deal with things which have relevance, whether she is teaching, creating art, helping others create and display their art, or worshiping.

She joined Beth Or because it spoke to that relevance.

“I had been turned off to organized religion,” she said. “I felt more often than not that people were more concerned about who you knew or what you wore.

But that was before she joined Beth Or.

A neighbor and friend of Karen Steinberge-Lewis, Marilyn had attended sporadic Beth Or services and found them meaningful. A few years back she attended High Holiday services and that did the trick.

“At the High Holiday services, I found myself in tears,” she said. “I was blown away by the comments expressed by Shirley Pollak which were read to the congregation by because Shirley was too ill to attend. I sent Shirley a card and she wrote me back. Subsequently, I spoke with Rabbi Robyn Fisher and she seemed sincerely interested in my love for art. That coupled with knowing Jen Berse and Enid Garber from way back, put the finishing touches on my decision to join.”
Marilyn feels that Beth Or resonates with her in a multitude of ways. “Members of the congregation are kind and sincerely acknowledge each other. I was welcomed and supported. This community is a gift."

Marilyn’s decision to join has led to one of the most innovative programs every undertaken by Beth Or—the Gallery of Light. It’s the reason Marilyn Traeger is being named a Beth Or Unsung Shero.

Inspired by a series of discussions with Rabbi Robyn, and joined initially by Jen and Enid, the idea of an art gallery at Beth Or began to take shape. Linda Faber joined the team and members of the congregation warmly accepted the project.

Gallery of Light a Team Effort

“Rabbi Robyn is a hands on rabbi,” Marilyn said. “She does not stand on ceremony and likes to get things done. I think it’s important to note that the Rabbi, Jen, Enid, Linda and I have brought this idea to life. It’s not one person.”

“COVID has allowed the Gallery to explode in an unexpected way,” Marilyn said. “We had in person workshops lined up but had to return the funds when everything shut down. We had to think out of the box and on line art displays were born. Now, we’re talking about on line workshops.”

ArtTalk Tuesdays have become a mainstay at Beth Or. The 7:30 PM artists ArtTalks are attended by dozens of people. Several virtual art openings have also taken place with artists show-casing their beautiful works of art. In the first virtual gallery opening, 18 artists participated; in the second there were 20 artists. Each artist pays a fee to show and if they sell any artwork, Beth Or benefits as well.

The Gallery team is also planning to launch an online Gallery store which will benefit artists and Beth Or.

“Because of COVID, artists are looking for ways to show their art. Our virtual openings have been very well received and attended,” Marilyn said.

When reflecting on how Marilyn started her career in art, she comments that she had two amazing parents who supported and encouraged her love for art.

Combining Art and Teaching

“My father, who was an artist and a businessman, pointed out to me at a young age that as much as I loved art, it was important to eat on a regular basis, she recalled. “My mother was a teacher. Combining those two avenues, I decided then to become an art teacher.”

She actually taught her first art class while still in high school but eventually after receiving several degrees, she began teaching art in Miami Dade Country Public Schools one month before her 21st birthday.

Throughout the years she has been the catalyst for many art projects and programs. Top among them is the Fund 4 Design & Art Education. Co-founded with Marlene Kohn and receiving donations from artistic friends, they have been able to award over $100,000 in Isaiah Scholarships to high school seniors to further their art education. The scholarship program is named after one of her promising art students.

“The creation of Beth Or’s Gallery of Light rivals top billing for my most joyful creation,” Marilyn muses. “Sharing your love of art with others is a most rewarding endeavor.”

Marilyn doesn’t tout her own personal art creations noting that much of it was done to express her “disgust, disbelief, anguish and sorrow” in the current state of affairs nationally. She calls it her Sad Girl Series. She also dabbles in photography and ceramics.

Most recently Marilyn teamed up with Jen, Enid, Linda and Tom Gammon and Marcy Prince to apply for a Federation grant for the Gallery of Light. “I find folks at Beth Or are so willing to help. We are hopeful about the grant, but knowing how many people stepped into help, means a great deal regardless of the grant outcome.”
Marilyn is pictured here with grandchildren Logan, Lisa and Colin, hiking in the woods in North Carolina
While art means so much to her, it’s her family that means the most.

She married Mel Weiner in 2005 at a ceremony at the Chart House officiated by a fellow art teacher who is an ordained minister, Josh Bullard.

Combined they have four grown children - Randi Long, Marti Lopez, Eric Polin and Lisa Korallis - and six
grandchildren - Logan, Colin, Megan, Branden, Sarah and Austin.

She and Mel have their home here and a home in North Carolina which she goes to “anytime I can.” Located in the Hendersonville area, she often shares pictures of hiking through the woods with her grandchildren.
Beth Or joins the International Daffodil Project
Beth Or’s participation in the international Daffodil Project got a great kick start on November 23 when more than 30 Beth Or members joined in on a Zoom event.

The international project has spread across all lands and cultures as we remember the children who died in the Holocaust and today’s children who suffer from abuse. As these beautiful yellow flowers are planted, we erase the negative association of the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust. As the daffodils bloom, a sea of yellow will emerge as something beautiful. It reminds us of the beautiful souls of the children we lost and continue to loose. We shall never forget, nor shall we ever stop fighting for the safety of all children.

Marcy Prince has planted a group of daffodils in Beth Or’s gardens in four large planters that will sit in the center of the Jeffrey Tucker Memorial Star.

Several members have purchased bulbs to plant in their home gardens. As the daffodil bulbs are planted and bloom, we will share photos of their progress.
Jewish Book Review Series
Starts December 9
Join in on a new book review series starting December 9.
While there is no cost to attend, donations are always appreciated. Register for the zoom by clicking on this link: Register here for Jewish Book Review
Chanukah Trivia Night, Fun for the Whole Family
Let’s join together on the first night of Chanukah as we light the first candle and enjoy fun for the entire family.
Register and pay by clicking on this link: Register and pay
Be sure to join Friday Night Shabbat Services every Friday night at 7:30 PM. Zoom links for services are sent out the day before.

The following is our tributes list:
In honor of the
BethOr@Home Zoom:

Bette Spector in honor of Nancy Kirsner for 
her wonderful workshops

General Mitzvah Fund

Andrea Loring in honor of Bette and Rose Spector for
managing the best book club in the world

Barbara Merwitzer, in memory of Heath Wayne Rosenberg

Andrea Loring and Marvin Dunn for 10 holiday
cards made by Rhoni Tannenbaum

Daffodil Project
Mollie Grad
Eva Bernstein
Phyllis Winnick
Amy Lomaskin
Andrea Loring
Marty Gammon
Nancy Kirsner
Rose Spector
Annette Katz
Ossie Hanauer
Diane Barkow

Rabbi's Discretionary Fund:

Contributions to this fund assists the Rabbi in
sponsoring various projects

Yahrzeit Fund:

Ellen Siegel, in memory of Penina Turner, Ellen’s
mother, and Mattie Gershenfeld, Ellen’s friend

Annette & Stephen Katz in loving
memory of Irving Katz, Stephen’s father

Galley of Light Fund:
Donations to this fund further advances
projects and programs for the Gallery

Be Mitzvah Fund:

Contribution to this fund helps fund important projects and programs for the Be Mitzvah students

Memorial Plaques:

Permanently remember family members and
events by purchasing a memorial plaque
Be sure to visit Beth Or's website at
and view our calendar of upcoming events
305.235.1419 email: