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FLORIDA FRESH: MIAMI BEACH RETROSPECTIVE

January 5 - February 16

This special highlight of our season takes you on a trip down memory lane through the rich history of Miami Beach.

Individual Lectures: $18, Gold Members: $12, Platinum Members: Free (unless otherwise noted)

Generously underwritten by Gerald Golden (of blessed memory)

Side-by-Side in Old South Beach Exhibit with Gary Monroe

Free and open to the public.
Opening Reception: Sunday, January 5, 2:00 - 4:00 pm

Film: “The Last Resort”

January 6, 1:00 pm
A screening of the critically acclaimed documentary, followed by discussion with photographer Gary Monroe and special guests.
Suggested Donation: $10, Gold Members: $8, Platinum Members: Free

Vintage Miami Beach Glamour with Deborah C. Pollack

Friday, January 10, 1:00 pm
A rare chance to hear the untold stories of the elite crowd of socialites who inhabited the exclusive colony of Miami Beach from 1930 through 1960. Go inside the private clubs of America’s “winter playground” for a bird’s eye view of the scandals of the rich and famous during the “heyday of chic.”

Memorable Miami Beach “Characters” with Joann Biondi

Tuesday, January 14, 2:30 pm
For a tiny split of sand barely 15 miles long and a mile wide, Miami Beach was a collage of memorable characters through the decades: Clark Gable romancing the local girls; Johnny Weissmuller flaunting his freestyle skills at local pools; Desi Arnaz strumming his first guitar; The Rat Pack’s all-night carousing; The Beatles, Judy Garland and Jackie Gleason taking the city by storm; and Muhammed Ali snagging the heavyweight championship of the world. Joann Biondi, author of “Miami Beach Memories” shares her nostalgic portraits and poignant anecdotes of days gone by.

And Away We Go: Jackie Gleason’s Impact on Miami Beach with Rabbi Paul Offenkrantz

Thursday, January 23, 7:30 pm
In 1964, Jackie Gleason moved his hit TV variety show from New York to the Miami Beach Auditorium. He named Miami Beach “the sun and fun capital” of the world. Gleason gave Miami Beach six years of high-visibility showbiz glamour. This presentation will be an overview of Gleason’s career from his early rise to fame, to “The Honeymooners”, and his final chapter on Miami Beach.

Tropical Diaspora: How the Jews of Cuba Changed Miami moderated by Debbie Reed Fischer

Monday, January 27, 2:30 pm
Some of the fascinating topics to be discussed will include the difference between the lifestyles of the Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews in Cuba, how the “Jewbans” were influential in building downtown Miami, how they settled Miami Beach, and the synagogues they founded. Debbie Reed Fischer assisted with research and writing for the book Tropical Diaspora: The Jewish Experience in Cuba, which was the first study ever conducted on the Cuban-Jewish community.

The Last Jewish Gangster with Myron Sugerman

Wednesday, January 29, 7:30 pm
The history of the Mob and the history of Jews in America are intertwined. Myron Sugerman’s memoir, “The Chronicles of the Last Jewish Gangster: From Meyer to Myron,” is an enthralling account of the author’s six-decade career as an international outlaw in the field of slot machines, jukeboxes, gambling machines and casinos, as part of the Jewish Mob. He rubbed shoulders with such legendary figures as Meyer Lansky, Lucky Luciano, and Tony Bananas Caponigro.

The History of Discrimination in South Florida with Seth Bramson

Monday, February 3, 7:30 pm
You may have heard some of the myths and stories dealing with the history of discrimination in South Florida, including signs that said “No Jews/No Dogs” in front of the famous hotels. But what are the facts? Professor Seth Bramson, America’s single-most published Florida history book author, will tell the real and true story about Jim Crow, segregation and restricted clientele.

The Vice of Miami during the 80’s with Pedro Medina León

Wednesday, February 5, 7:30 pm
It was the first half of the 1980’s and Miami was the city with the highest murder rate in the United States and the center of operations of the drug cartels. It was no longer the tourist destination it once was. Then in 1984, “Miami Vice” debuted on television. León will discuss how this iconic show redefined the style of the city and saved it from further downfall.

Miami Beach Comedy: A Cavalcade of Stars with Ira Epstein

Friday, February 7, 1:00 pm
The state of Florida and particularly the city of Miami Beach, have long served as source material for many of the great comedians. Join us as we sample some classic routines by comedy stars Myron Cohen, Jack Carter, Alan Sherman, Jerry Seinfeld and others who find humor in the sunshine state. Early bird special, anyone?

The Art Deco Architecture of Miami Beach with Sharon Koskoff

Monday, February 10, 2:30 pm
“Art Deco” architecture was a movement which first began in Paris. During the 1930’s, almost 200 hotels and 500 apartment buildings were built on Miami Beach in the “deco” style. Uncover these architectural treasures and the influence the past makes on the future.

Film Double Feature: Where Neon Goes to Die and Irene Williams; Queen of Lincoln Road

Friday, February 14, 1:00 pm
Where Neon Goes to Die explores South Beach’s vibrant Yiddish community, created by Jewish immigrants and retirees after WWII. It looks behind the pastel glitz of Miami Beach to a distinct and unique culture that was ultimately destroyed.

In Irene Williams: Queen of Lincoln Road, like so many others, Eric Smith fled the New York City winters for quick weekend getaways to South Beach where he meets Irene Williams and her wild and colorful handmade outfits that immediately caught his eye.

Suggested Donation: $10