Jewish South Florida: A History and Guide to Neighborhoods, Synagogues, and Eateries

Irving Berlin: America’s Unlikely Composer
Jewish New York: A History and Guide to Neighborhoods, Synagogues, and Eateries

Jewish South Florida: A History and Guide to Neighborhoods, Synagogues, and Eateries


J ewish South Florida: A History and Guide to Neighborhoods, Synagogues, and Eateries is a hybrid of history and cultural travel. The book presents an overview of Jewish history in Florida from 1763 to the present. It tells the storyof Miami Beach's founding, its rampant land speculation, subsequent bust and development over the 20th century. It provides color to the first Jewish settlers in Miami Beach, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach andprofiles key Jewish Floridians to the present explaining their impact.
The travel portion tells the little known stories behind many key synagogues, delis, bakeries, community centers, and performance centers by county in South Florida, making it a valuable resource for both residents and tourists. Places covered include the Jewish Museum of Florida, Miami Beach Preservation League, Rascals, Wolfies, Holocaust Memorial, old Jewish downtown Miami, Holocaust Documentation Center in Fort Lauderdale, and weekly film screenings in Palm Beach. All in, about 100 venues primarily

of Jewish interest are explained. The book contains interviews with historians, tour guides, curators, shop owners, rabbis, and programming directors.. The book includes about 60 vintage and contemporary photos.

This book needs a headline Use the headline: “Irving Berlin: America’s Unlikely Composer”Irving Berlin was one of the most prominent and prolific composers in the US. Yet, his musical prominence was most unlikely. An immigrant from Russia, Berlin dropped out of school, never learning to read or write music. Leaving home at the age of 14, he sang on street corners, got a job as a “newsie,” and taught himself the piano learning to only play the black keys. His first smash hit “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” swept the nation and Berlin was hailed as the “King of Ragtime.” During the Jazz Age of the 1920s and 1930s, Berlin produced more hits than probably any composer including “God Bless America,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” “Blue Skies,” and “White Christmas.”

Aimed at readers at third to fifth grade levels, this chapter book chronicles the composer’s life from the rugged Lower East Side of New York to his startling and improbable success. With vintage photos and rich, engaging history, it serves well on educational curriculum for students learning about music.