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    Stephen Birmingham’s wonderful book on the history of the great Jewish families of New York was titled “Our Crowd,” and the Yiddish word mishpocheh means family, hence this section intertwines and relates “our crowd” to family, for in no small sense almost all of us, a few farshtinkeners notwithstanding, are, sometimes going back generations, somehow mishpocheh.

    The various occupations that Miami’s Jewish residents have enriched by their participation is a list that is endless.  For example,  Jewish influence on design and architecture in greater Miami and the rest of the country has been immense, and such names as Henry Hohauser, Norman Giller, Barry Sugerman, Ira Giller, and Morris Lapidus are nationally if not world renowned.

      From sports (LSU’s athletic director Skip Bertman, a Miami Beach High graduate, and local circuit court judge Ed Newman, a former Miami Dolphins all-pro come quickly to mind) to the law (the list of prominent attorneys and judges, including Miami’s first Jewish judge, Louie Bandel, who attained the bench in 1941, and current  federal district judge Alan S. Gold is nearly endless) to medicine (Jack Turken, father and son Harold and Stephen Unger, Robert Rosenblum, Marshall Brothers, Alam Berke and William Berke, Joan Osheroff Harris,  the nationally recognized Jamie Barkin, the Wittels brothers, Jesse Halpern, Abe Nemser, Theodore Arvan, Barry Katzen and Julian Rickles among many, many others, are or were prominent area dentists, physicians and surgeons) to veterinary (Harold Siegel and David Greenfield being two leading examples) to contracting, education, hotel and restaurant equipment supply and management, police agency work (the long list must include Irving “Red” Heller, who retired as the Deputy Director of Miami-Dade Police, Miami Beach chief of police Rocky Pomerantz,  at least one chief of Miami Police, the Chief of Police of Biscayne Park, Mitchell Glansberg,  Captain N. James Siegendorf, Inspector Bobby Bishop and Lieutenant Ian Robinson of the Miami Beach Police as well as the “girl with the golden gun,” the late Gwen Tischler, a renowned DEA agent) and so many more areas of business, education, the arts and sciences and the professions.

    The reader is reminded that this book is the history of greater Miami’s Jewish community, and not just the history of the philanthropists, hotel and business owners, doctors, lawyers, CPA’s and other professionals.  Rather, it is the history of all of the Jewish people of greater Miami, all of whom have worked so hard to make a living, build lives, establish residences, open businesses, work in those businesses and in some way contribute to the rich and grand mosaic that is our Jewish community.

    Readers will certainly recognize some of the names and faces in this chapter, but, perhaps more importantly, they will not recognize many others.

     As so many Jewish people who have been working people all of their lives well know, not every member of the tribe, not every landsman, is wealthy or well off and it is, at least to this author, extremely important that some of them be recognized, along with those who have made institutions such as Federation, the Miami Jewish Home and Hospital, the Jewish Museum and Mount Sinai Hospital possible.

     The reader is asked to note that there is no order in which the pictures appear.  Those who may have made the largest financial contributions are interspersed with those who may have only been able to make minimal monetary contributions or none at all, but that does not diminish the value or importance of any one individual and in this book  all are treated equally, regardless of name, gender or title.

     They—the working people who do not have the means to make large or major contributions--may not see their names or pictures in the Sunday social events photos in the Herald, but, hopefully, some of them will see their names and pictures in the following pages and it is to they, who have gone unrecognized for so long, that I extend a special--and especially hearty-- l’chaim!

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