Another amazing weekend in South Florida.
Friday night services at Temple Beth Tov were sweet. Rabbi Manuel Armon invited me to speak from the bimah (pulpit). The congregation was predominately senior citizens. I shared my "Jewish story" and why I moved back to Miami.
The rabbi is from Buenos Aires, Argentina. One of my favorite large cities. My sister-in-law Eddy was also born there. Many people I'm meeting in South Florida know of Rabbi David, as he writes the monthly column for AIPAC's newsletter. Their cantor told me how glad he was that I'm here. "You have a huge job. There's so much misinformation out there." Tell me about it! I've already been called too many nasty names ... and it's only June!
Saturday night, I attended a Miami/Dade County Democratic Party event in south Dade County. In Palmetto Bay, a ritzy suburb, which is home to the "Butcher of Brentwood," O.J. Simpson. And Shawn Taylor, the former Washington Redskins safety, who was murdered in December.
Saturday's event was a meet and greet, primarily for the unveiling of a magnificent new painting: "The Fabric of America" (/obama.lasso). This image will soon be seen all over America. I bought the poster, T-shirt, mug and bumper sticker.
David Schor's words give me goose bumps every time I read them on his Web site. His piece represents the America my ancestors immigrated into, the America I was born into and the America I want to be living in. David's a fabulous artist and his wife/muse Olga is delightful. I wore his T-shirt Monday, receiving many compliments, especially from my new friends, the Haitian-American Club at Florida International University.
Sunday afternoon I attended a "Women Coming Together In Unity" event in Ft. Lauderdale, Broward County. "South Florida Women for Obama" was the coming together of the Hillary, Edwards, Richardson and Kucinich women &
now united for Sen. Obama. More than 100. I was wearing my Phillies hat again and met many other women from Philly. None of us have lost our easily recognized accent. They all loved my story and welcomed me warmly.
On the way home I went to a pharmacy to have some prescriptions filled. As my wallet was missing, I had no photo ID. They wouldn't fill my prescriptions and refused to speak to my Ashland doctor, who answered his phone on a Sunday afternoon! Can you say, "major drug problems in South Florida."
I was a bit frustrated, so I spoke to the Sergeant (SWAT Team) Hialeah Police Officer based in front of the store in an unmarked car. He noticed my Miami Dolphins watch. Small world that it is, we both know all the 1972 Dolphins! He's a former Marine (you can't ever say ex-Marine!) and was a free safety in the '84 Dolphins training camp for a few weeks. He told me me that he's voting for John McCain and he wants to be my bodyguard when I go into Miami's less-safe neighborhoods. O.B. will breath much easier. So now I'm Whitney Houston and he's my Kevin Costner. We laughed heartily. And the beat goes on.
Monday afternoon update: About — p.m. I received a phone call from the information desk at FIU. They had my wallet. I drove there almost floating on air, feeling like the luckiest person in the universe. I'm happy to report that my wallet was returned to me with everything in it. What a huge relief! Chris, the president of FIU Democrats, was so glad to see me. We were together on Thursday afternoon when it went missing. He was extremely helpful, by both looking for it and going to the "lost and found" for me. I spoke to campus police, and no one seemed to know the exact circumstances or details of its reappearance. Not really important anymore.
Thank you, God. I'm beyond grateful. Now you can go back to taking care of the rest of the universe. It's truly a wonderful world. Crazy drivers excepted!
Nilda, my land lady, just told me that my new friends, the Duke and Duchess of Badam-Mazar (in northwest Afghanistan) Brian and Josie White are coming over for dinner tonight. Their titles were given to them years ago by the former king of Afghanistan.
FYI: Brian met Osama bin Laden in 1980 when he was delivering medical supplies to a hospital in Pakistan. Osama was giving the wounded soldiers cashews and chocolates. He went by Abul Abdula in those days. Nilda is a fabulous cook. Fresh salmon with all the trimmings. I am not making this up. Much more to share about the Duke and Duchess. Stay tuned.
is a volunteer for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, focusing on outreach to the South Florida Jewish community &
over 4,000 square miles, minus the swamps and alligators &
population over 5 million. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A weekend to remember
Another amazing weekend in South Florida.