Jews of Florida: Centuries of Stories will be explored by award-winning historian Marcia Jo Zerivitz at Women’s League’s next program on Monday, May 3 at 1 p.m.
The zoom presentation will highlight the State’s Jewish history through stories and 100 photographs from Zerivitz’s recently published book.
The 434-page narrative is the first comprehensive overview of the Jews of Florida from colonial times to the present. She will speak about pioneers who impacted history beginning 257 years ago as well as contemporary Floridian Jews who contribute much to the quality of life in Florida and beyond.
After serving in leadership positions at major Jewish organizations,
Zerivitz observed that the Jewish community in Florida had a major challenge—its continuity. She resolved to focus on collecting and preserving, for future generations, the stories and material evidence of the contributions of Jews to the Sunshine State and beyond.
From 1984 to 1992, Marcia Jo traveled 250,000 miles throughout Florida, conducting grassroots research and retrieving the state’s hidden, 250+ year Jewish history, resulting in a major archive and the MOSAIC: Jewish Life in Florida exhibit that traveled to 13 cities (1990–94).
In 1995, under her direction and planning, this project evolved into the AAM-accredited Jewish Museum of Florida (JMOF) on Miami Beach. As Executive Director, she developed the Collections and presented more than 70 exhibits with 500 educational programs in 16 years.
Marcia Jo initiated the legislation for both Florida Jewish History Month (FJHM) each January and Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) each May to increase awareness of the contributions of Jews to the quality of life for all.
In 2016, Florida International University awarded her a Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa for her vision and leadership throughout her life to expand knowledge and enrich collective historic memory.
Marcia Jo retired from JMOF in 2011 and continues to curate exhibits, lecture, research and write on Florida Jewish history.