June 20, 2024

This Shabbat message comes to you after an exciting Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals between our Florida Panthers and the Edmonton Oilers. While it wasn’t a win for us on Tuesday night, our Cats are leading the series 3-2, and I am hoping for a win tomorrow night. Go Cats!

June 13, 2024

This week, we celebrate one of the holiest Jewish holidays of the year, Shavuot (sometimes known as the Feast of Weeks). It is always interesting to me that so few in our Jewish community are aware of Shavuot, which is, our tradition tells us, when the Torah was given to the Jewish people. We count 50 days from the second night of Passover in anticipation of Shavuot (the Counting of the Omer). On a lighter note, Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs was spectacular, with the Florida Panthers defeating the Edmonton Oilers last night; the Panthers are currently leading the best of 7 series 2-0 — GO CATS!

June 6, 2024

I am pretty excited about our Florida Panthers going back to the Stanley Cup finals for the second year in a row with home ice advantage and the favorites to beat the Edmonton Oilers to win their first ever Stanley Cup Championship. Lori and I do have a pretty good track record of bringing championships to the cities we move to while we are living there—New Jersey, Detroit, Tampa, and Phoenix (who came pretty close in 2 professional sports).

May 30, 2024

It is hard to believe that this is already the last Shabbat message in May and that Lori and I are completing our third May living in South Palm Beach County. I truly feel like I have once again become a Floridian, and while I have to admit I never expected it, I have become a passionate Florida Panthers fan…and what an amazing time to be a fan! I am personally elated by Tuesday night’s overtime victory and can’t wait to continue cheering them on in game 5. GO CATS!

May 23, 2024

Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends), This week we will be commemorating Memorial Day, honoring and mourning the U.S. military personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It is a holiday with deep personal significance and meaning for me. My Uncle and my namesake, Private Martin Haberer, fought in World War II and was killed during the Battle of Bastogne on January 14,1 945, just shy of his 20th birthday. He was a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division, 327 Glider Infantry known as the Screaming Eagles. He is my hero.

May 16, 2024

This week I had the honor of welcoming guests to the Levis JCC Betty & Marvin Zale Early Childhood Center’s Pre-K graduation ceremony. It is such a wonderful feeling to see our collective future proudly cross our stage in cap and gown as they experience the joy and achievement of graduating from something for the very first time. It was a beautiful morning celebrating the children and acknowledging proud parents, grandparents, and recognizing our dedicated Zale teachers and staff who infuse each day at Zale with love, warmth, and caring. We will miss our graduates but know they are on their way to great things ahead in kindergarten and beyond!

May 9, 2024

On Tuesday evening, I was privileged to participate in my third Annual Meeting for our Adolph & Rose Levis JCC in Zinman Hall on the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County Campus. It was a packed room, beautifully decorated, and most importantly there was so much warmth, happiness and an overwhelming feeling of pride for our Levis JCC.

May 2, 2024

I hope you all had a wonderful Passover filled with family and friends, as Lori and I did. This year, there was so much to contemplate and celebrate, and while it was wonderful to enjoy this beautiful holiday, my heart and mind constantly returned to our beloved Israel. I am fortunate to be able to spend a good amount of my Passover days in my garden, and this year was no different. It is a good place to reflect on everything happening in the world. With news reports of distressing events coming in daily, I am reminded that here in our area, we continue to build a strong community and find ways to come together.

April 25, 2024

Let me begin by wishing each of you and your families a happy Passover. Also known as the Festival of Freedom, Passover is all about being together for Seder and retelling the story of how our ancestors, freed from slavery in Egypt, made the Exodus to Israel. Lori and I were delighted to join Levis JCC Immediate Past Chair Emily Grabelsky and her wonderful family for a beautiful Seder, while across the country in Arizona, our son Noah, Patricia and their girls enjoyed the first Seder at their local Chabad. They had a wonderful time, met new friends and are now enthusiastic about participating in more events and activities in their community. At the Seder, Noah recognized a second cousin who he had no idea had moved within 4 minutes of his home. He and his family, and Noah and his family celebrated a wonderful holiday all together. Even amid our joyful celebrations, at Seder tables around the world, our hearts ached for the 133 hostages that remain captive in Gaza. The place for the prophet Elijah felt especially lonely and poignant to me this year. We continue to pray for their safe return, and for peace in Israel and everywhere.

April 18, 2024

I cannot write this week’s Shabbat message without expressing the deep emotion I felt as I became aware of and anticipated the strike of 300 missiles from Iran into Israel. Thankfully and seemingly miraculously, almost all of them were shot down, although seven did land in Israel, and a young Bedouin child was harmed. I am keeping her and her family in my thoughts. Even more miraculous was the coordinated defense lead by the United States, Israel, the United Kingdom, France, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. We all wonder what comes next and pray for the safety of our beloved Israel.

April 10, 2024

Lori and I arrived back in town from Phoenix on Tuesday morning, and we both hit the ground running. My whirlwind day back at our Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center included several meetings, while our Center buzzed with the usual full day of wonderful programs, including a full house for the final presentation in our “A Literary Afternoon” featuring author Aaron Hamburger presenting his novel Hotel Cuba. That evening I attended our Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County’s Annual Meeting, which celebrated a healthy and growing annual campaign as well as an additional $4.1 million raised for the Israel Emergency fund. Kol Hakavod!

April 4, 2024

Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends), I'm writing to you while on vacation in Phoenix visiting with my son and his family. We are having so much fun spending time together enjoying favorite restaurants, working on our son’s house and even catching a Yankees vs Diamondbacks baseball game. It has been a wonderful time with family.

March 28, 2024

Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends), This week Lori and I will be traveling to Phoenix to visit with our son Noah, his fiancée Patricia and our granddaughters Gabby and Ollie. We have an unspoken rule in our family to try really hard not to go more than 90 days without getting together somewhere in person. Phoenix is where Lori and I made our home for 7 years prior to moving to Boca Raton, and it is always great to return to the desert, which we love especially this time of year, and to see good friends in addition to our wonderful family.

March 21, 2024

Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends), This Friday Lori and I will be heading to St. Petersburg to visit my brother to celebrate his 58th birthday. I’m too young to have a 58 year old older brother! It has ben quite a while since we have been back on the West Coast of Florida, where we lived (in Sarasota) from 2002-2013. It is wonderful to be able to easily return, especially to spend time with family and some of our dear friends.

March 14, 2024

Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends), I just returned from Cuba as part of a group of 30 participants from the Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center’s “Travel With The J” program. This was the third and final trip of the season (the second of two cultural missions to Cuba) which began in the fall with a spectacular trip to Argentina led by our Levis JCC and an Argentinian cantor.

March 7, 2024

Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends), I am writing this to you as I leave for Cuba in the morning with my wife Lori and another 28 fellow Adolph & Rose Levis JCC travelers, including our Board Chair, Steve Clarfield and his wife Dana. I feel fortunate that we can all bring important items such as band aids, Bacitracin, toothbrushes, toothpaste, guitar strings and bubblegum to make life more pleasant for the 800 or so Jews still residing in Cuba. I look forward to telling you all about the trip in next week’s missive.

February 29, 2024

Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends), As I write this message, my wife Lori and I are one week away from heading to Cuba on a Levis JCC cultural mission. We are both excited for this trip, which is something we have been hoping to be able to do for a long time as part of our Jewish journey. Cuba still has approximately 800 Jewish people and each of us traveling will be bringing a variety of items such as toiletries and first-aid supplies to clothing and coloring books and small toys for children to donate to the Jewish community there. I look forward to telling you more about this adventure next week.

February 22, 2024

Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends), This past week, I have been very privileged to view some amazing films presented by our Levis JCC’s Judy Levis Krug Boca Raton Jewish Film Festival. Each was so different from the other, each a compelling story that brought to life some aspect of Jewish life, or a Jewish story and experience. Watching these films has helped me finally articulate the best word I can think of for what being Jewish means to me. For me, Judaism is a lens. All humans experience a multitude of life experiences—ups and downs, triumphs and disasters. Living life through a Jewish lens colors everything for me and creates purpose and meaning. This is what makes being Jewish so precious to me is. I hope I will see you all at some of the films that will be screened during the remaining week of our Festival and certainly for our spectacular closing event on March 4 featuring the film I Was Not Born a Mistake with Guest Speaker Yiscah Smith. Click here to learn more and to purchase tickets.

February 15, 2024

Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends), For all of you football fans, oh boy, Sunday night’s game really was one of the best Super Bowl games I have ever seen. Lori and I were fortunate to enjoy the evening with my friend Rebeca Suenderman and her husband, Phil. I have known Rebeca for almost 55 years – since elementary school! Rebeca’s family fled Germany for Uruguay during the time of the Nazis. They then came to the US when Rebeca was a young girl. She enrolled in Yeshiva speaking only Spanish, and had to catch up to all of her friends. She did just fine! It was so nice to see her and Phil again.

February 8, 2024

Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends), I'm writing this Shabbat message to you from my second JCCA "Mifgash," which means "Encounter." It is the annual gathering of JCC CEOs and senior JCC professional leadership from across the country, which was held in Denver, Colorado.