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Congregation B'nai Zion

750 United Street

Key West, FL 33040


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B'nai Zion

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Shimon Dudai

E-Mail to Rabbi Dudai


Dr. John Kreinces

E-Mail to John Kreinces


Dr. Fred Covan

E-Mail to Fred Covan



Saturday Morning Services @ 9:30 AM ... Sharp


Rabbi’s Class is on Wednesday nights in the Bernstein Library @ 7:00


Jewish Calendar Jewish News and Links
Cemetery Matters Remembering CBZ in your Will

2019 membership dues now accepted ONLINE! Click here to pay with credit card

cem gates

With deep sadness we announce the passing
of our longtime member and dear friend, Dr. David Hawtof.

David passed away peacefully on Tuesday 2/5/19, at his home on United Street and will be laid to rest in his family plot in Waco, Texas.

The family has requested a memorial service be held in our sanctuary.

Family and friends will assemble on Sunday, February 10th at 2:00 pm, at Congregation B'nai Zion Synagogue.

We will bid farewell to David, and present our condolences to his wife, Gwen and children.

Congregants and friends are invited to join the family for the
Seudat Havra-ah meal following service in our social hall.


With deep sadness we announce the passing of our long time member and dear friend, Deborah Mermelstein.

Condolence cards maybe sent to the address above.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to
The southern poverty law center, and The american civil liberties union, whose work Deborah supported.

May Hashem comfort all the bereaved.


1/17/17 Author Book Signing and talk @ 5:30.

1/19/19 Tu B'Shevat and new member Kiddush.

1/21/19 Movie on the 3rd Monday "Act of Defiance".

Rabbi's Wednesday evening classes @ 7pm in the Bernstein Library.

feed your mind-soul

2/8/19 @ 6pm "Feed Your Mind, Feed your Soul" -- Guest speaker -- Judy Seldin-Cohen

The journey from the 1996 AFC Championship game to a book contract with a rabbinic publisher is not a traditional career path.
Judy Seldin-Cohen speaks about her life both as an NFL team vice president and as a newly published author.

The Jacksonville Jaguars became the 30th team in the National Football League, playing their inaugural season in 1995
and competing in the AFC Championship the following year.
As the team’s first vice president of ticketing, Judy shares stories about working with Coach Tom Coughlin,
meeting All-Star wide receiver Keenan McCardell, and organizing the fastest season ticket sellout in NFL history.

Seldin-Cohen is also the co-author of the recently published book, "Recharging Judaism:
How Civic Engagement Is Good for Synagogues, Jews and America".
She co-authored the book with Rabbi Judith Schindler after collaborating with her then-synagogue rabbi
on a series of social justice initiatives in Charlotte, NC.

She will share insights from their writing process and from their interviews with fifty other lay leaders and clergy across the country.

Copies of the book will be available for sale before the presentation begins as a fundraiser for the synagogue,
and Judy will inscribe your copy of the book before the event.

You may order online in advance using the discount code CBZKW at

The book is also available full price on Amazon Prime and Kindle.

There is no charge for this evening's presentation at 6:00 pm, the Italian-style shabbat dinner to follow is $35 per person, including wine.

Event will be held at Congregation B'nai Zion, 750 United Street, Key West.


4/19/19 Passover Community Seder - 6pm .


We join all our brothers and sisters and all people of good will who like us
are in utter disbelief of the brutality of the murderous attack on innocent Jews
during prayers on the holy day of the Sabbath.
Our love, thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families, the wounded
and all the traumatized congregation of the Etz Hayim (Tree of Life) community.
We honor and we are most grateful for the swift and courageous action by law enforcement authorities
that stopped the massacre and captured the murderer.
We are dismayed and heart broken, but our spirits are stronger than ever.
We will defeat the haters.
Am Yisrael chai.


Here are a few pictures from the Interfaith gathering at CBZ on Nov 4, 2018.

Organized by Rev. Randy Becker, hundreds of Key Westers from all walks of faith and life stood united

against antisemitism and hate and to mourn the tragic deaths at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.


randy Becker




randy becker/crowd



The season has begun.

We had a well attended Hanukkah party, with lighting of the menorah in the courtyard.

The first movie of the M3M series was a hit.

We recently enjoyed Cory Kahaney, a wonderful comedienne sponsored by John & Fran Kreinces.

Rabbi’s classes have resumed, including the popular new series “Lunch & Learn With The Rabbi”.

Also, our religious school, under the guidance of ELISA LEVY, is in full swing.

We have joined the modern era by finally enabling credit cards to be used to pay for everything from
membership, to donations, to payment for our dinner events.
I especially want to thank ABBEY WEISS for all the work she has done in this area,
including creating a Facebook page.
If you use Facebook, make sure you connect to CBZ so that you can receive notifications.

The General Membership meeting will be held January 7, 2019.
LIZ YOUNG is not going to run for re-election.
Finalization will occur of the Board’s selection of NANCY FUNT to fill a previously vacated seat.
Also, since they ran unopposed, MAE MCMAHAN, SID WHARTON & DR. MICHAEL KLITENICK will serve together
with those Board members whose terms are continuing.

Diane and I went to Charlotte, North Carolina, for Thanksgiving. We had dinner at the home of the sister of the
girlfriend of my son, Zachary. While there, Diane and I went to Friday night service at Temple Emmanuel,
the 2nd oldest synagogue in North Carolina, located in a town called Statesville.
I’m always interested to see how other synagogues operate; partly professional curiosity
and I also find it spiritually moving. The service was run by a lay member and was beautifully done.
They only had five members present plus four people from the community who were attending out of curiosity.
It was a very warm feeling. There was, however, a police car parked outside.
That part was a reminder, I believe, that we must all be aware that hatred is rampant in our country
and we must be vigilant.
Shalom, Fred


This is an opportunity to enjoy an informal lunch in various restaurants in Key West.
At lunch, any and all subjects are discussed in a free-form fashion
dictated only by the interests of those in attendance.
Everyone chimes in on current events, their own experiences.
Our well-informed Rabbi is always in attendance to answer questions posed by the attendees.
It starts again on Wednesday, January 9, and continues every other Wednesday after that.
The dates and restaurants will be publicized in time for you to join in this chance to interface
with your fellow Jews around an informal luncheon table.

feed your mind-soul

Additional Speakers TBA


Welcome to New Members :

Amanda and Scott Jacobsen

Flora and Howard Schwartz

Drs. Helene and Martin Greenberg


Mazel Tov to
Amanda and Scott Jacobsen on the birth of their son Maverick


CBZ extends its gratitude to all those who made and will make High Holiday Pledges and Contributions;

for daily B'nai Zion expenses, for Tree of Life Leaves and Yahrzeit Memorial Plaques,

to the Rabbi's Fund, the Cemetery Fund and for Saturday Kiddush Donations.

Please send in your checks ASAP.


Our synagogue's survival depends on your generous contributions,

as does the STATE of ISRAEL. Please give!




MONDAY, JANUARY 21, 2019 An Act of Defiance
Sponsored by Mark & Nancy Funt

In this riveting historical drama, 10 political activists (including Nelson Mandela and his inner circle of black and Jewish supporters)
face a possible death sentence for conspiracy to commit sabotage after they are arrested by the apartheid South African government.


MONDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2019 Bombshell:The Hedy Lamarr Story
Sponsored by Sheldon Davidson & Susan Server and Justin & Eileen Kawaler

Hedy Lamarr was not only a glamour icon of the 1930s and 40s, but also was a technological trailblazer
who perfected a secure radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes during WWII.
This film weaves interviews and clips with never-before-heard audio tapes of Hedy about her incredible


MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2019 (2nd Monday due to Purim) One Of Us
Sponsored by Judith & Stanley Zabar

The film follows the lives of three ex-members of Brooklyn’s
Hasidic community and their struggles with being ostracized from their former community and families,
while revealing how they came to leave and their paths to find footing in the secular word.


MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2019 (2nd Monday due to Passover) RBG
Sponsored by Judie & Michael Klitenick and Mae McMahan

RBG is a revelatory documentary exploring the exceptional life and career of
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


For more M3M info, please contact Maxine Makover at (404) 274-3217

All of the screenings are on Mondays, start at 7:30 PM and are free and open to the public.

Donations Accepted.

hebrew school news

The CBZ Hebrew School students had a fun-filled December!
We made homemade latkes with Dr. Michael Klitenick,
learned about the story of the Maccabees & the miracle of Hanukkah, and
made Hanukkah cards & gifts to share with loved ones.
The highlight of the holiday was our very first “Mitzvah-thon”.
Each of our students did one mitzvah per day for 30 days and found sponsors
to raise money for two local charities (that they picked them- selves!)
It was a great way of practicing what we hold as a foundation of Judaism.
Our little ones are learning basic words: ima (mother), abba (father), kelev (dog) & chatool (cat).
Thanks to everyone at CBZ for their support.
A special “thank you” to Justin & Eileen Kawaler for their generous donations and to Barbara Webb for volunt

We are currently looking for a volunteer to do PR & community awareness for the school to
attract more families. If interested, please call Elisa Levy at (305) 923-3348.


THE JEWS OF KEY WEST: Smugglers, Cigar Makers, and Revolutionaries (1823-1969).

We Shared … Jewish History Book Event at CBZ!
On December 10, CBZ hosted a presentation & book-signing by Arlo Haskell for his new book
THE JEWS OF KEY WEST: Smugglers, Cigar Makers, and Revolutionaries (1823-1969).

This book resulted from years of effort and collaboration between Arlo and B’nai Zion’s own Susie Savitch.

The book explores a segment of Key West and Jewish history that had not been previously
expanded on in the literary world.

Thanks in part to a front-page article in The Citizen advertising the event, about 200 people attended
and a good portion of the book’s first printing was sold that day.

Many thanks to Arlo and Susie, as well as all those who helped to make this a very special event,
including: Rabbi Dudai & Rebetzen Nadia, Liz Young and Eileen Kawaler.

There are a few copies of the book available in the CBZ Gift Shop and at local Key West bookstores.

For more information about Arlo, the book and how to purchase it on-line, go to

This is a terrific historical, educational read about our Jewish Key West history.


We are happy to announce that Congregation B’nai Zion is now a participant in the Amazon Smile program.

What is Amazon Smile? Amazon Smile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy

the same wide selection of products, low prices and convenient shopping features as found on

The difference is that when customers shop at Amazon Smile (, the Amazon Smile Foundation

donates 0.50% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organization selected by the customer.

There is no cost to the organization or the customer.

If you have any questions contact 888-282-0536 or

If you are one of our many CBZers who shops on Amazon, please help us out by going to Amazon Smile.

Thank you for your anticipated participation!


Dr John Kreinces Shabbat Services CD and High Holiday CD are available in the Gift Shop.
These are absolutely wonderful CD's of CBZ Cantor John singing all the songs and all the voices are his!
Every CBZ member should have both of these CD's at home.
Do a mitzva and give them as Gifts to your family and friends this holiday season.

These CD's will help you sing along with John at the High Holiday and Shabbat Morning Services. .
All proceeds from CD sales go to CBZ operating fund ... Thanks John and Fran


CBZ’s ISRAEL - SPAIN - MOROCCO trip has returned and we await to hear the stories.


In Memorium

Long time CBZ Member Clara Liszt passed away peacefully September 21.

Services were held on Friday, September 28, 2018 in the CBZ Sanctuary.

Heartfelt condolences to Iris and Ron Liszt at this time of grief.

The family requests, in lieu of flowers please send a donation
in Clara's memory to Congregation B'nai Zion
or a charity of your choice.


CBZ THANKS Marian & Alan Gorman, Deborah & Sidney Goldman, and
Tom Lavender & Deborah Rothstein for recently donating books of Jewish
history, culture and tradition to the B’nai Zion library. THANK YOU
also to Elyse & Howard Spialter for donating a new Haftorah book in
honor of the 50th anniversary of Howard’s Bar Mitzvah.



Special Thanks to all those who have sponsored a Saturday Kiddush,
and kudos to Nadia and her Volunteer Staff
for making our Saturday Kiddush the best brunch on the Island.

****** If you partake in our wonderful Saturday kiddush ******
then please be generous and sponsor one or two of your own.

For sponsoring a Kiddush call Nadia @ 786-877-0118 •


A job well done to Susie Savitch, Sheldon Davidson and Bernie Kaplan
creating the Key West Jewish History panels L'DOR V'DOR (from generation to generation)
that are now on display in the Social Hall.


Don't Forget CBZ has Key Wests' only Judaica Gift Shop

Call Mae @ 305-294-3437


Trope Class

Dr. John Kreinces wil start a Trope class if anyone is interested ... e-mail Dr. John


If you know of an unaffiliated Jewish individual or of a Jewish family living in the Keys,
please contact LARRY ABRAMOVITZ,
Chair of the Membership Committee,
at 856.889.4360 or


Read the Most Recent CBZ Newsletter Here


2019 January - February Newsletter


2018 November - December Newsletter

2018 September - October Newsletter

2018 July - August Newsletter

2018 May - June Newsletter

2018 March-April Newsletter

2018 Jan - Feb Newsletter


2017 Nov - Dec Newsletter

2017 Sept-Oct Newsletter

2017 July - August Newsletter

2017 May - June Newsletter

2017-March - April Newsletter

2017 Jan - Feb Newsletter


2016 Nov - Dec Newsletter

2016 Sept-Oct Newsletter

2016 July-August Newsletter

2016 May - June Newsletter

2016 March - April Newsletter

2016 January - February Newsletter



2015 November - December Newsletter

2015 Sept - Oct Newsletter

2015 July - August Newsletter

2015 May - June Newsletter

2015 March - April Newsletter

2015 January-February Newsletter

2014 November - December Newsletter

2014 September - October Newsletter

2014 July - August Newsletter

2014 May - June Newsletter

2014 March-April Newsletter

2014 January-February Newsletter

2013 November-December Newsletter

2013 September - October Newsletter

2013 July - August Newsletter

2013 May - June Newsletter

2013 March - April Newsletter

2013 January - February Newsletter

2012 Nov-Dec Newsletter

2012 Sept-Oct Newsletter

2012 July - August Newsletter

2012 May - June Newsletter

2012 March - April Newsletter

2012 January-Febuary Newsletter

2011 November-December Newsletter

2011 September-October Newsletter

2011 July - August Newsletter

2011 May - June Newsletter

2011 March - April Newsletter

2011 Jan - Feb Newsletter

2010 Nov-Dec Newsletter

2010 Sept-Oct Newsletter

2010 July-August Newsletter

2010 May-June Newsletter

2010 March - April Newsletter

2010 Jan - Feb Newsletter

Nov-Dec 2009 Newsletter

Sept-Oct 2009 Newsletter

July-August 2009 Newsletter


A HUGE THANK YOU to Elyse Spialter for the great job with our Newsletter! Thank You! Thank You!

If you write monthly articles for the newsletter, Please send them ASAP to Elyse.
If any member has information they want to put into the newsletter, please contact Elyse at

You could also send the articles to so they would get on the web site.


Assembling the newsletter and sending it out is very time consuming and
very costly in the printing and in the mailing.

The Newsletter is always available online on CBZ's web site and is being sent out via email.

CBZ will continue to send out the Newsletter to those without computers and to those without access to email.

Copies can be picked up at CBZ

We are trying to help CBZ save $$$$ and go Green,

Please let Karen know at and she will adjust the mailing list.


Saturday Services start at 9:30 am. A Shabbat Kiddush brunch follows. Please join us and bring a friend.


The Jewish TV Channel -TJC Listings


National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia


Happy Birthday to The State of Israel - #62

Israel:Defying all odds - You Tube


Perception of Jews by Renown Gentiles


Read ... Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel


Read ... The Last Man Alive who witnessed Israel's Declaration of independence


Jerusalem Day


* If you wish to put a name on the Mishaberach list contact Sid Wharton *

Israel Flag

HaTikva - Words and Melody

Pray for Israel in this time of need. Donate!

Jewish Calendar Conversion

Exodus 25:8: "And let them make me a sanctuary and I will dwell among them."

Chanukah or Christmass

"Laugh of the Week-1"

"Laugh of the Week-2"

"Laugh of the Week-3"

"Laugh of the Week-4"

"Laugh of the Week-5"

"Laugh of the Week-6"

"Laugh of the week-7"

”Laugh of the Week-8“

”Laugh of the Week-9“

“Laugh of the Week-10”

“Laugh of the Week-11”

”Laugh of the Week-12“

Thank You for Visiting Congregation B'nai Zion KW's Web Site

If you are visiting Key West and need any answers...

If you have questions or have something you want put on or corrected on the web site ...

Email to CBZ Webdesigner


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