Florida Humanities Speakers Directory

2021 Florida Humanities Speakers Directory

Engaging Speakers, Compelling Topics, and Thought-provoking Discussions

Welcome to the Florida Humanities’ Speakers Directory, a curated collection of the Sunshine State’s best and brightest experts, scholars, journalists, folklorists and more, poised to bring engaging presentations and conversations right to your local community.

Florida Humanities is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Partnering with nonprofit organizations across the state, Florida Humanities funds a wide variety of grants and public programming that explores Florida’s rich history and culture.

How to use this directory:

Using this directory, organizations can connect with these experts to bring a wide variety of compelling humanities programming to their community.  Speakers can engage the public is several ways:

Florida Talks

Speakers may be asked to give a program for one of our Florida Talks partners. Florida Talks offers nonprofit organizations an easy, inexpensive way to host informative and thought-provoking presentations across the state.

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Community Project Grants

Speakers may be contacted to participate as a scholar, presenter, or panelist for a Florida Humanities-funded Community Project Grant. These grants support a variety of humanities programming based on the specific needs of a community.

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Museum on Main Street

Speakers may be asked to give a program that complements the theme of one of our Museum on Main Street exhibits. These exhibits travel to small and underserved communities and explore a variety of humanities topics.

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Please Note: Speakers on this directory have agreed to a capped speaking fee of no more than $300 for a Florida Humanities-funded event. This fee does not include travel, so be sure to discuss those details as you plan your event.

2021 Speakers Directory

Photo of Marcia Jo Zerivitz

Marcia Jo Zerivitz

Scholar, Oral Historian
Contact Phone:: 305-761-5193


About the speaker

Marcia Jo Zerivitz, Founding Executive Director, Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, is a native West Virginian who has lived in Florida for more than half a century. She has been a trailblazer in the American and Floridian Jewish communities serving national, state, and local organizations and has broken the “glass ceiling” as the first woman in many positions. Her focus for the past forty years has been organizing Florida Jewish communities to collect, document, and preserve their history, researching and collating the hidden 250+ years of Florida Jewish history, and creating a state-wide history museum with collections, exhibits, publications, and educational programs. She 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 2020, her seminal book, Jews of Florida: Centuries of Stories was released.

Programs Available

Jews of Florida: Centuries of Stories

This 60-minute PowerPoint presentation is based on the author’s seminal book, the first comprehensive history of the Jews of Florida from colonial times to the present —a sweeping tapestry of voices spanning centuries. Despite not being officially allowed to live in Florida until 1763. Jewish immigrants escaping expulsions and exclusions were among the earliest settlers. They have been integral to every area of Florida’s growth, from tilling the land and developing early communities to boosting tourism and ultimately pushing mankind into space. You will meet contemporary Floridian Jews—names that are recognized globally—and pioneers who impacted history beginning 257 years ago and possibly in 16th century Florida.

Antisemitism: Why the Longest Hatred? Images of Hatred in Florida Culture

Why have antisemitism and resulting hate crimes increased during this pandemic? This 60-minute PowerPoint presentation will explain its genesis and tropes. Historically, antisemitism has been the early warning signal of a society in danger. Why? Using degenerate artworks, Marcia Jo Zerivitz will demonstrate the historical background of antisemitism – the virus that mutates with every generation, and the insidious power of imagery in communicating the agenda of hatred, including Christian roots, the modern world and contemporary racist images from Florida culture since the Civil War covering the Klan, Nazism and restrictive covenants.


Program format(s) available:

  • In-person
  • Virtual

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