Jews of Florida: Centuries of Stories
Florida hosts the nation’s third-largest Jewish community whose history is surprising! This comprehensive history of the Jews of Florida from colonial times to the present is a sweeping tapestry of voices spanning centuries. This group has been integral to every area of Florida’s growth, from tilling the land and developing early communities to boosting business, industry, education, politics, the arts, tourism, and sending humankind into space.
Marcia Jo Zerivitz, LHD, is the Founding Executive Director of the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU in South Beach. A trailblazer in Florida nonprofits for 60 years, she observed that Florida’s Jewish community had a challenge: its continuity. Traveling 250,000 miles from 1984 to 1992, she collected stories and material evidence to document more than 250 years of hidden Jewish history. Her work resulted in the MOSAIC exhibit, and eventually the Jewish Museum of Florida.