Nothing will enhance a destination of sun, sand and sea as much as a wide array of theatre, music, exhibits, films and other arts.
Along with arts, South Florida also has numerous kosher dining facilities, all along the coast, and many Jewish community centres with programming for different age groups, which makes the area such a desirable place for those who wish to meet new people.
Among the many resources for Jewish singles in South Florida, there are the Mosaic Outdoor Club of South Florida, the Single Gourmet of South Florida, the Connection Jewish Singles and singles cruises.
For theatre, Fort Lauderdale’s Broward Center for the Performing Arts has scheduled the musical Billy Elliot (Feb. 29-March 11), Cantor Dudu Fisher (March 14), the wonderful Miami City Ballet (March 23-25) and the Symphony of the Americas: Broadway Goes to the Movies (March 27).
The Broward Center and Mazel Musicals present Say Goodnight, Gracie, about the life of George Burns and Gracie Allen, March l4 to April l. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will be at the Actors’ Playhouse, March 7-April 8.
The Alper JCC Playhouse brings The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee Contest, March 10-11; Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back: A Modern Swinging Salute to Frank Sinatra, March 18, and Simply Streisand: Back to Broadway, April l4.
Back by popular demand, at B’nai Torah Congregation, Boca Raton, is the marvellous Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute Choir, conducted by the world-renowned Cantor Naftali Herstik, on Feb. 29. The group consists of 30 young, glorious voices, performing a variety of cantorial compositions.
On March 21, B’nai Torah Congregation presents Noa (Achinoam Nini): The Israeli Songbook. Noa is Israel’s leading international concert and recording artist. Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons will be at Hard Rock Live on March 2. On March 8, the Cirque du Soleil will be at the American Airlines Arena.
The Kravis Center hosts Diana Krall on March 26, and Martin Short on March 28. Jerry Seinfeld will be at the Broward Center’s Au-Rene Theater on March 31.
For opera, the Miramar Cultural Center brings La Traviata on Feb. 21 and Rigoletto on March 6.
The New World Symphony concert, From Russia With Love, with violinist Gil Shaham, is scheduled for Feb. l7 and The Firebird for April 7. Florida Atlantic University presents the Klezmer East Purim Celebration Concert on March 11. Bob Lappin and the Palm Beach Pops bring The Genius of George and Ira Gershwin, at the Kravis Center, Feb. 29 to March 1. Dudu Fisher appears March 5 and violinist Itzhak Perlman on March 6.
On the dance scene, the Miami City Ballet will perform Giselle at several venues, Feb. 17-March 11, and Coppelia, March 23-April 15.
For exhibits this winter, the Jewish Museum, Miami Beach, is showing Wooden Synagogues of Poland & the Florida Connection, until March 18; Final Mourner’s Kaddish: 333 Days in Paintings by Max Miller, until May 13. A new exhibit, starting April 3, is Once Upon a Time in Lithuania & the Florida Connection.
Emma Lazarus, Voice of Liberty, Voice of Conscience is an exhibit at Broward County Libraries, Nova Southeastern University, until Feb. 24.
Fort Lauderdale’s Museum of Art is showing Offering of the Angels: Old Master Paintings and Tapestries from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, until April 8. Toulouse-Lautrec and His 19th Century Mentors runs at the Coral Springs Museum of Art until Feb. 11.
Full of Grace: A Journey Through the History of Childhood, at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre, features photography by some of the medium’s greatest artists, documenting the changing roles of, and attitudes toward, children throughout modern history. The exhibit runs through March 14.
To see Israeli films, there is the Sunday Films and Bagels Program, at the Levis JCC, in Boca Raton. The screening of the award-winning films is followed by discussion and analysis, and include a bagel breakfast. Company Jasmine (2001) will be shown on Feb. 19; There Were Nights (2010) on March 18, and Brothers (2008) on April 15.
The Miami International Film Festival runs March 2 to 11.
A relaxing way to spend an afternoon is on a boat cruise, exploring the sights, from an open deck, on board the Jungle Queen, in Fort Lauderdale, the city known as the Venice of Florida. The cruise takes visitors past magnificent mansions. Sometimes the tour guide even names the owners of some of these homes.
Another impressive sight are the yachts that are moored in that same neighbourhood. Sighted in January by passengers on the Jungle Queen was a huge yacht, which, the guide pointed out, belongs to Steven Spielberg. According to the tour guide, the boat has a staff of more than 20.
These are just a small sample of the myriad cultural happenings in South Florida, all of which make winter there a most enriching adventure.
For kosher dining, South Florida has an abundance of restaurants, takeout places and other facilities where strictly kosher food is available, from Miami Beach in the south, all the way up to Palm Beach.
For takeout, this writer found that the skinless southern-fried chicken sold, hot, at the Kosher Marketplace in Boca Raton was excellent in every way. Other good kosher marketplaces with fine takeout food are Aroma, in Fort Lauderdale, and Sara’s Tent, in Aventura.