Temple Solel has been a pillar of the South Florida Jewish community for the past half century. Help us continue to serve the spiritual needs of our community, inspire and educate our youth, and do our part to repair the world as we embark upon our next half century and beyond.
In March 1970, Temple Solel was chartered with 35 families and quickly grew to 150 families with a thriving religious school. Now, a half century later, we look back at our beginnings and forward to our future. Temple Solel continues to lead and inspire our community. We are founders of the Interfaith Council of Greater Hollywood, leaders in the Green Faith Initiative, volunteers at the Broward Outreach Center serving the homeless, and so much more. Countless lifecycle events have been held in our sanctuary and memories made in our ballroom.
We were absolutely delighted to have finally celebrated our 50th Golden Jubilee with all of you on Friday and Saturday, October 21 and October 22, 2022, when we paid tribute to very deserving honorees at a special Friday night Shabbat Service followed by a Festive Oneg and a spectacular Saturday night Dinner Reception.
As we embark upon our 52nd year, our future is even brighter with our dynamic new Senior Rabbi, Ari Plost, who has already increased Temple membership, officiated at several simchas, and led us both virtually and in person during worship services and Torah study. Thank you to those that joined us as we embraced and welcomed Rabbi Plost and his beautiful family to the Family of Solel. We gathered to reminisce, honored our past and those who helped get us to this milestone, and started to look forward to our very promising future.
Temple Solel’s Jubilee..
A Memory for a Lifetime!
Thank you to everyone who attended Temple Solel’s Golden Jubilee Celebration!
In the words of our congregants: “Phenomenal!” “Spectacular!” “Better than my wildest expectations!” “Thank you for lighting – or relighting – a flame many of us had let fade.” “Fabulous and fun!” “The weekend made us realize how important Temple Solel was and still is.” “Incredible!” “Every second was amazing!”
The Jubilee’s theme was “Honoring Our Past and Celebrating Our Future” – and that’s exactly what we did as the Family of Solel gathered this past weekend to celebrate, reminisce, toast, and look forward. Members came from across the decades, from across the state, and even from out of state to be together.
We kicked off the weekend events with a Wine and Cheese Reunion just prior to Shabbat services. Over 200 of Solel’s past and present members gathered to reunite with old friends, make new ones, and relish our Memorabilia Exhibit with treasures from the past 50 years displayed in our Chapel. Those present enjoyed wine and cheese graciously donated by Vicki and Steve Stolberg, Barbara Yolles, Aroma Market, Stacey and Brad Friedman, and Artisan Caterers.
We then filled the sanctuary, with special Jubilee Kippot atop many heads, as a dozen Past Presidents paraded in with our Founding Rabbi Emeritus, Rabbi Robert Frazin, in the lead. During the Shabbat service, Rabbi Frazin delivered an entertaining and heartfelt sermon reliving Temple Solel’s founding and growth over the past five decades. Our Inaugural Members, those Original Pathfinders who joined Temple Solel from 1970 through 1980, were called up to the Bima – to the point of overflowing – and received a special blessing.
Our Senior Rabbi, Ari Plost, gave his inspiring sermon about the current state of our Temple and what the future holds for our Family of Solel. Then, the Past Presidents were called together in a circle in front of the magnificent ark and were blessed by Rabbi Plost. The incredibly meaningful and emotional service, filled with beautiful music by our amazing Cantor Israel Rosen and a quartet of talented musicians, culminated with the recitation of Shehecheyanu, thanking God “who has sustained us and brought us to this joyous season.”
The Past Presidents gathered around our Clergy for the Kiddish, and each received a beautiful silver kiddish cup as a small token of our immense gratitude for their service. Everyone then entered the Social Hall for an elaborate Dessert Reception sponsored by Sisterhood where we enjoyed specialty cakes, cookies, tarts, s’mores, chocolates, coffee, and Amaretto milkshakes while listening to the sounds of the piano and saxophone being played live in the background. The evening was filled with laughter and tears as we reminisced about our beginning and looked forward optimistically to our future.
The next evening, 267 people dressed in their finest gathered to celebrate our long-overdue Jubilee Dinner Dance. We kicked off Saturday night with an amazing Cocktail Hour filled with specialty drinks and an open bar, thanks to the gracious donation of liquor from Steve and Abbe Becker. Guests enjoyed an incredible assortment of hors d’oeuvres, and everyone agreed that the food by Artisan Caterers was amazing. In addition, our Silent Auction bidders and 50/50 Raffle sellers were in full swing. In the meantime, members called to one another with enthusiasm to see the mementoes on display in the Chapel.
Guests were amazed as they entered the Ballroom, which was filled with dazzling black and gold decor from floor to ceiling, as over 600 images of the Family of Solel were splashed across three large screens. Rabbi Plost, Rabbi Frazin, and Cantor Rosen were joined by Rabbi Efrat Zarren-Zohar and Rabbi Fred Raskin along with our Golden Jubilee Sponsors, Joyce Bloch, Bob Pomerantz, and Barbara and Harvey Feldman, who led us in the Motzi over the Challah. We were delighted to hear a few words from the Israeli Counsel General Maor Elbaz-Starinsky, who graced us with his presence and reaffirmed our vital connection with the State of Israel.
The DJ then cranked up the music and the Past Presidents kicked off the Hora! The dance floor quickly filled with circles of friends, hand in hand, celebrating like we were meant to over two and a half years ago. After enjoying a delicious dinner, guests were rather surprised to find individual boxes of popcorn on each table until “The Main Attraction” began! This 36-minute (double Chai!) movie presentation featured Rabbi Frazin, Cantor Rosen, Anita Lorenz, Rabbi Plost, several Past Presidents, Congregants, and others. The movie brought laughter and tears and a standing ovation.
Our current Temple President, Ken Robinson, toasted our Honorees and thanked everyone for attending. Rabbi Frazin, Cantor Rosen, and Rabbi Plost each received a piece of art specially commissioned for this occasion. Then, the Inaugural Families were invited up to the center of the dance floor for a cake cutting and group photo.
The 50/50 Raffle and Silent Auction winners were announced. Over $10,000 was raised Saturday night thanks to the Herculean efforts of Robin Rosen, her crew, and the various donors of the Silent Auction items. We thank you!
The night was far from over as people continued to hit the dance floor (even bringing back the Electric Slide!) and devoured decadent desserts being passed around the room. Along with the memories, everyone who attended took home with them our voluminous 2020 Ad Journal and our 2022 Ad Journal Supplement – along with a CD of our Cantor and Choir and a few chocolate lace cookies for the road. It was an emotional night and a weekend we will never forget!
Enormous special thanks to our Jubilee Sponsors, for their generosity and commitment to the Family of Solel, and to our Jubilee Committee that worked tirelessly in 2019-2020 and again in 2022.
More information will follow in future Pathfinders about how and when you can see the Jubilee Exhibit if you missed it or would like to take a second look and how and when you can pick up a copy of our ad journals. Lots of photos are being shared, and more will appear in future issues of the Pathfinder to keep the magic going.
WE CANNOT THANK EVERYONE ENOUGH – for attending, for donating, for being a part of the Family of Solel. It takes a village to Honor Our Past and Celebrate Our Future, and we are so fortunate to do it with each of you.
Marcy Roberts and Jen Chase
Co-Chairs of the Temple Solel Golden Jubilee
Stay tuned for more exciting details about the Jubilee in future issues of the Pathfinder!