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May is not just Haitian Heritage Month. It’s also Jewish American Heritage Month, and South Florida is home to one of the nation’s largest Jewish communities, so let’s have a quick little history lesson

HOW THEY GOT HERE: As early as 1565, there’s record of Jews settling in St. Augustine. Over the next few centuries the communities moved from St. Augustine down to Tampa, and eventually to Miami and Key West.

EARLY DAYS IN THE 305: Jews really began settling South Florida in the early 20th century, although there were many here before that: 25 of the people who signed the document to incorporate Miami in 1896 were Jewish.

What we call Little Havana today was once the center of Jewish life. Miami’s first synagogue, Beth David, was built there in 1912 (known back then as B’nai Zion). In 1922, Temple Israel broke off from Beth David to become the first reform synagogue in the area. It’s still open in the same spot today.

Hialeah was another Jewish hub until the mid-1900s because many Jews worked in the area’s textile industry. (Fun fact: that’s why Hialeah still has the amazing Stephen’s Deli today.)

THE “JEWBANS”: Waves of Jews came from another source, as well: Cuba. Jewish Cubans (or “Jewbans”) flocked here after the Cuban revolution, first founding Temple Beth Shmuel in Miami Beach. The synagogue, also known as “El Circulo,” was founded in 1961.

DISCRIMINATION: Although Miami Beach, especially mid-Beach, has a major Jewish population today, in the early 20th century many developers refused to sell land to Jews in certain parts of the city and “Gentiles only” signs were common. It wasn’t until the 1930s that the restrictions began easing up.

JEWISH LIFE TODAY: Today Aventura, mid-Miami Beach, North Miami Beach, Pinecrest, and Surfside are the major hubs of Jewish life.

Want to take a deeper dive into Miami’s Jewish community? Check out this piece or visit the Jewish Museum of Florida on Miami Beach.

Any other fun facts or history you think we should know about SoFlo’s Jewish community? Hit reply to this newsletter and let us know.

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Drumroll please… David Beckham might actually have a name for his Major League Soccer team. He hasn’t made any announcements, but a search of the US Patent and Trademark Office revealed that a company called Miami Freedom LLC recently applied to trademark the names Miami Freedom Football Club, Miami Freedom United, Miami Freedom FC, and Miami Freedom. Redditor scouser916 has an alternative suggestion: Miami Traffic, which would “strike fear in the hearts of opponents,” he writes. He’s cool with Miami Pitbulls too. (Miami Herald, Reddit)

YASSSS. Amazon Prime Now is now offering free craft beer and wine delivery in Miami – within one or two hours of ordering. You know what that means: No more mid-party alcohol stock-ups. 🙌 (Miami New Times)

No more secrets. Turns out the National Transportation Safety Board has known for a while what likely caused the FIU pedestrian bridge collapse: cracks on an essential truss support. The federal agency tried to keep that info under wraps, saying it was because of an “investigative need.” But then FIU accidentally released photos and a memo about it to the Herald, which promptly published the information. Now, the NTSB’s four-page report on the failure of that truss support is out, and what caused the collapse is becoming a little more clear. (Miami Herald)

Case closed. Esteban Santiago, the Fort Lauderdale airport shooter, pled guilty on Wednesday to killing five people and wounding six others last January. Despite the fact that Santiago suffer from schizophrenia, a judge declared him mentally “competent” and sentenced him to five consecutive life sentences, plus six consecutive 20-year sentences. (Miami Herald)

The startup struggle. Yea, we know, we’re the No. 1 city for startups, and 18 percent of our local businesses are less than five years old. Exciting! But here’s the catch: the average wage in a firm that young is only $42,000 – $5,000 less than the median county wage. That adds up to a low-wage economy and shrinking middle class, according to a new FIU study. (Miami Herald)

Feeling blue. Eileen Higgins’s lead in Tuesday’s Miami-Dade County District 5 special election – which is headed to a June 19 runoff – is giving Democrats a whole lot of hope (even though it’s technically a nonpartisan race). It’s the third local special election since President Trump’s election that they’ve managed to win. Whether Higgins will be able to ride that blue wave to victory in the final June vote is TBD. (Miami Herald)

It’s all in the cards. If you’re wondering how North Bay Village politics got so cray (yesterday we shared a report that Miami Beach will discuss whether to annex the island village on the 79th Street Causeway), look no further than this Miami Herald story about how a disagreement on business cards turned into a years-long showdown between the mayor and the former village manager. Let’s just say it’s a small town with some very big personalities. (Miami Herald)

Shout out to the Andrea, the kick-ass mom and wife holding down the fort while I spend 3 months in SF growing Blanket. Lucky to have her! — Alex Nucci Learn More ».
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Around Town

Going to one of these events? Tag us on Instagram with @thenewtropic. Want your event here? You can always suggest it by sending the info over to [email protected]


🇭🇹 Catch a screening of “1804: The Hidden History of Haiti” (North Miami)

🇨🇺Meet two teachers who ran across Cuba and made a documentary about it (Little Havana)

📵 Put your phone down and enjoy the music at the Listening Den (Little River)


🎷 Enjoy some jazz by “La Vie” on the MOCA plaza (North Miami)

🌵 Check out the succulent and cactus festival, a millennial renter’s dreamthrough Sunday (Pinecrest)

🎷 Catch some jazz where the legends once played (Brownsville)

🎞 Catch a flick at the New Black Cinema Showcasethrough Saturday (Coral Gables, Liberty City)


🎵Browse Miami’s largest selection of records at this pop-up (Wynwood)

🎇Catch Miami Beach’s Air & Sea Show and “Music Explosion” concert (ft. Shaggy and DJ Irie) (South Beach)

🎸Get down to that Miami sound with the Spam Allstars (North Beach)

🍺Drinks with Politicians in Bars interviews Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (Little Haiti)
🌇 Take an architecture tour through Downtown (Downtown)


🧘Yoga with a serious view at Vizcaya (Coconut Grove)

🖼Celebrate 21 years of the Wallflower Gallery (Little Haiti)

🕺Bring your own record to Broken Shaker tonight (South Beach)

🍺Paint your own beer glass – then drink Veza Sur’s microbrews from it (Wynwood)


🍖Barbecue on the PAMM veranda (Downtown)

🐶 Drink Veuve Clicquot with your puppy (Miami River)


We’ll catch you mañana.

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