Paula Abdul, Henry Winkler, Violins of Hope and Anne Frank Exhibit Scheduled for Federation’s 2016-2017 Season; The Jewish Federation of Sarasota Manatee announces a season filled with art, history, music and intellectual pursuit

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Paula Abdul, Henry Winkler, Violins of Hope and Anne Frank Exhibit

Scheduled for Federation’s 2016-2017 Season

The Jewish Federation of Sarasota Manatee announces a season filled with art, history, music and intellectual pursuit.


(Sarasota-Manatee) The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee’s (JFSM) 2016-2017 season includes an appearance by Paula Abdul commemorating the organization’s 10th anniversary of Women’s Day; “Violins of Hope,” a three-week event featuring Israeli master violinmaker Amnon Weinstein who restored dozens of violins played by Jewish prisoners in Nazi concentration camps, an Anne Frank exhibit; and the 2017 Jewish Film Festival.

“Our 2016-2017 season is filled with a diverse and vibrant offering of cultural treasures,” says Howard Tevlowitz, JFSM’s executive director. “The public can explore social, historical and intellectual issues in-depth, hear inspired music and talks, journey through the world of film and take part in passionate conversations with celebrities who are making a difference in the world.”

Paula Abdul, an award-winning singer, dancer, choreographer and TV personality, will share stories about her connection to her Jewish roots, overcoming obstacles and aligning ourselves with passion. Her appearance marks the 10th anniversary of Women’s Day, an annual event that provides an opportunity for women to come together around a theme to which they relate. Hayley Wielgus of ABC 7 News will moderate the discussion with Abdul.  December 7 at Michael on East. Tickets are $80 (plus a minimum $100 gift to the Federation’s development efforts). For more information, call Trisha Stafford at 941-706-0029.

Violins of Hope: In 1996, Israeli master violinmaker Amnon Weinstein began to collect and carefully restore violins that had extraordinary histories of suffering, courage, and resiliency. These violins are precious artifacts from one of the greatest human tragedies. Some were played by Jewish prisoners in Nazi concentration camps; others belonged to the Klezmer musical culture, which was all but destroyed in the Holocaust. This special event will feature an opening night gala with emcee Henry Winkler, performances by Turkish violinist Cihat  Askin, and musicians from the Sarasota Orchestra. The event also features Amnon Weinstein, who will talk about his life’s passion. Numerous community events featuring alumni from The Perlman Music Program/Suncoast and State College of Florida’s Presidential String Quartet are scheduled during the three-week event, February 1-16. Tickets will go on sale for all events in November. For more info, visit

Marc Chagall’s Cote d’Azur: The Artist’s Botanical Imagery and Inspiration Found on the French Riviera: The Federation is honored to be the lead sponsor for this six-month long exhibition, presented by Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, which will incorporate key works created by Marc Chagall that feature botanical imagery inspired by his time in the south of France. At the centerpiece of the exhibit will be “The Lovers,” an oil painting Chagall created in 1937, now on loan from the collection of The Israel Museum in Jerusalem, a world-leading art and archaeology museum. The Federation is hosting the Lion of Judah and Pomegranate Luncheon, a fundraising event, with Bella Meyer, the granddaughter of Marc Chagall, January 13, at Selby Gardens. The exhibit runs February-July 2017. Info about tickets and other events TBA.

Henry Winkler: The actor best known as the “The Fonz” on the 1970s-80s TV show “Happy Days,” will speak about his unique Holocaust legacy at the Federation’s Major Gifts event. The son of refugees from Nazi Germany, Winkler says, “Being Jewish equates with being empathetic.” February 1, 2017, at the Ritz Carlton, Sarasota. Tickets are $100 per person with a minimum household gift of $6,000 to the Federation’s development efforts.

Anne Frank: “A History For Today” Exhibition: Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl and the story of her life and death resonate with people of various ages and backgrounds. Today, children and their families continue to be victims of violence, war, and conflict. This traveling exhibit from the Anne Frank Center House allows visitors to consider the effects of prejudice, discrimination, hate, and violence. Through the story of Anne Frank, visitors are encouraged to examine their own attitudes towards others. April 17-May 27, at Selby Public Library in Sarasota.

The 2017 Jewish Film Festival: The eigth annual festival features outstanding films that explore, record, and celebrate Jewish life and experience—past and present. Each film is carefully chosen for its quality and diversity, and for its ability to excite, delight, enlighten, provoke, and/or move its viewers to tears or to laughter. March 12-19; Tickets start at $12.

For more information about The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, call 941-371-4546 or visit


About The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee

The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen Jewish life and identity in the Sarasota-Manatee community, provide for Jewish people in need, and to promote support for Israel. In addition, the Federation is responsive when worldwide catastrophes occur. For more information, call 941-371-4546 or visit

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