The Jim Moran Foundation Provides Grant for JFS Meals on Wheels Program

Meals_on_Wheels_deliveryRuth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services (JFS) is proud to announce that it has received an $80,000 grant from The Jim Moran Foundation to help fund JFS’ Meals on Wheels program in 2016 and 2017. The program provides nutritionally balanced prepared meals, delivered by volunteers, to homebound seniors residing in south Palm Beach County who are no longer able to cook for themselves. All meals are low sodium, kosher, and include a protein, two side dishes and bread.
For many local seniors, Meals on Wheels is literally the difference between remaining in their own homes and needing to relocate to a nursing facility. The nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks help them cope with three of the biggest threats of aging: hunger, isolation and loss of independence.
“It is important that our community has programs like Meals on Wheels,” stated Danielle Hartman, JFS President & CEO. “Seniors are living longer as statistics show that one quarter of today’s 65-year-olds will live past the age of 90 and many of their daily chores like cooking, will turn into insurmountable everyday challenges. Research proves that when seniors have the right support, they gain greater quality of life, need fewer hospital stays and live longer.”
JFS is in need of additional Meals on Wheels volunteer delivery drivers. Please contact Nadine Greenberg, Director of Volunteer Engagement at 561.852.333 or NadineG@ralesjfs.org. For information on JFS’ Meals on Wheels program, contact JFS at 561.852.3333 or info@ralesjfs.org.
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Juggling and Other Bad Habits

Jeff Taveggia will be performing at the Boca Black Box on Saturday, August 13th at 8 p.m. Jeff has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, America’s Got Talent and the Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus. Performances on over 100 different cruise ships has cemented his reputation as a world class entertainer. Check out this family friendly evening.
Angel_Salazar1Also appearing this weekend at The Boca Black Box are Angel Salazar, the man most known as Chi Chi from Scarface and Lucas Bohn. Angel will be performing his stand-up routine on August 11th at 8 p.m.
Friday night is “Lesson Plans to Late Night” a one-man comedy show about Lucas’ transition from elementary school teacher to national touring comedian. A one of a kind comedy experience combining live stand up comedy and visual images. It is one of the highest rated main stage shows on Norwegian Cruise Lines. Don’t miss this hilarious show!
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Celebrating everyBODY on February 27th


The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness is having their 5th annual “Celebrating every BODY: a walk for eating disorder awareness” on February 27th at Sunset Cove Amphitheater. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the program begins at 9:30 a.m.
100% of the proceeds raised at the walk remain in Florida and pay for printing, production and shipping of the Florida Eating Disorders Referral Guide. They anticipate 850 walkers this year including Congressman Ted Deutch.
Call 561-841-0900 for more information. www.allianceforeatingdisorders.com

Local High School Students Win Culinary Accolades

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 1.40.30 PMLocal high school students Zac Jacobsen, Brooke Apfelbaum and Jessica Herman, each received recognition for their culinary skils. Zac, a 9th grader at Wellington High School, was chosen as the regional Student Chef Ambassador for South Florida. Zac won first place at the annual Fresh for Florida Kids Student Chef Cook-Off in October. The Cook-Off, sponsored by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, challenges Florida students from grades four through 12 to create healthy recipes using “Fresh From Florida” products. Zac created and prepared an original stuffed mushrooms with creamy Sriracha remoulade.
The regional cook-off winners in the high school category will compete on February 6th at the Florida State Fair for the Student Chef Cook-Off Finale. The winner will be crowned the State Student Chef. Zac, wholives with his Dad part time in Lexington Estates, said ” he knows the competition from around the state will be tough but with hard work and a good palate he knows he will win the state title. ” We wish him the best of luck in the competition!
The American Culinary Federation recently named Brooke Apfelbaum, a senior in West Boca’s Culinary Academy, as their Student of the Year. Brooke received this award based on her involvement and accomplishments as a member of of the Junior ACF Culinary Club.  As vice-president of this club, Brooke has been heavily involved as a volunteer for many charity organizations.  This is a high honor for a high school student since she was competing with post secondary students from Lincoln Culinary Institute for this award.
Jessica Herman, a senior in the Culinary Arts Academy, was recognized as West Boca High School’s “Career & Technical Student of the Year” last night at the January Palm Beach County School Board meeting.
In addition, Nancy Hall was named Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation, which is the highest honors bestowed on a chef in this chapter. Ms. Hall is the Department Chair of the Culinary Arts Academy at West Boca High School. Chef Hall has promoted the ACF, the chapter, and the profession, and she has mentored and advanced the learning of future culinarians. She now has possession of the trophy until another chef is named for this honor a year from now. Chef Hall also received a plaque and a medallion.
Congrats to all the winners!
 

Review of Taking Sides

20160121_193149_Pano~2Intense and riveting! Last night we attended a performance of Taking Sides at the Levis JCC Sandler Center. The award-winning drama by Ronald Harwood opened on Broadway in October 1996. The play is a fictionalized account of the real life post-war investigation in 1946 into German conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler. Did he actually help Jewish musicians escape Germany or support the Third Reich during the height of the war?
The play explores the themes of courage, justice and liberty.  The lead actor Jeffrey Bruce does an excellent job of portraying the emotions of Wilhelm Furtwangler, a proud man defending himself against a relentless foe. Tony Rein is passionate in his role as Major Steve Arnold, a man determined to convict the conductor of war crimes. Their story takes place in Major Arnold’s office in the American Zone of occupied Berlin. Be aware this play contains very strong language.
20160121_193201~2Taking Sides was presented in association with Chicken Coop Theatre and in partnership with Next Generations. Next Generations is a non profit dedicated to promoting holocaust education and ensuring the well being of survivors in need. The Chicken Coop Theatre has a full spring season including Rock of Stages; Grease; and Love, Loss and What I Wore. Call 561-558-2512 for tickets.
 

Shriek Week is Coming!


Shriek Week at Sugar Sand Park starts on October 16th. There are many exciting activities including a Haunted House, Haunted Walkthrough, indoor blacklight games, a Giant LED Robots and DJ Show, and train rides. Another special event this week is the 4th Annual Kids’ Scary Film Festival. The festival features films from young filmmakers ages 6-17.
If you want to go to The Haunted House, you must reserve tickets ahead of time. The Haunted House is Oct 16, 17, 23 and 24 from 6 to 11 p.m and is for ages 7-12. There is a lite nite for ages 5-12 on Oct 22nd from 5 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $8 per person. Call 561-347-3948.
Back by popular demand, the Giant LED Robots & DJ Show is only on October 16th and 17th from 6 to 10 p.m. Admission is free. The interactive show features GIANT stiltwalking LED lighted robots who dance and shoot CO2 air cannons.
The Amazing Mr. A Magic Show is Oct 22 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Oct 23 and 24 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Mr. A is a comedian, magician and ventriloquist. The trick or treat trail is free and takes place every night. The Park provides a bag and the candy.
For more information, go to http://www.sugarsandpark.org/shriek-week or call 561-347-3948. Sugar Sand Park is located at 300 S. Military Trail in Boca Raton.
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Homecoming in West Boca

westbocafootballHomecoming: A high school game or other event to which alumni are invited.
Tonight is homecoming in West Boca. The WBHS Varsity Football team plays Palm Beach Central at home. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
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Spanish River HS Football played last night at Atlantic Community High School tonight, and lost badly.
Olympic Heights HS Football is at William T Dwyer High School tonight. Kickoff at 7 p.m.
Boca Raton HS Football is at Pahokee High School tonight. Kickoff at 7 p.m.
Many of the local high schools also have homecoming dances on Saturday night.
Send us your pictures of the game or the dance!
 

Is Facebook Underestimating Engagement?

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A couple days ago we wrote an article that did well on Facebook. Reach and engagement were much stronger than our typical post. As you can see above Facebook’s “insights” on the post show it reached over 40,000 people and had a lot of likes, comments and shares. It was almost viral with far more comments and likes on the shares than on the post itself.
We noticed, however, that the number of link clicks were fairly low. Less than 3000 people appeared to click on the link, and 8600 clicked on something on the post.
We noticed heavy traffic on our site in the last three days, nearly all for this one post about a restaurant inspection for a popular restaurant near our community.
So we checked. Jetpack Site Stats showed 30,000 page views coming from Facebook in the last week, a lot more than what our FB numbers suggest:
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And our Google Analytics numbers also show a similar amount of Facebook traffic specifically to this page, roughly 30,000 again:
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In other words, it appears that our site got 10 times as much traffic from this post than the “link clicks” number indicates, or more than triple the number of “post clicks”.
So, is Facebook underestimating engagement? Yes and no. Our best guess is that the link clicks shown in FB Insights is limited to clicks on the original post and does not include link clicks on the shares.
Still we find this suspicious. If our post was shared over 1800 times with all those likes and comments on the shares, and we got nearly 3000 link clicks just on our post, you’d think our total traffic would have been much larger.

West Boca Peforming Arts Theater Welcomes the Marquee Theater Company

aidaThe Marquee Theater Company will begin performing at the West Boca Peforming Arts Theater starting September 25th. Their first show will be Aida, the musical by Elton John and Tim Rice. The 2015/2016 season will also include Songs for a New World, Jekyll & Hyde and Footloose.
Aida is based on the opera by Giuseppe Verdi and is a story of ill-fated lovers. Aida is an epic tale of love, loyalty and betrayal chronicling the relationship between an Egyptian Captain and a Nubian Princess. Tickets are $28 and can be purchased online or by calling 954-464-8249.
The Marquee Theater Company is a professional theater company that performs full-scale “Broadway style musicals and prides itself on hiring local professional actors, singers and dancers. The Company was founded by Andrew Shultz and Ben Solmor.