Florida Matters: Growing Up Jewish In Polk County

Credit Florida Humanities Council

WUSF’s Robin Sussingham recently hosted “Our Jewish Communion: Religious Identity and Growing Up Jewish in Polk County” at Florida Southern College in Lakeland to discuss what it was like to come of age in a predominantly Christian region. This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, March 15 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 20 at 7:30 a.m.), we bring you highlights of the conversation.

The panel, which was organized by Florida Southern College professor Dr. Catherine Eskin, includes:

·         Rabbi Samuel April, who served Temple Emanuel in Lakeland from 1956 to 1958

·         Susan Eckert, who grew up in Lakeland and now lives in Sarasota

·         Jeffrey Miller, who grew up in Lakeland  and is the immediate past president of the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center in Orlando

·         Dr. Jack Kugelmass, director of the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Florida

·         Dr. Waite W. Willis, Jr., a Lakeland native and Christian religious leader