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Florida Matters: Growing Up Jewish In Polk County

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Courtesy of Catherine Eskin
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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

Robin is Senior Editor at WUSF, spearheading the station's podcasting initiatives and helping to guide the vision for special reporting projects and creative storytelling. She created The Zest, the station's podcast that's all about food, which she continues to host and serve as senior producer.
Lottie Watts is our Florida Mattersproducer, and she also covers health and health policy for.
Carson Cooper has become a favorite of WUSF listeners as the host of "Morning Edition" on WUSF 89.7 since he took the job in 2000. Carson has worked in Tampa Bay radio for three decades.