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Posted on 08/22/2012 @ 05:32 PM

Calling all Florida artists! This year's Avis Lee & Abraham Neiman Judaica Prize Competition challenges Florida artists to create an original Havdalah Spice Box made expressly for this contest. First prize is $1,000; second is $750 and third prize is $500. We encourage artists in all media who are residents of Florida, have a studio in Florida, or have exhibited in Florida to participate. The winning pieces become part of the Museum's collection.

The spice box is a decorative container used in the traditional Havdalah ceremony. Havdalah, which translates as "separation," is the ceremony by which Shabbat ends on Saturday evening. Through the Havdalah ceremony, we make the separation between Shabbat and the rest of the week with blessings over wine, spices, and light. Wine signifies the sanctity of the day, fragrant spices are for a week filled with sweetness and light is hoping for a week of brightness and joy. Although Jewish law does not dictate which type of spice should be used, it is traditional to use sweet-smelling spices, such as cloves, to offset the sadness that one feels as Shabbat departs.

Established in 2002, this prestigious award encourages Florida artists to be at the forefront of a renaissance of Judaic art, to enrich and enhance ritual celebration of Jewish holidays with contemporary designs and to expand the Museum's collections. Previous competitions have been awarded for the design of a seder plate, tzedakah box, challah tray or cover, Chanukah menorah, mezuzah cases and torah covers or torah pointers.

To enter, download the contest criteria and application form from You may also call 786-972-3166 to receive the information by fax or mail. Submit the completed form, with photographs, to the Museum by October 22, 2012 at 5:00 pm.

The prize ceremony will take place at the Museum on Monday evening, February 11, 2013.


The Jewish Museum of Florida is housed in two adjacent lovingly restored historic buildings on South Beach that were once synagogues for Miami Beach's first Jewish congregation. The Museum's focal point is its core exhibit MOSAIC: Jewish Life in Florida - 1763 to the Present and temporary history and art exhibits that change periodically. Currently on display: Once Upon a Time in Lithuania and the Florida Connection through September 30 and Mel Finkelstein: Picturing the Man Behind the Camera through October 14. A Collections & Research Center, several films, Timeline Wall of Jewish history, Museum Store filled with unique items and Bessie's Bistro complete the experience for visitors of all ages and backgrounds. Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Museum is located at 301 Washington Avenue, South Beach 33139. Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Mondays, Civil and Jewish holidays.

Admission: Adults/$6; Seniors/$5; Families/$12; Members and children under 6/Always Free; Saturdays/Free. For information: 305-672-5044 or

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