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Our History

Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center is a vibrant and diverse Conservative congregation in the heart of Aventura, Florida, an exciting multi-cultural and multi-generational community in North Miami Beach. We offer a wide range of spiritual, cultural, educational and social programming for members of all ages.


The highly active congregation, together with its inspiring clergy, values Jewish learning, spiritual worship, service to the community and support for the State of Israel. Our beautiful campus contains a magnificent sanctuary, chapel and multiple social halls; a unique Holocaust Memorial designed by Israeli artist Frank Meisler; and “The Tauber Academy,” a state-of-the-art Jewish Early Childhood Education Center.


We are a synagogue of strength, security, and stability. The congregation continues to grow and expand while the clergy, staff, and membership constantly strive for improvement and excellence. The mission to foster Jewish life within the City of Aventura is an ongoing challenge. Our synagogue strives to create an open, warm, inviting and inclusive community that gives Jews in Aventura a sense of rootedness and belonging.


In a modern era in which Jews often struggle to connect with Judaism and with the Jewish community, the mission of the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center is now more important than ever. All are welcome to attend our online meaningful prayer services, holiday special event, or adult education. Please like and follow us on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram.


Our History in Words

The history of ATJC starts shortly after the Six Day War in 1967 when Turnberry Associates of Duquesne, Pennsylvania bought 785 acres of northeast Dade County swamp. The company was led by Don Soffer, who graduated Brandeis University in the 1950s and joined his father Harry in developing suburban shopping centers. By 1969, a $700 million development plan of 24,000 units with a mall and a resort had been drawn up by Soffer and Arlen Realty and Development.

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Our Leadership



Synagogue President

Roni Fertig has her B.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York at Albany and her M.S. in Social Work from Columbia University. She has owned and operated The Nanny Network since 1985, placing professional nannies and other household staff with families nationally. She is a founding member of the International Nanny Association and has served on its Board of Directors. She is the recipient of The Woman of Valor award for her commitment to her synagogue and the Jewish community. She has also served for many years on the Advisory Board for Central Agency for Jewish Education’s Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning of Miami.She currently sits on the committee of the North Dade Coalition of Greater Miami Jewish Federation. Ms. Fertig currently serves on the Women's Amutot Initiative of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation since 2005 and participated in a study trip to Israel. 



Fernando Levy Hara, President Elect

Fernando Levy Hara was born and raised in Buenos Aires in an observant Jewish family. His grandfather became a rabbi in Syria, before being forced to emigrate to Argentina due to religious pogroms, where he founded the first synagogue for Sephardic Jews original from Damascus. Fernando completed a master’s degree in Architecture and one in Urban Economics in Buenos Aires and got his master’s degree in Real Estate Development from Harvard University. He is a real estate developer specialized in residential projects all around Florida, including high rise condominiums and large urban multifamily rental communities. He sits in the Harvard Real Estate Board and teaches real estate strategies and negotiation at Harvard University in Cambridge as well as internationally. Fernando has been happily married to his wife Jaqui for the last 31 years, they have two sons together: Brian (28) and Ivan (25). The family joined ATJC in 2005, becoming very involved in several activities such as the annual Purim Shpiel, two ATJC trips to Israel and more.

Joe Braun, Vice President, Finance

Originally from Peru, Joe has resided in Aventura for over 30 years. He now serves as the VP of Finance. Previously was a member of ATJC's Executive Board of Directors for 6 years and served on Tauber Academy's Board of Education, is a regular at the daily minian, and is a Purim Shpiel veteran. An active member of the Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), he's responsible for building relationships with Miami-based Latin American diplomats, local press, and Jewish community leaders.  A seasoned international entrepreneur focused on exporting American goods to Latin America and the Caribbean, Joe serves on the board of several international corporations.  Joe along his wife Jeannette and children -Tauber alumni Michael and Sofia- are active members of ATJC.

Lauren Jordan, Vice President, Education & Youth

Lauren Jordan was born and raised in South Florida.  During her Senior Year of High School she attended the Alexander Muss High School in Israel and it was one of the most formative experiences of her life.  In 2000 she moved to New York to attend New York University.  Lauren studied Theater at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and later worked in Talent Management at Anonymous Content.  After a few too many winters up north, she came back to sunny South Florida in 2005 and transitioned into the Financial Services Industry.  Lauren works in Wealth Management as part of The Bodkins Group at Morgan Stanley.  Lauren met her husband, Jonathan, through friends from her High School in Israel trip and they married in 2011.  They have two daughters, Austin (7) and Lennon (4) and as a family they have been members at ATJC since 2013 when they enrolled Austin in Tauber Academy’s Baby University at just 5 months old.  Lauren is very involved with the Tauber PTN and specifically looks forward to volunteering at their Annual Purim Carnival.


Roni Mauer, Vice President, Facilities

Roni is the synagogue’s Vice President of Facilities responsible for the maintenance and security of our congregational campus. Roni is married to Dainne and together they are raising a son. 

Rose Rubin, Vice President, Development 

Rose Rubin has been a President, and Vice President of the Executive Board of the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center for the last 15 years. She and her beloved late husband, Richard, have been major benefactors of our synagogue since they joined in 1999. Rose is the daughter of Holocaust survivors, and has worked on all of our Holocaust memorial events, and co-chairs and conducts our annual Yom Hashoa service. Her children, Jason and Lindsey also participate in the service.

Matthew Adler, Treasurer

Matthew L. Adler is President and Chief Executive Officer of Adler Kawa Real Estate Advisors where he is responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of the business. Matthew founded Adler Kawa in 2012 as an evolution of his family's real estate businesses, the Adler Group which has been investing and operating commercial real estate for over 50 years. Matthew graduated with a bachelor of arts in urban studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999. Since 2010, Matthew has served on the Board of Directors and Loan Committee for Miami based Apollo Bank. Matthew serves on numerous community and business based organizations, including: officer of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, treasurer of Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, board of the Mount Sinai Medical Center Supporting Foundation and is a member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO). In 2010, Matthew was appointed by the President of the Unites States to serve as a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council the board of the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC.

Janette Garmizo, Board Secretary 

Janette Garmizo was born in Miami, Florida and raised in Puerto Rico in a Conservative Jewish community where she was actively involved with Young Judaea, attending their summer camp,  year-long programs and ultimately their Gap Year in Israel program (Year Cause). A graduate from University of Miami with a degree in Finance,  she was in the Banking Industry for 30 years and is currently involved with the family nursery plant and landscaping business (Garmizo's Inc.).  She has lived in Miami since 1984 and is married to Jaime for 32 years. Together they have three children: Joshua (30); Jayson (28) and Jessica (24). Her biggest pride and joy is being a grandma (known to all now as Yaya) to Ella who is 1 year old. The family has been members of ATJC for many years where many simchas have been celebrated and can be seen frequently at Friday Night Live services and participating in many of the temple's wonderful programs. Janette is a  life member of Hadassah and WIZO (Women's International Zionist Organization).


William W. Landa

Founding Chairman of the Board

Bill was born in Czechoslovakia, and came to the United States in 1951.  After having spent two years in the US Army, Bill settled in Spring Valley, New York and immediately got involved in the construction business.  As Founding Chairman, Bill led the congregation of Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center from a small storefront space to our existing state-of-the-art facility.  He took his vision of a Center of Excellence in the fast-growing Jewish community of Aventura and, with the help of many other dedicated individuals, made that vision a reality.  His dedication and commitment to our Synagogue, School and community has resulted in ATJC achieving national as well as international recognition. Because of the exceptional services and programs that are offered by ATJC, our Center is often visited by world-renowned leaders, scholars, and artists.      

Executive Committee

Ronald Bakalarz

Bob Kopf

Richard Kronrad    

Rosy Lofer

Oscar Wasserman

Board of Directors

Vladimir Anichkin

Ron Bakalarz

Mark Eisenfeld

Karen Evans

Grizzy Farbish

Lauren Geduld

Larisa Gross

Jerry Hollo

Carol Landa

Zachary Lavin

Debbie Lazoff







Richard & Margo* Absher

Dr. Gil & Tammy Aronson

Edward & Tania Bakalarz

Ronald & Minna Bakalarz

Dr. Charles & Sara Bedzow

Rhoda & Wendy Bernstein

Kenneth Bernstein

Clement & April Beyda

Florence Cohn

Celia Cynamon

Ari & Ann Deshe

Mala Dorfman

Dr. Malcolm Dorman

Joseph & Beverlee Edell

Susie Edelsburg

Victor Farkas

Dr. Allan* & Esther Feingold

Mark* & Ana Maria Gordon

Charles & Joyce Haime

Mel & Francine Harris

Laurence* & Becky Herrup

Hon. Billy & Sandra Joel

Joseph & Dr. Sara Kavana

Eugene & Lois Kessler

Gisella Kinast



Board of Trustees

Adam Lubkin

Jefrey Oshinsky

Matthew Pinzur

Marcy Resnik

Jason Rubin

Ron Rubinoff

Barbara Salk

Hon. Bob Shelley

Irwin Tauber

Alix Wolf

Tatiana Zjad








Dan & Sheila Kleiman

Richard & Amelia Kronrad

William & Carole Landa

Michael & Amy Landa

Rita Leeds

Shirlee Levin

Dr. Barry & Marcy * Resnik

Eva Rubach

Rose Rubin

Neil Bernstein & Dr. Julie Schwartzbard

Dr. Barry* & Judith Silverman

Richard & Michelle Simon

Donald Soffer

Carol Soffer

Senator Paul & Sandra Steinberg

Andrew & Dr. Silvia Stern

Susan Strauss

Stacy Studnik

Dr. Paul & Jodi Tartell

Irwin & Laura Tauber

Leon & Leesa Wagner

Oscar & Elaine Wasserman

Jorge & Alix Wolf

Haim & Aviva Yehezkel


Presidents of Sisterhood: Eme Chaiken, Audrey Bornstein

President of YaYa Sisterhood: Esther Peart

President of Brotherhood: Rick Schermer

Presidents of Tauber Academy PTN: Chantal Rushin, Elizabeth Kominsky

Leadership Anchor
Board of Directors
Our History
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