It was a different kind of once-in-a-lifetime event for Felice P. Schwartz when she celebrated her 90th birthday at a surprise parade during the pandemic.

Her daughter Wendy Catanese and son-in-law Anthony Catanese planned the big event that was complete with Felice’s high school friend Barbara Zimmett. Felice and Barbara were majorettes together back when they were classmates at Miami Beach High.

Felice’s husband was political consultant Gerald Schwartz, founding editor of The Jewish Star-Times, a subsidiary then of the Miami Herald. He died in 2018 at age 90.

Birthday parade special guests included Judge Arthur Rothenberg whose political campaign was run by Gerald and Felice Schwartz in 1964, and Libby Black, the granddaughter of Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black.

Felice moved into the Palmetto neighborhood 60 years ago in August 1960 to make sure her children attended Palmetto public schools. The parade started at Palmetto Senior High School.

“I began her parade at the school of her choice, the school all three of her children attended,” daughter Wendy Catanese said. All three went on to the University of Florida.

Felice Schwartz enjoys her 90th birthday party, socially distanced due to the coronavirus pandemic
Felice Schwartz enjoys her 90th birthday party, socially distanced due to the coronavirus pandemic

Felice Pred Schwartz was born in the small farm town of Pender, Nebraska. She had an identical twin, Janice Ribnick, and a brother Stanley Pred, her daughter said. Felice moved to Miami Beach with her family in 1948.

She later attended the University of Miami where she met her husband, Gerald, who was editor of the UM newspaper. They married the day the Korean War started on June 25, 1950. The wedding time had to be delayed as Gerald had to report on the war.

Felice worked as a partner in The Gerald Schwartz Public Relations Agency and assisted in many political campaigns. She and Gerald loved to travel during their 67 years of marriage. Felice was also involved in many charities.

She has been living with her daughter and son-in-law during the pandemic and will return to her home in Aventura when it is safe. She attributes her health and long years to “a wholesome upbringing, daily exercise classes, 25-minute daily walks, and always having a positive attitude.”

The front of the parade featured the Bake It on Wheels Bus with owner Natasha Herrera and her daughter Brianna handing out individual packaged cupcakes for all the masked guests that drove by.

“In addition, in front of the house is a huge 90th birthday sign that was made by Sign Gypsies Miami, a neighbor who runs this business. Michelle Longerbeam along with her children and husband purchased the sign,” Wendy Catanese said.

Happy Birthday, Felice!

Alvin Ailey Camp performance online

While the popular AileyCamp Miami summer dance camp had to be virtual this year, former camper Jarron McKinney returned to help mentor the next generation of AileyCampers.

The Miami native continues to give back to the community at the program that inspired him. McKinney now serves as a personal development instructor at the camp he attended in 2009.

AileyCamp Miami will host a free virtual watch party of the finale performance on its social media channels at 6 p.m., Aug. 29. Everyone is invited to tune in at on that day and time.

The final performance will include ballet, West African dance, and modern dance numbers along with powerful spoken word pieces. It is always hosted in the Knight Concert Hall.

Isaiah Scholars wow virtual audience

Congratulations to the 2020 Isaiah Scholars who recently hosted a virtual opening of their inspiring art at Beth Or Temple’s beautiful art space called the Gallery of Light.

The Fund 4 Design Art Education Isaiah Scholarship winner Luis Aleman appears in his award-winning artwork that was part of the virtual Gallery of Light opening at Beth Or Temple.
The Fund 4 Design Art Education Isaiah Scholarship winner Luis Aleman appears in his award-winning artwork that was part of the virtual Gallery of Light opening at Beth Or Temple.

The Fund 4 Design Art Education awarded $1,000 Isaiah Scholarships to 20 talented Miami-Dade County Public Schools 12th grade art students. Since 2013, the fund has awarded over $150,000 to talented young artists.

The Gallery of Light presented in a Zoom virtual visit the stunning work of the Isaiah Scholars. Students Maggie Bacallao, Luis Aleman, Janiyia Toomer and Destiny Moore were present for personal commentary.

The Gallery will continue to host in virtual form during the pandemic. Call the Beth Or Office 305-235-1419 or check for events.

Student leaders recognized

Five students who organized Miami’s first student-led town hall for community leaders and government officials, led efforts to address challenges in their schools and community, and even took a hard look at climate change are being recognized by Bank of America as this year’s Miami Student Leaders.

Congratulations to Aliya Dhanji, Hialeah, American Senior High School; Aya Hamza, Coral Gables Senior High School; Gabriel Rondon Gonzalez, John A. Ferguson Senior High School; Melanie Moller, Felix Varela Senior High School; and Rhobie Toussaint, Miami Lakes Educational Center.

“Now more than ever, as we collectively navigate the challenges we face in our communities, we remain committed to supporting youth and young adults of all backgrounds by connecting them to jobs, skills-building and leadership development,” said Gene Schaefer, Miami market president for Bank of America.

In addition to attending a six-week paid summer internship program, the students work with Flipany, a nonprofit that fosters healthy living, and are serving as youth ambassadors during the pandemic.

LGBTQ+ film festival goes virtual

The 22nd edition of the OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival, a bi-annual film event with the mission to unite the community, is hosting 80 new “contemplative, comedic and creative films from 20 countries” through Aug. 30. Many of the films have never been seen by the public and are not available on any streaming platforms.

The films are being presented in 44 screenings and are available to viewers throughout Florida. The festival is also hosting livestream special events with cocktail happy hours, talent, and Q & A sessions as a way to virtually tie the community together.

”In these challenging times, the OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival has adapted to the changing needs of the film and viewing community, and is pleased to move forward with an outstanding roster of poignant new features viewable virtually anywhere in the state,” said Victor Gimenez, executive director of OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival.

A list of films and descriptions can be found at Prices for individual films are $12 each and value packages range from $60 to $350. For more, call 877-766-8156 or visit

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