By Sergio Carmona
Fuente Latina’s recent fifth anniversary Fiesta in Fort Lauderdale included presentations and award honorees.
Fuente Latina is a non-profit and non-governmental organization with a mission to provide balanced information about Israel and the Middle East to Spanish language media. The organization was established in December 2012 out of a growing demand for greater access to information about Israel and the Middle East in Spanish amid developing regional events. It has offices in Miami as well as Jerusalem, Israel and in Madrid, Spain.
Leah Soibel, the organization’s founder and chief executive officer, said, “We are relatively new to the Miami community as we opened our office down here two and a half years ago, so the goal of this evening is to say we are a different organization than the ones that typically operate in the South Florida area.
We are the only ones that do what we do. We are working specifically with the Spanish language media and this event is really to celebrate our accomplishments not only with our staff and our board but also with all of the journalists that we have brought to Israel and those that we work with on the ground here in South Florida and with others.”
One of the event’s honorees was Alex Halberstein, a community leader and philanthropist who said he has been working very diligently in trying to raise funds to promote and enhance the organization.
“The organization is good for the State of Israel because they take news reporters from here to Israel to look at what’s really going on there and they come back and they write and they print what is the true news from Israel,” Halberstein said.
Halberstein is fully devoted to volunteering in the Jewish community, both locally and internationally. He has been an advocate and supporter of Miami’s Hillel Second Generation and the American Jewish Committee and also serves as a board member of Florida Friends of Hebrew University and Boys Town Jerusalem. He also serves on the executive board of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.
Another event honoree was Raul De Molina, an Emmy Award-winning co-host of Univision’s “El Gordo y La Flaca.”
“This is an honor,” De Molina said. “I’ve been to Israel on a few different occasions. I think it’s a great country and when they called me that they wanted to do this for me tonight, I was honored.”
Other event honorees were Gonzalo Abarca, a Spanish television anchor, and Michael Leven of the Michael and Andrea Leven Family Foundation.
The event also included Lior Haiat, the consul general of Israel in Miami, who addressed the attendees as a special guest.
“One of the first and most important tools we use is the truth, and sometimes it’s that simple but that hard to understand,” Haiat remarked. “In a week where the president of the Palestinian Authority said that the Jewish people have nothing to do with the Land of Israel, we need people to say the truth and to send a message across the world, not only in English, but also in Spanish for millions of people in Latin America and Spain and the U.S., because those are the ones that can help us protect this amazing project that is the Land of Israel and the State of Israel.”
The event also included special presentations from Hispanic television news anchors and correspondents. The program was emceed by Adrian Criscaut of Telemundo 51 Miami and Astrid Martinez, a CBS Atlanta television host.
The event took place at Jetscape in Fort Lauderdale.
(Published on Sun Sentinel)