July 18, 2019

Are you ready for the Spa Evolution? Join me at Miami Carillon!

Are you looking for your home away from home in Miami? I absolutely loved the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort! Not only are there white sand beaches, South Florida’s most comprehensive spa, but there are also spacious luxury apartments! You can live here forever. 

Miami Carillon by Lisa Niver

What is it like at Carillon Miami?

Watch my video to see my suite, the view with a rainbow and all four pools!

VIDEO: Welcome to Miami! Carillon Miami Wellness Resort

The resort features 150 spacious one- and two-bedroom suites, ranging in size from 720 – 1,200 sq. ft. An array of recreational activities are at guests’ fingertips, with over 20+ fitness classes offered daily, access to the resort’s two-story indoor rock wall and four pools located throughout the property: the Sunrise Pool, Cabana Pool, Sunset Pool and the adult-only rooftop Atlantic Pool. Serving fresh, locally-sourced, cuisine, the resort features three dining venues including The Strand Bar & Grill, Seaglass Cafe and Corner Store. Carillon Miami Wellness Resort promotes a path to discovery and provides tools for a healthier lifestyle extending beyond each guest’s stay. Carillon Miami Wellness Resort is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World.

My living room at Miami Carillon

My living room at Miami Carillon

If your focus is on fitness, they have that too! There are so many classes to try out for guests, residents and locals.They also offer holistic healing treatments, Oriental medicine by Acupuncture Physician, Dr. Turovskiy and luxury salon treatments from local specialist, Rocco Donna Hair and Beauty Art.

One of four pools at Miami Carillon

One of four pools at Miami Carillon

“Wellness has always been at the core of our resort, and we are pleased to debut the next phase of The Spa at Carillon Miami with these new experiences,” said Tammy Pahel, Vice President of Spa Operations, Carillon Miami Wellness Resort. “The wellness industry continues to grow and evolve, and we are proud to be changing with it – continuing to be the top wellness resort in South Florida, providing unmatched options for health, well-being and beauty.”

Here are a few of the treatments you can experience:

  • Lemi: State of the Art Spa and Wellness Technology: Carillon Miami has partnered with Italian wellness brand, Lemi, to outfit the spa with the latest technology to offer guests cutting-edge services. Through this strategic collaboration guests can now experience innovative treatments utilizing the award winning AEMOTIO SPA with features including color therapy, steam bath with aromatherapy, Vichy shower with six jets, water-enhanced vibromassage, and a height adjustable water bed. In addition, the spa has introduced the Spa Dream Crystal Quartz Massage Bed which features spherical quartz and color therapy to support in energizing and promoting balance throughout the body for a deeper therapeutic experience. All massage tables at the spa are now equipped with Lemi’s EXTRA COMFORT memory foam mattress, with a few table featuring the HBS armrest system to further enhance the relaxation experience.
  • [comfort zone]: Global Rituals + Signature Services: Embark on an international wellness journey with new Global Rituals and Signature Treatments developed by Italian skin care brand, [comfort zone]. A leader in international beauty and skincare, the treatments take inspiration from different cultures blending together the richest ingredients, technology and therapeutic methods to provide one-of-a-kind services that deliver impactful results. Highlights from the menu include: The Detox Mud-ssage (50 min/$179); The Mediterranean Global Ritual (50 min/$179); TranquilityTM Pro Sleep Ritual (50 min/$179).Miami Carillon Spa by Lisa Niver
  • emerginC: Organic & Raw Beauty: Discover the powers of organic and raw skincare with new treatments from leading natural skincare brand, emerginC. Utilizing active botanicals, marine extracts, and clinically-proven cosmeceutical and medical-grade ingredients, the treatments incorporate the latest advancements in natural skincare to instantly rejuvenate, nourish, and soothe the skin. Highlights from the menu include: Kombucha Radiance Facial (50 min/$170); Raw Hydra-Boost Facial (50 min/$170); and the Ginger-Coconut-Argan Sugar Glow (50 min/$170).
  • Jacqueline Piotaz Switzerland: Natural Anti-Aging Skin Care: Jacqueline Piotaz Switzerland is an innovator in Swiss skin care through the brand’s groundbreaking plant stem cells technology that infuses nutrients from rare and exotic plants into their treatments. The first and only Miami spa to offer Piotaz treatments, guests can now discover the brand’s distinctive, results-driven approach to anti-aging that is non-invasive, natural and sustainable to the environment. Highlights from the menu include: Advanced Repair & Lifting Facial (80 min/$289); Pollution Defense and Anti-Stress Facial (50 min/$179); and The Timeless Tailor Made Facial for Men (50 min/$160).
  • Shankara: Ayurvedic Wellness: A pioneer in Ayurvedic, Shankara has unveiled a selection of new services at Carillon Miami. Unwind the mind, body and spirit through body treatments that incorporate Ayurvedic techniques and the high quality products of Shankara. Highlights from the menu include: Ayurvedic Rose Quartz (50 min/$170); Shankara Serenity Salt Stone Treatment (50 min/$180); and the Zekhara Shankara Ayurvedic Shirodara Treatment (50 min/$180).

Want to see all that the spa has to offer? The menu is 51 pages! Click here to peruse!

Pools at Miami Carillon

This time I chose a hot stone massage but next time I am trying this treatment:  Ginger-Coconut- Argan Sugar Glow part of the Organic Rejuvenation Body Treatments, “this dazzling natural treatment begins with a lively citrus-kombucha body wash followed by the vibrant aromas of our ginger-lime sugar scrub. warm, nourishing coconut and argan oil infused with avocado oil, apricot oil, rose hip, and vitamin e is slowly drizzled on to the body for superior hydration, nourishment, and total body relaxation. this treatment is featured in our aemotio spa.”

Miami Carillon by Lisa Niver

Miami Carillon by Lisa Niver


Man Who Allegedly Tried to Kill Jews Through Arson Had a Santa Hitler Mug

Screenshot from Twitter.

A Florida man who allegedly attempted to burn down a building to murder Jews reportedly had a Santa Hitler mug and other Nazi memorabilia.

The man, identified as 73-year-old Walter Stolper, had a mug that features Adolf Hitler wearing a Santa hat as well as Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” and a Nazi propaganda poster included in his Nazi memorabilia, per the Miami Herald.

Police say that Stolper, in retaliation for a pending eviction, was in the process of pouring gasoline down a garbage chute in a Miami Beach condo building when the police caught him. The police also said that Stolper had padlocks ready to lock people indoors and prevent them from escaping the fire. Stolper claimed that he had bought the gas for a barbecue.

Witnesses have reportedly told police that Stolper had said he wanted to “kill all Jews” and that he was “going to burn down the building with all the f—ing Jews.”

Stolper faces charges of attempted murder, arson and possession of a destructive device; prosecutors are also going to charge it as a hate crime. Stolper faces a life sentence if he is found guilty of the charges. His attorney is claiming that his client is suffering from the onset of dementia.


Laura Ben-David
“HOPE,” 2014

A farewell party in Manipur, India, for Bnei Menashe Jews who were about to make aliyah. “Hope” is part of the international exhibition “Passage to Israel,” at the Sagamore Hotel in the South Beach area of Miami Beach through May 30, as part of a three-month “Peace 70” initiative (passagetoisrael.org).


Iris Cohenian

Red poppy flowers bloom in the Shokeda Forest in southern Israel. “Boy in Shokeda Forest” is part of the international exhibition “Passage to Israel,” at the Sagamore Hotel in the South Beach area of Miami Beach until May 30, as part of a three-month “Peace 70” initiative (passagetoisrael.org).

Leaving Venezuela

Sitting outside a Starbucks coffee shop in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., a small city north of Miami Beach, Paul Hariton recalled the dramatic night in 2002 when he and his wife decided to leave their native Venezuela.

Leftist leader Hugo Chavez had just returned to power after a failed coup, and the Haritons feared the political fallout.

“We thought he was gone already,” said Hariton, 56. “We came back from a big opposition demonstration in the city center where several people were shot, including one member of the community. A girl was shot in the head. She survived.”

The next day the Haritons were in Florida. Eleven years later they’re still there.

“For my kids, it was a great move,” Hariton said. “My oldest son is going to medical school. My daughter just graduated and is working at the bank. And my youngest son is 17 and is applying for university.”

Over the past decade, thousands of Venezuelan Jews have followed suit, driven abroad by rising crime rates and the growing anti-Semitism many attribute to Chavez’s harsh criticism of Israel and cozy alliance with Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. About 25,000 Jews lived in Venezuela in the 1990s — a number that has shrunk to 9,000 today, according to CAIV, the umbrella group for Venezuelan Jewry.

“I can’t tell you if 10 years from now we’ll be half of what we are, but the trend at the moment is a decreasing one, which is very worrying for the community,” said Efraim Lapscher, CAIV’s vice president.

Many Jews in Venezuela are determined to stay. They have businesses, a sense of cultural belonging and an impressive array of Jewish institutions painstakingly built over decades. Yet uncertainty after the death of Chavez last month may send more overseas to join their friends and family living abroad, many of them in Florida.

Just three hours by plane from the Venezuelan capital Caracas, the Miami region has similar weather, Spanish is widely spoken and is home to a large Jewish community, making it a favorite among Venezuelan Jews looking for a fresh start.

Many of the newcomers have joined the Michael-Ann Russel Jewish Community Center in North Miami Beach, which is somewhat reminiscent of the Hebraica, the sprawling Jewish compound in Caracas. Though it lacks the Hebraica’s dramatic surroundings — notably its location at the foot of the lush Avila mountain — the tennis courts, pool, well-kept buildings and easygoing lifestyle are much the same.

“There is a lot more use of facilities, not just for sports,” said Ariel Bentata, a Venezuelan Jew and the JCC’s president. “It’s more of a gathering place now, and that’s a big change. This is something that Venezuelan Jews have brought from the Hebraica.”

Indeed, Caraqueno transplants are likely to bump into many familiar faces in these parts. Rabbi Pynchas Brener was chief rabbi of the main Ashkenazi synagogue of Caracas for 44 years until he retired here two years ago as he neared 80.

“I could have stayed on for another three years; I was offered that opportunity,” Brener said. “But I didn’t want to at this stage of the game, basically because of the tremendous personal insecurity [in Caracas]. And I have eight of my nine grandchildren living here. So that’s why I came.”

Florida may be the destination of choice for Venezuelan Jews, most of whom live in Caracas, but it is by no means the only one. Smaller communities of Venezuelan Jewish expats exist in Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica and Guatemala — Spanish-speaking countries with small but robust Jewish populations.

Others have resettled in Israel. According to the Jewish Agency for Israel, 1,290 Venezuelans have moved to the Jewish state since 1999, numbers that do not include the Venezuelan Jews who already were Israeli citizens before they moved. A Jewish official said the number of Jews in the latter category is “sizable.”

Some Venezuelan Jews have gone on to significant successes in their adopted countries.

Venezuelan filmmaker Jonathan Jakubowicz is working on a movie starring Rober De Niro and Gael Garcia Bernal. Michel Kreisel was a member of the special effects team that won an Academy Award for “Life of Pi.” Moses Naim, Venezuela’s former minister of development, is now a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington and a respected columnist for Spain’s El Pais.

“Generally, more idealistic people or those with relatives came here,” said Maor Melul, 37, a computer engineer who moved to Israel from Caracas in January. “The people who have a lot of money go to Miami. And generally those who go to Panama and Costa Rica are waiting to go back to Venezuela if things improve.”

Melul fell in love with Tel Aviv over a previous extended stay. Most of his friends in Israel are from Brazil, Venezuela’s neighbor to the south, but if people mistake him for a Brazilian, he is quick to correct them.

“In my room I have an indigenous clay doll with the colors of the flag of Venezuela and the stars,” he said. “On my dining table I have a Venezuelan flag. And of course there’s the Venezuelan soccer team. I wore its T-shirt when I made aliyah. After you leave, you start showing your colors, showing you are Venezuelan.”

For the most part, Melul feels detached from the place he had called home for decades. Most of his family and friends either died or emigrated. Only occasionally does he feel nostalgic, like when he goes through old photo albums.

“I look at pictures of coconuts and the water and how I’d love to be there right now,” he said. “But I can’t.”

Hariton believes most Venezuelan Jews would not go back, even if things improved. They are settled in their new homes, he said, and think only sparingly of their country of birth.

“I miss what I had, which is not there anymore,” Hariton said. “The community we had and country we had is not there anymore.”