Combining biography, history and ethnography, this book simultaneously tells the story of Leon Kronish, the emergence of Miami as a center of Judaism in America, and the evolving relationship between American Jews and Israel. Founding Rabbi of Temple Beth Sholom, Miami Beach, Kronish's life shaped and was shaped by the forces that together embody the experience of his generation of American Jewry. Born in 1917, the year of the Balfour Declaration, Kronish came of age during the Depression and the New Deal, World War II and the Holocaust, the birth of Israel and the Cold War era. During this time, Miami was also coming of age, emerging from a humid southern backwater to become one of three major centers of American Jewish life. Kronish, as one of the region's most dynamic rabbis, was instrumental in constructing the gesher vakesher - bridges and bonds - linking American Jewry and Israel in the last third of the 20th century.