Finding the “journey more important than the destination”, Colombian-born Salomon Sredni thinks Jewish living in South Florida a little too easy. The large Jewish population and abundance of Jewish activities may actually create tough challenges ahead.
Salomon Sredni spent the first fourteen years of his life growing up in Cali, Colombia, in a close-knit family with a very small number of Jews around. No matter the circumstances, the family held tight to the Jewish culture, enjoying Friday night dinners, and every Sunday at the mostly social Jewish Club. “We went to a Jewish school, with about 23 kids in a class, and we kept united. Activities at the Shalom Club were purely social, with golf, swimming and leisure, all the Jews went there on Sundays,” Salomon reminisces .
Passover seders with 30 family members were common, but keeping kosher was close to impossible, however the family managed to stay close to traditions. With political and social instability in Colombia looming, the entire family, including parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins, made the move to the USA to Miami Beach, Florida.
Friday night dinners with the family continue as a cherished tradition for Salomon. His parents, Enrique and Raquel have remained in Miami Beach but spend much time with Salomon and his wife, Ellen and their twin daughters Rebecca and Kayla, 14, now residing in Davie.
The Sredni family always were strong supporters of Jewish education. Salomon attended the Hebrew Academy in Miami Beach, through high school, where he was president of the student council. He most recently completed his term as president of the board of directors of the David Posnack Hebrew Day Schools, where his daughters are students entering ninth grade.
“My daughters are walking advertisements for the school,” Salomon boasts. “They really understand what is important and they are learning information at this school that they can’t get anywhere else.”
Lifetime of Leadership
Salomon was born to lead, at Penn State University, he met Ellen and they were co-presidents of the Hillel chapter. The couple has been married over 18 years and have not shied away from leadership positions in the South Florida Jewish community. Beginning with the Miami Jewish Federation, and later on with the Posnack JCC and the David Posnack Hebrew Day School, the family has made the survival of these institutions a priority.
Also a leader in the business world, Salomon has shown the same zeal in his professional life. As a CPA, he began his career with Arthur Andersen and later with IVAX Corporation Pharmaceuticals. He was named the CEO and Director and President of TradeStation Group, where he has contributed to the success and growth of the company for the past ten years. TradeStation Group is a trading software company based in Plantation.
As a past chair of the Young President’s Organization, Salomon has taken another leadership role with this prestigious club as well. The goal of this group is to provide “better leaders through better education.” with an exclusive membership made up of mostly CEO’s and presidents of corporations and other organizations.
Believing that the biggest challenge facing the Jewish Community today is the feeling of being “too comfortable,” Salomon warns that people should not be taking this lifestyle for granted. With so many Jews in the area, there may not be the same sense of urgency that there was for his grandparents in Colombia years ago. The feeling for the survival of the Jewish people is extremely deep in the heart of Salomon Sredni and with his family he keeps the legacy alive.