Temple Judea of Coral Gables honored Adah Jaffer, who recently turned 100 years old, during a special Shabbat service on Friday, May 30.
Jaffer joined Temple Judea at 5500 Granada Blvd., in 1962 and is one of its oldest founding members and past president of the Women’s Sisterhood.
Adah Straus Jaffer, who lives in Coconut Grove and turned 100 years young on May 9, has led a very interesting life that includes a successful career in show business, being a musician and serving in the military in WWII in the Women’s Army Corp (WAC) in 1943.
Her late husband, Harold Jaffer was in the Israeli army and served in the 1948 War of Independence before moving to Miami. Together they shared a passion for patriotism. He passed away in 1995. Adah is a member of the Jewish War Veterans and performed Taps for years when requested at the funerals of WAC veterans.
She was a talented musician (she played the French horn among other instruments) and a beloved wife and mother of two children.
Born in Richmond, VA on May 9, 1914, she began playing the violin at age 7 and took up the French horn at age 22, later playing in the 1970s for many years in the North Miami Concert Band and in the Greater Miami Symphonic Band.
Jaffer graduated from Columbia University in 1940 with an MA degree and during WWII, she joined the Women’s Army Corp (WAC) in 1943. She was a member and associate conductor of the 403rd ASF Band stationed in Charleston, SC. Her warrant officer ordered her to add “ward entertainment” to her military duties. She eventually reached the rank of U.S. Army Technical Sergeant.
After being discharged from the Army in 1946, she developed a stand-up comedy act in New York, New Jersey and New England for six years under the stage name “Virginia Richmond.” After retiring from show business, Jaffer taught band and orchestra at local schools. She married her husband Harold Jaffer in 1953 and moved to Miami in 1954. They had two sons when Adah was age 41 and 42, considered late in those days for a woman to have children.
She has several grandchildren now who live in Maryland and Virginia.
Jaffer was in a well-known AvMed print ad in the early 1990s playing the French horn.