• COMMISSIONER JOY MALAKOFF

    Joy's grandparents began coming to Miami Beach to escape the windy, cold Chicago winters and bought a house on 9th and Lenox Avenue around 1928.  It was a land boom time, and dozens of mansions were being built in Miami Beach.  There were large estates built on the East side of Collins Avenue and along Indian Creek.  It was also a time of gambling, prohibition, Al Capone and a wide open city.

    When Joy’s grandparents chaperoned their daughter on a trip to Havana, it was there that her Dad proposed to her Mom at the Hotel Nacional. They were married in the garden of the house on Lenox, with Travelers Palms and tropical vegetation in the background. 

    Joy remembers sitting in a un-airconditioned classroom at North Beach Elementary School on the second floor, on the side facing south, listening to the Army Air Corps troops singing while marching up 41st Street from the Collins Avenue hotels where they were staying to the Polo fields for their training and drills.

    Nautilus Jr. High was later built on these Polo fields. Joy and her classmates spent 7th grade in two Portables in the fields surrounding North Beach Elementary School, and the following year her class entered the new (now demolished and rebuilt) Nautilus Jr. High School.

    Growing up in Miami Beach Joy remembers learning to swim and dive at the Everglades Cabana Club. This was built on the site of the former Roman Pools and Casino on 22nd Street and the Ocean - right next to the beautiful, luxurious, pink Roney Plaza Hotel.

    Joy attended Miami Beach High School at the old school location at 13th and Drexel.  Miami Beach was very small in those days.  The "city" really had a small-town kind of feeling. There were only 239 in her graduating class and Beach High was much like a prep school.

    Miami Beach in the 1950’s was a great place to grow up. There were outings to Crandon Park, Fun Fair, to the beach, the 5th Street Pier and visiting the new Carl Fisher monument. Through community service projects at Beach High, she ushered at the old Miami Beach Auditorium, today the Fillmore at Jackie Gleason Theater. She had her first introduction to live classical music and opera at that time. She also remembers going to Sunday school at Temple Beth Sholom, where her grandparents were early members of the Temple, located then in a storefront on 41st Street.

    Joy graduated as valedictorian of her class, and was accepted into Radcliffe – the first girl from Miami Beach High to get into Harvard-Radcliffe College.  Years later her three children attended the same Miami Beach schools and graduated from Miami Beach Senior High School, in its new location on Dade Boulevard. Joy was active in the civic and educational life of the community and served as President of the PTA of Beach High. During this period she also completed her college education graduating from the University of Miami with honors (cum laude).

    After the PTA, Joy took leadership roles in the civic and charitable life of Miami Beach and the county. She chaired the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce for three years, and the Pillar Trustees of the Chamber for another three years. She was the recipient of the Mayor’s Shining Light award, the Breaking the Glass Ceiling award, and received the Key to the City for distinguished service on five different occasions. These are only a few of the many awards given to Joy.

    She was elected the first woman President of the Kiwanis Club of Miami Beach, served on the New World Symphony’s National Council, on the Board of Trustees of the Bass Museum and the county’s American Heart Association. Joy also served on the Board of Trustees of Temple Beth Sholom for many years. Joy was appointed to Miami-Dade county’s Community Relations Board, helping to break down barriers of discrimination.

    Joy was a member of an early City of Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board.  She worked on improvements to what was then downtrodden Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road, and chaired the city’s Planning Board for seven years. She worked on zoning changes to prevent overbuilding and to create buffer zones between residential and commercial areas.  She served most recently on the city’s Board of Adjustment, which she chaired for six years previously, and is particularly interested in promoting architectural compatibility in our neighborhoods.

    Joy was a respected banker in Miami Beach for more than 30 years, known for her integrity, financial acumen and relationship building.  She retired in 2011.

    Joy's first marriage to Al J. Alschuler was in 1956.  In 1997 Joy married Federal Administrative Law Judge J. Fred Malakoff, an old Beach High friend, and today they are active residents serving Miami Beach through various capacities.  They are a genuine Miami Beach success story, a fabric of the community, and are committed to the betterment of Miami Beach.

 
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