Archive | May, 2008

Shalom TV brings Jewish programming to Dallas

Shalom TV brings Jewish programming to Dallas

Posted on 29 May 2008 by admin

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By Deb Silverthorn

“With Shalom TV, we’ve created a first in Jewish American history,” said Shalom TV network president and co-founder, Rabbi Mark S. Golub, noting the addition of the Dallas area brings availability to more than 16 million homes across America. “This is an experiment in Jewish life. Until now, Jewish programming has appeared on public access or purchased time. We’re excited and proud to bring a wide variety of programming to the masses.” Negotiations are in process for Shalom TV to be available on Verizon in the coming months.

Rabbi Golub calls his upbringing a “wonderfully eclectic Jewish experience.” His maternal grandparents, the late Freda and Rabbi Benjamin Newman, provided a “lovely and loving” orientation to Orthodoxy. His paternal grandparents, the late Rose and Jacob Golub, were pioneers in Jewish education, both authors, and Jacob was an original board member of The Reconstructionist magazine. Rabbi Golub is the son of the late Betty and Leo, who founded and served as leader of Bnai Torah, where Rabbi Golub joined his father as cantor.

“I grew up appreciating Jewish life with an open view of tradition,” Rabbi Golub said. “I appreciate Jewish life in its multiplicity. I’m most proud that, when I deal with people of different movements, they accept me. I am comfortable with members of all Jewish movements and, in turn, the reverse is true. We are one people; none are better or worse than another.”

Ordained at HUC–JIR in 1972, and with a degree from Columbia University, Rabbi Golub combined his love of all things Jewish with his desire to work in media. In 1990, with his brother David, he started the Russian Television Network. “This was at the time of Operation Exodus and it exceeded anything I ever could have dreamed of,” Rabbi Golub said. “Russian programming with news, soap operas, movies and an English course. It was really incredible.” In addition to his role at RTN and Shalom TV, Rabbi Golub has served as leader of Stamford, Conn.’s Congregation Chavurat Aytz Chayim for 36 years. A lover of entertainment venues, he has also produced Broadway theatrical shows including “Taller Than A Dwarf,” “If Love Were All,” “Tennessee Williams Remembered” and “It’s My Party.”

“Time Warner is committed to delivering programming that reflects the diverse interests of our customers, and Shalom TV does that,” said Rob Moel, division president of Time Warner North Texas. “We’re pleased to make it available at no additional cost and we’re confident that Shalom TV will resonate amongst our customers.” Shalom TV can be found on Time Warner’s Channel 1 On Demand by selecting “Entertainment” and then “Shalom TV.”

Programming, introduced each Sunday, includes “Jewish Film Festival” featuring American and Israeli feature films, documentaries and Yiddish classics; “The 92nd Street Y,” exclusive lectures and programs; “Jewish C-SPAN” with expert analysis and coverage of major events, rallies and national conventions with special emphasis on issues of concern to the state of Israel; and “Election 2008.” “Witness,” an interview series, features survivors of the Holocaust and their tales of terror, miracles and an undying spirit.

“L’Chayim,” which Rabbi Golub first premiered on WOR radio in 1979, is, as he described, “Nightline” meets “Larry King.” The program continued, making its way to television in 1990 on National Jewish Television. Today, the program can be found on Shalom TV.

“Hineni,” hosted by author, Holocaust survivor and founder of the Hineni Heritage Center, Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, is a review of the weekly Torah portions. “Defenders,” a series from Israel, brings to screen the personalities, training and lives of Israel Defense Forces personnel. Like a number of films aired on Shalom TV, it is shown with English subtitles and is one of Shalom TV’s top-rated shows.

Jewish studies are offered for all ages with “From the Aleph-Bet,” “Kabbalah Revealed” and “Dimensions of the Daf,” hosted by Rabbi Mordechai Becher. Rabbi Becher, also a senior lecturer for the Gateways Organization, taught at Yeshivat Ohr Somayach and Neve Yerushalayim College, and he was a chaplain in the IDF.

“Choosing Jewish Family” focuses on issues of families where a spouse has converted to Judaism, or where there is a mixed marriage, yet they are committed to creating a Jewish home. “We recognize that 30 to 40 percent of our audience isn’t Jewish,” Rabbi Golub said. “I believe we are living in an age where never before has there been as close a connection between the Jewish and Christian communities. There’s an appreciation by Christians for Jewish history, as a basis for their own. I hope Shalom TV will help to further the connection.”

“Shalom TV Kids” includes “Story Time,” “Agent Emes” and an original program, “Mr. Bookstein’s Store,” which introduces Jewish holidays, Jewish customs and the Hebrew alphabet. Talent and the joy of Jewish life runs in the family as Rabbi Golub’s wife, Ruth, is the host of “Story Time,” and daughter Darah is on “Mr. Bookstein’s Store.” The Golub family also includes sons David and Ari, daughters Jill and Sarit and grandson Aaron.

“Shalom TV provides a spectrum. It’s not Judaism; it’s not religion. It’s as much for the Modern Orthodox viewer as for a secular Jew,” Rabbi Golub said. “It’s not lost on me that my grandfather taught by paper, and I’m doing the same by video. This is a fabulous gift.”

Don’t switch that dial — or in fact do push that cable controller to Time Warner Cable’s Channel 1 On Demand, the new host to Shalom TV, the first national Jewish cable television network providing children’s shows, news, Jewish studies, films and more.

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Burmese Jew going home as Jewish groups mount aid effort

Burmese Jew going home as Jewish groups mount aid effort

Posted on 22 May 2008 by admin

By Jacob Berkman

NEW YORK (JTA) — The Starbucks on 50th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan is a world away from the gruesome mayhem that is the aftermath of the cyclone that hit Myanmar earlier this month.<br />

But as Sammy Samuels sips on a $4 coffee, his thoughts are with his home and family in the ravaged country’s capital. His is one of only eight Jewish families in Yangon.

Samuels headed there last week to deliver suitcases of water purification tablets and medicine.

When he arrived, the fourth-generation Burmese became one of the few Westerners to bring aid into Myanmar, where an estimated 1.5 million people have been severely affected by the cyclone that ripped through the country May 3.

Cyclone Nargis killed anywhere between 30,000, the number given by the country’s military rulers, and 100,000, the estimate provided by human rights groups.

With the Burmese left without homes, food, water and basic medical supplies, the United Nations is warning that the situation could spiral out of control.

Yet even as worldwide pressure is mounting on Yangon to admit aid from Western countries, and even though Thailand is becoming a staging ground for what could be the largest U.S. aid effort since the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, the military junta has refused to allow in aid workers from the West.

Only Westerners with Burmese citizenship are being allowed into the country. Aid groups, including a number of Jewish groups trying to mobilize, are waiting to help but are handcuffed.

Along with the water purification tablets, Samuels brought cash to buy a generator for Yangon’s only synagogue and hopefully to help repair the 110-year-old temple, whose roof and windows were destroyed during the cyclone.

“I’m just tired of being worried away from home,” Samuels, 27, told JTA in an interview at Starbucks. “I just can’t stay here while people are having a difficult time, having gone through these difficulties. I just can’t stay here.”

When the Samuels family moved to Burma about 80 years ago from Iraq to pursue business interests in the rice and teakwood trade, the community numbered in the thousands. Most Burmese Jews fled to Japan during World War II. The rest left when the military seized power in 1962 and nationalized many of the businesses. (The military changed the name of the country from Burma to Myanmar in 1989, and Rangoon to Yangon.)

Samuels’ family stayed and watched as the community dwindled to about 20. Four are in his family — his father, Moses; his mother, Nelly; and his two sisters, Kazna, 29, and Dina, 31.

Along with the Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue, Yangon has a Jewish cemetery. Moses Samuels, who runs a travel agency that arranges Jewish tours of Myanmar, serves as the de facto caretaker for both.

The beautiful brick synagogue features a two-tiered sanctuary — the men sit downstairs and the women in the balcony — but few worshippers attend services.

Samuels recalls that as children, he and his sisters on sunny days would sit in the sanctuary and watch as a prism of light through the stained-glass windows would be cast over the area in front of the Torah ark.

Those windows were destroyed in the cyclone.

Samuels moved to the United States in 2002 to attend Yeshiva University, from where he graduated in 2006 with a degree in international business, and to find a Jewish bride. In Myanmar, with only 15 Jews who are not family, that’s a difficult proposition.

He heads the information technology department for the American Jewish Congress but remains close to his native country. Samuels plans to move back one day, hopefully when the economy develops. Perhaps then he could earn more than the $100 to $200 a month he estimates he would earn now.

Samuels sends 10 percent of his salary to Myanmar to help keep up the synagogue and cemetery, which he estimates costs approximately $2,200 per month.

But Samuels says he feels tremendous guilt about being in the United States while his family, friends and fellow Burmese suffer through the cyclone and its aftermath.

The day it hit, he had turned off his cell phone because he was busy at work while the AJCongress held its annual meetings. Samuels turned on his phone to find 40 messages from friends and acquaintances asking about his family and the synagogue.

With no idea what was happening, he checked CNN and saw that several thousand Burmese had been killed. That number grew steadily as Samuels refreshed his browser.

He called home but couldn’t get through.

“People died. My family, I tried to call them every 15 minutes — for three days I had no contact with them,” Samuels said. “I was so worried and terrified. I had no idea what was happening.”

Samuels finally reached his family via e-mail through the Israeli embassy in Myanmar. The reports from his father were harrowing.

Though his family was unharmed in their big apartment building in Yangon, a city of 5 million, they were shaken.

“My father said in all his life, in 60 years he had never seen anything like that,” said Samuels, slight of frame, bespectacled and Asian in appearance. “Both of my sisters, they were shaking and praying. All the winds and rain and sounds were just terrifying.”

He recalls his father saying, “Even though we are here suffering like this, you cannot imagine how the small villages and the small towns and all of these small houses, what these families went though that night. You cannot imagine.”

Despite his father’s protestations, Samuels decided he would go to Burma.

“Though they wouldn’t say so, I know they wanted to see me,” he says of his family.

His two-week trip has turned into a relief mission through the help of Scott Klepper, a business consultant in Utah.

Klepper, 47, met Moses Samuels on a trip to Burma in March. Upon hearing about the cyclone, Klepper, an avid outdoorsman, remembered the water purification tablets he uses when hiking.

He pulled out one, looked at the packaging and found the manufacturer, Wisconsin Pharmaceutical. Samuels called the company’s president, who offered to sell him the pills at cost and make a donation of 20 percent of the total sale to help Myanmar.

Working with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and through a self-propelled e-mail blast, Klepper by last week had raised about $1,000 for the pills.

Klepper said he was hoping that by the time he sent the water purification pills by overnight mail to Samuels, he would have been able to buy enough to make up to 2,500 gallons of water usable.

Last week, the Hillel at New York University and two partners held a fundraiser at a downtown art gallery to help raise money for the Burmese Jewish community.

Samuels said the water purification tablets will go to help the general community, not just Jews. He also hopes the synagogue can be repaired quickly so it can take in those left homeless — Jews and non-Jews.

Two Jewish families from villages just outside Yangon are now living in a building behind the synagogue after they were left homeless. A non-Jewish family is living with them.

Samuels’ mission is only part of what is a mounting Jewish response to the cyclone.

The JDC has three staff members in some of the hardest-hit areas of Myanmar. They entered the country on Israeli passports via Israel and through Thailand.

Myanmar, unlike its paranoia about the American government, has good diplomatic relations with Israel.

The JDC opened an online mailbox to raise money and will allocate whatever it raises to help Burmese citizens of all faiths.

The United Jewish Communities and the North American Jewish federation system, as well as other groups, also will funnel money to the JDC mailbox.

During the Indian Ocean tsunami four years ago, the system raised some $18 million for relief to help build infrastructure, schools, community centers and low-income housing, the JDC’s executive director, Steve Schwager, told JTA.

The American Jewish World Service last week had raised some $60,000 to funnel to the 19 grassroots organizations it works with on the Thai-Burmese border. And B’nai B’rith International announced that it would allocate $10,000 to help the Israeli organization IsraAid send 10 relief workers, including paramedics, doctors, nurses and water specialists, to Myanmar.

A team of Israeli volunteer doctors, nurses and water specialists from two Israeli nongovernmental organizations under the umbrella of The Israel Forum for International Humanitarian also arrived in the area May 8. It is expected to stay three weeks.

But money has been slow to come in from the United States, according to Schwager. When he spoke with JTA on May 8, a day after the JDC opened its mailbox, the organization had received about $50,000. According to another senior staff member at JDC, the number still had yet to reach $100,000.

That staff member said the organization purchased a ton of bananas, rice and bottled water to ship into the region, and it was working with the Israeli Red Cross, the Magen David Adom, in getting medical workers into the region and was searching for Burmese organizations with whom JDC could partner.

The JDC expects the federation system appeal to slowly start funneling more money into the relief effort, Schwager said.

The junta is warier of foreign press than of aid workers, and it is hard to appeal for aid without adequately being able to describe to donors the situation on the ground.

“The issue is that pictures are missing from the press,” Schwager said. “It is purely all about the pictures.

“During the tsunami, it was about dead bodies in the streets and corpses not yet picked up. The folks in Myanmar are busy expelling reporters.”

Just as it did in the aftermath of the tsunami, the JDC is organizing a coalition of Jewish groups to mobilize a collaborative relief response. But while 40 to 70 organizations worked together in the aftermath of the tsunami, Schwager said only 10 participated in a conference call.

U.S. relief organizations are livid but not surprised by the junta’s actions.

“The military regime is infamous for being extremely closed to international organizations and having very strict restrictions,” said an AJWS spokesperson, who asked not to be identified. “They are one of the most egregious human rights violators in the world. It is a very difficult place to work for international groups.

“The situation now in Rangoon illustrates that the military government has no responsibility towards its citizens.”

That worker is applying for a visa into Burma and is afraid of being identified because the government, which scours the Internet for negative news reports, would likely deny the visa for speaking out against it. Similarly, Sammy Samuels won’t say much on the record about his mission, about the things he has seen in Myanmar in the past and about his feelings on the situation there now.

Samuels loves the Burmese people. He says they are peaceful, respectful of other faiths and beautiful. And he is hopeful that one day the country will open up.

“It is not their fault. They should make a positive thing now and join with all the relief workers to let them in,” he said of the government. “The natural disaster is not their fault, but their action now, that is their fault.”

Is he angry?

“Yeah,” he says, but then tempers his response. “Not only me, but all the international people.”

But his eyes belie his lips, framed by the sparse beginnings of a Vandyke beard. They grow cold and angry when he says that he understands the government’s position on not allowing in aid to help the 1.5 million citizens it claims to protect because he understands the junta is afraid of Western influence from aid workers influencing a coup.

Those eyes warn that one should not misread that understanding as sympathy. And they grow a little nervous when he is asked to consider if something should go wrong, if authorities grow fickle and arrest him for bringing in aid from a Western country — albeit just a suitcase or two of tablets and medicine.

“I hope they have sympathy,” he said. “It is part of he Burmese culture. But whatever happens, I have to go.”

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A Tribute to Rabbi Leibowitz

Posted on 19 May 2008 by admin

A Tribute to Rabbi Leibowitz
Rebbi: ‘I see six and one-half yeshivos’

“Rebbi.” One of the most beautiful words in the Hebrew language is “Rebbi” – “my Torah teacher.” It is a title that the teacher must earn through acquiring Torah knowledge and then transmit it through love and affection to his students. When earned, the word is said with love and respect of the highest nature. It bonds the Rebbi and his student together like no other word.

I write these thoughts 32,000 feet above the earth as I am flying back to Dallas after spending an emotionally draining afternoon in New York, where I attended the funeral of my Rebbi, Rabbi Alter Hanoch Henach Leibowitz, of blessed memory, the rosh ha-yeshiva of the famed Chofetz Chaim Yeshiva, Queens, N.Y. Thirty-eight years ago, I had the privilege of being a talmid (student) in the rosh ha-yeshiva’s blatt shiur (Talmud class). I still remember the first time I asked the rosh ha-yeshiva a question and prefaced it with the magical word “Rebbi.” Triggered by that word, feelings of awe, love and warmth flowed through my body. For 38 years, every time I spoke or wrote a letter to the rosh ha-yeshiva and used this hallowed name, I felt elevated and truly blessed.

How did Rebbi command the respect, reverence, loyalty, and love of thousands of talmidim, including me, across the globe? I believe the answer is multifaceted.

Rebbi was a world-class scholar and pedagogue. His in-depth analysis of a Talmudic passage or a commentary on the Torah would illuminate otherwise hidden nuggets of beauty that the Talmid would otherwise skim over and miss. He would challenge us by giving us the texts to study before class or before his lecture, and then created an atmosphere of give-and-take between us to tackle a difficult Torah topic. He listened keenly to our questions and approaches and gently guided us to a sound Torah answer. He would take off his jacket, roll up his sleeves, and learn with us with gusto. He gave us the keys to sharpen our abilities of in-depth analysis and an appreciation for the exactitude with which the commentaries wrote their interpretations. When Rebbi saw that the study was becoming too difficult and intense, he would laugh or sing and launch into stories of the gedolim (Torah giants) or the Torah approach to modern-day issues. We then would return to the Torah topic at hand mentally and emotionally refreshed.

Rebbi loved us. Once I drove Rebbi to the barbershop. After entering the shop, I gently and respectfully helped Rebbi take off his coat and I hung it up. The barber came over to us and asked me, “Is this your father?” I proudly answered, “No, he is my teacher.” Yet Rebbi said, “But he is my son.”

Rebbi taught us how to be caring and sensitive with one’s spouse. Over the years, a number of the older single talmidim would dorm in the Rebbi’s basement. I had this phenomenal privilege for close to two years. Coming home from yeshiva and seeing how Rebbi interacted with his first rebbetzin before her passing left an indelible impression on me. The respect, love, and modesty that they had were exemplary. I never heard either one ever raise their voices to each other. I remember the rebbetzin telling me that her job in life was to take care of the rosh ha-yeshiva. The rebbetzin didn’t want Rebbi to wash the dishes. Once she had an appointment which precluded her from cleaning the dishes. Before she left home, she put a sign on the sink: “Please don’t wash the dishes. There is a problem with the water faucet.” Yet, when she returned home, she saw that the dishes were removed from the sink and that Rebbi was washing them in the bathroom sink.

Rebbi taught us humility. When he was asked a question, invariably he would sigh and say “Ich vais?” – “Do I know?” – or “Oy vey!” and then proceed with answering the question in a most insightful way. My brother-in-law from Miami once asked Rebbi how he was able to remain humble. Invariably after he gave public lectures, many people would come over, lavish praise on Rebbi and shake his hand. Rebbi smiled and said, “Reb Avraham Gershon, when people do this, I squeeze their hand in appreciation of their good wishes, but at the same time I consciously think of the many blatt (pages) of the Talmud that I don’t know!”

As the yeshiva grew and its influence was having a greater and greater impact on the klal, Rebbi would thank HaShem and minimize his role by telling us it was in the merit of his father, Reb Dovid, zichrono levracha, who founded the yeshiva and toiled so intently on behalf of his talmidim. He withstood bizyonos – degradations -that came with the building of a Torah organization in an American environment which didn’t appreciate it.

Rebbi taught us to be honest. Rebbi would stress the importance of clearly understanding the basic steps of the Talmud before delving into the commentaries of the sages which would then catapult the topic of Talmud at hand to an entirely new level. Rebbi would tell us not to fall into the trap of fooling ourselves and then impressing others by how intelligent we appear to be. Once after spending a considerable amount of time on a certain topic, Rebbi told us that we would have to leave the topic with unanswered questions. Hopefully when we would study the topic again, HaShem would open our eyes to be able to answer these questions. Though Rebbi could have fooled us by developing an approach that would have sounded acceptable to us, he opted to say he didn’t know!

Rebbi taught us patience. Though he would inspire us to appreciate spreading Torah to our fellow Jews, he urged us to complete the rigorous yeshiva program which spanned up to 15 years of post-high-school intense study. We would ask Rebbi that since the need to teach our fellow Jews is so tremendous wouldn’t it be better if the program was shorter to enable us to start teaching sooner? Rebbi would smile and say, “If they send out a medical student before he completes his studies, they are sending out a butcher and not a surgeon.”

Rebbi taught us how to respect others and give them strength. A close friend of mine learned in the yeshiva for a number of years. He then decided to leave the program and enter the business field. Yet he began to feel guilty that he left the yeshiva and he scheduled an appointment with Rebbi. After the meeting he came to me and said, “Aryeh, I feel so inspired. When I cried to Rebbi that I was a failure because I am no longer in the yeshiva, Rebbi soothed me by saying “Zvulen (not his real name), what do you mean? You will be a rosh ha-yeshiva in your office. By being honest, reliable, showing concern and compassion for others, treating people with respect, not cursing, not speaking lashon hara, you will teach others how to act. You will sanctify the Name of HaShem at your office and wherever you go!” I remember the happiness and positive energy my friend exuded and he became a well respected individual who, along with his children and sons-in-law, would learn and support the yeshiva and other Torah institutions.

Rebbi taught us to laugh. Rebbi would often say that the two essential components for coping with and surmounting the vicissitudes and challenges of life are faith in HaShem and a good sense of humor. Being able to joke helps remove the edge off problems and helps us not take ourselves too seriously. Rebbi loved to hear funny stories. Whenever I would tell Rebbi a joke, Rebbi would always give a hearty laugh. Even though in retrospect a number of the jokes weren’t that funny, I believe Rebbi wanted to teach me the importance of laughing and making someone else feel happy.

Rebbi taught us the importance of Mesorah. Rebbi stressed that we can be creative but never innovative. The Torah was given to Klal Yisroel as a “morasha”- an heirloom – and not a “matana” – a gift. There is a major difference between the two. The receiver of a gift can do whatever he wants with it. He can change, alter, or even destroy it. On the other hand, an heirloom must be preserved and protected and then passed down immutably to the next generation. The Rebbi plays a pivotal role in this process and must accurately understand the principles of Yiddishkeit taught to him by his Rebbi and then steadfastly apply them to the situation he currently faces. Rebbi would share with us the difficulties that Rebbi dealt with, and the reservoir of strength and emotional fortitude that Rebbi was able to access by contemplating how his Rebbi would have dealt with it. Rebbi would spend much time with us and share in great detail Rebbi’s reasoning for the various actions that he took or didn’t take in order to help us better understand the tenets of Yiddishkeit.

Rebbi taught us the importance of learning mussar on a daily basis. There was an emphasis placed on working to refine one’s character. It was truly inspiring to see Rebbi sit down in the yeshiva and totally immerse himself in the study of one of the classical mussar texts. This lesson had the biggest impact on me in the following incident that took place after I left the yeshiva. Thirteen years ago, Rebbi spent Shabbos in Dallas and participated as our distinguished guest speaker for our shul Saturday night dinner. That Shabbos was one of the best Shabboses of my life. Later on that evening the shul function was a smashing success as the attendees were inspired by Rebbi. After we arrived home we spoke for awhile and I expressed my appreciation to Rebbi. It was around 1:30 a.m. when I said goodnight to Rebbi and Rebbi retired to his room. As I was “floating around” my living room Rebbi emerged from his room. I quickly went over to Rebbi and asked if everything was fine and if I could offer Rebbi anything? Rebbi smiled and answered, “Aryeh, I didn’t learn my mussar today and I came out to go to your study to borrow a ‘Chovos Halevavos.’ It might be very early in the morning on a motzai Shabbos but a day shouldn’t go by without learning mussar.”

Rebbi taught us how to solve our dilemmas. When a serious issue came up requiring a certain amount of time to consult with Rebbi, we would make an appointment with Rebbi. Just knowing that we would be afforded the opportunity to spend time with Rebbi was very comforting. Often when the time came for the appointment and we entered Rebbi’s office or living room, Rebbi would begin the conversation by sighing and saying, “Oy vey, I’m in rough shape.” Rebbi would then relate a difficulty he was experiencing with the yeshiva or a personal health problem, and we would find ourselves trying to comfort our beloved Rebbi. By the time we would speak about our problem, we would see it in a different perspective and realize that it wasn’t as severe as we had originally thought.

Rebbi would intently listen to our problem. Many times he would crystallize the options that were in front of us, and then he would want us to make the decision. I remember when I was going out to find my kallah, I would look forward to discussing my dates with Rebbi. Rebbi would insightfully point out to me what were red flags that I should be wary of and what were incidents of little or no concern. After going out on a number of dates with a young lady, I remember walking with Rebbi and asking about different situations that occurred. Rebbi felt that I was over-analyzing what was happening and gently said, “Aryeh, you know people do get married.” I chuckled, and shortly thereafter proposed to the young woman who eventually became my wife.

Rebbi taught us to have vision. A number of years ago, our Dallas boys’ yeshiva took a class trip to New York. The highlight of the trip was meeting with Rebbi. As soon as the 13 young men were ushered into the room, Rebbi looked at them and, with a smile, said, “I see six and one-half yeshivos.” Though these young men were just learning to interpret the Talmud, Rebbi foresaw the tremendous potential that each one possessed and felt that each one of them could pair up and, with the proper training and commitment, start a yeshiva.

Rebbi had and continues to have such a dominant impact on my life. He guided me through every major decision that I have made through the last 38 years by opening up his mind, heart and soul to me. Rebbi said that he would give his blood, sweat, and tears for his Talmidim and he was true to his word. Rebbi taught my pious father-in-law, zichrono levracha, and (may we merit long life) myself and my sons and son-in-law. Rebbi inspired me to become a rabbi and gave me his blessings to move to Dallas to try to build a Torah community. Though I moved 1500 miles away from Rebbi, in a true sense Rebbi came with me. Shortly after I became the rabbi of the shul I called Rebbi and proudly said, “Everything is going beautifully. Membership is booming, classes are very well attended and the congregants are thirsting for Torah knowledge.” Rebbi wished me well. Yet within a month I called back Rebbi for renewed strength and inspiration and this time I said,”Rebbi, I have a number of serious problems within the shul. I need Rebbi’s help.” Rebbi chuckled and responded, “Baruch HaShem! Aryeh, when you first called and said that everything was going well I was concerned that you weren’t doing anything. By definition, helping to build a Torah organization involves dealing with major challenges and obstacles. Now that you say that you are encountering difficulties I feel much better.” I couldn’t help but smile and say, “Rebbi, based on what is happening here I must be doing a spectacular job!”

It is impossible to put into words the appreciation that I have for my esteemed Rebbi. The greatest way for Rebbi’s talmidim to express our gratitude is to share with others the lessons that Rebbi so lovingly taught us.

Our rabbis tell us that it takes 40 years to understand what our Rebbi tells us. Close to 40 years ago, when I was in that barbershop, Rebbi called me his son. I really didn’t understand the significance of what Rebbi meant. According to halachah, one rends one’s garment on the passing of his immediate family members on the right side of his shirt. However for a parent the garments are torn directly over one’s heart. The only other person for whom one expresses his mourning in this manner is for his main Rebbi; the Torah teacher who most significantly shaped his life. When I attended Rebbi’s funeral, I stood up with hundreds of talmidim at the yeshiva and many more around the world, and sadly but proudly tore my garments over my heart for my revered Rebbi, my beloved father.

May Rebbi’s memory be blessed.

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Around the Town — May 2008

Posted on 09 May 2008 by admin

Child prodigies from Israel to perform in Fort Worth June 1

An unprecedented and memorable opportunity will present itself to the Metroplex when eight children from Israel who are prodigies in piano and violin perform in Fort Worth this Sunday, June 1, at 6:15 p.m. at Congregation Ahavath Sholom, 4050 S. Hulen. This is their only public concert, other than Las Vegas, in the United States. They are visiting the U.S. as part of the 60th anniversary celebration of Israel.

The extremely talented youngsters, ages 11–14, are known as the Kiryat Bialik Youth Violin Ensemble. The ensemble is part of the Kiryat Bialik Conservatory in Israel, which was founded in 1970 and has been led since 1994 by Mrs. Anna Asaf. Its mission is to provide a high level of musical education to the youth of Israel.

One of the students who will be performing is piano prodigy Alon Petrilin, the winner of the Golden Chanukah Lamp competition in Berlin. The remaining students are seven of the top violinists from this youth program.

Celebrating the founding of Israel as a modern nation 60 years ago is very important to the Jewish community in Tarrant County. This event, which follows a community event on May 11, continues the theme of “Israel Today and Beyond.”

In addition to their stop in Fort Worth, the Kiryat Bialik Youth Violin Ensemble will also perform in Las Vegas as well as Mexico City later in the month.

This concert is open to the public. Tickets are $18 in advance and $25 at the door for adults, and $5 in advance and $10 at the door for students.

For information, call 817-731-4721.

Hadassah presents women’s program on cervical cancer

The Fort Worth Chapter of Hadassah is excited to invite all women and their teenage daughters from the Fort Worth and Tarrant County area to a “Lunch and Learn” on the important issue of preventing cervical cancer. Beginning at 12:30 this Sunday, June 1, at Beth-El Congregation in Fort Worth, Hadassah will present a program dedicated to safeguarding the health of women everywhere through preventive health practices and treatment.

Hadassah urges women and teenage girls to attend this vital, informative program that will empower women of all ages to make informed choices for the improvement of their own, their daughters’, their aunts’ and their families’ personal health and well-being.

Unlike most cancers, cervical cancer can be prevented. Recent research has shown that HPV is the cause in almost all cases of cervical cancer. The two age groups of women most susceptible to HPV and cervical cancer are between the ages of 15–27 and 55–75. Come to this luncheon and take control of your cervical cancer risk!

Three experts who will be present and are well qualified to answer all of your questions include Valerie Lowenstein, Nancy Jo Reedy and Sue Story.

Valerie is Hadassah’s national chair of Women’s Health and HPV and Cervical Cancer and immediate past president of the Boston Chapter of Hadassah.

Nancy Jo Reedy, RN, CNM and MPH, is the recipient of the 2007 Hattie Hemschemeyer Award, the most prestigious award of the American College of Nurse Midwives. Her many accomplishments include founding the midwifery practice at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, which is the largest midwifery service in the United States. She is currently the director of THC Nurse Midwives in Fort Worth and has a longstanding commitment to underserved women and to the nurse-midwifery profession caring for women, babies and nurse-midwives.

Sue Story, a board certified nurse-midwife, is a specialist in HPV and cervical cancer. The mother of two grown children, she is warm, open and approachable, perfect for addressing the concerns of both teenagers and their mothers.

Hadassah has a dedicated working luncheon committee of Laurie Blum, Rhoda Bernstein, Jill Imber, Karen Telschow Johnson, Randee Kaitcer, Lihi Zabari Kamen, Karen Kaplan, Mona Karten, Elyse Kitterman, Orit Paytan, Zoë Stein Pierce, Debby Rice, Naomi Rosenfield, Cindy Simon and Laurie Werner.

For more information, you can contact Jill Imber at 817-926-7968, Debby Rice at 817-332-0022 or Lihi Kamen at 817-764-3452. See you there!

As an added note: congratulations to Hadassah stalwarts, Mona Karten and Debby Rice, who will serve the chapter in the top leadership position of co-presidents in the coming years.

Sankarys raise $19,000 for neuroblastoma treatment

On Wednesday, May 21, Alexa Sankary’s mom took her and her fellow members of Trinity Valley School’s Girl Scout Troop 2440 to Cook Children’s Medical Center. It was a very special trip for Alexa and her friends. At Cook, they delivered a check for $19,000 for neuroblastoma treatment and research to the hematology/oncology unit. Dr. Megan Granger accepted the check on behalf of the center, and said the money would be used for neuroblastoma research, family and parent education and support.

The Sankarys raised the money through the first annual Walk for Neuroblastoma last month. The walk was in memory of Michael Mancuso, Alexa’s friend who died of the childhood cancer last year. The walk also honored 2-year-old Kyla Moore, who is in treatment for neuroblastoma.

Adam Korenman graduates, is commissioned

The weekend of May 16–18 was of major importance to Dr. Michael and Etta Korenman. Their son Adam graduated from Boston University and received his commissioning from his ROTC unit. Adam received his first salute as a lieutenant in a very moving ceremony at historic Faneuil Hall. He will be part of the Charles River battalion, National Guard reserve unit. In the meantime, he is looking to pursue writing for television, film and books. Dallas folks will see him soon when he comes in to perform with The Rif (, an amazing band.

The Korenmans celebrated that evening with big brother Joey, sister Sarah, Joey’s fiancé Amy Myers, and former ourtowners, Drs. David and Rachel Wexler and sons, Ariel and Yoel. Yoel is a freshman at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Mazel tov to grads

Congratulations to our college grads: Michael Cobert, son of Ann and Scott Cobert, has earned his master’s degree in biomedical engineering and has been accepted to the doctorate program at Southwest Medical School.

Ken Cooper graduated from Cal State at Long Beach with a bachelor’s in film and television production. He is the son of Debbie Cooper and Mark and Semé Cooper. Ken is also the grandson of Shirley and Larry Goodwin and Jean and Arvie Cooper. Samantha Cooper graduated from R.L. Paschal Senior High School. She is the daughter of Sheila and Scott Cooper, and granddaughter of Jean and Arvie Cooper. Samantha is also the granddaughter of the late Charlotte and Max Fleischmann.

Shani Kaesler, daughter of Stephanie and Todd Webster, graduated from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. She is also the granddaughter of Harry Kahn and of the late Doris Kahn. Shani plans to practice law in California.

Matt Owen graduated with a BFA in communications design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. He is the son of Marla and Foster Owen and the grandson of Colleen and Charlie Owen and the late Charlotte and Max Fleischmann. Matt will remain in New York to work full time for Dress Code NY, a graphic design company where he has been interning this last year.

Mallory Paul received her degree from the University of Texas. She is the daughter of Carol Paul and Tommy and Karen Paul and the granddaughter of Sylvia and Al Wexler.

Haim Vasquez Echeverri graduated from UNT with degrees in psychology and international studies. He and wife, Sarah, will be on the move to New Orleans, where he has been accepted to Loyola Law School.

Daniel José Zeilicovich graduated from the American Hebrew Academy. He is the son of Graciela and Rabbi Alberto Zeilicovich and the grandson of Carlota and Isaac Vainstein and Clara Zeilicovich and the late Moshe Zeilicovich. Attending the graduation with the Zeilicovich family were good friends, Rose and Al Sankary, who also had special nachas when they attended their grandson Matt Bodzy’s graduation from Arizona State in Tempe. Matt is also the grandson of Bessie Bodzy and the late Irv Bodzy.

We would still like to hear about your grads. Please send the details to Rene at

Hadassah: all in the family

Where does the time go! The older I get, it seems the faster it goes. I’m not complaining Every day is a bonus and a blessing!

It hardly seems possible that Laurie Barnett Werner, a third-generation Hadassah leader, has completed her three-year term of office as president of the Greater Southwest Region of Hadassah. Laurie and her sister, Rhoda Bernstein, who also serves on the national board of Hadassah, follow proudly in the footsteps of their mother, Madlyn Barnett, and late grandmother, Ella Brachman, both outstanding Hadassah leaders and devotees. Their Hadassah family also includes Debby Brachman Rice, who was recently elected a regional vice-president and has edited the Regional News bulletin/magazine for long years, and Karen Kaplan, who has served in many Hadassah executive positions. Their family contribution of service to Hadassah also included their aunt, the late Dora Brachman Ginsburg, and her daughter, the late Rowena Kimmell. Accolades are due Laurie Werner, who brought the Southwest Region to new heights of success and leaves it in good shape to her successor, Barbara Shurberg.

New homes for former ourtowners

Reports of former Fort Worthians tell me that Shirley Cohen. Natalie Cohn, Hanna Hochster and Nancy Rakoover are enjoying their new home at the plush Legacy in Plano. In the meantime, I chatted with former ourtowner, Cecily Renov, who is happy as a lark in her new home in an elegant hotel in Hollywood, Calif., near both her son and family, Michael and Kathy Renov and daughters, and daughter and son-in-law, Sheila and Marc.

JFS seniors celebrate Mother’s Day

The JFS seniors had a wonderful celebration for Mother’s Day. They partied on Friday, May 9 with roses, a special breakfast and small gifts. The talented Cherkosovs played sentimental “Mom” music on the piano and violin for them and it was delightful!

It was also an important holiday for the Russian seniors. May 9 is Russian Independence Day. It is the day Russia celebrates its victory over the Nazis in World War II. Aron Goldenberg, who served bravely at the Russian front during this time, was honored with pleasure by the JFS seniors for his service. Mr. Goldenberg is 95 years old and still participates in the JFS senior program.

Congrats to grads

Congratulations to Mallory Paul, daughter of Carol Paul and Tommy Paul and granddaughter of Al and Sylvia Wexler, and Taylor Luskey, daughter of Susan and Allan Luskey, who both graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. And, too, Matthew Bodzy, son of Becca and Allen Bodzy and grandson of Rose and Al Sankary and Bessie Bodzy and the late Irv Bodzy, who graduated from Arizona State University in Tempe. Added congratulations to Rabbi Baruch and Graciela Zeilicovich on the graduation of their son, Danny, from the American Hebrew Institute in North Carolina.

Camp Shalom seeks counselors

Patty White, director of the Lil Goldman Preschool and Camp Shalom, tells the TJP she is looking for Jewish teens and young adults (age 17 and older) to serve as counselors at Camp Shalom this summer. Camp Shalom is the only Jewish summer camp in Tarrant County. For more information, please call Patty at 817-737-9898.

Ahavath Sholom honors confirmands

The 2008 confirmation class of Congregation Ahavath Sholom will be honored at a family Shabbat dinner at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 30. The Kiryat Bialik Youth Ensemble from Israel will be attending also. Cost is $15/adults, $8/children 5–12 and free for children under 5. Shabbat services and confirmation exercises will be at 8 p.m.

The class includes Savannah Berman, daughter of Karen and Danny Berman; Marc Bumpus, son of Elaine and Rodney Bumpus; David Goldstein, son of Suzanne Goldstein and Red and Julie Goldstein; Erie Kuptsin, son of Polina and Michael Kuptsin; Sheryl Lysyansky, daughter of Faina and Emil Lysyansky and Melanie Smith, daughter of Annette and Mitchell Smith.

On Saturday morning, Rabbi Mauricio Balter, Rabbi of Hakrayot Masorti Congregation in Kiryat Bialik, Israel, will be the special guest speaker at Shabbat services, at 9:30 a.m. Children of Torah Troop will lead the services.

Adult education class on sacrifice

A three-week adult education class at Congregation Ahavath Sholom on “Blood, Gore and Connecting with G-d: Struggling with Sacrifice in Judaism” will be led by David Saul. The classes will be held on May 28, June 4 and June 11 starting at 7 p.m. All interested persons are welcome to attend. Information is available by calling Congregation Ahavath Sholom, 817-731-4721.

Saul said, “Although sacrifices seem alien to us, they make sense within the ancient Israelite worldview. What can we learn from the range of positions on sacrifices we see in our texts and tradition?”

Fanny Brooks is 90

Three rabbis from two different Beth-El congregations joined to celebrate the simcha of Fanny Brooks’ 90th birthday at Fort Worth’s Beth-El Congregation on May 9.

Fanny is an active part of Beth-El and Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger acknowledged her as one of his “regulars.” Prior to coming to Fort Worth, she was a member of Beth-El in San Antonio. Rabbi Sam Stahl and his successor, Rabbi Barry Block, made the trip north to share their recollections of Fanny and join in the tribute.

A musical service, June 6

Come to Beth-El Shabbat services and so much more on Friday, June 6 at 8 p.m.! During the service, there will be an exceptional performance featuring violinist Curt Thompson, TCU professor and director of the Mimir Chamber Music Festival, and José Feghali, also a TCU music professor and a Van Cliburn International Competition gold medalist. They will play selections from the upcoming Mimir Chamber Music Festival, the premier festival in the South Central United States dedicated exclusively to the study and performance of chamber music.

Curt Thompson, the founder and director of the Mimir Chamber Music Festival, serves as associate professor of violin at TCU. He has given recitals throughout Europe and Latin America, and has been a featured artist in festivals in Brazil, Mexico and Spain. Thompson holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees and the prestigious Performer’s Certificate from Indiana University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Rice University in Houston.

Gold Medalist and winner of the Chamber Music prize at the 7th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, José Feghali has been artist-in-residence at TCU’s School of Music since 1990, and is associate director of the Mimir Chamber Music Festival. His concert appearances include such renowned orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, Gewandhaus of Leipzig, and the Shanghai and Beijing symphony orchestras. He has performed in all the major cities in North America.

Hollace Weiner honored by B’nai B’rith; past award winners recalled

There were many touching moments at B’nai B’rith’s Jewish Person of the Year Dinner held at Mira Vista Country Club on May 4, especially when Hollace Weiner, who has led a myriad of worthy projects for both our community and Beth-El Congregation, received this year’s award. Also paid tribute to were previous winners including Leon Brachman, (named twice), Jerry Wolens, Lou Barnett, Leon Gachman, Madlyn Barnett, Sandra Freed, Sherwin Rubin, Bernie Appel, Leroy Solomon. Buddy Freed, Karen Brachman, Hortense Deifik, Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger, Beverly Moses, Dr. Ron Stocker, Stuart and Rebecca Isgur, Miriam Labovitz, Harry Kahn, the father-and-son team of Leslie and Jeff Kaitcer, Dr. Michel Ross, Dr. Al Faigin, Marcia Kornbleet Kurtz (who was honored twice), Al Wexler, Lon Werner, Earl Givant, Al Sankary and David Beckerman. Also recognized were late community leaders who had received the Isadore Garsek Lodge’s high honor during some point in their lifetime. Among them were David Greines, the first honoree in 1951. Additionally, I.E. Horwitz (named twice), Sol Brachman, Ella Brachman, Maurice Rabinowitz, Sophia Miller, Rabbi Isadore Garsek, Dr. Frank Cohen, Rabbi Robert J. Schur, Dr. Abe Greines, Dr. Harold Freed, Mickey Goldman, Sid Raimey, Ben Coplin, Sheldon Labovitz, Charlie Levinson, Burnis Cohen, Larry Kornbleet, Ruby Kantor, Rowena Kimmell, Wally Nass, Herby Berkowitz, Manny Rosenthal, Sam Weisblatt, Cecile and David Echt, Faye Berkowitz and Seymour Kanoff.

We will all think of each one of these rare community servants and the many good tasks they performed for the betterment of our community and city.

The Jewish Person of the Year Committee included Marvin Beleck, Robert Chicotsky, Gerald Hecht, Rich Hollander, Harry Kahn, Jeff Kaitcer, Mike Luskey and Alex Nason.

New officers of the Lodge include Foster Owen, president; Dan Sturman, Scott Cobert, Ebi Lavi, vice presidents; Jeff Kaitcer, secretary; David Hecht, treasurer; Leslie Kaitcer, warden; Charlie Freid, chaplain; and Earl Givant, Gerald Hecht and Harry Kahn, officers at large. Named to the board of directors were Marvin Beleck, Robert Chicotsky, Alvin Daiches, Rich Hollander, Joe Klein, Michael Kuptsin, Dr. Bruce Miller, Dr. Irv Robinson, Dr. Barry Schneider, Leroy Solomon, Dr. Gene Vertkin and Rabbi Alberto Zeilicovich.

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Two Beth-El members honored

Beth-El Congregation is celebrating honors accorded to two of their outstanding members. First and foremost, spiritual leader Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger, who was recently designated as one of the outstanding brilliant personalities by Fort Worth magazine, will be honored again this evening (Thursday) by State of Israel Bonds at their 60th Anniversary Awards Reception hosted by Laurie and Len Roberts at their home. A distinguished theologian, Rabbi Mecklenburger was the 1986 recipient of the Federation’s Leon and Fay Brachman Young Leadership Award. He was also named one of the community’s “Movers and Shakers” by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In 1988 and in 1992, B’nai B’rith named him “Jewish Man of the Year.”

Co-chairs for the evening are Maddy Lesnick and Roz Rosenthal. Serving on their Tribute Committee are Louise and Gordon Appleman, Sandra and Sol Brody, Sara Betty Gilbert, Sherri and Joseph Gorsd, Judie B. and Bob Greenman, Terri and David Halpern, Eileen and Mort House, Laurie and Howard Kelfer, Diane and Sam Kleinman, Marjorie and Alan Kottler, Louise and Hugh Lamensdorf and Phyllis and Sheldon Levy. Also, Carol and Richard Minker, Shirley and Herman Morris, Joan and Sam Rosen, Beverly and Michael Ross, Kristin and Michael Sankary, Paul Schwartz, Rose-Marie and Len Schweitzer, Cindy and Robert Simon, Natalie Simon, Roger Simon, Jude and Marc Sloter and Dorothy and Harold Winston.

Guest speaker is Ambassador Yoram Ettinger, a veteran Israeli diploma and specialist on U.S. policy in the Middle East.

Added pride for Beth-El: Their president, Marc Sloter, is one of the “Forty Under Forty” to be honored by the Fort Worth Business Press on Wednesday, May 28 at the Fort Worth Club.

B’nai B’rith recognizes Person of the Year and scholarship winners

Last Sunday evening at Mira Vista Country Club, in a total surprise announcement made by last year’s Man of the Year honoree, David Beckerman, he named local author Hollace Weiner as B’nai B’rith’s Person of the Year. An outstanding leader and historian at Beth-El Congregation, Hollace has brought various aspects of Texas Jewry to the forefront with noteworthy success and interest in her well-accepted historic books.

Isadore Garsek Lodge BB leader Charlie Freid, who has done a super job as scholarship chairman for long years, announced that this year’s winners were high school seniors, Ace Factor, son of Kim and Abe Factor and Steven Gershengoren, son of Alex and Oyueor Gershengoren. A National Merit Scholar, Steven expressed his thanks to B’nai B’rith, adding that he was the first member of his family to have the opportunity to go to college and that some day he hoped he would be able to repay this mitzvah. Steven was educated at the Hebrew Day School and Fort Worth public schools. He is the grandson of Ilya and Udel Elgert, members of the JFS Seniors group who were unable to attend the dinner, and the brother of Lena, who was excited to see her younger brother so honored.

Brandon Chicotsky, son of Donna and Robert Chicotsky, spoke about “Hillel on the College Campus.” Foster Owen is president of the Isadore Garsek Lodge. Alex Nason is the retiring president.

‘Daytimers’ to tour Japanese Garden

Next event for the “Daytimers” will be a tour of the 7.5-acre Japanese Garden in the Fort Worth Botanic Garden on Wednesday, May 21. The group will meet at Beth-El at noon for lunch, and then carpool to the garden.

The garden was built in 1970 and many of the plants and construction materials were donated by Fort Worth’s sister city, Nagaoka, Japan. Attractions at the garden include a meditation garden, a moon viewing deck, a pagoda and fish food dispensers to feed the hundreds of koi in the garden’s ponds.

At the heart of the landscape is a system of ponds, surrounded by hills and enclosed by a network of interconnected paths, pavilions, bridges and decks. Built in the tradition of Edo-period (1600–1868) stroll gardens, the Fort Worth Japanese Garden integrates several styles of garden design into a single landscape. Examples of the “Hill-and-Pond,” “Dry Landscape,” “Tea Garden” and “Enclosed-Garden” types are all expressed here. The garden features architectural elements derived from venues historically associated with Japanese gardening. Included are Buddhist temples, Imperial villas, the estates of Samurai lords and the townhouse gardens of wealthy merchants.

Lunch will be catered by Jason’s Deli, and guests have a choice of turkey breast, chicken salad or tuna salad. The $10 charge includes lunch and the garden tour. For persons who wish to attend the tour only, cost is $4. Mike Blanc is arranging car pools for the trip from Beth-El to the garden.

For reservations for “Daytimers” events, call Barbara Rubin, 817-927-2736, or Sylvia Wexler, 817-294-1129, or checks can be mailed to Daytimers, Jewish Federation, 4049 Kingsridge Road, Fort Worth, TX 76109. The Sylvia Wolens “Daytimers” is a program of Congregation Beth-El with financial support from the Jewish Federation.

Fort Worth Hadassah ‘Lunch and Learn’ at Beth-El, June 1

The Fort Worth Chapter of Hadassah is excited to invite all women and their teenage daughters from the Fort Worth and Tarrant County area to a “Lunch and Learn” on the important issue of preventing cervical cancer. Beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 1, at Beth-El Congregation, Hadassah will present a program dedicated to safeguarding the health of women everywhere through preventive health practices and treatment.

This informative program will empower women of all ages to make informed choices for the improvement of their own, their daughters’, their aunts’ and their families’ personal health and well-being.

Unlike most cancers, cervical cancer can be prevented. However, most women don’t know that the Pap test may not find abnormal cells in the cervix until cancer has already developed. There is now a new test that can be given along with the Pap smear to detect the virus that causes the abnormal cells. It’s called the human papillomavirus test (HPV test). Recent research has shown that HPV is the cause in almost all cases of cervical cancer. The two age groups of women most susceptible to HPV and cervical cancer are between the ages of 15-27 and 55-75. Experts who are qualified to answer all of your questions include:

• Valerie Lowenstein, Hadassah national chair of women’s health and HPV and cervical cancer. Valerie is the immediate past president of the Boston Chapter of Hadassah.

• Nancy Jo Reedy, R.N., CNM, MPH. Recipient of the 2007 Hattie Hemschemeyer Award, the most prestigious award of the American College of Nurse Midwives. Nancy Jo’s many accomplishments include founding the midwifery practice at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, which is the largest midwifery service in the United States. She is currently the director of THC Nurse Midwives in Fort Worth and has a long-standing commitment to underserved women and to the nurse-midwifery profession, caring for women and babies.

• Sue Storry, R.N., CNM, M.S. Sue is a board certified nurse-midwife and is a specialist in HPV and cervical cancer. The mother of two grown children, she is warm, open and approachable, perfect for addressing the concerns of both teenagers and their mothers!

Hadassah has a working luncheon committee of Rhoda Bernstein, Alicia Buescher, Jill Imber, Karen Telschow Johnson, Randee Kaitcer, Lihi Zabari Kamen, Karen Kaplan, Mona Karten, Elyse Kitterman, Posy McMillen, Orit Paytan, Zoë Stein Pierce, Debby Rice, Naomi Rosenfield, Cindy Simon, and Laurie Werner. Mark your calendar now to be at Beth-El Congregation on Sunday, June 1, at 12:30.

For more information, you can contact Debby Rice at 817-332-0022, Lihi Kamen at 817-764-3452 or Jill Imber at 817-926-7968.

Community gala to celebrate Israel at 60

Join in the party on Mother’s Day as we honor Israel at 60! A community birthday gala celebrating 60 years of independence will be held Sunday, May 11, 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., at Beth-El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven.

Step through the doors and find your senses assaulted by the tastes, aromas and sounds of Israel. Listen and dance to modern Israeli, Classic, Yemenite and Chassidic melodies sung by sabra Yoel Sharabi, who will captivate you with his wide repertoire and dynamic style. Be inspired by a short ballet piece performed by Liliya Aronov and Assaf Benchetrit, both Israelis who are now with the Texas Metropolitan Classic Ballet.

Cocktails will be served at 6:30, and dinner will be served at 7:30. Dietary laws will be observed. Cocktail attire is requested.

Tickets are $25 per person and may be purchased with cash at the Federation office; by checks sent to 4049 Kingsridge Road, Fort Worth, TX 76109; or by credit card by calling 817-569-0892.

Babysitting is available by reservation only.

All reservations must be made by May 5.

This event is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County with financial support from the Foundation of the Jewish Federation, Dan Danciger/Fort Worth Hebrew Day School Supporting Foundation, the Molly Roth Fund, the Israeli Community of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Yad B’Yad/HaShomer, and Ruthy and Eldad Erez; and endorsed by Beth-El Congregation, Congregation Ahavath Sholom, Congregation Beth Israel, Congregation Beth Shalom, the WRJ groups of Beth-El and Beth Shalom, Hadassah, the Jewish Education Agency, Brite Divinity School and TCU Jewish Studies, and UNT Jewish Studies.

‘Daytimers’ enjoy Broadway show tunes

“Always,” “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” and a special version of “My Favorite Things” were only a sample of the greatest show tunes ever written for Broadway. These, and the entire program, were written by Jewish composers, and Genie Long and Brad Volk entertained the “Daytimers” with a wonderful afternoon of their music.

Genie told the group that it was hard to find a hit tune that was not written by a Jewish composer or lyricist. The large crowd responded enthusiastically, and occasionally sang along with a program of old favorites. And Genie was presented with a spray of flowers by Corrine Jacobson.

Next event for the “Daytimers” will be a tour of the Fort Worth Japanese Garden, a 7.5-acre Japanese Garden in the Fort Worth Botanic Garden on Wednesday, May 21. The group will meet at Beth-El at noon for lunch, and then carpool to the garden.

The garden was built in 1970 and many of the plants and construction materials were donated by Fort Worth‘s sister city, Nagaoka, Japan. Attractions at the garden include a meditation garden, a moon viewing deck, a pagoda and fish food dispensers to feed the hundreds of koi in the garden’s ponds.

For reservations for “Daytimers” events, call Barbara Rubin, 817-927-2736, or Sylvia Wexler, 817-294-1129; or checks can be mailed to Daytimers, Jewish Federation, 4049 Kingsridge Road, Fort Worth, TX 76109. The Sylvia Wolens “Daytimers” is a program of Congregation Beth-El with financial support from the Jewish Federation.

Community Yom HaZikaron service at Ahavath Sholom, Tuesday, May 6

A community Yom HaZikaron service will be held at Congregation Ahavath Sholom, Tuesday, May 6, 7 p.m. This service, commemorating Israel’s fallen soldiers, is a time for all Jews to come together to remember the Israeli soldiers who have continued to give their lives defending our homeland. We remember all of the soldiers, those who died in the years preceding the creation of the state of Israel and those who have died since then to ensure its continued existence. This event is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County with financial support from the Dan Danciger/Fort Worth Hebrew Day School Supporting Foundation. For more information, please call the Federation office at 817-569-0892.

Israeli ensemble, child prodigy Alon Petrilin to give concert, June 1

We have all heard of “once in a lifetime” opportunities. Congregation Ahavath Sholom will present one such activity — a concert by the Kiryat Bialik Youth Violin Ensemble, featuring child prodigy pianist, Alon Petrilin, to help celebrate the 60th anniversary of Israel.

The concert will take place Sunday, June 1, 6:15 p.m., at Ahavath Sholom, 4050 S. Hulen. The entire community is invited. A reception with the musicians will follow.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Beth-El seniors celebrate seder

The Senior “Mini” Seder had a record crowd of 150 people to celebrate Passover on Tuesday, April 15. Thanks to the generosity and, of course, the culinary expertise of B’nai B’rith International under the cooking skills of Harry Kahn and his “minyan” of minions, everyone was treated to a wonderful meal. Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger and Rabbi Baruch Zeilicovich shared in the honor of leading the seder. Prior to the start of the seder, seniors Arianna and Armenek Cherkosov treated the attendees with Jewish music on the violin and piano. A big thank-you to the members of Hadassah and the Sisterhood of the Temple in Colleyville for their generosity. All participating JFS seniors and some community families in need were able to have Pesach “fixin’s” to help them observe the holiday. The senior program is going strong but always has room for new members. It meets every day at Temple Beth-El from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please call Hedy Collins, senior program director, at 817-569-0898 if more information is needed.

Diana Krompass receives awards

On April 17, Diana Krompass received two awards at Tarrant County College’s 2008 Student Salon. The salon is a show of all the artwork for students at TCC.

She received first place in Water Media for her painting of flamingos and another award for her mixed media painting entitled “From Generation to Generation.” The latter was a painting using various mediums in pastel colors which had a menorah and the words l’dor v’dor in Hebrew on it.

Diana has been in our community for 20-plus years and has been a teacher at Lil Goldman preschool for over 10 years. She is married to Mathew Krompass and is the proud mother of Liel, Mayan and Amit. Liel graduated from Duke University and is currently attending Harvard Law School. Mayan attends the University of Texas and is currently in Israel for a year. Amit is currently attending Paschal High School.

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Dallas Doings — May 2008

Posted on 09 May 2008 by admin

Interfaith forum tonight

Dallas Area Interfaith and its Collin County Cluster will host an Integration Forum this evening (Thursday, May 29), beginning at 7:30 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, 2700 West Spring Creek Pkwy., Plano. Ernesto Cortes, Jr., Martin Luther King visiting professor at MIT, will be the keynoter.

This event is sponsored “by clergy and congregations in Plano calling for civil discussion in support of a comprehensive approach to immigration reform,” according to DAI. Local religious leaders will participate. To be addressed are the historical benefits of, and challenges to, immigration in the United States.

Dallas Area Interfaith presents community conversations for “sharing social, ethical and scriptural teachings from our various faith traditions.” This evening’s forum is open to all.

Rabbi Raskin to speak at Hadassah installation luncheon

The Dallas Chapter of Hadassah will hold its installation luncheon Sunday, June 1, at 11:30 a.m. Rabbi Adam Raskin will be guest speaker on a timely topic concerning recent events at Plano, Dallas and Richardson district schools.

Location is May Dragon Chinese Restaurant, 4848 Beltline Road. Luncheon charge is $25 for adults, $20 for teens. A vegetarian meal will be served family style. (To reserve a kosher meal upon prior request, call the Hadassah office, 214-691-1948.) Because of limited seating, reservations are mandatory.

You can also reserve by e-mail:

Five cantors to be featured in gala Jewish music celebration

Five cantors and three synagogue choirs and youth choirs will perform a spectacular Jewish music concert Sunday, June 1, 7 p.m., at Temple Emanu-El, 8500 Hillcrest Road in Dallas. This concert will mark the conclusion of the 2008 Showcase Series, sponsored by the Temple Emanu-El Music Committee.

The audience will experience the artistry of Cantors Richard Cohn of Temple Emanu-El, Don Alan Croll of Temple Shalom and Itzhak Zhrebker of Congregation Shearith Israel, joined by their adult and youth choirs, along with Cantor Jacob Cohen of Congregation Nishmat Am and Student Cantor David Frommer of Adat Chaverim. Temple Emanu-El is privileged to welcome colleagues from around our community as guest soloists with its own Cantor Cohn on this occasion.

Cantor Cohn has performed as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, James Levine and Sir Georg Solti. He has often interpreted the cantor’s part in Ernest Bloch’s “Avodath Hakodesh” (Sacred Service), including performances with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.

Cantor Croll has performed in Israel and appeared as guest soloist with Kol Echad, the premier Jewish chorale in Los Angeles. He has also performed with the Albuquerque Symphony, as well as in the Kennedy Center’s Fourth of July celebration, “Let Freedom Sing.”

Cantor Zhrebker has served as guest cantor for various synagogues around the world. He has performed with the New Israeli Opera, Walden Piano Quartet, Russian Ensemble Kalinka, String Trio Les Amis, Marvin Hamlisch, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. His latest success was with the Dallas Opera and the cast of “Tales of Hoffmann.”

Cantor Cohen, born and raised in Dallas, is a highly experienced concert artist. He began singing and studying piano at the age of 4 and studied the art of cantorial chanting with his father, Cantor (Rabbi) Yitzchak Cohen. He was privileged to study with Cantor Asher Hainovitz, cantor of the Yeshurun Central Synagogue of Jerusalem, as well as with Aryeh Goldberg, cantor of the Great Synagogue.

David Frommer is a cantorial student at the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, School of Sacred Music, in his home town of New York City. He received an honors degree in history from Yale University in May 2004, where he was a member, and later the musical director, of Magevet, the Yale University Jewish a cappella chorus. During his time at Yale, David toured extensively with Magevet throughout the United States and Europe and recorded several CDs with the group.

The five cantors and assembled choirs will sing repertoire emphasizing themes of the festival season, along with a tribute to the 60th anniversary of the modern state of Israel. With an outstanding array of talent on the program, this will be a not-to-be-missed opportunity.

The Showcase Series is produced by the Temple Emanu-El Music Committee, chaired by Sarah Yarrin and advised by Cantor Richard Cohn. The series is celebrating its 18th year as a premier event at Temple Emanu-El.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for senior/student, $7 for youth 13 and under. Order online at or call Temple Emanu-El, 214-706-0000; Sarah Yarrin, 214-924-1487; or Rosalee Cohen, 972-233-2001.

Nine-year-old donates profits to MDHA

On May 12, 9-year-old Jacob Wisch came to the offices of Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance (accompanied by his mother, Judy Wisch) to contribute the profits from his neighborhood “Salad Stand.” Jacob and his 9-year-old cousin, Rosie Bernstein, daughter of Jordana and Josh Bernstein, donated $13.50 to benefit the homeless and expressed interest in volunteering to help the homeless at The Bridge either with direct service to clients or by raising awareness and money. What a wonderful thing to have happened at MDHA.

Press notes

Congratulations to Dr. Lionel and Gloria Reiman on the recent graduation of their daughter, Alyssa “Lyssy,” from Washington University in St. Louis. The Reimans are excited that their son, Dr. Steven Reiman, and his bride will soon become Dallas-area residents, which allows all four of the Reiman offspring to be close to their heart and home.

Mitch Goldminz, wiseguy cop

Growing up and thriving in a tough New York environment, Mitch Goldminz moved to Dallas in 1971 and became a cop here. As one of the few Jewish Dallas police officers and as a former New Yorker, he faced many challenges different than those in New York.

When temples or synagogues were desecrated, Mitch was there with other officers bringing sensitivity to the department in the times before laws and hate crime bills were ever dreamt of. Working with the mall task force for over three years, he made holiday shoppers safer in parking lots and stores in Dallas. His idea of setting up a parking lot and home driveway task force took 29 car thieves off the streets, reduced car theft by 26 percent and made our citizens safer.

Mitch has been decorated 26 times with ribbons and medals. Working the police funerals as usher coordinator was his own creation when he saw the need to organize the saddest days on the force. One of his proudest awards was from Explorer Post 68 where Latino, Vietnamese and Cambodian kids honored him for his work with them in safety and giving programs over the years.

With a strong New York accent, Mitch was a natural for undercover work in Dallas. That’s the subject of his novel, “Vice, Wiseguy Cop.”

Seriously injured on the job in October 2000, Mitch and his local Jewish co-author Bennett Litwin put to paper some funny, crazy and dangerous tales in the form of a novel to change the names and give enough poetic license for it to be fiction.

In the book, “Vice, Wiseguy Cop,” protagonist Mike Goldberg served the Dallas community as a highly decorated police officer for 33 years both on patrol and, more adventurously, as an undercover vice officer. Utilizing his rough Brooklyn beginnings, Mike moved to Dallas and, knowing how the bad guys think, he was a natural at stopping criminals in unconventional ways.

As a way to support the troops, several local businessmen have purchased books as a thank-you to the troops and a thank-you to Mitch for his service. These gifts for our rough-and-ready soldiers, who protect us at home and abroad, give them a way to stay in touch with America by enjoying a mostly true and often comedic approach to law enforcement and tax-deductibles (check with your accountant). Carl Sewall, by the way, of Sewall Village Cadillac bought a case of books for the troops.

If you wish to purchase books for yourself, for our troops or Father’s Day or birthdays, you can contact Mitch Goldminz or his co-author Bennett Litwin at or by mail at Vice, WC, P.O. Box 863833, Plano, TX 75086-3833.

Dallas Chapter of Hadassah approves new board officers

New officers of the Dallas Chapter of Hadassah board approved at the May 4 meeting include: president, Susie Avnery; organization vice president, Barbara Moses; treasurer, Jo Zeffren; assistant treasurers, Lisa Bronchetti and Harriet Hollander; and secretary, Sunny Shor.

Other vice presidents include: fund development, Susan Blum Barnett; membership, Suellen Rothschild; co-programming, Susan Stein and Miriam Waltzer; co-education, Leanne Hall and Kathleen Glosser; communications, Linda Steinberg; and directory, Marsha Bakera.

UNT gives Outstanding Service Award to president of North Texas Exes

Congratulations to Phillip Glauben of Dallas, who has received the Outstanding Service Award from the University of North Texas.

The award was presented to Glauben during UNT’s annual Alumni Awards banquet, held April 18. It is presented to individuals who have provided exceptional volunteer service to UNT.

A salesman for Komar Alliance in Dallas, Glauben received his bachelor’s degree in personnel and industrial relations from UNT in 1976 and a Master of Education degree in 1978. He has been on the board of directors for the North Texas Exes alumni association since 2000, and currently serves as its president. He is also on the board of directors for the Dallas Holocaust Museum. Glauben formerly served on the board of directors for the Dallas chapter of B’nai B’rith and was the international president of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity. He is a member of Congregation Shearith Israel.

Levine Academy students take first place in Metroplex Stock Market competition

Forget investing with high-priced Wall Street firms and leave your online trading Web sites behind. To make money, all you have to do is follow the lead of the four Levine Academy seventh-grade students who “invested” $100,000, turned it into $135,000 and, as a result, took first place in the Metroplex Stock Market Game, beating out 334 teams in the Dallas area.

Levine Academy uses the Stock Market Game to help students learn important academic and life skills in a fun and innovative way. Working in teams, they begin with a virtual cash account of $100,000 and strive to create the best-performing portfolio using a live, Internet-based trading simulation. As they compete, they utilize their leadership skills, organizational skills and negotiation skills, as well as learn the importance of cooperation and compromise. In addition, they gain knowledge of investing and financial principles, like saving, in the context of the real-world economy, while sharpening critical thinking skills and improving their knowledge in math, language arts and social studies.

‘Alice in Wonderland’ makes Yavneh a wonder land

Yavneh Academy’s theater department recently presented “Alice in Wonderland,” directed by Jamey Jamison.

The stellar cast included Ilan Attar (Knave of Hearts), Brittany Barnett (Ensemble), Michael Bierman (Ensemble), Leigh Bonner (Duchess of Spades), Pemme Emily Brill (Red Queen), Arielle Time Burstein (Mad Hatter/Playbill Design), Sahar David (Caterpillar), Abbie Denemark (Turtle), Melissa Diamond (White Rabbit), Sara Greenberg (Gryphon), Shelbi Karlebach (Duck), Paige Koeppel (Tweedle-Dum), Eve Moel (Cheshire Cat), Daniel Moskowitz (Dormouse), David Naxon (Cook), Libby Panipinto (Margret), Bess Reisberg (Tweedle-Dee), Grace Rosenthal (Duchess of Diamonds), Baruch Shawel (Red King), Tova Stolovitsky (White Queen), Michelle Tanur (Duchess of Hearts), Saralinda Taurog (Dodo), Rachel Zbolon (Alice) and Arye Zucker (March Hare).

Yavneh art teacher Marsha Evans designed and directed the set, and students Daniel Boker, Elizabeth Chatham, Mark Cheirif, Alexander Hirschberg, Matthew Kirby, Sara Levi, Ethan Prescott and Adam Sallmander served as technical crew.

DJCF awards Risch scholarships to four Jewish preschools

Four grants, based on financial need, have been awarded to local Jewish preschools by the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation (DJCF), through the Helen E. Risch Scholarship Fund, in order to increase enrollment for the upcoming 2008–2009 school year. Recipients include the Aaron Family JCC Taglit Preschool, Ann and Nate Levine Academy Preschool, Congregation Anshai Torah Preschool and Temple Shalom Preschool.

“Our foundation is honored to be able to play a small supporting role in helping fulfill Helen and Frank Risch’s wonderful vision of supporting Jewish early childhood education as expressed through the Helen E. Risch Scholarship Fund. We commend all of the local Jewish early childhood education programs for the important work that they do,” said David Agronin, chief executive officer of the foundation.

Temple Shalom Director of Early Childhood Education Bonnie Rubenstein noted: “It feels so wonderful to know that the importance of early childhood education in a Jewish preschool is now being realized. I hope it is just the beginning and that in the future more children will be able to begin their Jewish education in their early childhood years.”

Helen Risch’s passion for early Jewish childhood education is inspiring. A former teacher herself, she says, “We need to be aware that we have to educate our children and their parents to maintain the continuity of Judaism. When parents get together to see what their children are learning, they, too, continue the process of education. We have to go back to the very first school experience, and become committed to teaching preschool-aged children about values and our Jewish traditions.” She is candid about one aspect of the Helen E. Risch Preschool Scholarship Endowment fund: “This is just a start. It can’t be just Frank and Helen, but everyone who needs to be involved in the education of young children. Our hope is that people will start new funds or add to this or other preschool scholarship funds at the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation.”

Increasing Jewish preschool enrollment continues to be the paramount objective of the Helen E. Risch Scholarship Endowment Fund. For more information, contact Deborah Hersh at 214-615-5260 or e-mail Deborah at

DJCF was originally established in 1973 as the trust and endowment arm of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas and the organized Jewish community. Now, more than three decades later, the foundation manages more than $150 million in assets. In addition, the number of indivual funds and supporting foundations has grown to approximately 800, and these numbers are growing. DJCF is an independently incorporated, publicly supported charity.

Eli Evans, poet laureate of the South, to be Pollman lecturer at Emanu-El

The Dallas Jewish Historical Society will present its fourth offering of the Harold A. Pollman Lecture Series, now offered four times a year, with acclaimed author and philanthropist, Eli N. Evans. The Evans program is a joint collaboration with the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, the Dallas Chapter of Hadassah and the Dallas Jewish Historical Society. This program will accompany the Dallas Jewish Historical Society’s annual meeting and board installation on Wednesday, May 21, 7:30 p.m. at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center’s Zale Auditorium.

Eli Evans, born and raised in Durham, N.C., has a distinguished career in the government, education and philanthropic sectors. Most recently, he served as president of the Charles H. Revson Foundation, a $180 million foundation in New York, which makes grants for programs that deal with urban affairs, education, biomedical research and Jewish philanthropy. He served in this capacity from 1977 to 2003. Evans’ remarkable career includes working as a speechwriter for President Lyndon B. Johnson in the mid-1960s, a stint at Duke University and 10 years with the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

He is the author of three books: “The Provincials: A Personal History of Jews in the South”; his biography of Judah P. Benjamin, titled “Judah P. Benjamin: The Jewish Confederate,” described as a “brilliant … study … and superb biography”; and his most recent work, “The Lonely Days Were Sundays: Reflections of a Jewish Southerner,” which resulted in Abba Eban declaring, “The Jews of the South have found their poet laureate.”

Evans was born into a prominent Southern Jewish family with role models serving both the local community and Jewish community as well as involvement in the national scene. His father, E.J. “Mutt” Evans, served as mayor of Durham for five terms. His mother, Sara Evans, was a national vice president of Hadassah, and his maternal grandmother was the first president of Hadassah in North Carolina. His brother, Bob Evans, served as a news correspondent for CBS in Moscow in the early 1960s and covered the civil rights movement in the South during the turbulent ‘60s and ‘70s. His uncle and aunt, well-known Dallas residents, Bill and Elya Naxon, have continued their strong Zionist support.

This program is part of a continuing series graciously sponsored by Harold Pollman for the purpose of bringing to Dallas national experts on topics of interest to the Dallas Jewish community. Admission is free and the program is open to the public. For more information, call 214-239-7120 or e-mail the Society at

Akiba Academy will honor faculty at special scholarship event on May 15

Akiba Academy is poised to “Celebrate its Educational Future,” the theme of this year’s scholarship dinner and raffle, on Thursday, May 15, at 7 p.m.

An Israeli-themed dinner will set the mood and will be the backdrop to a special art auction featuring the works of Akiba students. Akiba will honor current faculty and staff members who exemplify best practices by delivering excellence in Judaic and general studies education every day. A special memento will be awarded to Akiba employees who have contributed to Akiba’s success over the last five years and longer.

Raffle Co-chairs Ellen Avraham and Hilary Bernhardt and Board Chairperson Helene Schussler look forward to welcoming Akiba parents and all distinguished guests to this special event organized by director Marilyn Rutner and the entire development department at Akiba.

JCC junior tennis players strike again

The spring USA team tennis season started in January. Some days were cold, some days were sunny and many days were WET. The weather conditions didn’t stop the dedication and determination of our players. On April 27, both of the JCC junior tennis teams, the Shooters and the Bangers, found themselves in the Dallas city championships.

The “JCC Shooters,” the JCC’s 14-and-under intermediate team, beat the Lakes Academy in a close semifinal match. In the finals, the JCC Shooters continued their winning streak by defeating the North West Smashers with a score of 5-3 and won the city championship!

The “JCC Bangers,” the JCC’s 14-and-under beginning team, defeated another Lakes Academy team with a score of 6-2. Unfortunately, the JCC Bangers fell short to the Whatevers of Dallas. The match was very close, with six of eight sets decided by one game. Another interesting fact that made this match notable was that all the JCC players are 11 and 12 years old, and the winning team consisted of players who were all 14 years old. Great tennis was played by all. Coach John Singer said he and the staff are very proud of their players who practice four days a week for 1-1/2 hours each day. They put in the time and their hard work paid off. The championship trophy is on display in the tennis office. Please come by to see it.

Rabbi Andrew M. Paley selected for STAR’s unique leadership program

Beginning this June, Rabbi Andrew M. Paley, senior rabbi at Temple Shalom, will embark on a “journey toward greatness” as one of only 18 rabbis throughout the country participating in the third year of a new program, “STAR Rabbis: From Good To Great.” The program is the first initiative to explore excellence in leadership with rabbis who have at least 10 years’ experience.

Experienced rabbis have many opportunities to attend conferences and meet with colleagues. But, “From Good to Great” provides them with a very different experience. The program offers rabbis at mid-career a unique way to re-energize their dreams and lead their communities with greater impact, along with a select group of colleagues from across the denominational spectrum.

“Rabbis need ways to reconnect with the ideals that called them into the congregation and develop new strategies for bringing those ideals to life,” said Rabbi Hayim Herring, STAR’s executive director. Inspired by the bestselling book, “Good to Great,” by business consultant Jim Collins, the program uses trusted principles of leadership to energize, inspire and support rabbis who compare their current achievements to their future aspirations.

Through participation in two leadership retreats, several “webinars” (learning sessions over the Internet) and mentored project work, rabbis practice the art of leadership and change management within their congregation. The program places special emphasis on building a more vibrant congregation through partnership with lay leadership.

Faculty and guest teachers for “From Good to Great” include some of the leading rabbis and experts from the Jewish world and corporate leaders who also understand synagogues and the Jewish community.

“It is an honor to be a part of such an esteemed group of colleagues brought together by such a wonderful foundation. I am eager to learn and to grow and to bring an even greater passion and vision to my rabbinate, to my congregation and to the Jewish people,” Rabbi Paley said.

Levine Academy students inducted into National Junior Honor Society

On Monday, April 28, Levine Academy inducted 10 new members into the National Junior Honor Society, established over 75 years ago. Levine Academy chartered its first chapter in 2005 with the goal of providing an avenue to further student leadership and commitment to tikkun olam, repairing the world. “We have great expectations of our Honor Society students,” said Wende Weinberg, NJHS advisor. “Those students are expected to take a leadership role in the school community and the greater Dallas community, and take on the obligation of ‘repairing the world.’” The NJHS members organize the Levine Academy Annual Chesed Day and Mitzvah Madness Day, which are both devoted to helping those less fortunate in Dallas, and serve as academic tutors and teacher aids within the academy. “As a result of programs such as Mitzvah Madness Day,” added K–8 Principal Dr. Susie Wolbe, “all of our students see the world beyond their own needs and discover the rewards of helping others in the greater Dallas area.” In the past, the students have organized the entire student body to prepare Thanksgiving dinners for the homeless and work at such agencies as the North Texas Food Bank, Vogel Alcove, Family Gateway, Community Partners of Dallas–Rainbow Room, Geniza Burial at Congregation Shearith Israel Cemetery, and the Ronald McDonald House.

Seventh- and eighth-grade students may be considered for membership in the NJHS only if they have achieved a cumulative grade-point average of 85 or higher. Once that criterion is met, a faculty council evaluates each student based upon the following criteria: service, leadership, character and citizenship. The students selected for membership meet on a regular basis to plan and execute one or more school service projects, in addition to continuing their own social service endeavors.

Congratulations to the following Levine Academy students who were inducted into the NJHS: class of ‘08: Elianah Gorin; class of ‘09: Jeffrey Diamond, Shelby Gadol, Rachel Goodman, Grace Horn, Justin Katz, Liz Livingston, Yosef Presburger, Kayley Romick and Dillon Shipper. They join current members from the class of 2008: Ali Feinstein, Jillian Herstein, Andrew Leffler, Jordan Rudner, Jessica Solls, Alex Weinstein and Tori Weinstein.

The NJHS, with more than 5,000 chapters throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, many U.S. territories and Canada, has become a prestigious organization, ranking high among administrators, faculty members, students, parents and residents of the school community.

‘Religion in Public Schools: New Laws … New Dilemmas’

The American Jewish Congress and Congregation Tiferet Israel will host a panel discussion on Thursday, May 14 at 7 p.m. at Tiferet Israel, 10909 Hillcrest Road.

Have Texas legislators crossed the constitutional line on separation of religion and state? Many believe that recently passed laws regarding teaching of the Bible and freedom of expression in Texas public schools go against the “establishment clause” in the U.S. Constitution. Do they, or is the problem in the implementation? Listen to an expert panel debate on this subject with Professor Lackland Bloom, constitutional law professor at the SMU Dedman School of Law; Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network; Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for Free Market Foundation; and Dr. Jim Wussow, Plano ISD executive director for secondary academic services.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information contact Susan Myers at AJCongress, 214-368-2731, or Gary Kahalnik at Tiferet Israel, 214-691-3611, ext. 2.

Installation at closing meeting

Herzl Hadassah will hold its installation of officers for the coming year at its closing meeting on Wednesday, May 14, 10:30 a.m. in the Senior Assembly Room at the Aaron Family JCC.

June Penkar, immediate past president of the Dallas Chapter, will conduct the installation. Mimi Guten, popular and inimitable musician, will present a musical program.

Members and guests are all invited. Please remember to bring a dairy lunch; coffee and desert will be served by Herzl. Remember also to bring your Blue Boxes!

Well-deserved honoree

Congratulations to Ann Margolin, who received the Distinguished Public Service Award from the Women’s Council of Dallas County. This award honors a woman who has had “outstanding accomplishments in public service that have demonstrated leadership and effective advocacy resulting in change.” Ann, who was honored for her years of work with Parkland Hospital, was the first woman to chair the board of Parkland and served on that board for six years. More recently, she has served on the Blue Ribbon Panel appointed by the Dallas County Commissioners to recommend the scope, logistics and financing of a new hospital. Ann, who currently serves on the Dallas Park and Recreation board, is a member of Temple Emanu-El and has served on the boards of ADL and the JCRC. She is currently on the board of the American Jewish Committee.

NCJW Dallas Section closing luncheon

For long years the National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Dallas Section, has been in the communal and civic forefronts, immersed in a myriad of community activities benefiting youngsters, oldsters and those in-between. As a prospective new resident of the Dallas community with my forthcoming move to The Legacy, one of my first tasks will be to reinstate my membership in the NCJW. I was a longtime member for many years in Fort Worth, until the chapter, successful though it was, disbanded because of the lack of young leadership, the bane of many worthy organizations on both the local and national scene. Thankfully, the Greater Dallas Section is in good hands with a large corps of fabulous dedicated volunteers.

Accepting the mantle of the presidency at the 96th Annual Installation Luncheon on Thursday, May 8, 11:15 a.m. will be the very capable Cheryl Pollman, who comes to the post with years of dedication and service to the high principles of NCJW. After her retirement from her law practice, Cheryl dedicated her energy and talents to furthering the mission and goals of the Dallas Section. Her love of advocacy, education and community service is a perfect fit for NCJW.

Also to be installed are vice presidents: Debbie Greene, administration; Nancy Fellman, community service; Stacy Barnett, Robin Zweig, financial development; Cathy Golden, Terry Greenberg, public affairs; Michelle Bassichis, public relations; and Lauren Busch, Amy Hollander, membership. Also, Kristyle Solomon, secretary; Sheryl Bogen, associate secretary; Kay Schachter, treasurer; and Laura Diamond, associate treasurer.

Directors at large for 2008–2009 include Marla Bane, Barbara Berger, Saralynn Busch, Sandy Donsky, Sharan Goldstein, Linnie Katz, Staci Mankoff and Bette Morchower; for 2008-2010, Elizabeth Greif, Nancy Kasten, Katherine Krause, Felise Leidner, Peggy Millheiser, Ellen Silverman, Rhona Streit and Beth Stromberg.

Serving on the Nominating Committee were Sue Tilis, Eileen Kreisler, Jaynie Schultz and Maddy Unterberg.

Keynote speaker will be Becky Sykes, executive director of the Dallas Women’s Foundation.

Luncheon chairs were Barbara Einsohn and Sharan Goldstein. Retiring president of the Section is Sue Tilis, who in her closing statement said: “Our membership numbers continue to climb as do the financial resources available for funding community services educational and advocacy. Under the leadership of Cheryl Pollman, the Section is destined to achieve. The generosity of so any members who have given their time, energy, wisdom and financial resources has enabled us to be so accomplished. I am so proud to be a part of this wonderful organization.”

Expressions 2008 is a smash hit!

For one whole week in April, the Dallas Jewish community was exposed to incredible artwork by more than 100 prominent Israeli artists through Expressions 2008. The exhibition, brought to the U.S. by sculptor Itzhak Assour, was held at Congregation Shearith Israel. It was sponsored by Shearith Israel, the Jewish Community Center of Dallas, the Texas Jewish Post and the state of Israel in celebration of Israel’s 60th!

Expressions was a huge success thanks to Committee Chairs Avra and Andrew Carr and their dedicated committee comprising Stacy Barnett, Sheli Barnett, Lynne Baron, Deidra Cizon, Gordon Cizon, Doron Ilai, Tarron Ilai, Susan Schackman and Jamie Weisbrod. A great big thank-you to them and all of the volunteers who helped at the exhibition and at the various events that took place throughout the week.

Additionally, thanks to all of the people who attended the exhibition, especially those who made purchases. Funds from the sale of the art benefited Israeli artists, Congregation Shearith Israel and the JCC.

Last but not least, kudos to Jamie Weisbrod for making the colorful floor mats directing people into the exhibition. They were fun, cheerful, and indestructible. If anyone is interested in purchasing one, please contact Jamie Weisbrod at

Richard Heinsius will be JWV May speaker

The Jewish War Vets’ Paul H. Lewis tells the TJP that Richard Heinsius will speak to JWV on Sunday, May 11, at 9:30 a.m. at the JCC. His subject hits very close to home. Joel Sheskin, Rhoda’s husband, succumbed to Alzheimer’s. His care during those trying days will be described by our speaker. We hope that none of you will succumb to Alzheimer’s. Rhoda suggested Richard as a speaker so that you may learn some useful tips if you or your loved ones do so.

Richard is VistaCare’s director of business development for Dallas and Collin counties. He has more than 20 years’ experience in health care; has worked in home health and hospice care with the Visiting Nurse Association; was director of business development and a member of the corporate reengineering team with Charter Medical Corp.; worked as a director on a joint venture project with Baylor, Harris Methodist and Presbyterian Healthcare organizations; and directed the corporate employee assistance network for Xerox.

As usual a lox and bagel brunch will be served.

Attention college students

Looking for a great way to spend your summer, fall, spring and holiday breaks? Join the JCC before June 1 and pay only $150 for 12 full months of fitness, fun, classes and more. Simply bring your school ID and get started today. Students must attend a school at least 50 miles away from the J. Fee must be paid in full.


The Dallas Public Library is pleased to welcome you to Tuesdays@Central, an exciting, new weekly series of free, eclectic and engaging programs providing stimulating, entertaining and educational opportunities for the community. Held on the first floor of the Central Library, the series targets the growing population of people living downtown as well as the surrounding areas.

In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day and the end of World War II in Europe, the Dallas Public Library invites you to the May 6 Tuesdays@Central program from 7 to 8 p.m., with Elliott Dlin, noted speaker and executive director of the Dallas Holocaust Museum / Center for Education and Tolerance. He will discuss “The Holocaust: Lessons Learned and Lessons Still to Learn.”

We hope you will be able to attend this important event.

‘Diva’ Hadassah program well attended

About 50 Dallas Hadassah members couldn’t resist the siren call of “Sacred Diva,” a special evening program on Tuesday, April 22, in Fruhman Hall of the Aaron Family JCC.

A Passover dessert reception preceded the presentation by Jennifer Brown, Ph.D., who spoke to the women about “Our Bodies, Our Spirits: Rituals of Beauty and Lifecycle Milestones.” Her doctorate is in transpersonal psychology, but she accompanied and enhanced her program with photo slides of ancient goddesses, giving it the aura of an archaeological expedition.

Women’s lives have always fallen into three distinct segments, she explained. The Maiden is the young girl just growing toward womanhood; the Mother is so named because she is in her childbearing years, whether or not she actually has children; the post-menopausal Crone is to be honored and respected for her accumulated wisdom. “Crone” did not come into our language as a disparaging term, according to Brown; it is not the equivalent of the word “witch.” Rather, it is the female form of “crony,” a term often referring to friendships among elderly men.

In life as in the monthly cycle of her body, a woman parallels the phases of the moon, first waxing toward bright fullness, then waning to almost total darkness. After explaining this, Brown added that the woman’s cycle is also like that of the year and its seasons: Spring is the Maiden, coming into first bloom; the Mother is summer, filled with healthy productivity; the Crone is fall, banking her fires as she moves toward the inevitable death that is winter.

Brown, who lives in Phoenix, Ariz., is an educator who often speaks on women’s empowerment and has her own counseling practice, teaching women to recognize and utilize their feminine instincts for the betterment of their lives and those of the people around them. She is a life member of Hadassah, and was presented here by local members of two special Hadassah groups, Chain Society and Builders of the Future. They include Harriet Hollander and Suellen Rothschild, chairs of the event, and Marsha Baker, Janet Coppinger, Miriam Creemer, Maxine Dashefsky, Vered Golan, Leanne Hall, Marcy Helfand, Amy Hollander, Evelyn Margolis, Jo Reingold, Marjorie Shor, Sonia Shor, Lauri Wiss and Jo Zeffren. All have donated at least $360 per year to a variety of Hadassah projects.

More information about Dallas Hadassah and its programming is available by calling the local office, 214-691-1948.

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