Emanu-El teens go to D.C.
Recently, a group of Reform Jewish high school students from Temple Emanu-El in Dallas joined more than 200 teenagers from across the country to participate in a unique opportunity in Washington, D.C., where they had the opportunity to voice their opinions to their members of Congress. Twenty-one participating students visited the offices of Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn and of Representatives Pete Sessions and Kenny Marchant.
The teens learned to look at social justice and public policy issues through Jewish eyes by participating in the Bernard and Audre Rapoport L’Taken Social Justice Seminar, an intensive four-day seminar sponsored by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC). The RAC is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis.
This unique opportunity enabled students to hear from experts both inside and outside the Jewish community as they thoroughly examined contemporary issues such as poverty, health care, the environment and Israel against a backdrop of Jewish texts and values in a variety of interactive formats.
The students spent the final day of the program on Capitol Hill participating in the advocacy process firsthand by meeting with members of Congress and their staff. This hands-on advocacy presented the students an extraordinary opportunity to put their four days of learning into action.
Additionally, the group toured the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and participated in a unique candlelit Havdallah service on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial.
RAC Program Director Rabbi Michael Namath says of the L’Taken seminar, “This program allows students to discover the connection between Judaism and social justice. At the end of the four days, the participants understand the Jewish mandate to be a part of social and political change.”
Taking part in the spectacular trip were Louis Abramowitz, Sam Banks, Adam Bates, Haley Bender, Dylan Brown, Corey Cox, Abby Diamond, Jillian Fisher, Jonathan Fine, Toby Finegold, Ben Fleisher, Ryan Kline, Kate Michaels, Katie Ray, Michaela Rollins, Spencer Sandfield, Emily Satinsky, Jacob Stern, Kellen Wall, Molly Weinstock and Sophie Williams. The students were chaperoned by Rabbi Asher Knight.
Texas woman to be featured in ‘Antiques Roadshow’ on Feb. 2
Texan Tamara Welch will be featured in one of the Dallas episodes of the “Antiques Roadshow.” Welch has an antique Bible that was the property of her great-great-grandfather, who was a rabbi in Russia. The piece dates back to the mid-19th century and has a magnifier to read the tiny text. Miniature bookmaking is a craft that goes back centuries and requires very complex production values. This Bible was printed in Warsaw, Poland and was valued at $1,000.
Welch said this Bible has been in her family all of her life, and although she was only able to look at it as a child, she feels blessed to have it now. She said it means a great deal to her family, holds great symbolism and is a part of history.
“I am so excited to have this featured on the show,” she said. “Antiques are more than just furniture; they are pieces of history, living things that someone else once enjoyed. This is very precious and special to me.”
Look for Tamara on the Feb. 2 episode on channel 13 at 7 p.m. to catch a glimpse of the Bible and learn more about her story.
Jewish Journeys at the J take off!
Laura Seymour, TJP columnist, tells the TJP that Sunday, Jan. 11 was the first of “Jewish Journeys at the J” for grandparents (and grandfriends) and their grandchildren to explore the Jewish holidays with her. Through crafts, songs, games and food (the best part), memories were shared and new ones were made. This first experience was all about Shabbat — participants made challah covers, tzedakah boxes, candle holders, wine cups, spice boxes and more, plus singing songs and enjoying matzah ball soup.
Next month, on Sunday, Feb. 8 at 1:30, the group will experience Tu B’Shevat together with planting and, of course, tasting at a mini-seder. This program is open to the community; it is for children ages 4–8 years and grandparents any age. The fee is only $5 for the couple. Please register in advance. For more information, contact Laura Seymour at 214-239-7110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legacy at Willow Bend to host ‘Dementia Awareness 411’
Dementia Awareness 411, a support group that meets the first Tuesday of every month in the assisted living community of The Legacy at Willow Bend, Plano’s first and only life care retirement community, has scheduled informational meetings at 5:45 p.m. on Feb. 3, March 3 and April 7. These will be held in the third floor sunroom, assisted living.
Dementia Awareness 411 provides information, support and resources for families and caregivers who are dealing with dementia issues. The support group is free and open to the public. Family members of those affected by Alzheimer’s may also attend. Please call Becky Perry at 972-468-6236 for more information. Refreshments will be served.
JCC announces 2009 Maccabi Team Dallas tryout schedule
The JCC invites teen athletes to try out for its 2009 Team Dallas for the Maccabi Games. Please note the following guidelines:
Athletes must try out for a sport to become a part of Team Dallas. They can try out for as many sports as desired, but can compete in only one sport.
The J encourages athletes to participate in their best sport(s).
For sports with multiple tryout dates, they must come to at least one of the dates, but are welcome to attend both. Attending both allows coaches better evaluation.
Athletes must be ages 13–16 by July 31, 2009 to participate.
All tryouts will take place at the Aaron Family JCC, 7900 Northaven Road, unless otherwise noted.
The tryout schedule is as follows:
Boys’ Basketball: 13–16 – Feb. 11, 7–9 p.m.; Feb. 18, 7–9 p.m.
Boys’ Baseball: 13–16: Feb. 8, 1–3 p.m.; Feb. 15, 1–3 p.m.; Feb. 24, 1–3 p.m. at location to be announced
Boys’ Soccer: 13–16: Feb. 8, 2–4 p.m.; Feb. 22, 2–4 p.m.
Swimming: 13–16: Feb. 4, 7–8:30 p.m.; Feb. 15, 2–3:30 p.m.
Girls’ Volleyball: 16 Under: Feb. 10, 7:30–9 p.m.; Feb. 11, 7:30–9 p.m.; Feb. 16, 7:30–9 p.m.
Girls’ Basketball: 16 Under: Feb. 18, 7–9 p.m.; Feb. 23, 7–9 p.m.
Tennis: Feb. 8, 1–3 p.m.; Feb. 15, 1–3 p.m.
Dance: Feb. 15, 4 p.m.; Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 22, 4 p.m.
Table Tennis: Feb. 4, 7:30–8:30 p.m.; Feb. 11, 7:30–8:30 p.m.
The exact age groups for the boys’ basketball, baseball and soccer teams have not yet been determined. Any boy between the ages of 13 and 16 should try out. The decision to take either a 13–14 or 15–16 team will be based on attendance and interest at tryouts.
If you have any questions, please contact Jon Mize, 214-239-7147, email@example.com, or John Nuss, 214-239-7186, firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit www.jccdallas.org.