Archive | August, 2014

From Coast to Coast, a biker’s dream comes true

From Coast to Coast, a biker’s dream comes true

Posted on 28 August 2014 by admin

By Rachel Gross Weinstein

Terry Sigle recently had the ride of his life. In 40 days, he biked 3,382 miles across the United States admiring the scenery and accomplishing a dream he has had for 14 years.

The trip began June 16 in Seattle and ended Aug. 2 in Washington D.C. Sigle raised $7,000 to participate in the ride, hosted by Big Ride Across America with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the American Lung Association.

During the seven-week trip, Sigle and his 10 fellow riders traveled through Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland to finally arrive in D.C.

Terry Sigle is pictured in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. after completing his 40-day, 3,300 mile bike ride across the country. | Photo: Submitted by Terry Sigle

Terry Sigle is pictured in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. after completing his 40-day, 3,300 mile bike ride across the country. | Photo: Submitted by Terry Sigle

An avid cyclist, Sigle knew biking across America was something he always wanted to do. He said the most surprising part was the feeling of accomplishment he had when arriving at the National Mall in D.C.

“I had been to D.C. many times before, so I knew exactly where we were going to end,” said Sigle, an Allen resident and member of Congregation Adat Chaverim. “It was emotional because I saw my family at the finish line and it was pure satisfaction. I love biking so much that it was easy for me to get on the bike every day at 5:50 a.m. You take it day by day and before you know it, it’s over.”

Sigle began training in January and rode about 2,700 miles to prepare for the ride. He did a combination of indoor stationary cycling and rode his bike around different parts of Allen.

The riders logged anywhere from 55 to 110 miles on any given day and also had eight rest days along the way, giving them time to explore, talk to locals and relax their bodies. Two of the highlights for Sigle were visiting Little Big Horn in Wyoming and Gettysburg in Pennsylvania.

Each night, they slept in campgrounds, high school gyms, athletic centers and college dorms. Sigle said the most challenging part for him was the stretch from Wisconsin to Ohio riding 550 miles in six days, but being able to see the country in this way was incredible.

“I didn’t expect to see as many amazing things across the U.S. that I saw,” he said. “The Black Hills in South Dakota was one of the most beautiful spots we went to. I had never been to the Appalachian Mountains before, so we climbed over Mt. Davis in Pennsylvania and that was really awesome. Everything from Seattle to the mountains of Montana and Idaho was just spectacular.”

Another aspect that made this experience so meaningful for Sigle is that his parents, wife and youngest daughter took part in the beginning of the trip in an RV.

Sigle is sad his adventure is over, but the memories he made and the friendships he developed with the other riders will be etched in his mind forever. He also kept a blog throughout the excursion where he posted photos and gave a firsthand account of what happened each day.

Bike riding has always been a spiritual experience, Sigle said. He is grateful to have participated in this and knows that it’s easy to achieve something you put your mind to.

“One thing I have been telling people is for them to find something special they have always dreamed to do and just do it,” Sigle added. “Don’t overanalyze anything. I spent 14 years thinking about this and the sense of accomplishment I had at the end was the greatest feeling. I remember every moment of the ride and it was amazing.

To learn more about Sigle’s experience, visit his blog at

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Around the Town

Around the Town

Posted on 28 August 2014 by admin

Jewish Family Services dedicates donor wall

I was sorry not to be back from vacation in time to attend the dedication of JFS’ much anticipated donor wall. Thank you to JFS director Dr. Carole Rogers who submitted the following report.

A few years ago Jewish Family Services started the Key Endowment Fund. The fund was established to support the agency’s operating costs.

Jewish Family Services recently dedicated its donor wall for the Key Operating Endowment, which supports the agency’s operating costs. | Photo: Courtesy of JFS

Jewish Family Services recently dedicated its donor wall for the Key Operating Endowment, which supports the agency’s operating costs. | Photo: Courtesy of JFS

On Aug. 17 Jewish Family Services had a low-key dedication to thank the people who have and continue to support JFS and the work it does in the Fort Worth and Tarrant County Jewish community.

Bob Goldberg, Federation director, started off the dedication by discussing four Jewish values which he said guided the community and were expressed in the day’s celebration:

  • collective responsibility
  • deeds and actions matter
  • the pursuit of justice
  • repairing the world

Bob ended his comments by saying, “This wall is a proud moment and this wall will be a reminder and inspiration to me, and I hope to you as well, to strive to be better and live guided by these values, so we can continue our commitment to, and our membership in Klal Yisrael arevim zeh lazeh. … all Jews are responsible for one another.”

Rogers thanked everyone for their support of the organization. She said in addition to financial contributions, community members were always available to show their appreciation as well as offer constructive ideas to make JFS a more effective agency. Rogers ended her comments by saying, “we can leave here today knowing how fortunate all of us to be part of something bigger than ourselves. … that together we have created something to sustain our community for generations to come.”

The short ceremony ended with a wonderful blessing by Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger who had just arrived back in town the evening before.

People mingled and noshed on some wonderful breakfast foods before and after the dedication. All felt pleased by the accomplishments of Jewish Family Services and the role it played in strengthening the Fort Worth and Tarrant County community.

Ironically, the dedication was held the day before what would have been the 92nd birthday of one of Jewish Family Services’ most ardent supporters… Rene Wisch. She loved the Fort Worth and Tarrant County Jewish community, she loved JFS and JFS loved her. Rene’s name is one of the names on the donor wall. While we wish she was there in person to see it, she was definitely there in spirit.

A new addition to the Blum family

Mazal tov to Laurie and Marvin Blum who welcomed their second granddaughter, Juliet Georgie Savetsky July 25, 2014. Juliet was born at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York to Elizabeth Blum Savetsky, originally of Fort Worth, and Ira Savetsky, M.D., of New York City. Proud big sister is Stella Savetsky. In addition to Laurie and Marvin, grandparent honors are shared by Aliza and Richard Savetsky of Long Island, New York. Great-grandmother is Elsie Blum of Fort Worth.

Pictured here are Elizabeth and Ira Savetsky with their daughters, newborn Juliet and Stella. Elizabeth is a Fort Worth native. She is the daughter of Laurie and Marvin Blum and the granddaughter of Elsie Blum, all of Fort Worth.

Pictured here are Elizabeth and Ira Savetsky with their daughters, newborn Juliet and Stella. Elizabeth is a Fort Worth native. She is the daughter of Laurie and Marvin Blum and the granddaughter of Elsie Blum, all of Fort Worth.

Juliet Georgie is named for her mother’s beloved grandfather, Julius George Blum, who was a lifelong member of the Fort Worth Jewish community. Her Hebrew name is Yehudit Gital, after Julius Blum’s Hebrew name Yehuda Getzel.

I remember years ago when Juliet’s mom Elizabeth wowed the Ahavath Shalom congregation at the High Holidays with her beautiful rendition of “L’Dor V’dor.” Now, Elizabeth is a working mom in the New York fashion industry as director of social media/brand ambassador for Erickson Beamon jewelry and Seventh House Public Relations, along with managing her fashion blog Ira is a surgery resident at New York University, currently engaged in a two-year research fellowship in lymphatic biology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The family looks forward to celebrating Juliet’s birth at a simchat bat on the Sunday before Rosh Hashanah in Manhattan.

Quick Reminder: Inaugural Tarrant County Chili Cook-off

Don’t miss Monday’s kosher chili cook-off, which will be held at Hillel Academy of Tarrant County, 5808 Denton Highway Haltom City. The festivities get underway at noon and continue until 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 and food will be available for purchase. I hope to see you there.

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Proselytisers never miss an opportunity

Proselytisers never miss an opportunity

Posted on 28 August 2014 by admin

By Harriet P. Gross

grossforwebI am seeing the world through a different lens since the loss of my husband. I’m afraid my lens has lately been fogged with grief. But even through my distorted vision, I’ve realized — perhaps a bit belatedly — that some things never change.

Along with the many, many welcome words of strength and support I’ve received, along with the condolence cards and the contributions to so many worthy institutions and causes honoring Fred’s memory, I received one jarring letter. “Dear Family,” it was headed. Here is a portion of the text:

“Please accept my sincere condolences on your recent loss. I have experienced loss in my life and understand the feelings that go with this situation. The death of a beloved family member is never easy…”

Now, here it comes: Maybe you’ve already recognized what was awaiting me by the time you read the above. But I did not:

“Fortunately, and if you are so inclined, we can seek help for our grief and sorrow in the Holy Scriptures. Psalm 34:18 says, ‘Jehovah is near to those that are broken at heart, and those who are crushed in spirit he saves. And Psalm 55:22 says ‘Throw your burden upon Jehovah himself, and he himself will sustain you.’”

Psalms are always good, but “Jehovah” sends up a red flag warning. It’s a word not much used by Jews today. And here, it soon leads into a quote from Revelation, the end-of-days book of Christian scripture: “What a loving hope for the future,” I’m promised. After more condolences, I’m advised to “…take heart in the wonderful promises Jehovah has made to us regarding our departed in his Word.” By now, it’s clear what “word” my correspondent is referencing.

Has anyone else reading this received the same mailing after experiencing a loss? It looks as if someone may be perusing obituaries and targeting those that are obviously Jewish. It’s signed by one “Jimmy Johnson.” Not, I would hope, the football maven. But — who knows? There’s a cellphone number given, which I’m not going to call. Below it, in bright red letters, is the by-now-expected hope that “the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who have given heed will live.” And those of us who do not heed? Well — the enclosed pamphlet from Jehovah’s Witnesses tells all.

Should I laugh, or cry? In this time of pain, crying took precedence. But then came something to really laugh about. An email arrives from a fellow scribbler I know only through our occasional, mutual work for a same publication. Freelancers often recommend to other writers the opportunities they come across that aren’t right for them, with hopes of benefiting someone else. So amid the welter of condolences, I received one such message from a woman across many miles who had no reason to know about my recent loss. The post she shared promised an ongoing job editing and writing for the twice-monthly newsletter of a Jewish group. Good timing, good terms. But when I read the small print, I found that knowledge of, and experience with, Messianic Judaism were the prerequisites. In all my many years, from college forward, I’ve had plenty of both.

So I answered my correspondent that I would decline applying for her “find,” although of course with my thanks that she had thought of me. “You know I’m Jewish, or you wouldn’t have sent this,” I posted back. “But obviously, you know more about me than about Messianic Jews! Because of my years of learning and writing about the many branches and streams of Judaism, including those on the fringes, I have all the qualifications necessary to do this job, and to do it well. But I don’t want to do it, because I do not consider Jews who say they believe in Jesus to be Jews any more. To me, they are clearly Christians!”

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How can they lie so easily?

How can they lie so easily?

Posted on 28 August 2014 by admin

By Rabbi Yerachmiel D. Fried

Dear Rabbi Fried,

We have been glued to the TV ever since Operation Protective Edge has begun, especially noticing the world’s shocking response, as if Israel is responsible for being wantonly attacked!

We have been struck by the sheer lies emanating from Gaza and from the Arab world in general, and how those lies are being eaten up as truth, amazing us as to how gullible the Western world is.

We were wondering if there’s some Jewish sources for the fact that the Arab world can lie through their teeth without batting an eye, and get away with it.

— Marty and Heather K.

Dear Marty and Heather,

friedforweb2The subject of lying is just one area where the Muslim religion and Judaism are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

The Torah teaches us in Exodus 23:7, “M’dvar sheker tirchak,” or “stay far away from a lie.” This is the only instance in the entire Torah that it does not simply forbid something, rather exhorts us to “stay far away” from it. The verse implies that to not do so will invariably cause the death of the righteous.

In Leviticus 19:11, lying is equated to theft: “You should not steal, you shall not deny falsely and you shall not lie to one another.” Even for the sake of overtaking an enemy, the Torah frowns upon lying.

Shimon and Levi misled the inhabitants of Shechem to perform circumcision under the false assumption that by doing so Jacob and his family would then assimilate among them, when in fact their plan was only to weaken them in order to kill them. After carrying out their plot, they were severely reprimanded by their father Jacob (Gen. 34:30), and later cursed their rage before passing on, stating he wanted no part in their actions (Gen. 49:5-7).

Jacob, in fact, was known for his trait of truth and is considered the pillar of truth in this world. In this merit, he became one of the three patriarchs, each of whom is a pillar upon which rests the Divine Presence, or Shechinah, in this world.

God is referred to as the “God of Truth” numerous times throughout the Torah, Prophets, Writings and Talmud. He embodies absolute truth, and it is a basic tenet of our belief that God neither performs nor expresses any modicum of falsehood.

“When I call out the Name of Hashem, ascribe greatness to our God. The Rock! — perfect is His work, for all His paths are justice; a God of truth without iniquity, righteous and fair is He. Corruption is not His…” (Deut. 32:3-5).

By Jacob embodying the trait of Truth, he became the receptacle to receive the Divine Presence of Truth in this world (Although there are instances of untruth or deception in Biblical stories, at times with permission, they are always followed by the Trait of Truth exacting its dues).

The Muslim faith, however, is in a conundrum of contradictions when it comes to the subject of truth and falsehood. On one hand, there are numerous statements in the Quran punctuating the evil of lies and falsehood, stating that the utterer of lies will have his mouth torn open back to his ears, etc.

On the other hand, there are statements which clearly show they believe that Allah is the best liar: “And they (the disbeliever) schemed, and Allah schemed against them, and Allah is the best of schemers” (Quran 3:54).

There are many references to Muhammad practicing gross deception, such as various situations where he misleads his enemies into believing he had peaceful intentions only to later slaughter them.

Rather than this modicum of behavior drawing rebuke, such as that of Jacob, this behavior has become an integral part of the Muslim religion, even having its own name, called “Taqiyya,” or a meritorious lie. This is accompanied by “Kitman,” which is not an open lie, rather deception by omission, which is also meritorious in certain situations.

Muslim scholars explain that these lies are considered meritorious in various situations. The permissibility to openly lie, according to these scholars, applies for example during times of war, or any time one is reconciling between two disputing parties, or one spouse to another to achieve love and harmony or to convince a woman to marry a man or have sex, etc (In that case, beating is also permitted if that’s the only way to convince a wife to have sex). Also, lying is permitted and praiseworthy in any situation which promotes the Cause of Islam. All of the above are based upon cases where Muhammad used lies to accomplish the above goals.

To reconcile the seeming abhorrence to lying in other verses of the Quran, some scholars have noted that all references abhorring lying are in reference to Allah or Muhammad; not about anything else and not to a disbeliever, as one Muslim should try not to lie to a fellow Muslim.

It should not come as a surprise to see Muslim leaders claiming open lies, such as their “historic claim to Israel and the Temple Mount” and completely lying about anything that has to do with “the enemy,” the war, etc. For them to lie about these things, which promotes the Cause of Islam, is “a mitzvah” for them, and no limits are set on the extent of these lies; the greater and the more the merrier!

As for the gullibility of the world, it’s not simple naiveté for the most part; it’s much more sinister, having its roots in anti-Semitism, but that’s a whole other subject which we would need to cover another time.

Rabbi Yerachmiel D. Fried, noted scholar and author of numerous works on Jewish law, philosophy and Talmud, is founder and dean of DATA, the Dallas Kollel. Questions can be sent to him at

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Explaining fairness

Explaining fairness

Posted on 28 August 2014 by admin

By Laura Seymour

Dear Families,

seymourforweb2Kids always tell their parents, “That’s not fair!” What exactly are they thinking? What is “fair”?

Fairness is a word that is really about justice (mishpat in Hebrew) and justice may be an even harder word for children and for us.

Judaism has the message of justice deeply implanted in its spirit The Torah is filled with laws and examples of how to make a fair judgment and the importance of being fair and just.

“You shall not render an unfair decision: do not favor the poor nor show deference to the rich; judge your neighbor fairly.” (Leviticus)

“Only to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. “ (Micah)

Rabbi Hillel said, “Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.” This is an easy way to understand how to treat others. However, being fair isn’t always easy or simple. Fair doesn’t always mean the same.

Questions to ponder

  • Have you ever been treated unfairly? How did it make you feel?
  • Do you think it is fair that older children get to stay up later and do more things than younger children? Why or why not?
  • Do you think it is fair that boys get to do things that girls don’t get to do? Why or why not?
  • Some families have a rule that if there is a piece of cake to share, one person gets to cut it and the other gets to choose the first piece. How is this a fair way to divide the cake? Can this system be used in other areas?

Shabbat story discussion

A young boy came to a woman’s house and asked if she would like to buy some of the berries he had picked from his father’s fields.

The woman said, “Yes, I would and I’ll just take your basket inside to measure out 2 quarts.”

The boy sat down on the porch and the woman asked, “Don’t you want to watch me. How do you know that I won’t cheat you and take more than 2 quarts?”

The young boy said, “I am not afraid, for you would get the worst of the deal.”

“How could that be?” she asked.

The boy answered, “If you take more than 2 quarts that you are paying me for, I would only lose the berries. You would make yourself a liar and a thief.”

Talk about the meaning of this story with your family.

We should always try to do the fair and just thing — it is an important value to live by!

Shalom … from the Shabbat Lady.

Laura Seymour is director of Camping Services at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center of Dallas.

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Dallas Doings

Dallas Doings

Posted on 28 August 2014 by admin

By Linda Wisch-Davidsohn

I have often wondered from week to week what I will write about in the next column. Most of the times, I am really lucky — I have a good Editor and Publisher that feeds my writing soul. I have been looking forward to writing this week’s column for more than a week, and I hope that you enjoy it.

Many of you know that I moved to Dallas in 1971, and through a wonderful organization called ORT, formed some lasting friendships.

One of the first couples I met were Minna and Mitch Goldminz who also moved here that same year. If you are a good math student, you can figure out how long ago that was.

We lived on Meadow Road, east of Central and the Goldminzes lived on Meadow and Stone Canyon Roads. Minna and I visited almost daily.

She was a very glamorous New Yorker, and a gingy (a red head with freckles — as I was) who persistently came over to apply false eyelashes to my innocent eyes.

Unfortunately, I was a very poor student when it came to applying eyelashes — but I can assure you that the coffee was good, be it at my apartment or hers. Years later, the movie “Grease” was released, and I was certain that the song “Beauty School Dropout” was written just for me.

We’ve stayed in touch throughout the years, and I often think of her spectacular mother, Deenah Diamond z’ll,” a true Sabra who moved to New York prior to Minna’s birth.

When Deenah came to visit Minna and Mitch from her home in New York, she brought suitcases laden with kosher meat — and brought chesed as well as her beautiful smile and huge heart.

With that background in mind, here is the current update on the Goldminz Family in 2014.

Minna and Mitch Goldminz were thrilled to welcome their grandchildren for a joint birthday party.

Minna and Mitch Goldminz were thrilled to welcome their grandchildren for a joint birthday party.

8 Goldminz cousins celebrate joint birthdays with family

Several weeks ago, the Bonaventure was rocking and rolling as eight, enthusiastic cousins enjoyed a magical birthday celebration at the home of their “Nannie” Minna and “Pops” Mitch Goldminz.

The eight cousins are close — ranging in age from 3-year-old twins, Emma and Ashley Birnbaum, their brothers, 5-year-old Jeremy Birenbaum and 7 ¾-year-old Joshua Birenbaum, who are the children of Lisa and Todd Birenbaum of Plano.

Minna and Mitch’s son, Jonathan, and his wife, Pam moved to Dallas last summer, with their son, Zachary, 7, and their daughter, Hailey, 4.

Minna and Mitch’s oldest daughter, Judith and Steve Friedland and their two sons, Alex, 7, and Noah, 5, of Allendale, New Jersey joined the celebration of cousins.

Happy Birthday wishes to all the Goldminz cousins — from what I have heard they really know how to party.

Minna and Mitch are busy and involved parents and grandparents. Mitch is a published author and artist, whose paintings hang in all Café Brazil DFW locations. Mitch’s paintings also hang throughout Crest Cadillac.

Twenty-five percent of the sale of any painting hanging at Crest Cadillac is donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Lindsay Kaplan scores at figure skating championship in Massachusetts

Earlier this month, Lindsay Kaplan competed at the ISI World Recreational Team Championships for figure skating in Massachusetts. She competed in five events and took first place in her solo spotlight and her ensemble. For her solo Lindsay skated to the theme from “Up.”

Lindsay Kaplan skates at the ISI World Recreational Team Championships in Massachusetts.

Lindsay Kaplan skates at the ISI World Recreational Team Championships in Massachusetts.

Lindsay has been skating since she was 4. Her solo coach is Aerin Williams who also coaches her team along with Patty Toth. She skates for Galleria Ice Skating Center. Lindsay practices from three to 15 hours per week, depending on her schedule. In addition, she enjoys playing tennis.

Lindsay is the daughter of Lisa Newman and Jeffrey Kaplan and the granddaughter of Drs. Gordon and Lynda Newman of Dallas and Max and Isobel Kaplan of Toronto, and the caretaker of Bandit.

Lindsay is a seventh-grader at the Shelton School.

Congratulations, Lindsay on your wonderful achievements.

Catching up with Emily Claire

Since returning to my post at The TJP, I’ve been curious about what Emily Claire Shlesinger, talented songwriter/composer and, performer has been doing lately.

I touched base with her mom, Barbara, who brought me up to date on the latest accomplishments and venues of this extraordinary 17- year-old.

She was invited to perform this past spring at SXSW week at two venues: Burnsides Tavern and The Littlest Bar in Texas.

The Littlest Bar selected Emily to perform as a finalist in a charity kickoff that week to support the new Cancer Foundation in Austin affiliated with Gilda’s House. They asked youth around the country to write songs based on stories written by child cancer survivors. Emily’s song, called “Paradise,” was the winning entry/performance.

Other key performances this past spring were The Deep Ellum Arts Festival in Dallas, Earth Day Festival and I-30 Music Festival along with her regular appearances at Shady’s, Ascension Coffee House, The Kitchen Cafe and Lekka Patio Café on Preston Road.

Emily is gearing up for her senior year at Winfree Academy. She transferred last year due to her music and travel commitments. This allows her to complete her work in a more flexible way. Her plan is to graduate early.

She previously attended Brentfield, Parkhill and J.J. Pearce High School.

She has received critical acclaim for her new music, which is said to be even better lyrically and musically. Emily started her own personal charity called “Music Heals” and performed for Ryan Seacrest’s closed circuit TV station at Children’s Hospital and at Scottish Rite serenading the kids and their families.

She spent the summer recording new material she’s written for her upcoming EP — working with producers in Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas and making regular appearances at local venues.

Throughout the month of September, Emily will be performing vocals on guitar and piano at The NYLO Hotel in Las Colinas every Thursday from 6-9 p.m. at the restaurant/Bar and poolside. It is open to the public.

On Oct. 7, she is scheduled to open for the touring band, “Surviving Allison” at J & J’s Pizza Bandstage in Denton.

Emily is also in the process of scheduling a school appearance tour in the greater Dallas area. No dates have been formalized as of presstime.

She currently has four songs on iTunes.

To follow Emily Claire or sign up for her email fan list go to; Facebook: EmilyClaireMusic;

Twitter: EmClaireMusic; and Instagram: EmilyClaireMusic.

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Around the Town

Around the Town

Posted on 21 August 2014 by admin

By Sharon Wisch-Ray
Carole Rogers, kosher hot dog extraordinaire set the mood for the screening of Crossing Delancey at Ahavath Sholom July 12.

Carole Rogers, kosher hot dog extraordinaire set the mood for the screening of Crossing Delancey at Ahavath Sholom July 12.

When Ahavath Sholom screened the last in its film series, “Crossing Delancey,” moviegoers were in for a Lower East Side treat. Hedy Collins, Anita Davidson, Sheila Stocker and Lajean Sturman decked out the synagogue with signs and authentic kosher pickle barrels in addition to the kosher hot dogs, pickles and Dr. Brown’s soda. A highlight of the event was Carole Rogers’ appearance as a kosher hot dog. She also led the post film discussion. I’m told that the 2013-2014 Film Series was a huge success in no small part due to the dedicated committee of Michal Bloom, Liz Chesser, Bootsie Coggan, Hedy Collins, Kim Goldberg, Lisa Laudato, Foster Owen, Jane Pawgan, Debby Rice, Reggie Rog, Jayna Sosland, Jim Stansbury, Sheila Stocker and Roz Vaden. The film series will reconvene in October.

Jerusalem comes to the Omni IMAX

Speaking of movies, the Omni Theater, an IMAX Dome at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History will premiere “Jerusalem,” a captivating new film that explores on a grand scale the intersection of science, history and religion in this enigmatic city, Friday, Sept. 12. Now, for the first-time ever, a new 2D giant screen film adventure immerses audiences in a spectacular cinematic journey — soaring high above the Holy Land and plunging deep into the vibrant Old City — so they can experience as never before the iconic sites cherished by billions.

Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch (“Star Trek into the Darkness,” PBS’s “Sherlock”), “Jerusalem” gives audiences a rare glimpse of the ancient, storied city, as well as exclusive access to iconic holy sites and little-known parts of the region — including the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock, the Jordan River, the Sea of Galilee and the mountain fortress of Masada. Filmmakers were granted special permission in the region’s strict no-fly zone, enabling them to capture the first-ever large format aerial images of the Old City and throughout the Holy Land.

“Jerusalem,” a captivating film that explores the history, science and religion of the ancient city, begins Friday, Sept. 12 in the Omni Theater at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. | Photo: Dustin Farrell

“Jerusalem,” a captivating film that explores the history, science and religion of the ancient city, begins Friday, Sept. 12 in the Omni Theater at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. | Photo: Dustin Farrell

Audiences will discover why this tiny piece of land is sacred to three major religions through the stories of Jewish, Christian and Muslim families who call Jerusalem home. They will also join renowned archaeologist, Dr. Jodi Magness, as she travels underground to solve some of this city’s greatest mysteries. Find out why, after thousands of years, Jerusalem and the Holy Land continue to stir the imagination of billions of people.

An original production from Cosmic Picture and Arcane Pictures and distributed by National Geographic Entertainment, the 43-minute large format film was executive produced by the late Jake Eberts, legendary producer of movies such as “Gandhi,” “Chariots of Fire,” and “Dances with Wolves”; produced by Taran Davies, George Duffield and Daniel Ferguson; and written and directed by Daniel Ferguson. Large format industry veteran Reed Smoot, ASC is Director of Photography.

“With this extraordinary film’s immersive experience, audiences will feel as if they are really walking the streets of this beloved and iconic place,” said Lisa Truitt, president of National Geographic Entertainment.

“Through the unrivaled beauty, visceral nature and incredible technology of the giant screen format, you feel as if you are experiencing Jerusalem up-close and first-hand,” said writer/director Daniel Ferguson.

Tickets are $7 for adults, $6 for children (2-12) and seniors (65+); Museum members receive a $3 discount. Find show times and ticket information on the Museum’s website or by phone at 817-255-9540.

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Making every second count

Making every second count

Posted on 21 August 2014 by admin

By Rabbi Yerachmiel D. Fried

Dear Readers,

friedforweb2I’d like to share with you a thought I’ve been living with over the past couple of weeks as my family and I shared in each other’s company — in very close proximity — during a summer road trip as we have done many times in past years.

The thought I have been focusing upon during this time is to be “in the moment.” It’s so easy to have the time pass by, paying attention to details of the trip while neglecting to fully appreciate the most important detail of all: spending quality time with the very people you most love!

I’ll never forget the time, a number of years ago, when some of the kids and I were visiting friends at their lake house in East Texas. I was in the water holding on to the dock while my kids were jumping over me into the water, myself deep in thought over certain upcoming programs and issues that I needed to deal with upon returning to Dallas.

Suddenly, it occurred to me that here I am, on a gorgeous day, surrounded by some of the most idyllic scenery the planet has to offer with my beloved children around me having a great time and I’m not even there!

That recognition hit me like a ton of bricks and I spent the rest of that day focusing on what was happening around me and living in the present. What a different experience!

Our Sages teach that this is implicit in the verse “choose life” (Deut. 30:19). The simple meaning of this verse is that free choice is presented in our hands to choose spiritual life or death.

It goes without saying that this, among many verses, is the source of the Jewish weltenschaung with its stress upon the priceless value of every moment of life, in stark contrast to the shocking outlook of the Muslim world we are now experiencing with their infatuation with death.

The deeper message of choosing life is to choose to actually live one’s life; to make every moment count as that moment will never return again, so live it now to the fullest with all the meaning and growth that can be squeezed out of it.

A leading sage of the past generation, Rabbi Yitzchok Hunter ob’m, once proclaimed that every moment of one’s life should be so full of life that if one would stab it, it would draw blood.

With that, he was delivering a subtle rebuke that we often live lifeless moments, moments that would not “draw blood if stabbed,” and that’s not really living at all, just passing time with bodily functions.

Instead, the Al-mighty, who granted us the gift of life out of his desire to bestow good upon us, exhorts us to “choose life” and truly get the most out of each moment of our lives. This is only possible if we live the moments of the lives gifted to us, appreciating our families, friends, surroundings and small momentary opportunities to grow.

Hopefully we will make use of the final days of our breaks with our families and ourselves to take this lesson as a guide throughout the entire year.

Rabbi Yerachmiel D. Fried, noted scholar and author of numerous works on Jewish law, philosophy and Talmud, is founder and dean of DATA, the Dallas Kollel. Questions can be sent to him at

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Dallas Doings

Dallas Doings

Posted on 21 August 2014 by admin

By Linda Wisch-Davidsohn

Saul Schisler’s work marks The Wall Street Journal’s 125th

Saul Schisler, a student at New York City’s prestigious Pratt Institute, a global leader in higher education, is one of 11 students chosen to take part in an initiative to create work that celebrates the rich history and future innovations of The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), which commemorated its 125th anniversary this July.

The resulting works, which stem from a partnership between Pratt and WSJ parent company Dow Jones, are on display in an exhibition: called “Pratt Celebrates 125 Years of The Wall Street Journal,” at Pratt Manhattan Gallery through August 21.

Pratt Manhattan Gallery is a public exhibition space affiliated with Pratt Institute that is known for featuring innovative work. It is located at 144 W. 14th Street in New York City.

The students, whose diverse backgrounds, disciplines and interests embody the worldwide influence of the Journal, created work in their chosen medium, taking inspiration from one or more of eight themes provided by Dow Jones. The themes range from technology’s impact on media consumption to the evolution of the Journal from its 1889 four-page newsletter to the global newsgathering powerhouse it is today.

Schisler and fellow students were given special access to the Journal’s staffers and archives to review their work and learn about the brand pedigree, timeline, culture and high journalistic standards.

Saul Schisler created this traditional printing press, which took him roughly 350 hours to complete. The piece is part of an exhibit called “Pratt Celebrates 125 Years of the Wall Street Journal” at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery.

Saul Schisler created this traditional printing press, which took him roughly 350 hours to complete. The piece is part of an exhibit called “Pratt Celebrates 125 Years of the Wall Street Journal” at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery.

Schisler created a modern-day reworking of a traditional printing press, built by hand from aluminum, acetyl, steel and brass, which took him more than 350 hours in the studio. The work re-examines the first vehicle for mass-produced text — the screw-driven printing press — and became a performance piece in the gallery as a limited edition (125) of birthday cards were printed in honor of the Journal’s 125th anniversary. The work reflects the Journal’s standing as a news source that has kept up with the modern demands of news consumption over time.

Pratt Manhattan Gallery hours are Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Thursdays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. For more information, visit Saul is the son of Shelley and Avi Mitzner and Euphrosyne  and Howell Schisler.

HBR Technologies nominated by Addison Magazine’s Best Places to Work in 2014

Its slogan is “The Power is in the Partnership.” HBR Technologies is a managed IT services provider located in Carrollton. The company specializes in providing business and technology-consulting services that help clients leverage technology to increase business efficiency. HBR helps clients with solution design, implementation and computer support services. HBR sells hardware, software, information technology security and network products and services necessary to support small to medium–size businesses, enterprise clients, academic institutions and government agencies.

HBR Technologies has the ability to service the nationwide needs of its clients. There is an established a support network, which provides design, implementation and maintenance services across America.

HBR Technologies has operated under the same ownership since it was founded in 1984, and has been building positive and lasting relationships with our clients and our vendors. They are one of the oldest computer resellers in Dallas/Fort Worth.

CEO Jeff Romick possesses more than 26 years of corporate technology consulting experience. Jeff believes in the power of partnership and works tirelessly to build strong relationships between clients and business manufacturers. The strength of HBR Technologies is enhanced by Jeff’s keen knowledge of the industry´s channel and end user programs that benefit clients.

He has been awarded best speaker honors at multiple manufacturer channel focused symposiums. Jeff is an Intel VTN Channel Advisor and is on the Exabyte Reseller Council. He works with clients of all sizes and industries and focuses on their security and infrastructure to protect valuable information and physical assets. Jeff is the president of the Lone Star Chapter of VTN and was just honored as the chapter MVP for 2011. In addition, Jeff is on the board of Legacy Preston Hollow.

COO David Romick has more than 30 years of IS consulting and management experience. He has worked in a variety of environments ranging from small businesses to large corporations such as GTE, American Airlines and Lennox Industries. David brings to the table a solid resume of “hands on” technology project management experience and extensive corporate management training.

In 1992, he co-chaired the Data Administration Management Association (DAMA) International Symposium and is also a recipient of the DAMA International Service Award. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in data processing and analysis. David was also awarded the Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout Award in 1979. David is on the board of directors for Community Homes for Adults, Inc. (CHAI).

Congratulations to the Romicks and their team. The voting ends Sept. 5.

Dallas Jewish Community Foundation to host seminar, Wednesday Sept. 17

The Dallas Jewish Community Foundation is hosting its annual Professional Advisors Seminar, “It’s More Than Money: Protect Your Legacy” at 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 17 at the Westin Galleria. More than 300 lawyers, CPAs, insurance underwriters, bankers and financial planners are expected to participate.

The presenter, Patricia Annino, of Prince Lobel Tye LLP, is a nationally recognized authority on estate planning and taxation. She is chair of her firm’s Estate Planning and Probate Practice Group as well as a member of the firm’s Media Law Practice Group, where she represents authors, artists, and musicians in estate planning and probate matters. She is the author of numerous consumer books and professional texts.

The seminar, now in its 19th year, has been a fixture in the professional advisors community. The event educates professional advisors on new and emerging techniques in the areas of charitable giving, estate and tax planning. Attendees will receive two hours of continuing education while enjoying a lavish breakfast.

The event’s primary underwriter is Thompson & Knight LLP; benefactor sponsor is Meadows Collier Reed Cousins Crouch & Ungerman LLP. Wells Fargo is the platinum sponsor.

Registration is $70 if submitted by Sept. 3 or $85 after the deadline. To register for the seminar, visit or call 214-615-9351 for more information.

Beth Torah’s Men’s Club to welcome Craig Miller of KTCK-AM’s ‘The Ticket’

Craig Miller, co-host of the“Morning Musers” show on KTCK-AM “The Ticket,” will launch the Congregation Beth Torah Men’s Club lox-and-bagel breakfast series Sunday, Sept. 7.

Fresh from covering Cowboys training camp, Miller will share his wit and wisdom that spans two decades with Dallas’ leading sports radio station. The CBT Men’s Club traditionally kicks off its monthly speaker series with a Cowboys-related program coinciding with NFL opening day.

Breakfast begins at 9 a.m., and the public is invited. The cost is $10 for non-members, $7 for members and $5 for students. The synagogue is located at 720 W. Lookout Drive in Richardson. For additional information, contact Beth Torah at 972-234-1542.

Save the date

The Dallas Jewish Historical Society will present “One Story at a Time…A Mosaic of Our Dallas Jewish Community” from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30 at the Community Foundation of Texas, Mabel Peters Caruth Center located at 5500 Caruth Haven Lane at Central Expressway in Dallas.

This will be an event featuring natives to newcomers who have shared their diverse family stories. The evening is a part of the Oral History Project of the DJHS.

For additional information, contact or 214-239-7120.


I recently read two interesting books by Rabbi Shlomo Wexler, which some of you might enjoy — “Brother, Can You Raise a Million?” and “The Rabbi and the Rebbetzin.” The rabbi’s dry humor and fascinating narratives made both books a treasured read.

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In memory of Fred

In memory of Fred

Posted on 21 August 2014 by admin

By Harriet P. Gross

grossforwebThe cat was named Bright Eyes by my daughter, who was about 10-years-old when he came to live with us.

I have never had to go looking for a cat; cats find their way to my door.

But a stray siamese with a cared-for coat, already neutered and declawed?

He must have gotten out of a car passing through our area, been separated from the owners who were certainly searching for him.

I tried to find those people, without success.

And so he was mine, a feisty feline youngster with the clear blue eyes that inspired his name.

Years later, those eyes clouded over, the feistiness disappeared, his once-powerful hind legs lost their spring and strength.

Bright Eyes took to spending most time in a sort of “nest” on my spare-room bed. After a while, he never left it; I took care of him there.

One day, I faced his awful inevitable, and asked a friend to drive us to the vet. I couldn’t bear the thought of that euphemistic “putting down,” but it was obvious that his time on earth had almost run its course.

I couldn’t even put him down in the car next to me, which is why I’d asked for help; I held him, wrapped in the blanket that had been his comfort in recent days, on my lap, for that final drive.

When we reached our destination, I found that he had taken his own leave of life while we were on our way.

I wrote a column then about that simplest of ways to die: wrapped in the warmth of true love and a comfortable blanket. That would be, I said, my own preferred way to depart from this earth.

But my time did not come before that of my husband. He passed away quietly less than two weeks ago, wrapped in the double warmth of a comfortable blanket and the words of hand-holding loved ones at his side.

First, Fred’s legs, once strong like my dear cat’s had been during his prime, had lost their power to that insidious thief, metastasized bone cancer.

Then the cells of his relentless disease invaded other vital organs — liver, lungs, brain.

All anyone could do was keep him comfortable as he rode those last final breaths to his end of life.

Countless compassionate doctors and nurses attended him.

Five rabbis came and went and came again, talking to Fred for as long as he could understand them and respond, and even after that, then reading psalms to the rest of us who were watching and waiting. Two of them officiated at his memorial service, his burial, his shivas.

Then we — his wife, his son, his nephew, his loving cousins — walked together into the sanctuary of our synagogue, where we were welcomed as the Sabbath Bride had been just moments before.

The warmth of many surrounded us. Life was as good as it could be for us who survived to mourn, blanketed in kind words and the touches of love from those who truly cared. I, like my dear husband, was able to relax and let go of much.

But the grief remains, of course.

I grieve the loss of my life companion. I grieve my inability — and that of all the medical community, even at this time of ever-advancing medicine — to recognize his disease in time to hold it in check, to grant him longer life.

Fred had been, in all those first good and then not good years and months and weeks and days and hours and minutes and seconds from diagnosis to death, passionate about encouraging early detection of that rarest of maladies in men: breast cancer.

I am pledged to continue his quest, to go on encouraging the search, in his memory.

Strengthening me is the welcome companionship of that same daughter who named Bright Eyes more than 40 years ago.

Please join us.

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