Archive | June, 2016

Around The Town: Treasured traditions, Arts in Israel

Around The Town: Treasured traditions, Arts in Israel

Posted on 23 June 2016 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Treasured Traditions: From the files of the Fort Worth Jewish Archives

Summer fun doesn’t get any more traditional than attending day camp. Beginning as an experiment in the summer of 1954, Camp Shalom continues today. The idea of opening a “temporary” day camp grew out of a 1952 Youth Needs Study Committee appointed by the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and chaired by pediatrician Frank Cohen.
The Federation rented acreage with a spring-fed concrete pool east of Handley and advertised six weeks of rural recreation for Jewish youngsters. Some 60 children between the ages of 5 and 8 enrolled in sessions held in June and July. Dr. Cohen borrowed camping equipment from the local Quartermaster Depot of the Texas National Guard.

Submitted photo Camp Shalom began in 1954 and has grown into a full-fledged camp for youngsters. Volunteers are needed. If interested, contact Hollace Weiner at 817-731-3685.

Submitted photo
Camp Shalom began in 1954 and has grown into a full-fledged camp for youngsters. Volunteers are needed. If interested, contact Hollace Weiner at 817-731-3685.

The day camp budget totaled $3,705, a sum that included $465 for transportation, $1,750 for personnel, $374 for snacks, and $35 a week to rent the property.
For its second summer, the day camp moved to Congregation Ahavath Sholom’s relatively new building at 8th Avenue and Myrtle Street. Swimming was at the Loring Hotel on Camp Bowie Boulevard at University Drive. By the camp’s third year of operation, 83 children attended the first three-week session and 79 the second. Campers were assigned to seven cabins. A counselor-in-training (CIT) program was instituted for children over 12. The CITs produced a camp newspaper. The 1956 Day Camp report, signed by educator Lil Goldman, recommended that summer camp become a permanent program of the Federation. “It has apparently met a real community need. … We … request that the Jewish Federation President appoint a committee to project some long range planning for a permanent site.”
When the Dan Danciger Jewish Community Center opened in 1964 with a swimming pool, tennis courts and acreage for ball fields, the summer program relocated there under the name Camp Shalom. In 1995, the JCC property on Granbury Road was put up for sale. Despite plans for the JCC to close, Camp Shalom drew 100 campers during the summer of 1996. Over the next several years, a consolidation of management and programs occurred. Summer camp was deemed a priority that the Federation would continue. After the JCC property sold, Camp Shalom moved to Ahavath Sholom’s building and campus on Hulen Street and Briarhaven Road. Camp Shalom, now in its 62nd summer, operates under the auspices of the Jewish Education Agency. The JEA also operates the Lil Goldman Early Learning Agency, which provides pre-school education and care for infants through pre-K.
The Fort Worth Jewish Archives is filled with community treasures. Volunteers are needed to continue this important project. Contact Hollace Weiner at 817-731-3685 to volunteer a few hours on Wednesdays.
— Submitted by Naomi Rosenfield, Fort Worth Jewish Archives

Arts in Israel

The Jewish Federation of Fort Worth & Tarrant County is organizing an “Arts in Israel” Partnership2Gether experience from Oct. 27 to Nov. 5. Explore the land from Tel Aviv to the Western Galilee (Tarrant County’s PARTNERSHIP2GETHER region) and from Tzfat to Jerusalem. Be exposed to a broad range of creativity — from contemporary art to ancient Kabbalah, belly dancing to a tzedakah art project with disabled students. Make personal connections with Israelis who have made Israel the cultural force it is today. Enjoy state-of-the art museums and galleries, music, dance, theater, hands-on workshops, and fantastic culinary treats.
Here are the highlights:

  • Encounters with artists, curators, and other creative professionals
  • Theater, dance and musical performances
  • Spend quality time with Israeli friends in Tarrant County’s Partnership region
  • One-of-a-kind culinary experiences — many special dinners!
  • Hands-on workshops: tzedakah project, design and cooking classes with alternative specialty tour options
  • Open-air markets, unique shopping
  • Architecture, graffiti, and neighborhood walking tours
  • Discover the latest Israeli art organizations and movements
  • Scheduled free time for exploration

Included in the trip are: professional logistic services/transfers to and from the airport; a Ministry of Tourism licensed tour guide; wonderful boutique hotels for nine nights — four nights ArtPlus Hotel Tel Aviv, three nights Sealife Hotel Nahariya and two nights Harmony Hotel Jerusalem with late checkout on final day; all breakfasts included plus nine specialty dinners and some lunches; entrance fees and special activity fees; deluxe bus transportation during all days and for specific nights out, including drivers’ overtime.
Cost for the trip is $3,999 land only. The optional add-on to Eilat and Petra, Jordan is an additional $1,299. Space is limited. A $1,000 deposit is due by Aug. 27. To learn more and sign up, contact Kim Goldberg at 402-968.7493 or kimgoldbergdesign@gmail.com.

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Dallas Doings: Inclusion, Ladies Auxiliary, business relocates, Cinema Emanu-El

Dallas Doings: Inclusion, Ladies Auxiliary, business relocates, Cinema Emanu-El

Posted on 23 June 2016 by admin

Andy Dropkin

Andy Dropkin

Photo: Courtesy of Sandra Cantor (Seated) Sandra and Alan Cantor; (standing) Jewish War Veterans Auxiliary National President Freda Rosenshein and JWV Past National Commander Norman Rosenshein

Photo: Courtesy of Sandra Cantor
(Seated) Sandra and Alan Cantor; (standing) Jewish War Veterans Auxiliary National President Freda Rosenshein and JWV Past National Commander Norman Rosenshein

Scott Cohen

Scott Cohen

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Inclusion at Beth Torah

The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism recently sent out a report on inclusion to al its member congregations. Congregation Beth Torah is proud of what it has accomplished so far, and is planning further inclusion efforts to enhance the comfort and participation of all members and visitors.
The “local agency” mentioned below is CHAI (Community Homes for Adults, Inc.), and its residents attended Shabbat morning services June 4 at Beth Torah, with an individual congregant accompanying and mentoring each CHAI guest throughout the worship and at the Kiddush luncheon following.
The report said: “When USCJ put out its first call in 2014 for participants in the Ruderman Inclusion Action Community, Rabbi Elana Zelony of Congregation Beth Torah in Richardson suggested that Zelene Lovitt submit an application and spearhead the initiative. Zelene, a longtime member and past president of the congregation, seized the opportunity to become part of a community that embraces and supports members and guests with special needs, as she had raised a grandson with disabilities and devoted her professional career to supporting at-risk students. She was also aware of how the congregation would benefit from increasing efforts that embraced people from toddlers to seniors with various special needs.
“In just one year, signs of inclusion at Beth Torah have appeared.
“‘Being part of the Ruderman Family Foundation Inclusion Action Committee helped galvanize our efforts to become more inclusive,’ Zelene said. ‘We installed handicapped-accessible electric doors and revamped our religious school to better serve all students. We also forged deep connections with a local agency that provides housing for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We observed several Inclusion Shabbats, and we’re setting targets for the future.’
“She added, ‘Currently we are seeking to provide streaming for those who are unable to attend services and other synagogue events in person. The financial support of our members truly reflects the commitment of our wonderful kehilla to ensure that everyone has a place at Beth Torah’s table.
“‘That’s who we are.’”
— Submitted by Harriet Gross

Jewish War Veterans Ladies Auxiliary

The Jewish War Veterans Auxiliary No. 256 recently hosted Jewish War Veterans Ladies Auxiliary National President Freda Rosenshein and her husband, past National Commander Norman Rosenshein, in Dallas. The Rosensheins were here in their national capacity to visit different chapters so they can report back at the national convention to be held in Savannah, Georgia, Aug. 14-20. They were “wined and dined” throughout their long weekend and said they had an exceptional time, especially learning about how things are done in Texas.
Activities included dinners at Celebration restaurant, Spring Creek Barbecue, Fajita Pete’s and a tour of the George Bush Presidential Library. Friday night, JWVA No. 256 President Sandra Cantor and JWV Post 256 Commander Allan Cantor hosted an Oneg Shabbat at their home in honor of the Rosensheins.
At the end of June, Current National Commander Jerry Blum and his wife Joanne will be visiting Dallas to attend the regional TALO (Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma) convention, where Art Kaplan will be sworn in as TALO Commander.
— Submitted by Sandra Cantor

Team registration open for Dallas Kosher Barbecue Championship

Registration is now open for teams entering the second annual Dallas Kosher Barbecue Championship, scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 16.
The special early bird price is $375, which includes all meats, condiments and spices, as well as use of kosher grills, smokers and utensils provided by the competition organizers. The price rises to $425 after July 31.
Congregation Beth Torah stages the championship, which is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society and supervised by Dallas Kosher. More than 1,000 people attended the inaugural event last October.
With the growing popularity of kosher barbecue nationwide, the local championship has quickly become a notable date on the Dallas Jewish calendar.
Sunnyland Furniture at Coit and Spring Valley hosts the barbecue celebration, and the day’s MC will be Jody Dean of KLUV-FM. Proceeds benefit Community Homes for Adults, Inc. (CHAI), which provides housing and support for disabled people in Dallas.
For more information, visit www.dallaskosherbbq.com.
— Submitted by Michael Precker

Business scene: CD Wealth Management to relocate

CD Wealth Management recently announced plans to move its corporate office to accommodate growing business. Effective Aug. 1, offices will be located at 16400 Dallas Pkwy., Suite 310, Dallas 75248.
The new space, in Knoll Trail Plaza, is less than 5 miles from its current location. Phone and fax numbers and email addresses will remain the same.
“This new office space means improved client service, new amenities and room for growth,” said Scott Cohen, founder and principal of CD Wealth Management. “Our team is excited about expanding our footprint in Dallas and this move represents a commitment to our continued success and client service.”
“Our office is growing and we decided it was time to move to a larger, more centrally located space, accessible to all our clients,” said Andy Dropkin, founder and principal of CD Wealth Management. “Our clients have always been our most valuable resource and our move is a refection of our continued commitment to customer service. We were fortunate to find such a nice space with so many modern amenities.”
CD Wealth Management is an independent Dallas-based financial advisory and wealth services firm offering personalized financial planning and wealth management for families, corporate executives, closely-held businesses, people in transition and not-for-profit institutions.
— Submitted by Jill Middleman

Reminder: Gay Pride Service at Beth El Binah on Friday, June 24

Congregation Beth El Binah will hold its annual Pride Service at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 24 at Northaven United Methodist Church, Room 239, 11211 Preston Road in Dallas. Each June, Congregation Beth El Binah joins local and national groups to honor the movement for LGBT equality and inclusion, celebrate recent victories against discrimination, and recommit to making progress surrounding LGBT issues in the future.
There will be special memorial prayers for our brothers and sisters who recently perished in Orlando, as well as all others who suffered harm because of their sexual or gender orientation.
Participating in the service will be Cantor Sheri Allen, Cantor Emeritus Don Alan Croll, Rabbi Steve Fisch, Rev. Eric Folkerth, Rabbi Jordan Parr, Rabbi Debra Robbins, Reverend Neil Cazares-Thomas and Dr. Steve Sprinkle.
For any questions, please contact Rabbi Fisch at rabbi@bethelbinah.org.

Save the date: 4 Tuesdays in July for Cinema Emanu-El

Temple Emanu-El’s annual summer film series Cinema Emanu-El will begin at 7 p.m., Tuesday, July 5 with Women in Gold.
A discussion following the film will be led by Rabbi Brian Zimmerman with special guest Michael Heinlen, an attorney and art historian.
The rest of the films are: July 12, Above and Beyond; July 19, A Borrowed Identity; and July 26, Deli Man. Cost is $4 per film or $12 for a season pass.
Contact Becky Slakman, bslakman@tedallas.org, for more information.

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JCC sets 10-year plan to renovate facility

JCC sets 10-year plan to renovate facility

Posted on 23 June 2016 by admin

By Ben Tinsley
bent@tjpnews.com

DALLAS — Angela Aaron Horowitz, entering her second year as the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center of Dallas’ board chairman, outlined the J’s most ambitious project yet at their annual gathering last week.
Horowitz announced plans are underway and funds have been appropriated to create an “entirely new, renovated and expanded JCC” over the next 10 years.
Or even sooner.
“The current facilities are 60 years old and in much need of major renovation, expansion and replacement,” she explained.
Horowitz said a project this ambitious might seem impossible right now but can and will be accomplished with a strategic plan and successful capital campaign.
The objective is to build on previous successes and create enthusiasm around possibilities, she said.
Horowitz said Gensler, a top design firm, has already been engaged to come up with the master plan for the J campus and facilities.
There will be focus groups, individual meetings and consultation with key individuals to gauge visions and designs for the future, she added.
“We are in the final stages of selecting a campaign consultant to assist us with a feasibility study,” she said.
Horowitz’s comments were offered before a packed audience. The 7 p.m. 137th annual meeting took place Tuesday, June 14 in the Zale Auditorium at the Aaron Family J.
David Greenstone, Lori Ordiway, and Jill Tananbaum formally chaired the meeting and presentations.
Horowitz’s remarks were all in line with the metaphor of “the Giving Tree,” the theme of the program. The Giving Tree involves taking a community seed and watching it grow into numerous successful programs.
As an illustration throughout the meeting, artist Jerod DTOX Davies remained on the stage painting a Giving Tree portrait in full view of audience members.
During her comments, Horowitz said she attended the opening of a new facility in Dallas a few months ago and was inspired by the master plan and vision for the project — and how that process started 10 years earlier.
“A light went off,” she said.
Horowitz asked the audience to visualize the JCC’s potential for growth and improvement.
“Last year I asked you to close your eyes and imagine the J 10 years from now with very special dynamic vibrant programs and facilities,” Horowitz said. “Now I am asking you to open your eyes and join with us. …”
Prior to the remarks by the president, Aaron Family J CEO Artie Allen offered high praise for Horowitz’s performance over the past year, as well as her ambition and her “failure is not an option” philosophy.
“She has made the J — and leading it — a priority,” Allen said.
Allen thanked all JCC volunteers for their hard work. He specifically praised the work ethic and accomplishments of the JCC professional management team of Ashley Bundis, marketing services and program director; Tara Sutker Ohayon, director of Early Childhood Education; Laura Seymour, director of Camping and Youth Services; Scott Braswell, assistant executive director; Carol Agronin, associate director and CFO; and Eric Samaniego, general manager of Sports, Fitness, and Wellness.
Scott Cohen oversaw the JCC’s elections. During those elections:
The 2016-17 slate of JCC officers was unanimously approved by the audience.
These include Angela Aaron Horowitz, chairman of the board, and Jay Liberman, chair-elect, as well as Vice Presidents Doug Baer, David Greenstone, Monte Hurst, Liz Liener and Ellen Ungerman.
The members of the 2016-17 board of directors who will continue their service were also unanimously approved by the audience.
These include Neil Beckerman, Kim Cuban, David Friedman, Sherry Goldberg, Mike Horowitz, Rachel Kramer, Esther Meyers, Michael Ochstein, Lori Ordiway, Zev Shulkin, Wendy Stanley and Michael Waldman.
Board members nominated for election — and unanimously approved by the audience — were Cathy Brook, Candy Brown, Sondra Brumbelow, Dan Levitan, Benton Middleman, Debra Phares, Pam Pluss and Lauren Savariego.
Some board members were nominated for re-election and also unanimously approved. These include David Friedman, Marc Grossfeld, Lisa Lieberman, Marilyn Schaffer, Steve Schneider, Ruthie Shor and Jonathan Tobolowsky.
Meanwhile, the Hank Bodner Award for Good Sportsmanship went to Amanda Steinborn and Jordan Sternblitz.
Amanda Steinborn, originally from New Mexico, moved with her family to Dallas in 2007 and is currently a North Dallas resident. She attends Yavneh Academy of Dallas and will graduate in May 2017 with plans to attend an academically rigorous university, according to her biography.
In addition to being an extraordinary student she participates in many extracurricular and volunteer activities, including the Excel Volleyball Club. This past year, 2015, was Amanda Steinborn’s fourth and final year representing the J at the JCC Maccabi Games — for which she was awarded the silver medal for volleyball. She also served on the Athlete Teen Committee.
Jordan Sternblitz, a junior at Greenhill School, is a huge basketball fan — which has led him to excel in the sport and become a great leader on his way to a fantastic future.
Jordan Sternblitz started his basketball career at the J as part of the Peanut League with his father serving as coach. That team won many championships. Jordan Sternblitz went on to represent the J and bring home medals in various JCC Maccabi games in Austin, Boca Raton and Dallas.
During this next year, his fourth and final as a Maccabi athlete, he is going to serve as one of the leaders for the 16U Boys Basketball Team as they head to St. Louis for the 2016 JCC Maccabi games.
As a volunteer, Jordan Sternblitz coaches an amateur league of third and fourth graders, which won a championship under his leadership. He has been part of Greenhill School’s basketball program since seventh grade and has played varsity for the Hornets for the past two years.
He serves as president of the BBYO Eamonn Lacey AZA chapter, which took home the AZA Championship last year.

From left, Angela Aaron Horowitz,Lori Ordiway, David Greenstone and Jill Tananbaum

From left, Angela Aaron Horowitz,Lori
Ordiway, David Greenstone and Jill Tananbaum

Lisa Brodsky pays tribute to the late Karen Stern during the 137th annual meeting at the Aaron Family JCC.

Lisa Brodsky pays tribute to the late Karen Stern during the 137th annual meeting at the Aaron Family JCC.

Chairs David Greenstone, Jill Tananbaum, and Lori Ordiway congratulate JCC Leader of the Year Liz Liener (second from left).

Chairs David Greenstone, Jill Tananbaum, and Lori Ordiway congratulate JCC Leader of the Year Liz Liener (second from left).

Hank Bodner winners Amanda Steinborn and Jordan Sternblitz

Hank Bodner winners Amanda Steinborn and Jordan Sternblitz

Also during the JCC ceremon, the Sam Slusher Award for Distinguished Service for Senior Adults was presented to Kay Hale, a Richardson High school graduate and 15-year Richardson Independent School District employee.
Hale joined the J in 2008 as Artie Allen’s executive assistant. She moved to the senior department in 2014 to become office manager and assists the ever-growing Nosh Nook catering service.
This mother of three and grandmother of two is known as the “go to” person for projects, and is known to be professional, dependable, well organized, and very talented, according to her biography.
The Leader of the Year award went to Liz Liener, a published author, third-generation Dallas resident, and UT Austin graduate..
Liener is entering her sixth year on the J’s board in the new role of vice president. She previously served on the membership of the Software Task Force, on the Governance Committee, and as vice chair of hospitality and food for the 2015 JCC Maccabi games. She has chaired the Dallas Jewish Book Festival for the past three years, with her most recent position as Jewish Living/Learning Cultural Arts Chair.
Outside the J, Liener serves as vice president of the Dallas Jewish Historical Society and The Legacy Senior Communities and has served previously on the boards of Yavneh Academy and Akiba Academy.
Liener’s memoir, Markus, Planter of Trees, is about the life and times of the late Dallas businessman-philanthropist Marcus Rosenberg. It was published in 2012.
The evening wrapped up with a tribute to the late Karen Stern, who served the JCC from 1988 to 2001 and passed away Jan. 31 after a four-year battle with cancer.
The tribute was presented by Lisa Brodsky, executive director of Chai House, who worked with Stern at the JCC and had a close friendship with her for the rest of her life.
During her 13 years with the Dallas JCC, Stern strived to create an agency steeped in Jewish values, according to her biography.
Brodsky said Stern had a “deeply held belief that community was important.”

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JFGD talks current successes, future challenges at meeting

JFGD talks current successes, future challenges at meeting

Posted on 23 June 2016 by admin

 JFGD award winners Bill Finkelstein (Helen Gross Leadership), Staci Rubin (Bess Nathan Young Leadership), Cindy Spechler (Bob Weinfeld Campaigner of the Year), Sandy Donsky (Helen Gross Leadership) and Avi Edwards (I. Zesmer Young Leadership)

JFGD award winners Bill Finkelstein (Helen Gross Leadership), Staci Rubin (Bess Nathan Young Leadership), Cindy Spechler (Bob Weinfeld Campaigner of the Year), Sandy Donsky (Helen Gross Leadership) and Avi Edwards (I. Zesmer Young Leadership)

JFGD Annual Meeting Co-Chairs Rob and Kim Velevis and Lisa and David Genecov

JFGD Annual Meeting Co-Chairs Rob and Kim Velevis and Lisa and David Genecov

JFGD Board Chair Dan Prescott discussed Israel during his speech.

JFGD Board Chair Dan Prescott discussed Israel during his speech.

Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer Mariam Shpeen Feist, Board Chair Dan Prescott, President and CEO Bradley Laye and Chief of Staff Gary Wolff

Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer Mariam Shpeen Feist, Board Chair Dan Prescott, President and CEO Bradley Laye and Chief of Staff Gary Wolff

 Rabbi Daniel Septimus, of the University of Texas Hillel, called for a moment of silence for those slain in the Orlando shootings before his speech.

Rabbi Daniel Septimus, of the University of Texas Hillel, called for a moment of silence for those slain in the Orlando shootings before his speech.

Federation set to raise almost $11M in
current campaign

By Ben Tinsley
bent@tjpnews.com

DALLAS — While the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas enjoyed a fantastic year, one dark day in recent history cast a long shadow over the JFGD’s 105th annual meeting on Thursday, June 16.
One of the first things addressed at the meeting was the horror of the Sunday, June 12 deadly mass shooting in which 49 people were killed and 53 others injured at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Later in the meeting, a top JFGD official discussed concerns about the security of the Jewish community.
The 7 p.m. gathering took place Thursday, June 16 in the Zale Auditorium at the Aaron Family J. It was chaired by Lisa and David Genecov and Kim and Rob Velevis.
Starting on a very somber note. Rabbi Daniel Septimus, University of Texas Hillel executive director, asked the audience for a moment of silence for those who were killed and injured during the Sunday, June 12 attack — considered the deadliest mass shooting in modern America.
“Tonight our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those who were killed in Orlando,” Rabbi Septimus said. “Our thoughts are also with the victims and families of those who were injured. … It was a dark day for our nation as we experienced another senseless act of terror.”
Quoting Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Rabbi Septimus added, “This was not only an attack on the LGBT community, but an attack on all of us, those who care about freedom, those who care about diversity and those who care about choice. We stand in solidarity with the LGBT community.”
Later in the program, Bradley Laye, JFGD president and CEO, Laye said the need for greater security for the Jewish community is a major concern.
Laye said he didn’t want to come across as a conspiracy theorist or an Islamophobe because he’s not worried that immediate danger to the Jewish community comes from al-Qaida or their brand of terrorism.
“I’m worried about the guy who decides, after losing his job or his wife leaves him, that somehow the Jews are responsible for all the trouble in his life … and he does something horrific,” Laye said.
Along those same lines, Laye said he also doesn’t want to experience the guilt that would come from knowing something could have been done to protect a synagogue or a JCC or other Jewish organization if they had put planning and money into better security.
Laye added that funds have been allocated and the Federation is working with local Jewish organizations and synagogues to develop a comprehensive community security plan.
Both Bradley Laye and Dan Prescott, JFGD board chair, discussed Israel during their respective presentations.
During his comments, Laye said the JFGD unequivocally supports the Jewish democratic state of Israel and believes in the two state solution for two peoples.
Prescott said the state of Israel has a complex society with difficult challenges — such as religious pluralism, which continues to be a challenge there.
The JFGD chair urged all Jews to pull together in support of Israel, regardless of whichever branch of Judaism they are a member.
“As Jews, we don’t have the luxury of deciding when we are going to support Israel and when we’re going to pull that support,” Prescott said. “It doesn’t work that way.”
Prescott said he believes it is the Jewish community’s sacred responsibility to do “everything in our power to leave a safe and secure Israel for our children.”
Family members never abandon one another, “and we must never abandon the people of Israel, the state of Israel,” Prescott said.
On a much lighter note, Prescott said the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas has enjoyed great success and made great strides over the past year.
As an example he cited the Jan. 31 fundraiser featuring comedian, former SNL writer and Late Night host Seth Meyers as well as efforts to combat the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, among other initiatives.
Prescott focused a significant portion of his remarks on the importance of the fight against BDS.
“I have seen how our students have stood up against BDS and anti-Israel rhetoric — how they build on relationships on campus that, believe me, are against great odds,” Prescott said.
Prescott said the JFGD’s 2016 campaign year, which began in September, raised close to $11 million (between restricted and unrestricted gifts), among the highest amounts ever generated. This includes a $500,000 increase in actual dollars raised since the previous year, he said.
“We continue to raise these dollars for the singular purpose of supporting the growing Jewish community,” Prescott said.
JFGD’s annual elections also were conducted during the evening.
Immediate Past Chair Cindy Sweet Moskowitz supervised the election, during which the incoming Federation officers and board members were unanimously voted into office by the audience.
These included Daniel J. Prescott, chair; Mark Kreditor, chair-elect; and Vice Chairs Lisa Genecov, Harold Gernsbacher, and A.J. Rosmarin. Also elected were Pam Hochster Fine, treasurer, and Eric Pinker, secretary.
Nominees elected to the board of directors included: Jeffrey Beck, Neil Beckerman, Lindsay Bendorf Epstein, Sharon Levin, Donna Weitzman (three-year terms); Jim Tolbert (two-year terms); Hylton L. Jonas, Robin Kosberg, Brian M. Lidji, Cynthia Spechler (two years of service remaining); and Alan Bernon, David Brickman, Betsy Kleinman, Brian Ratner, and Steven Davidoff (one year of service remaining).
Elected portfolio members include: Janet Beck, Russell Cooper, Stefani Eisenstat, Cynthia Feldman, Shelley Glazer, Carol Kreditor, Alan Shor, and Rabbi Stefan Weinberg.
In other business:
The Helen Gross Leadership Award was presented to Sandy Donsky, a longtime Jewish community lay leader who serves on the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas board of directors, the planning and allocations committee, and is an annual campaign solicitor.
The Helen Gross Leadership Award was also presented to Bill Finkelstein, who has served the Jewish community as part of the UJA Young Leadership Cabinet, Akiba Academy, Dallas Kosher, Forest Lane Synagogue (Chabad of Dallas), Mount Zion United Jewish Cemetery and TTI Annual Dinner. He recently served as co-chair of the 2016 Israel Bonds event and is a frequent High Holiday Bond Appeal speaker.
The Bob Weinfeld Campaigner of the Year Award was presented to Cynthia Spechler. She has worn many hats for the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, including the Lion of Judah/Pomegranate Chair, the Women’s Philanthropy Chair, and, currently, the General Campaign Chair. She also chaired the building and structuring of the current Jewish Women’s Philanthropy Center, served on the JWPC board, and has been a solicitor since she and her family moved to Dallas. She volunteers at the Dallas Holocaust Museum and has been a docent for 18 years.
The Bess Nathan Young Leadership Award was presented to Staci Rubin, daughter of Florence and Howard Shapiro. She began her service to the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas with involvement through the Young Adult Division. She continued by participating in the Young Adult Division’s Leadership Development Group (LDG) with her husband Paul, leading LDG, helping with the Women’s Philanthropy Rebuild, and currently serving as chair for the Younger Set Council. She recently completed the Wexner Heritage Program, a two-year intensive Jewish leadership program.
The I. Zesmer Young Leadership Award was presented to Avi Edwards, who relocated to Dallas with his family in 2008, served as outreach chair for two years, co-chaired a site for Mitzvah Day several times, made calls on Super Sundays and participated in the LDG program.
Last year Edwards was a venue director for soccer at the Dallas JCC Maccabi Games and has spent the last two years as the co-chair of campaign for YAD. In 2013, during his fourth trip to Israel, he co-chaired and competed for the USA Men’s 25+ Soccer Team in the 19th Maccabiah.

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All God’s traits arranged to connect us to Him

Posted on 23 June 2016 by admin

Dear Readers,
In the last column we began to address the question of “gender fluidity” by taking a look at the view of the body in Jewish thought, which will allow us to better understand the concept of gender in the eyes of traditional Judaism.
We discussed the question of the Torah describing God’s actions in physical terms, such as the “hand of God” etc., despite our core belief that God has no physicality. Many early commentaries explain this with the concept of anthropomorphism, which basically means that it “humanizes” the actions of God in order to make them be perceivable by us who think in these terms.
Although this may be the simple explanation, we find a much more profound explanation in the more esoteric realm of Jewish thought, in the arena of Kabbalistic understanding, based upon the teachings of the Book of Zohar and the writings of the venerable 16th century giant, R’ Yitzchok Luria, known as the Holy Ari z’’l of the city of Safed, perhaps the greatest elucidator of Kabbalistic teachings of all times.
This question of assigning God’s actions to physical terms forms a large part of the foundation of the vast teachings of the Ari z’’l, which, obviously, we couldn’t hope to encompass in a short column in the TJP, or even many columns. We will attempt, however, to touch upon one point he makes to help clarify the Jewish view of the human body (keeping in mind we are barely touching the tip of the iceberg!)
The world that we live in, the physical world, seems to us to be the only reality. There are, however, countless upper worlds which are attached together like the links of a chain, reaching from the world we live in up to the throne of God. These worlds, beginning with our world which is physical, become more spiritual as they climb the chain or ladder.
Although it is difficult to find a number of these worlds, as they are countless, they are nevertheless categorized under the 10 main categories of upper and lower worlds, known as the 10 spheres or levels of reality. Those 10 are further categorized into four main categories.
The purpose of these worlds is that the Al-mighty, upon creating the universe, decided that His connection to our world, the final purpose of it all, would not be direct but through different levels of intermediaries.
Like a powerful king who rules over many lands, the king doesn’t go himself throughout his kingdom to carry out his laws and decrees, but has a hierarchy of command, from the closest advisors and down the chain of command until the local officials and police who enforce his laws.
It would not befit the honor of the king to do all of that himself, even it would be humanly possible to do so. For the kingdom to retain its integrity it must retain its honor and respect.
We are meant to understand, in a way, the Kingdom of God through the kingdoms of mortal kings, and recognize that the world was created for us to honor and respect the Kingdom of God, whose honor it would not befit for Him to carry out His Will directly. Therefore, each of God’s traits or attributes — be it kindness, mercy, judgment, etc. — each of these and more are represented by a spiritual world which manifests that trait.
“Angels” that carry out God’s will in this world are not all the same; each one is a representative of the “world” it was sent from to carry out that particular Trait of God needed to be exercised at that moment in history. (The exception to this rule is when God performs a miracle, which is comparable to when a king will bypass the hierarchy that he has set up and personally grants a pardon or travels to a small town to carry out a decree by his own hand.)
All of this is leading up to the point we need to begin to understand for the purpose of our discussion of the body and gender. The Zohar teaches that all of these upper spiritual worlds or spheres are arranged in the image of man. This celestial image of man, termed adam kadmon or “primordial man,” is the spiritual arrangement of all of God’s traits that He utilizes in connection to our world.
The highest of worlds represent the primordial man’s forehead, others his eyes, ears, mouth, etc., all the way down. They also are set up in the fashion of right and left, as we have right and left eyes, nostrils, ears, arms, etc.
Why would God arrange the upper worlds in the image of man? What does this say about our bodies? Our genders? Stay tuned for next time!

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Apply lessons from Chapters of Sages to our daily lives

Posted on 16 June 2016 by admin

Dear Families,
Each week at summer camp at the J, we follow the tradition of our sages and study the Talmudic Tractate known as Pirke Avot, Chapters of the Sages.
Pirke Avot is comprised of six chapters and over 150 mishnayot or teachings. Each mishnah has many lessons for us to learn how to live an ethical life. It would be wonderful if we could just read the “saying” and then would know just what to do. However, it takes a little more work and study, but each of us can do it — even our youngest campers. The “Mishnah of the Week” has been chosen because it provides lessons for each of us as part of our community. Camp is filled with experiences of learning and living together; we can learn more by studying together and so our lives are filled with the same.
Spend time each Shabbat talking about the mishnah using the questions as guidelines. Begin by reading the words, then breaking down the parts and trust in the fact that even young children can add their thoughts to the discussion. Listening to one another is the beginning of learning.
The first mishnah tells how the tradition was passed from Moses on down the line — the very same teaching Moses received at Mount Sinai. Why begin with this? What are the lessons we learn from how the tradition was passed down? How can we continue to add our chapters to the teachings?
Moses received the Torah from Sinai and transmitted it to Joshua; Joshua to the Elders; the Elders to the Prophets; and the Prophets transmitted it to the Men of the Great Assembly. (Pirke Avot 1:1)
Remember that after we have begun to understand the mishnah, we must then work to understand how to apply the learning to our lives. This is the true gift of our sages — the lessons continue to today to guide us in how to live. The next step is to write our own chapters and continue to pass on the lessons.
Shalom….from the Shabbat Lady.
Laura Seymour is director of camping services and Jewish life and learning at the Jewish Community Center of Dallas.

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DFW Jewish clergy respond to Orlando tragedy

DFW Jewish clergy respond to Orlando tragedy

Posted on 16 June 2016 by admin

Temple Shalom Rabbi Andrew Paley (far right) was one of four faith leaders who participated in a vigil honoring Orlando victims, Sunday, June 12 in Oak Lawn. Other speakers included Omar Suleiman from the Valley Ranch Islamic Center and the Rev. Neil Cazares-Thomas of Cathedral of Hope. From the LGBT community, speakers included Resource Center CEO Cece Cox, transgender activist Oliver Blumer and lesbian activist C.D. Kirven. Mayor Mike Rawlings spoke with seven Dallas City Council members around him.

By Ben Tinsley
bent@tjpnews.com


DALLAS — Heartbroken. Furious. Determined to create change. The responses were all over the map.
But many of them were voiced Sunday night at the vigil and recitation of Kaddish held at Resource Center, 5750 Cedar Springs Road, for victims of the Sunday Orlando shooting.
As least 50 people were killed and 53 others injured during early Sunday’s deadly mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The incident is now considered the deadliest mass shooting in modern America.
Despite the ferocious rain earlier in the day Sunday, many attended the Dallas march that started at the Resource Center and ended at the Legacy of Love Monument at Oak Lawn and Cedar Springs.
Recounting the vigil to the TJP, Rabbi Andrew Paley of Temple Shalom said Monday that the overwhelming sentiment there was that this level of hatred no longer has a place in the world.
“What was expressed at the vigil is what we all are feeling — this combination of sadness and outrage and profound sorrow for the victims and their families,” Paley said. “It is just an outrage. What we saw at the vigil was a response to that. The mayor and the police chief and city council folks and representatives of faith communities — they all were there.”
The hatred and anger and violence shown in Orlando simply does not have to exist, Paley said: Just a little bit of effort can change the hate and division that leads to these kinds of tragedies, he stated.
“What was expressed at the vigil was that the Jewish ideal of ‘Repairing the World’ is something we need to take seriously and not stand idly by,” the rabbi said.
After Paley addressed the vigil crowd, a rainbow appeared in the sky — which many noticed.
Rabbi Steve Fisch of Congregation Beth El Binah, meanwhile, said the Orlando shootings will not change the tenor of the June 24 pride service that will be held in Room 239 at Northaven United Methodist Church.
“Although our memorial prayers will include a mention of all who have been murdered because of hatred and violence, we will not let a deranged and bigoted individual threaten or destroy who we are,” Rabbi Fisch said.
But Rabbi Jordan Parr of Temple Beth El in Odessa, who will participate in the pride service, said the service will have to change in light of the Orlando tragedy.
“While the details of the service are, of course, up to Rabbi Fisch, the mood will probably be more somber and I expect a special commemoration,” Rabbi Parr said. “I know that my role will reflect this horrific massacre.”
Joshua Manes, president of Congregation Beth El Binah, said it is incidents like the shooting that remind him Pride Month did not start as a celebration.
“It emerged out of a need to self-advocate and defend ourselves among others,” Manes said. “While there have been reasons to celebrate in the last decade, the Orlando killings are proof that hatred isn’t just rhetoric or white noise to be ignored; it grows limbs and unfortunately is all too human.”
Manes said there is still much that needs to be done to promote love and healing in the world.
“It is to that advancement that we will continue our Friends and Family (June 24 Pride) service,” Manes said. “We will neither be defeated by violence nor defined by it.”
Rev. Dr. Neil G. Cazares-Thomas, senior pastor of Cathedral of Hope of Dallas and a participant in the Beth El Binah service, said he believes this tragedy should serve as a catalyst for change.
The Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, 29, took numerous people hostage during the incident, and went as far as to call 911 and pledge allegiance to ISIS during his rampage.
He subsequently was killed in a shootout with Orlando police.
Omar Mateen had two guns on his person Sunday: a 9mm handgun and a .223 caliber AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle. He had legally purchased the weapons the week of the attacks.
Cazares-Thomas said the lives of those killed and the other 53 injured must not disappear without someone demanding a change in the culture.
“It is time for gun control and the time is now,” Cazares-Thomas said. “… We must call upon our national and local leaders to speak up and speak out against such hatred and prove that America is better than this.”
Cazares-Thomas said he hopes the events in Orlando will change the tone of the country and may serve as a wake-up call to all people of goodwill and peace.
“Hate will not win, but our challenge is to continue to speak from a place of love in the face of such horrendous acts of violence and hatred,” he said.
Cazares-Thomas added that the events in Orlando cannot be separated from the ongoing crime in the Oak Lawn area of Dallas, or from “hate speak” that is allowed to exist in the country.
“You cannot separate these attacks from the attack on the transgender community and which bathroom someone can use,” Cazares-Thomas said. “You cannot separate these attacks from the rhetoric of separation that is attempting to pit one community against another. Religious extremism is religious extremism and does not represent the mainstream of faithful people in this country who live by the golden rule, ‘Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself.’ This translates into every religion and none.”
Combat hate, homophobia, ignorance
Cantor Sheri Allen, spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Shalom in Arlington, also will be one of the participants in the June 24 pride service at Beth El Binah.
Cantor Allen said she believes the Orlando tragedy will ignite an even stronger resolve to combat hate, homophobia and ignorance.
“We, people of different faiths, will be standing together in prayer and support to deliver this message loud and clear on Pride Shabbat,” Allen said. “And it will have an even greater significance and urgency because of this tragedy.”
Once again, Allen said, another hate crime and act of terrorism has been perpetrated upon innocent LGBT victims — this time during June, which is LGBT Pride Month.
“Once again, lives have been lost or forever altered by the heinous acts of one fanatic, causing us once again to ask, ‘How could this happen again?’” the cantor said. “I have no answers. But I do know that we can’t keep silent. We need to honor the too-short lives of the victims instead of giving, as is usually the case, too much air time and print space to the life of the shooter.”
Additionally, the cantor said, “We need to stand beside our Muslim brothers and sisters in condemning this attack and stem what I fear will be a renewed rise of Islamophobia.”
Allen said her daughter, Rebekah Allen, summed the situation up well in an article she penned for Pride magazine online, http://bit.ly/1ro74YN.
Allen wrote, “We have to believe that one day we’ll look at this war on the lives of innocent people in this nation as a horrific stain on our history that we’ve moved on from, though will never forget.”
Parr, meanwhile, said Americans need to decide, now more than ever, that the LGBT community is part of the social fabric — deserving not only protection but love and acceptance.
Parr said America’s leaders must stop issuing platitudes and calls for moments of silence and instead start passing legislation to end the stockpiling of guns in this country.
“We cannot call ourselves a civilized nation unless the horrors of Orlando, San Bernardino, Charleston, Boston, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Columbine, Oklahoma City and countless other massacres are consigned to the history books, never to be repeated on American soil,” he said.

 

*****

Another response

In direct response to questions about the shooting, Beth El Binah Rabbi Steve Fisch emailed a TJP reporter an address and prayer about the Orlando tragedy from Rabbi Fred Guttman of Temple Emanuel, Greensboro, North Carolina.
“His words express my thoughts much better than I can,” Fisch said.
We live in an increasingly violent nation and world.

On average more than:

– 30,000 Americans are killed by firearms each year.
– 12,000 Americans are murdered by firearms each year.
– 30 Americans are murdered by firearms each day.
– 200 others are wounded by firearms each day.
 
With 88 guns per 100 people, the United States has the highest rate of gun ownership in the world.

In September 2004, despite the protestations of police departments in our nation, the Assault Weapons Ban was allowed to expire.

In addition, according to police sources, the shooter in Orlando used military style “dum dum” bullets. These bullets are meant to open up inside the target and cause maximum damage. They will not travel through a body. Therefore many of the injured are in very serious shape and might not survive.
 
We condemn terror in all forms but we will not demonize or discriminate against the vast majority of the 1,700,000,000 Muslims in the world, who are peace loving and peace seeking.

We stand as one with the LGBTQ community worldwide. Our state has recently been attacked, humiliated, and demonized by self-serving politicians. 

We stand with all of us who once again say that hateful rhetoric and only increases the chances that terrible and violent events will become more of a part of our society.
 
We stand with victims of terror everywhere.

We stand with France.
We stand with San Bernardino.
We stand with Belgium.
We stand with Tel Aviv where this past week a terror attack took the lives of four Jews and injured more than 20 who were eating in a restaurant.
We stand with Orlando.
We stand with victims of terror no matter where they come from, no matter their race, religion, creed or sexual or gender persuasion.
 
We are all Orlando and we are all Gay.
 
With a vision of a better world for all of God’s children, we say to all that where there are ignorance and superstition, let there be enlightenment and knowledge.
We say to all that where there are prejudice and hatred, let there be acceptance and love.
We say to all where there are fear and suspicion, let there be confidence and trust.
We say to all where there are tyranny and oppression, let there be freedom and justice.
With a vision of a better world for all of God’s children, we say to all that where there are strife and discord, let there be harmony and peace. (Based upon a prayer written by adapted by Rabbi Chaim Stern from Rabbi John D. Rayner in Service of the Heart, in Gates of Prayer, pages 693-694)

May the one who is blessed, bless and healed all those who are injured.

May the holy one be filled with compassion for their health to be restored and their strength to be revived.
 
May the One who is truly the Physician and Healer to us all, grant healing and a complete recovery to all of the injured.
 
May God remember forever our brothers and sisters who died in this horrible tragedy and who have gone to their eternal rest. May they be at one with the One whose life who is life eternal.
 
Made the beauty of their lives shine eternally and may our lives always bring honor to their memories.

And for our nation we pray.
 
We pray for healing of the body and soul.
We pray for healing of our people.
We pray for healing the land and peace for every race and nation – every woman, every man, and every child.
O God, please heal us now.

(Based upon Leon Sher’s beautiful song “Heal us Now!”)

Amen

 

 

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Dual-language Lone Star Academy finalizing details before school year

Dual-language Lone Star Academy finalizing details before school year

Posted on 16 June 2016 by admin

Photo: Lone Star Academy Superintendent Nehemia Ichilov said class sizes will be roughly 22 students or fewer per teacher.

By Ben Tinsley
bent@tjpnews.com

PLANO — The Lone Star Language Academy — a dual-language, internationally-minded, free public charter school — is in full swing as officials prepare for a Fall 2016 opening.
“We are busy, busy,” Zlati Krycer, school administrator, said Friday, June 10. “We are basically working on our curriculum right now.”
School at the Lone Star Language Academy begins Aug. 22. Students from school districts in Plano, Frisco, Richardson, Allen, and Carrollton-Farmers Branch are eligible to attend.
Officials conducted open enrollment until June 15; after that cutoff, a lottery system is being employed, officials said.
This bilingual language school and Hebrew language charter school will have a student-centered approach to education, explained Nehemia Ichilov, LSLA’s superintendent and founding principal.
“Our immersive, dual-language program will be successful because we will get to know the children on a personal basis,” the superintendent said. “We will facilitate their success by moving them through the journey of education.”
Superintendent Ichilov, who came on board with the school a few months ago, said staff at the school could range anywhere from 15 to 40 teachers depending on the volume of school enrollment.
Ichilov said the curriculum will include internationally-minded programs in which students in all grades will have a connection with another country.
“We are developing partnerships with schools around the world,” the superintendent said. “Obviously, this school will have a Hebrew-minded curriculum — but a global-mindedness to the entire program. The idea is that by doing interdisciplinary studies we can capitalize on the time children spend in the classroom.”
For instance, Ichilov said, students with ancient Egypt as a topic in social studies could end up with projects related to that same civilization in their other classes. Even math.
The academy will be admitting between 150 and 240 K-6 students, the superintendent said.
The amount of students per classroom varies — roughly 22  in middle school and 20 or under in elementary, he said.
“It varies according to the children,” Ichilov said. “That number gets slightly larger as the students get older.”
This new Collin County charter school will use the immersion process and a popular cognitive skill-enhancing program to teach Hebrew to kindergarten through sixth-grade students — although ultimately, the curriculum will be very integrated, Ichilov said.
The language component of the curriculum will be based on the adoption of TEKS, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, combined with immersion techniques from Middlebury language schools of Middlebury College in Vermont.
Officials will also use the Feuerstein method, otherwise known as Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment (FIE), a curriculum system that aims at enhancing the cognitive skills of pupils.
The school did not yet have a formal address as of Friday, June 10. Officials were still in the process of finalizing the details of the new lease, Ichilov said.
In a recent letter sent to parents, Ichilov said the staff is working diligently to confirm and solidify the preparations for their new facility in the city of Plano.
During the past few months, Adat Chaverim has temporarily housed the administrative offices, the superintendent also wrote in the letter.
Zlati Krycer said even though the school hasn’t yet opened, it is already getting a reputation as the place “where children learn the best way they can.”
Krycer said she thinks that message is making its way to many interested parents.
“Every time I tell people where I work, their response is to be very excited about it,” she said.
To inquire about the school visit LSLacademy.org, call 972-696-9461 or email info@LSLacademy.org.

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New location for Reform synagogue Beth El Binah

New location for Reform synagogue Beth El Binah

Posted on 16 June 2016 by admin

Photo: David Taffet/Dallas Voice Beth El Binah Rabbi Steve Fisch said the move will allow the congregation more space for High Holy Days services. “We all feel very much at home,” he said.

By Ben Tinsley
bent@tjpnews.com

DALLAS — There just wasn’t enough space.
Congregation Beth El Binah — the Reform Jewish synagogue with a primary outreach to the LGBT community — had expanding outreach and education programs that had to be accommodated. Beth El Binah has about 80 members or 65 families.
Although Beth El Binah had been housed for 23 years at Resource Center, 2701 Reagan St., it appeared that moving elsewhere might be the solution.
The roughly 700-member Northaven United Methodist Church, 11211 Preston Road, seemed like an interesting destination. The two entities certainly shared the same philosophy. (NUMC’s slogan is, “We Believe in the Separation of Church and Hate.”)
There were some pluses that were immediately evident in such an arrangement, explained Beth El Binah Rabbi Steve Fisch:
For starters, Northaven is more centrally located than the Resource Center in Oak Lawn.
Also, Beth El Binah members knew this wouldn’t be the first time NUMC had hosted a Jewish congregation.
The church was also home to members of the newly formed Reform synagogue Temple Shalom between 1967 and 1972 as temple members built their own home.
And likewise, Temple Shalom members returned the favor and housed Northaven congregants while the church underwent renovations in the 1980s.
“We took over their place on Sundays for about a year,” said Rev. Eric Folkerth, head minister at NUMC.
By all indications the proposed partnership — a synagogue moving into space shared by a church — appeared to have great potential for synergy.
Beth El Binah was founded as a synagogue with an outreach to the LGBT community — becoming a congregation in 1989 and joining with the Union of Reform Judaism in 1992. Its very diverse membership is said to reflect the evolution of the Dallas community.
Rabbi Fisch and Rev. Folkerth both share an interest in social justice and LGBT advocacy. Both are beneficiaries of the “Black Tie Dinner” fundraiser for the Human Rights Campaign and local LGBT and HIV/AIDS organizations.
“Northaven’s congregation feels everyone is equal in God’s eyes, including the LGBT community,” Rabbi Fisch said.
It only took a few months of discussion and negotiation with NUMC for Congregation Beth El Binah to secure a new home with them. They moved to Northaven United Methodist Church last August and began their first official service in September.
However, before that happened, Beth El Binah conducted two special meetings in July 2015.
One of them was for Beth El Binah’s board of directors, who used that time to considered the idea very carefully.
The second was a full congregational meeting held to discuss the issue.
“This wasn’t a decision made by the board alone,” Rabbi Fisch said. “I would say 60 to 70 percent of our members showed up at that meeting and the decision was unanimous.”
After an agreement was reached with NUMC in July 2015, Beth El Binah officially moved in during the month of August 2015.
Beth El Binah members now occupy a couple of upstairs rooms at Northaven United Methodist Church, and are using a couple of closets in that area for certain needs — such as storing and locking up their Torah, Rev. Folkerth said.
On High Holy Days, Rev. Folkerth said, Beth El Binah members are welcome to use the sanctuary to accommodate the larger crowds.
“I think the thing they really like is having this option on High Holy Days — having the ability to move into a larger space they don’t have to use all the time,” the reverend said.
Once Beth El Binah members moved to NUMC, the welcoming atmosphere was undeniable, Rabbi Fisch said.
“We all feel very much at home,” the rabbi said. “We have a mezuzah outside the door of the room we use for our services.”
Rabbi Fisch said his congregation has even increased somewhat since the move.
“It has definitely brought more people,” the rabbi said. “ …We are still on very good terms with the people at the Resource Center. There has been no lack of love or cooperation — just physical separation. We share the same values and are on the same page.”
Meanwhile, both the rabbi and the reverend said they are considering holding joint classes — possibly even worshiping together at some point.
“Absolutely,” Rabbi Fisch said. “I don’t see anything that will keep us from holding joint classes and services there.”
Although the two will never merge and will remain separate communities, they will most definitely team up, Rev. Folkerth agreed.
“We’ll be doing some stuff together,” the reverend said.
In March of this year, NUMC held a “service of welcoming” for Beth El Binah members.
“It really was a joint service,” Rabbi Fisch said. “It respected both traditions. … Both (members of NUMC and Beth El Binah) worship the same God. Our practices are different but there is one God — the God who created us all.”

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Tel Aviv attack victims remembered

Posted on 16 June 2016 by admin

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Michael Feige, a sociologist and anthropologist specializing in Israeli society, was among the four victims being mourned in the aftermath of the June 8 terror attack in Tel Aviv.
Feige, 58, a professor in the Israel studies program at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, was in a restaurant at the Sarona Market, a popular spot in the central part of the city, when he was shot dead.
The three others killed were Ido Ben Ari, 42, of Ramat Gan; Mila Mishayev, 33, of Ashkelon, and Ilana Navaa, 39, of Tel Aviv.
Remembering Feige, members of the H-Judaic Jewish Studies Network called him “a creative scholar, an engaging teacher, and a beloved human being.”
Ilan Troen, a professor at Ben-Gurion University and Brandeis University in suburban Boston, said Feige was “a gentle man and a sensitive teacher.”
Feige, who lived with his wife and three daughters in Ramat Gan, was perhaps best known for the 2009 book “Settling in the Hearts: Fundamentalism, Time and Space in the Occupied Territories,” published by Wayne State University Press. He had written several articles against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinians.
He also published in Hebrew the book One Space, Two Places: Gush Emunim, Peace Now and the Construction of Israeli Space, published in Jerusalem by Magnes Press in 2002.
His daughter is to be married soon, according to The Times of Israel.
Troen said in a statement that Feige was engaged in original research on the settlement movement and Gush Emunim, as well as on Peace Now, the use of archaeology in contemporary Israel, the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and religious fundamentalism, and the place of David Ben-Gurion in national memory.
Feige spent a year as a fellow of the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania before returning to Israel, where he joined the Ben-Gurion Research Center for the Study of Israel and Zionism at the Ben-Gurion University campus in Sde Boker. He was serving as the head of the BGU program in Israel studies.
Ben Ari was eating at a restaurant with his wife and two children when the attack occurred; his wife was among the injured. He worked in a senior position with Coca-Cola and had served in the Israeli army’s elite Sayeret Matkal unit. Ben Ari was a cousin by marriage of Forward contributing editor David Hazony.
“He was a reservist, received a commendation from the president, was the salt of the earth, a charming father and wonderful brother,” his sister, Reut, told Ynet.
Mishayev was waiting for her fiancé to arrive when the attack occurred. She reportedly called her husband-to-be after she was shot and before she died.
Navaa is survived by her husband, four daughters and her parents.
The two alleged attackers are 21-year-old cousins from the Palestinian town of Yatta in the Hebron Hills in the southern West Bank; the Israel Defense Forces has imposed a closure on the town.
One was shot and is being treated in the same Tel Aviv hospital as the victims, while the other was captured after fleeing the scene. A third man suspected of being involved in the attack has also been apprehended.
In the hours following the attack, Israel’s Defense Ministry rescinded all of the tens of thousands of permits given to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that would have permitted them to visit family in Israel or the Old City of Jerusalem and pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque in honor of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. Some 83,000 such permits were canceled, the Defense Ministry’s coordinator for government activities in the territories told the Israeli media.
The ministry also froze hundreds of work permits allowing Palestinians to work in Israel.

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