Archive | September, 2016

‘Bold’ Midtown park step closer to reality

‘Bold’ Midtown park step closer to reality

Posted on 22 September 2016 by admin

For more information on the park, go to http://www.dallasmidtown.com/media-kit.php

For more information on the park, go to http://www.dallasmidtown.com/media-kit.php

park2park3By James Russell
Special to the TJP

Former Dallas City Councilwoman Lois Finkelman had to talk a lot Thursday, Sept. 15. That morning, Finkelman first presented the park vision plan on behalf of the Dallas Midtown Park Foundation to the city’s Parks and Recreation board. That evening, she presented the vision again at a town hall meeting discussing the centerpiece of the massive Midtown Dallas District redevelopment.
The Dallas Midtown Park Foundation is the not-for-profit organization founded two years ago by Finkelman, developer Scott Beck of Beck Ventures and North Dallas Chamber of Commerce President Bruce Bradford. Together, according to Beck, they have worked with various stakeholders to shape a vision for a new park at the centerpiece of the massive 430-acre Dallas Midtown development, which includes redeveloping the former Valley View Mall.
That project was first made public in 2013, but started years before under the leadership of former councilwoman and now State Rep. Linda Koop, R-Dallas.
But Beck saw it as an opportunity to not just redevelop Valley View Mall but to take a “holistic” approach to suburban flight from Dallas into the fast-growing cities of Frisco and Plano.
“But the city wanted the project to be bold. We needed to have a centerpiece,” Beck said. Midtown Park was just that. At the behest of Koop, Beck formed the Midtown Park Foundation two years ago. It received its formal nonprofit status last year.
With a comprehensive plan in hand, they then asked the city to fund a study and the parks department to form a process to select a planning firm and vision study. After raising the private funds for the study they ultimately chose California-based urban development firm MIG, which is now collaborating with the working group and foundation board on the park plan.
Beck compared the foundation to the Woodall Rogers Park Foundation, which oversees Klyde Warren Park. But that project took more than 20 years to complete. The Midway Park Foundation has taken a quarter of that time to create the park.
“It’s almost parallel in scope (to the Woodall Rogers Park Foundation) but we’ve accelerated the process,” Beck said.
Beck compared the Midtown District to another successful Dallas development.
“The new buildings will be as tall as Uptown,” Beck said. “But that area took over 40 years to develop. They had 5,000 people in that area when they started. Meanwhile we are at 400,000.”
In just a few years, Beck noted, they’ve quickly jumped some major hurdles.
“Step one was the rezone. Step two was to create a vision. Step three was to create the foundation,” Beck said. “Now we need to work with the city to allocate bond funds.”
The park will impact all of Dallas, Beck and Finkelman said, thanks in part to a tax-increment financing district, a commonly used method for public financing community-improvement developments. The TIF also funds a “desperately needed” redevelopment of Southwest Center Mall in south Dallas.
In Beck’s estimate Midtown will bring billions of dollars of revenue to the region in the next 30 years. Of that, a significant portion will go toward redeveloping Southwest Center.
“The park will be the centerpiece we see attracting new development to the city, instead of going north,” Beck said.

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Dallas Doings: honorees luncheon, learning about disorders

Dallas Doings: honorees luncheon, learning about disorders

Posted on 22 September 2016 by admin

Submitted photo Lunch for gala honorees The Texas Region of the Bnai Zion Foundation has a tradition of hosting a lunch for the annual gala honorees. This year’s gala is Nov. 13, 2016, at the Westin Galleria in Dallas. Earlier this month, Diane Benjamin (left), president of the Texas Region of Bnai Zion, met at the Park Cities Club in Dallas with gala honorees, former Dallas Mayor Tom and Laura Leppert (center right and center left, respectively).  The couple will receive the Bnai Zion Distinguished Community Service Award at the gala.  Bnai Zion Foundation Texas Region Executive Director Avrille Harris (right) joined the honorees and Benjamin to thank them for their contribution to our community.

Submitted photo
Lunch for gala honorees
The Texas Region of the Bnai Zion Foundation has a tradition of hosting a lunch for the annual gala honorees. This year’s gala is Nov. 13, 2016, at the Westin Galleria in Dallas. Earlier this month, Diane Benjamin (left), president of the Texas Region of Bnai Zion, met at the Park Cities Club in Dallas with gala honorees, former Dallas Mayor Tom and Laura Leppert (center right and center left, respectively).
The couple will receive the Bnai Zion Distinguished Community Service Award at the gala.
Bnai Zion Foundation Texas Region Executive Director Avrille Harris (right) joined the honorees and Benjamin to thank them for their contribution to our community.

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Learn about common psychiatric disorders

As part of Congregation Beth Torah’s inclusion initiative, the synagogue is hosting a series of free monthly lectures on common psychiatric disorders. The first seminar is Sunday, Sept. 25, at 10 a.m. at Beth Torah, and will focus on depression.
Dr. Alan Koenigsberg, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UT Southwestern Medical School who also has a private practice, will conduct the sessions, and the public is welcome.
“Clinical depression is not a character weakness, personal flaw or self-inflicted condition,” he said. “It is not sadness or grieving, which are normal, if painful, reactions to serious losses. Clinical depression is more similar to diabetes, migraines, multiple sclerosis or high blood pressure. We can treat it, and we need to talk about it.”
Subsequent lectures will deal with anxiety, ADHD and other topics.
Last year Beth Torah became one of 16 Conservative synagogues across North America selected for a new effort to make Jewish communities more welcoming to people with special needs. The project is a partnership between the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Ruderman Family Foundation.
“Understanding problems like this is a big part of inclusion,” said Zelene Lovitt, who heads the Beth Torah initiative. “We’re proud to bring this to the community.”
Beth Torah is located at 720 W. Lookout Drive in Richardson, near the crossroads of Bush Turnpike and Central Expressway. For more information, call the synagogue at 972-234-1542.
— Submitted by Michael Precker

Susie Wolbe at Barnes & Noble

Noted educator and NCJW-Greater Dallas Section Co-Vice President of Community Service Susie Wolbe, Ed.D., has just published a book, The Empowered Teacher: Proven Tips for Classroom Success.
A special event in connection with this publication will take place at Barnes & Noble at Preston/Royal Sunday, Sept. 25-Tuesday, Sept. 27. Show a voucher at checkout or simply tell the cashiers that you are participating in the “NCJW Book Signing Event” and a percentage of your purchases will go toward NCJW (National Council of Jewish Women).
Vouchers are obtainable through NCJW’s website (ncjwdallas.org), Facebook, at the NCJW office and through the NCJW weekly E-Blast. Just present the voucher at checkout or inform the cashiers you are participating in NCJW’s Book Fair. Purchase of all items in the store are eligible for purchase within the Book Fair guidelines, including some Starbucks products.
Based on years of experience as a teacher and principal, Susie Wolbe outlines helpful hints to create an ideal learning environment in the home as well as in the classroom. It is a must-read for teachers and parents of young children. Members of the community are encouraged to purchase the book for teachers, libraries, synagogue and day school libraries and public and private schools.
From 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, stop by the special table in the front of the store to talk to the author, Dr. Susie Wolbe, about her book and to purchase an autographed copy.
— Submitted by Marlene Gorin

Adat Chaverim member participates in URJ high school semester in Israel

Abigail Kerner, daughter of Debra and Stephen Kerner, and Adat Chaverim member, is part of a cohort of 31 teens from across North America on the NFTY-EIE (Eisendrath International Experience) High School in Israel program from August through December.
The NFTY High School in Israel–Eisendrath International Experience (EIE) is a semester-long (four months) program for high school students in grades 10-12 in Israel. Named for the late Rabbi Maurice N. Eisendrath, past president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, now the Union for Reform Judaism, EIE is an intensive academic program and is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The program was established in 1961 by NFTY, the youth arm of the Reform Movement. Many of the leaders of Reform Judaism today are alumni of this program.
NFTY-EIE is based on Kibbutz Tzuba, located in the Judaean Hills approximately 15 minutes outside of Jerusalem. With very small class sizes, students take an advanced Jewish history class, an advanced Hebrew Ulpan, and their regular general studies courses to fulfill the requirements of their home high schools.
NFTY-EIE students have a unique opportunity to benefit from experiential learning. Tiyulim (field trips) are taken to visit whatever they are learning about in their Jewish history class. Approximately three days a week are spent outside the classroom on field trips. There are also numerous weeklong trips throughout the semester, including a trip to Poland to study the Holocaust, a week in Gadna (a simulated Israeli army training experience), and a hike across the country from sea to sea.
“I chose to join EIE because it meant a chance at the best experience of my teenage life,” says Abigail. “I was told that I could make a huge difference in my life as well as use this opportunity to search for who I am as a person and as a Jewish American.”
“The NFTY-EIE High School in Israel offers outstanding teens the opportunity to develop a deep sense of personal connection to Israel and the Jewish people while being inspired to explore their personal Jewish identity during four challenging and rewarding months,” said Paul Reichenbach, director of Camping and Israel Programs for the Union for Reform Judaism. “Students return home with heightened self-confidence together with a love of Jewish living and learning.”
Registration is open for EIE’s Spring 2017 and Fall 2017 sessions. More information can be found at www.nftyeie.org.

Yavneh junior Griffin Levine picked to represent USA at 2017 Maccabi Games

Yavneh junior Griffin Levine will travel to Israel as a member of the 18-and-under boys’ basketball team for the USA competing in the 20th International Maccabi Games next summer.
This is a tremendous honor for Yavneh and the Dallas Jewish community. Levine, the starting point guard on Yavneh’s varsity basketball team, traveled to Los Angeles this summer for tryouts. “Griffin is an incredibly talented, versatile player who is the consummate team-first basketball player,” said David Zimmerman, athletic director and boys’ basketball coach.
“He is like having another coach on the floor and he is always striving for the betterment of the team. We are so happy and proud for Griffin.”
The full roster was not released by press deadline.

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Around The Town: Scholar in residence, new JFS office

Around The Town: Scholar in residence, new JFS office

Posted on 22 September 2016 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

3 Reform congregations welcome Rabbi Ken Kanter

The three Reform congregations of Tarrant County — Beth-El, Beth Israel and Beth Shalom — will collaborate and welcome Rabbi Kenneth Kanter as their Selichot scholar in residence.
Kanter serves as associate dean and director of the Rabbinical School for the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. According to the HUC website, Kanter concluded 13 years as founding rabbi of Congregation Micah of Nashville in June 2005. Born in Chicago, Illinois, Kanter received his B.A. degree in Jewish and American history from Harvard University in 1974, obtained his M.A.H.L. degree from Hebrew Union College in 1978, was ordained in 1980, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from HUC-JIR in May 2005.
Kanter served for 10 years as rabbi of Chattanooga’s Mizpah Congregation. Previously, he served as assistant rabbi at Congregation Ohabai Sholom, in Nashville, as Jewish chaplain and adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University.

Submitted photo Kenneth Kanter received his B.A. degree in Jewish and American history from Harvard in 1974 before gaining a degree from Hebrew Union College and an honorary doctorate from HUC-JUR. He was ordained in 1980.

Submitted photo
Kenneth Kanter received his B.A. degree in Jewish and American history from Harvard in 1974 before gaining a degree from Hebrew Union College and an honorary doctorate from HUC-JUR. He was ordained in 1980.

Kanter is a popular lecturer and author of books, journals and articles focusing on the Jewish contribution to American popular music from the 1840s to the 1940s. His first book, The Jews on Tin Pan Alley, was published in 1982. He contributed to several journals in the field of Jewish history and religion. Kanter’s second book to which he contributed, Jewish-American History and Culture, was published in 1992. His third encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Jewish American Popular Culture, was published in 2009.
Kanter was married to the late Wendy Koplow Kanter.
The schedule for the weekend is as follows:
At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23 at Beth-El Congregation (4900 Briarhaven Road in Fort Worth), Kanter will speak about the influence Jews have had on American Jewish music during Shabbat evening service.
At 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 at Congregation Beth Israel (6100 Pleasant Run Road in Colleyville), Rabbi Kanter will speak, during Shabbat morning worship, on the topic, “Shiru L’Adonai Shir Chadash — Sing to the Lord a New Song: Jewish Liturgy from the Bible to the Camp Fire.”
At 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 at Congregation Beth Shalom (1212 Thannisch Drive in Arlington), Rabbi Kanter will lead a sing-along concert, “The Jews on Tin Pan Alley.” In sing-along format, participants will trace the history of American popular music from the 1840s to the 1940s, the beginning of the American popular music industry to the end of “Tin Pan Alley.” Featured will be the song pluggers, tunesmiths, European immigrants, “real life nephews of Uncle Sam” and the songs that serve as musical companions to American history. The names Berlin, Kern, Rodgers, Arlen and Gershwin are joined to lesser-known names like Von Tilzer, Gus Kahn, Billy Rose, and Charles K. Harris. In addition, there will be Havdallah, a nosh and a spiritually enlightening Selichot service designed to put everyone in the right frame of mind for the High Holy Days.

Jewish Family Services opens office in Northeast Tarrant County

Jewish Family Services of Fort Worth and Tarrant County has opened an office in Colleyville, just a few minutes from Congregation Beth Israel. The decision was made in order to meet the demands of Northeast Tarrant County, according to Dr. Carole Rogers, JFS executive director.
Dr. Robbie Kinney is available on a part-time basis to provide counseling, consultation and referral services.
These services are possible because of a bequest made to JFS by Barbie Rakoover. Barbie cared deeply about quality mental health services and trusted that JFS would be able to utilize money she gave to provide these services.
Jewish Family Services will be having an open house at the new office from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30. The office is located at 6207 Colleyville Blvd., Suite 200. All community members are welcome.

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How shofar fits with Torah

Posted on 22 September 2016 by admin

Dear Rabbi,
At this time of the year I am always troubled by the fact that all Jews “know” there is a mitzvah to hear the shofar on Rosh Hashanah.
I have searched and asked rabbis, and cannot find the word “shofar” in the Torah in reference to Rosh Hashanah. That strikes me as odd, and I would appreciate an explanation.
Marc W.
Dear Marc,
Your question is a great one, and, in truth, you will indeed never find the word “shofar” in reference to Rosh Hashanah. What’s more, you will also never find the phrase “Rosh Hashanah” in the Torah either!
This fact is just one of myriad examples of how beholden all Jews are to the Oral Tradition explained to Moses at Sinai and passed down orally until finally codified in the Mishnah and Talmud, which we have discussed at length on other occasions.
What the Torah says is “… in the seventh month, on the first of the month, there shall be a rest day for you, a remembrance of teruah, a holy convocation.” (Leviticus 23:25) It says further, “In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, there shall be a holy convocation for you, you shall do no laborious work; it shall be a day of teruah for you.” (Numbers 29:1)
The Talmud explains that the first day of the seventh month, the Jewish month of Tishrei, is Rosh Hashanah. It is the seventh rather than the first month, as we Jews count our months from Passover, which is the month of our birth, rather than from Tishrei, which is the month of the creation of the world.
“Teruah” has various meanings in Hebrew, such as to cry out. In this case it means a day of “blowing,” the blowing of an instrument. What precisely does that mean? There are many wind instruments in an orchestra. The Torah itself at times uses this term to refer to blowing a trumpet.
In this case the Oral Tradition, as recorded in the Talmud, explains that the Torah is referring to a ram’s horn, better known as a shofar.
There are multiple lessons we learn from the mitzvah of shofar on Rosh Hashanah. One is a reminder of the ram offered in place of Isaac, whose dedication and self-sacrifice remains a tremendous merit for the Jewish people until today and reminds us to be dedicated Jews. Another is the revelation of God at Mount Sinai, which was accompanied by the blast of a Heavenly shofar. This reminds us to be dedicated to the Torah and its study. Still another is the great shofar blast which will usher in the Messianic times. It reminds us to remain faithful through our often painful, trying exile in order to merit the eventual redemption.
The word “teruah” also means an awakening, because the shofar “awakens” us to these ideals. It also contains the root reyah, which means beloved, to remind us how much God loves us and desires to rekindle our love for Him upon hearing the shofar.
The word “shofar” comes from the Hebrew root shafeir, which means “to improve.” The call of the shofar is an “annual wake-up call” to improve our actions and become better Jews and people throughout the year.
May the shofar blast penetrate our hearts, minds and souls to begin the new year with a renewed sense of commitment and love for our rich heritage and a deeper feeling of connection to the Al-mighty.

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State fair food without Big Tex in background

State fair food without Big Tex in background

Posted on 22 September 2016 by admin

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

The flavors of the State Fair of Texas are bursting beyond the boundaries of Fair Park as Isaac Rousso has opened State Fair Treats, a year-round restaurant, inside the Wal-Mart Superstore at Coit and Highway 190/President George Bush Turnpike.

Photo: Isaac Rousso The Rousso family (left to right) — Lily, Joey, Sara, and Isaac — are excited prior to Tuesday’s opening of their first restaurant, State Fair Treats, and what it means to their future. Starting out at the State Fair of Texas, Rousso once said he wanted to have something for his children to hold on to: a business and a tradition. Isaac Rousso’s cookie fries, which won the 2016 Big Tex Choice Award for Most Creative, will debut in the restaurant on October 24 — after State Fair attendees get the first bite.

Photo: Isaac Rousso
The Rousso family (left to right) — Lily, Joey, Sara, and Isaac — are excited prior to Tuesday’s opening of their first restaurant, State Fair Treats, and what it means to their future. Starting out at the State Fair of Texas, Rousso once said he wanted to have something for his children to hold on to: a business and a tradition. Isaac Rousso’s cookie fries, which won the 2016 Big Tex Choice Award for Most Creative, will debut in the restaurant on October 24 — after State Fair attendees get the first bite.

The restaurant, which opened Tuesday, Sept. 20, is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.
“These last few weeks have been filled with many crazy-amazing 24-hour days and this is really an awesome time in our lives,” said Rousso, who plans to open more locations in the next year and across the country in the future, sharing his menu which will have up to 45 items. It was during the second week of the 2015 State Fair of Texas that he was approached by Wal-Mart executives, wanting to connect and create something new and different.
“The State Fair of Texas has given us an incredible foundation and grounding, and it is the platform on which we are elevating to some really great opportunities to keep the flavors of the Fair, and ourselves, going the other 341 days of the year.”
Rousso, a Dallas native, is the son of Cuban immigrants, Bertha and Joseph of blessed memory, and the brother of Sarah Rich and Rebecca Wussow. He grew up at Temple Emanu-El and was a member of BBYO’s Brandeis chapter, graduating from The Alexander School and UT Austin. He and his wife Lily, a native of Miami, Florida and the daughter of part-time Dallasites Migali and Samuel Naon, are the parents of Sara and Joey, a baby and a toddler when this journey began. In a 2010 Texas Jewish Post article, Rousso said he wanted to have something for his children to hold on to: a business and a tradition. Seemingly, with his successes, he has accomplished that goal many times over.
Always a big dreamer, Isaac holds on to the fact that his family came to the United States from Cuba in 1962 and all of his life his parents taught him about working hard and living the American dream.
“When I think back to how we got here, this is really some kind of dream,” he said, thrilled at the opportunity to expand his brand. “More than 2 million people come through during the Fair’s 24-day run. At our first Wal-Mart location alone, which we chose because it really is in our ‘backyard,’ we’ll have the chance to see between one-and-a-half and 2 million people every year.”
The State Fair Treats menu’s taste-bud teasers include hash brown bites, breakfast tacos, breakfast biscuits, French toast, nachos, chili fries, fried pickles, macaroni and cheese bites, and desserts like funnel cake fries, cannoli bites, fried Oreos and Twinkies, and the Texas bluebonnet with whipped cream and blueberry puree. Rousso oversees all but welcomes Operations Manager Jacob Hunter and General Manager Jackie Blakely to his team.
Cookie fries, crinkle-cut fry-shaped cookies — crispy on the outside and a soft butter-cookie inside with chocolate chips or sprinkles, and chocolate or strawberry sauce in which to “gedunk” the sweet sticks — derived from a recommendation by Lily. That was a good recommendation, it seems, as the entry won the 2016 Big Tex Choice Award for Most Creative. This latest culinary concoction of Rousso’s will debut in the restaurant Oct. 24 — after State Fair attendees get the first bite, during the Fair’s run from Sept. 30 to Oct. 23.
In the last nine years, Rousso received Big Tex Choice Award honors for his deep-fried Cuban roll, fried Pop Tart, and his smoky bacon margarita.
The business, a family collaborative that began its run at the State Fair of Texas almost a decade ago with their Taste of Cuba booth, has in the years since added the Magnolia Beer Garden, Magnolia Pavilion, Magnolia Smokehouse, and most recently the Craft Beer Terrace. It’s tough not to make a Rousso-infused snack-stop no matter where you are.
“We’ve made lots of friends through the years and even though, until now, we’ve only had the month of the State Fair to see people, it’s cool that the kids who were tweens when we started are now gone to college,” said Rousso. It’s not lost on him that his own children have really grown up with his business. “It’s going to be great to get to see people, we hope, a lot more often in the restaurant.”
Karissa Condoianis, vice president of public relations at the State Fair of Texas, noted that the State Fair Treats concept is wholly Rousso’s and not at all owned by the Fair itself.
“We are so happy for Isaac and Lily and the whole family because they embody everything State Fair of Texas. We love seeing hard work pay off and this family works really hard.
“They are so humble and kind and this venture is sure to keep the spirit of the Fair always alive.”
Condoianis said that Rousso has made a commitment to help support the State Fair of Texas’ Youth Scholarship Program, which, since 1992, has awarded $8.7 million to deserving students.
For the Roussos, who are members of both Chabad of Plano/Collin County and Temple Shalom and who have been married for 16 years, this year is going to be a sweet 16, and a tasty year to remember!

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Why US-Israel military aid package is big deal

Posted on 22 September 2016 by admin

HAIFA, Israel — This week the U.S. and Israel signed a renewal of the MOU, or The Memorandum of Understanding, which is a 10-year defense aid package that “constitutes the single largest pledge of bilateral military assistance in U.S. history,” the State Department said Tuesday.
The $38 billion deal, scheduled to be signed this week in a ceremony at the State Department in Washington, replaces the previous $30 billion MOU that expires in 2018.
With the new aid package Israel will receive $3.8 billion annually — up from $3 billion — starting in 2019 and through 2028.
Unlike with the current MOU, Israel has pledged not to seek additional add-on military funding from Congress for the next decade, except in time of war.
The agreement also limits Israel’s current ability to spend part of the funds on its own arms industry — a key area of dispute during talks. Washington wanted Israel to spend a larger amount of the money on American-made products, creating more jobs in the U.S., while Israel wanted to feed its own “hungry tigers.”
Currently, Israel can spend 26.3 percent of U.S. military aid buying from its own domestic defense companies.
Earlier reports said that Israel had asked for a separate, $400 million deal for missile defense spending — which could have raised the total amount to more than $4 billion annually. The U.S. said no.
“There was no higher figure ever discussed,” the former Israeli national security adviser Yaakov Amidror said Tuesday, describing the deal as “the best possible” accord.
So why do I consider this to be such a big deal? Mainly because:

  • As mentioned above — it’s the largest bilateral military aid package granted by one country to another in history.
    It comes at a time when the U.S. economy is a hot and contentious election issue, and when the U.S. is cutting painfully into its own defense spending on development, procurement and maintenance.
  • It shows that the mutually beneficial relations between the U.S. and Israel on issues of security, regional stability, trust and co-reliance are as strong as ever.
  • It shows other Mideast and World players that the U.S. is fully and unequivocally committed to the security and safety of Israel …not just in word.
  • Its updated clauses on expanding existing agreements on military pre-positioning in Israel reaffirm General Alexander Haig’s famous observation that: “Israel is the largest American aircraft carrier in the world that cannot be sunk, does not carry even one American soldier, and is located in a critical region for American national security.”

As the Times of Israel pointed out in an article Sunday: “The aid package is seen in Israel as key to helping it maintain its qualitative military edge over potential threats in the region, including from an emboldened Iran flush with cash after many nuclear-related sanctions were ended over the past year in a deal signed with world powers.”
So despite arguments by frustrated politicians or wannabe analysts that Israel could have negotiated a better deal, I think that this is a good deal that will benefit both Israel and the U.S. in the decade to come.
Kudos to the American and Israeli leaders that waded through disagreements, personality issues, political pressure and economic restrictions to reach this (to paraphrase Joe Biden) “(expletive) Big Deal.”
Agree or disagree, that’s my opinion.
Lt. Col. (IDF res) Gil Elan is president and CEO of the Southwest Jewish Congress, and a Middle East analyst. Email: gil@swjc.org
Upcoming briefings and SWJC events are listed at: www.swjc.org.
DISCLAIMER: Opinions are the writer’s, and do not represent SWJC directors, officers or members.

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Donated honey to sweeten gift bags

Donated honey to sweeten gift bags

Posted on 22 September 2016 by admin

Photo: Jamie Denison From left to right, JFS and Nature Nate’s representatives Becca May, Tim Spaight, Bradley Rossel, DeeDee Lane, Nora Silverfield, and Afton Kenyon celebrated the sweet delivery of 650 teddy bear-filled bottles of honey for JFS clients.

Photo: Jamie Denison
From left to right, JFS and Nature Nate’s representatives Becca May, Tim Spaight, Bradley Rossel, DeeDee Lane, Nora Silverfield, and Afton Kenyon celebrated the sweet delivery of 650 teddy bear-filled bottles of honey for JFS clients.

 

See how Akiba students baked challah for this project here.

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

It was a sticky but appreciated delivery that Jewish Family Service received Sept. 19.
More than 7,800 ounces (more than 60 gallons) of honey, in the form of 650 bear-shaped bottles, were donated by Nature Nate’s 100 percent Pure, Raw & Unfiltered Honey. The sweet treats will be given out with JFS’ holiday gift bags.
“This is a wonderful gift as we serve a vast group in our community and many are challenged with not having a grand holiday table to attend and celebrate at,” said JFS’ Executive Director Michael Fleisher. “By sharing the scents, flavors, and tastes of the holiday from our community, we are able to bring more people in to feel part of the community.”
The donation of the honey is an amazing gift to JFS, says Marilyn Wohlstadter, Food Pantry coordinator at JFS. With a tight budget but a desire to make the holiday sweeter for those she serves, she’s most ready to cuddle these bears right into the homes of the community.
“This is such a huge mitzvah — it’s really unbelievable,” said Wohlstadter, who last year made do with honey straws in the bags because of the cost.
“JFS volunteers pack up and deliver to our Meals on Wheels clients, to many elderly people who can’t get out, who often have no family nearby. The deliveries include the honey bears and apples along with a small bottle of juice and challahs, many of which were baked and donated by the students and parents and faculty of Akiba Academy.”
September’s recognition as National Honey Month fills the bill as Jews around the world are setting their tables for Rosh Hashanah, typically welcomed with apples dipped or draped in honey.
“We’re honored to donate our 100 percent pure, raw and unfiltered honey to JFS as we know they do incredible work for the greater Dallas community. Nature Nate’s is proud to provide these 650 bottles of honey to those in need right here in our community,” said Robert Turner, Nature Nate’s COO. “We wholeheartedly believe in growing our company in order to give back more and JFS does amazing things for people in need in Dallas.”
Based in McKinney, Nature Nate’s, founded by Nate Sheets, partners with commercial beekeepers who transport their hives all over the country. They follow the honey flow — when major nectar sources are in bloom and the weather is favorable for bees to fly — and collect the nectar. The company’s honey is raw, not cooked at high temperatures, and also unfiltered, as they strain only the undesirable bee parts and wax, leaving pollens intact.
Nature Nate’s product line contains Texas honey — the amount of Texas honey is dependent on the climate the previous summer — as well as honey from Northern states in the blend to give it the best color and taste.
The company’s honey is certified by the Orthodox Union and Dallas Kosher, and ripe for use beyond the traditional dip — to include in recipes of a honey-sweetened brisket, kugel, rugelach, chicken with grapes, or to step out with a grilled honey plum pizza or honey rainbow carrot salad.
“Dallas Kosher has been working with Nature Nate’s for some time and they are a wonderful team of people,” said Rabbi David Shawel, director of supervision at DK, who makes supervisory visits to the McKinney plant throughout the year.
“They walk the walk and the gifts they give to our community are just wonderful.”

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Akiba students bake challah for Rosh Hashanah deliveries

Akiba students bake challah for Rosh Hashanah deliveries

Posted on 22 September 2016 by admin

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Submitted report

Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas has a long tradition of providing packages of traditional holiday goodies to those who may be isolated from family, had a tough medical year, are immigrants or may just need a reminder that someone is thinking of them this holiday.
The 650 packages include fresh challah, grape juice, apples and honey.
JFS CEO Michael Fleisher explained, “JFS volunteers and staff deliver these packages, providing holiday foods and personal ‘best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.’ For the second year in a row, students at Akiba Academy have specially baked hundreds of challot and donated to this initiative. This year, we also received a new donation of apples and honey from Nature Nate’s. The efforts of all those involved are greatly appreciated as we celebrate this special time together.”
On Tuesday, Sept. 20, Akiba students baked more than 250 challot. Children from the preschool through eighth grade teamed up with teachers, parents and grandparents for the day of chesed.
“We are thrilled that we could team up with JFS to share in this mitzvah together. It’s not only important to teach our children the value of mitzvot through these types of projects, but this is a special way to give back to the community that we care for so deeply,” said Tammie Rapps, Akiba head of school.

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A few stories from the ‘someday’ file

Posted on 22 September 2016 by admin

I keep a file of clippings marked “someday” — random items that come from newspapers, magazines, letters from friends.
This month of Elul, a time of readying for the coming new year, seems right for passing a few of them along to you.
I’ll start with a nice Jewish doctor, Henry Heimlich, who invented the lifesaving maneuver that bears his name — those abdominal thrusts applied by someone else to a person who is choking on a foreign object, usually a piece of food. In a pinch, an aware choking victim can self-Heimlich by banging the appropriate part of his/her own anatomy on the back rail of a sturdy chair.
The doctor-inventor never used his maneuver himself, however, until recently, when he successfully “Heimliched” a victim, an 87-year-old resident of the same senior community in Cincinnati where Heimlich himself lives. He’s now 96; his much-used procedure is 40 years old.
Meanwhile, in New Jersey, an Orthodox rabbi is currently serving three years in prison for his role in coercing unwilling husbands to grant their wives Jewish divorces. The problem of agunot, women “chained” to such husbands, has for a long time been the subject of attention in Israel; it’s not so well known in the States, yet it does exist here, too. His intent may have been noble, but his methods were not: They included handcuffs, cattle prods and extortion. Ten other men — a minyan, no less! — were also convicted; their “ring” was finally broken up by a female federal agent posing as an agunah! (No mention of whether or not she is actually Jewish herself…)
Another not-so-nice-guy, this one in Washington, D.C., has been indicted for making secret videotapes of women bathing in the National Capital Mikvah. Now known, not fondly, as “the peeping rabbi,” he was arrested after one of his devices was discovered. He has acknowledged that for five years he had been snooping on women in the changing and showering areas of the ritual bath, hiding his paraphernalia in a fan, a clock radio, even a Kleenex box! Among his victims were women whose conversions to Judaism he was supervising plus female students he taught at two D.C.-area universities — he invited the latter, he said, to visit and learn abut the mikvah, but of course he chose only the ones he wanted to photograph. For him, a plea bargain netted 8½ years in prison.
This last story connects to a memory: Way back, when I was in high school, a friend of mine flew from Pennsylvania to Michigan, where she was supposed to be a bridesmaid in a cousin’s wedding. She had to get there early for a dress fitting, so her parents would drive up at a later date. And they did, but never made their destination; both died at the scene of a terrible highway accident. Friend Iris, an only child, never came back, but stayed to make her new home with those relatives. In accordance with Jewish tradition, the marriage itself went on as scheduled, but all the fancy wedding trappings were canceled.
So my interest was piqued by a newspaper headline about something very similar that happened right here in Dallas. The principals in this story were not Jewish; they just listened to the plea of the prospective bride’s mother, who almost died in a car crash herself just two weeks before the couple’s planned wedding. She insisted that things should go on as scheduled — only in her hospital room at Baylor Medical Center, where she was recuperating.
This event differed from the bare-bones Jewish wedding described above because here there was rejoicing in recovery. So the bride wore her gown and veil, there was music (albeit from an iPhone), and the hospital provided punch and cake. The happiest ending came after the vows and the kiss, when the mother announced from her wheelchair seat, “Only by the grace of God was I able to see this!”

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Dallas Doings: Awards, one-man show, luncheon

Dallas Doings: Awards, one-man show, luncheon

Posted on 15 September 2016 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Awards for Harvey J. Bloom Post No. 256

During the Jewish War Veterans and Ladies Auxiliary National Convention held in Savannah, Georgia last month, our area was well represented.
The Harvey J. Bloom Post No. 256 in Dallas won two national awards: the Ben Kaufman Award for outstanding service to the VA Hospital and the Brotherhood Award for work in the community (placing flags on veterans’ graves, participating in the Veterans Day Parade, etc.) Both the Post and Auxiliary were awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for their contribution to the JWV Foundation’s program honoring Veteran Liberators of Concentration Camps during World War II. Post 256 is part of the TALO region and congratulations also go out to the San Antonio Post for their National Award for recruitment.

TALO members of the JWV display their awards received at the national convention in Savannah last month.

TALO members of the JWV display their awards received at the national convention in Savannah last month.

On the Ladies Auxiliary’s side two local members were named national representatives: Roz Kaplan is the national conductress and Sandra Cantor is the national chaplain. Next year’s national convention will be held in San Antonio.
Delegates to the National Convention from the Metroplex included: Dr. Barry Schneider and Peter Levy representing the Martin Hochster Post 755 and Sandra and Allan Cantor, Roz and Art Kaplan, Diane and Jerry Benjamin from Dallas. If you are interested in finding out about the JWV/A please contact via email: Post256jwv@gmail.com or call Sandra or Allan Cantor at 972-248-4844.
— Submitted by Sandra Cantor

The Mitzvah Project

The Mitzvah Project is a one-act play to be performed at SMU on Sept. 15 and focuses on hidden tragedy of Jewish soldiers who fought for Hitler during World War II.
The one-person, one-act play about a German half-Jew who became a decorated officer for the Third Reich during World War II will be performed at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, in SMU’s Collins Executive Education Center, 3150 Binkley Ave.

 Roger Grunwald co-wrote The Mitzvah Project with Broadway actor Annie McGreevey.

Roger Grunwald co-wrote The Mitzvah Project with Broadway actor Annie McGreevey.

Sponsored by the Embrey Human Rights Program, the free public event will be followed by a lecture and Q&A session.
Performance artist Roger Grunwald partnered with Broadway actor Annie McGreevey to co-write the drama, which focuses on the history and fate of tens of thousands of German “Mischlinge” — the Nazis’ derogatory term for people with one or two Jewish grandparents. The show centers on the tragic story of one such “Mischling,” who became an officer in the German army.
In the play, Grunwald brings to life three characters: Christoph, the “Mischling” soldier; Schmuel, a Polish Jew from Bialystok; and The Chorus, a Groucho Marx-esque comedian/philosopher who provides edgy commentary.
Grunwald says he was inspired to co-create the project as a tribute to his mother, who, as a survivor of Auschwitz, used her wartime experience as a tool for teaching young people the lessons of history, particularly related to the Holocaust.
For more details about The Mitzvah Project, which has been performed at more than 50 theaters, universities, synagogues, Holocaust museums and other venues throughout the U.S. and the United Kingdom, visit themitzvah.org.
— Submitted by Sherry Aikman

Chuck Greenberg to speak at Beth Torah breakfast

Chuck Greenberg, CEO and general partner of the Frisco RoughRiders, will be the guest speaker at the Congregation Beth Torah Men’s Club monthly breakfast on Sunday, Sept. 18.
Greenberg, a neighbor of Mark Cuban when they were growing up in Pittsburgh, was a sports attorney, owner of several minor league baseball teams and CEO of the Texas Rangers before buying the RoughRiders in 2014. He’ll talk business and baseball at the lox-and-bagel breakfast, which begins at 9 a.m. The public is invited and admission is $10.
Congregation Beth Torah is located at 720 W. Lookout Drive in Richardson, near the crossroads of Bush Turnpike and Central Expressway. For more information, call the synagogue at 972-234-1542.
— Submitted by Michael Precker

Dallas On the Move Luncheon celebrates 10 Years

Father-daughter duo Dr. Philip Raskin and Robbin Raskin Solis are co-chairs of this year’s National Multiple Sclerosis Society 10th Annual Dallas On the Move Luncheon.
The event will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 14 at the Ritz-Carlton, Dallas. This year’s luncheon is celebrating 10 years and is predicted to hit its $1 million fundraising milestone. In addition to raising funds and awareness for multiple sclerosis, this event recognizes and celebrates local citizens and companies who are changing the world for people affected by MS.
On the Move Luncheon is a nationwide program created to empower communities with the knowledge, inspiration and relentless resolve to end multiple sclerosis forever. Held in cities across the country, the Luncheon maximizes our collective impact to change the world for people with MS – one gift, one voice at a time.

Submitted photo Father-daughter combo Philip Raskin and Robbin Raskin Solis are co-chairing this year’s Dallas On the Move Luncheon at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 14 at the Ritz-Carlton.

Submitted photo
Father-daughter combo Philip Raskin and Robbin Raskin Solis are co-chairing this year’s Dallas On the Move Luncheon at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 14 at the Ritz-Carlton.

The 2016 Person On the Move award will be presented to Dallas Stars Captain Jamie Benn for his continued support of the National MS Society, his choice charity for the past three years. Benn has provided countless Dallas Stars tickets and “Benn’s Beauties” T-shirts to people living with MS and is truly committed to the MS movement. In recognition of their longtime support of the National MS Society, Kendra Scott will be the 2016 Company On the Move recipient. Kendra Scott has donated jewelry, Color Bar parties, trunk shows and Kendra Gives Back events in support of Society events across the nation.
In addition, the Dallas On the Move Luncheon will feature nationally-known keynote speakers Dan and Jennifer Digmann, a married couple who both live with MS and use their platform to share personal stories of day-to-day life that inspire and educate people.
For luncheon and ticket information, contact Meredith Byrnes at 713-394-2965 or Meredith.Byrnes@nmss.org. For those unable to attend but who would still like to support the National MS Society, online contributions can be made at onthemovetx.org.
— Submitted by Bailey Starnes

New fund at DJCF

In the wake of the recent sad and tragic events surrounding our law enforcers and first responders, the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation became inspired to help make a difference through the creation of a new fund, the First Responders Appreciation Fund of the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation.
This fund was established to thank our First Responders for being away from their families to protect and care for us. This year, this new fund will support Jewish community organizations and leaders who will receive funding to orchestrate the procurement and delivery of treats and sweets to first responders on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
We rallied together as a community after the tragic shooting of five noble police officers just a short while ago. Let us keep that united spirit alive and continue to show our support. If you are interested in making a donation to this fund, visit www.djcf.org/donate and select this fund from the drop-down menu.
If you are interested in participating in the delivery of care packages, please email Jaycee Greenblatt at Jgreenblatt@djcf.org. The criteria for individuals or agencies interested in participating will be shared at a later date.
— Submitted by Mona Allen

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