Archive | November, 2016

JCRC looks for those in need of Hanukkah gift bags

JCRC looks for those in need of Hanukkah gift bags

Posted on 24 November 2016 by admin

Photo: JFGD Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas’ Younger Set volunteers (from left) Sharron Laizerovich, Lori Stern, Dawn Strauss have helped in previous years, wrapping up some of the thousands of gifts that Jewish Children’s Regional Service will deliver. JCRS wants to make sure no Jewish child misses out on opening the fun of Hanukkah — to apply for Hanukkah gift assistance, call 800-729-5277 or email ned@jcrs.org.

Photo: JFGD
Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas’ Younger Set volunteers (from left) Sharron Laizerovich, Lori Stern, Dawn Strauss have helped in previous years, wrapping up some of the thousands of gifts that Jewish Children’s Regional Service will deliver. JCRS wants to make sure no Jewish child misses out on opening the fun of Hanukkah — to apply for Hanukkah gift assistance, call 800-729-5277 or email ned@jcrs.org.

Submitted report

Hanukkah will be here before we can count to eight bright nights. Jewish Children’s Regional Service (JCRS) started “shopping” long ago to support the children and families it will service this winter.
For the 19th year, JCRS will bring warmth, smiles and joy in the form of unexpected wrapped wonder.
“It’s our goal that these children know they are not alone and we want them to feel a part of the community — their community — at what is for most an incredibly joyous time of year,” said Ned Goldberg, JCRS executive director. “We receive referrals from regional organizations, schools, and synagogues but we also realize there are those in the community who may not be affiliated or who do not wish to share their personal situation with the community.”
In 2015, Hanukkah gift bags with more than 1,500 individual gifts were delivered to more than 250 children and 30 Jewish residents of adult care facilities in JCRS’ regional states: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. Some of the families are recovering from natural disasters, job losses or significant illness to one or both parents; some are living with special needs; and some are new immigrants to the country. Recipients may have parents who are deceased, disabled, in prison or deployed overseas. It is not necessary that applicants produce financial disclosures in order to qualify, just to make a case for their need.
Goldberg reassured that privacy is paramount.
“This is an incredibly sensitive situation and we know people’s privacy is a gift in and of itself — that’s one gift we aren’t going to open. If anyone has children of their own we can help, or family members or if you know of someone we can help, please contact us right away. We’re in the midst of putting our packages together and we really don’t want to leave anyone out.”
The packages include eight small Hanukkah gifts, one for each night. There is communication between the agency and the children’s families and if they are made aware of a hobby or interest, be it gift cards, toys, grooming supplies, stuffed animals, minerals  and polished stones, Legos, sports cards, magic kits, action figures, small cars, games and sporting equipment. There’s little that can’t be found; few desires that can’t be met. All gifts are age and gender selected and each is wrapped with Hanukkah-related treats and a card handmade by a volunteer from throughout JCRS’ region.
“As a doctor, I ‘live’ confidentially so I know how important that concept is and I’m honored to be the Dallas representative to deliver the gifts. I can’t tell you how appreciative people are — really it’s just precious and being the messenger is awesome and incredibly fulfilling,” said Dr. Jeanie Tolmas, former JCRS board president. The Tolmas family (Connie and the late Dr Hyman and Gina and Alan) has for many years been the connecting force for the program in Dallas.
“Last year we had more helpers than we had recipients, and I know there’s more people out there that we can help — we just have to get the word out and Ned Goldberg, he’s the man — with 28 years on the job, he’s the impetus to get it done,” Tolmas added.
From 7 to 9 p.m., Monday, Dec. 12, at the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, Younger Set, will host a Hanukkah Wrapping Project, tying another local bow on the mitzvah. JCRS is one of the JFGD’s beneficiary partner agencies and also a recipient of a Federation Community Impact Grant to benefit camp scholarships.
Younger Set, chaired by Staci Rubin, is a division of the Federation’ Jewish Women’s Philanthropy Center, is dedicated to creating and providing opportunities for women under the age of 45 to learn about the purpose, mission and goals of the Federation. Younger Set invites ladies to join them in the wrapping project. The deadline to RSVP is Dec. 7.
Camp scholarships are one of the many manners of provisional support offered by JCRS for nearly 162 years. The organization also provides College Aid, in the form of grants and scholarship. PJ Library, Special Friends Club, Special Needs Program and support groups round out the programs which reach more than 1,000 children each year.
“We appreciate the many who want to donate the physical gifts, and we need those, but we really want to be sure we reach all of the children who need the gifts who might not know about us or whose families aren’t sure they are comfortable to make contact,” said Goldberg. “We really do come with an outstretched arm and we want this holiday to be a happy one.”
To apply for Hanukkah gift assistance, to volunteer to adopt-a-child or to make a donation, email ned@jcrs.org or call 1-800-729-5277. For more information about JCRS, visit www.jcrs.org. To participate in the Dec. 12 wrapping project, RSVP by Dec. 7 to jsatterwhite@jfgd.org.
 — Submitted by Deb Silverthorn

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Comments (0)

Too late for Thanksgiving; try odd kosher animals

Posted on 24 November 2016 by admin

Dear Families,
When you read this it will be too late for Thanksgiving menu plans but it is never too late to think about eating and eating kosher. Here is something I just had to pass on from www.thejewniverse.com — The Top 10 Surprisingly Kosher Animals — and Delicious Ways to Eat Them by Abby Sher:

  • 10. Canada geese are the second-largest honking waterfowl in North America, and they often take over the cornfields and playgrounds. Yet these birds can be a backyard-to-table coup if you have the right ingredients. Canada goose in Sweet Chili Sauce may be just the delicacy for you.
  • 9. Doves and pigeons (aka “squab”) are lean, plentiful dark meat birds, which you may see hanging out on electric lines or neighborhood trees.
  • 8. While most flying insects are forbidden from consumption, Leviticus 11:21-22 specifies that locusts are available for chomping. Add a little flour and seasoning, fry them up, and you have a crunchy home-grown snack. (Just take off the heads first to avoid shrieking dinner guests.)
  • 7. Often found off the coast of Florida with Bubbe and Zayde, the jewfish is from the grouper family and can grow up to 700 pounds. There are several theories about how it got its name and whether it’s derogatory toward Jews. But whatever you feel about its nomenclature, there’s no denying it makes a scrumptious coconut jewfish entrée.
  • 6. And while you’re looking in the fish-with-scales family, the monkey-faced eel has been called “ugly as sin” with a somber face that looks out soulfully from the rocks of Monterey Bay, but it’s also very tasty in a fish gumbo with a side of kasha varnishkes.
  • 5. And last but not least, the shibuta has made many appearances in the Talmud, and has a unique pork-like taste to it. According to ancient texts, a salted head of shibuta boiled in beer is not only delicious but can possibly cure jaundice.
  • 4. OK’d by Leviticus, Deuteronomy and the Orthodox Union, bison are not only the national mammal of the United States, they also make a very lean, tender brisket roast.
  • 3. As long as you’re in the market for cud-chewers with cloven hooves, there are also tasty recipe ideas for elk (chipotle chocolate chili!).
  • 2. Bighorn sheep (stew!), or
  • 1. Moose (meatballs!)

So now that you have a new list you can try to add a little something to your dinner table! Plus add a new website of interesting Jewish articles to your daily reading — thejewniverse.com is filled with lots of strange and interesting facts!
Shalom … from the Shabbat Lady,
Laura Seymour is director of Camping Services at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Comments (0)

Dallas Doings: Honors, awards, thanks giving

Dallas Doings: Honors, awards, thanks giving

Posted on 24 November 2016 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

SWJC honors 12

This year, Southwest Jewish Congress (SWJC) added a new dimension to the annual recognition of men and women and young achievers at its Texas Sized Event at Eddie Deen’s Ranch.
The Audrey Kaplan Inspiring Women, the Stan Golden Men of Action and the Future young versions of the recipients earned a major surprise when it was announced that each of the organizations they volunteer and assist to help others was going to receive a 50/50 extra gift from the over 400 in attendance.
Each table was outfitted with a special envelope that listed the charitable groups with which the honorees worked. Those attending the dinner were asked to find the person they wanted to show appreciation and to donate to that group in honor of their volunteer.

(From left) Ann Kahn, Ariana Luterman, Noely Rangel, Barbara Friedman, Tammy Nguyen Lee, Vanita Halliburton, Judy Rorrie

(From left) Ann Kahn, Ariana Luterman, Noely Rangel, Barbara Friedman, Tammy Nguyen Lee, Vanita Halliburton, Judy Rorrie

(From left) Biko McMillan, Dr. Terry Flowers, Larry Goldstein, H. Ron White, Madan Goyal

(From left) Biko McMillan, Dr. Terry Flowers, Larry Goldstein, H. Ron White, Madan Goyal

The honorees and the charities they represented were:

Audrey Kaplan Inspiring Women

  • Barbara Friedman: DreamDog Foundation
  • Vanita Halliburton: Grant Halliburton Foundation
  • Ann Kahn: Jewish Family Service
  • Tammy Nguyen Lee: Against The Grain Productions, Inc.
  • Judy Rorrie: North Dallas Shared Ministries

Stan Golden Men of Action

  • Dr. Terry J. Flowers: St. Philips School & Community Center
  • Larry Goldstein: Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas
  • Madan Goyal: ACLU Texas Foundation
  • Dr. Rodney T. Stapp: Urban Inter-Tribal Center of Texas
  • H. Ron White: J.L. Turner Legal Association Foundation

Future Inspiring Women

  • Ariana Luterman: Vogel Alcove, Team Ariana
  • Noely Rangel: League of United Latin American Citizens

Future Men of Action

  • Biko McMillan: SMU Community Engagement & Leadership Center
  • S. Graham Rosen: Boy Scouts of America

SWJC was able to send donations of various sizes ranging from $75 to $950 per gift — all meant by SWJC to add an another layer of thanks for the good work being done selflessly in many areas, given by distinguished people of many backgrounds and disciplines. This gesture is a part of SWJC’s mission to build bridges in the community and educate about issues that affect the whole society.
— Submitted by Susan Myers

A moment of thanks giving

We were touched when Annette Silver sent us a note that her granddaughter wrote about her most important teacher in honor of World Teachers’ Day last month. Tara wrote, “I have been in six schools, have had way too many teachers to count, and have learned something great from each one of them. There is however, one teacher taught me fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades, but she also taught me how to tie my shoes, how to use the toilet, how to get dressed, how to travel like a pro, how to have fun everyday, and many other life skills that I still use today.”
Of course, Tara was writing about her mom, Denise Schnitzer. She continues,
“Thank you, Mommy, for teaching me all I know and for always being there for me no matter what. You are the best teacher I’ve ever had and I love you so much.”

Mazal, Mazal

  • On Oct. 15, Blake Silverthorn received a 2016 Lone Star Emmy Award for his role as associate producer of the Dallas Cowboys’ Spanish-language sports program series, Somos Cowboys (We Are Cowboys). Lone Star Emmy Awards are given to the most experienced and talented television professionals from Texas’ 19 television markets. The son of Deb and Eric Silverthorn and brother of Emilie and Jonah, Blake is a 2015 graduate of Texas Tech University.  He is a producer, EVS-operator, camera operator, editor and audio technician for the Dallas Cowboys with projects including the Cover 4, Deep Blue documentaries, the Dallas Cowboys Legends Show and Cowboys Press Conference Replay programs.

    Blake Silverthorn holds his 2016 Lone Star Emmy he won as part of the Dallas Cowboys’ Spanish program series Somos Cowboys (We Are Cowboys.)

    Blake Silverthorn holds his 2016 Lone Star Emmy he won as part of the Dallas Cowboys’ Spanish program series Somos Cowboys (We Are Cowboys.)

  • On Sept. 14, Noam Yosef Lewis was presented his scarf and pin at a Boy Scout Court of Honor as he obtained the rank of Eagle Scout. For his Eagle project, Noam coordinated and executed landscaping for a special needs school, St. Elizabeth School, in Baltimore.
    Noam is the son of Marla (Goldstein) and Charles Lewis and brother of Aitan Yakir and Sarit Yael all of Baltimore, Maryland. He is the grandson of Barbara (Josephson) Goldstein and the late Martin “Doc” Goldstein of Dallas.
    Barbara, along with aunt and uncle, Mona Goldstein and David Goldstein, were present at the touching ceremony. Additionally, Noam will be honored with a reception at the National Scout Museum later this year.
    Sharon Blumberg’s Chooze, a fashion brand that encourages individuality and uniqueness, has opened a pop-up shop at Preston Royal Village East. It showcases new fall/winter styles, in addition to providing locals with an intimate introduction into the line specializing in female fashion. Chooze offers purposefully mismatched clothes, shoes and accessories, instilling in women that imperfection is beautiful. The shop will be open throughout the holidays.

    Noam Yosef earned his scarf and pin from the Boys Scouts. He coordinated landscaping for a special needs school in Baltimore.

    Noam Yosef earned his scarf and pin from the Boys Scouts. He coordinated landscaping for a special needs school in Baltimore.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Comments (0)

Around The Town: Artwork, Mah Jongg

Around The Town: Artwork, Mah Jongg

Posted on 24 November 2016 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Rachel Cristol’s Colorful Palette

Although Rachel Cristol always had an aptitude for art, she waited until she was a grandparent to hone in on her talent. During the past 16 years, her new career as a professional artist has flourished. Her vibrant pastels, oils, and watercolors are in galleries and private homes in Texas and Louisiana. Her portrait commissions hang at Tulane University and Louisiana State University.
For the next three months, she has a solo show at Fort Worth’s Beth-El Congregation.F107924.ai
“As a child, I was drawing faces with a pencil,” she said, recalling her girlhood in Norwich, CT.  “This has always been in my blood.”
Yet, during her years at the University of Connecticut in the 1950s, she took but one art class. Her academic load left no time for art classes.  The one elective she chose was a course in pastels – a medium that is pure pigment in chalk form and produces vibrant color, alive with light and shadow.
As the years passed, Rachel married cardiologist Dr. David Cristol. In Fort Worth they raised three children — Sara, Louis, and Reuben. With her mother, Cipa Taylor, z’l’, Rachel was active in Hadassah.  For 16 years, she was a docent at the Kimbell Art Museum and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. “It didn’t satisfy me. I decided I was going to take lessons.”
She asked Marvin Blum, a part-time artist and fulltime tax attorney, who his teacher was. He referred her to Judy Pelt, an acclaimed pastel artist who died last November. The class she taught in her home was full, but Rachel came anyway, with “my old palette and my old everything.” The art teacher suggested that Rachel instead enroll in her classes at the Woman’s Club of Fort Worth, headquartered in a landmark building on Pennsylvania Avenue.  Rachel joined that venerable institution, and the rest is evident on her colorful resume and the solo show that will remain in the Beth-El board room through the end of February.
— Submitted by Hollace Weiner

Time To Order New 2017 Mah Jongg Cards!

Suzie Herman is taking orders for the 2017 Mah Jongg cards. The orders benefit the Fort Worth Chapter of Hadassah’s Stem Cell Research Fund.
The cards come in two sizes: Standard size card is $8; Large print size card is $9.
Please send your check (payable to Suzie Herman) along with a copy of your order, and mail to: Suzie Herman, 4701 Springwillow Rd., Fort Worth, TX 76109. Suzie may be reached by calling 817-732-5151 or emailing suzherman@charter.net.
The deadline for ordering the new card is Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017.
Save the date: Federation Campaign Kick-off
Mark Feb. 4, 2017, on your calendars for a memorable evening at the Kimbell Art Musem, celebrating The Jewish Federation of Fort Worth & Tarrant County’s 2017 Annual Campaign Kickoff, “Reaching Chai Notes.”
The 7 p.m. event will feature special guest Andrea Arbel, director of the Partnership Unit of The Jewish Agency for Israel, and a jazz performance by New York-based Israeli singer/composer/arranger Sivan Arbel and her band, Sivan Arbel Septet Band.
Capping off the evening will be the presentation of The Spirit of Federation Award, which honors a man and woman who have demonstrated personal commitment, dedication and leadership to the Federation and its agencies.
Light refreshments will be served. The entire community is invited to attend.
Please RSVP by Jan. 20 to Milena Razack at 817-569-0892 or email: kickoff@tarranfederation.org.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Comments (0)

In reflection, a Thank You to everyone

Posted on 24 November 2016 by admin

Today, I am giving thanks.
As you read this, I’m in New York, spending the holiday with family, having turkey at the table of my niece, who is awaiting Senate confirmation of her nomination to a federal judgeship in this state’s Eastern District. Full congratulations are not quite in order just yet, but we are happily anticipating …
Meanwhile, I’m  looking backward as well as forward, and offering a silent Thank You to so many who have helped me in the past, but are not sitting at this table today:
A Thank You to my Mother, who taught me how to shop: “If your think something has your name on it, buy it immediately! But if you don’t, and it’s gone by the time you decide to go back and get it, don’t be regretful; it never had your name on it in the first place.” (She also taught me how to make trash can liners from folded newspapers, a necessary skill back in the days before plastic bags. Good thing we have plastic bags; there’s probably not enough newsprint around now to do this with, anyway…)
A Thank You to my Father, a practical doctor in his time who wouldn’t even recognize medicine if he could come back and see it today, but whose advice is timeless for health, and in all other facets of life. He gave me this, my own life’s mantra: “None of us knows what we’re going to get. You get what you get. The longer you live, the more you get. And if you can manage to live long enough, you have a chance to get everything! So all we can do is take whatever life hands us and make the most we can out of it. Because ne plus ultra — there’s nothing beyond …”
A Thank You to My Boubby the Philosopher, who taught some Jewish basics: “Not all Bible stories are literally true, and the Messiah isn’t coming so fast,” and also the basics of contentment in life: “If everyone hung their troubles out in their backyards like wash on the line, you’d look up the block and down the block, and you’d grab your own laundry, take it back into the house, slam the door behind you and lock it as fast as you can.” (Nobody hangs wash outside these days, although sheets and towels smell much fresher when they dry in the sun than when they come out of any machine. But her image is a beauty, isn’t it?)
A Thank You to My Zaidy the Plumber, who taught me not to gamble – not even at gin rummy, at which I remain very good indeed. (Special Thanks here to my late Uncle Ben.)
A Thank You to Uncle Srol (short form of his Hebrew name, Yisroel), the last of my mother’s 11 siblings. Now 94 years old, he calls me early every Sunday morning, without fail, just to check in. This is to remind me that he’s still alive, and to reassure him that I’m the same. A good thing for both of us…
A Thank You to My Children, who have, after several decades, forgiven me for not being a perfect parent, as they patiently wait for their own children to do the same…
A Thank You to Pirke Avot, with attribution to Rabbi Akiba, for this: “Everything is foreseen, yet freedom is granted.” It’s a wonderful conundrum I’ve pored over for many years as I (still) try to understand both the possibilities and ramifications of free choice.
And, finally, A Thank You to Tom Conboy, a friend of my high school youth who became a Presbyterian minister and now, in retirement, continues to send me updates and uplifting messages. Here is his latest: “My prayer is that we all can find some measure of peace and hope in this troubled world, and in our own time.”
Amen!  I wish everyone a Happy, Thankful Thanksgiving!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Comments (0)

Zlotky earns prestigious AJC Tobian Award

Posted on 24 November 2016 by admin

Submitted report

Nov. 10, 2016, AJC awarded Jeffrey A. Zlotky the 2016 Milton I. Tobian Community Relations Award in front of a sold-out room of over 360 attendees.
Zlotky, Partner and General Counsel for Natural Gas Partners, is the nephew of award namesake Milton Tobian.  He was recognized for his leadership, highlighted by work with AJC and the Vogel Alcove.
The dinner was chaired by Jill and Adam Lampert. Making tribute presentations were Ken Hersh, CEO of Natural Gas Partners and president and CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and Joe Pevsner, senior partner at Thompson and Knight.
The occasion also marked the first Dallas Kosher supervised event at Sharon van Meter’s popular venue 3015 at Trinity Groves.
AJC was excited to have the opportunity to inaugurate a new option for kosher event space in the Dallas area.
— Photos by Lara Bierner Photography

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Comments (0)

Local groups plan ways to support anti-BDS bills

Local groups plan ways to support anti-BDS bills

Posted on 24 November 2016 by admin

By Sean Shapiro
Special to the TJP

When House Bill 89 and Senate Bill 134 were filed in Austin last week, state Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) said it was going to take a group effort to get the bill turned into a law.
And key leaders in the Dallas Jewish community have started doing their part.
At a meeting hosted by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas Nov. 17, community leaders from several organizations gathered for more than 90 minutes to discuss strategy and planning to make sure the anti-BDS bills would pass in either the Texas House or Senate at the next session.

Dan Prescott

Dan Prescott

Charles Pulman

Charles Pulman

The filed bills would prohibit the use of state public funds for companies that are involved with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement. BDS is a global campaign attempting to increase political and economic pressure on Israel, with target goals of directly or indirectly delegitimizing the State of Israel.
“We are going to make national news,” Federation Chair Dan Prescott said at the meeting. “We are going to help show that Texas supports and stands up for Israel. And that is going to send a strong message.”
Charles Pulman attended the meeting on behalf of representative King, and made it clear that community effort is going to be key for this to pass.
Thirteen other states have passed similar legislation. In South Carolina and Illinois it was a non-partisan legislation and passed unanimously, which is a strong foundation to work with, but there will be challenges with the economic nature of the bill.
“There is lots of attention on this from the funds and those managing them,” Pulman said. “They don’t like being told how to invest their money, so this is something that seeing community support and addressing with your representation will go a long way.”
Local Jewish leaders will be encouraging members of the community to reach out to their representation with a clear, and organized message about the legislation.
A fact sheet and a script for making an introduction to a member of the legislature were passed out at the meeting, and community members are encouraged to make contact using email, phone calls and faxes.
Yes, faxes. While it’s not a common communication technique anymore, it stands out since there are fewer being sent each day.
Pulman said it’s important to speak with a clear message, through whatever medium that may be.
“Remember, this is a bill not a resolution,” Pulman said. “There have been other resolutions talked about, and those are nice, but this is a bill that has teeth and will make an impact. For us, we think it’s important to have the proper focus on that.”
Organizers also discussed and laid out plans for a pair of Austin advocacy events surrounding the legislation. On Feb. 9 there will be a rally, and Feb. 22 will be Jewish Communities Day at the State, each date is expected to be well attended by members of the community.
General awareness is also important in this issue, and pins were passed out at the meeting that had the Israel and Texas flags connected, a sign that the state stands of up for Israel.

 

 

*****

Roll call

Many local Jewish organizations are committed to promote the anti-BDS legislation that was filed for consideration when the Texas legislature convenes in January.
Those in attendance at the first meeting were:

  • AIPAC
  • AJC
  • BLEWS
  • Congregation Shaare Tefilla
  • Dallas Chapter of Hadassah
  • JCRC
  • JFGD
  • NCJW
  • SWJC
  • Temple Shalom Israel Connection Committee

To get involved, contact the Jewish Community Relations Council of the JFGD at 214-615-5293 or email at jcrcdallas@jfgd.org.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Comments (0)

Archive memories for future generations

Posted on 24 November 2016 by admin

Friday, Nov. 22, 1963 seemed like any other school day at Bryan Adams High. The first sign of an unusual day was when the principal told us teachers as we signed in, “Some kids will be skipping school, without permission, to attend JFK’s arrival and motorcade. Make a list of all absentees!”
I had actually forgotten that Kennedy was coming to Dallas. I was excited about my upcoming marriage, just 30 days away, not the arrival of the president.
Sure enough, many students were absent. I had reminded my history and government classes earlier in the week that if they were planning to see the president’s arrival at Love Field or his motorcade downtown, that they could get “extra credit” by writing a brief “on the scene” report of what they observed. The principal might not have liked that, but it was my way of turning a “punishable offense” into an “educational moment.”
The early afternoon startling announcement of JFK being shot and soon thereafter being declared “dead” seemed to subdue most kids. They mumbled among themselves, trying like the rest of us, to sort things out.
Thankfully, school let out early. As I headed out to the parking lot, I wondered if it were the Russians or the Cubans who were responsible for our nation’s terrible loss. Maybe I would find out later that evening when I was scheduled to report for my weekly duty as a Dallas Police Reservist at police headquarters.
After Oswald was captured, police reservists were asked to be on duty Saturday and Sunday. It was shocking to see how the world’s press corps had actually taken over almost every desk and phone normally manned by police personnel.
It was bedlam as they moved Oswald through the hall. You’ve seen the scene, replayed each November, Oswald’s blackened eye, the smirk on his face, being led into an office as an officer followed, holding the rifle aloft for all to see. Detectives wore white Stetsons. My eyes were glued on Oswald so I missed spotting Jack Ruby, standing nearby, whose gray hat I later recognized on television.
Everyone on duty that weekend was soon questioned by the FBI. I was no exception. Arranging to meet me at Bryan Adams during my planning period were two agents. One asked the questions while the other took notes.
It was quite sobering at first when one agent asked, “Is the information you’re about to give, truthful? You will be liable if you have not told the truth.” This meant that lying to the FBI is a punishable offense, so I was very, very, very careful of what I said.
“I didn’t personally know Jack Ruby but I once visited his Carousel Club office in downtown Dallas with the officer I was riding with. It was a cold night and we had stopped for a free cup of hot coffee.”
“More recently, about three weeks before the assassination, while riding with two officers, one of the officers said, “Hey, there’s Jack! Let’s stop!” We were on Industrial Boulevard. Coming out of a nightclub was “Jack” with two fur-draped women, one under each of his arms.”
“Both officers got out of the car to speak with “Jack.” I was told to stay in the car to listen for any radio calls. After a few minutes, a call did come in. We quickly left and I soon forgot about “Jack.” I later recognized him in the newspapers as Jack Ruby.
“The Sunday morning Oswald was to be transferred to the Dallas County Jail, I had been placed on duty across the street from the police garage tunnel exit. I had been told to prevent anyone from crossing the street to the police building. There were around 40 or so spectators waiting for Oswald’s transfer.”
“The ‘boom’ of the shot echoed out of the tunnel and the armored truck soon pulled out, allowing the police ambulance to leave, rushing Oswald to Parkland Hospital. I noticed the armored truck’s right-side door was swinging open, about to possibly hit  someone standing at the curb edge of the sidewalk. Running up to it, I closed it  shut before it could hurt anyone.”
My complete story and others can be found on  the Sixth Floor Museum’s interview collection, “Living History, Jerry Kasten” on YouTube.
Chances are that there are childhood memories and historic events which you remember. Why not share those memories with your children and grandchildren by writing them down in a notebook, including comments, photos?
The Dallas Jewish Historical Society  located at the Dallas JCC, has a wonderful oral history project, which involves videotaping interviews with  senior citizens. These professionally done conversations can then be accessed online by friends, family members and anyone wishing to learn events of the past from those who actually experienced them.
We are all part of history. What’s your story?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Comments (0)

Why we don’t add to prayer service

Posted on 24 November 2016 by admin

Dear Rabbi Fried,
I’ve often wondered if we could add a section to our prayer service for Thanksgiving, like we do for Hanukkah and Purim. After all, so many Jews have benefited by living in America, and Jews around the world have benefited because there is a USA, even if they don’t live there, especially Jews in Israel!
I asked this question in our Sunday school, and there was a discussion, but no clear answer.
Thank you if you answer this,
Brandon L.
Dear Brandon,
You’re asking a great question, which is a very Jewish question, one of real appreciation for the many blessings you enjoy being Jewish in America! I totally concur that the Jews around the world benefit greatly by the fact that there is a United States, for many reasons, among them America’s generous support for Israel. The level of religious freedom and equality we enjoy here is unprecedented, and has not been enjoyed by Jews in any county for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It is most certainly incumbent upon us, as Jews and as Americans, to have tremendous feelings of appreciation for all of this, as reflected by the prayer for the United States recited weekly on Shabbos in synagogues throughout the country.
The question of adding to the actual Amida prayer, like we do for Hanukkah and Purim, however, is a more complicated one. We can’t add a “holiday” to the Jewish calendar, which would take on the meaning to the Jewish year as Hanukkah or Purim. Even those holidays, which celebrated the rescue, emancipation and existence of the Jewish people, were not added by agreement or a vote. Even the early sages of that time relied upon prophesy, and without actual prophesy would not have had the license to add a rabbinical holiday to the Jewish calendar.
Prophesy ceased soon after the Purim miracle, at the beginning of the period of the “Men of the Great Assembly,” upon the Jews return to Israel with Ezra and Nehemia to rebuild the Second Temple after the 70 year Persian-Median exile. (I always say, that’s when we became a non-prophet organization!)  From that time forward we no longer have the license to add a new holiday to the Jewish calendar and an addition to the amidah.
The prayer service, especially the Amidah prayer (which you’re referring to the addition of Hanukkah and Purim into), was composed by the same group of sages, the Men of the Great Assembly. It was written by a venerable group of 120 sages, among them the remaining prophets. They utilized this prophecy to know what precisely needs to be in the prayer service to carry the Jews through their future years of exile and Diaspora. Among the additions to the daily service, they injected paragraphs for Hanukkah and Purim.
Although we can’t add to the actual service, you could certainly add in your own private expressions of appreciation. On a communal level, as we mentioned above, most synagogues recite a weekly prayer for the guidance and safety of the United States, its citizens and leaders. We all need to pray to God to give guidance to the recently elected new leadership of our country as well.
On the same note, all of Judaism is about appreciation. The very name “Jew,” from the word “Yehudi,” comes from the root “hoda’ah,” which means appreciation. Every mitzvah that we do, and every prayer, is to show our appreciation to the Al-mighty for the many blessings in our lives. To the extent that being American is a blessing for us, we can thank God for that blessing, having it in mind in the mitzvos we perform on Thanksgiving, and every day of the year. Wishing all the readers a happy Thanksgiving.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Comments (0)

Gratitude scavenger hunt great Thanksgiving fun

Posted on 17 November 2016 by admin

Dear Families,
The month of Cheshvan — no Jewish holidays! However, Thanksgiving is coming!
There is a lot to prepare for from the food to the decorations to the family and friends invitations and more. As we prepare, we need to think about what the holiday is really all about. Yes, it is an American holiday but there are definite Jewish values in this holiday of thankfulness. An important Jewish value is “hakarat hatov” — recognizing benefits afforded us and giving expression to our appreciation.” Note that there are two parts of this value — we must first recognize what we are thankful for and then “give expression.”
Part 1: there is so much to be thankful for if we open our eyes and look around. It helps to make a list. With our children at J Camps and Early Childhood Center, we play a game — “Go on a Gratitude Scavenger Hunt.” Here are some thing to get your list started:

  • Something in nature.
  • Something that makes a beautiful sound.
  • Something that tastes good.
  • Something that smells amazing.
  • Something that is older than you are.
  • Something that you have just learned.
  • Something that makes you laugh.
  • Something that makes you cry.
  • Something that makes you strong.
  • Something that you would like to share with others.

For those of you who love music, download Craig Taubman’s Modeh Ani. This prayer is said every morning on waking up — we are thankful for waking! The song is great but we use it as a “fill in the blank” with the children — “Modeh Ani, I am thankful for … .” It is a simple and easy song to learn — so wake up singing.
Part 2: Giving expression to our appreciation — why is it necessary to see it and then say it? There are many answers to that question that you can talk about but speaking it out loud (or writing it down) makes it real! It is also a way to share with others that you are thankful and that helps us all to hear it!
So get ready for Thanksgiving by making your list and counting your many blessings!!
Shalom…from the Shabbat Lady,
Laura Seymour is director of Camping Services at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Comments (0)

View or Subscribe to the
Texas Jewish Post

Advertise Here

Photos from our Flickr stream

See all photos

Advertise Here