Archive | May, 2018

Around the Town: Goldman Dinner, WWII Info

Posted on 24 May 2018 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray

Annual Goldman Dinner
honors youngest daughter

Beth-El’s Men of Reform Judaism’s (MRJ) annual Mickey Goldman Spaghetti Dinner was held March 25 with one of the largest turnouts in the event’s history. The 2018 honoree, Carol Minker, Goldman’s youngest daughter, brought a large contingent of family and friends from near and far to help her celebrate.
The Mickey Goldman Spaghetti Dinner is legendary. Mickey, who died 45 years ago, would prepare spaghetti sauce from scratch and provide a family meal “with all the fixin’s” for the congregation. After he passed away, the Men of Reform Judaism continued the traditional dinner in Mickey’s memory. Thirty-three years ago, the MRJ added an honoree to the celebration — the person who most exemplifies Mickey Goldman’s spirit.
Twenty-six Goldman family members gathered in Fort Worth for a weekend-long reunion/celebration to remember their dad, grandfather and great-grandfather, as well as to celebrate Minker, who has helped her dad’s spirit live on through her own good works. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
In her remarks, Minker said how overwhelmed she was to see so many family and friends at the gathering. She was especially proud that her children, Melissa and Scott, and their families were in attendance.
With regard to her husband, she added, “Richie… has carried on the good deeds of Mickey Goldman by not only serving as president of Beth-El, but also he continues to work behind the scenes to help Beth-El move forward. Without his love and constant support, I would not have been able to do half of what I have done to carry on my mother’s and father’s legacy.”
In closing, Minker summed up her hopes for those in attendance which captured the spirit of her father. “Take a little bit of Mickey Goldman with you too, and each week, show compassion to someone in need, offer a kind word to a complete stranger and make someone feel better by doing a random act of kindness.”
Congratulations, Carol, for continuing the legacy of your mom and dad. The Fort Worth Jewish community and community at large are the beneficiaries of your service.

Wanted, information
on WWII Soldiers KIA

During World War II, Fort Worth mourned five Jewish soldiers killed in action. The Fort Worth Jewish Archives has a great deal of information about two of the young men, but very little about the other three.
Perhaps publishing the few facts we have unearthed will lead to readers who recall these casualties. An honor roll scroll listing 226 Jewish GIs from Tarrant County has a gold star next to their names, indicating their wartime deaths.
• TEC4 Richard H. Burt, 19, died in Belgium Sept. 8, 1944, a day after being wounded in battle. A native of Los Angeles, Richard Burt was a graduate of Fort Worth’s Poly High School. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. A.L. Burt, and sister, Elaine, lived at 3505 Rosedale. His brother, TEC5 Warren Burt, served with an armored unit in France. When Fort Worth’s B’nai B’rith lodge held a memorial service to honor fallen soldiers, Richard Burt’s name was on the handbill publicizing the service.
• Staff Sgt. Walter C. Sanders, 19, died June 26, 1944, in Italy. He was a nose gunner with the 449th Bomb Group that was based in Italy and flew missions into contested skies over Hungary. Walter Sanders’ parents, Henry and Francoise Becker Sanders, lived at 1103 S. Henderson. The soldier’s remains were repatriated in December 1948 and placed in a mausoleum at Greenwood Memorial Park. A Jewish chaplain officiated at his funeral. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, he was survived by his son and namesake, Walter Charles Sanders Jr. The soldier’s name is on a yahrzeit plaque at Beth-El Congregation.
• TEC5 Saul Mark, 30, lived in Terrell in Kaufman County. His family was affiliated with Congregation Ahavath Sholom. He is buried in Ahavath Sholom’s cemetery next to two fellow soldiers, Alvin Rubin and Harold Gilbert. The trio have identical tombstones. Each grave marker is embedded with a photo of the deceased. Mark was survived by his mother, Ester Rachel Mark, an immigrant, who died in 1953, and his father, Russian-born Sam Mark, who resided at 4813 Hildring Drive when he died in 1963. The soldier had two brothers, Phillip Mark and Hymie Mark of Dallas, and four sisters, Ann (Louis) Cohen of Fort Worth; Rose (Walter) Baross of Dallas, Fannie (Jake) Alexander of Irving, and Mollie Mondkowiez of Los Angeles.
• Alvin Rubin, 22, and Harold Gilbert, 22, were sons of well-known Jewish mercantile families that came to Fort Worth in the late 19th and early 20th century. The city’s Rubin-Gilbert AZA chapter was named in their memory. The Gilbert family donated to the archives all correspondence related to Harold’s death on a troopship torpedoed as it crossed the English Channel on Christmas Eve 1944. Flight Officer Alvin Rubin was in the cockpit of a B-24 that crashed on take-off from Dakar, French West Africa, March 25, 1944.
— Submitted by
Hollace Weiner

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Nurse Slanger an important vet to remember on Memorial Day

Posted on 24 May 2018 by admin

With Memorial Day 2018 just around the corner, we need to be reminded that women have been part of America’s battles, equally deserving our nation’s gratitude along with the men.
From the Revolutionary War to the present, women have played important roles in America’s war effort.
Women have gone beyond the old traditional roles as cooks, laundresses and nurses to serve as spies and fighting soldiers. Some were disguised as males when they were officially prohibited from combat duty.
Only recently, in December 2015, have women officially been allowed to actually serve in combat, after passing rigorous physical testing.
Traditionally, women have served in the U.S. military as nurses and, as a result of the much-needed service of these nurses during wartime, a number of these nurses have been killed, wounded or taken prisoner.
One of the many stories praising America’s nurses in wartime is the heartwarming account of Frances Slanger, a Jewish resident of Boston who felt it was her patriotic duty during World War II to become an Army nurse.
Slanger had been born in Poland and immigrated to the United States with her parents and sister in 1920 at age 7, escaping the persecution of Jews.
While her parents envisioned Slanger finding a nice Jewish boy with a good job and getting married, she had other ideas.
When the United States entered World War II, Slanger, who had recently finished nursing school, decided to join the Army’s Nurse Corps.
The U.S. Army’s usual procedure was to wait three weeks after an invasion before sending in the nurses to set up the field hospitals.
That procedure changed after the D-Day invasion because the numbers of wounded were so great.
Four days into the invasion, petite Lt. Frances Slanger found herself in the Normandy surf, clinging to the belt of a soldier in front of her so as not to slip under the water.
Once landed, Slanger and the other nurses immediately began to tend the wounded who were then sent back to the rear, away from the fighting.
While taking care of the wounded, Slanger grew to appreciate the hardships and sacrifices made by the foot soldiers.
She decided to write a letter to the soldiers’ newspaper, Stars and Stripes, to express her admiration and respect to the GIs for what they do, often under the harshest of conditions.
After sending the letter, Lt. Slanger joined other nurses in tending the wounded.
That evening, an enemy artillery shell exploded near the nurses, killing Lt. Frances Slanger.
Her letter lauding the GIs, expressing gratitude and respect for what they do under the greatest of hardships, appeared in the next issue of Stars and Stripes. The Stripes staff had not yet received word of her death.
Once it became known that Slanger had been killed, soldiers began writing in, demanding that she receive proper recognition for her letter of tribute to the soldiers.
Lt. Slanger was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously, and a newly commissioned hospital ship was named in her honor.
Lt. Frances Slanger was initially buried in a French military cemetery under a Jewish Star of David, surrounded by the graves of the fighting men for whom she had expressed much respect and admiration.
Years later, Slanger’s remains were brought home, moved to a Jewish cemetery in Boston, and a women’s chapter of the Jewish War Veterans bearing her name was formed in that city.
Slanger was one of more than 400 U.S, military women who lost their lives in World War II.
May God bless their memory.

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Ties to Rotary go farther back than 30 years

Posted on 24 May 2018 by admin

I’ll be attending a special event this week — a local luncheon celebrating 30 years of women in Rotary International. I have even more to commemorate, because my personal history with Rotary goes back much farther than that.
Before I moved to Dallas in 1980 — and for almost a decade after that — Rotary was still very much following its original model. It was founded in 1905 by Paul Harris, a Chicago attorney, who asked two businessmen friends to validate a plan: Get men representing different types of work together for lunch once a week. The purposes Harris had in mind were friendship, exchange of ideas and giving back to the communities in which they lived and earned their livings. The others agreed, and decided on the name Rotary, since initial meetings of this new club would “rotate” through their offices.
No one is 100 percent sure, but the prevailing belief is that the original trio represented America’s three major faiths, and Paul Harris was Jewish. Religion as such has never played a part in Rotary except that a prayer — given by a different member every week in accordance with personal religious beliefs, or none — opens each meeting, followed by pledging allegiance to the American flag. The closing is recitation of Rotary’s “Four-Way Test” of purpose and promise, written by Harris himself: “Of all the things we think, say, or do — Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?”
In those early years of the 20th century, and for a long time after, the idea of women in business was foreign to the men who picked up the Rotary model and spread it first across the United States, and eventually around the globe — the world’s first service organization. But change came, and was formally recognized at Rotary’s international convention 30 years ago, when this powerful statement was read from the podium by a leader of the time: “I would like to remind you that the world today is very different from the world of 1905 — and Rotary has to adapt to this changing world…”
Rotary was a force in Park Forest, Illinois, where I lived and worked for 17 years. As a recognized community journalist, I was often asked to be a guest at the local club’s meetings, and I had its promise that whenever women would be admitted to the organization — an idea that was hanging in the air even then — I would be its first female member. But I came to Dallas before that time, and didn’t think much about Rotary until…
Several years later, when my spastic esophagus needed regular monitoring, I was referred to a doctor who had a Rotary plaque hanging in his office. I told him about my early connection with a club that had promised me inclusion, and he offered to sponsor me for local membership. And I’ve been an active Rotarian ever since.
My club supports efforts that help the hungry and medically underserved, provides scholarships and leadership training for high-schoolers and once a month cleans up our assigned area of the White Rock Lake shoreline At regular weekly meetings, we share lunch and conversation before enjoying a program that teaches us something new about history, local government, current events, area institutions — and you can see us every Christmas season, manning the Salvation Army Angel Tree at NorthPark Mall. We also contribute — in honor of Paul Harris — to Rotary’s current international effort: worldwide eradication of polio, now finally seeing light at the end of this long, long tunnel.
When I make a return visit every year or two back to Park Forest, I always attend a meeting of its Rotary Club, which continues to thrive, and twice I’ve even been at meetings of Club One in Chicago, where Paul Harris himself must be smiling down at the contributions of women to the great organization he founded.

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Dallas Doings: Brent Weinberg, Lizzy Greif, Cohns, Pearce Banquet

Posted on 24 May 2018 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray

Dallas’s Brent Weinberg
among Yeshiva valedictorians

Brent Weinberg, son of Sharon and Howard Weinberg of Frisco, was named the valedictorian for Yeshiva University’s Isaac Breuer College. Brent was one of nine students named valedictorian for their outstanding academic achievement. Commencement took place May 16.
“I had a love of Judaism coming from my high school, and I really could not imagine going to college without continuing my Jewish learning,” said Weinberg, who cites his morning shiur with Rabbi Reuven Fink as his favorite class during his time at YU.
“I gained a deeper connection to my heritage as well as the skills to be able to learn in-depth Jewish subjects. Ultimately YU helped me develop a deeper connection to the Ribono Shel Olam,” Weinberg said. “The opportunity to befriend so many Jews from all over the world who share in the same values as you do is a gift that no other university can offer.”
Weinberg, an accounting and management major, will continue his YU education by attending the Master’s Program in Taxation at the Sy Syms School of Business in the fall. Brent is a graduate of Levine Academy and The American Hebrew Academy. He and his family are members of Congregation Anshai Torah.

Lizzy Greif joins
Sharsheret board

Lizzy Greif has been named to the national board of Sharsheret, the only national not-for-profit organization dedicated to addressing the needs of Jewish women and families, of all backgrounds, facing breast and ovarian cancer.
Born and raised in Dallas, Greif attended Bank Street College of Education and received a Master of Science in education with a specialty in infant and parent development. Family and education have always been priorities in her life. She lost two sisters, Margot Pulitzer and Sheri Rosenberg, to breast cancer and is committed to supporting and educating everyone about breast cancer, however she can.
Toward that end, Sharsheret has been a resource for her, and she has been a longtime volunteer for the organization. Greif has been on various national and local Dallas-based boards.

Anshai Torah Fund
honors Debbie, Dan Cohn

Debbie and Dan Cohn, staples of Congregation Anshai Torah for 20 years, were honored at the synagogue’s 2018 Torah Fund/Sisterhood Shabbat May 19. The Cohns have tirelessly devoted countless hours to projects, committees and boards at the synagogue.
The Torah Fund Campaign of Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, started in 1942, provides scholarships to student rabbis, cantors and Jewish educators, as well as enhances student life with projects such as residence halls and the libraries at the five Conservative/Masorti Judaism seminaries across North America.
The Cohns said they only had to look at their childhoods and their parents, who always demonstrated the importance of volunteering and giving back.
Debbie’s mother, Irene, served on committees for Hadassah and other organizations in their hometown of Morristown, New Jersey, and her father, Mark, never said “no” when asked for help.
Dan’s father, John, was the president of their synagogue in Rockaway, New Jersey; his mother, Jeany, was a “hands-on” director of the local library.
The couple met during orientation at Carnegie Mellon in 1990; Debbie was the head counselor and Dan a freshman. Their friendship blossomed when Debbie was later asked to conduct an outreach workshop for the Hillel board on which Dan sat. The two became engaged the night of Dan’s AEPi formal. Dan earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science, while Debbie obtained a B.S. in industrial management, then her Master of Arts in student affairs in higher education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Debbie and Dan have lived in the Dallas/Plano area since January 1994. In looking for a Conservative synagogue, they found Anshai Torah with many young couples who were starting families. They’ve been members since just after their son Ari was born. Debbie says they “loved being surrounded by like-minded people” and that they felt a warmth and feeling of belonging right away.
The Cohns are interwoven into the rich history of Anshai Torah; Etan was in the first Anshai preschool class. Debbie and Dan read from the Torah (something they both learned to do as members of Anshai). Both of their boys had their bar mitzvahs at the shul. Debbie’s parents are also members at Anshai.
Debbie has served on the Sisterhood board in various positions as well as the chairperson for Sisterhood Shabbat; Dan has served on the Men’s Club board in all positions including Men’s Club board president. They both served as Membership Committee co-chairs. One of the most important volunteer activities Debbie and Dan have done for many years is the Shalach Manot project.
Debbie and Dan have two sons: Ari, a freshman at Carnegie Mellon studying computer science; and Etan, a junior at The Shelton School. Dan is active and enjoys biking, running, hiking, skiing and windsurfing. Debbie likes walking and remains busy with her stationery business, Letter Art.
Ferne Farkas and Esther Nathan co-chaired the day, aptly themed mah tovu (how good), which included a Kiddush luncheon.
— Submitted by Cynthia Brooks-Delgado

Mazal, Mazal

Congratulations to four members of the J.J. Pearce varsity baseball team who were honored at the Pearce baseball banquet Monday. Named Academic All-District (a 90 average or above all year) were senior Isaac Ableman, son of Sue and Mike Ableman, and juniors Nick Burlbaw, son of Hillary and Carl Burlbaw; Gavin Gold, son of Susie Gold and Grant Gold; and Sam Ray, son of Sharon and Alex Ray.
Ableman, who is headed to Ohio University next year, was named Most Improved Player and was lauded for maintaining a 90-or-above average throughout his four-years of high school; Gold was named to the 9-6A All-District First Team, Second Base for his play on the field; and Ray was awarded the “Fighting Mustang Award,” as voted by his fellow teammates and coaches.
Junior Jordan Rozenblum, son of Deanna and Kenny Rozenblum, also is a member of the varsity squad; and freshman Brett Rifkin, son of Jill and Ed Rifkin, is a junior varsity player. Rifkin was also recognized away from the ceremony for his academic achievements.
This year Pearce’s varsity advanced to the playoffs and defeated Garland Lakeview Centennial in the bi-district. The Mustangs lost to The Woodlands College Park in the area round. Trent Starnes is the Pearce head coach. He is assisted by Brock Rumfield on varsity and Justin Roland and Justin Whiteside on JV.

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Secure Israel, but protect innocent in Gaza

Posted on 24 May 2018 by admin

As a lover of Israel and a person staunchly committed to the safety and security of the Jewish homeland and all her inhabitants, I identify with the fear Israelis living on Israel’s border with Gaza feel.
I have visited the preschools in Sderot and the residents of Kibbutz Nahal Oz and seen the ways in which their lives are threatened by ongoing terrorism. I expect that the Israeli military will protect those individuals from threats that come from missiles, from underground tunnels and most recently, from rocks, burning tires and wire cutters.
First and foremost, the role of government is to protect its citizens. The question is, in this moment in history, who is responsible for protecting the people of Gaza?
The mothers and fathers, babies and elderly, children and young adults of Gaza have no government to protect them. Their elected government, Hamas, puts them directly in the line of fire. The Palestinian Authority, Israel and Egypt give them limited resources and can withdraw those resources at will. Over the past 18 years, each of these governments have repeatedly explained why they cannot be responsible for protecting people who are being controlled by the others. While this callous and manipulative game of passing the buck has gone on, Gaza’s 2 million inhabitants have experienced an exponential decline in their living conditions, to the point where the cage in which they live, delimited by its borders with Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea, is predicted to be uninhabitable within a matter of months. They cannot leave, and they have nowhere to turn for help.
Many pro-Israel groups portray the situation in Gaza as a hopeless knot, which, if it is to be untied, must somehow be loosened by the people of Gaza themselves. Other pro-Israel groups view this attitude as an abrogation of moral responsibility, one that ultimately puts Israel more at risk. Instead of spending time debating which of these groups is right, the pro-Israel community should be working to support the people of Gaza who are trying to find a way out of their nightmare while continuing to support rational and effective security for Israel.
Last year, I met a Palestinian man from Gaza named Yousef Bashir at a conference in Dallas. Yousef grew up near Kfar Darom, one of the Israeli settlements dismantled in the withdrawal from Gaza in 2006. In 2000, as part of an Israeli military defense strategy implemented at the beginning of the Second Intifada, IDF soldiers occupied his family home and converted it into a military post. Yousef was 11 years old at the time. His father chose to stay in their home when the IDF moved in, fearing that if the family left, they would never be allowed to return.
Israeli soldiers relegated the Bashir family to a small area of their own home. They had to ask permission to use their kitchen and their bathroom. When using the bathroom, Yousef and his mother, father, sisters and brothers all had to leave the door open. The IDF required that Israeli surveillance be maintained over their most personal and private matters, in a home where there had been no security threat. Despite daily humiliation and dehumanization, Yousef’s father insisted on living with dignity, treating the soldiers as guests in his home and setting an example of peaceful defiance, decency and coexistence for his children.
In 2004, when Yousef was 15 years old, he was shot in the back by an Israeli soldier in his front yard. The IDF took responsibility for the shooting, but never explained it. Yousef was taken to a hospital in Tel Aviv and was able to experience everything we know about the Israeli medical system — unsurpassed excellence in the treatment and care of his physical and emotional wounds. For the first time in his life, he felt that Israeli Jews were treating him as a human being, and he was able to see them as healers rather than oppressors.
As soon as Yousef was released from medical supervision, his father sent him to a camp run by Seeds of Peace, one of hundreds of organizations that bring young Palestinians and young Israelis together to “transform legacies of conflict into courage to lead change.” This experience deepened Yousef’s commitment to connecting with Jews and Israelis in authentic and meaningful ways in order to disrupt the destructive cycle of mutual suffering.
Yousef was able to leave Gaza in 2006 to come to the United States, where he has lived ever since. He completed high school in the U.S., received a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University and went on to complete a master’s degree in conflict and coexistence from Brandeis University. Since graduation, he has worked on Capitol Hill, doing what he can to contribute to the country that welcomed him, educated him, and provided him with opportunities he would never have in Gaza. He does this despite the M16 bullet that remains lodged in his back, a painful reminder of a complex personal story in which his father’s love and humanity remains his guiding light.
Yousef is an example of a Gazan who is trying to find a way out of the seemingly intractable conflict in his homeland. Yousef’s father died in 2009, and he did not attend his funeral for fear of risking his ability to return to the U.S. He has only seen his mother once, in Germany, when she was allowed to travel there for medical treatment. His most beloved family members, friends and teachers are living without adequate electricity, clean water, shelter or hope. He sees that the U.S. is not yet doing what it can to alleviate their suffering. So, he is using his own story and his legacy of faith in humanity to build support for doing what we can to protect the people of Gaza.
We do not have to reduce our empathy for and solidarity with Israelis living on the border with Gaza in order to feel empathy for and solidarity with Palestinians living in Gaza. Our elected officials here in the U.S. can and should be doing whatever they can to help avoid further suffering and bloodshed by taking and encouraging steps that protect the lives of Palestinians in Gaza. Steps such as unfreezing funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, encouraging the easing of the blockade on goods and equipment, and supporting infrastructure initiatives such as the proposed Gaza Seaport are in keeping with the U.S. State Department’s mission to “advance the security of the American people by assisting countries around the world to build more democratic, secure, stable and just societies.” (https://www.state.gov/j/index.htm)
In Pirkei Avot 2:21 Rabbi Tarfon teaches: “You are not expected to complete the work, and neither are you free to abdicate your responsibility for it.” When it comes to the work to be done in Gaza, our first responsibility is to recognize that innocent human beings are suffering, and to find a way to identify with them. Our second responsibility is to hold our own country accountable to its own values. When we have the courage to take these steps, we join the ranks of new leadership that will transform legacies of conflict into legacies of peace.
Rabbi Nancy Kasten teaches Jewish Mindfulness. She has has helped to introduce the Dallas community to Israeli organizations and groups including Roots/Shorashim/Judur, Creativity for Peace, Polyphony, the Shalom Hartman Institute and Beit Berl College, and is a co-founder of the Dallas Chapter of JStreet.

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Dead-baby strategy works for Palestinians

Posted on 24 May 2018 by admin

(JNS) When a Hamas spokesman acknowledged that 50 out of the 62 Palestinians reported killed during the May 14 assault on Israel’s border with Gaza were Hamas members, that fact alone should have fundamentally altered the debate over what happened. Though the international press called the incident a “massacre” in which the Israel Defense Forces used “disproportionate” force, the fact that most of the fatalities were members of a terrorist group undermined the narrative about the “March of Return” being a peaceful demonstration for better living conditions for Gaza residents.
But what good are facts if all you’re really after is more propaganda war against Israel? If someone like British shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry (the person who will be Britain’s leading diplomat if a Labour Party that is tainted by anti-Semitism wins the next election in that country) could claim that Israeli snipers were shooting Palestinian children in the back while they ran for their lives, then clearly anything is possible.
So how much more will the actual death of a Palestinian baby feed the narrative of Israeli atrocities?
Palestinian apologists are now trumpeting the case of 8-month-old Layla Ghandour, who allegedly died as a result of inhaling tear gas while present at the melee along the border as proof that Israel is committing war crimes. While one can be appalled at the idea of anyone bringing an infant to a violent demonstration in which armed protesters organized by a terrorist group are charging an international boundary defended by troops, there’s no arguing with the picture of a dead child.
While Hamas more or less admitted defeat by ending the protests earlier than expected because of the high price it was paying in terms of the lives of its own fighters, it can be said to have “won” the exchange with Israel because the image of Ghandour’s mother weeping over her child’s tiny body might be all that anyone will remember from this week’s bloodshed.
Like the death of Muhammad al-Dura — a 12-year-old boy who was caught in the crossfire during a Palestinian assault on an Israeli border outpost at the start of the Second Intifada in September 2000 — Ghandour is now an icon of Palestinian resistance. It didn’t matter that, as subsequent journalistic investigations proved, al-Dura’s death was caused by Palestinian fire. All that mattered was the iconic photo of the boy in his anguished father’s arms. The picture said nothing about the fact that the incident was caused by Palestinian terrorism, let alone who shot him. But it swayed more minds than reasoned arguments.
So in that sense, it doesn’t really matter whether the child was killed by tear gas (a Harvard University medical expert quoted in a New York Times story doubted it) or what bizarre set of circumstances brought the baby to the border. Nor does it stop left-wing Jews who purport to feel “shame” at the IDF’s efforts to prevent a rampaging mob from entering Israel to commit mayhem and murder from bashing the Jewish state because it didn’t rely solely on nonlethal methods of crowd control, like tear gas (which failed to stop Hamas operatives from trying to breach the border fence).
The fact that the supposedly peaceful demonstrators were hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails, and planting IED bombs and launching incendiaries, should have tipped off those criticizing the Israelis that they were being duped by Hamas. That the march’s avowed purpose was “return,” which signifies an attempt to wipe out the 70 years of history since Israel was born, also designates that the point of the effort was to reignite the conflict and eradicate Israel.
But whether or not you’re inclined to treat dead Hamas fighters as if they were innocents, there’s no arguing with dead babies.
As The New York Times noted, Ghandour was far from the only infant or child at the border Monday, May 14. Pressured by Hamas to turn out to advocate for the erasing of the last 70 years of history and dispossess the Jews, Palestinians brought their children to the border as if they were going to a family picnic. As we saw during previous armed conflicts with Israel, Palestinian factions routinely use humans as shields. The presence of civilians protects their fighters, as well as provides a bonus in the form of bad press for Israel if non-combatants are harmed.
While some Jews are ashamed that Israelis are prepared to use lethal force to defend their country, Hamas leaders feel no shame about putting Palestinian children in harm’s way. In their eyes, the goal of destroying the Jewish state is so important that no action is too depraved if it undermines Israel.
Hamas is correct about the effectiveness of these tactics, which are nothing less than acts of human sacrifice. In the face of such calamity, it’s hard for some seemingly fair-minded observers like the Times’ David Brooks to think clearly about Gaza. The situation is so egregious that they assume that no matter what Hamas does, they’ve come to believe it’s somehow Israel’s responsibility to prevent the Palestinians from purposing the deaths of these kids. Rather than analyze the conflict dispassionately, he and others simply damn both sides as extremists.
But while horror at the death of an infant is our understandable first reaction to this incident, it doesn’t absolve the world from calling out the barbarity of what the Palestinians are doing. A child’s life is not a prop in a public-relations scheme. Nor does the Palestinian willingness to sacrifice their children obligate Israel to allow Hamas a chance to kill Israeli children, as would happen if the IDF let the mobs at the border have their way.
It may be ironic, but the more bestial the tactics employed by the terrorists, the more likely the rest of the world is to engage in a false moral equivalence between Hamas and their intended Israeli victims. Though, as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley rightly noted, no other country in the world would act with as much restraint as Israel has done, the Palestinians’ dead-baby strategy seemed to have worked.
Jonathan S. Tobin is editor-in-chief of JNS — Jewish News Syndicate. Follow him at: @jonathans_tobin.

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A cornucopia of Memorial Day grilling ideas

Posted on 24 May 2018 by admin

By Tina Wasserman

Memorial Day. The unofficial start of summer, the last school holiday and the time to get out all the grilling recipes you wanted to try last year or did try and marked the recipe with “great.”
Grilling is no longer relegated to steak, hamburgers and hot dogs. If you look at a housewares catalog, you will find woks for the grill, vertical holders for roasting jalapeños, plates that have indentations to hold seafood or stands to insert a can of beer into a chicken cavity while it grills. And recently, while perusing goods in a store, I saw specialty sheets that go over the grill so no food falls through the cracks. I wonder if the food still has a smoky taste?
The following recipes will transform basic fare to fantastic, and you don’t need any special utensils other than a good spatula, tongs and some long skewers (preferably flattened, not round, and, if you can find them, nonstick). Enjoy and don’t forget the marshmallows.

Sate Manis

I have been making this recipe since I was a teenager when I fell in love with the taste of coriander. Unlike cilantro, which is the plant’s leaf, the seed has a warm, sweet flavor that adds a wonderful accent to a dish. Coupled with the caraway seed, this basic marinade takes on a greater dimension, which will impress. I promise.

4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons garlic powder or 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1½-2 pounds shoulder, chuck or rib-eye steak
1. Combine the first seven ingredients in a 2-quart glass bowl.
2. Cut the meat into 1½-inch cubes and place the cubes in the bowl with the marinade. Marinate at least 1 hour, or overnight.
3. Skewer the meat with any vegetables you desire (I recommend wedges of onion, green pepper, cherry tomatoes and mushroom caps).
4. Broil over hot coals for 10-15 minutes, or until meat is the desired color.
5. Serve with the accompanying sauce if you wish.

SAUCE SATE KATJANG

½ cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1½ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
Salt to taste

1. Combine water and lemon juice. Set aside.
2. Whisk peanut butter and slowly add the water mixture, 2 tablespoons at a time, until you get a smooth sauce consistency. NOTE: You will not use all of the lemon water.
3. Stir in the red pepper flakes and salt. Serve with Sate Manis.

Tina’s Tidbits —————————
• When creating a marinade, always include an acidic ingredient such as citrus juice, vinegar, wine or soy sauce. The acid tenderizes the meat.
• Beef can withstand longer marinating and often needs it to tenderize tougher sections.
• Beef and lamb can be marinated, covered, at room temperature for half the time called for in the refrigerator. I.e., 4-6 hours can be 2-3 sitting in a cool part of your kitchen (not near a window on a summer’s day).

Grilled Tofu Thai-Styled

Tofu provides a neutral platform for building rich flavors. Marinating adds flavor, and I find lightly piercing the thickly sliced tofu before marinating allows the flavors to permeate the interior of the tofu, creating a richer taste.

12 ounces extra-firm tofu
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Thai red or green curry paste
1 clove garlic, finely minced
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 or more tablespoons canned coconut milk

1. Remove the tofu from its package and rinse. Wrap in paper towel and place a large bowl or teapot over it for 20-40 minutes to press out excess moisture. Paper towels can be replaced if excessively wet.
2. While the tofu is being pressed, combine the next four ingredients in a 9-inch glass pie plate or other non-metal dish with sides. Set aside.
3. Slice the tofu lengthwise into ½-inch slices and pierce the surface with a toothpick. Place in the dish with the marinade and marinate for at least 30 minutes or longer.
4. Combine the peanut butter with enough coconut milk to make a smooth paste. Remove tofu to a plate and add any remaining marinade to the peanut mixture. Set aside.
5. Grill the tofu over medium high heat until golden brown on both sides, brushing each side with some of the peanut sauce. Do not let the tofu burn.
6. Serve as steaks or cubed over a salad or rice with any remaining sauce.
Serves 2-4 for an entrée or salad.

Tina’s Tidbits —————————
• Because tofu is a plant protein, it is safe to add the used marinade to the peanut sauce for basting and dressing later. Never reuse a marinade from chicken or fish without boiling it first or you could get sick.
• Grilled tofu can be refrigerated and then added to a salad or even a sandwich for a high-protein, low-fat alternative to steak or chicken.

Grilled Chicken with Spices

Sometimes you want your chicken to be flavorful but not smothered in a sauce. This recipe is the perfect answer to your wish, and it is fast to prepare and fast to cook.

1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon coriander seed, crushed
1 tablespoon black peppercorn, crushed
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large clove of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1-1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1. Combine all of the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
2. Remove the fillets (if present) from the breast. If the white membrane is present in the fillet, remove it using the technique listed below. Rinse the chicken breasts and pat dry. If necessary, lightly pound the breast to make the thickness of the meat uniform.
3. Rub the chicken breasts with some of the spice rub to coat well. Cover and keep at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to marinate. If marinating for several hours, keep food in the refrigerator but bring to room temperature before grilling.
4. Grill the chicken breasts for 3 minutes per side, or until firm but springy to the touch.

Tina’s Tidbits —————————
• If a chicken breast looks very thick at the wide end, the fillet or chicken tender is probably attached. Look for a white satiny strand through the meat. Gently pull the fillet out of its membrane sac. Hold on to the tip of the white membrane while you slide a knife’s edge on a 45-degree angle along the membrane beneath the meat and gently tug the membrane free. This prevents the fillet from curling up when grilled.
• Rule of thumb is to estimate 10 minutes per inch thickness for grilling chicken, fish and beef. Since boneless chicken breasts are generally ¾ of an inch, you can estimate 6-7 minutes total time for cooking. The same is true when you are pan-frying.
• Chicken may be cut into cubes before marinating and then skewered with vegetables.

Grilled Swordfish with Papaya-Pineapple Salsa

Many years ago, swordfish was declared kosher by the Masorti rabbinate because the fish had scales in its embryonic stage. If you don’t want to use this fish, tuna, salmon or any thick fish fillet will do just fine. Just be careful if you grill tuna. It can go from moist to “Chicken of the Sea” in a nanosecond.

1½ pounds swordfish steaks, cut ¾-inch thick
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon minced fresh Mexican Mint Marigold (or tarragon)
1 ripe papaya, peeled and de-seeded
½ medium pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into irregular chunks
1 tablespoon minced fresh Mexican Mint Marigold
Lime juice to taste
1. Marinate the swordfish in the oil, lime juice, coriander and mint marigold for 15-30 minutes.
2. Prepare the salsa by placing the papaya meat in a processor work bowl with the pineapple. Pulse on and off 10 times or until mixture looks slightly coarse. Don’t over-process, or you will have soup. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Mince the Mint Marigold so that the herb is small but of uniform size. Stir into the papaya mixture. Add a little lime juice to taste and refrigerate until ready to use.
4. Heat a grill and cook the swordfish for 3-4 minutes on each side until tender but not overdone.
5. Serve the fish with some of the salsa draped over the fish and pass the rest.

Tina’s Tidbits —————————
• Never marinate fish for more than 30 minutes, or you will wind up “cooking” the fish in the acidic marinade.

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Pancreatic Cancer Prevention Program at UTSW important resource for Jews

Pancreatic Cancer Prevention Program at UTSW important resource for Jews

Posted on 24 May 2018 by admin

Photos: UTSW
Dr. Theo Ross in her UTSW lab. An oncologist, she wrote the book, A Cancer in the Family.

By Sharon Wisch-Ray

UT Southwestern’s Pancreatic Cancer Prevention Program wants to do for pancreatic cancer what colonoscopies did for colon cancer: Catch it before it’s too late. This multi-disciplinary team of gastroenterologists, radiologists, surgical oncologists and geneticists want to help people who are at high risk for the disease. This is of particular interest to the Jewish community, which has a higher incidence of pancreatic cancer than the general population.
The background
It is widely known that people who carry mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have a higher risk of breast and ovarian cancers. In fact, 1 in 40 Ashkenazi Jews, both men and women, carries a BRCA gene mutation — more than 10 times the rate of the general population, according to the National Cancer Institute (cancer.gov) and Sharsheret (sharsheret.org).
However, what is not common knowledge in the Jewish community are the other cancers influenced by BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. Among them is pancreatic cancer. Rare, but particularly deadly, pancreatic cancer represents only 2 percent of all cancers. Yet, it is responsible for 40 percent of all cancer deaths, according to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, making it the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths each year.
What makes it so difficult to treat is that people often do not feel symptoms of the disease until it is advanced and aggressive.
According to the National Cancer Institute, “Pancreatic cancer is difficult to detect and diagnose for the following reasons:
• There aren’t noticeable signs or symptoms in the early stages of pancreatic cancer.
• The signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer, when present, are like the signs and symptoms of many other illnesses.
• The pancreas is hidden behind other organs such as the stomach, small intestine, liver, gallbladder, spleen, and bile ducts.”
While having a BRCA1 mutation raises your risk of pancreatic cancer by only about a couple of percentage points (to 1-2 percent), a BRCA2 mutation can increase that lifetime risk to 5-10 percent for people who have the mutation, explained Dr. Theo Ross, a professor of Internal Medicine and the director of the Cancer Genetics Program in the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Care Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She is a member of the program’s multidisciplinary team as well.
Ross explained that in addition to the BRCA mutation, family history is key. “If you have a first-degree relative with pancreatic cancer or two others with pancreatic cancer, such as a cousin… you have a familial risk.” These are the folks who could be screened in the Pancreatic Cancer Prevention Clinic for precancerous cysts and followed closely thereafter.
Time to get tested
Ross stresses the importance of genetic testing for all members of the Jewish community. “The number of people that have a BRCA mutation and know they have a mutation is a small percentage,” she said. “Maybe 15 percent of people with the mutation know about their mutation. If they don’t know, they don’t know about the pancreatic cancer risk.” Ross encouraged people to get tested even if it’s with one of the at-home tests to start. One such test is available at Color.com. Color’s BRCA Test sells for $99. The test can be ordered by your private physician or an independent physician belonging to an external network. The company sends you a saliva collection kit and prepaid return label for you to send your sample back in. Ross says the test is solid. However, it’s important to review your results with a genetic counselor. And, she says, just because you test negative for BRCA1 or BRCA2 doesn’t mean you are in the clear. There are many genes that influence hereditary cancer syndromes. If you see patterns in your family, even if you test negative for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, it’s important to discuss your family history with a genetic counselor.
She became interested in genetics when she was in medical school and started putting two and two together: The number of people in her family who had cancer was alarming. Still, it took years for Ross to ultimately discover she is a carrier of the BRCA1 mutation herself. She discovered this only after she survived melanoma, one of the many cancers enabled by the BRCA mutations. She tells her story in her 2016 book A Cancer in the Family: Take Control of Your Genetic Inheritance. The book, which is now available in paperback on Amazon and from other resellers, is a resource guide for everyone and anyone who is concerned about their cancer risk. Despite the technical topic, it is easy to read.
The program
UT Southwestern’s Pancreatic Cancer Prevention Program was launched in 2016. Dr. Nisa Kubiliun, the director of the program, believes it is poised to make a difference in the lives of those who are at high risk for pancreatic cancer. “Back in the day, nobody realized that pancreatic cysts were a significant cause of pancreatic cancer. They were largely ignored,” she explained. Over time, pancreatic cysts can evolve into tumors.
“When we started, we thought there were people who had pancreatic cysts and needed to be monitored,” she said. Kubiliun said that watching the progression of precursors to pancreatic cancer is a relatively new process. She believes that pancreatic cancer probably develops over the course of many years, but people have only been watching cysts recently.
“Our greatest opportunity is to prevent pancreatic cancer in the first place,” she says. By monitoring changes in the pancreas over time, surgeons can remove a cyst or precursor lesions of the pancreas that look troublesome before they actually turn into cancer.
Kubiliun says the program is growing rapidly, much under the auspices of its benefactor Jewish community member Nancy Wiener Marcus.
“I met Nancy shortly after we launched the program. From the minute I met her she’s been a force for really catapulting the program into the next stratosphere. She’s gone to incredible lengths to get the word out to the community. Her energy, her passion and her desire are inspiring.”
Currently the program is seeing about 20 new patients per week. Kubiliun explains what a good candidate for the program is: anybody with a strong family history of cancer; anybody with a history of pancreatic cancer or cysts of the pancreas; and anyone with a known genetic mutation.
A referral from a physician is not necessary. “They can simply go to our website (https://utswmed.org/conditions-treatments/pancreatic-cancer-prevention/) or call (214-645-8300) and say, “I need to be seen, can I be evaluated?” Kubiliun said they have never turned an individual away. “There is no downside for reaching out and asking us to take a look at your medical history,” she says.
One such person who joined the program is glad she did. Suzanne Calibretti, who is BRCA positive, was being screened with MRIs when the team noticed a change in her pancreas over time. “She was at the step right before it becoming cancer,” said Dr. Kubiliun. “Had she not had that operation, had she not had that pretumor removed, it would have been a completely different ball game. I can’t emphasize enough the greatest opportunity is to prevent pancreatic cancer in the first place.”
The mensch
If you’ve ever met Nancy Wiener Marcus, then you know she has a heart of gold. About five years ago, Marcus wanted to do something important for her 70th birthday. “I wanted to give some money toward something to help and I wanted it to go toward pancreatic cancer.” Initially, Marcus gave an endowment in honor of her own UTSW gastroenterologist Dr. Mack Mitchell for a fellowship. “That way it could go toward learning about the pancreas and other GI problems,” she explained.
However, Marcus felt the urge to do more and later was introduced to Dr. Kubiliun over lunch one day.
“What do you need?” Marcus said she asked Kubiliun. “It was pulling at me. I needed to do something else. You have to be doing something to make this world a better place.”
Initially, Marcus was going to provide $5,000 for a freezer for storing cells. “By the time I got home, I’d decided I’d start a fund of about $100,000 to get this thing (the Pancreatic Cancer Prevention Program) going.
Marcus is passionate about getting the word out about the program. “My goal is to bring awareness and knowledge to our community. Most doctors don’t know this program even exists. And the Jewish community members don’t know that if they have a mother or aunt who had pancreatic cancer, they can go get tested and see where they are on the spectrum, so they can be followed and detect and do something before it gets into full-stage pancreatic cancer.”
Marcus hopes to bring an education program to the Jewish community in November during Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.
“I keep asking myself, what else can I, Nancy, in my own little way be doing to bring about awareness and knowledge to our community so we can arrest the rapid growth of this disease?”
Marcus emphasized that being able to give the money has been a blessing, but if people don’t know about the program, “What’s the point? We need people to get people to take care of themselves and their family.”
A case in point
Many in the Dallas Jewish community know about Jamie Lambert, now 48. The TJP covered her story in November 2016, 16 months after her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and her Team Jamie Facebook page has about 750 followers.
“The cancer diagnosis in July 2015 was not the first health scare. In July 2014, her gallbladder was taken out and she was discovered to have pancreatitis. She never really recovered.
“She went to the doctor a year later, worried when her body started turning yellow. An ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) found something, and led to a biopsy.
“‘(The doctor) comes in the room, and he says, ‘You have pancreatic cancer,’ Lambert said. It was adenocarcinoma. ‘And he walked out of the room. We knew you don’t live when you have pancreatic cancer.’
“She found an oncologist she liked, Dr. Michael Savin at Medical City, who later closed his office in March and moved to Portland. Savin didn’t have good news.
“‘I was given six months, 12 months to live,’ Lambert said.
“Her stage 3 cancer was too far along for a Whipple surgery, a common method for dealing with pancreatic cancers. But it’s hard to find the disease in time. It was a devastating blow.”
The UTSW Pancreatic Cancer Prevention Program didn’t exist when Jamie was diagnosed. And in fact, a virtual expert on pancreatic cancer today — as many people become when they are afflicted with a dangerous disease — she didn’t know about the program until the TJP shared it with one of her sisters.
Lambert would have met the criteria to be followed, having had pancreatitis and a mother and grandmother that had breast cancer. Interestingly, neither she nor her sisters tested positive for BRCA mutations; however, as Dr. Ross stated earlier, those are not the only mutant genes responsible and testing genes like PALB2 for mutations is key.
Dr. Kubiliun explains that when someone develops pancreatic cancer so young, at age 45, and has a positive family history of cancer, it’s even more important that her first degree blood relatives are followed by a program like the one at UT Southwestern. Now that they know about it, those wheels are set in motion.
In the meantime, Lambert, who has been living with pancreatic cancer for about three years, is going about living her life with her husband Kevin and their three children. “I take care of my kids, pick them up from school, exercise and try and connect with other people who are going through what I am going through.” Jamie, who undergoes chemotherapy twice a month, lives every day to its fullest. “Life’s too short not to,” she says.

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A friendship like any other — surprisingly

A friendship like any other — surprisingly

Posted on 24 May 2018 by admin

Photo: Submitted by JFGD
In Morocco, NYLC members, from left, Dan Zale, Jarrod Beck, Ophir Laizerovich, Sharron Laizerovich, Steven Davidoff, Jonathan Rubenstein, Paul Rubin and Eric Axel

By Jonathan Rubenstein

Sarah is in the 11th grade. She was born and raised in Casablanca, Morocco, and when she finishes high school, she wants to move to France so she can study medicine and eventually become a doctor.
Brenda also was born and raised in Casablanca, and she, too, is in the 11th grade. After high school, Brenda wants to leave Morocco and move to New York City to continue her studies.
Sarah and Brenda are the best of friends. They have played together since they were very young. They have grown up together. And now they study alongside each other at the Lycée Maimonide in Casablanca.
On the surface, the story of Sarah and Brenda seems rather ordinary. We see stories about children growing up together and sharing formative experiences with each other many, many times over in Dallas and throughout the United States. But the story of Sarah and Brenda is anything but ordinary.
Sarah is a Muslim. Brenda is Jewish.
Along with 130 friends and colleagues from the Jewish Federations of North America’s National Young Leadership Cabinet — including eight of us representing Dallas — I recently had the opportunity to meet Sarah and Brenda in Casablanca, during our Cabinet trip to Morocco and Madrid. Each year, Cabinet takes a trip abroad so we can see firsthand the impact of Federation’s overseas dollars through the JDC and Jewish Agency.
This year’s trip was a fascinating contrast between two Jewish communities on different trajectories. In 1492, the Jews were expelled from Spain and, for centuries thereafter, there were zero Jews in the entire country. Jewish life is being revived in Spain, though. There are now approximately 50,000 Jews in Spain, and the communities are thriving. The Moroccan Jewish community, partially because of the Jews’ expulsion from Spain, numbered approximately 300,000 at its peak. But once Israel became a state, many people left, leaving only 3,500 Jews in Morocco today.
During our trip, we had tremendous access to politicians and public figures. For example, Cabinet members met with one of Morocco’s foreign ministers in a regal setting near the Royal Palace to discuss Morocco’s relationship with Jews and Israel. We also met with a representative of the U.S. Embassy in Morocco to discuss the historical relationship between the United States and Morocco. Interestingly, Morocco was the first country in the world to recognize the United States as an independent nation. And while in Madrid, we had a private meeting with Cardinal Carlos Osoro Sierra to discuss the shared history and values of Jews and Catholics.
Back in Casablanca, Sarah and Brenda joined us for lunch one day at the SOC Club — the only Jewish social and sports club in Morocco. It was at this lunch, and in particular during the panel on which Sarah and Brenda spoke, that we learned about Morocco’s inspiring religious tolerance.
On the panel with Sarah and Brenda were two of their teachers from the Lycée Maimonide — a school funded in part by our Federation dollars. The school is a Jewish high school, with both Jewish and Muslim students. Historically, Jewish students composed 80 percent of the student body. Now, as the Moroccan Jewish community ages, the population is 80 percent Muslim and 20 percent Jewish.
Our group was excited to hear about their experiences in this unique Jewish high school with such significant religious diversity. The first question came from the panel: “Tell us about some of the challenges you face in the school with respect to the mixed religions.” One of the teachers responded, “There are no challenges.” The other teacher followed suit, “I agree — the same answer as her.”
The room was silent. The answers were not what we expected. We expected to hear a discussion about tensions that exist between Jewish and Muslim students — much like what we are accustomed to hearing on the news.
Surely the next question would spark some discussion, we thought. The moderator asked the students, “Tell us what makes this school exceptional.” Brenda responded, “Nothing really.” Sarah said, “It’s really just like any other school.”
More silence filled the room. It was that uncomfortable, awkward feeling when a live event does not unfold as planned, leaving a lot of dead air to fill. People in the audience were expecting to hear a good story showcasing this Federation-funded school as an example of an exceptional accomplishment in religious pluralism.
And then it hit us. The story was that there was nothing exceptional about a Jewish school in a Muslim country with a predominantly Muslim student body. It was just a school. With kids. Who have friends. They do not see the world divided up by religious lines. These kids just see people for who they are.
And they live in a country that fosters this kind of thinking. Less than a decade ago, King Mohammed VI amended Morocco’s constitution to add language specifically recognizing the Jewish people as an important part of the country’s history and culture. Something unique from a predominantly-Muslim country. This same king, while driving through the streets of Marrakech’s Jewish quarter several years ago, noticed that many of the street signs, which used to bear Jewish names and Hebrew script, had been changed to Arabic names and script. The king ordered that they all be changed back. Morocco’s commitment to preserving Jewish culture and promoting a peaceful coexistence with Muslims is remarkable. And the Lycée Maimonide is a byproduct of that.
The line from our lunch panel that really captured the moment came from Sarah. She said about Brenda, “We have been very close friends since elementary school, and I hope that we can be very close friends for the rest of our lives.”
This small example of religious coexistence can speak to people and communities across the world. There are millions of Sarahs and Brendas out there. If tikkun olam happens one step at a time, this is a great place to start.
Jonathan Rubenstein is a Dallas attorney and member of the Jewish Federations of North America National Young Leadership Cabinet. He participated in the NYLC trip to Spain and Morocco recently.

 

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Double your shopping at The Resale Shop 2

Double your shopping at The Resale Shop 2

Posted on 16 May 2018 by admin

Photo: Jamie Denison/Jewish Family Service
“We want the shopping experience to be a great one, and it’s just that,” said Laurie McCarty (front, far left), who oversees JFS’ The Resale Shop stores, at the Garland store’s ribbon cutting. “I’m proud of what we’re able to do and the more stores we have, the more we can assist.”

By Deb Silverthorn

It doesn’t get much better than shopping and supporting a great cause, and Dallas’ Jewish Family Service has made that easier by opening the second outlet of The Resale Shop.
Shoppers can now fill their baskets with items to fit every budget at the new Garland location, 3338 Broadway Blvd. The new store and the Richardson shop at 2120 E. Beltline Road, which recently celebrated five years, are open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
“People want to know how they can help, never if,” said JFS’ Chief Operating Officer Cathy Barker. “We’ve received wonderful donations, and the community-at-large is shopping with dollars spent making a difference — many differences for our clients.”
“Five years ago, we had no idea we would be where we are today. We thought the store could bring in some additional funds to support the agency, but it’s so much more,” Barker said at the Garland ribbon cutting last month. “It’s a place to volunteer and give back, a place to work and make lifelong friends, and it’s a place to give back and help others.”
With Hurricane Harvey came countless volunteers, many donating clothing and furnishings to the victims. Even with the crisis’ monstrosity, more items came in than could be used, and pod after pod was filled at JFS. A place was needed for all that couldn’t be shared. That place became JFS’ second 6,000-square-foot store.
One who led the donations, and who is still serving, was Carlos Lopez, who with Mike Lewis owns Mañana Management Company, Inc., which buys furniture from companies that are moving or closing. Lopez put his network into action, collecting dozens of trailers of beds and tables, chairs, sofas and more from across the country. “Everyone wanted to help, and it’s not over yet,” he said. “It’s a long way from over.”
While the immediate need is new or gently used summer clothing for women and children, household goods, men’s clothing, shoes, books, jewelry, accessories, housewares, collectibles and furniture also are appreciated.
Donations, preferred off the hangers and folded, are accepted 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday at the stores; 1-5 p.m. Monday-Friday at JFS; and anytime at a marked bin in the north parking lot at the Aaron Family JCC. Arrangements can be made for large furniture items (no appliances), or for those unable to get to the stores who are within 25 miles of the stores.
It’s recommended that people go through their things before delivery to be certain personal items don’t also get “donated.” While on occasion a few dollars have been left behind, last December a staffer found $17,050 in a coat. Research turned up the widow of the coat’s owner, a relief to management and an opportunity to remind donors to check, and check again, before dropping off.
The Resale Shops provide clothing and shoes, wardrobes for job interviews for those working with JFS’ job assistance and those in other forms of crisis. “It doesn’t matter how much money you have, when there’s a crisis — a fire, flood, or other tragedy — people are in need and we now have a way to share,” said Laurie McCarty, who based at the Richardson store, oversees all with Kristina Russell, the store manager in Garland.
“We want the shopping experience to be a great one and it’s just that,” said McCarty, who worked with Goodwill Industries for 20 years. “I came to work for The Resale Shop because I appreciate what it stands for, what JFS does for our seniors, CHAI residents, and for anyone who needs help. I love and am proud of what we’re able to do, and the more stores we have, the more we can assist.”
The stores are manned by volunteers and a combined staff of nearly 20, two of whom are residents of CHAI (Community Homes for Adults, Inc.).
“For many, having a job and learning and earning and realizing one’s self-worth is a big part of having a meaningful life which is what we strive to provide for our residents and clients. When JFS received a grant to partner with us, we were able to put into place the practices that we work toward in providing resume support and job coaching,” said CHAI Chief Executive Officer Lisa Brodsky. “Devon and Josh are just two of our greats who work hard and know they are appreciated. That’s what we all want and our partnership with JFS is very special.”
For more information about the stores, visit jfsdallas.org/resale or email resale@JFSdallas.org.

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