Archive | September, 2018

This French toast recipe doesn’t loaf around

This French toast recipe doesn’t loaf around

Posted on 26 September 2018 by admin

Photo: Kate Sears
Babka French Toast

By Kim Kushner

(The Nosher via JTA) – This is one of those recipes that sounds super complicated but is actually so simple. Using store-bought babka will make this Babka French Toast Loaf as easy as 1-2-3, but if you happen to bake your own babka, definitely use it.
Instead of serving the babka slices arranged on a serving platter, I transfer the slices into a loaf pan and line them up in a row, so they go back to forming the original “loaf shape.” When you serve the “loaf,” your guests will be pleasantly surprised to see that it is in fact already sliced into crispy, thick slices of toasty, chewy babka French toast.
Make-ahead tip: Babka French Toast Loaf may be prepared up to two days in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. If preparing ahead of time, do not bake in the oven before refrigerating (skip the last step in the recipe).
Can I freeze it? Babka French Toast Loaf may be stored in the freezer for up to one month. If preparing ahead of time, do not bake in the oven before freezing (skip the last step in the recipe).
How to reheat: Babka French Toast Loaf may be reheated, uncovered, in a 400 F. oven for 10 minutes just before serving. The frozen loaf may be thawed in the fridge overnight and reheated as indicated in the recipe above.
Reprinted from I Kosher: Beautiful Recipes from My Kitchen, with permission from Weldon Owen Publishing.
Babka French Toast Loaf
¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
1 babka loaf or cinnamon loaf, about 15 ounces
3 large eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or seeds from 1 vanilla bean
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 300 F. Grease a loaf pan with butter and set aside. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Use a large chef’s knife to cut the babka into slices 1 inch thick. Lay out the slices on the prepared baking sheet and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Dip the babka slices, one slice at a time, in the egg mixture. Coat both sides for about 30 seconds or so, allowing the babka slice to absorb some of the egg mixture without getting too soggy or falling apart. Repeat with all of the slices, placing them back on the parchment-lined baking sheet while you finish.
4. In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, add two slices of babka and fry, turning once, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Be careful that the heat isn’t too high to avoid burning the babka slices. Transfer the browned slices to your prepared loaf pan, lining up the slices to re-create the original loaf shape. Continue heating 1 tablespoon of butter at a time in a pan and browning the babka slices in batches, two slices at a time, and transferring them to the loaf pan. Use all of the French toast slices to fill the loaf pan.
5. If serving right away, place the loaf pan in the oven, uncovered, for 5-7 minutes longer. This will heat up all the slices to the same temperature and make them nice and toasty. Serves 8-10.
Kim Kushner’s third book, “I ♥ Kosher: Beautiful Recipes from My Kitchen” (Weldon Owen), will be released in November. She has two previous best-selling books, “The New Kosher” (Weldon Owen) and “The Modern Menu,” (Gefen Publishing). She has appeared on “The Today Show” and been featured in The New York Times, Saveur, The Huffington Post and the Chicago Tribune, among others.
The Nosher food blog offers a dazzling array of new and classic Jewish recipes and food news, from Europe to Yemen, from challah to shakshuka and beyond. Check it out at www.TheNosher.com.

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The Ultimate Stuffed Cabbage Hack

The Ultimate Stuffed Cabbage Hack

Posted on 26 September 2018 by admin

Photo: Chaya Rappoport
Stuffed Cabbage Noodles

By Chaya Rappoport

(The Nosher via JTA) – My mother’s stuffed cabbage is one of my favorite dishes. She makes it with ground beef and rice, and simmers the stuffed cabbage leaves in a rich, savory tomato sauce. I could eat trays of it.
My late grandmother used to make a vegetarian version that included rice, mushrooms and barley. The sauce was sweeter than my mother’s, leaning a little more to the Polish side of tradition, where sweet foods are more prevalent. I could also eat trays of her stuffed cabbage, and I savored the scent of her cooking it up on special days before Sukkot and Simchat Torah.
There are countless delicious ways to make stuffed cabbage, with influences ranging from Eastern Europe to Asia, but all of them are undoubtedly a patchke (a bit of work). The leaves need to be boiled or frozen to become pliable enough for stuffing and wrapping, and the process from start to finish can take a good couple of hours.
It wasn’t until Sukkot of last year when I helped one of my aunts make kraut lokshen, or cabbage noodles, an Ashkenazi cabbage dish made of sautéed cabbage and egg noodles, that I thought of making unstuffed cabbage. Inspired by my aunt’s simple but delicious dish, I realized that instead of stuffing each cabbage leaf separately, I could cook everything together in one big pot, eliminating most of the work but none of the taste.
These unstuffed cabbage noodles combine the best elements of each dish — the cabbage and egg noodles from kraut lokshen, the meat and tomato sauce from stuffed cabbage — for a dish that’s hearty, savory and delicious. Smoky, salty beef bacon adds a layer of savory flavor to the dish, a tablespoon of sugar perks up the tomato sauce and the flavorful sauce is simmered and thickened before being combined with the noodles.
These noodles could never replace stuffed cabbage; what could? But this dish is an easy, tasty twist on tradition for when you don’t have hours to spend stuffing little bundles. Serve them on a chilly fall night, in a cozy sukkah or simply when you need a comforting dinner.

Unstuffed Cabbage Noodles

8 ounces beef bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 medium cabbage, core removed and chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 dried bay leaves
12 ounces uncooked egg noodles
Salt and pepper, to taste
Dried or fresh parsley, for garnish
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, fry the chopped “bacon” until crisp and browned. Remove and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
2. Add the onion, garlic and chopped cabbage to the same skillet with the bacon fat and cook for 7-10 minutes on medium heat, until the onion is lightly browned and softened and the cabbage is wilting. Transfer the mixture and set aside.
3. Turn heat up to high and add the ground beef to the skillet. Cook, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon as you go, until browned.
4. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, crushed red pepper flakes and bay leaves to the skillet. Stir to combine with the beef, cabbage and onion.
5. Add the beef bacon back to the pan, bring to a simmer, then turn down to medium so it bubbles gently. Cook for 10 minutes uncovered, then simmer for another 10-15 minutes, covered. Remove the bay leaves.
6. Meanwhile, cook the egg noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Taste the beef and cabbage mixture, and season with salt and pepper as desired.
7. Combine the beef and cabbage sauce with the noodles. Garnish with parsley. Serves 6.
Chaya Rappoport is the blogger, baker and picture taker behind retrolillies.wordpress.com. Currently a pastry sous chef at a Brooklyn bakery, she’s been blogging since 2012 and her work has been featured on The Feed Feed, Delish.com, Food and Wine, and Conde Nast Traveler.
The Nosher food blog offers a dazzling array of new and classic Jewish recipes and food news, from Europe to Yemen, from challah to shakshuka and beyond. Check it out at www.TheNosher.com.

 

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Dallas Doings: Waldman, Breast Cancer, JWV

Dallas Doings: Waldman, Breast Cancer, JWV

Posted on 26 September 2018 by admin

Compiled By Sharon Wisch-Ray

Waldman receives award for corporate citizenship

IMA Texas President Steve Waldman recently was recognized by D CEO Magazine’s Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship Awards for Leadership Excellence. The inaugural award received more than 300 nominations and recognized winners in 11 different categories.
“Our community can benefit from strong leaders, and I want to pay it forward,” Waldman said. “I think we are sent here for a purpose and that we all have an obligation to make the world a better place.”
Waldman was recognized by the publication for his many community efforts, including his work helping raise more than $70 million for a capital campaign benefiting the Dallas Holocaust Museum Center for Education and Tolerance. With an estimated 900 hours of volunteer leadership, Waldman’s support to the museum will help the organization double its annual visitor attendance and mission impact.
Waldman has also given his time to the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center, Texas Friends of Rabin Medical Center, Congregation Shearith Israel and the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas. He has also participated with the Lone Star Chapter of the National MS Society.
At IMA of Dallas, which employs nearly 100 associates locally, he’s made community involvement part of the company’s DNA, exemplified most recently when 584 service hours were donated to the Dallas Zoo.
“I’m honored to be an inaugural recipient of D CEO Magazine’s Corporate Citizenship Awards,” Waldman said. “I would encourage everyone to find a cause they believe in and volunteer.”

Breast Cancer Awareness Program

Temple Emanu-El will host a program on screening, prevention and the early detection of breast cancer, at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 3 at the synagogue, 8500 Hillcrest Road in Dallas.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the event is free and open to the public.
Panelists for “Breast Cancer Awareness: What Everyone Needs to Know,” are Dr. Archana Ganaraj (breast surgeon, Texas Breast Specialists, Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas), Stacy “Sam” Utay (board-certified genetic counselor specializing in cancer genetics at Medical City Dallas), Dr. Joanne L. Blum (breast oncologist and head of the hereditary cancer program at Baylor, Scott & White Hospital), and Meredith Grossfeld (patient).
For information, contact Celia Saunders at celiasaunders18@gmail.com

Photo: Paul Licker
From left, Jewish War Veterans Post 256 Senior Vice Commander Jim Walsh, Leon Rubenstein and JWV Commander Steve Krant during an event at which Rubenstein was presented with a Distinguished Medal of Merit for his fund-raising efforts on Sept. 23.

JWV Update

World War II Navy veteran Leon Rubenstein, a longtime member of the Dr. Harvey J. Bloom Post 256 of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA, was presented with a Distinguished Medal of Merit medallion and a certificate for his extraordinary fund-raising efforts benefiting Dallas-area hospitalized and homeless veterans.
The Sept. 23 ceremony, conducted by Commander Steve Krant, took place during the post’s monthly “Bagels & Lox” breakfast meeting at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center.
Rubenstein, who saw action aboard a Navy destroyer in the Pacific, and two other World War II veteran Post 256 members were recognized by Dallas Jewish Film Festival hosts during the Sept. 15 screening of “GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II.”
Also recognized were Maury Schermann, a veteran of the Army Air Corps, and former Air Force Captain Dick Lethe, a fighter pilot during the Korean conflict.
The audience gave the trio a round of appreciative applause.
The post was a community partner for the screening.

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Around the Town: Jewish Person of the Year, Sukkah Project

Around the Town: Jewish Person of the Year, Sukkah Project

Posted on 26 September 2018 by admin

Compiled By Sharon Wisch-Ray

Jewish Person of the Year dinner is Oct. 21

Plans are under way for the B’nai B’rith Isadore Garsek Lodge Jewish Person of the Year Award dinner. This year’s celebration will be held, from 6:30-9 p.m., Sunday Oct. 21 at Congregation Ahavath Sholom, 4050 S. Hulen Street.
Cost for dinner is $25 per person and tickets can be purchased from Rich Hollander, rich.d.hollander@gmail.net, 817-909-4353; Alex Nason, alexnason@charter.net; or Marvin Beleck, beleckmarvin@aol.com.
This year’s dinner is kosher. Wine and beer will be provided with ticket purchase.
Entertaining this year are The Vinyl Stripes, which plays rockabilly and music of the ’50s and ‘’60s.
Send nominations for Jewish Person of the Year to Isadore Garsek Lodge, 4420 W. Vickery Blvd., Fort Worth, TX 76107.

Photo: Sharon Wisch-Ray
Angie Friedman serenaded an interpretive dancer (not pictured) as they went from sukkah to sukkah at the Sukkah Project at the Museum for Biblical Art Sunday.

 

News and Notes

Spotted at the Sukkah Project in Dallas Sunday were Marla and Foster Owens, Jan Ayers Friedman and Angie Berlin Friedman. Angie completed a sukkah hop as she went from sukkah to sukkah while serenading an interpretive dancer.

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Historic sites continue legacy of Jewish pioneers

Posted on 26 September 2018 by admin

Coming off the wonderful new comfortable seats in Temple Shalom’s main sanctuary after a day of Yom Kippur worship service with two great rabbis, cantor and choir, I thought of just how blessed we Dallas Jews are in so many ways.
And not just at Shalom, but the other welcoming synagogues we have available to us in the Dallas area.
But it wasn’t always this way. Let’s not forget those Jews who first came west, the true pioneers. They are part of our heritage.
Two events, one in Eastern Europe, pogroms and persecution, where Jews worked the land that they could never own, and the second, beginning in 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act into law, promising free land to those willing to work for it.
Thousands of Eastern European Jews joined America’s westward movement, especially after the Civil War had ended.
Under the Homestead Act, they had five years to clear and cultivate 160 acres to establish a homestead, earning it free and clear.
The Native Americans who had originally been given these lands by treaty were never consulted.
While the original structures built by these Jewish pioneers on the prairie have long disappeared, there are some historic sites worth a Jewish heritage visit.
Here are just a few.
In Boise, Idaho, stands the oldest shul west of the Mississippi that is still in use. Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel, a Reform synagogue that started with 25 families in 1896, now has 200 members in the state’s largest city.
A Jewish cemetery near Ashley, North Dakota, is the final resting place for Russian and Romanian Jews who struggled on their farms, yearning to own their land.
The Ashley Cemetery, created in 1913, is the only evidence of what was once the largest settlement of Jewish farmers in Montana, North Dakota or South Dakota.
The cemetery is perpetually cared for by both descendants of those buried and citizens of nearby Ashley hired to help maintain the burial grounds.
Finally, I recommend you visit The Sons of Jacob Cemetery first established in 1883 by the Garske Colony in North Dakota.
You can easily “visit” by computer by Googling Sons of Jacob Cemetery near Devils Lake, North Dakota.
This website is full of interesting stories recalled by descendants.
In all the stories told, reflecting the experiences of those Jewish pioneers, what comes through more than anything else is that despite all the hardships and disappointments these Jewish pioneers on the prairie experienced, their steadfast belief in their Jewish faith gave them the confidence they needed to persevere.
We should never forget those who came before us.

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Wondering why fewer choose medical careers

Posted on 26 September 2018 by admin

I’ve just read a provocative article by syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, who isn’t carried by any local papers in our area. (I’m always so grateful to far-away folks who keep me informed about things I might totally miss otherwise.) This recent column is titled “The Doctor Is (Not) In,” and bears an alarming subtitle: “Too few young people are going into medicine.”
A small number of my own doctors today are Jewish. I didn’t pick them because of that; it just happens that they are specialists on my current health plan. But Jewish doctors were a staple of my life until I married and moved away from my hometown. I think that was because my father was a doctor, and whatever I needed was always taken care of by one of his friends. I wonder now if medicine was a second career choice for some of them, as it was for my dad.
He wanted to be an engineer, and his first professional degree was in architectural engineering. But after graduation, he learned rather quickly that Jews were not welcome in that field; in those days, prospective employers asked prospective employees their religion, and Judaism was not on the approved list. I guess that wasn’t quite as blatant as “No Irish Need Apply,” but it was just as effective for exclusion. My father actually got a job with a company that just plain forgot to ask; however, when someone remembered and posed the question, he wouldn’t lie, and that was the end of his engineering career. “The only security for a Jew is to be his own boss.” That’s what he said at the time, and in order to do that, he returned to school and became a physician.
(That silent ban on Jews being hired as engineers continued for many, many years. When I was a college student in the mid-‘50s, we used to call accounting and business administration “Jewish engineering.” We were laughing about it then, but it wasn’t a joke…)
My father’s medical specialty became diagnostics – the closest thing in his second field to his chosen first, because he could study the body the way he would study a blueprint to figure out how all the parts fit and should work together. Then he was able to diagnose many illnesses that other doctors could not, and became known in his medical community for that elusive skill. But he was also known as the only doctor who – in those precious few moments between patients – would be reading Architectural Digest, the magazine that to this day deals with how individual building parts fit together rather than unitized structures.
In Russia, when women were the medical majority, it made medicine something of a second-class profession. In the U.S., women weren’t welcomed into it for many years; they were like Jews who wanted to be engineers. To this day, I am friends with the one woman in my college class who went to medical school; she never told anyone – not even her own mother – that she had applied until after she was accepted.
She is now retired after a long, successful career in child psychiatry, an “OK” field for a woman. Not Jewish herself, she has followed those in her class who were; one of the best left medicine to become president of a prestigious university whose specialty is engineering.
Has inclusion “cheapened” medicine as a career choice? Or are fewer young people choosing it because doctors are no longer looked upon as caring healers, but as cogs in the wheel of “a nationwide system in which the ruling denizens are huge corporate entities…”? Whatever – the Association of American Medical Colleges projects a U.S. shortage of 105,000 doctors by the year 2030.
Who remembers, today, “First do no harm”? Today, STEM is the mantra of professional education, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Perhaps sadly, the M does not also encompass Medicine…

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Can you relate to the five legs of Judaism?

Posted on 26 September 2018 by admin

Dear Families,
Each year at the High Holidays, I choose a book to read – walking to and from shul and during times in services when my mind might wander.
No, I don’t choose a mystery or a romance, but rather a book on Jewish practice, belief or thought. This year, I chose “A Passion for a People – Lessons from the Life of a Jewish Educator” by Avraham Infeld. For those of us who have heard him speak, this wonderful book has many of his stories. For those who have not had the experience of learning with him, I recommend this book.
One of the most important concepts that Infeld presents is the Model of the 5-Legged Table. Infeld is all about Jewish peoplehood – how do we all connect and intersect? The 5-Legged Table gives everyone a chance to define our own Jewish Identity. Infeld says that the ideal is to have all five legs, but for the table to “work,” you must have three. As you read this brief synopsis of each leg from Infeld’s book, think about where you identify.
• Memory: Our collective memories provide us with the values, beliefs, and rituals that are the foundation of our shared peoplehood. “Jews have memory, not history.”
• Family: Being part of the Jewish people means having an ever-shifting sense of belonging, and belonging to an extended family means having connections and, most important, responsibility for other members of the family.
• Mount Sinai: The idea of Mount Sinai includes the covenant between G-d and the Jewish people. Here is where we received the values and rituals that govern our behaviors, our role in the world and our contribution to humanity.
• The Land and State of Israel: The land of Israel is a warehouse of Jewish collective memory, and it is now the place where the laws of modern nationalism were activated in order to create a state. Israel is the place where the Jewish people can express their national identity.
• Hebrew: Language is a way of transferring culture across generations. Hebrew is our shared language, embodying our values, our memoires and our aspirations for the future.
For those of us trying to define our Jewish identity, this idea is one that is both powerful and helpful. Do all five work for me, or perhaps only three truly speak to me? There are many entry ways into our Jewish identity – for some it is through synagogue attendance, for some it is Torah learning, for some it is involvement in Jewish organizations.
We can also simply be “gastronomic Jews” – defined by the foods we love – and that connect us to Jewish memories. My favorite is “cardiac Jews” – I don’t do anything Jewish, but I feel it. That is good enough – we are all part of the Jewish peoplehood, and together we will keep Judaism alive. That is the hope for the coming year.
Laura Seymour is director of camping services at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center.

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2018-2019 JCC BookFest; A Real Page Turner

2018-2019 JCC BookFest; A Real Page Turner

Posted on 26 September 2018 by admin

Photo: Deb Silverthorn
The 2018/2019 Aaron Family JCC’s Margot Rosenberg Pulitzer Dallas Jewish BookFest are “Twenty-Six Seconds” (10/9), “The Fox Hunt” (10/17), “The Next Person You Meet in Heaven” (10/18), “Stakes is High” (11/1), “Irving Berlin – The Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing” (11/4), “Husbands and Other Sharp Objects” (11/28), “Promised Land” (12/6), “God is in the Crowd (12/10), “In Broad Daylight” (2/6), “The Lost Family” and “The Lost Girls of Paris” (2/12), “Unconditional Love – A Guide to Navigating the Joys and Challenges of Being a Grandparent Today” (3/6), and “Memento Park” (4/3).

By Deb Silverthorn

The next chapter of the Aaron Family JCC’s Margot Rosenberg Pulitzer Dallas Jewish BookFest opens Oct. 9 with events featuring some of 2018’s best new releases and their authors. Unless otherwise noted, all events begin at 7 p.m. and are hosted at the Aaron Family JCC.
“Our visiting authors will educate and entertain audiences with events you won’t find anywhere else,” said BookFest chairperson Liz Liener, in her sixth year as lay leader. “We’re blessed to provide these programs and are honored to once again think of Margot Rosenberg Pulitzer, of blessed memory, to whom BookFest is dedicated, as we devote our efforts.”
This year’s BookFest, which opened on July 23 to a sold-out audience for “The Other Woman” author Daniel Silva, interviewed by Michael Granberry, is partnered by the JCC with the AJC Dallas, Dallas Jewish Historical Society, Congregation Anshai Torah, Shearith Israel, Congregation Shearith Israel’s SISterhood, Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance, Israel Bonds, JCC Dallas’ Goldberg Family Early Childhood Center, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas’ Center for Jewish Education, Jewish Community Relations Council and Tycher Library, and the Jewish Book Council.
Leiner; Rachelle Weiss Crane, the JCC’s director of Israel engagement and Jewish living; and a team of volunteers read many titles and participate in a week of introductions to more than 250 authors presenting their books through the Jewish Book Council in New York.
“In addition to our venturing out, Dallas has earned a reputation as a strong festival with great crowds and we now have authors asking to come to us and we are thrilled. Mitch Albom, Nancy Churnin, Martin Fletcher, and Daniel Silva are all returning and we’re happy to welcome them ‘home,’” said Weiss Crane.
Alexandra Zapruder visits Oct. 9 with her “Twenty-Six Seconds.” Fifty-six years after her grandfather Abraham Zapruder captured the assassination of President John F. Kennedy – on what he thought would be a home movie — the author tells the story of the film and its journey, demonstrating how one man’s unwitting moment in the spotlight shifted the way politics, culture, and media intersect, bringing about the larger social questions that define our age.
On Oct. 17, Mohammed Al Samawi brings “The Fox Hunt” to Congregation Anshai Torah, describing his escape from Yemen’s brutal civil war with the help of a daring plan engineered on social media. To protect himself and his family from death threats, Al Samawi fled to what became the heart of a civil war, his online contacts responding to his appeal, working across technology platforms and time zones, to save him from deadly forces.
Mitch Albom and “The Next Person You Meet in Heaven” arrive on Oct. 18. Of this sequel to “Five People You Meet in Heaven,” Albom says it is the “natural story about Eddie going from meeting five people to being one of five for somebody else.” Albom explores the accident that took Eddie’s life, what Annie lost, and how, in the wake of her trauma, she has no memory of the accident.
Pastor, activist, and community leader Rev. Michael Waters, with Congregation Shearith Israel’s Rabbi Adam Roffman, comes to BookFest on Nov. 1 bringing his “Stakes is High,” blending his hip-hop lyricism and social justice leadership. Weaving stories from centuries of persecution against the backdrop of today’s urban prophets on the radio and in the streets, Waters speaks on behalf of an awakened generation raging against racism and fueled by the promise of a just future.
At 2 p.m. Nov. 4, Dallas Morning News writer Nancy Churnin visits with Mark Kreditor to discuss her book, “Irving Berlin – The Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing.” The two will provide visual images and live music of the musician, a refugee from Russia forever remembered as the master behind 1200-plus songs including “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” “A Pretty Girl is Like A Melody,” “God Bless America,” “Puttin’ On The Ritz” and “White Christmas.”
On Nov. 28, at Shearith Israel, Marilyn Rothstein talks about her “Husbands and Other Sharp Objects,” the story of Marcy Hammer readying to get herself unhitched – while everyone else is looking for a commitment. Her boyfriend wants to get serious and her soon-to-be ex-husband wants to reunite. When her daughter announces her engagement, Marcy finds planning the wedding while seeing her divorce through a trial – and trying to make everyone happy, proving seemingly impossible.
The Tycher Library Community Read, Martin Fletcher’s “Promised Land,” presents Dec. 6. The story is the saga of two brothers and the woman they love, a triangle set against the tumultuous founding of Israel.
Tal Keinan and “God is in the Crowd” come to BookFest on Dec. 10. Keinan’s book analyzes the threat to Jewish continuity. He writes of the Jewish people concentrated in America and Israel, having lost the subtle code of governance that endowed Judaism with dynamism and relevance in the age of Diaspora.
On Feb. 6, Father Patrick Desbois introduces “In Broad Daylight – The Untold Story of How the Murder of More Than Two Million Jews Was Carried Out.” Debois’s book documents the murder of 1.5 million Jews in Ukraine during World War II and how nearly a decade of his team’s efforts, drawing on interviews of 5,700 neighbors to the murdered Jews, and visits to more than 2,700 extermination sites, wartime records and the application of modern forensic practices to long-hidden grave sites.
On Feb. 12, Dallas’ Andrea Peskind Katz, of the Great Thoughts Great Readers website, will interview both Jenna Blum about “The Lost Family” and Pam Jenoff about “The Lost Girls of Paris.” Blum’s novel creates a vivid portrait of marriage, family and the haunting grief of World War II. Jenoff’s book shines the light on the heroics of the brave women of the war and their courage, sisterhood and the strength in surviving its hardest circumstances.
On March 6, Jane Isay brings “Unconditional Love – A Guide to Navigating the Joys and Challenges of Being a Grandparent Today.” Drawing on personal experience, dozens of interviews and the latest findings in psychology, Isay shows how grandparents can use perspective and experience to create lasting bonds that echo throughout a grandchild’s life.
The Tycher Library Spring Read closes out April 3 with Mark Sarvas and his “Memento Park,” a book of family and identity, art and history, and the unanswerable question of ‘how to move forward when the past looms?’ Sarvas’ Matt Santos becomes aware of a painting he believes was stolen from his family in Hungary, during WWII. To recover it he must repair his strained relationship with his father, uncover family history, and restore his own connection to Judaism with a narrative as much about family history and father-son dynamics as about the nature of the art.
Liener, who has loved to read since childhood, says chairing the BookFest is a gift to her – the chance to read books and meet authors she might not otherwise as well as giving her the the opportunity to bring them to the Dallas audience.
“BookFest introduces the best of the best to our community and introduces attendees to a diverse group of authors and styles,” she said. “We remain the only festival in the area focusing on Jewish authors and books with Jewish content, and every year our schedule is filled with especially wonderful events – this year, we raise the bar again.”
Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door except for the Dec. 6 “Promised Land,” Feb. 6 “In Broad Daylight,” March 6 “Unconditional Love” and April 3 “Memento Park,” which are free; and the Oct. 18 “The Next Person You Meet in Heaven,” which is $30 in advance and $40 at the door, including a signed copy of the book. For more details or to order tickets, call 214-739-2737 or visit jccdallas.org/special-events/bookfest/.

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SMU student president DeVera has packed senior year

SMU student president DeVera has packed senior year

Posted on 20 September 2018 by admin

Photos: Courtesy Nathan DeVera
“It is an honor to lead and serve my school community and to amplify the student voice,” says SMU student body president Nathan DeVera.

By Deb Silverthorn

Nathan DeVera is in the midst of a very busy senior year.
When he is not managing parliamentary procedure as Southern Methodist University student body president, he is the captain of SMU’s rugby team, president of the university’s Southern Gentlemen a cappella group and a Hillel Board member.
Not to mention completing requirements for the math and mechanical engineering bachelor’s degrees and the mechanical engineering master’s degree he will receive next May – yes, a double major and a master’s degree in four years.
A student senator in his freshman year and student body vice president last year, DeVera has made himself present in student government throughout his college career.
Now, whether he is speaking at new-student orientations, encouraging extracurricular activities or just giving directions on campus, DeVera’s bright smile and great demeanor are one of the bright lights on the University Park college campus.
“It is an honor to lead and serve my school community and to amplify the student voice,” said DeVera, who regularly meets with students, faculty and the university’s leadership. “The renovation of our Hughes-Trigg Student Center, enhancing the on-campus housing experience and student body unification have all been priorities, and to be at the forefront of these changes is very rewarding.”
A Southern California native who was raised nearly his entire life in Las Vegas, DeVera is the son of Lorenzo, born in the Philippines, and Esther, born and raised in Israel.
“We couldn’t ask for more from Nathan and how he has taken his incredible work ethic and spread it across all he does, everything he gets involved with, while always being respectful and loyal,” his mother said. “Nathan has always been an over-achiever, cranking it up a notch, always consistent in his commitment to all he does. I admire him for all he does, and how well he does it all.”
DeVera’s first trip to Israel came in the summer of 2016 as a Birthright participant, during which he also visited with many members of his mother’s family. After a lifetime of family coming to the U.S. to be together, he now has his own memories of Masada, of the Kotel, of going to the markets in Tel Aviv and speaking Hebrew in the streets.
The former Milton I. Schwartz Hebrew Academy (now The Adelson School) and The Meadow School student celebrated his bar mitzvah at Chabad of Las Vegas. His family also attended Temple Beth Sholom. DeVera, who came to SMU with a deep connection to his Jewish roots, quickly sought out the campus’ Hillel. He met director Rabbi Heidi Coretz and found programs and services that throughout his college career have allowed him to hold on to his heritage.
“I definitely appreciate the opportunities and programs that Rabbi Coretz and Hillel provides to our community, the Jewish community and the SMU community-at-large, because in addition to the social experience, there are many educational opportunities, whether they are teaching programs or the teaching of our community that comes because of its presence,” said DeVera. “Our community within the university community, which is diverse and has so many organizations, is proud and strong.”
“Nathan represents himself, his family and his People most honorably in how he respectfully handles himself and his role as a leader on campus” said Coretz, noting in her 15 years leading SMU’s Hillel, DeVera is only the second Jewish student body president – Taylor Russ was the first more than a decade ago. “Nathan brings talent, leadership, academic and now professional success to the table. He is an awesome example and a great friend to us all.”
With eight months until graduation, DeVera’s recent summer internship at Lockheed Martin resulted in an already signed contract to begin work next summer at Lockheed Martin Space as a project engineer with the navy’s fleet ballistic missile program.
“I really will be a rocket scientist,” DeVera said. “I had an incredible experience at Lockheed this summer, and I look forward to beginning my career.”

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SMU Hillel planning wide range of programming

SMU Hillel planning wide range of programming

Posted on 20 September 2018 by admin

hoto: Courtesy SMU Hillel
From left, SMU Hillel Co-Presidents Marlo Weisberg and Jackie Malish join Hillel Director Rabbi Heidi Coretz in introducing students to the organization during the first week of school.

By Deb Silverthorn

In this season for celebrating, Southern Methodist University’s Hillel has its proverbial, albeit invisible, doors wide open, with its constant programming and its mission to enrich the lives of Jewish students.
Rabbi Heidi Coretz, beginning her 15th year as SMU’s Hillel director, brings her smile, spirit and student bonding to the holiday season, and year-round, providing community and connections.
Sushi in the Sukkah, taking place at 7 p.m. –Sept. 26; an Oct. 19 Shabbat dinner hosted by Shira Lander, SMU’s director of Jewish studies; and an Oct. 28 “Challaween” baking event are only the beginning of this year’s programming.
“We are here, we are available, we are excited and we are thrilled to have an incredible student board, wonderful activities, and really great opportunities for our Jewish community to come together,” said Coretz, who also serves as rabbi of Shir Tikvah in Frisco. “We are a small community, rumored to be 350 or so, but we are strong and we are one.”
Jewish life has flourished through the years at SMU. Hillel, an Alpha Epsilon Pi chapter and the university’s Jewish studies program provide academic, social and spiritual opportunities. Whether participants want to learn about Jewish life, faith and culture – or to make and keep friends, Hillel provides inspiration and support.
With more than 200 guests to more than 40 programs last year, Coretz is excited about the future. In addition to Sushi in the Sukkah and other October events, the Hillel calendar includes congregational invitations to students throughout the community; Interfaith programming, including a Passover Seder for nearly 100, a Bring Friends to Shabbat evening, and Yom Hashoah events; and leading the campus’ Good Deeds Day.
“Our campus is unique because, at least in my time here, there’ve been no anti-Israel, BDS or anti-Semitic rallies – perhaps one debate years ago is all I can recall. We are blessed that SMU is a great and respectful community,” Coretz said. “We work hand in hand quite often with the Office of the Chaplin, Multi-Cultural Affairs, the Perkins School of Theology and The Women & LGBT Center. SMU really is a family – widespread and diverse – but we are a family.”
Coretz and Hillel have become a home away from home.
“Heidi spends lots of time and has so much care helping us plan to make everything we do special, and for all of us it really is our ‘home,’” Hillel co-president Marlo Weisberg said. “She absolutely has our best interest at hand. I have so much love for this organization and am excited to be sharing it.”
Weisberg, from Charleston, West Virginia, is following in the footsteps of her sister, Trish, both as SMU Hillel leader and as a SMU Hunt Leadership Scholar.
Weisberg is co-president with Jackie Malish, the two joined in board service by Eliana Abraham, Sarah Crespo, Nathan DeVera, Adam Feldman, Solomon Guefen, Lauren Miller, Bibiana Schindler, Margo Schoenberg, Jake Waldman, Sam Waldman and Jordan Williams.
For more about SMU Hillel programming, visit smuhillel.com

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