Archive | September, 2019

Southwest Jewish Congress gala celebrates 10 years

Posted on 13 September 2019 by admin

The event features honors and speaker Gloria Campos


The Southwest Jewish Congress will present its annual Texas Sized Event, a gala filled with honors, accolades and inspiring speeches. The event, which will commemorate the SWJC’s 10th anniversary, will take place beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19, at Eddie Deen’s Ranch, 944 S. Lamar in Dallas.
Along with drinks, dinner and schmoozing, the event will feature keynote speaker Gloria Campos, retired news anchor from WFAA-TV, Channel 8. Also on hand will be co-emcees Sylvia Komatsu, chief content officer with KERA and KTX, and WFAA-TV meteorologist Greg Fields.
The Texas Sized Event will also applaud the following:
Audrey Kaplan Inspiring Women Honorees
• Anh Vo
(Lifetime Achievement)
• Debbie Dennis
• Barbara Glazer
• Mary Evans Sias, Ph.D.
• Courtney Underwood
• Marsha Williamson
Future Inspiring Women
• Esha Kothapalli
• Aakilah McCoy
Stan Golden Men of Action
• Eddie Deen
(Lifetime Achievement)
• Giles Davidson
• Trini Garza
• Stan Levenson
• Tevar Watson
• Paul Zoltan
Future Men of Action
• Zach Bernstein
• Matthew A. Johnson

Tickets for the event begin at $75 per person ($45 for students). All levels of sponsorship are also available.
The SWJC is dedicated to promoting diversity through quality educational programs and events that support human rights and the U.S. Constitution. The organization’s goals also include preservation of Jewish culture and history, promoting Israel and its role in the world, and honoring individuals who have contributed to the advancement of our society, culture and lives.
For more information about the SWJC and its Texas Sized Event, visit www.swjc.org, email susan@swjc.org or call 214-361-0018.

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Dallas Doings: JWV, Tiferet Israel, Temple Shalom

Posted on 12 September 2019 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray


Sandra Cantor named national president of JWV Ladies Auxiliary


Dallas native Sandra Cantor, a career Jewish educator and longtime supporter of veterans, was honored to be sworn in as national president of the Ladies Auxiliary of Jewish War Veterans of the USA. The Aug. 21 ceremony was conducted during JWV’s 124th annual convention, held this year in Richmond, Virginia. Sandra has been an active participant in the local Dr. Harvey J. Bloom Post 256 Auxiliary as well as the national organization and has steadily progressed through the leadership ranks of both. She, with husband Allan, a Navy veteran, will spend much of the one-year term traveling the country promoting JWVA and veteran’s causes. Mazal Tov, Sandra!


Tiferet Israel Sisterhood welcomes guests to opening meeting


Tiferet Israel Sisterhood invites the community to come laugh and learn with Dallas Morning News columnist Dave Lieber, who will amuse the audience with stories of a Yankee’s adjusting to a new life in Texas. Lieber will share myriad consumer advocate tips as he tells how he solves Texans’ consumer problems.
The program is at 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, at Tiferet Israel. A light dairy brunch will be served. No charge to attend. Reservations requested. RSVP to Jennifer at jwilliams@tiferetisrael.org.


Temple Shalom to host charity golf tourney


Temple Shalom announced they will partner with Gary Sinise Foundation’s Snowball Express program to hold its 18th Annual Fore the Kids Golf Tournament, a fundraiser to benefit fallen American heroes and their families as well as Temple Shalom Youth Programs. The charity event will take place Monday, Sept. 23, at the Clubs of Prestonwood–The Creek, 15909 Preston Road in Dallas. This is the 18th charity event held annually that benefits not-for-profits. It has cumulatively raised more than $550,000.
The tournament is now open for registration online at www.forethekids.net. The entry fee for the golf tournament is $175 for an individual player and includes the entire day’s festivities, lunch and dinner. The tournament will take place on the picturesque Clubs of Prestonwood–The Creek, which boasts an outstanding clubhouse and a course that includes 18 exceptionally managed holes on 419 Bermuda Tiff Fairways and Penncross Bentgrass Greens.
At press time, the event is underwritten and sponsored by numerous organizations and individuals that should be recognized for their contribution to the event:

Event Underwriters
Golf Cart Underwriter: Dallas Jewish Funerals
Lunch Underwriter: Texas Jewish Post
Golf Ball Underwriter: Joe Funk Construction
Hole-in-One Underwriter: Barry & Paddy Epstein
Sponsors
Event Sponsor: Raelaine & Paul Radnitz
Birdie Sponsors: Amundi Pioneer Funds, Frost Bank, The MarketBurst Group, Munn & Morris Financial Advisors, https://www.transamerica.com, VAR Staffing
Par Sponsors: Stromberg Stock, Herrada Printing, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Kenny’s Restaurant Group, Invesco Global Asset Management
Tee Box Sponsors: Eaton Vance, Atlas Plumbing, Delaware Funds, Dorothy Garsson
First Responders/Heroes Sponsors: AMG Funds, ATA Sales, New York Life/MainStay, Prudential Funds, Temple Shalom Sisterhood, Temple Shalom Brotherhood
For more information about Fore the Kids Charity Golf Tournament, being a sponsor, or to register as a golfer, visit www.forethekids.net.

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Understanding the basics of Israel’s upcoming election

Posted on 12 September 2019 by admin

Regardless of whether or not you have Israeli family or friends or even someone just involved with the country’s politics, you have likely been hearing about an upcoming election on Sept. 17 (see pages 10-11 of this week’s TJP for more information). And if you are confused about how there is already another election after the last election in April, here is a breakdown on everything with the Israeli electoral system, from the Knesset to the president.
Despite the fact that the Knesset is elected to a four-year term, with a majority vote, it can be dissolved with a Knesset dissolution bill that both dictates that the present representatives will no longer be in power and states when a new election will take place. On April 9 the latest election created the 21st Knesset, which serves as the legislative branch of the government. Similarly to the Senate or the House in the U.S., the Knesset creates laws that are then approved or vetoed. However, instead of a president operating from their own executive branch to approve or veto these measures, the Israeli prime minister, who is chosen based on the party leaders in the legislative branch, has that power. Since Israel has such a variety of different parties beyond a bipartisan system, it is nearly impossible for one party to have a majority vote. Therefore, at the end of elections, the president meets with the leading party and their leading Member of Knesset (MK) to discuss forming a coalition with other parties that together represent the majority of the 120 seats in the Knesset. If in 28 days, with a maximum extended time of 42 days, the party can successfully form a coalition between parties over similar goals representing the majority of the seats in the Knesset, then a new government is formed with elected ministers from each party.
So what happens when a party cannot successfully create a majority coalition and government? The majority of the time the president has very limited power and is similar to a figurehead like the queen of England, but during the unsuccessful creation of a new government, the president plays an important role. First, they can give the largest party’s leading MK an extended time of 14 days to continue discussions with other parties to form a coalition. However, if it is clear that negotiations have failed, then the president can ask a different party’s leading MK to attempt to create their own coalition and form a government, which is common after elections where two large parties win a similar number of seats. This takes us to May 30, when Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister and leading MK of the Likud party, officially reached the end of his extended time to form a majority coalition. Normally, this would have resulted in the country’s President Reuven Rivlin approaching Benny Gantz, the leading MK of the Blue and White party, to form a coalition and government. However, before this could happen, the Knesset decided to pass the 21st Knesset Dispersion Law and dissolve the current legislature in favor of another election.
So what can we expect from this upcoming election and why is it controversial? The dissolving of the current Knesset is not something so out of the ordinary, and occurs fairly frequently when a party in the coalition feels it is not being properly represented. What makes this event different is how soon the dissolution occurred after the April elections. Because of this, one of the main issues politicians are concerned about is the possibility that voter turnout could be much lower. Israel historically has a very high voter turnout rate, with 68.5 percent of the eligible voters participating in the April elections. However, with very little time for parties to campaign successfully, voters may believe that their party will fail to form a coalition again and not see a reason to vote.
While it may seem excessive to have such a direct way to dissolve a coalition or government, the Knesset has the ability to provide its own checks and balances. In a coalition, it is ensured that all parties involved will have their voice heard to some degree to prevent parties from pulling out of the coalition and bringing down the government. In this way, while Israeli governments tend to lean either right or left, there is always a representation from multiple parties. Voters may not always directly influence the election of their prime minister; however, they always influence which party’s voice is heard.
Ethan Liebnick, a senior at Plano West, is the 2019-20 StandWithUs High School intern. He is the son of Nicole and Matthew Liebnick, a member of the executive council of Plano West’s student congress and recent past president (Godol) of Morton Lewis AZA.

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Thoughts on the month of Elul

Posted on 12 September 2019 by admin

Introspection is important to begin the New Year


In developing any business or refining a craft, it is essential to establish set periods for gathering information and assessing performance. Sometimes this process takes the form of setting goals, while other times it’s gaining an overview of activities to know where you stand. Financial calculations involve income and expenses. In other areas, it’s more about evaluating personnel.
The same type of thorough analysis applies to one’s spiritual performance and character traits. Each person is given a chelek be’olam, an area of the world (i.e., community and people) in which to make an impact. The process of intermittent self-review, to access performance, is called a cheshbon hanefesh, or an accounting of the soul. And this month, Elul, is known as the season of “accounting.”
Unlike Rosh Hashanah — the Day of Judgment — where we stand in awe and concentration in prayer, during Elul we take stock amid our busy schedules, through setting aside time for careful review and self-reflection. To be sure, there are already traditional slots for reflection installed throughout the year. Usually, five minutes of introspection and review at the end of each night is enough to determine what needs to be fixed. Before entering the Shabbat, one looks back and evaluates how the past week went. Then there’s an assessment — right before Rosh Chodesh — when the new month begins. But the accounting that takes place during Elul is different.
Throughout the year, the emphasis is on action. Reviewing our performance is helpful only as it leads to better decision making the following day. Elul, however, is a more comprehensive evaluation. How am I doing in general? Where do I stand in accomplishing my most important goals? How is my relationship with God, within my private time and space? What are my biggest weaknesses? In which areas am I doing particularly well and how can I further commit to cultivating those? The objective is to mentally scan every facet of life and find ways to improve.
Such an examination may appear to be essential for personal growth and beneficial to perform more often. Yet, too much reflection can reduce our productivity by taking time away from study or positive deeds. Our energy, therefore, should be spent not on reviewing past mistakes or making a general assessment, but on judging how best to move forward.
There is another danger when it comes to the more intense reflection: Honest analysis of one’s character and performance, if done in excess or at the wrong time, can be psychologically damaging. Choosing to take a closer look inside oneself is a particularly difficult task — you may not like what you see. Someone, for example, who realizes the extent to which he or she is falling short in crucial areas can naturally become despondent and decide to give up. So, what we don’t see about ourselves, in effect, shields us emotionally.
For this reason, some of the most successful people in the professional arena are also some of the least introspective individuals, seldom stopping to consider how they’re perceived by others around them. At the same time, this failure to reflect allows them to keep moving, to be highly efficient and confident.
If so, the commentaries ask, why should we focus so much attention on intense self-examination during the entire month of Elul? The surface answer is a preparation for the upcoming “Day of Judgment” (i.e., Rosh Hashanah). Change is already in the air. Or, from a more positive angle, there’s an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start from scratch. Knowing that each year brings new mazel — the time to reinvent oneself — adds hope to what otherwise may be a grim personal picture.
But on a deeper level, this type of introspection is placed in Elul because it’s the month of compassion and divine assistance. More specifically, the kabbalistic works relate that during Elul, the 13 Attributes of Mercy — “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in kindness and truth…forgiving of iniquity, willful sin and error, and cleansing…” (Exodus 34:6-7) — are predominant during this time, shining strong behind the scenes.
Explained more concretely, God interacts with creations through various channels or manifestations. The heavenly attribute of din, or, judgment, is designed to make a just, but sharp, assessment which often results in undesirable consequences for us. The attribute of rachamim, mercy, introduces another approach, a warmer relationship with God in which flaws are discounted, and a setting for growth is created. We receive a gust of inspiration rather than fear. This environment of compassion, in turn, allows us to perform an in-depth cheshbon hanefesh — an analysis of where we stand — where we can internalize what we discover without the usual risks or side effects.
So, in this sense, even without the upcoming holidays, Elul would still be designated as a refuge in time, a window of opportunity to evaluate oneself without any excess judgment or pain, to probe within and uncover more resources to accomplish our mission. If we use this month wisely, the stage will be set for a sweet new year.

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Start the New Year surrounded by books

Posted on 12 September 2019 by admin

Fill your homes with knowledge, then pass it on

Dear Families,
I’m Laura and I’m a biblioholic. It is as real as any addiction but most think it isn’t the worst — after all, we are the “people of the book.” Can we ever have too many books? As I thumbed through the pages of my Sunday edition of The Dallas Morning News this weekend, I came across an amazing article in the Real Estate section that caught my eye titled “Books Everywhere!” In the article, Joseph Pubillones, states, “If you are a book lover like me, the question that comes to mind when organizing books is how to display them. Books are important as a source of knowledge, but to some, books are also cherished treasures, almost like friends, and decorating with them is a serious matter.” The article was not about what books to buy, but rather, how to organize your books. Here are the suggestions from the Real Estate section:
·Bookcases — wood, metal, movable case, old china cabinet?
·Books can decorate every room — living room, office entryways, hallways, coffee tables, even the bathroom.
·A sometimes-overlooked area for books is the bedroom. As the Argentinian poet Jorge Luis Borges once stated, “I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books.”
So what does this mean to us “people of the book”? If someone comes to your home do they see books? What books do you display? What books are in the rooms of your home? Do you have books at your place of work? And, even, do you have books on your phone? While the term “people of the book” refers to Torah it can loosely be interpreted as reading everything and every book. Torah teaches us how to live our lives and every book that we read that gives us ideas and thoughts on how to live a form of Torah.
One of the most deeply felt Jewish values is that of lifelong learning. We must keep studying and books are a great method. But you must share what you read and as you share what you have learned, others continue learning. The way of Jewish learning is chevruta, or learning with a partner. Nothing reinforces learning like arguing points with others. As we go into the new year, go buy a book and find a friend — create a book group to discuss your book. Learn from each other. And one more thing: Fill your home with bookcases and your bookcases with books!

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Learning from Joseph’s rebuke in Genesis

Posted on 12 September 2019 by admin

Defining the difference
between rebuke
and judgment
Dear Rabbi Fried,
Every year, at the end of the Book of Genesis, I’m always bothered by the same question. In the episode of Joseph and his brothers, when Judah is pleading to let their brother Benjamin free (as his capture would cause the death of their father), suddenly Joseph reveals himself to them by proclaiming, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” Why would he ask if his father is alive, if the whole point of Judah’s pleading is to save the life of his father?
Dru R.
Dear Dru,
Your question is posed by a renowned commentary, the “Bais Halevi.” He answers the question in true Jewish fashion: with another question! The Midrash quotes a verse saying, “Oy to us for the day of judgment, oy to us for the day of rebuke.” Explains the Midrash, “This is referring to Joseph and his brothers on the day he rebuked them, and they could not answer him, since they were dismayed by his rebuke.” This is referring to Ch. 45 verse 3, which you mentioned in your question. The problem is, that verse seems to say nothing about rebuking the brothers.
The Bais Halevi explains the difference between judgment and rebuke:
•Judgment looks at the action itself being judged at face value, if it was proper or forbidden, based upon the laws of Torah.
•Rebuke, however, looks at the action in a different light. Rebuke, in Hebrew, comes from the word hochiach, which means to prove to the other person inherently, from within the action itself, the wrongness of the act.
The first is fairly straightforward.
The second requires some explanation. For example, when one comes before the Heavenly court after leaving this world, he or she may be asked why they gave so little tzedakah. If the person will answer they couldn’t afford any more than they gave, they may be asked, “So then why did you have enough to buy a new car every year? Why was the yearly trip to the Caribbean within the budget? If you didn’t have enough money to do what’s important, why did you have enough for that?” In this situation, the act is being judged against itself: giving for one thing against giving for another, which is the ultimate rebuke.
This is what Joseph was expressing to his brothers during the plea of Judah to free Benjamin — rebuke. Judah’s argument was the unfairness of capturing Benjamin, as he is the most beloved son to Jacob their father, and his capture would surely bring their father’s untimely death. To that proclaims Joseph: “I am Joseph, the son who, at the time of my kidnapping and sale by you, was the most beloved to my father. Is my father still alive?” Meaning: Did my sale kill him? And if you’re concerned that Benjamin, my only maternal brother, being taken will kill our father, why weren’t you concerned about the exact same effect when you sold me away from my father? They couldn’t answer them due to their dismay from the penetrating power of that rebuke.
The lesson is to take a careful look at one’s own actions and see how many things we don’t do that we should be doing, based on lame excuses. We need to ask ourselves honestly: Will our answers hold up against the questions of rebuke at the time of truth? Will our answers be turned against us, showing us that all our excuses don’t hold water because what we claimed we couldn’t do, we actually did do, just at the wrong time and for the wrong purposes? We need to be ready for the day to come when we will hear: “I am God, did you care about me?!”

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The unspoken tzedakah of 9/11

Posted on 12 September 2019 by admin

A personal account
of helping a
stranger in need
9/11/01. Another day, like Pearl Harbor, to forever “live in infamy.” Did you spend all day yesterday remembering, as I did?
What stories can be told about it? There’s a seemingly miraculous tale about nine observant Jews who prayed together regularly in a little shul near their World Trade Center offices being delayed that day because a 10th man never turned up to make a minyan. Just one of many reports invoking the Almighty.
My tale isn’t miraculous — except for the fact that it happened. I woke up that morning, turned on the TV, and started screaming. But being nothing, if not practical: I had a voucher for a flight refund from a small airline (no longer in existence) that had to be redeemed in person at its D/FW desk. When I called the airline — which, it turned out, was clueless — I was told that yes, it was business as usual, I should just come in with my voucher. So I did.
I drove to D/FW: no traffic. I drove to the proper gate entrance — no cars anywhere. I went to the airline desk: Two women were there; next to them was another airline’s desk which had already been deserted. I claimed my refund and was about to leave when suddenly a crowd of people came on the scene; the last plane in the air on its way to DF/W had just landed, and all its passengers were looking for representatives from their next-desk airline, which had none on duty.
What could I do? Everyone was milling around, needing all the help that people who have suddenly been totally deserted most need: information, and contacts for using the information they get. To their great credit, the two at the desk of that insignificant, long-gone airline stayed there, using their phones to contact hotels, to see if cabs could come to pick people up. What more could they do?
But I knew — because my Judaism has taught me nothing if not this: I could help one person directly, and by myself “save one (granted, small) world.” I picked out a man at random — tall, with thin sandy hair, looking to be in his mid-40s, wearing shorts and sandals. I went over to him and asked if I could help, and how. Turned out, he was a top-level internationally known soccer coach and judge on his way from Australia to participate in some up coming events. He was stranded far from where he was supposed to be. I invited him to come home with me, and he was more than grateful. My car — my beat-up beloved old Prizm — was the last private vehicle to leave D/FW Airport for several days to come.
Once in the house, I showed him the guest room, cleared out a shelf in the refrigerator, and offered the telephone, plus my promise to drive him to shop for his own food. (You all know by now that I am not a cook, so I included him in the amounts of whatever I threw together for my husband and myself, but gave him an option I was sure he’d also be glad to accept!) Fred also took part in driving this unexpected guest as necessary.
Our Aussie was, of course, unable to get to any of the matches he’d traveled so far for, because no planes would be flying in time. Instead, he lived with us for three weeks, until he was finally able to make arrangements for getting back to the Outback. In all that time, even at its end, no money changed hands. I never did ask for compensation, and he never did offer. We both knew that this was a once -in-a-lifetime situation that was beyond material charge or cost. We did not become friends; we have had no contact since. This was just one of those strange things — and there were so many of them — that happened in the wake of 9/11.

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German lemon cake recipe stands the test of time

German lemon cake recipe stands the test of time

Posted on 12 September 2019 by admin

Photo: Dave Carlin
German Lemon Tart

By Tina Wasserman
For most of my professional life, I have made it my mission to keep our culinary heritage alive so it will be a connection to our ancestors and the lives they lived that allowed us to live the Jewish lives we live today. I often finish my lectures about the history of Jewish cuisine with a quote from Ben Gurion, “We Jews must never live in the past, but the past must always live within us.”
As we approach the High Holidays, when we assess our lives and remember our ancestors, I would like to tell you a true story about uncovering roots and the non-palpable connections that sometimes arise from these roots.
One of the joys of being on the local board of AJC is the opportunity to meet representatives from countries from all over the world. This summer, I had the pleasure of hosting a Shabbat dinner in my home for three delegates from the Adenauer exchange. This is an exchange through which a group of young German leaders visits three U.S. cities for a study trip in a partnership between AJC and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
I thought it would be interesting to describe, course by course, the connection between the foods we were eating and the history surrounding their use. Frankly, I thought it was much better to create this menu rather than give them a classic Shabbat dinner starting with chicken soup and gefilte fish. After all, it was Dallas in July and no one wants to eat hot soup! Needless to say, the conversations often centered on food.
My three guests — Melanie, Matthias and Lucas — were all Catholic. Melanie told us that her college career focused on art history but, for some reason, she said she minored in Yiddish studies because she thought the language was interesting. The discussion then progressed to a story about a recipe for a lemon cake.
Melanie promised to send me the recipe and the story about how the cake impacted her life. The following is the letter she sent me and I would like to share it with you. Perhaps it will move you as it did me.
“I had promised to send you the story of my grandmother and the secret of the ‘lemon cake.’ After my high school graduation, I started to study in Düsseldorf the history of art, antique history and yiddistic. The idea behind it was to work after my magister in a Jewish Museum. In 1990, many Jewish museums were founded in Germany.
“My grandmother lived with us in a small village near Düsseldorf at that time. She had sold her house in Hamburg in 1986 or 1987 to be near to her family. Her husband had already died in the early 1960s. My grandmother carried a closely guarded secret that no one beside her husband knew. Even though she took great interest in my plans, she remained silent.
‘I went for an internship to the Jewish Museum Franken to Fürth (Bavaria) in 2000. The museum is specialized in Jewish cultural heritage of the region. The collection consists of Judaica, items of daily use, Hebrew prints, manuscripts and postcards. The Jewish community in Fürth was once considered the ‘Franconian Jerusalem’ and was one of the spiritual capitals of European Jewry in the 18th century. In the 19th century, Jewish citizens shaped the economic life of the city. After the end of the World War II, nothing was left of the 400-year successful story of the community. In 1933, just under 2,000 Jews lived in Fürth. Only 20 of them survived the Nazi regime.
“The Museum has a small coffee shop where visitors could get beverage, traditional Jewish bakery and kosher sweets. They offered a ‘lemon cake’ according to an old recipe, which was handed down to a handwritten book from the 1890s. The lemon cake has a filling of almonds and lemon juice. It is very tasty. I remembered a cake that my grandmother had baked when I was a small child, which was very similar to this one. So I decided to copy the recipe and showed to my grandmother.
“I can remember very well in the afternoon in 2000 when I showed her the recipe. It was the day she told us her secret. As she held the recipe in her hands and read it, she said: ‘That is the way my mother did.’ It was the first time after 67 years she broke her silence.
“Here is the story: Her mother was born in Thuringia. Her father’s last name was ‘Liebeskind.’ And they were Jewish (I found their names in a register of a small parish near Jena). Her first marriage was with a Protestant. He was a baker of the parish. After his death, she got married again. So she got the name ‘Lieb.’ But he also died after the birth of Alfred, the youngest brother of my grandmother. Because of the death of her husband, and father of her three children, the financial situation of the family was very bad. As I know, her brother migrated to Wisconsin in 1890s. So my great-grandmother decided to follow her brother ‘Liebeskind.’ She took her kids and all her belongings and set off. Her first stop was Hamburg. Here she had to stay for a while, because money was tight. In 1914, shortly before World War I, she had the money for the transfer from Hamburg to New York. She bought the tickets, but the passage did not happen anymore.
“My grandmother, Frida Melanie Lieb, was born in 1906 near the city of Jena. I know that she worked as a nurse. When it became difficult for Jews in Germany to practice their profession, she worked as a nanny for a Jewish family who migrated to the U.S. in the 1930s. They wanted to take her with them, but she remained in Germany — maybe because of love, or more realistic is she was afraid of the dangerous escape over Switzerland and Italy.
“In the meantime, her sister had married an official in the Hamburg Senate Department. This man helped my grandmother to correct her papers. So nothing was in the way for her marriage with Paul Otto Meyer in 1933. She survived under the protection of the Meyers. Her younger brother was less fortunate. He was imprisoned and forced into an ‘Arbeitslager’ (forced labor camp) in the docks of Hamburg harbor. Nobody knows what happened to him. The reason was that the sisters were afraid that someone could expose them as Jews.
“My grandmother died in 2002, two years after her revelation. During my stay in Fürth, I went to the archives of the churches in Jena region to verify the dates and to learn more about my family background. It is a mystery that I was interested in studying Yiddish without the knowledge of the history of my father’s family. The same applies to the recipe of the lemon cake which I have attached.
“Once again, the journey with the AJC was both a privilege and a pleasure. I enjoyed the evening in your house. Many thanks for your help. I am looking forward to seeing you again to continue the dialogue.”
The dialogue continues…
May the New Year be a time to recall the many positive memories of your ancestors and may these be the foundation upon which you build your family’s traditions this holiday and for all the days to come.
The following is the recipe for the lemon cake. I changed the amounts to cups and spoons from grams and added a little bit of water to better hold the dough together. This cake is easily made with commercially ground almond flour. It is like a marzipan but more coarse and lemony rather than having a strong almond taste. In the European tradition, this recipe is not overly sweet and the dough is dense, but I wanted to keep that density for authenticity.
Here is the recipe in its original format:
Lemon Cake
(Original recipe —
measurements in grams)
Ingredients:
80g sugar
160g wheat flour (type 405)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg (medium size)
Filling:
250g ground almonds
150g sugar
4 lemons (peel, juice and pulp)
Egg yolk

Preparation:
Butter the springform and sprinkle with matzo meal.
Knead the dough by hand and then keep some of the dough for the rim and the grid. let it cool.
Then, the dough is rolled out and placed in the springform, making sure that the rim is pressed well.
The filling is easy to stir and then spread on the dough.
Then also roll out the remaining dough and cut into strips about 1 centimeter wide with a dough wheel.
Then, give the upper rim a grid over the whole cake surface.
Finally, the grid and the visible rim are painted with egg yolk.
The oven must not be preheated and the baking process takes 30 to 40 minutes.
Important: No baking either with large top or with intensive bottom heat.

Here is the recipe that I created from these ingredients and instructions. It’s a good lesson in how modern recipes are created from heirloom recipes. Enjoy!
German Lemon Tart
(adapted recipe)
Crust:
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
11/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons water, or more if needed
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional-more for Western tastes)
1 egg
Filling:
21/3 cups ground almond meal
¾ cup sugar
Zest and juice from 3 large lemons (about ¾ cup juice)
1 egg yolk for glazing the cake
Coconut oil or cooking spray for greasing pan

  1. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with coconut oil or spray.
  2. Combine all of the dough ingredients in a 2-quart mixing bowl and gently knead with your fingers until the dough forms a ball. If needed, add a small amount of additional water until dough is moist and holds together.
  3. Divide the dough into ¾ and ¼. Cover with plastic wrap and then refrigerate for 20 minutes to let the dough rest.
  4. Roll the larger piece of dough between two sheets of parchment or waxed paper into a circle that is about 1/8 inch thick. Remove one piece of paper and then flip the dough into the pan centering the dough as best you can.
  5. Gently press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Place pan in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
  6. Combine all of the ingredients for the filling and spread onto the dough in the pan.
  7. Roll out the remaining dough into a rectangle and cut ½-inch strips of dough with a knife or decorative pastry wheel.
  8. Place strips of dough criss-crossed across the filling, pressing the ends into the side rim of dough to seal. Brush with some egg yolk to glaze.
  9. Place the cake pan into a cold oven and then turn the temperature to 350 degrees.
  10. Bake the cake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
    Cake may be served warm or at room temperature.

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Rabbi Michael Cohen joins  The Legacy Senior Communities

Rabbi Michael Cohen joins The Legacy Senior Communities

Posted on 12 September 2019 by admin

Rabbi Michael Cohen

Submitted Story
Rabbi Michael Cohen has been named director of rabbinical services and programs for The Legacy Senior Communities. Cohen’s appointment comes as the Jewish not-for-profit organization seeks to provide a religious and spiritual resource for residents, families, caregivers, staff and volunteers across the organization, as well as strengthen ties with the Greater Dallas Jewish community as a connector to its clergy. Cohen joins The Legacy Senior Communities with over a decade of rabbinical experience providing for a variety of spiritual needs, and for people of all faiths.
“Rabbi Cohen is an extraordinary asset to our team, and we’re looking forward to having him as a resource for those we serve,” said Melissa Orth, president and CEO of The Legacy Senior Communities. “As a Jewish-sponsored organization, it gives us great pride to have a spiritual leader on our team to help guide us as we seek to serve Jewish seniors and their families. At all stages of life, having a religious or spiritual leader is an integral component of one’s faith, and in many ways that need strengthens as we age. By having a rabbi on our team, we can reach those we serve in an entirely new and meaningful way. We look forward to working with Rabbi Cohen and are excited to see the positive impact he will have on our entire organization.”
“I’m honored to take on this role and the responsibility of meeting the religious and spiritual needs of residents, families, caregivers, staff, and volunteers at The Legacy Senior Communities,” said Cohen. “For the organization to provide this type of care for those it serves is highly meaningful and plays an important role in the Dallas Jewish senior community.”
Cohen stressed the importance of religious practice, lifelong learning and cultural connections for the overall well-being of Jewish seniors.
“Religious practice, teaching and tradition, along with spiritual care enhance our sense of community and provide for important aspects of life that are vital for seniors. It’s incredibly important for those who come to any of The Legacy Senior Communities’ entities that religious and spiritual services are provided.”
Cohen elaborated on what it means to serve the Jewish community at The Legacy Senior Communities.
He added, “Creating this position within the community is a further extension of the services The Legacy Senior Communities already offers for residents’ needs. It’s an exciting time for me, and I look forward to getting to know the residents and learn their stories. Rabbinic and pastoral care experience is equally meaningful and enriching to me in my own spiritual journey, as I seek to make that so for those whom I’m able to serve. I’m delighted to be starting.”
According to Cohen, his path to becoming a rabbi was a bit untraditional, as he is a second-career rabbi after formerly practicing family law. After attending the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts, Cohen has since been certified as an educator of Clinical Pastoral Education, training chaplains for spiritual care in a variety of environments. Cohen enjoys building strong relationships, facilitating transformative growth for individuals and families, and cares about supporting institutional mission. While Cohen’s expertise draws deeply from his Jewish faith, his knowledge, training and experience with patients and caregivers of all religions allows him also to connect with those of other faiths to provide the religious and spiritual support needed by seniors and their families.
From the beginning, he has held a deep passion to care for seniors and was influenced by his own grandmother and the deep relationship formed with her through faith at the end of her life. While attending rabbinical school, he interned at several senior care communities, providing religious and spiritual needs for residents, their families and staff. It’s this deep compassion for seniors that has influenced Cohen throughout his career and which ultimately led him to The Legacy Senior Communities.
“Having the opportunity to build relationships with the residents and meet them where they may truly need me is what I most value,” said Cohen. “One beautiful thing about faith of any kind is that it’s unique to each person. We human beings all seek to find someone else who can relate to us and what we hold most dear. When it comes to providing spiritual care for seniors, there’s an understanding that sometimes we come across emotions and life events that have been locked away for a very long time. This aspect of the work has to be done both gently and with courage. It’s a huge commitment for The Legacy Senior Communities to provide this dimension of care to those it serves, and I’m very much honored to be a part of it.”
—Submitted by
Sarah Jackson

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Adult March of the Living: trip you don’t want to miss

Adult March of the Living: trip you don’t want to miss

Posted on 12 September 2019 by admin

Photos: Sharon Wisch-Ray
Members of the Dallas Adult March of the Living Group exit Auschwitz and prepare to walk the 3 kilometers to Birkenau on Yom HaShoah 2018.

Learn more about April 2020 trip at info session

By Sharon Wisch-Ray
I remember about two and a half years ago, I asked my niece Rosie Bernstein, a frequent TJP contributor and then-Yavneh senior, to write a recap of her experience on the school’s annual March of the Living trip. “I can’t,” she said. “There is not a way to express what I experienced in words.” I accepted that at face value but didn’t really get it. Rosie has never been at a loss for words.
Fast-forward to today, and I completely understand. In April 2018, I traveled to Poland with 40 others on Dallas’ first Adult March of the Living trip and I haven’t really talked a whole lot about it to many people. I’ve kept my experience to myself and am still processing it.
However, with the next adult trip is in its planning stages, I want to encourage anyone who is interested to check out the information session next week, at 7:45 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, in the Yavneh Library at Akiba Yavneh Academies on the Schultz Rosenberg Campus, 12324 Merit Drive. At the hourlong session, you will learn procedures for application, cost of the trip, and the tentative itinerary. There is limited space on the adult bus and if it’s anything like before, it is likely to have a waiting list.
I always thought I was reasonably well-educated about the Holocaust.
I remember when my mom, of blessed memory, talked with me about the survivors of our community.
These folks — among them Abe “Abela” Friedling, Max Pila, and my Sunday School teacher Livia Levine — were among many beloved survivors in my hometown of Fort Worth. I remember them vividly as kind and hard-working and part of the backbone of the Jewish community.
I remember being a teenager and walking into my parents’ room one night. There my dad, Jimmy, was sobbing in my mother’s lap. He was a sensitive man, and wasn’t afraid to show his emotions during a touching movie scene.
He had just watched a documentary on the Holocaust and it hit him. This World War II veteran who was worldly and knowing and seen his share of horrible things. It hit him, the enormity of the loss of life of the Jewish people — of man’s inhumanity to man. So incomprehensible, it hit him.
I thought I was reasonably educated. I’d read “The Diary of Anne Frank,” “Night” and other books. I’d taken a class on the Holocaust at Wash U. I told the stories of Holocaust survivors in the TJP on more than one occasion and I was a proud Upstander, not afraid to stand up to others when they crossed the line of humanity.
I thought I understood. But I didn’t.
Sure, I knew that of the 6 million Jews wiped out, 3 million of them were Polish Jews. This was half of Poland’s population at the time. But I had no idea of the depth and breadth of Jewish culture in Poland.
It felt like the Jews WERE Poland. We visited many historic synagogues, davening morning and sometimes evening prayers alongside the Yavneh students and teens from other Dallas-area schools who had joined the Yavneh bus. The energy brought the synagogues to life and you could almost hear the bustling voices of prayer and activity from life before the war.
It didn’t take long for me to get it as we traversed the country, visited cemeteries and other landmarks, learned the stories of what happened there.
It seems as though each cemetery had a more gripping, terrifying or heroic story than the next.
We visited forests where children were taken from their parents and murdered, and learned of the great lengths parents would go to try and save even one of their children. Impossible choices they had to make.
We visited Auschwitz and the enormity of the destruction of our people came into even sharper focus. There were many remnants (children’s shoes, housewares, human hair) of the Nazi killing machine and this was just one camp. Then we went to Birkenau, just 3 kilometers down the road from Auschwitz, and we saw how the engineers made their killing machine even more efficient, sterile and ruthless.
On Yom HaShoah, we participated in the actual March of the Living. Walking shoulder-to-shoulder with some 10 thousand others reaffirming that this wasn’t a death march, but that the Jewish people lived.
As we waited for the procession to begin, I visited with OUR Holocaust survivor who joined us on our trip, Max Glauben. This was his 13th March. Max is a survivor of many things, in addition to the Holocaust. When I asked him how he has survived to be the vibrant, kind nonagenarian he is, he said, “I have 6 million angels sitting on my shoulder.”
As we returned each evening to our home base of the Jewish quarter of Krakow, we were in a microcosm of what Jewish life was once like in Poland, before it was so cruelly taken away.
At each carefully chosen stop on the trip, there was a story that brought the catastrophe home.
I’ll say it again, you think you understand, but until you are there, it’s hard to conceptualize.
It reminds me of going to Israel. It can be hard to describe to others the overwhelming feeling of belonging as a Jew when you step off the plane, touch the Kotel or journey up Masada. You have to be there to feel it.
We heard countless stories from Max, who shared many deeply personal stories, and at Majdanek, he told us about his experience there and we said Kaddish with him on the steps of the memorial of ashes of the camp’s victims.
Like Rosie said, too powerful to adequately put into words.
As our week in Poland closed, I prepared to head back to Dallas while most of my fellow travelers went on to Israel for the second leg of the trip.
To experience the birth of Israel and be there on Israel Independence Day, I can only imagine the sheer joy of that feeling of elation in juxtaposition to what I had experienced in Poland. I highly recommend the whole two-week experience.
So I’m not sure if I have convinced you that this is a trip that is worth taking. If not, consider this sobering story.
Not long after I returned from Poland I visited my doctor.
“How was your vacation to Poland?” she asked.
I explained that it wasn’t really a vacation, and shared some of my experiences.
This well-educated and gifted healer’s response? “You mean they killed women and children too?”
I was a little dumbfounded. How could someone so smart, empathic and well-educated not understand the Holocaust?
So, why should you go?
To bear witness and be able to tell people what you saw, what happened.
If not you, then who?
For more information about the second Dallas Adult March of the Living trip, contact Laura Fine at ltfine.moldallas@gmail.com.

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