Search Results | "Silverthorn "

At 86, Mandell’s ‘second home’ still pool

At 86, Mandell’s ‘second home’ still pool

Posted on 18 January 2018 by admin

Larry Mandell has won 40 swimming medals in the last nine years with records in the 75- to 79-year and 80- to 84-year age brackets.

Larry Mandell has won 40 swimming medals in the last nine years with records in the 75- to 79-year and 80- to 84-year age brackets.

Allen resident still swimming, competing on regular schedule

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

When Larry Mandell talks family, cigars and swimming, his face lights up brighter than his collection of swimming medals — and that’s a lot of shiny!
The leap-year “baby” 86-year-old’s triumphs in the pool are still stacking up as he holds five records in the 75-79 age bracket and three in the 80-84 bracket.
“I work out to stay alive and I love being in the pool — I feel great when I swim and it’s that simple,” said Mandell, who lives in Allen and is still competing and training three times a week at the Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium.

Photo: Larry Mandell More important than all the gold medals and records Larry Mandell holds is his family: (back row, left to right) Michelle, David, Robert, Lynne, Larry, and Sheila; (front row) Jason, Tanner, Daniel, Toby, and Tucker Mandell.

Photo: Larry Mandell
More important than all the gold medals and records Larry Mandell holds is his family: (back row, left to right) Michelle, David, Robert, Lynne, Larry, and Sheila; (front row) Jason, Tanner, Daniel, Toby, and Tucker Mandell.

His first memories of his toes in the water are as a 9-year-old at the Jersey Shore. “The water is like a second home — something I can, and hope to, do all my life.”
Born on leap day in 1936, Mandell has sprung through life, every day an “extra,” living to the fullest. With more than 40 medals in the last nine years, his records and gold medals through the Texas Amateur Athletic Foundation (TAAF), in the 75-79 bracket, are for the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyle, the 50-yard backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly swim. In the 80-84 range, he’s won three TAAF gold medals in the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyle competitions. He’s also won nine gold medals in the Dallas Area Senior Games.
The Newark, New Jersey, native has been married to his beloved Sheila for 54 years, the two introduced by Larry’s cousin, poolside, a clue to his future beloved. They are the parents of David (Michelle), Robert (Lynne), and Leslie, of blessed memory, and the grandparents of Daniel, Jason, Tanner, Toby, and Tucker.
His time in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War provided many unique opportunities, including service on the USS Ticonderoga (CV-14) in the Mediterranean. Among the treasures Mandell produced over the years is a 1966 photo of Israel, shot by an astronaut. A graduate of NYU with a Bachelor of Science in film, television, and radio production, Mandell was a leader at the Army Pictorial Center, producing training films, research and development, and historical films.
In 1970, the Mandell family moved to El Paso, where for 22 years Larry worked at White Sands Missile Range as the chief of visual information. After retiring as a federal employee with the Department of Defense, Larry began a second career as manager of warehouse and repair of Kurland-Salzman Music.
As a member of El Paso’s Congregation Bnai Zion, Larry was president of its Men’s Club and commander of the Jewish War Veterans (JWV) Post No. 749, and commander and first commander of the JWV Department of the Southwest. He was honored with the National Americanism Award by the JWV, an organization he remains a member of through Dallas’ local Post #256. Sheila served on the boards of the congregation’s Sisterhood, B’nai B’rith Women/El Paso, and the Parent Teacher Organization.
Moving to Dallas in 1999 to be closer to their children, Mandell worked for Brook Mays Music, and the couple reunited with many El Paso transplants from their Jewish community. Members of Congregation Anshai Torah since it began, the Mandells relied heavily on the heart and support of Rabbi Stefan Weinberg when their daughter Leslie was critically ill, and after her passing in 1999.
Mandell taught adult swim lessons at the Tom Muehlenbeck Center in West Plano for eight years, something he’d provided to many sailors during his time in the Navy.

Larry Mandell (back row, center) and Ariel (Richard) Larkey (third from right) and their Weequahic High School swim team, the 1952 city champs, remain close friends, despite the thousands of miles between their homes in Texas and Israel.

Larry Mandell (back row, center) and Ariel (Richard) Larkey (third from right) and their Weequahic High School swim team, the 1952 city champs, remain close friends, despite the thousands of miles between their homes in Texas and Israel.

Attributing his good health to his continued participation in the sport, early in his athletic career he was a member of the 1952 City Champion Weequahic High School swim team alongside Arieh (Richard) Larkey, still a dear friend. The two are separated by miles, thousands of them, as Larkey, a former architect and author made aliyah in 1971. However, they remain close.
“I have only the best of memories of us as young swimmers — and cherished friends — and returning to the sport to compete in my 60s, now just for pleasure, I still believe it’s the best sport,” said Larkey, who visited with his high school friend when the Mandells traveled to Israel many years ago. Their friendship extended to another generation as the Mandells’ children traveled to Israel, staying at Larkey’s home. “Now, thanks to FaceTime and the two of us ‘entering’ the 21st century, we’re able to relive the wonderful feelings of a lifetime friendship.”
A healthy man by diet and exercise, he enjoys a little more relaxing — very little — than his one-a-day stogie that he “mostly” chews on.
“Next to my family, my proud moments are when I win. I train hard for fun and for my health,” said Mandell, who in 2000 had two stents placed after a heart attack. “I changed how I eat, how I exercise, and how I live. There’s nothing I take for granted.” He’s planning to race again later this year.
Setting the example high for his family, Mandell’s lessons aren’t lost on those on the lower branches of his family tree. “He’s amazing and I hope I live the way he does,” said grandson Jason. “Most grandfathers have good advice and stories to tell. He lives every day being healthy and strong and following his own advice. He’s something special and I’m proud of him and glad he’s mine.”
Those words? A shinier prize than any other.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Comments (1)

New year, new you: JFS’ career services offers many resources for job seekers

New year, new you: JFS’ career services offers many resources for job seekers

Posted on 18 January 2018 by admin

Photo by Deb Silverthorn JFS’ Career and Employment Services team (left to right) Phil Konecki, Marina Garcia, Marlene Mickish, Allison Harding and Don Carter, with Mitch Jacobs (not pictured), helps those looking for employment, financial planning assistance, computer skills and much more.

Photo by Deb Silverthorn
JFS’ Career and Employment Services team (left to right) Phil Konecki, Marina Garcia, Marlene Mickish, Allison Harding and Don Carter, with Mitch Jacobs (not pictured), helps those looking for employment, financial planning assistance, computer skills and much more.

Career services department prepares people for new employment

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

A new year brings new goals, new challenges, and new hopes, and the Career and Employment Services department of Jewish Family Service may be the key to reaching, beating, making and surpassing all three.

Photo: JFS Volunteer Bradley Rossel and JFS Administrative Services Manager Jennifer Lindsey demonstrate Dell computers in the JFS client computer workroom. The computers were donated by Northpark in 2015 as part of their 50 Years of Giving Campaign. JFS provides computer courses to clients and access to the Internet, among other services.

Photo: JFS
Volunteer Bradley Rossel and JFS Administrative Services Manager Jennifer Lindsey demonstrate Dell computers in the JFS client computer workroom. The computers were donated by Northpark in 2015 as part of their 50 Years of Giving Campaign. JFS provides computer courses to clients and access to the Internet, among other services.

JFS’ career-management specialists provide individualized assistance to identify career options in employment transition focusing on placement, improving job-search effectiveness, achieving career goals and re-employment.
“We start with what the job seeker wants to do, what he or she is good at, rather than what they’ve done because the doors open wider,” said JFS’ Director of Career and Employment Services Allison Harding, working with employment coaches including Don Carter, Mitch Jacobs, Phil Konecki and Marlene Mickish. “We delve intensively into the person’s life to help them find their path.”
The Job Search Resource Center, open Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 5:30 p.m., and Fridays from noon to 4:30 p.m., provides job leads, networking contacts, job-search information, use of phone, computers, fax, copier and access to the Internet. It furnishes employers, at no cost, with candidates’ resumes and job requisition postings.
“Networking, and the how-to, is a key piece to what we do,” said Mickish — now a JFS career counselor, but one who truly understands the process. She was hired after coming in to look for a job, a mutual fit that was clear after working with her counselor. “The program is engaging and an important piece of the practice.”
Getting help from JFS is as easy as registering for an intake meeting and orientation participation to determine what services are needed. The team meets weekly discussing all prospective clients, determining which counselor is best suited to meet the individual’s needs.
“We validate each person to decide if it’s resume support, technology skills updating, career exploration, networking or a combination of those and other services that we can provide,” said Konecki, who leads a 60-hour computer skills program covering the basics of Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint and safely navigating the Internet. “We’ll create expectations to determine what’s realistic in creating a future. We’re all a team.”
JFS’ website provides myriad resources: full and part-time job listings, recommendations and contacts for those with and without higher education degrees, those just out of high school, applicants searching for career changes or later-in-life opportunities, and those needing to upgrade their skills.
“Allison’s team and the support they provide are incredible. I had no idea our community provided these services but I’m glad it does because it’s made a huge difference for me and my family,” said Jay Hamby, whose job was recently downsized. Having worked with one company for 19 years, and another for six, it took Hamby less than three months, meeting with JFS’ professionals every two weeks, to find his position as general manager of the Allen Premium Outlet Mall.
“When we first met, Allison took my resume and let me know prospective employers would look at maybe one-fourth of it. She coached me through reworking the resume, how to handle a phone interview and negotiate for myself, and how critical networking is,” said Hamby. “If I hear of someone looking for work, in a whole new way, I’ll do anything I can to help.”
JFS’ support team, part of the Working Families Success Program, also helps those, employed or not, to prepare for their financial futures through free, private, one-on-one financial coaching services.
“We look at the financial part of the clients’ lives because it’s important to determine a livable baseline, what’s preferred and what’s ideal, also, creating a budget to pay bills through the course,” said Marina Garcia, who leads the financial counseling program. Garcia noted that many job applications now come with a credit check, and that offers to seemingly otherwise qualified candidates have been rescinded. “Once the client finds employment, we continue to help to re-evaluate and reorganize.”
Entrusting JFS with their support, both economic and in referrals, are the Communities Foundation of Texas, the Dallas Women’s Foundation, the Texas WorkForce Commission, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, and the United Way.
Services are also tailored for disabled/special-needs individuals, providing direct assistance in job-search training, job placement and on-the-job training, and career counseling and long-term support services are also provided for veterans — more than 150 have been helped — and their spouses and family members.
“Part of what we do is working with a more challenging workforce, developing a new path for some who come to us,” said Carter. He noted that JFS often refers its other services including the food pantry, family violence support, counseling, concerns regarding older adults, and others. “If one of us coaches recognizes additional need, we walk down the hall and find help. We are one.”
“When I lost my job I also lost my confidence, my optimism and a lot of myself,” said Brad Golman, a former salesman, whose 50-member department was closed without notice, leaving him without severance, support or an imminent future. “I met Allison and she helped me not just put my resume together, but she helped me build myself ready to go out and get in front of people. That is a very big deal!”
Golman, who for the last two years has worked for Senior Helpers, providing caregiving services for older adults, ended up in that role when he re-evaluated what he enjoyed doing, rather than what his personal job history was.
“The attitude and enthusiasm of everyone at JFS is caring and kind and so helpful,” said Golman, who appreciated the computer center and many other resources. “We looked at what really mattered to me and caring for my parents is something I love doing — and they introduced me to my current employer. The all-around experience was incredible.”
Carter, speaking for all, guarantees the team, like all at JFS, “treats our clients with dignity and respect, opening doors — and hearts.”
That is the best job of all.
For more information or to register for programs or career and employment services, contact Allison Harding at aharding@jfsdallas.org or call 972-437-9950 and visit jfsdallas.org/services/career-employment/. JFS is a partner agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Comments (0)

Dallas Doings: Shabbat together, Christmas mitzvah

Dallas Doings: Shabbat together, Christmas mitzvah

Posted on 18 January 2018 by admin

Photo: Steve Krant JWV and JWV Auxiliary volunteers posed beneath the large American flag in the VA’s atrium after a job well done! The JWV Post 256 assembled and delivered more than 200 gift bags to patients at the VA on Christmas Day.

Photo: Steve Krant
JWV and JWV Auxiliary volunteers posed beneath the large American flag in the VA’s atrium after a job well done! The JWV Post 256 assembled and delivered more than 200 gift bags to patients at the VA on Christmas Day.

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Shabbat Together for your Munchkin

Temple Shalom Munchkin Minyan will convene Shabbat Together for the first time this year, at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19. The program always includes singing, dancing, story time and challah.
Saturday morning programs add a delicious child-friendly oneg. For more information contact Jen Arndt and Michelle Falk, Young Family co-chairs, at youngfamilies@templeshalomdallas.org. Additional dates are 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 17; 6 p.m. Friday, March 16; 10:20 a.m. Saturday, April 21; and 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 19.
All families with children ages 6 and under are welcome.
— Submitted by Lisa Rothberg

JWV’s Christmas mitzvah

Christmas Day morning found more than 30 members and family of JWV Harvey J. Bloom Post 256 and its Ladies Auxiliary volunteering at the Dallas VA Medical Center.
The group was on a mission to bring cheer to veterans hospitalized during the holidays. Many have little or no family to keep them company on Christmas Day. JWV’s volunteers bring each veteran a gift bag stocked with snacks, wearables, stationery and other useful items — many donated by local merchants. Perhaps most importantly, they bring a smiling face and some conversation to brighten their day.
More than 200 gift bags were distributed to patients, as well as to families at Fisher House — a nearby facility, similar to Ronald McDonald House, offering free temporary lodging to families while their loved ones undergo medical treatment.

 

 

*****

 

Diamonds and Dice

Congregation Anshai Torah recently celebrated and honored Stuart Blaugrund, one of its founding members, a devoted supporter, amazing adviser and good friend.
— Submitted by Deb Silverthorn

 (Left to right) Melanie, Michael Kerner, Stuart Blaugrund, Bari Golin-Blaugrund, Louann Leeds-Pranses and Emily Blaugrund Fox

(Left to right) Melanie, Michael Kerner, Stuart Blaugrund, Bari Golin-Blaugrund, Louann Leeds-Pranses and Emily Blaugrund Fox

(Back row, left to right) Brad Welcher, Debbie Cohn, Gretchen Edwards, Harvey Swento, Amy Gross, Shawn Frank and Cynthia Brooks; (front row) Bethany Last, Kim Velevis, Jennifer Hersh, and Kimberly Mabel

(Back row, left to right) Brad Welcher, Debbie Cohn, Gretchen Edwards, Harvey Swento, Amy Gross, Shawn Frank and Cynthia Brooks; (front row) Bethany Last, Kim Velevis, Jennifer Hersh, and Kimberly Mabel

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Comments (0)

Anshai Torah welcomes Middle East peace adviser

Anshai Torah welcomes Middle East peace adviser

Posted on 11 January 2018 by admin

Scholar-in-Residence Makovsky will speak Jan. 26-27

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

As the United States has named Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and the world looks again to the center of our Jewish lives — traditionally, spiritually, and politically — Congregation Anshai Torah welcomes David Makovsky, the 2018 Arnie Sweet Scholar-in-Residence, Friday through Saturday, Jan. 26 and 27.
“The Arnie Sweet SIR weekend always gives us pause, reminding us of the spirit that defined Arnie,” said Rabbi Stefan Weinberg. “His constant attention to community, alongside his thirst for knowledge and deep interest in the people of Israel, compel us to follow in his footsteps. … Welcoming an individual of David Makovsky’s stature serves as an ideal opportunity to honor Arnie’s memory by pursuing some of the most important ideals that inspired him for a lifetime of dedication to the Jewish people and humanity at-large.”

Photo: David Makovsky “David Makovsky, considered the leading expert in U.S.-Israeli relations — in academic, political, and personal realms — is certain to bring our weekend to a most in-depth level,” said Warren Harmel, chair of Anshai Torah’s Jan. 26 and 27 Arnie Sweet Scholar-in-Residence program. “When critical conversations and decisions have happened, he was there.”

Photo: David Makovsky
“David Makovsky, considered the leading expert in U.S.-Israeli relations — in academic, political, and personal realms — is certain to bring our weekend to a most in-depth level,” said Warren Harmel, chair of Anshai Torah’s Jan. 26 and 27 Arnie Sweet Scholar-in-Residence program. “When critical conversations and decisions have happened, he was there.”

The Scholar-in-Residence weekend, presented by Janice and Dr. Art Weinberg, Cindy and Dr. Mitch Moskowitz, Cathy and Dr. Joel Brook, and Etz Chaim sponsors Debbie and Manuel Rajunov, will feature a Lunch & Learn at noon Friday at Congregation Anshai Torah focused on “U.S.-Israel Relations in the Age of Trump — Knowns and Unknowns.”
Friday night, Makovsky will speak on “After More Than 125 College Visits, a Journey about Israel, BDS and Young American Jews” during Kabbalat Shabbat services beginning at 6:15 p.m. and at a keynote and dinner where he’ll address “The Potential and Limitations of Strategic Convergence in the Middle East.” Saturday morning, Makovsky will speak of “Succession in the Israel and Palestinian Arenas: What is Real?” with a discussion following lunch. Saturday evening’s sponsor and synagogue leadership reception is at a private home.
“David Makovsky’s voice, one that’s been at peace talk tables and at the center with decision makers, is one we’re lucky to hear. How incredible to have him here during this historical time for Israel and for all Jews,” Janice Weinberg said. “Arnie loved our Shabbat table discussions, and the conversations that will come from Anshai Torah’s family Shabbat table would make him proud.”
Makovsky, a native of St. Louis, is the Ziegler distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute and director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process. He’s an adjunct professor in Middle East studies at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and is a former senior adviser to the special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in the office of the U.S. Secretary of State.
Makovsky, an award-winning journalist who covered the peace process from 1989 to 2000, is a former executive editor of the Jerusalem Post, diplomatic correspondent for Haaretz and a former contributing editor to U.S. News and World Report — for 11 years as its special Jerusalem correspondent. Makovsky was the first journalist for an Israeli publication to visit Damascus, one of five trips to Syria including when he accompanied then–U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. In 1995, with assistance from U.S. officials, Makovsky was given unprecedented permission to file reports from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for an Israeli publication.
“We need to be humble and we need to take steps forward. There have been many noble efforts through the years and I hope we’ll come to an overlap, but we’re not there yet,” said Makovsky. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University and a master’s in Middle East studies from Harvard University, having testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, and on multiple occasions before the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs Middle East Subcommittee.
Author of Washington Institute monographs and essays on issues related to the Middle East peace process and the Arab-Israeli conflict, he co-wrote, with Dennis Ross, Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East. His maps on alternative territorial solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were reprinted by The New York Times in the paper’s first interactive treatment of an op-ed. He’s a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.
“I talk to students and I’m speaking to tomorrow’s future. I want millennials to not give up, to know about the good times and the handshakes, to learn of the reservoir I have in my mind as I can give hope,” said Makovsky, former chairman of the World Union of Jewish Students. He has made more than 130 visits to college campuses and a TEDx talk discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“I was 7 during the Six-Day War and 13 at the Yom Kippur War. I look back, a ‘minute’ ago to watching Anwar Sadat in Jerusalem and I was recently at a dinner honoring that occasion’s 40th anniversary,” Makovsky said. “From when I spent a gap year in Israel I wanted to be a part of ‘peace,’ I wanted to be ‘on the ground,’ and that’s where I’ve lived my life and career. It’s important moments that make our lives, that make a difference.”
Program chair Warren Harmel said, “David Makovsky, considered the leading expert in U.S.-Israeli relations — in academic, political and personal realms — is certain to bring our weekend to a most in-depth level.” He added, “When the critical conversations and decisions have happened, he’s been there and we’re honored to bring his astounding practical and theoretical experience to Anshai Torah.”
For information or to RSVP (child care provided Friday night and Saturday morning) call 972-473-7718 or email receptionist@anshaitorah.org. Friday night dinner tickets are $30/CAT members, $38/nonmembers, $8/children. There is no charge for Friday lunch or evening services or Saturday’s events, but RSVPs are required. For sponsorship information, email warrenharmel@gmail.com.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Comments (0)

Deadline approaching for JCC’s Emerging Filmmaker Contest

Deadline approaching for JCC’s Emerging Filmmaker Contest

Posted on 11 January 2018 by admin

All submissions, applications due March 1

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

Lights. Camera. Action.
Action, as in care of young filmmakers, is at the core of the first Jewish Film Festival of Dallas Emerging Filmmaker contest. Applications recently posted and submissions are due March 1, 2018. The contest, in memory of Dr. Peter Marcus, looks to receive contributions of film and video creations with a Jewish tone.
For 10 of its 21 years, Marcus and his wife Brenda were dedicated to the Jewish Film Festival of Dallas, serving as event chairs for eight years. Each fall they helped bring creative, evocative, educational, humorous and thrilling films with Jewish stories to the community.

Photo: Marcus Family Peter Marcus (bottom center), of blessed memory, seen here with sons Barry (left) and David and his wife Brenda, is the namesake of the JCC’s Jewish Film Festival of Dallas Emerging Filmmaker Contest.  Applications are open online and film submissions are due March 1.

Photo: Marcus Family
Peter Marcus (bottom center), of blessed memory, seen here with sons Barry (left) and David and his wife Brenda, is the namesake of the JCC’s Jewish Film Festival of Dallas Emerging Filmmaker Contest. Applications are open online and film submissions are due March 1.

“Film is a reflection of our culture and our history and I love, and Peter would love, that the J has chosen to honor his memory in this way,” said Brenda. With her husband she screened more than 100 films each year, working with a dedicated committee, narrowing the field to 10 for the community to experience. The couple researched films, contacted distributors, spending almost full-time hours going through the process. Brenda is already deep in reviews for the 2018 festival, continuing her husband’s legacy and love for sharing Israeli and Judaic culture through film.
“I miss my sounding board and while it’s hard to be screening films now without him, I just watched a prospective film about a baker who was describing the ‘respect’ one needs for the dough as he worked in the kitchen. I both laughed and cried as I imagined Peter here making his potato loaf, and how his mind went into creating it. That’s how we watched films together — finding bits and pieces that touched us and brought out emotions, whether of joy, sadness, love, anger — it didn’t matter as long as it made us feel.”
When one festival ended, the Marcuses would watch films for the next year, often the very next day.
“People coming to the festival only see the end product but my parents worked amazingly hard to bring the best Jewish-themed films,” said David, who with his brother Barry is co-chairing the competition named for their father, who passed away last June. “We are honored and we look forward to seeing what the filmmakers have to offer. I think we’ll view them and think ‘what would Dad have liked,’ and if it launches the career of an upcoming young filmmaker, all the better.”
“Peter and Brenda, really as one, have been an integral part of our film festival and the J is thrilled to reach out to the next generation of filmmakers,” said Rachelle Weiss Crane, Aaron Family JCC director of Israel Engagement and Living. “Even from his hospice bed Peter was screening films and taking calls and that dedication kept all of us going, and made even last year’s festival, his last, so incredibly magnificent. This prize, in his honor, is something very special and important to us all.”
The Emerging Filmmaker prize will be presented to an artist younger than 25 who is chosen for his or her submission of an outstanding short film which contains a Jewish theme. Applicants under the age of 18 are required to have a parent’s written permission. Submissions will be accepted from all genres including narrative, documentary and animation. A committee will choose the winner. More than one award may be given depending on number of applicants and value of works submitted.
Films, no more than 40 minutes in total, must be shot in HD or 1080p format and submitted in the form of a link to a viewable film. While the filmmaker(s) don’t have to be Jewish, the piece must reflect some aspect of Jewish life or the Jewish experience, whether historical, religious, cultural or personal. In addition, applicants must include a personal statement explaining why the Jewish element of the film is important to its creation and a brief treatment or synopsis of the film as well as a plan for securing rights that still require clearance (stock footage, music, etc). Complete rules and information are available on the J’s website. The prize for the winning applicant will be $500 and the honor of having their film screened during the 2018 Jewish Film Festival of Dallas.
“My father grew up in 1950s during the ‘golden age of Hollywood,’ he was enchanted by the movies he saw as a child, and he imparted this love of film to us,” Barry said. “He was able to memorize and quote much of the dialogue from his favorite films, and together we watched Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments, The Greatest Show on Earth, Giant, Lawrence of Arabia, the James Bond films, and many others. Diary of a Mad Housewife and Lost in America were annual viewing traditions in our home.
“David attended film school as an aspiring actor before becoming a professional sports anchor and reporter. I was a film critic for my high school and college newspapers, I wrote film soundtracks for student movies, and I worked as a script doctor for a small film company in Austin,” Barry continued.
The brothers explained that they are both aspiring screenplay writers. “Our love of culture and the arts is definitely a gift from our parents and something we’re excited to impart through this competition, the Jewish link something deeply embedded and important to everyone connected.”
For more information, or those wishing to make a donation to support the arts prize, email filmmaker@jccdallas.org or www.jccdallas.org/film.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Comments (0)

Dallas Doings: New chapter for men’s book club: women

Dallas Doings: New chapter for men’s book club: women

Posted on 04 January 2018 by admin

Group renamed to Guys’ and Gals’ Book of the Month Club

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

Bob Weinfeld is turning the pages of his Guys’ Night Out book club to a new chapter that not only invites, but also always includes women to participate. The group is now called the Guys’ and Gals’ Book of the Month Club.
The all-inclusive group will welcome author Chuck Friedman, author of Just Call Me Mr. Lucky: An Ethical Will Entwined in an Autobiography, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, at the Aaron Family JCC.

(left to right)  Jerry Levin, Bob Weinfeld, Ken Parker, founded the Guys’ Night Out Book of the Month Club with the late Fred Fisher (far left). The club, which meets at the Aaron Family JCC has been renamed the Guys’ and Gals’ Book of the Month Club.

(left to right) Jerry Levin, Bob Weinfeld, Ken Parker, founded the Guys’ Night Out Book of the Month Club with the late Fred Fisher (far left). The club, which meets at the Aaron Family JCC has been renamed the Guys’ and Gals’ Book of the Month Club.

“We Jews are the ‘People of the Book,’ the men and women too, and we’re excited to include — and we look forward to having — the ‘gals’ join us on a regular basis. This has been a great group since 2002 and I know it can only get better,” said Weinfeld, program organizer. “It will be wonderful to hear their reviews and discussions.”
The new schedule begins with first-time author Chuck Friedman sharing his Just Call Me Mr. Lucky; An Ethical Will Entwined in an Autobiography. The book, which began as notes to his family, including sons Gus and Paul and his three granddaughters — to whom he dedicated the book — morphed into a bound bounty of advice and lessons he’s learned in his 80-plus years.
Friedman calls himself “lucky,” sharing life for 55 years with wife Ety and their sons. Enjoying good health and magnificent experiences along with both failures and successes during three different careers, the Minnesota native started as an engineer, then went from investor to president and CEO of Information Dynamics Corporation, then became a real estate professional, forming Bachman Construction Company. Looking back on it all, he put pen to paper to create an ethical will. What ensued, and the process of publishing the tome, has made for more memories.
“There’s a million books published this year and mine is one — that’s something,” said Friedman, who along with his wife has been a member of Congregation Shearith Israel for 50 years. “I wrote about how I hoped my family would live, what I’ve tried to do, and to teach them something about living a proper good life. I thought the lessons could help others too.”
It was Marlene and Fred Fisher, of blessed memory, who suggested to Weinfeld the idea of a men’s book club — something women in the community were already enjoying. Put a bug in Weinfeld’s ear and be sure he’ll act with even the slightest plan in sight.

Chuck Friedman, here with wife Ety, is the featured speaker at the first – now revised edition – to include women, of the now “titled” Guys’ and Gals’ Book of the Month Club at the Aaron Family JCC on Jan. 16.

Chuck Friedman, here with wife Ety, is the featured speaker at the first – now revised edition – to include women, of the now “titled” Guys’ and Gals’ Book of the Month Club at the Aaron Family JCC on Jan. 16.

“I thought it was a great idea and in a couple of weeks Fred, Jerry Levin, Ken Parker and I met and off we were,” said Weinfeld. “We started with Seabiscuit and haven’t stopped reading, covering 175 books.”
“Bob’s a magnet and anything he’s involved in is successful. I love walking by the meetings where you can hear the enthusiasm. It’s one more way the J opens its doors for learning, connections and community building — it’s what we’re about,” said Artie Allen, the J’s CEO. “The more inclusive, the better and we’re thrilled to have more people coming through our doors.”
For Myra Fischel, whose husband Bert has participated in the club for years, opening the gateway for the ladies is exciting. “The guys have always had a good time and whenever we’re invited, it’s been enjoyable,” she said, noting she and Bert are considering reviewing a book together. “I think we might lighten it up a little, but I like that we’ll be introduced to books we maybe wouldn’t otherwise appreciate.”
That the club is multigenerational — with Jews from all congregations and the unaffiliated too — is another positive for Fischel. “It’s nice to meet new people,” she said. “Bob is a super planner with more energy than anyone I know. If he’s leading the trail, it’s going to be a good ride.”
Brenda Nibert, who’s known Weinfeld for a while but never attended the programs, echoes that he’s a “dynamo and everything he plans is a success.” His record intact, at The Legacy at Willow Bend, where Weinfeld is dubbed “the Mayor,” he founded an in-house book club and that facility’s library, now with thousands of rotating books. “I’ve been involved in many areas of the community, including other book clubs as I love to read constantly, but I’m looking forward to whatever Bob instigates,” Nibert added.
The Guys’ and Gals’ Book of the Month Club events are open to the public and free of charge, with each review and discussion sweetened with socialization and snacks. For more information, email Bob Weinfeld at robert.weinfeld@tx.rr.com.

 

*****

 

2018 schedule

Feb. 20: A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order and World Order
March 20: The Life and Afterlife of a Jazz Legend, Bix Beiderbecke

Dallas resident and first-time author Chuck Friedman will share his Just Call Me Mr. Lucky; An Ethical Will Entwined in an Autobiography at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 16, at the Guys’ and Gals’ Book of the Month Club at the Aaron Family JCC.

Dallas resident and first-time author Chuck Friedman will share his Just Call Me Mr. Lucky; An Ethical Will Entwined in an Autobiography at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 16, at the Guys’ and Gals’ Book of the Month Club at the Aaron Family JCC.

April 17: Lucky Bastard: My Life, My Dad, and the Things I’m Not Allowed to Say on TV
June 19: Schmucks: Our Favorite Fakes, Frauds, Lowlifes and Liars
July 17: The Mind of Egypt: History and Meaning in the Time of the Pharaohs (a melding of fiction and nonfiction titles)
Titles for Aug. 21, Oct. 16, and Nov. 20 are to be announced, and there are no meetings in May, September and December.
While most events are hosted at the JCC, there is discussion of occasional programs to be held at The Legacy at Willow Bend.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Comments (0)

Sisterhoods invite Repp to tell his story

Sisterhoods invite Repp to tell his story

Posted on 27 December 2017 by admin

Holocaust survivor will discuss book at Jan. 7 luncheon

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

Reflection, reconnections, and the relishing of friendships new and old are certain at the 2018 IntraFaith Sisterhood Brunch. This year’s luncheon will be hosted by Temple Emanu-El’s Women of Reform Judaism at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 7, and catered by Simcha Kosher Catering. The featured speaker will be community member and author Jack Repp.

Photo: Deb Silverthorn Jack Repp will speak at the 2018 IntraFaith Sisterhood Brunch at Temple Emanu-El. Repp (center), here with event Honorary Chair Sarah Yarrin, has told the story of his life in his recently published Dreams & Jealousy, his story as told to Rabbi Dan Lewin (right).

Photo: Deb Silverthorn
Jack Repp will speak at the 2018 IntraFaith Sisterhood Brunch at Temple Emanu-El. Repp (center), here with event Honorary Chair Sarah Yarrin, has told the story of his life in his recently published Dreams & Jealousy, his story as told to Rabbi Dan Lewin (right).

“Sisterhoods across the country connect, advocate, and act and Temple Emanu-El’s WRJ couldn’t be more thrilled to host this year’s gathering,” said Celia Rose Saunders, co-chairing the event with Elise Mikus and Sue Weiner and Honorary Chair Sarah Yarrin. The co-chairs are excited that the event is open to both women and men (ages 15 and over), hoping to see the generations represented.
“Everything that Sisterhood stands for is meaningful and to have Jack Repp as our guest, a man we honor, admire and really love so dearly, here to share his own story that is so important, is a gift to us all,” Saunders said. “We’ve opened the event to men and women and to teens, and we’re bringing in Simcha Kosher Catering hoping those from all the congregations, and those who are unaffiliated as well, will join us together — as one — as Jews — to experience and strengthen what we know as community.”
Each Sisterhood IntraFaith Luncheon, this one the 15th annual affair, is hosted by a different Dallas-area congregation, bringing together the members of the sisterhoods of all branches of Judaism. The women of each chapter create the program and menu, and coordinate the afternoon with previous event themes related to cooking, the environment, the history of Jews in Texas, the arts, career planning and more.
“Sisterhood is about our heritage and an incredible forum for friendships and connections at the many ages and stages of life,” said Rachelle Weiss Crane, who serves as Temple Emanu-El WRJ co-president with Kay Schachter. “The relationships that are built are treasures and the platforms of issues, of youth, education, social action, world Jewry and more cross the lines of the branches of Judaism and are concerns to all of us as Jews, as women and as Jewish women.”
Repp, known for speaking to groups large and small throughout the community, will reflect on his experiences during the Holocaust as shared through the publication of his book Dreams & Jealousy; The Story of Holocaust Survivor Jack Repp as told to Dan Lewin. After his lecture and a question-and-answer session, Repp will sign copies of his book, available on Amazon and which will also be sold at the event.
“I started my life as Itzik Rzepkowicz in Radom, Poland and now I get to tell my story to children and adults, in schools and in museums, and here in the temple that I love,” said Repp, who is excited about speaking to the intrafaith sisterhood audience, and this the rare occasion for men to share in the celebration. “I am so glad that this program is open to everyone in the community. To me, if you believe in God, you are a religious person and it isn’t about Reform or Conservative or Orthodox. I was born twice — once to my parents, and once again when I was 15 and instead of going to the crematorium, I went to the other line. God has watched over me all my life and everything to do with Him has turned my life in a positive direction.”
Repp’s struggle and survival are the focus of the book that tells his story. Just 69 pounds and 99.9 percent dead when liberated, he is grateful — and amazed — to have still had his mind. “I’m not educated but I can recall 70 years ago like this morning — my marbles are working. At 94 years young, I don’t want to get old,” said the 44-year-long business owner who has remained in the same house for 58 years — always resilient, with one foot forward moving after the next. “You must depend on God. He works in mysterious ways. I want people should know the truth, accept what happened, and do their part so it doesn’t happen again.”
Immigrating to Greenville, Texas, where he had family, Jack and his wife Esther (later known as Edna), of blessed memory, raised their family: children Lotty (Peter) Casillas, David (Bobbie) and Stan (Marsha), four grandchildren and recently — a first great-grandchild.
“Jack’s done it all. He’s been a merchant, a smuggler, a spy, and a survivor and he makes lemonade out of lemons like no one I know,” said Yarrin, a past-president of Temple Emanu-El’s WRJ. “To have him speak at Temple, where I’ve belonged since 1946 and he since 1949, a place that is truly my ‘home away from home,’ is so exciting. WRJ makes a huge difference to so many and supports so many and I just love that he’s coming to speak at a program of those who serve the community. It’s what he’s done for so long on his own — and now, we come together. It’s going to be just beautiful and very, very meaningful.”
RSVPs by Dec. 29 are appreciated for the luncheon. Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased online at tesisterhood.org/brunch or by calling 469-230-5195.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Comments (0)

Cycling for awareness, research and a cure

Cycling for awareness, research and a cure

Posted on 27 December 2017 by admin

Wheel to Survive returns Feb. 18

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

Be The Difference Foundation’s Wheel to Survive participants are racing with thousands of supporters and founders.
The sixth Wheel to Survive returns from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18, at the Aaron Family JCC. Practice rides are underway. The force behind the $2 million donated since the wheels began spinning has been a fearsome foursome: Jill Bach, Lynn Lentscher, Julie Shrell and the late Helen Gardner.

The 2017 Wheel to Survive had 380 riders and raised over $336,000, allowing the organization to give away its 2-millionth dollar this year. Registration is open for the Feb. 18, 2018 ride at the Aaron Family JCC.

The 2017 Wheel to Survive had 380 riders and raised over $336,000, allowing the organization to give away its 2-millionth dollar this year. Registration is open for the Feb. 18, 2018 ride at the Aaron Family JCC.

Jill Bach, a wife and mother of two who’ll celebrate 11 years of survivorship in April, was 44 when what she thought was just a cough lasted six weeks. Expecting bronchitis, her world was rocked when X-rays showed an obscured image of her left lung, revealing nodules. A biopsy and PET scan confirmed an extensive disease, most likely stage 4 ovarian cancer.
“Given the statistics I felt I survived for a reason and that was Be The Difference Foundation,” said Bach, who inherited the BRCA1 mutation. Her father had no knowledge he was a carrier before being tested himself.
Now a retired president and founder of a web development and interactive agency, Bach worked through her illness. Blogging a form of self-therapy and communication, her work and family schedule kept her feeling healthy.
Lynn Lentscher, a wife, mother of three and grandmother of three, is a retired real estate and title professional. At 53, the athletic picture-of-health woman experienced painful and prolonged diarrhea. After palpating a mass and an elevated CA125 test, Lentscher who’d previously had a hysterectomy, agreed to have her ovaries removed. She woke up to a stage 3 diagnosis. After six months of chemo, a second-look surgery showing more cancer, there was more chemo, then radiation. She endured a year of treatments and 11 years of associated issues. Now she is 18 years ovarian cancer-free.
“I prayed for survival, but also that if I survived I’d know my purpose. I understood the importance of offering hope,” Lentscher said. “The stars aligned, the four of us met and we were strong and courageous.”
Julie Shrell’s paternal grandmother had breast cancer twice — three decades apart. After her ovarian cancer diagnosis, at 48, BRCA1 testing proved positive, her family history revealed.
“There’s a lot about ovarian cancer symptoms that people don’t recognize,” said Shrell, a senior residential mortgage loan officer, married and the mother of three. “I had classic symptoms and some lesser-known, but never imagined they were a big deal. I was wrong.
“It’s funny that I hardly remember life before cancer,” Shrell said, adding that she’d focused on work and the “Mom thing.”
“I still do those things but with more intention.”
Helen Gardner, of blessed memory, was a 55-year-young wife and mother of three when she died Aug. 20, 2014. Gardner researched and sought life-extending treatments, making the most of her life. Her family is still dedicated to the Foundation as husband Gary remains on the board of directors.

Jill Bach, the late Helen Gardner, Lynn Lentscher, and Julie Shrell, founders of the Be The Difference Foundation, have shared the $2 million mark of money donated for research toward a cure for ovarian cancer. Their 2018 Wheel to Survive will take place on Feb. 18, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Aaron Family JCC in Dallas.

Jill Bach, the late Helen Gardner, Lynn Lentscher, and Julie Shrell, founders of the Be The Difference Foundation, have shared the $2 million mark of money donated for research toward a cure for ovarian cancer. Their 2018 Wheel to Survive will take place on Feb. 18, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Aaron Family JCC in Dallas.

About 1.3 percent of all women will develop ovarian cancer. For those with inherited gene mutations, 39 percent of women with the BRCA1 mutation and 11 to 17 percent who inherit the BRCA2 mutation, will develop ovarian cancer by age 70. The likelihood that breast and ovarian cancers are associated with these genes is highest in families with histories of multiple cases of breast cancer and ovarian cancer, where one or more family members have two primary cancers, ovarian cancer at any age, or those of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage. When detected and treated early, the five-year survival rate of ovarian cancer is greater than 92 percent. With vague symptoms, and late diagnosis, only 50 percent live that long.
Making sure women find and get to treatments is the goal of the Lazarex Foundation, one of BTDF’s beneficiaries. Unique in providing assistance for FDA clinical trial participation, airfare, parking, tolls, housing, additional medical testing and the identification of trial options, they’ve helped 3000-plus patients.

Photo: Be The Difference Foundation Riding in her fifth Wheel to Survive, Linda Bezner, Dallas’ 2018 chair (center) at the 2017 ride, with her son Cole and sisters-in-law Nancy Lesch (left) and Janet Bezner. Linda’s team, “A Positive Spin,” rides in her honor, as she is a three-time ovarian cancer survivor whose first diagnosis came after a complete hysterectomy. “I had no ovaries — NO ovaries — but I am celebrating being a 14-year survivor from the first time of diagnosis and as a five-year survivor of the third,” she said. “I don’t know how anyone that learns about the wonderful things that Be the Difference and Wheel to Survive are doing could not be impressed.”

Photo: Be The Difference Foundation
Riding in her fifth Wheel to Survive, Linda Bezner, Dallas’ 2018 chair (center) at the 2017 ride, with her son Cole and sisters-in-law Nancy Lesch (left) and Janet Bezner. Linda’s team, “A Positive Spin,” rides in her honor, as she is a three-time ovarian cancer survivor whose first diagnosis came after a complete hysterectomy. “I had no ovaries — NO ovaries — but I am celebrating being a 14-year survivor from the first time of diagnosis and as a five-year survivor of the third,” she said. “I don’t know how anyone that learns about the wonderful things that Be the Difference and Wheel to Survive are doing could not be impressed.”

“Be The Difference impacted 15 of this year’s patients — their $35,000 earmarked for ovarian cancer patients, that need surpassed months ago. We continue clinical trial navigations, expense reimbursements, paying for someone to accompany the patient — it all adds up,” said Program Services Coordinator Erin Miller, whose husband Mike was diagnosed in 2003 with pancreatic cancer. Mike, and Erin’s sister Dana, searched for options and Mike lived another 19 months and Dana founded Lazarex to help others. “We’ve been there. Our path allows us to help others find time and some peace.”
In 2016, rides in Austin, South Florida, Houston, Lubbock and Northern California’s Bay Area, directed by Jon Mize, also supported Clearity Foundation, Gynecology Research Lab at the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center, MD Anderson’s Ovarian Cancer Moon Shots Program, and the Ovarian Cancer Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
Bach, Lentscher, and Shrell volunteer at UT Southwestern and Survivors Teaching Students, speaking to patients and helping medical students see cancer not only as statistics, but a journey of human survival.
“We’re serving survivors and others touched but there’s more to do. We need to share more stories, find early diagnostic testing, better treatments and a cure,” said Lentscher. “We want to, we will, Be The Difference!”
The ladies look forward to a future when ovarian cancer is a chronic disease with lifesaving treatments, ultimately hoping for a cure. Until then, their mission is to support and provide hope for women fighting the disease. Hope is the drive, keeping their wheels spinning.
Fore more information, email wts@bethedifferencefoundation.org or visit www.bethedifferencefoundation.org for Wheel to Survive 2018 registration. Use promotional code “TJP” for $10 discounted registration.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Comments (0)

“Travel Time with Linda” debuts on AXS TV

“Travel Time with Linda” debuts on AXS TV

Posted on 14 December 2017 by admin

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

Holding the globe in the palm of her hand, Linda Cooper is traveling the world, now bringing her luxurious travels and experiences to homes as Travel Time with Linda debuts at 8 a.m. Jan. 6.
The 13-episode series, produced by 24-7 Productions and airing on AXS TV, features tours from Costa Rica to the Bahamas — and she’s just getting started.

Enjoying a great meal in St. Lucia, Linda Cooper who is the executive producer and host of Travel Time with Linda, which begins airing in January on AXS TV, has an appetite for sharing the most beautiful of the world, and the best tastes too.

Enjoying a great meal in St. Lucia, Linda Cooper who is the executive producer and host of Travel Time with Linda, which begins airing in January on AXS TV, has an appetite for sharing the most beautiful of the world, and the best tastes too.

“This show comes from my heart’s absolute love of travel, of fine things, of excellence, and so many interests that I have,” said Cooper, Travel Time’s host and executive producer, excited to see her dream coming true. “It’s amazing to see how different cultures create, serve, live and enjoy, and to be among the people, and the splendid beauty that is out there. It’s a lot of work, writing the scripts, doing the research, the interviews and the travel — but man, this is my dream job and I’m so happy to share it with everyone.”
The series features glamour, luxury and adventure, through the sites, shopping, cuisine, entertainment and activities including zip-lining and whitewater rafting in Costa Rica, a candid conversation with reggae superstar Bankie Banx in Anguilla, a trip to the Caicos Conch Farm in Turks and Caicos, watersports and retail therapy in Bermuda and rum tasting and surf lessons in Barbados.
“I’m already planning the next 13 shows, really my bucket list of must-do destinations,” said Cooper, the wife of Simmie and mother of Teal and Tristan. Among the Cooper’s adventures in the first set of episodes: She swam with sharks and explored Mayan Ruins in Belize, bobsledded and filmed a spooky look at the legend of the White Witch of Rose Hall in Jamaica, kayaked and climbed a volcano in St. Kitts and more.
“Simmie and I moved to Dallas right after our wedding so we put a honeymoon on hold but we made up for it many times over,” said Cooper, who with her husband has traveled to Europe, Hong Kong, Israel, South Africa and many other locales. “So many of the places I’ve visited I’ve been able to go to with my husband — he’s really my best friend — and as a family, traveling has always taken us to some great adventures with special memories.”
Soon to be available in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico, the series on AXS TV can be seen in North Texas, thanks to a partnership between founder Mark Cuban, AEG, Ryan Seacrest Media, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and CBS. The show is already airing, translated into Chinese, on TVB Asia.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity to share my adventures and these really incredibly fabulous places,” Cooper said. “Our viewers will experience some truly magnificent sights and sounds from all across the world and I couldn’t be more thrilled that my show has found the perfect TV home Saturday mornings.”
An entrepreneur at heart, Cooper is a former fitness trainer who has also run her own promotional services and products company, 24-7 Star. In 2004 she created a line of T-shirts — a nod to her commitment as a stay/work-at-home mom — featuring “Shopping Is My Cardio,” “Carpool Couture,” and one with “Random Acts of Kindness” on the front and “Pass It On” on the back.
A Los Angeles native, Cooper graduated with a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting: radio-TV-film from California State University Northridge. A former model who worked on fitness-related programs early in her career, she was a segment host on Good Morning Texas, Home & Lifestyle TV, and Designing DFW and the co-creator, host and executive producer of Live Love Laugh Today, all of those shows airing locally on WFAA, her experiences there the impetus for Travel Time with Linda.

On her Travel Time with Linda television show, which debuts on Jan. 6, Linda Cooper features shopping venues around the world – here previewing Choratega Pottery she found in Costa Rica.

On her Travel Time with Linda television show, which debuts on Jan. 6, Linda Cooper features shopping venues around the world – here previewing Choratega Pottery she found in Costa Rica.

Many of the “Caribbean Dreaming” locales Cooper featured in the 13-week initial broadcast were affected by 2017’s devastating hurricane season. A member of Congregation Anshai Torah, a former Levine Academy parent, and “Dancing with the Jewish Stars at the J” participant, she believes wholeheartedly in the tenet of tikkun olam, repairing the world. Cooper is using her forum to partner with IsraAID to help victims in Houston, Dominica and Puerto Rico. A PSA for support will air during commercial spots of her show.
“I was shooting the show in the Bahamas just a week before Hurricane Irma hit and we postponed our St. Lucia schedule which was set for the second week of September. This fall’s hurricane season just left behind a trail of destruction,” said Cooper. “Many of the areas we visited were spared but so many lost everything and there’s a momentous task ahead to rebuild. IsraAID has boots on the ground and I’m proud we can work together to help rebuild these areas and help the residents.”
“Fabulous” is how Cooper ends each show, the absolute definition of her experiences, her own personality, and the production she now brings to North Texas homes.
For Travel Time airtimes and information, visit: traveltimewithlindatv.com. To make a donation to IsraAID, visit: israaid.co.il.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Comments (0)

Friendship Circle hosts Chanukah Bowl

Friendship Circle hosts Chanukah Bowl

Posted on 07 December 2017 by admin

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

The lanes and scene will be set for strikes all around when Dallas’ Friendship Circle hosts its first Chanukah Bowl, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at Bowlmor in Dallas.
“The holiday of light and miracles is coming and each and every one of us is a miracle with a light that glows. Through Friendship Circle, those lights are even brighter,” said Leah Dubrawsky, Dallas Friendship Circle director. “Our programs allow parents to leave their children for two or two-and-a-half hours, and they know they are in good, loving and caring hands.”
The global organization known as Friendship Circle was founded in 1994. It has a mission to enrich the lives of all participants through mutually advantageous interactions and creating lasting friendships, which consequently strengthen both the Jewish and greater communities. There are now more than 80 groups in 60 cities around the world, allowing children and young adults with special needs to enjoy the company of teenage and young adult volunteers in a full range of social activities.

Submitted photo Friendship Circle was founded in 1994. It has a mission to enrich the lives of all participants through mutually advantageous interactions and creating lasting friendships, which consequently strengthen both the Jewish and greater communities.

Submitted photo
Friendship Circle was founded in 1994. It has a mission to enrich the lives of all participants through mutually advantageous interactions and creating lasting friendships, which consequently strengthen both the Jewish and greater communities.

The Dallas chapter welcomes participants ages 5-18 and buddy volunteers from eighth grade through high school. Dubrawsky, who was a Friendship Circle volunteer in her hometown of Pittsburgh and a friend to a developmentally delayed young girl in their childhood, is married to Rabbi Levi Dubrawsky and is the mother of four.
“I’m so happy with the growth of the Friendship Circle here, and excited as we continue to move north into Plano and Frisco and to welcome and gather the whole of the community as best as we can,” said Dubrawsky, planning activities throughout the area.
Since bringing the Friendship Circle full circle and revitalizing it within Dallas’ community, there have been Shabbat dinners, a day at the zoo, museums and more. The recent addition of a monthly Sunday Circle, with activities, snacks, crafts and sports, comes with the career and lifetime of experience, advisement, and calm of Friendship Circle Board of Directors Chair Eileen Kreisler.
The group, which has asked musical therapists to bring activities, science and Torah-related crafts fun, celebrated the High Holiday season by making edible sukkahs and playing soccer. During the first weekend in November, they participated in a drum circle and were led by Brook Cheatham in an afternoon of yoga relaxation.
On Oct. 29, the group reached for the stars — almost — as they partnered with Challenge Air to give the children with disabilities the gift of flight.
“We take kids up and let them fly the plane. Kids don’t fly planes? Well, heck, they do, and we let them know if they can do something they never thought they could, then surely they can do anything,” said Sonny Friedman, the organization’s first president, who remains on the organization’s board of directors. Challenge Air pilots volunteered time, giving 17 children and young adults with special needs half-hour plane rides at Addison Airport. These lucky ones were among the 35,000 Challenge Air has flown in the past 25 years.
In addition to the monthly programs and other special occasions, there are weekend visits from the volunteers to their friends during which they participate in hobbies, art, board games and more.
Yavneh Academy sophomore Jamie Perkins, a buddy to 12-year-old young man “B,” looks forward to every weekend.
“It makes him happy when we’re together and it makes me happy, too. It’s a good part of the week for both of us and I know that whatever we do, we’re going to have fun doing it together,” said Perkins, who had been involved in many occasional projects, and who was looking for a more constant opportunity to make a difference.

Submitted photo Friendship Circle was founded in 1994. It has a mission to enrich the lives of all participants through mutually advantageous interactions and creating lasting friendships, which consequently strengthen both the Jewish and greater communities.

Submitted photo
Friendship Circle was founded in 1994. It has a mission to enrich the lives of all participants through mutually advantageous interactions and creating lasting friendships, which consequently strengthen both the Jewish and greater communities.

Not only the friends enjoy weekend visits, but the parents, too. It’s an opportunity to step back and let their children cultivate their own relationships.
“It’s a great time for him to exchange with ‘typical’ teens and he loves the conversation and just being a teenager,” said Angela Weber, whose 14-year-old son, Shmuli, looks forward to his visits from Jeff Harberg and Jake Middleman every other weekend. “I know kids need to earn service hours but there are lots easier ways to do it than this and so it’s obvious these kids have heart and that they want to share that, and their time with my son, is humbling and beautiful.”
Sometimes Shmuli and his friends play games, kick around a soccer ball, and sometimes they go out for ice cream.
“He feels mature and just like what a 14-year-old should be feeling when he’s around them,” Weber said. “The boys laugh together and they just ‘be.’ It’s awe-inspiring to have Leah, who is incredible, and her volunteers be so good with, to, and for our kids all the time. It’s really very special.”
For more information about Friendship Circle and other events, visit the Friendship Circle of Dallas Facebook page or FriendshipDallas.org. To volunteer as a buddy, or to RSVP for the Dec. 17 Chanukah Bowl, call 972-998-1970.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Comments (0)

View or Subscribe to the
Texas Jewish Post

Advertise Here

Photos from our Flickr stream

See all photos

Advertise Here