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Sharsheret to hold ovarian, breast cancer event

Sharsheret to hold ovarian, breast cancer event

Posted on 04 September 2019 by admin

Photo: Courtesy Joel Schwitzer
“Mom would’ve been my greatest cheerleader,” said Joel Schwitzer, whose mother Marsha (seated, left) passed away one week after a Stage 4 ovarian cancer diagnosis. Pictured are, standing from left, Miriam, Max and Hannah Schwitzer and Miles Merrill; seated, Marsha Schwitzer, Gabrielle Merrill, Myron Schwitzer and Jordan Schwitzer.

Agency will bring together experts, survivors Sept. 17

By Deb Silverthorn
The heart of teal and pink — of the tackle against ovarian and breast cancers — will come together for a community-wide event at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, at the home of Lizzy and Dr. Jules Greif.
Dallas City Council Member Cara Mendelsohn will moderate a panel of experts on the topic. The panel will consist of Sharsheret Executive Director Elana Silber, Board-Certified Cancer Genetics Counselor Stacy “Sam” Utay and ovarian cancer survivor and co-founder of Be The Difference Foundation Julie Shrell. Simcha Catering and Event Design donated wine and cheese for the evening.
“It’s as simple as wanting to keep people alive,” said Lizzy Greif, whose sisters Margot and Sheri, of blessed memory, lost valiant fights against breast cancer. “The more we can educate, the more we can support patients and their families, before diagnosis and in the midst of the fight, the more we can help. Understanding these diseases doesn’t cure, but it provides an exhale in the throes of crisis.”
Greif, co-chairing the event with her husband Jules, Elaine Pearlman, Beri and Joel Schwitzer, Jacquie and Myron Schwitzer and Marc and Wendy Stanley, serves on Sharsheret’s national board.
Silber is chair of the Federal Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women, and has brought Sharsheret programs to Dallas for many years. The organization offers personalized support and educational outreach, as well as between 300 and 400 programs annually. Silber said the organization changes, and saves, lives through personal connections.
“The connections we make in person, that last as we help people who can benefit from our services, are invaluable,” she said. “Our team of social workers and other professionals are available to teach the Jewish, and greater, communities what we can do today to protect our future.”
And Joel Schwitzer isn’t just talking the talk but walking the walk — actually running the run — on Team Sharsheret in November’s TCS New York City Marathon. Having completed eight half-marathons in the last year, he’s dedicating his first full marathon in memory of his mother Marsha, who died in 2011, just one week after being diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer. His wife Beri, and sister Eve, both ran with Team Sharsheret in 2013.
“Mom would’ve been my greatest cheerleader,” said Schwitzer, who was first introduced to Sharsheret while Hillel director at the University of Illinois, when two students’ mothers passed away from ovarian cancer.
“I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight and started running, something neither my mom nor I would have believed possible. I’m honored, through Sharsheret, to do a mitzvah and raise money and awareness for those grappling with this horrible disease.”
With one in 40 Ashkenazi Jewish men and women carrying a BRCA gene mutation, compared to one in 500 in the general population, the risks are significantly increased for hereditary breast and ovarian cancers, as well as melanoma, pancreatic, prostate and male breast cancers.
“We want to scream about the disease that whispers,” said cancer-survivor Shrell. The organization she co-founded, Be The Difference Foundation, funds research, provides awareness and supports those fighting against ovarian cancer. “We must educate, we must be aware, and we help the community understand more about the disease,” Shrell said. “We’re truly honored to work with Sharsheret.”
For Mendelsohn, the Dallas city council member, the proactive and reactive benefits of Sharsheret are vital. As former president of Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas, she worked with the organization on many occasions to help initiate connections with Jewish Family Service’s clients.
“Every one of us has or somehow will be affected by these diseases, whether it is personally or through someone we care about,” said Mendelsohn, who was adopted as an infant. With no medical history available, she underwent a genetic testing series that ruled out 132 possible issues. Cleared, she is grateful to now understand what is, or what won’t be, on the horizon. “We can’t be blind, and we can’t ignore the information that is so readily available to us,” Mendelsohn said. “Learning is power and both Sharsheret and Be The Difference Foundation allow us all to be more powerful.”
To register for the community event, or donate to Schwitzer’s race, visit tinyurl.com/Sharsheret-Dallas-9-17. For more information about the event, including the Greifs’ address, email ekleinhaus@sharsheret.org.

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Ideal 18 program proves friendship is ageless

Ideal 18 program proves friendship is ageless

Posted on 04 September 2019 by admin

Photo: Courtesy Bywaters Family
“My best little friend? I love her,” said Helene Glazer (left) when speaking of her buddy, Juliet Bywaters. The two met through the Ideal 18 program at the JCC’s Goldberg Early Childhood Center.

JCC seeking elders to match with preschoolers


By Deb Silverthorn
When Helene Glazer is asked about her little buddy, Juliet Bywaters, her response brings love to life. “My best little friend?” Glazer said. “I love her.”
The duo, one of 12 in last year’s Ideal 18 pilot program at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center’s Goldberg Early Childhood Center, are a prime example of the program’s success, as it prepares for year two.
Expanding to three classes, this month’s recruitment is open for 40 “Elders” to participate. The only requirements to be a “grandfriend” or “Elder,” named for the respect and honor the word relays, is to be age 60 or older, have a love of children and a desire to connect in a relational way.
“The program is absolutely ‘Ideal’: Intentional Deep Experiences Across Lifecycles,” said Director of the Goldberg Early Childhood Center (GECC) Tara Ohayon. “Ideal 18 gave us a framework and raised the bar for our community — our little ones and our elders. They see each other in the halls, or sometimes at a store, and everyone’s heart beats a little extra. It’s pure joy — joy, education and caring.”
The GECC plans two events each month, some connected to curriculum, others involving sheer play. While not required, the pairs sometimes unite outside the classroom as well.
“We became best friends. That we’re 80 years and a week apart never challenges that,” Glazer said. “They matched a ‘feisty little one’ with a ‘feisty Elder,’ and they got it right. I went to her birthday party and she came swimming at my house. Wherever we are, it’s a ball.”
The partners are introduced by a photo of the elder to the child, and an interview video that is recorded, questions provided by the children. When Glazer walked in the room the first day, Juliet made a beeline to her pal.
“She looked just like her picture, and I sat on her lap,” said Juliet, her own happy-voice sounding at the memory. “I sat next to her, and I hugged her, and then I sat on her lap. I like doing everything together.”
Glazer has two grandsons and Juliet, local grandparents, but, for them, it’s a different relationship. There’s no discipline and no distraction. Just time.
For teachers Maribeth Nakwaasah and Cheryl Sefton, it’s the lit-up eyes that touch them. “The loving relationships growing between the child and elder are like nothing I’ve ever seen between two generations,” said Nakwaasah, who received an intergenerational programming grant, which provides for the program. “If only given the forum, they have so much to offer one another.”
“Children create the disposition they’ll have of seniors when they’re young. We can change society by helping with intentional programming and relationship building. Youngsters can grow with respect for, and not fear of, elders,” said Diana Ganger, Ideal 18’s director. “There’s inherent power in developing empathy.”
Ganger first created a program which coupled teens and elders in Israel. Back living in Chicago, she and co-founder Linda White made Ideal 18 a reality.
“Dallas’ GECC exceeded expectation and the professional team is exceptional,” Ganger said. “Together our programs are providing powerful opportunities.” She cited studies of those 60 and older, who, with regular interaction with children, report balanced blood pressure and better physical, emotional and cognitive health. “It’s a win-win for everyone,” she added.
Helping to support the more than tripling of the students participating this year is a grant from the Lev Kertsburg Intergenerational Program Fund. The fund was established in honor of Kertsburg, who passed away last year.
“Lev was my partner, best friend and husband for 45 years, and his name must live on,” Irene Kertsburg said. The couple’s grandchildren, Gabriel and Maxim, were the light of Lev’s life and the JCC, his second home.
“My husband spent all his time with the kids. He took them to the J, for school and to play. It was his happiest time, and Jewish education was his priority,” she said. “He’d be proud of this legacy.”
For Katharine Rubenstein, director of the J’s Senior Adult Department, Ideal 18 is a perfect match.
“The smiles that happen, come straight from the hearts,” she said. “We are the Community Center and this is community in action.”
For more details, or to register as an elder for the 2019-2020 year, please call 214-239-7157 or email tohayon@jccdallas.org. For information on Ideal 18, visit ideal18.org.

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Smallcakes Cupcakery offers kashrut’s sweet taste

Smallcakes Cupcakery offers kashrut’s sweet taste

Posted on 04 September 2019 by admin

Photo: Deb Silverthorn
“We’re glad to serve in a way that broadens our clientele,” said Smallcakes Cupcakery co-owner Annie Deubner, here with Savannah Huffman. The establishment is Dallas Kosher-certified.

North Dallas bakery adds DK certification


By Deb Silverthorn
A pinch of spirit and a dash of faith are the basis of the recipe of success for Smallcakes Cupcakery at Preston Road and Alexis Drive. Annie Deubner and her brother Kevin, whose North Dallas sweetery is now under the supervision of Dallas Kosher, are selling delicious bites out of life.
Smallcakes was opened in 2017, but it was just this summer that, after many requests from prospective clients, the Deubners decided to register with Dallas Kosher (DK). Theirs is the only Smallcakes of more than 200 storefronts to provide kosher dairy and pareve products.
“We’ve had many customers thank us for another kosher option and I’m sure our business has increased by 20 percent,” Annie Deubner said. “It’s different from what we’ve done, but it’s not hard or unreasonable. We’re glad to serve in a way that broadens our clientele.”
The dairy goods are baked on-site; a mashgiach (supervisor) from DK visits the property two to three times a week. Their pareve items are baked through a new partnership with The Market on Preston Road. When The Market closes its doors at 3:30 p.m., Deubner sets up the kitchen under The Market’s DK supervision, and gets to work.
“We’re happy to help bring more kosher choices to the community and it’s the pareve desserts that set them apart,” said Jordona Kohn, co-owner of The Market. “It’s also great to have a partnership in referring each other. They’ll have a client needing catering for us to follow, and we’ll be happy to refer her for specialty desserts.”
Certifying with Dallas Kosher required purchasing new baking sheets and pans, and submitting a list of every ingredient, with each manufacturer’s hechsher, or rabbinical certification. A few hundred clearances, new-item updates and a lot of hard work were involved, but the certification was well worth it.
Mixing things up, literally, with Annie and Kevin, are their great-niece Savannah, niece Sara and Annie’s son Ian. For Savannah, who has wanted to own a cupcake shop since she was a child, creating tasty treasures is a dream come true.
“I’ve just always loved to cook and to be creative and now I get to do both all of the time,” she said. “I can take almost any design or photo and recreate it.”
The shop’s 15 daily flavors of cupcakes include Chocoholic, Carrot Cake, Caramel Crunch, Strawberry, Peanut Butter Cup and Cookies and Cream. The Cupcakery’s recipe files include another 200 or more choices, with Blackberry Bourbon, Blueberry Pancake, Boston Cream Pie, Chocolate Cookie Cheesecake, Fluffernutter, Mudslide, Mexican Espresso and Tequila Sunrise. A two-week lead time on custom cake and cupcake orders, and three weeks for wedding cakes, is recommended.
“They are masters of art and great taste and to open their work up to the community is very special,” said Meira Naor, first introduced to the eatery in her role as Dallas Kosher’s executive director. “I ordered a pareve specialty cake for my husband’s birthday. It was an absolutely incredible mix of chocolate and whip and marshmallow and cookies — absolute goodness.”
In addition to full-size and bite-size cupcakes, Smallcakes Cupcakery offers brownies, chocolate chip cookies, macarons, birthday, wedding, and any-occasion cakes, as well as dog treats.
From customer Shani Romick, the raves continue. “Everything is delicious, and the people who work there are very friendly. We’ve ordered cupcakes and specialty cakes, and are very excited they have signed on with Dallas Kosher.”
The shop also sells cupcake infused ice cream, milkshakes and a “cupcake smash.” Imagine a cupcake split in half, served layers with ice cream and toppings. Most items (not ice cream) are available as dairy or pareve. They also offer a considerable variety of gluten-free and vegan choices.
“There’s really no end to our creativity,” said Annie. “Almost anything a customer wants, we can now create,” she added.
Smallcakes Cupcakery is at 14856 Preston Road, Dallas. For more information, call 469-248-0031, visit smallcakesdallastx.com, or email smallcakesacupcakery@yahoo.com.

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Focusing on the reality of living with ADHD

Focusing on the reality of living with ADHD

Posted on 28 August 2019 by admin

Life coach Hilary Stern helps clients beat ADHD challenges

By Deb Silverthorn
A new coach has been tagged in the game of life. It is Dallas native Hilary Stern, who is bridging the gap between the assumptions, and the reality, of living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Through her practice, ADHD Advance Coaching and Consulting, Stern helps clients, ages 10 to adult, identify how they can benefit from potential challenges, resulting in productive and fulfilling lives.
“I was diagnosed with ADHD in high school and it was a relief to have an explanation,” Stern said. “I’ve been there, and done that. I’ve taken medication and then chosen not to. I’ve really worked through it all.”
The daughter of Dr. Aaron and Eileen Kreisler, and sister to Amy, Barbi and Stephen, Stern’s work is linked to her parents’ careers; her mother is an educator of children with special needs, her father, a pediatrician. Their care combined, Stern’s clients are in the right hands.
In 2017, one of Stern’s own children was diagnosed with ADHD. The time commitment to classroom success was more than she could share herself, explained the former teacher at Akiba and Levine academies, Greenhill School and Richardson’s Classical Magnet Elementary School. So she looked for a way to manage support for everyone around her.
“I’d thought about life coaching but didn’t know how to get there,” Stern said. “Timing is everything. Shortly after I left the classroom, I saw an ad for ADHD coaching and training, while in my own child’s therapist’s office.
“When someone takes the ownership, saying ‘I’ll’ make the change, empowerment begins,” she added. That notion served her, as she redirected her own life to become an International Coaching Federation-credentialed ADHD life coach. “I guide my clients, but they create their agenda. I help them make changes that work and it’s never the same for everyone.”
For college junior Gavin Shrell, Stern has been an integral part of his journey.
“She puts everything into perspective, and makes what I want to do seem possible. Her help in my creating a plan, and seeing how to make it happen, has been huge,” Shrell said.
With Stern’s help, Shrell identified his goal of summer travel. He created the budget, figured how to earn what he needed, and together they worked on interviewing and other skills. “She helps me make sense of what I need to do and she’s very supportive,” Shrell said. “I’ll continue to work with her while I’m in school, and I know that what she’s taught me I’ll apply in many areas.”
A graduate of Greenhill School and member of BBYO’s Jenny Zesmer chapter and regional board, Stern earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at American University, and her master’s in education administration from the University of North Texas.
While Stern and her husband Josh met as preschoolers at the (now Aaron Family) Jewish Community Center, and their families were entwined in Dallas’ Jewish community, it was only after they graduated college did they become a couple. Married in 2002 at Congregation Shearith Israel, where they were both raised, they are the parents of Aidan, Benjamin, Noah and Sarah. The family has membership with Chabad of Dallas.
In addition to working one-on-one, Stern visits businesses, schools and organizations to work with professionals.
“Knowledge is power, and Hilary comes in loaded with knowledge, eager and able to pass it on,” said Dr. Paul Rubin at Frisco Kids Dentistry, where Stern led a workshop for the practice. “Hilary empowered us with an insightful look into the world of ADHD, and gave us tools to better help, treat and educate our patients and families!”
“We all have the right answers within us,” Stern said; “sometimes we just have to be asked the right questions.”
For more information on Stern, or to read her blog, visit adhdadvance.com. To schedule a complimentary consultation, email hilary@adhdadvance.com.

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Be The Difference Foundation modeling hope with fashion show

Be The Difference Foundation modeling hope with fashion show

Posted on 22 August 2019 by admin

Photo: Julie Shrell
“We’re excited to celebrate life and our survivors and raise money to keep making a difference — that’s what we do,” said Lynn Lentscher, right, co-chair with Sheryl Yonack (left) joining Deborah Montonen of Mary Crowley Cancer Research, the beneficiary of the Sept. 26 Runway for Hope luncheon and fashion show.
Survivors will walk runway for ovarian cancer research

By Deb Silverthorn
The Be The Difference Foundation’s first Runway for Hope fashion show and luncheon, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 26 at Arlington Hall in Dallas, will celebrate flair and fun, benefiting Mary Crowley Cancer Research.
“We’re excited to celebrate life and our survivors and raise money to keep making a difference — that’s what we do,” 21-year ovarian cancer survivor and Event Co-chair Lynn Lentscher said. “With Mary Crowley Cancer Research, we’re raising hope and creating awareness to quick and personal responsibility for women facing this insidious disease.” Joining Lentscher as co-chair is Sheryl Yonack and as honorary chair, Elizabeth Gambrell.
Lentscher, Jill Bach, Helen Gardner and Julie Shrell founded Be The Difference Foundation in 2012.
Runway for Hope will feature fashions from Nordstrom and Kendra Scott with former Channel 5 sports anchor Scott Murray and Nordstrom’s Nicole Aarons as emcees. Your Queen Bead and Kendra Scott pop-up shops will be open, along with raffle items for bid and complimentary gift bags from Drunk Elephant.
Yonack and Shrell designed a custom necklace for the event. The bronze-veined turquoise piece with a pavé coin component will be sold at Runway for Hope and during a Kendra Gives Back event from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 24 at Kendra Scott/Preston Center. A donation will be made to Mary Crowley Cancer Research on all sales, and purchases at the Kendra Gives Back event will receive a 10-percent discount.
“We’ve lost mothers and grandmothers, aunts, cousins, daughters and friends. There must be a cure,” said Yonack. “Runway for Hope may raise the dollar that makes that difference. It’s why we’re here.
“Ovarian cancer is the fifth-largest killer of women and it needs to no longer be a quiet disease,” she added.
An estimated 230,000 women live with ovarian cancer in the United States. Of those 230,000 women, 70 percent are expected to die. Through Be The Difference Foundation’s Wheel to Survive indoor cycle, and other events, more than $2.6 million has been donated to agencies for research, growth, support, education and awareness.
Runway for Hope will feature 12 models, currently battling or in remission from ovarian cancer, who will be pampered and readied for the event by Johnny Rodriguez the Salon.
“Ovarian cancer hits women of all ages,” survivor Kezhal Dashti said. “I promised myself that, if I came out alive, I would tell my story and help others. It’s more common than people realize and unfortunately, its diagnosis is often delayed.”
Lauren Shecht’s diagnosis also came after many consultations. After her mother and aunt both had breast cancer, she tested positive for the BRCA1 gene and thought a double mastectomy proactive. Two years later symptoms arose and, through numerous doctors later during exploratory surgery, was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer.
“That was with my caution,” said Shecht, whose children were 3 and 6 at the time. “It changes your whole life, your whole plan.”
After sixteen months in remission, cancer returned along with another eight months of chemotherapy. “People don’t realize how many young women are affected,” said Shecht, whose friends and family created the “L Team,” riding many years and raising many dollars in Wheel to Survive. “I’m excited for Runway for Hope, to get dressed up and feel pretty. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like me and this is a wonderful occasion and cause to share in.”
Patients like Dashti, Shecht and thousands of others depend on treatments and trials like those through Mary Crowley Cancer Research, which has received $400,000 in grants from Be The Difference Foundation. Its mission is to expand treatment options for all cancer patients through the investigational vaccine, gene and cellular therapies.
“We’re an independent agency making things happen quickly and our personal touch is beyond measure,” Mary Crowley Cancer Research Vice President and Chief Development Officer Deborah Montonen said. “We’re thrilled to have the support of Be The Difference Foundation. The more we collaborate, the more we enhance our agency’s visibility. The more we help, the more lives we save.”
Saving lives — that’s always in fashion.
For details, tickets and sponsorships, visit bethedifferencefoundation.org/events.

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Rabbi Robbins debuts ‘Psalm 27’ book

Rabbi Robbins debuts ‘Psalm 27’ book

Posted on 14 August 2019 by admin

Photo: Deb Silverthorn
Since 1991 Rabbi Debra J. Robbins has been leading from the bimah, teaching and helping the families of Temple Emanu-El through lifecycle events. Here, Rabbi Robbins’ joy and smile matches that of the bride during the wedding ceremony of Lindsay Sureck to Scott Chiu.

Dallas-area rabbi hopes readers use her book in daily life

By Deb Silverthorn

Gather. Settle. Bless. Read. Write. Sit. Forgive. Remember. Celebrate. These are the directions, guidelines, reflections and recommendations of Rabbi Debra J. Robbins, in her new book “Opening Your Heart with Psalm 27.”
“We are the recipients of these beautiful words and I want people to do more than just read them,” Rabbi Robbins said. “Use them toward the spirited work we’re called on (to do) at this season. This is an invitation to read Psalm 27, traditionally read every day from the beginning of Elul to the end of Sukkot, carefully and meaningfully.”
At 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29, Rabbi Robbins will share an introduction to the practice of her book in celebration of the book’s launch. Books will be available for purchase and Rabbi Robbins will sign copies.
In addition, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26, Rabbi Robbins will lead participants in personal reflections on repairing the soul and repairing the world during the High Holidays. She’ll conclude the High Holiday season at the sukkah luncheon at noon on Thursday, Oct. 17, to review the holiday season and consider practices moving forward. All events will be held at Temple Emanu-El, where Rabbi Robbins has served since 1991.
Rabbi Robbins was inspired to write “Opening Your Heart with Psalm 27” by her own introspection. With encouragement from others and realizing the process she developed for herself could be meaningful to others, she spent two years transforming her experience beyond the bimah and the classes she’d taught.
“This practice is built on the premise that anyone can do (almost) anything for five minutes,” Rabbi Robbins said. “With ‘Opening Your Heart with Psalm 27,’ we read, write and then sit still and let it settle — each for just five minutes.”
With lessons learned from her participation in the Institute for Rabbinical Jewish Spirituality, Rabbi Robbins recommends finding the depth and possibilities of one phrase within a prayer and connecting to it.
Rabbi Robbins finds joy in seeing her book’s dedication to her parents, Judith and Norman Robbins, of blessed memory, “with gratitude for the gift of life and the blessings of their legacy that continue to unfold,” just above the Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication details.
The Newton, Massachusetts native, raised at Temple Israel in Boston, received her undergraduate degree at University of California, Berkeley and was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. There she met her future husband, Larry, and the two are parents of their son, Sam. Their golden retriever, Baskin, rounds out the family.
“My mother was a teacher who inspired me to enjoy writing, learning and teaching and my father was a great source of solace and strength,” said Rabbi Robbins. “I realized, as a rabbi, I could write, read and teach and I absolutely love what I do.”
Rabbi Robbins has served on the boards of Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas and Family Gateway and is a founding chair of the Rabbinic Association of Greater Dallas’ Vaad HaMikvah. She is former vice-president for leadership and mentor for the ethics committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and president of Reading Village, helping teens become leaders through literacy in Guatemala. She is also a member of the Women’s Rabbinic Network.
The book’s pride-filled foreword is written by Temple Emanu-El Senior Rabbi David Stern. “She translates the ancient word into the language of human experience and, in doing so, illuminates both.”
Stern says, “(Psalm 27) oscillates between doubt and hope in a way that reflects the truth of our human condition. Psalm 27 knows our pain and our joy.”
Cantor Richard Cohn, at Temple Emanu-El for almost a decade before becoming director of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at HUC-JIR, wrote a composer’s commentary to accompany the singing practice he created for the book, “Kaveih el Adonai, Wait Hopefully for Adonai.” A link to the composition is included.
“How do we move step-by-step toward a strengthening of the heart that lifts us in hope toward an awareness of the holy?” wrote Cantor Cohn, who sings the composition with Cantor Amanda Kleinman, raised at Congregation Tiferet Israel and Temple Emanu-El, and now Senior Cantor at Westchester Reform Temple in New York. “Repeating the melody again and again can deepen and expand our understanding of the journey.”
“I am grateful to everyone who has been a part of this book and to Temple Emanu-El for affording me the time and space to work on it,” said Rabbi Robbins, reflecting on the psalm’s last phrase. “‘Wait for Adonai — Fill your waiting with hope in Adonai; Let your heart be strong and of good courage and wait hopefully for Adonai.’
“This is a challenging time to repair ourselves and the world, and it takes great courage for us,” Rabbi Robbins said. “I hope this book provides a true opportunity for readers to find that courage.”
To register for the free workshops, open to the public, visit participate.tedallas.org/psalm27workshops. “Opening Your Heart with Psalm 27” is available at Temple Emanu-El’s Judaic Treasures, on Amazon and at psalm27ccarpress.org. Cantor Cohn’s “Kaveih el Adonai, Wait Hopefully for Adonai” can be downloaded at psalm27ccarpress.org.

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Dallas duo starts clothing line to ‘do guud’

Dallas duo starts clothing line to ‘do guud’

Posted on 14 August 2019 by admin

Photo: Jon Abramson
“I believe more than ever people want to align themselves with brands that stand for positive social causes,” said Leon Jacobson, left, with GuudWEAR co-founder Matthew Ladin. The GuudWEAR co-founders are hands-on designing and creating their fashion line, a percent of which will support nonprofit agencies. “For us, that’s owning a brand that stands for something more.”

Socially inspired startup will benefit homeless shelter

By Deb Silverthorn

The mitzvot of tzedakah and tikkun olam are the fabric of Leon Jacobson and Matthew Ladin, and it’s laced in the tapestry of their company GuudWEAR.
GuudWEAR is a socially inspired company whose founders aim to “do guud” by helping locals transition out of homelessness. In July, the Dallas-based GuudWEAR began taking pre-orders through its Kickstarter offering, with special rewards to participants, running through Aug. 22. Regular sales will follow.
“I believe, more than ever, people want to align themselves with brands that stand for positive social causes,” co-founder Jacobson said. “For us, that’s owning a brand that stands for something more. In taking in the values my parents and siblings instilled in me, I’ve always wanted to be a social entrepreneur.”
The exclusive line, initially hand-pressed by Jacobson and Ladin, is done by a labor-intensive process, curating designs from the streets of Dallas. Both men say their homes look like art and science experiments gone wild: inks, molds, designs and fabrics taking over.
Designs available include the “Bullseye,” from a weathered manhole cover in Highland Park; “Sunrise,” found on a path near SMU; “Griffin,” discovered and molded off an advertising sign base in Lower Greenville; and “Texas,” modeled after a Deep Ellum sewer cover. Shirts are made in a variety of colors, sizes and styles. In the future, the company plans to add bags, hats and sweatshirts to the line.
GuudWEAR’s team is also environmentally mindful from apparel to packaging. Their mantra makes people, planet and profit a priority. A minimum of 7 percent of each item sold will be donated.
Dallas is the second-fastest growing metropolitan city in the country with employment rising at double the rate of the U.S. average and homelessness increasing at 9 percent. It’s where GuudWEAR begins its journey.
“It’s humbling to know we have such dedicated groups and individuals willing to give their time, talents and treasures to help the less fortunate and Dallas’ most vulnerable citizens,” CEO of Austin Street Center Daniel Roby.

From left, Daniel Levitt, Spencer Lieman, Danielle Diegel and Daley Epstein in GuudWEAR’s founding fashions now available at guudwear.com.


Austin Street Center, an emergency shelter in Dallas, will be the first beneficiary officially adopted by GuudWEAR.
“This partnership will certainly benefit our organization through social awareness, growth in our volunteer core and increased philanthropic support,” said Roby. “Together, we’ll be steps closer to ending homelessness throughout our communities.”
Jacobson, a North Dallas native who grew up at Congregation Shearith Israel, is the son of Errol and Esme and brother of Marc and Loren. He graduated from Ann & Nate Levine and Yavneh academies, and is a former member of BBYO’s David Berger chapter.

Daniel Levitt and Daley Epstein sporting initial designs by GuudWEAR.


Ladin, the son of Linda Ladin and the late Ken Williams, is from Hurst. Since celebrating his bar mitzvah at the age of 29 at Temple Emanu-El, Ladin feels closer to the religious side of his Judaism, not just the cultural. He continues studies at The Intown Chabad and Dallas Area Torah Association and has served eight years on the board of the American Jewish Committee. He’s currently a full-time information technology consultant.
“My mother always made it a point for us to give to others, regardless of what we had,” Ladin said. “Our Thanksgiving table was open to anyone who needed a seat and I’ve never forgotten my responsibility to giving to others. Through GuudWEAR we want to provide funds, to share awareness and to hands-on volunteer where we’re needed. Through GuudWEAR we’ll keep doing good.”
Do guud. Look guud. Wear guud. To order, or for more information, visit guudwear.com

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23rd annual Jewish Film Festival of Dallas filled with lights, camera, action

23rd annual Jewish Film Festival of Dallas filled with lights, camera, action

Posted on 14 August 2019 by admin

Photos: Courtesy Jewish Film Festival of Dallas/Aaron Family JCC
The 23rd Annual Jewish Film Festival of Dallas’ ‘Promise at Dawn’ will screen at 7p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10. Based on Romain Gary’s novel, it recounts the writer’s life from childhood through his experiences in World War II.

Highlighting Jewish heritage through unique storytelling

By Deb Silverthorn

The late Golda Meir said that survival is the synonym for Jewish and that notion is a recurring theme in the films of the 23rd Annual Jewish Film Festival of Dallas. The Festival, produced by the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center and presented by Pegasus Bank, opens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, at the Studio Movie Grill on Spring Valley, setting the bar with “Golda’s Balcony.”
“We have an amazing season of tremendous films that I’m certain the community will enjoy,” Film Festival Chair Brenda Marcus said. “We’ve got films portraying very powerful women, enlightening documentaries — plenty to think about, those that stimulate discussion and those that provide humor.”
Marcus has chaired the event, alongside the JCC’s Director of Israel Engagement and Jewish Living Rachelle Weiss Crane, for the last decade, prescreening more than 100 films each year.
The Festival’s 15 screenings of Jewish content and written by Jewish writers and directors will be shown through Sept. 26 at the Studio Movie Grill on Spring Valley, 13933 N. Central Expwy., unless otherwise noted. All foreign-language films are screened with English subtitles.
A special event, presented with UT Dallas’ Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies, AJC Dallas, the Japanese Consulate and Japan America Society, “Persona Non Grata” precedes the Festival at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 28, at UT Dallas. The film features the story of the late vice consul in Lithuania, Chiune Sugihara, credited with issuing 6,000 transit visas to Jews during World War II. Consul General of Japan in Houston Hideo Fukushima will share remarks after the screening.
‘Golda’s Balcony,’ 7 p.m. Sept. 4;
1 p.m. Sept. 25 (at the Aaron Family JCC)
The opening film, “Golda’s Balcony,” was filmed over two performances of the Broadway play. The award-winning Tova Feldshuh portrays Golda Meir from Russian schoolgirl to American teacher to prime minister of Israel, focusing on the period surrounding the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
‘King Bibi,’ 9:15 p.m. Sept. 7;
7 p.m. Sept. 23
“King Bibi” is a documentary that follows Israel’s prime minister from his childhood to his emergence in his current role.
‘Promise at Dawn,’ 7 p.m. Sept. 10
“Promise at Dawn,” an adaptation of Romain Gary’s memoir, recounts his life from childhood through his experiences in World War II. It’s a compelling story about his self-sacrificing mother, who raised him always believing in his potential to ultimately become a famous writer and diplomat.

‘Carl Laemmle,’ 1 p.m. Sept. 11;
7 p.m. Sept. 25
“Carl Laemmle” is a documentary about how the German-born founder of Universal Pictures sold the studio in the midst of the Depression, and spent his last three years of life saving the lives of more than 300 Jewish families during the war.
‘The Tobacconist,’ 7 p.m. Sept. 12
“The Tobacconist,” based on Robert Seethaler’s novel, is the coming-of-age story of a young man and his friendship with Sigmund Freud during the Nazi occupation of Vienna.
‘The Unorthodox,’ 9:15 p.m. Sept. 14; 7 p.m. Sept. 16 (at the Aaron Family JCC)
“The Unorthodox” is a fictionalized account of the creation of Israel’s Shas party. When the daughter of a Mizrahi printer, who has little money and no connections or political experience, is expelled from an Ashkenazi yeshiva, the father creates a campaign to begin a new political party.
‘‘Autonomies,’ 4 p.m. Sept. 15
“Autonomies” explores an alternate reality of present-day Israel. A haredi wheeler-dealer who makes his living smuggling minor contraband between the secular “State of Israel” and the ultra-Orthodox “Haredi Autonomy” receives an offer to kidnap a little girl at the heart of a custody battle between two families — one haredi and one secular.
‘Leona,’ 7 p.m. Sept. 17
“Leona” is a romantic comedy that focuses on Ariela, an independently-minded artist living with her family in a cloistered Syrian-Jewish neighborhood in Mexico City. Ariela struggles with her families desire for her to meet an appropriate suitor and her own feminist self-determinism.
‘Working Woman,’ 7 p.m. Sept. 18
“Working Woman,” follows a mother of three who returns to the workplace to support her family. Balancing her home life and success in her career, she is also faced with harassment from her boss and husband forcing her to make the choice between career and self-worth.
‘Chewdaism,’ 7 p.m. Sept. 26
“Chewdaism” and two “Yidlife Crises” shorts close out this year’s Festival. “Chewdaism” features a tasteful tour of bagels, deli-smoked meats, poutine, babka and more, whetting viewers’ taste buds. The connection Jews make, regardless of religious affiliation, to the recipes of our people is unmistakable, and connective, in this “noshumentary” tour through Montreal, Canada.
“Dallas is a city of growing diversity, and the Jewish Film Festival has played a significant part in this growth by its emphasis on educating our community to the importance of inclusiveness,” Pegasus Bank CEO Joe Goyne said. “Regardless of our faith or our political views, we want a life wherein we are safe, wherein we can raise our families and educate and enjoy our children. Pegasus Bank is thrilled and honored to partner with the Jewish Film Festival of Dallas.”
The 23rd Annual Jewish Film Festival of Dallas — getting “reel,” real soon.
Details, trailers, and ticket sales are available at jccdallas.org/special-events/film-festival and tickets are also available at the JCC.

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Weinberg Family Golf Classic tees off for second year

Weinberg Family Golf Classic tees off for second year

Posted on 07 August 2019 by admin

Anshai’s youth scholarships will benefit

Photo: Ram Silverman
Congregation Anshai Torah’s 2018 Weinberg Family Golf Classic participants, James Roberts, Tom McMullen and Bill Johnson waiting as Alan Butz takes his turn on the Gleneagles Country Club course. Registration is open at WeinbergGolfClassic.com for this year’s Aug. 19 event.

It’s almost tee time as registration is open for Congregation Anshai Torah’s 2nd Annual Weinberg Family Golf Classic. Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 19, at Gleneagles Country Club, followed by a shotgun start at 9 a.m. with lunch and awards at 1 p.m. The event is open to the public.
“The Weinberg Family Golf Classic is a fun day for serious golfers, amateurs and players at all levels,” Event Co-chair Lane Weitz said. “We’ll be out there to honor the Weinberg family, all they have done and continue to do for our Anshai family, and in doing so raising money to help out our kids.”
A portion of the proceeds benefit the synagogue’s Youth Scholarship Program, which helps its children attend Jewish summer camps, leadership development programs, Israel experiences, gap-year programs and the March of the Living tour. Last year, with nearly $20,000 raised, tournament money helped 33 students attend Jewish programs.
“This new initiative, spearheaded by a very dedicated committee, has re-energized this critically important program,” Congregation Anshai Torah’s Rabbi Stefan Weinberg said. “I thank everyone for lending support to this meaningful venture.”
Players can register as a team, or individually, and will play the 18 holes in groups of two at a time, with four players in each group. The event will be capped at 136 participants. In addition to the lunch, snacks and drinks will also be provided throughout the course.
The event’s Platinum Sponsor is Veritex Bank with additional support by APEX Financial/Lane Weitz, Aristos Global/Michael Osburn, Behringer Family, Comm-Fit/Jeff Levine, Dallas Jewish Funerals/Zane Belyea, Dallas Podiatry Works/Dr. Joel Brook, Kahn Mechanical Contractors, Ira & Lisa Kravitz, Orange Star Properties/Jay Post, Parkhaven Dental/Dr. Michael Pincus, Porsche of Plano, Manuel Rajunov, Rubin Family Foundation, Harold Rubinstein, Shapiro Law, Starwood Insurance/Mark Lowey and Stifel Financial/Jason Parker.
All participants will receive entry gifts, with cash and other prizes awarded including the first flight, second flight, longest drive and two hole-in-one opportunities on the course.
“Last year, Todd Shores and his team did a great job creating and elevating this event to significance and we are honored to carry on,” said Weitz. “It’s a great way to help the youth of our congregation and a great way to be out of the office.”
For more information, to register to participate or as a sponsor, visit WeinbergGolfClassic.com.
Submitted by Deb Silverthorn on behalf of Anshai Torah.

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ADL to hold Dallas Walk Against Hate

ADL to hold Dallas Walk Against Hate

Posted on 07 August 2019 by admin

Texoma Regional office event will highlight diversity

Photo: Courtesy ADL Texoma
“From strollers to wheelchairs we want to come out in force and to involve our community in celebrating our diversity,” said ADL Texoma Regional Director Cheryl Drazin. Last year’s ADL Walk Against Hate in Philadelphia set the bar. On Sept. 15, ADL Texoma invites the Dallas community to walk the walk and talk the talk.

By Deb Silverthorn
The Texoma Regional office of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is readying for the community-at-large to take a step in the right direction at the city’s inaugural Dallas Walk Against Hate. The walk, open to the public, will begin its two-mile stretch on Sunday, Sept. 15, at Victory Plaza.
Check-in begins at 8 a.m., followed by the opening ceremonies at 9 a.m. and the walk at 9:30. Main Stage entertainment, a nonprofit diversity expo, and a corporate village will continue, with all events concluding at 11 a.m.
“From strollers to wheelchairs we want to come out in force and to involve our community in celebrating our diversity,” ADL Texoma Regional Director Cheryl Drazin said. “This isn’t a protest or a march, but rather a gathering together of people who are on the same page against hate.”
As ADL regional director, Drazin oversees the cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, Amarillo, Lubbock, Midland-Odessa, Temple, Waco, Tyler, Marshall and all of Oklahoma.
The ADL Walk Against Hate events started in 2010, with thousands participating in Las Vegas, Philadelphia and San Diego. After attending the 2018 Walk in Las Vegas, Drazin and Kerri Aikin Rosenberg, the organization’s director of development, committed to bringing the North Texas and Oklahoma community together to promote diversity while celebrating the values of respect and inclusion.
“Las Vegas was amazing with close to 1,000 people who felt it important to come together to stand against hate,” said Rosenberg. “The ADL provides resources and support to both our Jewish community and the greater community. Hate has no place in our society.”
Co-chaired by Susie Carp and Wendy Stanley, the Walk Against Hate will, rain or shine, be a morning filled with spirit and activities. The main stage entertainment arena will include comments from community dignitaries and ADL leadership, musical and other celebrations from drum circles and dancers, cheerleaders and choirs.
At the diversity expo, selected nonprofit organizations will share their work through engaging activities while, at the corporate village, sponsors will be provided marketing opportunities.
Beginning in 1913, the ADL has fought hate and intolerance; protected free speech and religious freedom; spoken out against anti-Semitism, racism and bullying; and built respect for diversity.
ADL Texoma’s programs include its No Place for Hate® program, reaching 36 local schools last year; its Words to Action program providing resources to increase understanding of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias; and its Managing Implicit Bias training for Law Enforcement, enabling understanding of implicit bias concepts and their relevance to contemporary policing practices.
“The ADL’s mission is to fight hate,” said Stanley, who has served on the ADL Texoma board for nearly five years. “Together, we can be a force that will fight hate for good and that is exactly the opportunity we are bringing to our community on Sept. 15.”
ADL Texoma’s goal is to highlight the diversity in North Texas while celebrating the values of respect and inclusion. . Participants can register individually or as a team. Net proceeds of the event will support anti-hate and anti-bullying programs in schools, civil rights advocacy work, extremism training for law enforcement, incident response and the ADL Texoma leadership development program for young adults.
“We want to bridge our communities and bring together participants of all ages, ethnicities and religions from throughout the Metroplex — all those who care, who want to be part of the answer.”
High school students (grades nine to 12) are invited to participate in the Walk Against Hate essay contest, co-sponsored by ADL Texoma and The Dallas Morning News. Essays, in 500 words or less, should reply to the prompt “What I can do to take a step in the right direction to fight hate?” and must be submitted to texoma@adl.org (with the subject line “ADL Walk Against Hate Essay Contest”) by Sept. 1.
The contest’s winner will be announced at the event and will receive a prize of $1,000, and the essay may be published in The Dallas Morning News.
ADL Texoma is taking a step, just one at a time, in the right direction.
Early registration ($15) is open until Aug. 15 and general registration, $20, is available through Sept. 14. At the event, participation is $25. Children ages 3 to 18 are $10, and there is no fee for those age 2 and under.
Prospective participants, volunteers, entertainers and sponsors can find details and registration at walkagainsthatedallas.org. Visit dallas.adl.org/walk-against-hate-essay-contest for essay contest details and forms.

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