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JFS provides food for homebound citizens

JFS provides food for homebound citizens

Posted on 16 November 2017 by admin

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

Three meals a day seems like the norm for most, but — for those who are homebound — not so much.
That’s where Jewish Family Service’s Kosher Home Delivered Meals program comes in. For more than 40 years, the program has made meals happen for those who can’t make them happen for themselves.
“This program is absolutely the lifeline to staying home and independent and that’s something we wish for everyone,” said JFS’ Director of Older Adult Services Debi Weiner. “Hunger is something no one should know and our meals are among a wide spectrum of services to help older adults remain independent in their communities for as long as they can function safely and effectively.”
Healthy meals include an entrée of beef, chicken or fish; a vegetable; bread; dessert; and calcium-fortified orange juice. Meals are prepared by the staff in the kosher kitchen at the Aaron Family JCC; volunteers circle every aspect of the program.

Lynne Baron has made deliveries with her husband Marty for JFS’ Kosher Home Delivered Meals program most Fridays over the last 10 years. “The people we deliver to are so appreciative and thankful,” she said, “and we know we’re making a difference every time we go out.”

Lynne Baron has made deliveries with her husband Marty for JFS’ Kosher Home Delivered Meals program most Fridays over the last 10 years. “The people we deliver to are so appreciative and thankful,” she said, “and we know we’re making a difference every time we go out.”

“As the holidays approach, the visits and the smiles that go with the meals are so important to our recipients and it really makes all the difference in the world to them,” said DeeDee Lane, who coordinates the program in action. It currently serves 35 active recipients, matching volunteers’ available schedules to the need each day. “We’ve had volunteers that are parent/child teams with little ones helping to carry the load, literally. We have teens and adults and grandparents. Vacation schedules get tougher because people go away but we’d love anyone who wants to help — one-time, sometimes or regularly. This program really does rely on the people who help us get the food out.”
Meals are delivered Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (in advance if a holiday lands on one of those days so there is no interruption in service) to anyone who qualifies under the grant and while all meals are kosher, recipients do not have to be Jewish to participate. Meals are delivered to recipients within JFS’ service area bordered between Mockingbird Lane and McCallum and Greenville, also in most of the City of Richardson (within Dallas County) and the Silver Gardens Senior Apartments (formerly the Echad Apartments). The western boundary is Webb Chapel.
For 18 years, the Dallas Area Agency on Aging has provided grants to sustain the program. In recent years, it has been supported by the Texas Department of Agriculture and Dallas County as well.. Up to seven meals a week are available, the need determined at an assessment by a JFS counselor. For those not meeting the economic constraints, delivered meals are available at $5.75 each. Recipients may be on the schedule long-term or temporarily, or perhaps while recovering from an illness or injury.
“For many, delivering meals is the first introduction to JFS and the relationships are often long lasting,” said Weiner, speaking from experience. She was a driver for the program before becoming a JFS professional. “Our helpers are all ages and from all areas of the community and we thrive because of their commitment.”
Volunteers confirm the number of meals they have matches the number of recipients on their route and set off to perform their mitzvah. For many, the delivery person is the only contact some recipients have. Client confidentiality is primary, but the relationships built between many volunteers and their recipients are treasured.
For 17-year-old Evan Allen, volunteering has been a life-altering experience. “Everyone deserves respect even if they’ve fallen on hard times or are dealing with medical constraints,” said the Plano ISD Academy High School senior, who has volunteered for many of JFS’ programs over the last seven years. “The ancient texts I read from the Torah during my bar mitzvah, although I couldn’t appreciate at the time, describe human beings as created b’tzelem Elokim, in the image of God. Connecting to the recipients has made those words much more personal, and given me a responsibility to serve.”

JFS MEALS volunteers & staff

Volunteers Nora Silverfield and Sam Friedman and JFS’ Kosher Home Delivered Meals Coordinator DeeDee Lane prep some of the more than 175 meals shared each week by JFS’ Kosher Home Delivered Meals program. Photo: JFS

While Allen volunteers as his schedule allows, Lynne and Marty Baron have made deliveries a standing date each Friday for the last 10 years. “JFS is phenomenal and we’ve been a part of many of its programs but delivering meals is something we love to do together. The people we deliver to are so appreciative and thankful and we know we’re making a difference every time we go out,” Lynne said.
“We’ve lost many whom we delivered to through the years and that’s very sad, of course,” said Lynne, “but we have one client we’ve served most of our tenure. Her husband sadly passed, they’d been married more than 60 years, but we still see her, check on her and deliver to her. She’s always glad to see us — of course that’s mutual.”
Feeding those who are hungry; nourishing their bodies and spirit — it’s what JFS does every day, in every way.
To volunteer for JFS’ Home Delivered Meals program, contact Jamie Denison at 972-994-0502 or email jdenison@jfsdallas.org. To arrange an assessment, as a prospective recipient, call JFS at 972-437-9950, for an initial intake appointment.

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Dallas Doings: Noah’s Ark, Bookfest, more

Dallas Doings: Noah’s Ark, Bookfest, more

Posted on 16 November 2017 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Noah’s Ark Day at Temple Shalom

Noah’s Ark Day is one of the long awaited Sunday Fun Days at Temple Shalom. Students of all ages enjoyed dressing up like their favorite animals. While the youngest students made a life-size ark to play in and created adorable arks filled with animal crackers, older students enjoyed coming to school in their animal footie pajamas. Temple Shalom fifth-graders got to spend the afternoon decorating their new gaga pit with hand prints. They were initiated into the Tel Aviv Tribe and given their brand-new Tribe T-shirts as well.
— Submitted by Lisa Rothberg

Bookfest continues

The Oct. 30 Tycher Community Read, under the umbrella of the Aaron Family JCC’s Margot Rosenberg Pulitzer Dallas Jewish BookFest at the Aaron Family JCC, was a resounding success with a record 325-plus in attendance to hear Beneath A Scarlet Sky author Mark Sullivan share the history and backstories of how the book came to be.  “My ‘final’ version was 820 pages and my editor said, ‘you can’t tell it all,’” said Sullivan, the final product, published in May of this year which will be made into a feature film, is 513 pages.  BookFest continued this Monday, Nov. 13, with Dallas’ own Rusty Cooper and Bruce Katz emceeing  a musical evening I Wrote That One Too  author Steve Dorff. On Dec. 4 Lilac Girls’ author, Martha Hall Kelly will be in town.  The full schedule, with programs through April 12 can be found at jccdallas.org/main/bookfest.

Photo: Lisa Rothberg Temple Shalom fifth-graders decorate their new gaga pit.

Photo: Lisa Rothberg
Temple Shalom fifth-graders decorate their new gaga pit.

— Submitted by Deb Silverthorn

Breslov comes to Texas

Rabbi Chaim Kramer, founder and director of the Breslov Research Institute (BRI), visited Dallas from Nov. 10-12, to spread the wisdom of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.

 Beneath A Scarlet Sky author Mark Sullivan autographed a personal message for Tycher Community Read guest Hanna Lambert, with JCC Director of Israel Engagement and Jewish Living Rachelle Weiss Crane, still smiling about last week’s record-breaking BookFest crowd of more than 325.

Beneath A Scarlet Sky author Mark Sullivan autographed a personal message for Tycher Community Read guest Hanna Lambert, with JCC Director of Israel Engagement and Jewish Living Rachelle Weiss Crane, still smiling about last week’s record-breaking BookFest crowd of more than 325.

While the legendary Chassidic master passed away in 1810, Rebbe Nachman’s timeless teachings remain as relevant today as they did over two centuries ago. Tens of thousands of Jews from every corner of the world annually flock to his graveside in Uman, Ukraine, for Rosh HaShannah.
Founded in 1979, with the objective of making Rebbe Nachman‘s lessons accessible to all, BRI has published over 100 titles on a wide array of subjects related to Kabbalah and Chassidut. These works have been translated into Hebrew, Spanish, French and Russian.
While in Dallas Rabbi Kramer lectured at Congregations Shaare Tefilla, Ohr HaTorah and at Y

oung Israel of Dallas and addressed the high school students of Yavneh Academy, where he was received enthusiastically.
Additional information on the Breslov Research Institute is available online at Breslov.org.

(From left) Leib Malina, Eli Burstein, Rabbi Yoni Sonenblick, Simcha Malina, Ari Berke, Yosef Weiss, Jonah Eber and Daniel Garren enjoy a moment with Rabbi Chaim Kramer (seated) at Yavneh.

(From left) Leib Malina, Eli Burstein, Rabbi Yoni Sonenblick, Simcha Malina, Ari Berke, Yosef Weiss, Jonah Eber and Daniel Garren enjoy a moment with Rabbi Chaim Kramer (seated) at Yavneh.

— Submitted by Noam Aranov

Save the Date:

  • On Dec. 9, the Jewish Community Relations council will hold a Community Teen Havdalah. Following Havdallah, led by musical duo “Eric and Happie” there will be an Israel education and advocacy training program to prepare teens for college, “Israel on Campus: A Reality Check.” This will be an interactive program of discussion and dialogue led by young adults (25 years old). The program will end with a Closing Circle and songs led by Eric and Happie. Partners for the evening at press time are Adat Chaverim, Beth El – Fort Worth/Camp Impact, Anshai Torah, Congregation Beth Torah, Shaare Tefila, Temple Shalom, Aaron Family Jewish Community Center, BBYO, Congregation Shearith Israel, Shir Tikvah Frisco, Tiferet Israel and the JCRC.
  • On Jan. 28, Howie Mandel will be the featured performer for One Night, The Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas’ biggest fundraising event of the year. Co-chairs for the evening are Angela Horowitz and Doug French, Jolie and Michael Newman and Natalie and Michael Waldman. More information can be found at www.jewishdallas.org.
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Dallas cyclist competes in Texas-to-Alaska race

Dallas cyclist competes in Texas-to-Alaska race

Posted on 03 November 2017 by admin

UT student Herstein will ride for cancer cure

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

Dallas’ own Jacob Herstein is taking Queen’s musical message of “I want to ride my bicycle” very personally.
Soon, he’ll be riding 4,500 miles between Austin and Anchorage as a member of the 2018 Texas 4000 team.

Dallas’ Jacob Herstein is raising money for his 2018 bike ride, 4,500 miles between Austin and Anchorage, for the fight against cancer. Photo: Jacob Herstein

Dallas’ Jacob Herstein is raising money for his 2018 bike ride, 4,500 miles between Austin and Anchorage, for the fight against cancer.
Photo: Jacob Herstein

Since its founding in 2004, Texas 4000 has raised several millions of dollars, which has funded cancer research projects at MD Anderson Cancer Center, the UT Biomedical Engineering Department and more. Herstein is a biology and pre-med junior at UT-Austin. The issue he’s hoping to solve may likely be one he’s raising money for.
“We’ve lost so many people I care about to cancer and this ride is going to raise money to — I hope — help find a cure,” said Herstein, who had to apply to participate more than a year ago, and is looking forward to next summer’s 70-day adventure beginning June 2. “I wish there had been a cure for my grandfather and for Wende Weinberg and for so many others. Our family has been affected by this disease and many we love are still fighting. I want to push the pedals to help people survive.”
Herstein has raised more than $5,800 in tax-deductible pledges, hoping to surpass $7,500. The students coordinate the rides with room and meals provided by a mix of host families, nights camping in tents and community centers.
It’s rugged and rough, but previous hometown riders Elan Kogutt, in 2015 and Charlie Saginaw in 2010 wouldn’t trade the experience. Kogutt rode in memory of Margot Pulitzer, her children his lifetime friends, with the hope that no others would share the effects of loss and their pain.
For Saginaw, the connection is truly lasting. Last May, seven years after his ride, he married the former Rachel Brenner, who rode in 2011 following Saginaw’s advice to smile through the toughest trails.
“I feel a responsibility to fund raise but also to stand up for those I care about,” said Herstein, who nicknamed his bicycle “Gus,” after his grandfather Gustav Weiner, of blessed memory. “There are 80 riders and we’ll be doing 75 to 100 miles a day along three routes; the Rocky Mountains, the Ozarks and mine — the Sierra.”
Herstein’s route traverses the southwest through West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Nevada then north through the California, Oregon, and Washington coasts and into Bristish Columbia and the Yukon before reaching Alaska. They’ll stop at hospitals presenting money raised by the previous year’s riders. After they’ve seen the impact the ride provides, they will return to determine where their funds will be distributed by the 2019 riders.
Recently making his first ride on his bike, Herstein said it was uplifting and he truly got a sense of what it means to ride for those battling cancer. Riding for this cause, and participating in many forms of service through the years, is an example set by Herstein’s parents, Bertta and Scott, and his sister Jillian, who look forward to meeting him for the final stretch of the ride. He is a member of Congregation Beth Torah and a graduate of Levine and Yavneh academies. Mitzvah projects are something he’s known all of his life. It’s how he lives.
“That Jacob decided to dedicate his journey in memory of my father and so many who lost their lives to cancer makes it even more meaningful,” said Bertta, recalling her son on his trike which had a storage compartment filled with action figures.
“We’re incredibly proud of his accomplishments and we look forward to seeing where this opportunity takes him! The bottom line is, when Jacob sets his sights on something, there’s just no stopping him!”
The Texas 4000 brings Herstein’s leadership skills to a new level. He’s learning about running a nonprofit and its logistics from inception. His resume on paper, and in his heart, is filled with entries. He is president of the UT chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity and a member of UT’s Texas Cowboys service organization. In high school, he was a member of BBYO’s Brandeis Chapter, and a Judaic Teaching Intern at Yavneh teaching an Oral Law class related to Jewish holidays and customs.
“Jacob has always been self-motivated and he likes to take on leadership roles. He leads by example, and this selfless act of sacrificing his free time to raise funds for cancer research and awareness is a reflection of his personality,” said his father, Scott. “We’re encouraging him as he trains and ready to cheer him at the finish line.”
“Every activity I’ve ever been a part of I’ve learned something or met someone I wouldn’t have if not for being there,” said Herstein. “I’ve made friends that I’ll have for all of my life. It’s nice to have a new group of friends to enlarge my circle. My circle is definitely wider, and brighter, because of this experience and it’s not really even here yet.”
To support Herstein, or learn more about the Texas 4000, visit http://bit.ly/2hcC4ZF.

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Holocaust memoir recounts life of survivor

Holocaust memoir recounts life of survivor

Posted on 02 November 2017 by admin

Lewin-authored book explains Repp’s harrowing experience

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

Jack Repp said he was 69 pounds and 99.9 percent dead when he was liberated from a concentration camp.
“I came the worst of the worst, not a tooth in my mouth … but I still had my mind,” he said.
“This book is me and Dan (Lewin) captured it.”
His life is now bound in the pages of Dreams & Jealousy: The Story of Holocaust Survivor Jack Repp as told to Dan Lewin.
“You must depend on God. He works in mysterious ways,” he adds.

Jack Repp (center), with Sarah Yarrin and Rabbi Dan Lewin, is proud of the recently published book Dreams & Jealousy, his story as told to Lewin. The book is available on Amazon. Photos: Deb Silverthorn

Jack Repp (center), with Sarah Yarrin and Rabbi Dan Lewin, is proud of the recently published book Dreams & Jealousy, his story as told to Lewin. The book is available on Amazon.
Photos: Deb Silverthorn

That fervent belief comes from Repp, for whom the book is an intense accounting of his experiences, some but not all, shared with thousands over the last two decades.
“Watching coverage of racist, hateful crimes,” he winces, “they beat Jews and burned homes. That’s how it looked. I’m reminded of pogroms enough it made me sick. I never thought I’d see this in America.”
It’s his struggle and survival that he wants people to read — hoping that it begets a change in the hatefulness of 2017, something he thought long over. “I want people should know the truth, accept what happened, and do their part so it doesn’t happen again,” said Repp, never accepting payment for speaking and donating the book’s proceeds.
“The book captures stages of Jack’s life, not only the horror but also experiences that brought him recovery,” said Lewin. “I approach this as a work of art and consider such a book the greatest gift someone can give their family, lasting beyond their lifetime.”
The son of Peter and Beverley, Lewin is married to Yael and is the father of six. He studied at Jerusalem’s Mayanot Chabad Yeshiva and was ordained by the Rabbinical College of America. After spending three years directing Binghamton University’s Chabad Center, he returned to Dallas, his hometown. In addition to writing memoirs, and a column for the TJP, he co-founded and directs the nonprofit Maayan Chai Foundation. He and Yael also regularly teach Torah study.
Lewin says it was necessary for Repp to recall significantly unpleasant experiences during their weekly six-hour meetings. “There were times I needed to press, and times we stopped, because it was unbearable,” said Lewin, noting that in previous interviews, including by the Shoah Foundation, there were recollections he simply couldn’t yet expel. “It’s almost impossible to believe this happened in our lifetime. It did.”
The book covers Repp’s life in Poland, the atrocities, his recovery, working with U.S. Secret Service bringing Nazis to trial, and a new life in America.
That new life included moving to Greenville, Texas, where there was family. Just 21 years old when liberated, Jack married Esther (later known as Edna), of blessed memory, whom he met in a displaced persons’ camp. Together they created a family: children Lotty (Peter) Casillas, David (Bobbie), and Stan (Marsha); four grandchildren; and his first great-grandchild, due soon.
“My parents gave us a nurturing life, very much ‘that was then, this is now.’ They wanted the rest of life to be wonderful and it was. Mom never spoke about the war and only after she died did Dad open up. What mattered was we make the most of every day,” said Lotty, born in Germany a year before her parents emigrated, her brothers native Texans. “His sharing has given new purpose to his life.”
Repp, who recently signed books at the Dallas Holocaust Museum, will speak at Dallas’ Jan. 7 Intrafaith Sisterhood Shabbat. However, he didn’t always volunteer. Only at the prompting of his dear friend Sarah Yarrin did he find that passion.
“Jack isn’t just a survivor of the camps, he’s a survivor of business and life,” said Yarrin, who coordinates his engagements. “Dan’s perseverance is a gift. They’ve created something that will last and be important for generations.”
After delivering the book, Lewin won’t ever forget watching Repp go through the pages of his life, clearly touched, reflective, and present in its pages — incredibly moving moments.
“Danny recorded and chipped away at memories of 50 or 60 years and now here’s a book. It’s something,” said Repp.
“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.”
Living lessons from his father, Repp says that God gives us our days, and you can be miserable, happy or sad. “Every day can be good but how it turns out largely depends on your mindset,” reflects Repp, recalling the boy he was as Itzik Rzepkowicz in Radom, Poland, and the man who survived as husband, father, and for many years the owner of a Dallas dry goods store, now living the next chapter in his life to its fullest.
“If someone is hungry, feed them. If someone’s thirsty, give them a drink; if they’re cold, give them clothing,” he shares. “It’s up to you how you live.”
To order a copy of Dreams & Jealousy, visit amzn.to/2isB6fy.

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Passion for fashion benefits Midtown Park

Passion for fashion benefits Midtown Park

Posted on 19 October 2017 by admin

Horowitz raises more than $25K through fall fashion show

 Andrea Statman, Director of Development at The Legacy Senior Communities, thanked Sam Horowitz for his devotion and dedication and for following in his family’s footsteps to becoming his own incredible philanthropist.

Andrea Statman, Director of Development at The Legacy Senior Communities, thanked Sam Horowitz for his devotion and dedication and for following in his family’s footsteps to becoming his own incredible philanthropist.

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

“Ciao Bella” is how 17-year-old Sam Horowitz begins his farewells as he prepares to leave Dallas for college next fall.
His first goodbyes are attached to a donation of more than $25,000 to The Legacy Midtown Park raised through a spectacular fall fashion show he curated Sunday, Oct. 8, at the home of his grandparents, Carol and Steve Aaron.
“This is really a special day and it’s because so many people have supported me and my dreams that I’m able to be here and have this happen,” said Sam, standing amid the forest-like backyard of his grandparents’ home. “This, my third and final Fall Preview, comes because of the support of so many and I can’t thank everyone enough.”
With three shows now in the books, Sam has raised more than $62,000: in 2015, $12,000 for the Aaron Family JCC, and, in 2016 and 2017, more than $50,000 for The Legacy Senior Communities. This year’s donation will support the Financial Assistance Fund, helping those in need. Sam has also participated in the JCC’s J’s Got Talent and J Idol, raising money for the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas and Jewish Family Service.
For Sam, tzedakah and volunteerism is a hereditary trait. His grandparents, community pillars and philanthropists Carol and Steve Aaron, were honored that he chose a project so close to them.
“I couldn’t be prouder of Sam for stepping forward and wanting to donate to our Financial Assistance Fund. A community is judged by how they care for their seniors and that’s an expensive prospect. For the next generation to make that a priority — I’m so thrilled,” said Carol Aaron. She is the chair of The Legacy Midtown Park, scheduled to break ground next year, and former board chair of The Legacy Senior Communities. “We had family living at Golden Acres and we know that a community that helps its residents, and its residents’ families, provides a much more wonderful life. That our own next generation is making this project a priority, swells my heart.”
Sam’s biggest fan was brimming with a smile brighter than any jewels on the runway. “Sam is fortunate to have found his heartbeat in life early and he’s now using his eye for style to give back to his community. I’ll always be there for him,” said his mom, Angela Horowitz. “I’m so proud because he not only understands what it means to work hard for your success, but also he is living — even as a young man — what it means to share that success and to have the desire to help others.”
This summer, Angela got to see Sam’s eyes glisten brightly when he met Italian designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. Working toward a career as a creative director for a fashion house or label, Sam loves textures, design and color. He appreciates the risks that Dolce and Gabbana take, and hopes someday to have a similar career path.
An A student at Parish Episcopal School, Sam is a former Akiba Academy student and member of Congregation Shearith Israel. The son of Angela Horowitz and Gary Horowitz and older brother of Sydney and Max, he sets the bar high for success, commitment and following one’s dreams.
Center stage is not an unusual place for Sam, who performed in the casts of more than a dozen productions at the JCC. He had several film and television roles including Barney & Friends Laugh with Me, Big D NYE, Dirty Red, The Deep End and The First Kill, as well as commercial and industrial projects. A participant in Columbia University’s Summer Programs for High School Students, he studied business, finance and economics. Through SPI: Study Abroad, he studied in Spain.
Sam entered his teens with lots of lights, cameras, and action as his bar mitzvah celebration was covered by local and national media with appearances on Ellen and Good Morning America. A YouTube video shot by Elixir Entertainment garnered more than 1,190,135 views.
Sam’s Facebook page and YouTube Fashion and Lifestyle channels are a couple of his many projects. On- and offline, he produces fashion shows, critiques red carpet looks, and styles friends and family members. Videos about trends and his top picks range from My Favorite Facial and Summer of Silk to Eight Looks for Hanukkah and Fashion Week Style Secrets.
“I read about and watch the trends and I get to mix my love of everything fashion with helping people make great style choices. For every person that usually means something different so the job is never the same and never going to feel like a job,” said Sam. “I’ve learned so much in just these three shows that I’ve done, from the negotiations and working with the modeling agency, to actual wardrobe decisions and how to build a collection to match the audience attending, but also about seating charts and event planning, from invitations to literally the napkin choice. But it’s so much fun and very rewarding.”
It’s no coincidence that Stanley Korshak owner Crawford Brock, Korshak’s Director of Fashion and Events and Director of Windows Bret McKinney and Sam’s Fall Preview Producer Caryn Fonberg all referred to Sam’s “passion for fashion” when asked what makes this teen a future fashion titan. “Sam is nothing short of amazing. I’ve never met anyone with more zip in his step,” said Brock, whose store’s fashions were shown on Sam’s Ciao Bella runway by Campbell Wagner Agency models. “He’s an absolute talent, a superb showman and he has the fortitude to create a future for himself and for our industry.”
For Sam, whose family is synonymous with the spirit of giving, The Legacy Midtown Park was a definite in his design for donations. “I’ve grown up volunteering at The Legacy, playing bingo, card games, visiting and listening to residents’ stories. It’s a place where there are smiles on all of the seniors’ faces,” he said. “I wanted to partner again for the future because growing older isn’t always easy, but at The Legacy, they do their best to make it magnificent.”
To follow Sam Horowitz, visit Facebook.com/MeetSamHorowitz, Instagram.com/Sam_Horowitz,Twitter.com/SamHorowitz1, or on YouTube at http://bit.ly/1aOWkmF.

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BookFest brings rich, engaging lineup

BookFest brings rich, engaging lineup

Posted on 12 October 2017 by admin

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

The Aaron Family JCC’s Margot Rosenberg Pulitzer Dallas Jewish BookFest brings to Dallas’ “People of the Book” authors, works of fact and fiction, prose and power.  Beginning Oct. 26 it’s a series of stories and histories.

Submitted photo This year’s BookFest begins Oct. 26.

Submitted photo
This year’s BookFest begins Oct. 26.

“It’s both exciting and meaningful to be part of a program that focuses on Jewish books and authors that educates and entertains our community,” said JCC BookFest Chair Liz Liener, in her fifth year as lay leader.  “Named for Margot Rosenberg Pulitzer, of blessed memory, a wonderful woman who was beloved and respected by her family, friends, and community for the exemplary life she led and her love of life throughout, the BookFest shares books, and authors, who carry her spirit.”
Partnering with the JCC this year are Baylor Scott & White Health, Congregation Anshai Torah, Dallas Holocaust Museum Center for Education and Tolerance, Dallas Jewish Historical Society, the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, the J’s Lieberman Family Wellness Center and Tycher Library, the Women of Reform Judaism at Temple Emanu-El, and the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth.
“We’re honored to have so many community partners on board allowing us to engage audiences with fun and laughter as well as some very serious topics,” said JCC’s Director of Israel Engagement and Jewish Living, Rachelle Weiss Crane.  “Our program has a wonderful reputation and it’s very exciting to, in addition to our extensive review and search each year, to have the industry reaching out to us wanting to come to Dallas.”
A week of meeting with or listening to more than 250 authors presenting their books through the Jewish Book Council in New York, resulted in the culling of the year’s catalogue. Liener, Weiss Crane, and a team of dedicated volunteers read many titles, their combined efforts narrowing the tally to 10.
Nicole Krauss’ Forest Dark opens the series at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 26.  Krauss weaves a tale about personal transformation interweaving the stories of an older lawyer and a young novelist — whose transcendental search leads them to the same Israeli desert.
The Tycher Library Community Read, Beneath a Scarlet Sky, will be at 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 30. Based on the true story, Mark Sullivan’s best-seller, which will be made into a feature film is based on the life of Pino Lella, an Italian teenager who during WWII is forced by his parents to enlist as a German soldier which they believe will keep him out of combat.  After he is injured, he’s recruited to become the personal driver for Adolf Hitler’s left hand in Italy, simultaneously spying for the Allies inside the German High Command, ultimately helping to save the lives of many Jews.
At 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 7, at Temple Emanu-El, author Maggie Anton will speak about her famed Rashi’s Daughter’s series, Rav Hisda’s Daughter: Apprentice, Enchantress, and the recently released What the First Rabbis had to say About You Know What.
I Wrote That One, Too…: A Life in Songwriting from Willie to Whitney is featured at 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 13, with Congregation Anshai Torah a capella Kol Rina choir members Bruce Katz and Rusty Cooper moderating author Steve Dorff’s musical and book-sharing visit. Dorff chronicles his 40-plus years as the writer of numerous Top 10 hits for artists including Celine Dion, Kenny Rogers, Barbra Streisand and Whitney Houston as well as television scores and his forthcoming Broadway musical Josephine
Martha Hall Kelly and her debut novel Lilac Girls are scheduled at 7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 4,.  In her debut novel, the author brings to life New York socialite Caroline Ferriday who has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon; Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager who senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement; and German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, who is hired for a government medical position finding herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.
The new year brings The Widow of Wall Street author Randy Susan Meyers to a free event at 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 11, at Congregation Anshai Torah.  Community member and Great Thoughts website book reviewer Andrea Peskind Katz will lead the discussion with the bestselling author about her story of the seemingly blind love of a wife for her husband as he conquers Wall Street and her extraordinary, perhaps foolish, loyalty during his precipitous fall.
Ten Dollars to Hate author Patricia H. Bernstein comes to BookFest at 7 p.m. , Thursday, Feb. 1, bringing the story of the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s, the most “successful” incarnation since its inception in the ashes of the Civil War, and the first prosecutor in the nation to successfully convict and jail Klan members.
Paula Shoyer’s The Healthy Jewish Kitchen has all the ingredients of a great night beginning at 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 26.  Shoyer dispels the notion that healthy can’t be delicious connections to our ancestor’s kitchens, using only natural ingredients, offering a fresh, nutrient-dense spin on cooking, offering more than 60 Ashkenazy and Sephardy classic recipes.
Israel’s 70th anniversary is celebrated early through the presentation of Angels in the Sky at 7p.m., Wednesday, March 7. The gripping story is of fewer than 150 volunteer airmen from the United States, Britain, Canada, France, and South Africa arrived — many WWII veterans, one-third of whom were not Jewish — who flew, fought, died, and, against all odds, helping defeat five Arab nations, during Israel’s war of independence protecting the fledgling Jewish state.
The BookFest closes with a chapter of history that began in Dallas as Alexandra Zapruder arrives at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 12, with her Twenty-Six Seconds.  Fifty–five years after her grandfather Abraham Zapruder captured the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the author tells the story of the film, and its journey, demonstrating how one man’s unwitting moment in the spotlight shifted the way politics, culture, and media intersect.
Events are at the Aaron Family JCC unless otherwise noted and tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at thedoor except for the  Oct. 30 Beneath the Scarlet Sky and the Dec. 4 Lilac Girls events which are free of charge.  For more details or to order tickets, visit jccdallas.org/main/bookfest/

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Anshai Torah dedicates new Torah to Wende Weinberg

Anshai Torah dedicates new Torah to Wende Weinberg

Posted on 02 October 2017 by admin

Photo: Deb Silverthorn On Sept. 10 Rabbi Zerach Greenfield became the agent of the families of Rabbi Stefan Weinberg, Rabbi Michael Kushnick and Gabbai Farzin Bakhshian — the first blessed with the honor to fulfill the mitzvah of writing Congregation Anshai Torah’s first Project 613 congregational Torah.

Photo: Deb Silverthorn
On Sept. 10 Rabbi Zerach Greenfield became the agent of the families of Rabbi Stefan Weinberg, Rabbi Michael Kushnick and Gabbai Farzin Bakhshian — the first blessed with the honor to fulfill the mitzvah of writing Congregation Anshai Torah’s first Project 613 congregational Torah.

Submitted report

“B’shem kedushat Sefer Torah…” It is a commandment for each Jew to write a Torah. On Sept. 10 at Congregation Anshai Torah, noted Torah scribe (sofer) Rabbi Zerach Greenfield became the agent of the Weinberg, Kushnick and Bakhshian families to fulfill the mitzvah of writing Anshai Torah’s first Project 613 congregational Torah.
“This week we read from the portion of Nitzavim-Vayeilech, in which we are given the 613th commandment, to write a Torah. The timing and the simcha is indeed a special moment for us all. For most of us, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a Sefer Torah begun and for our whole community to participate,” said Rabbi Stefan Weinberg. The husband of Wende Weinberg, of blessed memory, and the congregation’s leader, he sat with his daughters and five-month-old grandson while Rabbi Greenfield began filling in the letters of the scroll. “It’s a living document and will certainly continue our incredible legacy of thousands of years. Wende’s neshama is part of our own beresheet, our beginning. As Anshai Torah begins its 20th year, we’re committed to the obligation for this Torah to be written and it will be part of each of our souls.
“Wende was the consummate educator. She loved her students, was proud of her Jewish identity, and she felt privileged to model and teach what she cherished,” said Rabbi Weinberg. “Placing a Sefer Torah in our ark in her honor is the ideal way to memorialize Wende. She cherished Torah learning and taught with a passion. What could be more appropriate?”
With the families of Rabbis Weinberg and Michael Kushnick, and Gabbai Farzin Bakhshian at the dais, Rabbi Greenfield began the first letters of Beresheet. Members of Anshai Torah’s a cappella choir, Kol Rina, set the tone singing Hashiveinu (Return Us), Torah–Torah–Torah, and Eitz Chayim (Tree of Life).
“What a beautiful morning. I’m thrilled to see so many children here. Whatever we can do to bring our children to the community and commitment is all we can do,” said Rabbi Greenfield, who lives in Karnei Shomron, Israel, where the Torah is being written. He’ll return throughout the year to meet with those participating in the writing of the Torah and on April 15 when the Torah will be dedicated. “The Torah is a living document that each generation takes and applies to their lives, hopefully continuing to guide us to be better people.”
Greenfield is the scribe of the United States Military clergy and has worked on 200 Torahs and other Judaica projects. He met with religious-school students, parents and the congregation-at-large, explaining the process and tools used to create a Torah before beginning his holy work.
Project 613’s Torah is dedicated to the life and legacy of Wende Weinberg, Anshai Torah’s rebbetzin since its inception, a religious-school teacher and principal, and for 32 years teacher, Judaic studies and program coordinator at the Ann and Nate Levine Academy (previously Solomon Schechter Academy). She was always a role model. Her bachelor’s in developmental psychology provided her with the wisdom and deftness to touch young minds, hearts and souls — infusing them with her love, respect and admiration for Judaism. Her master’s degree in Jewish studies provided the depth needed to convey her message.
Project 613 is coordinated by Co-chairs Mojgan and Farzin Bakhshian, Jaime and Michael Cohen, Pam and Jonathan Goldminz, Jeanette and Michael Pincus, Jay and Nicole Post and 72 other honorary co-chairs.
“This Torah will always be with our children and the tie to Wende for this whole community is special,” said Nicole Post, who with Pam Goldminz welcomed participants. “We suffered an unimaginable loss last December and Project 613 is the perfect way to memorialize her commitment to Judaism, family and education.”
The community is invited to share their respect for Wende, by donating $18 for a word, $180 for a sentence, $1800 for a sedra or parsha, or $18,000 for a complete book. Donations of $5,400 can be applied to one of many special sedrot corresponding to the birthdays (B’har/B’hukotai, Ekev, Naso, Vayikra) and b’nai mitzvah (Reeh, Shimini, Tzav, Vayeshev) of Adina, Danielle, Jordana (the Weinbergs’ daughters) and Wende; Wende and Rabbi Stefan Weinberg’s wedding anniversary (Ekev); and in honor of the birth of Ariel Zev Zubery, the Weinbergs’ first grandson (Tazria/Metzora).
It takes the sofer about four hours each day to write just one column of 42 lines. With 245 columns, and 304,805 letters, it is a slow but precious and dedicated process. Rabbi Greenfield explained that the sofer follows another Torah as a guide for spacing and justification of the letters and words, purposefully leaving the word “God” out as he goes along, making that the first words each morning when his mind, hand and consciousness is most fresh.
“I go to the mikvah each morning I work to keep in mind what I’m doing, never a chance for distraction from its holiness and piety,” said Greenfield. “This links us all to Hashem and I put my heart, soul and a bit of my neshama in all that I do.”
Heart and soul — and a bit of neshama — sounds familiar. Not unlike Wende Weinberg. A match made for the Anshai community, from heaven.
For more information about Project 613, email project613@anshaiTorah.org or call Harvey Swento at 972-473-7718.
 — Submitted by Deb Silverthorn

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Event raises awareness of ovarian cancer

Event raises awareness of ovarian cancer

Posted on 20 September 2017 by admin

Group will introduce Friends of Be The Difference Foundation

BTFD FRIENDS gallery owners

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

You can never have too many friends, and friends wanting to make a difference are the best kind. From 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, the Craighead Green Gallery is hosting an evening with special guest Alexa Conomos to celebrate Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

Alexa Conomos

Alexa Conomos

The event will introduce the Friends of the Be The Difference Foundation. The event is free and open to the public.
Event hosts Lisa Hurst, Missy Quintana and Sheryl Yonack are leading the newly formed Friends of Be The Difference Foundation, with a mission to continue to raise awareness and knowledge of ovarian cancer as well as the incredible work the Be The Difference Foundation (BTDF) supports.
Quintana, whose mother Brenda is an 18-year survivor of ovarian cancer, joined the board earlier this year to help the organization reach beyond the cycling and cancer communities who already know of Be The Difference Foundation’s work. “In creating this social event, that is open to the public, we hope to expand the conversation, and drop the stigma and make ‘gynecological cancer’ not a bad set of words that people are scared to talk about,” she said. “Even with my own mother’s history I really didn’t know the risks because people don’t talk. But we need to talk, to learn, and for people to know the symptoms, the issues, and how they can help us help those in the fight.”
“In creating the offshoot ‘Friends’ of our organization, we have the best friends ever and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Julie Shrell, who co-founded BTDF with Jill Bach, the late Helen Gardner and Lynn Lentscher. “Our Wheel to Survive events, which began with one Dallas ride in 2013, have expanded and have allowed us to fund $2 million in donations toward programs dedicated to research toward the cure of ovarian cancer, the fifth leading cause of cancerous deaths.”
Upcoming Wheel to Survive rides this year are in Houston (Oct. 29) and the San Francisco Bay Area (Nov. 12), and in 2018 in Dallas (Feb. 18) and Denver (April 8), with dates to be named later for Austin, Houston, San Francisco and South Florida.
The Sept. 28 event is free, but Teal ($1,000), Gold ($500), and Silver ($250) sponsors also receive membership to Friends of Be The Difference Foundation in addition to recognition in the event invitation and program. Individual membership rights are available with a $100 donation.
Kenneth Craighead is honored to host the first Friends of BTFD event at the gallery which he and Steve Green co-founded in 1992, and in which Helen Gardner expressed her passion for art as a co-owner for five years. “It was such a pleasure and such an amazing journey working at the gallery with Helen,” said Craighead. The gallery, which represents over 40 artists of all mediums, focuses on contemporary paintings, archival pigment prints and sculpture in a myriad of media and styles. Ten percent of any sales during the evening will be donated to the Friends of BTDF. “To have this opportunity to give something back to her, while keeping her mission alive and real, is something amazing and unexpected. We both feel honored and humbled to be a part of this evening.”
Conomos, morning news anchor for WFAA’s News 8 Daybreak, comes to the event with her heart all-in.
Ovarian cancer took the life of her Aunt Anastasia in 2005, and another, her Aunt Shirley, is currently in remission of the disease. Still mourning the recent loss of her father Tasso John Conomos, of pancreatic cancer, she knows firsthand the pain that patients and their families endure.
“The numbers are staggering and this awful disease comes like a thief in the night and takes those we love. As a woman, as one with aunts affected on both sides of my family, it is at the top of my mind,” said Conomos. “What the ladies of the Be The Difference Foundation have done to create opportunities for sharing, caring, learning and teaching is motivating at its greatest. It takes a village and this village is so blessed with the strength behind this organization. For me, becoming a ‘friend’ is an absolute honor and I invite the community to join my new circle of friends.”
The Craighead Green Gallery is located at 1011 Dragon St. in Dallas. For more information about joining the Friends of the Be The Difference Foundation, or the event, email mquintana@bethedifferencefoundation.org or visit bethedifferencefoundation.org/friends. For Wheel to Survive or other BTFD information, visit bethedifferencefoundation.org.

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Challah bake brings community together

Challah bake brings community together

Posted on 07 September 2017 by admin

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

Chabad of Dallas’ third “Let’s Bake a Difference” on Sept. 14 will bring together flour, friends and family to create memories and challahs for the new year.
The evening of inspiration, prayer and unity begins at 7 p.m. at FIG (Fashion Institute Gallery), 1807 Ross Ave. in Dallas. Nearly 1,000 girls (ages 10 and older) and women from throughout the community will mix, knead, braid and pray together.

Chabad of Dallas’ first Let’s Bake A Difference, in 2014, had close to 400 women gathered to braid bread and offer prayers of healing. It is expected that nearly 1,000 women, of four generations, will fill FIG on Sept. 14. ABOVE LEFT: Amy Gross (left) and Sue Kramer mixed together their share of the more than 1,400 loaves of challah at the 2015 Let’s Bake A Difference.

Chabad of Dallas’ first Let’s Bake A Difference, in 2014, had close to 400 women gathered to braid bread and offer prayers of healing. It is expected that nearly 1,000 women, of four generations, will fill FIG on Sept. 14.
ABOVE LEFT: Amy Gross (left) and Sue Kramer mixed together their share of the more than 1,400 loaves of challah at the 2015 Let’s Bake A Difference.

“Challah is something the women of our communities have made together for the generations of our Jewish existence — it is part of the identity of the Jewish woman,” said Baila Dubrawsky, rebbetzin of Chabad of Dallas, who is co-chairing the event with Aida Drizin, Diana Frid, Mooke Hecht, Katy Rosenstock and Carolyn Wilkov. “Preparing challah is only positive; it’s fun, it’s delicious and it’s a connection that unites us where we are.”
The evening will include refreshments, challah prep and surprise entertainment. Tables will be spread throughout FIG with individuals, friends, and families coming together to prepare the loaves of tradition.
“The bracha is ours to share together and the sense of connection to each other, and to Hashem, is unbelievable — something I just can’t describe,” said Co-chair Carolyn Wilkov. “There will be many voices at one point in the evening, coming together to pray for the health and well-being of each other and of others, and that is a magical moment.”
The planned shopping list, to provide for two round loaves per guest, includes much more than the 1030 pounds of flour, 840 eggs, 20 pounds of yeast, 50 quarts of oil, 130 pounds of sugar, and 15 pounds of salt which were used in 2015. Included in the $36/person admission, along with the ingredients are a mixing bowl, spoon, apron, apple, jar of honey and a recipe for all to take home. Baking “coaches” will be roving the tables to help less-experienced participants.
“We’ve had a tremendous atmosphere and incredible success each year and we’re more excited this year. We are thrilled to move our event which started at our shul, then at a hotel, to FIG as we have grown by hundreds each event and we expect to do so again,” said Dubrawsky, noting valet parking at the facility will be free of charge.
“Coming together to do a mitzvah is beautiful and I can assure you this night will definitely be filled with mitzvahs and filled with beautiful things.”
Manna first fell for the Jews just as the matzo the Israelites had taken from Egypt ran out. Thousands of years later, as the women of Dallas’ Jewish community come together, good spirit, good hearts, and good tastes will be created l’dor v’dor, generation to generation, in a most delicious evening.
Thanks to sponsors, anyone unable to afford the $36 fee should contact organizers at 972-818-0770. To register, to sponsor a table or individuals or for more information, visit dallasbake.wixsite.com/challah.

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Jewish films head to big screens

Posted on 31 August 2017 by admin

JCC prepares for annual Jewish Film Festival

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

The best of Jewish cinema hits the big screens of Dallas next month when the annual Jewish Film Festival of Dallas, presented by the Jewish Community Center of Dallas and the City of Dallas’ Office of Cultural Affairs, opens. Eleven films of Jewish content, and many from Jewish writers and directors, will play to open audiences Sept. 7-27, almost all at the Studio Movie Grill at Spring Valley and Central Expressway.
Tagged “like Sundance, only Jewsier,” the Film Festival, in its 21st year, is a celebration of film and entertainment, history and talent, all with Jewish flavor, fervor and fascination.
The 2017 entrees, many with Israeli-Arab conflict and post-Holocaust themes, are topical. All foreign language films are screened with English subtitles and, with the exception of the opening-night The Origin of Violence, all films are appropriate for guests in high school and older.
“We just lost Peter and it’s definitely difficult to think about welcoming audiences without him. He loved opening night and he’d always turn around after the start of the films to check out reactions, but I know he’ll always be in my heart. This year, as trying as it was, he’d come home and still screen the films,” said Brenda Marcus. With her husband Peter, who passed away in June, Brenda has chaired the event for the past eight years.
The couple screened over 100 films each year, working with Rachelle Weiss Crane, the J’s director of Israel Engagement and Jewish Living and producer of the Festival, and event committee members Judy Borejdo, Andrew Cobert, Alexander Goldberg, Steve Krant, Catherine and Paul Lake, Ann and Steve Meyer, Haiya Naftalie, Gerri Patterson, Micole Pidgeon, Ted Rubin, Carole and Joram Wolanow, and Sissy Zoller.
“We started doing the festival together because I wanted to do it and he wanted to be with me,” said Marcus. “As the years went on, Peter literally lived and breathed the festival. Both of us loved bringing people from all over our community together in a celebration of Jewish culture.”
The festival is dedicated in Dr. Marcus’ memory, recognizing his great contributions. While he appreciated all of this year’s films, Fever at Dawn — which highlighted the courage of Holocaust survivors to embrace life and love —  was at the top of his list, its romantic nature one with which he could identify. He was married to his beloved Brenda for 50 years; the two met as teens at Muizenberg’s Snake Pit Beach in South Africa and lived a fairytale life.
“Peter’s keen eye and intellect and Brenda’s heart and vision for what touches the audience have always made for an incredible experience,” Weiss Crane said. “Peter is already sorely missed but we’re absolutely grateful Brenda will continue to lead this special festival.”
Over 100 individual, family and corporate sponsors, as well as the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas, AJC Dallas, American Associates Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Belmont Village Senior Living Turtle Creek, Bnai Zion, Congregation Anshai Torah, Congregation Beth Torah’s Chai Lights, Men’s Club and Sisterhood, Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance, Dallas Jewish Historical Society, Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, Legacy Senior Communities, Southern Methodist University, Temple Emanu-El, and the Jewish War Vets of US Dr. Harvey J. Bloom Post 256, join the Jewish Community Center of Dallas and the City of Dallas’ Office of Cultural Affairs to bring this year’s festival to the community. Talkbacks will be led by experts on many of the films’ themes.
The Origin of Violence (French), with a talkback session led by Congregation Shearith Israel’s Rabbi Adam Roffman, is based on Fabrice Humbert’s semi-autobiographical novel. Nathan Fabre, a teacher in a French-German school working on his thesis about French resistance to the Nazis during World War II, discovers a photograph of a concentration camp prisoner who strikingly resembles his own father. Haunted by the image, he unsuccessfully asks his father for answers. Intent on discovering the truth, Nathan digs into his family history, complicating his relationship with a German woman whose family history is also unclear.
The Women’s Balcony (Hebrew), with an evening and daytime matinee screening, is the story of a joyous celebration turned disaster when a women’s balcony at an Orthodox synagogue collapses during a bar mitzvah party, injuring a number of people and leaving the senior rabbi in a state of shock. When the younger and charismatic rabbi insists that the accident is a divine warning against female nonconformity, his fundamentalist ways soon divide the close-knit Sephardic congregation.
Keep Quiet, with talkback led by Philip Aronoff, honorary consul for Hungary, follows the three-year journey of Csanád Szegedi, a former member of the Hungarian radical nationalist party Jobbik, who regularly espoused anti-Semitic rhetoric. When it’s revealed that his maternal grandparents were Jewish, he is guided by Rabbi Báruch Oberlander to embrace his newfound religion and forced to confront the painful truths of his family’s past, his own wrongdoing and the turbulent history of his country.
1945 (Hungarian), based on the acclaimed short story Homecoming by Gábor T. Szántó, tells of two Orthodox Jews arriving at the town’s train station with mysterious boxes labeled “fragrances.” The town clerk believes them to be heirs of deported Jews and expects them to demand back their property, lost during World War II, while others are afraid more survivors will come, posing a threat to the property and possessions claimed as their own. Dr. Nils Roemer, director of the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies, Stan and Barbara Rabin Professor in Holocaust Studies, will direct 1945’s talkback session.
The Pickle Recipe (also with an evening and daytime showings) follows undisputed king of Detroit party MCs Joey Miller, whose prized sound equipment is destroyed; his own daughter’s simcha is upon the already in-debt single dad. Miller’s Uncle Morty offers to loan him the money — at a price: that he steal his grandmother’s treasured, and top secret, pickle recipe.
Ben Gurion: Epilogue (Hebrew) will feature a talkback by Deborah Bergeron, director of the American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Greater Texas Region. Long-lost 1968 interview footage of an 82-year-old David Ben-Gurion, uncovered in the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive in Jerusalem, allowed him a hindsight perspective on the Zionist enterprise. His introspective soul-searching and clear voice provide a surprising vision for today’s crucial decisions and the future of Israel.
Fever at Dawn (Hungarian) is based on Peter Gardos’ novel of the same title. Having been freed from a concentration camp, 25-year-old Miklós is being treated at a Swedish hospital, diagnosed with a terminal disease. Dr. Sarah Abosch Jacobson, senior director of Education at the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance, will speak about the film and Miklós’ relationship of correspondence with Lili, one of 117 Hungarian girls he writes to, optimistic and hoping for marriage and a long life.
Harmonia (Hebrew and Arabic), set inside a symphony hall, follows a childless Israeli musical couple seeking to form a family, and a musician of French-Arab descent from East Jerusalem, in this contemporary adaptation of the tale of Abraham and Sarah. A talkback with Fred Nathan, retired head of school, Ann and Nate Levine Academy, will follow the story of how two rival prodigies are born, one Jewish and one Arab, leading to a clash of cultures reconciled only through music.
Past Life (Hebrew, English, German and Polish) is a hybrid thriller and emotional melodrama of sisters: a combative liberal journalist Nana and her sister Sephi, a soprano and aspiring composer. Sephi is accosted by an elderly Polish woman, angrily accusing the girls’ father of murder. Traumatized by the encounter, the sisters launch an investigation, attempting to discover what really happened to their father in Poland during the war. Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman, returning to Dallas as an adjunct lecturer in SMU’s Jewish Studies Program, will provide the post-screening conversation.
Joe’s Violin (the last with evening and daytime options) provides the improbable relationship between 91-year-old Holocaust survivor Joe Feingold and 12-year-old Brianna Perez from the Bronx, brought together by a donated musical instrument, proving the power of music, and acts of kindness, in the darkest of times.
Fanny’s Journey, based on an autobiographical novel by Fanny Ben-Ami, is a suspenseful and poignant coming-of-age drama. Following the arrest of their father in Paris, Fanny and her younger sisters Erika and Georgette are sent to a boarding school in France’s neutral zone, only temporarily as the Jewish students were then sent to another institution under the care of the tough, but tender, Madame Forman. The children’s fate is entrusted to young Fanny, who fearlessly treks through the countryside on a perilous mission to reach the Swiss border. Dr. Zsuzsanna Ozsvath, Leah and Paul Lewis Chair of Holocaust Studies at UTD’s Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies, is this film’s talkback leader.
“Our Festival has now, over more than two decades, built a reputation and people want their films to be shared here,” said Weiss Crane, already screening films for the 2018 Festival. “It’s really wonderful that the J allows us to produce such a quality event with fascinating films, such brilliant panelists, and a chance to share — and expand — the Jewish experience.”
Additional details, film trailers, and ticket sales are available at bit.ly/2xy5OpQ. Advance tickets (also available at the JCC) are $13 ($10/student with ID) and $16 at the door.

 

 

*****

 

 

Films

  • The Origin of Violence (7 p.m. Sept. 7)
  • The Women’s Balcony (9 p.m. Sept. 9)
  • Keep Quiet (2:30 p.m. Sept. 10)
  • 1945 (7 p.m. Sept. 11)
  • The Pickle Recipe (1 p.m. Sept. 12 and  9 p.m. Sept. 23)
  • Ben Gurion: Epilogue (7 p.m. Sept. 14)
  • Fever at Dawn (12:30 p.m. Sept. 17)
  • Harmonia (7 p.m. Sept. 18)
  • The Pickle Recipe (9 p.m. Sept. 23)
  • Past Life and Joe’s Violin (3 p.m. Sept. 24: the only showing at Hughes-Trigg Center at SMU)
  • The Women’s Balcony (1 p.m. Sept. 26)
  • Joe’s Violin (7 p.m. Sept. 27)
  • Fanny’s Journey (7 p.m. Sept. 27)
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