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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 ownersBy 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, emailmquintana@bethedifference.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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Special ‘bar mitzvah’ at Temple Shalom

Special ‘bar mitzvah’ at Temple Shalom

Posted on 17 August 2017 by admin

Photo: Winn Fuqua Rabbi Andrew Paley will celebrate 13 years, his “bar mitzvah,” at Temple Shalom, with his family (left to right) Debbie, Sammy, Molly, his congregation and the community beginning this Friday, Aug. 18, at 6 p.m.

Photo: Winn Fuqua
Rabbi Andrew Paley will celebrate 13 years, his “bar mitzvah,” at Temple Shalom, with his family (left to right) Debbie, Sammy, Molly, his congregation and the community beginning this Friday, Aug. 18, at 6 p.m.

Rabbi Andrew Paley celebrates 13th year with congregation

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

It’s the “Year of Rabbi Andrew Paley” at Temple Shalom and the community is invited to share in the celebrations of the rabbi’s 13th year. Festivities begin with an Oneg social at 6 p.m., and services at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 18. The celebration will continue throughout the year, with a Saturday morning bar mitzvah service, Feb. 24, also dedicated to the rabbi’s commitment to Temple Shalom.
At the Aug. 18 service, 1,000 new High Holy Day prayer books, purchased by congregants in Paley’s honor, will be dedicated. Members of the community are invited to share with Rabbi Paley, a “gift of words,” many to be spoken at services throughout the year.
“I could never have imagined the incredibly meaningful and significant journey my career has taken,” said Paley. “From my ordination when the president of Hebrew-Union College, Dr. Alfred Gottschalk, of blessed memory, asked ‘Are you prepared to become a rabbi in the community of Israel?’ until now, I still feel that sense of awe and wonder, excitement and trepidation at the sacred and blessed responsibility of being God’s servant. I see my role and opportunity in the same way I did then, and at the same time very differently.”
Paley is the husband of Debbie Niederman, associate director of the Union for Reform Judaism Leadership Institute and past president of the Association for Reform Jewish Educators, and the father of Molly, a sophomore at Duke University, and Samuel, a junior at Plano Academy High School.
The son of Dr. Leslie and Annette and brother of Steven and Michael, Paley follows family tradition in being a rabbi. His great-grandfather, Eiser Paley, was an Orthodox rabbi. Growing up in Cleveland, Shabbat dinners at his parents’ Conservative home and his involvement in a local Reform congregation’s youth group program made impressions.
“At home, there was always Jewish beauty and love for our traditions. In my youth group, I met kids like me and it was a great social connection, led by young rabbis who were engaging and who took an interest in us,” said Paley. “When I was 17 I had an epiphany during the High Holy Days, realizing that relationship was so important to me, and I wanted to do that for others.”
Paley holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from Ohio State University as well as a certificate in marital and premarital counseling and a master’s degree in Hebrew letters from HUC–JIR, where he was ordained in 1995. Before coming to Dallas he served communities in Fairbanks, Alaska; China Lake Naval Air Station; Miami, Florida; and Cleveland.
Paley is a member of the Dallas Mayor’s Task Force on Poverty; the coordinating committee of Faith Forward Dallas: Faith Leaders united for Peace and Justice — a project of Thanks-Giving Square of Dallas; and the Interfaith Advisory Committee of the North Texas Food Bank, as well as a chaplain with the Dallas Police Department (the first rabbi to serve as such in DPD history).
He’s a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), a member of the Southwest Association of Reform Rabbis, a member and past president of the Rabbinical Association of Greater Dallas, and an honorary director of the Dallas Hebrew Free Loan Association. Paley is a mentor for CCAR and to HUC rabbinical students and is an AIPAC Leffer Fellow mentor. He serves on the national board of the Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity; he has edited prayer books — one for Sabbath and one for the High Holy Days — and he’s written numerous articles.
“Rabbi Paley’s warmth for everyone and his presence in good times and bad is a gift. He’s an impeccable teacher, a brilliant teacher of Torah and life, and he infuses his impact by educating and caring in everything he does,” said Josh Goldman, president of Temple Shalom’s board of directors. “He sets an example of living tikun olam, making our congregation, our city, and our world a better place.”
Paley says it’s an honor to have served alongside his team. He calls Rabbi Ariel Boxman an excellent example of love and dedication to serious and creative Jewish education as well as to students and family. He appreciates the laughter and music of Cantor Emeritus Don Croll and his continued loving, committed and indispensable involvement in the congregation. Of Cantor Devorah Avery, he says you cannot find a kinder and gentler soul, and that she reminds everyone of the Jewish teaching, “Whoever sings, prays twice.”
Paley’s memories are vast, including Temple Shalom’s 40th and 50th anniversaries, the commissioning of the Blumin Family Torah, the 100th anniversary of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, his service to Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square — Faith Leaders United for Peace and Justice, and, with heartfelt recollection, his offering of blessings at the July 2016 Dallas Memorial Service to the Fallen Dallas Officers.
“My dream of 2004 continues to be my guiding light in 2017 — to be a place of genuine and deep caring in our Temple and beyond, becoming a place of meaningful gathering; to nurture and support serious lifelong Jewish study, becoming a place of meaningful learning; and coming together in creative and joyful ways for purposeful, uplifting and soulful prayer, becoming a place of meaningful worship,” said Paley. “I see our ability to significantly contribute our namesake — shalom,  wholeness and peace — to our city and our state, indeed our country, as we courageously advocate for the vision of our world, as we learn in our tradition, ‘The world is sustained by three things: truth, justice and shalom.’ ”

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New organization provides infertility support

New organization provides infertility support

Posted on 27 July 2017 by admin

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

It’s been anything but a laid-back summer for Nikki and Rabbi Mike Friedman as they’ve launched their new organization, Mekimi.
Mekimi, a word found in the Book of Psalms and translated as “raise me up,” is at the core of the couple’s goals to support the community. At its upcoming Aug. 2 (8 p.m.) WOMBS gathering and Aug. 6 (7:30 p.m.) stereo typology class and concert, the community is certain to be raised.
WOMBS: Women Of Mind, Body and Spirit, is a monthly gathering led by Nikki Friedman and Beth Broodo, MS, LPC, RYT. A community of women giving, and getting, strength and support will explore Jewish texts that discuss infertility among the biblical personalities and their strength in the face of challenge. Through discussion and exercises related to the texts they’ll navigate the trials of infertility and miscarriage, with topics including emotional turmoil, financial implications, primary and secondary infertility and maintaining marital harmony and connection while trying to conceive.

Photo: Friedman Family Last March, Rabbi Mike and Nikki Friedman, founders of Mekimi, celebrated Purim fun as the Cat in the Hat and friends with their children (left to right) Azarya, Shalev and Akiva.

Photo: Friedman Family
Last March, Rabbi Mike and Nikki Friedman, founders of Mekimi, celebrated Purim fun as the Cat in the Hat and friends with their children (left to right) Azarya, Shalev and Akiva.

Stereo typology, scheduled on the Hebrew calendar’s 15th of Av, one of the holiest days of the year, will explore music from David’s Harp to David Cassidy and from Bach to Carlebach. Rabbi Friedman will lead a class and concert that explores the nature, role and impact of music.
Mekimi’s schedule also includes Bagels No More: the challenges of healthful eating in Jewish culture; Unplugged: Serenity in a Digital Age — an ancient Jewish form of meditation and prayer; Just Paint: a women’s opportunity to connect by painting a common Jewish-themed piece; as well as workshops for parents of children with anxiety and depression, post-conversion support and more.
“Mekimi integrates Jewish and holistic principles of emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual wellness that provide tools to overcome everyday challenges and infuse joy and meaning into our participants’ lives,” said Rabbi Friedman.
The organization has already held events. On June 4, Nikki shared the couple’s “Tale of Infertility” (which had a happy ending). There was an Unplugged series event about the benefits of using essential oils, and the July 23 Smart Eats program with Rabbi Yaakov Marks, who provided information about the Jewish approach to food as spiritual nourishment. All were well-received.
“It’s awesome that they’re trying to get more involvement from the Jewish community and I couldn’t think of a better couple to be at the forefront,” said Ethan Fisher, who attended the Unplugged class with his parents Laurel and Mark. Unplugged was directed by Rabbi Friedman and Brooks Alkek, a certified yoga and meditation instructor. Ethan Fisher, who recruited friends to attend, added, “The amount of energy and joy the Friedmans put into their work is contagious. The meditation classes that I went to gave me a break from my normal routine and they were very calming.”
Laurel Fisher, who says spirituality and meditation have always been a part of her Jewish experience, loved watching Rabbi Friedman connect with the young people as well as the adults. For Mark, who previously played basketball and talked about prayer with Rabbi Friedman, connecting spiritually through conventional prayers didn’t always work.
“Rabbi shared a book about connecting through gratitude, opening a new prayer experience for me, and his ‘Unplugged’ class, an entry to meditation, was a previously foreign concept to me,” Mark said. “The path to spiritual growth is personal and unique for each individual. Mekimi provides a way to learn about many opportunities within Judaism to connect as our Jewish sages and scholars recognized not all paths are common or systematic.”
The multi-talented Nikki, a Chicago native, attended a Conservative Jewish day school, a pluralistic Jewish summer camp and a public high school. She is an artist of paintings and hand-beaded stainless steel pieces and teaches math at Yavneh Academy.
“I’ve always had a strong connection to the Land of Israel and a passion for uniting the Jewish people,” she said. “As a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, I’ve been deeply infused with the message that life is short and we must be grateful for all life has to offer. My own struggle with infertility has become one of my greatest blessings, leading me on a road of personal development and growth as well as newfound health awareness.”
“Nikki’s an incredible person and teacher,” said participant Sarah Diamond. “She’s deeply spiritual and inspires me to be my best self. Attending an evening organized by Nikki leaves everyone imbued with the awareness of God around us and of life and possibilities and love and unity among all Jews and the world.”
For Rabbi Friedman, a clinician at Jewish Family Service and seventh generation rabbi, the road to Dallas, via Washington, D.C. and then Jerusalem, has been based on the mission to spread Jewish teachings and spiritual principles that illuminate the human condition.
“I love the part about being a rabbi that connects to people and I love the part of being a counselor that is helpful. Through Mekimi, I can join that love,” said the talented musician, a former congregational assistant rabbi. He is also the Dallas chapter coordinator of Yachad–The National Jewish Council for Disabilities and a Judaic studies teacher at Akiba and Yavneh academies.
Educated at a nondenominational Jewish day school, with family members of all Jewish affiliations, Rabbi Friedman says being raised with diversity encouraged him to respect and love all Jews. For him, the connectedness of the Jewish people is stronger than the separation and he’s guided by the idea that labeling is disabling.
“Dallas has made a wonderful home for us over the last seven years,” said Rabbi Friedman, whose family with Nikki includes sons Akiva, Azarya and Shalev. “We want to give back by reaching the intellect, body, and soul of those in our community,” he added.
For the WOMBS meeting location, email wombs@mekimiwellness.org. For stereo typology location, or more about Mekimi, visit mekimiwellness.org, email info@mekimiwellness.org or call 972-896-0519.

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Va. mayor to talk career, Congressional shooting

Va. mayor to talk career, Congressional shooting

Posted on 13 July 2017 by admin

Allison Silberberg and her parents Barbara and Al, at the future mayor of Alexandria, Virgina’s graduation from American University. “I absolutely hear my parents belief in me,” said Mayor Silberberg. “They set the example for a life of doing good.”

Allison Silberberg and her parents Barbara and Al, at the future mayor of Alexandria, Virgina’s graduation from American University. “I absolutely hear my parents belief in me,” said Mayor Silberberg. “They set the example for a life of doing good.”

Dallas native Silberberg guiding DC-suburb Alexandria

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

Dallas native Allison Silberberg, the mayor of Alexandria, Virginia, recently made a comment that defines the translation of l’dor v’dor — from generation to generation.
“Only together can we preserve what our ancestors left to us,” she said. “We are all the temporary stewards of this national treasure called Alexandria.”
Silberberg will share her story at 3 p.m. Thursday, July 20, at The Legacy at Willow Bend.

“Life is all a mitzvah project, a chance to live the tenet of tikun olam, repairing the world,” said Dallas native Allison Silberberg, the mayor of Alexandria, Virginia, who will speak at The Legacy at Willow Bend July 20.

“Life is all a mitzvah project, a chance to live the tenet of tikun olam, repairing the world,” said Dallas native Allison Silberberg, the mayor of Alexandria, Virginia, who will speak at The Legacy at Willow Bend July 20.

Silberberg’s city quickly gained the national spotlight after June 14, when a gunman shot Republican lawmakers at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park. Capitol Police Special Agent David Bailey, Congressional Aide Zachary Barth, Capitol Police Special Crystal Griner, Tyson Foods lobbyist Matt Mika and Representative Steve Scalise, the House Majority Whip, all were injured during the attack. The gunman, James Hodgkinson, died in a shootout with police.
“This has been a shocking time but Alexandria responded with action,” Silberberg said. “We continue to pray for the wounded. To our first responders, who saved the lives of many, there aren’t enough thanks, and to our strong residents, who came out for days offering cool drinks, baked goods and their hearts. You can’t manufacture ‘community,’ and Alexandria has it overflowing.”
Silberberg, a Hillcrest High School graduate with a B.A. from American University and a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of California, Los Angeles, is the daughter of the late Al and Barbara and sister of Dana and Susan. She grew up at Temple Emanu-El and was a second-generation member of BBYO’s Jennie Zesmer chapter.

(left to right) Dana, Susan, and Allison Silberbergs’ futures were in bloom long before their futures were known. Today, Allison is the mayor of Alexandria, Virginia.

(left to right) Dana, Susan, and Allison Silberbergs’ futures were in bloom long before their futures were known. Today, Allison is the mayor of Alexandria, Virginia.

Silberberg says her love for service was taught by her parents, rabbis and a caring community that she calls very special and it’s her parents’ encouraging voices that she feels in her heart. Her mother’s volunteering at her schools, working on political campaigns, including those of Adlene Harrison and Ann Richards, and her appointment to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission set the bar. Barbara Silberberg also shared her example through active membership in both National Council of Jewish Women and the family’s synagogue. Temple Emanu-El’s Rabbi Kimberly Herzog Cohen says Silberberg lives the heart of her heritage.
“Mayor Silberberg exemplifies that value of service we seek to cultivate as Jews, here at Temple and beyond,” said Rabbi Herzog Cohen. “We’re inspired by and grateful for the ways she pursues tzedakah, charity that helps those in need, and tzedek, justice, at the heart of systemic change.”
Silberberg’s career began as a writer and photographer — which could easily be the focus of a chapter in her book, Visionaries in Our Midst: Ordinary People Who Are Changing Our World. The Society for Women’s Health Research commissioned Silberberg to co-author a book and she created a bound legacy in her commissioned memoir And Life Will Be a Beautiful Dream: A Book about Peggy and Alvin Brown. Her writing appeared on PBS.org in conjunction with Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s The War and David Grubin’s The Jewish Americans. Her talents broad, she’s written for politicians and an episode of Mama’s Family.
Silberberg’s career includes an internship with Senator Edward Kennedy; her role as chief editor and chief research assistant for Senator Lloyd M. Bentsen; being the founding leader of Lights, Camera, Action! — a nonprofit to mentor youth as well as grant making to nonprofits; serving on the World Bank’s community outreach grants committee; and serving on the City of Alexandria’s Economic Opportunities Commission, also as its chair.
While leading a monthly community service group called the Film Biz Happy Hour, which she founded to make contacts, have fun and make a difference all at once, more than $50,000 was raised for nonprofits. When she asked to run for office, it was an idea whose time had come. After being Alexandria’s vice-mayor, she was elected to lead Nov. 3, 2015. This April, she was a panelist at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, regarding vacant and abandoned properties and issues of aging.
“It’s about rolling up your sleeves and getting work done, and it’s the work that matters,” said Silberberg. “It’s an honor to see what’s possible, and to be a part of making the possible happen.”
For Bob Weinfeld, who has interviewed more than 50 guests at The Legacy, hosting Silberberg is an honor.
“It’s absolutely a genuine honor to interview Madame Mayor,” said Weinfeld, who will spend the day of Silberberg’s visit celebrating his 91st birthday. “She’s lived a fascinating life and it seems to be more so every day. Our community should be, and we are, so proud of her.”
Weinfeld’s daughter Brenda Bliss, one of many hometown friends with whom she’s close, echoes her father’s esteem of Silberberg.
“Allison is loyal, honest, objective and a good listener. She’s open to ideas while strong in her convictions and committed to the causes that matter to her,” said Bliss, whose friendship with Silberberg spans teenage tennis court matches and BBYO experiences, as well as the years they both attended graduate school in Southern California.

(left to right) Sally Waxler Oscherwitz, Caryn Statman Kboudi and Allison Silberberg, now Mayor of Alexandria, Virginia, when the threesome were BBYO best friends.

(left to right) Sally Waxler Oscherwitz, Caryn Statman Kboudi and Allison Silberberg, now Mayor of Alexandria, Virginia, when the threesome were BBYO best friends.

“Allison has been interested in politics for as long as I’ve known her and she is successful because she wants to fix things and make them better. She’s always wanted to problem solve,” said Bliss. “She’s always been a great friend and I’m so proud of all that she has accomplished.”
For Silberberg, what she’s accomplished, and what she continues to pursue, all of which her friends, family and supporters are proud of, is giving her heart, talent, expertise and dedication each day, serving in a life that she says “is all a mitzvah project, a chance to live the tenet of tikun olam, repairing the world.”
For more information about the July 20 program at The Legacy at Willow Bend, or to RSVP, email robert.weinfeld@tx.rr.com.

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Weinsteins’ business in perennial bloom

Weinsteins’ business in perennial bloom

Posted on 13 July 2017 by admin

Petals & Stems celebrates 45 years of flower service

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

For Dotty and Lew Weinstein — and their son Brad — their business has smelled sweeter with every prepared bouquet during the past 45 years.
“The business of Petals & Stems is about special moments — we’ve been a part of thousands of memories. What an incredible business this is,” said Lew, the Weinstein patriarch who opened the doors to Petals & Stems in June 1972.

Submitted photo (From left) Lew, Dotty, and Brad Weinstein have a blooming business in Petals & Stems florist, celebrating 45 years this summer. For most of those years, the family has run their business from the same Montfort Drive storefront.

Submitted photo
(From left) Lew, Dotty, and Brad Weinstein have a blooming business in Petals & Stems florist, celebrating 45 years this summer. For most of those years, the family has run their business from the same Montfort Drive storefront.

With a strong business sense and experience, but a business partner who wilted and left him sole owner, a budding legacy was created.
Always in the same Montfort Drive shopping center, resettling a few doors away at one point, Petals & Stems has a history, and client list, that is lasting. They’ve delivered customer service and stunning floral artistry for generations of families — from baby celebrations to bar mitzvahs and boutonnieres, from weddings to funeral arrangements. Each customer, each posy: precious.
“On countless occasions Petals & Stems made my tables look and smell so beautiful,” said Carol Gene Cohen, whose family has been listed in the Weinsteins’ Rolodex for years. “They did the flowers for four bar mitzvahs, two weddings and more celebrations and dinners. Every arrangement has been stunning.”
Dotty and Lew are the parents of Brad (spouse Keri), Jeff (Ava), and Lori (Grant), and grandparents of Ansley, Ari, Brice, Gabe and Jill. The family’s best vacations, to Colorado, Lake Tahoe, and this year to San Francisco, are for tables of 13.
In 1997, Brad joined his parents, and for the last two decades the generations have worked hand in hand. With more than 20 employees, and a business that continues to blossom, Lew takes care of the bills, receivables, and payroll while Brad handles the day-to-day operations.
“I grew up riding with deliveries, never thinking the store would be my future, but I’ve loved working with my parents. They’re great people, great business owners, and great examples of working hard and providing exceptional care to their customers,” said Brad, noting the family business also included his grandfather Arthur, who was an important part of the team for many years. “Believe me, your florist knows everything — and we love being there for our clients’ every-things.”
When the store opened, the Weinsteins couldn’t get flowers from Europe; now, many are in the store 36 hours after they’ve been cut. From Israel, one of the top 10 floral exporters, the Weinsteins order the popular Gerbera Daisy.
Petals & Stems has weathered grocers, 800 numbers and the internet — all offering flower sales — finding new clientele by providing an online catalogue and partnering with the Teleflora network. Their Rolodex has morphed into email contacts, sharing specials and contests — during this anniversary month they gave away 45 bouquets.
“Service and family always come first,” said Dotty, a former teacher, recalling her children would be in the truck while the couple would clean up after celebrations. “Lew gave birth to the store and has devoted so much to the service part of the business. Local Jewish caterers took us under their wings and wanted to give him the business.”
The Weinsteins’ professional design team has decorated Metroplex homes, hotels and headquarters. During a 1995 Jewish Federation trip to Israel, with 400 Dallasites, Lew and Dotty couldn’t get over how many people recounted the occasions that Petals & Stems had serviced.
Keeping calendars for their clients, reminding them of birthdays and anniversaries, is a touch to success. Carol Gene Cohen made notes of calls she’s received before she had a chance to order. Brad says clients take care of them as well, with cookies and other treats showing up for the floral team on Valentine’s Day and other occasions. Dotty recalls many husbands who’ve called with “thanks for keeping me out of trouble,” also remembering Southwest Airlines bringing lunch to the store. “Imagine the customer buying us lunch,” she said.
Wanting to give back to the ever-grateful community, for almost 15 years the Weinsteins have donated 10 percent of $30 minimum sales, for deliveries, phone orders, simchas, and arrangements picked up at the shop to synagogues purchasers designate. They also hold floral decorating contests with prizes donated to charities chosen by winners.
“Brad keeps bringing new inspiration, vitality and spark to the business,” said Lew, proud that some in the next generation are stepping in to help out too. “He’s tripled our business and, like all of our kids, made us proud. To know that Petals & Stems is where it is, because our family has worked together, is very special to us.”
Never losing the personal Weinstein touch, either Brad or Lew, or both, are always at the store, located at 13319 Montfort Drive. To place an order, call 972-233-9037 or visit petalsandstems.com.

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Guys Night Out involves plenty of reading

Guys Night Out involves plenty of reading

Posted on 06 July 2017 by admin

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

The Guys Night Out Book of the Month Club is celebrating its 15th anniversary this summer.
This summer’s programs will be on July 18, featuring Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet, and Aug. 15 (The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity). Both begin at 7 p.m. at the Aaron Family JCC, 7900 Northaven Road.
“We Jews are the people of the book and so it only makes sense that we be that — readers of books and people who discuss and learn from them and from each other,” said Bob Weinfeld, on why having a book club matters to him. It’s amazing that although Weinfeld never seems to sit long enough to read a sentence, let alone a novel, the Guys Night Out is truly one of his passions and something he always looks forward to.

Photo: Jean Weinfeld  Dr. Baer Ackerman, left, and Bob Weinfeld, are readying the July 18 edition of the Guys Night Out Book of the Month Club. Beginning at 7 p.m. July 18, Ackerman will lead the discussion about Jeffrey Rosen’s Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet.

Photo: Jean Weinfeld
Dr. Baer Ackerman, left, and Bob Weinfeld, are readying the July 18 edition of the Guys Night Out Book of the Month Club. Beginning at 7 p.m. July 18, Ackerman will lead the discussion about Jeffrey Rosen’s Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet.

While Weinfeld and his wife Jean were on vacation in Colorado, with Dallas friends Fred, of blessed memory, and Marlene Fisher, the wives were talking about a book club. Bob heard the idea and gave it a go. He recruited Fred, Jerry Levin and Ken Parker, and the foursome founded the group.
“The J is the central address for programs like this and it’s what we’re all about,” said Artie Allen, the J’s chief executive officer. “Bob is a living legend, the epitome of the fountain of youth, and (members of) this group — like him — are all a tribute to living life better than well. Reading certainly helps with the wellness of the mind. We wish the group many more anniversaries and we look forward to hosting the current and new members for many years.”
When the group first cracked a binding, it was Laura Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit, and together they’ve read and reviewed 170 books, most of which are under 350 pages, and about 80 percent of which are nonfiction. This summer’s titles will be reviewed by book club members: in July, by Dr. Baer Ackerman, and at the August anniversary celebration, by Bob Behrendt.
Jeffrey Rosen’s Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet was published last summer to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the justice’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. The book explores Brandeis’ views and actions on the Constitution, corporate and federal power, technology, privacy, free speech, Zionism, and more. The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity, by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy, shares the history of the private relationships among the last 13 presidents — the partnerships, private deals, rescue missions, and rivalries of those select men who served as commander-in-chief.BOOK CLUB founders
The group, which began with eight men and which has grown to many times that, has more than 20 regulars who have participated almost since the beginning, and others who’ve joined over the years.
Despite its Guys Night Out title, the club is an open book, with women invited to attend many of the programs. While the Sept. 19 title is still to be announced, the rest of the 2017 calendar includes events on Oct. 17, with a discussion about Michael Bar-Zohar’s Mossad: The Greatest Missions of Israeli Secret Service; on Nov. 21, Homo-Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari; and the Dec. 19 meeting, featuring Larry Pivnick’s The Kilgore Curse and Supreme Corruption.
“The books are of great genre variety. Everyone has their own opinion and while one person might love it, the guy next to him might have given it a pass — but what’s always consistent is that we enjoy each other’s company and comments on the books,” said Weinfeld, who also founded the book club at The Legacy at Willow Bend as well as that facility’s library, now with thousands of rotating books. “Sometimes you learn something, or will change your mind about a book, just from listening to the rest of the gang. It’s a great group that comes together and we hope more want to join us — after all, the success of the Guys Night Out is an ‘open book.’ ”
Guys Night Out events are open to the public and free of charge, with each review and discussion preceded by a meet and greet with refreshments. For more information, email Bob Weinfeld at robert.weinfeld@tx.rr.com.

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Helping people find healthy harmony

Helping people find healthy harmony

Posted on 06 July 2017 by admin

Suzy Harmon has written Hungry for Health, Starved for Time, providing the busy person’s guide to harmonious health. Photo: Deb Silverthorn

Suzy Harmon has written Hungry for Health, Starved for Time, providing the busy person’s guide to harmonious health.
Photo: Deb Silverthorn

Harmon’s book provides clarity for ‘whys’ of health

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

Dallas resident Suzy Harmon is taking a big bite out of life — a healthy bite — combining her talents and expertise as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and author of Hungry for Health, Starved for Time, with advice on how to live a harmonious life.
“I want to know the ‘whys’ of my clients: why do they want to lose weight, why do they want to be healthy, and why do they want to live,” said Harmon, a New York native who made Dallas home in 1996. A former accountant who traded in financial spreadsheets for cookie sheets with healthy treats, she is now making a healthy lifestyle one to enjoy.
“People want to be healthy. They just think it’s much more difficult, expensive, or time-consuming than it really is.”
The wife of Andy and mother of Bradley, Zach and Lindsay, Harmon spent more than two decades as a CPA. Looking back, she notes that she and those around her were more worried about their financial health than their personal health. When her father passed away in 2008, she gained weight, couldn’t sleep, had hair and skin issues and needed medicine to focus and sleep. An online search brought her to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and, with a “click,” she signed on for a class and up for a life change. That move would enhance her world, that of those around her and for many she’d never met.
Harmon decided to make a difference — believing the dream of a career involving health, nutrition, and overall wellness was within her grasp. Becoming a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Harmon created a curriculum that provides her clients guidance in the areas of positive nutrition, lifestyle, relationships, career goals, financial concern and reaching their fullest potential.
Believing and living the mantra “your greatest wealth is your health,” Harmonious Health support comes through in her book, blog, recipes, classes, grocery store tours, lunch and learn events, food demonstrations, and corporate training programs.
“I wrote the book to expand my audience and the response has been incredible,” said the first-time author. “I love the one-to-one working relationship I have with my clients but I also wanted to reach further.”
In Hungry for Health, Starved for Time, an easy read of 143 pages — chapters that are easy to pick up independently — Harmon breaks down the habits of healthy living into five categories related to home environment, eating, body care, cooking, and the mind. It isn’t about homing in on one area that brings success, but respect for caring for one’s total self.
Her website, SuzyHarmoniousHealth.com, teases taste buds with delicious recipes on her blog, guaranteed to ignite the healthy spirit. From Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Meat Sauce to Homemade All Natural Snack Bars, and Green Chile Chicken to Dessert Date Bars, Harmon provides the possibilities that make getting healthy easy, delicious, and a “want to,” rather than a “have to.”
The planning, shopping, and creating is part of the process — memory making she shared first in the kitchens of her mother and grandmother. “There’s nothing wrong with reaching for food for comfort, but there’s everything right in finding it through the act of creating the food, cooking it, and knowing what’s in it,” said Harmon. “Truly, we are fed by aroma, by a beautiful display of a meal, by the prayers that come from us in appreciation for what we have. You won’t find true comfort in a bag of chips — or in a second. My goal is to get more people to enjoy being in the kitchen, cooking real food and showing them how simple it is with a little planning.”
Her approach isn’t focused on just diet or exercise but on an overall education of wellness. “Many of us take the time to read the ingredients of the foods we buy, but how many take a look at what goes into our soaps and lotions, shampoos and other body products?” she said — noting that our skin is one of our largest organs, absorbing all that it’s exposed to.
“We need to know not just what we’re ingesting, but what we’re absorbing, through our skin into our bloodstream.”
In addition to her individual coaching sessions, Harmon has addressed high school students and seniors with the keys from her book and experience, talking to students about how to make healthy tasty choices in the dining hall and the dorm room, and reduce stress, while leaving the “freshman 15” on the table.
“I never expected to discuss many of the issues that come up during my health coaching sessions with clients, but in examining health and nutrition, many deep and personal issues surface that answer many of the questions about happy and fulfilling lives,” said Harmon.
“I’ve become passionate about how healthy living can add vibrancy to our lives. What feeds us, feeds our souls and it’s important to learn how to make the connection for success in our careers, relationships, and our purpose in life.”
For more information about Harmon’s programs or to register for classes, for recipes, or to order Hungry for Health, Starved for Time, visit SuzyHarmoniousHealth.com, email harmonioushealth@sbcglobal.net, or call 214-293-7768.

 

*****

Healthy living
Feeling great is as easy as finding the balance by:
Creating a sacred space in your home
Choosing foods that help you feel your best
Stress reduction and pampering
Cooking meals that taste great and curb cravings
Making time to unplug and relax

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Love for music leads teen to first album

Love for music leads teen to first album

Posted on 15 June 2017 by admin

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

Andrew Goldstein is a teenage music machine whose “how I spent my summer” essay will feature the production of his first album: Three Stars in the Sky.
Until June 29, Andrew is hosting a Jewcer.com campaign, hoping to make his dream a reality.

  Since his bar mitzvah in January, Andrew Goldstein has  joined his father Jonathan and Lori Spinhirne as rotating cantorial soloists at Congregation Adat Chaverim. “For me, music and Judaism are almost the same and music’s my pathway,” he said.  “Doing what I love, I’m thankful I’ve found a way to lead, and be led, simultaneously.”

Since his bar mitzvah in January, Andrew Goldstein has joined his father Jonathan and Lori Spinhirne as rotating cantorial soloists at Congregation Adat Chaverim. “For me, music and Judaism are almost the same and music’s my pathway,” he said. “Doing what I love, I’m thankful I’ve found a way to lead, and be led, simultaneously.”

“I love music because it’s my Zen. I pick up my instrument and become happy,” said Andrew, who’s been featured on Jewish Rock Radio. “God is different for everyone as is the way we experience Him. Some pray to become closer to God. For me, music and Judaism are almost the same and music’s my pathway. Doing what I love, while helping others do something they love, is a unique blessing. I’m thankful I’ve found a way to lead, and be led, simultaneously.”
Andrew, 13, who started beat boxing at 7, playing guitar at 9 and wrote his first song — a Mi Chamocha setting — at 10, is the son of Dana and Jonathan and brother of Micah. A Los Angeles native and now McKinney resident, he’s a rising eighth-grader at Imagine International Academy of North Texas.
“As a baby, music calmed Andrew when he fussed and as he’s grown, so has his love for music. I’m amazed by his ability to hear music and then teach himself to play it,” said Dana. “He loves being Jewish and takes pride in all that comes with it. Watching him fills my heart and all I can do is smile.”
Andrew joins his father and Lori Spinhirne as soloists at Adat Chaverim and occasionally at The Legacy Willow Bend. Camp Hess Kramer in Malibu, California is Andrew’s “summer home”; he is a third-generation camper. His “happy place,” also where his parents met, was the impetus for the song, called just that — Happy Place.
“Our congregation and our Jewish Community is lucky to have Andrew’s family as active and dedicated as they are. While music is Andrew’s expression, Judaism is his soul,” said Adat Chaverim’s Rabbi Benjamin Sternman. “He’s an absolute joy, always pushing for more. Given the opportunity, post-bar mitzvah, to study Torah with me, rather than in Hebrew class, Andrew does so wanting to learn more about Torah and its meaning.”
Andrew’s father, who’s written settings for prayers including Y’hiyu L’ratzon and Ein K’eloheinu, has set the bar. “I’m inspired by my dad and I want to be like him,” Andrew said. “I love the energy he creates and I’m so glad to have him to sing with, play with and look up to. I don’t know what I’d be or do without him.”
When Jonathan first brought Andrew to Rick Recht’s Songleader Bootcamp (SLBC), the 11-year-old took the stage. “The theater grew intensely quiet and Andrew started playing. There were some flaws in it but it didn’t matter. This amazing holy community saw the future and they erupted when he finished, rewarding his bravery, also seeing into his neshama,” said Jonathan. “We’ve channeled our Judaic passion so that if our kids join, it’s their choice. When Andrew pursues music with Jewish context, it’s special because it’s his choice, he enjoys it and he wants to share his passion with the world.”
Andrew’s musical heroes include Sheldon Low, Mikey Pauker, Recht, Josh Warshowsky, and Dallas’ own Josh Goldberg, whom he chose to produce his album, amazed by his energy and his own path.
“It takes a lot of trust to put your work in another’s hands. I don’t take that lightly. My goal is to bring his beautiful and thoughtful settings to life in a fresh way,” said Goldberg. Following the protégé, impressed by his musicality, songwriting and stage presence, Goldberg invited Andrew to perform at his own Jewcer campaign concert. “He blew everyone away. No one expected that voice to come from this ‘pint-sized kid!’ He’s mature and a mensch. Andrew’s music will inspire and invigorate Jewish communities worldwide and I’m excited to be part of this major milestone so early in his career.”
Donors to the Jewcer campaign, a 501(c)(3), will receive gifts including a Shabbat for Andrew to share his voice, thanks on the CDs liner notes, pre-release access and signed copies of the CD, a digital songbook, updates, photos and videos throughout the project, and, said Andrew, “my eternal gratitude for supporting me.”
Titled Three Stars in the Sky, signaling the end of Shabbat, with hopes of keeping spirits high until it arrives again, the CD includes Shalom Aleichem, Shema, Mi Chamocha, Hashkiveinu, Oseh Shalom and Y’hiyu L’ratzon.

ANDREW music 3

“I love the energy he creates and I’m so glad to have him to sing with, play with and look up to,” Andrew Goldstein said of his father and musical mentor Jonathan. “I don’t know what I’d be or do without him.”

“I’ve always been around music and Judaism,” said Andrew, also talented on the cajón, a Peruvian percussion instrument, piano and drums. “The reason behind my feeling in prayer is the inspiration from artists I respect and the fact that, in everything that I do, I put forth effort. Even though music comes easy to me, I pour my heart and soul because it shows who I am and what I stand for.”
A technology buff when he’s not making music, Andrew appreciates the community’s support of his project — saying that “it’s a huge blessing for everyone who is helping me share my passion.”
To support Three Stars in the Sky, go to jewcer.org/project/andrewgoldstein/. For information about Andrew’s music and more, visit andrewgoldsteinmusic.com/.

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