Search Results | "Silverthorn "

Just For Show will feature The Second City

Just For Show will feature The Second City

Posted on 13 March 2019 by admin

Photo: Courtesy Brad Sham
Brad Sham will be the master of ceremonies at Jewish Family Service’s Just for Show fundraiser April 30.

By Deb Silverthorn

Day after day, Jewish Family Service provides life-changing interventions to the people it serves. To support those programs and services financially, JFS will present “Just For Show,” featuring the improv comedy troupe The Second City, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, at The Majestic Theatre. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Brad Sham will serve as master of ceremonies.
“The need has never been greater,” said Event Co-chair Eric Goldberg, “and the expertise and consideration afforded by the JFS team to our clients is something we couldn’t be prouder to support.”
Goldberg is co-chairing the event with his wife Sharon as well as Stefani and Gary Eisenstat and Greta and Howard Herskowitz.
“Other than annual gifts provided by donors, Just For Show provides one of our largest sources of unrestricted operating support — critical funding needed to support all of the agency’s services,” said JFS’ CEO Cathy Barker. “More than half of our clients who access clinical or employment services pay $5 or less for services. The funds we raise at this event ensure that we can continue to serve anyone in need, regardless of their ability to pay and for as long as needed.”
For more than 50 years The Second City troupe, with alumni that include Tina Fey, Chris Farley, Bill Murray and Keegan-Michael Key, has been presenting improvisational comedy. With a variety of theaters, training centers and full-time touring ensembles, laughter is provided around the world. The Second City is creating an original show for the evening, customized to spread joy relating to JFS and the Dallas Jewish community.
“Just For Show is a great night out with friends, colleagues or a significant other to laugh and support a great cause,” said Barker. “The Second City is legendary. When you think about improv, they immediately come to mind. It was a no-brainer to bring them in for this evening of comedy and community.”
Sham said that The Second City is a favorite stop of his when he heads to the Windy City.
“It’s on my ‘to do’ almost every time I get to Chicago and I know Just For Show will be a real treat,” said Sham, known as “the voice of the Dallas Cowboys,” broadcasting his 41st season for the team this year.
The broadcaster commended JFS for its monumental work for the community, with more than 150 programs, groups and services. Serving its mission every day, JFS’ employees and volunteers provide professional, effective and affordable mental health and social services that promote lifelong self-sufficiency and well-being for anyone in need regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or ability to pay.
“The tremendous work that Jewish Family Service does across the community is important work to be understood and supported. All they had to do was ask and I’m honored to be a part of this special night,” said Sham.
JFS, nationally accredited in all service areas by the Council on Accreditation, is a United Way Agency and community partner of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. With more than 40 community collaborations built over its 68 years, Jewish Family Service offers wraparound care to address multiple needs, its sliding scale, even to zero cost, making a difference and changing lives for more than 13,000 people each year.
JFS encompasses more than 150 different services, groups, programs, and specialists in the areas of mental health support for all ages; food pantry; older adult needs; career and employment; family violence intervention; and emergency assistance. In 2018, 1,604 volunteers gave 28,454 hours to enhance and enable those programs to succeed.
Just for Show’s honorary co-chairs are Sheryl and Gordon Bogen, Lisa and Neil Goldberg, Beverly and Joe Goldman, Barbara and Clive Miskin, Hannah Kay and Harlan Pollock, Barbara and Stan Rabin and Barbara and Donald Zale.
Tickets, which include kosher snacks, are $150 with a limited number of young adult (ages 21-35) seats available at $50/person. To purchase tickets, visit jfsjustforshow.org. For more information or sponsorship opportunities, call 469-206-1690 or email Leah Guskin at lguskin@jfsdallas.org.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Jill Rashdi drives the birthday BUSiness

Jill Rashdi drives the birthday BUSiness

Posted on 07 March 2019 by admin

Crafts on Wheelz was there when Ella Sharoni celebrated her 11th birthday, the birthday girl (third from left in the back row) and her friends made dream catchers.

By Deb Silverthorn

Sticky and bedazzled crafts? Check. Birthday parties brighter than all the colors of the rainbow? Crafts on Wheelz party bus has that, too.
Driven through the entrepreneurial get-up-and-go of owner Jill Rashdi has the creative spark to make birthdays memorable.
With eight different parties to choose from, themes of superheroes, unicorns, sports, and whatever else one’s imagination can allow, Rashdi brings the party to any location. Setup, cleanup, and everything in between are hers to provide; the partiers only need to celebrate. With the popularity of food trucks and game and other mobile experiences, she has taken her act on the road.
A reconfigured 20-foot trailer, the colorful Crafts on Wheelz can hold birthday parties to a maximum of 16, lasting one-and-a-half hours with three crafts, or events and festivals that can accommodate up to 250, with participants moving in and out of the bus, creating one project.
“Guests leave with three treasures: their self-made craft, memories of the experience and the empowerment of working with their hands,” said Rashdi, whose menu of offerings include bottle cap art, tiled pencil holders, clothespin dolls, yarn chandeliers, jewelry-making, tooth-fairy pillow designs, stationery, treasure boxes, journals and more.
“Many of our projects are of recycled materials so guests learn lessons about repurposing materials and protecting earth’s resources,” she said.
“Jill is terrific with the kids because she understands them,” said Chabad of Plano’s Rivkie Block, who hosted Crafts on Wheelz at Chabad of Plano’s Sukkot party last year. “She’s a mother, and aside from her own educational background she comes from a family of educators.”
Events can be arranged for all ages and stages, generally allowing for one-and-a-half hours of access to the Crafts on Wheelz Studio (bus), with party leaders, eco-friendly craft supplies, up to three projects per guest, and aprons. Birthdays and other celebrations, team-building or large-scale companywide events can be served by the mobile studio. Holiday hostings, with crafts to represent occasions around the calendar, are also possible.
Crafts on Wheelz’s trailer needs 50 feet, streetside or in a parking lot (no driveways), and the bus can travel to public areas, as long as a permit — if required — has been secured by the event’s host.
Michele Sharoni hosted Crafts on Wheelz for her daughter Ella’s 11th birthday party, a Boho Chic fest during which the girls made dream catchers. With Sharoni only needing to be concerned about inviting the friends and what to serve, it was a great day for all.
“Crafts on Wheelz was great and lots of fun. The dream catchers weren’t ‘simple,’ but Jill raised the challenge and Ella’s guests completed it,” said Sharoni. “By word-of-mouth we know many others who have had Jill come out, including to my kids’ school, where her glow-in-the-dark slime craft was a hit, and every time it’s been great.”
“This business combines my passion for inspiring others to be the best they can be with my love of the arts and my desire to stay active and connected to the community,” said Rashdi, a graduate of Greenhill School. She was a member of Zesmer chapter of BBYO, later graduating from the University of Texas with a bachelor’s degree in English, then a master’s in library science.
A Dallas native, Rashdi is the daughter of Larry and the late Mimi Goldman and granddaughter of Neil and the late Maxine Goldman and Aaron and Pearl Klausner. The sister of Josh (Jen) Goldman, Mandy (Matt) Erickson, Liz (Clarke) McIlravy, Alli (Josh) Parshall, and Erin Goldman, Rashdi grew up at Temple Emanu-El, her wedding to husband Kobi the last of Rabbi Gerald Klein’s formal occasions.
The couple are the parents of triplets Ben, Daniella and Shai.
“I want to incorporate people, joy, art and creativity,” said Rashdi, a former librarian, instructional designer, and leadership coach looking to come out from behind the work desk and wanting an opportunity to express, teach and be creative. “With Crafts on Wheelz, that’s become a reality.”
For information or to book an event, visit craftsonwheelz.com, call 214-355-0050 or email fun@craftsonwheelz.com.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

MLK, Anne Frank share more than birth year

MLK, Anne Frank share more than birth year

Posted on 07 March 2019 by admin

Photo: Allyssa Loya
Dallas’ own Nancy Churnin has released her sixth book, Martin & Anne. She will host a launch party from 2-3 p.m. Sunday, March 10, at Interbang Books on Preston Road.

By Deb Silverthorn

Pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, journalist and author Nancy Churnin tells the stories of unsung heroes — heroes of heart and spirit, of gumption and goals. Churnin will celebrate her sixth book, “Martin & Anne — The Kindred Spirits of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Anne Frank,” released this week, at a launch party from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 10, at Interabang Books on Preston Road in Dallas.
The children’s book is the story of Anne Frank and Martin Luther King, Jr., who were both born in 1929, she on June 12, he Jan. 15. Their lives began a world apart, both facing ugly prejudices and violence, and both answering with words of love and faith in humanity.
In 23 pages, beautifully illustrated by Yevgenia Nayberg with designs that “give hope,” says the author, Churnin tells of parallel journeys to find hope in darkness and follow dreams. Their stories include King’s confronting “whites only” signs and Frank’s yellow star-laden clothing, as well as the speech competition he won at 13, the age she was when she began the diary that would tell the world her story.
“Hate is always wrong and love always right — that’s what these two taught in life,” said Churnin. “I want Jewish children to identify with the fight for civil rights, for African-American children to understand the trials of the Jewish people, and all readers — because everyone comes from somewhere, and everyone’s history has had struggles — to become an inclusive people.”
Many of Churnin’s family were affected by the Holocaust, those who escaped — but lost everything — and others who didn’t survive. Her Hebrew name, Nechama, for her maternal great-grandmother, gave her a feeling of heritage, a link to the past.
Married to Michael Granberry, the mother of Ted, Sam, David and Josh, Churnin is the daughter of Flora and the late Douglas, and sister of Sharon, Jon and Marc. After a 19-year career with The Dallas Morning News, penning tales for little ones is now her full-time passion.
“I am so pleased that Nancy, through many of her books, has joined more authors in publishing children’s books about Upstanders. Their stories not only serve as inspiration but show us that every day people can make extraordinary decisions that change the world,” said Mary Pat Higgins, president and CEO of the Dallas Holocaust Museum. “I encourage readers to view our Let Me Be Myself: The Life Story of Anne Frank exhibition and to visit the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, opening in September, to learn more about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other great American civil rights leaders. ‘Martin & Anne’ is about Upstanders we honor every day.”
Churnin dedicated “Martin & Anne” to “those whose lives were cut short everywhere, including Bialystok June 27, 1941, your memory is a blessing, and love lives on.” Through her heart and writings, Churnin’s own lost family, and millions more, will never be forgotten.
“Today, many people live to 90, and what these two — and the many they represent — could have given the world in another 75 and 51 years, is only left to our imagination. If people had just protected the vulnerable, we could celebrate them instead of remember them,” said Churnin. “Babies born today will, God willing, be 90 in 2109. Will, or won’t they, be vulnerable?”
In addition to “Martin & Anne,” Churnin has published “The William Hoy Story — How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed the Game,” “Manjhi Moves A Mountain, Charlie Takes His Shot — How Charlie Sifford Broke the Color Barrier in Golf,” “Irving Berlin — The Immigrant Boy who Made America Sing” and “The Queen and the Christmas Tree — Queen Charlotte’s Gift to England.” In 2020, “Beautiful Shades of Brown — How Laura Wheeler Waring Painted her World” and “For Spacious Skies,” about Katharine Lee Bates, who wrote “America the Beautiful,” will land on bookshelves.
To learn more about Churnin’s books and projects, or to have Churnin address a school or organization, visit nancychurnin.com or Nancy Churnin Children’s Books on Facebook. To register for Churnin’s writing class, visit tinyurl.com/churnin-writing-barn.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Party like it’s 1999: Anshai Torah turns 20

Party like it’s 1999: Anshai Torah turns 20

Posted on 07 March 2019 by admin

Photo: Deb Silverthorn
“The history of Anshai proudly reflects a congregation whose roots are deeply embedded in the fertile soil of the greater Jewish community,” said Rabbi Stefan Weinberg (left), who has led Congregation Anshai Torah since its beginning, sharing the pulpit with Rabbi Michael Kushnick for the last six years.

Submitted Story

Congregation Anshai Torah is celebrating 20 years as a family, a spiritual home, a place to grow, to learn, to pray, and to build one’s Jewish stronghold. Together with the greater community, that celebration will break out at 6 p.m. Sunday, March 31, at the Hilton Granite Park Hotel.
Gathering to party like it’s 1999, the event is open to the public.
“It’s been a supreme honor to lead Anshai Torah from its outset on July 1, 1998. To witness the pride, joy, and spiritual fulfillment experienced by so many who never dreamed of creating a synagogue has been the most exciting aspect of my leadership,” said Rabbi Stefan Weinberg. “The nurturing of our congregation has been a labor of love and to have shared this journey with Wende z”l, and a dedicated and passionate cadre of others, have been some of the most meaningful blessings in life.
“This celebration gives reason to pause and appreciate our blessings and the impact we’ve had on so many.”
The evening will offer food from Simcha Kosher Catering, a photo montage and program honoring the congregation as well as Dot and Basil Haymann (among the congregation’s founders) and entertainment and dancing with the music of the Jordan Kahn Orchestra.
Co-chairs Ashley Grossfeld and Julie Haymann, along with Beth Berk, Cathy Brook, Dot Haymann, Marcy Kahn, a dedicated committee and Anshai Torah’s staff, are planning a night of fun and honor.
“Twenty years as a Conservative congregation that continues to thrive is quite an accomplishment and this is the perfect time to celebrate,” said Julie Haymann. “It is a great honor for us all to work on something so exciting that celebrates Anshai Torah as well as Dot and Basil.”
Anshai Torah’s family tree began with roots in Anshai Emet and Shomray Torah.
•1998: They formed their first joint home on Village Creek Drive. Those roots have grown branches and generations with more than 550 families.
• Sept. 3, 2001: A march of Torahs and ruach made its way to Anshai Torah’s permanent home on Parker Road in West Plano.
•2004 marked the first of many congregational trips to Israel.
•2005: The voices of the Kol Rina men’s a cappella choir first sounded.
•2010: The Behringer Sanctuary was built.
•2011: Anshai Torah’s Illustrated Torah arrived.
•2013: Rabbi Michael Kushnick joined Rabbi Weinberg.
•2017: Light began shining through in a more colorful manner, stained-glass panels at the front of the sanctuary now complemented by 12 encircling the sanctuary, depicting the tribes of Israel.
•2018: Project 613 brought Wende’s Torah, the first congregational Torah written specifically for them — in memory of its late rebbetzin.
A melding of families, Anshai Torah will toast the Haymanns, who have been involved since their arrival from Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1978. Originally members of Anshai Emet, they are among many who have contributed to two decades of success at the shul.
“From early on our love of Anshai was born and our commitment began. We’ve always supported Anshai as a cornerstone of the community and from that we expanded our involvement to many aspects of Dallas’ Jewish life,” said Dot Haymann. “We believe that to impact change and make a difference you need to be involved. Only by being a leader can you influence the direction of change.”
The Haymann family includes children Gary (Julie), Sandy (Andrew) Marks and Tracy (BJ) Elliott; and grandchildren Abby and Alex Elliott, Eli, Izzie and Kaya Haymann and Adrianna and Jake Marks. The Haymanns have shared to Anshai Torah the ark that houses its Torahs, the Haymann Foyer and Menorah — which stands 20 feet tall at the synagogue’s entrance — and a Torah rescued from Tehran, donated in memory of Basil’s father Fred and the couple’s late son Clinton.
“We’ve been so fortunate to have people like Dot and Basil, with their beautiful family at their side, supporting Anshai in such significant ways,” said Rabbi Weinberg. “Their leadership profile is defined by their support for the community at large.”
The Haymanns’ children have taken their example to heart.
“Our parents taught us early on to give back and that means more than financial donations; it means helping wherever we can with time and energy,” said Sandy Haymann Marks, who celebrated her bat mitzvah at Anshai Emet and was married at Anshai Torah. “The best is coming together, three generations to pray and celebrate together.”
Supporting AIPAC, the Ann and Nate Levine Academy, the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education & Tolerance, Greene Family Camp, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, the Holocaust Museum, Texas Torah Institute and The Legacy at Home and Legacy Senior Communities, Inc., the family’s touch is seen throughout the Dallas Jewish community
“Lead with passion and example has always been our mantra,” said Dot, “and we’re so humbled to share this tremendous milestone as Anshai celebrates 20 years of strength and possibility.”
Rabbi Weinberg reflected on the congregation’s two decades.
“The history of Anshai proudly reflects a congregation whose roots are deeply embedded in the fertile soil of the greater Jewish community,” he said. “May God’s presence continue to nurture and protect the precious spiritual home we’ve been privileged to construct.”
To RSVP, for sponsorship opportunities or to participate in the tribute book (by March 8), visit tinyurl.com/anshai20.

— Submitted by
Deb Silverthorn

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

This month, DK presents A Taste of Kosher

This month, DK presents A Taste of Kosher

Posted on 07 March 2019 by admin

Rabbi David Shawel of Dallas Kosher, started off A Taste of Kosher, a monthlong celebration, by hosting a question and answer morning at Akiba Academy.

 

By Deb Silverthorn

March madness is scoring with Dallas Kosher (DK) through A Taste of Kosher. Learning opportunities, sports spectaculars, and programming is helping to make keeping kosher more accessible, affordable and understandable.
“The doors are open and we’re ready to welcome everyone to get to know us better, to learn more about kashrut, and more about our local suppliers,” said Meira Naor, executive director of Dallas Kosher. “We are excited to connect in many ways and spaces and with lots of exciting opportunities.”
DK, formalized as a 501(c) 3 nonprofit and since then a partner of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, is a member of the Association for Kashrus Organizations. Rabbi David Shawel, with DK for 30 years, and Rabbi Sholey Klein, for 24, travel many days each week. Their “supervising selfies” can be followed on Facebook. The rabbis, Naor and assistant Mary Stevenson lead DK, a membership organization governed by a board of directors. Also known as the Vaad, it now supervises 70-plus vendors and manufacturers in the Southwest and 26 local businesses. Also, DK kashers home kitchens at no cost.
“Dallas once had Reichman’s Butcher and Preizler’s Bakery & Deli; now there are dairy and meat restaurants, grocers, bakeries and many venues,” said Klein. “We’re the largest kashrus agency in the Southwest, traveling from Lubbock to Brownsville, Beaumont to El Paso, to Arkansas, Chicago, Louisiana, Mexico, Mississippi, New Mexico and Oklahoma. It’s remarkable and an honor to be part of this city’s evolution through kashrus.”
The DK Community Advisory Committee; representatives from DFW’s Jewish agencies, schools and synagogues who meet quarterly; and DK planned the monthlong slate of activities.
“We wanted to provide a taste of all things kosher and share what DK is really about. There’s vendor supervision but their work is so far-reaching,” said Andi Bonner, CAC chair and Kosher Month coordinator. “The CAC is truly a partnership connecting DK and our community.”
Kosher Month activities began Sunday at the JFGD Super Sunday and with DATA’s Rabbi Yerachmiel Fried teaching at Whole Foods (Preston/Forest). The next three weeks are filled with special events.
Simultaneously, DK will help Jewish Family Service fill the food pantry’s Kosher Corner with non-expired, non-perishables displaying a kosher symbol. In addition, juices, pastas, soups and canned fish, as well as Passover items, are needed. Collection boxes are at Akiba Academy, Levine Academy, Mesorah High School, Torah Day School of Dallas and Yavneh Academy. Fresh produce, meat and other perishables can be delivered to JFS weekdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays.
“The Kosher Corner services between 30 and 50 families and that number is growing,” said JFS’ food sourcing coordinator, Marilynn Wohlstadter, who arranges private shopping appointments with JFS staffers to maintain client anonymity. “We want anyone who wants to keep kosher to be able to. It’s expensive but, thanks to financial and product donations for those in difficult times, we can provide.”
Several of Dallas’ kosher restaurants — Aderet, Benny’s Bagels, Fino, Kosher Palate and Milk & Honey — are participating in the Kosher Meal Deal. The special allows Jewish high school to purchase kosher lunches and dinners for just $5. Coupon books are available through Jewish youth organizations or by contacting the DK office.
For more details, contact Dallas Kosher at 214-739-6535, visit dallaskosher.org, or follow Dallas Kosher – Vaad on Facebook.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The Blue House will be restored, modernized

The Blue House will be restored, modernized

Posted on 28 February 2019 by admin

Photo: Mark Ford The Rosenfield House — or The Blue House — at the site where it was built in 1884, on the road, and now at its new location at 1419 Beaumont St., is like “a grand Lego house,” said developer Mark Martinek, who with Jay Baker is renovating the home.

By Deb Silverthorn

A change of address card is in order. The Rosenfield House, also known as the Blue House, has, over the past year, made its way from its original home, at 1423 Griffin St. in Dallas, to where it stands now, just blocks away, at 1419 Beaumont St. The fifth oldest home in Dallas continues to stand strong. What began in April 2017 became reality 10 months later, in May 2018.
The move enabled the architecturally and historically important house to be rehabilitated and re-used, and to fill in a vacant lot with other single-family homes.
“This is a great story of restoration magic and a confluence of people who came together to save this home,” said Debra Polsky, executive director of the Dallas Jewish Historical Society. “It’s the last of its kind in an area that was the heart of the Jewish merchant community. The Harrises, the Sangers and the Tychers lived there before moving north.”
The two-and-a-half-story Queen Anne-style house in The Cedars was built in 1885 for Jennie and Max J. Rosenfield. It was the model home for its subdivision, and within the confines of what was then the heart of the Jewish community.
These days, the home has local connections. Dallas’ Alex Ray (husband of TJP publisher and editor Sharon Wisch-Ray) is the great-grandson of the couple. The couple’s son, John Rosenfield, Jr., began his career with The Dallas Morning News in 1923 and served as its art critic for 41 years.
“My mother would’ve been beside herself knowing that her grandparents’ first home was still intact,” said Ray. “I want to personally thank the people who have brought it back to life and, when moving it, kept it in the neighborhood that my great-grandfather developed back in the 1880s.”
The Blue House was sold in 1889 and in 1897, and its last inhabitants owned the home from 1942 to 1980. Vacant for five years, it became the Trinity Center drug rehabilitation center. In the last decade, the property was used as a halfway home, then vacated. Time Warner acquired the home in 2015.
Jewish community member and journalist Robert Wilonsky saved the house; it was he who first saw bulldozers in front of the property, then called David Preziosi, executive director of Preservation Dallas. Katherine Seale, chair of Dallas’ Landmark Commission, addressed City Hall as the next step to halt Time Warner from demolishing the house to make way for an office and parking lot. Two-plus years later Time Warner stopped demolition, and paid for the building’s move.
“It was a great save and while we wish it could have stayed in place, it was the only residential home left there,” Preziosi said. “Now it’s in a neighborhood.”
“It’s in surprisingly good shape, with a good roof and strong foundation. This isn’t a fix-and-flip project, not a lucrative project, but one to save a bit of our history from demolition,” said Mark Martinek, who lives three blocks away, in a home built in 1902.
Lots of heart and hope for the home has been drawn from the hands of Martinek, whose “day job” is designing and building modernist architecture. This project, which was “modern” almost a century-and-a-half ago, is new again. “It’s been about three years since the property was sold, and we almost lost it. Instead, history reigns. I’ve always been working on a restoration of one sort or another, warehouse conversions to loft space and other homes.”
To make the move, the home was cut into sections and the main house was stacked like great shelves in five major pieces, the piers and the carriage house following. Once the new foundation was in place, the house was reassembled at its new lot. It was first built long before Facebook or even Polaroid pictures were popular, so there are few photos of how the house first stood. What needs to be reproduced is happening here in Dallas.
Martinek, who is partnering with Jay Baker on the project, is not on the clock for the house’s completion. The expense — and it’s grand — and the methodical care and trueness of the work are his priorities. The team is working with the pine trim and moldings, the stairways and historic windows, to reproduce what was. However, they are updating the wiring and plumbing. What the eye sees on the exterior will be how it was. Internally, this will be an energy-efficient and in-every-other-way-appreciated home of 2020, when move-in is likely.
Following the story has been documentarian Mark Birnbaum, also a Cedars resident, who, with Robert Wilonsky and other neighbors, first saw the excavator in front of the home. “The Blue House” is a docufilm in part about Dallas’ Jewish history. “I started out wanting to make a film that brings us back to the 1880s, to when Congregation Shearith Israel and Temple Emanu-El were still visible from the Rosenfields’ home.”
Birnbaum, who has won numerous awards including Preservation Education and Texas Media awards from Preservation Texas for his film “Restore,” is excited to have his film covering the Blue House, as it begins its second life in a third century.
“We are trying our best to recreate it back to its origin, with materials as best we can. Our first job was to literally move the building and put it back together — an amazing jigsaw puzzle of sorts,” Martinek said.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Unconditional love, from 1 grandparent to all others

Unconditional love, from 1 grandparent to all others

Posted on 21 February 2019 by admin

Photo: Harvey Wang
“Grandparents are the hinges of history, reaching back to our own grandparents, reaching forward to our grandkids,” said author Jane Isay, who will speak on March 6 at the Aaron Family JCC.

 

By Deb Silverthorn

The greatest of loves — of grandparent and grandchild — has lightheartedly, with a sprinkle of truth, been explained as the love between two generations who share “a common enemy.” A morning of understanding the best of this relationship will take place March 6, at the Aaron Family JCC, with family expert and “Unconditional Love: A Guide to Navigating the Joys and Challenges of Being a Grandparent Today” author Jane Isay.
The program, cosponsored by the Aaron Family JCC’s Margot Rosenberg Pulitzer Dallas Jewish BookFest and the Goldberg Family Early Childhood Center, is free and open to the public.
“When the grandkids come, the tic-tac-toe game of life gets played in 3-D. There’s nothing like it.” said Isay, grandmother of four who treasures the bond and hopes to help others glean the most they can. “Regardless of proximity, whether you see the kids twice a year or every week, the love crosses the generations. Grandparents are ‘Switzerland’ — always a safe place.”
Isay, who has edited nonfiction books for more than four decades, discovered Mary Pipher’s “Reviving Ophelia,” and commissioned Patricia T. O’Connor’s bestselling “Woe Is I” and Rachel Simmons’ “Odd Girl Out.” She also edited classics, including “Praying for Sheetrock” and “Friday Night Lights.” Before publishing “Unconditional Love,” she wrote “Walking on Eggshells,” about parents and their adult children; “Mom Still Likes You Best,” regarding adult siblings; and “Secrets and Lies,” about family secrets and revelations. “I learned a lot from my authors,” Isay said.
For many grandparents, a grandchild offers a second chance to become the parent they maybe didn’t have the time or the energy to be when raising their own children, the opportunity to turn missed moments into wonderful memories.
Drawing on her personal experience, dozens of interviews and psychological research, Isay explores the realities of today’s multigenerational families, identifying problems and offering solutions to enhance love, trust and understanding between grandparents, parents and grandchildren. She also provides practical advice from when to get involved, when to stay away, and how to foster strong relationships when separated.
“Using an authoritative yet friendly tone, respectful of all three generations involved, and startlingly deep insight into the impact of the past decades of social and economic change on family life, Isay shows the reader how to navigate the new choreography of grandparenting and enter into a dance of grace and delight,” said Wendy Mogel, gracing Isay’s book cover. Mogel herself is the author of “Blessing of the Skinned Knee,” “The Blessing of a B Minus” and “Voice Lessons for Parents.”
“I heard Jane speak at a Jewish Book Council event and she was absolutely engaging. Her book is for every grandparent — the new and the seasoned. It’s really written for all family relationships,” said Rachelle Weiss Crane, JCC director of Israel engagement and Jewish living. “We’re excited to partner with our Goldberg Family Early Childhood Center, and to make a daytime event possible.”
“Grandparents are ‘it’ in the eyes of our children and that is the greatest blessing. We have grandparents running carpool, volunteering in classrooms, and touching their grandchildren’s lives every day. It is beautiful,” said Tara Ohayon, director of early childhood education at the Goldberg Family Early Childhood Center.
Ohayon went on to say that her parents, Helen and Bill Sutker, played an integral role by caring for her own four children. “We love having both generations in the building to share the learning, Shabbat mornings, the Jewish connections, and the bubbies and zaydes so hands-on in the daily care — the fun and the responsibilities.”
Isay is the daughter of Rose N. Franzblau, a New York Post human relations columnist, and the late Abraham Franzblau, a former dean of Hebrew Union College who also practiced psychiatry.
After years of editing at Yale University Press and in New York publishing, it was time for Isay’s next calling. Her two sons were then busy building their own lives in their twenties; she, working to develop the next step of relationship with her now adult children, couldn’t find a book to help her through. “I decided to leave the corporate world and write it myself,” said Isay, whose late husband, literary agent Jonathan Dolger, sent out “Walking on Eggshells.”
Days later, right after her first grandchild was born, Isay got the go-ahead. “My writing and my family have grown together,” the author said. “I now have four grandchildren and four books — and I’m incredibly proud of all of them.”
Isay might not have known her own grandparents — all had passed before she was born — but she is, academically and of the heart, experienced in the ties of grandparents and grandchildren. Friends of her mother filled in the “you are perfect no matter what you do position,” she said. “It’s not the blood, it’s the love,” that builds the connection.
The author, known as Grandma Jane, said she is not the “cheerleader at all events close” to her grandchildren, but the “be there, share experiences, and make Grandma’s special chicken close.”
“Grandparents are the hinges of history,” she said, “reaching back to our own grandparents, reaching forward to our grandkids.”
Jane Isay will speak at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, March 6, at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center of Dallas, 7900 Northaven Road The event is free; RSVPs are necessary. For more information, visit jccdallas.org/event/jane-isay.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Fred Nathan: from educator to author

Fred Nathan: from educator to author

Posted on 21 February 2019 by admin

Photo: Deb Silverthorn
“It was time for me to do something I never had time to,” said Fred Nathan, who penned “Diversions” and “Explosions.” “I’ve always written to escape, opening chapters, but I never had enough time to complete them. Now, I wanted to finish a dream.”

By Deb Silverthorn

Dallas’ own Frederick “Fred” Nathan, a lifelong educator, has put pen to paper once again, releasing his second novel, “Diversions.” Nathan’s first book, “Explosions,” was released in 2013.
“I spent my career teaching, and I still do some of that, but it was time for me to do something I never had time to,” said Nathan, who still studies history and politics.
“Diversions,” with a strong pro-Israel stance, follows a terrorist cell, deeply embedded in American society, that carries out a massive attack. This cell kills and maims hundreds, almost claiming the president as one of its victims. The horrific attack, which followed previous failed attempts by this same group, emboldens its leader to plan a larger, multifaceted attack directed at the heart of America’s leadership.
The expanding web of terror ensnares a brilliant high school senior, a quiet loner with a strong sense of justice, and a lone terrorist seeking revenge on his former colleagues. The Anti-Terrorist Task Force is charged with uncovering the plot and destroying the terrorist cell. In an effort to divert the task force from uncovering his real objectives, the cell leader plans additional, smaller, but nonetheless devastating attacks.
“Explosions,” meanwhile, tells the story of an Islamist cell deeply embedded in the U.S., led by a sociopath and lead operative who is extraordinarily successful in carrying out his missions. A master of explosives and disguise, he most believably passes himself off as a beautiful young woman as he prepares for the plot to realize on July 4.
“I was head of school at the Beren Academy in Houston on 9/11 and the police came in and said we needed to be on lock-down, that we were vulnerable,” Nathan said. “It brought home how real the possibility of terrorism was, how it had touched so close. Since then we’ve seen and heard of other terrorist plots, and we can only imagine those that have failed. Still, in telling my stories, there are Muslim characters who are heroic, because in life and in my fiction, I don’t want to place labels.”
A Dallas resident since 2002, Nathan grew up in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Yetta and Abraham Nathan, of blessed memory, and the brother of Harvey and Wallace. He has been married to his beloved Esther for 55 years; she is the former director of Dallas’ then Department of Jewish Education (now the Center for Jewish Education). The couple’s family includes children Alysa (Eric) Segal, Tamar (David) Halberstam and Aaron; and grandchildren Avrumi and Sholom Tzvi Halberstam and Becca, Brian, Dan and Joshua Segal.
Nathan served as head of school at the Ann and Nate Levine Academy for six years, and was honored with a Doctor of Pedagogy by the Jewish Theological Seminary, a Life Achievement Award by the Board of Jewish Education in San Francisco and a Merit Award for Exemplary Leadership by the University of Judaism in Los Angeles for his accomplishments in Jewish education.
Taking a job teaching while he was in school redirected his mother’s dream for him to become an attorney; he believed that education was something he was meant to do. A product of Jewish day schools, NYU and Yeshiva University’s graduate schools, Nathan has, from the time he was 23 years old, had education at the core of his resume.
Nathan still teaches at Kehillat Chaverim, and is involved in, and a regular Torah reader at, Congregation Anshai Torah, where he is a member. While he works on the future pages of stories still to be told, he hopes for his books to be optioned for film or television. From friends and strangers alike, the reviews for his books are good.
“Fred is an incredible writer and these first two read like he’s written 30. I hope he’ll do more,” said Gary Solomon, a longtime friend and discerning reader, who had a first read while Nathan was still making edits to the first book. “He weaves a great story together in a really nice manner and held my interest. The books are a fast read and I found I could not put them down.”
General reviews on Amazon also provide five of five stars. Readers call the book an easy read, a gripping, well-crafted and action-packed novel in which Nathan describes characters in detail, uniquely weaving characters’ paths together. Reviews credit both of Nathan’s books as being well written and full of suspense, with logical thinking, believability, and the mirroring of the possible intrigue in life today.
“I’ve always written to escape, opening chapters but I never had enough time to complete them,” Nathan said. “Now, I wanted to finish a dream.”
Fred Nathan’s books are available on Amazon.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Be The Difference spins wheels for life

Be The Difference spins wheels for life

Posted on 14 February 2019 by admin

Photo: Alan Abair
From left, Jon Mize, Events and Corporate Partnerships manager with Be the Difference Foundation, is with organization past and current board members Darren Fishman, Julie Shrell, Lynn Lenschter, Lisa Hurst, Linda Bezner, Sheryl Yonack, Jill Bach and Gary Gardner, with perennial favorite rider and supporter, Roger Staubach. This year (not pictured), Atila Ali and Marissa Shrell have joined the board.

By Deb Silverthorn

The seventh annual Be The Difference Foundation’s (BTDF) Wheel to Survive indoor cycle event is returning to the Aaron Family JCC, Zale Auditorium Feb. 24. The ride helps raise funds for the foundation’s twofold mission: first, to increase the survival rate for women battling ovarian cancer; and second, to provide both hope for a cure, and a future in which ovarian cancer can be treated. More than $2.4 million has been donated to agencies helping those diagnosed with ovarian cancer since the ride launched in 2012.
In 2018, approximately 22,240 new cases of ovarian cancer were diagnosed and 14,070 ovarian cancer deaths were expected in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about one of every 40 individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry has a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, compared to one in 800 of the general population, increasing the risk of certain cancers, including breast and ovarian in women and breast and prostate in men.
“This organization is where my heart, dedication, and appreciation are because my life, and many others, depends on it,” said Linda Bezner, who is co-chairing the event with Anne Baum. The two are leading a committee that includes BTFD’s Executive Director Shannon Albert and Events and Corporate Partnerships Manager Jon Mize, as well as Molly Aaron, Wendi Alston, Jill Bach, Jessica Buckman, Rose Kreditor, Lauren Lattman, Jeff Seutter, Lauren Shecht, Julie Shrell, Marissa Shrell, Simone Shrell and Sheryl Yonack.
Bezner said that in 2003, she felt twinges in the area of her ovaries. A visit to her gastroenterologist led to a CT scan — and the call.
Though the three-time cancer survivor had had a total hysterectomy and her ovaries removed years before the initial diagnosis, the scan showed an artery and her colon wrapped in an ovarian tumor. Surgeries, chemo and radiation followed, and then several years later the disease returned. These days, Bezner is six years into remission.
Baum, with whom Bezner became friends when their children, now 31, were in kindergarten together, stood by her through illness, and now through chairing Wheel to Survive. The friends first rode in 2014. “We rode as a team, ‘A Positive Spin,’ with my sisters-in-law and I found my place,” Baum said.
Dallas’ Jewish community, a tight-knit friendship of its own, stood by the organization, which has grown and expanded. In 2018, rides also took place in Austin, Boca Raton, Denver, Houston and the San Francisco Bay Area.
The founders of Be The Difference Foundation are Jill Bach, Lynn Lentscher, Julie Shrell and the late Helen Gardner. Bach is an almost 12-year survivor, who inherited the BRCA1 mutation from her father, who never knew he was a carrier before the testing.
Lentscher was the athletic “picture of health” but experienced painful and prolonged diarrhea, despite having had a hysterectomy. After palpating a mass and an elevated CA125 test, she agreed to have her ovaries removed, but woke up to a stage 3 diagnosis. She is now 21 years clear of ovarian cancer.
Shrell, who was diagnosed at 48, BRCA1 tested positive, but not for breast cancer, which her paternal grandmother had survived twice in 30 years. She is now counting eight years of clean health. Gardner, of blessed memory, passed away in 2014 despite her heroic battle, yet lives on through Be The Difference Foundation, and the organizations and people it supports.
Bach is BTDF’s board president. Other board members serving this year are Atila Ali, Linda Bezner, Gary Gardner, Lynn Lenschter, Julie Shrell, Marissa Shrell and Sheryl Yonack.
Ovarian cancer accounts for 2.5 percent of all female cancer cases and 5 percent of cancer deaths because of the disease’s low survival rate, with four out of five ovarian cancer patients diagnosed with advanced disease that has spread throughout the abdominal cavity. Women diagnosed with localized-stage disease have more than a 90-percent five-year survival rate.
“Almost everyone has been touched by cancer, and it is in the spirit of tikkun olam that we hope to repair this piece of the world, to help others, and to help eradicate this disease and to bring long life to all,” said Artie Allen, CEO of the JCC, which has hosted Wheel to Survive since it began. “We hope someday the disease will be gone and we won’t be needed … for this!”
Sisters Marissa and Simone Shrell, Julie’s daughters, created a “Why I Ride” wall to decorate Zale Auditorium, so that riders and visitors to the day are able to “meet” those who have survived, those who have not, and the riders who have been affected by the disease.
Vendors include Chocaloca Designs, Designs by Sarina, Kendra Scott Home, Linen Casa, Scout & Cellar and Your Queen Bead. A raffle and a silent auction with jewelry, sports, restaurant, and vacation packages will run throughout the ride.
Judy’s Mission Ovarian Cancer Foundation was the newest recipient to receive support from the 2018 Wheel to Survive in Houston. Judy’s Mission honors the memory of Judith Liebenthal Robinson by promoting awareness about ovarian cancer and its symptoms, calling attention to the need for early diagnosis and treatment, and funding research for the development of effective screening and treatment.
Executive Director Heidi Suprun said the grant will support its local Survivors Teaching Students program, in which survivors speak to medical students, allowing the disease to surpass the statistics, bringing true faces to the field. Close to home, Bach, Bezner, Lentscher and Shrell are among the volunteers participating at Dallas’ UT Southwestern.
Also receiving BTDF support in 2018 were the Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center, Lazarex Foundation, MD Anderson’s Ovarian Cancer Moon Shots Program and The Clearity Foundation.
“The rally of support for what we do is infectious — the drive for success, a gift,” Albert said. Having lost her partner to ovarian cancer, she brings personal passion to her role as BTDF’s executive director. “Our goal is to make a difference — a difference in lives and a difference in the fate.”
Wheel to Survive will take place 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, at Aaron Family Jewish Community Center’s Zale Auditorium. A practice ride, free with Wheel to Survive registration, starts at 11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, at Cyclebar at Lakeside Market in Plano.
For more information, to donate, or to register for the 2019 Wheel to Survive, visit bethedifferencefoundation.org. Use promocode “TJP” for 25-percent discounted registration.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Fairmont’s new kosher kitchen debuts deliciousness

Fairmont’s new kosher kitchen debuts deliciousness

Posted on 14 February 2019 by admin

Photo: Courtesy Rabbi David Shawel
“This is a blessing in so many ways, and the enthusiasm to produce excellence by everyone involved is something we’re happy to be a part of,” Rabbi David Shawel, Dallas Kosher’s director of supervision, said of the DK/Fairmont Hotel partnership.

By Deb Silverthorn

Dallas’ Jewish community is now being served deliciousness — specifically, kosher deliciousness — from the kitchen at the Fairmont Dallas hotel. Kosher meals are available for events involving

as few as 50 guests, or as many as 1,000 diners.
The Fairmont is creating meat, fish, and pareve menus to tempt any foodie’s tastebuds. A kosher wine list is also available.
“There is no reason to be limited in what we can serve our guests — everything we do is high-level and exquisite, a luxury menu,” said Sher, a Sabra who, after serving in the Israel Defense Forces, became an executive chef. Sher moved with the Fairmont hotels to Dallas three years ago, wanting to elevate the dining experience for all, including the kosher community.
“Previously, we couldn’t commit to an event more than six months in advance because of the requirements,” he said. “But now, with this tremendous change, we can walk in, turn on the lights, and be cooking. The camaraderie in our kitchen, and our relationship with Dallas Kosher, is fantastic.”
The Fairmont’s kosher kitchen, in its first week open, fed more than 250 guests of the American Jewish Congress and another 530 for the Texoma Regional office of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), when it held its 2018 Larry Schoenbrun Jurisprudence Award Luncheon, Nov. 15, and was able to avail itself of the kosher menu.
“We’ve had events at the Fairmont for 28 years and this was seamless,” said ADL Texoma Director of Development Kerri Aikin Rosenberg.
The Fairmont is also the site of this year’s Schoenbrun luncheon and its Henry Cohn Humanitarian Award Dinner. “It was delicious, and everything about it was made very easy for us, the client,” Rosenberg said. “We look forward to many events in the future.”
Chad Mendelman, Fairmont’s director of catering and conference services, indicated that the kosher kitchen is the hotel’s next step in providing the best dining presentation. “Our best is now elevated and there’s little we can’t do,” said Mendelman, who arrived in Dallas last fall, bringing 10 years of his service with Fairmont hotels in Australia, Canada and San Francisco to the company. “We think out-of-the-box about how to modify recipes to meet kosher laws, but nothing we do is compromised at all, allowing us to serve intimate parties and mass meetings and celebrations.”
The Fairmont — which for more than two decades has turned a kitchen kosher every now and then, kashering appliances and utensils for events as they come — can now serve a more elaborate menu to greater-sized guestlists, and without the extensive planning that was needed previously. Having added new plates and silverware, two convection ovens, a flattop stove, a grill, fryer, sinks and dishwashers, work tables, a meat-slicer and more, there is little the hotel’s culinary experts can’t create.
“To lose the labor-intensive hours, really days, to turn a kitchen is priceless. Before, we had to clear a kitchen, kasher everything, prep for whatever the menu; now, so much of that is cut out and it makes a difference all around,” said Dallas Kosher’s Director of Supervision Rabbi David Shawel. His DK team helped coordinate and supervise the kashering of everything related to the Fairmont.
During Passover and Hanukkah, the hotel hopes to expand the menu, exploring options of meals to go and other new opportunities to serve the community.
“Dallas Kosher has had a wonderful relationship with the Fairmont and we appreciate the significant investment that was made to create this beautiful kitchen,” said Meira Naor, executive director of Dallas Kosher. “The new equipment, the staff which is knowledgeable, educated, dedicated to kashrut, and which has experienced little turnover in our years together, is something we’re so happy to be a part of.”
Seemingly, the Fairmont, and Dallas Kosher, and the many cooks in the kitchen, are the right combination of ingredients for our community.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

View or Subscribe to the
Texas Jewish Post

Advertise Here

Photos from our Flickr stream

See all photos

Advertise Here