Archive | Dallas Doings

Dallas Doings: Hallie Barnard, Purim Debate, Brotherhood Breakfast

Dallas Doings: Hallie Barnard, Purim Debate, Brotherhood Breakfast

Posted on 13 March 2019 by admin

Photo: Hallie’s Heroes
Hallie Bea Barnard, center, and Fort Worth Police Officers B. Kamper, left, and J. Novack

Hallie Barnard fights bone cancer

After beating Diamond Blackfan Anemia, Hallie Bea Barnard — who spoke at the opening ceremonies of the 2015 Dallas-hosted JCC Maccabi Games — was diagnosed this week with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. At presstime, Hallie is in surgery with a long road ahead. Hallies family needs help — they are facing more time off work and more travel to help Hallie recover.
Hallie is the 10-year-old daughter of Elyse and Jesse and the big sister of Breece and Celia Jo. She was diagnosed with DBA, a rare blood disease, just after her first birthday. After waiting 10 years, Hallie’s match was found last fall and the transplant completed. While waiting for her match, she and her family founded Hallie’s Heroes. Through its partnership with DKMS, Hallie Heroes directed dozens of bone marrow drives with more than 6,000 prospective donors tested, and more than 70 matches found.
Hallie’s Heroes has raised tens of thousands of dollars for research and to help other families with DBA-related medical needs and now this hero and her family need that help and prayers too. Follow Hallie’s story at Hallie’s Heroes on Facebook. To help the Barnards defray medical costs and expenses associated with Hallie’s most recent battle, visit
Firefighter Milton Williams to Speak at Beth Torah
Milton Williams, a longtime Dallas firefighter and community leader, will be the guest speaker at the Congregation Beth Torah Men’s Club lox-and-bagel breakfast on Sunday, March 17.
Williams, who recently retired after 33 years with the Dallas Fire Department, also mentors inner-city youths; trains fire recruits; serves on the board of the Krodle Foundation, which helps area firefighters; and competes in culinary competitions — including the Dallas Kosher BBQ Championship. His inspiring talk will take us inside both his firefighter helmet and his chef hat.
The breakfast begins at 9:30 a.m. at Beth Torah, 720 W. Lookout Drive in Richardson. The cost is $10, $5 for students.

Latke or Hamantasch? Join the debate

Purim is coming soon and Kehillat Chaverim will have a special fun and humorous program on March 23, the Shabbat immediately following Purim. For nearly six years Kehillat Chaverim has met on Shabbat mornings as an independent minyan offering traditional yet fully egalitarian services. During this special Purim Kiddush lunch will be the first Latke/Hamantasch debate.
Get ready to choose your sides. As if there weren’t enough to debate, here’s something new to argue about. What’s better? Sweet or savory, round or triangular, fried or baked, latke or hamantaschen? Guests and prospective members are welcome to attend.
Besides Shabbat morning services, the Kehillah also meets for Yomim Tovim and High Holiday services. The Kehillah offers a small, intimate service full of ruach and comradeship and is perfect for empty nesters or older adults. It’s very welcoming to new faces. While it meets in a house in North Dallas, it’s in a special dedicated room on the other side of the house so it feels more like a synagogue. Please contact to RSVP for March 23 or visit for more information.

Temple Shalom holds Brotherhood Breakfast

On Sunday, Feb. 17, Temple Shalom Brotherhood sponsored a delicious breakfast featuring Mark Kreditor. Using trivia, jokes, music and song, Kreditor enlightened attendees about the Jewish history of the Academy Awards and Hollywood. The only thing that could have made this morning better would have been a visit from MGM’s Louis B. Mayer himself! Unexpected but welcome guest Ruth Friedman (stage name, Ruth Baird) came and Kreditor explained that Ruth had played Myra in the 1941 movie, “Girls in Chains.”


Dallas Doings: Shearith Israel, Baseball, Texas Elks

Posted on 06 March 2019 by admin

Shearith Israel to host Cantorial Café March 10

Shearith Israel Hazzan Itzhak Zhrebker will host Cantor Pavel Roytman, Cantor Elena Schwartz and Cantor Sergei Schwarz at Shearith Israel’s annual Cantorial Café. The cantors will perform traditional Jewish, liturgical, Russian, Israeli and Yiddish songs in a nightclub setting. Joining them are Russian duo Kalinka, pianist Rozalie Levant and other talented musicians.
Hazzan Itzhak Zhrebker is well-known to the local Jewish community as cantor of Shearith Israel since 1996. He studied under the direction of Hazzan Naftali Hershtik, Hazzan I. Eshel and Hazzan Louis Danto, and he received concentrated cantorial education from Elli Jaffe, the musical director of the Great Synagogue of Jerusalem. He earned his master’s degree in voice coaching, choir conducting and solo performance from Odessa City Academy of Music. He has a full operatic voice and has mastered Verismo and Bel Canto techniques.
In addition to his beautiful singing voice, Hazzan Zhrebker is a conductor, an arranger and a composer. His vocal debuts have included songs in Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian, Italian, French and English.
Hazzan Zhrebker has recorded numerous albums for the congregation and wide audience. Through outstanding music programs, his work with adult and youth choirs, and his innovative approach to High Holy Days and Shabbat melodies, Hazzan Zhrebker has brought a new spirituality to prayer at Congregation Shearith Israel.
Hazzan Zhrebker is married to Dr. Leah Zhrebker, and they have three wonderful daughters, Liora, Hannah and Devorah.
Cantor Sergei Schwartz and Cantor Elena Schwartz
Cantor Sergei and Cantor Elena Scwhartz joined Temple Sinai in Roslyn, New York, in July 2012. He was born in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, and has been singing since the age of 6. Despite the religious prohibitions and restrictions imposed on all Jews in the former Soviet Union, Jewish music was always a part of Cantor Schwartz’ life. After graduation in 1990 from the Glinka College of Music in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, with a major in choral conducting, he and his family immigrated to Israel, where he was immediately accepted into the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music. He graduated in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in Choral Conducting. Soon after coming to Jerusalem, Cantor Schwartz joined the Jerusalem Great Synagogue Choir, where he absorbed an ever-deepening love of cantorial music. While there, Cantor Schwartz studied cantorial art with famous conductor and cantor, Elli Jaffe, and with world renowned Cantor Naftali Hershtik, chief cantor of the Jerusalem Great Synagogue. In 1996 Cantor Sergei Schwartz was accepted to the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City, from which he successfully graduated with a Master of Sacred Music Degree and ordination as cantor in May 2000.
Cantor Elena Schwartz is the director of Education at Temple Sinai. A talented educator and singer, she was born in Ukraine, grew up in the former Soviet Union and came to the United States by way of Israel.
In 1990, she made aliyah to Israel. It was there that she earned a bachelor’s degree in Music and Education at the Rubin Academy of Music & Dance in Jerusalem. She earned a master’s degree in Jewish Education from Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in 2002. She also received her cantorial training and obtained a second master’s degree by graduating from the School of Sacred Music and was invested as a cantor in 2006. Cantor Schwartz has dedicated her career to sharing with her community the highest levels of Jewish education and cantorial art.
They have two children, Ziv and Lior.
Cantor Pavel Roytman
Cantor Pavel Roytman is a native of Nikolaev, Ukraine. At the age of 7 he was accepted as a piano student to a specialized music school for gifted children. He continued his studies in piano and conducting at the Kaliningrad Rachmaninov Music College (Russia) and later at Petrozavodsk Glazunov State Conservatory. While in Petrozavodsk, Pavel joined the Klezmer Shpil Orchestra as a soloist. Between 1991 and 1994, Pavel and the Klezmer Shpil performed extensively throughout Russia, Finland, Norway and Sweden. In 1993, the orchestra made its first recording, “Yiddish Songs by Klezmer Shpil.” In 1994, Cantor Roytman immigrated to the United States, where he obtained his Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from DePaul University and Master of Music in Musicology from Northwestern University. Throughout this time, he also studied hazzanut with such well-known masters of cantorial art as Hazzan Shlomo Shuster, Hazzan Henry Rosenblum and Hazzan Alberto Mizrahi. In 2006 Cantor Roytman was certified as a cantor through Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. In 2015 Cantor Roytman completed his certification as a Conservative cantor and became a full-fledged member of the Cantors Assembly.
Evening includes light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. General admission is $12 and $10 for seniors and students. Tickets can be purchased at The Cantorial Café is part of the Small-Waldman-Cohen 2018-2019 Signature Series.
Cantors’ biographies compiled from Congregation Shearith Israel, Temple Sinai and

Israeli Baseball Movie at Beth Torah

Congregation Beth Torah Men’s Club is hosting a free showing of the documentary film about Israel’s team in the World Baseball Classic on Saturday, March 9.
“Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel” depicts the team’s surprisingly strong showing at the 2017 championships and the significance for Israeli and American Jewish players to claim their place among the world’s elite.
“Their odyssey takes them from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem where they are greeted as heroes, to Seoul where they must debunk their has-been, wannabe reputations,” the film’s producers wrote. “With their Mensch on the Bench mascot by their side, the team laughs, cries and does much soul-searching, discovering the pride of representing Israel on the world stage.”
The movie begins at 8 p.m. at Beth Torah, 720 W. Lookout Drive in Richardson, and the public is welcome. Admission is free, but anyone wanting to attend is asked to call the synagogue at 972-234-1542 to reserve a seat.

Brady Karp runner-up in Texas Elks Free Throw Contest

Local student Brady Karp, son of Lori and Jon Karp of Dallas, won second place in the 2019 Texas Elks State Association (TESA) Hoop Shoot® Free Throw Contest held in Carrollton on Saturday, Feb. 16.
Karp, a student at Brentfield Elementary, placed second in the 10-11 year old boys division by sinking 21 free throws out of 25 attempts, missing first place by one basket. He competed against eight other District champions from around the state of Texas.
To earn a spot in the state competition Karp won his local contest, sponsored by Dallas Elks Lodge, and then the North District shoot-off. Karp will be a stand-by for the four-state Regional contest held in Carrollton on March 16th, with the national finals in Chicago on April 27.
This year over 220,000 kids in Texas are expected to have competed in the contest, according to Kelly McDermott, TESA Hoop Shoot director. Nationwide over 1.5 million boys and girls will compete in three different age groups.
TESA President Fred Adams extended congratulations to all of the participants, saying, “Texas Elks realize that our children are our future and it is important for them to learn the necessary steps to achieving goals in order to grow into successful productive adults. This is an experience they will remember and benefit from their entire lives. It is a great honor for us to be able to provide this friendly competition as a tool for our future leaders.”
The Elks are a fraternal organization with nearly 1 million members nationwide and distribute over $33 million annually for scholarship, community and other youth programs.


Dallas Doings: Stephen Becker, Dr. Edo Panel, Press Notes

Posted on 14 February 2019 by admin

Stephen Becker hosts Beth Torah Oscar preview

KERA film critic Stephen Becker, who also produces the popular Think show, is hosting the annual Oscar preview on Sunday morning, Feb. 17, at Congregation Beth Torah.
The synagogue’s Men’s Club and Sisterhood sponsor the breakfast program, which combines Men’s Club lox and bagels with fabulous Sisterhood desserts.
The breakfast, which is open to the public and costs $10, begins at 9:30 a.m. Beth Torah is located at 720 W. Lookout Drive in Richardson.

Panel discussion on Israeli tech and Texas’ water crisis

In Texas, predictions indicate we could run out of water as soon as 2020. Israeli water expert Dr. Edo Bar Zeev will join Scott Moore and Peter Lake in a panel discussion on “Texas’ Looming Water Crisis: How Israeli Tech Could Save the Day” from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, in the Ernst and Young Gallery of SMU’s Cox School of Business, 6214 Bishop Blvd. The event is co-presented by American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, AJC Dallas and the SMU John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies.
The three panelists are experts in their fields. According to program materials, “Dr. Edo Bar-Zeev is a senior lecturer in the Department of Environmental Hydrology and Microbiology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, which is part of the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research. A passionate advocate for the global access to fresh water, he pursued his interest in the practical application of desalination technology and earned his Ph.D. in microbiology from Bar-Ilan University, followed by post-doctorate work at Yale University. Today at BGU’s Sede Boqer Campus in southern Israel, Dr. Bar-Zeev leads a multidisciplinary team of young scientists who explore subjects ranging from environmental engineering and aquatic microbiology to virology.
“Scott Moore is a political scientist whose interests center on environmental sustainability, technology and international relations. His first book, ‘Subnational Hydropolitics: Conflict, Cooperation and Institution-Building in Shared River Basins’ (Oxford University Press, 2018), examines how climate change and other pressures affect the likelihood of conflict over water within countries. At Penn, Scott is director of the Penn Global China Program. Previously, Scott was a water resources management specialist at the World Bank Group, and Environment, Science, Technology, and health officer for China at the U.S. Department of State.
“Peter Lake has served as a board member of the Texas Water Development Board since December 2015. Governor Greg Abbott designated him chairman in February 2018. Lake has held a variety of financial roles across a number of industries. Previously, he acted as director of research and head of automated trading at Gambit Trading, a member firm of the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. In this capacity, he led the firm’s market research initiatives and directed the development of its first automated trading programs. As one of the firm’s proprietary market makers he also traded interest rate derivatives, primarily focusing on U.S. Treasury bond futures.”
This event is free, but registration is required at For more information, contact Sissy Zoller at or 646-452-3710.

Press notes:
future college athletes

•On National Signing Day, Feb. 6, Hudson Morris, son of Christie and Kyle Morris, signed a letter of intent to play football at Penn State. Hudson is a senior at Shelton School and attended Akiba Academy. In addition to football, Hudson hopes to pursue a degree in engineering. He is the brother of Molly, 15.
•Jordan Rozenblum, son of Deanna and Kenny Rozenblum, a senior at JJ Pearce in Richardson, will play baseball at North Arkansas College in Harrison, Arkansas next year. Jordan is an infielder and right-handed pitcher. He is the brother of Levi, 13.
We love to hear from our readers. Know of other athletes who will play in college next year? Send their contact information to


Dallas Doings: Wolk, Scout Shabbat

Dallas Doings: Wolk, Scout Shabbat

Posted on 06 February 2019 by admin

TJP Archive
Rabbi Howard Wolk and Annette Wolk. Rabbi Wolk was recently named Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Shaare Tefilla.

Wolk named Shaare Tefilla Rabbi Emeritus

Rabbi Howard Wolk, founding rabbi of Congregation Shaare Tefilla and JFS community chaplain, was recently named Rabbi Emeritus of the Modern Orthodox congregation. “In any community and any institution, it is critical to have such people, who can provide wisdom and insight both from their innate possession of these qualities, and from their years of experience. Here at Shaare Tefilla, we are blessed to have just such a person, in the form of Rabbi Howard Wolk. Rabbi Wolk has known and cared for four and sometimes even five generations of some of our families and he is a repository of our institutional and communal memory,” said Shaare Tefilla Rabbi Ariel Rackovsky, when he announced the appointment to the congregation on Shabbat, Dec. 22.
Cantor receives Roland Gruenwald Award
Allan Cantor was the surprised recipient of the JWV Post’s prestigious Roland Gruenwald Award, given annually to an individual whose selfless dedication and service to JWV activities that benefit hospitalized and homeless veterans throughout the Greater Dallas area.
The award was presented at the Post’s Installation of Officers luncheon held at the Aaron Family JCC Sunday, Jan. 27.
Allan is a past Post commander; he currently serves as quartermaster for the Department of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana & Oklahoma (TALO), as well as being JWV’s National Officer-of-the-Day.

Scout Shabbat is Saturday, Feb. 9, at Anshai

The Boy Scouts of America were founded Feb. 8, 1910. The Jewish connection to Scouting has been strong since its inception. One of the original three financial backers was a Jewish banker, Mortimer Schiff, also the fifth Boy Scouts of America president. His son, John, followed in his father’s footsteps and was the eighth BSA president.
The Shabbat that falls on or after Feb. 8 each year is designated as Scout Shabbat. The Scout Law says that a “Scout is Reverent” and the Scouts of all ages promise to do their “Duty to God.” These values strengthen youth character in their family, community and faith.
For the 2019 Scout Shabbat, area Scouts will celebrate with a Havdallah service at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, in the Haymann Foyer of Congregation Anshai Torah, 5501 Parker Road in Plano. Kosher snacks will be available and Scout Shabbat patches will be given to all Scouts in uniform attending.


Dallas Doings: Beth Torah, Baruch Habah, Portnoy

Posted on 24 January 2019 by admin

Beth Torah to honor
Leventon and Winter

Congregation Beth Torah’s Sisterhood will fete two young members as this year’s joint Torah Fund Honorees, recognizing their work to enhance and expand opportunities for the synagogue’s youngest members.
Rachel Leventon and Jessica Winter will be honored at noon Sunday, Feb. 10, at a dairy brunch in Beth Torah’s newly remodeled social hall.
Leventon and her husband, Isaac, 13-year Beth Torah members, are parents of Caleb, 8½; Miriam, 6½; and Shira, 1½. Winter and her husband, Douglas, are parents of Noah, who became a bar mitzvah at Beth Torah last summer, and Kaitlyn, who will mark her bat mitzvah in June 2020.
Leventon, an Alabama native, met her future husband when both were counselors at a Jewish camp in Georgia. They married after he received his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin. They’ve lived in Richardson since 2006 and now live just a half-mile from Beth Torah.
Winter, originally from Bridgeport, also had Jewish camping experience. Trained in accounting and administration, she came to Dallas in 1993 for her continuing management career in copier sales and service. She and her husband met the “modern” way, through computer dating, and live in Plano.
The two women have worked closely together on innovative programming for young children. Beth Torah’s initial “Tot Shabbat” has grown to include services for even the very youngest members on High Holidays and Sukkot. The Hand-in-Hand initiative is offered on two Sundays each month for babies, toddlers and pre-kindergartners. This program incorporates arts and crafts, music, movement and Jewish stories and traditions. Membership in Beth Torah is not required for participation.
Both honorees have led services, held positions on the Synagogue Board and lend their voices to the congregation’s volunteer music-makers for the monthly Friday evening “Joyful Noise” service.
Said Leventon: “Our goal is to create community, to give parents and other adults the opportunity to engage with their kids in a Jewish setting.”
Added Winter: “It’s amazing to watch the children get comfortable, knowing who they are and where they are with a ‘family’ of teachers and friends.”
The Beth Torah Sisterhood’s Torah Fund tradition began a quarter of a century ago, with the late Esther Cohen as its first honoree. Her daughter Robyn Rose was honored last year. Tradition also dictates that the most recently honored woman chairs the annual event, with all past honorees serving as the committee.
All are welcome to attend the 2018 event. Cost is $25 for the synagogue brunch at 720 Lookout Drive, Richardson. In addition, a minimum contribution of $18 to the Torah Fund of the Women’s League of Conservative Judaism is required. These tax-deductible contributions benefit five institutions, located in the United States, Israel, Argentina and Germany, that educate Conservative rabbis, cantors and teachers.
For information and to make reservations, contact Elaine Scharf, Beth Torah Sisterhood’s Torah Fund chair, at 972-307-3521 or email

Baruch Habah to the
TJP’s newest columnist

The TJP is thrilled to welcome Matan (his English name is Josh) Rudner, who made Aliyah to Israel in August 2017, as a monthly columnist.
Matan is the son of Lisa and Steve Rudner of Dallas and the brother of Jordan and Zach (his twin). He is a graduate of Ann and Nate Levine Academy and Greenhill School in 2017. Matan’s first installment of “Dispatch from the Homeland” can be found on Page 13 of this week’s TJP. It explains in detail what motivated him to make aliyah.
We look forward to hearing more from Matan every month.

Next steps for Portnoy

David Portnoy, Yavneh head of school for the past seven years, has been named the new head of school of the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Educational Campus (AEC) in Las Vegas. Portnoy will begin at AEC in July 2019. He will continue at Yavneh through June 2019. AEC is a community Jewish school serving students ages 18 months to 18 years, with 450 students enrolled in preschool through grade 12.
“Serving the Yavneh and Dallas Jewish communities these past seven years has been an extraordinary privilege and pleasure, in large part because of the opportunity to meet exceptional people such as yourself, as well as hundreds of students, parents, alumni, donors and other community members,” Portnoy wrote recently in an email to the community.


Dallas Doings: Ladino, BT Men’s Club, Levine, Waldman, Yavneh

Dallas Doings: Ladino, BT Men’s Club, Levine, Waldman, Yavneh

Posted on 16 January 2019 by admin

Ladino takes the spotlight at Judeo-Spanish Culture event

SMU’s fifth Celebration of Judeo-Spanish Culture from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, will feature personal Sephardic stories, an update on Ladino studies and a concert of Ladino music.
Ladino is a historic Jewish language with a geographically diverse distribution that developed a rich cultural heritage since its emergence in medieval Spain.
The offerings are:
• Ladino Komunidad founder Rachel Amado Bortnick will tell the story of her grandfathers in “Two Ottoman-Jewish Gentlemen in an Era of Transition.”
• Sarah Korman will share memories of growing up Sephardic in Portland, Oregon, in “Personal Reflections of Ladino.”
• M. E. Rios will recount his experience of gaining Spanish nationality as a descendant of Jews forced to convert in Spain and later persecuted by the Inquisition.
• Alejandro Acero Ayuda will present an updated report of the current status of Ladino in the 21st century.
• Austin musician Michelle Alany and friends will perform Sephardic music infused with tasty Texas-blues twist.
The coffee break will include Sephardic sweets.
The free public event will take place at McCord Auditorium on the third floor of Dallas Hall, 3225 University Blvd., at Southern Methodist University. No registration is required.

BT Men’s Club breakfast to feature UTD robotics prof

Patrick Michaud, assistant director for robotics education at the University of Texas at Dallas, will be the guest speaker at Congregation Beth Torah Men’s Club’s breakfast at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 20.
Michaud will discuss the importance of robotics in education and engineering, and his role in robotics competitions. He, his students — and their robots — will present a demonstration of their work.
The public is welcome at the lox-and-bagel breakfast, which costs $10, $5 for students. Beth Torah is located at 720 W. Lookout Drive in Richardson.

Levine Academy to host unique fundraiser March 9

Ann & Nate Levine Academy is putting a new twist on its Annual Fundraising Gala, scheduled for Saturday, March 9, 2019, at 6500 Cedar Springs Road, Suite 200, in Dallas
Titled “The Real Mensches of DFW: Great People. Good Deeds,” this year’s gala moves away from the traditional honoree dinner. Instead, seven community leaders — Neil Beckerman, Julie and Jay Liberman, Lillian and Jon Pinkus, and Jackie and Steve Waldman — will partner with students in grades 5-8 to help them perform acts of service for four area nonprofits that are aligned with Levine Academy’s core values.
The organizations are The Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, The Legacy Senior Communities, Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas and The Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas Partnership 2Gether, supporting the Western Galilee in Israel.
The evening will begin with cocktails, silent and live auctions, and a multicourse dinner, with entertainment provided by DJ Brooks Butler. The evening will culminate with a video presentation and speeches highlighting the students’ community contributions.
“What a fitting year to highlight the good that we all do for our community and to bring everyone together, said Levine Academy board president Solomon Israel. “At Ann & Nate Levine Academy, we identify a core value each year on which our programming is focused. This year, our midah (Jewish value) is ‘Responsibility.’
“We are teaching our students that it is their responsibility to participate in our community’s commitment to social justice and tikkun olam. The projects implemented by the students for this event will be a great reminder to us that love, compassion and contribution are stronger than hate.”
For information about sponsorship opportunities, tables and tickets, visit

Photo: Courtesy JCC Maxine and Erwin Waldman

With loss of Maxine Waldman, JCC tourney gets new name

One of the JCC’s signature events, the annual golf tournament, is changing its name to honor a longtime pillar who recently died.. Moving forward, the Aaron Family JCC Golf Tournament will be named the Maxine and Erwin Waldman Memorial Golf Tournament.
“My grandparents were giants in the Dallas Jewish community,” said Scott Cohen, a grandson of the Waldmans. “And no cause was closer to their hearts than that of the JCC. When my grandfather passed, my grandmother loved the idea of the golf tournament as a way to honor both him and their passion for the JCC. She would be happy to know the tradition and support continues on in their name.”
This year’s tournament will take place on Monday, June 3. Proceeds from the event will continue to support the Joanie I. Weinstein Camp Scholarship Fund and Elaine Quint Schrager Preschool Scholarship Fund at the JCC. Through sponsorships and raffle proceeds, the Aaron Family JCC is able to fund these scholarships for children to attend J Camps and the Goldberg Family Early Childhood Center.
“I believe in the valuable work of the JCC and I am honored to be involved with the Golf Tournament year after year,” Tournament Co-chair Clay Aaron said. “This event means so much to many in the community, as Maxine and Erwin were great role models for all. They brought so much passion and dedication to the J.”
Added Co-chair Neil Goldberg: “I believe the golf tournament will continue to be a success well into the future. This is such a great event to both lead and participate in. A fun day of playing golf and raising money for preschool and camp scholarships, what can be better?”

Photo: Yavneh Academy
Yavneh students who scored in the top 2 percent on the ACT and SAT are, front row, from left, Jenna Sasson and Maayan Abouzaglo; middle row, Ezra Ruderman, Ben Levkovitch, Max Weinstein, Zach Bernstein and Adam Frydman; and back row, Simcha Malina, David Cohen, Jonah Schwarz-Mullins, Leib Malina, Ari Berke and Yosef Weiss.

Yavneh students ace college entrance exams

Thirteen Yavneh Academy students have scored in the top 2 percent of national college admissions testing — SAT and ACT — including a perfect score of 36 on the ACT.
Nine Yavneh seniors and four Yavneh juniors earned SAT scores averaging more than 1,500 (out of a perfect 1,600) and ACT scores averaging more than 34 (out of a perfect 36).
The high achievers are Maayan Abouzaglo, Ari Berke, Zach Bernstein, David Cohen, Adam Frydman, Ben Levkovitch, Leib Malina, Simcha Malina, Ezra Ruderman, Jenna Sasson, Jonah Schwarz-Mullins, Max Weinstein and Yosef Weiss.
“This is an astonishing number of high scorers for one school, let alone a school our size,” Head of School David Portnoy said. “Our Yavneh faculty has done an outstanding job of preparing these students academically for the top colleges, universities, yeshivot and seminaries.”
Added Allyn Schmucker, director of college counseling: “I have never seen such terrific results from a group of high-achieving students. Colleges and universities respond to our Yavneh applicants based on a range of qualities, and this current crop will continue to burnish our school’s top reputation in Dallas and beyond.”


Dallas Doings: JBA, DCOH, Camping Fund, Tiferet

Dallas Doings: JBA, DCOH, Camping Fund, Tiferet

Posted on 10 January 2019 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray

Photos: JBA
Members of Jewish Business Alliance (JBA) gathered for a holiday lunch at The Legacy Willow Bend Dec. 13. At the luncheon they made their annual contribution to two Jewish nonprofits. This year’s beneficiaries were Jewish Family Service and Hillels of North Texas.

JBA donates to JFS and Hillels of North Texas

Jewish Business Alliance, a business networking organization, held its annual holiday luncheon on Dec. 13 at The Legacy Willow Bend and made its annual contributions to local Jewish-based organizations. This year, Jewish Family Service’s Career Services Group and Hillels of North Texas were the beneficiaries.
Allison Harding accepted for JFS, and Stephen Falk accepted for the Hillels. The donations are made from funds the JBA raised throughout the year.
In addition, members contributed gifts for families in need over the holidays. This was coordinated by Kristen Jackson of Jewish Family Service.
Now in its eighth year, JBA was founded by Mark Lowey, owner of Stonebridge Insurance Group, and Jay Levine, owner of Energy Brokers of America. JBA meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of every month at the Coffee House Cafe in North Dallas.
For more information or to sign up for membership, contact Lowey at 214-558-2727 or

Dallas Chapter of Hadassah to hold Tu B’Shevat Seder

The Dallas Chapter of Hadassah, Herzl Group, will meet at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 14, at the JCC for a Tu B’Shevat Seder.
Writer and TJP columnist and contributor Harriet Gross will lead the Seder.
The Seder celebrates “the birthday of the trees” and recognizes the earliest blooming trees. Light delicacies suitable to the celebration will be served.
Tree certificates, $18 each with special prices for multiples, will be available at the meeting. Bring your JNF Blue Boxes to the event.
Family and friends of the chapter are invited to join the festivities.
Dallas Chapter of Hadassah communications vice president Shirley Frankl reminds the community to “remember to sign up for our March 4 Lifesaver Luncheon at The Legacy Willow Bend.”
For more information, call the Dallas Chapter Office at 214-691-1948.

Camp scholarship application opens

The Essie and Reuben Rosenbloom Jewish Overnight Camping Fund of the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation is open for applications.
This special, need-based scholarship is available to assist Dallas Jewish children entering grades 3-8 in fall 2019 who otherwise would not have an opportunity to attend Jewish overnight camps. Since the creation of this fund, over 300 campers from Dallas, Denton and Collin counties have been able to attend camp.
The unique feature of this scholarship fund is that both the applicants and the review committee are anonymous, meaning the committee reviews the applications after all personal information has been redacted and members of the committee are known only by a select group of DJCF staff members. Even the DJCF chairman of the board does not know who the committee members are.
This high level of confidentiality is to ensure the families can maintain their pride while requesting scholarship assistance.
To be eligible to apply for a scholarship, a family must demonstrate financial need, and the eligible camp must be a nonprofit overnight residential camp affiliated with a Jewish organization in the United States. All applicants who fit the need, age criteria and eligibility requirement are welcome. Repeat applicants will be considered, with priority given to first-time campers.
The application will close March 6, 2019, with notification in early April. For the application and more information, visit

Tiferet Israel will host Roaring ‘20s Casino Night

Tiferet Israel will transform into a casino from 6 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17.
Prizes will be awarded for best Roaring ’20s costume and to the top three gamblers. Game tables include blackjack, craps, roulette, Texas Hold’em and slot machines.
Cost is $75 per person, which includes gambling chips, a drink ticket, a raffle ticket, food and photographs. Sponsorship levels range from $125 to $1500. All sponsorship levels include name recognition. The deadline to sponsor is Jan. 31.
Co-chairs for the evening are Gina Tolmas and Robyn Rovinsky Mirsky. Reservations can be made by contacting Jennifer Williams at 214-691-3611 or The deadline to RSVP is Monday, Feb. 11.


Dallas Doings: DJCF, Anshai Torah, Tiferet

Posted on 02 January 2019 by admin

First responders shown some love

The Dallas Jewish Community Foundation has many funds that utilize volunteers, but these volunteers often do so anonymously to respect the applicants’ personal information, and the volunteers never know the applicants.
Contrary to this usual practice, there are some funds through which the volunteers get to meet the recipients. For example, the Foundation’s First Responders Fund, along with the help of the Tom Thumb bakery at Preston and Forest, helped make a brighter Christmas for hundreds of First Responders at fire, police and 911 call stations.
The First Responders Fund pays for holiday dessert trays to go to dozens of locations around Dallas. This is just a small way to say thank you to local first responders for being on duty to protect and serve the area and to remind them they are appreciated.
This year, more than 30 families and individuals made these deliveries all over the Metroplex, including stations in Wylie, Richardson, Lewisville, Plano and Dallas. Some volunteers intentionally chose stations far away to ensure those who normally don’t get treats from their neighbors got the attention and love they deserve.
One volunteer appreciated the opportunity to say thank you to some of the most important people in the Dallas community. Another said they probably liked it more than the recipients.
This fund was created following the tragic attack on Dallas police three years ago. Since then the First Responders Fund has provided a feeling of love and appreciation. Through the generosity of others, the number of trays continue to grow each year.
To learn more about the fund, visit

Ansahi Torah to honor Shawn Frank

Congregation Anshai Torah will celebrate Shawn Stern Frank as its Torah Fund honoree from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12,.
Frank was born in St. Louis to Larry and Sheila Stern. The family moved to Plano in 1975 when she was 5 years old. Frank attended the University of North Texas, where she majored in psychology.
She met her husband, Michael Frank, in December 2002; they dated for three years and were married Nov. 5, 2005. Shortly thereafter the couple joined Anshai Torah; it was very important to both of them their future children be raised in a conservative shul.
The Franks welcomed their son Cooper in 2008. When Cooper was in pre-school, Shawn Frank became more involved in the Jewish community, including Anshai Torah. In 2012, She was appointed to the Sisterhood board where she served in various board positions: membership co-chair, co-president, president, nominating committee chair and, currently, the Women’s League of Conservative Judaism (WLJC) representative.
In 2015, Frank became a board member of the WLCJ Intracontinental region. She is the on the Current Communication Committee as social media coordinator.
Volunteering is a part of Frank’s life. When asked why she always says “yes” when asked to volunteer, she said, “It has made me grow in ways I never expected. I have made friends that will last a lifetime. Also, I want to show that no matter how busy you are or what is going on in your life, there is always room to be on a committee. I volunteer because it shows my son how important it is to give back.”
Frank has served on various committees at Anshai Torah: Torah Fund, Diamonds and Dice, Tikkun Olam and Sunshine. Currently, she serves on the Anshai Torah board and is on the WLCJ Intracontinental Conference committee. Frank is also serving on the Levine Academy Gala Auction Committee.
Her favorite volunteer role is as a room parent at Levine Academy, where Cooper is a student.
Frank works full-time at Mcafee, Inc. as an enterprise inside sales representative. When she is not working or volunteering, she likes to read, watch movies, spend time with her family and to see Cooper in his many plays and musicals at the JCC – he will be in the spring production of “The Wizard of Oz.”
Frank’s volunteerism has been contagious in the Frank/Stern family — her father, Larry, served as a minyan coordinator, while her mother, Sheila, has been involved with Torah Fund, chairing the fund for two years. Frank’s husband has served on the Anshai Torah and Men’s Club board.
Frank’s biggest legacy is the strong, diverse board and membership base she helped create during her tenure on the Sisterhood board and as its president.
“How appropriate it is to honor Shawn during the Women’s League Torah Fund theme of Atid (future),” current sisterhood president Lisa Gerstenfeld said. “Shawn has worked tirelessly over the years to make the future bright for Anshai Torah’s Sisterhood.”
The Torah Fund is the dedicated philanthropy of Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, its members, and its affiliated sisterhoods in Conservative congregations across North America. Torah Fund supports scholarships and programming at these Conservative/Masorti institutes of higher Jewish learning.

Estrella Bengio joins Tiferet religious school team

What makes a successful teacher? According to Rabbi Shawn Zell of Congregation Tiferet Israel, it requires knowledge, dedication and love; words that exemplify new Tiferet religious school teacher Estrella Bengio.
Born in Tangiers, Bengio’s family moved to Israel after the Six Day War and later to Venezuela. She came to Dallas from Toronto in 1984 and also teaches in the preschool at Ann & Nate Levine Academy.
Bengio and Zell both take education seriously, and Zell is always available to work regularly with Bengio on curriculum planning for the small religious school.
Bengio likes to make a difference and loves to share what she knows. She believes that Jewish education is crucial, as is Jewish identity. She wants to make sure students don’t leave religious school classes with a bitter taste in their mouths.
Bengio adapts for different level discussions, so kids know that every thought, every opinion counts, making sure each child is engaged. In fact, students are so engaged that not only is weekly attendance excellent, parents sometimes have to wait on the kids because they want to finish an activity.
As Zell notes, these students are going because they want to—not just to satisfy requirements for bar/bat mitzvah. In fact, when Bengio proposed adding an extra day, which is logistically difficult for many parents, the students and parents voted to instead come an hour earlier on Sundays to allow time for all the activities they want to do.
Congregation Tiferet Israel welcomes new participants to the religious school at any time. Call 214-691-3611 for information.


Dallas Doings: Beth Torah, DATA of Plano

Posted on 19 December 2018 by admin

Beth Torah introducing two calming services

Congregation Beth Torah will kick off 2019 by experimenting with two new services: a contemplative Friday night service and a Saturday morning yoga minyan.
“We live our whole week racing from one activity to the next,” Rabbi Elana Zelony said. “By the time Shabbat arrives, our minds are still zooming at their weekday pace.” Zelony added that people need help to slow down, focus and savor the worship experience.
“The rabbis of the Talmud used to prepare themselves for prayer by meditating for an hour first,” Zelony explained. “Beth Torah is giving this tradition a modern interpretation.” CBT hopes that by creating opportunities for centering and calming worship the traditional prayers will become more accessible.
The Friday night contemplative service will create a quiet space for self-reflection and relaxation. Participants will begin their experience with a walking meditation surrounded by soft lighting and beautiful music.
During Kabbalat Shabbat, worshippers can choose between singing the Psalms that welcome the Sabbath or a seated meditation. Sermons will be rooted in Chasidic and Mussar texts. Chasidic texts explore spiritual revival, and Mussar texts focus on developing positive character traits. Services will conclude with traditional Ma’ariv prayers followed by refreshments.
The yoga minyan will be taught by Debbi Levy, who also teaches yoga classes at the JCC and Temple Emanu-El. Participants will start their Shabbat morning with an hour of yoga before joining the congregation for the Torah service and Musaf.
No prior yoga experience is needed. All ages are welcome, although children need to be old enough to focus and contribute to a calm environment. Participants should bring a yoga mat or towel for comfort and wear comfortable but modest clothing, as they will be in the synagogue.
The contemplative services will be held at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11, Feb. 8 and March 8. The yoga minyan will be held at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 5, Feb. 2 and March 2. If the services are well received by the community, they will continue in the future.
For more information, please contact
“So many people are anxious and depressed today. Judaism is rich in traditions that help people cope with these emotions,” Zelony said. “By offering these two new services we can connect people to ancient wisdom through modern methods.”

—Submitted by
Jessie Taper

DATA of Plano expands

DATA of Plano, a community synagogue and Jewish education center, is expanding.
Established in 2001 and located in a shopping center on the southwest corner of Parker and Independence in central Plano, DATA of Plano has burgeoned from a small mom-and-pop style synagogue to an all-inclusive Jewish engagement center offering learning opportunities for Jews of all levels.
The current expansion project, which began earlier this fall, is slated to increase the capacity by at least 50 percent. The project includes the design and construction of an all-new dedicated children’s programming wing to house the Hebrew school and various other student programs. The plans also include an expanded sanctuary and social hall to accommodate the frequently overflowing crowds.

—Submitted by
Eli Nissel


Dallas Doings: Andrew Goldstien, Mr. Rajunov, Bryan Rigg

Posted on 19 December 2018 by admin

Andrew Goldstein vies for Jewish Star Talent Search Top 6

Teen musician Andrew Goldstein, son of Dana and Jonathan Goldstein of McKinney, was selected as one of the top 12 in Jewish Rock Radio’s Jewish Star Talent Search.
The Jewish Star Talent Search is a competition organized by Jewish Rock Radio to identify emerging young Jewish artists in the North American Jewish community who have a passion and desire to impact the Jewish world. Many teens and young adults auditioned.
A panel of international celebrity music artists judged the auditions, selecting the 12 finalists based on their vocal and instrumental skill, overall performance skills and passion for impacting the Jewish world.
Six grand prize winners will be selected in a public vote that lasts through Dec. 17. The winners will receive a prize package designed to help launch their musical careers, including:
• Private mentorship from a nationally recognized Jewish celebrity recording artist.
• A professional studio recording session to record an original composition or a cover song from a preapproved list of Jewish music artists.
• International exposure highlighting winner artists on an exclusive Jewish Rock Radio show broadcasting the songs recorded by prize winners.
• An all-expenses-paid trip to attend the 2019 Songleader Bootcamp National Conference in February in St. Louis to receive coaching and skills training from the judges: Beth Schafer, Julie Silver, Rick Recht, Josh Nelson, Sheldon Low and Nefesh Mountain. Prize winners will also be featured and perform live at the conference.
Andrew, 14, started beat boxing at 7, playing guitar at 9 and wrote his first song — a Mi Chamocha setting — at 10.
“Our congregation and our Jewish community are lucky to have Andrew’s family as active and dedicated as they are. While music is Andrew’s expression, Judaism is his soul,” Adat Chaverim Rabbi Benjamin Sternman told TJP contributor Deb Silverthorn in June 2017. “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.”
To vote, visit At press time, Andrew had garnered 1,030 votes.
Among the Jewish Star contest supporters are Dallasites Jarrod Beck, Kevin Pailet and Manuel Rajunov, according to the organization’s website.

Mr. Rajunov goes to the White House

Manny Rajunov of Frisco attended the afternoon Hanukkah reception at the White House Dec. 7. Rajunov is the AIPAC Dallas Executive Council chair.
Rajunov explained that for him, an immigrant from Mexico and a Jew, being at the White House was an impactful experience.
“When you are there, in the moment, you realize how fortunate we are to live in a country where Jews are as openly accepted as Americans while, at the same time, we as Jews have returned to our homeland in Israel to build a vibrant and dynamic society that, in partnership with America, has become a true ‘Light unto the Nations,’” Rajunov said. “The U.S.-Israel relationship was in full display that night, and I was very proud of it.”
At the earlier Hanukkah reception, President Donald Trump recognized eight Holocaust survivors, remarking they had experienced “evil beyond description.”
At both ceremonies, Trump mentioned the deadliest attack in American Jewish history at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, where 11 Jewish worshippers were killed by a lone gunman during Shabbat-morning services Oct. 27.
He said that in the shooting’s aftermath, “we reaffirmed our solemn duty to confront anti-Semitism everywhere” and that we “must stamp out this vile hatred from the world.”

Bryan Rigg to speak at Beth Torah breakfast

Bryan Rigg, author of “Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers,” will be the guest speaker at the Congregation Beth Torah Men’s Club breakfast Sunday, Dec. 16.
Rigg, a veteran of both the Israeli army and U.S. Marine Corps, has written several books based on his groundbreaking examination of Jews who fought for Germany in World War II. He also wrote the upcoming “Flamethrower,” the story of Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams, who won the Medal of Honor at the Battle of Iwo Jima.
Everyone is welcome at the lox-and-bagel breakfast, which begins at 9:30 a.m. and costs $10; $5 for students.
Beth Torah is located at 720 W. Lookout Drive in Richardson.

—Submitted by
Michael Precker


View or Subscribe to the
Texas Jewish Post

Advertise Here

Photos from our Flickr stream

See all photos

Advertise Here