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Dallas Doings: New chairman, Dale Hansen, 60-year anniversary

Dallas Doings: New chairman, Dale Hansen, 60-year anniversary

Posted on 17 August 2017 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Dallas businessman Seay named chairman of Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce

Dallas-based businessman George Seay was named chairman of the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce in June. He is the founder and chairman of Annandale Capital, and a national political leader. A seventh-generation Texan, Seay carries his family’s generational tradition of successful entrepreneurs, philanthropists and leaders in public policy. One of his grandfathers was a prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, while the other grandfather is Bill Clements, who served as the first Republican governor of Texas since Reconstruction.

Seay

Seay

Seay’s leadership signifies a monumental shift for the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce, an organization now slated to be the most influential organization promoting win-win economic ties between Israel and the United States. The organization will be far more than a bilateral trade association; it is transforming into an economic and political powerhouse, which will anchor the U.S.-Israel economic relationship in Texas. According to Seay, “The Chamber serves a critically important role — deepening the strategic U.S.-Israel relationship by (1) making industry in Texas the primary beneficiary of cutting-edge Israeli innovation and (2) enhancing Texas business exposure to commerce in Israel. Israel is a world leader in many technologies that drive the Texas economy and Texas is a national and international leader in industries that benefit Israel — we will show other states and nations what it looks like to leverage Israeli innovation, harness Texas economic power and industry, and closely align Texas-Israeli economic and strategic interests.”
Among important 2017 advancements were a historic water conference in Texas, which convened a delegation of 10 Israeli water companies, high-ranking Israeli and Texas government officials and hundreds of water industry professionals, as well as a dynamic Texas agricultural trade mission to Israel furthering ties in that industry, both held in the spring. The Chamber is also in the process of shepherding a $2 million R&D agreement between Texas and Israel, as well as formulating a major cybersecurity conference for late 2017 geared toward critical security infrastructure in Texas.
According to the Israeli Ministry of Economy, recent initiatives by the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce “signify a new page in Israeli-Texas relations.”
— Submitted by Toba Hellerstein

Dale Hansen at Beth Torah

Dale Hansen, the legendary Channel 8 sportscaster, will be the guest speaker at the Congregation Beth Torah Men’s Club annual kickoff event on Sunday, Aug. 20.
Hansen has been the sports anchor at WFAA since 1983, dominating the market and making national news with award-winning investigations, incisive commentary and provocative opinions. He was the Dallas Cowboys’ radio play-by-play analyst for more than a decade and has been a regular on sports radio shows around the dial.

Screenshot WFAA’s Dale Hansen will be the guest speaker at Beth Torah’s Men’s Club.

Screenshot
WFAA’s Dale Hansen will be the guest speaker at Beth Torah’s Men’s Club.

The beer-and-barbecue evening starts at 5:30 at the synagogue, located at 720 W. Lookout Drive in Richardson, near the crossroads of Bush Turnpike and Central Expressway. The cost is $10 ($5 for students) and the public is welcome.
Beth Torah’s Men Club, which presents the annual Dallas Kosher BBQ Championship, just won its 10th consecutive Quality Chapter Award from the national Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs. For more information, call the synagogue at 972-234-1542.
— Submitted by Michael Precker

Bnai Zion achieves 4-star rating from Charity Navigator

Bnai Zion Foundation recently received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities. This is Charity Navigator’s highest possible rating and indicates that the Bnai Zion organization adheres to sector best practices and executes its mission in a financially efficient way. Avrille Harris-Cohen is executive director of Bnai Zion, Texas Region, and Diane Benjamin is the region president. Larry Strauss of Plano and Carole Wolanow of Dallas are on the proposed slate for Bnai Zion’s national board of directors. If approved, their term will begin with the organization’s Sept. 26 annual meeting and run through 2020.

Diamond anniversary: Weinbergs celebrate 60 years

Mazel tov to Ettie and Melvin Weinberg, who will celebrate their 60th anniversary Aug. 18.

Melvin and Ettie Weinberg today

Melvin and Ettie Weinberg today

Their story began with Melvin’s introduction to Ettie by her sister, JoAnn Hiller z’l, who was already engaged to Eli Hiller z’l from New York. From their initial meeting, Ettie and Melvin’s future was cemented by their wedding eight months later, after sundown in the Olan Sanctuary of Temple Emanu-El, officiated by Rabbi Levi A. Olan.

Melvin and Ettie Weinberg on their wedding day 60 years ago

Melvin and Ettie Weinberg on their wedding day 60 years ago

They have been active Temple members ever since. JoAnn and Eli were married the same day before sundown at Tiferet Israel. (In some Jewish communities two sisters cannot share a simcha on the same day.) Celebrating with Ettie and Melvin will be their daughter Sheila and husband Ross Greenstein, son Neal and grandchildren, Danielle Sonego and Aaron Sonego. Ettie and Melvin believe they have been truly blessed these past 60 years and plan to celebrate their simcha with dinner at Bob’s Steak and Chop House with their family and an April 2018 trip to Israel with several of their friends.

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Dallas Doings: New Torah

Posted on 10 August 2017 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

New Shaare Torah will travel to shiva homes, simchas

Every so often a great community story lands on my desk right about press time.
Yesterday I was sent a fabulous photo from David Zoller (see Page 1 main photo) and my curiosity was piqued. I had not heard that Shaare Tefilla had welcomed a new Torah last weekend, but this Torah has a unique back story. It was the result of an encounter at a shiva home, when Richard Rohan, a past president of Shaare, was sitting shiva for his mother, Valy Rohan ob”m, in early January. “It was a Friday afternoon and we were transporting a Torah and an Ark to the Rohan home to read from during morning services during the shiva period,” explained Shaare Tefilla’s Rabbi Ariel Rackovsky. “The Ark we have is exceptionally heavy, and the Torah we were using — one of our regular Torahs — is not light, either.”
Rabbi Rackovsky explained that at the shiva home was Richard’s aunt, Ann Rosenberg. She expressed concern that the items Shaare uses for shiva — the Ark and the Torah — were so heavy and require significant manpower to transport.
According to Rabbi Rackovsky, “On the spot, she offered to donate a smaller, more portable ‘traveling’ Torah and a lighter, smaller Ark to house it.” This smaller Torah will be used for shiva houses, but Shaare plans to use it on many joyous occasions as well. Mrs. Rosenberg donated the Torah in memory of her sister-in-law and brother-in-law Manny and Valy Rohan, Richard’s parents and a founding family of Shaare Tefilla.
Rabbi Rackovsky explained how one goes about getting a Torah. They can be purchased mostly finished and then a sofer (scribe) typically finishes it at the synagogue where it will be housed. The Rohan traveling Torah was purchased from Tiferes Stam, a resource for all Sefer Torah matters and other Judaica in Brooklyn, New York.
“The owner, Rabbi Tzvi Chaim (aka Heshy) Pincus, has traveled all over the world completing Sifrei Torah and has even done this at Shaare Tefilla in the past, where he developed a close relationship with Manny Rohan, Richard Rohan’s father.”
The Shaare community welcomed the Rohan traveling Torah Sunday, Aug. 6, with a processional from Shaare’s social hall outside onto Whitley and back into the synagogue. Local sofer Rabbi Avraham Bloomenstiel completed scribing the final 75 letters Sunday alongside community members who sponsored the writing of a letter in order to fulfill the commandment to write a Torah scroll.
In his remarks Sunday, Rabbi Rackovsky said, “As a community, our mandate is to have Torah scrolls in their resting place, in the Aron Kodesh — representing the steadfast values we hold and the principles from which we will not deviate. But our Torah must ‘travel’ as well, showing that the Torah life we live is always relevant and that Torah governs every aspect of our lives.”
Rohan was deeply touched by his aunt’s generosity and said that this Sefer Torah is a testament to his parents’ love of their Jewish heritage.
“I’m very grateful to have parents who stressed the importance of our Jewish heritage and the need to pass that knowledge on to successive generations, and to have family like the Rosenbergs, who continue to set examples for philanthropy and for placing the needs of the community among their highest priorities. I’m thrilled that this Sefer Torah will be something my kids and their kids will be able to see in action for decades to come,” Richard Rohan said.

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Dallas Doings: Team Dallas competing for medals at Maccabi

Posted on 03 August 2017 by admin

By Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

About this time each year, I write a column on the road from the Maccabi Games. This year Team Dallas (which includes four athletes from Fort Worth) traveled to Birmingham, Alabama where the small, but mighty Jewish community here is putting on a heck of a games. Opening ceremonies were held at University of Alabama’s Bartow Arena.
Auburn men’s basketball Head Coach Bruce Pearl delivered an inspiring up beat keynote, encouraging the athletes to embrace, maintain and be proud of their Jewish identities. Matisyahu provided musical entertainment. A highlight of the event was the lighting of a steel forged cauldron (see top teaser on p.1) to formally start the Games. The cauldron was made for the games by Sloss Furnace.
The first day of play Monday, saw Team Dallas fair well with under-16 girls’ soccer team winning its match, 5-1; under-14 boys’ soccer winning, 6-2, and tying, 2-2; under-16 boys’ soccer winning, 1-0, and losing, 4-0; girls’ basketball winning, 49-28; under-14 boys’ basketball winning, 47-41; under-16 boys’ basketball winning, 61-53; under-14 boys’ baseball won its first game, 6-1 and lost its second, 16-4; under-16 baseball split with a 4-3 win and a 10-2 loss; flag football won, 40-14, and 52-25; the two Dallas volleyball teams each split their matches. Dallas’ lone swimmer earned a bronze medal Monday.
Monday night, Dallas athletes were treated to warm Southern, Jewish hospitality around Birmingham as host families had a chance to spend some quality time with their charges.
Tuesday began with JCC Cares and the Dallas delegation visiting the Civil Rights Museum with a tie-in to Tisha B’Av. Tuesday’s games got underway after press time.

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Ditzenberger excited to play for Kansas baseball team

Ditzenberger excited to play for Kansas baseball team

Posted on 20 July 2017 by admin

Staff report

Every year, thousands of high school seniors visit college campuses in hopes of finding the perfect fit.
Dylan Ditzenberger found his with his glove, arm and swing.
The Allen third baseman committed to play baseball for the Kansas Jayhawks last fall, and as the school year approaches, he is becoming more and more excited.
“I’m looking forward to living on my own,” Ditzenberger said.IMG_2010WEB
Ditzenberger played his high school ball at Allen, where he maintained a .436 batting average and a .500 on-base percentage. Although he will play infield in college, he really shone as a pitcher in his senior year. He kept a minuscule 0.247 earned-run average, which included a no-hitter in his final district start to clinch the district championship. The District 6-6A MVP helped the Eagles make the playoffs for the first time since Ditzenberger had played for the team.
“We made it all the way to the third round,” he said. “That was great.”
Because of his success, Ditzenberger was selected to play in the Metroplex and Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association all-star games.
Paul Coe, Allen’s baseball coach, told the Dallas Morning News how important Ditzenberger was to his club.
“He’s such a great third baseman it’s hard for us to pull him off there and let him start. He’s a competitor.”
Ditzenberger picked Kansas for its academics, competition in the Big 12 and its legendary basketball program. The infielder played varsity basketball at Allen and competed in the 2015 JCC Maccabi Games in Dallas, and said it had “a really awesome impact” on his recruiting. He chose Kansas over New Mexico, Arkansas, up-and-coming baseball program Dallas Baptist and Texas-Rio Grande Valley in Brownsville.
Before Ditzenberger heads to the Sunflower State, he’ll play in the American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC) Connie Mack World Series July 28-Aug. 6. His summer team qualified for the tournament by winning a tournament earlier this summer.
Ditzenberger understands that playing time is limited, but expects to compete for an infield position next spring.

“Talking to the coaches, I have just as much chance as anyone else,” he said.

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Dallas Doings: Babies blessed, charity, iftar dinner

Dallas Doings: Babies blessed, charity, iftar dinner

Posted on 13 July 2017 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Babies blessed at Temple Shalom

On Saturday, June 3, Temple Shalom members joined together with young families in the community for the second annual Blessing of the Babies. With guitar in hand, Ray Farris led the congregation in song and prayer. In honor of the children, the typical prayers and songs were mixed with childhood favorites: There’s a Dinosaur Knocking at My Door and I Was on My Way to Shul One Day.
After an informal morning of songs, prayer and Torah, it was time for the Blessing of the Babies. Rabbi Andrew Paley called up the families for the moment everyone had been waiting for! He explained the significance of the tallit and everyone gathered underneath for the special blessing. “Gathering our families together for a brief moment of blessing with their newborns and recently-borns is a sacred opportunity indeed.
“At Temple Shalom we value the experiences of families coming together with their community sharing prayer, Torah, music, laughter and each other. What an honor it is for us to bring God’s blessing to our newest members of our ever-growing Temple family!”
Cantor Devorah Avery was inspired to write an original song and blessing for the occasion. This song was a blessing for children and it incorporated the Priestly Benediction from our Torah as well. “It was a beautiful morning! Having the opportunity to give these families, especially their children, a blessing was an honor.”
Watching the congregation sing and pray while small children danced throughout the aisles made everyone realize that Temple Shalom truly is the perfect place for fun, friendship and learning for all ages.

Anshai sisterhood collecting bras for Mathilde’s Mentionables project

Through July 20, Congregation Anshai Torah’s Sisterhood is collecting new and nearly new bras (used garments must be washed), of all sizes, colors and types: nursing, training, sports, mastectomy bras. CAT Sisterhood leadership representatives Lisa Gerstenfeld, Paige Rothstein and Sherry Lynn Rubin will be attending the Women’s League of Conservative Judaism’s Convention, in Washington, D.C., celebrating 100 years of Sisterhood, at which they’ll donate all collected items.
The “Mathilde’s Mentionables” project, named for Sisterhood founder Mathilde Schechter, has been created in cooperation with the “Support the Girls” project to supply bras to women in need, homeless women, women in shelters and others. Please go through your closets and donate the bras that just don’t fit right, grab items to donate bras the next time you are at a store, and share this uplifting project with your friends and family.

 

 

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Congregation Beth Torah hosts iftar dinner

Congregation Beth Torah hosted an iftar dinner, the evening meal that breaks each day’s fast during Ramadan, in cooperation with the Dialogue Institute of Dallas June 14.DSC_9260
Beth Torah and Dialogue Institute members prepared Mediterranean specialties at the synagogue before more than 100 Jews and Muslims gathered to share the meal and hold evening prayers.
Rabbi Elana Zelony of Beth Torah and Emrah Aktepe, executive director of the Dialogue Institute, led a discussion comparing Muslim and Jewish fast days and adding to understanding of Ramadan traditions.DSC_9263
Photos: David Duchin, DSPNphotos.comDSC_9282

 

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Dallas Doings: Singers anniversary; concert

Dallas Doings: Singers anniversary; concert

Posted on 29 June 2017 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
Have a Dallas Doings item you want to see in the paper? Email sharon@tjpnews.com.

60 years together: Singers celebrate diamond anniversary

Mazal tov to Edie and Paul Singer, who will celebrate their 60th anniversary June 30. Their love story began with a phone call to Paul from a friend who said she had a cousin moving to town from Chicago. The friend asked Paul if he would call her cousin and take her out. Paul asked several questions including — “Was she nice-looking? Fat or thin? Blonde or brunette? Can she dance?” Finally, Paul’s friend said “Paul, I’m not asking you to marry the girl.”  Paul called Edie and is happy that he did.  She was much more than he was hoping for.

Submitted photos Edie and Paul Singer will celebrate their 60th anniversary June 30. They were married in 1957.

Submitted photos
Edie and Paul Singer will celebrate their 60th anniversary June 30. They were married in 1957.

Paul and Edie dated for almost a year when Paul decided that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Luckily Edie felt the same way. Paul and Edie were married June 30, 1957.
Celebrating the simcha and beaming with pride are the couple’s three married children and their granddaughters: Kathy and Mitch Singer, Julie and Jim Guida and daughters Jackie and Jenny and Lisa and Monte Westall and daughter Sammi.

Submitted photos Edie and Paul Singer will celebrate their 60th anniversary June 30. They were married in 1957.

Submitted photos
Edie and Paul Singer will celebrate their 60th anniversary June 30. They were married in 1957.

They have been lifelong members of Shearith Israel and are active in Temple Emanu-El Couples Club, holding numerous positions.
After 60 years together Paul and Edie feel that they have truly been blessed. The couple will celebrate their simcha with a romantic evening of dinner and dancing.

Free concert features Klezmer music

Jewish music enthusiasts will have a unique opportunity to hear the Juilliard-trained ensemble Trio Kavanah at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 7, in the Wynne Chapel at Highland Park Presbyterian Church, 3821 University Blvd. in Dallas.
In addition to Klezmer music, the performance will include classical selections from Mozart, Stravinsky, Milhaud and Schoenfeld. Danny Goldman, who plays the clarinet, explained how he and Dr. Trevor Hale (piano) and Grace Wollett (violin) came up with the trio’s name. “The word Kavanah in Hebrew represents the intention of the heart and sincerity of meaning, specifically when praying, and we are applying that to our approach to music.” The concert is free and no tickets are required.

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Dallas Doings: Legacy honors volunteers

Posted on 22 June 2017 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
Have a Dallas Doings item? Email Sharon at sharon@tjpnews.com.

Legacy Senior Communities honors volunteers during awards ceremony

The staff and residents of The Legacy Senior Communities recently held a special event to recognize the individuals and groups who dedicate their time to enhancing the lives of the residents. This past year, more than 300 volunteers spent an estimated 6,500 hours at The Legacy Willow Bend alone, with a combined 9,700 hours spent serving seniors and staff across The Legacy Senior Communities.
The organization’s volunteer program has a wide variety of options for individuals as well as groups and organizations to get involved at the community. Whether giving manicures or simply listening and exchanging stories with residents, volunteers give the tremendous gift of their quality time.
The event, co-chaired by Nonie Schwartz and Marilyn Schwartz, included an awards ceremony during which Rivae Campo, volunteer coordinator for The Legacy Senior Communities, announced the Rookie of the Year Awards, the Outstanding Student Volunteer Award and the Outstanding Volunteer Group Award. Additionally, for the third year in a row Campo gave special recognition to The Legacy Willow Bend’s own knitting and crochet club, The Ladies of The Legacy Willow Bend.
The members of the club come together every Monday to knit and crochet beautiful hats and scarves for those in need throughout Greater Dallas. Each year, the group’s production numbers have increased tremendously, from last year’s whopping 2,600 items to this year’s 3,200 pieces which were donated to eight local organizations.
Hannah Hall, who visits the residents almost every Saturday, was honored by the community with the award for Outstanding Student Volunteer. For the past year Hall, 14, has visited the community to give residents manicures and call a bingo game or two. According to the Frisco teen, she learns a great deal by spending time and building relationships with the residents.
“I’ve always enjoyed surrounding myself with people I can learn from,” said Hall. “Seniors have an incredible amount of kindness and experiences to share. Spending time with the residents at The Legacy Willow Bend each week has been incredibly meaningful to me personally, as they are always willing to listen and share advice when I need it.
“When I first began volunteering it was during the summer, so I was at the community almost every day. Of course, with the school year that changed a bit, but I’m excited to spend more time with the residents this upcoming summer and continue to build new relationships.”
Additionally, Rookie of the Year Awards were presented to Ivonne Walker and Madison Bah for interacting and visiting the residents and supporting staff members at The Legacy Willow Bend.
The Outstanding Volunteer Group Award went to the psychology students from Collin College who volunteered this past year, with Josh Arduengo accepting the award on their behalf. As part of their class curriculum, 25 students each spent 20 hours throughout the Legacy Willow Bend campus assisting residents and team members during movie time and happy hour, as well as updating bulletin boards throughout the community, providing manicures, makeovers and much more.
“We are incredibly grateful to our volunteers for their willingness to spend their personal time in our community,” said Campo. “The influence they have on the residents and staff is indescribable. Volunteers give their time for a variety of reasons, and each person is unique and special to our community. Every visit — regardless of the activity or amount of time involved — is deeply appreciated by everyone involved.”
Anyone interested in volunteer opportunities can contact The Legacy Senior Communities Volunteer Coordinator Rivae Campo at rcampo@thelegacysc.org or call 972-468-6191.
— Submitted by Amy Jones

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Dallas Doings: National Senior Health and Fitness Day, Sunnyland award

Posted on 15 June 2017 by admin

Have a Dallas Doings item? Email sharon@tjpnews.com.

National Senior Health and Fitness Day

Recently, residents of The Legacy Willow Bend came together in recognition of National Senior Health and Fitness Day on May 31.
The interactive and fun events were designed to raise awareness of the importance of health and fitness for older Americans. The residents welcomed the celebration as a part of their already active lifestyle. The senior living community participated in the national movement by hosting various activities throughout the day to get everyone moving. Residents learned how to enhance their lifestyles and incorporate exercise to further improve strength, balance and flexibility.
Events such as a one-mile fun walk, tai chi demonstration, aqua toning and a happy hour with line dancing showcased The Legacy Willow Bend’s emphasis on whole-body wellness.
“At The Legacy Willow Bend, we surround residents with healthy options that fit their individual physical, spiritual and social needs,” said Alice Carpenter, wellness coordinator at The Legacy Willow Bend. “The national movement to celebrate wellness fits perfectly with our community’s philosophy. Throughout the day we highlighted several new activities, and many residents walked away with an overall sense of well-being.”
Studies by the National Institutes of Health show that Americans aged 65 and older who stay physically active improve their balance, strengthen their bodies, increase mobility, reduce their chances for depression and remain independent longer. The Legacy Willow Bend works to provide residents with the best and most comprehensive wellness programs available.
“We offer a variety of innovative fitness options that keep up with the latest trends. There really is something for everyone,” said Brian Barnes, COO/CFO of The Legacy Senior Communities, parent organization of The Legacy Willow Bend. “At The Legacy Willow Bend, we are inspired by the residents each day, especially by their dedication to continually challenging themselves to reach their personal fitness goals. We hope to show residents of Greater Dallas that fitness is an option for everyone regardless of age.”
— Submitted by Amy Jones

Sunnyland earns Retailer of the Year Award

Sunnyland Patio Furniture in Dallas is the recipient of The Home Furnishings Association (HFA) 2017 Retailer of the Year Award, which celebrates retailers who exhibit exceptional examples of philanthropy, technology, customer experience, mentoring, sustainability and store design/merchandising. Sunnyland is the first casual furniture retailer to win the award.
Sunnyland Patio Furniture is the largest patio furniture store in North Texas with a 37,000-square-foot showroom and over 75 outdoor furniture collections. With 47 years of outdoor furniture presence in Dallas, Sunnyland is the trusted, go-to store for North Texans families furnishing their outdoor space.
“We are honored to be recognized by HFA and the furniture community,” David Schweig, president of Sunnyland Patio Furniture, said. “Over the last few years, the outdoor category has become more integrated into the indoor category — the patio is now an extension of the indoor space. To be successful in this industry, as a specialty retailer, we have to provide a superior product and service. Most conglomerates don’t have the same standards that a small, locally owned family business does. Our relationship with our customers extends long after the point of sale, to ensure complete satisfaction. We will continue to work hard, every day, to be the best at what we do. I thank our dedicated employees and customers for making Sunnyland the No. 1 furniture retailer in the country.”
David, Debbie and Brad Schweig received their award at the 2017 Home Furnishings Association’s Retailer of the Year awards event, June 5 at the annual Home Furnishings Networking Conference in San Antonio.
— Submitted by Deborah Holt

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Dallas Doings: AJC annual meeting

Posted on 08 June 2017 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

AJC annual meeting at Bush Library

On May 16, nearly 350 people attended the AJC annual meeting at the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the campus of SMU. AJC Dallas President Margot Carter highlighted AJC Dallas’ accomplishments during the first year of her term as she welcomed seven new regional board members: Brian Ellman, Cory Feldman, Paul Genender, Mark Platt, Karen-Lee Pollak, Sophia Stoller, and Mark Zilbermann. AJC executive committee member Adam Lampert was named president-elect. His two-year term succeeding Margot Carter will begin in May 2018.
Representative Phil King, author of the new anti-BDS law, greeted attendees via video message and thanked AJC for its advocacy work in passing HB 89. His remarks can be viewed at www.tinyurl.com/KingAJC.
For most in attendance, the highlight was the keynote speech by AJC Chief Executive Officer David Harris. His wide-ranging remarks included commentary on AJCs recent opening of an office in Warsaw, creation of a national Muslim-Leadership Advisory Council, and the growth of partisanship on the far right as well as the far left, while re-affirming AJCs status as “fiercely nonpartisan.”
“This was a great night for AJC and for the Dallas Jewish community,” remarked AJC Dallas Director Joel Schwitzer. “AJC has worked hard to increase our local impact and visibility. Tonight was a clear illustration of the efforts toward that goal.”
— Submitted by AJC Dallas office

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Dallas Doings: Yavneh engineers win national competition

Dallas Doings: Yavneh engineers win national competition

Posted on 01 June 2017 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Yavneh engineers win national competition

Yavneh Academy of Dallas took home the grand prize at this year’s CIJE (Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education) Young Engineers Conference.
The conference, held in Los Angeles, attracted 48 teams representing the brightest young Jewish minds from across the country. A key part of the conference involved students presenting their extraordinarily creative projects to an esteemed panel of judges which included captains of industry, best-selling business authors, academics and entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and high-tech startup veterans, all of whom embody the spirit of Israel’s “Start Up Nation.”

Submitted photo (From left) a center for Initiatives in Jewish Education employee stands next to Ezra Ruderman, Vanessa Kibel, David Cohen and Yonatan Weintraub, co-founder of SpaceIL of Israel.

Submitted photo
(From left) a center for Initiatives in Jewish Education employee stands next to Ezra Ruderman, Vanessa Kibel, David Cohen and Yonatan Weintraub, co-founder of SpaceIL of Israel.

The students spent a year designing, developing and testing their ideas and creating prototypes able to withstand the rigor of peer and mentor examination. Twelve Yavneh students are participating in the two-year program with Yavneh physics and math teacher, Brittany Pendleton. The curriculum has been developed by CIJE. The first year’s focus is on electrical engineering and the second year is on biomedical engineering. After the second year a new two-year cohort will be created. In the meantime, a coding class will be introduced at Yavneh this year.
The Yavneh team won the grand prize for developing technology for the autonomous detection of hazards within bodies of water. “The technology, when placed in a buoy, detects swimmers in distress by sensing and analyzing unusual body movement in the water and movements in the water caused by dangers such as sharks,” said a CIJE press release.
The creative minds who developed the technology were Vanessa Kibel ’18, David Cohen ’19 and Ezra Ruderman ’19. The winning team spoke about “believing in the importance to use whatever God-given talents they had in making a positive change in the world.” Cohen went on to say, “I am always looking to solve problems; wherever there is pain or suffering or need, I think of better solutions.” Ruderman went on to say, “I hope that this invention is a great first step in positively impacting people’s lives.” Kibel added, “I hope that our device raises awareness to prevent drowning and other ocean dangers and will hopefully save lives.”
Jason Cury, president of CIJE, opened the conference. He emphasized the uniqueness and relevance of CIJE’s programs in preparing Jewish students for the ever-changing 21st century world they will face after college. “Nobody knows precisely what jobs that will be around when you all graduate from college within the next 8-10 years which is why it’s so important to develop the skills which will be required, and to be prepared for whatever challenges and opportunities that present themselves.”
Rabbi Maury Grebenau, principal of Yavneh Academy, echoed Mr. Cury’s statement, “The CIJE curriculum was exciting for us and a great fit for our program because it not only helped to cultivate STEM skills but also required students to budget and pitch their idea to others. The skills being built are life skills which will ensure our students are successful in the future.”
More exciting things came out of Yavneh’s trip to the CIJE conference. Yonatan Weintraub, co-founder of Space IL, the Israeli organization aiming to be just the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon gave the keynote address. He also took a selfie with the crowd that will accompany the spacecraft to the moon. It was also announced that the winning biomedical device next year will come with a scholarship gift and the opportunity to be mentored by scientists from the extraordinary Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Israel. Yavneh Academy students look forward to defending their title at the CIJE Young Engineers Conference, 2018.
— Submitted by Erica Morenoff

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