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Dallas Doings: Farm-to-city at JCC

Dallas Doings: Farm-to-city at JCC

Posted on 20 September 2017 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Farm-to-City series at the J

City living can be downright stressful, so the Jewish Community Center of Dallas (The J) is bringing the tranquility of farm life to the bustling North Texas metropolis with a Farm-to-City series including Goat Yoga, Pedals & Puppies (canine friendly spin class), Puppy Yoga, hayrides and an Autumn Sukkot Celebration. The series is part of The J’s “Let’s Get Social” initiative, which brings together the community in a variety of new and different ways to help people connect and interact beyond social media.
The Farm-to-City series begins from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, with Goat Yoga Harmony led by Woni on The J’s campus in the relaxing, shaded woods. Participants will enjoy an exhilarating yoga class interacting with baby Pygmy goats eager to join in the poses (the goats only weigh between 10 and 12 pounds, making them the perfect weight for providing a mini-massage). Cost is $15 non-members/$10 members and space is limited.

Photo: JCC Goat Yoga will be back at the JCC on Sept. 24

Photo: JCC
Goat Yoga will be back at the JCC on Sept. 24

On Thursday, Sept. 28 its Pedals & Puppies spin class from 5 to 5:55 p.m. and Puppy Yoga from 6 to 7 p.m. A complimentary “Let’s Get Social” Happy Hour will also be held from 5 to 7 p.m. During Pedals & Puppies, participants are invited to get their blood flowing on a Spinner Chrono Power cycling bike. Adoptable puppies provided by the SPCA will ride along in a few bike baskets ready to give puppy kisses of encouragement to riders in need. Puppy Yoga will take place outside after the ride with another batch of adoptable SPCA cuties ready to practice downward dog along with participants. Both classes are free to attend, but RSVP is required due to space limitations.
Goat Yoga Harmony led by Woni returns from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Sunday, October 1. Cost is $15 non-members/$10 members and space is limited. Reservations can be made at http://bit.ly/2uEh8nn. The Farm-to-City series concludes on Tuesday, Oct. 10 with an Autumn Sukkot Celebration from 5 to 7 p.m. Among the evening’s activities will be Sukkot Goat Yoga led by Woni from 5 to 6 p.m. ($15 non-members/$10 members) meditation in the sukkah, a temporary hut used for Sukkot, from 6:15 to 6:30 p.m. (no cost); as well as complimentary “get away” hay rides from 6 to 7 p.m. and a post-class wine and cheese happy hour until 7 p.m.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer this unique series of opportunities for the community to reset fall spirits and embrace their inner harmony,” said Terri Arends, The J’s group fitness director. “It’s been proven that animals deliver positive wellness, and we hope attendees can breathe in the charm of farm life and find bliss in every breath while connecting with others in the spirit of Sukkot.”
All Farm-to-City series events will be held on The J’s campus at 7900 Northaven Road in Dallas. Space is limited for each class. Reservations are mandatory and can be made at http://bit.ly/2uEh8nn. More information is available http://www.jccdallas.org/main/let-s-get-social/ or by contacting Terri Arends at tarends@jccdallas.org.

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Dallas Doings: Selichot, new Legacy leader, pinball

Dallas Doings: Selichot, new Legacy leader, pinball

Posted on 14 September 2017 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Selichot services at Beth Torah

As has been the custom for many years, the Dallas-area’s three Conservative synagogues — Plano Congregation Anshai Torah, Richardson Congregation Beth Torah and Dallas Congregation Shearith Israel — will observe Selichot services together at 9:15 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16. Congregation Beth Torah, 720 Lookout Drive, will host this year’s program, which features Rabbi Bradley “Brad” Shavit Artson.
Rabbi Artson has been a scholar-in-residence many times throughout the North Texas community and each time his messages are meaningful and inspiring. His topic for Selichot services, which are free and open to the community, is “Teshuvah.” Havdallah will start the evening, followed by the program, Selichot services and dessert.
Rabbi Artson is the Abner and Roslyn Goldstine Dean’s Chair of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, California, where he is vice-president. He supervises the Louis and Judith Miller Introduction to Judaism Program and provides educational and religious oversight for Camp Ramah of California. He is dean of the Zecharias Frankel College at the University of Potsdam in Germany, ordaining Conservative/Masorti rabbis for the European Union.
Rabbi Artson will speak at Beth Torah four additional tines throughout the weekend and all programming is open to the community. However, there are fees associated with some programming. To register and for pricing, visit https://congregationbethtorah.org/selichot-weekend/.

Meet new head of The Legacy Senior Communities

When Bob Weinfeld convenes the latest installment of his “Get to Know Your…” series at the Legacy at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18, Melissa Orth will be the guest. Orth is the new president and CEO of The Legacy Senior Communities, Inc. Before joining the Legacy Aug. 21, Orth has served as the chief operating officer/chief financial officer of Greenhill School for the past 17 years. Weinfeld is thrilled to have Orth join him in the Legacy’s sanctuary for the Q&A style presentation.

Melissa Orth

Melissa Orth

“She is spectacular and it’s going to be a great afternoon,” he told the TJP.

Sabo joins Tiferet Israel as director of Family Programs

Rabbi Meir Sabo, well-known and beloved Akiba Academy teacher, was recently named director of Tiferet Israel’s Young Family Programs to develop and lead services and events for families with children. For Rosh Hashanah Day 1 (Sept. 21) and Day 2 (Sept. 22), Rabbi Sabo will lead a young family service starting at 11 a.m. The service is designed for families who want to daven together with their children and will be similar to Rabbi Sabo’s popular high-energy monthly Shabbat Kulanu service at Tiferet.

Rabbi Meir Sabo (left) and Rabbi Shawn Zell

Rabbi Meir Sabo (left) and Rabbi Shawn Zell

Each service will last about 90 minutes. Younger children who might find that too long who would qualify for this special offer are encouraged to attend with their families for the first 30 minutes, when Rabbi Sabo will focus on child-friendly themes. Then, children are welcome to join Tiferet’s High Holy Day Children’s Program for snacks and crafts. This is a special opportunity for young children to learn and make new friends.
Tiferet Israel is located at 10909 Hillcrest Road, just north of Royal Lane.
For more information about the Family Rosh Hashanah service or the monthly Kulanu service, please call Jennifer at 214-691-3611 or email jennifer@tiferetisrael.org.

Calling all pinball wizards

Louis Marx and his family will host the 5th Annual Alan Marx Memorial IFPA Pinball Fundraiser beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17 at the Marx home, 5229 Alec Drive, Garland. Proceeds from the event will benefit Bnai Zion Foundation and Dallas Hebrew Free Loan Association.
The highlight of the event will be two IFPA-sanctioned pinball tournaments. The buy-in for the tournament is $30 and a $300 cash prize is guaranteed to the winner. All skill levels are welcome. There is also a casual pinball league event open to everyone at no charge.
At the end of the event a Harlem Globetrotters pinball machine valued at $1500 will be raffled. Raffle tickets are $25 each or $60 for three tickets. You must be present at the time of the raffle to win the machine. The Marx family has an extensive collection of pinball machines at their home. More than 25 pinball and arcade machines will be onsite and set for free play for those who want to just play pinball and not compete. Marx tells the TJP that 100 percent of the event’s proceeds will go to Bnai Zion and DHFLA. Last year $3,900 was raised.

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Dallas Doings: Kosher BBQ, birthday bash for PJ Library

Posted on 07 September 2017 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Dallas Kosher BBQ Championship wins national award

The Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs has honored Congregation Beth Torah for conceiving and presenting the Dallas Kosher Barbecue Championship.
At its July convention in Philadelphia, the FJMC presented the Beth Torah Men’s Club with the Gold Torch Award for community outreach. The award recognizes outstanding men’s club programming with the goal of encouraging similar efforts by clubs around the country. The judges added to the honor by presenting Beth Torah their Chair’s Choice Award as the best of all the winners.
“We started the championship in 2015 because we love barbecue and we wanted an event to bring the entire Jewish community together,” said David Duchin, the Beth Torah Men’s Club president who accepted the award in Philadelphia. “We weren’t looking for awards, but we’re certainly thrilled to be recognized for a lot of hard work.”
Duchin and Past President Rusty Dworkin also collected the FJMC Quality Chapter Award, the 10th consecutive year that Beth Torah has been honored as one of the best men’s clubs among Conservative synagogues in North America. The Third Annual Dallas Kosher BBQ Championship is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 29, and teams can still register to compete. For more information, visit dallaskosherbbq.com.
— Submitted by Michael Precker

PJ Library to celebrate 6th birthday bash

PJ Library will hold its sixth annual Birthday Bash on Sept. 10. The event is scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (rain or shine) at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center and will feature train rides, a petting zoo, bounce houses, carnival games and more. The “science-themed” event will also provide kid-friendly science experiments for all to enjoy. PJ Library will distribute a free gift to the first 350 children who attend. The event is free to attend but an RSVP is requested to plan accordingly. All attendees are encouraged to participate in the PJ Library mitzvah project by bringing tzedakah coins to help fill the super-duper science beaker.
“We are thrilled to be celebrating PJ Library’s sixth birthday,” said Mark Kreditor, board chair, Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. “We are even more excited about providing more than 2,000 Jewish children across the greater Dallas area with Jewish-themed books and music CDs. PJ Library provides the opportunity for parents to enrich their children’s lives with Judaism starting from a young age and is an amazing way to connect the next generation to their Judaism. This program would not be possible without the support and generosity of the Mankoff family.” he added.
The PJ Library is a program that provides free Jewish-themed books and CDs once a month to children (age 6 months through 8 years) in the Dallas area who are being raised in the Jewish tradition whether affiliated, unaffiliated, intermarried or nontraditional. In 2015 PJ Library expanded its reach to children age 9 through 11 with PJ Library’s newest program, PJ Our Way. PJ Our Way puts kids in the driver’s seat by giving them the opportunity to choose a free book each month.
These programs are made possible by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, and are a gift from the Center of Jewish Education of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas through a generous grant from the Mankoff Family Foundation.
“PJ Library is turning 6 this year. It’s hard to believe that we have been able to make such an impact on our local Dallas Jewish children in such a short period of time,” said Jennifer Charney, PJ Library ambassador. “Now that we have been receiving PJ library books for more than five years we have a library of books to refer to not only for the Jewish holidays, but to teach important lessons. We have books for the first day of camp, thinking about others, recycling, to helping reduce clutter. Just the other day, we read Just Enough and Not Too Much, which sparked conversation on whether we had too much or just enough toys. This discussion led to a child-initiated decluttering of toys and a family discussion of where they could donate their unused items. That’s impact,” she added.
To RSVP for the Birthday Bash, please email PJLibrary@jewishdallas.org. To register your child for the PJ Library program, visit www.PJLibrary.org.

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Dallas Doings: No silence against hate

Dallas Doings: No silence against hate

Posted on 31 August 2017 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

The DJCF presented $25,000 to five deserving organizations in Dallas that are standing up against hate and bigotry. From left: DJCF President/CEO Meyer L. Bodoff CAP®, NAACP Dallas Chapter First Vice President and City Council Kevin D. Felder, Catholic Charities President/CEO David Woodyard, Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance Chief Advancement Officer Kerri Lai, Cathedral of Hope Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Neil G. Cazares-Thomas, Anti-Defamation League Development Director Kerri Aikin and DJCF Chairman of the Board Rusty Cooper

The DJCF presented $25,000 to five deserving organizations in Dallas that are standing up against hate and bigotry. From left: DJCF President/CEO Meyer L. Bodoff CAP®, NAACP Dallas Chapter First Vice President and City Council Kevin D. Felder, Catholic Charities President/CEO David Woodyard, Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance Chief Advancement Officer Kerri Lai, Cathedral of Hope Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Neil G. Cazares-Thomas, Anti-Defamation League Development Director Kerri Aikin and DJCF Chairman of the Board Rusty Cooper

DJCF: We won’t be silent against hate

On Aug. 24, DJCF awarded $25,000 in grants to five organizations in response to recent racially divisive events, declaring “We will not be silent.”
The Dallas Holocaust Museum, Anti-Defamation League, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Catholic Charities–Refugee and Resettlement Department and Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ received $5,000 each.
“The Dallas NAACP wants to thank the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation for their longtime commitment to social justice and partnership in our efforts to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination,” Aubrey Christopher Hooper, president of the Dallas NAACP, said. “We will not be intimidated by neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and KKK members marching through our streets. The true beauty of our country is in its diversity and we celebrate the contributions of all who contribute to the greatness of America.”
Along with representatives from each beneficiary, DJCF trustees Howard Cohen, Rusty Cooper (chairman of the board) and David Eisenberg were in attendance.
Dignitaries attending were Holocaust survivor and Korean War veteran Max Glauben and his wife Frieda, as well as World War II veteran Leon Rubenstein.
“It was an honor to stand with representatives of these organizations and to support their vital work,” Meyer Bodoff, DJCF president/CEO, said. “We believe in the basic right of every human being to be treated with dignity and respect. Those who carry messages of hate and racism are not welcome in our community. We have learned the awful lessons of history when people of goodwill remain silent. That will not happen in Dallas today.”
— Submitted by Mona Allen

Kreditor will bring ‘Jews, Pews and Blues’ to Emanu-El

Mark Kreditor, the chairman of the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, is also a scholar of American musical theater and the surprisingly extensive influence of Jewish cantorial modes on the great American song standards.
Kreditor’s informational musical presentation “Jews, Pews and Blues” will be presented at the Temple Emanu-El Brotherhood meeting Sept. 6 in Linz Hall. The Brotherhood monthly board meeting is open to guests and visitors. The meeting kicks off with a buffet dinner at 6:15 p.m. and the meeting starts at 7 p.m.  Dinner is $10 per person and you can reserve at tebrotherhood.com/guest.
“Some 70 percent of the great standards of musical theater in 20th-century America were written by Jewish songwriters,” says Kreditor. “And many of those were the sons of cantors.” The specific cantorial modes of music (nusach in Hebrew, essentially meaning “flavor sounds”) generally parallel the messages of the Jewish prayers.
“The yearning for a relationship with God in the prayers might be translated into the yearnings for a relationship with a girl or guy,” says Kreditor. “Love, fear, celebration can be translated musically with minor, diminished, major.” His presentation traces those origins with melodies familiar to generations of America.
Kreditor is the grandson of a cantorial student from the Ukraine and he has been singing in synagogue since he was 8. As a student in Boston, he earned money by being a five-night-a-week “piano man” in local bars. It was then that he began to make the connections between the Jewish songwriters and the religion-based melodic flavors of their songs.
In addition to running his own successful residential property management company and managing the affairs of the Federation, he finds time to create original musical compositions and take his musical presentations to synagogues, churches and other locations around the country, educating people about the Jewish writers who built the American songbook.
— Submitted by Charlie Redden

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Dallas Doings: Eclipse watch, preparing for High Holidays

Dallas Doings: Eclipse watch, preparing for High Holidays

Posted on 24 August 2017 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Data of Plano’s Soul Shift will inspire for the High Holidays

If you read Rabbi Yogi Robkin’s biweekly TJP column, you know this is a guy who loves to teach Torah and Judaism. The DATA of Plano co-director has been busy preparing his latest set of classes in preparation for the High Holidays. The three-part series will run from 8 to 9 p.m. on consecutive Wednesdays beginning Aug. 30 at DATA of Plano, 3251 Independence Pkwy. in Plano.
Robkin explained that sometimes it’s disappointing that we enter into the High Holidays with the intention of transforming ourselves but that oftentimes we are left wanting because the change doesn’t last for very long. The question is how do you create change that will take root. “The goal of the class is that the change you make through the wisdom of the class will last beyond the High Holidays,” he says.

Rabbi Yogi Robkin

Rabbi Yogi Robkin

The class is accessible to everyone from the secular Jew to the Torah-observant.
“Regardless of where we are on the religious spectrum, there are things we all want to change that we aren’t comfortable with. Whether it’s character traits, self-image, anything that we’ve noticed that we want to change about our lives.”
To engage those considering the class, Robkin has produced three short videos tackling some of the basics of change to whet the appetite. They can be viewed on YouTube by searching Soul Shift with Rabbi Yogi or at Facebook.com/rabbiyogirobkin. “There is a dearth of really high-quality videos on Jewish wisdom. What I want people to think about whether it’s a column or a video is that it should be fun, dynamic, meaningful and hopefully transformational.”
Rabbi Robkin hopes that his class will be engaging and transformational. He said this is not a class about halachah. The class is based on two key sources: Rabbi Reuven Leuchter, who has a new book called Teshuvah: Restoring Life, and the Mahahral of Prague (often credited with creating the Golem), who also wrote a book on teshuvah.
“My classes are taught in a way that’s really understandable for the beginner, but also challenging for a person who’s not a beginner. If it wouldn’t feel fresh and compelling to me, I wouldn’t teach it.”
Cost of the class is $18. To sign up, email yrobkin@dataofplano.org. He’ll be thrilled to hear from you.

Enjoying the eclipse at The Legacy Willow Bend

The Legacy Willow Bend had an amazing solar eclipse watch party Monday. The community hosted a viewing of the eclipse for residents to commemorate the event, and attendees used NASA-approved eclipse glasses or pinhole viewing devices to safely watch the sun disappear.

Suzanne Mayo, Gilda Hesdorffer and Stephanie Jones

Suzanne Mayo, Gilda Hesdorffer and Stephanie Jones

Win and Joanne Smith

Win and Joanne Smith

For one resident of The Legacy Willow Bend, Dr. Roger Rian, the moment was of particular interest as he viewed a solar eclipse for the first time. With a lifelong interest in astronomy, the former radiologist even led a presentation in advance of the eclipse, to provide fellow residents with background information about the astronomical event and what it means scientifically.
Rian believes this eclipse was incredibly impactful for the scientific community, and he’s excited to see what discoveries and observations will be made. He explains that the sun’s corona was visible for almost two hours as the path of totality moved across the country. That’s an astounding amount of time for scientists to make observations about the sun, which they normally don’t have the opportunity to see. He is looking forward to poring through the photos and data compiled after the eclipse.

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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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