Archive | Dallas Doings

Southwest Jewish Congress gala celebrates 10 years

Posted on 13 September 2019 by admin

The event features honors and speaker Gloria Campos


The Southwest Jewish Congress will present its annual Texas Sized Event, a gala filled with honors, accolades and inspiring speeches. The event, which will commemorate the SWJC’s 10th anniversary, will take place beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19, at Eddie Deen’s Ranch, 944 S. Lamar in Dallas.
Along with drinks, dinner and schmoozing, the event will feature keynote speaker Gloria Campos, retired news anchor from WFAA-TV, Channel 8. Also on hand will be co-emcees Sylvia Komatsu, chief content officer with KERA and KTX, and WFAA-TV meteorologist Greg Fields.
The Texas Sized Event will also applaud the following:
Audrey Kaplan Inspiring Women Honorees
• Anh Vo
(Lifetime Achievement)
• Debbie Dennis
• Barbara Glazer
• Mary Evans Sias, Ph.D.
• Courtney Underwood
• Marsha Williamson
Future Inspiring Women
• Esha Kothapalli
• Aakilah McCoy
Stan Golden Men of Action
• Eddie Deen
(Lifetime Achievement)
• Giles Davidson
• Trini Garza
• Stan Levenson
• Tevar Watson
• Paul Zoltan
Future Men of Action
• Zach Bernstein
• Matthew A. Johnson

Tickets for the event begin at $75 per person ($45 for students). All levels of sponsorship are also available.
The SWJC is dedicated to promoting diversity through quality educational programs and events that support human rights and the U.S. Constitution. The organization’s goals also include preservation of Jewish culture and history, promoting Israel and its role in the world, and honoring individuals who have contributed to the advancement of our society, culture and lives.
For more information about the SWJC and its Texas Sized Event, visit www.swjc.org, email susan@swjc.org or call 214-361-0018.

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Dallas Doings: JWV, Tiferet Israel, Temple Shalom

Posted on 12 September 2019 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray


Sandra Cantor named national president of JWV Ladies Auxiliary


Dallas native Sandra Cantor, a career Jewish educator and longtime supporter of veterans, was honored to be sworn in as national president of the Ladies Auxiliary of Jewish War Veterans of the USA. The Aug. 21 ceremony was conducted during JWV’s 124th annual convention, held this year in Richmond, Virginia. Sandra has been an active participant in the local Dr. Harvey J. Bloom Post 256 Auxiliary as well as the national organization and has steadily progressed through the leadership ranks of both. She, with husband Allan, a Navy veteran, will spend much of the one-year term traveling the country promoting JWVA and veteran’s causes. Mazal Tov, Sandra!


Tiferet Israel Sisterhood welcomes guests to opening meeting


Tiferet Israel Sisterhood invites the community to come laugh and learn with Dallas Morning News columnist Dave Lieber, who will amuse the audience with stories of a Yankee’s adjusting to a new life in Texas. Lieber will share myriad consumer advocate tips as he tells how he solves Texans’ consumer problems.
The program is at 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, at Tiferet Israel. A light dairy brunch will be served. No charge to attend. Reservations requested. RSVP to Jennifer at jwilliams@tiferetisrael.org.


Temple Shalom to host charity golf tourney


Temple Shalom announced they will partner with Gary Sinise Foundation’s Snowball Express program to hold its 18th Annual Fore the Kids Golf Tournament, a fundraiser to benefit fallen American heroes and their families as well as Temple Shalom Youth Programs. The charity event will take place Monday, Sept. 23, at the Clubs of Prestonwood–The Creek, 15909 Preston Road in Dallas. This is the 18th charity event held annually that benefits not-for-profits. It has cumulatively raised more than $550,000.
The tournament is now open for registration online at www.forethekids.net. The entry fee for the golf tournament is $175 for an individual player and includes the entire day’s festivities, lunch and dinner. The tournament will take place on the picturesque Clubs of Prestonwood–The Creek, which boasts an outstanding clubhouse and a course that includes 18 exceptionally managed holes on 419 Bermuda Tiff Fairways and Penncross Bentgrass Greens.
At press time, the event is underwritten and sponsored by numerous organizations and individuals that should be recognized for their contribution to the event:

Event Underwriters
Golf Cart Underwriter: Dallas Jewish Funerals
Lunch Underwriter: Texas Jewish Post
Golf Ball Underwriter: Joe Funk Construction
Hole-in-One Underwriter: Barry & Paddy Epstein
Sponsors
Event Sponsor: Raelaine & Paul Radnitz
Birdie Sponsors: Amundi Pioneer Funds, Frost Bank, The MarketBurst Group, Munn & Morris Financial Advisors, https://www.transamerica.com, VAR Staffing
Par Sponsors: Stromberg Stock, Herrada Printing, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Kenny’s Restaurant Group, Invesco Global Asset Management
Tee Box Sponsors: Eaton Vance, Atlas Plumbing, Delaware Funds, Dorothy Garsson
First Responders/Heroes Sponsors: AMG Funds, ATA Sales, New York Life/MainStay, Prudential Funds, Temple Shalom Sisterhood, Temple Shalom Brotherhood
For more information about Fore the Kids Charity Golf Tournament, being a sponsor, or to register as a golfer, visit www.forethekids.net.

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Smallcakes Cupcakery offers kashrut’s sweet taste

Smallcakes Cupcakery offers kashrut’s sweet taste

Posted on 04 September 2019 by admin

Photo: Deb Silverthorn
“We’re glad to serve in a way that broadens our clientele,” said Smallcakes Cupcakery co-owner Annie Deubner, here with Savannah Huffman. The establishment is Dallas Kosher-certified.

North Dallas bakery adds DK certification


By Deb Silverthorn
A pinch of spirit and a dash of faith are the basis of the recipe of success for Smallcakes Cupcakery at Preston Road and Alexis Drive. Annie Deubner and her brother Kevin, whose North Dallas sweetery is now under the supervision of Dallas Kosher, are selling delicious bites out of life.
Smallcakes was opened in 2017, but it was just this summer that, after many requests from prospective clients, the Deubners decided to register with Dallas Kosher (DK). Theirs is the only Smallcakes of more than 200 storefronts to provide kosher dairy and pareve products.
“We’ve had many customers thank us for another kosher option and I’m sure our business has increased by 20 percent,” Annie Deubner said. “It’s different from what we’ve done, but it’s not hard or unreasonable. We’re glad to serve in a way that broadens our clientele.”
The dairy goods are baked on-site; a mashgiach (supervisor) from DK visits the property two to three times a week. Their pareve items are baked through a new partnership with The Market on Preston Road. When The Market closes its doors at 3:30 p.m., Deubner sets up the kitchen under The Market’s DK supervision, and gets to work.
“We’re happy to help bring more kosher choices to the community and it’s the pareve desserts that set them apart,” said Jordona Kohn, co-owner of The Market. “It’s also great to have a partnership in referring each other. They’ll have a client needing catering for us to follow, and we’ll be happy to refer her for specialty desserts.”
Certifying with Dallas Kosher required purchasing new baking sheets and pans, and submitting a list of every ingredient, with each manufacturer’s hechsher, or rabbinical certification. A few hundred clearances, new-item updates and a lot of hard work were involved, but the certification was well worth it.
Mixing things up, literally, with Annie and Kevin, are their great-niece Savannah, niece Sara and Annie’s son Ian. For Savannah, who has wanted to own a cupcake shop since she was a child, creating tasty treasures is a dream come true.
“I’ve just always loved to cook and to be creative and now I get to do both all of the time,” she said. “I can take almost any design or photo and recreate it.”
The shop’s 15 daily flavors of cupcakes include Chocoholic, Carrot Cake, Caramel Crunch, Strawberry, Peanut Butter Cup and Cookies and Cream. The Cupcakery’s recipe files include another 200 or more choices, with Blackberry Bourbon, Blueberry Pancake, Boston Cream Pie, Chocolate Cookie Cheesecake, Fluffernutter, Mudslide, Mexican Espresso and Tequila Sunrise. A two-week lead time on custom cake and cupcake orders, and three weeks for wedding cakes, is recommended.
“They are masters of art and great taste and to open their work up to the community is very special,” said Meira Naor, first introduced to the eatery in her role as Dallas Kosher’s executive director. “I ordered a pareve specialty cake for my husband’s birthday. It was an absolutely incredible mix of chocolate and whip and marshmallow and cookies — absolute goodness.”
In addition to full-size and bite-size cupcakes, Smallcakes Cupcakery offers brownies, chocolate chip cookies, macarons, birthday, wedding, and any-occasion cakes, as well as dog treats.
From customer Shani Romick, the raves continue. “Everything is delicious, and the people who work there are very friendly. We’ve ordered cupcakes and specialty cakes, and are very excited they have signed on with Dallas Kosher.”
The shop also sells cupcake infused ice cream, milkshakes and a “cupcake smash.” Imagine a cupcake split in half, served layers with ice cream and toppings. Most items (not ice cream) are available as dairy or pareve. They also offer a considerable variety of gluten-free and vegan choices.
“There’s really no end to our creativity,” said Annie. “Almost anything a customer wants, we can now create,” she added.
Smallcakes Cupcakery is at 14856 Preston Road, Dallas. For more information, call 469-248-0031, visit smallcakesdallastx.com, or email smallcakesacupcakery@yahoo.com.

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Focusing on the reality of living with ADHD

Focusing on the reality of living with ADHD

Posted on 28 August 2019 by admin

Life coach Hilary Stern helps clients beat ADHD challenges

By Deb Silverthorn
A new coach has been tagged in the game of life. It is Dallas native Hilary Stern, who is bridging the gap between the assumptions, and the reality, of living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Through her practice, ADHD Advance Coaching and Consulting, Stern helps clients, ages 10 to adult, identify how they can benefit from potential challenges, resulting in productive and fulfilling lives.
“I was diagnosed with ADHD in high school and it was a relief to have an explanation,” Stern said. “I’ve been there, and done that. I’ve taken medication and then chosen not to. I’ve really worked through it all.”
The daughter of Dr. Aaron and Eileen Kreisler, and sister to Amy, Barbi and Stephen, Stern’s work is linked to her parents’ careers; her mother is an educator of children with special needs, her father, a pediatrician. Their care combined, Stern’s clients are in the right hands.
In 2017, one of Stern’s own children was diagnosed with ADHD. The time commitment to classroom success was more than she could share herself, explained the former teacher at Akiba and Levine academies, Greenhill School and Richardson’s Classical Magnet Elementary School. So she looked for a way to manage support for everyone around her.
“I’d thought about life coaching but didn’t know how to get there,” Stern said. “Timing is everything. Shortly after I left the classroom, I saw an ad for ADHD coaching and training, while in my own child’s therapist’s office.
“When someone takes the ownership, saying ‘I’ll’ make the change, empowerment begins,” she added. That notion served her, as she redirected her own life to become an International Coaching Federation-credentialed ADHD life coach. “I guide my clients, but they create their agenda. I help them make changes that work and it’s never the same for everyone.”
For college junior Gavin Shrell, Stern has been an integral part of his journey.
“She puts everything into perspective, and makes what I want to do seem possible. Her help in my creating a plan, and seeing how to make it happen, has been huge,” Shrell said.
With Stern’s help, Shrell identified his goal of summer travel. He created the budget, figured how to earn what he needed, and together they worked on interviewing and other skills. “She helps me make sense of what I need to do and she’s very supportive,” Shrell said. “I’ll continue to work with her while I’m in school, and I know that what she’s taught me I’ll apply in many areas.”
A graduate of Greenhill School and member of BBYO’s Jenny Zesmer chapter and regional board, Stern earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at American University, and her master’s in education administration from the University of North Texas.
While Stern and her husband Josh met as preschoolers at the (now Aaron Family) Jewish Community Center, and their families were entwined in Dallas’ Jewish community, it was only after they graduated college did they become a couple. Married in 2002 at Congregation Shearith Israel, where they were both raised, they are the parents of Aidan, Benjamin, Noah and Sarah. The family has membership with Chabad of Dallas.
In addition to working one-on-one, Stern visits businesses, schools and organizations to work with professionals.
“Knowledge is power, and Hilary comes in loaded with knowledge, eager and able to pass it on,” said Dr. Paul Rubin at Frisco Kids Dentistry, where Stern led a workshop for the practice. “Hilary empowered us with an insightful look into the world of ADHD, and gave us tools to better help, treat and educate our patients and families!”
“We all have the right answers within us,” Stern said; “sometimes we just have to be asked the right questions.”
For more information on Stern, or to read her blog, visit adhdadvance.com. To schedule a complimentary consultation, email hilary@adhdadvance.com.

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Dallas Doings: ‘Backpack Blessing, Shul Western Shabbat

Dallas Doings: ‘Backpack Blessing, Shul Western Shabbat

Posted on 22 August 2019 by admin

Photo: Lisa Rothberg
Rabbi Andrew Paley, Samantha Falk and Hannah Arndt pose for a fun photo op before the Back Pack Blessing at Temple Shalom, Aug. 16.

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray

Temple Shalom ‘Backpack Blessing’

Aug. 16 and 17 marked another meaningful Shabbat at Temple Shalom. Children of all ages joined with the community for a special Shabbat service and extra-special backpack blessing for a wonderful school year. After services, the congregation enjoyed the popcorn, Popsicles and photo ops. The fun, friendship and learning continued on Saturday at the New and Prospective Member Havdalah/Open House.
Temple Shalom clergy, staff and congregants were honored to meet new and prospective members from all over the United States — including Hawaii! Thank you to Catering by Larry for the delicious food. Making memories and making connections…another meaningful weekend at Temple Shalom. For more information on membership, religious school or High Holy Day tickets, contact Executive Director Steve Lewis at 972-661-1810 or slewis@templeshalomdallas.org.

Congregation Shearith Israel Back To Shul Western Shabbat this Friday

Shearith Israel’s will have a unique theme at Kabbalat Shabbat Services at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, at the Douglas Avenue Campus. All are welcome. At Western Shabbat, folks can join one of two services.
Hazzan Itzhak Zhrebker will lead a band and the Shearith Choirs will lead prayers to the tunes of familiar Western songs in the Beck Family Sanctuary.
Rabbi Shira Wallach will lead a Western Shababa in the Fonberg Chapel full of joyful worship, inviting everyone, from babies to bubbes, to engage in the magic and love of Shabbat and community.
Shearith will unveil its second rendition of the lobby photo wall featuring some 150 photos that capture the celebrations, sacred moments and joys of 5779.
Following, all are invited to the community Shabbat fried chicken dinner. Cost for dinner is $18 for adults, $12 for children and a family maximum of $54. To RSVP for dinner, visit shearith.org or contact Membership Director Katie Babin at kbabin@shearith.org or 214-939-7310.
Congregation Beth Torah sets Chocolate Hebrew class
Congregation Beth Torah is offering another session of its Chocolate Hebrew reading crash course, beginning Sept. 3. The unique, multi-sensory, nonthreatening intensive class, encompassing 13 hours over two weeks, was developed by a master Hebrew teacher and a noted linguist in Washington, D.C., and is taught exclusively in Dallas by Ruth Precker.
The class is designed to make students who are unfamiliar with the Hebrew alphabet feel more comfortable at services, and lay the groundwork for further studies in either Modern Hebrew or Biblical Hebrew.
For more information, call Beth Torah at 972-234-1542 or visit www.ruthprecker.com.

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23rd annual Jewish Film Festival of Dallas filled with lights, camera, action

23rd annual Jewish Film Festival of Dallas filled with lights, camera, action

Posted on 14 August 2019 by admin

Photos: Courtesy Jewish Film Festival of Dallas/Aaron Family JCC
The 23rd Annual Jewish Film Festival of Dallas’ ‘Promise at Dawn’ will screen at 7p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10. Based on Romain Gary’s novel, it recounts the writer’s life from childhood through his experiences in World War II.

Highlighting Jewish heritage through unique storytelling

By Deb Silverthorn

The late Golda Meir said that survival is the synonym for Jewish and that notion is a recurring theme in the films of the 23rd Annual Jewish Film Festival of Dallas. The Festival, produced by the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center and presented by Pegasus Bank, opens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, at the Studio Movie Grill on Spring Valley, setting the bar with “Golda’s Balcony.”
“We have an amazing season of tremendous films that I’m certain the community will enjoy,” Film Festival Chair Brenda Marcus said. “We’ve got films portraying very powerful women, enlightening documentaries — plenty to think about, those that stimulate discussion and those that provide humor.”
Marcus has chaired the event, alongside the JCC’s Director of Israel Engagement and Jewish Living Rachelle Weiss Crane, for the last decade, prescreening more than 100 films each year.
The Festival’s 15 screenings of Jewish content and written by Jewish writers and directors will be shown through Sept. 26 at the Studio Movie Grill on Spring Valley, 13933 N. Central Expwy., unless otherwise noted. All foreign-language films are screened with English subtitles.
A special event, presented with UT Dallas’ Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies, AJC Dallas, the Japanese Consulate and Japan America Society, “Persona Non Grata” precedes the Festival at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 28, at UT Dallas. The film features the story of the late vice consul in Lithuania, Chiune Sugihara, credited with issuing 6,000 transit visas to Jews during World War II. Consul General of Japan in Houston Hideo Fukushima will share remarks after the screening.
‘Golda’s Balcony,’ 7 p.m. Sept. 4;
1 p.m. Sept. 25 (at the Aaron Family JCC)
The opening film, “Golda’s Balcony,” was filmed over two performances of the Broadway play. The award-winning Tova Feldshuh portrays Golda Meir from Russian schoolgirl to American teacher to prime minister of Israel, focusing on the period surrounding the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
‘King Bibi,’ 9:15 p.m. Sept. 7;
7 p.m. Sept. 23
“King Bibi” is a documentary that follows Israel’s prime minister from his childhood to his emergence in his current role.
‘Promise at Dawn,’ 7 p.m. Sept. 10
“Promise at Dawn,” an adaptation of Romain Gary’s memoir, recounts his life from childhood through his experiences in World War II. It’s a compelling story about his self-sacrificing mother, who raised him always believing in his potential to ultimately become a famous writer and diplomat.

‘Carl Laemmle,’ 1 p.m. Sept. 11;
7 p.m. Sept. 25
“Carl Laemmle” is a documentary about how the German-born founder of Universal Pictures sold the studio in the midst of the Depression, and spent his last three years of life saving the lives of more than 300 Jewish families during the war.
‘The Tobacconist,’ 7 p.m. Sept. 12
“The Tobacconist,” based on Robert Seethaler’s novel, is the coming-of-age story of a young man and his friendship with Sigmund Freud during the Nazi occupation of Vienna.
‘The Unorthodox,’ 9:15 p.m. Sept. 14; 7 p.m. Sept. 16 (at the Aaron Family JCC)
“The Unorthodox” is a fictionalized account of the creation of Israel’s Shas party. When the daughter of a Mizrahi printer, who has little money and no connections or political experience, is expelled from an Ashkenazi yeshiva, the father creates a campaign to begin a new political party.
‘‘Autonomies,’ 4 p.m. Sept. 15
“Autonomies” explores an alternate reality of present-day Israel. A haredi wheeler-dealer who makes his living smuggling minor contraband between the secular “State of Israel” and the ultra-Orthodox “Haredi Autonomy” receives an offer to kidnap a little girl at the heart of a custody battle between two families — one haredi and one secular.
‘Leona,’ 7 p.m. Sept. 17
“Leona” is a romantic comedy that focuses on Ariela, an independently-minded artist living with her family in a cloistered Syrian-Jewish neighborhood in Mexico City. Ariela struggles with her families desire for her to meet an appropriate suitor and her own feminist self-determinism.
‘Working Woman,’ 7 p.m. Sept. 18
“Working Woman,” follows a mother of three who returns to the workplace to support her family. Balancing her home life and success in her career, she is also faced with harassment from her boss and husband forcing her to make the choice between career and self-worth.
‘Chewdaism,’ 7 p.m. Sept. 26
“Chewdaism” and two “Yidlife Crises” shorts close out this year’s Festival. “Chewdaism” features a tasteful tour of bagels, deli-smoked meats, poutine, babka and more, whetting viewers’ taste buds. The connection Jews make, regardless of religious affiliation, to the recipes of our people is unmistakable, and connective, in this “noshumentary” tour through Montreal, Canada.
“Dallas is a city of growing diversity, and the Jewish Film Festival has played a significant part in this growth by its emphasis on educating our community to the importance of inclusiveness,” Pegasus Bank CEO Joe Goyne said. “Regardless of our faith or our political views, we want a life wherein we are safe, wherein we can raise our families and educate and enjoy our children. Pegasus Bank is thrilled and honored to partner with the Jewish Film Festival of Dallas.”
The 23rd Annual Jewish Film Festival of Dallas — getting “reel,” real soon.
Details, trailers, and ticket sales are available at jccdallas.org/special-events/film-festival and tickets are also available at the JCC.

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Dallas Doings: Harris, Epstein

Posted on 07 August 2019 by admin

Harris to lead Center for Jewish Education

Rabbi Mordechai Harris is the new executive director and rabbi in residence of the Center for Jewish Education of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. Rabbi Harris began his role Aug. 1.
“With Rabbi Harris at the helm, the Center for Jewish Education will drive collaboration, develop partnerships and enhance education in the Jewish community,” said Mariam Shpeen Feist, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. “We are excited to welcome him.”
The appointment of Rabbi Harris follows an extensive search effort. As executive director of the Center for Jewish Education (CJE), Harris will serve as the primary education representative to the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas and the professional leader of the CJE.
“It is rare to find someone with this combination of professional experience and personal attributes,” said Gary Wolff, chief operating officer of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. “Rabbi Harris’ understanding extends from the pulpit to the classroom. I am excited to see our Jewish educational community grow under his leadership.”
Originally from Schenectady, New York, Rabbi Harris attended the University of Rochester and spent a year in Israel learning at Yeshivat Bat Ayin. His career includes roles as the associate regional director for upstate New York NCSY and youth rabbi at the Hebrew Institute of White Plains. He was a Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) fellow at SUNY Albany and served for four years as the assistant rabbi of the Baron Hirsch Congregation in Memphis, Tennessee. Most recently Rabbi Harris was the director of the Center for Jewish Living and Learning in Memphis. He is joined in Dallas by his wife, Nisa, and their three daughters.

Epstein will introduce free screening of ‘The Hurt Locker’

The EOD Warrior Foundation will host a free screening of the “Hurt Locker” from 11 a.m., to 2:15 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, at The Texas Theatre, 231 West Jefferson in Dallas.
“The Hurt Locker,” which won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Picture, stars Jeremy Renner. The film follows an Iraq War Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team. The team is targeted by insurgents, and the film deals with their psychological reactions to the stress of combat, which is intolerable to some and addictive to others.
Lt. Judah Epstein of the U.S. Air Force Reserve will give an introduction to the film. Epstein graduated from the Naval School, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Detachment, at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida in June. He is an EOD/civil engineer officer in the Air Force Reserve. In addition the Plano High School graduate earned a Bachelor of Science from SMU and two Master of Science degrees from UTD (Management and Administration and Geosciences: Sedentary Water Filtration).
Epstein’s multifaceted training has allowed him to serve as a wilderness guide and participate in worldwide scientific, engineering, medical training and exploration expeditions. He is also a PADI dive master, master scuba diver, NRA pistol instructor, EMT medic, ham radio operator, H2S poisonous gas and SCBA instructor and reserve deputy sheriff.
Among his past professional experience he has been a field engineer with Schlumberger and Welltec.
Judah is the son of Robbe and Robert Epstein and Debra Epstein. He is the brother of Barak, Arielle, Kayla and Rachel.
Judah follows in the footsteps of those who came before him when it comes to service to country. His grandfather, Lt. Mort Epstein, was a C-47 pilot who dropped paratroopers behind enemy lines at the Battle of D-Day. One of his great-great-great-grandfathers was an officer in the Union Army in the Civil War. Another great-great-great-grandfather was in the Texas Brigade in the Confederate Army.
His insights should be valuable to an already powerful movie.

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Scoring an interview with Chuck Cooperstein

Scoring an interview with Chuck Cooperstein

Posted on 31 July 2019 by Sharon Wisch-Ray

Bob Weinfeld ‘Gets to Know’ the sportscaster
Photo: Texas Scottish Rite Hospital
Last summer, Coops’ Kids presented a check for $35,000 to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital. (Left to right) Stephanie Brigger, Karen and Chuck Cooperstein, Lynda and Mark Thompson and Ashley Reaves Givens. In the last four years, Coops’ Kids has raised more than $450,000, supporting numerous children’s agencies.

By Deb Silverthorn
The Legacy at Willow Bend has scored in scheduling Chuck Cooperstein to visit at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21. Closing in on 120 interviews, it is Legacy resident and “mayor” Bob Weinfeld, who, with Cooperstein, will make a slam dunk for his “Getting to Know Your Neighbors and Your Staff and your Relatives of Residents” series.
“Chuck is something else and he brings the Mavs games to life,” Weinfeld said. The just-turned 93-year-old interviewer doesn’t miss a shot as he researches his guests and makes the one-hour tell-all occasions informative, interesting and always loaded with laughter.
“We’ve met over the years during the holidays at Temple Shalom and I’m so excited to bring him in and have him tell his story — play by play!” Weinfeld said.
A New York City native, Cooperstein earned a Bachelor of Science degree in broadcasting from the University of Florida. He is the husband of Karen, and father of Jeffrey, now following in dad’s, and creating his own, footprints working at ESPN and The Dallas Morning News.
Cooperstein, for a decade, has been heard as the play-by-play voice of the Mavericks on ESPN, where he has also anchored since 2001. He also made Dallas’ sports scene home.
“After college, I started out working for Sports Phone, everything that radio was except our broadcast was over the phone as opposed to over the air,” Cooperstein said. “In 1984, Brad Sham gave me a great opportunity at KRLD, one that lasted eight years, and there we had as strong a staff as any.”
Cooperstein’s career includes a play-by-play history with TCU and the University of Texas football, TCU, Texas A&M and SMU basketball and Dallas Cowboys pregame shows. He broadcast CBS/Westwood One NCAA basketball games beginning in 1991, and CBS/Westwood One college football games starting in 1995.
“I have always loved basketball,” said the sportscaster, who played the sport in high school and was a student team manager while in college. “It’s a great sport; in a confined space, spectators can easily see the plays and players — no helmets or hats. It’s easy to connect to the game and every night I get to see the best players on the court.”
Cooperstein, who was honored with a Katie Award for his play-by-play expertise by the Dallas Press Club, and who travels with the team, has missed only a couple of games, due to the High Holy Days.
“If Sandy Koufax can miss World Series games for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, I can miss a preseason game,” he said. “I hate to say out loud that I’d do this job for nothing, but it beats any 9-to-5 opportunity. I’m very grateful and to call this my career is absolutely a blessing.”
With his wife, Cooperstein has created the Coops’ Kids Foundation, a nonprofit providing grants to support social, emotional and physical health of children through educational, athletic and leadership development. More than $450,000 has been raised in the last four years with events including the 2018 Talk of the Town, which featured Cooperstein, Eric Nadel (voice of the Texas Rangers), Brad Sham (voice of the Dallas Cowboys) and The Ticket/KTCK hosts George Dunham and Craig Miller.
“Chuck is all about raising funds for our children but along with that he’s about being here for them,” said Texas Scottish Rite Hospital’s Ashley Givens, who last year received a $35,000 donation from Coops’ Kids. “He’s an awesome guy who comes in and visits and just brightens up the patients’ day.”
“Chuck is a very special guest. Actually, special is the only kind of guests we have here,” Weinfeld said. “He’s got stories from the road and home court, from mitzvah projects and all kinds of community service. You may know the voice, but you’ll learn a whole lot more about the man here at The Legacy.”
Cooperstein’s upcoming visit to The Legacy at Willow Bend is open to the public. For details about Coops’ Kids, visit CoopsKids.biz.

Photo: Dallas Mavericks
Chuck Cooperstein (center), with Mavs Television play-by-play announcer Mark Followill, gets to visit with the best of the best, including the Dallas Mavs’ recently retired Dirk Nowitzki.

The Legacy at Willow Bend has scored in scheduling Chuck Cooperstein to visit at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21. Closing in on 120 interviews, it is Legacy resident and “mayor” Bob Weinfeld, who, with Cooperstein, will make a slam dunk for his “Getting to Know Your Neighbors and Your Staff and your Relatives of Residents” series.
“Chuck is something else and he brings the Mavs games to life,” Weinfeld said. The just-turned 93-year-old interviewer doesn’t miss a shot as he researches his guests and makes the one-hour tell-all occasions informative, interesting and always loaded with laughter.
“We’ve met over the years during the holidays at Temple Shalom and I’m so excited to bring him in and have him tell his story — play by play!” Weinfeld said.
A New York City native, Cooperstein earned a Bachelor of Science degree in broadcasting from the University of Florida. He is the husband of Karen, and father of Jeffrey, now following in dad’s, and creating his own, footprints working at ESPN and The Dallas Morning News.
Cooperstein, for a decade, has been heard as the play-by-play voice of the Mavericks on ESPN, where he has also anchored since 2001. He also made Dallas’ sports scene home.
“After college, I started out working for Sports Phone, everything that radio was except our broadcast was over the phone as opposed to over the air,” Cooperstein said. “In 1984, Brad Sham gave me a great opportunity at KRLD, one that lasted eight years, and there we had as strong a staff as any.”
Cooperstein’s career includes a play-by-play history with TCU and the University of Texas football, TCU, Texas A&M and SMU basketball and Dallas Cowboys pregame shows. He broadcast CBS/Westwood One NCAA basketball games beginning in 1991, and CBS/Westwood One college football games starting in 1995.
“I have always loved basketball,” said the sportscaster, who played the sport in high school and was a student team manager while in college. “It’s a great sport; in a confined space, spectators can easily see the plays and players — no helmets or hats. It’s easy to connect to the game and every night I get to see the best players on the court.”
Cooperstein, who was honored with a Katie Award for his play-by-play expertise by the Dallas Press Club, and who travels with the team, has missed only a couple of games, due to the High Holy Days.
“If Sandy Koufax can miss World Series games for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, I can miss a preseason game,” he said. “I hate to say out loud that I’d do this job for nothing, but it beats any 9-to-5 opportunity. I’m very grateful and to call this my career is absolutely a blessing.”
With his wife, Cooperstein has created the Coops’ Kids Foundation, a nonprofit providing grants to support social, emotional and physical health of children through educational, athletic and leadership development. More than $450,000 has been raised in the last four years with events including the 2018 Talk of the Town, which featured Cooperstein, Eric Nadel (voice of the Texas Rangers), Brad Sham (voice of the Dallas Cowboys) and The Ticket/KTCK hosts George Dunham and Craig Miller.
“Chuck is all about raising funds for our children but along with that he’s about being here for them,” said Texas Scottish Rite Hospital’s Ashley Givens, who last year received a $35,000 donation from Coops’ Kids. “He’s an awesome guy who comes in and visits and just brightens up the patients’ day.”
“Chuck is a very special guest. Actually, special is the only kind of guests we have here,” Weinfeld said. “He’s got stories from the road and home court, from mitzvah projects and all kinds of community service. You may know the voice, but you’ll learn a whole lot more about the man here at The Legacy.”
Cooperstein’s upcoming visit to The Legacy at Willow Bend is open to the public. For details about Coops’ Kids, visit CoopsKids.biz.

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MLP helps kids with learning differences

MLP helps kids with learning differences

Posted on 25 July 2019 by admin

Photo: Blasnik Family
Steve and Linda Blasnik with their daughters Julie and Sarah

For years, couples Linda and Steve Blasnik, and Beverley and Alan Block, each dreamed of helping Jewish children with learning differences realize their full potential. They are making their dream a reality by creating the Ma’alot Learning Platform (MLP), which will be housed at the newly merged Akiba Yavneh Academies.
Through one-on-one and small group instruction, the new program will develop and expand upon the learning services currently offered on campus. Each student’s learning experience will be individually crafted to maximize their full growth potential while enriching both General and Judaic studies.
“We have thought for a long time that the Dallas Jewish community needed to offer more resources for kids who need a personalized education,” said Steve Blasnik, whose daughters attended Akiba and Yavneh. “We want to better meet our responsibility to offer a Jewish education to all who want it.”
Over time, the MLP will offer learning services in both remediation and acceleration.
“The education of all children has always been hard-wired into the very ethos of our Jewish heritage,” said Rabbi Yaakov Green, head of school for Akiba Yavneh Academies. “I believe that through our Ma’alot program, we have an opportunity to push the field forward and to have the Dallas Jewish community demonstrate to world Jewry where passionate and compassionate Jewish education must be today and tomorrow.”
For the Blocks, the Ma’alot program helps continue the legacy that Beverley’s parents, Walter and Lillian Cantor, began almost 50 years ago. In response to a lack of existing services for her sister who had autism, Beverley’s parents created a school and a foundation to help meet the social and educational needs of individuals with autism.
“The Ma’alot platform is an inclusive program within the confines of a school that teaches kids without learning differences, so there’s a potential for mainstreaming kids early on,” said Alan Block, whose grandchildren attend Akiba and Yavneh. “And to be able to have a Jewish education included in this program is unique and important.”
Beverley and Alan’s dreams for the program go beyond the children in it.
“You can see the benefits Ma’alot will bring to all the kids in the school as they all learn to be more accepting and empathetic,” Beverley Block said.
Amanda Stubbs, director of the Ma’alot platform, brings with her more than 10 years of experience working with children from diverse learning backgrounds in the Denison Independent School District. Her responsibilities there included developing curriculum, mentoring new teachers, serving as a lead teacher, developing and sustaining after-school programs, and staff training and development.
“I am excited to be able to provide differentiated, evidence-based practices to enrich the lives of students with learning differences,” said Stubbs. “I feel honored to be able to guide students to reach their true academic and social-emotional potentials.”
Stubbs provides guidance to local and state organizations on a variety of topics related to educating children. She is a certified special education teacher, holds a master’s degree in education and community renewal, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in educational leadership with an emphasis in special education.
Rebecca Steinfeld, an Akiba and Yavneh alumna, will serve as an instructor for the program, drawing on her experience in behavioral therapy and educational technology.
To learn more about the Ma’alot Learning Platform, please contact admissions@akibaacademy.org.
—Submitted by Sara Mancuso, Akiba Yavneh Academies communications and marketing director

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Armstrong teaches tech to other Legacy Willow Bend residents

Armstrong teaches tech to other Legacy Willow Bend residents

Posted on 22 July 2019 by admin

Legacy’s new communication system taking hold
Photo: The Legacy Willow Bend
Legacy resident Elinor Benton uses Ripple, the community’s new communication system.

Submitted Story

At The Legacy Willow Bend, staying up to date with the latest advancements in technology is one of the community’s tenets of high-quality service. Innovation is behind every decision made by the community; however, innovation doesn’t come without ensuring that everyone is equipped to utilize the latest technologies. For this reason, Maggie Armstrong — a resident of The Legacy Willow Bend — is busy working with The Legacy Willow Bend’s lifestyle and member assistance coordinator, Lisa Harris, to ensure that her fellow residents are able to fully utilize the senior living community’s new resident communication portal called Ripple. The system allows The Legacy Willow Bend team to communicate with residents electronically, providing information about events, dining, programs, activities and even resident profiles. Such a system enables users to put information all in one place and make it easily accessible. However, while many of the community’s residents are tech-savvy, there are those who still need assistance. Because of this, Armstrong volunteers her time to help Harris by making house calls to sit down one-on-one with other residents to make sure their accounts are set up correctly and that they are comfortable using the communication portal.

“Before implementing Ripple, everything was on paper and everyone had to keep track of anything important on their own,” said Armstrong. “With this system, we can all communicate directly with one another and the team here at the community. When we first started using Ripple, I knew there would be a need to help those who don’t use computers regularly. I spend a good deal of time using a computer in some capacity and know it can provide a sense of connection to the world. Helping make sure that everyone is able to use Ripple and even start utilizing other aspects of the internet feels like the least I can do.” 

In addition to making house calls, Armstrong is also meeting with residents in the community’s library. This is beneficial for those who don’t regularly use a computer, or for those who don’t own one at all. For Harris, the communication portal enables her to share the latest happenings at the community with residents and team members, all while making sure they can connect with one another whenever needed.

“We’re thrilled with the incredibly enthusiastic responses we’ve received from everyone,” said Harris. “Everyone enjoys finding new ways to use the system and make life at The Legacy Willow Bend easier. We’re proud to say that we’re one of 13 communities across the country using the Ripple system, and we are pleased to be the only community in Dallas to offer such an advancement for our residents.”

According to Armstrong and Harris, with the program now in place, residents have eagerly been utilizing Ripple, and during social events there is discussion amongst residents about how they are using Ripple and answering one another’s questions. For residents like Karen Kurzman, the portal has provided an opportunity to organize her life and take full advantage of all that The Legacy Willow Bend has to offer.

“The Ripple portal is incredibly convenient and allows the user to keep all the information they need at their fingertips,” said Kurzman. “Personally, I love how it eliminates the need for paper and that I can connect important reminders and updates with my phone. I have access to everything I need whenever I need it, and can easily get hold of anyone on staff with the touch of a button. It’s wonderful to have access to such technology and to know that The Legacy is always working to ensure we are keeping up with the latest in technological trends.”

“At The Legacy Willow Bend, we’re dedicated to ensuring that our residents are equipped to live life to the fullest each day,” said Laura Levy, executive director of The Legacy Willow Bend. “With the implementation of Ripple, we’re able to offer our residents a way to communicate with one another, make their daily schedules easier to navigate, and provide them with the latest technology. Our world today is continuing to move further in a digital direction, and we want to do everything we can to ensure our residents are equipped to meet the latest changes in technology head on. We’re privileged to have individuals like Maggie Armstrong who are willing to make sure that everyone is able to use Ripple and any other technologies that come along.”

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