Archive | Dallas Doings

Dallas Doings: Levine, JNF, AJC

Posted on 20 May 2019 by admin

Levine plans Weinreb ECC classroom renovations

Levine Academy will hold a 24-hour campaign from noon May 23 to noon May 24 to raise money to renovate classrooms for toddlers through prekindergarten. Levine Academy parents Julie and Michael Zimmerman have agreed to match Levine’s donation goal of $65,000. The renovation of each classroom costs between $10,000 and $15,000 each. The full renovation is expected to be completed by the end of this summer, so every Weinreb Early Childhood student will return next August to learn and grow in an innovative learning environment creating a sensory, tactile and safe space for every learner to thrive.
From visual to hands-on learners, NorvaNivel USA and Levine Academy are creating a contemporary, student-centered learning environment to give every student the opportunity for success in school and, ultimately, life.
Pledges can be made ahead of time and will be posted during the 24-hour campaign. For more information, please contact Yael Twito, director of development, at or 972-248-3032, ext. 114.

JNF opens new Dallas office, City of Dallas declares May 8 Jewish National Fund Day

In celebration of the opening of its new office last week, The City of Dallas recognized May 8 as Jewish National Fund Day. The office will be staffed fulltime by Ellie Adelman, director of Dallas, and Dr. Galit Birk, Israel Programs admission director for Texas.
Ellie Solimani Adelman grew up in Dallas and blazed an adventurous global path before returning home to her Texas roots. After graduating from the University of Texas in Austin she emigrated to Israel and joined the Israel Defense Forces, where she served in a female combat unit (Caracal) on the Egyptian and Jordanian borders. Upon completion of her army service Ellie joined Nefesh B’Nefesh, building their lone soldier program to help those like herself serving in the army without family in Israel. After seven years in Israel, work took her to Cape Town, Bangkok and San Francisco. Adelman is happy to be back in Dallas, where she worked previously for three years as the Young Adult campaign manager at the Jewish Federation.
A key part of JNF-USA’s Education Team, Dr. Galit Birk, a native of Israel, holds a doctorate in psychology and a master’s degree in human resources, and is responsible for Israel advocacy and education for schools and synagogues, recruiting students for JNF-USA’s Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI-JNF) as well as partnering with Texas universities in both Israel programming and recruiting for student programs to Israel. She is a former parent coach in private practice serving families in the Dallas area and then as pastoral care director at Temple Emanu-El Dallas.

—Submitted by
Adam Brill

AJC Dallas to host iftar dinner

AJC Dallas’ DFW Muslim Jewish Advisory Council will host its second annual iftar dinner at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, at Congregation Beth Torah in Richardson. An iftar is the meal with which Muslims break the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan. The evening will begin with brief remarks by Richardson Mayor Paul Voelker, FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Mike Costanzi and leaders from the Muslim and Jewish communities. After the brief program, there will be a call to prayer. Following the evening prayers, the meal will be served. There is no charge for dinner, but an RSVP is required before Monday, May 27.


‘One Day’ exhibit celebrates ‘final’ anniversary

‘One Day’ exhibit celebrates ‘final’ anniversary

Posted on 25 April 2019 by admin

Photo: DHM/CET
Holocaust survivor Max Glauben shared his testimony with Dallas Holocaust Museum visitors April 19, the 76th anniversary of the start of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. The museum’s permanent exhibit, “One Day in the Holocaust: April 19, 1943,” will be retired July 31 in advance of the opening of the new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum Sept. 18.

By Frank Risch

Friday, April 19, was a bittersweet day for the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance. We celebrated this “final” anniversary of the museum’s permanent exhibition “One Day in the Holocaust: April 19, 1943” by providing free admission to all visitors. Visitors also had the opportunity to hear testimony from Max Glauben, a local Holocaust survivor.
The Museum will close permanently on July 31. In its place, the new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum will open to the public on Sept. 18.
Since this small, yet powerful, exhibition opened in the West End 15 years ago, it has been viewed by more than 1 million visitors, and has changed the lives of tens of thousands of Texas students, by showing them the difference between Upstander and bystander behavior.
The exhibit provides a unique view of the Holocaust by focusing on three pivotal events that took place on one day April 19, 1943.
The 20th Deportation Train from Belgium, carrying some 1,630 Jews to a concentration camp, was stopped by three young men. Two hundred thirty-three Jews managed to escape.
Residents of the Warsaw Ghetto began an uprising that held off the Nazis for almost 30 days.
The Bermuda Conference met with diplomats tasked to resolve the situation involving Jewish refugees desperate to escape Nazi occupied Europe. Nothing was done to raise quotas for Jews in the United States, nor was the British prohibition on Jews seeking refuge in the British Mandate of Palestine lifted.
The first two events illustrate upstander behavior — wartime resistance and heroism against all odds. The final event exhibits bystander behavior — a government and diplomatic unwillingness to take the strong steps necessary to find ways to move Jewish people to safe places outside Europe.
The exhibition shows that the decision to stand up against the forces of brutality, hatred and evil can be made under the worst conditions. It also demonstrates that the decision to stand by and do nothing can perpetuate human suffering and cost lives.
We need only consider the headlines from today’s news to recognize the enduring legacy of April 19, 1943, and more importantly, the consequences of bystander behavior.
Anti-Semitism is on a sharp rise at home and abroad. Anti-Semitic rhetoric has reared its ugly head in public discourse. The Anti-Defamation League 2017 annual report documented a 60 percent increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents, which it called “the largest single-year increase on record, and the second highest number reported since ADL started tracking incident data in the 1970s.”
Hate crimes and hate speech are damaging and dividing our communities.
The mission of the Dallas Holocaust Museum has never been more critical, nor more relevant. And this, along with our goal of creating a city of Upstanders, is why we will be opening the new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum on Sept. 18 in the West End.
Until then, be sure to visit the current Museum before it retires its permanent exhibition, “One Day in the Holocaust: April 19, 1943” and its Anne Frank special exhibition on July 31.
Frank Risch is chair of the board of the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance. Email


Partnership2Gether links Dallas, W. Galilee tastes

Partnership2Gether links Dallas, W. Galilee tastes

Posted on 18 April 2019 by admin

Through GalilEat, Paul Nirens conducts cooking workshops that connect the various cultures of the Western Galilee.
Photo: Partnership2Gether


Beginning May 8, the North Texas Jewish community will begin the celebration of “Israel Week.” As part of the celebration, the Jewish Agency’s through Partnership2Gether will send a delegation of chefs from Western Galilee to North Texas, where Israel will be delivered to the plate of the local residents. Partnership2Gether links global Jewish communities directly with communities in Israel; for Dallas, that area is the Western Galilee.
Among the three-person chef delegation will be Paul Nirens, founder of GalilEat, a company that provides culinary tours and cooking workshops in the homes of Western Galilee residents from different cultures. The Western Galilee consists of different populations — Christian Arabs, Muslim Arabs, Druze, Bahai and Jews — all of whom have their own cultural richness, and all of whom live within harmony with one another.
Born and raised in Australia, Nirens made aliyah to Israel at the age of 25, and spent years doing what he did best: cooking. He spent years managing kitchens in restaurants and major hotels in the north part of the country. Then, during one Passover Seder, something occurred to him: “I was running a hotel kitchen and, during the service, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Here I was, in the middle of the traditional Passover Seder, and I wasn’t sitting at a table with my own family.”
Nirens, in pondering the population of Western Galilee, and incorporating his love of the land, created GalilEat. Groups involved with the organization take part in cooking workshops, and learn about the unique culinary culture of the family host. But GalilEat is more than eating great, and different types, of food. The goal is to generate connections between people of different communities, and to ultimately strengthen the relationships between those communities. According to Nirens, the most important stage of the workshops involves the first 20 minutes, which are devoted to getting acquainted with the family and its story. The purpose, Nirens indicated, is to strengthen connections through food.
This is the focus of the Jewish Agency’s Partnership2Gether’s delegation in early May. Nirens, especially, wants to bring the culture and cuisine of Western Galilee to residents of the Dallas community. “I hope that this mission won’t be a one-time initiative,” he said. “I look forward to a similar mission arriving to visit us in Western Galilee, so that we can enjoy the fruits of this special connection between Dallas and Western Galilee.”


Dallas Doings: Federation, JCC, Food Truck Palooza

Posted on 04 April 2019 by admin

Federation names new director of security

Two years ago, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, along with community partners, launched a community-wide security initiative. Since its inception, community security has been a focus and priority of the Jewish Federation, which has been elevated due to the overall increase in anti-Semitic attacks and threats across the country.
The Community Security Initiative recently appointed William “Bill” Humphrey as the new director of community security. He will lead the initiative by preparing, equipping and educating local Jewish nonprofits on best practices for community security. “The security of our Dallas Jewish community is a top priority for our Jewish Federation. Since launching our Community Security Initiative, we have made our community markedly safer, and I can think of no one better to ensure our safety long into the future than the former Deputy Chief of Police, Bill Humphrey,” said Bradley Laye, Federation president & CEO.
Humphrey brings more than 30 years of strategic, operational and analytical safety and security knowledge from his time in the Dallas Police Department (DPD). He spent more than three decades at DPD, and has served and commanded multiple areas of DPD including intelligence, SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics), Personnel, Police Academy and many others.
“Our Federation carries out our mission to strengthen the Jewish community in many ways. By providing the front line of expertise and bringing in an expert in the area of community security awareness and education, such as Bill, we perhaps deliver the single most important investment our community can make through the support of our Federation,” said Mark Kreditor, Federation board chair.
To learn more about the initiative, email Gary Wolff at, or call 214-615-5223.
—Submitted by
Hillary Burlbaw

New JCC fund established to connect generations

As the son of Holocaust survivors, Lev Kertsburg knew what it meant to sacrifice in order to protect one’s family. Living in the Soviet Union, Lev, his wife Irene and 4-year-old son Alexis enjoyed a nice lifestyle but lacked the freedom to practice Judaism. They were not able to attend synagogue or carry on Jewish traditions. Thus, in 1979 they left behind their comforts and departed the Soviet Union in search of a better life, with only $90 in their pockets. After various jobs and several moves, Lev and Irene built a wonderful life in the United States. They eventually ended up in Dallas to be close with Alexis, who was now grown with a family of his own.
Lev was comforted to know that his grandsons were practicing Judaism and attending a Jewish school — this was why he had risked everything by leaving the Soviet Union all those years ago. In Dallas, Lev became actively involved in the daily lives of his grandsons. He brought Gabriel to the JCC’s Goldberg Family Early Childhood Center (GECC) daily and often attended Shabbat with him. Lev always had a smile on his face when he walked through the doors and the pride that he had for his grandsons was palpable. Lev was a quiet man who always looked out for the best opportunities for his family.
The name Lev means heart in Hebrew and lion-hearted in Russian. Hearing the story of Lev Kertsburg, this comes as no surprise as he was a man who lived each day with bravery, love and determination.
In honor of all grandparents and the special relationships that they have with their grandchildren, the Intergenerational Program Fund is being established in loving memory of Lev Kertsburg. The program is designed to connect children with elders in their community, learning from each other and building relationships that enhance everyone’s lives in a deep and meaningful way.
“Lev was a family man, devoted husband, excellent father and exceptional grandfather and this is what made him a great,” Lev’s wife Irene Kertsburg said.

Save the date: April 28 7th Annual Food Truck Palooza

Temple Shalom is putting the finishing touches on the 7th Annual Food Truck Palooza & Music Festival. This year’s event will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at Temple Shalom (corner of Hillcrest and Alpha roads).
Bands include The High Tones, The Merseymen, Bad Monkey, Griffin Tucker and the Real Rock Revolution.
At presstime, 14 food trucks had been confirmed. They are:
• Easy Sliders
• Ruthie’s Rolling Café
• Butcher’s Son
• Tutta Pizza
• Bombay
• Islanders Food Truck
• Mix Cravings
• Egg Stand
• Prime from Scratch
• MMMtastethat
• What’s da Scoop
• Flaming Rill BBQ
• Dapper Doughnuts
• Chicago Taste
Co-chairs are excited about the brand-new events added this year and look forward to the community’s continual support.
The $6 admission (children 3 and under are free) allows participants to enjoy live music entertainment, fabulous food, and a family zone with face painting, inflatables, adult games, special events and more.


Dallas Doings: Yavneh, Shearith, Anshai, Beth Torah

Posted on 28 March 2019 by admin

Yavneh Academy names 2018-2019 Schultz Scholars

Yavneh Academy of Dallas has announced its Schultz Scholars for the 2018-2019 academic year. The seven students include two graduating seniors, three juniors, a sophomore and a freshman whose academic achievement and co-curricular leadership exemplify the best of Yavneh Academy.

This year’s Schultz Scholars are
• Jordyn Behr, freshman, daughter of Heather and David Behr
• Sarah Frydman, sophomore, daughter of Regina and Aaron Frydman
• Tia Einhorn, junior, daughter of Shuly and Craig Einhorn
• Yosef Weiss, junior, son of Simma and Shelley Weiss
• Reece Parker, junior, son of Andrea Kleinman-Parker and Jason Parker
• Zachary Bernstein, senior, son of Jordana and Josh Bernstein
• Jared Notelovitz, senior, son of Vivienne and Gavin Notelovitz

Shearith will honor Carol Aaron April 7 at Torah Fund brunch

Congregation Shearith Israel SISterhood will honor one of its lifelong members, Carol Aaron, at its Torah Fund Brunch at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, April 7, at the synagogue, 9401 Douglas Ave.
Carol has been active at Shearith Israel as a lay leader and generous benefactor. A philanthropist, volunteer extraordinaire and all-around go-getter, she is known for her love of family (she is the mother of Dawn and Todd Aaron, Nicole Blue, Angela Horowitz and Doug French, Erica and Craig Robins and Tracy and Clay Aaron) and her passion for ensuring the future of Dallas’ Jewish community. Most notably, she and her husband Steve Aaron provided the naming gift for the Aaron Family JCC (Jewish Community Center). She has also served the JCC as vice chair and as chair of major fundraising.
Most recently, Carol has been deeply involved with the Legacy Midtown Park project as co-chair of its capital campaign committee and chair of its board of directors.
“The Legacy Midtown Park is being built for the community by the community, and I am extremely grateful to everyone who helped us reach this milestone,” she said last summer, when The Legacy Midtown Park broke ground. “I feel a tremendous sense of pride as I watch our vision become a reality. We have an opportunity to provide a sense of comfort for families and meet the needs of our entire Jewish senior population now and in the future.”
She has been deeply involved with the Federation of Greater Dallas as well. She has served as the pacesetter chair, campaign chair, president and chair of the 100th Anniversary Celebration.
Aaron has served on boards and advisory committees for many organizations, including: CHAI, The Legacy Senior Communities, Dallas Jewish Historical Society, Solomon Schechter (now Levine Academy), Jewish Medical Center in Denver, Dallas Holocaust Museum, Dallas Jewish Community Foundation, and Shearith Israel.
She received the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award in 2004, the BBG Alumna of the Year Award in 2009, and the Husband and Wife Humanitarian Award from the Dallas Holocaust Museum.
According to the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism website, “The Torah Fund campaign began in 1942 as a scholarship fund. In 1963, it merged with the Mathilde Schechter Residence Hall campaign that provided housing for undergraduate students. In time, the campaign identified needs and raised funds for specific projects, including:
•Women’s League Educational Pavilion (Kripke Tower)
•Women’s League Seminary Synagogue
•Mathilde Schechter Residence Hall Renovations
•Goldsmith Hall
•Residence Hall at the American Jewish University
•JTS Quadrangle
•JTS Library Bookshelves
•Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies Garden
For the past several years, funds raised by Torah Fund have gone toward scholarships to all the schools. There are continuing opportunities for sisterhoods and individuals to provide support to all five institutions through Torah Fund. Thousands of dedicated volunteers have contributed to the spiritual, aesthetic and material well-being of these educational communities by supporting Torah Fund projects.”
Cost of the New Orleans-style Jazz Brunch is $36 plus a minimum donation to the Torah Fund Campaign. To RSVP, visit

Anshai will hold annual Miriam’s Cup and Men’s Steak & Scotch programs

Congregation Anshai Torah is getting ready for the 10 plagues, the 40-years in the dessert, the four questions and four cups of wine (plus one each for Eliyahu and Miriam) with its annual Women’s Miriam’s Cup and Men’s Steak and Scotch events. All women of the community are invited Thursday, April 4, and men Thursday, April 11, both events beginning at 7 p.m. at Congregation Anshai Torah.
“Pesach is one of the most celebrated holidays on our calendar and as we celebrate our freedom of slavery,” said Rabbi Michael Kushnick, “we are blessed to come together to deepen our relationships, and enhance our communication, with each other and the holiday.”
At the Miriam’s Cup, Talia Kushnick and Adina Weinberg will make a toast (Pesach pun apologies) to the cups of wine that flow through the Seder. The what they represent and why we share them, beyond “because we do.”
“This event has become a great opportunity for women to learn and socialize together all in preparing for Pesach, a holiday that so many of us love to celebrate,” said Talia Kushnick. “We can take our ancient traditions and make them come alive for our families today. Judaism is rich and we want to help each person find their own connection, and to make it relevant for their home and family — to help our lives in Texas, in 2019, connect to our history.”
“In addition to being a fun time to be together, Talia and I want to share the traditional and some alternative understandings of the wine we all share at our Seders,” said Adina Weinberg. “This is a busy time for everyone and in the midst of shopping, cleaning and cooking, it’s important to exhale — and take it in, and enjoy and understand why we are celebrating.”
During the Steak & Scotch, Rabbi Stefan Weinberg and Rabbi Michael Kushnick will preview the Seder for the men, also providing insight to the texts of the holiday. Dinner and drinks provide the background, the rabbis the foreground for home Sedarim.
Both events include dinner, drinks and dessert. For more details or to RSVP, call 972-473-7718 or
—Submitted by
Deb Silverthorn

Congregation Beth Torah offering Chocolate Hebrew course

Congregation Beth Torah is offering a new session of Chocolate Hebrew, the innovative crash course in reading Hebrew, beginning Saturday night, March 30.
Chocolate Hebrew, which is open to the community, uses a nonthreatening, fun and multisensory approach to take the mystery out of the Hebrew alphabet in just 13 hours of classes over two weeks. It is taught by Ruth Precker, the only teacher in Texas trained and authorized to teach the course.
The cost is $200. For more information, call Beth Torah at 972-234-1542 or log on to
—Submitted by
Michael Precker


Before, after NYC Half, Ruttenberg a winner

Before, after NYC Half, Ruttenberg a winner

Posted on 21 March 2019 by admin

Photo: Ruttenberg family
“She took the plunge to participate alone and represent our chapter and we really appreciate her,” Leah Dubrawsky, director of Friendship Circle of Dallas, said of Shira Ruttenberg.

By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP

There were 30,678 runners registered to participate in the 2019 United Airlines half-marathon Sunday morning, and the lone ranger representing Friendship Circle of Dallas was 16-year-old Shira Ruttenberg.
Starting at 7:30 a.m. in Brooklyn, Shira, who trained four times a week, traversed the city in the NYC Half. Across the FDR Memorial Bridge, to 42nd Street, she crossed the finish line in Central Park 13.1 miles later, her heart even more full.
“This is my first real race and I’m really excited,” said Shira before the competition. She had family and friends cheering her on.
“I loved all of the energy at the start of the race. Seeing the people cheering us on along the route was amazing. It was so fun seeing my mom, sister, cousin and Mendy (Leah Dubrawsky’s brother) along the route.”
Surpassing her goal, she hopes to raise more, At presstime, with $2,287 Shira is in fifth place of all Friendship Circle, International participants. The majority of the money she raised will support Friendship Circle of Dallas.
“I love what Friendship Circle stands for and I’ve absolutely made a lot of friends, learned a lot, and had a lot of fun in the program,” said Shira, who serves on the Friendship Circle of Dallas board. “For the past two years, I have enjoyed music classes, baking, arcades and so much more with my friends in the ‘Circle.’”
Team Friendship, of the Friendship Circle, International, affiliated worldwide with Chabad Lubavitch, runs the miles every day of the year, spreading their mission that every individual is deserving of love, respect, and most importantly, friendship. Around the world, the Friendship Circle brings happiness and companionship to children and adults with special needs by celebrating their individuality, as well as bringing energy, support, and peace of mind to their families.
The Friendship Circle of Dallas hosts programs and activities throughout the year. On May 19, the Dallas chapter will host its first Walk 4 Friendship, and Shira has raised more than $2,000 to participate in that event.
“Shira is awesome and she comes from a cool family who all care,” said Leah Dubrawsky, director of the Dallas Friendship Circle. “She took the plunge to participate alone and represent our chapter, and we really appreciate her support and all we’ll be able to share with our teens because of her fundraising. She’s really a very special person.”
The Columbus, Ohio native is the daughter of Abigail and Yoni, and sister of Aliza. The family are members of Chabad of Dallas and Shira is a camper of Camp Stone in Pennsylvania. A sophomore and Student Ambassador at Fusion Academy, Shira participates with Yachad/The National Jewish Council for Disabilities and the Dallas Chapter of the National Council of Synagogue Youth.
In her free time — rare for this busy teen — she enjoys baking, reading, traveling, ice skating and swimming. In the summer, she will travel to Israel as a part of Yad b’Yad, Yachad’s inclusive leadership experience.
Shira began making mitzvahs as a second-grader at Akiba. She helped spearhead collections, which Judy and son Jacob Wisch delivered to the community of Joplin, Missouri, after its devastating tornado. She’s has shared in many food drives for the homeless, for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, and she regularly delivers homebaked goods to the police and fire departments near her home.
“Her father and I have always taught the girls from when they were little that ‘to whom much is given, much is expected,” said Abigail. “Shira is the first one to bake cookies or a challah and bag it up with a pretty ribbon for her teachers ‘just because.’ Her heart is always in the place of giving.”
Shira, who began fundraising and training for the half-marathon last summer, sent a letter to friends and family, used social media, and turned to her school for support.
“Shira has shared her passion for Friendship Circle and we are so excited and thrilled to have been able to help her reach, and surpass, her goal,” said Tanya Goforth, head of school at Fusion Academy. “Supporting her through this absolutely meets the compassion and tolerance education that Fusion Academy provides. Beyond the academics, we absolutely believe and want to support our students to be better and more caring human beings.”
Shira loves what Friendship Circle stands for.
“Everyone needs a friend, and Friendship Circle reminds us that we are like a circle with no beginning or end; everyone is welcome and accepted,” she said. “I just want to share that message.”


Dallas Doings: Hallie Barnard, Purim Debate, Brotherhood Breakfast

Dallas Doings: Hallie Barnard, Purim Debate, Brotherhood Breakfast

Posted on 13 March 2019 by admin

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

Hallie Barnard fights bone cancer

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

Latke or Hamantasch? Join the debate

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

Temple Shalom holds Brotherhood Breakfast

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


Dallas Doings: Shearith Israel, Baseball, Texas Elks

Posted on 06 March 2019 by admin

Shearith Israel to host Cantorial Café March 10

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

Israeli Baseball Movie at Beth Torah

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

Brady Karp runner-up in Texas Elks Free Throw Contest

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


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

Posted on 14 February 2019 by admin

Stephen Becker hosts Beth Torah Oscar preview

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

Panel discussion on Israeli tech and Texas’ water crisis

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

Press notes:
future college athletes

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


Dallas Doings: Wolk, Scout Shabbat

Dallas Doings: Wolk, Scout Shabbat

Posted on 06 February 2019 by admin

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

Wolk named Shaare Tefilla Rabbi Emeritus

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

Scout Shabbat is Saturday, Feb. 9, at Anshai

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


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