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Dallas Doings: Wolk, Scout Shabbat

Dallas Doings: Wolk, Scout Shabbat

Posted on 06 February 2019 by admin

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

Wolk named Shaare Tefilla Rabbi Emeritus

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

Scout Shabbat is Saturday, Feb. 9, at Anshai

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


Dallas Doings: Beth Torah, Baruch Habah, Portnoy

Posted on 24 January 2019 by admin

Beth Torah to honor
Leventon and Winter

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

Baruch Habah to the
TJP’s newest columnist

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

Next steps for Portnoy

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


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

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

Posted on 16 January 2019 by admin

Ladino takes the spotlight at Judeo-Spanish Culture event

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

BT Men’s Club breakfast to feature UTD robotics prof

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

Levine Academy to host unique fundraiser March 9

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

Photo: Courtesy JCC Maxine and Erwin Waldman

With loss of Maxine Waldman, JCC tourney gets new name

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

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

Yavneh students ace college entrance exams

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


Dallas Doings: JBA, DCOH, Camping Fund, Tiferet

Dallas Doings: JBA, DCOH, Camping Fund, Tiferet

Posted on 10 January 2019 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray

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

JBA donates to JFS and Hillels of North Texas

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

Dallas Chapter of Hadassah to hold Tu B’Shevat Seder

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

Camp scholarship application opens

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

Tiferet Israel will host Roaring ‘20s Casino Night

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


Dallas Doings: DJCF, Anshai Torah, Tiferet

Posted on 02 January 2019 by admin

First responders shown some love

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

Ansahi Torah to honor Shawn Frank

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

Estrella Bengio joins Tiferet religious school team

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


Dallas Doings: Beth Torah, DATA of Plano

Posted on 19 December 2018 by admin

Beth Torah introducing two calming services

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

—Submitted by
Jessie Taper

DATA of Plano expands

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

—Submitted by
Eli Nissel


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

Posted on 19 December 2018 by admin

Andrew Goldstein vies for Jewish Star Talent Search Top 6

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

Mr. Rajunov goes to the White House

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

Bryan Rigg to speak at Beth Torah breakfast

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

—Submitted by
Michael Precker


Dallas Doings: Schultz, Hadassah

Dallas Doings: Schultz, Hadassah

Posted on 05 December 2018 by admin

Photo: JFGD
Recently returning from Israel as part of the Schultz Family Israel Educational Leadership Fellows program were: front row from left, Peta Silansky (Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas), Lisa Kramer Morgan (Akiba Academy), Andi Bonner (Akiba Academy), Pam Karpel (Levine Academy), Adriana Meyerovitz (Akiba Academy) and Dafna Rubinstein (JCC Dallas); back row, Ari Bar-Ilan (tour educator, Giant Leaps), Dani Meyerovitz (Akiba Academy), Dan Tatar (iCenter), Josh Goldstein (JCC Dallas), Daniel Taylor (JCC Dallas), Lynda McInnes (Levine Academy), Julie Wilkofsky (Levine Academy), Yael Twito (Levine Academy) and Tara Ohayon (JCC Dallas).

Schultz Educational Leadership Fellows tour Israel

The Schultz Family Israel Educational Leadership Fellows latest cohort recently returned from a 10-day immersive Israel experience Oct. 8-18.
This fourth cohort of Schultz Fellows — a program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas’ Center for Jewish Education — includes a combination of administrators, faculty members and lay leaders from Akiba Academy of Dallas, Ann & Nate Levine Academy and the Aaron Family JCC.
Representing Akiba are Andi Bonner, Adriana Meyerovitz, Dani Meyerovitz and Lisa Kramer Morgan. Levine educators are Pam Karpel, Lynda McInnes, Yael Twito and Julie Wilkofsky. The JCC sent Josh Goldstein, Tara Ohayon, Dafna Rubenstein and Daniel Taylor. In addition, Dan Tatar of the iCenter and Peta Silansky of the Federation participated.
The opening ceremony in Israel allowed the Fellows to leave the hustle and bustle of their daily lives back home, immerse themselves in the experience, mark the importance of the next few days in Israel and sanctify the moment for themselves and in memory of visionary philanthropist Leslie Schultz, of blessed memory.
The group prepared for several months by exploring the culture of Israel education and the infusion of Israel throughout their institution’s learning environment through shared cultural values. The Israel experience mirrored their learning and provided an opportunity for the Fellows to gain insights and varied perspectives of Israel.
Thoughtful relationships were formed as they connected with educational leaders in Dallas’s Partnership Region of the Western Galilee. The programming and speakers motivated and inspired the group with their educational strategies and value-based initiatives, which are being implemented daily to motivate and guide their youth.
The Fellows delved into the question of how you effectively and responsibly share diverse narratives and perspectives with our learners.
“You can’t put your heart in Israel until you put your feet in Israel,” Morgan said.
Exploring communal and individual values was enhanced by meeting former NCAA and Israeli professional basketball star Tamir Goodman. He shared and introduced his vision of engaging Jewish youth through sports. He talked about how keeping his dedication to his values was a priority throughout his career.
Leading by example, staying true to core values and overcoming obstacles are just a few of the lessons learned by this group of leaders.
“We are grateful for this immersive leadership training and Israel education that will benefit the Dallas Jewish community well into the future,” Adriana Meyerovitz said. “We eagerly look ahead knowing that all that we’ve learned can be effectively applied, thereby capitalizing on the vast potential of our vibrant community.”
For more information about the Schultz Fellows, contact Silansky
The Schultz Family Israel Educational Leadership Fellows is made possible by the Schultz Family Foundation.

—Submitted by
Jon Cronson

Dallas Hadassah slates two events

Dallas Chapter of Hadassah will present a program at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 10, to learn about miracles created through the collaboration of Hebrew University and Hadassah.
Guest speaker is Ambassador Yossi Dahl, Hebrew University vice president of advancement and external relations. Games, songs, door prizes and Hanukkah snacks will be featured.
The chapter will install its 2019 board and present the Sarah Mendel Susman Award from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec.13, at The Bonaventure, 5200 Keller Springs Road. Incoming president is Elise Power. Contact or 214-691-1948 to RSVP or for information on either event or for a ride to the events.

—Submitted by
Shirley Frankl


Dallas Doings: Waldman, Breast Cancer, JWV

Dallas Doings: Waldman, Breast Cancer, JWV

Posted on 26 September 2018 by admin

Compiled By Sharon Wisch-Ray

Waldman receives award for corporate citizenship

IMA Texas President Steve Waldman recently was recognized by D CEO Magazine’s Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship Awards for Leadership Excellence. The inaugural award received more than 300 nominations and recognized winners in 11 different categories.
“Our community can benefit from strong leaders, and I want to pay it forward,” Waldman said. “I think we are sent here for a purpose and that we all have an obligation to make the world a better place.”
Waldman was recognized by the publication for his many community efforts, including his work helping raise more than $70 million for a capital campaign benefiting the Dallas Holocaust Museum Center for Education and Tolerance. With an estimated 900 hours of volunteer leadership, Waldman’s support to the museum will help the organization double its annual visitor attendance and mission impact.
Waldman has also given his time to the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center, Texas Friends of Rabin Medical Center, Congregation Shearith Israel and the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas. He has also participated with the Lone Star Chapter of the National MS Society.
At IMA of Dallas, which employs nearly 100 associates locally, he’s made community involvement part of the company’s DNA, exemplified most recently when 584 service hours were donated to the Dallas Zoo.
“I’m honored to be an inaugural recipient of D CEO Magazine’s Corporate Citizenship Awards,” Waldman said. “I would encourage everyone to find a cause they believe in and volunteer.”

Breast Cancer Awareness Program

Temple Emanu-El will host a program on screening, prevention and the early detection of breast cancer, at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 3 at the synagogue, 8500 Hillcrest Road in Dallas.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the event is free and open to the public.
Panelists for “Breast Cancer Awareness: What Everyone Needs to Know,” are Dr. Archana Ganaraj (breast surgeon, Texas Breast Specialists, Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas), Stacy “Sam” Utay (board-certified genetic counselor specializing in cancer genetics at Medical City Dallas), Dr. Joanne L. Blum (breast oncologist and head of the hereditary cancer program at Baylor, Scott & White Hospital), and Meredith Grossfeld (patient).
For information, contact Celia Saunders at

Photo: Paul Licker
From left, Jewish War Veterans Post 256 Senior Vice Commander Jim Walsh, Leon Rubenstein and JWV Commander Steve Krant during an event at which Rubenstein was presented with a Distinguished Medal of Merit for his fund-raising efforts on Sept. 23.

JWV Update

World War II Navy veteran Leon Rubenstein, a longtime member of the Dr. Harvey J. Bloom Post 256 of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA, was presented with a Distinguished Medal of Merit medallion and a certificate for his extraordinary fund-raising efforts benefiting Dallas-area hospitalized and homeless veterans.
The Sept. 23 ceremony, conducted by Commander Steve Krant, took place during the post’s monthly “Bagels & Lox” breakfast meeting at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center.
Rubenstein, who saw action aboard a Navy destroyer in the Pacific, and two other World War II veteran Post 256 members were recognized by Dallas Jewish Film Festival hosts during the Sept. 15 screening of “GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II.”
Also recognized were Maury Schermann, a veteran of the Army Air Corps, and former Air Force Captain Dick Lethe, a fighter pilot during the Korean conflict.
The audience gave the trio a round of appreciative applause.
The post was a community partner for the screening.


Kollinger continues his love affair with food

Kollinger continues his love affair with food

Posted on 29 August 2018 by admin

Photo: Courtesy of Waylon Tate
Jeffrey Kollinger is happiest in the kitchen.

By Shari Goldstein Stern

Some babies are born with a silver spoon. Some are born with a 14-karat ladle. Could anyone argue that if you can make a living doing what you love, it’s a keinehora? Such is the case with chef and entrepreneur Jeffrey Kollinger, who not only adores his work but gets to eat it, too.
With more than 30 years of experience in culinary design, event creation, catering and restaurant management, Kollinger has worked with Houston’s, Brookhaven Country Club, Arcadoro/Pomodoro and the Fairmont Hotel. He spent 10 years at the Mansion on Turtle Creek working, learning from and channeling Dean Fearing.
And he’s also a cancer survivor.
Kollinger is a founder and CEO of Innovative Hospitality Group (IHG). This is the parent company of Managed Food Services, which provides food services to office buildings, The Spice of Life Catering and Tillman’s Bishop Arts (formerly Tillman’s Roadhouse). He will contribute his time and gourmand skills as celebrity chef at a benefit supporting this year’s Love for Kids fundraiser, Palette to Palate.
The event is billed as “Stetsons & Stilettos II” and will take place from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Longhorn Ballroom in Downtown Dallas.
“Jeffrey contributes his name and background,” said Sandy Huffman, Love for Kids chair of the board-president and Palette to Palate event adviser. “He has qualities of what every chef should be. He has the image of a celebrity chef. A big personality. Everyone loves him.”
Kollinger’s interest in volunteering again for this year’s event is largely due to his affection for kids. “Putting a smile on kids’ faces is humbling,” he said. This gives him an opportunity to do what he loves best while helping kids who need the help.
His own kids are Clayton, 14, and Ryan, 12. Only Ryan is a foodie who enjoys cooking. Kollinger’s wife, Melinda Segal Kollinger, said, “Why would I cook when I’m married to a chef?”
“Cheffrey,” as his family likes to call him, said, “We’ve got two killer pets. Rocko is a chocolate Goldendoodle. Rowdy is a Whoodle (Wheaten Standard Poodle). They each weigh 80 pounds. They’re both gorgeous, and they follow us everywhere. They sleep on whatever parts of the bed they darn well feel like.”
Kollinger is a native Dallasite who attended the Greenhill School before transferring to a boarding school in Boston. He graduated from Hillcrest High School before attending The University of Texas at Austin and Southwest Texas State.
“I know I had food in my DNA from the beginning,” Kollinger said. “I was a foodie my whole life. My parents had a big dining table seating 14 where they would serve big dinner parties. I always loved food and everything food-related.”
Kollinger loved to cook from an early age. “I loved making sandwiches of all types and I called them ‘sammys,’” he reminisced. “Now I include sammys on my catering menu for casual events.”
Kollinger is the CEO of The Spice of Life Catering, a high-end catering company that has impressed DFW businesses for more than 36 years, accommodating large galas, corporate retreats and intimate gatherings. A few of the well-known names Spice of Life has served include Mark Cuban, Pat and Emmitt Smith, Craig and Ambassador Kathryn Hall, George Clooney and some presidents. Other affairs have been catered for government agencies; the city of Dallas; mayors; The Weitzman Group; nonprofit agencies; and many more well-recognized businesses and businesspeople.
“I’m so humbled by opportunities I’ve had to work with so many interesting people and events,” Kollinger said.
In his most recent role, Kollinger purchased the iconic Tillman’s Roadhouse in Oak Cliff, where he serves as CEO. Tillman’s is a staple in the historic Bishop Arts District. To more accurately describe the trendy location, the restaurateur changed the name to Tillman’s Bishop Arts and it offers an inviting, relaxed atmosphere with impeccable food and cocktails. He is currently looking to expand the brand to other locations.
“Tillman’s attracts a blend of all generations who enjoy the thriving new community in and around the area,” Kollinger said. “The menus speak to different generations with a compelling palate. Younger patrons want a lot of taste but not a lot of food,” he explained.
No campfire is needed for the Tableside S’mores. Everything Kollinger serves is from scratch, even the marshmallows and graham crackers that accompany the dark chocolate bark. Not your overnight camp s’mores.
Repeat patrons begged Kollinger to bring back their beloved Tater Tots, which he eliminated because they weren’t up to his standards. The carry-over morsels were reincarnated Cheffery-style as Goat Cheese Truffle Tater Tots with Jalapeño Lemon Garlic Aioli. A menu favorite, they are cooked to order, served as a baker’s dozen and have a serious following.
“Chic cuisine” is the way Kollinger describes the menu with items like Pecan Crusted Okra served with Three-Olive Remoulade. For Restaurant Week this year, Tillman’s menu included items like Shiner Bock and Roast Brisket Soup and Tillman’s “Famous” Chicken-Fried Steak, which is made with filet mignon.
Kollinger has his finger on the pulse of Dallas’ Jewish community. He runs the kitchens at Congregation Shearith Israel; he sits on the boards of Shearith, Greenhill, and others; he caters events for Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas; and he’s one of the area’s go-to guys for weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, and other special events. Between his restaurant and services, he employs about 50-60. Of that number, Tillman’s has a staff of 15. It’s not unusual for Spice of Life to serve as many as 2,000-4,000 at an event. They once served 10,000.
Kollinger earned the Taste of Dallas 2018 Award for Best Dish in Dallas; and Culturemap Tastemaker Awards for being among the top 10 chefs in Dallas in 2018. Spice of Life won the 2016 Best of Carrollton award and has been recognized by Consumer Choice Awards; D Weddings’ list of caterers; and Dallas Business Journal’s Largest Metroplex Catering Companies. Kollinger is a frequent guest on WFAA’s Good Morning Texas.
The chef was diagnosed with and recovered from metastatic malignant melanoma stage 4 tumor thrombus and was put on an experimental drug. He was out most of the year while Melinda took a sabbatical from work to take care of him.
“I’m lucky to come back,” Kollinger said. “I love every day. I have a happy home life. I’m so grateful for my great wife and children. I’m happy because I survived when I shouldn’t have. I’m humbled by being here. I’m humbled by the trust clients have in me.
“I’m living my true passion. I never get tired of cooking. My good fortune is to make my living this way. I’m so fortunate my work lets me be and flourish in my life. With the most wonderful family anyone could hope for, I’m a fortunate guy all the way around.”
For additional information on Palette to Palate and Love for Kids, contact, or visit
For more information on Spice of Life and Tillman’s Bishop Arts, visit:,


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