Archive | Dallas Doings

Dallas Doings: Eagle Scout, Strauss, Emily Cobert, Wolens, Farber

Dallas Doings: Eagle Scout, Strauss, Emily Cobert, Wolens, Farber

Posted on 01 August 2018 by admin


Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray

Photo: Courtesy Weiss Family
Ephraim Weiss’ Eagle Scout Court of Honor will take place Aug. 19. For his Eagle Scout project, he built a shulchan for DATA of Richardson.



Ephraim Weiss, Eagle Scout

Ephraim Weiss, son of Drs. Simma and Shelley Weiss, earned the Eagle Scout award from the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) June 3.  Ephraim completed the necessary requirements for skills, camping, leadership and merit badges, in addition to focusing on character growth and personal development.

Ephraim’s achievement will be formally recognized at a Court of Honor on Aug. 19.

He earned 45 merit badges and qualified for four Palm degrees beyond Eagle. To supplement his leadership skills, Ephraim attended a National Youth Leadership Training course, developed by the BSA with the U.S. Air Force Academy and various corporate trainers. His scouting peers elected him to the Order of the Arrow, scouting’s honor society, and he completed a Shomer Shabbos Ordeal before formal induction into the Order.

Ephraim’s scouting experience, through Troop 570 (Spring Creek Elementary), demonstrated his accomplishment of scouting goals in the general society, while adhering to his priority of keeping the laws of kashrut and Shabbat. Ephraim demonstrated the value of maintaining his religious practices through all his everyday activities, including scouting. The other scouts — Jews from different backgrounds, as well as non-Jews — supported his efforts and respected his observance.

One requirement before earning Eagle centers on a project to benefit the community. Ephraim built a solid wood shulchan, or table, used to read Torah in the synagogue. The structure incorporated some wood from the old Shaare Tefilla sanctuary (its new building is under construction). It sports a cabinet beneath, and the top can be set at different angles. The shulchan sits in its new home, the brand-new DATA of Richardson shul. This shulchan thus connects two shuls and brings the Dallas Jewish community closer together.


Photo: Courtesy Strauss Family
Rabbi Brian and Lisa Strauss and their children, Joshua, Noa and Ari


Brian Strauss assumes  senior rabbi duties at Houston’s Beth Yeshurun

Rabbi Brian Strauss officially became the senior rabbi of Congregation Beth Yeshurun in Houston Aug. 1. Beth Yeshurun is the largest Conservative synagogue in the United States with more than 2,000 families.

Strauss grew up in Dallas and attended Hebrew school and had his bar mitzvah at Congregation Beth Torah in Richardson. He was the first graduate of Beth Torah to become a rabbi.

Strauss graduated from Berkner High School and graduated from the University of Texas in Austin, where he was the president of the campus Hillel and a member of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity. Upon graduation, Strauss attended the Zeigler School of Rabbinical Studies in Los Angeles and was ordained in 2001. Upon being ordained, he joined Beth Yeshurun as assistant rabbi.

Strauss serves on the Texas State Commission on Holocaust and Genocide. He is also a member of Rabbis Without Borders, sponsored by the National Jewish Center for Learning & Leadership.

Strauss replaces Rabbi David Rosen, who had been the senior rabbi at Beth Yeshurun since 1996 and, along with Rabbi Jack Segal, will become the rabbi emeritus.

Strauss is married to Lisa Shapiro Strauss, a Plano native and a practicing attorney. They have three children, Joshua, Noa and Ari.

Shearith welcomes back Emily Cobert to Texas

Fort Worth native Emily Cobert, daughter of Scott and Ann Cobert, is spending the summer as the rabbinic intern at Congregation Shearith Israel.

Cobert decided to become a rabbi at age 13, during her bat mitzvah training. She was inspired by her tutor, Cantor Sheri Allen, who showed her how Judaism can be relevant to modern life. During high school, Cobert became an active member in the United Synagogue Youth group, engaging with the Fort Worth and Dallas Jewish communities.

She attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she double-majored in Jewish studies and psychology. She was active at Hillel, working as the Shabbat intern to coordinate creative Shabbat services and meals, and on the student Hillel board to help strengthen students’ involvement and connection to Judaism and the UT Jewish community.

Following graduation, Cobert moved to New York City to pursue her master’s in Jewish education with a concentration in Jewish day school education at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). This gave Emily many opportunities to teach in various Jewish communities.

Cobert recently finished her second year of rabbinical school at JTS. She spent the past year studying in Israel, learning and growing as a future rabbi. At Shearith, she is teaching an adult education class about the Birkat Hamazon (prayer after the meal), leading services, delivering short sermons and observing the rabbis as they officiate lifecycle events. She’s also enjoying spending time with family and catching up with friends at her family’s new home in McKinney.

Cobert will return to New York at the end of August to continue with her third year of rabbinical school.

Wolens re-elected as chairman of the Texas Ethics Commission 

Former state Rep. Steven Wolens has been re-elected chairman of the Texas Ethics Commission. Wolens was originally nominated to the Commission by Speaker of the House Joe Straus. The Commission is composed of eight commissioners, four Republicans and four Democrats, all appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the house.

The Ethics Commission oversees compliance with laws concerning political contributions and expenditures, political advertising, and personal financial disclosure of state elected officials and employees, judges, certain county and municipal officeholders, and candidates for those offices, as well as lobby registration reports and activities.

Wolens served as a member of the Texas House of Representatives for 24 years, authoring landmark legislation covering partnerships and limited liability corporations, ethics reforms, antitrust laws and electric deregulation. Texas Monthly magazine named him one of the “Ten Best Legislators” in Texas on six occasions.

Steve is a principal in the Dallas McKool Smith law firm representing governments on tax matters and businesses in commercial disputes.

Steve and his wife, former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller, have three children and are members of Congregation Shearith Israel.

Farber joins Shalom as youth adviser

Kaelah Farber joined Temple Shalom in June as youth adviser and North Satellite coordinator.

The Wisconsin native will help plan and execute youth-group programs; assist Rabbi Ariel Boxman, the director of lifelong learning; and teach first-grade Sunday school, in addition to facilitating events at Shalom’s new Plano location.

Farber attended Milwaukee Jewish Day School and JCC Rainbow Day Camp for a decade; sang from the Torah for her (and her sisters’) bat mitzvah; and was confirmed at Congregation Beth Israel of Milwaukee.

After graduating from high school, Farber lived in Israel for four years through various kibbutz ulpan programs, volunteering, working and traveling. She moved to Dallas last summer and is enrolled at Collin College to complete her studies to receive a bachelor’s degree in K-6 education.

Farber served as assistant kindergarten teacher at Congregation Shearith Israel during the last school year.


BookFest kicks off with author Daniel Silva

BookFest kicks off with author Daniel Silva

Posted on 20 July 2018 by admin

Photo: Courtesy Aaron Family JCC
From left, Dallas BookFest Chair Liz Liener, author Daniel Silva, BookFest producer Rachelle Weiss Crane and Dallas Morning News writer Michael Granberry — here in 2016 — will reunite at 7 p.m. Monday to present Silva’s recently released book The Other Woman. Tickets are available online or at the JCC.

By Deb Silverthorn

The pages of the Aaron Family JCC’s Margot Rosenberg Pulitzer Dallas Jewish BookFest begin turning with Daniel Silva, in conversation with Dallas Morning News arts writer Michael Granberry, at 7 p.m. Monday at Congregation Shearith Israel.
The Other Woman, the first of the 2018-2019 BookFest, offerings, continues the tale of legendary art restorer and assassin Gabriel Allon who serves as the chief of Israel’s secret intelligence service. The fast-paced, twist-filled modern spy thriller taps into the dangerous mounting tensions between Russia and the West.
The July 17 release takes place in a village in the mountains of Andalusia, where a mysterious Frenchwoman begins work on a dangerous memoir. It is the story of a man she once loved in the Beirut of old, and a child taken from her in treason’s name. Long ago, the KGB inserted a mole into the heart of the West. The mole stands on the doorstep of ultimate power, and Allon is lured into the hunt for the traitor after his most important asset inside Russian intelligence is brutally assassinated. His quest for the truth will lead him backward in time, to the 20th century’s greatest act of treason, and finally to a climax along the banks of the Potomac River.
“My parents Carol and Richard were teachers and readers, and as a child, I fell in love with adventure stories,” said the award-winning Silva, who has had 20 titles reach No. 1 on The New York Times best-sellers list. “I was a well-read child, and the blend of literary and commercial technique I enjoyed are definitely influences that have come into my books.
“I am a student of Russian and Soviet history and I love writing about this new cold war in which we find ourselves. Given the events of the last few months in Syria and the United Kingdom, and in our own domestic politics as well, I think it was almost preordained that this year’s novel deal with the subject of Russia.”
He describes his main character Gabriel as not just a “brilliant intelligence operative, he’s one of the world’s finest art restorers as well and, as a result, I have many readers who might not pick up a book of espionage.”
His books translated into more than 30 languages, the Allon series — the character originally set for one book, The Other Woman the 18th — is now in development with MGM/TV to become a television series.
A Florida resident who was raised in Michigan and California, Silva is married to CNN journalist Jamie Gangel, with whom he shares daughter Lily and son Nicholas. A literary fan of Graham Greene and Ernest Hemingway, Silva began his career with United Press International in San Francisco, then on the foreign desk in Washington and finally as Middle East correspondent in Cairo and the Persian Gulf.
It was years later while working as an executive producer for CNN that he pushed forth to become a novelist, and he hasn’t looked back.
Silva’s books — his first, The Unlikely Spy, two Michael Osbourne novels and the 18 Gabriel Allon series entries — are written in pencil by the journalist-turned-novelist on yellow legal pads. He generally begins writing each year on the Tuesday after Labor Day and hoping to finish by the following April Fool’s Day, immersing himself from mind to paper without an outline, his preference not to take many days off as his characters weave their way seemingly to events of today.
“I’m a huge fan who has read all of Daniel’s books — The Other Woman over a weekend. It is incredible, he doesn’t disappoint, and he always leaves me ready for his next book,” said Rachelle Weiss Crane, the JCC’s Israel engagement/Jewish living director and producer of BookFest. “Michael Granberry was terrific when Daniel was here in 2016, and when the opportunity presented to bring them together again, we jumped. They’re an incredible duo and because of their popularity we’ve moved this event to Shearith Israel.”
Said Granberry: “Daniel does his homework and he knows the world of art and international affairs and his books are terrific. I’m thrilled to have the chance to welcome him back to BookFest. He’s really built a remarkable franchise. Very well-read and diverse in his interests, he keeps his work interesting to a wide audience. Any one question can lead to so many levels of discussion and it’s a privilege to interview him.”
The 2018-2019 BookFest continues in the fall with:
• Alexandra Zapruder, Twenty-Six Seconds, Oct. 9.
• Mohammed Al Samawi, The Fox Hunt, Oct. 17.
• Mitch Albom, The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, Oct. 18.
• Rev. Michael Waters, Stakes Is High, Nov. 1.
• Nancy Churnin, Irving Berlin: The Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing, Nov. 4.
• Marilyn Rothstein, Husbands and Other Sharp Objects, Nov. 28.
• Martin Fletcher, Promised Land, Dec. 6.
• “Tal Keinan, God is in the Crowd, Dec. 10.
• Father Patrick Desbois, In Broad Daylight, Feb. 6.
• Jenna Blum, The Lost Family, and Pam Jenoff, The Lost Girls of Paris, Feb. 12.
For more information or to register for events or sponsorship opportunities, visit or call 214-239-7128.


Dallas Doings: JCC Flag Retirement, Anna Wernick, Joli Reiman

Dallas Doings: JCC Flag Retirement, Anna Wernick, Joli Reiman

Posted on 11 July 2018 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray


Photo: Steve Krant
Busy burning: JCC staff member Ed Cantrell (center) adds a worn flag as Post Project Officer Dick Lethe (foreground) and Post Adjutant Harry Hermann assist.

JWV Bloom Post 256 retires American flags

Members of the Dr. Harvey J. Bloom Post 256 of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA conducted a formal Flag Retirement on the campus of the Dallas JCC on Flag Day (June 14). Following a brief ceremonial reading and the playing of Taps, the team followed U.S. Flag Code to dispose of more than 1,500 flags gathered from individuals, businesses, and local cemeteries that were torn, faded, worn or otherwise unfit to continue being displayed. The JWV Post has offered this service to the Dallas-area community for more than six years.

Another smart cookie

Anna Wernick recently graduated from Yavneh Academy. Following a gap year at Midreshet Torah V’Avodah, Anna will attend University of Michigan. She is the granddaughter of Diane and Jerry Benjamin and Mary Stevenson and Bernie Greenberg.

Photo: Courtesy Reiman family
Joli Reiman will perform at the Sounds of Lewisville concert, at 7 p.m. July 17.

After contest win, Joli Reiman to take Lewisville stage

Joli Reiman, daughter of Melissa and Michael Reiman of Plano, recently won a singing contest called Be the Next Challenge. As the winner, Joli will be the opening act for the Sounds of Lewisville concert. The program is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 17, at the Wayne Ferguson Plaza, 150 West Church St. in Lewisville. She will open for a national touring ABBA tribute band, Dancing Dream. This is a free concert and attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs for their comfort. Well-behaved pets on a leash are allowed. Kids are also welcome.
In addition, Joli just released some of her original songs from her EP, Teen Chronicles. You can find her new originals on iTunes or Spotify under Joli Hope.
Follow Joli on social media and online at Instagram, @jolihopemusic, and on YouTube, Joli Hope Music or
Joli is the sister of Chyler. She is the granddaughter of Marcia and Jim Walsh of Richardson and Gloria and Dr. Lionel Reiman of Dallas.


Dallas Doings: Beth Torah Confirmands, Elizabeth Kaner

Dallas Doings: Beth Torah Confirmands, Elizabeth Kaner

Posted on 27 June 2018 by admin

Photo: Courtesy Beth Torah
Beth Torah’s confirmands, front row, from left, Josephine Zucker, Hope Decker and Chloe Roberts; second row, Elizabeth Stein, Eli Davidsohn, Jacob Whitcomb, Beri Schwitzer, Rabbi Elana Zelony

Beth Torah’s 2018 Confirmands

Mazel tov to Congregation Beth Torah’s 2018 Confirmation Class. This year’s confirmands were Hope Decker, daughter of Michelle Gordon; Chloe Roberts, daughter of Gwen and Ron Roberts; Jacob Whitcomb, son of Libby Holtmann; and Josephine Zucker, daughter of Beth and Jeff Zucker. The confirmation was celebrated with their families and the congregation on Saturday, May 12. The synagogue took part in a new congregational ritual to honor the 10th-grade teens. Students of the CBT Congregational Learning Center lined the main aisle of the sanctuary as the four confirmands walked to the bimah carrying special baskets. Each younger student presented the teens with fruit or barley sheaves representing the minhat bikkurim, or first fruits that were presented to the Kohanim (Priests) at the time of the Holy Temple. The teens also participated in leading services and shared their inspirational reflections on their own Jewish journeys. The students will take a trip to Alabama this summer with Rabbi Elana Zelony to learn more about the role of Jews in the civil rights movement. In addition to Rabbi Zelony, the class was taught by Eli Davidsohn, Seth Miller and Elizabeth Stein.

College grad Kaner headed
back to her old junior high

Elizabeth Kaner, daughter of Marni and Joey Kaner and granddaughter of Janet and Gary Kaner of Dallas and the late Faye and Herby Berkowitz of Fort Worth, is a Cum Laude graduate of the University of North Texas. Her degree is in Interdisciplinary Studies with a teaching certification in 4th-8th Grade Mathematics and ESL. A member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, she was also inducted into the Order of Omega, Greek Honor Society; Rho Lambda, Greek Women’s Honor Society; and Kappa Delta Pi, Education Honor Society. She was president of the UNT Hillel and is a unit head at Camp Chai at the JCC. In the fall, Elizabeth will teach math and coach volleyball at Parkhill Junior High School, where she attended seventh and eighth grade and played volleyball.


Dallas Doings: Plano West Quiz Bowl, Graduates

Dallas Doings: Plano West Quiz Bowl, Graduates

Posted on 20 June 2018 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray

Photo: NAQT
From left, Plano West NAQT national champions, Jaskaran Singh, Thomas Gioia, Avi Ackerman and Abhinav Godavarthi. The team, which was largely coached by the players themselves, had a record of 17-2.

Plano West Quiz Bowl team wins national title

Plano West rising senior Avi Ackermann, son of Arona and Rob Ackermann, was one of four members of the Plano West Quiz Bowl Team that won the National Academic Quiz Tournament (NAQT), May 25-28 in Atlanta. In their quest for the title, Ackermann and company defeated two former national championship teams and finished with a 17-2 record.
The tournament is NAQT’s premier high school event. It takes place at the end of each school year and features the top quiz bowl teams from across the United States and, increasingly, the world.
Teams qualify for the tournament by their performance at regular-season tournaments using questions supplied by NAQT.
The Plano West squad was one of 352 teams that attended the 2018 meet.

Photo: Courtesy Susan Mandell From left, Jack Cohen, Susan Mandell, Nathan Mandell (J.J. Pearce salutatorian) and Samuel Mandell celebrate Nathan’s honor.

Congratulations graduates

In addition to the graduates from Jewish day schools and high schools (pages 9-17 of this week’s TJP) here are a few more to kvell about:
•Jacob Saul Besser, son of Anne and Jeremy Besser, graduated from Lakehill Preparatory School May 25. Jacob has attended Lakehill since the 11th grade. He participated in choir, musical theater, drama, art, yoga and the Warrior Alliance, for which he served as vice president and co-founder. Jacob was accepted to the University of British Columbia, the University of Colorado-Boulder, and the University of North Texas. He will attend the University of Colorado and major in advertising.
•Brandon Michael Harris graduated from Plano West High School on June 9. Brandon took architecture classes at Plano West, where he received his AutoCad Certification. Brandon will begin the fall at University of Kansas in the Architecture and Design department. He will pursue a five-year Master of Architecture program. Brandon is the son of Lisa and Toby Harris and the brother of Debra Goss. He is the grandson of Charlotte and Art Harris, Joyce Schneider Greenberg and Lorraine and Harold Novin.
•Nathan Mandell graduated as salutatorian from J.J. Pearce High School on June 2. He is a National Merit Finalist, AP Scholar, UIL District computer science champion and UIL science team champion. He played tenor saxophone in the Mighty Mustang Band for four years. Nathan served as an SOS Lifeguard his senior year. He is an Eagle Scout with four Eagle Palms. Nathan will attend Texas A&M University this fall to study engineering and computer science in the University Honors program. Nathan is the son of Susan Cohen Mandell, the brother of Samuel and the grandson of Gloria and Jack Cohen.
It’s not too late to send us a photo and information about your graduate. Email it to We love to hear from our readers.


Dallas Doings: Marc Stanley, Temple Shalom, JWV, Flags

Posted on 06 June 2018 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray

Marc Stanley named to
Israel Policy Forum board

Marc Stanley — Dallas trial lawyer, former chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council, political activist, Jewish community leader and philanthropist — has joined the board of directors of Israel Policy Forum, the U.S. nonpartisan, pro-Israel organization founded in 2013 with the encouragement of then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
This announcement was made by Israel Policy Forum Chair Susie Gelman, a resident of Chevy Chase, Maryland.
“We are delighted and honored to have someone with Marc’s deep involvement in and commitment to public service, Israel and Jewish communal causes, as well as government, join our Board,” Gelman noted. “Our organization and our mission will benefit immensely from his vast experience and expertise, as well as from having a Texan participate in our deliberations.”
Marc Stanley has served as a board member and leader of many Jewish charitable and political organizations, including six years as chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council. In Dallas he is also chairman of The Legacy Senior Communities, Inc., a Jewish-sponsored, not-for-profit charitable organization providing continuing care retirement communities and in-home care for seniors and their families.
More broadly, Stanley has 40 years’ experience in government and public service, including his appointments as chairman of the Texas Public Finance Authority by Texas Governor Ann Richards, as a member of the Board of Visitors of the Air University of the United States Air Force by Secretary of Defense William Cohen, and as a council member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum by President Barack Obama. Founder of the Stanley Law Group, a Dallas-based firm that focuses on national class actions and complex litigation, Stanley has 34 years of experience as a leading trial lawyer.
Susan K. Stern and Michael Hershfield, both of New York City, are joining Stanley as newly minted members of the Israel Policy Forum Board.

Temple Shalom blesses youngest congregants

On Saturday, May 20, Temple Shalom held its third annual Blessing of the Babies. This year’s blessing was combined with the traditional Shavuot service celebrating the first fruits. “What a great image to see so many families with their babies — their first fruits — celebrating at a time of the year when not only our people celebrated the summer harvest, but when our people stood and felt closest to God,” exclaimed Rabbi Andrew Paley. “To bring together our Temple Shalom families in this way was a true gift and blessing, indeed!”
Babies were crawling and walking up the stairs of the bimah. Young parents excited about the upcoming blessing were on hand to watch the eager youngsters explore their new Temple. “I just love seeing children who feel at home in our worship space. As we always say, ‘This too is prayer,” exclaimed Rabbi Ariel Boxman.
After songs and prayers, Rabbi Andrew Paley called up the families for the moment everyone had been waiting for! He explained the significance of the tallit and everyone gathered underneath for the special blessing.
Cantor Devorah Avery was inspired to write an original song and blessing for the occasion. This beautiful song was a blessing for children and it incorporated the Priestly Benediction from the Torah as well.

JWV Poppy Drive

JWV Post 256 and the Auxiliary conducted another successful Memorial Day Poppy Drive Sunday, May 27, as members braved the heat at coffee houses and brunch cafes around North Dallas and suburbs seeking donations to help hospitalized veterans. Thanks to the generosity of fellow Texans, the Post raised 10 percent more than last fall’s drive. All funds are used to provide resources, including furniture, appliances, recreation supplies, etc. to benefit patients at the Dallas VA Hospital.

Worn flags sought for
Flag Day ceremony

The Dr. Harvey J. Bloom Post 256 of the Jewish War Veterans began collecting U.S. flags that are worn, faded, torn, or otherwise no longer fit to display this week. The Post has provided this public service to the greater Dallas community for several years, and retired more than 1,000 flags collected from the DFW National Cemetery, local private schools, businesses, civic organizations and individuals in 2017.
Flags may be dropped off at the Reception Desk of the Jewish Community Center until close-of-business on Monday, June 11, (Reminder: the JCC’s main building is closed from 4 p.m. Friday until 8:30 a.m. Sunday.)
A formal Retirement Ceremony — conducted in accordance with U.S. Flag Code — will be held on Flag Day, at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 14, in the JCC parking lot, 7900 Northaven Road. All interested parties are welcome to attend.


Dallas Doings: Shultz Scholars, Akiba Color War, Temple Shalom

Dallas Doings: Shultz Scholars, Akiba Color War, Temple Shalom

Posted on 31 May 2018 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray


Photo: Aaron Sasson
Members of the 2018 Yavneh graduating class who were named Schultz Scholars in 2017 or 2018 are pictured with Yavneh Head of School David Portnoy and Andy
Schultz. From left, Portnoy, Hannah Zhrebker (2018 recipient), Seth Gerstenfeld (2017), Schultz, Zachary Denn (2018), Rachel Sasson (2017) and Eliana Abraham (2017)

Yavneh names Schultz Scholars

Yavneh Academy of Dallas named five students — two graduating seniors and three juniors — Schultz Scholars for the 2017-18 Academic Year. The students were chosen because their academic achievement and co-curricular leadership exemplify the best of Yavneh Academy.
This year’s Schultz Scholars are:
• Junior Maayan Abouzaglo, daughter of Gianina and Shimon Abouzaglo.
• Senior Zachary Denn, son of Dena and Steve Denn.
• Junior Shea Doty, daughter of Amy Doty and Tim Doty.
• Junior Leib Malina, son of Inna and Eugene Malina.
• Senior Hannah Zhrebker, daughter of Leah and Cantor Itzhak Zhrebker.


Photo: Sarah Mancuso
From left, Ari Blumberg, Noah Ohayon, Yosef Drizin and Ezra Berke were part of the eighth-grade team that led Akiba Academy’s Color War.

Green Team reigns at Akiba Color War

Akiba Academy’s annual Color War is more than a two-day battle for bragging rights. It’s an opportunity for eighth-graders to organize and lead all students from the lower and middle schools and a chance for students to use their Hebrew, Judaic knowledge and analytical skills on the battlefield.
And it’s most definitely a time to build new friendships and come together.
The Green Team snagged the win this year. Faculty member Miriam Tannenbaum facilitates Color War year after year.


Photo: Lisa Rothberg
Temple Shalom President Rodney Schlosser; Dallas Morning News CEO Jim Moroney; Rabbi Andrew Paley

Busy May at Temple Shalom

May was a busy month filled with celebrations at Temple Shalom. Temple members gathered for the confirmation of the Class of 5778 on May 4. Two days later, congregants attended Temple Shalom’s 52nd annual meeting.
The President’s Award is presented each year to a Temple Shalom member who has made a difference at Temple Shalom and in the community. This year’s President’s Award was presented to Ken Glaser.
Also, Elizabeth Dworkin received the Tracy Fisher Award. Named for the daughter of Temple Shalom members Laurel and Mark Fisher who died in 2009, this award honors Tracy’s memory and her love of Judaism and all things NFTY.
Temple Shalom installed its new board members on May 11. Speaker Jim Moroney, CEO of The Dallas Morning News, spoke about the importance of coming together as a community and having strong leadership to guide them on their mission. He complimented longtime friend, Temple Shalom President Rodney Schlosser, on his leadership skills.
“Our officers and board members are very excited about the upcoming programming year. I invite all our members and prospective members to participate in the rich offering of programs we have planned. Join us, join our community, and you’ll be glad you did,” Schlosser said.


Dallas Doings: Brent Weinberg, Lizzy Greif, Cohns, Pearce Banquet

Posted on 24 May 2018 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray

Dallas’s Brent Weinberg
among Yeshiva valedictorians

Brent Weinberg, son of Sharon and Howard Weinberg of Frisco, was named the valedictorian for Yeshiva University’s Isaac Breuer College. Brent was one of nine students named valedictorian for their outstanding academic achievement. Commencement took place May 16.
“I had a love of Judaism coming from my high school, and I really could not imagine going to college without continuing my Jewish learning,” said Weinberg, who cites his morning shiur with Rabbi Reuven Fink as his favorite class during his time at YU.
“I gained a deeper connection to my heritage as well as the skills to be able to learn in-depth Jewish subjects. Ultimately YU helped me develop a deeper connection to the Ribono Shel Olam,” Weinberg said. “The opportunity to befriend so many Jews from all over the world who share in the same values as you do is a gift that no other university can offer.”
Weinberg, an accounting and management major, will continue his YU education by attending the Master’s Program in Taxation at the Sy Syms School of Business in the fall. Brent is a graduate of Levine Academy and The American Hebrew Academy. He and his family are members of Congregation Anshai Torah.

Lizzy Greif joins
Sharsheret board

Lizzy Greif has been named to the national board of Sharsheret, the only national not-for-profit organization dedicated to addressing the needs of Jewish women and families, of all backgrounds, facing breast and ovarian cancer.
Born and raised in Dallas, Greif attended Bank Street College of Education and received a Master of Science in education with a specialty in infant and parent development. Family and education have always been priorities in her life. She lost two sisters, Margot Pulitzer and Sheri Rosenberg, to breast cancer and is committed to supporting and educating everyone about breast cancer, however she can.
Toward that end, Sharsheret has been a resource for her, and she has been a longtime volunteer for the organization. Greif has been on various national and local Dallas-based boards.

Anshai Torah Fund
honors Debbie, Dan Cohn

Debbie and Dan Cohn, staples of Congregation Anshai Torah for 20 years, were honored at the synagogue’s 2018 Torah Fund/Sisterhood Shabbat May 19. The Cohns have tirelessly devoted countless hours to projects, committees and boards at the synagogue.
The Torah Fund Campaign of Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, started in 1942, provides scholarships to student rabbis, cantors and Jewish educators, as well as enhances student life with projects such as residence halls and the libraries at the five Conservative/Masorti Judaism seminaries across North America.
The Cohns said they only had to look at their childhoods and their parents, who always demonstrated the importance of volunteering and giving back.
Debbie’s mother, Irene, served on committees for Hadassah and other organizations in their hometown of Morristown, New Jersey, and her father, Mark, never said “no” when asked for help.
Dan’s father, John, was the president of their synagogue in Rockaway, New Jersey; his mother, Jeany, was a “hands-on” director of the local library.
The couple met during orientation at Carnegie Mellon in 1990; Debbie was the head counselor and Dan a freshman. Their friendship blossomed when Debbie was later asked to conduct an outreach workshop for the Hillel board on which Dan sat. The two became engaged the night of Dan’s AEPi formal. Dan earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science, while Debbie obtained a B.S. in industrial management, then her Master of Arts in student affairs in higher education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Debbie and Dan have lived in the Dallas/Plano area since January 1994. In looking for a Conservative synagogue, they found Anshai Torah with many young couples who were starting families. They’ve been members since just after their son Ari was born. Debbie says they “loved being surrounded by like-minded people” and that they felt a warmth and feeling of belonging right away.
The Cohns are interwoven into the rich history of Anshai Torah; Etan was in the first Anshai preschool class. Debbie and Dan read from the Torah (something they both learned to do as members of Anshai). Both of their boys had their bar mitzvahs at the shul. Debbie’s parents are also members at Anshai.
Debbie has served on the Sisterhood board in various positions as well as the chairperson for Sisterhood Shabbat; Dan has served on the Men’s Club board in all positions including Men’s Club board president. They both served as Membership Committee co-chairs. One of the most important volunteer activities Debbie and Dan have done for many years is the Shalach Manot project.
Debbie and Dan have two sons: Ari, a freshman at Carnegie Mellon studying computer science; and Etan, a junior at The Shelton School. Dan is active and enjoys biking, running, hiking, skiing and windsurfing. Debbie likes walking and remains busy with her stationery business, Letter Art.
Ferne Farkas and Esther Nathan co-chaired the day, aptly themed mah tovu (how good), which included a Kiddush luncheon.
— Submitted by Cynthia Brooks-Delgado

Mazal, Mazal

Congratulations to four members of the J.J. Pearce varsity baseball team who were honored at the Pearce baseball banquet Monday. Named Academic All-District (a 90 average or above all year) were senior Isaac Ableman, son of Sue and Mike Ableman, and juniors Nick Burlbaw, son of Hillary and Carl Burlbaw; Gavin Gold, son of Susie Gold and Grant Gold; and Sam Ray, son of Sharon and Alex Ray.
Ableman, who is headed to Ohio University next year, was named Most Improved Player and was lauded for maintaining a 90-or-above average throughout his four-years of high school; Gold was named to the 9-6A All-District First Team, Second Base for his play on the field; and Ray was awarded the “Fighting Mustang Award,” as voted by his fellow teammates and coaches.
Junior Jordan Rozenblum, son of Deanna and Kenny Rozenblum, also is a member of the varsity squad; and freshman Brett Rifkin, son of Jill and Ed Rifkin, is a junior varsity player. Rifkin was also recognized away from the ceremony for his academic achievements.
This year Pearce’s varsity advanced to the playoffs and defeated Garland Lakeview Centennial in the bi-district. The Mustangs lost to The Woodlands College Park in the area round. Trent Starnes is the Pearce head coach. He is assisted by Brock Rumfield on varsity and Justin Roland and Justin Whiteside on JV.


Principles of Engineering a win for TTI students

Principles of Engineering a win for TTI students

Posted on 16 May 2018 by admin

Photo: Courtesy Howard Denemark From left, the three representatives from each of TTI’s projects — Elad Levy, Yoseph Styller, Yaakov Berman — and science teacher Howard Denemark stand in front of “Save the Baby,” the grand-prize winner of 2018 CIJE West Region Young Engineers Conference in Santa Monica.

By Sharon Wisch-Ray

Students from Texas Torah Institute’s Principles of Engineering class won the grand prize at the 2018 CIJE West Region Young Engineers Conference in Santa Monica earlier this month. Members of the winning team are sophomore Noah Kimmel, sophomore Yoseph Styller and senior Meir Simcha Stolov. Their project “Save the Baby” impressed judges with its innovative approach to protecting infants and children from hot-car death. More than 800 children have died in hot cars over the last 10 years. The trio designed a car seat that not only has sensors that detect car temperature and the presence of a child in the car seat, but also sounds an alarm and rolls down the car window, when the temperature in the car exceeds a predetermined threshold.
Most devices in the past have centered around phone apps and warning sirens, explained TTI science teacher Howard Denemark. This device provides immediate relief and ventilation by rolling down a window in addition to warnings. As grand-prize winners, Kimmel, Styller and Stolov will travel with Denemark to Israel next spring. They will spend a week at the Weizmann Institute of Science and participate in its safe-cracking conference.
TTI sent two other projects to the competition. “Hot and Muggy,” designed by junior Yaakov Berman and sophomores Yossi Lestz and Ephraim Glazer, aims to protect children from being burned by hot liquids. The hot beverage cup measures the temperature of the liquid inside and locks the lid so a young child can’t burn themselves with a hot liquid. The lid cannot be removed until the temperature goes down.
The “Spider Bot,” designed by junior Daniel Goldfeder, sophomore Elad Levy and junior Daveed Tucker, is designed to carry just about any type of sensor — humidity, temperature, a camera — up a vertical surface. It gets to places where drones and other devices can’t. The project scored second in a subcategory called engineering and accomplishment.
Denemark, who accompanied one member of each team to Santa Monica, said the TTI students distinguished themselves from their competitors. Berman shone in his presentation of “Hot and Muggy” while Styller was spot on in his presentation of “Save the Baby.” Following the competition, Denemark took the students to the California Science Center, where they saw the space shuttle, as well as on a walk on Hollywood Boulevard.
Styller said he was excited to go to California and compete against other Jewish schools from Seattle, San Diego and Los Angeles, among others. “This was a project I was really excited about. I went for the experience to see what it’s like to be around so many big engineers and see what it’s like,” Styller said.
Denemark has witnessed a remarkable transformation in this first installment of the Principles of Engineering elective. “This class is dedicated to the idea that in just two semesters, you can teach students the basics of computer programming, the physics of electric circuits, three-dimensional design and project management.” Ultimately, they must make a working prototype.
Denemark, who teaches all the sciences at TTI, is proud of his nine engineering students.
“I push them fairly hard and they rise to the challenge,” he said.
The Principles of Engineering class draws its curriculum from the Center for Initiative in Jewish Education (CIJE). The program is made possible through a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. In addition to TTI, Ann and Nate Levine Academy, Mesorah High School for Girls, Torah Day School and Yavneh Academy are participating in CIJE’s STEM programming.


Dallas Doings: Shimon Peres, Herzl Hadassah, Robbins

Dallas Doings: Shimon Peres, Herzl Hadassah, Robbins

Posted on 10 May 2018 by admin

Photo: Stan Schnitzer
Jeff Romick, president of HOD Lodge Shimon Peres, and Ivan Kahn, vice president of HOD Lodge Shimon Peres, accept the Premier Lodge award from Michael Margolis, the immediate past president of HOD International, March 18 in Atlanta.

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray

Hebrew Order of David’s
Dallas Lodge Shimon Peres takes top honors

Lodge Shimon Peres was honored as the world’s “Premier Lodge” at the HOD International Biennial Conference in Atlanta March 18.
Congratulations to all the members, families, management team and presidents past and present on the stunning achievement as the most outstanding HOD Lodge in the world! This is the most prestigious award given to a Lodge by HOD International. In addition to winning “Premier Lodge,” the weekly chapter newsletter Every Thursday was the runner-up for Best Newsletter. “Our Lodge was recognized for practicing the precepts of HOD: enjoying ourselves while doing great things for the community,” stated Jeff Romick, Dallas Lodge president. “We continue to raise money to help feed, house and clothe those facing hard times in Dallas and around the world. We have numerous projects that allow our members and their families to get involved in fun events and community service. This award goes to the entire Brotherhood for their dedication, support, energy and participation that makes HOD a vibrant and meaningful organization.”
HOD is growing rapidly in the United States, with strong Lodges in Dallas, Houston, Atlanta and many other cities. HOD took root in North America with Atlanta as its continental base in 1999. The camaraderie, diversified programming and opportunities to do good for the community within a Jewish context motivate the members. HOD opened Lodges in Texas starting with Dallas in 2014 and Houston in 2015. When Hurricane Harvey struck Houston in September 2017, the Houston Lodge members, like most of the Jewish community there, were hit hard. The members of the Dallas Lodge, named for Shimon Peres, provided rapid support and led HOD International fundraising efforts for their brethren. It is a perfect example of how HOD can have a positive effect for those in need.
Hebrew Order of David, HOD, is an international Jewish men’s fraternity that enjoys raising funds for worthy charities, community service, supporting brethren during difficult times, all within the precepts and traditions of Judaism.

Last meeting before summer break for Herzl Hadassah

The Herzl Group of the Dallas Chapter of Hadassah is having its last meeting before summer break at 10:30 a.m. Monday, May 14, at the JCC. Mimi Guten and Lori Cohen will play and sing some of their favorite songs. Join folks for kosher lunch afterward at the JCC for a $3.50 suggested donation. Call Anna 214-239-7119 or Kay 214-239-7149 to make your reservation for lunch. Please contact Shirley Frankl at 214-363-5175 or or Jo Zeffren, 972-239-7643, if you have any questions.
Starting June 1, new role for Christie Morris at Shelton
Mazal tov to Christie Morris, who has been named assistant head of Early Childhood–5th Grade at Shelton School. Christie, currently a teacher in the lower school, holds a Bachelor of Science from University of North Texas. She has 22 years’ experience teaching special education in public and private schools. A former special education campus administrator for Plano ISD, Schimelpfenig Middle School and Meadows Elementary, she is Special Education Certified in the state of Texas for PreK–12th grade. Before joining Shelton in 2015, Christie taught at Akiba Academy for nine years, where her children are alumni.
On May 18, Christie will earn a Master’s with Honors in Education with a Specialization in Special Education from SMU. In June she will sit for the Alliance exam for CALP certification and will complete Montessori certification. Upon passing the CALP exam, Christie will be a Certified Academic Language Therapist Practitioner.
Christie and her husband Kyle are the parents of Hudson, 17, a rising Shelton senior, and Molly, 15, a rising Shelton sophomore.

Robbins named golf professional of the year

Northern Texas PGA pros recently recognized Scott Robbins, a Quarter Century member of the PGA of America, as the Metro Chapter Golf Professional of the Year. This adds to his previous Metro Chapter Teacher of the Year, Growth of the Game and Youth Player Development Professional awards. In addition, Robbins has been previously named Northern Texas PGA Section Teacher of the Year, Player Development and Youth Player Development Award winner. Metrics and goals highlight Scott’s junior program for beginners up to collegiate-ready players.
Professional of the Year is the highest individual honor that can be achieved by a PGA club professional. It is based on overall performance, level of service, leadership, image and the ability to inspire fellow professionals and promote the game of golf.


View or Subscribe to the
Texas Jewish Post

Advertise Here

Photos from our Flickr stream

See all photos

Advertise Here