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Cathy Barker: hands-on leadership

Cathy Barker: hands-on leadership

Posted on 28 March 2019 by admin

A hands-on CEO, Jewish Family Service’s Cathy Barker appreciates that almost every day on the job allows the opportunity to connect with those receiving support. Barker is prepping meal deliveries with volunteer Nora Silverfield, JFS’ Kosher Home Delivered Meals Coordinator Lyz Worlein and volunteer Ina Gartenberg.

By Deb Silverthorn

According to Cathy Barker, everyone who comes to the organization has a story to tell. “And we’re honored to be part of that story,” she said.
Barker, the new CEO of Jewish Family Service, spent the last eight years as the organization’s chief operating officer, chief development officer and assistant executive director, before taking the leadership reins.
“I get things done, not by me doing all of the work myself of course, but by empowering our team, getting them excited about what we’re doing, giving them the resources needed to be successful,” she said. “Then, I can step out of the way while what we do helps those who need us.”
The daughter of Donna and Robert Brunkenhoefer, Barker, along with her siblings Blake, Craig, Donna and Brad, was raised in Corpus Christi. She met her husband, Don, while the two were students at Texas A&M. She earned her undergraduate degree in psychology, then attended Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, where she received her master’s degree.
She began her career as a licensed professional counselor in both hospital and private practice settings before embarking on 20-plus years of leadership in the nonprofit sector leading local and national social service and mental health organizations.
Barker and her husband have two sons, Dalton and Riley, both current Aggies. Outside of the office, Barker enjoys exercising, watching Aggie and Cowboys football, dinner and time with friends and family, and attending concerts of the bands of the 80s.
To Barker, raised Catholic, it is the values one learns and lives that make the human being. Serving, as JFS does, the greater community without regard to race, ethnicity, religion or the ability to pay, she believes strongly in values held close to those of the Jewish faith.
“I’m proud to have been successful at building a new source of unrestricted operating support (The Resale Shop), identifying and securing new grant revenue streams through community partnerships by bringing services to underserved areas of the community, and by engaging board members so they can see, firsthand, their efforts at work in the lives of others,” Barker said.
Barker’s years working with nonprofit organizations have helped her gain insights into the JFS’ current projects, programs and grants. Additionally, “I’m able to help engage others in our thinking at all levels,” she said. “I genuinely care about our staff and donors and know about their lives and what’s important to them.”
During her time with JFS, Barker worked with former CEO Michael Fleisher to lead strategic objectives that increased operational and program effectiveness through staff recruitment and retention. She also worked to identify and implement process improvements, resource development and fiscal management of the agency’s almost $8 million budget, its three service locations, The Resale Shop’s two locations and 94 staff members.
“Michael and I worked very together closely and we clicked and complemented each other’s strengths and goals,” Barker said, noting that together, they hired much of the staff who has remained on board, a strong team developing toward the future. “We were able to finish each other’s sentences and our beliefs, values, and concept of the culture of and for JFS were aligned.”
Assured and secure in Barker’s role is Michael Kaufman, president of JFS’ board of directors. He first joined the board just before Barker came to the organization, worked with her on many projects including The Resale Shop, and he’s seen her grow into the role.
“Cathy is an incredibly committed leader who works hard and to whom our staff responds,” he said. “She’s an essential part of JFS’ future and the agency’s seamless continuance, since Michael’s retirement, is due in great part to her focus, care and and concern.”
Through JFS’ 150 unique services and its more than 1,600 volunteers, serving more than 28,000 hours last year alone, it is all that happens each day within the agency’s walls of which Barker is proud.
“I didn’t know where the path would take me, but after my own life experiences, I wanted to be part of healing others and I’ve found that in a career of varying roads,” said Barker, who worked in a psychiatric hospital, founded Turning Point Counseling Services, was executive director of Family Services of Plano, and worked with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Collin County, among other nonprofits, before arriving at JFS.
“I landed at JFS in 2010, and I’m grateful to be home where so much of what we do happens truly around the clock,” she said.

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JFGD names its new president & CEO

Posted on 28 March 2019 by admin

The Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas has named Mariam Shpeen Feist as its new president and CEO. Feist will start her role Aug. 1. Currently she serves as the Federation’s senior vice president and chief development officer, a post she’s had since August 2012, when she came to Dallas from her role as senior development manager at World ORT. Feist is the second woman to lead the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas in its 108-year history.
“Our community is so fortunate to have Mariam as our Federation’s next president and CEO. Mariam’s relationship and connection to this community the past seven years is very deep and she will help elevate our Federation to its next level of success. Our entire board of directors at Federation are very excited to welcome and support Mariam through this transition,” said Mark Kreditor, board chair.
A.J. Rosmarin, incoming Federation board chair, who was on the search committee, explained that the comprehensive search culminated in the committee realizing that the best person and fit for the job was already right here in Dallas.
“My goal was to find the best person available for the position because Dallas is a great place to live with a strong Federation serving Jews in need locally, in Israel, and throughout the world as it has for 107 years. We are on a great trajectory, and I’m confident Mariam is the right person,” Rosmarin said.
Feist’s experience in the field of nonprofit fundraising is extensive, spanning more than 33 years. She began her career at the UJA-Federation of Greater New York in its Women’s Division. While at UJA, she was awarded a work-study scholarship to Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work. After receiving her M.S.W., Feist joined the staff of the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey. During her 13-year tenure, she served as its Women’s Division director, Campaign director and assistant executive vice president.
In 2002, Feist was hired as the development director for Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, formerly Akiba Hebrew Academy, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. After just one year, she was promoted to director of Institutional Advancement, overseeing its board of trustees, annual fund, endowments and capital campaign. In 2007, Feist joined the Development department of the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network as its director of Major and Planned Gifts. In 2010, she joined the newly formed campaign team for World ORT as their senior development manager. In 2012, Feist joined the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas as the Chief Development Officer, and in 2014 assumed the role of senior vice president & CDO.
In addition, Feist has served as a consultant to other nonprofits including Hillels of Greater Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Hospital Women’s Auxiliary. She presents at national conferences, and serves as a mentor to those in the fundraising field.
Past Federation Board Chairs Dan Prescott and Cindy Sweet Moskowitz led the Federation’s search committee. “Cindy and I want to thank the search committee for providing us nine months of their time and contributions to a very thorough process. The search was international in scope and we fielded inquiries from all over the world. We are delighted to have found our CEO from our community, and having exposure to Dallas and our generous donors will undoubtedly serve her and the Federation well,” said Prescott.
Moskowitz added, “We were especially impressed with Mariam’s passion for and experience within the Federation movement as well as her dynamic vision for the future of this community. She has worked tirelessly with lay leaders to develop our core business to a position of great strength and we are excited to be on her team as she takes on this new role as our professional leader.”
Feist’s affinity for Jewish communal involvement comes naturally; her parents set a stellar example. Her late father, Harold Shpeen, DDS, served as president of the boards of the JCC, Bureau of Jewish Education, Senior Housing and Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey. He was on the national board of JCCA, formally JWB. Her late mother, Judith Goodman Shpeen, served as Board Chair of the URJ Camp Harlam.
Some highlights of Feist’s seven years as senior vice president and CDO include:
•increasing the Federation’s unrestricted Annual Campaign each year,
•engaging more leadership,
•bringing back Pacesetter missions and the YAD Event,
•implementing ONE Night,
•focusing on affinities, next-gen leadership and stewardship,
•invigorating the culture of pride-filled giving,
•transforming the Jewish Women’s Philanthropy Center,
•rolling out new programming,
•creating an atmosphere of transparency in both the Federation’s Case for Giving and the planning and allocations process.
“Mariam’s experience and deep relationships in our community will be invaluable as she leads our community forward. Our entire professional team is excited for her as she becomes our new CEO,” said Bradley Laye, Federation president & CEO.
Feist and her husband, Bob, reside in Far North Dallas and have two sons, Jacob and Max, both students at University of Missouri.

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Tiferet’s 26th Kosher Chili Cook-off ready to get cookin’

Tiferet’s 26th Kosher Chili Cook-off ready to get cookin’

Posted on 28 March 2019 by admin

Photo: Tiferet Israel
Last year’s panel will judge this year’s chili as well.

Staff Report

The chief chili cook-off committee is finalizing plans for Tiferet Israel’s 26th Annual Kosher Chili Cook-off set for Sunday, March 31, on the synagogue’s campus, 10909 Hillcrest Road near Royal Lane. Gates open at 11 a.m., rain or shine.
This year’s event has some exciting new features in addition to some of the tried and true favorites for all ages. Musical entertainment will be provided by three bands.
The Side Gig Band plays a broad spectrum of Pop and Rock from the ‘70s to NOW — from Clapton, Green Day, Queen and The Doobies to Jon Mayer and Ed Sheeran. Ron Nevelow, Bruce Katz, Ron Friedman, Rob Shrell, Rusty Cooper and Joel Futterman will entertain and open the music for this year’s Dallas Kosher Chili Cook-off with style!
The Mazik Experience was created to continue the Mazik Brothers Band’s 14-year run playing at Tiferet’s Dallas Kosher Chili Cook-off, and their legacy as the “sound of the Dallas Kosher Chili Cook-off.” After the loss in 2018 of its leader, Jim Schwartz, the remaining Mazik Bros., Rusty Cooper, Rob Shrell and Joel Futterman, waited for the right musician/friend and opportunity to present itself. They asked Eric Spomer, a talented musician and performer for 40 years, to step into the role of singer and guitar player with Rusty to honor the heritage of Jim Schwartz and the Mazik Brothers along with its many fans. Playing mainly ‘60s and ‘70s classic pop and rock, attendees are likely to know and sing along with everything they play: Beatles, Eagles, Billy Joel, Rolling Stones, Springsteen and more. This will be the 15th year that the original band members perform at Dallas Kosher Chili Cook-off!
Windy City
While this will be Windy City’s first appearance at the Chili Cook-off, David Judson, Jim Rosenthal and Bob Rosen are no strangers to the event, having made prior appearances with the Mazik Brothers over the years.
David, Jim and Bob have played together in various bands and configurations over the past 15 years. Common to all of their pasts was that they each had played in “horn” bands when they were younger. The three started discussing how great it would be to play the music of Chicago. After they played together, they began the search for other members. They added trombonist John Williams and keyboards, trumpet, saxophone, a vocalist (to sing the Robert Lamm/ Terry Kath parts) and, most recently, Ken Eger to sing the extremely-difficult Peter Cetera parts.
“We are very excited to be playing at the Kosher Chili Cook-off,” said Jim Rosenthal, the band’s drummer. “We’re hoping for great weather, as this is our first outdoor show.”
More activities and entertainment
While the music has been a central feature of the cook-off for many years, there is something for everyone.
Other activities and highlights include:
•Book reading and crafts by the PJ Library
•A special chili cook-off puppet show by the Pitzel Puppet Players, Gail Mabel and Naomi Sanit
•Music and singing for children by Music Together
•Professionally managed rides and games by Amusement Management International, with choices appropriate for little children through teens
•Balloon and face painting artists,
•Home Depot will offer opportunities for young folks to do wood craft projects under the supervision of Home Depot personnel
•Meet Dallas Police officers and see inside a police car
•BBQ sandwiches, hamburgers and hot dogs prepared by Texas Kosher BBQ
•Popcorn and cotton candy prepared by the JCC
•Local vendors selling a variety of personal and food items
•Raffle for sports and art items
•Split the Pot Raffle
•Information from local charitable organizations
In conjunction with this year’s event, the Recovery Resource Council, which recently merged with The Council on Alcohol & Drugs, will hold a Drug Takeback. This will be a great opportunity to gather up expired, unused, and unwanted prescription or over-the-counter medications (human and animal) for safe and proper disposal. The drop-off event helps to keep these types of drugs out of the water supply and from being used by unauthorized users. Medications can be dropped off in their original containers or — with the exception of liquids — in a plastic baggie. All of the medications dropped off will immediately be placed into a container and, at the end of the event, taken directly to the Drug Enforcement Agency to be destroyed. Please note, needles (any sharps) or inhalers (any combustibles) will not be accepted at this event. However, needles and EpiPens can be placed in a plastic container (such as a detergent or milk bottle); tape the lid securely, and write the word “needles” or “sharps” on the container and then place it in your normal trash bin.
The judges
While entertainment is a key feature, the main attraction is the chili competition. Kosher Chili Cook-off Judges: Judging at a chili cook-off is no easy task. It takes a special kind of person (palate and stomach) to taste and discern between dozens of chili recipes in one day. An all-star team of judges has been empaneled for the 26th Dallas Kosher Chili Cook-off. In alphabetical order, they are:
David Feder
David Feder and his family have been a part of Tiferet Israel for 55 years. He’s been involved in the food business in one form or another for half of that time, having been a noted chef in Dallas and Austin, a food writer (including for The Dallas Morning News and The Dallas Times-Herald). Later he taught food science and nutrition at UT Austin before becoming a full-time journalist. Now residing in the Midwest, he has worked for a number of magazines, including Better Homes and Gardens, LightStyle and First, and also wrote “The Skinny Carbs Diet Book” (Rodale Press, 2010).
Chef Michael Mrugala
Chef Mike has been in the industry for over 43 years and has worked for the Olive Garden for over 14 years. He runs the entire kitchen operation at the restaurant on Northwest Highway. He is a member of the American Culinary Federation, Texas Chefs Association and a FMP from the National Restaurant Association, CFBE from the American Hotel and Lodging Association along with being a Certified ServSafe Instructor & Registered Servsafe Examination Proctor and a National Registry of Food Safety Professionals Test Administrator/Proctor. He teaches culinary arts at Tarrant County College.
Pete Nolasco
A native of Texas, Chef Pete is the Chef Owner of Chef Pete Catering and Ice Carving in Dallas and has worked in the best of Dallas restaurants and hotels for many years such as Hyatt Regency Hotel DFW, The Four Seasons Hotel, Sambucca Jazz Café, The Italian Club of Dallas and more. Chef Pete is also an artist and has received many awards and accolades for his ice pieces and his teachings of the art of ice carving. The director of the Dallas Chapter Texas Chef Association, he is a member of the Epicurean World Master Chef Society. Chef Pete was awarded the Best Caterer in Addison, Texas, in 2013. He has traveled with the Epicurean World Master Chef Society to Limerick, Ireland, and won the gold medal in healthy food competition.
Kim Schroeder
Native Texan, Kim Schroeder has been in the food service industry her entire career. She worked at the Dallas Market Center as a director for 10 years and has been the Retail Food Service associate director at the University of North Texas for the past 14 years. Kim is happily married for 19 years with one daughter. When not working, Kim likes to travel and host parities.
Tom Schroeder
Tom was born in Connecticut, but moved to Texas as soon as he could. He has been an executive chef for 34 years. A Johnson & Wales University graduate, he opened the OPUS restaurant at the Meyerson Symphony Center in 1993; then, was the chef at the World Trade Center, Dallas, for 15 years. He is the senior executive chef for the Baylor Scott & White Healthcare System.
Cook-off tips
Winners for the cook-off beef (First, Second and Third) and veggie (First) categories are announced in the late afternoon.
There is also a People’s Choice category that all attendees can participate in choosing their favorite chili. Simply cast your vote at the booth of your choice by placing your token in the team’s ballot box. Each paid admission includes a single ballot for the People’s Choice award.
Recommended parking is at the Jewish Community Center, which is five minutes away. Free shuttle buses will be in place for the entire event. There is also local parking in the neighborhood.
Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children 4 to 10 which includes a free hot dog. Children 3 and under are free.
For more information, visit http://kosherchilicookoff.us/.

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Temple Shalom teaches kids all about weddings

Temple Shalom teaches kids all about weddings

Posted on 22 March 2019 by admin

Photo: Lisa Rothberg
Gabe Strauss, Jori Kohleriter, Drew Galardi, Layla Lazurus enjoy the chair dance with their Teddy Bear bride and groom.

 

Temple Shalom has been throwing Teddy Bear weddings for years, but this year’s wedding ceremony Feb. 24 took things to a new educational level. Second-graders, under the leadership of teacher Tamara Farris, learned about Jewish weddings and passionately planned a dream wedding for “Bear Baruch” (Hebrew for blessed) and “Bear Nireet” (Hebrew for flower). Each student played a role: bride, groom, rabbi, bridesmaid, glass holder and of course, chuppah holders. The children and their bears dressed in their finest clothes and decorated the reception hall. They wrote and decorated their own ketubah, which including important rules of marriage such as, “Be nice to each other, always have a pet, never fight.”
The wedding party and Rabbi Ariel Boxman were joined in the sanctuary by religious-school students, friends and family. The bridesmaid and bride walked down the aisle to music played by the Temple Shalom Kazoo Band, The Relative Minors. The wedding party chose seven original blessings for the wedding bears, and after a symbolic exchange of rings, apple juice, vows and the breaking of the glass, the bears were officially married.
At the reception, the bride and groom entered into a room filled with bubbles. Festivities included the traditional chair dance, hora and bottle dance. The Relative Minors performed their favorite melodies including, of course, the top of the song chart, “Baby Shark” (with original verses of Rabbi Shark, Bride Shark and Groom Shark). The highlight of the reception was when students and parents decorated their own cupcakes.

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In the US, Izakil Goldin’s artistic talent blossoms

In the US, Izakil Goldin’s artistic talent blossoms

Posted on 22 March 2019 by admin

Photo: Goldin Family
Izakil and Lora stand at Izakil’s latest exhibition at Cleo’s Creations in Hulen Mall in December.

By Nicole Hawkins
Special to the TJP

Paintings of flowers, still lifes and portraits fill the walls of Izakil and Lora Goldin’s Fort Worth home. But the paintings aren’t simply decor — they’re the fruits of Izakil’s labor.
As he sits at his dining room table with his framed works of art hanging behind him and Lora by his side, he speaks of a place so different from his current home he compares it to the moon.
Izakil was born in Belarus, then part of the Soviet Union, in 1936, where he says poverty, starvation and war were the norm for his family. He was always drawn to art, but supplies were beyond his family’s means. His teachers encouraged him to instead pursue science, and Izakil eventually worked as a lab technician testing cement.
Lacking paint supplies, Izakil indulged in his love for the fine arts by playing the mandolin and writing Russian poetry.
Izakil, Lora and their son Jay immigrated to Richmond, Virginia in 1979, where they lived until moving to Fort Worth in 2011. Izakil began painting while in Richmond, his work exhibited at many places throughout the city. Since moving to Fort Worth, his work has been exhibited at Beth-El Congregation, of which he and his wife are members, and most recently, at Cleos-Creations Art Gallery in Hulen Mall in Fort Worth.
In addition to painting, Izakil continues to write Russian poetry as he did in his childhood. He has written two books of poems, many of which are filled with jokes and satire ranging in topics from his life in the Soviet Union to politics.
“Painting, believe it or not, is sometimes physical work,” Izakil said. “I still enjoy it, but sometimes it makes you angry or upset. But [poetry], I always love.”
Izakil says he paints whenever he feels inspired. Sometimes he will go a year without painting and other times he will paint every day. He describes painting as a distraction of sorts, a way to make life better.
“In Russia we have a saying — in English it’s ‘Old age is no fun,’” Izakil said. “This art helps me to forget about age, at least for a short time.”
“He said in Minsk [Belarus] we had better mirrors,” Lora added with a laugh.
Over a dozen of Izakil’s paintings ranging from landscapes to portraits will be on display at Beth-El Congregation in Fort Worth beginning May 1, with 30 percent of profits donated to Beth-El. The artist can be contacted by email at lora5020@att.net.

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Laura Miller aims for Dallas District 13 seat

Laura Miller aims for Dallas District 13 seat

Posted on 21 March 2019 by admin

Photo: Courtesy Laura Miller
Laura Miller with her husband Steve Wolens and children, from left, Lily, Max and Alex.

 

By James Russell
Special to the TJP

Whether as mayor, councilwoman or investigative reporter, Laura Miller has never shied away from taking on Dallas City Hall. Now, the two-time breast cancer survivor and Dallas’ third female Jewish mayor is the first former mayor to run for Dallas City Council.
That’s at least according to the city employee who accepted her paperwork for City Council District 13 two hours before last month’s filing deadline. At the least, she’s running for office again after 12 years in private life, spending time with her husband, former State Rep. Steve Wolens, a Democrat, and watching her three children grow up.
She enjoyed private life so much she first asked potential challengers.
But they declined.
“The last thing I thought I’d do is run,” she said.
Miller was elected to city council in 1998 from Oak Cliff before running a successful campaign for mayor in 2002. But she’s now running for the zig zagging north Dallas district currently represented by Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates, who declined to run for mayor. (Mayor Mike Rawlings is term-limited.) She may be running for a different district, in a different role, and in a Dallas different from a decade ago, but she is running on the same platform as her previous pro-neighborhood, pro-infrastructure campaigns. (“Police, parks, pools and potholes,” as she said when she was mayor.)
She really wishes she had more time.
“Ideally you would get five to six months to run a campaign. But instead we get nine weeks,” she said.
The district stretches from Central and Hillcrest, dips into Lemmon and includes Vickery Meadows.
“It’s a varied district,” she said.
“Unlike running for mayor,” which includes campaigning on major issues such as pension reform to bread and butter issues like potholes, “running for council gives you a different perspective,” she said.
She bought a house in the district after she was elected to the city’s top post in 2002. She then moved to the district in 2004, citing a long commute for her children to get to school, much less from Oak Cliff to City Hall.
Even after she left office, her council members shared her cautious approach to encroaching development.
“The council members were homeowner-centric,” she said. Many of those predecessors have endorsed her, including three of Gates’ predecessors Mitchell Rasansky, Donna Blumer and Sid Stahl.
“But the last six years, Councilwoman Gates has taken the opposite approach,” she said. “She lets developers file zoning cases for anything they want to build, no matter how inappropriate or how much a neighborhood opposes it. We’ve had six years of nonstop fighting between homeowners and City Hall,” Miller said. “Gates will continually tell people she hasn’t made up her mind on a project, so homeowners and developers battle — sometimes for years — right up until projects get a city council vote. It’s exhausting and disrespectful to homeowners. That is the reason I’m running.”
One case in particular involves dense development just south of Preston Center. Single-family homeowners are pushing back since St. Michael & All Angel Church on Douglas Avenue entered a joint venture agreement with Lincoln Property Company to build hi-rise apartments and an office tower on vacant land next to the church. Opponents drafted a petition and made yard signs demanding “No More Towers in Preston Center.” They are calling instead for focus on easing traffic congestion.
Miller points out those recommendations — fixing traffic and infrastructure needs before any new development is approved — were first outlined in a series of recommendations made in the Northwest Highway and Preston Road Area Plan. The plan was developed by a panel of homeowners and developers selected by Councilmember Gates and unanimously adopted by the Dallas City Council in January 2017. Miller served on that panel
Miller’s opposition is not to density or development alone but irresponsible development — that is, new development without regard to infrastructure needs, walkability, design, green space, street and side yard setbacks and landscaping.
“How do we sustain our most stable neighborhoods without common-sense development guidelines?” she asked. “The community deserves a choice in who represents them now and a healthy debate about the future of the district.”
Her campaign treasurer Doug Deason, president of Deason Capital Services, agreed.
“The developers have had the upper hand in District 13 for the past six years, and homeowners and small businesses are tired of City Hall ignoring their pleas for help,” he said.
Gates defended her record when asked about Miller’s issues.
“I’ve got a solid record of leading for basics like streets, infrastructure and police, and that’s where I’m focused going forward,” Gates told The Dallas Morning News. “That’s why I chose to run for re-election — to keep leading for these basics and to keep our neighborhoods strong. We’re on the right path, and we need to stay the course.”
But Miller said the potential multistory buildings around Preston Center were not her only issue.
“I noticed west of Midway, we have nice neighborhoods but no good retail,” she said. Many residents have to go east of the Dallas North Tollway to shop for the basics. Streets are crowded with fast-moving traffic, sidewalk crossings are nonexistent or unsafe for pedestrians, and up-zoning on the edges of single-family neighborhoods threatens their character and tranquility.”
“A lot of these neighborhoods haven’t fought these cases,” she said, “because when homeowners want to fight, they don’t know who to call.”
Her other issues for running call to mind her other mayoral priorities: addressing crime, homelessness and the morale of police and fire.
Homelessness is a personal issue. She participates in The Ladder Project through her synagogue Shearith Israel.
The concept is simple: 1,000 families help a homeless person achieve self-sufficiency financially and socially. Working with The Bridge, a homeless center in downtown Dallas, they successfully helped a 58-year-old man move into his own apartment. They are now preparing to work with a second, yet-to-be-identified individual.
For Miller, the project may just help one person at a time. “But we can’t do nothing,” she said. “My heart is with this project,” as much as her eyes are back on City Hall.

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Just For Show will feature The Second City

Just For Show will feature The Second City

Posted on 13 March 2019 by admin

Photo: Courtesy Brad Sham
Brad Sham will be the master of ceremonies at Jewish Family Service’s Just for Show fundraiser April 30.

By Deb Silverthorn

Day after day, Jewish Family Service provides life-changing interventions to the people it serves. To support those programs and services financially, JFS will present “Just For Show,” featuring the improv comedy troupe The Second City, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, at The Majestic Theatre. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Brad Sham will serve as master of ceremonies.
“The need has never been greater,” said Event Co-chair Eric Goldberg, “and the expertise and consideration afforded by the JFS team to our clients is something we couldn’t be prouder to support.”
Goldberg is co-chairing the event with his wife Sharon as well as Stefani and Gary Eisenstat and Greta and Howard Herskowitz.
“Other than annual gifts provided by donors, Just For Show provides one of our largest sources of unrestricted operating support — critical funding needed to support all of the agency’s services,” said JFS’ CEO Cathy Barker. “More than half of our clients who access clinical or employment services pay $5 or less for services. The funds we raise at this event ensure that we can continue to serve anyone in need, regardless of their ability to pay and for as long as needed.”
For more than 50 years The Second City troupe, with alumni that include Tina Fey, Chris Farley, Bill Murray and Keegan-Michael Key, has been presenting improvisational comedy. With a variety of theaters, training centers and full-time touring ensembles, laughter is provided around the world. The Second City is creating an original show for the evening, customized to spread joy relating to JFS and the Dallas Jewish community.
“Just For Show is a great night out with friends, colleagues or a significant other to laugh and support a great cause,” said Barker. “The Second City is legendary. When you think about improv, they immediately come to mind. It was a no-brainer to bring them in for this evening of comedy and community.”
Sham said that The Second City is a favorite stop of his when he heads to the Windy City.
“It’s on my ‘to do’ almost every time I get to Chicago and I know Just For Show will be a real treat,” said Sham, known as “the voice of the Dallas Cowboys,” broadcasting his 41st season for the team this year.
The broadcaster commended JFS for its monumental work for the community, with more than 150 programs, groups and services. Serving its mission every day, JFS’ employees and volunteers provide professional, effective and affordable mental health and social services that promote lifelong self-sufficiency and well-being for anyone in need regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or ability to pay.
“The tremendous work that Jewish Family Service does across the community is important work to be understood and supported. All they had to do was ask and I’m honored to be a part of this special night,” said Sham.
JFS, nationally accredited in all service areas by the Council on Accreditation, is a United Way Agency and community partner of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. With more than 40 community collaborations built over its 68 years, Jewish Family Service offers wraparound care to address multiple needs, its sliding scale, even to zero cost, making a difference and changing lives for more than 13,000 people each year.
JFS encompasses more than 150 different services, groups, programs, and specialists in the areas of mental health support for all ages; food pantry; older adult needs; career and employment; family violence intervention; and emergency assistance. In 2018, 1,604 volunteers gave 28,454 hours to enhance and enable those programs to succeed.
Just for Show’s honorary co-chairs are Sheryl and Gordon Bogen, Lisa and Neil Goldberg, Beverly and Joe Goldman, Barbara and Clive Miskin, Hannah Kay and Harlan Pollock, Barbara and Stan Rabin and Barbara and Donald Zale.
Tickets, which include kosher snacks, are $150 with a limited number of young adult (ages 21-35) seats available at $50/person. To purchase tickets, visit jfsjustforshow.org. For more information or sponsorship opportunities, call 469-206-1690 or email Leah Guskin at lguskin@jfsdallas.org.

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Anne Frank’s stepsister to visit North Texas

Anne Frank’s stepsister to visit North Texas

Posted on 13 March 2019 by admin

Photo: Courtesy Eva Schloss
Eva Schloss will share her story and message of hope at Chabad’s annual fundraiser March 27.

 

Every Holocaust survivor is a different person, with a unique story. One of the most different of all those stories will be told at the Eisemann Center in Richardson on Wednesday evening, March 27, by Eva Schloss, who is widely known as “Anne Frank’s Step-Sister.”
At almost 90, she’s been making up for lost time. Like many survivors, Eva didn’t talk about her personal experiences for almost four decades — in her case, 40 years spent back in Europe before the breakthrough came.
She was born in 1929, and returned from Auschwitz in 1945. Did people feel sorry for this teenage girl? “I was just 16 when the war ended, and I wanted everyone to know what I had suffered, and to feel sorry for me. But no one wanted to hear,” is how she begins to answer that question.
“Everybody in Europe had lost family,” she recalls. “People said to just move on. How could they possibly understand? So, like all survivors, I buried my thoughts. I couldn’t sleep properly. I had nightmares. There was no counseling or therapy available.”
And there was nothing different for her until 1986 when, long after she was a grown woman, she had come to London to study photography. “Not everybody can go to Auschwitz,” she says, about the continuing difficulties in getting people to understand the Holocaust. But that year, a traveling exhibition came to town — an exhibition based on Anne Frank — and she was invited to attend. And at it, suddenly, someone announced, “And now, Eva will talk.”
“I was not a public speaker,” she thought then. But speak she did, for the very first time. And once the floodgates of memory were opened to 300 listeners, Eva found out she really was. Since then, there has been no stopping her. Her writing began soon after, and she has now published three books; the first one, “After Auschwitz,” contains all her memories. “Once I let go of them,” she says now, “I couldn’t recall them any more. I had to use my own book to look them up!”
The opportunity to hear Eva locally is being offered by Chabad of Plano/Collin County. She’s on a current tour of 19 Chabad centers, but audiences are in no way limited to those with Chabad connections. According to Rabbi Menachem Block of the local Chabad, “She is a piece of history, and this will be historic for the people who will hear her. She wants people to know about the Holocaust, that it really happened, that she was there. And her message to the world is tolerance, our common humanity and respecting diversity.”
Eva is grateful to her Chabad sponsors for helping to bring her messages to such wide audiences. When people ask about her beliefs, as they often do, she will respond, “I’m not a ‘practicing Jew.’ I’m certainly not Orthodox. But I’m proud of my Jewish heritage.” In the camps, she says, “You could only pray for everything to stop!” She has actually debated with some rabbis about losing faith in God, but maintains that this is not the truth: What happened was a loss of faith in humanity.
The desire to create a future that people can have faith in was the basis for her recent widely publicized meeting with students in a Southern California high school who, in a terribly mistaken attempt at humor during a weekend party, formed a swastika out of beer cups and made the Heil Hitler salute over them. Of course this debacle made its immediate way onto social media, and then to Rabbi Reuven Mintz, director of the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Newport Beach, California, who arranged for the meeting. Now, as Eva has moved on to continue spreading her messages of tolerance and hope for the future, Rabbi Mintz is beginning his work with the high school’s leadership to further a program of Holocaust education.
But what everyone wants to know most is how the Eva-and-Anne connection came about. That story begins with the arrivals in Amsterdam of two families seeking what then seemed safe refuge from Hitler’s Nazis. The family of Anne Frank, who was just one month younger than Eva, had come first, from Germany; Eva’s family, the Geiringers, came later, from Austria. By luck, or fate or the hand of God, their apartments faced each other, and the two young girls became playmates first, and later, good friends.
Of course, the peace they had hoped for eluded both families in the Netherlands as it had in other parts of Europe. While the Franks were hidden in what has since become the world’s most famous attic, the Geiringers moved from safe-house to safe-house, until both families were finally betrayed and transported to the death camps. There, Anne was lost, along with her mother and sister Margot; gone also were Eva’s father and brother Heinz. After the war, the three survivors — Anne’s father Otto Frank, and Eva with her mother Elfriede Geiringer — returned separately to Amsterdam, hoping to rescue bits of their lost loved ones from old hiding places. Otto found his daughter’s now-world-famous diary; Elfriede found her son’s paintings and poems, which have also been shown and read publicly. And the two adults found — and subsequently married — each other, making Eva the after-the-fact stepsister of her dearly departed friend Anne.
Eva’s first stop on this current tour was at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, where she drew a crowd of 1,200 that was covered by The Washington Post. Always, her message echoes and enhances that of our Dallas Holocaust Museum: “It is the danger of the bystander. I tell people, this is the way Germany was: Not everyone was anti-Semitic or supported Hitler; some had good Jewish friends. But they took the easy way out and looked the other way,” she said. “We have to teach young people to speak out when they see injustice.”
Photography first took a back seat in Eva’s life when, in London in 1953, she met and married another German survivor, Zvi Schloss. Also like many survivors, “I was desperate to have a family,” she recalls. In their 27 years together before her husband’s death, the couple had three daughters, and now Eva also has five grandchildren. Her work today continues to be spreading a personal message of hopeful optimism despite the past. And she is already being helped to do so into the farthest future by the newest technology (which will be seen locally when Dallas’ new Holocaust Museum opens in September): she is one of the first survivors to have been “hologrammed,” making it possible for viewers to have interactive contact with them — to ask questions and receive answers — even long after they are gone. Eva’s “living image” is already telling her story to visitors of Holocaust museums in New York, California and Illinois.
“This is complex,” she says of the new technique. “But it is the best and most appropriate way to keep the moral lessons of genocide alive.”

This “Historic Evening with Anne Frank’s Step- Sister Eva Schloss” will start at 7 p.m. (checkin), with the program beginning at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 27, at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive in Richardson. Tickets are priced at $25 and $50, $10 admission for students. They can be purchased at www.eisemanncenter.com.

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House passes anti-hate resolution

House passes anti-hate resolution

Posted on 13 March 2019 by admin

Photo: gohmert.house.gov
Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) was one of 23 representatives who voted against the resolution condemning anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

By Jackson Richman

(JNS) The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution on Thursday afternoon, March 7, condemning anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
The final tally was 407-23.
“Whereas whether from the political right, center or left, bigotry, discrimination, oppression, racism and imputations of dual loyalty threaten American democracy and have no place in American political discourse,” states the resolution.
It defines anti-Semitism as “the centuries-old bigotry and form of racism faced by Jewish people simply because they are Jews.”
Islamophobia, according to the measure, is “prejudicial attitudes towards Muslims and people who are perceived to be Muslim, including the irrational belief that Muslims are inherently violent, disloyal and foreign.”
It then cites examples of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim incidents from the October 2018 Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh to mosque attacks in 2017 in Minnesota, Texas, Florida and Washington state.
The legislation came in response to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who on Sunday, March 3, defended her recent remarks accusing her “Jewish colleagues” for attacking her and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) for labeling every criticism of theirs as anti-Israel because of the faith of the two congresswomen, in addition to slamming her critics regarding “the political influence in this country that says it is OK to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”
Omar voted in favor of the resolution, which cites anti-Semitic instances such as “accusing Jews of being more loyal to Israel or to the Jewish community than to the United States constitutes anti-Semitism because it suggests that Jewish citizens cannot be patriotic Americans and trusted neighbors, when Jews have loyally served our Nation every day since its founding, whether in public or community life or military service.”
Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.), who is Jewish, said on the House floor before the vote that she has demonstrated her allegiance to the United States through taking the oath “to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic” when she was in the U.S. Navy more than 20 years and when she was sworn into Congress in January.
“Is that not enough to prove my loyalty to our nation?” rhetorically asked Luria, who voted for the resolution.
However, the resolution does not cite the demonization of Israel as a form of anti-Semitism. This notion has been challenged by Omar and others, who accuse critics of blurring the line between criticism and demonization of the Jewish state, despite the latter being sometimes considered as also anti-Semitic.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) decried it as “watered down.”
“One of the reasons I will vote against the resolution is because we came here because of an anti-Semitic remark and we came here to condemn anti-Semitism, but this resolution, as changed up over the last hour, now condemns just about everything,” he said on the House floor before the vote. “And the reason that is so dangerous is that anti-Semitism, hatred for the children of Israel, is a very special kind of hatred that should never be watered down. There has never been a persecution of a people like the Jewish people from 1933 to 1945, over 6 million killed.”
Along with Gohmert, the members who voted against the resolution included Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Ken Buck (R-Co.), Mike Conaway (R-Texas), Chris Collins (R- N.Y.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Peter King (R-N.Y.), Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), Chip Roy (R-Texas), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Tom Graves (R-Ga.), Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Michael Burgess (R-Texas), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), Greg Steube (R-Fla.), Mark Walker (R-N.C.), Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who is the chair of the House Republican Conference.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) voted “present.”
Jewish groups applauded the resolution’s passage.
“We support this strong denunciation of anti-Semitism and join the House in rejecting all forms of intolerance and hatred,” said Jewish Democratic Council of America chairman Ron Klein, a former Florida Democratic congressman. “Anti-Semitism does not emerge in a vacuum. It is an indication of larger trends of intolerance in society and should be combated in conjunction with other forms of discrimination.”
“The proposed House resolution released today is an important reminder that our collective safety relies on our collective solidarity, and it is a victory for the organizing and advocacy of the many community organizations who rose up in solidarity,” said Ginna Green, Chief Strategy Officer of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action. “We applaud the House leaders who listened to dozens of groups representing millions of Americans that joined us in pushing for a People’s Resolution, which emphasizes that anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism and xenophobia reinforce each other, and must be addressed together. That spirit is reflected in today’s resolution.”

‘A hateful and dangerous ideology’

Ahead of the vote, Democrats were divided from the resolution itself to what Omar said.
“I just think that we lose too many battles up here arguing over the stuff that’s kind of silly to argue over,” House Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.) told The Hill. “Everybody talks about how diverse this Congress is. This Congress is not diverse; the Democratic Caucus is diverse. We’ve got 53 black people in our caucus. How many Muslims do you think are in their caucus?”
He continued, “So, it’s going to be different for us.”
Clyburn ended up supporting the resolution.
“I think we need to talk about white supremacy in our country very much more directly than that resolution did in the first place,” said Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who has also been accused of anti-Semitism, including echoing the dual-loyalty canard, on Wednesday. “And I think we’ve been heard.”
Democratic senators also came to Omar’s defense, including 2020 presidential candidates.
“We all have a responsibility to speak out against anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, racism, and all forms of hatred and bigotry, especially as we see a spike in hate crimes in America,” said Sen. Kamala Harris of California. “But like some of my colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus, I am concerned that the spotlight being put on Congresswoman Omar may put her at risk.
“We should be having a sound, respectful discussion about policy. You can both support Israel and be loyal to our country,” she added. “I also believe there is a difference between criticism of policy or political leaders, and anti-Semitism. At the end of the day, we need a two-state solution and a commitment to peace, human rights and democracy by all leaders in the region — and a commitment by our country to help achieve that.”
Massachusetts’s Sen. Elizabeth Warren said in a statement, “We have a moral duty to combat hateful ideologies in our own country and around the world — and that includes both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
“In a democracy, we can and should have an open, respectful debate about the Middle East that focuses on policy,” she continued. “Branding criticism of Israel as automatically anti-Semitic has a chilling effect on our public discourse and makes it harder to achieve a peaceful solution between Israelis and Palestinians.”
“Threats of violence, like those made against Rep. Omar, are never acceptable,” she added.
Warren’s remarks were condemned by Jeremy Burton, the executive director of the Boston chapter of the Jewish Community Relations Council: “The statement from Sen. Warren is deeply problematic and disappointing. Completely missed the point. This isn’t about fair criticism of Israel, this is about using anti-Semitic tropes targeting U.S. Jews.”
An example of a threat against the congresswoman was an anti-Muslim poster in West Virginia incorrectly linking Omar to the 9/11 attacks; it evoked bipartisan denunciation.
“Anti-Semitism is a hateful and dangerous ideology, which must be vigorously opposed in the United States and around the world,” said Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont who caucuses with the Democrats, but is running as a Democrat in the 2020 race. “We must not, however, equate anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the right-wing, Netanyahu government in Israel. Rather, we must develop an evenhanded Middle East policy which brings Israelis and Palestinians together for a lasting peace.”
Organizations such as the Zionist Organization of America and the Endowment for Middle East Truth have taken their condemnations one step further in calling for Omar to be removed from the Foreign Affairs Committee. Members of Congress such as Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) have called for such action.
“Same thing as Steve King,” Fitzpatrick, who won re-election last year by defeating an anti-Israel Democrat, told Jewish Insider.
King, an Iowa Republican congressman, was stripped in January of his committee assignments after he made remarks questioning how terms such as “white supremacist” and “white nationalist” have become “offensive.”
A House resolution was passed almost unanimously in January, condemning King explicitly and white supremacy.
Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), who supported the resolution, passionately said ahead of the vote, “We don’t need a manual to tell us who we can’t hate! How is this so hard! Why do we blow process? Why do we disrespect this institution?”

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JCRC holds 7th annual Interfaith Seder

JCRC holds 7th annual Interfaith Seder

Posted on 13 March 2019 by admin

Rabbi Sunshine

Submitted Story

DALLAS — The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas will hold its seventh annual JCRC Interfaith Seder on April 9, presented by the Texas Jewish Post.
Following the model of a traditional Jewish Passover Seder, the annual JCRC Interfaith Seder draws comparisons between Passover stories and challenges that we face in present times by exploring a social action theme or value that resonates across numerous faiths. The JCRC Interfaith Seder is a unique opportunity for the Dallas Jewish community to join together with local faith leaders and individuals from different cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds. The JCRC Interfaith Seder also gives the opportunity to our non-Jewish friends and neighbors to have a Jewish experience in a Jewish institution.
The leaders of the 2018 JCRC Interfaith Seder will be Rabbi Ari Sunshine of Congregation Shearith Israel and Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie of the Tenth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The JCRC Interfaith Seder Planning Committee is co-chaired by Mandy Golman of Congregation Shearith Israel and Reverend Damon L. Blakeley of Saint Paul AME Church.
The JCRC “reworks” the Haggadah to reflect this year’s Seder theme: Building Community Together. The JCRC expects more than 500 faith leaders, elected officials and community members from diverse faith backgrounds to attend the program, which has been called a “must attend” interfaith event in Dallas.
“VINYL” Booker T. Washington’s Jazz Singers are scheduled to perform. Dallas ISD’s Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts is one of the top high schools in the nation for the study of music, and has produced singers including Erykah Badu and Norah Jones.
The mission of the Jewish Community Relations Council includes interfaith and interethnic outreach and the building of bridges that enable us to come together as a multifaceted and diverse community. As the public affairs division of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, the scope of the JCRC also encompasses public policy, communications, education, issue management and social action.
The Seder is open to the community for a minimal charge of $20 per person, which covers the cost of the meal. This year’s JCRC Interfaith Seder will be held at Congregation Shearith Israel. To register, please visit www.jewishdallas.org/seder. For questions or more information, please contact jcrcdallas@jewishdallas.org or call the JCRC at 214-615-5293.

—Submitted by
Jamie Moore

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