Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
JWV Harvey Bloom Post, Auxiliary hold installations
On Jan. 22, the Harvey J. Bloom Post No. 256 and Auxiliary held their 2017 Installation of Officers at the Canyon Creek Country Club in Richardson.
The event included a brunch graciously sponsored by Michael Collins of Charles Schwab Investments. Congratulations go out to Andy Lavigne, the new Post commander, and Sandra Cantor, president of the Auxiliary, serving her second term. Art Kaplan, TALO commander, and Marcy Kahn, past Auxiliary president, presided over the installations.
The highlight of the day was the presentation of the Roland Greenwald Award, the highest honor given on the local level of The Jewish War Veterans of America. This year’s recipient is Jerry Benjamin, who exemplifies the commitment and devotion to the organization that Mr. Greenwald did.
The award came as a total surprise to Jerry as explained in his acceptance speech: “I was the head of the committee and I know who was nominated and it was not me!”
If you are interested in finding out more, check JWV out on Facebook: jewishwarveteranspost256@jwv256dallas.
— Submitted by Sandra Cantor
Oscar preview at Beth Torah
Dallas’ two leading film critics, Stephen Becker of KERA and Chris Vognar of The Dallas Morning News, will be the guest speakers at the Congregation Beth Torah Men’s Club/Sisterhood breakfast Sunday, Feb. 19.
Becker and Vognar will discuss movies, the upcoming Oscars and all things cinematic. But instead of popcorn, the menu will feature Men’s Club’s lox and bagels and Sisterhood’s fabulous desserts.
The public is invited to the breakfast, which begins at 9:30. Admission is $10, $5 for students.
Beth Torah is located at 720 W. Lookout Drive, near the crossroads of Bush Turnpike and Central Expressway.
For more information, call the synagogue at 972-234-1542.
— Submitted by Michael Precker
Tu B’Shevat at the Silvers’ house
Charles Silver and his wife welcomed guests to their home Sunday, Feb. 12, for their annual Tu B’Shevat seder.
“Nearly all of us have a Passover seder, but very few of us have Tu B’Shevat seders,” Charles wrote to the TJP.
He and his wife, Kathi, have been hosting the event nearly every year for 18 years.
Silver explained that the origin of their celebration dates back to 1993, when his wife visited their daughter in Israel. She was on the yearlong NATIV program. While traveling through the northern city of Tzfat, they participated in a Kabbalah-inspired seder where many Orthodox Jews were sitting around a table, eating fruit, drinking wine of different dilutions, and singing hymns and prayers celebrating nature, trees and the environment, and their spiritual relationship to God.
“This inspired us so much that we began doing our own Tu B’Shevat Seder in 1996 and have done so continuously since with a few brief pauses,” Silver said.
He explained, “The Tu B’Shevat seder originated with the Kabbalists in the 16th century in Tzfat. They understood God as a Tree of Life, whose roots were in the heavens and whose branches extended toward earth bringing all of us life and blessing.”
The Silvers have had as little as six and as many as 31 participants.
“Many of our participants come back again and again. What is constant is that we drink four cups of wine with blessings celebrating the four seasons, starting with white wine depicting winter and then adding various amounts of red wine winding into the robust themes of summer and autumn. We also make blessings and eat three types of fruits which represent the worlds of the mystics: beriah or soft wholly edible fruits like figs; yetzirah or fruits with an inner pit such as olives; asiyah or fruits with a hard outer shell such as almonds or pomegranates.”
During the seder, guests munch while reading excerpts from the Torah, Tanach, and various Jewish writings relative to trees, plants and the environment. Then, they have a main meal.
— Submitted by Charles Silver