Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
Charles Pulman, who recently led a visit to Israel of Texas legislators, will be Congregation Nishmat Am’s scholar-in-residence Friday night, Jan. 20, and Saturday, Jan. 21. Following a 6:30 p.m. Friday night Freylach (musical service) and an Oneg Shabbat, Mr. Pulman will discuss Texas’ anti-BDS legislation. Shabbat morning services begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by a Kiddush luncheon. Mr. Pulman’s topic Saturday will be: “We Are Israel — A Time For Pride And Resolve.” The public is invited to attend both of these events. Congregation Nishmat Am is located at 2113 W. Spring Creek Pkwy. in Plano. For more information, please call Nishmat Am at 972-618-2200.
— Submitted by Stan Friedman
Shearith Israel presents Vocal Majority in Concert on Jan. 29
A week after the 2017 presidential inauguration, at 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29, the Shearith Israel Music Committee’s Small-Waldman-Cohen Signature Series will present a concert honoring veterans, performed by the Vocal Majority, a Dallas-based men’s chorus of 80-plus volunteer musicians who have performed throughout the U.S., Canada and the UK.
The father-and-son team of Vocal Majority Executive Music Director Jim Clancy and Music Director Greg Clancy will direct this program.
Jim Clancy says, “The Vocal Majority is a nonprofit Barbershop Harmony Society chapter and 12-time gold medal winners in BHS chorus competitions. We really love touring the country and performing for audiences like the one we are eager to meet at Shearith Israel. We have a stirring program planned for Jan. 29 with many songs we know the audience will enjoy.”
Shearith Israel’s classically trained cantor, Hazzan Itzhak Zhrebker, will join the chorus in performing a few selections.
“No country has welcomed Jews more warmly than the USA,” says Hazzan Zhrebker. “In no country have Jewish artists, performers and especially songwriters been more effusive in their gratitude and loyalty to their country. This program will present some of the best patriotic songs from the pens of Jewish composers and lyricists.”
The evening, with a focus on Jewish composers, will include a variety of popular and inspirational songs, patriotic songs, and a few special selections such as Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, which Vocal Majority will perform, with Cantor Zhrebker, to honor the Jewish composer-poet-singer-songwriter, who died recently.
The evening will begin with a flag ceremony by local veterans, which has been organized in cooperation with the Dallas Jewish War Veterans No. 256.
General admission tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Students and seniors can purchase tickets for $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Veterans and active military personnel will receive complimentary admission to the event. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.shearith.org or call 214-361-6606.
— Submitted by Judy Tashbook Safern
Temple Emanu-El has full calendar for next 2 weeks
“All We Need is Love: A Musical Journey of the Heart Cantors & Friends Concert” is scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22, in the Stern Chapel. Temple Emanu-El Cantors Vicky Glikin and Leslie Niren will be joined by four of their talented colleagues in this spirited concert, along with Rabbi David Stern as narrator. The theme: love in its many dimensions.
The packed program includes songs from classic American musicals, and Yiddish and Jewish melodies. It explores love of self, love of others and love of community. The performance is made possible by Pollman Performing Arts Programs, and is the fourth event in the 2016-2017 series by Music Around Emanu-El. Tickets are $18 for general admission, $36 for preferred admission and $100 for benefactors. Students are $10. Buy tickets online at participate.tedallas.org/cantorsandfriends.
Cantors Gliken and Niren will be joined by Cantor Jonathan Comisar of New York; Cantor David Perper of Mahwah, New Jersey; Cantor Susan Friedman of Evanston, Illinois; and Cantor Neil Michaels of West Bloomfield, Michigan.
Expert speaks on Dalí art work
On Jan. 26-28, Temple Emanu-El will host Dr. David Blumenthal, a renowned theologian and expert on the Jewish-themed works of artist Salvador Dalí, for three days of learning and prayer. He is professor of Judaic Studies at Emory University and the author of 11 books on theology, including Keeping God at the Center.
On Jan. 26, he will deliver the Rabbi Levi A. Olan Lecture, titled “Dalí’s ‘Aliyah’ Suite: Perspectives of a Spanish Artist on the Jewish State.” The event begins at 7:30 p.m. in Olan Sanctuary at Temple, 8500 Hillcrest. The lecture will be followed by the opening of an exhibit of the “Aliyah” suite, which will be on loan from Legacy at Willow Bend from Jan. 26 to Feb. 2.
On Jan. 27 and 28, he will offer teachings at Shabbat evening and morning services. He will also lead Torah study at 9 a.m.
The events are free but registration is requested: participate.tedallas.org/olanlecture.
— Submitted by Connie Dufner
Informative lecture on the Crypto-Jewish experience
On Sunday, Jan. 8, more than 180 people gathered in Davidson Hall on the University of Texas at Dallas campus to hear a discussion on the Crypto-Jewish experience. This program originated through Southwest Jewish Congress (SWJC) at the suggestion of Board Member Laura Ermini. The event was co-sponsored by SWJC, the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies, and the Center for Latino-Jewish Relations.
Three distinguished speakers shared their areas of expertise (Jewish history, genetics and genealogy and the Latino/Jewish connection) via their unique perspectives (an Ashkenazic rabbi, a Sephardic researcher who just returned to the faith and a Catholic leader, respectively). The crowd was entertained by Rabbi Peter Tarlow’s accessible and understandable explanation of the Sephardim in Spain through the centuries, culminating in their expulsion in 1492. Next, Dr. X.R. Garcia dove deeper into the Sephardic diaspora as he told his personal story through the assimilation of the Crypto-Jews in the New World. The third installment of the lecture was led by Jacob Monty, the co-director of the Center for Latino-Jewish Relations, who is a member of the Catholic faith and the grandson of a Jewish immigrant from Eastern Europe.
Mr. Monty explained common threads between Latino and Jewish cultures, and seeks to foster understanding between the two cultures by taking groups of Latino leaders on educational trips to Israel.
Dr. Nils Roemer, professor and director of the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies, artfully wrapped up the afternoon by highlighting that identity is highly personal, and as we had witnessed all afternoon, the Jewish experience (hidden or otherwise) cannot be contained by geography, genetics or local law.
Afterward, the Ackerman Center hosted a reception for the speakers, attendees and UTD post-graduates to interact. A student attendee contacted the organizers afterward and commented, “I just wanted to tell you how much we all enjoyed today’s lecture. We all learned so many new things from the great speakers. What a wonderful experience for all of us.”
— Submitted by Susan Myers