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This month, DK presents A Taste of Kosher

This month, DK presents A Taste of Kosher

Posted on 07 March 2019 by admin

Rabbi David Shawel of Dallas Kosher, started off A Taste of Kosher, a monthlong celebration, by hosting a question and answer morning at Akiba Academy.

 

By Deb Silverthorn

March madness is scoring with Dallas Kosher (DK) through A Taste of Kosher. Learning opportunities, sports spectaculars, and programming is helping to make keeping kosher more accessible, affordable and understandable.
“The doors are open and we’re ready to welcome everyone to get to know us better, to learn more about kashrut, and more about our local suppliers,” said Meira Naor, executive director of Dallas Kosher. “We are excited to connect in many ways and spaces and with lots of exciting opportunities.”
DK, formalized as a 501(c) 3 nonprofit and since then a partner of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, is a member of the Association for Kashrus Organizations. Rabbi David Shawel, with DK for 30 years, and Rabbi Sholey Klein, for 24, travel many days each week. Their “supervising selfies” can be followed on Facebook. The rabbis, Naor and assistant Mary Stevenson lead DK, a membership organization governed by a board of directors. Also known as the Vaad, it now supervises 70-plus vendors and manufacturers in the Southwest and 26 local businesses. Also, DK kashers home kitchens at no cost.
“Dallas once had Reichman’s Butcher and Preizler’s Bakery & Deli; now there are dairy and meat restaurants, grocers, bakeries and many venues,” said Klein. “We’re the largest kashrus agency in the Southwest, traveling from Lubbock to Brownsville, Beaumont to El Paso, to Arkansas, Chicago, Louisiana, Mexico, Mississippi, New Mexico and Oklahoma. It’s remarkable and an honor to be part of this city’s evolution through kashrus.”
The DK Community Advisory Committee; representatives from DFW’s Jewish agencies, schools and synagogues who meet quarterly; and DK planned the monthlong slate of activities.
“We wanted to provide a taste of all things kosher and share what DK is really about. There’s vendor supervision but their work is so far-reaching,” said Andi Bonner, CAC chair and Kosher Month coordinator. “The CAC is truly a partnership connecting DK and our community.”
Kosher Month activities began Sunday at the JFGD Super Sunday and with DATA’s Rabbi Yerachmiel Fried teaching at Whole Foods (Preston/Forest). The next three weeks are filled with special events.
Simultaneously, DK will help Jewish Family Service fill the food pantry’s Kosher Corner with non-expired, non-perishables displaying a kosher symbol. In addition, juices, pastas, soups and canned fish, as well as Passover items, are needed. Collection boxes are at Akiba Academy, Levine Academy, Mesorah High School, Torah Day School of Dallas and Yavneh Academy. Fresh produce, meat and other perishables can be delivered to JFS weekdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays.
“The Kosher Corner services between 30 and 50 families and that number is growing,” said JFS’ food sourcing coordinator, Marilynn Wohlstadter, who arranges private shopping appointments with JFS staffers to maintain client anonymity. “We want anyone who wants to keep kosher to be able to. It’s expensive but, thanks to financial and product donations for those in difficult times, we can provide.”
Several of Dallas’ kosher restaurants — Aderet, Benny’s Bagels, Fino, Kosher Palate and Milk & Honey — are participating in the Kosher Meal Deal. The special allows Jewish high school to purchase kosher lunches and dinners for just $5. Coupon books are available through Jewish youth organizations or by contacting the DK office.
For more details, contact Dallas Kosher at 214-739-6535, visit dallaskosher.org, or follow Dallas Kosher – Vaad on Facebook.

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The Blue House will be restored, modernized

The Blue House will be restored, modernized

Posted on 28 February 2019 by admin

Photo: Mark Ford The Rosenfield House — or The Blue House — at the site where it was built in 1884, on the road, and now at its new location at 1419 Beaumont St., is like “a grand Lego house,” said developer Mark Martinek, who with Jay Baker is renovating the home.

By Deb Silverthorn

A change of address card is in order. The Rosenfield House, also known as the Blue House, has, over the past year, made its way from its original home, at 1423 Griffin St. in Dallas, to where it stands now, just blocks away, at 1419 Beaumont St. The fifth oldest home in Dallas continues to stand strong. What began in April 2017 became reality 10 months later, in May 2018.
The move enabled the architecturally and historically important house to be rehabilitated and re-used, and to fill in a vacant lot with other single-family homes.
“This is a great story of restoration magic and a confluence of people who came together to save this home,” said Debra Polsky, executive director of the Dallas Jewish Historical Society. “It’s the last of its kind in an area that was the heart of the Jewish merchant community. The Harrises, the Sangers and the Tychers lived there before moving north.”
The two-and-a-half-story Queen Anne-style house in The Cedars was built in 1885 for Jennie and Max J. Rosenfield. It was the model home for its subdivision, and within the confines of what was then the heart of the Jewish community.
These days, the home has local connections. Dallas’ Alex Ray (husband of TJP publisher and editor Sharon Wisch-Ray) is the great-grandson of the couple. The couple’s son, John Rosenfield, Jr., began his career with The Dallas Morning News in 1923 and served as its art critic for 41 years.
“My mother would’ve been beside herself knowing that her grandparents’ first home was still intact,” said Ray. “I want to personally thank the people who have brought it back to life and, when moving it, kept it in the neighborhood that my great-grandfather developed back in the 1880s.”
The Blue House was sold in 1889 and in 1897, and its last inhabitants owned the home from 1942 to 1980. Vacant for five years, it became the Trinity Center drug rehabilitation center. In the last decade, the property was used as a halfway home, then vacated. Time Warner acquired the home in 2015.
Jewish community member and journalist Robert Wilonsky saved the house; it was he who first saw bulldozers in front of the property, then called David Preziosi, executive director of Preservation Dallas. Katherine Seale, chair of Dallas’ Landmark Commission, addressed City Hall as the next step to halt Time Warner from demolishing the house to make way for an office and parking lot. Two-plus years later Time Warner stopped demolition, and paid for the building’s move.
“It was a great save and while we wish it could have stayed in place, it was the only residential home left there,” Preziosi said. “Now it’s in a neighborhood.”
“It’s in surprisingly good shape, with a good roof and strong foundation. This isn’t a fix-and-flip project, not a lucrative project, but one to save a bit of our history from demolition,” said Mark Martinek, who lives three blocks away, in a home built in 1902.
Lots of heart and hope for the home has been drawn from the hands of Martinek, whose “day job” is designing and building modernist architecture. This project, which was “modern” almost a century-and-a-half ago, is new again. “It’s been about three years since the property was sold, and we almost lost it. Instead, history reigns. I’ve always been working on a restoration of one sort or another, warehouse conversions to loft space and other homes.”
To make the move, the home was cut into sections and the main house was stacked like great shelves in five major pieces, the piers and the carriage house following. Once the new foundation was in place, the house was reassembled at its new lot. It was first built long before Facebook or even Polaroid pictures were popular, so there are few photos of how the house first stood. What needs to be reproduced is happening here in Dallas.
Martinek, who is partnering with Jay Baker on the project, is not on the clock for the house’s completion. The expense — and it’s grand — and the methodical care and trueness of the work are his priorities. The team is working with the pine trim and moldings, the stairways and historic windows, to reproduce what was. However, they are updating the wiring and plumbing. What the eye sees on the exterior will be how it was. Internally, this will be an energy-efficient and in-every-other-way-appreciated home of 2020, when move-in is likely.
Following the story has been documentarian Mark Birnbaum, also a Cedars resident, who, with Robert Wilonsky and other neighbors, first saw the excavator in front of the home. “The Blue House” is a docufilm in part about Dallas’ Jewish history. “I started out wanting to make a film that brings us back to the 1880s, to when Congregation Shearith Israel and Temple Emanu-El were still visible from the Rosenfields’ home.”
Birnbaum, who has won numerous awards including Preservation Education and Texas Media awards from Preservation Texas for his film “Restore,” is excited to have his film covering the Blue House, as it begins its second life in a third century.
“We are trying our best to recreate it back to its origin, with materials as best we can. Our first job was to literally move the building and put it back together — an amazing jigsaw puzzle of sorts,” Martinek said.

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Unconditional love, from 1 grandparent to all others

Unconditional love, from 1 grandparent to all others

Posted on 21 February 2019 by admin

Photo: Harvey Wang
“Grandparents are the hinges of history, reaching back to our own grandparents, reaching forward to our grandkids,” said author Jane Isay, who will speak on March 6 at the Aaron Family JCC.

 

By Deb Silverthorn

The greatest of loves — of grandparent and grandchild — has lightheartedly, with a sprinkle of truth, been explained as the love between two generations who share “a common enemy.” A morning of understanding the best of this relationship will take place March 6, at the Aaron Family JCC, with family expert and “Unconditional Love: A Guide to Navigating the Joys and Challenges of Being a Grandparent Today” author Jane Isay.
The program, cosponsored by the Aaron Family JCC’s Margot Rosenberg Pulitzer Dallas Jewish BookFest and the Goldberg Family Early Childhood Center, is free and open to the public.
“When the grandkids come, the tic-tac-toe game of life gets played in 3-D. There’s nothing like it.” said Isay, grandmother of four who treasures the bond and hopes to help others glean the most they can. “Regardless of proximity, whether you see the kids twice a year or every week, the love crosses the generations. Grandparents are ‘Switzerland’ — always a safe place.”
Isay, who has edited nonfiction books for more than four decades, discovered Mary Pipher’s “Reviving Ophelia,” and commissioned Patricia T. O’Connor’s bestselling “Woe Is I” and Rachel Simmons’ “Odd Girl Out.” She also edited classics, including “Praying for Sheetrock” and “Friday Night Lights.” Before publishing “Unconditional Love,” she wrote “Walking on Eggshells,” about parents and their adult children; “Mom Still Likes You Best,” regarding adult siblings; and “Secrets and Lies,” about family secrets and revelations. “I learned a lot from my authors,” Isay said.
For many grandparents, a grandchild offers a second chance to become the parent they maybe didn’t have the time or the energy to be when raising their own children, the opportunity to turn missed moments into wonderful memories.
Drawing on her personal experience, dozens of interviews and psychological research, Isay explores the realities of today’s multigenerational families, identifying problems and offering solutions to enhance love, trust and understanding between grandparents, parents and grandchildren. She also provides practical advice from when to get involved, when to stay away, and how to foster strong relationships when separated.
“Using an authoritative yet friendly tone, respectful of all three generations involved, and startlingly deep insight into the impact of the past decades of social and economic change on family life, Isay shows the reader how to navigate the new choreography of grandparenting and enter into a dance of grace and delight,” said Wendy Mogel, gracing Isay’s book cover. Mogel herself is the author of “Blessing of the Skinned Knee,” “The Blessing of a B Minus” and “Voice Lessons for Parents.”
“I heard Jane speak at a Jewish Book Council event and she was absolutely engaging. Her book is for every grandparent — the new and the seasoned. It’s really written for all family relationships,” said Rachelle Weiss Crane, JCC director of Israel engagement and Jewish living. “We’re excited to partner with our Goldberg Family Early Childhood Center, and to make a daytime event possible.”
“Grandparents are ‘it’ in the eyes of our children and that is the greatest blessing. We have grandparents running carpool, volunteering in classrooms, and touching their grandchildren’s lives every day. It is beautiful,” said Tara Ohayon, director of early childhood education at the Goldberg Family Early Childhood Center.
Ohayon went on to say that her parents, Helen and Bill Sutker, played an integral role by caring for her own four children. “We love having both generations in the building to share the learning, Shabbat mornings, the Jewish connections, and the bubbies and zaydes so hands-on in the daily care — the fun and the responsibilities.”
Isay is the daughter of Rose N. Franzblau, a New York Post human relations columnist, and the late Abraham Franzblau, a former dean of Hebrew Union College who also practiced psychiatry.
After years of editing at Yale University Press and in New York publishing, it was time for Isay’s next calling. Her two sons were then busy building their own lives in their twenties; she, working to develop the next step of relationship with her now adult children, couldn’t find a book to help her through. “I decided to leave the corporate world and write it myself,” said Isay, whose late husband, literary agent Jonathan Dolger, sent out “Walking on Eggshells.”
Days later, right after her first grandchild was born, Isay got the go-ahead. “My writing and my family have grown together,” the author said. “I now have four grandchildren and four books — and I’m incredibly proud of all of them.”
Isay might not have known her own grandparents — all had passed before she was born — but she is, academically and of the heart, experienced in the ties of grandparents and grandchildren. Friends of her mother filled in the “you are perfect no matter what you do position,” she said. “It’s not the blood, it’s the love,” that builds the connection.
The author, known as Grandma Jane, said she is not the “cheerleader at all events close” to her grandchildren, but the “be there, share experiences, and make Grandma’s special chicken close.”
“Grandparents are the hinges of history,” she said, “reaching back to our own grandparents, reaching forward to our grandkids.”
Jane Isay will speak at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, March 6, at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center of Dallas, 7900 Northaven Road The event is free; RSVPs are necessary. For more information, visit jccdallas.org/event/jane-isay.

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Fred Nathan: from educator to author

Fred Nathan: from educator to author

Posted on 21 February 2019 by admin

Photo: Deb Silverthorn
“It was time for me to do something I never had time to,” said Fred Nathan, who penned “Diversions” and “Explosions.” “I’ve always written to escape, opening chapters, but I never had enough time to complete them. Now, I wanted to finish a dream.”

By Deb Silverthorn

Dallas’ own Frederick “Fred” Nathan, a lifelong educator, has put pen to paper once again, releasing his second novel, “Diversions.” Nathan’s first book, “Explosions,” was released in 2013.
“I spent my career teaching, and I still do some of that, but it was time for me to do something I never had time to,” said Nathan, who still studies history and politics.
“Diversions,” with a strong pro-Israel stance, follows a terrorist cell, deeply embedded in American society, that carries out a massive attack. This cell kills and maims hundreds, almost claiming the president as one of its victims. The horrific attack, which followed previous failed attempts by this same group, emboldens its leader to plan a larger, multifaceted attack directed at the heart of America’s leadership.
The expanding web of terror ensnares a brilliant high school senior, a quiet loner with a strong sense of justice, and a lone terrorist seeking revenge on his former colleagues. The Anti-Terrorist Task Force is charged with uncovering the plot and destroying the terrorist cell. In an effort to divert the task force from uncovering his real objectives, the cell leader plans additional, smaller, but nonetheless devastating attacks.
“Explosions,” meanwhile, tells the story of an Islamist cell deeply embedded in the U.S., led by a sociopath and lead operative who is extraordinarily successful in carrying out his missions. A master of explosives and disguise, he most believably passes himself off as a beautiful young woman as he prepares for the plot to realize on July 4.
“I was head of school at the Beren Academy in Houston on 9/11 and the police came in and said we needed to be on lock-down, that we were vulnerable,” Nathan said. “It brought home how real the possibility of terrorism was, how it had touched so close. Since then we’ve seen and heard of other terrorist plots, and we can only imagine those that have failed. Still, in telling my stories, there are Muslim characters who are heroic, because in life and in my fiction, I don’t want to place labels.”
A Dallas resident since 2002, Nathan grew up in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Yetta and Abraham Nathan, of blessed memory, and the brother of Harvey and Wallace. He has been married to his beloved Esther for 55 years; she is the former director of Dallas’ then Department of Jewish Education (now the Center for Jewish Education). The couple’s family includes children Alysa (Eric) Segal, Tamar (David) Halberstam and Aaron; and grandchildren Avrumi and Sholom Tzvi Halberstam and Becca, Brian, Dan and Joshua Segal.
Nathan served as head of school at the Ann and Nate Levine Academy for six years, and was honored with a Doctor of Pedagogy by the Jewish Theological Seminary, a Life Achievement Award by the Board of Jewish Education in San Francisco and a Merit Award for Exemplary Leadership by the University of Judaism in Los Angeles for his accomplishments in Jewish education.
Taking a job teaching while he was in school redirected his mother’s dream for him to become an attorney; he believed that education was something he was meant to do. A product of Jewish day schools, NYU and Yeshiva University’s graduate schools, Nathan has, from the time he was 23 years old, had education at the core of his resume.
Nathan still teaches at Kehillat Chaverim, and is involved in, and a regular Torah reader at, Congregation Anshai Torah, where he is a member. While he works on the future pages of stories still to be told, he hopes for his books to be optioned for film or television. From friends and strangers alike, the reviews for his books are good.
“Fred is an incredible writer and these first two read like he’s written 30. I hope he’ll do more,” said Gary Solomon, a longtime friend and discerning reader, who had a first read while Nathan was still making edits to the first book. “He weaves a great story together in a really nice manner and held my interest. The books are a fast read and I found I could not put them down.”
General reviews on Amazon also provide five of five stars. Readers call the book an easy read, a gripping, well-crafted and action-packed novel in which Nathan describes characters in detail, uniquely weaving characters’ paths together. Reviews credit both of Nathan’s books as being well written and full of suspense, with logical thinking, believability, and the mirroring of the possible intrigue in life today.
“I’ve always written to escape, opening chapters but I never had enough time to complete them,” Nathan said. “Now, I wanted to finish a dream.”
Fred Nathan’s books are available on Amazon.

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Be The Difference spins wheels for life

Be The Difference spins wheels for life

Posted on 14 February 2019 by admin

Photo: Alan Abair
From left, Jon Mize, Events and Corporate Partnerships manager with Be the Difference Foundation, is with organization past and current board members Darren Fishman, Julie Shrell, Lynn Lenschter, Lisa Hurst, Linda Bezner, Sheryl Yonack, Jill Bach and Gary Gardner, with perennial favorite rider and supporter, Roger Staubach. This year (not pictured), Atila Ali and Marissa Shrell have joined the board.

By Deb Silverthorn

The seventh annual Be The Difference Foundation’s (BTDF) Wheel to Survive indoor cycle event is returning to the Aaron Family JCC, Zale Auditorium Feb. 24. The ride helps raise funds for the foundation’s twofold mission: first, to increase the survival rate for women battling ovarian cancer; and second, to provide both hope for a cure, and a future in which ovarian cancer can be treated. More than $2.4 million has been donated to agencies helping those diagnosed with ovarian cancer since the ride launched in 2012.
In 2018, approximately 22,240 new cases of ovarian cancer were diagnosed and 14,070 ovarian cancer deaths were expected in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about one of every 40 individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry has a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, compared to one in 800 of the general population, increasing the risk of certain cancers, including breast and ovarian in women and breast and prostate in men.
“This organization is where my heart, dedication, and appreciation are because my life, and many others, depends on it,” said Linda Bezner, who is co-chairing the event with Anne Baum. The two are leading a committee that includes BTFD’s Executive Director Shannon Albert and Events and Corporate Partnerships Manager Jon Mize, as well as Molly Aaron, Wendi Alston, Jill Bach, Jessica Buckman, Rose Kreditor, Lauren Lattman, Jeff Seutter, Lauren Shecht, Julie Shrell, Marissa Shrell, Simone Shrell and Sheryl Yonack.
Bezner said that in 2003, she felt twinges in the area of her ovaries. A visit to her gastroenterologist led to a CT scan — and the call.
Though the three-time cancer survivor had had a total hysterectomy and her ovaries removed years before the initial diagnosis, the scan showed an artery and her colon wrapped in an ovarian tumor. Surgeries, chemo and radiation followed, and then several years later the disease returned. These days, Bezner is six years into remission.
Baum, with whom Bezner became friends when their children, now 31, were in kindergarten together, stood by her through illness, and now through chairing Wheel to Survive. The friends first rode in 2014. “We rode as a team, ‘A Positive Spin,’ with my sisters-in-law and I found my place,” Baum said.
Dallas’ Jewish community, a tight-knit friendship of its own, stood by the organization, which has grown and expanded. In 2018, rides also took place in Austin, Boca Raton, Denver, Houston and the San Francisco Bay Area.
The founders of Be The Difference Foundation are Jill Bach, Lynn Lentscher, Julie Shrell and the late Helen Gardner. Bach is an almost 12-year survivor, who inherited the BRCA1 mutation from her father, who never knew he was a carrier before the testing.
Lentscher was the athletic “picture of health” but experienced painful and prolonged diarrhea, despite having had a hysterectomy. After palpating a mass and an elevated CA125 test, she agreed to have her ovaries removed, but woke up to a stage 3 diagnosis. She is now 21 years clear of ovarian cancer.
Shrell, who was diagnosed at 48, BRCA1 tested positive, but not for breast cancer, which her paternal grandmother had survived twice in 30 years. She is now counting eight years of clean health. Gardner, of blessed memory, passed away in 2014 despite her heroic battle, yet lives on through Be The Difference Foundation, and the organizations and people it supports.
Bach is BTDF’s board president. Other board members serving this year are Atila Ali, Linda Bezner, Gary Gardner, Lynn Lenschter, Julie Shrell, Marissa Shrell and Sheryl Yonack.
Ovarian cancer accounts for 2.5 percent of all female cancer cases and 5 percent of cancer deaths because of the disease’s low survival rate, with four out of five ovarian cancer patients diagnosed with advanced disease that has spread throughout the abdominal cavity. Women diagnosed with localized-stage disease have more than a 90-percent five-year survival rate.
“Almost everyone has been touched by cancer, and it is in the spirit of tikkun olam that we hope to repair this piece of the world, to help others, and to help eradicate this disease and to bring long life to all,” said Artie Allen, CEO of the JCC, which has hosted Wheel to Survive since it began. “We hope someday the disease will be gone and we won’t be needed … for this!”
Sisters Marissa and Simone Shrell, Julie’s daughters, created a “Why I Ride” wall to decorate Zale Auditorium, so that riders and visitors to the day are able to “meet” those who have survived, those who have not, and the riders who have been affected by the disease.
Vendors include Chocaloca Designs, Designs by Sarina, Kendra Scott Home, Linen Casa, Scout & Cellar and Your Queen Bead. A raffle and a silent auction with jewelry, sports, restaurant, and vacation packages will run throughout the ride.
Judy’s Mission Ovarian Cancer Foundation was the newest recipient to receive support from the 2018 Wheel to Survive in Houston. Judy’s Mission honors the memory of Judith Liebenthal Robinson by promoting awareness about ovarian cancer and its symptoms, calling attention to the need for early diagnosis and treatment, and funding research for the development of effective screening and treatment.
Executive Director Heidi Suprun said the grant will support its local Survivors Teaching Students program, in which survivors speak to medical students, allowing the disease to surpass the statistics, bringing true faces to the field. Close to home, Bach, Bezner, Lentscher and Shrell are among the volunteers participating at Dallas’ UT Southwestern.
Also receiving BTDF support in 2018 were the Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center, Lazarex Foundation, MD Anderson’s Ovarian Cancer Moon Shots Program and The Clearity Foundation.
“The rally of support for what we do is infectious — the drive for success, a gift,” Albert said. Having lost her partner to ovarian cancer, she brings personal passion to her role as BTDF’s executive director. “Our goal is to make a difference — a difference in lives and a difference in the fate.”
Wheel to Survive will take place 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, at Aaron Family Jewish Community Center’s Zale Auditorium. A practice ride, free with Wheel to Survive registration, starts at 11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, at Cyclebar at Lakeside Market in Plano.
For more information, to donate, or to register for the 2019 Wheel to Survive, visit bethedifferencefoundation.org. Use promocode “TJP” for 25-percent discounted registration.

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Fairmont’s new kosher kitchen debuts deliciousness

Fairmont’s new kosher kitchen debuts deliciousness

Posted on 14 February 2019 by admin

Photo: Courtesy Rabbi David Shawel
“This is a blessing in so many ways, and the enthusiasm to produce excellence by everyone involved is something we’re happy to be a part of,” Rabbi David Shawel, Dallas Kosher’s director of supervision, said of the DK/Fairmont Hotel partnership.

By Deb Silverthorn

Dallas’ Jewish community is now being served deliciousness — specifically, kosher deliciousness — from the kitchen at the Fairmont Dallas hotel. Kosher meals are available for events involving

as few as 50 guests, or as many as 1,000 diners.
The Fairmont is creating meat, fish, and pareve menus to tempt any foodie’s tastebuds. A kosher wine list is also available.
“There is no reason to be limited in what we can serve our guests — everything we do is high-level and exquisite, a luxury menu,” said Sher, a Sabra who, after serving in the Israel Defense Forces, became an executive chef. Sher moved with the Fairmont hotels to Dallas three years ago, wanting to elevate the dining experience for all, including the kosher community.
“Previously, we couldn’t commit to an event more than six months in advance because of the requirements,” he said. “But now, with this tremendous change, we can walk in, turn on the lights, and be cooking. The camaraderie in our kitchen, and our relationship with Dallas Kosher, is fantastic.”
The Fairmont’s kosher kitchen, in its first week open, fed more than 250 guests of the American Jewish Congress and another 530 for the Texoma Regional office of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), when it held its 2018 Larry Schoenbrun Jurisprudence Award Luncheon, Nov. 15, and was able to avail itself of the kosher menu.
“We’ve had events at the Fairmont for 28 years and this was seamless,” said ADL Texoma Director of Development Kerri Aikin Rosenberg.
The Fairmont is also the site of this year’s Schoenbrun luncheon and its Henry Cohn Humanitarian Award Dinner. “It was delicious, and everything about it was made very easy for us, the client,” Rosenberg said. “We look forward to many events in the future.”
Chad Mendelman, Fairmont’s director of catering and conference services, indicated that the kosher kitchen is the hotel’s next step in providing the best dining presentation. “Our best is now elevated and there’s little we can’t do,” said Mendelman, who arrived in Dallas last fall, bringing 10 years of his service with Fairmont hotels in Australia, Canada and San Francisco to the company. “We think out-of-the-box about how to modify recipes to meet kosher laws, but nothing we do is compromised at all, allowing us to serve intimate parties and mass meetings and celebrations.”
The Fairmont — which for more than two decades has turned a kitchen kosher every now and then, kashering appliances and utensils for events as they come — can now serve a more elaborate menu to greater-sized guestlists, and without the extensive planning that was needed previously. Having added new plates and silverware, two convection ovens, a flattop stove, a grill, fryer, sinks and dishwashers, work tables, a meat-slicer and more, there is little the hotel’s culinary experts can’t create.
“To lose the labor-intensive hours, really days, to turn a kitchen is priceless. Before, we had to clear a kitchen, kasher everything, prep for whatever the menu; now, so much of that is cut out and it makes a difference all around,” said Dallas Kosher’s Director of Supervision Rabbi David Shawel. His DK team helped coordinate and supervise the kashering of everything related to the Fairmont.
During Passover and Hanukkah, the hotel hopes to expand the menu, exploring options of meals to go and other new opportunities to serve the community.
“Dallas Kosher has had a wonderful relationship with the Fairmont and we appreciate the significant investment that was made to create this beautiful kitchen,” said Meira Naor, executive director of Dallas Kosher. “The new equipment, the staff which is knowledgeable, educated, dedicated to kashrut, and which has experienced little turnover in our years together, is something we’re so happy to be a part of.”
Seemingly, the Fairmont, and Dallas Kosher, and the many cooks in the kitchen, are the right combination of ingredients for our community.

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Starting from Skratch

Starting from Skratch

Posted on 06 February 2019 by admin

Photo: Courtesy NTO/BBYO
Brooks Butler, a member of BBYO’s Eamonn Lacey AZA, has had a number of gigs with Skratch, including working a Chanukah festival at Levine Academy where he worked a latke and donut bar.

By Deb Silverthorn

Gleaning the benefits of learning and earning for themselves while meeting the mitzvah of helping others are Dallas’ Skratchers: on-demand workers between the ages of 14 and 19. Now, Skratchers are not only putting pocket money away for themselves, but also partnering with organizations to spread support.
“A part-time job was almost a given when we were teenagers and I wanted to find a way to give my young daughters that same formative experience. First jobs helped us gain important soft skills,” said co-founder and Skratch CEO, Scott Bennett. “The demand of students’ schedules often makes it difficult for them to find steady part-time work.”
Skratch is a mobile app, available on the App Store and Google Play, designed to connect teens to paying jobs (gigs) in their neighborhoods; services are available in more than 100 Dallas Metroplex zip codes. The company is planning to expand to Austin, San Antonio and Houston this year. Created as a community-driven marketplace and an opportunity engine, it helps teens make some extra money, “scratch.” Using application technology, Skratch allows its teens and sponsors to post, schedule, send/receive payment, rate/review and complete gigs.
There are myriad gigs that highlight teens’ talents and abilities, including pet care, creative arts, sports coaching, academic mentoring, game play, media, technology, event support, in-home family assistance and tutoring. The app also offers an option to “create-your-own” gig. Teens, who earn $10 to $12.50 per hour, are not permitted to transport sponsors or children or operate power tools, and an adult over 18 must be present during the duration of the gig.
The app, which debuted in 2016, was created by Ronen Akiva, also the company’s chief technical officer, who worked as a photographer during his teens, and Bennett, who worked in retail and as a summer camp counselor as a teen. The two hold the strong belief that teens need opportunities to work in order to understand the value of earning their own money.
Skratch’s in-house team also includes Adam Stern, chief financial officer; Lindsay Feldman, director of partnerships; Jessica Shannon, marketing communications specialist; Amanda Diep, user and community specialist; Jason Alvarez-Cohen and Vaibhav Malhotra, software engineers; and Stephen Goldblatt, creative consultant.
“A lot of the BBYO members are interested in attending BBYO conventions, summer programs, Israel and travel trips. Skratch provides them a platform to earn money for these experiences, opening up more opportunities for their leadership development,” said Lory Conte, BBYO NorthTexas Oklahoma Region senior regional director. Sponsors can specifically hire BBYO members, and Skratch will donate 20 percent of each gig to BBYO without affecting the teens’ earnings.
“BBYO focuses on teen leadership development, and Skratch’s mission for teens to gain valuable work experience aligns with our organization’s goals,” said Conte. “We’re a community-focused organization, and teen leaders have partnered with numerous community agencies over the past few years. These partnerships are diverse — some are event-based, some are engagement-based — all with the goal of supporting and growing our local community. Both BBYO and Skratch are all-in for setting the younger generation up for success.”
As a community-centric platform, Skratch also partners with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Collin County, YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, Cornerstone Senior Living Crystal Creek, and First United Methodist of Richardson. Skratch is also a member of the Dallas Regional Chamber. Small businesses are encouraged to utilize the app to solve short-term, project-based work. The company co-brands with Artkive, an app and service that helps preserve and celebrate a child’s artwork, and sponsors opportunities to Membership Toolkit, which allows organizations to save money on annual membership fees.
“A partnership with BBYO enables reliable teens to offer exemplary service to members of our community. The workforce landscape for teens looks bleak, since 1978 our nation has experienced a 40-year decline of teens working. Parents often comment how hard it is to know where to direct teens to find and secure consistent work. As a mother of two teenagers, I can appreciate the need to develop first work skills and the opportunities the app delivers,” said Feldman. “With Skratch, teens have skin in the game; they learn how to network their skills and can contribute to their weekly spend.”
Robert Roseman is a senior at Parish Episcopal School, a member of BBYO’s Eamonn Lacey and beau to its Fannie Sablosky chapters. Gigging with Skratch for two years, and a member of its teen board, he’s watered yards, created Excel spreadsheets, and taken photos for his sponsors.
“I don’t always know how much school or outside responsibilities I’ll have in any week. I like Skratch’s flexibility because when I’m available, I open the app and see who needs help,” said Roseman, who was honored last year with a Skratch Friday Night Lightning award, nominated for his involvement in school and in his community. “It’s incredible that Skratch supports BBYO, and the impact of giving back to the community is a great example.”
For Ebby Halliday Realtor Renee Rubin, having the opportunity to hire Skratchers to help her keep her adopted stretch of Preston Road clean is appreciated. “I love that I can find responsible help and that by using Skratch, the kids are earning money, and so is BBYO,” said Rubin, whose sons are former BBYO members.
“I work with them, and these teens are mature and they care about doing a good job,” said Rubin. “I appreciate the fact that I can help them, and BBYO, while they are helping me serve my community.”
For information about becoming a Skratcher, or to request service, visit skratch.co or download the free app on the App Store or Google Play. To partner with Skratch, email lindsay@skratch.co.

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JFS shows gratitude to devoted volunteers

JFS shows gratitude to devoted volunteers

Posted on 06 February 2019 by admin

2019 Outstanding Volunteer Geetha Rajendran is flanked by JFS Community Engagement staff members, Kristen Jackson and Jamie Denison. Among her many activities, she creates centerpieces for JFS’ Centerpieces for Tzedakah program.

By Deb Silverthorn

Jewish Family Service will present a massive Thank You party for its 1,604 volunteers who, in 2018, provided 28,454 hours of service through individual and group efforts. Kudos and appreciation will be given from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, at Temple Shalom. Kosher refreshments will be served and the festivities are open to the public.
“Our volunteers are a critical extension of our staff by providing support in serving our clients, either directly or indirectly, enabling us to do more for the community,” said JFS CEO Cathy Barker. “With volunteers who can do data entry, deliver meals, shop with clients in our pantry or pick up donated food around town, the agency can redirect funds we would have had to spend hiring additional staff and instead it goes to serving our clients. We are extremely grateful to each and every one of them for their ongoing dedication to our mission and the community we serve.”

Receiving JFS honors are

Leadership Award — Diane Laner
Outstanding Volunteer — Geetha Rajendran
Spirit of JFS Award — Lydia Varela
Spotlight Award — Jeff Sebert
Pro Bono Award — Dr. Jim Reisman
Resource Development Award — Sherry Goldberg
Future of JFS Award — Laura Weinstein
Kids with Heart Award — Jonah Schwarz-Mullins and Hunter Wartell
Klein Intern of the Year — Varsha Danda
Rookie of the Year — Robert Levy
Special Recognition — Janet Bubis, Jim Doyle, Dawn Kauffman and Jeri Lyn Sebert
Community Partners of the Year — Apartment Association of Greater Dallas and Young Men’s Service League/Dal-Rich Chapter
Seniors in Service — Mike Becker, Lucille Klein and Martin White
Team Award — Transitional Housing.

“I had come to JFS as a child but getting involved in the food pantry was the first time it was my project. JFS does an incredible job of making its clients feel appreciated and I respect that,” said Jonah Schwarz-Mullins, a senior at Yavneh Academy and one of two Kids with Heart Award recipients. In addition to stocking and other responsibilities, Schwarz-Mullins spearheaded a fundraiser for JFS’ Food Pantry truck, helping to raise more than $100,000. “The food truck is able to pick up donations from restaurant and retail vendors, including fresh produce which couldn’t be managed previously.”
Diane Laner, recipient of the Leadership Award, as well as a member of the Transitional Housing volunteers earning the Team Award, started working with JFS by delivering Passover and High Holiday meals and packages to homebound residents. She now serves on the JFS board of directors. Laner’s ears perked up during a discussion about fulfilling and decorating apartments of the organization’s Transitional Housing program.
The team of 16 included those who were handy with tools, design, ideas, access and most of all, said Laner, with care. Most didn’t know each other when they began, but together they built safety.
“We have furnishings and appliances, bedding, art and toys where there are children. We’ve created spaces that are home — without the feeling of temporary shelter,” she said. “From couches to tissue boxes, as a team we used social media, our personal contacts, whomever we could connect to, and each unit is lovely. The residents really feel safe and proud to live there.”
Awards will be given to those with milestone years of service. Honorees for five years are: Stanley Assa, Barbara Churchman, Cantor Don Croll, Ellen Feibel, Lindsay Feldman, Susan Kanter, Eve Kaplan, Lucille Klein, Lisa Kravitz, Mickey Kurzman, Lauren Margolies, Jana Milstein, Eda Narasov, Mahra Pailet, Myra Prescott, Rupa Rajopal — of blessed memory, Bradley Rossel, Stacey Siegel, Rossi Solomon, Judy Sommer, Melissa Steiner, Michael Stulmaker, Ed Weitz and Carol Wigder; for 10 years: Judy and Howard Bazarsky, Linda Blasnik, Sheryl Fields-Bogen, Eric Goldberg, Tobe Goldberg, Barbara Gollman, David Greenberg, Janet Kaner, Sue Mintz, Jody Pearson and Laurie Platt; for 15 years: Geane Glaser, Cara Mendelsohn, Karen Sosland and Caren Tate; and for 20 years, William Ogelsby.
The President’s Volunteer Service Award for Young Adult Silver (175-249 hours) will be given to Greg Begun, Abby Brand, Varsha Danda, Sara Hirani, Morgan Hurst, Esha Kothapalli, Maddie McBride, Marilyn McWhorter, Saipranav Ramesh, Aneesh Roy and Jaidyn Thomas. The Adult Silver (250-499 hours) will be awarded to Gilian Baron, Jim Doyle, Michael Kaufman, Lisa Kleinman, Julie Liberman, Geetha Rajendran, Barbara Schwarz, Roger Sellers and Ted Tobolowsky. The Adult Gold Awards (over 500 hours) will go to Anne Leiman and Bradley Rossel.
“Whether our volunteers are serving clients in the food pantry, being advocates for our [child] clients, delivering meals to homebound members of our community or fulfilling any other need, they are giving our clients the dignity, respect and hope they need to get through life’s tough times to become self-sufficient,” said JFS Community Engagement Manager Kristen Jackson. “Our agency would not be nearly as effective without their support. They are truly the heart of JFS.”
The volunteer awards event was planned by Kim Chapman, Julie Gothard, Weezie Margolis and Laura Weinstein. The difficult task of narrowing the many volunteers to those specifically honored was determined by a nominating committee including Janis Gail, Michael Kaufman, Weezie Margolis, Harriet Sebert, Betty Spomer and Lydia Varela.
“So many people came through to help. It’s amazing how if you try to make a difference, people will help you with the dream,” said Schwarz-Mullins. “Because of my experience with JFS, I hope to always find ways to make a difference in my community.”
Last year alone, more than 1,600 other community members felt the same way. “Our village is a great one — our villagers make it so.”
To RSVP (no charge), email kjackson@jfsdallas.org or call 972-437-9950. For general information, donations, or to learn about volunteering opportunities, visit JFSDallas.org.

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JFS celebrates Special Needs Awareness Month

JFS celebrates Special Needs Awareness Month

Posted on 31 January 2019 by admin

Photo: Deb Silverthorn
Volunteer Ynette Hogue led Anshai Torah Religious School students, from left, Zane Zientz, Matthew Dubner, Sawyer Baumel, Jonah Makler and Asher Laynor, in JFS’ Inclusion Experience last year. Throughout February, JFS, along with members of organizations in the community, has created a calendar of learning, prayer, fun and activities — with a number of inclusion workshops such as this one held in 2018. The programs, which are open to all, honor Special Needs Awareness Month and Jewish Disabilities and Inclusion Awareness Month.

By Deb Silverthorn

February is all about love and, through Jewish Family Service, much love is being spread to the special needs community. It is designated as Jewish Disabilities and Inclusion Awareness Month, and Jewish organizations worldwide are making an effort to raise awareness and foster inclusion for those with disabilities and those who love them. JFS, servicing all in need regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or the ability to pay, adds the moniker, Special Needs Awareness Month.
“Our goal is for our community to realize that awareness leads to understanding, that understanding leads to empathy, and that empathy leads to compassion,” said Lorraine Friedman, director of JFS’ Special Needs Partnership and Programs. “Wouldn’t it be great if we could all focus on those themes this month, spreading a little more kindness and being a little more open-minded and open-hearted?”
The calendar of care begins with Inclusion Experience afternoons, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3, at Temple Emanu-El and then from 12 to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. In addition, the program will be shared with the students of Akiba Academy’s Middle School Feb. 25 and 26. The Inclusion Experience features experiential learning of auditory and sensory processing, fine and gross motor, speech, language and reading skills including dyslexia and ADHD.
A new chapter opens at 6:30 p.m. with CHAI-5 Book Club’s initial readings Feb. 5 and 19, and then every other Tuesday thereafter. Members will have their own copies of the books and Friedman first, then volunteers, will read them aloud. The first choice shared will be “Because of Winn-Dixie,” with the film screened afterward.
“We’ve wanted to present a book club for a while. This is the right time and Lorraine, with JFS, who has written books, is the right person to partner with,” said CHAI’s Community Relations Manager Kathy Minor Schneider. “We’ll have great discussions, and this will be a meaningful program.”
Friedman will direct a PERK (Parents Empowered Raising Kids) panel from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, at JFS. Six parents of young children, teens, college students and adults will share experiences and offer advice of how to traverse life’s path in many areas.
To prepare for Shabbat, CTeen, Friendship Circle and Yachad Dallas invite teens to participate in an inclusive challah bake beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at Chabad of Dallas.
There will also be an added dose of shalom in next month’s Shabbat services. On Friday, Feb. 8, Anshai Torah will host Yehuda Kohn, founder of Bet Elazraki Children´s Home, a residential school in Netanya for at-risk youth. Services will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner. Chabad of Dallas and Friendship Circle will also share dedicated services and a dinner with sensory-friendly activities, beginning at 6:15 p.m. Congregation Beth Torah welcomes the members of CHAI (Community Homes for Adults, Inc.) and the community for inclusive morning services and lunch beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16.
Party with the Partners, which will celebrate all abilities, opens its doors from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, at Congregation Shearith Israel with sensory-safe events including karaoke (with the microphone off), dancing, art, basketball, beading projects, bingo, cookie decorating and more. Friendship Circle, Jewish Family Service and Yachad Dallas joining Shearith Israel will be the first time the community’s four agencies centered on those living with special needs will come together. The event, which celebrates people of all needs, is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, allowing the fun at no charge.
“We’re so excited to throw a party and celebrate all those in our community who we love,” said Sarah Lipinsky, Shearith Israel’s director of education, excited about the program she’s worked on for some time. “These members of our community are so special and it is our responsibility to make their lives better. As Jews, we’re commanded to care for one another, and I’m thrilled to partner with each of the groups in our community who are committed to doing just that.”
The curtains rise for screenings of “My Hero Brother” and “The Other Dreamers,” recommended for ages 13 and up, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Studio Movie Grill at Royal Lane and Central Expressway.
“My Hero Brother” shares the story of young people with Down syndrome trekking through the Himalayan Mountains with their siblings. During their journey of a lifetime, they deal with physical and emotional challenges, unresolved conflicts surface and friendships develop. “The Other Dreamers” follows four disabled children who fall in love, get hurt, dance, compete and live their lives exactly like their non-disabled peers — with the addition of a wheelchair.
For teachers, an “It’s About Ability” program will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, at JFS. Differentiated Learning focuses on allowing teachers to meet the needs of students with differing abilities by changing the content that students learn, the process by which they retain the information, how they demonstrate knowledge of skills and with whom and where learning happens.
“While the special needs movement is a year-round process, February has become a focal point to highlight the challenges of people with special needs, and to build broader community awareness of these challenges, and to take additional steps to make our community inclusive and engaging. Through Special Needs Awareness month, we bring our community together,” said JFS CEO Cathy Barker.
For more events and RSVP details, visit tinyurl.com/JFS-special-needs-february. To volunteer at the Inclusion Experiences or the CHAI-5 Book Club, grades nine through adults, contact Lorraine Friedman at 972-437-9950 or email lfriedman@jfsdallas.org.By Deb Silverthorn
February is all about love and, through Jewish Family Service, much love is being spread to the special needs community. It is designated as Jewish Disabilities and Inclusion Awareness Month, and Jewish organizations worldwide are making an effort to raise awareness and foster inclusion for those with disabilities and those who love them. JFS, servicing all in need regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or the ability to pay, adds the moniker, Special Needs Awareness Month.
“Our goal is for our community to realize that awareness leads to understanding, that understanding leads to empathy, and that empathy leads to compassion,” said Lorraine Friedman, director of JFS’ Special Needs Partnership and Programs. “Wouldn’t it be great if we could all focus on those themes this month, spreading a little more kindness and being a little more open-minded and open-hearted?”
The calendar of care begins with Inclusion Experience afternoons, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3, at Temple Emanu-El and then from 12 to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. In addition, the program will be shared with the students of Akiba Academy’s Middle School Feb. 25 and 26. The Inclusion Experience features experiential learning of auditory and sensory processing, fine and gross motor, speech, language and reading skills including dyslexia and ADHD.
A new chapter opens at 6:30 p.m. with CHAI-5 Book Club’s initial readings Feb. 5 and 19, and then every other Tuesday thereafter. Members will have their own copies of the books and Friedman first, then volunteers, will read them aloud. The first choice shared will be “Because of Winn-Dixie,” with the film screened afterward.
“We’ve wanted to present a book club for a while. This is the right time and Lorraine, with JFS, who has written books, is the right person to partner with,” said CHAI’s Community Relations Manager Kathy Minor Schneider. “We’ll have great discussions, and this will be a meaningful program.”
Friedman will direct a PERK (Parents Empowered Raising Kids) panel from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, at JFS. Six parents of young children, teens, college students and adults will share experiences and offer advice of how to traverse life’s path in many areas.
To prepare for Shabbat, CTeen, Friendship Circle and Yachad Dallas invite teens to participate in an inclusive challah bake beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at Chabad of Dallas.
There will also be an added dose of shalom in next month’s Shabbat services. On Friday, Feb. 8, Anshai Torah will host Yehuda Kohn, founder of Bet Elazraki Children´s Home, a residential school in Netanya for at-risk youth. Services will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner. Chabad of Dallas and Friendship Circle will also share dedicated services and a dinner with sensory-friendly activities, beginning at 6:15 p.m. Congregation Beth Torah welcomes the members of CHAI (Community Homes for Adults, Inc.) and the community for inclusive morning services and lunch beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16.
Party with the Partners, which will celebrate all abilities, opens its doors from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, at Congregation Shearith Israel with sensory-safe events including karaoke (with the microphone off), dancing, art, basketball, beading projects, bingo, cookie decorating and more. Friendship Circle, Jewish Family Service and Yachad Dallas joining Shearith Israel will be the first time the community’s four agencies centered on those living with special needs will come together. The event, which celebrates people of all needs, is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, allowing the fun at no charge.
“We’re so excited to throw a party and celebrate all those in our community who we love,” said Sarah Lipinsky, Shearith Israel’s director of education, excited about the program she’s worked on for some time. “These members of our community are so special and it is our responsibility to make their lives better. As Jews, we’re commanded to care for one another, and I’m thrilled to partner with each of the groups in our community who are committed to doing just that.”
The curtains rise for screenings of “My Hero Brother” and “The Other Dreamers,” recommended for ages 13 and up, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Studio Movie Grill at Royal Lane and Central Expressway.
“My Hero Brother” shares the story of young people with Down syndrome trekking through the Himalayan Mountains with their siblings. During their journey of a lifetime, they deal with physical and emotional challenges, unresolved conflicts surface and friendships develop. “The Other Dreamers” follows four disabled children who fall in love, get hurt, dance, compete and live their lives exactly like their non-disabled peers — with the addition of a wheelchair.
For teachers, an “It’s About Ability” program will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, at JFS. Differentiated Learning focuses on allowing teachers to meet the needs of students with differing abilities by changing the content that students learn, the process by which they retain the information, how they demonstrate knowledge of skills and with whom and where learning happens.
“While the special needs movement is a year-round process, February has become a focal point to highlight the challenges of people with special needs, and to build broader community awareness of these challenges, and to take additional steps to make our community inclusive and engaging. Through Special Needs Awareness month, we bring our community together,” said JFS CEO Cathy Barker.
For more events and RSVP details, visit tinyurl.com/JFS-special-needs-february. To volunteer at the Inclusion Experiences or the CHAI-5 Book Club, grades nine through adults, contact Lorraine Friedman at 972-437-9950 or email lfriedman@jfsdallas.org.

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JFS introduces new director of Special Needs Partnership

JFS introduces new director of Special Needs Partnership

Posted on 31 January 2019 by admin

Photo: Courtesy Lorraine Friedman
“I’ve lived many lifetimes since I left Dallas and I believe my role at JFS is allowing me to bring it all together and to make a difference for many,” said Friedman, director of JFS’ Special Needs Partnership and Programs, with sons, Cameron (left) and Jared. “It takes a village to help and support our people, and this community is an incredibly giving and loving village.”

By Deb Silverthorn

|JFS’ Special Needs Partnership and Programs has found new leadership in its new director, Dallas native Lorraine Friedman.
Friedman, who has recently returned to Dallas after three decades of making a difference in the Washington, D.C. and Virginia areas, is a former member of the BBYO Zesmer chapter and a graduate of Hillcrest High School. She was also raised at Temple Emanu-El.
“It’s great to be back home, to the city I grew up in, and to be meeting so many people in our community, which has grown so much,” said the daughter of Barbara and Will Friedman, and mother of Cameron and Jared Goldstein. “This city and our Jewish community has grown and extended itself so much, and while I’m reconnecting with old friends, I’m making so many new ones.”
Friedman graduated from UT Austin, as well as Georgetown Law School. Over the past 30 years, she has been providing legal support through the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, and serving children with disabilities for D.C.’s Protection and Advocacy system.
“Lorraine brings years of experience in creating connections, leading advocacy efforts and identifying creative solutions to everyday challenges for those with special needs,” said JFS CEO Cathy Barker. “Her passion for breaking barriers and improving access, combined with this experience, makes her the right person to lead JFS’ Special Needs Partnership.”
Friedman is founder and director of The DreamDog Foundation, a nonprofit which supports at-risk children. Having created “Kids Empowering Kids” and “Kids Making a Difference,” as well as the “Family Links” program that connects teen mothers and necessary resources (now directed by SCAN, Stop Child Abuse Now), she received Alexandria, Virginia’s 2015 Salute to Women Youth Community Services and 2016 Living Legend of Alexandria awards.
“Lorraine is incredible and she is helping us all as individual organizations, and as a whole community, work together for the good of those we serve,” said Dallas Friendship Circle Director Leah Dubrawsky, who works closely with Friedman, as well as with her son Cameron who volunteers as a Teen Buddy with Dallas Friendship Circle. “She’s very supportive and she understands what we want to do, what we need to do, and I’m sure she’s going to help us reach out further.”
Friedman is the creator of two award-winning book/music CD series, “Jazz the DreamDog” and the “DreamDog Kids,” to help children discover the superhero inside and believe that the real magic to solving problems lies within oneself. She also created “The Adventures of CiCi & Ace,” a unique multi-sensory product combining a storybook, music CD and web fun and games. Friedman is excited about children themselves becoming published authors through the “Book of My Own” program she designed.
“I’ve lived many lifetimes since I left Dallas, and I believe my role at JFS is allowing me to bring it all together and to make a difference for many,” Friedman said. “It takes a village to help and support our people, and this community is an incredibly giving and loving village.”
Lorraine Friedman can be reached at 972-437-9950 or at lfriedman@jfsdallas.org.

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