Archive | June, 2013

Hidden behind walls, accomplished photographer enters the limelight

Hidden behind walls, accomplished photographer enters the limelight

Posted on 20 June 2013 by admin

By Harriet P. Gross

grossforwebWhen you first meet him, you’ll probably say, “What a nice, quiet man.” He’ll be sitting at the back or on the fringe of a group, listening intently to whomever is speaking, not saying much himself. But if you’re curious, you’ll approach him. And if you’re lucky, he’ll open up, exchange a few words and even eventually tell you he has some pictures you might like to see.

So, you get to visit his comfortable apartment and you are astounded by the “pictures” he’s mentioned, framed photographs of many places around the world as well as some local sites, stunning in their beauty and impact.

“Who took these?” you ask. And he answers: “Me.”

Photographs of far away (and not-so-far away) places adorn the walls of Jack Rothenberg’s Legacy at Preston Hollow home. | Photo: TJP Staff

Photographs of far away (and not-so-far away) places adorn the walls of Jack Rothenberg’s Legacy at Preston Hollow home. | Photo: TJP Staff

This is Jack Rothenberg, a single man of 93 who, after a quarter-century in a Dallas townhouse, has exchanged it for residence at The Legacy Preston Hollow. I met him during my six-week broken-leg rehabilitation there, but it wasn’t until the day before I was discharged that I visited his cozy new home, only to be amazed by his photos.

Jack was never a professional photographer. He was, however, first a professional musician followed by a traveling salesman, like many other young men who migrated to the Southwest looking for better post-World War II opportunities than were available in the east.

He was a woodwind player in his native Manhattan, but when money is tight, “the first thing people do is cut out entertainment,” he said. So he headed for what he hoped would be greener pastures here, expecting to find a cowboy standing out in front of Neiman-Marcus.

Instead, “I met a guy who had a New York accent. I introduced myself, and he sent me to Jewish Family Service for help with housing and job opportunities. They did both.”

Soon, he was on the road five days a week until retirement in 1986, first cold-calling city-to-city in five different states to establish stable clientele for manufacturers of women’s and children’s wear.

Along the way he married, which is why Temple Emanu-El Associate Rabbi Debra Robbins can claim Rothenberg as her father-in-law.

At The Legacy Preston Hollow, Jack chose assisted living because of balance difficulties. “The kids [son Larry and wife Rabbi Robbins] planned, measured and set up this apartment, so it wasn’t a strange environment,” he says. When he moved into the Legacy about a year ago, they’d already filled the walls with his own glorious photos of favorite places, both overseas and close to home.

“The apparel business is very seasonal,” says Jack. “In my time off, I always liked traveling.” On cruises and tours, he captured the handsome vistas of Nice, Monaco, Spain and Italy that share space with artfully composed shots of Dallas and Fort Worth.

But perhaps the most remarkable thing is that none of this came naturally. “I was confused with apertures and shutters,” Jack recalls. “But on some off time back in Dallas, I took a course at Brookhaven College, and the instructor demystified things for me. That was David Newman, and he’s still there.”

Learning to adjust and adapt to the digital age, Jack also mastered black-and-white as well as color techniques. In fact, one of his most striking wall-mounted photos is a monochrome emphasizing the varied but similar triangular designs within several downtown Dallas buildings.

Jack is now more than a decade past his second bar mitzvah at age 83, inspired by that of actor Kirk Douglas, and he’s a regular presence at Emanu-El, where he continues to sing in the choir. Much Judaic art highlights his apartment, among it his own photo of the onion-domed old synagogue in Corsicana. But he hasn’t taken many pictures yet of his new home area. Since he still drives, he says he is looking around for subjects both outside and inside the Legacy to photograph.

So go. Meet him. Maybe, if you’re very lucky, Jack Rothenberg will pull out his camera and focus on you.

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Around the Town

Around the Town

Posted on 20 June 2013 by admin

By Sharon Wisch-Ray

I have been so swamped here in TJPland that I’ve yet to make it to a summer movie. I’m thrilled to report however, that  the Congregation Ahavath Sholom Summer Film Festival is off to a great start.The second film will screen at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 23 at the shul, 4050 S. Hulen. The film will be “Jews And Baseball: An American Love Story,” a documentary that celebrates the contributions of Jewish major leaguers and the special meaning that baseball has had in the lives of American Jews.

The film is sponsored by Ahavath Sholom’s Men’s Club and the Fort Worth Chapter of B’nai B’rith. Murray Cohen, Ahavath Sholom president and an avid baseball fan, will lead the discussion that follows Wear your favorite baseball gear while you enjoy free hotdogs, popcorn and cold drinks. Debby Rice tells me that she wouldn’t be surprised if there are a couple guests that you might want to meet.

Lined up for ice cream:  Claudia Boksiner, Edythe Cohen, Yale Gancherov, Shayna Gancherov, (Partially hidden) Barbara Rubin, Sandy Richard and Mike Blanc. | Photo: Courtesy of Barbara Rubin

Lined up for ice cream: Claudia Boksiner, Edythe Cohen, Yale Gancherov, Shayna Gancherov, (Partially hidden) Barbara Rubin, Sandy Richard and Mike Blanc. | Photos: Courtesy of Barbara Rubin

“Daytimers” Annual Movie and Ice Cream Party

“Daytimers” loved the Barbra Streisand film, “Guilt Trip,” probably because so many identified with the “Jewish mother” in the role.

At the door:  (clockwise) Mary Frances Antweil, Rhona Raffel, Irv Raffel, and at the desk, Rosanne Margolis, and Louis Schultz.

At the door: (clockwise) Mary Frances Antweil, Rhona Raffel, Irv Raffel, and at the desk, Rosanne Margolis, and Louis Schultz.

The program included all the popcorn and ice cream you could eat plus the film for only $5. And the group had a wonderful time tasting various flavors.

Next event for the “Daytimers” will be the appearance of “Kids Who Care” in a lavish program titled “Freedom Bound,”  Wednesday, July 17. The group will be bringing the Israeli teens who will be participating in the summer program.  Lunch will be catered by Sprouts.

For information and reservations, call with your credit card to Barbara Rubin, 817-927-2736, Larry Steckler, 520-990-3155, or Hugh Lamensdorf, 817-738-1428, or reserve for yourself at The Sylvia Wolens “Daytimers” is a program of Beth-El Congregation with financial support from the Jewish Federation.

Put this on your calendar

The Keeping Kids Safe Project by S.I.P. Kids, a national child safety organization who tours the country providing free FBI quality digital fingerprints for children, is coming to Fort Worth to host a free child safety fair. The event will run from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Friday, July 12 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 13 at Bruce Lowrie Chevrolet, 711 SW Loop 820.

Around the Town-3“Police officials say time is crucial in the recovery of missing children. One major problem that costs precious time is gathering current photographs, fingerprints and personal information to assist law enforcement agencies,” says National Director of S.I.P. Kids, Lytishya Borglum.

Blast from the past

I often peruse old issues of the TJP for one reason or another. It’s easy to get lost in the volumes, and time goes by quickly. Recently I came across the photo shown to the right of the late Bea Levine, along with Rachel Cristol and Nancy Rakoover from almost 50 years ago. Good times.

We love to hear from our readers. Send your news to me at or at the TJP, 7920 Belt Line Road #680, Dallas, TX 75254 or call me at 817-927-2831.

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Dallas Doings

Posted on 13 June 2013 by admin

By Linda Wisch-Davidsohn

Early Bird Registration for Inaugural Makom Retreat

Just a reminder that Friday, June 14, is the deadline for early-bird registration for the inaugural Makom Retreat which will be held August 9-11 at Greene Family Camp. Early registrants pay $130 for the weekend, instead of the standard rate of $150.

Highlights of the weekend include double-occupancy lodging in hotel-style rooms with private bathrooms; a Shabbat out of town — with a backdrop of beautiful grounds, nature, outdoor activities and sports. Jewish learning and vibrant davening to inspire the soul will be featured. This will challenge the mind with additional sessions to help participants prepare for the High Holy Days. Delicious Jewish food, snacks and libations are included in the fee, along with round-trip travel on the Makom Express.

Participants will receive a t-shirt, great times, as well as camaraderie that may last a lifetime. This magical event highlights Makom’s First Fridays program — and continues throughout the weekend, culminating in an unforgettable Havdallah service around a campfire.

Makom is a young and energized spiritual community in Dallas that embraces Judaism. A laboratory for innovation and meaning, it allows members to open themselves up and to re-imagine all that Judaism can be. Makom is a project of Congregation Shearith Israel.

Aging With Dignity: The Myths — The Reality

Elise Power, Community Liaison of VITAS Innovative Hospice Care, mentioned that the above seminar will be presented from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19 in the Aaron Family JCC Senior Lounge, 7900 Northaven Road, Dallas, Texas 75230.

The seminar, which is free, will be presented by Cheryl Weitz, of Legacy Senior Communities; Zane Belyea, of Sparkman-Hillcrest; Elise Power, of VITAS Innovative Hospice Care and Rabbi Howard Wolk, Community Chaplain of Jewish Family Service.

RSVPs should be directed to Heather Cordova at 214-239-7149 or Refreshments will be served, and all are invited to attend this second seminar.

More on Roots to Boots

I am overwhelmed by the dedication, passion and efforts that well-known librarian, Joan Gremont, and her team of volunteers have put forth in launching “Roots to Boots: South African Jews in Dallas” this month through the Dallas Jewish Historical Society (DJHS).

The two-phase “Roots to Boots” project will invite the Dallas South African Jewish Community to participate in an important five minute survey on the web to document the scope of the South African Jewish presence in Dallas.

The second phase will ask survey participants to record an oral history to be archived and accessed for families, the Dallas Jewish community’s historical record, future written or multimedia publications and future exhibitions of the Dallas South African Jewish immigration experience. All participation is voluntary.

The brief survey requires a mere click on This survey is designed specifically for the “Roots to Boots” project. It will be used for statistical and historical purposes.

The oral histories — video and audio recordings of personal stories — will be shot and recorded by the DJHS subcommittee members and will document the personal and vital immigration stories.

The Dallas Jewish Historical Society is looking for volunteers who will be trained to do the interviews. For additional information, contact Debra Polsky at

DJHS Executive Director Debra Polsky added that “the customs, culture and sense of community the South African Jewish community members brought with them has added immeasurably to the richness that is Dallas’ Jewish life.”

Wendy Harpham, MD to speak at annual conference of Press Women of Texas

Wendy Harpham, M.D. will speak on “From Clinician to Writer: A Physician in Pursuit of a Mission,” during the annual conference of Press Women of Texas, on June 21-23 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Addison.

The organization, a state affiliate of the National Federation of Press Women, is celebrating its 120th anniversary of service to journalists and communicators in all fields of writing.

Harpham gave up her internal medicine practice at Presbyterian Hospital after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 1990. She has since built a successful second career as an author of six books that help both physicians and their patients through the many difficulties that accompany life-threatening diseases. She will be this year’s presenter at PWT’s Werlin Workshop, a yearly event open to writers, students and teachers of writing, and the interested general public.

The workshop honors the late PWT member Rosella Werlin of Houston who, 30 years ago, won a “David and Goliath” suit against a major national publication, claiming “unjust enrichment” after a story she submitted was ignored, then given to another writer to prepare for eventual publication. Her victory was a milestone achievement benefiting free-lance writers everywhere.

A long-time Richardson resident and Temple Emanu-El member, Harpham was honored with admission to the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in 2000. The wife of UT Dallas professor Ted Harpham, she is mother of Will, a prep school art teacher, Becky, director of marketing at Jewish Family Service in Dallas, and Jessie, a UT Southwestern Medical School graduate now following in Wendy’s first career footsteps as an internal medicine resident at the University of Michigan.

The Werlin Workshop will be held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 22 in the Elm Room of the Crowne Plaza, 14315 Midway Road, Addison. There is no charge to attend, and no reservations are required. For further information, contact TJP columnist Harriet Gross, 214-691-8840,, who is in charge of PWT’s annual Werlin event.

(Read Harriet’s Light Lines column on June 20 for more on the interesting history of the Werlin Workshop.)

Temple Emanu-El’s Jeff Light joins MRJ executive board

Temple Emanu-El Dallas’ Brotherhood has had a long tradition of active participation in Men of Reform Judaism (MRJ).

MRJ’s history dates back to Jan. 23, 1923, when 65 Reform Jewish brotherhoods and men’s clubs came together at the Hotel Astor in New York City to form the North American Federation of Temple Brotherhoods (NFTB).

The stated mission of NFTB was to encourage local brotherhoods to engage in projects and activities that would provide meaningful services to their congregation, to sponsor and promote vitally important nationwide community-building projects and to give local brotherhood members the opportunity to explore and celebrate fellowship.

Nearly 85 years later, the national organization adopted a modified mission statement: “To serve Jewish men, Reform Judaism, and its local congregations.” And thus, two years later, in 2007, the North American Federation of Temple Brotherhoods (NFTB) officially changed its name to Men of Reform Judaism (MRJ).

Temple Emanu-El Dallas has one of the largest Brotherhood organizations in the United States. Ken Schiller and Ron Cohen, both past presidents of the brotherhood of Temple Emanu-El Dallas, have been active in many executive roles within MRJ.

With the MRJ biannual conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. on   June 27-30, Temple Emanu-El will have Jeff Light added to the executive committee in addition to Buzz Deitchman and Steve Levine as a general member on the board. This will be Buzz Deitchman’s third year on the executive committee and the budget process as part of his responsibilities.

Other synagogues (Temple Shalom and Beth-El Congregation) in the Dallas/Fort Worth community also have members on the board of MRJ.

For the next two years, MRJ will be led by incoming president Stuart Leviton, son of Dallas resident and Temple Emanu-El member, Elise Leviton, in addition to his having numerous relatives in the Dallas/Fort Worth Community.

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Hidden meaning in the folds of flags

Hidden meaning in the folds of flags

Posted on 13 June 2013 by admin

By Harriet P. Gross

grossforwebMaybe you’ll be as surprised as I was to learn that there might be bits of both Judaism and Christianity tucked into a major ritual involving our U.S. flag — which of course we should all be flying tomorrow, in honor of the flag itself.

The flag’s Stars and Stripes design was adopted on June 14, 1777, but it took many years until a public school teacher in Fredonia, Wisc. proposed the calendar date as an annual “Flag Birthday.” In 1885, a New York City teacher planned a ceremony for his school’s students, which the State Board of Education liked enough to adopt, and the idea caught on when Philadelphia’s Betsy Ross House, the birthplace of the flag, joined the celebration in 1891. President Woodrow Wilson finally proclaimed a national Flag Day back in 1916, but America had to wait for 1949, when Harry S. Truman signed the Act of Congress to make it truly official.

So where does faith come in? Well, if you’ve ever seen a military funeral, in person or on TV, you’ve watched the Color Guard carefully fold the ceremonial flag in 13 slow motions. Many people assume the number stands for the original 13 colonies, but the flag’s own stripes represent that. Each fold has a popular meaning today, with the first representing life, and the second standing for life after death, a belief resonating in different ways with every major religion. Fold 3 honors all those who gave their lives in defense of our country and the pursuit of peace; Fold 4 reminds us that it’s God we turn to in times of both war and peace, for we are always in need of divine guidance.

The fifth fold is for America itself, to remind us of the words of early U.S. Navy patriot Stephen Decatur: “Our country, may she always be right. But right or wrong, still our country.” Fold 6 is for our own hearts as we place our hands over them while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, while Fold 7 is a tribute to all the U.S. Armed Forces.

The eighth fold speaks to everyone who has entered the Psalmist’s “valley of the shadow of death” and hoped for light at the end of that terrifying tunnel. Folds 9 and 10 pay tribute to mothers and fathers who have shaped their children’s characters, then sent them off to defend our country.

Our Judaism shines brightest when the honor guard makes its 11th fold to represent the seal of King David and Solomon, for the glory of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And Christianity comes with Fold 12, dedicated to its trinity of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The final fold puts the flag’s stars uppermost, a reminder for us to look toward the heavens and remember our nation’s motto: “In God We Trust.”

When the flag is completely folded, with ends tucked in, what is presented to the living survivors of our honored dead has taken on the shape of a tri-cornered hat. This recalls the head coverings of soldiers who fought with General George Washington and the sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones. The whole flag has then become a symbolic testimony to the rights, privileges and freedoms we enjoy today as “one nation, indivisible under God.”

Well — that’s the script provided on a website called USA Patriotism. The Independence Hall Association ( offers several others, one of which has a famous quotation to go with each fold. Our government hasn’t made any of these several popular interpretations official, but I for one like the idea of finding in this flag-folding ritual some traces of the faith(s) that have guided America since its founding. Church and State are separate, but basic beliefs may still have some power to unite us. And so does the American flag. Please fly yours proudly tomorrow on Flag Day 2013!

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Inner peace always is attainable

Inner peace always is attainable

Posted on 13 June 2013 by admin

By Rabbi Yerachmiel D. Fried

Rabbi Fried,

I really enjoyed this when I read it recently in the TJP. I have given this a lot of thought. I agree that joy comes from within and that it is our job to accept all that Hashem has orchestrated for us and our family. I believe this to be true, having tried to live my life accordingly and use any reversal or situation as a learning tool or message from Hashem to me and my family.

In looking at the story in the TJP, perhaps this rabbi had all that he needed at a simpler time in history. A simpler life was, and probably still is, the norm in Meah She’arim.

I once had a client who lived through The Depression tell me that it was really not such a bad time. Why? Because everyone who lived on the block was in the same boat. All the kids wore old clothes, played stickball in the street. In her neighborhood, she did not see the haves and the have-nots.

Today, I am not so sure your view will resonate. There is a minimum standard of living required to be observant in the U.S.; educate your children and live a meaningful Jewish life. Location matters. Just look at the “fill in the blank” family. We did all we could for them. But in the end they had to move to a city where poverty is more of the norm, and there are systems in place to help them.

What do we tell a family that can’t pay minimum tuition, the rent is due and there is no money for food, and the electricity will be cut off once again? Where does the community’s role to support this family begin and end? What beneficial life experience and scars will the children of this family have to endure? Sure we prop up the family as best as we can, hoping times will be better.

I agree with your premise that joy comes from within. But there are circumstances and situations that are more than one can endure, especially when children are involved.

— David B. W.

Dear David,

friedforweb2I agree with you that there was a time when life was far less complicated. I also have seen, living in Jerusalem for 16 years, how much easier it is to do with less when everyone else is doing the same.

I still contend, however, that the complications of life and the immediate side affects of that life (such as electricity turned off) is not a whole lot different than a family who could not find wood and would have no heat in the dead of a European winter.

Indeed, shtetl life in the “good old days” was far from idyllic; we don’t realize, ala Fiddler, that many were quite miserable in the shtetls with their abject poverty. There were many, however, who shared the exact same physical circumstances, but their inner peace transcended their conditions. They achieved joy and enjoyed life alongside people who were cursing the same life.

Consider Victor Frankl who lived alongside fellow inmates in the most cursed hell mankind has experienced: the infernos of Auschwitz. Could we even consider comparing a difficult financial situation and electricity cut off to the constant smell of death wafting through their nostrils? Even so, he was able to achieve a modicum of inner peace and joy, feeling freer than his bestial Nazi oppressors. He learned that peace and joy is simply not contingent on one’s surroundings.

I don’t propose to oversimplify the types of situations you noted, or not to deal with current situations as they come up, or to even suggest that one lives in Dallas as one lived in the shtetl, oblivious to contemporary needs.

What I do suggest, however, is that those needs and complications need not rock one’s inner peace. That inner peace and joy will have an enormous impact on the children of that situation, allowing them to see the good in life and not end up with the scars you suggest they inevitably will develop.

Rabbi Yerachmiel D. Fried, noted scholar and author of numerous works on Jewish law, philosophy and Talmud, is founder and dean of DATA, the Dallas Kollel. Questions can be sent to him at

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Around the Town

Posted on 13 June 2013 by admin

By Sharon Wisch-Ray

Thanks to JWV Post 755 Past Commander Julian Haber who was kind enough to share the latest goings on of the Martin Hochster Post of the Jewish War Veterans.

On June 2 at the Great Hall of Congregation Beth El, in Fort Worth, JWV 755 presented the Morton Herman Service to Veterans Award to the Honorable Preston “Pete” Geren, former secretary of the Army. Geren was instrumental in reforming the Army’s medical services to soldiers and veterans after the scandal at Water Reed Hospital. In addition, he began a number of initiatives that produced more support and helped better Army life for service families.

As an assistant on special projects and legislative assistant to the Secretary of Defense, he was in the Pentagon when terrorists commandeered American Airlines Flight 77 and flew it into the building on 9/11.

The award is named after Morton Herman, a Vietnam veteran who has devoted extensive time, effort and resources to help the post.

Prior winners included State Senator Wendy Davis who was instrumental in getting the Veterans lottery passed, Judge Brent Carr, developer of Veterans Court, Nikki Hatley and Stevie Hansen, who helped develop Liberty House, a reintegration facility for homeless vets through Tarrant County MHMR Visions and the VA.

New officers were installed and included Ron Sivernell, Commander; Peter Levy, Sr. Vice Commander; Arnold Abrams, Jr., Vice Commander; Will Cutler, Judge Advocate; Nelda Sivernell, Adjutant; Dr. Arthur Pawgan, Acting Quartermaster and Mike Bumagin, Historian. Outgoing Commander is Rich Morris. The post also honored WWII veterans at the celebration.

On May 19, members of the JWV Martin Hochster Memorial Post 755 placed flags on all Jewish veterans’ graves in Tarrant County, including the Ahavath Sholom section of Greenwood Cemetery, the Beth El Section of Greenwood, Hebrew Rest and Davis Cemetery in Arlington.

On Memorial Day itself, the JWV received an informative address from Brigadier General Brian Newby, Vice Commander and Chief of Staff of the Texas Air National Guard. A memorial service was conducted by Cantor Sheri Allen of Congregation Beth Shalom. The names of all deceased Tarrant County service men and women were read, as well as those of Jewish soldiers killed in current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We are proud that members from all congregations in our county participated,” said Haber Among those in attendance were Girl Scouts from Troop 2043, Laurin Baum, Stephanie Trimble, Rich Morris, Tom Collins and Will Cutler, Rabbi Sidney Zimelman, Dr. Julian Haber, Ken Sherwin and Dr. Barry Schneider.

News from the JFS senior front

Hedy Collins asked me to extend a “huge thank you” to Marti Herman and her gardening elves for helping the JFS Seniors maintain a healthy diet. Radishes, lettuce, beets, onions and potatoes, along with greens have been delivered and distributed to participating seniors. It is so good to have super fresh produce and it also saves them money at the grocery store.

Added thanks to Leah Gilstrap, her mom and brother who have brought in fresh veggies, individually bagged and ready to dispense.

Leah has taken on the JFS Seniors as a mitzvah project for her upcoming bat mitzvah. Last week, Leah helped with Bingo and brought all the participants individual challahs that she baked herself. They were delicious and braided so nicely. Yasher Koach, Leah!

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Chill out

Chill out

Posted on 13 June 2013 by admin

By Annabel Cohen

It’s already hot, hot and it’s not even officially summer yet. It’s hard to think of hot food as refreshing. Cold food offers two main advantages; It’s fresher and it’s lighter. And because it’s made ahead of time, you’re not sweating just before you’re eating.

On this week’s menu are foods that keep you cool — literally, because they are served either cold or at room temperature — and figuratively, because the stress of preparation ends well before serving time, so there’s no rushing around at the last minute. This way you’re free to think of other last minute details, like what music you’ll play to enhance your dining experience. Personally, I like Bossa Nova on a sweltering night. But that may just be the Brazilian in me.

Start with drinks. While white wine or a frosty beer are perfect, a slushy watermelon cocktail can be just the thing to start the evening. Tomatillo salsa is quick to make (and how often do you get to cook with tomatillos?). Serve it with blue corn tortilla chips.

At dinner, salmon (or substitute snapper or cod) is so good and simple, you’ll prepare it all year round, serving it hot if you feel like it. Add a broccoli salad with sweet and sharp flavor contrasts and end with a show-stopping chocolate shortcake with coconut ice cream and creamy ganache sauce. Wow!

stock-photo-21439204-watermelon-cocktail-with-lime-ginger-and-mintWatermelon Summer Chiller

  • 2 cups ginger ale, chilled
  • ½ cup frozen limeade concentrate, thawed (do not add water)
  • 6 cups 2-inch cubed seedless watermelon, frozen
  • Optional: ½ cup orange liqueur or Tequila
  • Fresh mint leaves, garnish

Place all ingredients EXCEPT mint in the bowl of a food processor and pulse or process until uniform. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Green Salsa

  • 1 cup chopped raw tomatillos
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup chopped green tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (wear rubber gloves)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips. Makes 8 or more servings.

NOTE: While you can chop ingredients by hand, using a food processor will cut down preparation time considerably. Don’t chop everything together, though. The texture and color of your salsa will be cloudy. Rather, pulse each ingredient in the food processor separately and add it to a large bowl with your other ingredients before mixing by hand. Certain foods, such as scallions, must be chopped by hand.

Mediterranean Salmon with Olives and Tomatoes

  • 2½ pounds salmon fillet, cut into 6 portions
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ cup chopped pitted Kalamata (or your favorite variety) olives
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • Fresh chopped parsley, garnish

Spray a baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange the fish portions on the baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over the fish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the tomatoes around the salmon. Set aside.

Combine the wine, lemon juice and brown sugar in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook the sauce for 10 minutes.

Drizzle all the sauce over the fish. To cook, preheat oven to 400 F. Roast the fish, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before covering with plastic wrap and chilling.

Serve cold or at room temperature, over greens, drizzled with a bit of balsamic vinegar. Makes 6-12 servings.

Broccoli,  Almond, Orange, Cheddar and Cherry Salad

This salad is equally good prepared with asparagus or cauliflower.

  • 1 pound broccoli florets — cut into small bite sized pieces (if buying whole heads of broccoli instead of the florets, you may need more than 1 pound)
  • 1 cup shredded Sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sweetened dried cherries
  • ½ cup sliced or slivered almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1 can (about 10-ounces) Mandarin oranges, drained well
  • 1 cup slivered red or Bermuda onions
  • 1 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Place broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl with ¼ cup water. Cover with plastic wrap and cook on high heat for 3 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, rinse with cold water and drain very well. Transfer the broccoli to a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss well. Makes 6-8 servings.

Chocolate Pine Nut Shortcakes with Coconut Ice Cream and Ganache Sauce


  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup pine nuts or chopped pecans
  • 1½ cups whipping cream, not whipped

Ice Cream:

  • 2 quarts coconut ice-cream, sorbet or vanilla ice cream, softened slightly and mixed with 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, to taste and refrozen (or 2 quarts vanilla ice cream mixed with 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut)

Ganache Sauce:

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, softened
  • ¼ cup whipping cream, not whipped

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to mix. Add remaining shortcake ingredients and pulse until just combined.

Turn out dough onto well-floured work surface. Using well-floured hands, on a floured surface, form dough into a circle, about ¾-inch thick. Using a 3-inch cookie cutter or glass, make circles of dough (number will depend on diameter of circle.) Gather excess dough and repeat until all the dough is used.

Place shortcake rounds on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until shortcakes are firm to the touch. Remove from oven to cool.

Make the ganache sauce. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, covered, and cook on high for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir in butter and cream until smooth. If the mixture is lumpy, microwave on high for 30 seconds and stir again (repeat until sauce is smooth).

To serve, place uncut shortcakes on individual plates. Place a scoop of ice-cream next to the shortcake and drizzle with the melted ganache sauce. Makes 8 servings.

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Test your Jewish knowledge

Test your Jewish knowledge

Posted on 06 June 2013 by admin

By Laura Seymour

seymourforweb2Hopefully, each week there are thoughts in this column to make you think Jewishly! This week, take the Jewish Trivia Challenge — Good Luck!:

1. What is the Jewish day of rest called?

2. Which holiday celebrates the Jewish New Year?

3. In which garden did Adam and Eve live?

4. What Hebrew word means peace, goodbye and hello?

5. Who built an ark to save his family and the animals from a flood?

6. Which prophet was swallowed by a large fish?

7. On which holiday do we read the Megillah of Esther?

8. Who was the young shepherd who killed a giant named Goliath?

9. To whom did God speak from a burning bush?

10. What was the departure of Moses and the Israelites from Egypt called?

11. Which holiday comes from the Hebrew word meaning booths or huts?

12. According to the Torah, who offered his son to God as a sacrifice?

13. What kind of bird returned to Noah and the ark with an olive branch in its beak?

14. Who was the first-born son of Adam and Eve?

15. Where did Moses receive the Ten Commandments?

16. Who had his hair cut by Delilah while he slept?

17. Who was given a coat of many colors by his father, Jacob?

18. What is the Hebrew word for a Chanukah menorah?

19. What was the name of Adam and Eve’s third son?

20. What do you call the pointer used to read the Torah?

21. In English, what is the first word of the Shema?

22. What word is said after a blessing?

23. Who was Moses’s sister?

24. Near the end of the Passover seder, for whom is a door opened?

25. How many stars must appear in the sky as a sign that Shabbat has ended?

26. Who had a dream about a ladder that reached up to heaven?

27. What is the first book in the Torah?

28. What is the Hebrew word for charity?

29. What does the word rabbi mean?

30. In the Book of Genesis, whose wife turned into a pillar of salt?

31. What is the Hebrew name given to a Jewish prayer book?

32. What is the Hebrew word for the canopy used in marriage ceremonies?

33. What does the word Havdallah mean?

34. Which holiday is known as “The Feast of Weeks” and comes seven weeks after Passover?

35. Who was Abraham’s wife and Isaac’s mother?

36. How many sons did Jacob have?

37. The ancient walls of which city fell down when Joshua shouted and people blew shofars?

38. Which person in the Bible was also known as Israel?

39. What were the names of Isaac and Rebekah’s two sons?

40. Who succeeded Moses and led the Jewish people back to Canaan?

41. What are the two official languages of Israel?

42. Which book of the Bible is read during Shavuot?

43. What was the name of Joseph’s youngest brother?

44. What was the name of Moses’s wife?

45. How many daughters did Jacob have?

Laura Seymour is director of camping services and director of Jewish life and learning at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center.

1. Shabbat, 2. Rosh Hashanah, 3. The Garden of Eden, 4. Shalom, 5. Noah, 6. Jonah, 7. Purim, 8. David, 9. Moses, 10. Exodus, 11. Sukkot, 12. Abraham, 13. Dove, 14. Cain, 15. Mt. Sinai, 16. Samson, 17. Joseph, 18. Chanukiah, 19. Seth, 20. Yad (hand), 21. Hear, 22. Amen, 23. Miriam, 24. Elijah, 25. Three, 26. Jacob, 27. Genesis or Bereshit, 28. Tzedakah, 29. Teacher, 30. Lot, 31. Siddur, 32. Chuppah, 33. Separate, 34. Shavuot, 35. Sarah, 36. Twelve, 37. Jericho, 38. Jacob, 39. Jacob and Esau, 40. Joshua, 41. Hebrew and Arabic, 42. The Book of Ruth, 43. Benjamin, 44. Zipporah, 45. One, Dinah

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Around the Town

Around the Town

Posted on 06 June 2013 by admin

By Sharon Wisch-Ray

Time to make the donuts. Does anyone else feel that way right now? Between work, confirmations, graduations, camp and vacation preparations, it’s a super busy time for most people. Thank goodness the days are getting longer so we can squeeze in a little bit more! I’ve been promising for several weeks now to share Marvin Blum’s interaction with financial wizard Warren Buffet at the early May meeting of Berkshire Hathaway stockholders. Not many of the 30,000 get the golden opportunity to ask Buffet a question, but Marvin was lucky enough this year to be one of the chosen few. To top off the experience, the exchange was widely reported both locally, in the Fort Worth Business Press and nationally in the The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg Business Week and The World-Herald. Commentary from these sources was syndicated and reprinted globally by many other outlets. Here’s an excerpt of how it went:

Enjoying the Berkshire Hathaway meeting last month are from left, Marvin Blum, Diane Wilen, Laurie Blum, Judy Royal, Adam Blum and Barry Wilen. | Photo: Courtesy of Marvin Blum

Enjoying the Berkshire Hathaway meeting last month are from left, Marvin Blum, Diane Wilen, Laurie Blum, Judy Royal, Adam Blum and Barry Wilen. | Photo: Courtesy of Marvin Blum











MB: “I am Marvin Blum from Fort Worth, Texas, home to four of your companies.”

WB: “Oh, Fort Worth! We love Fort Worth.”

MB: “Thank you. We love you too and your presence in our community. I’m an estate planning lawyer, and it’s interesting as we wrap up today to ponder that the baby boomer generation is about to pass along the greatest transfer of wealth in history. I can design plans that eliminate estate tax and pass down great amounts of wealth to the next generation, but many of my clients come to me and say they want a plan like Warren Buffet’s, leaving their kids enough so they can do anything, but not so much that they can do nothing. Now they ask me, and I am asking you, ‘How much is that, and how do you keep from ruining your kids?’”

WB: “I think that more of our kids are ruined by the behavior of their parents than by amount of the inheritance … [applause] … Your children are learning about the world through you and more through your actions than they are through your words. From the moment they’re born, you’re their natural teacher. And it is a very important and serious job, and I don’t actually think that the amount of money that a rich person leaves to their children is the determining factor at all. In terms of how children turn out, I think that the atmosphere, and what they see about them and how their parents behave are more important.

“I’ll say this. I’ve loosened up a little bit. Every time I rewrite my will, my kids are happy, because they know I am not reducing the amount. Anyway, and something else I find, which I think is an obvious thing; it is amazing how many people don’t do it.

“Your children are going to read the will someday, assuming you’re a wealthy person. It’s crazy for them to read it after you’re dead for the first time. You’re not in a position to answer questions unless the Ouija board really works or something of the sort. So, if they’re going to have questions about how to carry out your wishes or why you did this or that, why leave them endlessly wondering after you die? So, in my own case I always have my children, when I rewrite my will every five or six years, and I have them read it, and if they’re an executor under it, they should understand how to carry out their obligations that are embodied in the will, and also if they feel there is anything unfair about it, they should express themselves before I sign that will, and we should talk it over. … ”

Great advice!

Kickoff of Ahavath Sholom film festival is Sunday, June 9

Chariots of Fire will be the first installment of Ahavath Sholom’s 2013 Film Festival. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, it is a British historic drama that tells the story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics: a devout Christian who runs for the glory of God, and a Jew who runs to overcome prejudice.

The showing is sponsored by Yad B’ Yad, the organization for reconciliation between Jews and Christians whose founder and director, Posy McMillen, will lead the discussion after the showing of the film.

The movie starts at 6:30 p.m., right after minyan. Free popcorn and cold drinks will be served.

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Dallas Doings

Posted on 06 June 2013 by admin

By Linda Wisch-Davidsohn

Dear Shea,

This week you are celebrating one of the most significant events in your life as a young Jewish woman — your bat mitzvah. On Monday, you shared the moments with your Akiba classmates, eight cousins, your parents, relatives, rabbis and teachers. You followed the path of hundreds of thousands — perhaps millions of young women who affirmed their faith in this way. How lucky you are to be free — to publicly declare your love, dedication and commitment to HaShem. I know that you are aware that there are Jews in other countries who worship secretly — or not at all. Your mom has truly embraced the phrase l’dor v’ dor — from generation to generation by providing you and Jessie with a Jewish day school education.

Less than 50 years ago, when I was your age, young girls were often denied this privilege. As women, we fought hard for the right to chant our prayers, to affirm our faith and become dedicated Jews. In my family of origin, only your great-aunt, Sharon, was permitted to achieve this important rite of passage — not because Bubbe, z”l, and Poppy, z’l, didn’t want their daughters to do it, but because the old traditions did not allow it. I attended Hebrew school at the Orthodox shul in Fort Worth with the hopes of working toward that goal. However, we had no Jewish day schools or access to a day-long dual program that offered the richness of Yiddishkeit and Judaism that Akiba, Levine and Torah Day School provide.

I know that you take this as seriously as you do everything in your life. You are a responsible, caring and devoted daughter to your mom and dad. You are an amazing big sister to Jessie. Sure, I know that sometimes being the oldest is a rough card to draw, but you learn to deal with “the best” of oldest children everywhere. You are a wonderful cousin to all of your Dallas cousins. And, need I say what a remarkable and loving granddaughter you are — and what compassion and love you showered on your great-grandparents. You have true beauty — inside and out. You know that Bubbe held a special place in heart for you. You gave her tremendous comfort every time you chose to be with her and spend the night, perhaps giving up time with your friends. You made her days happy ones.

You were born on May 29, 2001. Springtime is a busy time for our clan. We have a plethora of birthdays to celebrate in March and May. I have to say that the progeny speaks for itself. I clearly remember the day you were born. I was managing an OB-GYN practice when I received the call that your entry into the world was imminent. I told my physicians that I had to leave, and called Uncle Ethan to give him the news. We went to the former Richardson Medical Center (now Methodist Hospital Richardson) and entered the waiting room. Every chair was taken by a member of our family and extended family. Your Aunt Jordana was there with Rosie, 2, and Zachary, who is just 6 weeks older than you. You and Zach have been inseparable ever since, and are best friends. Your dad came out of the delivery suite to tell us all that you had arrived. You were a beautiful, good-natured baby, and I know that it was love at first sight for your parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.

Poppy passed away in January of 2002. By the time you were born, he had mellowed and enjoyed the new grandchildren and great-grandchildren, often cuddling you all and making his famous chicken noises. Carly Simon was right when she said “Nobody Does it Better.” I’ve yet to see a chicken who could squawk like my dad.

Bubbe returned to the TJP immediately after Poppy’s death. She made up her mind to keep the paper going and get it out on time with the help of Aunt Sharon, your mom and Uncle Reuben. She set an amazing example of strength for all of us — honoring a commitment to our readers and knowing that by taking those actions, she was making it easier for all of us and setting a good example. There was a huge void when Poppy passed away, but Bubbe carried on the family traditions that my siblings and I grew up with, as well as those that your mom, Uncle Reuben, Aunt Jordana and Uncle Ethan enjoyed while growing up. Todd came to live with Bubbe shortly after Poppy died, which made it easier for her to visit Dallas more often — something she always wanted to do — so much so that in the last years of her life she bought a home here so she could be close to everyone — and once again, her home was filled with joy, laughter, an open door, a ton of food, lots of company and a host of new grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Your paternal great-grandmother, Omi, is a strong woman as well. She and her family fled Germany during the Holocaust and moved to La Paz, Bolivia, and then to Lima, Peru. She had to learn a new language and new customs. Following the death of your great-grandfather, Rudi, she immigrated to the United States, settled in Los Angeles for a short time, and then moved with her family to Houston. Once again, she learned a new language, and made new friends, initially working as an apartment manager and sewing for others. Before too long, she managed the Jewish National Fund office in Houston for many years until her retirement. Now 94, she is still driving, exercising and playing cards. She is a courageous woman — a silly little thing such as driving in the rain or a flash flood never stopped her. And, she certainly is known for her apfel kuchen, to our family and to other close friends.

I don’t know what your mom has told you about your great-grandmothers — my Nana, Betty Fine Wisch, who came to this country from Russia when she was two, and my Grandma, Gertrude Radin of Boston, who came from Meritz, Lithuania when she was a teenager. They were both widowed at early ages — my Nana when Poppy was two, and my Grandma, when your Bubbe was seven years old. Life changed drastically for both of them, as they became sole breadwinners for their families. Grandma Radin was Orthodox, Sabbath observant and kept a Kosher home. She spoke mostly Yiddish, and a bissel English. I made yearly trips to Boston as a young girl to see her, and she would come to Fort Worth every year to buy piece goods which she would then resell to clients in other areas of Boston. She had a difficult life, and missed my mother always. She thought that Texas was a wilderness, too far away from Bubbe’s Boston roots and family. Nana sold real estate in New York, and it is said that she began developing Long Island before anyone was buying property there. She rarely took “no” for an answer — and could sell igloos to Eskimos or the Brooklyn Bridge back to New York. She did not have an easy time either. The Depression hit, and she suffered severe financial reverses. At times the family was hungry; however, Nana persevered. She worked hard and started over. She moved to Fort Worth in the 1940s with my Uncle Chet, and Poppy soon followed. When Poppy and Bubbe started the TJP, she was the star saleswoman until her nineties. She had a fabulous sense of humor, was full of life, and an amazing cook. She loved her sons, but her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the loves of her life.

I am remembering your mom’s bat mitzvah, and wondering if you will chant the same parashah this Friday and Saturday. Her bat mitzvah was 30 years ago — and I still remember the pride I felt as she captured the moment and accepted her responsibility as a young Jewish woman. I also remember how much Bubbe was involved in the events of the weekend. She was “Martha Stewart” before Martha was Martha. There is one instance that stands out clearly in my mind. Bubbe came to Dallas the Thursday prior to the festive weekend. It was unusual for that to happen, since there are always deadlines to deal with in the newspaper business. She and I stayed up working on details until the wee hours of the morning. I had a new Joan Rivers’ tape (cassette) and played it. The house was totally quiet. Everyone was sleeping except the two of us. We listened to the tape and laughed until we cried. It was a special moment — one of the many that I cherish.

Shea, I admire you and love you so much. You are not only a wonderful ballerina, but also an outstanding athlete. Your dad had you on the soccer field at the age of three. You are a hustler on the basketball court, and also love playing volleyball. What I love especially is your kindness, sensitivity, gentle demeanor and your compassion for others.

On Friday night and Saturday morning, you will look out at the congregation, and accept the charge of responsibility that Rabbi Cohen will give you. I feel so honored to be a part of your simcha, and to watch your transition into that special place. I know that your mitzvah project is making friendship bracelets that you will distribute to area children’s hospitals. I asked your Mom about your project, and she stated that “Shea has multiple projects, since she constantly performs mitzvot.”

Shea, you are so lucky to have an incredibly large family that loves and adores you. Your legacy from your great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers is one of strength, tenacity, courage and pride; it is a lesson that the women in the families worked hard to make better lives for their children and do so independently — as a result of circumstances, that although difficult, ultimately led to their success and survival. My wish for you is happiness, joy, and good health and that you continue to walk the clear path that you have charted for yourself. Although some of our loved ones are no longer with us, take comfort in the fact that they will be watching from above and beaming with pride at all of your accomplishments.

With love, Mimi

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