Archive | December, 2019

Dallas Morning News names Max Glauben 2019 Texan of the Year

Dallas Morning News names Max Glauben 2019 Texan of the Year

Posted on 29 December 2019 by Sharon Wisch-Ray

Max Glauben at 89, on the March of the Living in 2017

The Dallas Morning News named Holocaust survivor and human rights activist Max Glauben the 2019 Texan of the Year. The 91-year-old Dallas resident has become a source of hope and inspiration to people in North Texas and all over the world for his message of tolerance, fairness and forgiveness.
“At a time when hate crimes are rising, Max Glauben reminds us how hope can triumph over fear and kindness can overcome hatred when good people speak out,” said Dallas Morning News editorial page editor Brendan Miniter.
Glauben was living in Warsaw with his family when the Nazis invaded in 1939. After spending several years in and out of hiding, they were discovered and deported to the Majdanek concentration camp where his parents and brother were killed. Over the next two years, he lived in four more camps, where he survived and helped his fellow prisoners with his cunning and courage. Glauben was liberated on April 23, 1945 by the U.S. Army at the age of 17.
In 1947, he immigrated to the U.S. and joined the Army and served in the Korean War. When he completed his active duty, he moved to Dallas, where he was a founder and loyal supporter of the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum.
Thanks to efforts by Glauben and others like him, the museum expanded and moved to a new home in 2019 that reflects the dreams of Glauben and other Holocaust survivors to educate new generations about human rights. Glauben remains a prolific speaker in North Texas and for the past 14 years has led a group of youth on a tour of holocaust sites called March of the Living. Glauben and his wife, Frieda, have three children and seven grandchildren.
Texan of the Year is an award program to honor those who have made uncommon, inspirational impact on our world.
Finalists for 2019 Texan of the Year were Simone Biles, Botham Jean’s family, John Goodenough, Jody and Sheila Grant, Katherine Hayhoe, Vicki Hollub, Dan Huberty, Diana Natalicio, Dirk Nowitzki, sex trafficking warriors, school superintendents in Odessa and El Paso, Robert Smith, Tom Torkelson and Karen Uhlenbeck.
The Texan of the Year award was founded in 2003. Previous recipients include George W. Bush, Laura W. Bush, Janis Jack, Adm. Bill McCraven, Rick Perry and Craig Watkins.

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Grandchildren of Lukow: my day with the families of my grandfather’s righteous saviors

Grandchildren of Lukow: my day with the families of my grandfather’s righteous saviors

Posted on 26 December 2019 by Sharon Wisch-Ray


Photo: Courtesy Grant Prengler
Grant Prengler and Kazik Mokicki in front of the Mokicki family home and barn (both still in use today).

By Grant Prengler

Last month I broke a promise. 

I visited Poland for the first time in 2015 for the March of the Living (MOL) and upon returning home to Dallas, I wanted to carry with me the lessons learned but had no desire to return to the country. That was, except on one condition: Lukow. My family can trace its roots to this small Polish town going back hundreds of years up to the 1940s. My grandfather, Aaron Prengler, his 12 siblings and their families lived and prospered there, that is until they were either murdered or forced into hiding. On Nov. 14, I broke the promise to myself and made a pilgrimage back to Poland. 

I flew to Warsaw and after a one-night stay in the Polish capital, the day started with jitters. After a restless night, my alarm clock sounded and I was admittedly nervous, not knowing where my emotions would lead me during the day. Zbigniew Mokicki, the grandson of Wacek and Leokadia Mokicki (one of the two families who hid the Prengler family during the Holocaust), picked me up at my Warsaw hotel and the 80-mile drive began. I had met Zbigniew once before in Warsaw during the MOL but recognized now how different and special this meeting was, being that I had the opportunity to interact with my family’s righteous saviors in the very town where it all took place. We chatted some, but I spent most of the car ride staring out of the passenger side window, trying to separate the modern country from its horrific past (spoiler: I couldn’t). For the duration of the two-hour drive southeast to Lukow, I was fixated on the trees — tall and thin, yet dense. It was an observation I had on my first trip to the country, and independently the same one my father had when he visited in 2013, and yet again the same thought came to mind: These trees have seen a lot. The trees have a story to tell of Auschwitz-Birkenau, of Sobibor, of Treblinka (where most of my family was murdered), and even of small-town Lukow. These trees could tell a horror story, but they also provided cover, hiding and home to evading and attacking partisans.

Upon arrival to the outskirts of Lukow, we stopped at Zbigniew’s sister, Aska’s, home where I met his mother, Danuta Mokicki, had coffee and was — naturally — force-fed pastries (apparently worry about kids being hungry isn’t exclusive to Jewish mothers). After half an hour, we were out the door to meet Zbigniew’s dad, Kazik Mokicki, who was born just before the war and remembers well my grandfather, Aaron Prengler, and the rest of the Prengler family. The three of us started with a walk from their family apartment through the small town of Lukow. The weather was cold and windy but not unbearable. Our first stop was at the home of my great-uncle, Sol Prengler, firstborn of 13 to David and Rebecca Prengler. The yellow house sits in the direct center of town and is now used as a trade school. Approaching the building’s facade and reaching for the wall just to feel this structure, knowing Sol built it himself, I could already tell it would be a special day. They took me for a lap around town and visited what were once other Prengler family homes. Today, they house banks, grocery stores and shops. I had the chance to take a photo in front of the town emblem in the same spot where my “Papa” stood six years prior on his first and only trip back to Lukow since leaving in 1945. 


Grant Prengler, top, in November, standing in virtually the same spot his grandfather, the late Aaron Prengler, bottom, stood in 2013 when visiting his hometown of Lukow, Poland. 

From there, we went to the site of my great-grandfather’s former brick factory, which was co-owned by a Gentile woman. The woman employed two families — the Mokickis and Konkos — who would both ultimately be tasked with the responsibility of hiding my family. Kazik Mokicki described to me where the industrial chimneys once stood on the property that Papa and his family used as an alternative hiding spot when the mainstay barn needed to be vacated for one reason or another. While the structures of the chimneys are no longer there, the outline of the base is, giving a rough estimate of how (not so) wide this hiding spot was. The site is now used as a building material supply yard. There, Kazik Mokicki told me a story about my great-uncle, Mendel (who still lives in Dallas at 93 years old), hiding under a bed in the Mokicki family home while a German officer came in and attempted to bribe a then 5-year-old Kazik with candy to tell him if he had seen any Jews hiding around. Young Kazik refused the candy by throwing it at the officer’s feet and exclaiming that he didn’t know any Jews. Only a young child, he could have given them up on that fateful day but miraculously didn’t. You don’t factor in little things like that being so important when taking into account survival during the Shoah. 

The barn: our family narrative

Ultimately, we headed from there to the barn. Lo and behold, it is still a barn today — a pigsty to be exact (still in its 1940s form). Can you imagine? A pigsty is precisely where the modern Prengler story begins. Papa and his family of about 20 lived, hid and survived under and in the barn, which sits roughly 25 yards from the semi-busy street, for the better part of three years. Let me add this: It is mid-November, temperatures are in the low 30s, with no snow and with no rain…yet. It is hard to fathom the horror that is a Polish winter in this barn. It’s remarkable to think they survived the winters, let alone the war, hiding, foraging for scraps of food and trying to stay warm. I spent some time in the part of the barn nearest the Mokicki family home, reciting Kaddish, the Jewish mourner’s prayer, and taking in the sights, smells and sounds. It was everything I could have wanted. 



The barn as it stands today.

This barn is our family narrative. It is the lore my cousins, brothers and I grew up on. It is seared into our collective family memory and, for the first time, I was feeling the bricks, the wood, and the mud with my own hands. Standing in awe inside the decaying walls, I witnessed our history. I put my palm against the fading red bricks and knew I wasn’t alone. I knew my Papa, his parents, and siblings were all there with me, proud that a Prengler was free to walk into, and out of, this barn. The construction itself is nothing special — a 15’ wide x 75’ long red brick structure covered by a tin roof and surrounded by mud. Regardless, I walked up to it with the same reverence and awe that I had at the Western Wall my first time there. The spiritual connection hit hard. After so many years of hearing about it, like the Temple wall in Jerusalem, it was incredibly surreal to finally be able to bear witness to it. 

We eventually left and headed toward the home of Urick Konko, the son of the other man who helped hide the Prenglers in Lukow. Urick has had a slew of health issues in the past, including eye issues that led Uncle Sol to organize and fly Urick to Dallas for eye-saving surgery years ago (thanks to Dr. Jeff Whitman).

Urick Konko in his home.

Most recently, Mr. Konko suffered a brain aneurysm and his memories often evade him. I introduced myself and he shook my hand with enthusiasm as if he recognized the name anyway. It took showing Urick photos of Papa and his brothers to jog his memory but soon he and his wife, along with Kazik and Zbigniew Mokicki, started telling old stories of Aaron, Mendel, Herschel and the Prengler lot. In that moment, I couldn’t get over how unbelievable it was that I was sitting at a table with representatives of both righteous Lukow families, while in the very town the stories played out. We chatted over thick coffee and after an hour of schmoozing, we headed back to Zbigniew’s sister’s home. We reflected on the day over a huge, formal lunch and I conveyed how important it was to me to be able to feel the barn, see our family homes, and meet and thank the families that enabled mine to grow and flourish in their new lives in Dallas after the war. Their families may have saved a few at the time, but those few have turned into hundreds. Their modesty and Polish customs do not allow them to fathom the righteous actions they so dangerously undertook. 

A new promise: to tell the story again and again

My intention with this trip, knowing that it would be both emotional and challenging, was to trace my roots and I can say, with confidence, that I accomplished that goal. How remarkable and unique an opportunity that the grandson of a Holocaust survivor was able to not only visit the hometown his Papa hid in but to be given a tour by the sons and grandsons of his saviors, nearly 75 years after liberation? Survivors, both Jewish and not, are slowly but surely becoming fewer in number. It is time for the future generations to learn the stories, witness the camps, and seek out their family histories so that the stories don’t die with those who were there. The late, great Holocaust survivor and educator, Elie Wiesel, once said, “to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.” This experience in Lukow is one that I will take with me as my generation begins to bear the responsibility of passing along the stories of the Shoah. 

So, I will conclude with a new promise. One that I will truly never break. That is, to tell the story of that old brick barn in Lukow for the rest of my life and to challenge others to explore their own family’s stories so that we may all never forget. 

This article is dedicated to Helen Biderman and Mendel Prengler, and the memory of Aaron Prengler (z”l) and the Prenglers of Lukow no longer with us. Also, with great appreciation to the Mokicki and Konko families for their hospitality all these years later. 

Editor’s Note: Grant Prengler will run the Tel Aviv Half-Marathon on Feb. 28 for the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum. If you would like to make a contribution to his run to support Holocaust education in Dallas, please follow this link: https://bit.ly/37cHFH3

To donate directly to the DHRRM, please follow this link and put “Prengler Marathon” in the note section: https://sforce.co/2sdkMVe

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All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler retires

All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler retires

Posted on 23 December 2019 by Sharon Wisch-Ray

Jewish infielder Ian Kinsler played his first eight MLB seasons with the Texas Rangers. He was the starting second baseman for both of the Rangers World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011.(Photo: TJP Archive)

(JTA) — Ian Kinsler, a four-time All-Star second baseman who played for several teams, is retiring after a 14-year career in Major League Baseball.
Kinsler, 37, the son of a Jewish father and Catholic mother, played last season with the San Diego Padres. He ends his career one hit away from 2,000, with 257 home runs, 909 RBIs and 243 stolen bases. He announced his retirement on Friday.
He told The Athletic sports news website that a herniated cervical disk that ended his 2019 season on Aug. 12 played a factor in his decision.
“My pride wouldn’t let me go halfway at something that I’ve been doing at 100 percent for my whole baseball life,” he told The Athletic.
Kinsler, a two-time Gold Glove winner, will stay with the Padres as an adviser to baseball operations.
He was a member of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox. He also played for the Rangers, Tigers and Angels.

–Marcy Oster

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Arsonist sets Yeshiva University dorm on fire using matches meant for Hanukkah candles

Arsonist sets Yeshiva University dorm on fire using matches meant for Hanukkah candles

Posted on 23 December 2019 by Sharon Wisch-Ray

Yeshiva University’s Mendel Gottesman Library. (Wikimedia Commons)

By Marcy Oster

(JTA) — A man who works as a software engineer broke into a Yeshiva University dormitory in Manhattan and set three separate fires using matches intended to light Hanukkah candles.
Students were asleep in the building when the incident occurred after 3 a.m. on Friday, New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro announced on Friday.
Peter Weyand, 33, was arrested on Friday for breaking into the Yeshiva University Schottenstein Residence, in an incident partially captured on security camera. He is charged with arson, burglary with criminal intent, reckless endangerment of property, criminal mischief, criminal trespass and aggravated harassment.
Weyand is believed to have been under the influence of drugs at the time of the incident, The New York Times reported, citing a law enforcement official familiar with the case who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing. None of the charges raise the level of the incident to a hate crime, despite the fact that the university is a major Jewish institution in the city.
The fire department released surveillance video of a man kicking out the bottom of a glass door to the dormitory’s lobby and then crawling through it, finally continuing into the building. The video does not show the fires.
“Attacking any religious institution is a serious crime and we have zero tolerance for acts of arson in this city,” Nigro said. “Thanks to the thorough investigative work of our Fire Marshals, a dangerous individual has been quickly apprehended.”

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My daughter survived an anti-Semitic terror attack last year. Here’s what I want the Jersey City survivors to know.

My daughter survived an anti-Semitic terror attack last year. Here’s what I want the Jersey City survivors to know.

Posted on 18 December 2019 by Sharon Wisch-Ray

Shira and Amichai Ish Ran, both injured in a terror attack last week, when a Palestinian terrorist opened fire on Israelis near the settlement of Ofra, hold a press conference at the Shaarei Tzedek hospital on December 16, 2018. Shira was 30 weeks pregnant at the time of the attack, her baby was delivered through emergency C-section, but died a few days later. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90 *** Local Caption *** ùéøä òîéçé áéú çåìéí ôéâåò âáòú àñó

By Chaim Silberstein

BEIT EL, West Bank (JTA) — I watched the news of the terrible Jersey City shooting last week with both horror and a sense of deja vu. Sadly, violent attacks against Jews, wherever we live, have become all too common. We can no longer assume our communal spaces and houses of worship are safe.

Each terror attack is different, and no one knows exactly what it is like to be the victims of the most recent attack except the Jersey City community. But as a fellow survivor of terror that ripped at the seams of my family, I want to lend my support and share my story, which I believe shows that even during the worst of times, human kindness finds a way to shine. 

The scourge of terrorism entered my own life almost exactly one year ago. On Dec. 9, 2018, my life was shattered when two Hamas terrorists committed a drive-by shooting on my daughter Shira, her husband Amichai and five others. Shira then was seven months pregnant with her first child and my first grandchild. The Hamas terrorist savagely used a Kalashnikov rifle to do the most damage possible. Shira nearly died after the bullet tore a path from her thigh to her abdomen, leaving a 6-inch wide exit wound.

That day was one of extremes and colossal evil, but also unimaginable goodness. When Shira and her fellow victims were shot, two first responders from Magen David Adom, stationed only 1,000 feet away, heard the attack unfold. The paramedics, Betzalel and Benzi, initially believed the sounds had come from firecrackers. But after hearing blood-curdling screams, the two sped toward the danger in their ambulance. They reached Shira in just over 60 seconds.

According to regular protocol, the first ambulance on the scene must wait for a second ambulance to leave in the case of a mass shooting situation. The next ambulance was five minutes away, and Betzalel decided to break protocol and evacuate Shira immediately, likely saving my daughter’s life. 

As Benzi drove the vehicle, Betzalel administered lifesaving care to Shira, pumping liquids into her body to stanch the bleeding and earn her some time. He needed both of his hands for this procedure, and Shira bravely inserted her own fist into her wound to slow the bleeding so that Betzalel could finish the job.

Benzi also took heroic measures to save Shira’s life. Road construction was bound to slow down their passage to Jerusalem, so Benzi called the army and pressured it to open a special security road that would make the trip much quicker. The road passes through a dangerous Arab village, and the army requires that vehicles be bulletproof in order to take this route. Benzi was luckily driving one of MDA’s few bulletproof vehicles, and access was granted. This allowed a trip that usually takes 45 minutes to be completed in only 19 minutes.

Shira was rushed into the operating room at the hospital and underwent radical and invasive surgery. Benzi and Betzalel were correct that Shira had no time to lose: The head of surgery told us that if Shira had arrived three minutes later, she would have suffered irreversible brain damage. Five minutes later and she would have been dead.

Shira’s unborn child, the surgeon told us, had saved her life. Pregnant women produce extra blood to nourish their babies, especially as the pregnancy advances. Shira’s baby was delivered prematurely, at seven months, through an emergency C-section as the doctors operated simultaneously on Shira. But her newborn son – my grandson — would live only briefly, as the lack of oxygen and blood robbed him of any chance of survival.

Shira and Amichai spent a few short moments with their child before he succumbed. Named Amiad Yisrael, which in Hebrew means “the nation of Israel is eternal,” he was interred in a heartrending ceremony that his mother and father could not attend due to their own injuries. He was Israel’s youngest-ever terror victim.  

A couple of months ago, during the festival of Sukkot, there was a ceremony dedicating a new mobile intensive care unit ambulance in memory of Amiad Yisrael. During the ceremony, Amichai pronounced words that will forever remain with me: “Our heroes are the ones who protect life and those who save lives … We hope, please God, the ambulance will be used only for happy occasions. We bless the dear MDA teams with the verse from the book of Psalms: ‘for He (God) will order His angels to guard you wherever you go.’”

For me, terror became personal with the attack on Shira and Amichai and the murder of my grandchild. Israel faces merciless, shameless enemies who will strike us anywhere and anytime the opportunity presents itself. 

Nonetheless, the forces of good remain just as strong, if not stronger. There are countless men and women who run in the direction of danger and rush to the aid of others in the most dire circumstances. Such was the case with Benzi and Betzalel, and so many paramedics and emergency personnel who work with organizations like MDA. We are grateful to the well-trained paramedics for saving our children’s lives. And the ambulance, too: It was Shira’s chariot of mercy.

The human capacity for goodness was also on display in Jersey City, where the heroic Douglas Miguel Rodriguez held open the back door of the kosher grocery store so that Chaim Deutsch could escape, costing him his life. Police officers valiantly engaged in an hours-long shootout, likely saving the lives of dozens of Jews in the yeshiva next door, according to the Jersey City mayor. Concerned Americans sent thousands of pounds of kosher food to the Jersey City community in the days that followed. 

The human kindness and courage found when confronted with evil in the attacks on the Jews of Jersey City and around the world remind us what we all are capable of. As we approach Hanukkah, the season of light and hope, let us hope for — and create — more light in the face of such darkness.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of JTA or its parent company, 70 Faces Media.

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Fort Worth welcomes Partnership2Gether delegation

Posted on 18 December 2019 by admin

Last month, a special delegation of active volunteers from Fort Worth’s Partnership2Gether (P2G) communities of the Western Galilee and Budapest traveled to the United States to learn about American Jews. During their visit, they were treated to an overview of engagement within the Fort Worth Jewish community; they met with Rabbi Brian Zimmerman at Beth-El Congregation, Hazzan Jeffrey Weber at Congregation Ahavath Sholom, and Rabbi Dov Mandel at Chabad of Fort Worth. They discussed the different streams of Judaism, politics, Israel, faith, and community and came to learn about the ways Jews practice and explore their Judaism here in America.
They were treated to tours of the new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum by expert and friend Julie Meetal Berman, the Fort Worth Stockyards and the Magnolia Street areas, as well as joining for the Federation/Israel Bonds program featuring Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger and learning about his personal journey from being the son of a decorated Nazi tank commander, to converting to Judaism, making aliyah and serving as a medic in the Israel Defense Forces.
The delegation enjoyed wonderful home hospitality thanks to Etta and Dr. Michael Korenman, Linda and Jeff Hochster, Alyson and Blake Halpern and Cindy and Robert Simon.
Partnership2Gether (P2G) is a program of the Jewish Agency and the Jewish Federations of North America. The vision of P2G is to build a global and united Jewish people made up of a tapestry of strong, lively, flourishing and interconnected Jewish individuals, families and communities working together to enrich Jewish continuity, identity and cultural understanding between Jews in Israel and their peers around the world. Our Partnership program continues to grow and we learn more at every engagement. If you are interested in getting involved or learning more, please contact the Federation at 817-569-0892.

Last month, a special delegation of active volunteers from Fort Worth’s Partnership2Gether (P2G) communities of the Western Galilee and Budapest traveled to the United States to learn about American Jews. During their visit, they were treated to an overview of engagement within the Fort Worth Jewish community; they met with Rabbi Brian Zimmerman at Beth-El Congregation, Hazzan Jeffrey Weber at Congregation Ahavath Sholom, and Rabbi Dov Mandel at Chabad of Fort Worth. They discussed the different streams of Judaism, politics, Israel, faith, and community and came to learn about the ways Jews practice and explore their Judaism here in America.
They were treated to tours of the new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum by expert and friend Julie Meetal Berman, the Fort Worth Stockyards and the Magnolia Street areas, as well as joining for the Federation/Israel Bonds program featuring Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger and learning about his personal journey from being the son of a decorated Nazi tank commander, to converting to Judaism, making aliyah and serving as a medic in the Israel Defense Forces.
The delegation enjoyed wonderful home hospitality thanks to Etta and Dr. Michael Korenman, Linda and Jeff Hochster, Alyson and Blake Halpern and Cindy and Robert Simon.
Partnership2Gether (P2G) is a program of the Jewish Agency and the Jewish Federations of North America. The vision of P2G is to build a global and united Jewish people made up of a tapestry of strong, lively, flourishing and interconnected Jewish individuals, families and communities working together to enrich Jewish continuity, identity and cultural understanding between Jews in Israel and their peers around the world. Our Partnership program continues to grow and we learn more at every engagement. If you are interested in getting involved or learning more, please contact the Federation at 817-569-0892.

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Dallas Doings: Ken Horwitz, DJCF, Temple Shalom

Posted on 18 December 2019 by admin

Just in time for Hanukkah, Ken Horwitz publishes cookbook

Local attorney Ken Horwitz recently published “Deep Flavors: A Celebration of Recipes for Foodies in a Kosher Style.” He will be signing copies from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20, at Central Market at Coit and George Bush in Plano.
Horwitz’ kosher-style cookbook celebrates the joy of cooking and eating with everything from appetizers and soups to mouth-watering desserts in traditional Jewish dishes, non-Jewish ethnic, vegetarian and American regional fare. The author combines his hunger for cooking with his passion for making international and regional favorites with the goal to create recipes that are easy to read and easily followed by anyone with a basic knowledge of cooking.
His award-winning Spinach/Mushroom Lasagna is a completely vegetarian dish accessible to Jews, vegetarians and foodies, with a unique twist on ingredients that gives it a complex flavor profile. Classic foods like brisket and roast turkey take on a whole new flavor with newly imagined taste combinations, yet manage to maintain recognizable features of each dish.
The Beet Borscht, a family recipe from Horwitz’s grandmother, is somewhat unusual in that it is vegetarian. “A non-Jewish friend almost refused to eat it because he does not like beets; he had a third helping that evening,” Horwitz shared. “Too many existing recipes, whether online or in print, leave out critical stages or ingredients, assuming that the reader will instinctively know what to do next,” he added.
Author Ken Horwitz has spent 51 years as a CPA and lawyer in a general tax and transaction practice, where he developed a creative and focused approach to finding and fixing problems — a skill that translates well to the development and modification of recipes based on traditional (and nontraditional) family favorites.
His professional drive and the care given to his work have earned him multiple awards, including the Honorary Fellow for a lifetime of distinguished service and the 2017 Chairperson of the Year by the Texas Society of CPAs. Currently residing in Dallas, Horwitz enjoys sharing his passion for cooking with his wife and his children’s families. Horwitz believes that one of the highest compliments he has received came from a longstanding client who uses numerous lawyers. He said, “Ken, you are the only lawyer we use whose work we have not had to fix.” Horwitz’s goal is for “Deep Flavors” to reach that same standard.
“Deep Flavors” is available on Amazon for $39.95 for the hardcover or $9.99 for the Kindle edition. To learn more, visit www.deepflavorscookbook.com.

DJCF college and camp scholarship applications open

The Dallas Jewish Community Foundation awards more than 50 college scholarships each year based on financial need, academic merit, involvement in extracurricular activities and/or community service. Anyone that will be a full-time college or post-grad student next school year (2020-2021) is encouraged to apply. While the Foundation has offered these scholarships for many years, there are new specialty scholarships this year: a scholarship for a student who is visually impaired, one for a student who is majoring in theater or musical theater and another for a student born in Israel or who has at least one parent who was.
The average scholarship award is $2,700 and most are for studying at the college or university of the recipient’s choice. In addition to these new scholarships, the Foundations also awards for fields in medicine, law, education, fashion merchandising and Jewish studies. There are scholarships for studying in a yeshiva and in Israel. These are for students studying full-time at the undergraduate and graduate level.
Even with so many scholarships the DJCF makes it simple to apply. All applicants complete just a single application to be considered. The application is then automatically matched with those scholarships with which it meets the criteria.
The Essie and Reuben Rosenbloom Jewish Overnight Camping Fund of the DJCF is a need-based scholarship available to assist Dallas Jewish children entering grades 3-8 in the fall of 2020 who otherwise would not have an opportunity to attend Jewish overnight camps. Since the creation of this fund, more than 300 campers from Dallas, Denton and Collin counties have been able to attend camp.
A unique feature of this scholarship fund is that both the applicants AND the review committee are anonymous, meaning the committee reviews the applications after all personal information has been redacted and members of the committee are known only by a select group of DJCF staff members. Even the DJCF chairman of the board does not know who the committee members are. This high level of confidentiality is to ensure the families can maintain their pride while requesting scholarship assistance.
To be eligible to apply for a scholarship, a family must demonstrate financial need and the eligible camp must be a nonprofit overnight residential camp affiliated with a Jewish organization in the United States. The DJCF welcomes all applicants who fit the need, age criteria and eligibility requirement. Repeat applicants will be considered, with priority given to first-time campers. The application will close March 3, with notification in early April. For the application and more information visit www.djcf.org.

Temple Shalom announces 2020 WOV honoree

On Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, Temple Shalom Sisterhood hosted its annual Paid Up Membership Dinner, co-chaired by Julie Gothard and Lauren Green and catered by Zoe’s Kitchen. More than 125 attendees heard featured speaker Mary Pat Higgins, president and CEO of the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, speak about “Humanity — Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” and the new downtown museum. At the conclusion of Higgins’ presentation, Temple Shalom Sisterhood presented her with a donation to the Museum Experience Fund. This fund, originally initiated by Temple Shalom member Ken Glaser, pays the expenses (admission and transportation to the Museum) for economically disadvantaged students.
A highlight of the evening was the announcement of Sisterhood’s 2020 Woman of Valor (WOV). Much to her surprise, Event Co-chair Julie Gothard was named as this year’s honoree. Julie is a past Sisterhood co-president, is a past Temple Shalom Connections Council co-chair, serves on the Jewish Family Service (JFS) executive committee, and is currently co-chairing the JFS 2020 Woman to Woman event. She has been a member of the Greene Family Camp Committee for many years. Julie shares her passion for serving the community with her husband Dr. Sander Gothard; together they co-chaired the 2018 AIPAC Dallas Annual Event.
Plans are in the works for Sisterhood’s 31st Annual Spring Event/Woman of Valor Celebration on April 5. For more information, contact WOV Chair Kim Kort at kimberlykort@gmail.com.

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What do we tell our kids after Jersey City shooting?

Posted on 18 December 2019 by admin

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Another Jewish community has sustained a bloody attack that left Jews everywhere reeling. On Tuesday, a small enclave of Hasidic Jews in Jersey City, New Jersey had their worlds shaken and disrupted during a frightening siege. Schools were on lockdown, four people were murdered and people from around the Jewish world suddenly were on high alert yet again.
Whether it was overheard in adult conversations, picked up on radio or TV news broadcasts, or through word-of-mouth in the schoolyard, many of our children are undoubtedly aware of this truly horrific event.
In my line of work with Project Chai, the crisis intervention, trauma and bereavement department of Chai Lifeline, I have sadly encountered these situations all too frequently. From Pittsburgh to Poway to Jersey City, senseless anti-Semitism knows no bounds.
In the wake of this devastation in our community, we — as parents, educators and community leaders — must address the emotional and psychological impact such incidents can have on our children.
The following are some general guidelines for those of us asking “What do we tell our children now?”
Talk with them.
Do not assume children will speak up if they need to; be proactive. Ask them if they have heard about the event. Encourage them to dialogue with you about what they know, and what they do not know, at a level, pace and degree that is appropriate to their age and maturity. Respond to their questions, correct misinformation and provide reassurance about their safety.
Younger children need to know that they are safe and it is safe for them to voice their feelings.
Children need to ask their questions and be given short answers that satisfy and are sensible. Listen attentively when they share their views. Validate their concerns.
Ensure that your child is maintaining a regular routine.
Eating, sleeping, attending school and other responsibilities are important for growing minds (and for all of us). Structure is healing. Normalcy is soothing. Be patient and gentle, but help them return to regular functioning as soon as possible.
Offer encouragement.
A person’s initial reactions will change with time, and it is helpful to point out to children that what they are now experiencing is a normal stage, and that they likely will have different thoughts, feelings and attitudes as the days pass. Be an open door for each child to speak with you and check in with them regularly. Do not assume that a child’s silence means that they are not struggling. Do not “pathologize” and assume that a child’s reactions are indicative of deeper problems.
Your job is not to act as judge and jury.
Your responsibility is to educate and support your child, not to editorialize about the crime. Assert to the pondering child that murder is wrong — focusing less on the perpetrators of the crime and more on the concept of right and wrong. Refrain from offering your opinions about the perpetrators, which only serve to distract from the larger issues that may need your attention.
Steer clear of misleading, moralizing, disciplinary or judgmentally toned messages.
Now is not the moment to inspire or scold your child for their reactions, feelings or thoughts in any way. Now is the time to support and nurture them and console their fears and sadness. Stay focused on the present.
Give your children space to process.
Allow your children to have their own reactions, but aim to help them regulate their thoughts and behaviors. Offer them the opportunity to discuss their confusion with a trusted authority or mentor. You are there to guide them, to educate them, to encourage and inspire them.
Remember that the ways in which children are “walked through” a crisis or trauma will shape the ways in which they respond to subsequent life challenges. Your words, your demeanor, your honesty, your sincerity and your respectfulness can teach them resiliency and can equip them with tools and skills for coping and handling the stresses they will encounter later in life.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of JTA or its parent company, 70 Faces Media.

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Navigating the season: embrace your Judaism

Posted on 18 December 2019 by admin

Dear Parents and Children,
Yes, it is time to start thinking about Hanukkah and this year because of our strange calendar, Hanukkah and Christmas fall at the same time. There are positives and negatives about this — for many “The December Dilemma” is rearing its head. The dilemma has to do with Christmas and Hanukkah. How do we handle our children’s questions and desires (while remembering our own)? This “problem” is actually a continuum — we all fit somewhere on a line from “this is serious” to “this isn’t even an issue.” Now as we get ready for the holiday, it is time to plan so here are a variety of thoughts and ideas — all taken from others wiser than I am!

  1. Visit Christmas: Enjoy visiting your non-Jewish friends and celebrating holidays with them (be sure to include them in your holiday events as well). Help your children understand by explaining, “When we go to play at Bobby’s house, we enjoy his toys but when we leave, we do not take the toys home. Those are Bobby’s toys. When we help decorate Bobby’s Christmas tree, we have a good time, but we don’t bring it home. We do not celebrate Christmas. Let’s invite Bobby and his family for Shabbat (or Passover or Hanukkah).”
  2. Don’t compete — create meaning: We do not need to set up Hanukkah as a competition or compensation for Christmas. Create meaningful traditions for all of your holidays. There’s more to Christmas and Hanukkah than just the gifts. Judaism celebrates weekly — make a big deal out of Shabbat!
  3. Talk with friends: The discussion is more important than the solutions! There are no right or wrong answers on how to deal with Santa Claus, lights, songs, etc.
  4. From “40 Ways to Save the Jewish People”: Educator and author Joel Lurie Grishaver tells the story of a college daughter’s talk to her mother, “Mom, I actually figured out that Hanukkah was one of the major reasons I never got involved with drugs or excessive drinking or promiscuous sex. From having to celebrate Hanukkah when everyone else was doing Christmas, I learned that I could be different — and that was OK!”
  5. Hanukkah is a wonderful holiday to create new traditions. Rabbi Cherie Koller-Fox, with her family, added new rituals and here are her…Favorite Hanukkah Happenings:
    ·Art Night: cover the tables so the children can paint murals, make figures out of clay, make a new hanukkiah for the season, and more.
    ·Music Night: Invite friends who like to play instruments and sing and have a songfest with a little karaoke (and maybe a talent show).
    ·Tzedakah Night: Do something for others — buy a gift to donate, go to a home for the elderly, collect food and deliver to a shelter…
    ·Book Night: The gift for the night is a book for each person followed by reading and storytelling.
    ·Grandparents Night: A time for a big family night or if you live far from family, this is the night to call everyone on the phone.
    ·Movie Night: Watch a movie together — pick one that can be a family favorite for years to come (and, of course, make popcorn).
    ·Big Ticket Night: The gift for the night is tickets to a cultural event that everyone in the family can attend.
    ·Homemade Presents Night: Definitely the favorite — make presents for each member of the family or draw lots to make one for a special person.
    Hanukkah is a holiday with many wonderful rituals, and families continue to create new traditions to teach the special messages which are part of the historical event — a wonderful opportunity. What are the messages we want our children to understand? Despite pressure to conform, Mattathias and his five sons refused to bow down to idols. Being a Maccabee, whether long ago or today, means fighting for the right to be different and being proud of those differences. We also teach our children that being small does not mean being insignificant. The Jewish people have always been small in number, but we have always been strong in spirit. We know that each of us can make a difference in the world! And this is the legacy of the Maccabees and the celebration of Hanukkah. So let us teach our children how to appreciate their differences first, by teaching and modeling Jewish life and all the beauty of it, and second, by learning about others and then going home to what we know and love.

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Where should we light the Hanukkah lights?

Posted on 18 December 2019 by admin

Dear Rabbi Fried,
I once spent Hanukkah in Jerusalem and noticed that most people lit their menorahs in glass boxes outside their doorways or at the entrance to their courtyards. I’ve never seen that done back home; we have always lit inside in the window or just on the dining room table. Why the discrepancy between Israel and the Diaspora?
Sylvia P.

Dear Sylvia,
The Talmud states, “The light of Hanukkah; its mitzvah is to (light) it at the doorway, outside the house. If one lives on a higher floor, he places it in the window which faces the public thoroughfare. In times of danger (from hostile Gentiles) place it upon the table and that is sufficient.” (Talmud, Shabbos 21b)
The basic principle of this teaching is pirsumei nisa, meaning the lighting of the candles was enacted in order to publicize the miracles of Hanukkah. That is why we are to place the lights in the optimal location in or adjacent to one’s home which would publicize the miracle to the greatest number of onlookers.
Hence the custom in Israel of lighting outside the home, such as in a glass box, as this attracts far more attention than lighting inside, even at the window. Only one who lived on a higher floor and didn’t have a doorway which faced the public thoroughfare was allowed to light in his window.
(One fulfills the mitzvah only when the lights are in some way connected to the home or place of residence; to light in the street or in a public place, such as at a mall, fulfills no mitzvah whatsoever although it may be a place which would greatly publicize the miracle.)
The Talmud concludes: “In times of danger, place it upon the table and that is sufficient.” (Talmud Shabbos, ibid.) Historically, in the anti-Semitic atmosphere of much of our Diaspora, to light outside the home in such a public way may have caused danger to the individual or even to the entire Jewish community.
The rabbis enacted that under such circumstances one could fulfill the mitzvah of lighting in an alternative manner — without exhibiting the lights publicly. This is by lighting them inside the house, solely publicizing the miracles to the members of one’s own household.
The question arises: If one lives in the Diaspora in a place where anti-Semitism is not rampant or tolerated and there is no danger for one to light outside, should one then light the menorah outside as is the preferred way of lighting? This question has been the subject of discussion by authorities of Jewish law for many generations.
Most authorities maintain the following: Although lighting outside may be safe in one locale, there are always places in the Diaspora where danger still lurks as anti-Semitism is still alive and well. Dallas may be safe as we’re surrounded by friendly neighbors, but in many parts of France and Europe (or even Dearborn, Michigan), it would be quite dangerous to publicly exhibit a Jewish practice. These authorities maintain that we view all of the Diaspora as one locale: If it’s dangerous in one place, the “danger enactment” applies to the next place as well despite its relative safety.
This explains the discrepancy:
• In Israel, most continue the principal Talmudic ruling of lighting outside.
• In the Diaspora, most adopt the custom of lighting inside.
(For an in-depth discussion of this, see my newly published “Maadanei Shlomo,” pp. 230-232.)
We anxiously await the final miracle that of the redemption of our people, when we will all light the candles in the ideal way in the Land of Israel!

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