Dallas Doings: School club, NCJW, Living CHAI life

By Linda Wisch-Davidsohn


Photo: Josh Rudner Greenhill students Joseph Weinberg (left), Brooke Allen and Josh Rudner wear “Happy Birthday” shirts to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut.

Good wishes to Josh Rudner, 16-year-old Greenhill sophomore, and his friends, Jackson Rothbart, junior, and Keaton Butowsky, also a junior, who co-founded and co-led Greenhill School’s Jewish Studies Club this school year. Josh, who is also co-president of the organization, shared some of the inaugural events and club meetings with us.
To highlight a few, Josh said that “we had a Rosh Hashanah bake sale to support the North Texas Food Bank; we hosted a club meeting to discuss the ways Christmas and American commercialism have affected Chanukah. By working with the administration and maintenance staff, we planted some jasmine plants to celebrate Tu B’Shevat.
“We also held a lunchtime debate over the Israeli elections and had a wide variety of parties represented — from Shas to UAL!  Yom HaShoah was observed with various activities, and we got 73 people (71 students and two faculty members) to wear ‘Happy Birthday’ shirts on Yom HaAtzmaut.
“Approximately 25 percent of the participants were not Jewish. We meet once every  six school days, as do most Greenhill clubs. Currently we are in he process of electing next year’s leadership. Our faculty advisor/sponsor is Spanish teacher, Señor Sebastian Gluzzman, an Argentinian Jew, who lived in Israel for a year.”
Yasher Koach to Josh and his co-presidents for thinking of such an innovative idea.
Additionally, kudos to Josh who shared his “I am AIPAC” remarks along with Hector Flores, Victoria Neave, Manual Rajunov and The Honorable Keith Self at the Sunday evening AIPAC Dessert Reception held at the Anatole Hotel.
The AIPAC event garnered more than 1,200 attendees, according to AIPAC officials. Josh is the son of Lisa and Steve Rudner, who incidentally co-chaired the successful AIPAC event along with Debbie and Manuel Rajunov.

NCJW board installation

The National Council of Jewish Women has been a mainstay of Dallas Jewish community organizations. Its 2015-2016 installation of NCJW Greater Dallas officers and directors will take place May 7 at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center at 2301 Flora Street. Check-in begins at 11:30 a.m., and the lunch and program will begin at noon.
Luncheon reservations are $54. The Sponsor Level is $90 and includes program recognition. The Benefactor Level is $180 and also includes program recognition. Please RSVP to NCJW by May 1.
The 2015 Pioneering Partner Award recipient is Vanna Slaughter, director of Immigration and Legal Services of Catholic Charities of Dallas. Ms. Slaughter is the keynote speaker for the event, which will take place in Horchow Hall.
Reduced-rate self parking is available for $5 (vouchers will be provided at the luncheon). Valet parking will be available for $20 at the valet circle at the entrance to the garage. Please let the attendant know that you are attending the NCJW luncheon.
SWJ hosts Edwin Black
Earlier in April, Southwest Jewish Congress and Hillel of Dallas hosted New York Times best-selling author, Edwin Black, for an in-depth briefing on, “International Law and Israel.”
Mr. Black provided a thorough historical overview, from the formation of the State of Israel to the present, as it relates to international law. He presented the events in chronological order, allowing the large audience to understand how international law pertaining to the Middle East evolved.
Showing that “experts” involved in making decisions affecting Israel are unaware of many of these facts, he made it clear that when people don’t know the facts they will believe anything.
Rick Barrett-Cuetara, SWJC board member, said, “I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Edwin Black’s historical analysis of the formation of the State of Israel. The facts don’t lie ­— Israel has a right to exist and be recognized under international law.  No country can legitimately deny Israel’s right to exist.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the Christian community has been and continues to be one of the strongest supporters of Israel’s right to exist.”
Audience comments included:  “Great evening,” “Super speaker,” “SWJC has raised the bar on quality speakers . . .”
Ardo Fuentes, another SWJC board member, commented, “Mr. Black made a very persuasive argument without bringing politics into the discussion. I felt empowered with new knowledge, realizing how little I knew in this area. I look forward to reading his books and expanding my knowledge on these topics.”

Living the CHAI Life, June 7

Photo: Community Homes for Adults, Inc. Living the CHAI Life co-chairs: Katherine Albert, Betsy Kleinman, Ricki Shapiro, Beverly Goldman; and CHAI Development Chair Melissa Ackerman

Planning is underway for an extraordinary event that you won’t want to miss!  On Sunday evening, June 7, Community Homes for Adults, Inc. — CHAI — will premiere a signature event: Living the CHAI Life. This special evening will be held in the new high-end kitchen, bath and outdoor living store in Northpark Center — PIRCH — and will feature plenty of food, cocktails and fun.
The event begins at 7 p.m. with drinks and delicious food stations catered by Spice of Life and the PIRCH culinary team. Guests will have an opportunity to tour the beautiful store and a brand new CHAI video will be shown at 8 p.m.
All participants at the event will have an opportunity to submit their names for several prize drawings for special gift items from PIRCH. In addition, anyone who purchases a ticket to the event will be entered in a drawing to win $1,000 in North Park Gold!
Individual tickets are $180 per person and sponsorships are still available at the following levels: Joy: $25,000, Life: $18,000, Happiness: $10,000, Achievement: $5,000, Adventure: $2,500 and Experiences: $1,000. Reservations may be made online at www. chaidallas.org/special-event or by calling 214-888-4909.
As of April 1, 2015, the following sponsorships have been received:
Presenting Sponsor: PIRCH;
Joy: Dr. Michael and Patricia Michael/Dr. Ludwig Michael;
Life: Leo and Rhea Fay Fruhman Foundation/Beverly and Joe Goldman; Achievement: Linda and Dave Garner, Beverly and Cary Rossel, Alan M. Utay Family Foundation;
Adventure: Katherine Albert, Fran and Mark Berg, Minnie and Keith Blackwell, Becca and Allen Bodzy, Ricki and Gabe Shapiro, Waldman Bros;
Experiences: Carol and Steve Aaron, Melissa and Baer Ackerman, Ginette and David Albert, Susan and Evan Bates, Katherine Bauer, Lisa Beckerman, Brenda and Ron Bliss, Donna and Mark Burdette, Elise and Robert Donosky, Fran and David Eisenberg, Ragen and Roy Elterman, Jeanne and Tex Fagadau*, Lisa and David Genecov, Lisa and Jeff Genecov, Myra and Larry Gingold, Barbara and Larry Glazer, Lisa and Neil Goldberg, Sherry and Ken Goldberg, Lizzy and Jules Greif, Marcy Helfand*, Carole Ann and Jay Hoppenstein, Betsy and Mark Kleinman*, Judy and Jeff Kogutt*, Florence and Larry Kramer, Gail and Peter Loeb, Emily Maduro and Joe Wielebinski, Staci and Jeff Mankoff, Weezie and Mark Margolis, Tricia and Paul Michaelson, The Milstein Families, Carol and Stuart Morse, Joan and Robert Pollock, Myra and Stuart Prescott*, Barbara and Stan Rabin, Gerald Ray & Associates, Ann Rosenberg, Kerri Aikin and John Rosenberg, The Rubin Family Foundation/Julie and Jay Liberman, Celia and Larry Schoenbrun*, Marian and Jack Spitzberg, Freda Gail Stern, Texas Jewish Post, Lisa and Mark Zale. (*Philanthropic Fund of the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation)
CHAI is a nonsectarian, nonprofit organization under Jewish auspices that provides programs and services to enable adults with intellectual disabilities to live as independently as possible, and to enrich their lives with opportunities to meaningfully participate in the community.
In addition to providing learning opportunities that enhance personal development and daily living skills for individual clients who live in the broader community, CHAI currently operates and maintains six group homes where our residents have the opportunity to live in a supported environment with their peers.
Proceeds from the Living the CHAI Life event will benefit the Carmen and Ludwig Michael Fund of CHAI. At her request, this fund was established in memory of Carmen, founder of CHAI, for the purpose of providing reserve funds dedicated to managing the upkeep of the group homes. Quite simply, this fund allows CHAI to make ordinary things possible for the extraordinary people they serve by assuring that it can uphold the responsibility of maintaining their homes.

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