‘Can do’ spirit evident at Bnai Zion gala

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Recently, the Dallas and Fort Worth communities demonstrated at the most successful Bnai Zion Foundation’s annual Gala Award Dinner that, in spite of a poor economy, their devotion simulates the busy bee, which defies the laws of aeronautics, and continues to fly and make a bit of honey each day. National Bnai Zion President George W. Schaeffer stated it best: “Although it hasn’t been the best year for Jews, or for the Western world as a whole, we look at the challenges that face us as a person looking at a glass that is half-filled….” This ‘can do’ spirit was evident as over 400 devoted Bnai Zion supporters came out to demonstrate, in meaningful ways, their concern and appreciation of the organization’s work for Israel and to pay tribute to this year’s honorees: Monica “Posy” McMillen, Dr. Ed Goodman and Harmon Schepps.
As approximately 300 guests mingled amongst the tables displaying the equipment desperately needed for the gala, they were given firsthand knowledge. They were also able to view items that would be up for bids during the live auction so brilliantly executed by Larry Strauss, president of the Texas Region of Bnai Zion. Each person who took the time to stop and talk to Bnai Zion’s volunteers was entered into a drawing for two diamond rings, without even having to buy a raffle ticket.
There was an excited buzz throughout the evening as guestd ate, drank and waited for the live auction. Thanks to Bnai Zion’s wonderfully generous and philanthropic supporters, the organization was immediately able to send to Israel a check larger than any that had gone in past years.
Strauss, along with past honoree Diane Benjamin and Texas Regional Director Avrille Harris-Cohen, secured the fine honorees for their unique contributions to our community here and in Israel.
Monica “Posy” McMillen was the recipient of the America-Israel Friendship Award. She graciously accepted this from Toni and Harold Gernsbacher. Posy has led numerous missions to Israel. She is a gifted writer and a treasured teacher who facilitates a 22-week course titled “Anti-Semitism and the Church,” and is the founder of the Fort Worth branch of Yad B’Yad, an organization of reconciliation between Christians and Jews which she started in 1998.
Harmon Schepps is a much-loved community leader who formerly served as president of the Dallas Crime Commission. He is instrumental in “Crime Stoppers” and was a key principal owner of Schepps Dairy. He has shown devotion to making our community safe, having aided many less fortunate who claim him as their personal “godfather.” Harmon humbly accepted the Bnai Zion Community Service Award, presented to him by Pete Schenkel, president of Schepps Dairy.
Dr. Ed Goodman, this year’s recipient of the Bnai Zion Humanitarian Award,  has served on various boards and medical societies, and has given his time generously to several community organizations. He received Hadassah’s Doctor of Distinction award and was included in D magazine’s list of “Best Doctors in Dallas.” From 2002 to the present, Dr. Goodman has led the Emergency Response Group, which trains American physicians in disaster preparation, in readiness to serve hospitals in the state of Israel and at home. The honor of this presentation was given to Jim Hogue, president, Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance.
The Presentation of Colors by the Dr. Harvey J. Bloom Post #256 of the Jewish War Veterans was a patriotic display that joined the attendees as they welcomed an entourage of dignitaries who graced the podium. Included in the evening’s program were Rabbi William Gershon; Mayor Tom Leppert; the Hon. Ann Margolin; Dr. Amnon Rofe, director-general of the Bnai Zion Medical Center in Haifa, Israel; Dr. Mickey Kafka, head of the Emergency Department; Lyora Kalish, chair of Israeli Friends of the Bnai Zion Medical Center; Jack Grunspan, executive vice president of Bnai Zion’s national headquarters in New York; the Hon. Allen Clark; and this year’s chairpersons, Gwen and Martin van Brauman.
To become involved in this incredible organization which not only supports The Bnai Zion Medical Center but also Ahava, a village for abused and neglected children, please contact Texas Regional Director Avrille Harris-Cohen at 972-918-9200.

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