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Dallas Jewish War Veterans mark Veterans Day

Dallas Jewish War Veterans mark Veterans Day

Posted on 13 November 2019 by admin

Members of Dallas’ Dr. Harvey J. Bloom Post 256 and Ladies Auxiliary of Jewish War Veterans of the USA marked Veterans Day by volunteering to perform mitzvahs and raise money to help the North Texas community’s veteran population. The Post began the Sunday prior by honoring its fallen and departed comrades with graveside flags at Jewish burial grounds throughout the Dallas area. On Thursday, they joined more than 20 Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs) for a “Stand Down” event at the Dallas VA Hospital, distributing warm clothing and personal hygiene items to some 500 homeless veterans. The following day, the Post Color Guard modeled patriotism at several local schools, including Hickman Elementary in Garland. They concluded that evening with a Presentation of Colors at Temple Shalom’s annual Veteran’s Shabbat service. Sunday morning found its volunteers conducting a Poppy Drive at coffee houses and brunch cafés around town, seeking donations from generous fellow Texans to help hospitalized veterans — the Post provides nonmedical equipment, furniture, appliances and recreational equipment to benefit patients at the area’s VA facilities. And finally, despite Monday’s wild weather forecast, Post members participated in the City’s annual Veterans Day parade.

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Fish and chips’ surprising Jewish history

Fish and chips’ surprising Jewish history

Posted on 13 November 2019 by admin

Fish and chips, the iconic British dish, has Jewish roots.

By Ronnie Fein
This story originally appeared on The Nosher.


You may be surprised to learn that fish and chips, though wildly popular in England for what seems like an eternity, actually was a specialty of the Portuguese Sephardic Jews who fled the Inquisition in the 16th century and found refuge in the British Isles. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver referred to this recently in an article in The New York Times, adding that “Dishes evolve, impacted by trade, war, famine and a hundred other forces.”
Among those “other forces” are dishes born of religious ritual. For observant Jews, fish is pareve, a neutral food in kosher terms, thus an easy way to avoid treif (non-kosher food) and possibly include dairy in the same meal. It was especially important for Marranos, the so-called crypto-Jews, who pretended to be Christian during the Inquisition. They ate fish on Fridays, when meat was forbidden by the Church, and also saved some to eat cold the next day at lunch to avoid cooking on Shabbat.
Frying was natural for Jewish home cooks — think of latkes and sufganyiot — and as the Jewish community began to flourish in England, it spurred a taste for its beloved fried, battered fish throughout the country. According to Claudia Roden’s “The Book of Jewish Food,” Thomas Jefferson tried some on a trip to London and said he ate “fish in the Jewish fashion” during his visit. Alexis Soyer, a French cook who became a celebrated chef in Victorian England, included a recipe for “Fried Fish, Jewish Fashion” in the first edition of his 1845 cookbook “A Shilling Cookery for the People.” Soyer’s recipe notes that the “Jewish manner” includes using oil rather than meat fat (presumably lard), which made the dish taste better, though also made it more expensive.
There’s some dispute about the where and when of “chips” (what we Americans call french fries and the French call pommes frites). Many historians say that deep-fried, cut-up potatoes were invented in Belgium and, in fact, substituted for the fish during hard times. The first time the word “chips” was used was in Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” in 1859: “husky chips of potato, fried with some reluctant drops of oil.”
The official pairing of fish and chips didn’t happen until a few years later, though. Although there are some who dispute it, most authorities say that it is thanks to a Jewish cook, this time a young Ashkenazi immigrant named Joseph Malin, who opened the first British chippy, aka fish and chip shop, in London in 1863. The shop was so successful it remained in business until the 1970s.
Who could foresee that fearful Jewish immigrants hiding their true religion and practicing in secret would be responsible for creating one of the most iconic dishes in the U.K.? The down-home dish that Winston Churchill claimed help the British defeat the Nazis, the comfort food that George Orwell said helped keep the masses happy and “averted revolution.” The dish, by the way, that was among the only foods never rationed during wartime because the British government believed that preserving access to it was a way of keeping up morale. A dish that continues to be a mainstay of the British diet.
Think about that the next time you find yourself feasting on this centuries-old — Jewish? British? — recipe.
These days, some restaurants are putting a new spin on fish and chips. Almond crusted. Baked instead of fried. Quinoa coated. Sweet potato fries instead of regular. And those are all fine; as Oliver says, “Dishes evolve.” But plain old fish and chips endures and probably always will. Good recipes usually do.

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JDC to honor Stan Rabin Nov. 21

JDC to honor Stan Rabin Nov. 21

Posted on 13 November 2019 by admin

Photo: JDC
European Jewish youth celebrate their Jewish identity at Szarvas, the JDC-Lauder International Jewish Summer Camp located in Szarvas, Hungary. Funds raised through the Nov. 21 event will enable the dedication of the Rabin Roost at Szarvas in honor of Stan and Barbara Rabin.

As his tenure at JDC helm concludes, his impact is felt worldwide

By Jeremiah Jensen
Special to the TJP

On Thursday, Nov. 21, JDC, the global Jewish humanitarian organization, will host an event to honor its president and one of the men who has shepherded its mission toward ever more effective and efficient benevolence across the world: Stan Rabin. Rabin will conclude his four-year term as president of the organization.
JDC works in 70 countries to lift lives and strengthen communities, according to its mission statement. It rescues Jews in danger, provides aid to vulnerable Jews, develops innovative solutions to Israel’s most complex social challenges, cultivates a Jewish future and leads the Jewish community’s response to crises.
“Stan Rabin is one of the finest — a man whose high intellect, impeccable judgment, and broad experience have benefited so many — nationally, internationally, and here in our own community,” says Frank Risch, current board chair of the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum and Rabin’s close friend.
Over his career, Rabin served in the military, as an engineer at G.E. and finally as the CEO of multinational corporation Commercial Metals. He worked at Commercial Metals for 38 years and served as CEO for 28 of them.
Rabin has served on JDC’s board of directors since 2007. He served as its president since 2016. More than this, Rabin’s heart for service extends well beyond one organization, and he has brought his considerable leadership expertise to bear on the boards of United Way Foundation of Metropolitan Dallas, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Temple Emanu-El of Dallas, the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation, and the Dallas Holocaust Museum, as well as the Board of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and the Board of Governors of the American Jewish Committee.
Stan’s impact globally and locally is immeasurable,” says Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas President and CEO Mariam Shpeen Feist. “It’s quite possible that we won’t know his total impact for many years. He is a pillar of not just our Dallas Jewish community, but around the world.”
The early years
Rabin was born in the Bronx in 1938, the son of Jewish refugees. His father came to New York from Belarus at the age of nine in 1908, his mother from Ukraine at age six in 1914.
He grew up in a Jewish neighborhood, with an Italian neighborhood and an Irish neighborhood bookending the blocks and corners he called home.
Rabin and his family lived on the fourth story of an apartment building that housed 97 Jewish families. Though it was a humble upbringing, it was wholesome. His mother, father and family had little in the way of formal learning, but they understood its power and pushed young Rabin to pursue his education.
“I was very fortunate in my own life and the things I’ve done…reflect that,” Rabin says.
“My whole generation…so many of us graduated from college, and when I look back it was pretty remarkable. I didn’t think so necessarily at the time, but when I look back how remarkable that was and that we were pushed by our parents, my parents or aunts and uncles, to get a great education and then move on from there and be able to do things in that first generation.”
Rabin attended the prestigious Bronx High School of Science, a New York City public school that opened the year Rabin was born. There, he received an education a cut above the rest. He excelled and went on to gain admission to Columbia where he studied metallurgical engineering. He graduated in 1959 and worked for the military in the Oakridge nuclear program in Tennessee. Rabin and his friends would often travel down to Atlanta to fill their social calendars, and it was during one of these weekend excursions that Rabin met the woman who would help him meet the woman who would become his wife.
Rabin met his wife Barbara in California after finishing his stint with the military and moving there to begin his career with G.E. in 1964. Shortly after arriving in the Golden State he called the Atlanta woman to see if she knew anyone he should meet in California. Though she was expecting a call of a different nature, her kindness prevailed, and she told him about Barbara.
Barbara grew up in Borger, a small town in the Texas panhandle, and had a very different upbringing than her New York beau. Though the two shared a strong Jewish heritage, their childhoods were worlds apart. Whereas Rabin was immersed in Jewish culture with Jewish people everywhere he looked, she grew up in small-town Texas with only 10 other Jewish families around. She went to the University of Texas at Austin for three years before deciding there had to be more to the world than Texas, packing her bags, and transferring to the University of California at Berkeley.
“No comment about Stan can be made without citing the critically important role that his wonderful wife Barbara has played at every step of the way, in both his business life and his charitable good work around the world. She too is an ‘upstander’ in every way,” says Risch.
Rabin fell in love with the Texas belle and the two married in 1965. They opted to stay in California and had both their children there. Together, they have become pillars of the local, national and international Jewish community, epitomizing the concept of mensch and leaving everything they touch better than they found it.
“Barbara is Stan’s partner in everything that he does, he would admit his better half, and nothing happens without the quiet voice and strength of Barbara behind him,” says former Federation President Bradley Laye. “She herself is a tour de force and a real spitfire…she’s not a wallflower.”
Their children are now grown, in their late 40s and early 50s, and have given Barbara and Rabin five grandchildren.
During his time in California, Rabin went to night class and earned his MBA from the University of California Santa Clara. Then, he began looking for his next step in the corporate world.
He stayed with G.E. until 1978 when family ties and new opportunities called him to Texas. He joined Commercial Metals, a multinational scrap-metal corporation, and moved to Dallas in 1978.
A worldwide leader
Rabin worked at Commercial Metals for more than 38 years, serving as its CEO for 28 of those years. Throughout his career, he dedicated what time he could to Jewish and non-Jewish nonprofit work, but he always had a desire to give more. He was involved in the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas for years during his career. It was in his service there that he began to create ties with the JDC. Its mission was the work he longed to do, and as he approached retirement, he began to take more and more active roles in the JDC, garnering a board position in 2007 before retiring from Commercial Metals in 2008, eventually becoming the JDC’s president and tone-setter in 2016.
“I just can’t think of words to describe specifically how incredible he is,” says Laye. “What he’s done in his life, self-made, educated, hard-working, titan-of-industry as the CEO of Commercial Metals, professionally, to do all he’s done as a philanthropist and a volunteer leader…it is rare to have someone as incredible as Stan Rabin in your community.”
Under Rabin’s guidance, the JDC has accomplished incredible things.
As with any corporate entity — for-profit or not-for-profit — future-proofing and efficiency are at the forefront of any leadership team’s agenda.
The JDC’s mission is to preserve and build Jewish life. All of its work takes place overseas in places where Jews can still face many challenges including anti-Semitism, poverty, and a pressing need to find innovative ways to build Jewish life for the next generation — places like Argentina, Venezuela, and former Soviet Union countries like Ukraine and Moldova. The bulk of the ongoing work takes place in Eastern Europe where many Holocaust victims still live and where many Jews were so oppressed under the Communists that they have hidden or forgotten their Jewish heritage for survival’s sake.
Supporting the poor, Jewish elderly in the former Soviet Union is a gargantuan undertaking that represents roughly a third of the JDC’s annual budget. JDC CEO David Schizer says this year that sum was $130 million. Of that $130 million, $105 million of it comes from the German government via the Claims Conference as restitution for the country’s role in the Holocaust. The other $25 million is used to take care of the non-Holocaust-victim Jewish elderly population.
The youngest survivor is now 75 years old. Eventually, as the survivors pass away, the funding will dry up. On the surface, this does not appear to be a problem. But it actually poses a great challenge to the way JDC’s mission is carried out in that region. Rabin was among those who spotted the problem and was critical to finding a solution for it.
Schizer says Rabin’s experience running a multinational company was critical in the plans to right-size JDC’s care model in the former Soviet Union to ensure ongoing aid for the elderly poor in these areas long after German funding dries up.
To combat the suppression of Jewish identities in Eastern Europe, JDC built a summer camp, Szarvas, in Hungary outside of Budapest. This camp is where many young Jews in Central and Eastern Europe first learn about Judaism. The camp is designed to create leaders who are proud of their Jewish identity and heritage, then empower them to lead their communities back home. It has been so successful that if one were to ask any leader in an Eastern European Jewish community under 40 years old if they went to Szarvas, their answer is “yes” more often than not.
The event honoring Rabin Nov. 21 will serve as a fundraiser for the Szarvas as it seeks to fund a much-needed renovation.
“One of our large donors to that camp once said: ‘You know it’s more than a camp. It’s a concept. It’s a dream. It’s a vision. It’s a mission. It’s a bridge between past and present. It’s a portal to the future. It’s a sanctuary. It’s a place to smile. It’s a place to sing. It’s a place to pray. It’s a place to play. And it’s a place to hope,’” Rabin recalls. “Those aren’t my words; they’re someone else’s, but it’s just an indication of the kinds of things that you can do.”
As Rabin looks back on his life, he is astounded at the hand of God and encouraged to see the impact one person can make in one lifetime.
“If we look on any given day how many thousands of lives in the world we’re helping make much better, and I’m talking from a pretty fundamental level, that gives a lot of satisfaction in terms of the kinds of things that we do but [also] that an individual can do in terms of giving back within their own life,” Rabin says.
Laye sums up Rabin’s efforts and his impact perfectly.
“Stan is known around the country in Jewish philanthropic circles…he’s done so many things. Locally, there’s very few large organizations in the Jewish and general community that haven’t felt Stan’s touch and internationally, there’s no question his role as president of JDC is a legacy that’s a great source of pride, not just for Stan and his family, but for the city of Dallas.”

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Hand in Hand to honor memory of Moe Stein, z”l

Hand in Hand to honor memory of Moe Stein, z”l

Posted on 13 November 2019 by admin

Photo: Courtesy of Lee Gordon
Moe Stein with, from left, Lina Daragmeh, an Arab graduate, and Tamar Borman, a Jewish graduate. Both are members of Hand in Hand’s Jerusalem School Class of 2013.

His vision was one of partnership

Hand in Hand (Yad B’Yad) will host an event in memory of Moe Stein, z”l, at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, at Congregation Shearith Israel, 9401 Douglas Ave.
In Israel, there are few institutions as important to advancing coexistence between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs as the Hand in Hand Schools. Started in 1998 with 50 students, Hand in Hand enrolls nearly 2,000 students each year and impacts more than 10,000 people everyday in Israel by bringing Jewish, Christian Arab and Muslim Arab Israelis together in schools starting in pre-K through high school. There are six schools across the State of Israel including in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the Galilee. The Dallas event will feature both a graduate and a current student of Hand in Hand as well as a member of its senior staff from Israel.
Moe Stein, z”l, former executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas and longtime adviser to the Feldman Family Foundation, became involved with Hand in Hand Schools early in its development. His friend, Lee Gordon, of Portland, Oregon, is both co-founder of Hand in Hand and chair of the American Friends of Hand in Hand. Stein was widely known for his advocacy for coexistence between all of Israel’s citizens in order to make Israel stronger and safer for all Israelis.
Friends and family of Moe Stein, including Event Chairs Cynthia and Robert Feldman, Marcy Helfand, Rabbi Nancy Kasten, Bradley Laye, Rabbi Adam Roffman, Jerome Stein, Jourdan Stein and Andrea and Loren Weinstein, along with a robust host committee, hope to engage the Dallas Jewish community in the important work of Hand in Hand. Event attendance is a $36 donation for adults and an $18 donation for students. Tributes and memorial gifts may be made at https://handinhandk12.org/donate/.
To RSVP or for more information, please contact Andrea at andrea@handinhandk12.org or call 503-892-2962.

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Israel seeks to prevent further escalation on second day of conflict with PIJ

Israel seeks to prevent further escalation on second day of conflict with PIJ

Posted on 13 November 2019 by admin

Israeli soldiers at a staging area in Southern Israel, near the border with neighbouring Palestinian Gaza Strip on November 13, 2019. Since Israel’s targeted killing of Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata yesterday morning, more than 220 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza. The Israeli air defence forces have intercepted 90 percent of the rockets. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** חיילים שטח כינוס

By Yaakov Lappin

(JNS) Israel carefully managed its second day of conflict with Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) on Wednesday, keeping airstrikes focused on the suppression of Gazan rocket-launch squads, as Hamas, despite declarations, continued to sit on the sidelines.

As Israel sought to contain the escalation, a fragile situation emerged that could easily and dramatically change due to any significant civilian casualty on either side.

In its effort to kill Israeli civilians in revenge for the Tuesday morning precision strike on Gazan terror chief Baha Abu al-Ata, PIJ fired more than 360 rockets throughout Tuesday and Wednesday combined, targeting Israeli cities and towns.

On Wednesday night, rocket salvos targeted the large coastal city of Ashdod, south of Tel Aviv. The Iron Dome air-defense system intercepted more than 90% of rockets heading to built-up areas, according to Israel Defense Forces’ figures. One woman sustained moderate injuries in a rocket strike in Ashkelon on Wednesday, and cars narrowly escaped destruction on an Israeli highway that was hit by a Gazan rocket on Tuesday.

“As we speak, PIJ is continuing to fire on Israeli citizens,” IDF Spokesperson Lt. Gen. Jonathan Conricus told JNS on Wednesday.

‘This is where things should end’

The Israel Air Force demonstrated its ability to hit time sensitive targets in Gaza effectively, detecting and neutralizing several rocket-launch crews in real time in the middle of their operations.

Some 20 terror operatives were killed in Israeli strikes, according to the IDF. Most Gazan casualties were active combatants, stressed Conricus. Responding to reports of civilian casualties as well, he added, “We make very many efforts so that the only casualties are terrorists.”

As Hamas chose to stay out of hostilities for a second consecutive day, the IDF, for its part, stuck to its game plan of trying to prevent a wider escalation by keeping the combat with PIJ only.

“We set out to take out a terrorist who presented a threat and was on the way to carrying out more attacks against Israel,” said Conricus, referring to Abu al-Ata. “He was the targeted, and he was surgically eliminated. This is where things can and should end.”

Hamas, for its part, viewed al-Ata as a major troublemaker who undermined efforts led by Egypt to reach more stable truces in Gaza and help find new relief for Gaza’s failing economy.

Although it issues messages of support, as of Wednesday evening Hamas played no active role in attacks on Israel. As Hamas and Israel avoided attacks on one another, the gap in interests between Hamas and PIJ became apparent to all.

Yet the unpredictable nature of such flare-ups mean that Hamas could be pulled in at any time should PIJ insist on continuing to terrorize Israeli civilians with projectile fire.

Earlier on Wednesday, Israeli aircraft struck and destroyed a key rocket-warhead manufacturing facility in southern Gaza, where the IDF said raw materials were used for making long-ranged rockets.

The PIJ’s domestic-weapons production network is what keeps its rocket inventory full; the organization is estimated to have an arsenal larger than that of Hamas. Collectively, both terror groups have in excess of 20,000 rockets.

PIJ’s production array “consists of a number of sites throughout the Gaza Strip, each relying on one or more of the steps required in the rocket-manufacturing processes: production of raw rocket materials, lathing of metal components, computing, electronics and final assembly,” the IDF said in a statement. “The Islamic Jihad invests heavily in the infrastructure and resources it uses in the rocket-production system, which is considered to be a crucial component in strengthening its organizational capabilities.”

Additional Israeli strikes hit the organization’s Khan Yunis headquarters in southern Gaza and other weapons’ storage facilities.

During the combat, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi visited the military’s Gaza Division, meeting with local commanders and conducting a situation assessment with them. He heard about an assortment of PIJ threats, including anti-tank and sniper fire, and steps taken by the military to counter them.

For the first time, a Gazan conflict wholly excluding Hamas has raged for two days between Israel and PIJ, and the situation appeared to approach a fork in the road. With one path leading to further escalation and the second to a return to quiet—this time without the explosively dangerous presence of Abu al-Ata—the coming hours look to be decisive in determining the next stage of this escalation.

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Life of Lone Soldier rewarding, challenging

Life of Lone Soldier rewarding, challenging

Posted on 07 November 2019 by admin

Submitted Photo
Dallas’ RY at Yom Siddurim, personal errands day.
3 North Texans share some of their IDF times

By Sharon Wisch-Ray
First of several reports on North Texas Lone Soldiers
Editor’s note: For some soldiers, the IDF prohibits use of their full names for security reasons. For the purposes of this story, the TJP is using the initials of three Lone Soldiers, VK, MR and RY.
Over the years, the North Texas area has provided its share of young Jewish adults to help protect Israel. Known as Lone Soldiers, there are currently nine North Texans serving in the IDF known to the TJP at press time.
Not all Lone Soldiers choose to make aliyah, but many do.
Recently two Lone Soldiers on their monthlong leave, and their moms, shared some of their experiences and challenges as troops living in a foreign country without their family. A third mother shared her experiences as they relate to her son’s Lone Soldier experience, and her son shared his insights via WhatsApp.
VK began her journey in Israel as a high school student in boarding school at age 14. Afterward, she made many friends and connections. She decided she wanted to give back to the country, make aliyah and draft into the army. At the time, she was in combat and search and rescue, where she was a marksman, but her job has since changed. As a marksman, VK can shoot from 300 meters. Initially she was interested in being a combat medic, but they didn’t have space. Later, the IDF identified that VK was one of the top shooters. She was one of the nine out of 90 selected. As someone left-handed, that posed some particular challenges since the guns are set up for right-handed folks.
“When you are holding the gun with your left hand, all the things you need are on the other side,” VK explained. She explained that it took a while to get used to, especially during speed competitions.
VK’s mom said that her family is very proud of the commitment she’s made.
“I think it’s fabulous, I think it’s wonderful that she wants to give back to the country, and my husband feels the same.”
For MR, who is a twin, his mother says he was a Zionist from birth. When he graduated from a Dallas private school it was natural that he would be making aliyah. “This was always his journey, always … always,” she said.
Time crunch
One of the most challenging aspects for Lone Soldiers that all three agreed on is their ability to get everything done in the short time they have off.
For the Israeli soldiers, their parents take care of a lot of their basic necessities. Lone Soldiers have to pack all of this into a very short amount of time.
“Soldiers with family in Israel only have to worry about being soldiers, they know that when they arrive home for Shabbat they’ll have cooked meals and clean laundry and that any errands they may have needed to do were already done by their parents during the week,” MR told the TJP via text.
“My friends and I have to cook, clean, and run errands like going to the bank and government offices by ourselves and on the weekend, when most offices are closed for Shabbat. The army certainly does a lot to make our lives easier but no matter what they do, Lone Soldiers by definition will always have that added burden.”
VK concurs and says since she’s not in training she gets only one day every two months to get everything done: laundry, grocery shopping, errands, etc.
Support for Lone Soldiers: the FIDF
One organization that aims to help ease this challenge for Lone Soldiers is the Friends of the IDF (FIDF). The organization’s website states, “FIDF’s Lone Soldier programs support these most deserving pioneers — Israel’s best ambassadors — by helping them with the various challenges they face during their journey.”
Some of the programming includes Lone Soldier housing, mentoring, a 24-hour call center, financial grants, flights to visit their families abroad, Shabbat meals, holiday gift packages and social gatherings, among other things.
Once a year, on Yom Siddurim (personal errands day), the FIDF and several other organizations come together so that Lone Soldiers can complete a wide variety of errands all under one roof.
RY said that she received a $500 voucher from the FIDF before Passover and she bought some new pairs of shoes. VK said she used her voucher for groceries.
More mature than their counterparts
VK says that she has grown up a lot in the IDF. “I’ve become more mature. It’s a very maturing practice. You realize that you’re alone and you have to get all this done and do it yourself, so you learn not to complain about the little things.”
RY agrees; she also says she’s grown up a lot in the army.
“I don’t complain about little things like being cold or being tired. I go with the flow now I’ve learned that I can deal with things like that. Outside of the army I know that I have the ability to go to this government office, talk to the people there and get things done myself — something my parents would have done for me before.”
VK’s mom says she’s a bit envious of her daughter because she’s still trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life and VK at such a young age has figured that out. “Whether she realizes it or not, it’s monumental,” said VK’s mom. “What she’s doing physically and mentally with her life. They are giving their heart and soul to the Jewish people and the Christian world, protecting every important religious monument and historical site. It’s our 18-year old children who are doing it. It’s mind-blowing to me. They will be able to accomplish anything they want to do later in life.”
RY’s mom says she is extremely proud of her daughter. “It’s a dangerous situation. These kids are doing things that we as Americans can’t even imagine.”
VK says being in the army is a great thing and a great way to give back, and give back as a Jew. “Of course it’s going to be challenging but in the end it builds you as a person and I think that’s the thing that’s worth it. We struggle but we realize that if you can get over that you can do so many other things.”
RY says that in the day-to-day life of being in the army, she sometimes forgets the impact she’s making. “When I look back and am off the for the weekend I realize, wow, I’m doing such a big thing.”

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Anshai Torah to welcome artist Joey Weisenberg

Anshai Torah to welcome artist Joey Weisenberg

Posted on 06 November 2019 by admin

Photo: Emil Cohen
Founder and co-director of the Rising Song Institute, Joey Weisenberg, comes to Congregation Anshai Torah as Artist-in-Residence the weekend of Nov. 15. “Joey’s visit is going to elevate our neshamas, our souls, as we come to pray, to learn and to grow together,” said Congregation Anshai Torah’s Rabbi Michael Kushnick. “It’s going to be a very special weekend.”
Songs for the soul Nov. 15-16

Music to the core of the soul, music from the core of our community’s souls will be heard and felt when Congregation Anshai Torah welcomes Joey Weisenberg as its Artist-in-Residence the weekend of Nov. 15.

Weisenberg will lead pre-Shabbat singing beginning at 6:15 p.m. Friday night, followed by Kabbalat Shabbat services at 6:30 and a Shabbat dinner with singing and learning at 7:30. On Saturday, the music will continue to flow as Weisenberg participates in Shabbat morning services and during the Kiddush lunch.

“Joey is one of the leaders using music and niggunim [wordless melodies] to enhance our spiritual connection to tefillah,” said Anshai Torah’s Rabbi Michael Kushnick. “His work helps communities to transform themselves. Regardless of whether someone knows the words, or their meaning, or not — whether you read Hebrew or not — I assure you the joy of participating in spiritually moving services.”

Weisenberg is the founder and co-director of the Rising Song Institute and is the author of “Building Singing Communities” and “The Torah of Music,” winner of a 2017 National Jewish Book Award. A singer and composer who plays the guitar, mandolin, bass, drums and more he has taught and led prayer at the Hadar Institute for more than a decade. Weisenberg has performed and recorded internationally with dozens of bands, in a wide variety of musical styles, composing new niggunim that have moved and inspired Jews around the world. His seventh album with the Hadar Ensemble, “Songs of Ascent,” was recently released. 

Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Rising Song Institute is affiliated with the Hadar Institute, whose mission is to empower Jews to create and sustain vibrant, practicing, egalitarian communities of Torah, avodah (work), and chesed (charity). A perfect match, the Rising Song Institute cultivates Jewish spiritual life by engaging people around the world through communal singing, immersive study, and experimental music-making.

“I’ve come to love and cherish the sound of people singing together, the sound of voices trained and untrained,” said Weisenberg. “My great-grandmother, Sadie Hawtof Ettenheim, was from Waco and I’m coming to Texas loaded with stories of family. I invite everyone to join us with open hearts that are ready to sing. Every voice counts and the voice of each neshamah, each soul, will rise.”

A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and one of the four children of Nancy Ettenheim and Bob Weisenberg, he was most influenced by his grandfather, Milton Ettenheim. “My grandfather belonged to all nine synagogues in Milwaukee — from Reform to Chassidish — and he taught me that there is something to love and respect from everyone,” Joey Weisenberg said.

A family man, he has been married for 15 years to Molly Weingrod. The father of four found his love of music early on. Raised at Congregation Beth Israel, it was Cantor Carey Cohen and later Rabbi Michel Twerski who stirred Weisenberg’s own soul, embedding in him what it means to bring Torah and music together.

“Joey’s visit is going to elevate our neshamas, our souls, as we come to pray, to learn and to grow together,” said Rabbi Kushnick. “It’s going to be a very special weekend.”

RSVPs for Friday night can be made at receptionist@anshaitorah.org or by calling 972-473-7718. Adults are $20/CAT members, $25/non-members and $10 for children ages 4 to 10 with a household maximum of $54.

— Submitted by
Deb Silverthorn

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A perfect day for smokin’ meat

A perfect day for smokin’ meat

Posted on 06 November 2019 by admin

Photo: Aaron Book
Jared Elad gets his coals going as Hunter Rose looks on.
Dallas Kosher BBQ marks 5th annual competition

The Fifth Annual Dallas Kosher BBQ Championship Oct. 27 brought more than 1,500 people together for a meaty celebration under sunny skies.

A record 12 teams fired up the smokers and grills after Shabbat and spent the night preparing brisket, chicken, turkey and beef ribs for the competition presented by the Congregation Beth Torah Men’s Club and supervised by Dallas Kosher.

As the crowd enjoyed the food and the festivities, judges from the Kansas City Barbecue Society meticulously evaluated the entries and awarded the Grand Champion Award to House Divided, the five-man team of Jason Wise, Ajay Patel, Brian Moe, Daniel Escaloni and Ellis Shwarts.

Savage Smoke came in second. In a more frivolous struggle, Albert Bravo won both the hot dog and pickle eating contests. Mallory Joy Rubenstein took the kids’ crown for hot dogs, while Chani Weinberger won the junior pickle championship.

“We’re really proud to combine our passions for barbecue and kashrut in an event that’s getting bigger every year,” said Brian Rubenstein, chair of the championship. “We’re grateful to everyone who pitched in and came out, and we look forward to making this a key date on Dallas’ kosher calendar for years to come.”

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DJCF/SWJCF celebrates Unsung Heroes

DJCF/SWJCF celebrates Unsung Heroes

Posted on 06 November 2019 by admin

Beyond the typical “gavel” items of an annual meeting, the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation/Southwest Community Foundation adheres to the philosophy that real success lies in the people who usually donate time and resources because, for them, the whole is better than its parts.

The Dallas Jewish Community Foundation/Southwest Community Foundation annual meeting honors its fundholders, who give purpose to the foundations’ mission, and the people behind the scenes who allow it and its partners to fulfill their purposes.

These are the heroes within whose work goes unsung and the DJCF knows this more than anyone. A crowd favorite, of course, is the Unsung Hero program, now a permanent fixture of the annual meeting. The foundations, alongside its agencies, recognized the many agencies’ Unsung Heroes making their successes possible, awarded grants to recipients of the Sylvan T. Baer Foundation, and thanked area first responders.

Another staple of the annual meeting — and one that is well established outside of the foundation’s walls — is the awarding of the Sylvan T. Baer Foundation grants. Twelve agencies who work directly with Jewish individuals received $173,000 that night.

And though DJCF/SWCF always recognizes the area’s first responders by taking the “table to them,” this year was especially significant because only days before the meeting, the area (JCC included) was hit by an F3 tornado.

Together, these pieces proved again that annual-meeting-humdrum can be something exciting, memorable and welcomed.

For more information, visit www.DJCF.org or call 214-615-9351.

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A white supremacist has been arrested for plotting to blow up a synagogue in Colorado.

A white supremacist has been arrested for plotting to blow up a synagogue in Colorado.

Posted on 04 November 2019 by admin

Temple Emanuel in Pueblo, Col., was the target of a possible bombing plot, according to court documents. (Screenshot from Google Maps Street View)
White supremacist arrested for plotting to blow up Colorado synagogue

(JTA) — Richard Holzer, 27, was charged for planning to attack Temple Emanuel, a congregation in Pueblo of 35 families whose building dates to 1900. According to an affidavit describing the charges, Holzer is a self-described “skinhead” and former Ku Klux Klan member who has used Facebook to “promote white supremacy ideology and acts of violence.”
The affidavit describes weeks of undercover work by the FBI leading to Holzer’s arrest on Friday, beginning with an undercover agent making first contact with Holzer online in September. Holzer told the agent he was preparing for a “RAHOWA,” or racial holy war.
In mid-October, Holzer met for the first time with FBI agents posing as white supremacists and discussed his plan to blow up the synagogue. He also gave them white supremacist paraphernalia, including a flag, patches and a mask.
Holzer also claimed to have enlisted a Mexican ally in a scheme last year to poison the synagogue’s water supply with arsenic — he said it led to the synagogue being shut down. But Helena Atlas-Acuna, the synagogue’s board secretary, said the water supply was not, in fact, poisoned.
“I want something that tells them they are not welcome in this town,” Holzer said, according to the affidavit. “Better get the f— out, otherwise people will die.”
Over the course of the next two weeks, the agents purported to work with Holzer on building bombs and planning to blow up the synagogue. Holzer scoped out the building multiple times.
On Friday, Holzer met again with the agents, who presented him with fake bombs they said could blow up the synagogue. Upon seeing the bombs, which were inert, Holzer said “This is absolutely gorgeous.”
Holzer was arrested subsequently and charged with attempting to obstruct religious exercise by force using explosives and fire. Following the arrest, Holzer admitted that he had planned to blow up the synagogue, even if there were people inside.
He will face a preliminary hearing on Thursday and faces up to 20 years in prison.
Michael Atlas-Acuna, Helena’s husband and Temple Emanuel’s president, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on Monday that he and his wife first learned of Holzer’s plot from press reports. He said the congregation is already conscious of its security but will review its procedures and policies given the news.
“We’re not going to be intimidated,” Michael Atlas-Acuna said. “We take security very seriously and we do what we have to do to secure the synagogue. We’re not going to be victims or see ourselves as victims. We’re going to defend ourselves.”
At a news conference Monday, law enforcement officials said the synagogue no longer faces an imminent threat. Officials from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI classified the alleged crime as domestic terrorism.
“Pueblo is a diverse community, a community characterized by inclusiveness and not these types of behaviors,” Troy Davenport, Pueblo’s chief of police, said at the news conference. “This kind of behavior is frankly intolerable in our city.”

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