It’s a sure bet that the Nov. 5 “Diamonds and Dice” Casino Party at Congregation Anshai Torah will be a winner.
Friends and family will gather to hear music and more; to honor Kol Rina; to celebrate the congregation at large; and to raise funds for its programming and general support.
From 8-11:30 p.m., the craps will be shooting, the cards will be played and the general community is invited to share in the fun.
“We have a great congregation and we’re so excited about this great evening to celebrate all that we are,” said Kim Velevis who is co-chairing the event with Leslie Krajmalnik. “We’re going to have craps and roulette tables, games of Texas Hold ’Em and so much more. It’s going to be a really fun evening.”
In addition to the casino games, there will be light snacks to nosh on and a cash bar. A silent auction, featuring sports and travel packages including a week in Breckenridge, Colorado, and a stay in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, as well as items for all ages, and a casino raffle will be held. At the end of the evening, players can trade in their “winnings” for prizes.
The tribute to Kol Rina will include the presentation of a commissioned piece of art created by Anshai Torah member Traci Laizerovich. The heart, and brain-child of Congregation Anshai Torah Rabbi Stefan Weinberg, Kol Rina started 11 years ago with an occasional presence at a Friday night service.
“I recognized the need to inject our prayers with a good dose of the energy, harmonious sound and ruach (spirit) that a group such as Kol Rina might be able to produce,” said Rabbi Weinberg, himself a member of the group. “The journey of the men who comprise Kol Rina has been astounding and, while I imagined Kol Rina would lead us toward a more spiritual prayer experience, they continue to exceed my expectations.”
Kol Rina’s participation at Congregation Anshai Torah’s services is a soulful definition reflecting its translation as a “sound of rejoicing.” Members Harry Benson, Eric Berman, Rusty Cooper, Roy Ehrlich, Bruce Feldman, Ron Friedman, Joel Futterman, Merv Ginsburg, Howard Goodman, Bruce Katz, Matt Kurtzman, Ron Nevelow, Stuart Rosenfeld, Jim Schwartz, Rob Shrell, Lorin Subar, Carl Uretsky, Rabbi Stefan Weinberg, those who have retired of the choir Jonathan Goldstein, Andrew Goulston and Gil Wolfe and, now of blessed memory, Ted Gruen and Larry Kramer, bring harmony to Friday night, Saturday morning and holiday services.
The group rehearses most Sunday mornings, creating memories and melodies for themselves and their congregation’s members. “We most definitely are a brotherhood and while we have many different reasons for participating, we all enjoy singing and we all love Jewish music,” said Bruce Katz, who recently handed over the director’s baton to Matt Kurtzman. “The rabbis allow us liberties with many of the prayers and that allows us to share our expressions of fun and interests while keeping to the liturgy.”
Whether sharing their voices to an audience of 75 or 300, the group’s harmonious variations of Adon Olam; be it to the tune of Sweet Georgia Brown, Under the Boardwalk, or even Take Me Out to the Ballgame, are always received with smiles.
“I could not have imagined the sense of ownership that would develop amongst the participants and we have grown from a small group of singers to a cadre of musicians,” said Rabbi Weinberg. “We don’t just perform, we sing with our hearts and souls, the Hebrew texts that have inspired our people in every generation.”
Kol Rina has performed at hundreds of b’nai mitzvah Shabbat services at Congregation Anshai Torah and in the Dallas community and at many luncheons, afternoon and evening services. The group has produced a CD; performed at the Men’s Events of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas and Community Yom HaAtzmaut assemblies; as well as at a Unity Church Sacred Global Music Festival; at the Legacy at Willow Bend; and other community events.
Memories created, notes hit — high and low — Kol Rina, the “Voice of Joy,” is just that.
To RSVP for the Nov. 5 Diamonds and Dice event, provide sponsorship or donate prizes for the raffle or silent auction, call 972-473-7718.
Submitted by Deb Silverthorn on behalf of Anshai Torah