Dallas Doings — January 2008

Posted on 09 January 2008 by admin

Some 200 people attended a breakfast Monday, Jan. 21, the holiday honoring the memory of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Senior Rabbi Wiliam Gershon of Shearith Israel and the Rev. Dr. Sheron Patterson, senior pastor of Highland Hills, were the morning’s speakers. Among other religious dignitaries present were the Rev. Charles Grahmann, bishop emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, and Muslim Imam Muhammad Shakoor.

Past JCRC Chair Andrea Weinstein welcomed the crowd, then called for a “Pledge of Nonviolence” as the breakfast ended. During the program, Temple Shalom’s Cantor Don Alan Croll led the singing of “God Bless America” and “We Shall Overcome.”

Dr. Patterson’s son Christian, who attends Greenhill School, read a selection from Dr. King’s writings during the event. Levine Academy students Ali Feinstein and Tori Weinstein, daughter of Jewish Federation CEO/Executive Director Gary Weinstein, offered some words from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.

To highlight awareness of the current crisis in Darfur, -Daniel Bonner, a student at Yavneh Academy, read “Rivers Are Full,” a poem written by one of the Lost Boys of Sudan.

38 Emerson Fellows to advocate for Israel on 38 campuses

University of North Texas sophomore Adam Rosenfield, son of Sturt and Andi Rosenfield, has been designated an Emerson Fellow, a new initiative from Stand With Us, the nonprofit, international Israel education organization.

The annual fellowship, funded by philanthropists Rita and Steve Emerson, selects and trains students from campuses across the U.S. and Canada to run events that teach about Israel. Thirty-eight student leaders from campuses throughout the United States and Canada have been selected for the 2007–2008 school year.

Dallas resident Rosenfield is majoring in international studies, with Arabic and Jewish studies minors. He is president of the new organization Mean Green Mensches for Israel, sergeant at arms for the Student Government Association and an avid fan of Mean Green Sports. His goal is to “present Israel programs at UNT. The North Texas community needs to know of the Jewish and pro-Israel presence here. Also, putting on these programs will hopefully lead to the campus as a whole becoming more politically active.”

The Fellows began by participating in SWU’s annual student conference, “Israel in Focus.” They heard from experts who focused on skills and facts to help clarify Israel’s image on campus, combat anti-Israel propaganda, build coalitions and deal with media. During the year, the Fellows will build relationships with campus groups to ensure a steady flow of clear information and activity. They will report back to SWU campus coordinators to evaluate program effectiveness and network among themselves to ensure quality of program and dynamic vision.

Ron Kutas, SWU Emerson Fellowship director, remarked, “The fellowship is unique. It targets committed student leaders with established track records. They have access to SWU’s resources and a network of students from around the world to communicate and collaborate with. The fellowship will prepare many for jobs in Israel activism.”

Stand With Us hosts speakers and conferences, offers Web site resources and creates brochures and materials widely distributed in universities, libraries, high schools, churches and communities that teach about Israel. Based in Los Angeles, the organization has offices in New York, Buffalo, Michigan, Seattle, Chicago, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Orange County (Calif.), Davis, Israel and the U.K. SWU was founded in 2001 in response to the second intifada and the misunderstandings about the challenges that Israel faces. Stand With Us Campus (www.standwithuscampus.com) helps college students fight anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias on campuses.

Memorial for Ari Weiss: Ohel Ari

We share this note from former Metroplex rabbinic leader, Rabbi Stewart Weiss, and his wife, Susie.

“Dear Friends:

“It is now 5-1/2 years since our precious eldest son Ari z”l was killed in battle, while fighting against Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists. A member of the IDF’s elite Palchan unit in the Nachal brigade, Ari died fighting for what he so deeply believed in — the security of Israel and the safety of the Jewish people.

“Since his death al Kiddush HaShem, many amazing tributes have been paid to Ari. These include two Torahs written in his memory, a Ra’anana city park (‘Gan Ari’) named for him, and seven baby boys that now bear his name.

“But the central project that our family has chosen to honor the spirit and strength of Ari and the soldiers of Israel is Ohel Ari, a community learning center and bet knesset [synagogue]. It will be a spiritual home for thousands of Jews of all ages and backgrounds who wish to study and come closer to G-d. Ohel Ari will not only be the largest congregation in Ra’anana (among the 68 shuls in the city!), but also a warm and welcoming place where classes and cultural events will be offered seven days a week to the entire city.

“Thank G-d, Ohel Ari is now 80 percent complete. I am appealing to you to help us reach the 100 percent mark and realize our dream.

“I know that so many of you have already contributed to this effort, and we thank you with all our heart — we could not have gotten this far without you. Now, we are appealing to you to join with us as partners in the final stage of Ohel Ari. If you have already given, please consider giving once again. If you have not yet contributed, please try to do so now. I know that, in Heaven, Ari will bless this project and all its supporters with success.

“Contributions are tax-deductible in the USA and Israel. They may be sent to Ohel Ari, POB 211, Ra’anana or POB 1044, Teaneck, NJ 07666.

“Susie and our entire family join me in thanking you for your generosity, friendship and love.

“Please see the picture below for a glimpse of Ohel Ari in construction at the corner of Ravutsky and Zifman streets.

“May Hashem bless you with life and health,

“Rabbi Stewart and Susie Weiss and family

“P.S. Susie and I will be in New York Feb. 4–8 if you wish to meet personally with us.”

Denton gymnast shines at Pan-Am Maccabi Games

Denton Gymnastics Academy is proud to announce the results of the recent competition at the 2007 Pan-Am Maccabi Games, which took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from Dec. 26, 2007 through Jan. 2, 2008. Sarah Vizel, a Denton Gymnastics Academy team member, brought home three bronze medals — in vaults, beams, and floor competitions.

Yavneh students named with high honors

Yavneh Academy seniors Daniel Bonner and Michael San Soucie each scored in the top 5 percent nationally on the 2006 PSAT and have received the honor of “Commended Student” by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Yavneh’s 2007 graduates Vitali Azouz and Rebecca Peiser each received the AP Scholar Award, in recognition of their exceptional achievement on the college-level Advanced Placement Program Exams, by the College Board AP. Azouz, who scored a three on the English Language & Composition, English Literature & Composition, and United States History exams, is a freshman at UT-Austin. Peiser, who earned a score of four on the English Language & Composition, English Literature & Composition, and United States History exams, is a freshman at the University of Maryland.

On Sunday, Jan. 27, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Congregation Tiferet Israel will host their annual Sisterhood community brunch. This year the theme is �Going Green� and all women from Jewish temples and synagogues are invited to attend. Councilwoman Linda Koop, the environmental chair of the city, will educate the guests about what the city of Dallas is doing in order to help the environment. The guests will also hear Carissa Cox from the MESA Group and the educational representative from Current Energy, which provides energy-efficient solutions that are environmentally friendly.

Besides a good kosher brunch and interesting information about what we can do to help the cause, there will be an opportunity to shred all the unnecessary papers lying around the house. From 10 to 11 that morning, the company Cut 2 Shreds will provide this service free of charge.

State Sen. Florence Shapiro to speak at Hadassah event

Dallas Hadassah will start their year off with a very special guest, State Sen. Florence Shapiro, who will speak to members and guests on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at Bucca di Beppo. Sen. Shapiro, a lifetime member of Hadassah, will speak about her professional experiences and obstacles she has encountered in her career.

Feel free to bring a friend to this luncheon.

Reservations are required to attend, and can be paid for online at www.dallas.hadassah.org. You can also RSVP by calling the office at 214-691-1948 or e-mail chapter.dallas@hadassah.org.

Beyt Midrash of North Texas offers spring courses

The spring 2008 semester of courses offered by Beyt Midrash of North Texas is already under way.

Billed as �the community�s independent, interdenominational, egalitarian Jewish study center,� Beyt Midrash provides a selection of in-depth learning experiences for adults. All classes meet at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center and are taught by ordained clergy and Ph.D.-level professors and scholars.

Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger,�rosh kollel�of the Community Kollel of Dallas, has already begun a continuation of his popular �Introduction to Jewish Thought� series. This course will run through early June; its topics are �Zionist Philosophy from the Talmud to Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook� and �Judaism�s Relation to Other Religions, Converts and Conversion.� It meets on Thursday mornings, 10 to 11:30, through June 5.

Beginning Feb. 4 for 10 Mondays from 9:30 to 11 a.m., �The Making of a King: The Biblical Narrative of David�s Rise� will be taught by Professor Serge Frolov, who holds the Ann and Nate Levine Chair of Jewish Studies at Southern Methodist University. This will be a reading/discussion circle based on the Hebrew Bible�s First Book of Samuel.

Also beginning on Feb. 4 will be �Jewish Culture in Motion Pictures,� taught by Nils Roemer, assistant professor of Jewish studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. This six-week watch-and-discuss series will meet on Monday evenings from 7 to 9.

Rabbi Howard Wolk, Jewish Family Service�s community rabbi, will present �Women in the Bible and Talmud� on four Wednesdays, 12:15 to 1:45 p.m., beginning Feb. 6. And on four Wednesday evenings in March, from 7 to 8:30, he will offer a course on �Modern Problems and Ethical Issues,� covering a range of topics running the gamut from stem-cell research and evolution to gambling. Rabbi Wolk�s classes emphasize question-and-answer discussions.

Fees for Beyt Midrash courses run from $48 to $228 depending on the number of class weeks, with significant discounts offered to students and seniors. Interested individuals are invited to sample courses by attending a first session of any class at no charge; those who wish to continue may make registration payment at the next scheduled class time.

Beyt Midrash of North Texas is �the next step in Jewish learning� for students of all races, colors, religions and national and ethnic origins. Eileen Rosenblum, Ph.D., is its board president.

For further information, visit www.beytmidrash.org or e-mail info@beytmidrash.org.

Blood drive Feb. 18 for�Bill Burns� granddaughter

Yavneh Academy of Dallas will host a blood drive, through Carter BloodCare, at the Schultz Rosenberg Campus (12324 Merit Drive) Monday, Feb. 18, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This blood drive is open to the community.

While the service will help many, this is in the name of Madalyn White, the granddaughter of Bill Burns, who does printing for many organizations in Dallas� Jewish and wider community. Mr. Burns has been a great friend through the years, and his 8-year-old �princess� granddaughter is a patient at Children�s Hospital who has been diagnosed with a combination of two blood disorders; hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP).

In addition to many pints of whole blood, Madalyn has already used more than 81 pints of plasma, receiving transfusions of between six and eight pints each day, and will likely need well over 500 during her treatment. Blood products (including whole blood, plasma and platelets) donated in her name will be credited to her �account,� helping the family significantly in many ways.

To make a definitive, scheduled timed appointment to donate at the blood drive, to receive a �planned designation form� to use if making a donation at another time/location or for any questions, call Deb Silverthorn at 972-839-6916 or e-mail mamatex@aol.com.

New JLI course:��Beyond Belief�

Questions such as �How does G-d communicate with us?� � �How can we know what G-d wants?� � �Does G-d rule the world?� � �What do you believe?� are among the topics to be discussed at the Lang Chabad Center, 3904 West Park, Plano.

�Beyond Belief: Reflections on Jewish Faith, Reason and Experience� will be held on six Tuesdays, Feb. 5�Mar. 11, 7:30�9 p.m. A repeat of the program will be held on six Sundays, Feb. 10�Mar. 16, 9:30�11 a.m.

The class will also be held on six Wednesdays, Feb. 6�Mar. 12, 7:30�9 p.m., at Collin County Community College, Frisco campus.

Fee for the entire six-session course is $100.

For more information, visit www.myjli.com or call the Chabad office, 972-596-9270.

Important changes to Super Sunday
Due to the Cowboys Divisional Playoff game on Jan. 13, Super Sunday has been postponed until March 23. The important community-wide event will be held at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center. Volunteers are needed for all three shifts: 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., 1:30 to 5 p.m. and 4:30 to 8 p.m.

Our community needs your help to raise funds for vital services and life enhancement programs and to ensure the strength and continuity of our people.

It’s a win-win opportunity. Join in and enjoy fabulous food, great prizes and free T-shirts while performing an important mitzvah.

To help reduce costs and maximize results, bring your cell phones. You will be entered into a special prize drawing.
For more information or to volunteer, contact CathyWeinblatt, 214-615-5227 or cweinblatt@jfgd.org.

Beth Torah Men’s Club and Sisterhood welcomes Larry North
Larry North, Dallas’ nationally renowned fitness guru, will be the guest of Congregation Beth Torah’s Men’s Club and Sisterhood at their annual joint breakfast on Sunday, Jan. 13.
North won�t be talking about exercise and nutrition. He is well known as an author, radio host, motivator and owner of state-of-the-art fitness centers bearing his name. But many people aren’t aware of his remarkable rise to success that began in Richardson, where he and his family overcame setbacks and tragedy with incredible perseverance, dedication and forgiveness.

He’ll tell his amazing story in an unforgettable multimedia presentation that has inspired audiences of all ages around the country. The public is welcome at the lox-and-bagel-and-dessert breakfast, which begins at 9:30 a.m. Admission is $7 for Men�s Club and Sisterhood members, $10 for non-members.
Beth Torah is located at 720 West Lookout Drive in Richardson. For more information, call the synagogue at 972-234-1542.

Dallas leaders roll up their sleeves as Yeshiva University adds executive approach to rabbinic training
Business and the rabbinate may seem to be disparate areas of study, but as Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) is demonstrating, a rabbi has much in common with a business executive.
At two three-day long seminars held Nov. 16-18 and Dec. 16-19, CJF teamed up with YU�s own Sy Syms School of Business (SSSB) to focus on the rabbi�s role as an executive of his synagogue and his partnership with its lay leaders. The objective of this program is to tackle the traditional challenges of the Modern Orthodox rabbinate by applying contemporary business management skills where appropriate.

Rabbi Ari Perl, David Radunsky and Robert Liener of Congregation Shaare Tefilla joined more than two dozen other rabbis from across the United States and Canada and key officers from their respective synagogues� lay leadership at the workshops at the Hyatt Regency Bonaventure Conference Center in Weston, Fla. The participants learned management techniques that will help them enhance their leadership skills, increase avenues of communication and improve the governance of their congregations.

The seminars are part of CJF’s Legacy Heritage Fund Rabbinic Enrichment Initiative (LHREI), which is supported by the Legacy Heritage Fund Limited in New York City.

The program’s facilitators included Steven Nissenfeld, Ph.D., and Brian Maruffi, Ph.D., both clinical professors of management at SSSB, and Robert Leventhal, a senior consultant at the Alban Institute, which helps religious congregations address their needs in a changing world.

“The concept is outstanding – a real breakthrough. It creates a model of the rabbi-lay leader team which, from a management and organization perspective, can be used to build a truly successful, high-performing synagogue,” said Dr. Nissenfeld. “The support and collaboration of CJF and SSSB has proven to be exceptional.”
Dr. Maruffi pointed out that ‘rabbis are in a difficult position because they are at the same time both leaders and employees. The benefits that a program such as LHREI gives to individual rabbis should be admired and replicated.’

J Players present ‘Guys and Dolls’
The well-known and popular J Players will present four performances of the Broadway smash hit ‘Guys and Dolls’ on Thursday, Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 16, 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb. 17, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. All performances will be held in the Zale Auditorium at the Aaron Family JCC.

Based on a story and characters of Damon Runyon and set in the 1950s, ‘Guys and Dolls’ is a romantic comedy that soars with the spirit of Broadway as a cast of vivid characters takes you from the heart of Times Square to the caf�s of Havana and even into the sewers of New York City. The music and lyrics are by Frank Loesser and the book, by Joe Swerlin and Abe Burrows. Hailed by many as the perfect musical comedy, this hilarious show is ideal for audiences of all ages. The Frank Loesser score features classics such as �Luck Be a Lady,� �A Bushel and a Peck� and �Sit Down, You�re Rocking the Boat.�

Tickets are: adults, $15 in advance/$20 at the door; students and seniors, $12 in advance/$15 at the door. To order, call 214-739-2737 or purchase online at www.jccdallas.org.

Emanu-El’s Showcase Series announces program
The popular Showcase Concert Series, sponsored by the Temple Emanu-El Music Committee, will begin its 18th season on Feb. 24. Each year the series offers four concerts bringing the finest in Jewish, classical, jazz and pop music by outstanding musicians to the community at large.

Sunday, Feb. 24, 3 p.m.: Amid the festive spirit of the ever popular Champagne Pops, Dallas� own Denise Lee headlines the opening of this year�s Showcase Series mixing R&B with classic popular tunes and jazz.
Sunday, March 16, 3 p.m.: The Power of Music features The Vocal Majority, who have enthralled and inspired audiences for more than three decades. They will offer an evening of their signature blend of Broadway, American standards and more. Eleven-year-old piano prodigy Evan Ritter, who has performed at the 2006 Basically�

Beethoven Festival and with the Plano Symphony, opens the program.
Sunday, April 13, 3 p.m.: A gala Jewish music celebration, an afternoon of Jewish music will be presented by Cantors Richard Cohn of Temple Emanu-El, Don Croll of Temple Shalom and Itzhak Zhrebker of Shearith Israel along with their choirs, and joined by Cantor Jacob Cohen of Congregation Nishmat Am. This will be a not-to-be missed, �super-sized� afternoon of inspired music-making.

Saturday, May 3, 7:30 p.m.: At the closing concert one of Dallas� leading entertainers, Doc Gibbs, and his band will bring you a �feel-good� evening of your all-time favorites by way of dancing, song requests, comedy and singing impressions.

All concerts will be in Tobian Auditorium at Temple Emanu-El, 8500 Hillcrest Road.

For season or single tickets, call Yvonne at Temple Emanu-El, 214-706-0000 ext. 120; Sarah Yarrin, 214-361-0486; or Rosalee Cohen, 972-233-2001.

Dallas filmmakers speak about new project

Filmmakers Allen and Cynthia Mondell
Filmmakers Allen and Cynthia Mondell

Allen and Cynthia Mondell, award-winning Dallas filmmakers, spoke to a full room at Congregation Beth Torah on Dec. 16. The Mondells have written, produced and directed several dozen documentaries and educational films ranging from Jewish immigration, medical and mental health issues to the State Fair of Texas. They are most proud of their films making a positive difference in people�s lives, thus their slogan, �Changing lives with film since 1978.� Currently they are working on �The Monster Among Us,� which examines the alarming increase in anti-Semitism in today�s Europe. They showed a 20-minute excerpt from their work, followed by questions and answers.

Allen Mondell noted, �This is not simply Europe�s problem or the problem of the Jewish communities �there�; this is our problem. Every North American, Jew or non-Jew, every person or foundation, committed to the freedom and tolerance that stand as the fundamental foundation of a democratic, civil society needs to be not only alarmed but also mobilized to do something about it.�

Here is an opportunity for those of us in Dallas to �do something about it.� The Mondells started Media Projects, Inc. a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, in 1978. Its work is financed by contributions from foundations, corporations and individuals. The Mondells are now trying to raise the final $100,000 to complete the production budget. All funders for �The Monster Among Us� will be included in the credits of the film and in the Discussion Guide that will accompany the film in distribution.

Remember the phrase, �Never Again!� This is one way for those of us in Dallas to try to help ensure nothing like the Holocaust ever occurs again.

You can contact the Mondells at Media Projects, Inc., 214-826-3863 or www.mediaprojects.org.

Greater Dallas Section of NCJW to celebrate at birthday lunch

The Greater Dallas Section of NCJW is proud to celebrate 95 years of service and advocacy to the Dallas community. In commemoration of their success, they will honor four people for their outstanding commitment to NCJW and the community at their Birthday/Awards luncheon on Tuesday, Jan. 15. The award recipients are: Sharan and Lynn Goldstein, the Hannah G. Solomon Award; Rhona Streit, the Janis Levine Music Make-A-Difference Award; and Marla Bane, the Emerging Leader Award.

Friends and members are invited to join in honoring these deserving awardees at the Park City Club, 5956 Sherry Lane on the 17th floor. Registration will begin at 11:15 a.m. and the luncheon will begin promptly at 11:45. The cost is $54 per person with patron categories available at $100 and $200 per person.

There are several ways to make a reservation by Jan. 8: online at www.ncjwdallas.org/calendar.html; e-mail at info@ncjwdallas.org; or phone at 214-368-4405.

NCJW ‘Tortilla Curtain’study group
Also on NCJW�s calendar, plan to join them for their upcoming study group Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 10 a.m. The cost is $10 and includes a continental breakfast.

D.J. Kasanoff, professor of English at SMU and a member of NCJW, will lead a discussion of T.C. Boyle�s novel, �The Tortilla Curtain.� It is the story of two Los Angeles couples whose paths cross on a collision course. One couple, who are liberals, live in a newly gated hilltop community; he is a sensitive nature writer, she an obsessive real estate agent. The other couple, who are Mexican illegals, cling to their vision of the American dream as they live in a makeshift camp deep in a ravine.

NCJW has long been involved with the area of immigration, and current advocacy for humane immigration reform ties in perfectly with discussion of this timely work.

Copies of the book, available though the office for $14, are also available at Borders Books.

The study group will be held at 6515 Meadow Road, Dallas.

To RSVP, e-mail info@ncjwdallas.org or call 214-368-4405.

‘Lifting the Veil of Sleep’
NCJW and Hadassah invite you to attend �Lifting the Veil of Sleep� (a program for both men and women) on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 7 p.m. at Tiferet Israel, 10909 Hillcrest Road in Dallas.

Topics will include snoring, sleepwalking, sleep apnea, trouble sleeping, sleeping during the day and restless leg syndrome. The speaker is Dr. Philip Becker, president and founding partner of Sleep Medicine Associates and medical director for the Sleep Medicine Institute at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

The $5 admission fee includes light refreshments.

Your payment is your reservation. Checks should be mailed to Hadassah, 10830 Central Expwy., Suite 265, Dallas, TX 75231. You can also e-mail chapter.dallas@hadassah.org or call 214-691-1948.

Texas Hold’em tournament on Jan. 12
Temple Emanu-El Brotherhood will sponsor their first Texas Hold�em tournament on Saturday, Jan. 12. For those who enjoy a game of cards or those who would like to learn how to play Texas Hold�em with some great prizes as enticements, this will be the opportunity.

More detailed information about the tournament will be forthcoming.

Documentary honors WWII vets from Metroplex
Jewish War Veterans will view a documentary which honors World War II Veterans from Dallas JWV Post 256 and Fort Worth JWV Post 755 on Jan. 12 at the Dallas Children�s Theatre, Rosewood Center for Family Arts, 5938 Skillman Road, Dallas.

The documentary is based upon personal interviews and experiences of these men from our �Greatest Generation� who now live in our community. This is a tribute to all of our veterans who served our wonderful country.

The documentary, the culmination of a bar mitzvah project by Daniel Hersh and Ryan Kline, honors the sacrifices of our veterans and recognizes them in our community. The results are outstanding.

The video presentation will begin at 7 p.m. followed by a panel discussion by the veterans. Questions will be entertained.

Everyone is invited to attend. There will be no charge for admission. Please bring your family and friends

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