Dallas Doings

SWJC presents two programs on threats to Constitutional freedoms

On Thursday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m., the Southwest Jewish Congress will present the first of two important programs on homegrown “Threats to Our Constitutional Freedoms.” These events will look at how some groups in the United States are trying to impose their extreme religious or ideological agendas on local communities, in direct contradiction to the inalienable rights and freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The program is co-sponsored by SMU’s Office of the Chaplaincy and will feature U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks, one of the lead prosecutors during the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial and the subsequent appeals. He will speak on “First Amendment Freedoms and the HLF Trial.” The session will be held at McCord Auditorium in Dallas Hall on the SMU Campus in Dallas.
The second event, on Wednesday, April 13 at 7 p.m., features SMU professor Mark Chancey, who will discuss challenges to public education and the Establishment Clause posed by religious, legal and political organizations.
The programs are free, but seating is limited. For more information and reservations contact the SWJC office, 214-361-0018.
Mali Michelle Fine Jewelry trunk shows will benefit SharshereMichelle Hadad of Mali Michelle
Fine Jewelry will return to Dallas next week for two private trunk shows benefiting Sharsheret, a national non-profit organization dedicated to supporting women and families of all backgrounds facing breast cancer. Sharsheret also offers specialized support to women facing ovarian cancer or at a high risk of developing cancer.
Hand-made in Israel, Mali Michelle jewelry is frequently featured in fashion editorials such as InStyle and Lucky magazines, and is sold in over 300 fine retail establishments across the United States.
On Tuesday, Feb. 22 from 5 to 9 p.m., Hadad will be at the home of Lizzy Greif, 6532 Longfellow Drive in Dallas. The following night from 5 to 9 p.m., Hadad will be at the home of Karla Jacoby, 5120 Glenview Court, Plano. For more information about Hadad and Mali Michelle Fine Jewelry visit www.malimichelle.com

Chili Cook-Off on the horizon

Cook-Off co-chair Diane Benjamin tells the TJP, “The forthcoming Dallas Kosher Chili Cook-Off (DKCC) at Tiferet Israel promises to be the icing on the 18 candled DKCC cake. This year’s annual event will be enhanced with the theme of ‘Life’ as Tiferet Israel, the historical 120-year-old synagogue, which proudly hosts this annual event.
“This year’s theme is helping to feed those in need. The recipients of part of the event proceeds serve the community in this area and include the SoupMobile, VNA Meals on Wheels, and Jewish Children’s Regional Services.
“In addition, in partnership with its neighbor, the Royal Lane Baptist Church, Tiferet will encourage its members and event attendees to bring non-perishable food items to be donated to the Jewish Family Services Food Pantry. The cooperative effort of both congregations to address a pressing community need is a good model for future cooperation between faith-based organizations. Tiferet has a history of not only encouraging food collection efforts but also has donated from its own on-site victory garden, over 200 pounds of fresh produce to the Jewish Family Service Food Pantry.
“It also creates an opportunity for hundreds of adult and youth volunteers to participate in a meaningful community service project. Students may receive community service credit for their volunteer work at this event. Students should check with their schools to qualify for this service credit. In addition, the Boy Scouts and area will be contributing volunteer manpower to make this a successful event.”
The 18th Annual Kosher Chili Cook-off is scheduled for April 3 at Tiferet Israel, 10909 Hillcrest Road in Dallas. More than 40 teams are expected to compete for the best chili in town.  Dr. Jeanie Tolmas is organizing the Team Meeting Orientation and is encouraging teams to call 214-691-3611, to get the DKCC Team registration forms and a place at the orientation.

Special Needs Awareness month activities ongoing

The Special Needs Partnership of Jewish Family Service has been hosting a number of events this month in recognition of Special Needs Awareness month.
Everyone in the Dallas Community is invited to broaden their horizons and open their hearts to be increasingly inclusive of individuals with special needs and their families.
his weekend, Dallas-area spiritual leaders will take note at Shabbat services with special needs sermons and D’var Torahs
On Feb. 23, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Judy Kogutt will address, “Planning Ahead: Life After School – Resources, Social Activities, Family Dynamics and Financial/Legal Planning. This CHAI Community Workshop will be held at Jewish Family Service, 5402 Arapaho Road in Dallas.
Throughout the rest of the month, there will be family-to-family community gatherings to inspire, inform and share inclusion ideas for everyone. If you are interested in participating, please contact, Teri Kachur, community organizer, Special Needs Partnership, Jewish Family Service at tkachur@jfsdallas.org or 972-437-9950.
On the slate for March 4, 5, and 6, Yachad, in conjunction with the Special Needs Partnership of Jewish Family Service, will hold a scholars-in-residence weekend in Dallas. Dr. Shulamis Pollak, director of Guidance at Robert M. Beren Academy of Houston and psychologist at Camp Hebrew Academy for Special Children; along with her husband, Rabbi Avi Pollak, Judaic Studies principal at Robert M. Beren Academy and head counselor of Camp H.A.S.C.; and joined by her sister, Tikva Juni, National Jewish Council for Disabilities representative, will share their professional and personal experience with special needs families. They will be leading both teen and adult sibling workshops, facilitating sensitivity training sessions in classrooms at Jewish Day Schools, Religious Schools, youth groups, CHAI, and synagogues – including a keynote address at Congregation Shaare Tefilla.  See www.naim4inclusion.org for complete information.

Metrofest for college kids coming again to Austin

DATA and Aish Connections are bringing back to Austin, for a second year, a great program for college kids. The Metrofest all-inclusive weekend retreat, only $49, will include luxurious accommodations, gourmet cuisine, an ultimate Shabbat experience and Saturday night surprise entertainment. Meet new friends! The Feb. 25–27 event will take place at the Austin Marriott South, 4415 South IH-35. To apply, please go to http://aishconnections.com/page?a=Austin11. For more info, contact Rabbi Israel Lashak at JEX Dallas, ilashak@gmail.com.

All Aboard the Akiba Early Childhood Express

Akiba Academy of Dallas announces their Preschool Open House, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. This is an ideal time for current and prospective families to learn more about Akiba Academy and gain a good firsthand impression of the school.
Take this opportunity to meet our teachers, visit with current parents, tour our classrooms, and see why so many families are choosing Akiba Academy, the only Jewish preschool in the southwest to have both JECEI and NAEYC accreditation.
Bring the kids along for the visit! Childcare will be provided while you get to know more about the school. Breakfast will be served and train rides will be available.
Please RSVP to Karen Hazan-Cohen in Admissions via e-mail at khazancohen@akibaacademy.org, or by calling (214) 295-3400.
Congregation Nishmat Am to host art show and sale Feb. 20
The Nishmat Am men’s club will present an art show and sale this Sunday, Feb. 20 featuring the work of Mitch Goldminz. Signed lithographs by Michel Shevach Schwartz and estate art from a local collection will also be available.
It will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 420 N. Dorothy Drive in Richardson. For more information, call the synagogue at 972-618-2200.

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