A busy time for Chabad of Dallas
The next couple of weeks promise to be an inspiring time for those who participate in Chabad programs.
This weekend, Chabad of Dallas will complete a Sefer Torah in memory of Rabbi Mendel Dubrawsky’s father. Rabbi Dubrawsky poignantly writes: “As many of you know, my late father, Rabbi Yehoshua Dubrawsky and his beloved mother, were the only members of their family to survive the ravages of the war. It was my father’s wish to have a Sefer Torah written in memory of his family who perished during World War II, and that this Torah Scroll be lent to new communities around the globe where Chabad couples would establish new Chabad Centers. This Torah would be lent for up to three years, and once these new communities acquired their own Sefer Torah, they would send the Torah to the next new Chabad House in need of a Sefer Torah.
“Unfortunately my father wasn’t able to see his dream fulfilled during his lifetime. However, his wife Mrs. Asya Dubrawsky and her children have commissioned a sofer to write a Torah in Israel in his memory and for this purpose.
“It is a great privilege and honor that this Torah will be completed here in Dallas, and we will mark this joyous occasion with music, song, dance and a joyous Seudas Mitzvah (festive meal) as the last letters of the Torah are written.
“Each of us may participate and enjoy the Zechut (merit) of writing a Sefer Torah that will bring blessing and honor to our loved ones. I hope that you will share in this precious mitzvah and help see my father’s dream become a reality.”
The following weekend, June 12, Chabad of Dallas is hosting the second annual Spa for the Soul, a morning giving recognition to the strength, beauty and responsibilities of the Jewish woman. The program will run from 11 a.m . to 1 p.m. at Chabad of Dallas 6710 Levelland Road in Dallas.
This event will be an opportunity for women to socialize, be inspired and share in a delicious and healthy brunch including a juice bar and herbal tea station. Shimona Tzukernik, one of the Jewish world’s most dynamic and intelligent speakers, will address the topic of “Celebrating the Jewish Woman: A thought provoking analysis of beauty, the media, the power of women and the bounty inwardness has to offer.” It is not an exaggeration to say that Shimona is not a speaker to be missed; her talk will give a greater appreciation of the innate power gifted to the Jewish woman.
In addition, there will be a break-out session of smaller workshops where participants can hear Chabad Rebbetzins discuss a range of contemporary topics.
For more information or to RSVP, contact Michal Shapiro at 214-207-2127 or visit www.jewishlifenetwork.org and click on Spa for the Soul. The cost is $36.
Leah Prager to host seventh annual carnival this Sunday
The TJP has been covering Leah Prager’s philanthropic spirit for many years. The 13-year-old will host her seventh annual Backyard Carnival at her home (6632 Crestland Avenue) in Dallas, Sunday, June 5, from 2 to 5 p.m. The carnival will benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Jewish Family Services Dallas Food Pantry. The extravaganza will have game booths, food stations, a silent auction, a raffle and many more activities. This year’s event is especially important because Leah will be celebrating her bat mitzvah on June 4. It is expected that this year’s contributions will mean over $100,000 has been raised in donations over the last seven years.
Leah is a wonderful young philanthropist and an extraordinary member of the Jewish community. Her carnivals are both fun and inspirational, and this year’s carnival promises to be a special event.
Helping Hands for the Homeless: Yavneh Students Raise Nearly $25,000
In its debut fundraising fore, Yavneh’s Helping Hands for the Homeless (HHH) posted a strong success with close to 130 guests helping to raise almost $25,000 in their effort to support the children and programs of Jonathan’s Place.
“Many of those who came to help hadn’t ever heard of the plight of the children behind the doors of Jonathan’s Place and now they are as inspired as we are to help,” said Rachel Goodman ‘13, co-founder of HHH. “Some of the children we’ll help are our age and in so many ways we are alike, in others, very different. Through this fundraiser we can connect with some of them.”
Since 1994, Jonathan’s Place has served as an emergency shelter for abused, abandoned and neglected children, age newborn to 17 years. It is a temporary home that provides basic needs, including food, clothing and education, and advanced needs, including medical, dental and psychological.
“There is a huge need and we can’t fill it all. We try, we’re here 24/7, but there’s so much more to be done,” said Bill Ansel, Jonathan’s Place Development Associate who attended the event. “I’ve put events together and I know what it takes. To see the pride in these kid’s faces, and to know they are experiencing the fruits of their labor, is inspiring. It’s rare for kids to worry.”
“The whole sense of giving back is lost on many, but not on these kids,” said Mr. Ansel, noting that the $2.1 million operating budget of Jonathan’s Place is only met to a third by government funding. “We need to raise $1.4 million each year in private funding. Many of the grants we receive are less than what Yavneh’s kids brought together. It really was awesome.”
“Everyone we went to for help wanted to be a part of this program, to be a part of making a difference,” said Rachel. “From the food and linens, to the raffle tickets and auction prizes, we explained the story of Jonathan’s Place and people responded.”
“This was our first event and we surpassed our fundraising goal significantly,” said Gabby Steinbrecher, ‘12. “To be a teenager and to be able to put on an event like this makes me realize the endless possibilities of what we can do to help. I never knew that a small group could do so much to actually make a difference.”
Participating caterers who donated many of their services and meals included A Taste of the World, Café Fino, Frosted Art, Madres Pavilion, Milk and Honey, and Simcha Kosher Catering. “We are so thankful to everyone who supported us, we had so many donors, and without their help, we would not have been as successful,” said Gabby. “It meant a lot to us that almost everyone we asked for help, found a way to support us.”
“The young men and women who put this program together are competent students who have talents, skills, and a strong commitment to helping others,” said Don O’Quinn, Head of School. “This event was a huge success and I’m very proud of all of them. The history of Yavneh’s students doing good for others is significant and I look forward to watching this group grow and be a part of the legacy that is Yavneh.”
Mazel Tov to Brentfield Elementary Lone Star Challenge Team
Mazel Tov to Brentfield Elementary’s Lone Star Challenge Team which competed May 7 at Berkner High School and won 2nd place in District, 2nd place in Super Quiz and 3rd place in Super Quiz Relay.
Team members include: fourth graders David Vallejo, Beck Connelley, Ellie Repp, Ben Heymann; fifth graders Nathan Mandell, Parker Watts, Victoria Gilchrist, Julia Goldman and sixth graders, Griffon Rubin, Alec Shea, Spencer Vilicic and Charlie Weitz.
Ten individual medals were won by the following five students: fourth grader David Vallejo for Individual Overall fourth grader-gold Math/Science-gold, Reading/Social Studies-silver, Essay-bronze; Fifth grader Nathan Mandell for Individual Overall 5th Grader-gold, Math/Science-gold, Reading/Social Studies-gold; fifth grader Julia Goldman for Math/Science-silver; fifth grader Parker Watts for Essay-silver; Sixth grader Griffon Rubin for Reading/Social Studies-silver.