Dallas Doings

Akiba Academy of Dallas teacher wins prestigious education award

Mazel tov to Gail Mabel on winning the Grinspoon Steinhardt Award from JESNA. Gail holding flowers is shown with, from left, Andy Schultz, Akiba Board president; Center for Jewish Education Director, Meyer Denn; Akiba Co-Head of School Rabbi Zev Silver; Akiba Early Childhood Director Jordana Bernstein; and Center for Jewish Education Assistant Director Melissa Bernstein.

Akiba Academy of Dallas recently announced that Gail Mabel, teacher and Early Childhood leadership team member, has been awarded the 11th annual Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education for the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The Grinspoon-Steinhardt Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education are funded by The Harold Grinspoon Foundation and The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life, and are administered by the Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA). These awards are designed to recognize, honor and support outstanding Jewish educators in North America.
Ms. Mabel’s award was presented by Meyer Denn, executive director of the Center for Jewish Education at the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas (JFGD). The JFGD partners with Grinspoon-Steinhardt in selecting the local educator to be honored, and also furnishes a monetary prize to the recipient. Since its inception in 2000, the award has been presented in nearly 80 communities across the country.
“Gail is a true leader in our early childhood program, and because of her genuine love for Jewish early childhood education, children and families, she has become a ‘go to’ person for other educators in our program,” said Jordana Bernstein, Early Childhood director for Akiba Academy.
Not only do Gail’s colleagues speak highly of her efforts in the classroom, so do many of the parents of her students. Evan and Robin Stone, whose three children attended Akiba and were taught by Ms. Mabel also praised her. “While Gail has all of the traditionally important qualities to make a great early childhood teacher, she also brings special gifts, including observational talents that result in her classroom being a truly personal experience for the children,” they said
“I’m still so surprised that I’m not sure that it has sunk in yet,” said Ms. Mabel. “This I am sure of – I love everyday that I teach; even though there are some days I have miles to go and so much to learn! Akiba is such a special place and the people and children I work with are so unbelievably knowledgeable and supportive that I feel this award belongs to us all,” she added.
Gail was selected for year’s award from a pool of more than 500 educators in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She has been instilling Jewish values and educating the children of Akiba for more than 20 years.

Marc Stanley named to U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Council

National Jewish Democratic Council Chair, Marc R. Stanley, was named to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Council. The Council oversees national Holocaust awareness and remembrance efforts. It also serves as an advisory board for the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
“On behalf of the board, staff, and members of the National Jewish Democratic Council, I am thrilled to extend our organization’s delight and feelings of pride and honor that President Barack Obama has appointed our Chair Marc R. Stanley to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Council,” said David A. Harris, president and CEO of the NJDC.
“Marc’s appointment to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Council reflects his decades-long record of service to the American Jewish community, as well as his personal commitment to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and expanding education about that tragic period in history. We know that Marc will contribute mightily through his service on the Council, and we are positively ecstatic for Marc and wish him the best as he begins this endeavor.”
The Council was established by Congress in 1980 to succeed an earlier Presidential Commission on the Holocaust. The Council was responsible for carrying out the main recommendations of the early commission to:
• Establish a living memorial to honor the victims and survivors of the Holocaust;
• Create a Committee on Conscience to collect information on and alert the nation to actual or potential outbreaks of genocide throughout the world; and
• Mark a national Day of Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust and to hold it annually.
In addition to serving as NJDC’s chair, Marc R. Stanley is a founder and partner of Stanley Iola, LLP, a law firm that focuses on complex litigation nationally. Stanley is also a vice-chair of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and treasurer/co-chair elect of the Foundation for Jewish Culture.
He has served as president of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, president of the Dallas Trial Lawyers Association, president of the Dallas Home for the Jewish Aged and president of the Southwest Region of the American Jewish Congress. Stanley has previously been appointed chairman of the Texas Public Finance Authority and as a member of the Board of Visitors of the Air University of the United States Air Force. He received his B.B.A. from George Washington University and a J.D. from the University of Texas. Mark resides in Dallas with his wife, Wendy, and is the father of three.

Joel Allison of Baylor Health Care System receives prestigious B’nai B’rith Healthcare Award

Baylor Health Care System President and CEO, Joel Allison, has earned the 2011 B’nai B’rith National Healthcare Award. The award has recognized outstanding leaders in the health care field for 29 years. A gala award dinner was held May 16 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Chicago.
For nearly three decades, B’nai B’rith has highlighted the outstanding work of health care leaders and corporations that set the standards for health and education initiatives to better the lives of people throughout their communities and around the world.
“Joel Allison’s dedication to community service, excellence in leadership and outstanding philanthropic commitment in the health care community exemplifies the spirit of this prestigious award,” said B’nai B’rith International Interim President, Allan J. Jacobs.
President and CEO for 11 years, Allison has accumulated many accolades for his work in the health care field, including being listed as one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare from 2004-2010, The Dallas Fort Worth Hospital Council’s “Boone Powell, Sr. Award for Excellence” in 2008, and in the same year, the “Earl M. Collier Award” for distinguished hospital administration from the Texas Hospital Association.
The recipients of the B’nai B’rith National Healthcare Award have shown a history of dedicated leadership and outstanding civic involvement in the health care field and in the broader community. Award winners support philanthropic causes benefiting health, youth and education programs.
“Baylor Health Care System’s commitment to providing patient-focused prevention and wellness services expertly combine ministry and healthcare,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “Joel’s leadership and dedication to high quality care is an asset to the health care community.”
Before leading Baylor Health Care System, Allison earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and religion from Baylor University and a master’s in health care administration from Trinity University. He also graduated from the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. Co-chairing the awards dinner were Yoshi Honkawa, a health care advocacy consultant; Charles S. Lauer, retired publisher of Modern Healthcare Magazine who won the National Healthcare Award in 1994; and Thomas F. Zenty III, CEO of University Hospitals and winner of the 2010 National Healthcare Award.

Honorable Menschen: Congregation Nishmat Am brings aid to Joplin, Missouri

Andy Schrempf of Plano, together with his wife Wendy, drove a trailer-load of clothing and household items to Joplin, Missouri that was collected as part of Congregation Nishmat Am’s effort to assist the tornado-ravaged city. In addition, cash donations were given by members of the congregation. Rabbi Yitzchak Cohen of Nishmat Am commented that, “the immediate and generous response of our synagogue members and others in the community bears witness to our ability to rally around the need of others.”
Thank you to Andy, Wendy, and the many others who contributed, and to North Texas Trailer who donated the trailer for this mission.

JCC Golf tournament set for Monday

Join the JCC for the 24th Annual Erwin Waldman Memorial Golf Tournament. Funds raised benefit the Joanie I. Weinstein Camp Scholarship Fund and the Elaine Quint Schrager Preschool Enhancement Fund at the J. The tournament takes place on June 13, at the Coyote Ridge Golf Club in Carrollton. For more information, visit jccdallas.org or contact Kerri Aikin at 214-239-7103 or email kaikin@jccdallas.org.

Sign On to Cohen’s College Connection Summer College Essay Clinic

A Picture may be worth a thousand words but it is the words students bring together to tell their story, their history, and to share who they are, is the essence of the college application essay. Cohen’s College Connection has created a one-to-one Summer Essay Writing Clinic, running through August 1, to help students bring those words together.
“There’s only one chance to make that first impression and, in the application department, the essay is what allows you to stand out,” said Carol Gene Cohen, who for 24 years has supported students in their efforts to get into colleges and universities around the country. “There are millions of students applying to colleges and it’s important to be ‘the one’ beyond the test scores, grade point average, and resume. This is the student’s voice.”
Dr. Sheila Runnels, Cohen’s College Connection’s essay specialist, spent more than 30 years as a high school principal and honors English and undergraduate college English teacher, and she taught a Principal and Leadership program in graduate school.
Working with Cohen’s College Connection students to help them create and complete all of the essays necessary for their college applications, Dr. Runnels enjoys getting to know her students, and helping them get to know themselves. “The essay is all about the student, it’s what makes them stand out to the admissions officers and it’s important to do that in a concise, exciting, and meaningful way.”
Cohen’s Summer Essay Writing Clinic provides six, one-hour sessions, to be held at Cohen’s College Connection’s Addison offices. In that time, students will work on and complete both activity and personal statements, required by most colleges and universities. As individual school essays are not posted until applications are available, later in the summer and early fall, the Clinic will prepare the students to format so that they will be able to manage any future essays. If more than six sessions are necessary, additional arrangements are available. For registration or more information, call 972-381-9990, email carolgene@cohenscc.com, or visit cohenscollegeconnection.com.

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