Dallas Doings

Greenhill students spearhead Berry fundraiser

B’nai mitzvah students who are a part of the Greenhill Class of 2017, have put together a fundraiser this Sunday, Aug. 21 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. On tap for the morning, among other fun activities, are face painting, manicures, Berry bracelets, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and a raffle. All proceeds from the event, located at Kids Cooking Company at the North East Corner of Preston and Forest, will benefit the Berry Children’s Trust.

The Mothers Circle welcomes non-Jewish mothers raising Jewish children

Gina Gory has two messages for non-Jewish women who are raising Jewish children: you are not alone, and there’s a lot to talk about.
Several years ago she participated in a group called The Mothers Circle, meeting periodically to discuss the joys and challenges of interfaith families.
“It really encouraged us to learn from each other, ask questions and become affiliated in order to support our families’ decisions,” she said. “It helped us tremendously to guide us through certain situations.”
Now a new Mothers Circle is forming for women in similar circumstances. The initial meeting will be held Tuesday, Aug. 30, at Congregation Beth Torah in Richardson. No prior Jewish background is necessary.
Renee Karp, who will lead the group, says the program offers a positive response to intermarriage by sending the message, “We welcome you, we want you with us, we are here to help you.”
“It serves the Jewish community’s needs by ensuring that another family’s Jewish identity will be carried forward into the next generation,” she said. “But more importantly, it serves the needs of the individual families, by providing Jewish learning and meaning as well as ‘peace in the home,’ which is a Jewish obligation.”
The Mothers Circle was launched by the Jewish Outreach Institute in 2002 and has spread to two-dozen cities around the country. The local group is underwritten by the Howard and Leslie Schultz Family Foundation and the Edward and Wilhelmina Ackerman Foundation, and is free to participants.
Karp has worked with interfaith families for over a decade, but says non-Jewish mothers face unique challenges in a Jewish household.
“The Mothers Circle creates comfortable spaces for women to learn about Judaism, explore Jewish holidays and rituals, discover how to enrich their families’ Jewish experience and deepen their connection to the religion of their husbands and children,” she says. “And to do so with peers so they’re not all alone.”
Although Gory later converted to Judaism, she says the program is not intended to sway women from their faiths.
“It’s about educating, empowering and supporting mothers who have chosen to retain and live their faith, while still supporting their spouses and children to live a Jewish life,” she says.
The Mothers Circle is open to women throughout the Dallas area. For more information, contact Renee Karp at 214-676-7405, or Renee@TheMothersCircle.org.

Congregation Nishmat Am expands youth and adult education programs this Fall

An expanded youth and adult education program will highlight activities at Congregation Nishmat Am of Plano this Fall.
Under the direction of its new Program Director Yifat Shemmer, Nishmat Am will offer programs for three youth group ages. They are AVIV, grades 2-5; GOLAN, grades 6-8; and BONIM, grades 9-12. Programs will be geared to the interest of each age group with an emphasis on social growth.
Shemmer, a graduate of Tel Aviv University, also holds a Teacher’s Certificate from the school. Previously, she was a Jewish student life coordinator and program director at the University of Pennsylvania Hillel, a youth coordinator at Congregation Anshai Torah of Plano, and an adult education teacher. Shemmer’s goals are, “to engage our youth in wholesome programs and activities, and to motivate them to build a greater connection to their synagogue and to Jewish life.”
In addition, there will be weekly Shabbat morning programs and a monthly Friday evening children’s program. Also new this year will be a youth choir directed by Rabbi Yitzchak Cohen, the synagogue’s spiritual leader.
A full range of classes, special events and lectures will be featured in the Nishmat Am Adult Learning Center that will debut this Fall. It will offer courses in such topics as “Is There Life After Life,” “The Genesis of Justice,” “Beginner’s, Intermediate and Biblical Hebrew,” “The Kosher Gourmet,” and more. Additionally, an adult choir is forming that will be under the direction of Rabbi Cohen. It will perform during holidays and at special programs.
Rabbi Cohen said, “The expanded and comprehensive adult education program and youth program are the result of our making education and youth priorities for our synagogue.
These and many other programs, including religious school and High Holy Day services, will be featured at Nishmat Am’s Open House on Sunday, Aug. 21 from 10 a.m. to noon at the synagogue, 2113 W. Spring Creek Parkway (near Custer).
For more information, contact the Nishmat Am office at 972-618-2200, e-mail info@nishmatam.org or visit the Open House.
Since its creation five years ago, Congregation Nishmat Am has been a force for the Jewish community in North Dallas and Collin County, providing spiritual, social and educational services to the region. Under the leadership of Rabbi Yitzchak Cohen and Cantor Jacob Cohen, Nishmat Am has attracted a large and diverse membership with its energetic and participatory style of prayer, active education program and many social events.

Morton Lewis AZA hosts ‘Think Pink’ Dance

All BBYO members and their friends are invited to dance the night away from 8-10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3 at the Zale Auditorium at the JCC. The annual breast cancer awareness event is hosted by Morton Lewis AZA. Cost is $10 per person with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Save the date: JCC’s 10th Annual Senior Expo is Nov. 1

The 10th Annual JCC Senior Expo, sponsored by Town Village North Dallas and Waldman Bros, is set for Nov. 1 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Aaron Family JCC. The event is free and open to the public, and all ages are welcome. Information and support will be provided to children of aging parents and relatives, as well as the senior community. Crime prevention, finding your passion, dealing with midlife divorce and choosing the right time to retire are among expo topics. Walk away with tangible insights on senior living and gain practical life coaching techniques to elevate your life to the next level. Browse more than 50 exhibitor booths, shop, listen to music, and play bingo. The first 100 attendees will receive a free brown bag lunch at noon. For more information, contact Heather Cordova at 214-239-7149.

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