As Yom Kippur approaches, many of us are focused on inner reflection — taking stock of our shortcomings and areas in need for improvement. We approach those that we have wronged and ask for forgiveness, and forgive those who have caused us pain. We are keenly aware that at times at the TJP, we make mistakes. Anyone who has ever gone to press with anything is aware of the pain of seeing something in print that was not meant to be. On behalf of the entire TJP staff, we sincerely apologize for all the typos and unintentional misprints that may have been cause for any pain to our readers. G’mar Chatimah Tovah, from all of us. May you all have an easy, yet meaningful fast.
Yasher Koach to future Eagle Mitchell Koenigsberg
When we were first dating, I made the mistake of asking my husband Alex if he was an Eagle Scout. “Still am,” he replied. I quickly learned that attaining this rank in the Boy Scouts of America is an unparalleled achievement. One scout who is well on his way is Congregation Beth Torah member Mitchell Koenigsburg. Michael Precker recently shared with us the following update Mitchell’s stellar Eagle project benefitting the shul.
At Congregation Beth Torah, they had been talking for a few years about refurbishing the Sukkah.
Mitch Koenigsberg finally made it happen.
The 16-year-old Boy Scout, whose family belongs to the Richardson synagogue, spent months planning the task for his Eagle project. On two successive Sundays in September, he pulled it off.
The Eagle project, the pinnacle of a scout’s experience, is designed to teach leadership skills while giving back to the community
“This is something we wanted and needed to do for a long time,” said Alan Hoffman, president of the Beth Torah Men’s Club, which is responsible for the synagogue sukkah. “We’re so proud of Mitch that he took on this responsibility and did such a great job.”
The Richardson Pearce sophomore is a member of Troop 1077, which includes about 65 Scouts and meets at Brentfield Elementary in Dallas. Hoffman, a former Scoutmaster, was also Mitch’s Eagle project adviser.
At Beth Torah, the Men’s Club assembles the sukkah every year, takes it down after the holiday and stores it outside the synagogue. But years of use took its toll on much of the wood and the hardware.
In the first week of his project, Mitch and his team of Scouts, Men’s Club members and other volunteers assessed how much of the walls, frames and hinges needed to be replaced. The answer: a lot.
Eliott’s Hardware in Plano donated the hardware, while the Men’s Club and member Scott Chilton shared the cost of the wood.
In a long, sweaty day of work on Sept. 18, several dozen volunteers, a number of them not Jewish, took out each section of the sukkah and made it good as new. Particularly adept with his power drill was Rafi Cohen, Beth Torah’s new rabbi. The team also cut out large Stars of David in the walls, improving air circulation as well as adding additional religious significance.
By day’s end Hoffman pronounced the sukkah ready for the holiday — Men’s Club will build it on Sunday, Oct. 9 — and Mitch’s Eagle project a resounding success.
“The synagogue is going to enjoy the benefits of this for years to come,” Hoffman said. “And we’ll be thinking of Mitch every Sukkot.”
Speaking of Sukkot
We have a great calendar of Sukkot activities on page 13 of this week’s issue. Sunday, Oct. 16 seems to be the busiest day of sukkah hopping. It’s possible to participate in four amazing Sukkot events that day.
A community Sukkot carnival hosted by Torah Day School of Dallas will start things off from 11 a.m. to 3p.m.
From 2 to 4 p.m., a community-wide Sukkot celebration hosted by Akiba Academy and benefitting the Special Needs Partnership of Jewish Family Service will get underway.
Rabbi Menachem Block called me recently to tell me some of the highlights of the Sukkot celebration that will be held at Chabad of Plano from 4 to 6 p.m. In addition to a “Build a Torah Workshop” and some lively Jewish music and snacks, the event will be highlighted by the Chassidic acrobatic duo, “The Famous Twins from France.” The duo has performed for spellbound audiences around the world and this sounds like a treat not to be missed. Cost is $5 per person. Children under 3 are free.
Finally, if you are between the ages of 22-39, you can cap the night off with Salsa dancing in Temple Shalom’s sukkah. Check out all the events on page 13.
Herzl Hadassah October meeting
Members of Herzl Hadassah will gather Oct. 10 in the Senior Assembly room of the JCC to hear “From Baptism to Judaism.” Author Mary Blye Howe, a Hadassah Life Member, share her personal story with members and guests.The program begins at 10 a.m.
Coffee and desert will be served. Those who desire to stay and visit after the meeting are encouraged to bring a sack lunch.
Ann & Nate Levine Academy’s Early Childhood Center (ECC) sponsors a monthly program that they call Mitzvah Mensch. Each month, a class in the ECC is responsible for doing a mitzvah for the local community or Jewish communities around the world. Last month, Barbara Mohl’s and Tobe Goldberg’s Pre-K class participated in the Jewish Family Service’s Baby Shower. Throughout the month of September, they collected baby supplies that went to JFS’s food pantry.
Two cribs were filled with diapers, diaper wipes, soaps, lotions and other baby supplies. Additionally, the class asked that the tzedakah money for the month be donated to the baby shower so that even more diapers and supplies could be purchased. Beverly Rossel and Julie Liberman, co-chairs for the JFS Baby Shower, reported that Levine Academy ECC collected over 2,000 diapers. Over $100 of tzedakah was donated to the event, as well. Kol Ha Kavod to all of the families in the ECC who generously donated.