Dallas Doings

TDSD students experience holidays with chesed

A sample of a Rosh Hashanah card made by TDSD students for Fort Hood’s Jewish soldiers.

Becky Udman, Early Childhood director at Torah Day School and TJP columnist tells us Torah Day School students were very busy getting ready for the holidays.
Classes learned all of the laws and customs of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. There were apple cakes made, experiments with pomegranates, and of course the shofar could be heard daily during Elul, the month leading up to Rosh Hashanah.
Students went to Jewish Family Service to help make packages for those who would otherwise not be thought of during the holidays.
It is clear that one of the most meaningful activities for the students was making holiday cards for our servicemen and women in Fort Hood, Texas.
The children were able to envision what it would be like to spend the holidays away from family and this helped them to understand the self-sacrifice that these men and women do for our country.
“I know that it would be hard for me if my father had to be away on Rosh Hashanah,” said one first grader.
Matti Friedman, who was the guest, shared the impact that the TDSD students made. “I’m sure I’m speaking on behalf of all of the attendees at the Fort Hood shul this past Yom Kippur — it was so heart-warming to get the beautiful cards from your students to the soldiers! What a nice idea! It put a smile on everyone’s face, and was so appreciated!”
TDSD headmaster Rabbi Yerachmiel Udman said, “These opportunities for the children to see how much one small act of chesed (kindness) can go so far are as important as any lesson that they will learn in school. Our hope is that these small acts of kindness are planting the seeds for always looking for opportunities for chesed.”
Yasher koach to everyone at TDSD.

Senator Florence Shapiro to address CREW

State Senator Florence Shapiro of Plano will speak to Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Dallas about “How Legislative Issues Affect You.” The open-to-the-public luncheon is Wednesday, Oct. 19, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Park City Club, 5956 Sherry Lane.
Shapiro began her career in the Texas Senate in 1993. Her issues, while serving in the Senate, have been many. As a champion of children, she passed Ashley’s Laws, which protects them from sexual predators. In 1999, she became chair of the Senate State Affairs Committee and committed herself to the issue of transportation, creating the first fund for Texas mobility.
Shapiro has served as chair of the Senate Education Committee since 2003, addressing issues such as school accountability and improving teacher development — including teacher pay raises and the first-ever incentive pay program. During this most recent legislative session — in a time of significant budget cuts — she led an even-handed approach to education funding, making sure fair treatment was shown to both wealthy and property-poor districts.
During her time in office, the senator has been the recipient of numerous awards recognizing her legislative accomplishments and wide-ranging contributions to North Texas and the entire state.  Most recently, she was named by Austin-based Capitol Inside as one of the most outstanding legislators of the past decade.
“The timing of the luncheon may be of particular interest because of Senator Shapiro’s recent announcement that she will not seek re-election next year,” said Vicky Gunning, CREW president and partner with Locke Lord LLP. “CREW members are fortunate to have Senator Shapiro give us an update on how developments from the most recent legislative session will affect not only commercial real estate, but the region and state in general.”
The cost for the luncheon is $50 for pre-registered guests and $55 for walk-ins. For more information, contact Kim Hopkins at 214-890-6490 or email khopkins@crew-dallas.org.

VistaCare hospice responsive to Jewish needs

Anyone who has ever had to face the painful experience of caring for a loved one near the end of their life knows that there are many difficult decisions to make. Understanding these options within a Jewish framework can further complicate matters.
VistaCare Hospice is making this process easier for Metroplex-area Jews. Rabbi Howard Wolk and Jan Gartenberg, RN/Clinical Liaison, are now part of the VistaCare team according to Elise Power, VistaCare’s executive director.
VistaCare Hospice is the first hospice organization in Dallas to receive accreditation from the National Institute of Jewish Hospice (www.nijh.org).
More families are turning to hospice organizations when seeking advice, assistance and counsel. VistaCare Hospice of Dallas provides such caring and compassion from a Jewish perspective. Their caregivers are well-versed in Jewish culture, customs and traditions.
The clinical and support staff are able to meet the physical and emotional needs of Jewish patients by working with Rabbi Wolk who offers spiritual support and guidance in navigating through these life transitions. He works closely with patients and families, discussing end-of-life issues with family members and assisting them with making informed decisions.
The blessing of living longer brings many difficult challenges which families are facing on an increasing basis. VistaCare Hospice can help support members of our community who are looking for assistance in caring for their loved ones.
For additional information, please contact Elise Power or Jan Gartenberg at 214-231-3914, or visit www.vistacare.com.

Covenant Church welcomes Bnai Zion members

Bnai Zion members and Covenent Church clergy from left, Maura Schreier-Fleming, Carolee Blumin, Diane Benjamin, Fran Eisenberg, Pastor Kathy Hayes, Pastor Mike Hayes, President David Eisenberg, Virginia Shepherd and Dr. Tim Shepherd.

Last week in the TJP, you may have read about Pastors Mike and Kathy Hayes of the Covenant Church in Carrollton who will be honored by Bnai Zion next month. The pastors recently hosted a gathering of Bnai Zion members at their well attended church services.
Attendees included Bnai Zion Foundation’s Texas Region President and newly elected National President David Eisenberg; Mrs. Fran Eisenberg; Vice President Diane Benjamin; Carolee Blumin; Dr. Tim and Virginia Shepherd; and Maura Schreier-Fleming.
At the other Covenant Church sites, Bnai Zion board members and volunteers, including Carole Wolanow, Dr. Harvey Wine, Gail Wine, Martin van Brauman, Sara Spraggins, Sara Dekelbaum and Norman Dekelbaum and others participated and witnessed the incredible outpouring of love for Israel and the Jewish people.
Pastor Hayes devoted all five Covenant Church sites to this salute to the Bnai Zion Foundation and support of the State of Israel.
On stage, and viewed through streaming at all Covenant Church sites, was a video of Pastor Hayes’ entourage at their recent summer visit to Israel. The video was a lovely tribute to the members of the Covenant Church with appreciation from Bnai Zion Medical Center CEO, Dr. Amnon Rofe, and Dr. Michael Kafka, chief of the Emergency Division of the hospital.
Pastor Hayes gave a riveting sermon that captivated more than the 5,000 attendees at his Covenant Church site.
According to Diane Benjamin, his entire sermon was dedicated to the Bnai Zion Foundation; citing from Exodus, and Jeremiah all in praise of the Jews.
Pastor Hayes stressed to his congregants how vital it is for the Christians to protect God’s chosen people and the State of Israel.
At the conclusion of the three morning services, eager congregants came by the Bnai Zion reception tables in the church lobby, to make reservations for the Nov. 6 Gala honoring Pastors Mike and Kathy Hayes and Dr. Jerrold Grodin, Lt.Col. U.S. Army.
Pastor Hayes’ eloquence and dramatic appeal has earned him a following that is spellbinding. The Covenant Church claims a special partnership with the Bnai Zion Foundation and is especially grateful for this “match made in heaven,” by Dr. and Mrs. Tim Shepherd, past gala honorees and Bnai Zion board members.
Diane Benjamin, chair of the November gala at the Westin Galleria and a past Bnai Zion honoree, said, “It is incumbent upon all not to desist from our work in supporting this outstanding 100 year plus, medical facility in our spiritual homeland and to cultivate those who are such valuable assets to our cause and to our people … Christian Zionists as well as Jewish Zionists — all!”
For further information on the Bnai Zion Gala, contact Avrille Harris-Cohen, director Texas Region Bnai Zion Foundation at 972-918-9200 or avrille.harris-cohen@bnaizion.org.

Learn about Medicare

Irv Munn and Ed Morris of Munn and Morris Financial Advisors will lead a luncheon seminar Tuesday, Oct. 18 on “What You Need to Know about Medicare,” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Maggianos in Plano. Attendance is free but reservations are required. To RSVP or for more information, contact Susanne Gray at 972-692-0909.

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