Dallas Doings
By Sharon Wisch-Ray

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and an Israeli soldier light a menorah donated by religious school students at Congregation Beth Torah in Richardson

I have a number of items that folks have sent me recently that I need to incorporate into this column. For example, shortly after Chanukah, Ruth Schor was kind enough to send me a photo of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lighting a Chanukah menorah with Israeli generals and soldiers. At the time, all I had was the photo, but recently I learned the back story, courtesy of Ruth who e-mailed: “Our connection and friendship with Israel is brighter and more promising than ever. I was overcome with emotions when the attachment in the e-mail I received from Israel revealed a picture of Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, lighting the Chanukah menorah with Israeli generals and soldiers. He was proud to share that the menorah was contributed by religious school students in Dallas [Beth Torah in Richardson]. Once again we are reminded that every penny counts and that kindness, thoughtfulness and our love for Israel is priceless. The connection to our homeland plays a critical role in shaping our student’s Jewish identity and developing pride in our history and tradition.” Thanks Ruth for sharing the photo and fostering the connection between our children and Israel at Beth Torah’s Learning Center.
Another item on my desk, which I have yet to clear came last month from Dr. Harlan Pollock, who shared some photos from a reunion of members of the 1974 Federation mission to Israel. The trip was a who’s who of Dallas’ leaders today. That’s just the teaser. Stay tuned to next week’s column for more on that incredible trip nearly four decades ago.

Chamber music recital at JSI

North Texas musician Ilana Pomeranz has become an avid fan of the classes of Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger; she cannot get enough, sometimes attending three classes a week and listening online to recorded lectures while ironing or doing other tasks around the house.

At the JSI music recital were from left musicians John Owings, Misha Galaganov and Ilana Pomeranz, and in the foreground, Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger, JSI executive director and Community Rabbinic Scholar.

Looking for a way to support Rabbi Schlesinger’s Jewish Studies Initiative of North Texas (JSI), she floated the idea of organizing a chamber music recital to benefit the organization. In short order, she enlisted fellow musicians Misha Galaganov, Rozalie Levant and John Owings, and the idea became a reality. The sold-out fundraiser took place Saturday evening, Jan. 28.
The recital was preceded by a lecture and demonstration given by pianist John Owings and violist Misha Galaganov. Owings and Galaganov explained the music motifs of the sonatas that they would play later in the evening, one by Johannes Brahms, and the other by a Russian contemporary of Brahms, Anton Rubinstein. They enlivened their lecture by playing excerpts of the sonatas and telling short anecdotes about the two famous composers.
The evening also included a lively composition by Georg Philipp Telemann performed by Rozalie Levant on the piano, Ilana Pomeranz on the recorder and Galaganov on the viola. Levant pointed out that Telemann, a leading composer in the Baroque style during the 17th century, is thought to have been the most prolific composer in history. He was widely applauded during his lifetime by other leading composers, including J.S. Bach, who spoke admiringly of him.
Hosted in the home of Atara and Danny Guttman, the recital attracted over 50 patrons. According to Pomeranz, the three musical pieces, “are almost never performed because of their level of difficulty.”
The concert pianists played on an exquisite 9’ Steinway Concert Grand piano which Danny Guttman, also a classically trained concert pianist, recently acquired. The handmade piano has been featured in Carnegie Hall concerts. Patrons appreciated the vibrant and powerful sounds of the Steinway.
All of the musicians are professionals local to North Texas. John Owings is a Professor of Music and Chair of the Piano Division at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.
Dr. Levant, who has taught at two universities in St. Petersburg, Russia, has written “The Anatomy of Musicality,” a book based on her scientific research into effective piano pedagogy. She teaches and lectures internationally.
Dr. Galaganov is Associate Professor of Viola at Texas Christian University, Director of both the Chamber Music Roundup Academy and the Fort Worth Chamber Music Roundup festival, and Coordinator of Chamber Music at the Summer Arts Institute in Oklahoma.
Ilana Pomeranz is the founder of The Dallas Baroque Ensemble and teaches piano and recorder from her own studio.
The committee who planned the event included: David Radunsky (chair), Gary Boothe, Celia and Earl Bills, Carole Ann Hoppenstein, Barbara Radunsky, Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger, Karen Schlosberg, Carole Wolanow and Rabbi Joel Zeff. Dina Ravitsky designed the invitations and programs.
More information about JSI can be found at www.jewishstudiesinitiative.org.

Steve Blow at Hadassah

Popular columnist Steve Blow of the Dallas Morning News will be the guest speaker for Herzl Hadassah at their regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 13, 10 a.m. in the Conference Room (across from gift shop) at the Aaron Family JCC. All Hadassah members and guests are welcome and coffee and dessert will be served.
Don’t forget Herzl’s Lifesaver Luncheon on March 12 at 11 a.m. at Town Village North. Luncheon tickets are $15; raffle tickets are 6 for $5.00. For info or rides, call Mimi Hamel, 972-241-2603.

AEPi alums get together monthly

Local alumni of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity gather monthly to schmooze. The group meets for lunch at a Dallas area restaurants to catch up and network.

AEPi alums enjoyed lunch at Seabreeze last week. Clockwise from left, Paul Hoffman, Eddie Davis, Mike Hopkovitz, Mark Goldstein, Arthur Wechsler, Alex Ray, Mark Alterman, Larry Silverman, Bruce Katz, Charles Shidlofsky and Joe Cukier.

To be added to the invitation list or if you have a restaurant that would like to host the lunch contact Arthur Wechsler at arthur.wechsler@att.net. Last week’s lunch bunch gathered at Sea Breeze in Plano.

Meet the Parents: Yavneh style

Cindy and Mitch Moskowitz will host a parlor meeting at their home, 5915 Warm Mist Lane, on Feb. 21 for anyone interested in learning more about Yavneh Academy, Dallas’ only co-educational Jewish high school.
The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. This is a great opportunity to meet Yavneh faculty, students and parents in an informal and relaxed setting. To RSVP or for more information contact Karen Hazan-Cohen at 214-295-3400 or khcohen@srcampus.org.

Business Scene: Fast Signs

The Dallas — North Central FASTSIGNS® sign and graphics center has been named one of the top FASTSIGNS centers out of the more than 450 centers in the country for its outstanding sales achievement.
April Gilliland, who co-owns the Dallas — North Central FASTSIGNS with Lane Harris and Miriam Karp, was presented the CEO Circle award at the 2012 FASTSIGNS Convention, which was recently held in Nashville, Tenn. The CEO Circle award is given to 25 centers in the United States with the highest sales for the previous year.
“We knew that our goal this year was to be at the top and the team made a tremendous effort to accomplish that goal,” said Gilliland. “It is a great feeling to find out that the team’s hard work and dedication has paid off in such a big way. I can’t thank them enough.”
The Dallas — North Central FASTSIGNS center is no stranger to being lauded for high sales. At the 2010 and 2011 FASTIGNS Conventions, the center received the Pinnacle Club award, which recognizes the United States’ top performing centers. Additionally, in April, the center will be celebrating its 24th year of business.
“The longevity of our center wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our many loyal customers,” explained Gilliland. “Because of our clients, our center has grown even more since last year’s convention and we hope to continue growing in the future so that we can continue to provide new, cutting-edge solutions to our customers.”
FASTSIGNS® helps businesses, organizations and events solve their visual communications and marketing challenges — large and small, From the simple … to the simply impossible. The Dallas — North Central FASTSIGNS center provides consulting, file transfer, design, production, delivery and installation for a full range of custom sign and graphics solutions. For more information, call 214-890-4444, visit www.fastsigns.com/11 or use your smartphone to visit m.fastsigns.com/11.

News and notes:

Congratulations to Levine Academy fifth grader Leah Fradkin, daughter of Yanina and Meir Fradkin, who participated in the rhythmic gsymnastics competition in Houston. Leah won two first places for hoop and ribbon routines and two second places for her floor and ball routines. She received second place all around and made it to the State competition scheduled for March.
An added mazel tov to Levine Academy eighth grader Shira Hovav, daughter or Diane and Shmuel Hovav, who has been accepted into the American Hebrew Academy Honor Society. The AHA recognizes outstanding eighth and ninth graders around the world.

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