Dallas Doings
By Sharon Wisch-Ray

At first I was a little stressed when a TJP columnist dropped by the office at press time on Tuesday. I’m a little stressed every press day … screening calls and visitors not pertaining to the current week’s edition (OK, my secret is out). In fact, family and friends know that someone better be bleeding, vomiting or have a fever over 100.3 to chat!
I felt a little bad when at first I said I didn’t have time to visit, but so relieved when Harriet pointed out to me that I had not run an item she sent me on Cong. Beth Torah’s Torah Fund honoree this year, Alisone Kopita. I thought for sure that we had placed that item in the Feb. 16 issue. Remembered flowing it into the pages myself.
But you see, this newspaper business is a bit like a game of Tetris as press day winds down, we have to squeeze type, move ads and as my dad, ahavah sholom, used to say “shoehorn” things in. The Kopita item indeed had been in the paper, but had gotten pulled at the last minute to accommodate a jump (newspaper jargon for a continued story) and not picked up for the Feb. 23 issue.
Thanks Harriet for flagging me down to get this right and for submitting the story. Incidentally, Harriet herself, was the Torah Fund honoree last year at Cong. Beth Torah.

Beth Torah to honor Alisone Kopita at Torah Fund Brunch

Alisone Rochester Kopita will be honored as “Dedicated Volunteer in the Sisterhood, Synagogue and Community” at Congregation Beth Torah’s annual Torah Fund Brunch, scheduled for noon on Sunday, March 4 at the Addison Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Born and raised in northern California, Kopita, who was born into a Protestant family, converted to Judaism while living and working in North Carolina. Kopita, with her husband Jeff (a physician) and daughter Lily, relocated to the Dallas area in 1995 and are members of Beth Torah in Richardson. Kopita celebrated her bat mitzvah at Beth Torah in 1999 and began to lead services.
In addition to taking leadership roles in prayer, Kopita polishes the Torah’s crowns and breastplates in preparation for the High Holy Days. Furthermore, the Kopita family donated a small, lightweight Torah from Israel in honor of their children Lily and Phillip, who was born after the family relocated.
Kopita has been an important part of the preschool committee (which she co-chaired and represented on the synagogue’s board of directors). She has also taught preschool and kindergarten at Beth Torah.
In addition, Kopita volunteers at her children’s schools, Highland Park High School and St. Mark’s School, and is a volunteer with Phillip’s Eagle Scout Troop 730.
When she began two terms as Sisterhood president in 2008, she was not only its official board representative, but worked in the gift shop and the kitchen as well as on matters of finance, communication, and cooperation with all other congregational groups. She continues those involvements today, serving as an active advisor to current Sisterhood co-presidents Vikki Silvis and Esther Cohen.
The Torah Fund Brunch is open to the community. Cost is $32, along with a minimum contribution of $18 to the Women’s League Torah Fund. This year’s Torah Fund pins, depicting Hiddur Mitzvah — aesthetic bima embellishments — are presented to those at the $180 Benefactor level and higher.
For more information, contact the Torah Fund Chair Elaine Scharf, at 972-307-3521 or ebscharf@verizon.net.
Beth Torah’s Sisterhood is an affiliate of the Women’s League of Conservative Judaism.

Herzl Hadassah Life Saver Luncheon is March 12

With the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington concluding just a few days earlier, National AIPAC Board Member, Lillian Pinkus’ presentation at Herzl Hadassah’s annual Life Saver luncheon should be most enlightening.
Pinkus will speak about “Israel Today” on Monday, March 12 at 11 a.m. at the beautiful Town Village North, 12271 Coit Road, just south of Churchill Way. Cost is $15. Raffle tickets will be sold and are $1 each, or six for $5.
All proceeds from the lunch and raffle benefit Hadassah Medical Organization, which supports Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem and medical research.
To reserve your place, call Mimi Hamel, 972-241-2603. Attendees will also have the opportunity to purchase Tom Thumb and Central Market scrip for your grocery shopping and Passover supplies.

Texas Jewish Historical Society’s annual meeting

Fort Worth is the site for this year’s Texas Jewish Historical Society’s 32nd Annual Meeting, which will begin on March 30 and conclude on April 1. This will also coincide with the final weekend of “Forgotten Gateway: Coming to America through Galveston,” which is currently on show at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. The event will feature a private tour, courtesy of the exhibit’s original curator, Austin anthropologist Suzanne Seriff, as well as a panel discussion featuring Seriff and filmmakers Allen and Cynthia Mondell (who will show clips from their docudrama, “West of Hester Street”). Another event for those arriving early enough on March 30 is an afternoon tour at the U.S. Bureau of Engraving (led by Jewish engraver Richard Baratz) and a banquet on Saturday night with keynote speaker Nick Kotz. Kotz, a San Antonio native, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author who is working on a book entitled The Harness Maker’s Vision: Nathan Kallison and the Rise of South Texas. The cost for the weekend meeting is $80 (not including accommodations. Those are available at the Marriott Residence Inn near West 7th Street). For more information, visit the TJHS website at www.txjhs.org. Registration deadline is March 15.

Miriam’s Seder March 18

If you have never been to a Miriam’s Seder or been to one and loved it, then Cong. Beth Torah’s program from 5 to 8 p.m. on March 18 might be just for you. Open to the entire community, the cost of Miriam’s Seder is $35 with a book and $25 without one. Cong. Beth Torah is located at 720 Lookout Drive in Richardson. For questions contact Teri Oruch at teri.oruch@gmail.com or 972-517-0707.

Sheryl Crow to headline Vogel Alcove 25th anniversary celebration

Tickets are now on sale for the Vogel Alcove’s largest fundraiser of the year — a Sheryl Crow Concert — on May 14. The singer of hits like “Leaving Las Vegas,” “If It Makes You Happy,” and “The First Cut Is The Deepest” will perform at 8 p.m.

Sheryl Crow will headline Vogel Alcove’s 25th anniversary celebration.

Tickets to the May 14 event at the Meyerson Symphony Center range from $50-$250 and may be purchased through the AT&T Performing Arts Center box office by visiting www.attpac.org or by calling 214-880-0202 (Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Tickets are non-refundable.
Event co-chairs are Beth and Jim Gold and Ann and Lee Hobson. Jim Gold is president, Specialty Retail, for The Neiman Marcus Group. Lee Hobson is managing partner for Highside Capital Management. Event vice chairs are Lael and Peter Brodsky; Rita Sue and Alan Gold; Erin and Mike McKool; Cynthia and Forrest Miller; and Ricki and Andy Rabin. Crow joins an impressive history of headliners including Vince Gill, Lyle Lovett, Kenny Loggins, Michael Bolton, Liza Minnelli, Johnny Mathis, Harry Belafonte, Tony Bennett, Marvin Hamlisch, Ray Charles and Itzhak Perlman.
For nearly 25 years, Vogel Alcove has provided free quality child development services for Dallas’ youngest victims of poverty: homeless children 6 weeks to 5 years old. Vogel Alcove is the only free comprehensive early childhood education program in the city of Dallas whose primary focus is to provide free childcare, counseling and case management for children and their families residing in 18 local emergency shelters, domestic violence shelters and housing programs.

Reminders from the J

The Music Man continues through this weekend. Also, Camp Fair Day is Sunday, March 4 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. It’s the last chance to register for camp at 2009 prices.

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