Dallas Doings
By Sharon Wisch-Ray

There are a few weeks on our TJP calendar when the news pickins’ start to get slim. One is the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, the other is the week of Fourth of July. Seems as though folks are out of town or wrapped up with their holiday plans.
This week, with July 4 falling on a Wednesday, we are putting the paper to bed a day early (Monday) so you can get your paper in a timely way — hopefully Thursday.
Hope this week’s TJP finds you recharged and patriotic from your Fourth of July holiday. Perhaps you had a chance to partake in JFS’ Star Spangled Celebration on July 3 or the MetroPCS Fair Park Fourth, which was sponsored in part by the Gold Metal Recyclers.

Israel Scout Caravan to make annual Dallas visit

The Israel Scout Friendship Caravan will make its annual Dallas stop beginning on July 14. The group will perform at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 15, at the Jewish Community Center of Dallas, 7900 Northaven Road. Everyone is welcome.
While in Dallas, the Caravan will also perform at several summer day camps, a church, a senior living facility and local and national Boy Scout offices, in addition to the citywide performance at the Jewish Community Center.
Each Friendship Caravan consists of five male and five female Tzofim (Israel Scouts) who are entering their senior year of high school.
Hosting this year’s scouts are: Carolyn and David Abrams, Wendy and Larry Darrow, Anndi and Doug Hogan, Linda and Garry Kahalnik, Bettina and Bill Katz, Lisa and Adam Kolodny, Melanie and Jeff Morris, Ann and Greg Myer, Andi and Stuart Rosenfield, Debbie and Sid Scheinberg, and Wendy and Danny Weiner.
There are four caravans that travel throughout North America each summer as emissaries, sharing their lives in Israel through song, dance and story. Participants are chosen after undergoing an extensive auditioning and interviewing process, ensuring that above all, they are true representatives of Israeli culture and spirit.
The Friendship Caravan typically reaches more than 35 states, including 250 camps, community centers, churches, senior homes and schools, performing for an audience totaling nearly 100,000 people. The Caravan has been coming to Dallas for more than 30 years.
Each teen in the Friendship Caravan, like all 100 delegation members visiting North America, is a member of the 60,000 member strong Tzofim (Israel Scouts) Movement which, in turn, is part of the International Scouting movement. The Tzofim Movement is the only non-political and non-sectarian youth movement in Israel.
For information on the scouts, go to www.israelscouts.org and click on Tzofim Friendship Caravan. For information on the scouts’ visit to Dallas, please contact David Abrams at 214-669-3033 or davidabrams18@att.net.

Chuck Smith takes over as Beth Torah president

Chuck Smith, who served as president of Congregation Beth Torah from 2007-2009, has returned to lead the Richardson synagogue for the 2012-2013 year.
He succeeded Tony Tello on July 1, following a unanimous vote at the May congregational meeting and the unanimous endorsement of the synagogue board of directors.
“I’m honored and excited,” said Smith, business development manager for a telecommunications industry trade association. “We’ve had a great year with our new rabbi, Rafi Cohen, and now that he is settled in, we’re looking forward to even better things.”
The new synagogue leadership includes Elaine Bernstein, executive vice president; Marc Machbitz, financial vice president; Neil Burnstein, ritual vice president; Aki Shane, education vice president; Cheryl Drazin, membership vice president, Stacey Clark, development vice president; Evelyn Utay, board secretary; and Lou Kaiser, treasurer.
Smith, a Beth Torah member since 1993, paid tribute to Tello, whose three-year presidency included the transition to a new rabbi, significant progress in paying down the synagogue mortgage, and a smorgasboard of new initiatives and programs.
“His dedication, his savvy and his good humor inspires everybody around here,” said Smith, who is now both Tello’s predecessor and successor.
“I never thought I would become the Grover Cleveland of Beth Torah,” he joked.

Nishmat Am congregants spend Father’s Day at StoryBook Ranch

Kulanu, the social circle of Congregation Nishmat Am, took the fathers, mothers and children to StoryBook Dude Ranch for a fun-filled Father’s Day on Sunday, June 17.

Eliza Sayavedra rides a pony during a visit to StoryBook Dude Ranch on Father’s Day organized by Kulanu, the social circle of Congregation Nishmat Am. | Photo: Courtesy Congregation Nishmat Am

Approximately 145 adults and children enjoyed hay rides, horse and pony rides, the petting zoo, fishing, outdoor activities (tug-of-war, sack races), quiet indoor games and a scrumptious bar-b-q lunch. A special treat was the walk through and tour of the re-created town of Dry Bones, Texas where participants learned about the history of this Old West community. A Father’s Day cake and a snow-cone machine cooled everyone off and satisfied each person’s sweet tooth.
Kulanu offers social and recreational programs for members and friends of the congregation. To learn more about Kulanu and its many varied activities as well as to hear more about all the exciting programs taking place at Nishmat Am, contact 972-618-2200 or info@nishmatam.org.

Another morsel on Chef Ida Lee Cathcart

Marni Kaner (nee Berkowitz) shared the following with me on Thursday and it made my day:
“I read about Ida Lee Cathcart and wanted to share with you what she did for us.  If you remember, my son Brian did a year long bake sale for his mitzvah project. There was an article in the TJP that Rachel (Weinstein) wrote about Brian. Rabbi (Shawn) Zell’s wife from Tiferet read the article and passed on to Ida Lee. She looked up our number and called us.
“She asked how she could help Brian with his project. So during winter break of that year, we drove to her home in Terrell. Ida Lee taught Brian and me how to make hamantaschen, rugelach and mandel bread.  She not only taught him those cookies, but the skills of a baker.  She did this all from the goodness of her heart! She truly does deserve such a wonderful award Thank you for sharing her award with us all and through the TJP giving Brian such a great opportunity.”
And thank you, Marni, for sharing.

Law-enforcement opportunities for veterans

Robert Epstein, vice president of the Texas Shomrim Society (Jewish law enforcement), alerted us to an important program next week.
The North Texas Crime Commission will present “Returning Veterans and Law Enforcement Opportunities” at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 11, at Prestonwood Country Club, 15909 Preston Rd. Major General James Williams, USMC (retired) is the featured speaker.
Cost is $25 for the breakfast. For information contact Epstein at macabee1948@aol.com

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