By Sharon Wisch-Ray
Emily Levinstone of Dallas is attending the Washington National Opera Institute at American University, a competitive pre-professional training program in the vocal arts.
Emily, the daughter of Helene and Richard Levinstone and Michele and Scott Kline, is a junior at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She was selected out of hundreds of teenagers worldwide to receive one of 28 positions in the rigorous three-week program.
Since June 25, she has joined fellow aspiring musicians in Washington to learn the craft from opera professionals. Highlights of the training program include master classes with artists such as Harolyn Blackwell and Richard Stilwell, daily private voice instruction and a variety of courses intended to develop skills.
The institute concludes Saturday, when the students will perform on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, an event that will be streamed live on the Kennedy Center’s website. To see Emily’s live performance, log on to www.kennedy-center.org at 6 p.m. Saturday. If you’d like to view it after Shabbat, the performance will be archived for future viewings.
Emily, a mezzo-soprano, is a classical voice major. She discovered her passion for performing classical music while attending Camp Interlochen Arts Vocal Soloist Studies program last summer.
In addition to daily instruction in acting, movement, Italian diction, opera history and music theory, institute students receive individual vocal coaching and mentoring. Workshops on auditioning, vocal health, résumé preparation, professionalism, self and peer critique, and goal-setting are presented by experienced artists and scholars. Instructors include singers who have international careers and WNO’s artistic and administrative staff.
Keep the graduates coming
Another graduate that came to our attention recently is Kyle Cohen. Kyle graduated from Richardson High School on June 3. He is the son of Naomi Cohen of Dallas and Yossi Cohen of Dallas. Grandparents are Richard and Sara Levine of Dallas, Peter and Zehava Reynolds of Arlington and the late Pinchas Cohen of Israel. He is the brother of Michael and Alexandra Cohen.
Kyle was founder of the RHS Game Design Club and was active in other school clubs, such as one devoted to anime. Kyle’s personal interests are in trading card games, computer games, American history, earth and space science and philosophy.
Kyle’s past community service endeavors included helping at the Dallas Public Library and donating hair to Locks of Love.
Kyle plans to attend community college.
It takes a village
During the summer, we often play host to visitors from Israel. Last week we mentioned the hospitality of all those hosting scouts from the Tzofim caravan.
This week, we’d like to acknowledge the host families of the Kefiada participants who arrived in Dallas from our Partnership region in Northern Israel on June 29. You’ll learn more about these young men and their involvement at JCC camps in a future TJP issue.
In the meantime, hat’s off to Jolene Risch-Minksy and Jayson Minsky, Debbie and Bruce Katz, Iris and Andy Sheppard, Kathy and Steve Schneider and Heather Shickman — and their families — for opening their homes and hearts to these young Israelis.
Kefiada is an exchange program between the partnership consortium and our Partnership region in the Western Galilee. In the past, Dallas college students have traveled to Israel to spend four weeks volunteering at camps there. This year, Israeli students have come to our area to volunteer in our summer camps.
Prescott a Jewish hoops all-American
Recent Yavneh Academy graduate Jordan Prescott was named second-team Jewish all-American by Jewish Hoops America.
The honor makes Prescott one of the top 10 Jewish day school players in the nation. He is one of only two players from the southern states to make the list.
“Jordan’s versatility is really remarkable and this honor is well-deserved,” said former Bulldogs coach Chad Baruch, who coached Jordan throughout his Yavneh career and who himself was a finalist for National Jewish Coach of the Year. (See a story about Baruch’s departure from Yavneh on Page 5.) “He was our best ball-handler, best scorer and either our best or second-best rebounder, which is a pretty amazing feat for a guy who is only 5-foot-10.”
Prescott, who averaged more than 20 points per game is second on the list of Yavneh’s all-time scorers with 1,771 career points. He also holds the school’s assist record with 384 in his varsity career.
“Jordan can shoot the 3-pointer, drive the ball to the basket, post up, and score in transition,” Baruch said of Prescott. “He was just a very complete offensive player and almost impossible to contain. I am very pleased that coaches across the country recognized the exceptional season he had.”
Prescott, who will attend the University of Texas at Austin in the fall, also scored points off the court at Yavneh.
“When the rabbis in ‘Ethics of the Fathers’ said, ‘Be sure to greet all with a friendly face,’ they were certainly talking about Jordan,” said Rabbi Meir Tannenbaum, associate principal and director of Judaic curriculum. “He is always the first to greet our visitors and newcomers with a warm smile and a friendly word. He has also grown from a shy timid freshman, trying to establish a name for himself, into one of the leaders of the school.”
A former volunteer at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, Prescott has also served the global community by volunteering in Fiji, through Rustic Pathways summer programs, for which he helped build a school and teach English to local children.
A member of Congregation Shaare Tefilla and B’nai B’rith Youth Organization’s Lewis chapter, Prescott’s skills developed through his role as co-captain of the Bulldogs, and through his leadership roles with student council, Students Against Terrorism, the Bulldog Print, Mock Trial, Uniting Students of Dallas and as a Yavneh student ambassador.
“Yavneh gives its students experiences they couldn’t get anywhere else,” said Prescott, son of Stephanie and Dan and brother of Ethan and Alex. “The support that I received from the administration and the ability to lead programs has given me experiences that I can take anywhere.”
Cinema Emanu-El under way
Cinema Emanu-El’s 2012 season began Tuesday with a showing of the “Bubble.” There series will continue Tuesday, July 17, when guests will be treated to a showing of the film “Anita.” In the aftermath of a deadly bombing in the Jewish community of Buenos Aires, Anita finds herself lost and alone. Her unique circumstances and triumphant spirit will capture your heart as she touches an eclectic array of strangers on her journey home. Rabbi Kimberly Herzog Cohen will lead the post movie discussion.
The film, “La Rafle,” will be shown on Tuesday, July 24. This is the true story of the French Vichy regime’s mass imprisonment and disposal of 13,000 Parisian Jews in the summer of 1942. Rabbi Adam Allenberg will lead the discussion about this movie.
The film festival will conclude on Tuesday, July 31, with the movie “The Matchmaker.” This film is a coming-of-age story set in 1968 Haifa, still in the shadow of the Holocaust. It reflects the unique mosaic of Israeli life just after the Six Day War, and effortlessly draws audiences into its charmingly eccentric world. Cantor Richard Cohn will lead the post-film discussion.
All films begin at 7 p.m. and the cost is $4 per show or $12 for a season pass. Free popcorn, candy and soda will be served at each showing. Temple Emanu-El is located at 8500 Hillcrest Road in Dallas.
For information and to register, contact Nancy Rivin at 214-706-0000 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.tedallas.org.