By Sharon Wisch-Ray
When I was growing up, my parents often spoke Yiddish at the dinner table when they didn’t want the kinder to know what they are talking about.
In her later years, my mom, ahava shalom, loved opportunities to speak Yiddish and was thrilled to report in this column when Shearith Israel began Mamaloshen Mornings eight years ago. She also enjoyed attending when she moved to Dallas in 2008.
Founded by Mona Allen, Gordon Cizon and Ruthie Rosen, of blessed memory, the group meets on the second Thursday of every month on Shearith’s Douglas campus. The next session, at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 13, will be held in memory of Rosen, for whom the Yiddish language was always a source of pleasure and fond memories.
Ruthie was a vibrant contributor to the group and, unfortunately, she recently passed away at 96 years young. A wonderful storyteller, Ruthie spoke in her first tongue with ease. While participants range in age and backgrounds, all loved hearing (and mostly trying to speak) Yiddish with Ruthie. Many times, others would have to ask what she was saying since the room would be in stitches.
Mona tells us that Ruthie was always smiling and making the best of life. It is in that vein that many will lakhn und essen (laugh and eat) in Ruthie’s honor at the Sept. 13 session. As always, the program is free and open to the community.
Sephardic Torah Center celebrates its first year
It’s hard to believe that almost a year has passed since we ran a story on the new Sephardic Torah Center of Dallas. Founder Rabbi Zecharia Sionit is a warm, engaging individual.
You can celebrate STCD’s first anniversary from 8-10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2, at Ann and Nate Levine Academy, 18011 Hillcrest Rd. The “friendship” event is open to all and will feature hors d’oeuvres, fine wines and desserts.
Levine alums stay connected
It always warms my heart when I hear that Jewish kids who have gone through school together keep their connections close when they begin to go their separate ways.
I particularly love the story Barb Altman shared with me recently about her and Arthur’s son, Gabe, and three other Levine Academy alums. Gabe; Daniel Borejdo, son of Judy and Julian Borejdo; Kenny Livingston, son of Eve Guth and Ed Livingston; and Max Grunewald, son of Jerri and Fred Grunewald, went all the way through Levine Academy together. Daniel and Gabe began in pre-K. Max joined them in first grade; Kenny in fourth grade.
They were very active at Levine in sports (basketball and soccer) and honors classes in math and science. They graduated Levine in 2007, and even though they went to separate high schools — Gabe to J.J. Pearce, Daniel and Kenny to Greenhill and Max to St. Mark’s — they stayed very close friends, joining the same BBYO chapter.
Soon after they graduated from Levine, Max suggested an annual family get-together, and the Grunewalds hosted the first one. Each year, a different family has hosted. The boys are now at different universities, Daniel at Drexel, Max and Kenny at UT-Dallas and Gabe at Georgia Tech. All are entering their sophomore years and have continued their affinity for math and science, majoring in various engineering and/or computer science/information technology fields.
They also continue to be involved in Jewish life on campus, Gabe and Daniel have joined Jewish fraternities and Kenny and Max are active in Hillel.
Barb shared that it was particularly hard to schedule a get-together this summer, as Max and Kenny were studying/working at Cal-Berkeley, Gabe was counseling at Ramah Darom and Daniel was working locally. Still, the families managed a find a date and meet at a restaurant for a wonderful dinner on Aug. 16.
A running joke in the families was who was taller each year, so they have been documenting with photos each year. The 2007 photo gives Gabe the honors, but Max has them all beat now.
Arbetter leads Charleston Student Government Association
Erica Arbetter, 20, who is set to begin her junior year at the College of Charleston, S.C., was elected president of the Student Government Association for the 2012-2013 school year.
She will be the first female to hold the position in 18 years.
Erica is a communications major with minors in arts management and political science. The College of Charleston, a liberal arts college with an enrollment of 10,000 students, was a great fit for Erica. She was elected SGA freshman senator and served on the PR committee. She was re-elected SGA sophomore senator and served as PR committee chair.
Erica is also active in the College of Charleston’s Greek community as a member of Zeta Tau Alpha, for which she has served as community service chair and historian on the executive council.
Erica has always demonstrated a passion for leadership, which developed during her years at Solomon Schechter Academy (now Levine Academy). She was elected student body resident at Frankford Middle School; student body vice president at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts; historian (orechet) for the North Texas Regional Board of BBYO; and a student representative for the International BBYO Public Relations Committee.
Erica is the daughter of Fonda and Jay Arbetter; sister of Stephanie, a recent graduate of the University of Georgia; and granddaughter of Madelyn Schepps.
News and notes
• Dallas band RickyJoel (Joel Alhadef and Ricky DeVincent) released a new music video, “I am a Rock,” a tribute to Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel last week on YouTube. Check it out at www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vTUT29dXtc.
• Save the date, Monday, Oct. 15, for Temple Shalom’s 11th annual Charity Golf Tournament benefitting the North Texas Food Bank at The Honors Club in Carrollton. The following week, Wednesday, Oct. 24, at The Tribute Golf Club in The Colony, Chabad of Dallas will have a charity golf tournament in honor of Howard Schultz and Nate Levine.
• Traditions, the Judaica shop at Temple Shalom, now has gift cards. Traditions gift cards are available for any amount, are good on any merchandise in the shop and have no expiration date.
“If you have a wedding gift to buy and don’t know the bride’s taste, or if you don’t know what a b’nai mitzvah likes, a Traditions gift card is a perfect choice,” says Lucille Klein, Traditions buyer. “The recipient can choose what they want, plus the gift cards are reloadable for future use.”