Dallas Doings
By Sharon Wisch-Ray

Last week, I mentioned that it was crunch time at the TJP. The High Holy Days are our Super Bowl, for all intents and purposes. We are wrapping this paper up on Sept. 14, as we prepare to be off for Rosh Hashanah. But when you receive this issue, we will be in the midst of the 10 days of Repentance.

Congregation Shearith Israel’s IMPACT (Involve More People And Change Tomorrow) collected 100 backpacks to deliver to two local elementary schools and one middle school, all of which have more than 98 percent of students participating in free and reduced lunch program. The Shearith committee conducts an annual uniform and school supply drive before the school year starts, and this year’s effort was greatly aided by a $1,000 donation from a Shearith member who wishes to remain anonymous. Helping to distribute backpacks were, from left, Lynn Minsky, who coordinated the backpack purchase; Ana Arona, community liaison for Hector P. Garcia Middle School in Dallas; and IMPACT co-chair Carol Pinker. | Photo: Submitted by IMPACT

Ordinarily, I like to write a separate note, but space is tight and time is short. So, I’ll say it here. On behalf of all of the staff here, please accept our sincere apologies for any mistakes we have made here at the TJP in the past year. Both the sins of omission (Did we leave your name out by accident?) and the ones of commission (Did we get your name in but misspell it?).
These types of errors are the bane of my existence. They are difficult to catch, and often hurtful to our subscribers. Of course once the ink is dry, there is little to say but “I’m sorry,” and believe me it is heartfelt every time. We wish all of our loyal readers a happy and healthy new year. May you be sealed in the Book of Life for a good year and have a meaningful fast.

Mondells to be honored twice for film work

“A Tribute to Allen Mondell and Cynthia Salzman Mondell,” honoring the couple’s independent filmmaking, will take place as part of the Dallas Video Festival from 6-8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30, at the Horchow Auditorium of the Dallas Museum of Art.

Filmmaker Cynthia Salzman Mondell on the set of one of her many films. | Photo: Courtesy of Cynthia Salzman Mondell

Both Mondells will be in attendance to show and talk about several of their films. Among them are “Who Remembers Mama?” “Beauty in the Bricks” and “Sisters of ’77 which documents the story of the first federally funded National Women’s Conference in Houston in 1977.
Cynthia will also discuss the film she is crrently producing, “Sole Sisters,” a film exploring women’s identities through the intimate relationship between her and her shoes. Learn more at www.solesistersfilm.com.
Cynthia will also be honored for her body of work at the second annual Lois Weber Film Festival. The film festival, which screens movies and documentaries by female directors, is hosted by the Grand Prairie Public Library and held at Grand Prairie’s historic Uptown Theater.
Yavneh Academy senior Yosef Presburger, right, is congratulated by Head of School David Portnoy after Presburger accepted a certificate proclaiming him a 2012 National Hispanic Recognition Scholar. The honor, bestowed by the College Board, recognizes Pressburger for his excellence in academic achievement. | Photo: Deb Silverthorn

At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, the library will award Mondell the Lois Weber Award for her impact on the Texas motion picture industry. Her movie “The Ladies Room” will be screened.
“‘The Ladies Room’ takes you where no man has gone before,” according to a news release. “It is a hilarious 42-minute documentary about what really goes on behind closed doors. Women share stories of love, sex, marriage and divorce, and comment on everything from body image to their mothers, all while fixing their hair and makeup.
The Mondells are co-founders of Media Projects, Inc., a film production and distribution company
The festival will continue Saturday, Oct. 20. Tickets each day for the festival are $5, or $3 with a Grand Prairie Library card. They are available at the Theater Box Office. The Theater and box office are located at 120 E. Main Street.
The Grand Prairie Main Library is the site of the Lois Weber Collection, a circulating collection of more than 300 films directed by women, from all time periods and many countries. Library cards are free, even to non-residents. The Main Library is located at 901 Conover Drive, in Grand Prairie. Visit www.gptx.org/library for more information.

Jewish organizations benefit from North Texas Giving Day

Last Thursday was an exciting one for area non-profits participating in North Texas Giving Day. In a landslide day of giving, this community showed its true stripes by donating $14.4 million in 17 hours to 900+ local non-profits. North Texas Giving Day (Sept.13) donations surpassed last year’s results by 35 percent, or an increase of $3.7 million, while the volume of donations made this year versus last year increased by 180 percent. Additionally, 300 more non-profits benefited this year than last.
“We are absolutely blown away by the record-breaking generosity and goodwill of North Texans,” said Brent Christopher, Communities Foundation of Texas president and CEO. “This is a testament to the strength of our community and our shared desire to make North Texas the most viable, best place to live. We are humbled to say the least.”
A number of organizations with Jewish ties benefitted from North Texas Giving Day. At press time Sept. 14, their totals were the following:

  • Ann and Nate Levine Academy, 168 gifts totaling $109,706.
  • Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance, 75 gifts totaling $86,291.
  • The Vogel Alcove, 86 gifts totaling $85,742.
  • Jewish Family Service, 199 gifts totaling $80,500
  • Akiba Academy, 29 gifts totaling $8,123.
  • Dallas Hebrew Free Loan Association, 36 gifts totaling $3,300.
  • Jewish Studies Initiative of North Texas, four gifts totaling $750.
  • National Council of Jewish Women, 24 gifts totaling $9,396.
  • Torah Day School, 1 gift of $300.

Each of these gifts will be matched by percentage.
“The magnitude of support non-profits receive on this one day speaks volumes about how much North Texans care about their community,” said Cynthia B. Nunn, president of the Center for Nonprofit Management. “Get Up and Give allows us to raise not only much-needed dollars, but also awareness of the important services that nonprofits provide.”
Launched in 2009 by Communities Foundation of Texas with ongoing support from Center for Nonprofit Management and The Dallas Foundation, DonorBridge is the most comprehensive and free public resource for connecting North Texas non-profits and supporters. For supporters, DonorBridge simplifies the process of gathering reliable information about non-profits and community needs, and making charitable donations. For non-profits, DonorBridge and its annual North Texas Giving Day serve as another awareness-building and fundraising tool. DonorBridge profiles more than 700 non-profits, and since its inception, has infused more than $19 million into non-profits serving the 16-county North Texas community. www.donorbridgetx.org for more information, or www.facebook.com/DonorBridge or twitter.com/DonorBridge.

News and notes:

Congratulations to National Merit Semifinalists who were recently announced by the College Board for their stellar performance on the PSAT. All seniors, they are: Clayton Drazner (Lakehill) son of Laurie and Mark Drazner; Jacob Graff (Lakehill) son of Audrey Miklius and Jonathan Graff; Sam Libby (St. Marks), son of Carla and Kevin Libby; Lindsay Rawitscher (Greenhill), daughter of Roz and David Rawitscher; and Meyer Thalheimer (St. Marks), son of Robin and Jonathan Thalheimer.
Did we leave someone out? We’d love to hear from you…we love to hear from our readers! Send your news to me at sharonw@texasjewishpost.com, or 7920 Belt Line Road #680, Dallas, TX 75254.

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