Dallas Doings

Fifth-grade student wins Akiba Spelling Bee competition
Fifth-grade Akiba Academy student Jordan Gernsbacher did not let F-A-T-I-G-U-E get in her way as she competed in and won the Akiba Spelling Bee Championship on Tuesday, Jan. 27. Organized by fifth-grade teacher Susan Jacobs and moderated by Ms. Jacobs and social studies teacher Lili Feingold, this annual event is a favorite amongst students, faculty and Akiba families alike.
Earlier in the month, individual classroom competitions identified two finalists per class, from fifth through eighth grade. All the grade finalists, along with classmates and family supporters, assembled in the middle school building to compete for the title of best with words. Enthusiasm ran high as Ms. Feingold presented every participant with a word to spell, culminating in the selection of four finalists, coincidentally a representative of each competing grade. This exciting event reached its high point when Jordan, the last wordsmith standing, successfully spelled the word “fatigue.” The crowd erupted in cheers and congratulations for Jordan who, as the winner of her school’s contest, now has the honor to represent Akiba at the Dallas Private School Spelling Bee competition on Thursday, Feb. 12. Good luck to Jordan, who is the daughter of proud parents Toni and Harold Gernsbacher, and sister of Leigh.
Mah jongg at CSI, Feb. 22
Congregation Shearith Israel will hold their 10th Annual Maj Tournament on Sunday, Feb. 22, in Topletz Auditorium of the synagogue, 9401 Douglas Ave. Registration will begin at 1 p.m., with the games starting promptly at 1:30 p.m. The last round is expected to finish at approximately 5:30 p.m.
The $40 entrance fee entitles players to four rounds of play and refreshments. Prizes will be awarded to the top finishers.
Registration and checks ($40 made out to Shearith Israel Sisterhood) should be sent by Feb. 15 to Arlene Sandgarten, 6407 Hidden Cove Drive, Dallas, TX 75248. Your check is your reservation. For questions or additional information, please contact Arlene Sandgarten at 972-248-2216 or arlene32@sbcglobal.net.
Beth Torah, Community Kollel initiate class on writings of Rabbi Abraham I. H. Kook
Congregation Beth Torah, in cooperation with the Community Kollel of Dallas, has inaugurated a 13-week class examining the writings of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Hacohen Kook.
Rav Kook was the celebrated first chief rabbi of pre-state Israel and is recognized as being among the most important Jewish thinkers of all time. The course is taught by Rav Hanan Schlesinger, director of community education and community rabbinic scholar at the Community Kollel. It includes selections from Rav Kook’s works, analyzing both their original meaning and modern relevance, the innovation in his approach as well as opposing philosophies, and ample time for class discussion. The class is offered at Beth Torah, 720 W. Lookout Drive, Richardson, on Monday nights (Feb. 16 and 23; March 2, 16, 23, 30; April 27; May 4, 11, 18; June 1, 8) at 7:30. For more information, contact Gary Booth at garybooth18@yahoo.com or 972-818-6885.
Jordi Cohen named to President’s List at UNT
Congratulations to Jordana “Jordi” Cohen, who has consistently been named to the Dean’s List at the University of North Texas. This means that she is ranked in the top 5 percent of her graduating class. Not satisfied with that, Jordi has now been named to the President’s List, which ranks her in the top 3 percent of her senior graduating class.
UNT President Gretchen M. Bataille wrote, “I am thrilled to place your name on the President’s List. Only students like you who have earned a 4.0 grade-point average with a course load of 12 or more hours during the semester are awarded this distinction.”
Jordi, a native-born Dallasite, daughter of Avrille Harris-Cohen, director, Texas Chapter of Bnai Zion, and sister of Trevor M. Cohen, is truly a dedicated student. She works, studies, pays a lot of her own bills and still has time to encourage others, take care of her dog and, in general, show her smiling face and good nature to those who have the good fortune to surround her. Jordi has traveled to South Africa on numerous occasions to visit her grandmother Lily Harris and, before he passed away, her beloved grandfather Henry Harris.
Jordi intends to pursue both a master’s in psychology and a Ph.D.
Upcoming Ohr HaTorah events
Congregation Ohr HaTorah, 6324 Churchill Way, will celebrate 10 years of success and growth with a dinner and Chinese auction on Sunday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. Cost is $60/person (adults only, please). RSVPs must be made immediately to Rabbi Avi Methal, 972-404-8980, rabbimethal@ohtd.org.
On Thursdays, Feb. 19 and 26, at 8 p.m., Rabbi Aryeh Feigenbaum will lead sessions at Ohr HaTorah on coping with the economic downturn. “Dealing with the Financial Crisis” is geared toward young Jewish professionals. There is no charge if you RSVP by Feb. 12; otherwise, each session is $10. For more information, please e-mail Rabbi Avi Methal, rabbimethal@ohtd.org.

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