Dallas Doings
By Sharon Wisch-Ray

In preparing this week’s column, longtime TJP subscriber and commercial real estate broker Dorothy Wolchansky made my day in the biggest way when she told me that she enjoys reading the paper every single week, not only because of its diversity, but also because she learns something new every week.
That, folks, is our mission here: To keep you connected to your Jewish community, educate you and report on Jewish life in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Her feedback had me smiling the entire day.

A new organization in town

What Dorothy didn’t know when we talked is that she taught me something new as well about a relatively new Jewish group in Dallas that I hadn’t heard about.
The Dallas Hebrew Free Loan Association, of which Dorothy is vice president, was kind enough to share information about a check presented to them by the Jewish Business Alliance. I learned from Dorothy, and later from JBA co-president Mark Lowey, that the organization started about a year ago.
It is a networking group founded by Lowey, who is an agent with Stonebridge Insurance Group; Jay Levine, president of Energy Brokers of America; and Robert Fischer, founder of Custom Integrated Systems, a full-service alarm company.
The industry-exclusive group has grown to more than 20 members that meet twice monthly for lunch on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at Carraba’s at Trinity Mills and the Dallas North Tollway.
In a recent phone call, Mark explained that the cost to be a part of the group is $25 per quarter. With these funds, the group holds an end-of–the-year luncheon for its members and presents the balance to the Jewish charitable organization(s) voted on by JBA members.
This year’s recipients were Jewish Family Service and the DHFLA, which is how Dorothy learned about Jewish Business Alliance.
Mark tells me they are eager for the organization to grow. If you’d like to join the JBA for lunch at one of their Thursday meetings, you can contact Mark at 214-558-2727 or mark_lowey@yahoo.com

JFGD breakfast to feature Rangers GM Daniels Jan. 9

There are a few things I like to say that I’ve liked before they were cool. One is purple, “Go Frogs!” and the other is the Texas Rangers. I’ve written before that the Rangers are my team and no doubt they have brought our household a great deal of pleasure and, yes, a small dose of pain over the last few seasons.
You can bet that I’m not going to miss the opportunity to hear Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, when he speaks at 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 9 at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center, 7900 Northaven Road.
The program is part of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas’ Business Networking and Speaker Series and is also presented by Prescott Pailett Benefits. Cost to attend the breakfast is $18 and registration is due by Jan. 4 either online at www.jewishdallas.org or by contacting Michelle LeGrande at 214-615-5227 or mlegrande@jfgd.org.
Many considered Daniels to be a whiz kid when he became the Rangers’ eighth general manager in club history Oct. 4, 2005. At the time, he was 28 years, 41 days old — the youngest general manager in MLB history. His on-field accomplishments since then have been pretty obvious — three straight postseason appearances and consecutive World Series births in 2010 and 2011.
For all this, he was named Baseball America’s 2010 Major League Executive of the Year and 2011 Major League Executive of the Year by the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
The team has had its shakeups in the last several weeks, with Josh Hamilton signing with the enemy Los Angeles Angels, captain and team mainstay Michael Young heading to Philadelphia and, at press time, the signing of slugging catcher A.J. Pierzynski to a one-year contract worth $7.5 million.
It should be fascinating to hear Daniels’ take on the Rangers’ past and the upcoming season. I hope to see you there.

Bowl-A-Thon seeks sponsors, participants

Join Congregation Beth Torah’s Youth for the second annual Bowl-a-thon from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13 at Plano Super Bowl. The group is seeking bowlers, sponsors, raffle items and volunteers.
Bowlers of all ages are welcome to participate. Cost is $20 per bowler. Money raised will help cover scholarships for international trips, regional conventions, local programming, summer youth programs and much more.
For information, contact Debbie Wills, youth chair at 972-991-7872 or youth@congregationbethtorah.org.

Spencer Friedman earns Boy Scouts’ highest award

Mazel tov to Spencer Ewing Friedman of Flower Mound, son of Nancy and Harry Friedman, who was recently awarded the rank of Eagle Scout, Scouting’s highest honor.
Originally from Plano, Spencer moved to Flower Mound four years ago and is an active member at Congregation Kol Ami. He sings in the High Holiday Choir, is a member of the NOTTY youth group and is in the 2012/2013 Kol Ami confirmation class.
Spencer began his scouting career in Pack 734 in Carrollton. As a Webelo, Spencer earned his Ner Tamid religious award and his Arrow of light.
After moving to Flower Mound, a friend from Kol Ami invited Spencer to attend a meeting of Scout Troop 265. Spencer was immediately welcomed by the other boys in the troop, so he transferred in as a Tenderfoot.
One of Spencer’s top goals in scouting was to be “tapped out” for membership in the Order of the Arrow, scouting’s honor society. Last year Spencer became an OA member and became a brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow this year.
While seeking out ideas for an Eagle project, Spencer ran across an opportunity to help out the Greater Lewisville Community Theatre. He thought helping out a local arts organization would make for a unique Eagle project, so he jumped at the idea.
The theater occupies the oldest standing building in the city of Lewisville and is located on Main Street in old downtown. The front windows of the theatre are often used to advertise upcoming shows and were in serious need of a makeover. Since these windows face Main Street, they also impact the Old Town streetscape and enhance visitor’s experience to the area.
Spencer undertook the task of renovating these windows, installing a wood floor in the space immediately behind the windows and installing a museum hanging system so artwork can be displayed neatly without destroying the newly patched and painted walls.
The entire effect is a wonderful addition to the Old Town area and improves the impression that visitor’s have to the area.
Outside of Scouting, Spencer enjoys acting in school plays at Marcus High School and participating as a member of the Marcus choir. He also fences and enjoys music and video games.

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