By Sharon Wisch-Ray
For years I have volunteered for Super Sunday, which hopefully you know is this Sunday. Last year, however, I overcame my anxiety of being a caller and picked up the phone, and honestly, my two-hour shift flew by. It was the easiest piece of volunteer work that I’ve ever done. I walked out with a huge smile on my face knowing that I had helped our Jewish community in a new way.
So, you may hear from me bright and early on Sunday morning, please answer my and all the other hardworking volunteers’ calls. It just takes a few minutes to help our community in such a meaningful way.
Jamie Weiss is finalist in TXU film competition
Jamie Weiss, daughter of Tara and Rich Weiss, is one of 10 finalists in the fourth annual TXU Energy Light Up the Red Carpet Student film contest. Jamie produced a short film, “Not Just a Dream,” on what energy means to her.
The process began back in the fall for the McKinney High School senior. Concepts were due by Nov. 23. Then, a panel of judges selected the top 30 concepts to move on to the next phase, a community online vote.
The top 10 high school and top 10 college vote-getters were selected for product enhancement. For Jamie, that meant working with Greg Christensen of The Richards Group as her mentor to flesh out the idea.
Jamie is an aspiring broadcast journalist. She is the executive producer for McKinney High’s bi-weekly news program MHS1. Jamie is active in Weinstein BBG and was regional s’ganit for the BBG’s North Texas Oklahoma Region last year.
To view and vote for Jamie’s film, visit www.txustudentfilmcontest.com/entries/122. Voting ends March 29, and winners will be announced April 12. Prizes of $500, $1,500 and $3,750 for both the filmmaker and school are up for grabs.
Good luck to Jamie and all the young filmmakers.
Clayton Drazner, son of Laurie and Mark Drazner and a graduating senior at Lakehill Preparatory School, has been named a candidate in the 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Less than 1 percent (roughly 3,000) of the 3.4 million graduating seniors in the U.S. have been selected for this distinction.
Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character, and involvement in community and school activities.
Candidates are selected for their exceptional performance on either the College Board SAT or the ACT Assessment. They then go through a rigorous application process, in which they must submit essays, self-assessments, secondary school reports and transcripts, which are then evaluated. Approximately 500 semifinalists will be announced in April.
The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of U.S. residents appointed by the president, will make final selection of the scholars. One male and one female Scholar are chosen from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and families of U.S. citizens living abroad. In addition, up to 15 scholars are chosen at-large. The U.S. Department of Education will announce the scholars in May.
Scholars will be invited to Washington for several days in June to receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a recognition ceremony and to participate in events and activities with their elected representatives, educators and other leading individuals in public life.
“These astonishing young people have succeeded in the highest possible level of high school academic rigor. They go on to attend the nation’s top colleges and universities, and to exercise their gifts on behalf of our country and the world,” a program spokesperson said.
Waranch to join Team USA in Israel for 19th Maccabiah
Samuel Waranch, 15, a Greenhill School sophomore, has been named to the Maccabiah USA chess team and will travel to Israel this summer for the 19th annual games.
These games, the third largest international sporting competition in the world, will be held July 17-30 throughout Israel.
“I am honored to be able to represent the United States in such a way. Being a part of this group of Jewish athletes is such a great opportunity. I am really excited,” he said.
Samuel has played in more than 150 chess tournaments throughout the United States. He has been nationally ranked in chess many times over the last eight years. Besides chess, Samuel also plays soccer and participates in Lincoln Douglas debate at Greenhill. He is the son of Barry Waranch and Dana Einzig.
Samuel’s addition to the team makes 10 folks from the Dallas-area who will participate in the games. In addition to David Holiner in tennis and Alan Rosenthal in cycling, Rebecca Brown will compete in equestrian, while her mother, Becky, will be the dressage coach; Joel Cohen, Nathan Edwards and Eldad Block will compete in master’s (35 and over) soccer; and Jacob Baum will compete in master’s triathlon. Dallas Stars left wing Eric Nystrom will serve as assistant coach for the U.S. hockey contingent.
We look forward to providing a series of profiles on all of the local athletes who will participate on Team USA.
Weyser shows his stars and stripes
Sammy Weyser, son of Joan and Marc Weyser, a Yavneh Academy ninth-grader, took first place in the “Why I Am Proud to Be an American” contest sponsored by the Jewish War Veterans Auxiliary.
His essay highlights personal history, including the immigration of his great-grandparents from Poland in 1939 and the Holocaust survival of his grandfather, who endured several years of Nazi capture in his native Germany in the early 1940s before escaping to America.
“So, in a sense, the Holocaust created my life,” Sammy wrote. “What is so special about America that made my grandparents decide to come here? One main factor was that there were many different races and religions in America … Another main factor was peoples’ rights … Another huge factor was that America served justice during the war.
“America is the only place on earth where you can get Chinese, Mexican and Jewish food on the same street … It is like a mixture of all countries into a super nation! I am proud to be developing my life in the greatest country on earth, the United States of America!!”
Sammy’s proud grandparents are Ethel and Harlan Holiner.
Parenting workshop on tap
Becky Udman, preschool director at Torah Day School of Dallas will run a three-week parenting workshop from 6-8 p.m. on consecutive Tuesdays starting April 9 at Ohr HaTorah, 6324 Churchill Way in Dallas.
Couples are encouraged to attend together, but individual parents are welcome. The three-week program is $100 per person or $150 per couple, plus a $10 workbook fee.
Becky, who has been a parenting columnist for the TJP for many years, is trained in the Love and Logic approach. In addition she is the mother of 13 very well-behaved and adorable children.
For information, contact Becky at firstname.lastname@example.org.