By Sharon Wisch-Ray
Earlier this year, we reported on Torah Fund honorees from Shearith Israel (Sandy Donksy and Marilyn Pailet) and Congregation Beth Torah (Marilyn Guzick and Roberta Lazarus). This Sunday, Congregation Anshai Torah will honor Kathryn Kaplan and Pam Kurtzman at its Torah Fund Tea, 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the synagogue, 5501 W. Parker Road in Plano.
Kaplan and Kurtzman were sisterhood co-presidents from 2010-2012. Through their guidance, the sisterhood regained the support and recognition of the members. Their leadership guided the sisterhood officers, and consequently, the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism awarded CAT Sisterhood an emerald-level Jewels in the Crown award for their success.
Kaplan lives in Dallas with her husband, Seth, a Plano pediatrician, and their two sons. Kathryn grew up in Dallas and attended Richardson High School. She was very active in Sally Blum BBG. In college at Duke University, Kathryn continued Jewish leadership on the board of the Duke Hillel. Thanks to Hillel, Kathryn met Seth, then studying medicine at Duke. She majored in religion with certificates in Judaic studies and elementary education.
Kathryn and Seth have belonged to Congregation Anshai Torah since 2000. She quickly got involved serving on the committee to create the preschool at Anshai. The following year, Kathryn chaired the fundraising mission to build two new playgrounds for the preschool.
Kathryn’s son Daniel was part of the first class to attend Anshai Torah preschool from toddlers through pre-K. She continued to be active in the school, chairing the preschool committee until 2005 when Jacob was born.
Kathryn’s next big projects at Anshai Torah were fundraising events for the congregation. Kathryn was integral in the planning or chaired The Big Dance, Cindy’s Tropical Resort and Casino, Farzin’s Casino Night, A Night in Rio honoring the Rubinsteins, College Daze Murder Mystery night and raffle, preschool concerts, religious school Chanukah baskets, Rosh Hashanah honey greetings and more.
Kathryn served on the congregation board of directors from 2004-2009, finishing as vice president. Kathryn returned to the board as sisterhood president in 2010. She is serving her third year as co-president of the Anshai Torah Sisterhood.
Kurtzman and her husband, Matt, have been involved at Anshai Torah from the ground floor. Pam was membership chair of Shomrey Torah, which merged with congregation Anshai Emet in 1998 to form Anshai Torah, and she and Matt were founding members of the synagogue.
In addition to serving as sisterhood co-president, Pam has worked on myriad committees, spearheaded innovative programs, and served on the board of the synagogue. She recently became membership co-chair once again.
Kurtzman is well-known not only in Anshai Torah circles, but also in the larger Jewish community. In 2003, Pam switched from working in the for-profit sector to working in the Jewish community.
For five years, she guided the financial matters of the Dallas Jewish community as the chief financial officer for the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. In 2008, she was recruited to work on the National Jewish Federation Bond Program, helping Jewish federations and their beneficiary agencies obtain capital project financing.
In 2010, she was promoted to program administrator and director leading the expansion of the program.
Pam also volunteers at Ann and Nate Levine Academy, where her daughter Heather is in the seventh grade and from which her daughter Melissa graduated in 2011.
Pam chaired the Gala Auction checkout process for three years. She led the Class of 2011 Philanthropic Fund program and now leads the Class of 2014 Philanthropic Fund program. She also serves on the audit committee and assists with its financing needs.
Pam lives in Dallas with her husband and daughters.
An RSVP is required for the Torah Fund event. Please contact Cynthia Brooks at email@example.com.
JWV Teddy Bear Drive
Lou Ann Bergman, past acting president of the Jewish War Veterans Auxiliary shared the following with us:
“Each year our Teddy Bear Drive committee chairperson, Mickey Warsaw collects boxes upon boxes of teddy bears that we donate as part of our child welfare program to local Dallas Children’s Hospitals. This year, we chose The Scottish Rite Hospital as our recipient for the donation.
“On March 20, Mickey and several of our members, Lynn Teitelbaum, Phyllis Rifkin, Gloria Blum and their spouses, delivered two large boxes of teddy bears that our membership had amassed as part of our yearly Teddy Bear Drive.
“Mickey and the others enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of The Scottish Rite Hospital after the donation and then enjoyed lunch in the hospital cafeteria.
“The hospital was more than accommodating to the ladies of our organization, even providing them with wheelchairs when needed for the tour. They took their time in answering all the questions the ladies had about the hospital.
“Lynn Teitelbaum said she had ‘lived here in Dallas for 40 years and had never seen the hospital and that this whole experience was wonderful to participate in and that it should be among the list of The Wonders of The World.’
“Each lady spoke about how immaculately clean the cafeteria was and how wonderful and inexpensive the food was and the fact that the volunteers that worked there treated them like royalty.
“This is one of the many mitzvahs that we do annually, and it was also a nice day out for those who participated. As always, we look forward to starting again to amass more bears for our trip next year.”
If you would like to donate any stuffed animals, contact Warsaw at 214-696-0366.
‘Israel Inside’ film at Herzl Hadassah
Rose Biderman tells us that the next Herzl Hadassah meeting — at 10 a.m., Monday, April 8 in the Aaron Family JCC conference room — is not to be missed.
The film “Israel Inside” will be shown. This one-hour film will show up-to-date scenes of Israel and its advances in all areas and will also show Israel as innovative and successful.
Gil Elan of Southwest Jewish Congress will introduce the film and answer questions at the film’s conclusion.
This meeting is open to all Hadassah members and the public.
Harrison Joseph earns rank of Eagle Scout
Congratulations to Harrison Joseph, son of Ruth and Larry Joseph of Plano, for recently earning the rank of Eagle Scout.
A 2012 graduate of Plano West Senior High and member of Boy Scout Troop 1000, Harrison is now a freshman at Collin College.
For his Eagle project, Harrison conducted pond restoration at Connemara Conservancy Foundation.
He is the grandson of Deanna and Jerry Kasten.