Dallas Doings
By Linda Wisch-Davidsohn

Early Bird Registration for Inaugural Makom Retreat

Just a reminder that Friday, June 14, is the deadline for early-bird registration for the inaugural Makom Retreat which will be held August 9-11 at Greene Family Camp. Early registrants pay $130 for the weekend, instead of the standard rate of $150.
Highlights of the weekend include double-occupancy lodging in hotel-style rooms with private bathrooms; a Shabbat out of town — with a backdrop of beautiful grounds, nature, outdoor activities and sports. Jewish learning and vibrant davening to inspire the soul will be featured. This will challenge the mind with additional sessions to help participants prepare for the High Holy Days. Delicious Jewish food, snacks and libations are included in the fee, along with round-trip travel on the Makom Express.
Participants will receive a t-shirt, great times, as well as camaraderie that may last a lifetime. This magical event highlights Makom’s First Fridays program — and continues throughout the weekend, culminating in an unforgettable Havdallah service around a campfire.
Makom is a young and energized spiritual community in Dallas that embraces Judaism. A laboratory for innovation and meaning, it allows members to open themselves up and to re-imagine all that Judaism can be. Makom is a project of Congregation Shearith Israel.

Aging With Dignity: The Myths — The Reality

Elise Power, Community Liaison of VITAS Innovative Hospice Care, mentioned that the above seminar will be presented from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19 in the Aaron Family JCC Senior Lounge, 7900 Northaven Road, Dallas, Texas 75230.
The seminar, which is free, will be presented by Cheryl Weitz, of Legacy Senior Communities; Zane Belyea, of Sparkman-Hillcrest; Elise Power, of VITAS Innovative Hospice Care and Rabbi Howard Wolk, Community Chaplain of Jewish Family Service.
RSVPs should be directed to Heather Cordova at 214-239-7149 or hcordova@jccdallas.org. Refreshments will be served, and all are invited to attend this second seminar.

More on Roots to Boots

I am overwhelmed by the dedication, passion and efforts that well-known librarian, Joan Gremont, and her team of volunteers have put forth in launching “Roots to Boots: South African Jews in Dallas” this month through the Dallas Jewish Historical Society (DJHS).
The two-phase “Roots to Boots” project will invite the Dallas South African Jewish Community to participate in an important five minute survey on the web to document the scope of the South African Jewish presence in Dallas.
The second phase will ask survey participants to record an oral history to be archived and accessed for families, the Dallas Jewish community’s historical record, future written or multimedia publications and future exhibitions of the Dallas South African Jewish immigration experience. All participation is voluntary.
The brief survey requires a mere click on www.surveymonkey.com/s/rootstoboots. This survey is designed specifically for the “Roots to Boots” project. It will be used for statistical and historical purposes.
The oral histories — video and audio recordings of personal stories — will be shot and recorded by the DJHS subcommittee members and will document the personal and vital immigration stories.
The Dallas Jewish Historical Society is looking for volunteers who will be trained to do the interviews. For additional information, contact Debra Polsky at dpolsky@djhs.org.
DJHS Executive Director Debra Polsky added that “the customs, culture and sense of community the South African Jewish community members brought with them has added immeasurably to the richness that is Dallas’ Jewish life.”

Wendy Harpham, MD to speak at annual conference of Press Women of Texas

Wendy Harpham, M.D. will speak on “From Clinician to Writer: A Physician in Pursuit of a Mission,” during the annual conference of Press Women of Texas, on June 21-23 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Addison.
The organization, a state affiliate of the National Federation of Press Women, is celebrating its 120th anniversary of service to journalists and communicators in all fields of writing.
Harpham gave up her internal medicine practice at Presbyterian Hospital after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 1990. She has since built a successful second career as an author of six books that help both physicians and their patients through the many difficulties that accompany life-threatening diseases. She will be this year’s presenter at PWT’s Werlin Workshop, a yearly event open to writers, students and teachers of writing, and the interested general public.
The workshop honors the late PWT member Rosella Werlin of Houston who, 30 years ago, won a “David and Goliath” suit against a major national publication, claiming “unjust enrichment” after a story she submitted was ignored, then given to another writer to prepare for eventual publication. Her victory was a milestone achievement benefiting free-lance writers everywhere.
A long-time Richardson resident and Temple Emanu-El member, Harpham was honored with admission to the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in 2000. The wife of UT Dallas professor Ted Harpham, she is mother of Will, a prep school art teacher, Becky, director of marketing at Jewish Family Service in Dallas, and Jessie, a UT Southwestern Medical School graduate now following in Wendy’s first career footsteps as an internal medicine resident at the University of Michigan.
The Werlin Workshop will be held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 22 in the Elm Room of the Crowne Plaza, 14315 Midway Road, Addison. There is no charge to attend, and no reservations are required. For further information, contact TJP columnist Harriet Gross, 214-691-8840, harrietgross@sbcglotal.net, who is in charge of PWT’s annual Werlin event.
(Read Harriet’s Light Lines column on June 20 for more on the interesting history of the Werlin Workshop.)

Temple Emanu-El’s Jeff Light joins MRJ executive board

Temple Emanu-El Dallas’ Brotherhood has had a long tradition of active participation in Men of Reform Judaism (MRJ).
MRJ’s history dates back to Jan. 23, 1923, when 65 Reform Jewish brotherhoods and men’s clubs came together at the Hotel Astor in New York City to form the North American Federation of Temple Brotherhoods (NFTB).
The stated mission of NFTB was to encourage local brotherhoods to engage in projects and activities that would provide meaningful services to their congregation, to sponsor and promote vitally important nationwide community-building projects and to give local brotherhood members the opportunity to explore and celebrate fellowship.
Nearly 85 years later, the national organization adopted a modified mission statement: “To serve Jewish men, Reform Judaism, and its local congregations.” And thus, two years later, in 2007, the North American Federation of Temple Brotherhoods (NFTB) officially changed its name to Men of Reform Judaism (MRJ).
Temple Emanu-El Dallas has one of the largest Brotherhood organizations in the United States. Ken Schiller and Ron Cohen, both past presidents of the brotherhood of Temple Emanu-El Dallas, have been active in many executive roles within MRJ.
With the MRJ biannual conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. on   June 27-30, Temple Emanu-El will have Jeff Light added to the executive committee in addition to Buzz Deitchman and Steve Levine as a general member on the board. This will be Buzz Deitchman’s third year on the executive committee and the budget process as part of his responsibilities.
Other synagogues (Temple Shalom and Beth-El Congregation) in the Dallas/Fort Worth community also have members on the board of MRJ.
For the next two years, MRJ will be led by incoming president Stuart Leviton, son of Dallas resident and Temple Emanu-El member, Elise Leviton, in addition to his having numerous relatives in the Dallas/Fort Worth Community.

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