By Linda Wisch-Davidsohn
Todd Aaron receives ZBT’s Edwin N. Sommer Award
One of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity’s most prestigious brotherhood accolades, the Edwin N. Sommer Award, was presented to brother Todd Aaron, Lambda (Texas) ’84, on Saturday, July 27, at ZBT’s 2013 annual International Leadership School.
The Edwin N. Sommer Award is presented occasionally to a ZBT alumnus for “selfless dedication to the ideals of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity.”
Todd has proven his dedication through his work with his own Lambda Chapter at University of Texas-Austin, leading the charge to reconnect brothers and alumni in recent years. Affectionately known by Longhorns as “Doc. T,” Todd has led a true resurgence of alumni involvement at Texas. Lambda is now the largest Zeta Beta Tau chapter, with nearly 200 undergraduate brothers, many of whom are legacies.
In a recent renovation of chapter property, brothers chose to name the basketball court the “Doc. T Court” in Todd’s honor. Todd also works to help the chapter with Dads Days, parents’ club, recruitment recommendations, risk management advice, connecting with the local Jewish community, conferring with the university and general chapter advising.
“There are many that will raise their hand to help out or volunteer for a variety of meaningful causes. But very, very few that will roll up their sleeves and get into the trenches and get dirty with the troops and actually DO the work needed,” wrote Billy Osherow to Aaron, his former roommate and other ZBT members. “Your leadership is unparalleled and so many of us have remained connected and committed to ZBT because of the inspiration which you exemplify and provide. It is a rare gift to be able to equally lead 18-year-olds, as well as, 40-50-60-year-olds.”
Mazel Tov Todd!
Sara ‘Rosie’ Tesson joins Temple Shalom as youth advisor
Temple Shalom President Aric Stock recently announced the appointment of Sara “Rosie” Tesson as Youth Advisor, effective immediately.
Rosie recently returned to Dallas from Greene Family Camp, where she was on this year’s staff and worked with many teens and kids during the summer. She is a long-time member of Temple Shalom, where she celebrated her bat mitzvah, was confirmed and was very active in SHFTY. Rosie graduated from Texas State University and has a teaching certificate.
The word from Rosie is that she is “very excited” to be joining the Temple Shalom staff, in a part-time capacity, working with teens and assisting the clergy with developmental programming for this important young group of the congregation. She will also be teaching in Next Dor as well as working with Ozrim.
Heart failure education series to begin at The Heart Hospital, Baylor Plano Monday, Sept. 9
Deepika Gopal, MD will present a lecture on “What Causes Heart Failure?” from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 9. Distinguished Baylor cardiologists will offer the sessions monthly (free to the public) and speaking on a variety of subjects.
The seminar is located at The Heart Hospital, Baylor Plano Auditorium, 1100 Allied Drive, in Plano. It is open to anyone experiencing heart failure, or having a loved one managing the condition.
Lisa J. Brodsky assumes new leadership role at Community Homes for Adults (CHAI)
CHAI, the pioneering non-profit organization that began 30 years ago to serve adults with cognitive disabilities, has named Lisa J. Brodsky, an experienced non-profit leader as its new chief executive officer.
Brodsky, who most recently served as director of planning and allocations for the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, began on Aug. 19 She replaces Lea Rosenthal-Bond, who is retiring after 18 years of service.
“I am thrilled and honored to be joining an organization with a legacy of excellent programs, outstanding services and loving environments for adults with cognitive disabilities,” Brodsky said. “With our committed families and a strong board, we will work together to pursue a shared vision that continues CHAI’s dedication to people with special needs.”
Said Mike Todres, president of the CHAI board of directors, and Susan Bates, board president-elect: “We’re thrilled that Lisa is joining CHAI as the new chief executive officer. Lisa’s experience, her passion and her credentials make her an outstanding choice for CHAI residents, families and staff members.”
CHAI accepts adult applicants ages 18 and over from all religious denominations and income backgrounds. Residents live in home-like settings where they can progress toward achieving their full potential with as much independence as possible. CHAI relies on private donations, grants from foundations and funding from governmental sources when available, as well as private-pay fees where possible.
A key CHAI program is the Wolens Program Services, a network of services provided to the residents of the CHAI group homes and members of the community which engages them in interesting, constructive social, educational and spiritual activities and helps them become appropriately employed. Acceptance into community life as competent and valued members of society is key to the personal success of persons with cognitive disabilities.
Approximately 75 percent of CHAI group home residents are Jewish. “We have many rich traditions and a culture that emphasizes inclusion. I would like to carry on and strengthen our residents’ and clients’ ability to have meaningful engagement in our community,” Brodsky said. “I want to integrate and collaborate within our community to make sure those we support are included in all the great things that our Jewish community has to offer.”
On Sept. 29, CHAI will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a special “30 Years of Excellence Brunch” at the Westin Galleria.
Brodsky has extensive non-profit management experience. Before joining the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, she served as program officer/grant manager for the AT&T Foundation, where she oversaw grant awards; she also previously served as director of programs and services for the Alzheimer’s Association and in many leadership roles at the Jewish Community Center, among them as director of adult programs and special events.
She earned a Bachelor’s degree in social work from Arizona State University and a Master of Science in social work from the University of Texas at Arlington.
CHAI is licensed by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services and is a beneficiary of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. More information is available at www.chaidallas.org.
Dallas BBYO hosts new member pick up
Just a reminder that BBYO’s new member pick up will be held on Sunday, Aug. 25, and the All Member Kick Off Event will be held from 7:30-9:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 1 at the Aaron Family JCC outdoor pool.
We would like to hear from our readers. Send your news to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.