Dallas Doings
By Linda Wisch-Davidsohn

Birthday greetings to Jerry Benjamin

Diane and Jerry Benjamin are active community volunteers in multiple capacities. I have known Diane since  her son, Barry Wernick, and my daughter, Amy, were first graders at Akiba Academy. It is always fun to catch up with Diane, a busy lady, who shared the following:
In April 2014, Diane’s husband, Jerry, celebrated a special birthday. Prior to the birthday, the Benjamins sustained a hot water leak in their home, which affected the entire downstairs. The home needed to be packed up in order to have the floors refinished. Jerry was caught in front of the one piece of furniture that he did not want moved — his old television. Knowing that the party was on the horizon, Jerry and Diane’s daughter-in-law, Alyssa Wernick, designed his recent special birthday party invitation, which stated (in addition to the picture shown here of Jerry sitting in front of the old television) “it doesn’t take much to make jerry happy…but your presence at his special birthday and Haftorah reading at Tiferet will make him overjoyed!”
Jerry practiced his Haftorah with his “beloved” Rabbi Shawn Zell for several weeks prior to this special birthday.
During his birthday week, various festivities took place as he celebrated with Diane; his seven sons: Andrew Benjamin, David Benjamin, Richard Benjamin, Stuart Wernick, Bruce Wernick, Barry Wernick and Ephraim Wernick and their families, along with other out-of-town family members, his Jewish War Veterans pals, his poker buddies as well as friends who enjoyed the festivities of the week.
Jerry is a national executive committee member and past department commander of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States; a member of the board of Tiferet Israel Congregation; a Dallas County Election judge; a Bronx High School of Science alum and devotee; a Brooklyn College graduate and proud father of seven sons and 12 grandchildren. The Benjamins felt blessed to have shared so many wonderful memories and his special milestone birthday, surrounded by well-wishers all. Jerry was further delighted with the many contributions made in his honor to his favorite organizations made in his honor.
For the record, I’ve heard that Jerry’s children bought him a new 65” television to replace the 25-year-old relic. Happy Birthday, Jerry!

Jerry Benjamin is seen here enjoying sports while the floors in his home had to be refinished. | Photo: Courtesy of Diane Benjamin
Jerry Benjamin is seen here enjoying sports while the floors in his home had to be refinished. | Photo: Courtesy of Diane Benjamin

More good news for the Benjamin and Bnai Zion

Diane Benjamin has been elected president of the Texas region of the Bnai Zion Foundation (bnaizion.org), succeeding David H. Eisenberg.
Diane has served the real estate needs of the Dallas community for 35 years and is an active member of several local congregations. She has received numerous awards for her civic involvement and has served as a City of Dallas commissioner for environment and health services, and as a senior affairs commissioner.
Diane has also been on the board of directors of the Dallas chapter of Hadassah (recipient of its National Leadership Award, recognized on its Scroll of Honor) State of Israel Bonds (Women’s Division) — chairman, Woman of Valor awardee and on the boards of Jewish War Veterans, the Aaron Family JCC and many more organizations.
Bnai Zion supports five humanitarian projects in Israel that improve the lives of thousands in need, and 100 percent of all designated gifts to Bnai Zion are transferred to its projects in Israel.
For further information please contact Avrille Harris, Texas region executive director, at 972-918-9200 or avrille.harris-cohen@bnaizion.org.

Kayla Anne Rodenberg receives Diamond Award in Frontier Girls

Good wishes to Kayla Anne Rodenberg, daughter of Michelle Rodenberg, who received the Diamond Award, the highest award in Frontier Girls, on Tuesday, May 20. Kerry Cordy, Frontier Girls’ founder, presented the award to the recipient.

Kayla Anne Rodenberg — recent Mesorah graduate and Frontier Girls Diamond Award recipient.
Kayla Anne Rodenberg — recent Mesorah graduate and Frontier Girls Diamond Award recipient.

Frontier Girls was founded in 2007 to provide a scout-like program for girls that returns to the values and goals of the original scouts. The mission of Frontier Girls is “to raise women of honor to be the mothers and leaders of the future through life skills, leadership, character building, teamwork and service to others.”
The Diamond Award acknowledges girls for going above and beyond the basic obligations of attending meetings and by earning badges — as well as rewarding their efforts to take to heart the most important aspects of the Frontier Girls program — by being a woman of honor. To earn her award, Kayla Anne had to learn her Life Skills Achievement Award, Liberty Award, Fruit of the Spirit Award, Leadership Award, Make-a-Difference Award, a minimum of one Servants’ Heart Award for community service and at least one badge from each of nine Areas of Discovery.
While earning her Diamond Award, Kayla Anne completed over 225 hours of community service, and earned over 100 badges, for which she received The Frontier Girls’ WOW Award. As part of her Make a Difference Award, Kayla Anne chose to plan the mother -daughter luncheon at Mesorah High School. The event had not been held at the school for several years, so she re-created the affair from scratch, leaving her how-to plans so the event can be held again for years to come.
The Diamond Award was presented at Data of Plano, which sponsors Kayla Anne’s troop. In attendance were many family members and friends, troop members with their families, her troop leaders, Chana Barak and Aimee Wortendyke, and the founder of Frontier Girls, Kerry Cordy.
Following a brief welcome, Kayla Anne’s troop leaders made speeches about her hard work, achievements and inspirational dedication. Cordy then gave an overview of Kayla Anne’s many accomplishments prior to the presentation of her awards, which included a personalized Frontier Girls necklace, and her pins for advancing to the adult level of Frontier Girls. Following the formalities, refreshments were served as photos were taken, and Cordy visited with each Frontier Girl and their families.
“I was honored to meet Kayla Anne Rodenberg and personally present her with certification of her ‘ Diamond and WOW ‘Awards, which are the highest awards available in the Frontier Girls program,” Cordy said. “She is an amazing young lady and a fantastic role model for younger Frontier Girls. Chana and Aimee have done a fantastic job in their first year as Frontier Girls leaders and have really taken the program to heart and encouraged the girls in their care to strive for the best.”
Kayla Anne joined Frontier Girls troop 262 as a founding member in 2013. She held leadership positions of snack coordinator and leader in training. Kayla Anne is 18 years old and graduated from Mesorah High School earlier this month. She will study at Bais Yaakov Levavi in Israel for a year before returning to the U.S. to attend Touro College in New York.
“Frontier Girls isn’t just a place to gain your own leadership skills, but to help others find the best way to gain their leadership skills,” said Kayla Anne.
For more information on Frontier Girls, please visit, www.frontiergirlsclubs.com. Additional information on Frontier Girls Troop 262, can be obtained by contacting: Chana Barak at chana.m.barak@gmail.com or Aimee Wortendyke at awortendyke@gmail.com.

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