By Linda Wisch-Davidsohn
Every week, after meeting my deadline, I give a great deal of thought to the following week’s column. On frequent occasions, I’ve shared a bit about growing up in Fort Worth and brought the TJP readers into the world I remember some 60 plus years ago.
I have lost contact with many friends from childhood and young adulthood — those friendships were some of the threads of the tapestry that has shaped my life.
Always curious, I’ve wondered where many of my classmates and friends wandered, for they were weaving their own tapestries. It seemed that our tapestries led us in different directions, which shaped our adult selves.
Two years ago, while attending the bat mitzvah of my #1 granddaughter, Rosie Bernstein, (daughter of Jordana and Josh) at Congregation Shaare Tefilla, Jordana re-introduced me to an old friend from high school, Dr. Bernard White and his wife, Joan, who have woven quite a tapestry of their own since we last saw each other. I keenly remembered Bernie’s parents, Dr. Leonard and Hadassah White, of blessed memory, who had four brilliant sons — Bernie was the oldest of the four. I would marvel at the skills of Mrs. White, as she was the “Mom in Chief.”
The “boys” were orderly, neat, and well behaved and as I said very, very smart. Dr. White was an optometrist, who was quiet, thoughtful and skilled at his profession. I can remember having my eyes checked at his office on Hemphill in Fort Worth. They created a family who were dedicated to each other and to their Orthodox traditions.
At the synagogue, I was introduced to Bernie and Joan’s son-in-law, Dr. Shelley Weiss, a pediatrician at Medical City Dallas. This was the first time that I had a glimpse into the next generation of the White/Weiss Family — or any adult offspring of my Fort Worth contemporaries and memories.
Healthy Texan Pediatrics and Family Medicine celebrates 10 year anniversary at Medical City
Shelley Weiss, M.D., the son of Judy and David Weiss, was reared in Chicago and attended Jewish Day School. He has two brothers. He set his sights for Washington University in St. Louis as his choice for college.
In the meantime, Bernie and his wife, Joan had moved to Houston. Their daughter, Simma, grew up in Houston and was a student at Bellaire High School.
After graduation, Simma was also off to Wash U. Simma and Shelley met at Hillel during their first week on campus at Wash U. (Note to my granddaughters and grandsons: Please go to Hillel)
This was an interesting interview for me, as I believe that it is the first time that I have interviewed a couple. Simma and Shelley complete each other’s sentences and stated the same thoughts at exactly the same time.
The two graduated from Wash U. together, Simma with a BS in Chemical Engineering and minors in Biology and Jewish Studies.
Shelley graduated with an AB in Biology with minors in Physics and Jewish Studies.
The couple were married the summer following their graduation. Shelley always had the desire to become a pediatrician, and both he and Simma applied to Rush University Medical School in Chicago and were accepted.
Following their years in medical school they applied for a couple’s match for residency with a Parkland/Children’s combination — Shelley with Pediatrics and Simma, a Family Medicine Residency at Parkland Hospital.
The couple’s first son, Yosef, 12, was born at the end of their residencies. They are also parents to Ephraim, 10, and Mordechai, 8.
Shelley worked in Fort Worth for a few years, but the long commute became tedious. In medical school, Shelley and Simma always fantasized about practicing together.
In November 2004, Healthy Texans Pediatrics and Family Medicine was born, adding to the family’s nachas. The two researched locations tirelessly, wanting to be in the heart of the Dallas Jewish Community — thus the Medical City Dallas location was chosen.
I had to ask the couple a few questions.
When asked what it was like to work together and live together — they replied in unison: “We are always on the same page. It is a natural fit. There is no division between the personal and/or professional lines. It gives us the ability to be in two places at one time.”
I asked about their hobbies, which by no coincidence seem to intertwine.
“We enjoy camping, — especially at National Parks, and traveling with our family.”
Both are voracious readers.
Simma enjoys needlepoint and crocheting (a bond that she shared with her maternal grandmother); Shelley designs the needlepoint and crochet patterns that Simma lovingly creates. Simma crochets kippot for close friends and relatives.
Simma said that “Shelley has been making his own dough for fresh pizza,” which they have every Sunday morning at a special time.
“He has been doing this since we met each other in college.”
Simma and Shelley are active members of Congregations Shaare Tefilla and Ohr Hatorah.
Shelley is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Simma is a member of the American Academy of Family Practice.
In addition, Shelley performs circumcisions at Medical City Dallas as well as ritual circumcision for the mitzvah of brit milah. He serves on the Medical City Bioethics committee, and the Neonatal Task Force committee, and just finished a term as Chief of Pediatrics.
Simma said family medicine affords her the opportunity to take care of generations in a family, and enjoy the interactions, both medical and personal, within family units
Additionally, Simma’s sister, Dr. Miriam Banarer, M.D. is a pediatric hospitalist at Medical City Dallas. Miriam’s husband, Dr. Salomon Banarer, is an endocrinologist at Medical City Dallas as well.
Simma’s brother, Chaim and wife, Katy, live in Israel.
The Weiss’ take almost all insurances, from private, to Medicaid, to Medicare. For the 10th anniversary celebration, they plan to enter patients into a drawing as they come for their visits, and will plan fun and exciting prizes, from swimming lesson vouchers to books to music for children, and so much more.
During my conversation with Simma and Shelley, I felt a very strong connection — a bond reminding me that those threads in my tapestry were brightened by the conversation reminding me of old memories and new ones. I am looking forward to a pizza tasting in the near future. I wish them the best as they celebrate their 10 years at Medical City and added mazel in the years to come.
Don’t miss Truck Time Nov. 9, at Congregation Shearith
Mark Grishman of Cruise One reminded me that Truck Time is a community event for children and families of all ages. Vehicles of all types will fill the parking lot at Congregation Shearith Israel, along with bounce houses, VAAD certified kosher food, face painters, and more. Children are not only able to touch, climb, and interact with these vehicles (read: honk the horn!), but learn all about them from the specialists who operate the vehicles daily. Young children and their families look forward to Truck Time all year! The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This year will mark the 11th annual Truck Time events, which accommodate almost 1,200 people from the Dallas area every year. It is open to the entire community, and attracts families from all different cultural and religious backgrounds. VAAD certified kosher food is available for purchase, which allows for families of all types to enjoy the event without worrying about lunch. The event opens early, at 10:30 a.m. for families and children with special needs. During this time, the trucks aren’t allowed to honk their horns, play loud music, or sound their sirens. This allows for a low stress environment, which is ideal for children, and families who want to enjoy the trucks without overstimulation. There is also a quiet room inside the building with books and toys for children who require a safe space.
For additional information, contact: Katie Copeland firstname.lastname@example.org 214.939.7303 or Rabbi Shira Wallach email@example.com 214.361.6606
Legacy Willow Bend tour of home is Wednesday, Nov. 5
The Legacy at Willow Bend is opening its doors to view the Legacy lifestyle from 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5.
Guests will have the opportunity to tour a variety of exclusive apartment homes and meet with some of the community’s current residents.
Wine and hors d’ Oeuvres will be served.
For reservations, please call 972-468-6208 to RSVP.
The Legacy at Willow Bend is a Life Care community offering Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care and Skilled Nursing.
It is located at 6101 Ohio Drive, Bldg. A, in Plano. The website is www.thelegacywb.org.
RikuDallas holds Israeli folk dancing workshop
Linda Kahalnik tells us that RikuDallas will have a dance workshop next weekend. Do you enjoy Israeli music, dancing, and want to stay fit? Then RikuDallas 2014 with guest master teacher Yoni Carr Nov. 7-9 is for you!
Yoni will share with her warm smile and her love of Israeli Folk Dancing. She currently teaches two weekly dance sessions of Israeli Folk Dancing in Southern California. She also hosts two weekend workshops in September and February each year. Yoni has performed on Broadway, toured around the world as a soloist with the “Inbal” and “Karmon” Group and has 30 years of experience teaching Israeli Folk dancing and ballroom.
You can join the fun for the whole weekend or just one part. Here’s the lineup: Friday Night Shabbat Dinner and Israeli Folk Dancing 7 p.m. to midnight; Saturday sessions 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday night party, 8 p.m. – 1 a.m.; and Sunday session, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
For more information, contact Anita Friedman at firstname.lastname@example.org or Galit Ribakoff email@example.com.