By Linda Wisch-Davidsohn
Some opening thoughts …
2014 flew by in a flash. We’ve ushered in the year 2015. When I remember New Year’s Day, I always remember the wonderful celebrations my late parents, Rene and Jimmy Wisch (obm) had in Fort Worth.
The tradition began in 1960 with a huge shindig at our home on Hildring Drive East in Fort Worth. Without fail, my grandmother, Betty Wisch (obm) would be making her famous black-eyed peas and standing guard over the industrial pot. We were told that for every pea we ate, $1 would come our way…well, that’s the stuff legends are made of. Dad would be painting the house up until the first guests arrived. Mom was the commensurate hostess — and organized to the ninth degree — keeping files of what she served the year before (not counting the peas), how much was consumed and the number of guests that attended (usually 150+) throughout the course of the evening. The array of food was splendid and beautifully arranged, and I loved working in the kitchen with the chefs. The doors were open to all who entered, and guests were warmly greeted as they passed through the foyer to the roaring fireplace in the den, where appetizers and entrees stroked the palate. The mood was festive and warm, filled with great conversations and stories. Following my dad’s death in 2002, Mom continued the tradition — even when she moved to her Dallas home on Mumford several years later although it was done on a somewhat smaller scale. There was just a special feeling about New Year’s Day — and I just wanted to say…“thanks for the memories,” Mom and Dad.
Congregation Adat Chaverim to host 2015 intrafaith luncheon Jan. 18
One of my favorite things to read is Harriet Gross’s column each week when the TJP is delivered. She is an amazing writer and knows how to put pen to paper-or fingers to keyboard. It’s great that we are colleagues, because HG “is in the know.” She is an amazing source of information and generously shared the following two items with me.
Adat Chaverim Sisterhood is inviting members of all Metroplex sisterhoods to its 2015 intrafaith event.
This year’s “moveable feast” — an annual opportunity for women of all area congregations to gather together for a time of fun and fellowship — will be a luncheon at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18 at the Plano synagogue. A member of the hosting group will be welcoming guests at each table.
Special speaker for the event will be Dallas’s own Tina Wasserman, nationally recognized chef and cookbook author. The afternoon’s VAAD Certified Kosher dairy meal will feature recipes from Tina’s two cookbooks, which are available for purchase and may be personalized as desired. Proceeds from all book sales will be donated to Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas.
To make reservations for the lunch, which costs $20 per person, please mail your check by Friday, Jan. 9 to Adat Chaverim, 6300-A Independence Parkway, Plano. Each check should be accompanied by the name, address, phone number and email address of the guest(s) and the Sisterhood to which she (or they) belong.
Advance orders for book purchases are also due by Jan. 9. Please mail your check to the above synagogue address. The hardcover “Entrée to Judaism” is $36; “Entrée to Judaism for Families,” in paperback, is $24 and a gift set including both books is $55. Tina will autograph all books, and will also add personal messages as desired. Custom requests for personalization should accompany the orders. Questions? Call Adat Chaverim at 972-491-5917 or go to luncheon@adatchaveriQm.org for answers.
Michelle Meiches named Congregation Anshai Torah’s Torah Fund honoree
Good wishes to Michelle Meiches, who has been named 2015 Torah Fund Honoree by Congregation Anshai Torah’s Sisterhood. Meiches is the congregation’s immediate past president and will be recognized at the Sisterhood Torah Fund Shabbat at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, with a luncheon following at the synagogue, 5501 W. Parker Road in Plano.
The event’s theme is “Celebrating Mishpachah,” which is especially fitting because “Michelle is the one who calls all of us her Mishpachah,” according to Tracey Cherner, who will be taking reservations through Jan. 5. Please call Tracy at 972-612-0209, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and she will provide all the details.
Contributions to the Women’s League of Conservative Judaism’s Torah Fund in honor of Michelle begin at $36 and support the education of rabbis, cantors and educators at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies and Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. These tax-deductible donations are payable by check made out to Torah Fund. There is no charge for the luncheon, but donations are welcome.
A native of Silver Springs, Maryland, Michelle, is a graduate of Rice University. She has lived in Dallas since 1986. In 1992, Anshai Torah’s Rabbi Stefan Weinberg officiated at the wedding of Michelle and her college sweetheart, Dr. Mark Meiches, who is a radiologist at Baylor Irving. They joined the synagogue in its inaugural year 1998. Michelle and Mark share their home with their beloved cat Milo.
Highlights of Michelle’s two-year presidential term include the hiring of Michael Kushnick as the synagogue’s second rabbi and the purchase of congregational cemetery space. While serving on its executive committee, Michelle chaired Anshai Torah’s 10th Anniversary Gala and Scholar-in-Residence committee. She is now in her second year of the Wexner Heritage Program, a national leadership training ground for selected Jewish community volunteers.
An active supporter of AIPAC, Michelle advocates for Israel with congressmen as a grassroots lobbyist. In the general community, she has held executive board positions with Dallas Summer Musicals Guild, Dallas Glass Club and Dallas Symphony’s Junior Group. She has chaired Komen’s Dallas Race for the Cure registration. Additionally, she is a Rice University alumni interviewer and fundraiser, and was named an SPCA of Texas Volunteer of the Year.
All are invited to join Anshai Torah’s Sisterhood for this event, which will honor Michelle for her synagogue and community service while helping to ensure the future of Conservative Judaism.
Tina Wasserman’s Temple Shalom event — a big success
On Sunday, Dec. 14, 20 families arrived at Temple Shalom for a hands-on cooking adventure with well-known author and cooking instructor Tina Wasserman. “The Hanukkah Young Chef’s Academy was a huge hit,” stated co-chair Brandy Wayne. “Tina taught the families how to make latkes, sweet potato latkes, Hanukkah cookies and gelt.”
Children and their parents learned many new cooking secrets from Tina’s new book “Entrée to Judaism for Families.” This was the first workshop of this kind in Dallas, but plans are already in the works for many more cooking adventures. For more information about Temple Shalom Young Families events, contact Brandy Wayne or Abbie Alter at email@example.com or go to www.templeshalomdallas.org.
Don’t forget NCJW Day on the Hill, Monday, Feb. 16
Every legislative session, NCJW Greater Dallas heads to Austin to put its mission into action, by speaking out to improve the quality of life for women, children and families and to safeguard individual rights and freedoms. Now, more than ever, women’s rights and welfare are at stake. Reproductive freedom and economic equality are rights, not a privilege. As women, we cannot sit idly and let the rights we have fought so hard for in the past be taken away. Now more than ever, our government needs to hear our voices. Join the chorus!
The session begins at noon Monday, Feb. 16, with workshops and speakers to help NCJW get its message out. Monday evening’s venue is an awards banquet with an amazing lineup of speakers. On Tuesday, Feb. 17, the ladies will go to the Hill to advocate and let people know who they are, whom they represent and what they stand for. They will provide training and support in these efforts for new and seasoned advocates. Cost of attendance is $125 for dinner and workshops. Visit http://ncjwdallas.org/ncjw-day-on-the-hill-feb-16-17/ to sign up online, or you can send a check for $125 to the NCJW Greater Dallas office.(see website)
Home base in Austin is the Omni Hotel Downtown Austin, 700 San Jacinto Blvd. The Group room rate is $209 for a single, and $229 for a double. To make hotel reservations call 1-800-The-OMNI and indicate you are with National Council of Jewish Women. Deadline for reservations is Jan. 16.
For more information and questions please contact one of NCJW’s Texas State Policy Advocates, Elaine Bernstein 937-344-4617, or Bobbie Cohen 832-265-2820.
Please accept my wishes for a happy and healthy 2015 — and don’t forget to send me your news.