Dallas Doings

Akiba event takes the cake!

Last month, over 100 Akiba annual fund contributors were treated to a lighthearted presentation by cake maven Bronwen Weber, executive chef at Frosted Art, Dallas’ premier kosher bakery.
Celebrated on the Food Network as one of the top pastry chefs in the nation, Ms. Weber entertained her audience with the personal stories behind the elaborate cakes she has designed for almost twenty years. Born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Bronwen Weber grew up in Houston before relocating to Dallas in her late teens. She surprised her geophysicist father when she announced that she wanted to “make cakes,” and learned her trade from the ground up. “I am an 18-year ‘overnight success,’” Ms. Weber declared. Today, she creates every cake at Frosted Art Bakery, and has won numerous awards, from America’s Favorite Cupcake to several Food Network Cake Challenges.
Akiba’s annual fund appreciation event was organized by Marilyn Rutner, director of development, in recognition of the generosity of donors who contributed to this year’s annual fund by Dec. 31, 2009. And since a foodie presentation would be incomplete without sampling, every guest had the opportunity to savor delicious mocha, white chocolate and red velvet cupcakes, three of the award-winning flavors offered at Ms. Bronwen’s bakery.
A new season of the Food Network Challenges featuring Ms. Weber recently made its debut.

Hall of Fame luncheon honors three special women

On Jan. 20, Leah Beth Kolni, Pauline Kress and Bette Morchower became the newest members of the Women of Reform Judaism Hall of Fame — initiated in 1986 to recognize women who have shown, in countless ways, their dedication to Temple Emanu-El and the Dallas community.
Leah Beth Kolni has been actively dedicated for the past 25 years to Temple Emanu-El, WRJ, Greenhill School and Children’s International Summer Villages. She thanks her husband of 29 years, Dr. Harold Kolni, for the opportunity to focus on raising their daughters, Hannah, Esther and Miriam, while volunteering. At Temple, Leah Beth was co-president of the Preschool Parents Association, Preschool Steering Committee chair, Preschool Director Search Committee chair, Caring Congregation co-chair and Confirmation Class chair, and is currently College Committee co-chair. The Greenhill School Parents Association presented Leah Beth with the Ann Perryman Award for many years of support for the school and students’ families. With CISV, she held leadership roles for Dallas delegations to an organization promoting world peace through international youth programs. Leah Beth has held numerous roles in WRJ, currently as financial secretary and College Committee liaison, and her creativity is in demand for event centerpieces and decorations.
Inspired by Rabbi Levi Olan and then supported by Rabbi Gerald Klein, Pauline Kress has long been committed to social action at the community level, beginning with the East Dallas Health Coalition for Asian Refugees. After Pauline served on the Martin Luther King Center Board, she and her late husband, Marvin, recognized the needs of southern Dallas and assisted in the development of the MLK Family Clinic. As an advocate for Dallas seniors, she has also focused on the needs of the working poor, both children and the elderly. One of the results of that advocacy was the development of 11 Dallas area dental clinics. Pauline has received several awards, including the American Jewish Congress Women of Spirit award. She is also the proud mother of son, Sandy, and daughter, Debra, both lawyers based in Austin.
Bette Morchower has dedicated more than 30 years of service to the community to ensure the rights and dignity of those in need. She has worked on major fundraising projects for WRJ, Temple Emanu-El, JCC, Vogel Alcove, Lakehill Preparatory School, NCJW and Komen Foundation and served on the boards of the JCC, St. Marks Parents Association, The Legacy, Hadassah, NCJW and the AMC Cancer Research Center. Bette taught English to Jewish Russian immigrants new to Dallas, volunteered with the March of Dimes and continues to volunteer weekly in the Continuing Care Nursery at Parkland Hospital to screen newborn hearing. Bette and her husband of 32 years, Dr. Gary Morchower, volunteer together with the Richardson and Plano Special Olympics. Their son Andrew is a fourth-year medical resident at UT Southwestern and their daughter Karen is a newly graduated veterinarian.

Jane Guzman to participate in interfaith panel on Texas’ religious leaders

Noted local historian, Dr. Jane Guzman, will participate in a panel discussion on “Religious Leaders of Texas” when the East Texas Historical Society and West Texas Historical Society will hold a joint meeting at the DFW Marriott at Champion’s Circle next week. Guzman’s topic will be Rabbi David Lefkowitz. She will be joined by two other panelists: Patrick Foley, who will discuss “Father Jean-Marie Odin: The First Catholic Bishop of Texas,” and Judy Falls, who will share insights on “Charles Alexander: Searching for Saints and Sinners.” For more information, visit www.easttexashistorical.org.

Singles Shabbaton April 16–18 at Shaare Tefilla: Save the date

Shaare Tefilla is planning a Singles Shabbaton to be held at the synagogue April 16–18. Singles age 35–55 from all the major cities in Texas — Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio — are expected to attend.
Singles interested in attending the event should contact Congregation Shaare Tefilla, 6131 Churchill Way, Dallas 75230.
According to our grapevine, the two-day event will be an awesome weekend and the first such statewide singles event. For information, contact Rabbi Ari Perl, 972-661-0127.

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