Dallas Doings

<p>Local Hero Syl Benenson with her son, Steve Benenson</p>
Local Hero Syl Benenson with her son, Steve Benenson

Dallas Muslims, Jews to stand together this weekend against Islamophobia, anti-Semitism
Muslim and Jewish leaders from Dallas will join together to confront anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in a first-of-its kind twinning event this weekend.
The first-ever Weekend of Twinning(sm), to be held Nov. 21–23, resulted from a resolution passed at the National Summit of Imams and Rabbis held last year in New York and hosted by the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU). The success of the National Summit led organizers to expand the interfaith dialogue model to include congregations across North America to directly confront instances of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.
Throughout the Weekend of Twinning(sm), 50 mosques and 50 synagogues representing over 100,000 Muslims and Jews throughout the United States and Canada will join together to confront Islamophobia and anti-Semitism and to strengthen the relationship between the Jewish and Muslim communities.
“For generations, there has been a series of misunderstandings byJews and Muslims on what the other religious community believes and practices,” said Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and co-organizer of the Weekend of Twinning(sm).
<p>Cheryl Bollman of National Council of Jewish Women accepts a $5,000 donation from Local Hero Phyllis Bernstein.</p>
Cheryl Bollman of National Council of Jewish Women accepts a $5,000 donation from Local Hero Phyllis Bernstein.

“These misperceptions and other societal and political factors have unfortunately led to tensions between our two communities.”
From New York to California, Florida and everywhere in between, Muslims, Jews, imams and rabbis will lead discussions, workgroups and panels on ways to confront hate in our communities. The Weekend of Twinning(sm) will run in conjunction with two widely-seen public calls for an end to anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, a full-page advertisement in the New York Times and a broadcast public service announcement (PSA) on CNN.
In the Dallas area, the Weekend of Twinning(sm) event is taking place at Temple Shalom, and at the IslamicAssociation of Carrollton. For details, call 202-265-3000.
The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, under the leadership of Rabbi Marc Schneier, president, and Russell Simmons, chairman, is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting racial harmony and
strengthening inter-group relations. The Foundation, founded in 1989, has offices in New York City and Washington, D.C.
Dallas-area nonprofits,individuals recognized by B of A Charitable Foundation
The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has announced two Dallas-area nonprofits, AVANCE Inc. and Dallas Habitat for Humanity Inc., as recipients of the prestigious Neighborhood Excellence Initiative (NEI) Neighborhood Builder awards. Five community leaders and five local high school students were also recognized for making a difference in the Dallas community. Neighborhood Builder winners receive $200,000 in unrestricted grants. Bank of America has committed more than $2.2 million in NEI awards in Dallas.
Local Hero Phyllis Bernstein (center) with Aleta Stampley and Gillian Breidenbach of Bank of America</p>
Local Hero Phyllis Bernstein (center) with Aleta Stampley and Gillian Breidenbach of Bank of America

NEI honors awardees in three categories: Neighborhood Builders™ — local nonprofit organizations working to promote vibrant communities; Local Heroes™ — community leaders who contribute significantly to the health of our neighborhoods; and Student Leaders® — exemplary high school junior and seniors with a passion for improving our communities.
Dallas’ 2008 NEI award recipients include:
Neighborhood Builders — Each receives $200,000 in unrestricted grant funding, and the executive director and an emerging leader from each organization participate in a leadership development program sponsored by Bank of America to enhance their strategic skills with other nonprofit leaders across the country and London.
AVANCE Inc. of Dallas. AVANCE serves primarily Hispanic families in low-income, at-risk communities and aims to strengthen families through effective parent education and support programs. ADVANCE Inc. will be using their grant to improve and expand their outreach into the southwest sector of Dallas by allowing for the addition of two new sites in the area.
Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, Inc. is a Christian ministry that builds quality, affordable homes in partnership with deserving low-income families. It will use its $200,000 to fund part of its new “Dream Dallas” project that will build homes in five settlements in the Dallas area.
Local Heroes — Each directs a $5,000 donation from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to an eligible nonprofit of their choice.
Sylvia “Syl” Benenson, of Dallas, will donate the award to AVANCE Inc.; Phyllis Bernstein, of Dallas, will donate the award to the National Council of Jewish Women; Sheryl Fields Bogen, of Dallas, will donate the award to Dallas Furniture Bank; Janet Mockovciak, of Dallas, will donate the award to the Dallas After School Network; and Patricia “Pat” Van Dyke, of McKinney, will donate the award to the Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders Association of Dallas.
Building on a longstanding tradition of investing in the communities it serves, Bank of America will embark in 2009 on a new, 10-year goal to donate $2 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the health and vitality of their neighborhoods.
Funded by Bank of America, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation gave more than $200 million in 2007, making the bank the most generous financial institution in the world.
JCRC to host  lunch with Yoram Ettinger on Dec. 2
On Tuesday, Dec. 2, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Dallas will host a special luncheon featuring Yoram Ettinger, former Israeli consul general to the Southwest, to be held at the Jewish Community Center of Dallas–Conference Room B (7900 Northaven Road). Beginning at noon, the topic of the luncheon will be “The Middle East in the Post-Olmert/Bush Era.”
Ettinger served as minister for congressional affairs at Israel’s Embassy in Washington, Israel’s consul general to the Southwest and director of Israel’s Government Press Office. He is an insider on U.S.-Israel relations, Mideast politics and overseas investments in Israel’s high-tech. He is a consultant to members of Israel’s Cabinet and Knesset, and regularly briefs U.S. legislators and their staff on Israel’s contribution to vital U.S. interests, on the root causes of international terrorism, Iran and other issues of bilateral concern.
To attend this special luncheon, please RSVP to Meghan Traxler, JCRC program associate, at 214-615-5254 or jcrcdallas@jfgd.org by Monday, Nov. 24.

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