Dallas Doings

MitzvahFest to welcome families planning for simchas

In its fourth year, MitzvahFest will be held this Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Lincoln Center Hilton, located at the southeast corner of LBJ and the North Dallas Tollway. For years, families who are in the planning stages of their b’nai mitzvah or wedding have found MitzvahFest an indispensable resource for their simcha. Absolutely the best of the best vendors will be in attendance, from party planners to party starters. The entrance fee of $10 per family will be donated to Jewish Family Service. MitzvahFest is not to be missed.

‘Party on the Plaza: Celebrate Israel’

After MitzvahFest, you can hop on the Tollway and head toward Victory Plaza for an afternoon to “Celebrate Israel.” Event organizers have assured the community that in addition to putting together a myriad of engaging activities, they are prepared for hot weather with cooling facilities and equipment, water and shading by tents and large umbrellas.

Dr. Mark Goldberg becomes UTSW neurology chair

Dr. Mark Goldberg, formerly of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has become chairman of neurology at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
Dr. Goldberg, who holds the Linda and Mitch Hart Distinguished Chair in Neurology at UT Southwestern, succeeds Dr. Steven Cannon, who was named associate dean for undergraduate education in June.
Dr. Goldberg was the founding director of Washington University’s Hope Center for Neurological Disorders, a campus-wide initiative promoting research on brain diseases of children and adults. At the Hope Center, he brought together researchers and clinicians from many specialties to work on complex nervous-system disorders. He plans to take the same interdisciplinary approach at UT Southwestern.
“I’m most interested in developing new treatments for neurological diseases,” Dr. Goldberg said. “Doctors and patients often think that conditions such as stroke and Alzheimer’s disease are untreatable. We need to recognize neurology as a discipline that improves the lives of our patients.
“UT Southwestern has long been a pioneering institution for brain science,” he said. “We have the opportunity to develop collaborative research initiatives that move these advances to patient care.”
At Washington University, Dr. Goldberg served as professor of neurology, neurobiology and biomedical engineering. He also was co-head of the Cerebrovascular Disease Section and was director of a Web education project that deals with stroke.
Dr. Goldberg’s research focuses on injury to the brain’s “white matter,” which contains the long “arms” by which nerves reach other areas of the brain. White matter gets its color from the insulating fatty coating that makes nerve cells more efficient. Several diseases and injuries, including stroke, trauma and multiple sclerosis, can damage this coating.
He also studies how nerve cells can form new connections to neighboring nerve cells after injury.
“He was identified as the best candidate for this position based on his exceptional accomplishments as a physician, scientist and teacher,” said Dr. J. Gregory Fitz, dean of the medical school, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at UT Southwestern. “Dr. Goldberg brings these considerable skills to UT Southwestern to focus on the continual development of multidisciplinary programs in neurology and neurosciences.”
Dr. Goldberg earned his medical degree from Columbia University after graduating from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He completed his neurology residency at Stanford University, where he also was a postdoctoral research fellow. He has received numerous awards from organizations including the Academy of Neurology, the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association.
“Dr. Goldberg’s early high priorities,” Dr. Fitz said, “will be to build clinical and academic programs in stroke and research programs in cerebral ischemia through the new Beatrice Menne Haggerty Center for Research on Brain Injury and Repair in Stroke.”

JSI to bring Rabbi Joel Zeff to Dallas as scholar-in-residence

The Jewish Studies Initiative, under the leadership of Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger, is bringing to Dallas an exemplary scholar-in-residence for five days of classes and talks. Rabbi Joel Zeff, most recently the head of Yeshivat Torat Yosef Hamivtar in Efrat, Israel, will be in town from Aug. 25 to 29.
On Wednesday evening, Aug. 25, Rabbi Zeff will be welcomed to Dallas at a private dinner. Thereafter, his schedule will be:
Friday, Aug. 27, noon–1 p.m. — Class at Congregation Shearith Israel, 9401 Douglas Ave. (in the Sardas Beit Midrash; includes lunch, $5):
“Why Learn Torah: A Radical Rambam, Right for Our Age.” What is the goal of learning Torah? Join an intellectual roller coaster ride and attempt to understand the Rambam’s theory of Torah education. Grapple with a difficult passage from the Mishneh Torah in which the Rambam seems to deviate from the Talmud. The key will lie in an ultra-controversial passage in his “Guide for the Perplexed” that was consigned to the flames by his detractors. If you never understood why the Rambam was controversial, you will now!
Shabbat, Aug. 27–28 –
Rabbi Zeff will be scholar-in-residence at Congregation Shaare Tefilla, 6131 Churchill Way.
Sunday, Aug. 29, 9:45 a.m.–12:10 p.m. — High Holy Day ReJEWvenation! A morning of camaraderie, study and preparation for the High Holy Days season at the Aaron Family JCC, 7900 Northaven Road:
9:45–10 a.m., registration, bagels and coffee. 10–11 a.m., Rabbi Joel Zeff: “We Were as Dreamers: Dreams as a Tool for Teshuva.” Dreams constitute a major theme in the Bible, as well as the Talmud, yet few of us take our dreams seriously. Discover just how serious dreams can be and how they can be a profound tool for personal renewal during this lead-up to the High Holy Day season. 11:10 a.m.–12:10 p.m., Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger: “Cosmic Evolution and Personal Improvement.” The way we understand the world may be a key to the ability to accomplish our personal goals. Too many of us see ourselves as fighting against natural tendencies and inborn instincts which we think are holding us back from becoming what we wish to become. But there may be another way: Look deeper and discover the inherent Godliness of everything around us and the grand movement of the universe and of nature toward God and toward betterment. All we then need do is to plug ourselves into this nature movement and ride on its wave. In this way we may help ourselves to evolve into more of what we know we can be.
Sunday, Aug. 29, 4–6 p.m. — High Holy Days Seminar at Congregation Adat Chaverim, 6300 Independence Way, Suite A, Plano:
4–5 p.m. Rabbi Joel Zeff: “Life After Life: Jewish Perspectives on Death and the Afterlife.” In this pre-High Holy Days season of introspection, Jews revisit ultimate issues and ask ourselves hard questions about how we are using our limited time on this earth. A serious examination of the issues of death and the afterlife will help refocus on the meaning of life and redirect our energies in the most fruitful manner possible. 5–5:45 p.m.: Choice of sessions. Session with Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger: “Will the Real Rosh Hashanah Please Stand Up?” This presentation will debunk the myth that Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year, and will try to explain why many have adopted this mistaken notion. The truth is that the Passover season in the spring actually marks the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah is something else entirely. Come discover how to focus your prayers on Rosh Hashanah by learning what the holiday is really about! Session with Rabbi Wendy Pein: “Why We Wear a Tallit During Kol Nidre and Other Rituals and Historical Facts About This Powerful Prayer.” Come learn the background and meaning of Kol Nidre and why it evokes such powerful emotions within us.
Sunday, Aug. 29, 7:30 p.m. — Class at the Intown Chabad, 2723 Routh St.:
“Life After Life: Jewish Perspectives on Death and the Afterlife” (see above).
All programs are open to the public and are free of charge. For more information, please contact Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger at 214-789-7241 or ravhanan@sbcglobal.net or contact the co-sponsoring institution.

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