Dallas Doings

Yavneh’s Justine Berman wins Sprint Youth award

Mazel tov to Yavneh Academy’s Justine Berman ‘12, the daughter of Leora Lurie and Peter Berman, who was selected as Dallas’ 2010 Sprint Youth Community Champion. As the recipient of this award, Justine has received a $2,500 grant from the Sprint Foundation, which she has chosen to share with the Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship, an organization that assists riders with over 100 physical, cognitive and emotional diagnoses and one that has been Justine’s passion for four years.
“We are very appreciative of the donation on Justine’s behalf to Equest,” said Ellie Grant, volunteer director for Equest. Grant added that “$2,500 might cover eight months of care for one of our horses, it might be a scholarship for six or more riders and it might be used to purchase saddles for hundreds of riders to use.”
“Justine gives of her time and energy far beyond the average teenager,” said Allyn Schmucker, Yavneh’s director of guidance. “Her heart is wide open to help those with special needs. She has won the respect of those in charge by her honest concern for the kids and their needs and her concern and care for the horses as well.”
“I’ve always loved horses and coming to Equest started as a one-summer project and that year I logged more than 300 hours,” said Berman, who has received the organization’s Rookie of the Year and other volunteer department awards. “I didn’t realize the impact it would have on me.
“So many of us take for granted our physical and mental functions, and to see the growth and development of the riders I work with makes me a better person,” said Berman, who assisted riders at the 2010 Texas Special Olympics. “You can see the progress of a rider in a year, some in a week, and whether it’s in their walking, their speech or otherwise, you see how they function better in everyday life.”
“Justine is an incredibly dedicated and devoted volunteer and we are so proud of her,” Grant said. “She has a very special way with people and animals, she’s worked with riders of all levels and she doesn’t shy away from any task or responsibility. Her heart and empathy set her apart from others, something very rare in such a young lady.”

CSI offers new ‘Love of Learning’ series

This year, 2010–11, marks two milestones for Congregation Shearith Israel. They will celebrate the synagogue’s 125+ years and Rabbi William Gershon’s 13th year with Shearith Israel. As many know, Rabbi Gershon’s passion is learning. He encourages learning in all aspects of Jewish life — from incorporating yoga with spirituality, to Jewish cooking, to Torah study.
To honor Rabbi Gershon, beginning this month, Shearith is proud to announce a yearlong speaker series, “Love of Learning.” One Shabbat morning each month, special speakers will focus on a variety of topics that incorporate Jewish learning. All guest speakers will deliver the d’var Torah during Shabbat morning services at CSI.
The next two sessions will be:
Saturday, Oct. 2 — “The Faces of Anti- Semitism Today” with Roberta S. Clark, associate regional director of the Anti-Defamation League
Saturday, Nov. 20 — “When the Danube Ran Red” with Zsuzsanna Ozsváth, the Leah and Paul Lewis Chair of Holocaust Studies and professor of literature and history of ideas at the University of Texas, Dallas.
Future guests include Jaynie Schultz, community leader and educator, Dec. 4; Mark Stolovitsky, head of the Ann and Nate Levine Academy, Jan. 22, 2011; and Mordechai Rosenstein, internationally acclaimed Jewish artist, Feb. 26, 2011.

Sukkah-building video online

A lot of Jewish households and organizations in Dallas have built a sukkah this week to mark the Jewish festival of Sukkot. Nobody documented it like David Duchin.
Duchin, a professional photographer and a member of Congregation Beth Torah, chairs the synagogue’s Sukkah Build, which is carried out each year by the Men’s Club. He also takes action photos and the annual “Mission Accomplished” portrait so the builders can show off their work.
This year he took a different tack. Without any fanfare, Duchin set up his camera to capture the whole process for a time-lapse photo video — one photo each minute until the bare patio became a complete sukkah.
You can watch the sukkah go up in a 90-second video, at https://sites.google.com/site/cbtsuccah/video.
“This way we can tell who was doing the hard work and who was munching bagels,” Duchin joked.

Texas Tatas to raise funds for Komen

On Friday, Oct. 1, and Saturday, Oct. 2, the Texas Tatas will be hosting a multi-family Pink Lemons-to-Aid stand and garage sale to raise money for Susan G. Komen. The Texas Tatas team is made up of 10 Dallas moms who will be walking 60 miles this November in the San Diego 3-Day For the Cure. Although the Tatas have exceeded their fundraising goals, they are committed to raising more money to help in the fight against breast cancer. Each team member has a unique connection to the cause, whether through the loss of a loved one or in support of someone who is a survivor. The team’s children, “The Tiny Tatas,” will be joining the cause by hosting their own Pink Lemons-to-Aid stand at the sale. The kids have supported their moms who have spent countless hours training for the big 60-mile walk and are thrilled to be a part of it. Making up the Texas Tatas are Sharon Blumberg, Julie Drinkwater, Robin Fishman, Jenny Horn, Mahra Pailet, Karen Saland, Lauren Savariego, Lori Stern, Dina Warshauer and Jennifer Winton.

Join the Teen Connection!

Metroplex teens are invited to join an exciting Jewish youth group called Teen Connection, sponsored by the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO), the largest Jewish youth organization in the world. Membership is FREE and specifically coordinated for Jewish teens currently in seventh and eighth grades.
This program was developed because BBYO knew from experience that there was a need to provide youth of this age with an opportunity to meet other Jewish teens and to begin to develop lifelong friendships. Youth who take part in Jewish recreational programs are more likely to affiliate themselves with their Jewish peers as they mature into young adults.
Some Teen Connection activities that have been successful have included Whirly Ball and Laser Tag, field trips to the Wax Museum and Ripley’s Believe it or Not, tie dying events, rollerskating, a Mavs game, and Group Dynamix, to name a few. The first event is scheduled for Sunday, October 3rd , at Pump It Up in North Dallas (Frankford location). For additional information, please call the BBYO office at 214-363-4654.

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