Dallas Doings

The 18th annual Tiferet Israel Kosher Chili Cookoff is getting hotter

Delighted is the word for the team of volunteer chairpeople who have begun the mammoth preparation for the much-anticipated, traditional community event, the 18th annual Dallas Kosher Chili Cookoff, at the historic synagogue which has celebrated its 120th year deep in the heart of Texas.
The Dallas Kosher Chili Cookoff is scheduled for April 3, 2011, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Tiferet Israel synagogue, located at 10909 Hillcrest (at Royal).
The projected 4,000-plus annual visitors will not only savor this festive event, but share in helping to secure meaningful funds as well. From its inception, the Dallas Kosher Chili Cookoff is unique inasmuch as it is all-inclusive to the entire Jewish community regardless of religious affiliation. Its appeal extends to the non-Jewish community as well, as all can share in the spirit of giving back through the mutually beneficial grants that are awarded and the collection of foods for the JFS Food Pantry.
Tiferet Israel is proud of the fact that each year, a portion of the profits is granted to various charities. Grantees for 2011 will be: Jewish Children’s Regional Services, the Visiting Nurses Association Meals-on-Wheels, and the SoupMobile which serves meals to the homeless throughout our city. Jewish Family Service will also be the recipient of on-site collection of food and items for the Food Pantry.
The entire Dallas Kosher Chili Cookoff is under the supervision of Dallas Kosher (Vaad Hakashrus). The event is a significant experience of partnership and camaraderie, and “the spirit of giving back to the community makes the event a more lofty challenge,” said Esther Hazan-Cohen, a valuable volunteer who has chaired the more than 200 other volunteers who eagerly assist, year after year.
Scott Janco, Steering Committee chair, said: “Although several cities, including Houston, are now hosting their own chili cookoffs, fashioned after ours, there is no question that the Dallas Kosher Chili Cookoff at Tiferet Israel remains the prototype and the best, unsurpassed kosher cookoff.”
For more information, please visit Tiferet Israel’s Web site at www.tiferetdallas.org or call the shul at 214-691-3611.

Brick by brick, Yavneh’s Students4Students are building afar

It may not be recommended to judge a book by its cover but it’s certainly easy to judge students Dalit Agronin ‘12, Jori Epstein ‘12 and Rachel Siegel ‘13, co-presidents of Yavneh’s Students4Students, who co-chaired, with the JCC, the Nov. 22 Jewish Community Center Book Fair event. More than $10,000 was raised during the evening, which featured Marilyn Berger, author of “This is a Soul: The Mission of Rick Hodes.” That money, together with the proceeds of last year’s S4S film night, which showed an HBO documentary and a second short film, both based on Dr. Hodes’ meaningful and life-changing efforts, will soon be sent to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which will coordinate the building of a school in Gondar, Ethiopia.
“After hearing Dr. Hodes speak last year of the overwhelming number of Ethiopian children, 80 percent, that will never receive an education, I could not help but feel this huge obligation to somehow lessen that percentage,” Siegel said. “This is a Soul: The Mission of Rick Hodes” tells the remarkable story of Yavneh Dad Rick Hodes’ journey from suburban America to Mother Teresa’s clinic in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Dr. Hodes arrived in Africa more than two decades ago to help the victims of a famine, but he never expected to call this extremely poor continent his home. “Our education at Yavneh has left an indelible imprint on our lives and our possibilities for the future,” Siegel said. “I cannot imagine a greater gift than to have a nurturing school to be able to attend each day, and I know that the education I am receiving now is a stepping stone for whatever lies ahead. It is because of this gift that I feel an obligation to try to allow other children to benefit from an education.”
“Although it is difficult to change the literacy rate and educational opportunities for the entire country, we hope that through funding this school, even a small number of children will now receive access to an education,” Epstein said. “It is truly an amazing feeling to know we will hopefully be able to provide an education to someone who may not have had one without us.”
“Students4Students is important to me because I have always felt the desire to give back to the less fortunate,” Agronin said. “Yavneh has given me such a great education and I feel like everyone, no matter where you come from, should be able to receive an education.”
For more information, or to make a donation to Students4Students, please e-mail info@yavnehdallas.org.

‘Wild Bill’ will shoot it up in Dallas, Jan. 2

The Texas Shomrim Society, a Jewish law enforcement organization, will present “Wild Bill,” a Western movie starring Jeff Bridges, on Sunday, Jan. 2. The movie is sponsored by the Texas Shomrim Society in support of the Dallas Sheriff’s Department.
Showtime is at 2 p.m. at the Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson in Oak Cliff. For details, please contact Robert Epstein, vice president of the Texas Shomrim Society, at 214-789-4408 or macabee1948@aol.com.
Unemployed or under-employed? Find out how to change that!
Jump-start your job search and start 2011 off right. Jeff Morris, the founder of CareerDFW, will be at Shearith Israel on Monday, Jan. 10, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., to show you what CareerDFW is and share some of his top career tips. Come network with others and get your job search in high gear for the new year. This program is open to anyone who is unemployed or under-employed.
Reservations are requested since space is limited. RSVP to receptionist@shearith.org or 214-361-6606.
Congregation Shearith Israel is located at 9401 Douglas Ave. in Dallas.
Melton courses to be offered in January
From January to March, several courses will be offered as part of the Melton Scholars Curriculum.
“The Holocaust as Reflected in Diaries and Memoirs” will be taught by Janet Baum on Wednesdays from Jan. 5 through March 9, 9–10:30 a.m. “Jewish Denominations: Addressing the Challenges of Modernity” will be held Sundays, Jan. 9 through March 13, 10–11:30 a.m., and “Judaism 101: A Beginner’s Guide” on Mondays, Jan. 10 through March 14, 7–9 p.m.; instructor for both those courses is Laura Seymour.
All classes will take place at the Aaron Family JCC, 7900 Northaven Road, Dallas. For more information and fee schedules, or to sign up, please contact Rachelle Weiss Crane at 214-239-7128 or rweisscrane@jccdallas.org.

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