Dallas Doings

Mark Kreditor to do musical show on Jan. 23

Mark Kreditor, whose journeys through the American Jewish Songbook have delighted Dallas audiences for a decade, will debut a new show at a special Sunday morning brunch at Congregation Beth Torah on Jan. 23.
For the annual Intrafaith Brunch sponsored by sisterhoods of Dallas-area synagogues, Mark has compiled a medley of theater music made famous by Jewish women.
“We’re all such fans of Mark and the wonderful shows he’s been doing for years,” said Jo Zeffren, co-chair of the event. “We’re just thrilled and honored that he’s put together a show about women, for women.”
The Intrafaith Brunch offers women from every synagogue the chance to get together in a setting comfortable for everyone. The catered kosher meal will be supervised by an on-site mashgiach.
Like all of his shows, Mark’s new presentation features him at the piano, playing, lecturing, singing and conducting sing-alongs in his ebullient, edifying style.
“Even though it’s a Sisterhood event, we couldn’t deny this experience to anyone,” Jo said. “So spouses — and everyone else — are certainly welcome.”
Tickets are $18. For more information, call Jo Zeffren at 972-239-7643, or Congregation Beth Torah at 972-234-1542. Beth Torah is located at 720 West Lookout Drive in Richardson.

Kids K–6: Don’t be bored at home when there’s no school!

Kids in kindergarten through sixth grade, get to the J on Monday, Jan. 17, for the National MLK Day of Service. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’” Join in this day of service for fun projects that also give back.
Be sure to mark your calendars and sign up for Super Hero Day, Monday, Feb. 21, President’s Day, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Don’t be bored at home; go to the J for a break day full of Super Hero fun. Decorate your super hero cape, show off your super powers, participate in a super hero training camp and decorate cookies to look like your favorite super hero. $40 for J members, $50 for non-members. Before and after care available; space limited so please register in advance. All children should bring a kosher sack lunch, swimsuit and towel (enjoy swimming in the J’s heated indoor pool).
For more information, contact Abbii Cook, youth director, at 214-239-7189 or acook@jccdallas.org.
The Aaron Family JCC is located at 7900 Northaven Road in Dallas.

Akiba and Yavneh announce new director of development and director of marketing

Akiba Academy of Dallas and Yavneh Academy, both housed at the Schultz Rosenberg Campus, announced the appointment of Janis Gail as their new director of development and Francisco Milian as director of marketing.
These announcements follow the recent formation of Schultz Rosenberg Campus’ Shared Services, the first entity of its type in the nation among Jewish day schools. Shared Services will provide fundraising, marketing, recruiting, finance and administrative support to Akiba and Yavneh. Both schools are nonprofit entities.
“We are very excited to welcome Janis and Francisco into our team.” said Jo Chung, Shared Services’ managing director. “Their exceptional talents and skills will further the efforts of our business services team to support the wonderful work of our teachers and faculty for both school organizations.”
Janis Gail, an El Paso native and University of Texas at Austin graduate, spent 10 years living and working in Washington, D.C., before returning to her home state and settling in Dallas. With previous managing positions at the Jewish Federation, Community Homes for Adults, Inc. (CHAI) and most recently Legacy Senior Communities, she brings extensive experience serving Dallas’ Jewish population. Her addition as director of development is expected to significantly advance the schools’ fundraising efforts.
Francisco Milian, Shared Services’ director of marketing, has over 14 years of marketing communications experience and has managed the business of several blue-chip brands including Unilever, Kimberly-Clark, Macy’s, JCPenney and Infiniti automobiles. Most recently, he served as American Airlines’ associate media director at TM Advertising in Dallas, where he helped American expand its media footprint across the globe, including key emerging markets (Brazil, China, Russia and India).
Jo Chung believes that these new hires will translate into further benefits for the students. ­“Akiba and Yavneh can expect that the additional funding we will aim to capture through our marketing, enrollment and fundraising efforts will positively impact the already substantial breadth of services and activities we provide our students and the broader Jewish community,” he commented.

NCSY’s Ben Zakkai to honor Rabbi Michael Rovinsky

NCSY Jewish Youth Leadership, the international youth movement of the Orthodox Union, will honor Rabbi Michael Rovinsky of St. Louis, Mo., as an inductee into the Ben Zakkai Honor Society (BZHS) at its annual Scholarship Reception Sunday, Jan. 30, in New York. Rabbi Rovinsky is the son of Shirley and Ervin Rovinsky of Dallas. At the reception, the OU will also pay tribute to the remarkable legacy of the late Dr. Bernard Lander, the founder and, for 40 years, president of Touro College. Dr. Lander died on Feb. 8, 2010 at the age of 94.
Rabbi Steven Burg, international director of NCSY, said, “Michael’s warmth, commitment, and passion for Judaism have resonated with so many Jewish teens over the years and I feel very fortunate to have him as part of the NCSY family.”
Rabbi Rovinsky is the NCSY district coordinator of St. Louis. He attended his first NCSY event in the ninth grade, while living in Dallas, and promptly got involved on the regional and national boards. Despite his plans to study law, he went to learn in eretz Yisrael at Ohr Samayach Yeshiva in 1980 at the urging of Rabbi Yitzchak Rosenberg, then national director of NCSY. While tutoring Ohr Samayach’s newer students, he decided to drop his law plans. “I got bit by the bug,” he says. “I discovered I really enjoyed teaching Torah.”
Upon his return to the United States in 1982, he helped initiate Kol Yaakov Yeshiva in Monsey, N.Y., before learning at Ner Yisrael in Baltimore, where he earned a master’s in Talmudic law and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University. In 1984 he happily welcomed his next milestone, marrying Selina Epstein of Phoenix, a fellow NCSY aficionado. He became assistant director of NCSY Goes to Yeshiva, the forerunner of Camp Sport, developing the program for a full decade; all the while he continued to advance his own Torah learning in the Ner Israel Kollel until 1990.
His career in Torah education continued in Dallas as Judaic studies principal and rebbe at Akiba Academy until 1993, when he moved to St. Louis to assume the executive director position at the Epstein Hebrew Academy. In 2002, the baalei batim asked him to fill in when the St. Louis NCSY director resigned. Realizing how much he missed working directly with youth, he grabbed the chance. Nine spiritually lucrative years later, the city boasts dynamic programs and events, including the Jewish Culture Club, now under the umbrella of the Jewish Student Union.
A firm believer that Junior NCSY is critical to the success of Senior NCSY, Rovinsky, in 2005, started Camp Gesher, the first NCSY summer camp for juniors; the following year, with the vision and support of Midwest Regional Director Rabbi Micah Greenland, he started Camp Nageela Midwest in partnership between Agudah Midwest and Midwest NCSY.
“I’ve always wanted to give back what NCSY has given me,” he says. “NCSY gave me the strength to persevere when I was becoming frum, when I started wearing a yarmulke in public school and had to fight for the right to do so.” He finds it deeply gratifying to watch the students from his first year at Junior NCSY coming back from seminary and getting married. Suffice it to say, a lot of NCSYers unabashedly celebrating their Judaism are sure glad Rabbi Rovinsky didn’t become Rovinsky, Attorney at Law.
A key part of the reception will be the honoring of the memory of Dr. Lander.
“Dr. Bernard Lander’s historic role in helping to create and nurture NCSY ensured him a special place in contemporary American history even before he set out to revolutionize higher education by founding Touro College,” declared Dr. David Luchins, chairman of the Political Science Department of Touro College, who, with his wife, Vivian, has been an NCSYer since 1961.
For information on attending the BZHS annual Scholarship Reception or to contribute to its souvenir journal, visit www.ou.org/bzdinner or contact Elaine Grossman at 212-613-8350 or grossman@ou.org.

Adults and kids, come bowl to help MS research!

The 2011 Gladiator’s Multiple Sclerosis Walk Team “Bowling Bash” Fundraiser will take place Sunday, Jan. 30, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the AMF Richardson Lanes, 2101 N. Central Expwy. (north of Campbell Road). Proceeds benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Society, so you can have fun and friendship while contributing to help find a cure.
Cost is $20 per adult, $12.50 for children 12 and under for two hours of bowling and shoe rental. There is no charge for children age 5 and younger; they can bowl with a paid adult. This will be a family-friendly event with bumper lanes available for the little ones. Individuals or teams up to five members are encouraged. Please RSVP if attending, with names of your teammates and any questions. Lane assignments will be made in advance.
There’s no football game conflict, so come bowl with family and friends for a great cause. A minimum of 60 bowlers are needed to make this a successful fundraiser.
Please reply to Larry Krasner at larrynleslie@yahoo.com, 972-931-8048 home or 214-648-2422 work.

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