Dallas Doings: Beth Torah, JNF, JBA

Beth Torah hosts solidarity vigil

About 100 people of many faiths from the Richardson community gathered at Beth Torah Sunday night to pray for peace and express solidarity in the wake of attacks on Jews and other religious groups. Speakers included Richardson Mayor Pro Tem Janet DePuy, Richardson Police Seargent Frank Bradford, Imam Shpendim Nadzaku of the Islamic Association of North Texas and Linda Anderson Little of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church. Rabbi Elana Zelony, who appeared on KERA’s Think radio show last week to discuss preserving a sense of sanctuary and spirituality in houses of worship despite the need for security, thanked the guests for their support and stressed the need for diverse religious communities to support one another.

JNF hosts director of Arava

Nearly 50 people joined Jewish National Fund (JNF) for a fascinating event with David Lehrer, director of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, to discuss the Arava Institute’s work toward educating future leaders on dealing with the environmental challenges of our time. The event was held at the home of Mitch and Cindy Moskowitz and was unique in that Cindy’s sister, Susan, lives on Kibbutz Ketura in the Arava where the institute is located.
With support from JNF, the Arava Institute advances cross-border environmental cooperation, and educates and prepares future leaders from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, and students from around the world to solve shared environmental challenges.
During the event, Mitch proudly spoke of his family’s connection to the region, his visits there, and his respect for the work being done there. “I loved hearing about and seeing people from different backgrounds putting their heads together to learn about and to apply new and novel environmental methods to the Arava desert. The Arava Institute is the good news. People facing things together. It’s authentic progress and it builds relationships.”
Cindy added, “In the day-to-day, the Arava is hot and sandy and it can be tiresome. And then there are those moments that happen on Kibbutz Ketura that remind you of what a special and unique place it is. Conversations at the table, initiatives like solar power, or algae, or some crazy curative tiny fish.”
Water, air, energy, and land are shared natural resources in the Middle East. Ensuring that these resources remain available to Israel is essential to Jewish National Fund’s mission. Trust, however, is the scarcest resource, and building trust with Israel’s neighbors is a critical part of the Arava Institute’s mission.
To learn more about Jewish National Fund’s impactful work, contact Ellie Adelman, director, Dallas at 214-433-6600, ext. 945 or eadelman@jnf.org.

JBA makes annual holiday donation to JFS to help with tornado recovery

Jewish Business Alliance, a business networking organization, held its annual holiday luncheon Dec. 12 at the Legacy Willow Bend. Each year JBA contributes to local Jewish based organizations from funds that the group has raised over the course of the year.
In light of the devastating tornado that destroyed much of the area around the JCC Oct. 20, 100% of the funds were presented to Jewish Family Service relief campaign to assist displaced residents. In addition, members contributed gifts for families in need over the holidays. This was coordinated by Kristen Jackson of Jewish Family Service.
Now in its ninth year, JBA was founded by Mark Lowey, owner of Stonebridge Insurance Group and Jay Levine, owner of Energy Brokers of America. JBA meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of every month at the Coffee House Cafe in North Dallas. For more information on the group or membership, please contact Mark at 214 558-2727 or mark@marklowey.com.

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