Dallas Doings: Beth Torah, Levine

Beth Torah to honor Lisa Miller at Torah Fund brunch

The Sisterhood of Congregation Beth Torah will honor Lisa Miller as its Torah Fund Honoree for 2020.
Lisa’s history with the synagogue goes back to 1987, when she and husband Seth were married in its sanctuary by then-Rabbi Neil Sandler. The two had met here in Dallas, but soon moved to Hartford, Connecticut, living there for six years before her job in public accounting brought them back in 1993. The couple have two daughters: Ally, adopted in that same year, now married and a professional writer; and Miryam, born in 1996, an investment banker.
Seth started his own sales business on their return and retired in 2017. Lisa, a born entrepreneur, continues with her own businesses: She’s an efficiency expert who helps people get and keep their homes in order, also doing the same with financials. And most recently, she’s joined with a friend to create personalized greeting cards.
At Beth Torah, Lisa served as board secretary for three years; she has also headed congregational strategic planning while continuing her longstanding commitment to chairing the annual Sisterhood Shabbat. She began her synagogue involvement as a volunteer in both the preschool and Learning Center, saying “I try to be there for people, doing whatever needs to be done.” Seth is now an award-winning teacher in the synagogue’s high school and Confirmation classes; with certification in math, science and the humanities, he is also a regular substitute in Plano schools.
Lisa enjoys travel with her family, visiting Canada and Scandinavia and making two trips to Israel. Her favorite activities at home are yoga, cooking and Pickle Ball.
Beth Torah Sisterhood’s 27th Torah Fund Brunch will begin at noon, Sunday, Feb. 23, at the synagogue, 720 Lookout Drive, Richardson. This is an annual event in many Conservative congregations to raise funds for support of five seminaries that train rabbis, cantors and other Jewish professionals in the United States, South America and Europe. This year’s theme is Chesed, taking its name from Psalm 89’s hope that our work may build a world of kindness.
The first Beth Torah brunch honored the the late Esther Cohen in 1993. A quarter-century later, her daughter Robyn Rose, now Sisterhood’s co-president, was the honoree. At Beth Torah, prior honorees choose who will be recognized each year; also according to its tradition, this year’s event is being chaired by last year’s dual honorees, Rachel Leventon and Jessica Winter.
Cost of the dairy brunch is $40 per person, with an additional minimum donation of $18 per person to the Torah Fund. Donations at the level of Benefactor ($180) and Guardian ($300) cover an entire family’s Torah Fund contribution. Benefactors and Guardians are recognized with a distinctive pin; this year’s design features a heart surrounded by three circles of increasing size, symbolizing the widening realms of Jewish generosity from family to community to the larger world.
Invitations are in the mail to congregation members plus relatives and friends of Lisa Miller, this year’s honoree. The event is open to all; anyone wishing more information and a printed invitation may contact Elaine Scharf, Beth Torah’s liaison to the national Torah Fund, at ebscharf@verizon.net.

Levine Academy inducts 13 into NJHS

Levine Academy inducted 13 middle school students into the Levine Chapter of the National Junior Honor Society at a ceremony on Monday, Dec. 16. The students recognized have strong academic records, they have demonstrated their academic excellence by achieving an “A” average in all core subjects on their first trimester report card. Members of the NJHS chapter serve as role models for the entire student body.

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