Dallas Doings: Beth Torah, Shearith Israel, SWJC, Jill Biden

This weekend is Beth Torah’s ‘Reading of the Names’

Congregation Beth Torah’s annual 24-hour Holocaust vigil begins at 9 p.m., Saturday, April 14, at the synagogue, 720 Lookout Drive in Richardson. People from many faiths in North Texas will read the names of thousands of people murdered in the Holocaust.
Beth Torah’s Men’s Club has organized the “Reading of the Names” event every year since 2002 to preserve the memories of the Nazis’ 11 million victims, 6 million of them Jews.
“Most of the victims were only known by a number and were never given a proper memorial,” said Ed Matisoff, co-chair of the project. “The Dallas community has the opportunity to keep their memories alive by reading and listening to the names. It’s both an obligation and an honor for us to do this.”
The event begins with a candlelighting ceremony in the synagogue sanctuary. The theme is “Unto Every Person There Is A Name,” the title of an Israeli poem about the Holocaust.
Then, in 15-minute shifts, volunteers of all ages and faiths will read the names, ages and hometowns of individual victims, as well as the dates of their deaths. The details are supplied by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial, museum and research institute in Jerusalem, as well as the United States Holocaust Museum. The readings will pause periodically for the “Mourner’s Kaddish.”
“The entire community is invited, and we’re very grateful that more people join us every year, both as readers and to listen to the names,” said Jeff Markowitz, co-chair of the project. “It’s hard to put into words just what an emotional, meaningful experience this is for everyone involved.”
Some of the spiritual leaders taking part this year include Rabbi Elana Zelony of Beth Torah, Shakeel Muhammad and Dr. Mohamed Lazzouni of the Islamic Association of Collin County, Dr. Robert Hunt of Global Theological Education and The Center for Evangelism and Missional Church Studies at SMU, Dr. Michael Perry of King’s Right Hand Ministries, and Niransan Hanu Manna of Sai Baba Center of Dallas. Representatives of many houses of worship, schools and organizations will participate, and some readers will take part from around the world through Skype.
“The Reading of the Names” will continues through the night, and then will pause at 9:45 a.m. Sunday for a breakfast program featuring Dan Spigel, film director of House of the Generals. The program will consist of the screening of the film followed by a Q & A with Spigel.
The readings will then resume at 11 a.m., culminating in a closing ceremony from 8:30-9 p.m.

—Submitted by
Laura Matisoff

Marsha Lev: Shearith Israel’s Torah Fund honoree

Shearith Israel SISterhood will recognize Marsha Lev as this year’s Torah Fund honoree at a brunch to take place at 11:30 a.m., Sunday, April 29, at Congregation Shearith Israel, 9401 Douglas Ave. in Dallas.
Marsha was born in Waco and is a graduate of the University of Texas, where she received a B.S. in special education. Upon graduation, she moved to Dallas and taught in the Dallas ISD for eight years, then began a new career in retail.
She and her husband, Mike, (z”l) were married in June 1979 and joined Shearith Israel two years later. After the birth of her first child, Eric, in 1981, Marsha joined SISterhood and took on various positions, including Oneg Shabbat catering chair and later College Connection chair. Over the years, she held several vice presidencies and became SISterhood president in 1995. The Shearith Israel SISterhood Camp Ramah Endowment Fund was established during her tenure. It was during those years in SISterhood that she formed many long-lasting friendships and gained myriad leadership skills.
Marsha sat on Shearith Israel’s board of directors until May 2017, a span of over 20 years, and chaired various committees. She was the Sandwich Drive chair for many years, and from 2015-2017, served as house committee chair. Marsha was instrumental in SISterhood’s purchase of new chairs for the congregation.
In the community, Marsha is involved with Women’s Philanthropy of Federation and has been a co-chair for several Dallas Federation divisions over the years. She is a life member of Hadassah. Marsha has two sons, Eric and Jordan.
Cost of the brunch per individual is $36, plus a minimum donation of $18 to the Torah Fund. Donors who give $180 or more will receive a Torah Fund pin, with this year’s design featuring the number 100 in raised letters and encased in a silver frame along with the Hebrew words “Mah Tovu” (how good) from the prayer uttered upon entering the synagogue each morning.
Please use the online payment option accessible at https://sisterhood.shearith.org/event/sis_torahfund2018/ to pay. Payment due date is Tuesday, April 17.
For further information, contact Sisterhood Torah Fund Vice President Janet Jerrow,
j_jerrow@hotmail.com or Meryl Nason, mgnsoc@sbcglobal.net.

—Submitted by
Janet Jerrow

Lynn will keynote SWJC annual meeting

SWJC will hold its annual meeting, at 7:30 p.m., Monday, April 16, at Temple Shalom, 6930 Alpha Road. Dinner will precede the program at 6:30 p.m. Barbara M.G. Lynn, Chief Judge for the Northern District of Texas will speak on “The Federal Bench: How I Got Here, What It’s Like, and How Will It Be in the Future.”
Lynn began her judgeship on Feb. 14, 2000 and became the first female chief judge May 1, 2016. A summa cum laude graduate of the University of Virginia, Lynn graduated first in her class at SMU’s Dedman School of Law in 1976. Upon her graduation from law school, she joined the Dallas law firm of Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, LLP, and remained there until she took the bench.
The program is free and open to the public; however, dinner is available for purchase at $15 per person. A vegetable plate is available upon request. Food is provided by Catering by Larry. Dinner reservations are required and meeting reservations are requested. Kindly pre-pay dinner reservations via cash, check or credit card by contacting Susan Myers at 214-361-0018 or email susan@swjc.org.
Event chairs are Andrew Farkas and Jonathan Spigel.
SWJC Officers are President Susie Salfield Avnery, Founding Chair Harry Ploss, Immediate Past Chair Jonathan M. Spigel, Vice President Programming Nelda Golden, Vice Presidents Fundraising Cindy Ray and Keo Strull, Vice President Community Relations Rose Marie Stromberg, Secretary Marla Greenberg Janco, and Treasurer Alan L. Tolmas. Board of directors are Hilary Blake, Richard Barrett-Cuetara, Gordon Cizon, Michael B. Cohen, Andy Farkas, Ardo Fuentes, Catalina E. Garcia, Kenneth R. Glaser, Michael B. Glazer, Robert Alan Goldberg, Janet S. Goldsmith, Brenda Jackson, Mark E. Jacobs, Mel Meyers, Michelle E. Shriro, and Dr. Marion Sobol-Helgason. Incoming Board members are Kevin Bolton, Lynn Towery and Anita Weinstein.
FDR and the Jews: apathy or adulation?
In honor of Yom HaShoah, Ted Rubin will present a program on President Franklin D. Roosevelt at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 12, at Tiferet Israel, 10909 Hillcrest Road in Dallas.
Many have accused FDR as being apathetic during his presidency from 1933-1945. Could he have done more?
Why then, during his four presidential victories, specifically 1940 and 1944, did over 90 percent of the Jewish electorate vote for FDR?
Decades after his death, and with full knowledge of Nazi atrocities, his picture adorned the walls of many Jewish businesses, Today, for many Jewish Americans, his leadership is remembered with reverence.
Rubin’s presentation will focus on the times which may have shaped Roosevelt’s actions in the rescue of European Jews, including The Attitudes of the Nation, the quota system, efforts of resettlement, the obstruction of the State Department, Jewish intransigence and the War Refugee Board.
There is no charge for the event and light snacks will be served. For more information and to make reservations, please email: jennifer@tiferetisrael.org or call 214-691-3611.

—Submitted by
Jennifer Williams

Still time to get tickets to hear Jill Biden at JFS fundraiser, April 25

Jewish Family Service has released individual tickets for its Woman to Woman 2018 Luncheon with Dr. Jill Biden, wife of former Vice President Joe Biden, as the keynote speaker. This year’s luncheon will take place at noon, Wednesday, April 25, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Registration begins at
10 a.m.
Retired WFAA news anchor, Gloria Campos, will serve as master of ceremonies for the event.
Biden, lifelong educator and military mom, will focus on her notable personal accomplishments, which include advocating for issues that impact JFS clients — breast cancer through the Biden Breast Health Initiative, family violence through the Biden Foundation, and serving as a voice for children through her position as board chair of the international nonprofit, Save the Children.
“We look forward to hearing from Dr. Biden as a leader and positive influence on so many causes shaping our community for the better,” said JFS CEO, Steve Banta.
The Woman to Woman event provides critical funding to support JFS’ nationally accredited mental health and social services available to anyone in need regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or ability to pay. Last year, JFS provided mental health and social services to more than 13,000 individuals and families throughout the greater Dallas area.
Individual tickets are now on sale for $250 each. A limited number of Young Adult Tickets are available for those under 35 for just $100. Sponsorships for the luncheon are also available starting at $1,000 and include numerous benefits including an exclusive sponsor prize drawing, valet parking passes, and the opportunity to attend a VIP reception with Biden. As always, men are welcome to attend.
Event Co-Chairs are Susan Frapart, Linda Garner, Sherry Goldberg, Julie Liberman, Beverly Rossel, Monica Susman, Laura Weinstein and founding chair Ethel Zale.
For individual tickets, please visit www.jsdallas.org/woman. For sponsorship or underwriting, please contact Keo Strull, donor and event specialist at kstrull@jfsdallas.org. For marketing or media, please contact Leah Guskin, Director of Marketing & Communication at lguskin@jfsdallas.org.
For more information about the Woman to Woman 2018 Luncheon, please visit www.jfsdallas.org/woman.

—Submitted by
Leah Guskin

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