Dallas Doings: Each Moment Matters Luncheon, Temple Shalom Celebrates, UT Dallas Holocaust Center

Each Moment Matters Luncheon is a success

The 11th annual Each Moments Matters Luncheon was held on Oct. 16 at the T. Boone Pickens and Palliative Care Center benefiting Faith Presbyterian Hospice, accredited by the National Institute for Jewish Hospice. The theme, “Across the Pond,” reflected the luncheon’s unique venue, the co-chair’s British birthplace and the keynote speaker who flew 25 missions from England to Nazi Germany in World War II. 

This year’s luncheon recognized 26 individuals throughout the DFW metroplex who demonstrate an extraordinary difference in the lives of others. The list included Julie Genecov Shrell, who was honored for her work with Be the Difference Foundation through Wheel to Survive, and Lyn Berman for her work with Attitudes and Attire. Berman also received special recognition with the prestigious Don Hodges Joy of Service award.

“Be the Difference is about fighting ovarian cancer, something I experienced, something I am passionate about,” said Shrell, co-founder of Be the Difference. “Being honored for doing that, feels amazing.”

In addition to the keynote address, the program included history, a World War II flyover, and live music and closed with a benediction given by Rabbi Stefan Weinberg, who attended in support of Shrell, a member of his congregation, Anshai Torah.

“I was asked to say a few words and it was my pleasure to do so,” said Rabbi Weinberg. “Each Moment Matters represents powerful expressions of mankind’s best self. In spite of the many challenges and hurdles facing our world, the statements made by the many men and women associated with this organization remind each of us how much we need each other.” 

The programs and services made possible through the Each Moment Matters Luncheon provide for the care of unfunded patients as well as the special programming and clinical services including music therapy, massage therapy, pet therapy, child and family bereavement services and charitable care. 

As a faith-based nonprofit, Forefront Living serves people of all faiths and has strong relationships with the Jewish community. Faith Presbyterian Hospice works closely with Jewish Family Service Community Chaplain Rabbi Howard Wolk and other rabbis in the community to serve as a spiritual support for Jewish patients and families. 

If you missed the event and still want to participate, the Forefront Living Foundation is having an “Across the Pond” auction and proceeds will benefit Faith Presbyterian Hospice. Visit one.bidpal.net/eachmomentmatters to view items on auction and place your bid.

For more information about the Faith Presbyterian Hospice, T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center and the work that they do, visit www.faithpreshospice.org/hospice-care-center/. If you missed the event and would like to watch or donate, please visit eachmomentmatters.org. 

—Submitted by Payeton Schnell

Temple Shalom celebrates

On Saturday, Oct. 17, the Temple Shalom lawn and parking lot bustled with energy. Third through fifth graders and their families welcomed Shabbat with the Family Shabbat Experience — an interactive educational experience and picnic. As Shabbat came to a close, kindergarten through second grade families celebrated Havdalah together on the front lawn. Socially distanced and masked as always, the families sat on blankets and chairs as they learned, created spice boxes, sang songs and prayers and celebrated Havdalah together. Afterward, the families joined other Temple members in the back parking lot for an intimate Havdalah service and concert. Singer Chaz Marie-Hope, musicians Bryan Grenvall and Craig Langford, and audio engineer, Temple member Ed Klein, enhanced the night with their beautiful music.

“Celebrating Shabbat together, in a responsible, socially distant manner in these ways, was a real treat,” said Rabbi Andrew Paley. “Reminding ourselves of the importance of the various ways community happens was a true blessing. Whether we are meeting online or in person, celebrating holidays and special occasions inside or outside, being together is what Temple Shalom is all about.”

Earlier in the month, Temple Shalom celebrated Simchat Torah with an outdoor “Journey through the Torah” service.

The Temple Shalom Simchat Torah “Journey Through the Torah” was an awesome opportunity to walk through the story of our people as the entire Torah was unrolled outside on a beautiful day. Hearing the ending verses of the Torah read by Debbie Niederman, director of Religious School and Young Family Programming, and then the beginning verses of the Torah chanted by Laurel Fisher, was wonderful. Following the hearing of the words, families and participants were able to literally come close to the stories and exciting moments of our history, stopping to reflect on meaningful moments, the beautiful letters of the Torah and the different ways the calligraphy taught important lessons. “It’s not every day we are able to see the Torah unrolled to its fullest — 150 feet,” said Rabbi Andrew Paley.

—Submitted by Lisa Rothberg

Wald gift enables Dr. Amy Kerner to join UT Dallas Holocaust center

Dr. Amy Kerner, an expert in Holocaust and human rights studies, recently joined the University of Texas at Dallas Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies. Her endowed position at the University was made possible by a gift from Jacqueline and Michael Wald, who have been supporters of UT Dallas for a number of years.

“At a certain point in life, people want to think about a legacy and giving back,” said Michael Wald. “The mission of the Ackerman Center is so important in Holocaust education and reaching out to the community in an age of increasing Holocaust denial. Anything we can do to make a difference, raise awareness and increase tolerance of all citizens of the world toward one another is a worthwhile endeavor.”

Thanks to the Walds, Kerner is the Fellow of the Jacqueline and Michael Wald Professorship in Holocaust Studies. Kerner said her research fits well with the intent of the professorship, as designated by the Walds.

“I am pleased to be in a role that brings Holocaust studies and human rights together, with a focus on Europe and Latin America. That’s unusual, and an excellent fit for me. The possibility of being connected to both a history department and to a Holocaust studies center, and to bridge those fields, is very exciting.”

The Ackerman Center is one of the nation’s leading academic centers that, within a dedicated facility, provides an in-depth view of the Holocaust and its legacies. The center was founded by Holocaust scholar and survivor Dr. Zsuzsanna Ozsváth in 1986.

Dr. Nils Roemer, interim dean of School of Arts and Humanities and director of the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies, said the Walds have been integral in ensuring that the center continue its high-level research and community outreach.

“The Walds are very special people. Their commitment to this program, this University and this cause will impact the world for years to come,” he said.

Jacqueline Wald said she and her husband have been gratified by their association with the Ackerman Center, including its lecture series, events, and the meaningful friendships that have come from those. The Walds also have been engaged with another center in the School of Arts and Humanities — the Center for US-Latin American Initiatives — which aligns with Kerner’s research. 

“The Wald professorship will continue long after we are gone. It shows that we cared enough about educating future generations to promote greater understanding of history, and that its errors are not repeated,” she said.

—Submitted by Phil Roth

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