Dallas Doings: Freshman of the Year, Couples Club, new principal, theatre

By Sharon Wisch-Ray

Speedy recovery wishes to TJP Dallas Doings columnist Linda Wisch Davidsohn, who underwent successful knee replacement surgery last week. We look forward to Linda getting back in the saddle when she’s ready. In the meantime, keep sending your news to sharonw@texasjewishpost.com!

Congrats to Sam Shane

Temple Emanu-El’s Couples Club, which introduced its new officers recently at the Greek Isles Restaurant, was founded 26 years ago. It’s open to Temple seniors and other Jewish couples in the community. Photo: Buddy Gilbert

Sam Shane, the president of the Rashi USY youth group at Congregation Beth Torah, has been named Freshman of the Year by the organization’s Southwest Region.
The award was presented at the region’s annual convention, which was held at Camp Young Judea in Wimberley. The region encompasses high school youth groups at Conservative synagogues in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
In his freshman year, Sam served on the USY regional board and co-chaired two conventions.
“Sam showed what separates him and the great potential he has to make an impact on this region in the years to come,” said David
Kuchinsky, Rashi USY’s adviser.
Sam continues a long Beth Torah tradition of leadership in the region. The chapter has won many awards for individual programs and overall excellence, and many of its members have served in regional and national posts. Rashi alumnus Maury Jacobs currently serves as the Southwest USY regional director.
Rashi USY, and the Kadima chapter for pre-teens, welcomes Jewish youth whether or not their families belong to Beth Torah. For more information, call the synagogue at 972-234-1542.

TE Couples Club officers

The Temple Emanu-El Couples Club for seniors introduced its new officers for 2015-2016 at its recent event at the Greek Isles Restaurant.
The new officers are: presidents: Edie and Paul Singer; vice presidents: Shirley and Maurice Nurenberg, and Roberta and Donald Spector; secretary: Lois and Alan Kohn; social chairpersons: Renee and Buddy Gilbert, Sandra and Dan Gorman, Eileen and Thurman Ray, Toni and Frank Aaron, Esther and Maurice Bramnik, Frieda and Max Glauben, Sarah Yarrin and Jack Repp; membership chairs: Roslyn and Richard Polakoff and Phyllis and Paul Rifkin; treasurer: Sandra and Dan Gorman; parliamentarians: Carole and Barry Cohen; historians: Susan and Morris Hanson; sunshine: Joyce and Jerry Zellman; publicity: Renee and Buddy Gilbert; and communications: Elaine and Bernie Weil.
This past TECC “Get Acquainted” event also invited prospective new members to attend. The Temple Emanu-El Couples Club, founded 26 years ago, is a social club open to Temple members as well as other Jewish couples of the community. One member of the couple should be 55 years of age or older. For more information about the club, call the membership co-chairs Roslyn and Richard Polakoff at 972-701-8721 or Phyllis and Paul Rifkin at 972-380-2594.

Levine Academy’s new principal

Photo: Michael Precker Sam Shane (fourth from right) celebrates his Freshman of the Year award with fellow Rashi USY members at the regional convention.

Ann & Nate Levine Academy is pleased to announce the hiring of Elizabeth Lawlor to serve as Levine Academy’s K-8 principal, effective July 1. A native of Ireland, Liz Lawlor obtained her bachelor’s from St. Patrick’s College in history, geography, and sociology. Here in Texas, she earned her Master of Science in education from Texas Woman’s University.
The Levine community will fondly remember Ms. Lawlor as dean of students from 2006 to 2008, when she left to take on school leadership roles during the charter school expansions in Dallas. Ms. Lawlor has been a school principal in both public and private schools in the Dallas area, and in recent years has led the Williams Preparatory World School through its full International Baccalaureate authorization process.
Ms. Lawlor’s appointment is the culmination of a search process that thoroughly vetted a competitive field of prospects, from coast to coast in this country and even spanning three continents. Head of School Tom Elieff shared the following remarks in his announcement to faculty and parents: “Liz has the background, knowledge, and skills necessary to advance the School’s goals in the areas of curricular strengthening, technology evolution, and teacher professional development.”
The search team, comprising faculty representatives and parents, was especially impressed by the showering of accolades on Ms. Lawlor’s professional and personal qualities during the search process — “a tremendous principal,” “her relationships with teachers are a very strong suit,” an “exceptional instructional leader.” These qualities, alongside her professional and academic credentials, made her the perfect candidate to help further the implementation of innovative and enriched 21st-century best-practice teaching and learning at Levine Academy.
Levine Academy looks forward to sharing additional news regarding Levine’s academic leadership team in the weeks to come.

Save the date: 5 p.m. June 10
at the Wyly Theater

The Dallas Holocaust Museum will present an evening with classical pianist Mona Golabek, June 10 at 5 p.m. Ms. Golabek’s performance will showcase her unique combination of music and theatrical story-telling.
One story features her mother as a child in Nazi-occupied Vienna, where she witnesses the Night of Broken Glass, the humiliation of her father on the street and ultimately escapes alone on the Kindertransport.
Temple Shalom holds annual meeting, end of religious school celebration
On Sunday, May 3, Temple Shalom members gathered to celebrate their annual meeting and the end of the school year. The annual meeting started off, as most meetings do with minutes, swearing-in of officers and several awards. However, once the business was completed it was time for celebration!
The religious school students paraded in carrying their mitzvah chains that they had worked on throughout the year. Each week students wrote on a chain for the mitzvahs that they completed that week. Well, the mitzvahs added up and the hundreds of feet of paper chains made quite as impact as students marched in. Students and parents alike cheered as the following awards were announced:
Gail Hartstein was recognized for organizing and delivering food to the Stewpot for the past 15 years; Joy Addison was honored for her 33 years of dedicated service assisting Temple Shalom clergy; and Karen Thompson was recognized for assisting with the religious school for more than 39 years. Bella Garber got a standing ovation as she was recognized for 46 years of dedication as the face of Temple Shalom Religious School.
Then it was time to announce one of the Volunteers of the Year — Ray Farris got another standing ovation from all the children and parents in the audience.
Rabbi Ariel Boxman congratulated high school seniors Jason Taper, Ariella Stromberg, Grace Enda, Amanda Mendelsohn, and Zeke Fritts, who have volunteered as Ozrim and assisted with religious school each week.
Finally, the Tracy Fisher Memorial Next Dor Valedictorian Scholarship Award was given to Zeke Fritts. This Brotherhood Sponsored award, in memory of Tracy Fisher, is given out each year to a student who, just like Tracy, leads by example and truly exemplifies what it means to be Jewish.
With the formalities out of the way, it was time to celebrate. Perfect weather, bounce houses, cotton candy, popcorn, snow cones, and a DJ made this an afternoon these kids will never forget.

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