Ladino takes the spotlight at Judeo-Spanish Culture event
SMU’s fifth Celebration of Judeo-Spanish Culture from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, will feature personal Sephardic stories, an update on Ladino studies and a concert of Ladino music.
Ladino is a historic Jewish language with a geographically diverse distribution that developed a rich cultural heritage since its emergence in medieval Spain.
The offerings are:
• Ladino Komunidad founder Rachel Amado Bortnick will tell the story of her grandfathers in “Two Ottoman-Jewish Gentlemen in an Era of Transition.”
• Sarah Korman will share memories of growing up Sephardic in Portland, Oregon, in “Personal Reflections of Ladino.”
• M. E. Rios will recount his experience of gaining Spanish nationality as a descendant of Jews forced to convert in Spain and later persecuted by the Inquisition.
• Alejandro Acero Ayuda will present an updated report of the current status of Ladino in the 21st century.
• Austin musician Michelle Alany and friends will perform Sephardic music infused with tasty Texas-blues twist.
The coffee break will include Sephardic sweets.
The free public event will take place at McCord Auditorium on the third floor of Dallas Hall, 3225 University Blvd., at Southern Methodist University. No registration is required.
BT Men’s Club breakfast to feature UTD robotics prof
Patrick Michaud, assistant director for robotics education at the University of Texas at Dallas, will be the guest speaker at Congregation Beth Torah Men’s Club’s breakfast at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 20.
Michaud will discuss the importance of robotics in education and engineering, and his role in robotics competitions. He, his students — and their robots — will present a demonstration of their work.
The public is welcome at the lox-and-bagel breakfast, which costs $10, $5 for students. Beth Torah is located at 720 W. Lookout Drive in Richardson.
Levine Academy to host unique fundraiser March 9
Ann & Nate Levine Academy is putting a new twist on its Annual Fundraising Gala, scheduled for Saturday, March 9, 2019, at 6500 Cedar Springs Road, Suite 200, in Dallas
Titled “The Real Mensches of DFW: Great People. Good Deeds,” this year’s gala moves away from the traditional honoree dinner. Instead, seven community leaders — Neil Beckerman, Julie and Jay Liberman, Lillian and Jon Pinkus, and Jackie and Steve Waldman — will partner with students in grades 5-8 to help them perform acts of service for four area nonprofits that are aligned with Levine Academy’s core values.
The organizations are The Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, The Legacy Senior Communities, Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas and The Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas Partnership 2Gether, supporting the Western Galilee in Israel.
The evening will begin with cocktails, silent and live auctions, and a multicourse dinner, with entertainment provided by DJ Brooks Butler. The evening will culminate with a video presentation and speeches highlighting the students’ community contributions.
“What a fitting year to highlight the good that we all do for our community and to bring everyone together, said Levine Academy board president Solomon Israel. “At Ann & Nate Levine Academy, we identify a core value each year on which our programming is focused. This year, our midah (Jewish value) is ‘Responsibility.’
“We are teaching our students that it is their responsibility to participate in our community’s commitment to social justice and tikkun olam. The projects implemented by the students for this event will be a great reminder to us that love, compassion and contribution are stronger than hate.”
For information about sponsorship opportunities, tables and tickets, visit www.bidpal.net/levinegala.
With loss of Maxine Waldman, JCC tourney gets new name
One of the JCC’s signature events, the annual golf tournament, is changing its name to honor a longtime pillar who recently died.. Moving forward, the Aaron Family JCC Golf Tournament will be named the Maxine and Erwin Waldman Memorial Golf Tournament.
“My grandparents were giants in the Dallas Jewish community,” said Scott Cohen, a grandson of the Waldmans. “And no cause was closer to their hearts than that of the JCC. When my grandfather passed, my grandmother loved the idea of the golf tournament as a way to honor both him and their passion for the JCC. She would be happy to know the tradition and support continues on in their name.”
This year’s tournament will take place on Monday, June 3. Proceeds from the event will continue to support the Joanie I. Weinstein Camp Scholarship Fund and Elaine Quint Schrager Preschool Scholarship Fund at the JCC. Through sponsorships and raffle proceeds, the Aaron Family JCC is able to fund these scholarships for children to attend J Camps and the Goldberg Family Early Childhood Center.
“I believe in the valuable work of the JCC and I am honored to be involved with the Golf Tournament year after year,” Tournament Co-chair Clay Aaron said. “This event means so much to many in the community, as Maxine and Erwin were great role models for all. They brought so much passion and dedication to the J.”
Added Co-chair Neil Goldberg: “I believe the golf tournament will continue to be a success well into the future. This is such a great event to both lead and participate in. A fun day of playing golf and raising money for preschool and camp scholarships, what can be better?”
Yavneh students ace college entrance exams
Thirteen Yavneh Academy students have scored in the top 2 percent of national college admissions testing — SAT and ACT — including a perfect score of 36 on the ACT.
Nine Yavneh seniors and four Yavneh juniors earned SAT scores averaging more than 1,500 (out of a perfect 1,600) and ACT scores averaging more than 34 (out of a perfect 36).
The high achievers are Maayan Abouzaglo, Ari Berke, Zach Bernstein, David Cohen, Adam Frydman, Ben Levkovitch, Leib Malina, Simcha Malina, Ezra Ruderman, Jenna Sasson, Jonah Schwarz-Mullins, Max Weinstein and Yosef Weiss.
“This is an astonishing number of high scorers for one school, let alone a school our size,” Head of School David Portnoy said. “Our Yavneh faculty has done an outstanding job of preparing these students academically for the top colleges, universities, yeshivot and seminaries.”
Added Allyn Schmucker, director of college counseling: “I have never seen such terrific results from a group of high-achieving students. Colleges and universities respond to our Yavneh applicants based on a range of qualities, and this current crop will continue to burnish our school’s top reputation in Dallas and beyond.”