Dallas Doings: New rabbi, Beth Torah men's club, teen singers, award

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray

Congregation Shearith Israel appoints Rabbi Ari Sunshine as next senior rabbi

Mazal Tov to Rabbi Ari Sunshine, who will serve as Congregation Shearith Israel’s next senior rabbi.
“It is with great pleasure and excitement that we announce Rabbi Ari Sunshine has been elected to serve as the next senior rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel,” Congregation President Gail Mizrahi wrote in a letter to the Shearith community Thursday evening, March 23.
After graduation from college, Rabbi Sunshine served three years at Temple Israel in Sharon, Massachusetts as youth director and senior USY adviser. In 1997, he decided to attend the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. While attending JTS, he also served as a rabbinic intern for Beth El Congregation in Baltimore, Maryland, and for The American University in Washington, D.C.
Rabbi Sunshine has extensive experience working at Camp Ramah in Ojai, California. He staffed United Synagogue Youth on Wheels during the summer of 1995 and was a group leader for United Synagogue Youth Pilgrimage to Israel and Eastern Europe.

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Rabbi Ari Sunshine will assume the Shearith Israel pulpit in July.

He received his M.A. and rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in spring 2002. From July 2002 until November 2006, he served as the associate rabbi of Temple Israel in Charlotte, North Carolina. In November 2006 Rabbi Sunshine became the rabbi of B’nai Shalom of Olney, Maryland. Rabbi Sunshine currently serves as the president of the Greater Olney Interfaith Ministerium and as the president of the Washington-Baltimore Region of the Rabbinical Assembly.
“We look forward to welcoming Rabbi Sunshine, his wife, Jennifer and their children, Jonah and Elana to our community this July,” said Mizrahi.

Beth Torah Men’s Club honors Dave Gerstein

The Congregation Beth Torah Men’s Club honored longtime member Dave Gerstein with its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award at services Saturday, March 25.
Gerstein is a former club president with decades of leadership roles on the regional and national levels of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, the umbrella organization for Men’s Clubs at Conservative synagogues throughout the United States and Canada.


“In addition to all that, Dave has catered practically every event we’ve ever held,” said current Men’s Club President Brian Rubinstein. “He’s a treasure, and this honor is long overdue.”
Rubinstein said the new Lifetime Achievement Award will be awarded periodically, and will be named for Gerstein.

Local teens sing at the Met

The Dallas Chapter of HaZamir performed last week in New York City at the Metropolitan Opera House with HaZamir choirs from around the country. Members of the local chapter are Emily Rosuck, Samantha Harberg, Jeffery Harberg and Hannah Fritts. They are conducted by Charles Owens.
HaZamir is a project of the Zamir Choral Foundation, the only international organization dedicated to using Jewish choral music to foster Jewish identity across generational, denominational and political lines. Now, in their 24th year, the foundation’s achievements are remarkable in both music and Jewish education. HaZamir is a network of choral chapters for high-school-age singers. The choir is growing in name and popularity and has doubled in size in the past six years, with 29 chapters now in the U.S. and six chapters in Israel.
HaZamir is not just a choir. It is also a dynamic and charismatic youth movement, offering participants a pluralistic environment in which to interact with other teens from all streams of Judaism. HaZamir singers learn Jewish choral repertoire as they build community, develop leadership skills, connect to Jewish culture, and receive a Jewish education.

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Members of the Dallas Chapter of HaZamir (from left) Emily Rosuck, Samantha Harberg, Jeffery Harberg, Hannah Fritts and Conductor Charles Owens

The concert featured the world premiere of FanFare for Jerusalem by award-winning New York pianist and composer, Randy Klein (http://www.randyklein.com/). Klein’s composition is based on excerpts from the Psalms of David. Klein, a self-professed secular Jew, says that the experience has been deeply meaningful. “It brought back the memory of the joy of being raised in a home that observed Jewish traditions. These memories had lain dormant for decades and now I was given the chance to feel them again as a mature adult.” You could interview Maestro Matthew Lazar and Randy Klein about their close collaboration on this piece. Klein, who does not speak or read Hebrew, based his composition on the Hebrew texts.

Keo Strull to receive Shalom’s Woman of Valor Award

On Saturday, April 29, Temple Shalom Sisterhood will present the 2017 Woman of Valor Award to Keo Strull. The award is presented annually to a Sisterhood member who has demonstrated the highest standard of community service, leadership and character.

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(From left) Lisa Rothberg, Temple Shalom Sisterhood Women of Valor Event Chair Robyn Klein, 2017 WOV Honoree Keo Strull, Sisterhood Co-President Ali Rhodes; (front row) ATF Participant Brian Aft

For 30 years, Temple Shalom Sisterhood has recognized an extraordinary group of women. Keo Strull embodies what it means to be a woman who uses her strength and power to improve the world. As an active volunteer for Temple Shalom and the community, she has worked tirelessly in numerous volunteer roles. In addition to Temple Shalom, Keo has served Southwest Jewish Congress, the JCC Maccabi Games and AJC. Keo never says “No!” She now serves as co-chair of Temple Shalom’s Connection Council, where she is responsible for all the committees that ensure prospective members and congregants are welcomed and integrated into Temple life. Keo’s generous spirit, enthusiasm and love for all things Jewish make her a standout honoree! Sisterhood is proud to sponsor a celebration in her honor.
The Temple Shalom Sisterhood Spring Event, “Music Under the Moonlight” will begin at 6 p.m. at Temple Shalom, 6930 Alpha Rd, Dallas. The evening includes dinner, music featuring The Merseymen, a silent auction and cash bar. Tickets cost $75. Proceeds from the event will benefit Temple Shalom Sisterhood and Adaptive Training Foundation (ATF). ATF was founded by David Vobora, a 5-year veteran of the NFL, who was forced to leave his football career due to a devastating shoulder injury. Now owner of a Dallas-based gym, David helps wounded veterans and individuals with life-altering physical challenges to find confidence, mobility and hope. ATF offers a nine-week intensive training program customized for each participant’s specific disabilities. Please help us support ATF, and their goal to empower individuals with disabilities.
For sponsorship availability or more information, contact Event Chair Robyn Klein at whatsup290@yahoo.com or go to www.templeshalomdallas.org to buy tickets.

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