Dallas Doings: November 18, 2021

Levine Academy elevates its status among private schools

Photo: Courtesy Levine Academy
Members of the ISAS Visiting Committee with past and present Levine Academy presidents of the board of trustees and Head of School Tom Elieff

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Ann & Nate Levine Academy recently completed its final stage of a multi-year accreditation process that will place the school alongside the top tier of private schools in DFW and throughout the six-state Southwest region. 

On Nov. 7, 15 members from the ISAS Visiting Committee (ISAS is the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest) arrived at Levine Academy for four days of classroom and program observations, interviews with faculty and board members, policy review and documentation compliance. 

The visiting committee was comprised of professional educators — school heads, department heads and faculty — from ISAS schools from Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Phoenix and Tulsa. The full accreditation process is comprehensive: Schools must devote more than a year to gathering documentation from all aspects of the school, and this phase is followed by a 12-month self-study report that touches on more than 20 aspects of the school’s organization and programs. 

“This is an exciting and historic moment for Levine,” said Tom Elieff, Levine’s head of school. “The outstanding quality of our educational program across the board deserves to be recognized among such leading schools as Greenhill, St. Mark’s, Hockaday and Parish.”

Levine now will await the final approval from the ISAS board when it convenes next year. Acceptance into ISAS will assure that Levine will follow best educational and organizational practices, and Levine will access the leading professional development services for its board and teachers. Levine would become the first Jewish day school in Dallas to achieve ISAS accreditation. 

Chabad of Plano menorah lighting to feature gelt drop, Cowboys’ mascot

Chabad of Plano/Collin County will host its 17th consecutive Menorah Lighting Celebration at The Shops at Willow Bend at a new location — outside in the Restaurant District.  The Menorah Lighting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29, the second night of Hanukkah. 

Hanukkah music and latkes will be onsite beginning at 5 p.m. The program will feature greetings from Plano Mayor John Muns, the lighting of Chabad of Plano’s 12-foot-tall menorah, a “Gelt Drop” by the Plano Fire Department from the top of a ladder truck and a fantastic juggling show. Rowdy, the Dallas Cowboys’ mascot, will be on hand to help get everyone into the Hanukkah spirit. Each family will receive a Hanukkah gift bag with a Hanukkah story book, chocolate gelt and a dreidel. 

“The menorah serves as a symbol of light and hope for us today, as it did for generations before us,” said Rabbi Menachem Block, director of Chabad of Plano. “The flames of the menorah shine out into the night, reminding us that even when confronted with much darkness, a tiny light can dispel it all. Another act of goodness and kindness, another act of light, can make all the difference.”

This Gelt Drop Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Event is part of the worldwide Hanukkah campaign launched by the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, in 1973. The campaign highlights and encourages the central theme of the holiday — publicizing the story of the Hanukkah miracle and the victory of light over darkness, a message of hope greatly needed today.

This year’s global campaign will see Chabad reach 8 million Jews in more than 100 countries. Chabad will erect some 15,000 large public menorahs, which will be seen by millions on streets and public squares around the world, including in front of landmarks such as the White House, the Eiffel Tower and the Kremlin.

Throughout the DFW area, Chabad will organize several giant menorah displays and public menorah lightings. To find a local event in DFW, or practically anywhere throughout the world, visit the international Hanukkah event directory at www.chabadplano.org/HanukkahEvents.

For more information about Hanukkah and a local schedule of events visit www.ChabadPlano.org/Hanukkah or call 972-596-8270.

Applications open: Nearly $200K in college scholarships to be awarded for next fall

Dallas Jewish Community Foundation is pleased to announce the opening of its college scholarship program. These are scholarships for the next school year for incoming freshmen and current college students. Students complete one application for the 64 scholarships that average $3,000 per scholarship award. With the cost of higher education always increasing, the foundation is eager to announce it has added many new scholarships this year. Two are for students who take classes at the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies at UTD. Another is for students that are making the transition from a community college to a university to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Many other scholarships are for any major and for students of any faith. There are also scholarships for those studying Jewish studies, nutrition, special education, fashion, advertising, medicine, law and a host of other fields. Basically, if the student is from Dallas, Collin or Denton counties they are eligible to apply. Applications are due in early February. All scholarship information can be found at www.djcf.org.

Grandtime at Temple Shalom begins Sunday, Nov. 21

It’s not too late to join Temple Shalom for its five-class series, Grandtime at Shalom, with its first installment from noon to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21, at Temple Shalom, 6930 Alpha Road. The classes are designed to give grandparents the tools to teach their grandchildren about the joy and wonder of Jewish life. Folks can attend one class or all five and are encouraged to bring their grandchildren and invite their fellow grandparents. The Nov. 21 event will focus on the miracle of Hanukkah. Participants will create their own hanukkiyot, learn about the holiday through stories and receive a Hanukkah goodie bag. There will be a pizza picnic and a special program with grandchildren.
RSVPs are required by 3 p.m. Nov. 17 at https://
grandtime-at-shalom/. The program is made possible by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Dallas.

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