Dallas Doings: Scholars, awards, lecture

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray

Yavneh’s Schultz Scholars

On May 16, Yavneh Academy announced that six students have been named Schultz Scholars for the 2016-17 Academic Year. The Yavneh students include three graduating seniors and three juniors whose academic achievement and co-curricular leadership exemplify the best of Yavneh Academy.
They are:

Rosie Bernstein ‘17 (Stern College/Yeshiva University)

Rosie has served as co-editor-in-chief of the school’s award-winning student newspaper, The Bulldog Print; as co-chair of the Yavneh Spirit Committee; and as a leader in Points for Peace/Students Against Terrorism. A youth leader at Congregation Shaare Tefilla, Rosie has been active in Bnei Akiva and on the JFS Teen Editorial board. Following a gap year at Migdal Oz Seminary in Israel, Rosie will attend the honors program at Yeshiva University/Stern College.

Ariella Cohen ’17 (Barnard College/Columbia University)

Ariella, co-valedictorian of the class of 2017, has distinguished herself academically and co-curricularly during her four years at Yavneh. A leader in journalism, mathematics and community service/tikkun olam at Yavneh, Ariella represented Yavneh at last summer’s International Girls’ Math Competition — Ulpaniada 5776 — in Jerusalem, Israel.
She is active in Bnei Akiva and Junior World Affairs Council, she founded Every Smile Counts, and she completed a mechanical engineering internship at SMU. Ariella will attend Barnard College of Columbia University next year.

Megan Lacritz ’17 (Stern College/Yeshiva University)

Megan has excelled academically and has been a leader across the board at Yavneh and beyond. As co-chair of the Yavneh Spirit Committee, outstanding volunteer at CHAI, and Yachad Youth Leader, she has contributed grandly to school and community. As layout editor for the award-winning student newspaper, The Bulldog Print, Megan received top statewide awards for her graphic design. Following a Gap Year at Shaalvim for Women in Israel, Megan will attend Stern College of Yeshiva University.

Eliana Abraham ’18 (Grade 11)

A newcomer to Yavneh this year, Eliana has excelled in every area of school life and in the community. From volunteering with Bnei Akiva, to her involvement with NCSY, to her participation in the AIPAC High School Summit, Eliana has been a leader and organizer every step of the way. This coming year, she will serve as president of Dallas Yachad and as editor-in-chief of The Bulldog Print, Yavneh’s award-winning student newspaper.

Seth Gerstenfeld ’18 (Grade 11)

Seth is an all-around outstanding student at Yavneh and a patriotic U.S. citizen. From his participation in Yavneh cross-country and basketball, to his involvement with the Plano Rugby Club, Seth is a loyal and active student-athlete, photographer and athletic manager. He is also involved with the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps (Sea Cadets) and plans to pursue ROTC during college and serve in the U.S. military.

Rachel Sasson ’18 (Grade 11)

Another Yavneh newcomer, Rachel excels academically and across a range of co-curricular activities. An active leader in cross-country, basketball and soccer, Rachel also serves as vice president of Yavneh’s Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). Beyond school, she is involved with Girl Scouts, Friendship Circle of Dallas, and BBYO, where she serves as regional vice president of communications for the North Texas Oklahoma (NTO) region.

Beth Torah receives grant for welcoming interfaith families on website; more awards available

Congregation Beth Torah recently received a grant from The Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs Keruv/Understanding Intermarriage for openly advertising that they are welcoming to interfaith families. Liz Cox accepted the award March 16 on behalf of the synagogue.
Beth Torah was one of 23 congregations meeting the criteria by specifically welcoming interfaith families on the front page of their website and also creating a dedicated Interfaith Families page with specific programs and statements to encourage their participation in synagogue life. Additionally, the FJMC offered assistance in helping these synagogues. The responses to this Website Challenge are still being received after the original closing date.
Encouraged by the many synagogues who have been motivated by this grant opportunity to revisit who they are and who they want to be, the National Center to Encourage Judaism has extended additional funding to allow other synagogues to participate in this welcoming opportunity. For further information, contact keruv@fjmc.org.

Temple Shalom holds annual meeting, wraps religious school

May is always a busy month filled with celebrations at Temple Shalom. On Friday, May 5, Temple members gathered together for the Confirmation of the class of 5777. Then, on Sunday, May 7, congregants enjoyed Temple Shalom’s 51st Annual Meeting followed by a fantastic slide show, 7th grade graduation, Next Dor Graduation and awards.
Congratulations to the new Temple Shalom officers, new graduates and award winners: Mark Fishkind, Volunteer of the Year; and Nina Minney, chair of the Shomrei Adamah – “Guardians of the Earth” Committee was awarded the Social Action Initiative Award. Brotherhood President Bill Hoffpauer awarded Lauren Stock the Tracy Fisher Memorial Next Dor Valedictorian Scholarship. Named for Tracy Fisher, the daughter of Temple Shalom members Laurel and Mark Fisher, who died in 2009, this award honors her memory and her love of Judaism and all things NFTY. “We are so very proud of Lauren for receiving this award. She is an amazing role model and certainly embodies the passion and spirit that Tracy had,” exclaimed Tracy’s mom, Laurel Fisher.
Thank you to all the staff, teachers, volunteers, parents and students who made 2016-2017 so amazing! “It was another great end to a great year at Temple Shalom,”said Rabbi Ariel Boxman.

Mahra Fox Pailet joins JWRP national board

Mahra Fox Pailet recently was appointed to the national board of directors of the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project. JWRP also named Betty Grinstein of New York and Helen Zalik of Atlanta to its board. The three will help guide JWRP to inspire a new generation of Jewish women leaders.
Fox Pailet has extensive experience working in the Jewish community, at the Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, and volunteering for Israel Bonds, the Dallas Jewish Historical Society, Congregation Shearith Israel of Dallas, the JCC of Dallas, the Ann and Nate Levine Academy of Dallas, and at AIPAC. In addition to her new role on the JWRP board, she will co-chair the JWRP’s development committee with JWRP’s vice president and co-founder, Michelle Leader.
She has an extensive professional background in marketing, communications, event planning, and product management. Fox Pailet lives in Dallas with her husband Kevin and three children.
“These incredible women personify our philosophy to a T. I am so honored to welcome them as board members and I am looking forward to the great work we will accomplish together,” said JWRP’s founding director, Lori Palatnik.

Ozsváth to discuss book at Sunday lecture

Professor Zsuzsanna Ozsváth with the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies at The University of Texas at Dallas will present a private lecture at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 21 in the Ackerman Center. Dr. Ozsváth will discuss her memoir, When the Danube Ran Red, about her time as a little girl in Budapest, Hungary in 1944. The lecture will be followed by a reception. Ozsváth is the Leah and Paul Lewis Chair in Holocaust Studies and director of the Holocaust Studies Program. Please RSVP to Bobbie Crowley at bcrowley@snabbo.com.

Tikkun Olam in Action

Dr. Jonathan Nathan, son of Karen and Bassim Nathan, is a plastic surgeon specializing in reconstructive plastic surgery. Finishing his last year of fellowship at Loyola Hospital in Chicago, he recently joined a cadre of doctors sponsored by the Peruvian Surgical Society. The team went to Peru to perform surgeries to needy people in remote areas, particularly burn victims and children with cleft palates.

Dr. Jonathan Nathan
Dr. Jonathan Nathan

About 14 surgeons from across the United States flew to Arequipa on March 17 and returned March 28. They performed surgeries on numerous patients, young and old. At the end of the trip, Jonathan and his colleagues had time to visit the architectural beauty of the city of Cuzco.

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