Dallas Doings: September 30th, 2021
Rev. Jennifer Butler

Rev. Jennifer Butler to speak  at Temple Emanu-El Oct. 12

Renowned faith leader Rev. Jennifer Butler will present the Rabbi Levi A. Olan Lecture at Temple Emanu-El at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 12. The event, co-sponsored by Faith Commons, will be in person and online. 

Butler, CEO of Faith in Public, is an ordained minister and community organizer from suburban Washington, D.C. who has dedicated her career to combining faith and social justice. 

The founder of Faith in Public Life, this dynamic leader shares her own struggles with faith, and notes that “this wrestling ultimately made my faith even stronger.’’ She will share insights from her new book, “Who Stole My Bible? Reclaiming Scripture as a handbook for Resisting Tyranny.” 

As Butler writes in the book’s introduction: “I hope that this effort to explore what the text means for us today inspires your own journey to look at Scripture with new eyes and discern what you are being called to do and say in this moment in history.”

In the tradition of Rabbi Levi A. Olan, of blessed memory, the event that bears his name engages the congregation and the community in intellectual, moral and theological dialogue. Faith Commons of Dallas promotes public discourse rooted in common values of multiple faiths, making the co-sponsorship of this year’s event a natural fit. 

The event will include participation in dialogue among Rev. Butler, Rabbi David Stern of Temple Emanu-El, Senior Pastor George Mason of Wilshire Baptist Church and others.

The event, free of charge, will be held in person and online. Register at participate.tedallas.org/2021olanlecture.

Books will be available for purchase at the event or at faithinpubliclife.org/profiles/rev-jennifer-butler. 

The Rabbi Levi A. Olan Lectureship was established in 1973 to honor the legacy of its namesake—rabbi, activist, scholar and community leader whose radio sermons in the 1960s added to the city’s moral discourse. In 1994 the Hochman Fund was created to endow the Olan Lecture Series.

Photo: Submitted 
Caryn Peiser, left, and Beth Broodo will lead JFS new support groups for women and couples dealing with issues related to infertility.

2 JFS support groups for women, couples with
infertility issues to start in October

The Priya Fund (Priya) was created in 2011 to assist Jewish couples with the financial impediments associated with infertility or adoption. Priya is one of 150 programs and services provided by Jewish Family Service (JFS), where couples can have direct access to a continuum of mental health and social services while they are going through the highs and lows of trying to start a family.

In response to requests for a support group specific to these challenges, JFS is launching two new support groups for couples in the Dallas Jewish community. Both groups are facilitated by JFS  Clinician Beth Broodo, MS, LPC, RYT, director of Binah Support Services.

“I’m excited for Priya’s support groups and collaboration with Beth Broodo to begin in October,” Caryn Peiser, said. “Priya has helped many couples in our community already and this feels like a natural next step for the program’ growth to provide more support in this arduous journey.”

The goal of these support groups will be to share feelings and experiences that we can all relate to.  “Going through fertility treatment can be stressful and lonely,” Beth Broodo said. “Support groups help us feel more connected, grounded and peaceful through the process.” 

The new group for women struggling with infertility will be held from 8 to 9 p.m. on the third Monday of every month beginning Oct. 18. The Priya Support Group is open to women experiencing primary and secondary infertility and will help reduce anxiety, attain acceptance in the moment and hope for the future. Participants will share and develop coping skills while “waiting” and work on increasing overall well-being. 

The new workshop for couples struggling with infertility will be held from 8 to 9 p.m. on the fourth Monday of every month beginning Oct. 25. The Priya Couples Workshop will help couples increase friendship in their marriage and learn techniques for talking through difficult shared struggles such as infertility in a productive manner. 

Since the fund’s inception, it has awarded over $100,000 in grants and has assisted 28 couples in the Dallas area resulting in 16 babies being born. JFS is looking forward to expanding Priya services to include an open-sourced resource list from these couples as well as helping to create an intimate network of support for couples with similar experiences with infertility. 

“JFS is fortunate to have The Priya Fund in Dallas to provide support for couples experiencing infertility,” Peiser said. “We work closely together with organizations all over the country to partner in our shared mission and we couldn’t do the important work we do without the support of the Dallas Jewish community.”

The support groups are virtual. To RSVP and for more information, please contact Caryn Peiser, The Priya Fund coordinator, at cpeiser@jfsdallas.org. To learn more about The Priya Fund, visit https://jfsdallas.org/priya.

Photo: Submitted 
‘Upheaval’ will be available to stream beginning Oct. 3.

Learn about Menachem Begin’s life through the
Jewish Film Festival’s virtual screening of ‘Upheaval’

The Jewish Film Festival of Dallas, a project of the Aaron Family J, and the Federation’s Israel and Overseas department are partnering with Hidden Light Institute to bring “Upheaval,” the story of Menachem Begin to the community.

A proud yet scarred leader haunted by the Holocaust and decades of war, former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin struggles to balance history and heroism to make peace with his greatest enemy and cement a legacy long misunderstood. Driven by a passion for his people, Begin dedicated his life to the survival and safety of his country and the unity of the Jewish people. Rarely seen archival materials and revealing interviews showcase Begin’s life in this compelling new documentary.

The film runs 87 minutes and is in Hebrew, English and Arabic.

It will be available to stream from noon on Sunday, Oct. 3 to midnight on Tuesday, Oct. 5. There will be a Talk Back at   7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 5  featuring Herzl Makov, CEO of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center; Bruce Gould, producer; and Rob Schwartz, executive producer. 

The film is free, but registration is required and links for both the film and the Talk Back will be emailed following registration. Visit, https://jccdallas.org/upheaval-registration/ to register.

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