Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
A very proud Rev. Dr. Neil Cazares-Thomas now has a Shalom Award among the many honors and recognitions he has received.
Rev. Cazares-Thomas, senior pastor of the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, received the honor from Temple Shalom Brotherhood at a presentation held Sunday, Feb. 26, at the InterContinental Dallas Hotel.
“It was a truly wonderful, humbling and, in many ways, overwhelming experience,” said Rev. Cazares-Thomas, “that I will treasure for a long time to come.”
More than 300 guests filled the Malachite Showroom at the InterContinental to pay tribute to Rev. Cazares-Thomas, well-known for his activism throughout the Metroplex, and spiritual leader to the world’s largest ministry with a primarily LGBT congregation.
It was the first time the Shalom Award was presented to someone outside the Jewish community. Reverend Cazares-Thomas’ passion and service strongly aligns with that of Temple Shalom’s mission, which is to inspire an enduring relationship with God, Torah, Israel and the Jewish people through worship, study, gathering and community service. Temple Shalom’s Senior Rabbi Andrew M. Paley is a member of Faith Forward Dallas: Faith Leaders United for Peace and Justice. He and the Temple Shalom congregation have vowed to be inclusive and welcoming to the entire Dallas community.
“Honoring Rev. Dr. Neil Cazares-Thomas with the Temple Shalom Brotherhood’s Shalom Award allowed us to not only present our gratitude and esteem to a most appropriate and deserving community servant, but also to declare that in spite of the divisions and indifference we may encounter in our own city and around the country, we will not be discouraged in our attempts to bring a little bit of Shalom to this world. We have not put down the fires of hatred and hostility — yet — but we will continue to try. Temple Shalom and Temple Shalom Brotherhood are incredibly powerful forces in that effort and I am grateful to them and to our collaboration and friendship with the Cathedral of Hope, their leadership, their congregants and especially Rev. Cazares-Thomas,” explained Rabbi Andrew Paley.
Voices of Hope, a cross section of Cathedral of Hope choir singers, inspired the crowd with a musical performance. Temple Shalom Past President (Congregation and Brotherhood) Dennis Eichelbaum, the evening’s master of ceremonies, channeled the late Johnny Carson in performing a “Carnac the Magnificent” routine that cleansed the humor palate after a delicious dinner.
Guest presenters included Bradley Laye, president and CEO of the Greater Dallas Jewish Federation, and Cece Cox, president and CEO of the Resource Center of Dallas. Proceeds from the event benefit Temple Shalom Brotherhood, the Cathedral of Hope, and Dallas Hope Charities.
— Submitted by Lisa Rothberg
UTD, JFGD present author’s story of Nazi-looted Jewish art
The UTD Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies and the Center for Jewish Education will co-host a free community program featuring Elizabeth Rynecki, author of Chasing Portraits, at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 9, at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center.
Fans of The Woman in Gold will appreciate Chasing Portraits, a history of the art of Moshe Rynecki, Elizabeth Rynecki’s great-grandfather, and her search for his lost and missing paintings. Moshe, a Warsaw-based artist who painted scenes of the Polish-Jewish community in the interwar period, perished in the Holocaust. The book raises questions about the provenance of stolen art, recovery, and forgiveness. A book signing and interactive Q&A session for the audience will follow the lecture.
This program serves as an opportunity to initiate and promote awareness in the Dallas community of what happened when the Third Reich shattered the world of Europe and created shock waves that still exert an impact on contemporary consciousness.
Elizabeth Rynecki is also the producer of a film documentary about her search, which will also be previewed at the lecture.
Dr. Nils Roemer, director of the UTD Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies, said, “We are thrilled to have Elizabeth come speak about her personal experiences in the search for her great-grandfather’s lost art. She offers a unique perspective to the ongoing discussion about reclaiming lost and stolen property that was taken from Jews during the Holocaust.”
RSVPs are necessary due to limited seating and security. Please contact Karen Schlosberg, firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-239-7131.
National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Dallas Section, expands healthy living program ‘Food + Fit = Fun’ to Vickery Meadow
Food + Fit = Fun (FFF) is a bilingual, hands-on nutrition and wellness program created by the National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Dallas Section. FFF has already been integrated into the existing curriculum of the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) programs in the Dallas, Irving, and Richardson Independent School Districts.
On Feb. 3, FFF began in the Vickery Meadow area of Dallas at VMLC (Vickery Meadow Learning Center).
The customizable program is designed as a fun, family-centered experience to help combat obesity and food scarcity by promoting healthy eating with limited food dollars and encouraging physical activity. The program includes:
- Reproducible manuals, facilitator guides, and lesson plans
- Instructional videos
- Facilitator workshops
- Mentorship opportunities
- Online resources and updates
“When I learned that this is the first generation of children who are likely to live shorter lives than their parents and that one in every four children in North Texas is food insecure, I was shocked,” said Suzi Greenman, executive director of the National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Dallas Section. “Obesity is a particularly urgent issue in our local community, as Dallas consistently ranks among the most overweight and hungriest cities in America. FFF’s proactive approach is to combat obesity before it begins by connecting with young children and their families to address many of the root causes. The program gives participants the tools to lead healthier lives through better nutrition and increased physical activity.”
“One of the biggest advantages of FFF is that it is customizable. The curriculum can be adapted to any age or training facility,” said Sharan Goldstein, one of the founders of FFF. “What sets the Vickery Meadow program apart from others we are currently doing is that we are teaching the class. Typically, members of FFF train representatives of the organization we’ve partnered with, and they, in turn, teach the class. At Vickery Meadow, we get to teach firsthand, which is more effective and gratifying for our volunteers.”
FFF is also expanding “Eating Well is a SNAP,” a new program designed for seniors. A training session for new volunteers will be held in March.
For further updates and more information on Food + Fit = Fun or Eating Well is a SNAP, visit www.facebook.com/food.fit.fun or www.NCJWDallas.org.