Dallas Doings: SWJC, Dr. Roffman's inspiring story, Torah fund
Randall Stewart Photography From left, Rev. Claude Maples, John Cuellar, Richard Hutchins, Nelda Golden (wife of Stan Golden and SWJC vice chair), Carl Crow and Barry Epstein. Not pictured: Warren “Chip” Fagadau

By Sharon Wisch-Ray

SWJC adds Stan Golden Men of Action Award to repertoire

On Jan, 6, an enthusiastic crowd of 300 joined Southwest Jewish Congress at Eddie Deen’s Ranch in downtown Dallas to honor six deserving men who were chosen to receive the prestigious 2016 Stan Golden Men of Action Award.
It was “an evening of heart, kindness and truth” according to one of the attendees. Despite the rain, the ambience in the “old Texas-style” ranch was warm and festive. Dignitaries attended from such organizations as the Dallas Summer Musicals, Dallas Arboretum, Sammons Center for the Arts, American Indian Heritage Day of Texas, Thanks- Giving Foundation, The Mexico Institute and Temple Shalom, as well as representatives from the Boy Scouts of America.
The award is named in honor of Stan Golden, a quintessential Man of Action. It recognizes men from diverse disciplines and backgrounds in the DFW area who have distinguished themselves in pursuit of positive social change, and who have made an impact on our communities as both role models and trailblazers.
The first presentation was a “Lifetime Achievement” award presented to the event’s namesake — Stan Golden. His daughter, U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn, received the award on his behalf. Judge Lynn told the audience about her father’s history and many volunteer efforts and showed a brief video greeting from Stan, who was unable to attend.
The 2016 Stan Golden Men of Action recipients include:

  • Carl Crow — Mission coordinator, North Texas Mankind Project, volunteer trainer.
  • John Cuellar — Successful restaurateur of El Corazon restaurant in Oak Cliff, attorney, dedicated community volunteer and supporter.
  • Barry Epstein — Inventor, community leader and designer of advanced systems for the hearing-impaired.
  • Warren (Chip) Fagadau, M.D. — Ophthalmologist, community leader and political activist.
  • Richard Hutchins — CPA; Boy Scout leader; Eagle Scout adviser; commissioner, Northern Trail District.

Rev. Claude Maples — Pastor emeritus, Romine Avenue Christian Church, community organizer.
The Stan Golden Men of Action Awards evening joins the Audrey Kaplan Inspiring Women of the Southwest Awards Celebration and the prestigious Flame of Honor Awards dinner as a new signature event of the Southwest Jewish Congress.

Roffman to share inspiring story at Shearith

Dr. Joel Roffman rode in the MS150 last May shortly after completing an aggressive course of chemotherapy to triumph over lymphoma.

Dr. Joel Roffman will be on hand at Shearith Israel at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 31 to discuss his book, Making Every Day Count. Roffman, a cardiologist and member of both Shearith and Kehillat Chaverim, will share his journey of battling metastatic lymphoma beginning in the fall of 2014. Soon after completing four months of intensive treatment, Dr. Roffman rode in his 18th MS150, a two-day cycling event in which he rasied more than $14,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
It is an inspiring story not to be missed. A Q&A with Rabbi William Gershon and Dr. Roffman will follow the presentation.

Evelyn and Paul Utay Torah Fund honorees at Beth Torah

Photo: David Duchin/DSPN photography Evelyn and Paul Utay, Beth Torah 2016 Torah Fund honorees

The Sisterhood of Congregation Beth Torah has chosen Evelyn and Paul Utay as its Torah Fund Honorees for 2016. The couple will be recognized at the annual Torah Fund Brunch, to begin at noon Sunday, Feb. 28, in Addison Crowne Plaza Hotel, 14315 Midway Road.
The Utays originated in two very different places: Paul is a native Dallasite, while Evelyn was born in Cologne, Germany. Her parents came to America in 1938 and settled in San Antonio.
Paul always loved music, and Beth Torah’s tradition of free-spirited singing brought him and his family there in 1983. He was the father of three children when his wife, Janie Leibs Utay, passed away in 1999; he now has three grandchildren as well.
Evelyn was also married with three children when her husband Les Wilk’s work in clothing design and manufacturing sparked the family move to the Dallas area. She was widowed in 1995 and now has six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Evelyn’s mother-in-law and Paul’s mother were sisters, so the Utays call themselves cousins of a sort who saw each other sporadically over the years, mainly at major events that brought their two families together. Paul had his career as an electrical engineer; Evelyn always worked in her husband’s business, and after his death continued in the industry, both at the Dallas Apparel Market and taking trunk shows across the country.
Both agree that it was a family tragedy, the death of Paul’s brother, Reuben Utay, that led to their marriage. His sister, Pearl Friedman, helped the two “discover each other” at a memorial service in Dallas. They had their first date in August 2002, and their wedding was the following April. Evelyn quips today, “I knew his mother. And if you know a guy’s mother, you know the guy!” After they married, she continued working part-time, retiring altogether in 2010. Since then, the Utays have traveled together, even going to Germany to see the house in which Evelyn was born.
Evelyn never had much time for organization work before, but after marriage, she quickly became involved in Beth Torah activities. She now serves both Sisterhood and the Chai Lights senior group in many capacities, and has been on the synagogue board as secretary and presently is co-chair of Adult Education. Paul, now semi-retired, volunteers in the religious school, and has contributed to the congregation through music: he is a regular Torah reader and has served over the years as one of Beth Torah’s member cantors during the High Holidays. Since joining in 1983, he has also tutored many to Beth Torah’s students to prepare them for their b’nai mitzvah. And the music combo he leads, “Jazz, After All,” which plays at area arts venues and senior residences, has entertained at many synagogue events — including a number of past Torah Fund brunches!
This annual brunch is a Beth Torah tradition that began in 1994, with Esther Cohen as the first honoree; this year, she will be attending her 23rd event as current Sisterhood co-president with her daughter, Robyn Rose!
Cost for the dairy brunch is $40 per person; a minimum donation of $18 to Torah Fund is also required.
This is an ongoing major project of the Women’s League of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which supports USCJ’s Jewish Theological Seminary locations that train rabbis and educators in New York City, Los Angeles, Jerusalem and Buenos Aires. Every year’s honoree(s) will take charge of the following year’s brunch; this year’s arrangements have been supervised by Debbie Wills, who was recognized in 2015.
For further information and to make brunch reservations, please contact Elaine Scharf, Sisterhood Torah Fund chair, by phone, 972-307-3521, or email, ebscharf@verizon.net.

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