Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
Jewish War Veterans TALO Convention a huge success
The Harvey J. Bloom Post 256 in Dallas was the site of the recent TALO (Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma) Regional Convention held June 24-26. The weekend actually began in Fort Worth on Thursday when Dr. Barry Schneider from the Martin Hochster Post 755 hosted a Texas barbecue at his home in honor of JWV National Commander Jerry Blum and his wife Joanne (past national president of JWVA). Most past and current Commanders from Fort Worth and Dallas were there, as well as out-of-town TALO officers.
Friday night, attendees of the convention went to services at Temple Emanu-El and then to Abocca’s Restaurant for dinner. Saturday morning, most convention attendees were at Congregation Tiferet Israel, where JWV was honored with a number of aliyahs.
That evening, there was a banquet honoring outgoing TALO Commander Earle Sherrod (Austin) and incoming TALO Commander Art Kaplan (Dallas). Besides the National Commander, JWV was honored to have as guest speaker Major General Arnold Fields, U.S. Marines (Ret), who currently serves the U.S. Department of Defense in the Office of Commemoration tasked to lead the USA Vietnam War 50th Commemoration.
General Fields showed an excellent short film about Vietnam veterans and then presented all Vietnam veterans in attendance with a special commemorative pin. It was very moving and so special that both the National Commander and the General took the time to “pin” each Vietnam veteran.
Saturday evening’s banquet was also special for Ethel and Harlan Holiner (longtime JWV/JWVA members) when their grandson, Samuel Jacob Weyser, became the first winner of the PNC Neil & Maxine Goldman Academic Grant. This $1,000 annual TALO academic excellence grant is funded by the Barry J. & Dolores R. Schneider Charitable Foundation and given to a deserving high school senior. Weyser, a very deserving recipient, achieved a score of 31 on his ACT and a combined GPA of 95.55 at Yavneh Academy. He is an AP Scholar Award winner and received honorable mention in the Northwest Texas Algebra competition. His other awards include first place in “The Proud to Be an American” contest and the “Star Scholarship” award as well as the “Mensch” award at Yavneh. During high school he participated in many extracurricular activities: Robotics Club, theater and BBYO, to name just a few. His community activities include raising money to build schools in Ethiopia, volunteering for The Dallas Fighting Maccabees Special Olympics team, and volunteering for the North Texas Food Bank and the Moore Oklahoma Tornado Relief.
Congratulations to Weyser!
Sunday’s main business meeting was held at the Aaron Family JCC and the new TALO leadership was installed. Congratulations to Department Commander Art Kaplan and his TALO staff: Senior Vice Commander Scott Stevens (El Paso), Junior Vice Commander Floyd Williams (San Antonio), National Executive Representative 1 Earle Sherrod (Austin), National Executive Representative 2 Jerry Benjamin (Dallas), Judge Advocate Jack Schlossberg (Houston), Adjutant Ken Ashworth (San Antonio), Quartermaster Allan Cantor (Dallas), Chaplain Rabbi Sidney Zimelman (Fort Worth).
The convention concluded with a delicious luncheon provided by the ladies of JWVA No. 256. Thank you to all who participated.
— Submitted by Sandra Cantor
Strauss named Beth Yeshurun senior rabbi
Rabbi Brian Strauss has been named the next senior rabbi of Congregation Beth Yeshurun upon the future retirement of the current senior rabbi, David Rosen. Congregation Beth Yeshurun is the largest conservative synagogue in America with well over 2,000 families.
Strauss grew up in Dallas attending Hebrew school and having his bar mitzvah at Congregation Beth Torah in Richardson. Strauss’ parents, Shirley and Larry Strauss, are still active members of the congregation.
Upon graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, Strauss attended and was ordained at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles. Upon ordination, Strauss began his rabbinical career at Beth Yeshurun, where he’s been the assistant rabbi and associate rabbi over the past 14 years.
During the interim period, Strauss will work even more closely with Rabbi Rosen to ensure a smooth transition.
In addition to Strauss’ childhood in Dallas, his wife Lisa Shapiro Strauss is also from Dallas and has her own law practice in Houston. The couple have three children, Joshua, Noa and Ari.
— Submitted by Larry Strauss