By David Duchin and Byron Rubin
Over 120 members of the three Dallas-area Conservative synagogues came together the morning of Super Bowl Sunday for the Annual Men’s Clubs World Wide Tefillin Wrap, held this year at Congregation Shearith Israel. From the most experienced tefillin wearers to those putting them on for the first time, the morning prayers were conducted with tremendous energy and intent. The Fonberg Chapel was overflowing with unity of purpose and prayer, yet there was great diversity in the age of the attendees as well as the synagogues represented. Many brought their sons to join them.
Rabbi David Glickman of Shearith Israel started the morning with a memorable performance of his original composition, “Your Tefillin Rap.” Services were led by Shearith’s ritual director, Avi Mitzner, and assisted by Jay Abrams. Rabbi William Gershon of Shearith Israel shared some brief comments at the end of the service. Other rabbis in attendance were Rabbi Joe Menashe (Shearith Israel), Rabbi Adam Raskin (Beth Torah), Rabbi Stefan Weinberg (Anshai Torah) and Rabbi Jeremy Yoskowitz (head of Jewish studies, Levine Academy).
After tefillot (prayers), the entire group was treated to breakfast sponsored by Shearith Israel’s Men’s Club, and were privileged to hear Noam Zion, director and research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Mr. Zion is in Dallas as Shearith Israel’s scholar-in-residence during the month of February; he spoke to the capacity crowd on the topic of “Jerusalem: From David to David.” Marc Machbitz of Beth Torah made a brief appeal to the group to raise money for “Torahs for our Troops,” a project of the JWB Jewish Chaplains Council serving and supporting Jewish chaplains in the U.S. Armed Forces. Nearly $200 filled the tzedakah box at the end of the morning.
This year marked the 10th anniversary of the World Wide Wrap. It is an annual event of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs and is held throughout the world every Super Bowl Sunday morning. This year, groups gathered throughout the United States and Canada, as well as other countries like Israel, Australia, Brazil and Colombia. Information about this international event can be found at www.worldwidewrap.com. In Dallas, it is one of many programs and events that the three local Conservative synagogues hold during the year to strengthen community ties among their congregations and Levine Academy. Next year’s World Wide Wrap will be held at Congregation Anshai Torah.