Jewish Herald Voice
Joe Sondock with his family after signing to play Division I baseball at UNC-Asheville.Sondock helped lead the Jaguars to their first ever baseball state title last season. He was 6-2 with a 2.43 earned run average, striking out 54 batters and earning two saves. His biggest save came in last year's state semifinals, where he returned to start the championship game, which the Jaguars eventually won. Sondock was second-team all-state, first-team all-district and first-team all Houston. He also batted over .300 when he wasn't on the mound. "All the work I've put in since I was 8 or 9 years old has come to conclusion," said Sondock, who also plays on the Emery basketball team. "When I was 10 years old, I played for my Little League all-star team and I was selected as an alternate. It really hurt sitting in the stands watching all my teammates play. "I could have just hung up my cleats and never played baseball again, but at that point I decided I really needed to work hard if I want to become better." Sondock was coached by Emery baseball coach Adrian Adams. "I remember watching him play in middle school and we identified early on that he was someone who could play in college," Adams said. "He really made a big leap his junior year. He has been in some really big games and he always wants the ball. "He has also become a leader that people look up to. UNC Asheville is not only getting a good player, but a great person. " Perhaps the most exciting part for the Jaguars is the fact neither of student-athlete has played their senior seasons yet. Both expect big things in the coming month on the tennis court and baseball field.
Send event listings to [email protected], including contact person's name, phone number and email address. BEGINNING SUNDAY, OCT. 29
JLI's new six-week course, "Great Debates in Jewish History," will be held at seven Houston-area locations. For locations and schedules, go to myJLI.com or contact a Chabad house near you.THURSDAY, NOV. 2
Holocaust Museum Houston will honor Gregory L. Fenves, president of The University of Texas at Austin, and The University of Texas at Austin with the Guardian of the Human Spirit Award for their commitment to service and building an open-minded society. The museum's annual Guardian of the Hunan Spirit Luncheon will be held at Hilton Americas-Houston, 1600 Lamar St. For tickets, email [email protected] or call 713-527-1622.FRIDAY, NOV. 3
Congregation Emanu El is moving Shabbat on the Green to Evelyn's Park. The entire community is invited to celebrate Shabbat with Emanu El. The group's staff contacts are Jill Patir, [email protected], 713-729-5771, ext. 262, and Jason Plotkin, [email protected], 713-535-6414.
The community is invited to attend a special Heritage Shabbat service, 6 p.m., in the Barish Sanctuary at Congregation Emanu El. The service will feature the music of composer Herman Berlinski, provided by Emanu El's professional choir, volunteer choir and organ. For information, contact Jason Plotkin at [email protected], or 713-529-5771.SATURDAY, NOV. 4-SUNDAY, NOV. 5 A highlight of the Ann and Stephen Kaufman Jewish Book & Arts Festival, Oliver Lapin Family Day starts 5 p.m., with a performance of "Hanna's Sabbath Dress." Families may come for dinner and a show on Saturday night. Family Day continues Sunday, Nov. 5 For information or to purchase tickets, visit erjcchouston.org or contact [email protected]. SUNDAY, NOV. 5
Oliver Lapin Family Day, 9:15 a.m.-noon, at the Jewish Book & Arts Festival. Featuring "Hanna and the Moonlit Dress." Learn more at erjcchouston.org or call 713-729-3200.
Alexandra Zapruder, 7:30 p.m., at the Jewish Book & Arts Festival. "Twenty-Six Seconds: A Personal History of the Zapruder Film." Learn more at erjcchouston.org or call 713-729-3200.WEDNESDAY, NOV. 8
Congregation Emanu El Becker School Open House For Prospective Families, 9:30 a.m., RSVP or for more information contact Judy Lazor, 713-535-6400 or [email protected].
Henrietta Szold Hadassah presents Marilyn Albert reviewing her most recent favorite book, at Marilyn's home, 11 a.m. RSVP to 713-726-8745.SATURDAY, NOV. 11
Tavche Gravche in Concert, 8 p.m., at the Jewish Book & Arts Festival. Learn more at erjcchouston.org. or call 713-729-3200.
Dan Nadel, an Israeli-born New York-based guitarist and composer, brings his Balkan/Flamenco Ensemble to the J, 8 p.m., as part of this year's Ann & Stephen Kaufman Jewish Book & Arts Festival. Individual tickets and information available at erjchouston.org/music.
National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Houston Section, hosts its 29th annual gala, "A Night in Old Havana," at 7 p.m., at the JSR Event Center, 2401 W. Bellfort Blvd. During the gala, Elyse and Lewis Kalmans are to be honored with the Faith and Humanity Award. For gala tickets, visit ncjwhouston.org/gala-tickets and for sponsorships, visit ncjwhouston.iorg/sponsor. Email [email protected] houston.org with questions about the gala.SUNDAY, NOV. 12
Closing night with Steve Dorff at the Jewish Book & Arts Festival, 7:30 p.m. "I Wrote That One, Too: A Life in Songwriting from Willie to Whitney." Learn more at erjcchouston.org.
The Friendship Circle of Houston's annual Walk will be held at the Houston Zoo, 1-4 p.m. The Friendship Circle aims to help children and teenagers with special needs. Teenagers who wish to be part of the Friendship Circle volunteer program are asked to visit friendshiphouston.com/volunteer.
Houston Congregation for Reform Judaism hosts dozens of preferred vendors, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., who will be available to meet with Bar and Bat Mitzvah families. The event is free and open to the community. For information on vendors or attending the event, contact Hilary Kamin, [email protected] or 713-782-4162. HCRJ is located at 801 Bering St., between San Felipe and Woodway.SUNDAY, NOV. 19
Harris L. "Shrub" Kempner Jr. and his late grandfather, Isaac "Ike" Kempner will be honored with the AJC Lifetime Achievement Award at the Hilton Post Oak Hotel, at the annual AJC dinner. Contact the AJC Houston office, 713-439-1202 or [email protected] to attend or make a contribution.
Kinneret Hadassah's 11th holiday bazaar, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at Congregation Shaar Hashalom, 16020 El Camino Real. Local vendors present gift items for the upcoming holidays and other occasions. Proceeds benefit Kinneret Hadassah's projects. The entire community is invited. For information, call Karen Taylor at 413-834-2020.SUNDAY, NOV. 26
Hazak returns, featuring songs with Cantor Sharon Colbert at Congregation Brith Shalom. RSVP to 713-726-8745. Refreshments will be served.THROUGH NOV. 30
The Czech Center Museum of Houston's exhibit, "Vedem Underground – The Secret Magazine of The Terezin Ghetto." For information, visit czechcentermuseumghouston.wordpress.com.
Congregation Shaar Hashalom's Rabbi Stuart Federow hosts free, open to the public, discussions about Judaism or religion in general, on the second Thursday of each month, Victor's 1425 NASA Pkwy., Houston 77058 (next to the "space" McDonald's), at 7 p.m.
Line By Line With the Prophets sessions, guided by Rabbi Federow, are conducted on Sundays, 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., at Congregation Shaar Hashalom, 16020 El Camino Real, Houston.
Israeli folk dances are held at Congregation Shaar Hashalom on Mondays, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Sessions will take place on March 7, 14, 21 and 28.
For information about sessions, contact the synagogue office, 281-488-5861, or at [email protected]
TOPSoccer, a community-based soccer skills training and team program for special needs youngsters, takes place every Sunday, 5-5:45 p.m., at the ERJCC, 5601 S. Braeswood Blvd., inside the indoor gym. Volunteers are needed. For information, contact Mark K., parent volunteer, at [email protected]
Big Tent Judaism announces that local Jewish institutions will host public-space programs to help those interested in starting the New Year with a fresh start. Contact Elise Passy at 832-779-1564 or [email protected]JOL.org.
Senior ladies' poker, daytime, twice weekly, Monday and Thursday, at homes in the southwest and Stella Link areas. More players are sought. email [email protected], or call 713-560-9494.
Bellaire Jewish Center Tuesday Lunch n Learn, noon. Contact bjchouston.org. Rabbi Gavriel Jacknin, 832-971-3781.
Holocaust Museum Houston's exhibition, "Life: Survivor Portraits," began during HMH's 18th anniversary. The series by local artist Kelly Lee Webeck includes 18 portraits by local survivors of the Holocaust. For information, go to hmh.org, email [email protected] or call 713-527-1640. "Life: Survivor Portraits" will remain on view through Oct. 12.
CLASSES AT CHABAD OF UPTOWN, 4311 Bettis Dr., 713-419-3960, chabaduptown.org.
SUNDAYS, 9 A.M.
BLT – Bagels, Lox & Tefillin
Boost your week by laying tefillin and enjoying
Torah study over a delicious breakfast.
WEDNESDAYS, 8 P.M.
Contemporary Themes & Social for Young Professionals Exploring Torah's view on the modern world, over dinner. Topics posted at chabaduptown.org/youngadults.
Lunch hour, Thursdays, noon-1:15 p.m.
Evenings: Thursdays, 8-9 p.m.
Tanya – Jewish Mysticism. 9 a.m.
Provides safe, reliable, non-emergency transportation for Jewish adults age 60 plus and special needs adults.
Sign up Now for Art and Mah Jongg Classes
Contact Esther Bethke at 713-595-8186 or
Thousands of religious books and ritual items, destroyed by Hurricane Harvey, have been piled up behind United Orthodox Synagogues, awaiting burial in accordance with Jewish law."There's a First Amendment issue with the government telling people you can't go to this synagogue," Goldstein said. "There's not a comparable synagogue in this city. There are different Orthodox synagogues, but UOS is unique." Sen. Cruz told UOS leaders that he will reach out to senior officials with FEMA to "start a conversation" regarding FEMA's buyout intentions. "We're happy to help any way we can," said Sen. Cruz, acknowledging the need expressed by UOS members and Willow Meadows residents to stay in the neighborhood. He added, "The same spirit of unity and resolve of purpose that got us through Harvey will get us through rebuilding." According to reports, Harris County Flood Control is actively pursuing the necessary federal funding to proceed with Harvey-related home buyouts. FEMA, in turn, would condemn those properties, it's believed, and convert the land to retention areas. UOS members said such a plan would be a "doomsday scenario" for Houston's Jewish community - nearly 70 percent of whom live near Brays Bayou in Southwest Houston. "If FEMA is going to give X amount of dollars to a family to buy them out, why not instead give that money to the family, so they can raise their house, which would solve the problem and save this community, which has been here for 100 years," Rabbi Gelman said. As for UOS, itself, synagogue leaders said their intention is to build a new building on the existing property that would be better situated to avoid flood damage. "We don't know about structural damage [from Harvey], but the truth is, we don't intend to find out," Rabbi Gelman told Sen. Cruz. "The real push, now, is to build a new building on our property ... so the synagogue doesn't flood. "G-d forbid, if the neighborhood floods again, the [new] synagogue will be in a position to help people, instead of needing help, itself," the rabbi said. In the meantime, UOS members and volunteers, including students from Yeshiva University, have been making repairs to UOS' social hall in time for Rosh Hashanah, which begins Wednesday evening, Sept. 20. Even though UOS' Freedman Hall was built 4½ feet higher than the synagogue's original building, it still took in more than a foot of floodwater during Harvey. "Freedman Hall has been remediated, cleaned and disinfected, and sheetrock has been torn out and replaced," Rabbi Gelman reported on Sept. 15. "We're going to be a one-room schoolhouse, now, for a long time." After visiting UOS, Sen. Cruz met with Willow Meadows residents in their flood-damaged homes, some of which took in as much as 7 feet of water after Harvey caused Brays Bayou to crest on Sunday morning, Aug. 27. Residents, whose homes now have flooded three times in three years, told Sen. Cruz that the latest ordeal has been particularly hard on their children. They also reported that there is a huge discrepancy among flood insurance payouts given to comparable houses and losses. "It appears totally arbitrary and dependent upon the sensibility of an individual adjuster," Goldstein told the JHV. Goldstein, who works with elected officials on disaster-recovery projects, said government can play a beneficial role by standardizing the process. She also expressed the need for better oversight regarding mortgage forbearance. "Fannie Mae issued guidelines, but it appears that it's still up to the servicer on whether or not homeowners will be hit with a balloon payment after three months of forbearance," Goldstein said. "People will be hit with a balloon payment on top of having to pay rent for their temporary living situations, which, in some cases, is more than their mortgage payments." Many Harvey-impacted community members, who live in Willow Meadows and the Meyerland area, told the JHV that they want to rebuild and stay together as a community, yet fear the possibility of that option being taken away, should FEMA enforce a buyout program for their area. "What is the long-term future of this community, which has medical professionals and energy professionals and business people and lawyers, school teachers, plumbers and electricians?" Rabbi Gelman said. "It's diverse, religiously. It's diverse economically. That's a big question mark that looms large. "It's really important for us to stick together and try to help each other through this," Rabbi Gelman said.
Partitions were installed in Beth Israel's social hall to accommodate 10 BYDS early childhood classes that were displaced by Hurricane Harvey."It's the same school, only in a different place," Benjamin told the JHV as he decorated a paper crown in celebration of his recent fifth birthday. "We even have our calendar on the wall and a calendar helper gets to do it every day," he said. While the large social hall has less natural lighting than BYDS enjoys back home, teachers said the children had no problem adjusting. With so many classes sharing space, however, the noise level can present a challenge, teachers noted. There's also a logistical challenge for the school's hosts. Every Friday, Beth Israel's social hall has to be cleared for use by the congregation, then set back up again on Sunday for the next school week. "Everything in every classroom space is numbered, and we have pictures of how everything should look, so it shouldn't be too much of an issue getting it all set back up again," Suchart said. "The children and teachers are just happy to be back," she added. BYDS teachers and parents, alike, expressed gratitude to Congregation Beth Israel, The Shlenker School and The Emery/Weiner School for opening their campuses to BYDS and making their guests feel welcome, they told the JHV. Besides BYDS, Shlenker also is hosting classes from the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC's Bertha Alyce Early Childhood Center, whose building also suffered flood damage from Hurricane Harvey.