Home November 2013 Faces of the Community

Faces of the Community

Heritage Pointe
Honors Taleisniks
“Gala por la Vida” is the theme of the Heritage Pointe Gala, slated for Sunday, November 17, at 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Irvine.  The Argentinian theme is inspired is inspired by the homeland of the honorees, Chela and Julio Taleisnik.
The Taleisniks moved to the U.S. in 1960 and to California in 1966.  Chela, trained as a dentist and then an interior designer, has devoted her talents to renovating the facility and serving on the board and in the Newport-Irvine chapter.  Julio, a well-respected hand surgeon, has been involved as well.
Catering for the event is by Blueberry Hill, entertainment is from the Wayne Foster Orchestra and Sharon Kraus is the chair.
Tickets are $275 ($175 for people under 45).  For more information, call Pamela Davis, director of special events at Heritage Pointe, at (949) 364-0010.

Special Irvine Athlete Gets Kudos
Special Olympics Orange County’s local athlete of the year is Irvine resident Josh Levine.  Levine, 32, has been participating in Special Olympics Orange County since 1999.
Competing in hockey, swimming and basketball as part of the Irvine Eagles, Levine has thrived as a Special Olympics Athlete.  When he first started, he was an avid dancer and would travel to SOSC events with his younger brother, Jason.  Sadly, Jason passed away from leukemia in 1999, but Josh continues on as a Special Olympics Orange County athlete and member of the Irvine community.  He works at the 99 cents store and by his own accounts “is a great listener and has a big heart.”
Josh was honored on October 14 at the 10th anniversary of the Columbus Day Golf Tournament in San Juan Capistrano.  He will serve as athlete of the year through the end of 2013, celebrating at many Special Olympics Orange County celebrations including bowling and floor hockey tournaments and other Special Olympics Orange County events.

Committed Couple Infuses Jewish Values in New Massage Studio
Johanna Rose and Aaron Miller have been involved in many aspects of Orange County’s Jewish community.  Now they are bringing this commitment to their second Elements Massage studio opening in Irvine on the corner of Barranca and Von Karman.  For the opening on December 14, they are offering different tzedakah opportunities, including donating the cost of your massage to the organization of your choice.  The studio, which has nine massage rooms and two lobby areas, can be a venue for fundraising events.  In January, Elements Massage on Von Karman will hold an open house and mezuzah celebration for all to attend.  For more information, call 949-275-3510 or visit www.ElementsMassage.com/VonKarman.

Beth Jacob to Host Swap & Meet
“Outer Order Makes for Inner Peace,” according to a flyer announcing a “Swap & Meet” from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 17, at Congregation Beth Jacob, 3900 Michelson Drive, Irvine.  People are invited to drop off clean, gently used items they no longer need to the congregation prior to the event (Thursday, November 14; Friday, November 15; and early Sunday, November 17) and then choose items they want at the event.  People can take home whatever they like.  The cost is $10 per person or $20 per family.  An inexpensive kosher lunch will be available.  Participants are asked to bring their own shopping bags and to call the shul office if they are dropping off large loads.  For details, contact Congregation Beth Jacob at (949) 786-5230 or visit www.bethjacobirvine.org.

URJ Gathers in SoCal
The Union for Reform Judaism’s Biennial is headed to nearby San Diego from December 11 to 15.  Orange County residents can do all or part of the event.
Highlights of the URJ Biennial include networking with Jews from across North America and the world, participating in inspiring worship services and learning about reimagining Jewish life in the 21st century.  On Thursday, December 12, thousands of Biennial participants – and other Jews in the area – will descend on the Gaslamp District  bars and restaurants where musical acts will be headlining.
For those unable to attend the entire Biennial, there are Shabbat packages available for Friday night, Saturday or both.  On Friday night, thousands of Reform Jews will welcome Shabbat with Kabbalat Shabbat services at 5:45 p.m., Shabbat dinner at 7:15 p.m. and a song session at 9:15 p.m.  Also, URJ is bringing Mahane Yehudah to San Diego.  More than 150 exhibitors will be in attendance featuring jewelry, Judaica, ritual objects, Israel programs and much more.
For more information and to register, visit www.urj.org/biennial.

Couple Announces Engagement
David and Tammy Sue Cooper of Irvine announce the engagement of their daughter, Amanda Krystle Cooper, to Micah Lawrence Brooks, son of Zachary and Nancy Brooks of Phoenix, Arizona.  A February 2014, wedding is planned.
Ms. Cooper is the granddaughter of Helen and the late Bernard Cooper and the late Gloria and Ralph Bauer.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer science education from Ohio State University and a master’s degree in educational leadership with emphasis in principalship from Northern Arizona University.  She is a school improvement coach at Montebello Elementary school in the Alhambra School District, Phoenix.
Brooks is the grandson of Jeri and the late Morton Goldfader and Marilyn and the late Norton Brooks.  He earned a bachelor of science degree in economics from Wheaton College in Boston.  He is a Senior Producer at Armor Insurance.

Student Aces Essay Contest
Matthew Cohen, a senior at Tarbut V’Torah (TVT) Community Day School in Irvine, placed in the top 25 in an essay contest sponsored by the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) for the second year in a row.  This year’s essay was about U.S.-Kenya relations, while last year’s was about U.S.-Venezuela relations.
The annual contest, established in 1999, encourages students to think critically about a topic of global significance and the role diplomacy plays in it.  Attempting to inspire and empower the next generation of foreign service workers, the contest attracted high school students from 42 states this year.  TVT was one of only two California schools with an honorable mention winner.

Books + Breakfast + Ingenuity = Gold Award
After doing extensive research about the profession she wants to pursue – speech therapy, another TVT student, senior Alyssa Hess realized two things.  “Kids were being left behind in school, because their parents never read to them, and kids are more focused when they eat a good breakfast,” she explained.
Hess, who has been a Girl Scout for 12 years, decided to create awareness of both of these issues as her Girl Scout Gold Award project.  Her project encompassed the creation of a program and website that taught pre-school aged children and their parents about the importance of eating a healthy breakfast and reading.  During the program, books were read to the children, and they were given a healthy breakfast.  Children’s books were donated to the preschools.  Hess also created an informational pamphlet for children to take home to their parents, a bookmark and a CD with audio recordings of people reading children’s books.  She conducted the program at four preschools in Orange.

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