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Annual Texas Dessert Reception 2017

On May 23rd, our Texas Region held their annual Spring Reception at Shearith Israel honoring Ophir Laizerovich, Louis Marx, and Chris Schwarz. They received the Bnai Zion Community New Leadership Award for their outstanding work in the community. Proceeds from this reception will be used to fund the construction of a new Therapy Center at Ahava Village for Children & Youth in Kiryat Bialik, Israel.

The evening kicked off with a welcome greeting from Texas Region President, Diane Benjamin. National anthems were sung by members of the Levine Academy Show Choir. National Vice-President David Eisenberg forged the relationship between the academy and Bnai Zion. His Grandson, Connor Boyle, and the rest of the 8th grade class of the Levine Academy recently took a trip to Israel where they toured the grounds of Ahava Village and learned all about how Ahava helps the children of Israel.

Connor Boyle introduced Yoav Apelboim, Executive Director of Ahava. Yoav flew in from Israel to share the evening with our Texas supporters and express his gratitude for their continuous support for the abused and neglected children at Ahava Village.

Executive Vice-President Cheryl Bier spoke passionately about the importance of helping the children of Ahava: “Many of them are removed from their homes by the court in order to give them a safe and nurturing place to live. These children have been victims of neglect and/or abuse, sometimes physical or sexual or emotional. With respect to that, Ahava provides all of the elements that a child would experience in a healthy home environment.”

Texas Region Chairman of the Board Larry Strauss announced this year’s live auction items and expressed the how essential the items are to properly provide support to the children in need.

Co-chairs Rivae Campo and Theresa Wilson presented awards to the honorees, thanking them for their outstanding commitment to the local Jewish community. The evening closed with remarks from Texas Region Executive Director Avrille Harris, who dedicates herself to this event and continues to make it a success each and every year!

Click here to view photos and journal from the event

Annual Texas Gala 2016 Secures Funding for Bnai Zion Medical Center  

The Bnai Zion Texas Region gala on November 13th, 2016, honored community leaders, political leaders, and Israel supporters, and raised funds for the Bnai Zion Medical Center (BZMC). A full banquet hall of Bnai Zion supporters and guests attended the keynote delivered by Pastor John Hagee, the founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) the nation’s largest pro-Israel organization with over three million members.

The program honored former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and his wife Laura, community leaders Brenda and Dr. Peter Marcus, and Christian Zionist Ann Stacy. Each of the honorees spoke about their connection to Israel and the Jewish community. Tom Leppert expressed his enduring support for Israel. Dr. Peter Marcus spoke of the kindness the Dallas community showed him and his family when he was a new immigrant. Ann Stacy described her experience confronting anti-Semitism and how this spurred her to be a strong advocate for Israel.

The Bnai Zion Medical Center exemplifies the result of these generous donations. Cheryl Bier, Executive VP and National Secretary of the Bnai Zion Foundation, highlighted the services that BZMC provides to people regardless of background or religion. Stephen J. Savitsky, National President of Bnai Zion Foundation, talked about the urgent need to continue to support the work of Bnai Zion Foundation as Israeli leaders prepare for the next war despite Israel’s desire for peace. 

Dr. Amnon Rofe, CEO of BZMC, emphasized his vision of caring for the individual to provide foremost medical care. His compassionate approach has resulted in BZMC receiving the #1 rating of midsized hospitals in Israel, and being named as the IDF’s main medical facility.

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Spring Reception 2016

On May 17, the Texas Region held a Spring Reception at Congregation Shaare Tefilla recognizing 5 outstanding young leaders in the community: Rivka Altman, Pastor Stephen Hayes, Kim Kaliser, Staci Rubin and Adam Shepherd. Ahava Village for Children and Youth, a village for abused and neglected children in Kiryat Bialik, Israel was the beneficiary of the Live Auction held at the event.

Yoav Apelboim, Executive Director flew in from Israel, along with Danielle Levy, a young graduate student doing an internship at Ahava. Danielle’s full circle story was amazingly interesting. Her grandfather worked at Ahava as a youth counselor. Yoav gave updates on Ahava and the critical need for a large Therapy Center housing all therapies under one roof.

A brand new video about Ahava, which was recently shot in Israel and overseen by Cheryl Bier, Executive Vice President National who was in attendance from NY, was shown to a spellbound audience. Regina and Steve Savitsky, Vice President of National Board also were in Dallas for this fundraiser. Larry Strauss was his usual great self as our #1 auctioneer. All funds raised at the Live Auction were sent immediately to Israel with Yoav and Danielle.

Co-chairs Shane Stein and Barry Wernick presented awards to the honorees who then had a photo opportunity with David Eisenberg, President Bnai Zion Foundation National. Closing remarks were given by Avrille Harris-Cohen, Executive Director, Texas Region who thanked Lowell of Simcha Caterers for his donation of the flowers and signature drinks. His concern for the children of Ahava was very apparent.

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Annual Texas Gala 2015


On Sunday, November 8, over 350 people who care deeply about Israel showed their solidarity at our annual Gala at the beautiful Westin Galleria Dallas. Proceeds went to the Bnai Zion Medical Center, whose CEO, Dr. Amnon Rofe, said, "The Medical Center is grateful for your continued generosity. We appreciate the outpouring of support and funds raised for the new protected underground emergency department, so essential for the life-saving work we're engaged in."

We thank the honorees, Reverend Rafael Cruz, Dr. Hyman & Connie Tolmas and Anh Vo, the Gala sponsors and our host committee members who were instrumental in publicizing the Gala and ensuring community-wide participation. Diane Benjamin, Texas region president, and the co-chairs, helped steer the event to its successful conclusion, along with the Texas region executive director, Avrille Harris, and her assistant, Anita Warner.Thanks as well to our auctioneer, chairman of the board of the Texas region, Larry Strauss; dinner chair-person, Shirley Strauss; national president, David Eisenberg; and to our new Chief Operating Officer, Cheryl Bier. A special thank you to the Shepherd family for the beautiful benediction.


Click here to view photos from the event


The 2015 Annual Texas Dessert Reception

…..turns out to be a very sweet occasion

On May 14th, Bnai Zion hosted its annual Texas Region Dessert Reception at Congregation Shearith Israel in Dallas. It was a very successful event. Recently the Israeli government mandated that Ahava Village for Children & Youth, Bnai Zion’s residence for abused and neglected children, must build a Safe Room for each of the apartments by the end of the year. Hence, it is clearly our directive to act now!  In light of this directive, the Co-Chairs Shane Stein and Brett Lazarus, two outstanding Dallas community leaders, served as the Chairmen of this event. Honorees were carefully chosen based upon their humanitarian efforts locally and within the Jewish community. The honorees included Lauren and Dr. Steven Davidoff, Megan and Brian Hodges, Naomi and Rav Jeff Schrager, and Kim and Rob Velevis. Our honorees were aware and expressed this in their comments, of the immediate needs of Ahava. If the money is raised by the end of 2015, the Israeli government will match $11,000 for every $17,000 Bnai Zion raises. The Safe Rooms will have double reinforced concrete walls. Windows will be airtight so that no nerve gas or any other harmful microbes can permeate. Additionally, they will be shuttered by a steel cover, a door of steel which will withstand a bomb blast, a special highly sophisticated air filtration system and of course necessary supplies for the room.  Pastor Larry Huch was the featured speaker who presented a magnanimous check from DFW New Beginnings Church to Yoav Apelboim, the Executive Director of Ahava. Our Bnai Zion National President, David Eisenberg’s 11 year old grandson, Connor, who is an Honors student at school, gave the captive audience a heartfelt introduction about Ahava from the eyes of a child, prior to a short film on the youth village.

Click here to view photos from the event


Each year the Texas Region honors outstanding community leaders at a spectacular gala featuring entertainment and silent auction. The region also sponsors other activities to benefits its projects that can be found on its events page. We welcome your involvement with our organization.


Avrille Harris
Executive Director, Texas Region
7920 Belt Line Road # 695
Dallas, TX  75254 


Texas Region Officers


President Diane Benjamin
Chairman of the Board Larry Strauss
Secretary Dr. Kathi Silver


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