On a Sunday in which the National Football League will be quiet, and teens will be looking forward to activities which will make them forget that the Cowboys will not be playing in the Super Bowl the following week, the Dallas-based Southwest Region of the National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY) will inaugurate its gleaming new headquarters, “The NCSY Center,” with an Open House, Sunday, January 29 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Center, Hillcrest Village, 6757 Araphaho Road, #761, just west of Starbucks.
NCSY was previously located in Congregation Shaare Tefilla, but the rapid growth of attendance and programs made it imperative for the Region to obtain its own space in Dallas. The teens will have a modern and comfortable atmosphere in which to learn, relax and socialize in a safe Jewish environment.
Special guest at the Open House will be Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Executive Vice President (the chief professional) of the Orthodox Union, who is coming to Dallas for the occasion. NCSY is the youth program of the OU. Rabbi Weinreb will be joined by rabbis of various denominations, educators and Federation leaders. Rabbis Weinreb and Lashak will give talks and there will be a video program highlighting the programs NCSY offers.
In its 13th year in Dallas, the Southwest Region has earned much respect in the Jewish community for introducing Sabbath observance and other key aspects of Jewish life to teens in Texas and Oklahoma. Throughout this entire period, Rabbi Israel Lashak, born in Mexico, has been directing NCSY’s activities in the Metroplex and wider Southwest area.
As in other regions throughout the United States and Canada, NCSY in Dallas combines Shabbatonim (Sabbath experiences) and informal study of Jewish texts, with adventures such as trips to Los Angeles, skiing in Colorado, and boating and tubing, to get out the message that Judaism can be fun. Some classes take place in Starbucks over a latté, as proof that sipping coffee and studying Torah can go hand in hand.
The new headquarters will be half Beit Medrash (study hall) and half arcade. There will be eight arcade activities, air hockey games and a popcorn machine (for kosher popcorn, of course); the Beit Medrash will be fully stocked with texts and CD’s together with a computer center for homework. Teens who spend 30 minutes at the arcades then spend 60 minutes learning about Judaism.
“It is a wonderful day for Jewish teens in the Metroplex,” said Rabbi Lashak. “Teenagers finally have a place that is their own, a home away from home, a safe Jewish environment that allows them to have fun, socialize, and learn more about their heritage. Come and bring a friend – or many friends.”
For further information about attending the Open House or about the Region and its programs, contact Rabbi Lashak at 972-934-9143, or Ilashak@hotmail.com.