Can we schmooze!

With Charlotte Golden, The Dayton Jewish Observer

Eric and Serena Leventhal

Mazel tov!

At Thanksgiving, Eric and Serena Leventhal reopened Neil’s Heritage House restaurant on Thanksgiving. Serena is the granddaughter of Neil Swafford, the original owner of Neil’s, which opened in Kettering in 1946. In 1972, Swafford sold the restaurant to Walter Schaller but continued to own the building and property. Schaller closed the restaurant in January 2006. Eric and Serena, Los Angeles natives, took full inheritance of the property in June 2010. After Eric surveyed Neil’s, he and Serena decided to bring the family business back, with an even heavier focus on banquets. Serena is an interior designer and architect. Eric is a graduate of UCLA with an MBA from Loyola University. He worked for the International Trade Administration as a trade specialist, has attended cooking school, and served as a chef for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Eric, Serena and their twin children, Sam and Lucy — second graders at The Miami Valley School — live in a house at the Neil’s property.

On Nov. 3, Rena Beyer, a member of the presidential core of the Dayton Chapter of Hadassah, met in New York with National Hadassah President Marcie Natan. Dayton Hadassah is donating $36,000 to the Hadassah Sarah Weisman Davidson Tower in Israel, Hadassah’s largest construction project since 1961. “Marcie was gracious and gave several insights on Hadassah’s next 100 years,” Rena said. Hadassah will celebrate its centennial in 2012 and the Dayton Chapter is eager for volunteers and increasing support for its project in Israel.

On Oct. 6, The Hon. Walter H. Rice received the Citizen Legion of Honor Award by The Presidents Club of Dayton for his service on multiple not-for-profit boards, his advocacy for racial diversity, his promotion of access to the justice system for all, his efforts toward helping ex-offenders and his contributions to our region’s aviation heritage. And on Oct. 14, he was given the Community Service Award by the Dayton Area Broadcasters and was inducted into its Hall of Fame. Plaques representing both awards hang at the Dayton Convention Center. Most thrilling of all, however, was the honor given to Judge Rice on Sept. 9, when he threw out the first pitch at the Pittsburgh Pirates game. Though the Pirates lost that night, Judge Rice’s wife and four children consider him an absolute winner for all seasons.

At the Dayton Unit NAACP 60th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet on Oct. 28 at the Dayton Convention Center, Bruce Feldman of Economy Linen was honored for his efforts to combat recidivism by hiring ex-offenders.

The Dayton Foundation has named Maureen A. Lynch to its governing board. Maureen is president of the Little Art Theatre in Yellow Springs and a trustee of The Yellow Springs Community Foundation.

On Nov. 7, Dr. Burt Saidel learned that he has been named an All-American in track and field, thanks to his victory in the 60-meter category for men ages 80-84 at the USA Masters Indoor Track and Field Championship in Albuquerque in March.

Did you know?
Adam Weissman, the youngest of Mary Rita and Norman Weissman, was recently hired by CSI: NY. This season, he was given the opportunity to write an episode, which will air Friday, Feb. 17 at 9 p.m. Adam has also been commissioned to write a screenplay for Lifetime Television, which is currently casting. Adam graduated in 2002 from the University of Southern California’s screenwriter program. Adam’s sister, Jacqui, is in her second year of residency at Children’s Southwest Hospital in Dallas.

Iris Goldflies, owner of Skin, An Apothecary, will be at Preen in Oakwood for an in-store meet-and-greet event on Saturday, Dec. 3 from noon to 5 p.m. She’ll be there to offer advice on getting great skin, while customers nosh on food and drinks.

Rabbi Haviva Horvitz of Temple Beth Sholom in Middletown was the speaker for an interfaith Thanksgiving service held at the Church of the Ascension in Middletown. Prayers included during the service were taken from the Gates of Prayer prayer book of the Reform movement.

Among the musicians to perform when The Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra holds its winter concert at Temple Israel on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. will be Simone Lotven Sofian, a member of MVSO’s violin section for seven years, and cellist Josh Halpern, 18, a finalist in MVSO’s 2011 Clark J. Haines Memorial Concerto Competition. Josh, the soloist for this concert, will perform Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme. This program will be repeated on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 3 p.m. at Kettering-Fairmont High School.

Where are they now?
Sara Klaben has begun her master’s degree program in organizational behavioral development at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel. She lives in Tel Aviv. “This is my second year living in this wonderful city filled with hummus, a beautiful beach, and so many great people,” Sara said. “Although life in Israel is extremely different from the comforts of home, it has been an invigorating challenge to embrace a new culture while being part of this experience.”


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