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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Rachel Factor’

Clarity, Choice And Change The Journey And Impact Of Rachel Factor

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Thousands of women and girls who have heard Rachel Factor’s story have been inspired to contemplate their own lives in a new way, to ask themselves where they are, where they’re going, and most importantly – why? This introspection brings most of them to places deeper and higher than any they’ve been to before. And for those who want to live by truth, life will never be the same.

Who is this extraordinary person who has been such a powerful catalyst to so many of us? To understand who she is, we must start with who she was. Rachel Factor was Tina Horii, born in Honolulu, Hawaii to a Japanese gentile family. As a child she loved to dance, and studied locally. After high school she moved to California to continue her studies and make dance her career.  Adding voice and drama to her skills, it wasn’t long before her outstanding talent was recognized. She landed jobs in films, television and concert tours, and then went on to Broadway where she performed for over ten years – a dream come true for a girl from Honolulu.

“My whole world was focused on performing, career, popularity, success and money,” says Rachel in her calm, intelligent voice. She was clearly on the fast track when she met Todd, a Jewish commercial director and producer whom she liked and respected very much. Though he was not observant, he said that he would not marry a non-Jew.

It was roughly at that time that Chabad came into Todd’s life, with dedicated, sincere shluchim coming to his office and to his home, undeterred by the Japanese singer-dancer who was part of his life. As Todd gradually grew stronger in Yiddishkeit, Tina decided to start learning about Torah, and was amazed by what she learned. For many years she had been longing for true spirituality and to her surprise, the Torah that she was learning spoke to her mind, heart and soul.

Eventually Tina made the decision that would transform her life more than anything had before – she decided to become a Jew. She took the name Rachel and left behind secular success and fame to join a world unlike any other. Inspired by Rachel, Todd intensified his studies and eventually became a baal teshuva. Todd began using his Jewish name, Tovia, and he and Rachel married. A year later, they and their sweet little son moved to Yerushalayim.Brudner-012414-FFB

In Eretz Yisrael Rachel enthralled and inspired her audiences of women and girls as she shared – through dance, drama and song – her life’s journey, her personal metamorphosis and her longing to continue to grow.

 

Feedback from her audiences led Rachel to form HaMachol Shel Bnos Miriam, where there are classes in the performing arts for girls and women, and the Bnos Miriam Dance Company, a performance group made up of religious women and girls. Both of these programs use dance and song to express spiritual themes. The form is also uncompromisingly Jewish – the dances, costumes, and music are totally modest while being exquisitely expressive and artistic.

In Yerushalayim Tovia was learning full time at Yeshivas Midrash Shmuel in Shaarei Chesed, and his Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Binyomin Moskovits, became their spiritual guide. Rachel was teaching in seminaries and other forums, and their own family continued to grow. Rachel’s life was blessedly full, but it was about to become even fuller. Another transformation was about to take place.

Following a performance, at a shabbaton in Brooklyn, a teacher made a heartfelt plea for her to develop a program that would help the girls with today’s tznius challenges.

Hachnossos Kallah of Greater Miami to Hold Benefit Tea

Friday, February 10th, 2012

South Florida’s Lana Ditchek Goldberg Hachnossos Kallah will observe its 28th anniversary with a delightful evening featuring Israeli singing sensation Rachel Factor. The women-only event will include delicious sushi, dessert buffet, coffee bar, boutique and raffle prizes.

The event will take place on Tuesday, February 21, at The Shul of Bal Harbour, 9540 Collins Avenue in Surfside. Complimentary valet parking will be provided.

This year’s honoree is Barbara Dahav, well known for her many acts of chesed throughout the South Florida community. She has served Hachnossos Kallah of Greater Miami since its inception and is treasurer of the group.

Hachnossos Kallah enables young couples needing financial help to have weddings they can remember with pride. The organization also provides aid in setting up a Jewish home. This is an expensive undertaking that many cannot afford.

The annual Hachnossos Kallah event provides a unique opportunity to ensure that Jewish newlyweds begin their marriage with dignity and simcha. Locals and visitors are invited to participate.

General admission is $36; Sponsors, $50; Patrons $100; Supporters, $180; Benefactors, $250; Silver Benefactors, $360; Gold benefactors, $500; and Diamond Benefactors $2,500 and up.

For more information about the event or the work of Hachnossos Kallah, call Judy Mayberg at 305-534-8635.

True Stories Of Bright Stars On Earth – Like The Stars Of The Heavens

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007


True Stories Of Bright Stars On Earth -


Like The Stars Of The Heavens


By Helen Zegerman Schwimmer


 


 


         Like The Stars Of The Heavens is a book that shines almost as brightly as the very stars in heaven. Written by Helen Zegerman Schwimmer, who just might be the brightest star of all, the book takes us through the lives of close to 50 incredible people while telling us Helen’s own life story.

 

         Helen was born in the St. Ottilien displaced persons camp in Germany to two holocaust survivors, shortly after the end of the Second World War. Her story is fascinating in and of itself, but she doesn’t just focus on herself. She weaves the story of so many others into this charming book.

 

         Each chapter is just a few pages long and I thought I would read one or two chapters at a time. But I found that I didn’t want to put the book down, so I read one more chapter and then just one more after that. Helen has a gift for writing and my eyes were often filled with tears as I read. Perhaps it is because she puts so much of her heart into the book.

 

         A few of the stories in this book originally appeared in The Jewish Press under Helen’s byline, but I read them again as if it were the first time. The people profiled in this book are as diverse as “Foolproof Rugelach” is from intricate heart surgery, but you will read about both. The stories about mystery writer Rochelle Krich, actress Rachel Factor and Rebbetzin Esther Winner are alongside those of heart surgeon Dr. Richard Golinko and cutting edge research scientist Dr. Judah Folkman, to name a few. One minute we are experiencing the Holocaust and its aftermath, and then we are on Wall St. with computer mogul Akiva Shapiro. The amazing thing is how Helen manages to tell all of these stories, and her own, so compellingly.

 

         Over more than 45 years, The Jewish Press has helped many writers gain experience and name recognition, but rarely has the paper been credited. Helen Schwimmer is an exception. She takes the Jewish ethic of “Makir Tov” (acknowledging something done on one’s behalf) seriously. And her very funny first chapter is a wonderful example of this trait as well as a good introduction to the book.

 

         Like the Stars of the Heavens will make a wonderful Chanukah (or anytime) gift for everyone…men, women, teenagers and yourself. It can be purchased on line from: Amazon.com or chosencouture.com.

 

         It is also available at select bookstores: at Eichlers in Brooklyn and at West Side Judaica and Levine’s in Manhattan.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/true-stories-of-bright-stars-on-earth-like-the-stars-of-the-heavens/2007/11/14/

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