Archive | October, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast Cancer Awareness

Posted on 27 October 2011 by admin

By Beth Anglin, MD, FACS

As more men and women test for hereditary cancer, we learn more about who should test for the BRCA gene and what we can do to decrease future cancer risk among this population.

The National Cancer Institute defines BRCA1 and BRCA2 as human genes belonging to a class of genes known as tumor suppressors. Mutation of these genes has been linked to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Pancreatic cancer and melanoma are less well known cancers associated with the BRCA mutations. The gene was discovered during the late 1990s, and insurance companies have come around to the fact that early diagnosis can help prevent breast or ovarian cancers. Almost every insurance carrier, as well as Medicare and Medicaid, covers BRCA testing in appropriate individuals.

What, you may ask, does this have to do with the Jewish community? The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), which provides recommendations for cancer screenings and treatments, recommends BRCA testing for any Ashkenazi Jewish individual with a personal or family history of breast cancer at any age; both males and females. We know one out of every 40 Jews has a chance of carrying a BRCA mutation — pretty high odds. The guidelines do not recommend testing all Ashkenazi Jews at this time, but that might change in the future, as many experts believe this broad testing should be done.

Furthermore, NCCN guidelines recommend BRCA testing for any woman under 60 years of age with triple negative breast cancer. Triple negative — estrogen, progesterone and Her 2 — are markers performed during testing. Studies have shown that an Ashkenazi Jew with triple negative breast cancer has a 30 percent chance of a BRCA mutation. That same woman under the age of 50 years has a 50 percent chance of carrying this mutation. If you’re uncertain whether you’ve had triple negative breast cancer, or even if you have concerns about being a BRCA carrier, it’s best to call your physician or oncologist and undergo testing for the BRCA gene.
The good news is that surveillance is keeping up with this issue. Screening for this population involves mammography and MRI. Mammography remains important for those who carry the BRCA gene. as mammograms can find calcifications pointing to very early stages of cancer.

MRIs are another viable option for evaluating those who have a high risk of the cancer (and insurance is quite cooperative in these situations). The MRI is performed six months after the mammogram — in other words, in between mammograms to look for interval cancers. Those uncomfortable with the MRI experience (or who might be concerned about the impact of hormonal cycles on the MRI results) should look into PET mammography, a new imaging test for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. The downside of this particular surveillance, however, is that PET mammography is not widely available; there are three PET mammogram locations in Plano, Dallas and Fort Worth.

In addition to advanced surveillance methods, there are also advanced surgery methods to deal with cancer cells. Nipple sparing mastectomy (NSM) allows the safe removal of breast tissue while giving an improved cosmetic appearance. In an NSM procedure, incisions are placed in the fold beneath the breast or at the edge of the areola. There is a low risk of skin or nipple loss. Insurance covers all prophylactic surgery for a BRCA mutation carrier. Reconstruction techniques continue to evolve from implants to one’s own tissue. The downside is that many surgeons aren’t comfortable performing the new technique. Incidentally, NSM shouldn’t be confused with subcutaneous mastectomy. Subcutaneous mastectomies were used in the past for benign issues and were later found not to remove enough breast tissue for cancer risk reduction.

The American Society of Breast Surgeons has begun a multi-institutional registry of women undergoing a NSM. This registry will cover information from cosmetic outcome to oncologic safety. The goal is to follow 1,000 women. The Medical Center of Plano is an IRB approved site for this Nipple Sparing Registry.

In September 2010, the U.S. Congress passed HR 1522, which designated the last week of September as National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Week; with Wednesday of that week being dubbed National Previvor Day (“previvors” are those who are survivors of a predisposition to cancer, but haven’t had the disease itself). The week of Sept. 25 was one involving nationwide celebrations as well as awareness of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. More information on these diseases can be found at

In conclusion, advances continue in diagnosing and treating hereditary cancer especially as it relates to Ashkenazi Jews. No matter your background, genetics or ancestry, the goal is the prevention or early detection of breast, ovarian, prostate, and pancreatic cancers and melanoma. Increased surveillance can find cancer at small, treatable stages. When surgery is needed or selected, minimally invasive techniques can lead to better outcomes. Even better outcomes are achieved when patients and their families stay informed and connected to their health care providers.

Beth Anglin, M.D.,FACS, specializes in all surgical aspects of breast health. She started a support group for those with the BRCA breast cancer gene and joined FORCE, the national hereditary cancer support group. She has offices in Plano and Frisco.

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Dallas Doings

Dallas Doings

Posted on 27 October 2011 by admin

I have Ranger fever. I have been fortunate enough to attend a game in each of the Post Season series. In the ALDS, my boys and I saw perhaps the worst game of our lives when the Rays slaughtered the Rangers in the opener. Against, the Tigers, we saw perhaps best game of our lives as we watched spell-bound as Nelson Cruz launched his extra-inning grand slam. We could still hear the ballpark erupting as we entered our car, parked virtually on I-30 as we exited quickly — it was a school-night after all! Monday night, I accepted a last minute invitation from my longtime childhood friend Dr. Zohra Choudhry of Fort Worth, to watch the Rangers take on the Cardinals. The ballpark was electric, with people on their feet with almost every pitch. The tension was taught. It was obvious that we were playing October baseball and the stakes were high. By the time you receive this week’s paper, we may know the outcome of this year’s World Series, and hopefully have a championship trophy in Arlington to show for it. Win or lose it’s been a fun and exciting ride. Go Rangers!

Mitzvah Day is this Sunday

There is still time to sign up for the community-wide Mitzvah Day which is this Sunday, Oct. 30. The Ray family will be participating in a couple of different projects. Our younger two will be at Levine Academy to help with the Ian Jacoby Memorial Garden. Our older son, Benjamin, will join his ATID classmates  and package linen for the Dallas Furniture Bank, who will distribute it to formerly homeless families who are transitioning to apartments. Another interesting project is Spokes for Folks where you can help repair used bikes. There’s something for everyone! To date, over 2,000 people have registered but still many more participants are needed. Several projects are short on volunteers and the agencies and their clients are counting on us to meet their needs. Visit and register yourself, your family and your friends for a project.

Akiba Academy celebrates ‘Women Who Inspire’

I was fortunate enough to attend Akiba Academy of Dallas’ annual Inspire! Gala and Auction honoring five exceptional “Women Who Inspire” last month at the Westin Galleria. The annual dinner and auction has been a staple of the local Jewish community for over 25 years, and this year’s edition brought everyone together again for a night of great food, camaraderie, and fun, all while raising vital funds for the school.

Akiba Academy’s Women Who Inspire! Gala Honorees, from left Sharon Blumberg, Carole Ann Hoppenstein, Cheryl Pollman, Helene Schussler, Pam Hochster Fine. | Photo: Holly Kuper

Sharon Blumberg, Pam Hochster Fine, Carole Ann Hoppenstein, Cheryl Pollman and Helene Schussler were honored with the Akiba Academy Civic Service Award for their continued support and service to the school and the broader Jewish community of Dallas.

According to Janis Gail, director of development at Akiba Academy, “It was my pleasure to work with these five stellar ‘Women Who Inspire’ and the extraordinary Gala leadership team led by Ann Ochstein and Peta Silansky. Because of their dedication, perseverance, and creativity — the event was a tremendous success.”

“I am honored to be a part of a school that teaches kids about their power to have an impact on the world around them. The event was a wonderful celebration of the gem that is Akiba Academy,” said Sharon Blumberg, one of the honorees.

The live auction was one of the highest points of the night, where a fantastic array of items (including VIP seats for NBA champions Dallas Mavericks, a weekend in Vegas and a vintage airplane ride, among many other prizes) were hotly contested by bidders. All proceeds from the auction will directly benefit the Akiba Academy student body. Without the support generated by the gala and auction, as well as other fundraising initiatives, the school could lack critical financial support to help manage tuition costs and ensure that no student is turned away for financial reasons. “The generosity of the Jewish community and outpouring of donations was phenomenal,” said Christy Bonds, development coordinator.

“Inspire! was an evening of celebration of the commitment we all have to our community. We are extremely grateful to everyone whose extraordinary efforts enabled us to make the event a reality and a wonderful success,” said Ann Ochstein, one of the event co-chairs. “We thank Akiba Academy for enriching the lives of our children and for inspiring us to grow as parents,” added Peta Silansky, also event co-chair.

Akiba also announced during the event a commemorative “funded path” honoring the Akiba Academy Civic Service Award recipients. The initiative will begin in earnest, laying one stone for each honoree, as part of the celebrations of Akiba’s upcoming 50th Anniversary that will be held throughout the 2012-2013 academic year. “We are planning something very special for our golden anniversary, and you definitely will not want to miss next year’s edition of Inspire!” indicated Jo Chung, the school’s managing director.

Mazal tov to Akiba for another successful gala

It’s JLI time

I’ve always wanted to take a Jewish Learning Institute class, but have not been able to free up my schedule yet. This year’s Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) will feature “Fascinating Facts: Exploring the Myths and Mysteries of Judaism.” The six-session course will begin the week of November 6, 2011.

Fascinating Facts embraces a wide range of interesting sessions each week including: Jewish myth and urban legend, biblical stories and events, Jewish foods, the Hebrew language, lifecycle events, mysteries of the occult, Jewish view on Satan and the evil eye, whether angels have wings, and why pork is considered the quintessential non-kosher food. “We’ve designed this course as a fun and insightful overview of Jewish heritage to promote a Jewish cultural literacy within the community,” explains Rabbi Zalman Abraham, of JLI’s Brooklyn Headquarters. “We aim to enlighten even the most seasoned trivia buffs with a treasure trove of ‘Who knew?’ Jewish factoids.”

“As the People of the Book, we strongly believe Jews should know the richness of their Jewish heritage. This is what we hope to accomplish in the DFW area with an entertaining and new educational offering,” says Rabbi Menachem Block, a local JLI instructor.

Like all JLI programs, “Fascinating Facts” is designed to appeal to people at all levels of Jewish knowledge, including those without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning. All JLI courses are open to the public, and attendees need not be affiliated with a particular synagogue, temple, or other house of worship.

“Fascinating Facts” will be taught at the following locations. Please see the websites for times and dates of the classes: Chabad of Dallas led by Rabbi Moshe Naparstek, 972-818-0770,; Lang Chabad Center – Chabad of Plano led by Rabbi Menachem Block, 972-596-8270,; The Sonnenschein Chabad Jewish Center – Chabad of Forth Worth and Tarrant County led by, Rabbi Dov Mandel, 817-263-7701, and Chabad of Arlington led by Rabbi Levi Gurevitch, 817-451-1171,

Altrusa Glitterati Craft Show

This year’s Altrusa Glitterati Art and Gift Boutique is Sunday, Oct. 30, noon  to 5:00 p.m. While the community is out performing mitzvahs all day, why not shop the 7th annual Altrusa boutique and support another worthwhile cause? Dozens of local artists will be at the show to sell their creations, benefiting Altrusa International of Dallas, a women’s service organization. Agencies that benefit from the Glitterati Boutique are the Vogel Alcove, Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital, North Texas Food Bank, Refugee Services of Texas, Old City Park Elementary School, micro-loan programs for women, literacy projects, Paws for Patriots, academic scholarships for women in need and so many more. Shoppers will enjoy lunch by Natalie’s Kitchen, and stroll through the booths of unique merchandise while supporting worthwhile projects and local artists. “This is not your typical craft fair, it’s simply the best group of artists in one show!” says Lili Feingold, Altrusa Glitterati project manager. For more information, visit or on Facebook: Altrusa Glitterati

It will take place at Tiferet Israel Synagogue, 10909 Hillcrest Road, Dallas, TX 75230; admission is $1.

Book Clubs starting soon

Shearith Israel is starting two Book Clubs! Both the Jewish Book Club and an Israel Book Club are free and open to the Jewish community. The purpose of the Jewish Book Club will be to read and discuss novels by prominent American Jewish authors such as Singer, Roth and Bellow, and Israeli authors such as Oz, Yehoshua and Grossman. The clubs will explore the structure and themes of these novels, with an emphasis on what makes them “Jewish.” The first book will be David Grossman’s award winning “To the End of the Land.” available in paperback in English. Members of the Club would host sessions and group would be limited in size.

The Israel Book Club will provide a forum for people to come together to learn and discuss Israel in an informal setting. The inaugural meeting is on Dec. 4 11 a.m. to noon at Congregation Shearith Israel. It will be hosted by community leader Lillian Pincus. The guests are to read the book Stand Up Nation prior to attending. As an added bonus, the local Dallas AIPAC office will give free copies of the book, to the first five people that register.

Again, both of these groups are open to the Jewish Community at no charge. For more information or to register please contact Mona Allen at or 214-939-7318.

Brews and Jews

If you like beer, B.J’s Brewhouse will be the place for you next Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. Mark Fisher and Rik Heller will hold “Brews and Jews,” at 6:30 p.m. at the restaurant. Special guest will be Rabbi Jeffrey Leynor. B.J’s. is located at 4901 Beltline Road in Addison.

See the work of seven Jewish artists

There are still a couple of days to catch the work of Paula Joyce, Cynthia Schneidler, Robin Sachs, Barbara Nehman, Julie Meetal, Susan Kandell and Veronique Jonas in their interpretation of: Wabi Sabi. The exhibition closes on Oct. 29.

Wabi Sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It’s simple, slow and uncluttered-and it reveres authenticity above all. Wabi Sabi is flea markets, not warehouse stores; aged wood, not Pergo; rice paper, not glass. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind. It reminds us that we are all but transient beings on this planet-that our bodies as well as the material world around us are in the process of returning to the dust from which we came. Through wabi sabi, we learn to embrace liver spots, rust, and frayed edges, and the march of time they represent.

The Downtown Gallery is located in the Plaza of the Americas, Suite G207, 700 N Pearl Street, Dallas, Texas 75201. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please visit to learn more about the TVAA Downtown Gallery.

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Around the Town

Posted on 27 October 2011 by admin

By Amy Sorter

It feels kind of strange not referencing any holidays this week! As Annabel Cohen notes in her “Foodie” column, this period represents a several-week break between the sacred (the rush of the fall Jewish holidays) and the secular (Thanksgiving).

Still, there are goings-on in and around Tarrant County. I’m open to running just about anything in my column — from weddings, to births, to family reunions, to formal events … don’t be shy. Please send your news in my direction at

Music and Shabbat

Music and Shabbat have always gone together. On Friday, Nov. 4 at Congregation Beth-El, singer/guitarist/songwriter Doug Cotler will do the singing. Not during Kabbalat Shabbat, but rather, after the 6 p.m. service and 7 p.m. dinner.

Cotler is known for his sensitive interpretation of prayers and insightful (and sometimes humorous) songs about Jewish events and heroes. This son of a cantor, and cantorial soloist (at Or Ami in Calabasas, Calif.) has recorded several albums and has performed with the likes of John Denver, Jerry Jeff Walker and Mason Williams. Cotler has also written a symphony titled “The Golem,” which was performed by the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra.

The event is free (though contributions are welcome). The nice folks at Beth-El are asking, however, that you RSVP for this event by calling 817-332-7141.

See Amy and Andra in Concert

It’s not too late to consider marking this event on your calendar. Amy and Andra of the group Visions will be live in concert on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 3 p.m. The event will take place at Congregation Ahavath Shalom, 4050 S. Hulen in Fort Worth and it’s free. Amy and Andra are known for their wonderful and inspiring traditional and contemporary songs that are sung in Hebrew and English. The event is being sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County with financial support from the Dan Danciger/Fort Worth Hebrew Day School Supporting Foundation. Questions? Call the Jewish Federation of Tarrant County at 817-569-0892 or log on to

JWI Monthly Meeting

Ina Singer phoned to remind everyone that JWI will hold its monthly meeting on Nov. 2 at Beth El Congregation. Rabbi Gary Perras will discuss morality. A light breakfast will be served for the meeting which begins at 9:30 a.m. For more information, call Ina at 817-292-1580.

Last Chance for Vendors

Anyone wishing to exhibit their wares in this year’s annual Gift and Jewelry Bazaar on Sunday, Nov. 20 at Congregation Ahavath Shalom has until Nov. 1 to let the nice folks at the Ladies Auxiliary know you’re interested. Annette Smith is awaiting your communication — reach her at 817-370-8807, on her cell at 817-726-6712 or via e-mail at For those of you who are NOT exhibiting and who ARE interested in shopping, stop by the bazaar between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at CAS, 4050 S. Hulen St. in Fort Worth.

War Veteran at the Daytimers

On Wednesday, Nov. 9, Dr. Paul Boller will talk about his experiences serving as a translator for the Navy, where he was assigned to the department of psychological warfare during World War II. Boller helped prepare leaflets that were preemptively dropped on Japanese cities before they were bombed, warning citizens to evacuate.

Boller is emeritus professor of history at TCU, as well as is an authority on United States presidents. Among his published works are “George Washington and Religion,” “This is Our Nation” and “Not So Popular Myths about America.” In addition, he will bring copies of his books, “Presidential Anecdotes,” “Presidential Campaigns” and “Presidential Wives,” which were all Book-of-the-Month Club selections.

Boller received his B.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University. After his service during World War II, he worked as a civilian analyst for the Office of Naval Intelligence. He is also, as mentioned above, a professor: He taught American cultural and intellectual history at Southern Methodist University, University of Texas-Austin, University of Massachusetts in Boston and, of course, at TCU, where he was the first holder of the LBJ Chair in American history.

Lunch for this month’s Daytimers event will be catered by Potbelly Sandwich Works. Guests have a choice of turkey breast, mushroom melt or tuna on Potbelly’s special “slim” buns. Lunch is $9, or guests may attend for just the program for $4 each.

For reservations, call Barbara Rubin 817-927-2736 or Irv Robinson, 817-731-7447, mail checks to Beth-El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven Rd., Fort Worth, TX 76109, or reserve for yourself at

The “Daytimers” program is sponsored by Beth-El Congregation with financial support from the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County.

Directory Notification

As a reminder, the Isadore Garsek Lodge of B’nai B’rith is in its last stages of editing on the local B’nai B’rith Community Directory of Tarrant County. Any changes or additions (or deletions, for that matter), need to be in to Alex Nason by Nov. 23. Contact him at 817-346-3991 or

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Filling the spaces between holidays with reading

Filling the spaces between holidays with reading

Posted on 27 October 2011 by admin

By Laura Seymour

We measure our time through the Jewish year by holidays and lifecycles. These events remind us of who we are and what is important. Judaism is anhistorical religion — our holidays teach us a great deal about special and important history.

My favorite holiday, Simchat Torah, closes out the rush of fall holidays. Next in line is Chanukah. But we can keep the spirit of the holidays fresh by reading good books. And yes, as a biblioholic, I happen to have one handy.

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, another terrific bibliophile and a terrific author, I might add, released a book about a year ago entitled entitled “I’m God, You’re Not: Observations on Organized Religion & Other Disguises of the Ego.” This book consists of a collection of sermons and articles Rabbi Kushner has written during his close to 30 years of being a pulpit rabbi. Though Kushner was raised in the Reform sect, his words borrow freely from Orthodox and Conservative thought as well. As I read, I cried, I laughed and I learned, all of which are the highest recommendations I can make for any book.

What struck me, in particular, were his comments about the holidays as they pertain to our history. I was also fascinated by this comment on memory and honoring the aged: Something I don’t believe we are doing very well these days. Here’s one of Kushner’s comments:

Judaism never portrays itself as young, it always portrays itself as an old man who remembers everything. To make the point, when was the last time you saw a picture or a painting of a young Jew? No such thing. It’s always an old Jew whose face is wrinkled by what he remembers. Christianity has infants, but there are no pictures of Jewish infants. When you see pictures and photos in the tourist shops in Israel, it’s generally those depicting old Jews. We reverence age and the wisdom that comes with it.

Think and talk about this quote. What does it say about us as a people?  Is it true today? When you think of a Jew, what is the picture that comes to your mind? Why do you have that picture? Is it accurate for Jews today?  Lots to think about between now and the next holiday.

Laura Seymour is director of Camping and Youth Services at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center.

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Simchat Torah: A time for learning, celebrating

Simchat Torah: A time for learning, celebrating

Posted on 20 October 2011 by admin

By Laura Seymour

Everyone has a favorite holiday and it should come as no surprise to those who know me that my favorite is Simchat Torah. What bibliophilic would not love a holiday that celebrates a special book?

Judaism is a wonderful religion that has so many facets. Some love the rituals, some love the spirituality, some love playing basketball at the J — however we define our Jewishness, we add that to our identity.

For those of you who love the intellectual connection with Judaism and God, Simchat Torah is your holiday. And for those whose Judaic pursuits are perhaps not quite as intellectual, Simchat Torah is still your holiday. On this wonderful day, we celebrate the ending of the Torah’s reading cycle … AND we celebrate beginning again with ritual, song and dancing — this is the BEST holiday to go to synagogue!

Joel Lurie Grishaver in his book “40 Things You Can Do to Save the Jewish People,” puts attending Simchat Torah services as a terrific activity. He uses this argument for Simchat Torah: The Refuseniks in the former Soviet Union who actually had to choose one holiday to celebrate chose this one.

He then goes on to state the three reasons for why observing Simchat Torah is so important: 1) Simchat Torah is pure celebration; 2) Simchat Torah says that Torah is the center of our Judaism; and 3) Simchat Torah combines two insights into a community arena.

So how can you commemorate this special time with your family? First, attend the synagogue of your choice and celebrate. Second, make sure you have at least one book of Torah at home with interesting commentary. Third, keep the learning going — you do not need to be a Torah scholar, in fact you do not need to read Hebrew, to learn from the Torah stories.

Even if you don’t have a hard copy of the Torah at your house, we do have Internet access to Torah. We also have music, children’s books, commentary … the trick here is to start where you feel comfortable.

What a terrific time of year! Begin the cycle of learning with Simchat Torah — and never stop. As Rabbi Ben Bag-Bag said in Pirke Avot 5:26 — “Turn it and turn it; for everything is contained in it.”

Laura Seymour is director of Camping and Youth Services at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center.

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Dallas Doings

Posted on 20 October 2011 by admin

Barbara and Stan Levenson inducted into Southwest Advertising Hall of Fame

I can’t think of any couple more deserving of accolades than Barbara and Stan Levenson, both in business and community service. They are the dynamic duo behind The Levenson Group of Companies. Barbara and Stan have been longtime friends and ardent supporters of the TJP.

For nearly five decades of being partners in life and business, Stan and Barbara were recently inducted into the elite 2011 Southwest Advertising Hall of Fame, on Oct. 10.

Selected by the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the Southwest Advertising Hall of Fame recognizes distinguished marketing professionals who have had a positive impact in their industry and community. Stan and Barbara were among six other honorees to receive this prestigious honor this year.

Since 1966, the power couple and their namesake agency have built a reputation for long-term client relationships. Among them are: Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. for more than 40 years, Church’s Chicken since 1991, Zale Corporation since 1992, ALON USA (formerly FINA Oil & Chemical) since 1993, Glazer’s Distributors since 2006, Aaron Brothers Art and Framing since 2002, and Summit Entertainment, The Austonian, AT&T Performing Arts Center and USA Discounters can be added to their roster of valued clients.

Stan and Barbara’s decades of success have been driven by their strategic and uncompromising commitment to client service through The Levenson Group. This synergistic group of companies encompasses Levenson & Hill, marketing and advertising; Levenson & Brinker Public Relations; Levenson Interactive; and Legion, Levenson & Hill, a multicultural marketing company.

“Barbara and I are deeply honored to be recognized among the best marketing minds in the Southwest Advertising Hall of Fame,” said Stan. “But this award is not just for us. It is for every professional and staff member who has helped us reach the level of success we enjoy today,” added Barbara.

Active in leadership roles on several civic and community organizations, Stan served as the Greater Dallas Chamber’s former marketing committee chairman, Dallas Arboretum and North Texas Commission board member, President’s Advisory Council Member of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Legacy Council Member at the Sammons Center for the Performing Arts, Advisory Board Member of the Dallas Holocaust Museum and Chairman — Board of Trustees of the Urban League of Greater Dallas.

Barbara is active in civic and cultural affairs and has performed leadership roles including Founding board member of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Central Dallas Association board member, YWCA board member, Dallas Ad League board member and many more.

Stan and Barbara’s dedication to their employees is equal to their clients, to say the least. Multiple employees at The Levenson Group have worked with the company for decades, as this couple has never lost sight of the importance each employee contributes to the growth and success of the company.

Mazel tov!

Some Berry good challah

Shearith Israel has come up with a unique way to support the Berry children, whose parents Robin and Joshua were killed in a tragic car accident in early July while driving home from a family vacation. The children survived the accident. Peter, 9, and Aaron, 8, are paralyzed from below the waist. Their sister, Willa, 6, is recovering from broken bones.

Many of us did not know Robin and Josh, but we do know their children are in need of a lifetime of medical and emotional support. Shearith Israel, together with its Sisterhood, is coordinating a fundraiser to help raise funds for the children.

Challah pick-up will begin on Oct. 28. and each week for four weeks, fresh challah can be preordered. The Mrs. C’s Challahs are certified kosher pareve and will be available for weekly pick up at both the SISterhood Gift Shop and at The Ann and Nate Levine Academy. Because this mitzvah is so important, these prepaid challahs will also be available for pickup following Kabbalat Shabbat services at both Shearith Israel Service locations, the Douglas location and at the Ann and Nate Levine Academy. One can order challah once or up to four times and can also have challah donated to the JFS Food Bank and/or make a donation directly to the Berry Trust Fund. For more information about the Berry Trust Fund, visit

A unique parenting program straight from Stanford University

I am hoping that I will get the paper to bed for the next six Tuesdays in time to attend Levine Academy’s six-week Challenge Success parenting program which starts next Tuesday, Oct. 25. Hopefully you have been reading Levine principal Dr. Susie Wolbe’s TJP columns over the last year and learned about the Challenge Success program and its impact on the learning culture at Levine. All parents want their children to be successful. Parents pour time, energy, money, and most of all-their hearts into insuring that their children will lead happy and productive lives.

Yet in spite of all our good intentions, both research and clinical experience reveal that too many children are impaired and ill-prepared for life in the 21st century. We live in a culture that increasingly insists that success is about numbers — test scores, acceptance rates, and salaries. All parents know better. We know that success is complex. It includes a wide range of skills and character traits such as integrity, creativity, and cooperation that can’t easily be measured but are critical for success in life.

Since when do we allow misguided notions about success to dictate how we raise our kids? Rates of depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and psychosomatic disorders rise as our children become increasingly pressured, stressed-out, and unhappy. It’s time for us to return to our instincts: instincts that tell us that what children need most is emotional support, parental supervision, adequate sleep, healthy eating habits, physical and intellectual challenges, resilience and time to reflect and plan. If this is your vision, Challenge Success Parent Education Program will help you realize it.

The Challenge Success program can help you make more sense of this journey with your children.

Designed for parents of children 5 to 13, the cost is $150 per family with children currently enrolled at Levine Academy, and $200 for those families who do not have children currently at Levine Academy. For more information, contact Susie Wolbe or Barbara Carr-Goodman at at 972-248-3032.

Yavneh Academy to educate about Cyberbullying

Yavneh Academy of Dallas will host a “Lunch and Learn” lecture titled “The Impact of Electronic Hatred: Understanding and Responding to Cyberbullying,” featuring guest speaker Roberta Clark. The event is open to the general public and will take place on October 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the school campus, located at 12324 Merit Drive in North Dallas

Roberta Clark, associate regional director of the North Texas/Oklahoma Regional Office of the Anti-Defamation League, will discuss with students and parents the epidemic of cyberbullying and the lasting effects it can have.

Cyberbullying is a growing problem that affects almost half of all U.S. teens, but many adults are unaware of the problem and, when they are aware, are unsure how to respond to cyberbullying activities. Most young people today consider e-mailing, text messaging, chatting and blogging a vital means of self-expression and a central part of their social lives. But an increasing number of youth are misusing online technology to bully, harass and even incite violence against others. This session will introduce the many issues related to cyberbullying as well as ways to respond to this growing concern.

Ms. Clark is deeply committed to ensuring the safety and security of the Jewish people, and protecting the rights of all Americans. She brings with her significant leadership and experience in programming, leadership development and Jewish education. She graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Political Science and holds dual M.A. degrees in Jewish Education and Jewish Studies from Gratz College in Melrose Park, Pa.

For additional information about Yavneh Academy of Dallas or to RSVP to the “Lunch and Learn” lecture, contact the Admissions Department at 214- 295-3419, or at

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What is the cost of freeing Israeli soldiers?

What is the cost of freeing Israeli soldiers?

Posted on 20 October 2011 by admin

By Rabbi Yerachmiel D. Fried

Dear Readers,

With much discussion about the events in Israel and the great confusion of what is right and proper, and with this very complicated and emotion-filled question been sent my way as well, I offer this reprint of a column of some time ago when this question first arose. My prayers are for the welfare of Gilad and his family, and with all the people of Israel.

Dear Rabbi Fried,

After what has transpired in Israel with the freeing of the murderer Kuntar for the sake of returning the bodies of Israeli soldiers, causing celebrating and glee among the terrorist world, is it proper to attempt to free Gilad Shalit for the price of freeing more such murderers?

— Gracie W.

Dear Gracie,

This question is most complex, as it is so difficult to separate ourselves from our emotions when analyzing the issues. I just returned from Israel, where I had the heart-wrenching experience of listening to the wife of Ehud Goldwasser as she said goodbye to her beloved martyred husband at his funeral. It is certainly of great importance to these families to have closure on their tremendous losses; all the more so when a soldier may still be alive. The question is, how far do we go and at what cost to the Jewish people?

The Mishna states: “We may not redeem captured (Jews from the gentiles) for more than their (normal) ransom because of tikkun of the world.” The Talmud questions the essence of this tikkun. Is it referring to a crippling financial strain that could fall upon the Jewish community if it is forced to pay an exorbitant amount? Or is the concern that, if the Jews will pay such an amount, it will encourage gentiles to kidnap more Jews and extract like amounts, putting the Jewish people in further danger? (Gittin 45a).

The ruling of the Code of Jewish Law is that we may not pay too high a ransom to not provide the incentive for the gentiles to capture more Jews. (Y.D. 252:4).

There is a well-known story of Rabbi Meir of Rotenberg, Germany’s leading sage, who was kidnapped by King Rudolf of Germany in 1286 for an exorbitant ransom. His student, R’ Asher ben Yechiel, raised the ransom of 23,000 silver marks from the Jewish community to redeem the rabbi. R’ Meir refused to be freed for that kind of sum, arguing this would cause the capture and ransom of more rabbis and public figures, citing the above Mishna. He died in prison seven years later.

The 16th century authority Maharshal wonders about this story, citing references that Torah scholars needed by the community could be redeemed for any amount. He explains that R’ Meir must have been concerned that if he was ransomed, many other scholars would be captured. In fact, the King attempted to kidnap his student R’ Asher, who escaped. After R’Meir refused the freedom for ransom, the King ended his kidnapping campaign, seeing it was to no avail.

In this case, Hezbollah has proclaimed openly that kidnapping more Jewish soldiers means more of their murderers will be released. Jeff Jacoby writes in the Boston Globe, “Israel has almost certainly guaranteed the abduction of more of its citizens and soldiers in the future … “The words of the Mishna resound loudly in the chambers of history unfolding before us. We have seen this law applies even when the ransom itself, money, is not dangerous. All the more so when the ransom is the freedom of murderers who further endanger the Jewish people.

We must certainly do everything in our power to free Gilad, and he should be in our prayers (Gilad ben Aviva). But we must not endanger the Jewish people further to do so. May God grant the leadership of Israel the strength and wisdom to do what is right and proper. May we be redeemed from our enemies and enjoy peace and tranquility in Israel speedily in our days. Furthermore, may Simchat Torah this year bring true simcha to Jews everywhere.

Rabbi Yerachmiel D. Fried, noted scholar and author of numerous works on Jewish law, philosophy and Talmud, is founder and dean of DATA, the Dallas Kollel. Questions can be sent to him at

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‘Hello Gilad, it’s so good to have you home’

‘Hello Gilad, it’s so good to have you home’

Posted on 20 October 2011 by admin

As the world watches, Shalit comes home

By Linda Gradstein

JERUSALEM (JTA) — It seemed that all of Israel breathed a sigh of relief when Gilad Shalit returned to Israel after being transferred from Hamas captivity in Gaza into Egyptian custody.

After more than five years of campaigning for Shalit’s release, and seeing little of him other than the same images again and again, Israelis were eager for the fresh images of Shalit broadcast Tuesday in the hours after his release.

The first interview with the released soldier was broadcast on Egyptian Nile Television even before he returned to Israel. In the interview, Shalit seemed overwhelmed, looking down at the table rather than making eye contact with the interviewer and taking deep breaths, apparently to calm himself.

“I’m very emotional, I haven’t seen people in a long time,” Shalit told the female interviewer. “I look forward to meeting people, talking to people … and not doing the same things all day long.”

Shalit, 25, said he was treated well, and that he knew that people were working to free him. He said he had access to media while in captivity and that he had feared he would be held “for many more years.”

It was the first footage of Shalit since a short video released by his captors in 2009 proving he was alive.

Gilad Shalit salutes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upon his arrival in Israel. | Photo: IDF

Soon after his return to Israel, the Israel Defense Forces released a photo showing Shalit dressed in an IDF uniform and looking thin and pale, walking slowly and slightly hunched over. Soon after a preliminary medical check at an army base in southern Israel, he had a long telephone conversation with his parents. A photo showed Shalit smiling as he held the receiver.

Video later in the day showed Shalit walking quicker and looking more at ease. An Israeli army spokesman said a physical showed that he was in good health.

Shalit then was flown to Tel Nof Air Force base for an emotional reunion with his family and a short meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Shalit saluted the prime minister, who smiled and hugged him.

“Hello Gilad, it’s so good to have you home,” Netanyahu told the freed soldier.

“Sorry I am so weak,” Shalit told Netanyahu.

At the Air Force base, Shalit underwent more extensive medical checks. He spent several hours there, longer than had originally been planned.

Major Israeli TV networks reportedly have agreed to respect the Shalit family’s wishes for privacy by keeping a certain distance away from the family home in Mitzpe Hila, a town in northern Israel.

As Shalit made his way home, Israel freed 477 Palestinian prisoners, including more than 200 who had been involved in attacks that killed dozens of Israelis. Some returned to their homes in the West Bank; others were deported to the Gaza Strip or Egypt. Tens of thousands of Palestinians attended a rally in Gaza celebrating the prisoners’ return.

At the Beitunia crossing point into the West Bank, some newly freed prisoners called for kidnapping more Israeli soldiers to free the remaining Palestinian prisoners in jail. The released did not include Marwan Barghouti, a prominent Fatah activist who is seen as a possible replacement for Abbas.

Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar also said that as part of the deal, Israel had agreed to lift the siege on Gaza that was imposed after Shalit was captured in June 2006 and deepened after Hamas took sole control of Gaza. An Israeli government spokesman would not comment on the report.

The last obstacle to the prisoner exchange deal was removed late Monday after Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that it would not intervene to stop the release. Several families of victims killed in terror attacks had petitioned the court not to allow the deal to go forward.

One of those was Yitzhak Ben Yishai, whose daughter Shoshi, 16, was killed 10 years ago in a drive-by shooting in the French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem. The Palestinian who shot her was freed Tuesday.

Unshaven, with white stubble on his cheeks, Ben Yishai, 55, said that his family has not recovered from Shoshi’s death. They are all United States citizens, and Shoshi was born in New York before moving to Israel at age 5. He said his five other children talk about Shoshi every day.

“The man who killed Shoshi should be given the death penalty, not freed to go home to his family,” Ben Yishai told JTA with tears in his eyes. “This is giving in to terrorism.”

But polls showed the majority of Israelis were in favor of the deal despite the heavy price.

“Each of us shares Noam and Aviva Shalit’s joy with all his heart,” Yehuda Ben Meir, director of the National Security and Public Opinion Project of Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, wrote in Israel’s daily Haaretz. “The Shalits are noble people and it’s hard to imagine their suffering over the past five-and-a-half years. But the joy is mixed with great sorrow — sorrow over the release of hundreds of terrorist murderers, who by law and justice should have ended their lives behind bars.”

In the West Bank, the released prisoners laid a wreath on the grave of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the prisoners back, saying, “We thank God for your return and your safety. You are freedom fighters and holy warriors for the sake of the homeland.”

Abbas is seen as being weakened by the prisoner exchange deal, which Israel negotiated indirectly with Hamas. Just weeks after applying for Palestinian statehood at the United Nations, which gave him a boost in popularity, Abbas has been sidelined by the swap. Hamas, by kidnapping an Israeli soldier, was able to get Israel to release more than 1,000 prisoners, including many who had actually killed Israelis.

“The big winner is Hamas because the deal is so one-sided,” Brig.-Gen. Shlomo Brom, an expert on the Palestinians at the Tel Aviv University security institute, told JTA. “The loser is Mahmoud Abbas because he has become irrelevant, which is the worst thing for a politician.”

Brom said he did not believe that Tuesday’s deal would lead to talks between Israel and Hamas or a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

In Shalit’s hometown, Mitzpe Hila residents prepared to greet Shalit with a human chain at the entrance to the community. His room has been repainted, and the family’s garden, which was not taken care of during the past 15 months while the family lived in a protest tent in Jerusalem opposite the prime minister’s residence, has been cleaned up.

Shalit is expected to spend the next few weeks close to home. He will receive psychological assistance and spend time with his family.

Murderers’ Row: Who are the terrorists being freed in the Shalit deal?

By JTA Staff

(JTA) — In exchange for Gilad Shalit’s release, Israel is freeing 1,027 Palestinian security prisoners.

The first 477, agreed upon with Hamas, were released Tuesday. Most had been serving life sentences for their roles in attacks against Israelis, and they included the organizers or perpetrators of many of the most infamous terrorist attacks against Israelis over the past several decades.

The remaining 550 will be chosen by Israel and released in two months.

The following are some of the more notorious terrorists being let out of prison as part of the deal:

  • Abd al-Hadi Ghanim: In July 1989, during the first Intifada, Gaza resident Abd al-Hadi Ghanim grabbed the steering wheel of a Tel Aviv-to-Jerusalem bus on Israel’s main highway and steered it into a ravine. Sixteen people were killed.
  • Yihia al-Sinwar: A founder of Hamas’ military wing, Yihia al-Sinwar was involved in the October 1994 kidnapping of Sgt. Nachshon Wachsman, an Israeli soldier who had American citizenship. Wachsman was killed by his captors during a rescue attempt several days later by Israeli commandos. Al-Sinwar’s brother is believed to have been an organizer of Gilad Shalit’s abduction.
  • Aziz Salha: In October 2000, Aziz Salha produced one of the most horrifying images of the second intifada. He was photographed proudly waving his bloodstained hands out of the window of a Ramallah police station after participating in a lynch mob that broke into the building and beat to death two Israeli reservists who had been taken into Palestinian custody there after making a wrong turn into the city. An Israeli court convicted him of the murder of Cpl. Vadim Norzich.
  • Mona Awana: In January 2001, West Bank resident Mona Awana, pretending to be an American with a romantic interest in an Israeli high school student, used the Internet to lure 16-year-old Ofir Rahum to meet her in Jerusalem. They then drove Rahum to a prearranged location on Ramallah’s outskirts, where he was shot and killed by Palestinian gunmen.
  • Fuad Amrin: In May 1992, Gaza resident Fuad Amrin stabbed to death 15-year-old Helena Rapp on her way to school in the Israeli city of Bat Yam.
  • Husam Badran: As the leader of Hamas’ military wing in the northern West Bank, Husam Badran was the instigator of several of the deadliest suicide bombings of the second intifada, including the 2001 bombing attacks on a Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem (15 killed), the Dolphinarium discotheque bombing in Tel Aviv (21 killed), the 2002 suicide bombings of a Passover seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya (30 killed) and the bombing of the Matza restaurant in Haifa (15 killed). More than 100 people were killed in terrorist attacks directed by Badran.
  • Tamimi Ahlam: In August 2001, Tamimi Ahlam, a female university student and journalist originally from Jordan, led a suicide bomber to the downtown Jerusalem Sbarro pizzeria where he detonated himself, killing 15 people, including seven children.
  • Walid Anajas: Hamas operative Walid Anajas assisted with the 2002 suicide bombings at Jerusalem’s Cafe Moment (11 killed) and a gaming club in Rishon LeZion (16 killed), and the remotely detonated bombing of a cafeteria at the Mount Scopus campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which killed nine people, including four Americans.

JCRC, RAGD applaud Shalit release

Z’man Simchateinu. The season of our rejoicing seemed a fitting backdrop for the long-awaited release of Gilad Shalit on Oct. 18.

Members of the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Rabbinic Association of Greater Dallas (RAGD) were elated at Shalit’s release. The two groups had been collaborating on an awareness program about Shalit’s plight, The Gilad Shalit Initiative. Through this initiative, the Dallas Jewish community has rallied support, signed petitions, held vigils, lobbied elected officials, and sent messages of support to the Shalit family while demanding Gilad’s immediate and unconditional release.

JCRC Chair Shirley Davidoff, and RAGD President Rabbi Andrew Paley noted that their organizations and the entire Jewish community of Dallas and Jews throughout the world are thrilled to see Gilad home with his family. “As thankful as we all are to see Gilad free, we recognize the controversial nature of Gilad’s release,” they said in a joint press release.

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Around the Town

Posted on 20 October 2011 by admin

Under the category of ‘egg on my face … ’

I’ve been promoting the first meet-and-greet of “outlier” Jews on Oct. 30. And, as luck would have it, we have to unfortunately postpone the event. I’m looking on the calendar to see when a good time would be that won’t conflict with things like Dallas Cowboy games, holidays and (ahem) high school basketball tournaments. My apologies to those who have marked this on their calendars — we’ll get back to you with another date soon.

And congratulations …

I’m going to insert a personal note in here, but I’m pleased to report that Dave Sorter is taking over editorship of the Joshua Star community newspaper effective late November, if not sooner. Dave’s colleague, Brian Porter, who currently edits the Joshua Star, will head up sister paper Burleson Star at that time.

Dave has been editing the Crowley Star for close to two years. While they’ll miss Dave in Crowley, he’s excited to be writing for, editing and building a newspaper in the community in which he lives.

The last time we both had the opportunity to do this was during the late 1990s, when we wrote for (and he edited) The Colony Courier, located in The Colony, TX.

Okay, enough about me and mine. Now on to other news.

Amy and Andra in Concert …

Amy and Andra of the group Visions will be live in concert on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 3 p.m. The event will take place at Congregation Ahavath Shalom, 4050 S. Hulen in Fort Worth and it’s free. Amy and Andra are known for their wonderful and inspiring traditional and contemporary songs that are sung in Hebrew and English.

The event is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County with financial support from the Dan Danciger/Fort Worth Hebrew Day School Supporting Foundation. Questions? Call the Jewish Federation of Tarrant County at 817-569-0892 or log on to

An Education about Hell’s Half Acre …

The recent Daytimers luncheon event featured author Richard F. Selcer, who regaled participants with stories from his book “Hell’s Half Acre.” He was introduced by his good friend, Fort Worth historian, Hollace Weiner.

Through his extensive research and during the presentation, Selcer uncovered interesting stories about Fort Worth history, and he also debunked several myths that are supposedly “common knowledge” in the lore of our community.

Following the presentation, he was peppered with questions from the enthusiastic audience, and many in the group gathered around afterward to purchase several of his six books about Fort Worth and Texas history.

Next month’s Daytimers’ luncheon will honor U.S. war veterans. Paul Boller, emeritus professor of history from TCU, will be the guest speaker, and he’ll talk about his experience as a translator for the Navy, during which he was assigned to the department of psychological warfare. Boller helped prepare leaflets that were preemptively dropped on Japanese cities before they were bombed, warning citizens to evacuate.

This is all very interesting stuff and certainly worth attending. Lunch will be catered by Potbelly Sandwich Works. Lunch is $9, or guests may attend for just the program for $4 each. For reservations, call Barbara Rubin, 817-927-2736, or mail checks to Beth-El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven Rd., Fort Worth, TX, 76109, or reserve for yourself at

It’s not too late to take advantage of JLI …

Some weeks ago, I wrote about the Jewish Learning Institute’s upcoming course entitled “Fascinating Facts: Exploring the Myths and Mysteries of Judaism,” which is being offered through the Chabad of Fort Worth/Tarrant County and Chabad of Arlington. I also mentioned this would be the first year during which Chabad of Arlington is offering the JLI courses.

Well, now Chabad of Arlington tells us that the first class on this topic is free to try. As my grandmother would say: “Such a deal!”

For more information, access the Jewish Learning Institute site at or contact Chabad of Arlington at 817-451-1171 or at

Both programs at Chabad of Fort Worth and Chabad of Arlington are supported by the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. I’m not trying to wave the JLI flag or anything, but these are wonderful adult education courses that provide great interaction and learning.

From Beth-El Congregation’s Caring Committee …

Carol Minker has kindly sent us the following information. When you have a moment, please wish these individuals well in your thoughts. Felix Oshman had heart surgery in Dallas, came through it successfully, and his chest has been closed. His doctors think he’s doing wonderfully well, which is outstanding news.

Fort Worth historian and TJP friend Hollace Weiner is having knee replacement surgery — my mother, too, has gone through this procedure (with BOTH knees) so I know what Hollace is going through. We wish her a speedy recovery and hope she’ll be back to dancing in no time.

Ellen Mack has undergone neck and back surgery — but from what Carol said, she apparently had a minor setback. All of our prayers go to Ellen as she moves through this trial and gets back on the right track.

Debbie Bowden at Beth-El’s office will be out of pocket during the next couple of weeks due to some surgery she also had. Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Debbie — the congregants will miss you!

Finally, Carol wanted to extend a HUGE “thank you” to Larry McGee and Gary Steinberger for raising their hands when the request went out to volunteering to drive Simon Oderberg to his weekly rehabilitation sessions.

Carol said Gary raised his hand first — but she (and the Oderbergs) are thankful that BOTH of these gentlemen stepped up when the need was great.

Thanks, also, to Carol for adding me to her CCC list — as I receive updates about members of the community I’ll be happy to list them.

Along those lines, if anyone else is going through an illness, surgery or other medical scenario, please e-mail me at Prayers and positive thoughts do a great deal to assist in the healing process, and I’m more than happy to put this information in Around the Town.

From Fort Worth Hadassah …

The Fort Worth Chapter of Hadassah will host its “Champagne & Chagall at SiNaCa: A Hadassah Happening!” which will start at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 29 at SiNaCa Studios at 1013 W. Magnolia Ave. in Fort Worth. The cost for this event is $10 per person, $18 per couple.

Questions? Debby Rice will be happy to answer them. Contact her at 817-346-2944 or

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Around the Town

Around the Town

Posted on 13 October 2011 by admin

I hope everyone had a meaningful Yom Kippur. I certainly did – this past year brought for our family a move to Joshua, Texas and a new Jewish community in which to participate. I look forward to learning more about — and reporting on — activities, individuals and institutions on the west side of State Highway 360. Many of you have already contacted me, to which I say “thank you.” I encourage others out there to drop me a line: I am, as always, at

Mazel tov, Lynell and Charles

Lynell Bond and Charles Norman were married on Sept. 4

Lynell Bond recently got in touch to let us know that she and Charles Norman were married Sept. 4 at Congregation Ahavath Sholom (CAS). Festivities began the Wednesday preceding the event, with a wedding shower at Lynell’s office. Friday night services were followed by a dinner at Arthur and Linda Moses’ home, hosted by Lynell’s siblings, where Charles’ family became acquainted with Lynell’s family. Saturday morning services came with an auf ruf in honor of the couple, followed by a Saturday night dinner at Mama Mia’s Italian restaurant, hosted by friends of Lynell and Charles. After the dinner, Lynell and the other women returned to CAS for dessert and a mikvah party.

Sunday was the wedding, and Lynell makes a special point of thanking Rabbis Andrew Bloom and Gary Perras, as well as friends who decorated the chuppah and took photos, and the volunteers and caterers at the shul. Charles and Lynell then departed for their New Orleans honeymoon where, Lynell writes “the weather was cool and perfect, the music amazing and the food delectable.” The wedding weekend, she concluded was one filled with “love, joy and celebration.”

Many congratulations from us to you, Lynell and Charles. May you have a long and happy life together, filled with nachas and love.

Got fish?

If the answer is “no” and you want fish, you should attend Chabad of Arlington’s “Sushi in the Sukkah” from 4:30-6:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 16. Along with snacking and schmoozing, adult attendees will see the movie “Ushpizin,” while children will be treated to an age-appropriate movie. Cost is $7 per person. For more information, call the Chabad at 817-451-1171 or visit the website at

From Fort Worth Hadassah …

The Fort Worth Chapter of Hadassah will host its “Champagne & Chagall at SiNaCa: A Hadassah Happening!” which will start at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 29 at SiNaCa Studios at 1013 W. Magnolia Ave. in Fort Worth. This particular venue looks very interesting — I love blown glass, so the location itself would certainly be worth the trip. At any rate, the cost for this event is $10 per person, $18 per couple. Contact Debby Rice at 817-346-2944 or for more information.

And on to Chanukah …

I know we’re currently in the harvest celebrations (Sukkot and Simchat Torah), but the Ladies Auxiliary of Congregation Ahavath Sholom remind us that its annual Gift and Jewelry Bazaar will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20 at the shul, 4050 S. Hulen Street in Fort Worth. It’s a great time to get a jump on Chanukah gifts, or even to stock up on lifecycle gifts. For more information, call the CAS office, 817-731-4721.

Also, vendors out there who are interested are also welcome — for information contact Annette Smith at 817-370-8807, on her cell at 817-726-6712 or via e-mail at The vendor deadline is Nov. 1.

Directory Notification …

As a reminder, the Isadore Garsek Lodge of B’nai B’rith is in its last stages of editing on the local B’nai B’rith Community Directory of Tarrant County. Any changes or additions (or deletions, for that matter), need to be in to Alex Nason by Nov. 23. Contact him at 817-346-3991 or

Finally, to the ‘Outliers’ …

As a reminder, there will be a meet-and-greet for Johnson County Jews (and others in the general area south of Fort Worth) on Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. Site is still to be determined, but likely at our house in Joshua, Texas. I’ve heard from a couple of folks out there, but if you’re interested in coming — or can’t come but are still interested in anything that might come out of this meeting — let me know by emailing me at

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