Archive | Around the Town

Rabbi shares life’s journey in one-man show

Posted on 17 August 2017 by admin

By Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

I have met more than one local rabbi who had “another life” before they were called to the bimah: nurse, Red Cross worker, Wall Street banker, IDF soldier. But only one made his way there via Broadway.
Rabbi Adam Roffman will share that journey in the form of a one-man show during two performances of Sunday the Rabbi Sang Sondheim at 7:30 p.m. Sundays, Aug. 20 and 27, at Stage West Studio Theatre, 821 W. Vickery Blvd. in Fort Worth. Proceeds of the evening will benefit the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County and Orchard Theatre of Texas.
Roffman is an associate rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel in Dallas, and as one of his congregants, I’ve been privileged to get to know him over the past four years.
In December, Roffman performed Sing for Your Siddur, a prayer book fundraiser for the Dallas shul. Roffman explained that while the Dallas show had a cabaret-like flavor, the Fort Worth edition is more theatrical and delves more deeply into his intensely personal journey.
“The biggest difference is that I was playing to a home crowd at Shearith and people knew me and knew a little bit of my story, and I had credibility with them the second I walked out on stage,” he explained in a phone interview. “I had to really change it to make it more personal, to turn it less from a cabaret evening into something that has a very strong theatricality to it. The story of the decisions I make from being an actor to being a rabbi are explored in greater depth and there’s more tension in the piece… it feels weightier. It’s more like going to a play and less like going to a cabaret.”
Roffman grew up in Baltimore, where he attended a Conservative Jewish day school. Like most Baltimoreans, he grew up loving the Orioles with added passions for musical theater and Torah study. He graduated from Amherst College with a political science degree and the Circle in the Square Theatre School with a Certificate in Musical Theatre Performance.
The show is autobiographical with a narrative punctuated by 15 Broadway songs over the course of 90-plus minutes. There is an intermission. Roffman explained that in addition to being deeply emotional, the performance is somewhat physically taxing as well.
“This is a little bit like running a marathon. Being up on stage by yourself for 90 minutes is really taxing. You have to get yourself in shape. At times that’s been a real struggle for me. In the course of an ordinary musical as one performer, you might sing five or six songs and usually you’re singing with other people, but this is just me. And also, like I said, because it’s very personal, it is very emotionally draining.”
The rabbi sees similarities between the outlets of theater and music and the Judaism.
“There is a lot in common between what it is that Judaism tries to teach us and helps us explore — not just the everyday but also the challenges in life — and to think about them in an honest way and with an eye toward making the world a better place, and I think that theater does the same thing.”
One of the hallmarks of Roffman’s approach to both Judaism and theater is intention and honesty.
“When I talk about prayer, I talk about being honest,” he says. “When you go through these words the idea is to internalize them and make them personal and that means — most of the time — to struggle with them. If you are reading a line in the prayer book and praying it, you first have to decide in your own mind if there’s truth in what you are saying and if there isn’t, you have to ask the question why. Ultimately the goal is to get yourself to a point where you can believe the things you are saying. But it’s that moment in honesty where the real power in prayer is.”
Roffman explained that as a performer he had a similar experience to what one might have with prayer. Some of the songs he will perform, he has been singing for 20-plus years, but when he went to practice them it was almost as if he didn’t know the words at all. Coming to terms with their meaning for him in the context of his life story was an arduous process. It is difficult to accept that the path one thought they were on is not where they will end up.
“A lot of the songs that I sing, especially toward the middle of the show, are about the complexities of life and how life is not black and white, that there are lots of different shades of gray and the more honest you are about the challenges you face, the more real the solutions become.”
Roffman will be accompanied by a gifted Dallas musician, pianist Jon Schweikhard. He explained that the music is difficult and having a talent like Schweikhard as accompaniment and Jim Covault as director makes the show run smoothly. Orchard Theatre founder and playwright Richard Allen helped shape the script. The rabbi also alluded to the fact that there may a surprise guest or guests adding to the show at some point, but wouldn’t elaborate.
It is clear from talking to Roffman that he loves his day job — rabbi— and his hobby — musical performer. But perhaps his greatest joy is being a husband and father.
Roffman and his wife Rabbi Shira Wallach are parents of daughter Hannah, age 2. Roffman kvelled when he shared an anecdote of Hannah spontaneously at the piano, imitating his practice sessions with full intention — carefully fingering the piano keys and “singing” lyrics.
Roffman attributes much of his show’s success to his wife Shira, who is a gifted singer in her own right. “As always, I could not possibly have done this without Shira. I trust her so implicitly with getting the story right and being a sounding board in helping me tell it, but also she’s come to love this story of me as much as I have. So we’ve been sharing that together.”
Roffman can’t wait for the first performance this weekend. “There is a lot of joy in the performance of musical theater songs for me. Just the opportunity to do that is great. I get a lot of joy out of singing.”
Tickets for the show are $30 each or $100 for a group of four. They can be purchased at www.orchardtheatre.org.

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Around the Town: Daytimers, supporting Israel

Posted on 10 August 2017 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Daytimers get together for ice cream and movie

Next week’s Daytimers get-together will feature ice cream and a movie at noon, Wednesday, Aug. 16, at Beth-El Congregation. Bring your own lunch, and dessert will be provided during the film The Exception.
Larry Steckler tells us that “the film is a WWII thriller filled with espionage and romance in equal measure. The Exception follows German soldier Stefan Brandt (Jai Courtney) as he goes on a mission to investigate exiled German Monarch Kaiser Wilhelm II (Christopher Plummer). The Kaiser lives in a secluded mansion in The Netherlands, and as Germany is taking over Holland, the country’s authorities are concerned that Dutch spies may be watching the Kaiser.
“As Brandt begins to infiltrate the Kaiser’s life in search of clues, he finds himself drawn into an unexpected and passionate romance with Mieke (Lily James), one of the Kaiser’s maids who Brandt soon discovers is secretly Jewish. When Heinrich Himmler (Eddie Marsan), head of the SS, decides to come for an unexpected visit with a large platoon of Nazis in tow, the stage is set for a breathtaking showdown, as secrets are revealed, allegiances are tested, and Brandt is forced to make the ultimate choice between honoring his country and following his heart.”
A.O. Scott reviewed The Exception in the New York Times in June and said of Plummer’s performance, “Mr. Plummer, at this stage in his career, takes evident delight in the flourishes and extravagances that seniority affords. His Kaiser is full of mischief and vanity, in many ways a reprehensible figure but nonetheless able to charm his way out of the contempt he deserves.”
Let Larry know if you will be there by calling 817-927-2736. Daytimers is a program of Beth-El Congregation with financial support from the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County.

Roffman heads to Cowtown for 2 unique performances

The Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County is teaming up with the new Orchard Theatre of Texas (OTX) to present a very special evening of entertainment. Sunday the Rabbi Sang Sondheim features the musical talents of Adam Roffman, associate rabbi at Shearith Israel of Dallas.
Directed by OTX Artistic Director Jim Covault, this uniquely personal production recounts Adam’s journey through the beloved musical theater characters he played, ones that “got away” and those he only dreamed about. The score is filled with Broadway classics from shows like Guys and Dolls, Pippin, Follies, Sweeney Todd, Company, Oliver!, Little Shop of Horrors, Phantom of the Opera and more. We will share more about Adam’s journey from musical theater to the rabbinate in next week’s column.
Performances are 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20, and Sunday, Aug. 27, at the Stage West Studio Theatre, 821 W. Vickery Blvd. in Fort Worth. Tickets are $30, or $100 for a group of four. Proceeds will benefit the Federation and Orchard Theatre of Texas. To purchase tickets, go to orchardtheatre.org.

 

 

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New Beginnings Church makes $250,000 donation to Project Aliyah

New Beginnings Church has a history of supporting Israel, and this past Sunday, it made a six-figure donation to that end.
Pastor Larry Huch presented a $250,000 check to Keren Hayesod during Sunday services to help Jews making aliyah through the Aliyah Project.
“We are not only presenting you with a quarter-million dollars, but we are making a pledge that next quarter we are going to do at least that much again,” Huch said during the presentation of the check.
New Beginnings’ campaign began over Purim and Passover. The church was at the forefront of the anti-BDS movement in Texas, and pushed for the state to sign a bill into law, as well as many other pro-Israel actions.
“Not many years ago, standing with Israel was heresy, but we are changing the world. Around the world, Christians are falling back in love with their Jewish roots, and are falling in love with the land we owe so much to,” Huch said.
Presenting the check are (from left) Larry Huch of New Beginnings Church; Josh Reinstein, director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus; Eliezer (Moodi) Sandberg, world chairman of Keren Hayesod; and Pastor Scott Sigman of New Beginnings Church.

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Rabbi on new police race relations committee

Rabbi on new police race relations committee

Posted on 03 August 2017 by admin

Ahaath Sholom’s Bloom to help Fort Worth police force

By Rick Press
Special to TJP

In December 2016, Jacqueline Craig called the Fort Worth police because she believed her son had been assaulted by a neighbor. She was expecting the officer who arrived at the scene to serve and protect her family.

TJP file photo/Richard Rodriguez Rabbi Andrew Bloom performs the invocation at a 2015 rodeo in Fort Worth.

TJP file photo/Richard Rodriguez
Rabbi Andrew Bloom performs the invocation at a 2015 rodeo in Fort Worth.

Instead, officer William Martin questioned Craig’s parenting skills, insulted her and forcibly arrested the African-American mother and her two daughters.
The entire incident was caught on cellphone video, and quickly went viral, laying bare what many in Fort Worth have long suggested is a racial divide in their community, particularly when it comes to police relations.
The fallout has been swift and steady, and Mayor Betsy Price, Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald and the city council have been criticized for their handling of the case. In the ensuing months, they have been searching for a sustained way to address the protests and ongoing concerns about race relations in Fort Worth.
On Friday, the city’s new Race and Culture Task Force will meet for the first time, charged with a mission of bridging the “divides within our community,” said Rabbi Andrew Bloom of Congregation Ahavath Sholom, one of the co-chairs of the 23-member committee.
“This is a watershed moment for Fort Worth,” Bloom said in an email. “We will be able to enhance our city as an example of inclusion we can all be proud of.”
Bloom has served on the mayor’s faith-based cabinet the last five years, and he says it’s an honor to be chosen as a co-chair on the new task force. He will be joined by fellow co-chairs Bob Ray Sanders of the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce; Rosa Navejar, owner of the Rios Group; and Lillie Biggins, president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth. Together they formed a task force made up of 12 women and 11 men, chosen from a group of about 150 people who volunteered or were nominated. Robert Goldberg, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth, is also a member of the task force.
Some of the members have been harsh critics of the city in the wake of the Jacqueline Craig arrest, but Sanders, a former outspoken columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, said it is essential their voices be heard.
“This (task force) can’t just be an appeasement of the people who show up in protest at a council meeting,” Sanders said. “We picked task force members without interference from the council, including Bishop Mark Kirkland (of Greater St. Mark Ministries in Fort Worth) who has called people out by name. But that voice and that position needed to be represented.”
Bloom agrees that “the biggest challenge is to remain communally focused on ensuring that every voice is heard.”
Meetings, including the task force’s first Friday at 7:30 a.m. at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT), will be open to the public. The initial meetings will be followed by community “conversations on how to build a more inclusive Fort Worth,” Bloom said.
Sanders, who has been a leading advocate for the black community in Fort Worth for more than 40 years, believes the city has an opportunity to cultivate real change, but he says it won’t be easy.
“Fort Worth has been complacent and tried to make itself believe we didn’t have the problems that other cities have,” he said. “We have finally recognized we have an issue, and we’re gonna say it loud, and we’re going to try to deal with it out in the open.”
He knows the task force will face some opposition.
“As we get into the various issues, whether it’s police community relations, economics or education, I anticipate we’ll have some opposition,” he said. “It’s up to us that we hold true to the mission, and not betray it. And make sure the council is true to its word in getting out of the way.”
He said at the end of a year, the task force will present some actionable recommendations that could change policy and procedures in Fort Worth.
“This could be groundbreaking,” Sanders added, “if we do it right.”
Bloom is optimistic, and said his participation on the task force fits perfectly with his synagogue’s mission.
“In Judaism we have always placed a value on, and worked toward Tikkun Olam. My participation and that of the Jewish community on the Task Force is another path toward helping make our world a better place,” he said. “Congregation Ahavath Sholom has been in Fort Worth for 125 years and we have always played an integral role as part of the city, and I see this as a step forward in that progression.”

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Around the Town: Nover visit, JWVA

Around the Town: Nover visit, JWVA

Posted on 27 July 2017 by admin

Heather and Matthew Nover, along with 11-month-old Jane Sarah, visited his family to celebrate his new position. He will add director of Hebrew High School at Congregation Neve Shalom in New Jersey to his current position as principal of religious school at Temple HaTikvah, also in New Jersey.

Heather and Matthew Nover, along with 11-month-old Jane Sarah, visited his family to celebrate his new position. He will add director of Hebrew High School at Congregation Neve Shalom in New Jersey to his current position as principal of religious school at Temple HaTikvah, also in New Jersey.

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

A visit from Matthew Nover

Matthew Nover, grandson of Earl and Shirley Givant, visited his family in Fort Worth with his wife Heather and 11-month-old daughter Jane Sarah.
Matthew has recently been appointed director of the Hebrew High School at Congregation Neve Shalom in Metuchen, New Jersey. He is also the principal of the religious school at Temple HaTikvah in Flanders, New Jersey. Additionally, he will serve as the rabbinic intern at Rutgers University Hillel while attending his second-to-last year of rabbinical school at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York this year. Matt has already completed two master’s degrees from JTS, one in Bible and one in Jewish education.
Matt has always had a love for Judaism which started with his family and continued through his attending Lil Goldman Preschool and Fort Worth Academy, his bar mitzvah at Ahavath Shalom in Fort Worth, attending Fort Worth Country Day School and living in Israel for a year with USY’s Nativ program. He moved on to Rutgers University, where he graduated with dual majors in both Jewish studies and physics. Matthew’s family is incredibly proud of him for his many accomplishments.

Jewish War Vets Auxiliary, Beth Shalom members serve meal at Ronald McDonald House

The Dolores Schneider JWVA Memorial Post 755, along with members of Congregation Beth Shalom and their families, prepared and served lunch to the residents at the Ronald McDonald House in Fort Worth, Sunday, June 16. Families from other towns (or states or countries) that have a child who is a patient at Cook Children’s Hospital can stay at Ronald McDonald House for minimal cost.
Post members Jayne Michel, Dr. Julian and Marian Haber, Ted and Rita Hoffman, Joyce Atkens, Cookie and Phil Kabakoff, and Elaine Bumpus, were accompanied by Mark and Danielle Snailer, Debbie Goldsmith, Stephanie and Hailie Posner, Lauren Atkens, Alyssa, Brent and Shelbie Dingman and Lisa Rein. Grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, chips, salad, and ice cream sundaes and beverages were enjoyed by about 100 residents.
A special thank-you goes out to grill chefs extraordinaire Dr. Julian Haber, Ted Hoffman and Phil Kabakoff. It was a memorable and rewarding experience to see the smiling faces of the patients’ and their families. JWVA looks forward to doing this again in the future.

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Around the Town: WWI exhibit

Around the Town: WWI exhibit

Posted on 20 July 2017 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Have a Fort Worth story tip? The Texas Jewish Post is always looking for good leads on stories.
Email sharon@tjpnews.com.

Fort Worth Central Library hosts WWI centennial exhibit

Susie Hyman, Kim Factor, and Hollace Weiner were part of the North Texas WWI Centennial Commemoration Committee, which on July 9 kicked off an exhibit at the Fort Worth Central Library.
Susie, wearing a cloche hat from the period, is program director of Imagination Fort Worth, which will be bringing student groups to the library exhibit, which runs through Oct. 19.
Imagination Fort Worth has created a curriculum to go with the exhibit, which is titled “From Cowboy to Doughboy: North Texas in WWI.”

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray sharon@tjpnews.com Have a Fort Worth story tip? The Texas Jewish Post is always looking for good leads on stories.  Email sharon@tjpnews.com. Fort Worth Central Library hosts WWI centennial exhibit Susie Hyman, Kim Factor, and Hollace Weiner were part of the North Texas WWI Centennial Commemoration Committee, which on July 9 kicked off an exhibit at the Fort Worth Central Library.  Susie, wearing a cloche hat from the period, is program director of Imagination Fort Worth, which will be bringing student groups to the library exhibit, which runs through Oct. 19. Imagination Fort Worth has created a curriculum to go with the exhibit, which is titled “From Cowboy to Doughboy: North Texas in WWI.”  At the opening reception, Kim sounded the bugle with a call to the colors.  She wore a World War I campaign hat and her father’s World War II uniform. Kim, an attorney, is the official bugler for Jewish War Veterans Martin Hochster Post 755.   Hollace, who directs the Fort Worth Jewish Archives, created four colorful panels about local Jewish participation in the Great War. She also filled an exhibit case with artifacts that include a soldier’s World War I siddur, a tallit, and a photo of a 1919 Passover seder for American soldiers in Luxembourg. The World War I exhibit includes a film and lecture series. Hollace will speak at 1 p.m. Sept. 17 about “Monuments & Memory.”  — Submitted by  Hollace Weiner

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com
Have a Fort Worth story tip? The Texas Jewish Post is always looking for good leads on stories.
Email sharon@tjpnews.com.
Fort Worth Central Library hosts WWI centennial exhibit
Susie Hyman, Kim Factor, and Hollace Weiner were part of the North Texas WWI Centennial Commemoration Committee, which on July 9 kicked off an exhibit at the Fort Worth Central Library.
Susie, wearing a cloche hat from the period, is program director of Imagination Fort Worth, which will be bringing student groups to the library exhibit, which runs through Oct. 19.
Imagination Fort Worth has created a curriculum to go with the exhibit, which is titled “From Cowboy to Doughboy: North Texas in WWI.”
At the opening reception, Kim sounded the bugle with a call to the colors.
She wore a World War I campaign hat and her father’s World War II uniform. Kim, an attorney, is the official bugler for Jewish War Veterans Martin Hochster Post 755.
Hollace, who directs the Fort Worth Jewish Archives, created four colorful panels about local Jewish participation in the Great War. She also filled an exhibit case with artifacts that include a soldier’s World War I siddur, a tallit, and a photo of a 1919 Passover seder for American soldiers in Luxembourg. The World War I exhibit includes a film and lecture series.
Hollace will speak at 1 p.m. Sept. 17 about “Monuments & Memory.”
— Submitted by
Hollace Weiner

At the opening reception, Kim sounded the bugle with a call to the colors.
She wore a World War I campaign hat and her father’s World War II uniform. Kim, an attorney, is the official bugler for Jewish War Veterans Martin Hochster Post 755.
Hollace, who directs the Fort Worth Jewish Archives, created four colorful panels about local Jewish participation in the Great War. She also filled an exhibit case with artifacts that include a soldier’s World War I siddur, a tallit, and a photo of a 1919 Passover seder for American soldiers in Luxembourg. The World War I exhibit includes a film and lecture series.
Hollace will speak at 1 p.m. Sept. 17 about “Monuments & Memory.”
— Submitted by Hollace Weiner

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Around the Town: Fiddler on the Roof Jr., Daytimers

Around the Town: Fiddler on the Roof Jr., Daytimers

Posted on 13 July 2017 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Fiddler on the Roof, Jr.

For one weekend only, Casa Mañana will be showing Fiddler on the Roof, Jr. Beth-El congregant Lauren Magee, daughter of Leslie and Alan Magee and granddaughter of Brigitte Altman, has been cast as Golde in this abbreviated children’s production directed by Noah Putterman.

Lauren Magee

Lauren Magee

Show times are 7 p.m. Friday, July 14; 1 and 5 p.m. Saturday, July 15; and 2 p.m. Sunday, July 16.
General admission tickets for these performances are $15 and can be purchased by contacting the Casa Mañana.

Daytimers head to Amon Carter July 26

Larry Steckler and the Daytimers crew have been busy preparing for the group’s Wednesday, July 26 trip to the Amon Carter Museum. The afternoon will begin with lunch at Beth-El.
You can bring your own, or order a Subway sandwich for $6.
Following lunch at approximately 12:45 p.m., folks will load up to carpool to the museum. Parking in the museum lot is free. In addition there are three handicapped spaces near the ramp on Camp Bowie, to the left of the entrance. Everyone should plan to arrive at the museum no later than 1:15 p.m. Maps of how to get to the museum will be available at Beth-El.
Depending on the size of the Daytimers group, the museum will provide one, or two docents if more than 20 are attending. In addition to the regular exhibits, Daytimers will get a look at the special Polaroid exhibit that has just opened.
Please let Larry know as early as possible if you will be attending, and if there is space in your vehicle for others. Photography without flash is permitted. There will be a few wheelchairs available and you may bring your own and walkers if they are needed.
The Subway lunch will include tea, coffee and cookies. Choices are the Italian BMT, Rotisserie Chicken, Tuna Salad or Meatball subs. You must call Larry Steckler, 817-927-2736, with your order and reservation.

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Around the Town: Downtown library WWI exhibit has extensive Jewish content

Around the Town: Downtown library WWI exhibit has extensive Jewish content

Posted on 29 June 2017 by admin

Submitted report

A World War I centennial exhibit at Fort Worth’s downtown public library has a Jewish component — four panels about local Jewish participation in the Great War. The exhibit, “From Cowboy to Doughboy: North Texas in WWI,” runs from July 9 until Oct. 19, at the library’s central branch, 500 West Third St.1. WWI Panel. Honor Roll Jewish Soldiers 2. WWI Panwl.Pilot Buried AhSh Cemetery 3. WWI Panel.Soldiers Path to Citizenship 4. WWI Panel. Ours to Fight For
The Jewish panels focus on a World War I honor roll etched in stone that lists 81 local Jewish soldiers; a Russian-immigrant infantryman, Pvt. Sam Sheinberg, who became a U.S. citizen; and an aviator from New York who died in a training crash and is buried in Fort Worth’s Ahavath Sholom Hebrew Cemetery. The Fort Worth Jewish Archives is among the partners who put together the exhibit, which includes 59 colorfully illustrated panels on the history of the war and exhibit cases with wartime artifacts.
The Jewish-themed display case has such items as a doughboy’s siddur distributed by the Jewish Welfare Board, Yiddish recruitment posters, and a Purple Heart awarded a Jewish soldier.
— Hollace Weiner

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Theater company shattering stereotypes, boundaries

Theater company shattering stereotypes, boundaries

Posted on 22 June 2017 by admin

Group to celebrate Chisholm Trail at Fort Worth performance

By James Russell
Special to the TJP

Richard Allen stood in front of the audience at the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in Fort Worth welcoming them to the Sunday matinee production of his newest musical, The Spirit of the Trail: A Musical Celebration of the Chisholm Trail.
Wearing a cowboy hat, plaid shirt and jeans, the New York-born, Emmy Award-winning professor of film, television and digital media at Texas Christian University was not just introducing a new show but his new theater company too.

Submitted photo The Orchard Theatre of Texas is a nomadic group which will perform in Fort Worth and other locations this summer.

Submitted photo
The Orchard Theatre of Texas is a nomadic group which will perform in Fort Worth and other locations this summer.

The show, directed by Jim Covault, the artistic director and executive producer of Orchard Theatre of Texas, combines songs from stage and screen, classic hits from the country charts and exciting new music written by local talent. Songs include a wide range of works from musicians ranging from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Toby Keith, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin. There is original work too by Allen, actress and show standout Gigi Cervantes and Stephen Beatty.
Allen called it a “Western cabaret,” interspersing songs with real-life tales of the trail.
The Orchard Theatre of Texas, Allen told the audience, was “purposefully homeless.” Co-founded with Jim Covault, the acclaimed recently retired artistic director of Stage West, Orchard Theatre is a nomadic theater company with no home.
“We met and thought about a new theater company. We thought, instead of having a building, what if we don’t have a building? What if we stage productions in different venues?” Allen said.
With the nomadic theater company established, the next decision was a bigger issue. What would be their first show?
“We found out it was the 150-year anniversary of the Chisholm Trail. It was a perfect opportunity to create a musical revue celebration of the trail,” Allen said.
According to the Texas State Historical Association, the trail was the major route for livestock between Kansas and Texas. The trail was important to the city’s early growth, earning it the name “Cowtown.” It was only used during a brief period in the late 19th century but its legacy is still around. A real life re-enactment of the cattle drive, known as the Fort Worth Herd, occurs twice daily on East Exchange Boulevard in the Stockyards. Fort Worth Herd still appears twice a day on East Exchange Avenue.
“Our vision was a Ken Burns documentary with voices from the time period evoking the pioneering spirit,” Allen said.
Fort Worth, with its “cowboys and culture” slogan, had plenty of options to stage the revue.
The team ultimately decided on two venues. The National Cowgirl Hall of Fame and Museum in the Cultural District hosted the company on the opening weekend. The next two weekends would take place at the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in the Stockyards. The show will run at that location through July 9.
The Orchard’s future seasons will not just evoke the city’s past, however. The company is looking forward, too.
“We’re thinking we’ll have one play about Texas, or by a Texan; one play about cultural identity, such as Jewish identity or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identity; and one classic,” Allen said.
In fact, one upcoming production is explicitly Jewish. The two-performance fundraiser is a one-man musical revue starring Adam Roffman, associate rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel of Dallas. Roffman is a rabbi with a certificate in musical theater from the prestigious Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City. An Evening of Broadway Music, Memories and Musings, directed by Covault, recounts his own musical theater journey with scores from shows like Guys and Dolls, Sweeney Todd, Company and Little Shop of Horrors, among others. That will take place at Stage West in Fort Worth on Aug. 20 and 27.
“There is definitely nothing like this in Fort Worth. Maybe a few are in Dallas. But this is a concept mostly found on the East and West Coasts. For now we are finding spaces where performances are not typical but are fun. We mostly want to do these shows in smaller spaces.”
When it comes to getting an audience to fill seats, Allen has a simple reminder for Dallasites.
“It is not a terrible drive! Hopefully people will realize that!” Allen said. “But like an orchard spreading, we could go anywhere. We have no borders.”
General admission is $33 for evening performances and $28 for matinees. Seniors pay $28 for evening performances and $23 for matinees. Students pay $15.
Reservations and information about group discounts are available through the box office at 817-575-7984 or on the website at Orchardtheatre.org.

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Jewish Legacy Giving Program secures 54 commitments in first year

Posted on 15 June 2017 by admin

Staff report

A new legacy giving program in Fort Worth and Tarrant County has secured 54 legacy gift commitments to the community in its first year. The commitments are a part of a collaboration between the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth & Tarrant County and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF) to preserve vibrant Jewish life for future generations by ensuring the long-term financial health of Jewish community organizations. Nationally, HGF has helped its partners to secure more than 14,000 commitments, valued at more than $500 million.
Through Life & Legacy, the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth & Tarrant County partnered with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation to help start a communitywide legacy giving program, creating a shared goal for the organizations to work toward.
“We all strive to make the world a better place — through our children, our good deeds and our generosity. We are incredibly grateful to all of our donors who have committed to leaving a legacy gift and helping to secure our community’s future.” said Bob Goldberg, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth & Tarrant County.
As a part of the collaboration, the Federation, in turn, partnered with local congregations Ahavath Sholom, Beth-El, Beth Israel, and Beth Shalom as a part of the two-year program that provides coaching, training and incentive grants to ensure that legacy giving becomes a normal part of the philanthropic culture of the community.
“Providing Jewish communities with proven tools and training to help them secure their long-term financial goals is absolutely vital.
Through the Life & Legacy program, I’m hopeful that we will be able to help sustain vibrant communities that allow future generations to enjoy our rich Jewish culture and heritage,” said Harold Grinspoon, the founder of HGF.

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Around the Town: Donorpalooza, Daytimers

Around the Town: Donorpalooza, Daytimers

Posted on 08 June 2017 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

CAS Donorpalooza

Last month, the Ahavath Sholom Ladies Auxiliary held a unique fundraiser: Donorpalooza.

Submitted photo Carole Rogers brushes up on painting at Painting with a Twist Donorpalooza.

Submitted photo
Carole Rogers brushes up on painting at Painting with a Twist Donorpalooza.

The event featured four programs on three different days. On Tuesday, May 16, Lynell Bond Norman, Hedy Collins and Carol Paul hosted mah jongg at Lynell’s home. On Wednesday, May 17, Marla Owen and LaJean Sturman hosted Painting with A Twist at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center. Sunday, May 21, began with a brunch at Blue Mesa hosted by Stephanie Zavala and Katrina Diaz. Donorpalooza wrapped up Sunday afternoon with Game Night hosted by Stephanie Dubinksy, Ava Beleck, Linda Lavi and Debby Rice at the Lavi home. The funds raised will go toward supporting the Ahavath Sholom Gift Shop, its kosher kitchen and its religious school.

B4 you do anything, register for bingo with the Daytimers

The Daytimers June 14 program will feature bingo. Lunch is at noon; games start at 12:30 p.m. at Beth-El Congregation. Each Daytimer will receive two free bingo cards. There will be costume jewelry for the first winner of each game and lottery ticket prizes for additional winners. Lunch will be baseball style, featuring hot dogs, sauerkraut, potato salad, cole slaw, mustard, ketchup, iced tea, hot coffee, cookies and chips.
Cost for lunch is $6, but the bingo is free. Call Larry Steckler, 817-927-2736, to make your reservation.

 

 

 

 

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Learning from the Oracle of Omaha

Marvin and Laurie Blum and family headed to Omaha May 5-7 for the 52nd annual meeting of Berkshire-Hathaway. They heard Warren Buffett give advice on investing and on living a productive life. Pictured from left are Barry and Diane Wilen from Hollywood, Florida; David and Linda Usdan from Memphis, Tennessee; Adam Blum from Austin; and Marvin and Laurie Blum from Fort Worth.MEB BRK 2017

 

 

 

 

 

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92 years young

Happy birthday wishes to Pearl Holland (center), who celebrated her 92nd last month. She is pictured celebrating with her fellow nonagenarians Joyce Slagle (left) and Rachel Greenstein (right). Also celebrating with Pearl are Joy Schroeder and Celya Holland.SlagleHollandGreensteinWEB

 

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