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Around the Town: Julie Eisenfeld, Garsek Lodge , Bnai Brith

Around the Town: Julie Eisenfeld, Garsek Lodge , Bnai Brith

Posted on 28 August 2019 by admin

Submitted Photos
Julie Eisenfeld’s “London City Scene” is among the works on display in the Beth-El Congregation boardroom.

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray


Faces and Places: A Julie Eisenfeld Retrospective


For nearly 50 years, Julie Eisenfeld has found artistic satisfaction by expressing herself through a variety of media.
Her art career for the first 30 years focused on acrylic painting, serigraphs (silk screen), etching and crafting linoleum prints. Through expressionism and her perception, she has placed people with recognizable, everyday elements in unprecedented situations that draw the viewer into the artist’s viewpoint and invite them to become part of the art.
For the past 20 years, she has focused on and continues to paint watercolors “that have given her the opportunity to ‘play within the light’ to suggest traditional form. Watercolors allow her to capture the transient and momentary effect of sunlight…,” according to her daughter Candice Eisenfeld, an artist known for landscape, abstract painting.
She holds a B.F.A. from Indiana University, studied printmaking and painting, and has taught kindergartners as well as college students. “Art is storytelling,” she says, emphasizing the importance of interacting with people, places and objects.
Her works often express her emotional experience rather than physical reality. As a result, they appear playful and creative, but still give rise to serene contemplation combined with subtle odd, eccentric or humorous elements.
Both the media along with the moods or feelings she has captured — whether humorous, entertaining or profound — are bold and evocative. Her drawings make a statement and have something to say. “If you can laugh at yourself, things aren’t half bad,” she adds.
Simply put, she views creating art as fulfilling her personal need to release energy, followed by printmaking that she considers the next step in producing a truly original work of art.
Beauty as well as other qualities in works of art are often said to be in the eye of the beholder. While Julie Eisenfeld accepts that others see qualities in her work that she doesn’t, she finds it “especially gratifying and worthwhile when someone comes along and likes something just as she did it.”
—Submitted by
Arlene Reynolds


Garsek Lodge honors 2 exemplary students with academic awards


Earlier this month, the Garsek Lodge presented its 2019 Award for Academic Excellence to Lily Goldberg and Rafael Cocchi.
Lily is the daughter of Kim and Bob Goldberg. She graduated from Paschal High School, where she attained a 4.0 GPA and a score of 1520 on her SATs. Lily is attending Washington University in St. Louis in the fall, majoring in biology.
Lily is enthusiastic about her education. She received several awards including National Merit Commended Scholar Awards and several AP Scholar with Distinction Awards and two Regional Visual Arts Scholar Awards. She was a member of the National Honor Society for four years, Paschal Society of Academic Excellence and Paschal’s Key Club.
Three years ago she also founded the In Tune Music Education Partnership (read about it in the Aug. 8 edition of the TJP).
Throughout her high school career, Lily was active in Beth-El Congregation and served as a religious Sunday school teacher’s aide. She has also been a counselor for three summers at Camp Impact.
Lily enjoys playing the violin and painting when she is not studying or volunteering.
Isadore Garsek B’nai B’rith Lodge is honored to recognize Lily Goldberg’s achievement and present her with its 2019 Award for Academic Excellence.
Rafael Cocchi is the son of Horacio Cocchi and Suki John. Rafael graduated from Paschal High School, where he attained a 3.8 GPA and a score of 1360 on his SATs. He is attending the University of North Texas at Denton and pursuing a degree in media arts with a minor in theater management.
An excellent student, Rafael was a member of the National Honor Society, a FWISD Superintendent Scholar, an AP Scholar with Honor, National Hispanic Recognition Program and a FWISD Academic Sweatshirt Scholar.
Rafael was a member of Paschal’s cross-country and soccer teams. He was involved with the school’s theater and served as its backstage manager. He was also a member of the Yearbook Club his senior year.
Rafael was active in Beth-El Congregation’s youth group (FWFTY) and served as a religious Sunday school teacher’s aide for two years. He volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House as well. In his spare time, Rafael managed to work as a public pool lifeguard, teach children’s swim lessons, be a soccer referee and deliver pizzas for Perrotti’s.
Gone 2 Texas Exhibit extended through May 2020 at Ahavath Sholom
The eye-catching exhibit at Ahavath Sholom, filled with African sculptures and Russian keepsakes, has been extended through the end of May 2020. The family of the late Bernard Zilberg, who donated Zulu walking sticks and heirloom copper pots to the displays, has requested that his memorabilia and those of other immigrants remain on exhibit until Dr. Zilberg’s unveiling in May.
Titled “Gone 2 Texas,” the exhibit intertwines the histories of Jewish migration from South Africa and the Soviet Union from the 1970s to the 1990s.
New to the exhibit, in the corridor outside the library at Ahavath Sholom, is South African currency engraved with images of lions, water buffalo and hippos. Also added is a set of vintage Russian nesting dolls that children in the Religious School may handle. In one of the locked display cases there is now a comical set of matryoshka dolls with likenesses of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Monica Lewinsky, Gennifer Flowers and a saxophone.
The exhibit received a strong review in Southern Jewish History, an academic journal published in Atlanta. The reviewer, Dr. Nils Roemer, director of the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas, wrote that the “intimate exhibition illustrates how relocating involves not only change and the retooling of both old and new cultures and identities but demonstrates continuities as well.”
The exhibit was organized by the Fort Worth Jewish Archives. It includes African textiles, Zulu jewelry, and wood carvings on loan from Anita Davidson; also a Soviet samovar from Alex and Sophia Nason and a Gzhel teapot from Claudia Boksiner.
—Submitted by
Hollace Weiner


B’nai B’rith Person of the Year dinner set for Sunday, Sept. 22


Some of the most anticipated events of the Tarrant County Jewish community year are those surrounding the B’nai B’rith Isadore Garsek Lodge Person of the Year announcement and dinner. This year’s program will be held 6:30-9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, at Beth-El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven Road in Fort Worth. Last year’s winner Debby Rice will reveal the best-kept secret in Fort Worth to those attending. Speakers for the evening will be B’nai B’rith International President Chuck Kaufman and Fort Worth Jewish Archives historian Hollace Weiner, who will give a history of the Isadore Garsek Lodge. The Garsek Lodge is celebrating its 143rd year. Cost for the evening, which is being catered by Babe’s Fried Chicken, is $25. Wine and beer will be provided with ticket purchase. To buy tickets, contact Marvin Beleck at marvinbeleck@aol.com; Rich Hollander at rich.d.hollander@gmail.com or 817-909-4354; Alex Nason at alexnason@charter.net; or Dan Sturman at dsturman@charter.net.

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Ahavath Sholom welcomes Hazzan Jeffrey Weber

Ahavath Sholom welcomes Hazzan Jeffrey Weber

Posted on 22 August 2019 by admin

Photo: Courtesy of Jeffrey Weber
Hazzan Jeffrey Weber looks forward to interacting musically with congregants at Ahavath Sholom.
Former opera singer blends music and worship participation

By Amy Wolff Sorter
The purpose of a cantor, or hazzan, is to uplift a congregation during Jewish worship.
“The role of the hazzan is to inspire the congregation, both in niggun and in meaningful prayer,” Congregation Ahavath Sholom’s Rabbi Andrew Bloom said.
It was for that purpose, and others, that Jeffrey Weber came to Texas in July, taking over as Ahavath Sholom’s hazzan. Weber, a classically trained tenor vocalist, has an impressive performance career, featuring stints with the Metropolitan and New York City Operas, as well as other international performance endeavors. He could have continued that path to a successful performance career, but instead, changed direction.
“God blessed me with the ability to sing,” Weber said. “It’s more meaningful for me to make a difference and be a part of people’s lives, as opposed to being on the other side of the footlights.”
The early years
Born in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, Weber was raised on Long Island, in Commack, New York. Weber’s family — father, Warren Weber; mother, Phyllis Weber; and sister, Robyn (Weber) Rubin — attended the local Conservative shul only during the High Holidays. The family wasn’t particularly musical; however, Warren had sung on a local radio show, as a teenager.
“He was a crooner,” Weber said. “He sang with Vic Damone before he became Vic Damone.”
Though Warren was a radiologist by trade, he had a love for opera and classical music, a love he passed down to his son.
“There was a whole room in his house dedicated to stereo equipment and thousands of LPs,” Cantor Weber said.
Weber began piano lessons in first grade, continuing to play for several years. While voice was his main instrument, he also played guitar and “dabbled” in bass and drums.
“I used to have long hair,” Weber said. “While I performed opera, I was also in a heavy metal band.”
Music and a religious purpose
Weber’s artistic talents earned him a spot at the Julliard School of Music, as well as with several opera companies in the New York City area. While at Julliard, Weber truly connected with Judaism, thanks to a job performing with a male octet at Park East Synagogue. Over the years, he lent his talents to shul quartets, including Park Avenue Synagogue and Sutton Place Synagogue in New York City and Congregation Ohev Shalom in Orange, New Jersey. As he performed with secular companies, he realized his avocation was merging music and religion.
Following his graduation from Julliard, Weber attended the Schechter Institutes of Jewish Studies (Machon Schechter) in Israel, which led him to the Jewish Theological Seminary’s H.L. Miller Cantorial School.
During his studies at cantorial school, Weber held student cantorial and cantor/hazzan positions at a variety of synagogues, including Congregation Beth El in New London, Connecticut; Temple Beth El in Springfield, Massachusetts; and Temple Emanuel of North Jersey in Paterson, New Jersey. Once he received his diploma of Hazzan, Master’s of Sacred Music, Weber’s resume grew to include Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C.; Temple Beth Shalom in Sarasota, Florida; and his most recent stint with Beth Sholom Congregation, in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.
On the personal side, Weber married Andrea in 1990. Andrea, an accomplished opera singer, sang at the Metropolitan and New York City Operas, as well as with top music festivals nationwide and, as Weber put it, “helped me with many temple choirs over the years.” The couple have two sons: Samuel, age 23, a recent graduate from the University of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania), and 21-year-old Ben, who attends the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Arrival in Texas
Weber learned about the Fort Worth cantorial job opening through the Cantors Assembly of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and immediately jumped on it, though he’d never been to Texas.
In researching Fort Worth’s Conservative shul, Weber was impressed with Rabbi Bloom’s credentials.
“I looked at his background, and saw where he came from,” Weber said. “I thought he would be a good partner to work with.”
Meanwhile, in North Texas, Ahavath Sholom’s 17-person committee, led by Marvin Beleck, was nearing the end of a five-month-long cantorial search process. The group had combed through multiple resumes from across the United States, as well as Israel and Poland, while participating in several Skype and phone interviews. The committee brought in the finalists, with Weber earning the spot. It was “his friendliness, his voice and history” that placed Weber in the position, according to Michael Linn, Ahavath Sholom’s executive director.
“He’s a good fit,” Linn added. “He’s a mensch.”
“He’s very personable,” added Bloom, who also dubbed Weber a mensch. “He comes with plenty of experience in the cantorial world, and we get along very well.”
The family’s migration from Pennsylvania to Texas has been positive, so far. Weber said he appreciates the Texas-friendly attitude. As for the North Texas heat? “I’m used to it,” he said. “I worked in Sarasota. There was heat there.”
Goals and objectives
Weber will eventually have oversight of Ahavath Sholom’s Learning & Engagement Center. In the meantime, the hazzan’s short-term goals involve familiarizing himself with the shul’s style of music.
“It’s imperative you don’t take that away from people,” he said. “It’s what they are used to, it’s what connects them to prayer.”
Weber also wants to form a choir and a band with the purpose of encouraging congregants to sing with him versus him singing at them.
“It goes back to the difference between opera singing, standing up there and performing as the entertainment, versus welcoming people to join you in singing,” he said.
This is not to suggest, however, that there is absolutely no link between Weber’s career as a performer versus hazzan. Through opera, Weber was able to use music to interpret foreign-language stories for audiences.
“Most people don’t speak Hebrew, either,” he said. “As hazzan, my objective is to interpret text musically, so people understand the feeling of it, even if they might not understand the words.”

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Around the Town: MOMentum, Chabad of Mid-cities

Around the Town: MOMentum, Chabad of Mid-cities

Posted on 14 August 2019 by admin

Photos:Courtesy Chabad of Arlington
The nine members of the Mid-Cities Chabad MOMentum group enjoy a moment at Masada.
MOMentum Israel Trip returns; applications open for December

Rishi Gurevitch and a group of Mid-Cities moms recently returned from an eight-day trip (July 9-16) to Israel. “Words cannot describe the incredible energy, unity and ‘MOMentum’ we all experienced on this incredible trip to Israel. Each of us are lamplighters empowered to light up our families, our communities and our world! Am Yisroel Chai!”
A Revitalizing Year of Self-Discovery — The MOMentum Year Long Journey empowers women to connect to Jewish values, engage with Israel, take action and foster unity, without uniformity. It includes a profound, personal eight-day experience in Israel, during which women explore the Jewish homeland, take in inspiring Jewish wisdom, and join a global Jewish sisterhood. Back home, women channel their energy and passion personally, professionally and communally, and continue their journey through educational and leadership programs.
There will be another Tarrant County MOMentum trip Dec. 10-17 sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Tarrant County. To apply, visit https://momentumunlimited.org/form/.
Applicants must have children under the age of 18 living at home and live in close proximity to the partner organization.

Chabad of Mid-Cities’ educational programs

Rishi Gurevitch also tells us that Chabad of the Mid-Cities has two innovative educational programs beginning next month.
Hebrew School of the Arts is an exciting and innovative educational program for both elementary age and preschoolers. “Our Hebrew School has a particular focus on educating children through art, song and drama, enabling children to experience the ideas and ideals which are taught in a relevant and artistic manner,” says Gurevitch, co-director of Chabad of Arlington.
She adds, “Our student body is made up of children from various backgrounds and affiliations. Each child receives the individualized attention he/she needs to further their Judaic education. Our center school enjoys a well-earned reputation as a trend-setter in creative Jewish education for children in grades kindergarten through seven.”
The curriculum will inspire Judaism through the universal language of the arts! Registration is open; for more information, contact Gurevitch at rishi@arlingtonchabad.org.
The second program, Aleph Champ-Plus, aims to help kids with their Hebrew reading skills. The program is modeled after the karate system of motivational colored levels. Kids start out on the White Champ Level with a complete line of white champ learning tools and work their way up through the levels. Classes will meet at the J-Space in Southlake, 280 Commerce Street, Ste. 255. For more information, contact Gurevitch at 817-933-2877 or rishi@arlingtonchabad.org.
Chabad Hebrew School is made possible in part by The Dan Danciger/FW Hebrew Day School Supporting Foundation.

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Goldberg leaves music legacy for elementary kids

Goldberg leaves music legacy for elementary kids

Posted on 07 August 2019 by admin

De Zavala Elementary School students practice the ukulele as part of In Tune.

By Nicole Hawkins
Two recent high school graduates are leaving behind a legacy of music education for elementary school students in Fort Worth.
Lily Goldberg, daughter of Kim and Bob Goldberg, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, and fellow classmate, Thu Pham, started a program at R.L. Paschal High School called “In Tune,” with the goal of teaching Fort Worth elementary school students about music.
Goldberg said that Pham, who is attending Harvard University in the fall, initially came to her with the idea two years ago and the women immediately began fundraising, gathering instruments and recruiting fellow high school students to volunteer.
According to In Tune’s website, the mission statement of the program is to give children an opportunity to develop an appreciation for music, gain important skills that can be applied in the classroom and in life and have fun doing it.
The duo partnered with De Zavala Elementary School, teaching music lessons to students once a week because its music program had a lack of funding.
“Music has always been a really important part of my life,” Goldberg said. “I think having some sort of creative outlet is so important, especially for younger children, and we wanted to bring that to children who didn’t have that opportunity.”
During the two years of the program’s existence, high school volunteers helped De Zavala students put on a concert for their parents, playing the instruments they learned: guitar, piano or ukulele.
Goldberg, who has played violin since she was a child, taught herself to play the ukulele so that she could teach and lead students in song during the concert. Adding a new instrument under her belt helped with her teaching, expanding opportunities for her students. One of them performed a ukulele solo during the last In Tune concert.
“His parents were so proud of him,” Goldberg said. “Having parents go up to you and being so thankful and telling you how their children wouldn’t have this opportunity without you is just so cool.”
Goldberg, who will be attending Washington University in St. Louis in the fall, and Pham, hope the program will continue on when they leave Texas and are recruiting incoming seniors at Paschal to help.
In addition to founding and running In Tune, Goldberg and Pham were involved in many activities and clubs on campus including Key Club and National Honor Society.
“I think In Tune, for both of us, was our most special extracurricular program,” Goldberg said. “It’s what mattered the most to us.”

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Around the Town: B’nai B’rith, JWV, Marvin Blum

Around the Town: B’nai B’rith, JWV, Marvin Blum

Posted on 31 July 2019 by admin

Save the date: Sept. 21 B’nai B’rith Person of the Year Dinner

On Sunday, Sept. 21, the Isadore Garsek Lodge of B’nai B’rith will hold its Person of the Year dinner as well as celebrate 175 years. B’nai Brith International President Charles Kaufman will be the guest speaker and Fort Worth Jewish Archives archivist and historian Hollace Weiner will share the history of the Lodge. Dan Sturman is this year’s dinner chair. The event will be held at Beth-El Congregation and catered by Babe’s.
Information on tickets will be coming soon.
The lodge is looking for nominees for the Person of the Year. If you know someone who deserves this great honor, please write a nomination and send to Isadore Garsek Lodge #269, P.O. Box 10124, Fort Worth, TX 76185. Last year’s winner, Debby Rice, will announce this year’s winner at the dinner.
For more information, contact Dan at dsturman@charter.net.

Dr. Julian Haber, right, pictured with Martin Hochster Post Commander Nana Atkens, received the Guardian of the Post Award.
JWV #755 recognizes stellar members and partners

The Jewish War Veterans Post 755 held its Social and Awards Meeting on Sunday evening, July 28.
Dr. Juliam Haber received the Guardian of the Post Award; Laurin Baum was named The Jewish War Veteran of the Year; and the Community Partner Appreciation Awards went to Five Below and SFC Joshua J. Hernandez U.S. Army Recruiter.

Marvin Blum on FAST speaking tour

Marvin Blum, estate planning expert, has embarked on a speaking tour to educate advisors across the country on a new trust technique known as a FAST trust. The tour includes speeches in New York, Chicago, San Diego, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, Sarasota and numerous Texas cities.
FAST is an acronym for Family Advancement Sustainability Trust. The FAST was jointly developed by Blum and Tom Rogerson, founder of GenLeg Company, to help families create a lasting family legacy and prepare heirs to receive an inheritance. The FAST is created by a family’s matriarch and patriarch as an “add-on” to their existing estate plan.
The FAST does two things: (1) it provides funds to pay for family meetings, education and enrichment activities; and (2) it appoints leaders who will plan the meetings and activities to make sure they happen. Statistics show that only 10 percent of families thrive into the third generation and beyond. The successful families are those who engage in these activities to build communication and trust among heirs. The FAST starts now, and continues after the parents are gone, to ensure the family continues to engage in these activities. The FAST can be tailored to fit a family of any level of wealth.
Marvin Blum’s firm, The Blum Firm, P.C., has added Family Governance & Legacy Planning, including the FAST trust, to its tax and estate planning offerings. According to Blum, “this is a reflection of our commitment to estate planning that embraces both matters of the head as well as matters of the heart.”

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Final weeks to see Gone 2 Texas exhibit

Final weeks to see Gone 2 Texas exhibit

Posted on 25 July 2019 by admin

Photo: Courtesy Fort Worth Jewish Archives
Bernard Zilberg, the bar mitzvah boy, in South Africa

Submitted By Hollace Weiner
“Gone 2 Texas,” the archival exhibit about Soviet and South African Jews who settled in Fort Worth, will be on display only a few more weeks. It is located in the corridor outside the chapel and the library at Congregation Ahavath Sholom, 4050 S. Hulen Street.
The show — with its gleaming copper pots, Russian nesting dolls, African stone sculptures and carved Zulu walking sticks — has been expanded to include a video of the late Dr. Bernard Zilberg describing his family heirlooms. Other additions are photo albums with snapshots of Russian refuseniks as they arrived at DFW Airport in the 1980s. Also, a copy of Alex Nason’s recently published memoir, “From Soviet Union to USA: Our Story,” is part of the expanded exhibit.
“Gone 2 Texas” compares and contrasts waves of Russian and South African immigrants and showcases the keepsakes that immigrants brought with them to Texas. Among these prized possessions is a hand-cranked meat grinder that Polina and Michael Kuptsin shipped from the Soviet Union. Also on display are African dolls, beaded jewelry, textiles, sculptures and wood carvings from the collection of Anita Davidson, who grew up in South Africa. Additional sculptures from the Zilberg family have been added to a showcase.
Dr. Zilberg, who died May 31 at age 93, came from a family that immigrated from Poland to Africa and then to Texas. His treasures are the backbone of the exhibit. They will remain on display until Dr. Zilberg’s children — who live in San Diego, New York, and Indonesia — pack up the family home.
The “Gone 2 Texas” exhibit, curated by the Fort Worth Jewish Archives, opened last summer with displays at both Ahavath Sholom and Beth-El Congregation. The latter exhibit was dismantled after Shavuot, and many items were brought across the street to expand the displays at CAS.
For those who missed it, the exhibits will be reviewed in the forthcoming issue of Southern Jewish History, an academic journal published in Atlanta. The review points out the international pressures that led Jews to exit the USSR and South Africa. It highlights the intimacy of the personal objects that refugees brought with them. “What immigrants pack says much about their past and the way they envision their future.”

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Israel teams up with Fort Worth’s Lockheed Martin

Israel teams up with Fort Worth’s Lockheed Martin

Posted on 22 July 2019 by admin

Elta, Rafael offer tech to U.S. military
Photo: Rafael
Rafael’s SPICE guidance system onboard an F-16 now produced by Lockheed Martin

By Yaakov Lappin

(JNS) Israeli defense firms have teamed up with U.S. giant defense company Lockheed Martin to market advanced military technology to the American military market.

The partnerships allow the Israeli companies access to U.S. military tenders.

Israel’s state-owned Rafael defense company announced in recent weeks that it had signed a teaming agreement with Lockheed Martin to jointly “develop, market, manufacture and support” the company’s SPICE guidance kits for air-to-ground bombs.

A company source told JNS Sunday, July 7, that it sees its new agreement with Lockheed Martin as “an excellent avenue to offer the American user” a weapon system that does not rely on GPS guidance. Satellite communications can be blocked by enemy jamming systems, and SPICE guidance kits use state-of-the-art cameras and scene-matching technology to guide the weapon to its target independently of satellite links.

“This is crucial in today’s GPS-denied environment,” the source said. He noted that Rafael is also engaged with Lockheed Martin for the joint marketing of the company’s SPIKE fire-and-forget precision missiles, which are already in use in the militaries of 31 countries.

Rafael has struck previous agreements with U.S. defense company Raytheon for the joint marketing of its famous Iron Dome air-defense system, which has intercepted over 2000 incoming rockets heading toward Israeli population centers from the Gaza Strip since its rollout in 2011. The U.S. Army is purchasing Iron Dome batteries.

“Finalizing this [latest] exclusive agreement [with Lockheed Martin] sets the scene for our two companies to provide unmatched mid-range guided air-to-surface weapon systems,” said Yuval Miller, executive vice president and general manager of Rafael’s Air and C4ISR Division in a company statement.

John Varley, vice president of Close Combat Systems at Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control, said his company is applying its experience to adapt Rafael’s “SPICE to meet U.S. standards so bomber and fighter aircraft can benefit from the added mission flexibility that SPICE offers.”

‘Leverage technology that is proven in the field’

Meanwhile, on Monday,July 8, Elta Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), announced that it had successfully completed a demonstration together with Lockheed Martin of a radar solution for the U.S. Army’s Patriot missile-defense system.

The demonstration was held as part of the U.S. Army’s Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTMADS) program and has seen companies compete for a contract to provide radars.

The demonstration, held at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, used a well-known Elta radar, which is also used by Rafael’s Iron Dome.

Company sources told JNS that the U.S. Army is expected to announce its selection by September, representing a short timeframe.

The sources said the demonstrations in New Mexico, dubbed by some local media as the “radar Olympics,” took place over a two-week period. Elta and Lockheed are competing jointly against Raytheon and Northrop Grumman for the contract.

Without local U.S. partnerships, or a presence via an American subsidiary, it’s difficult for Israeli companies to gain the required tender information in the required manner. Elta also received assistance from the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Homa Administration, which oversees the development of air defense systems.

“During the two-week demonstration period, the Lockheed Martin and ELTA teams completed a series of air and missile-defense exercises showcasing our radar solution and how it will meet the Army’s requirements,” Elta said in a statement.

The company noted that both it and Lockheed Martin have produced several new-generation radars in recent years, and that both bring “mature technology” to the U.S. Army’s requirements.

Rob Smith, vice president and general manager of Radar and Sensor Systems at Lockheed Martin, stated, “We will leverage technology that is production-ready and proven in the field, allowing us to meet the Army’s requirements quickly and provide qualified systems within 24 months after the initial contract award.”

Yoav Turgeman, IAI vice president and CEO of Elta, added, “We are confident that this cooperation with Lockheed Martin can provide the Army with a reliable solution.”

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From Ft. Worth to Mississippi with CAS

From Ft. Worth to Mississippi with CAS

Posted on 11 July 2019 by admin

Photo: Courtesy CAS
Fort Worth’s Ahavath Sholom had the largest delegation of educators at the Institute of Southern Jewish Learning Educators Conference in Jackson last month. Pictured, from left, are Gillat Brautbar, Penny Brister, Elaine Bumpus, Rebecca Isgur, Rivka Marco, Inbal Morris and Fani Kiselstein.
In Jackson, faculty takes on Jewish education

Jackson, Mississippi, hotbed of Jewish education? Hard to believe but true. Five faculty members and the co-learning leaders from Congregation Ahavath Sholom’s Learning and Engagement Center (CAS LEC) trained at the Institute of Southern Jewish Learning with fellow educators representing 80 congregations. Fort Worth took the prize for the biggest group from any city in the 15 states attending.
CAS LEC just completed an amazing year of learning for our students and their families. The annual conference on Jewish education provided the faculty the opportunity to continue their educational journey and attend sessions that addressed options to help shape the coming year.
CAS LEC teachers Fani Kiselstein, Inbal Morris, Penny Brister, Elaine Bumpus, Gillat Brautbar, along with education leaders Rivka Marco and Rebecca Isgur, networked, learned, and enjoyed the intensive 48 hours on the ground. Elaine Bumpus shared, “The Conference was both exhilarating and exhausting. The curriculum is designed for everyday use by the everyday teachers. They gave us a set of tools and taught us how to use them.”
Some of the many offerings were two-day intensives with interesting topics “Hands On, Minds On,” “Classrooms on the EDGE,” and “From Tzedakah to Tzedek.” Wildcard sessions included “I Don’t Roll on Shabbos: An Exploration of Shabbat through Text, Pop Culture and the Big Labowski.” Yes, there was even a Study Hall with choices from “Topsy-Turvy T’filah” to “Market Your EVENTURE.”
Gillat Brautbar said, “We learned a lot! It was a great experience for everyone.” The many engaging and meaningful learning activities, soulful spiritual minyanim, and new insights into student and parent populations promise a meaningful Jewish educational experience for all who join the CAS Learning and Engagement Center.
For more information and to register your students, contact Rivka Marco or Rebecca Isgur, lec@ahavathsholom.org or 817-731-4721.
— Submitted by
Rebecca Isgur

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From Fort Worth to NYC with Ahavath Sholom

From Fort Worth to NYC with Ahavath Sholom

Posted on 27 June 2019 by admin

The confirmands in the sanctuary at Congregation Shearith Israel. From left, Lia Bloom, Maya Kiselstein, Gali Brautbar, Vivienne Roumani (member of Shearith Israel), Ethan Bailey and Nadav Ninio

In New York City, confirmands immersed in Jewish history and culture
By Melissa Morgan
Five students from Congregation Ahavath Sholom’s Learning and Engagement Center just returned from their Confirmation Class capstone trip to New York City, immersing themselves in various aspects of the city’s diverse Jewish culture. This trip has become a tradition at Congregation Ahavath Sholom, as 2019 marked at least the seventh time the congregation has sponsored such a trip.
High school students Ethan Bailey, Lia Bloom, Gali Brautbar, Maya Kiselstein and Nadav Ninio, together with teachers David Saul and Melissa Morgan, gathered at CAS at 5 a.m. Friday, June 14. Over the next few days, with the help of vans, planes, subways, boats and lots of walking, they studied Jewish immigration to America and Jewish diversity as well as ate lots of kosher food.
Jewish immigration to America
Visiting Congregation Shearith Israel (The Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue) at 70th and Central Park West for morning minyan took the group into the rich history of the Orthodox Sephardic congregation dating back to 1654. With documentary filmmaker Vivienne Roumani as a tour guide, the group learned about the history of the congregation, beginning with a boatload of Jews fleeing Recife, Brazil, to the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam. Minyan was in the small chapel (“Little Synagogue”), and the group saw a Torah scroll from the days of the American Revolution. The sanctuary contains beautiful Tiffany windows, a central bimah and “skeptic lamps,” built when electricity was new (one part of the fixture uses gas; one part uses electricity). The congregation continues to use its own prayer book and minhag (local customs), with separate seating for women.
Looking to Ashkenazic Judaism and why Jews left Europe, the group had the unprecedented opportunity to attend “Fiddler on the Roof” in Yiddish with English and Russian supertitles. Everyone found it intense and absorbing. Texas native Steven Skybell as Tevye was particularly remarkable. Ethan Bailey said, “My favorite part of the trip was ‘Fiddler’ in Yiddish. It just made it feel more legit.”
Of course, the group also took the ferry to Liberty Island and Ellis Island, studying the process of immigration to America. Many of the museum exhibits specifically talk about Jewish immigrants, whether for a Passover Seder on Ellis Island or the kosher food available for purchase after immigrants were examined and approved. Various congregations and immigrant aid societies helped the new arrivals any way they could.
The group went from Ellis Island to Lower Manhattan and the Lower East Side, just as many new arrivals just off the boat would have done. Pretending to need housing, they experienced a 1915 tenement apartment, hosted by 14-year-old Jewish immigrant Victoria Confino of Kastoria. This living history tour by the Tenement Museum gives participants the chance to interact with and ask questions of a professional actress who has studied her part for over a year, including working with recordings and family members on accent and content. Victoria Confino lived in that same building for four years, sleeping on the kitchen floor, with nine other family members, in just 300 square feet. The Tenement Museum also has other programs related to Jewish immigration and immigration in general.
Also on the Lower East Side, the group visited the Museum at Eldridge Street, built as Kahal Adath Jeshurun in 1887 by Ashkenazic Jews. From a crumbling ruin in the 1980s, the synagogue building has been restored to a glorious condition. In 2010, a huge circular stained-glass window was added to replace the lost front window. Rachel Serkin, museum educator, taught the group about the building and the Lower East Side Jewish community.
Jewish diversity
While history is a huge part of the trip, so is experiencing a bit of the amazing Jewish diversity found in the United States today. The group saw Temple Emanu-El on the East Side of Central Park; was hosted by West End Synagogue (Reconstructionist) for musical Kabbalat Shabbat services and Shabbat dinner, learning a little about Mordecai Kaplan and Reconstructionism; and spent Shabbat morning singing and praying with the very welcoming Congregation B’nai Jeshurun. Founded in 1825 by members of Congregation Shearith Israel as the second congregation in New York City, B’nai Jeshurun has helped shape 21st-century American Judaism with its emphasis on music, spirituality and justice.
The group also did a walking tour in Borough Park, learning about the Hasidic communities that have developed in the city since World War II. Orthodox tour guide Jeff Altman of Timeline Touring, although not Hasidic, is known in the neighborhood, and is a calm and insightful presence. He taught the group about the many institutions (schools, stores, bus services, bakeries, etc.) that have developed to serve the local community.
Although the group’s main exercise was walking, they also saw the extensive fitness facilities, swimming pool, art studios, day care, meditation space, and beit midrash at the Marlene Myerson JCC Manhattan on the Upper West Side. And they exercised some mental muscle analyzing images from rare documents, presented by Dr. David Kraemer, director of the library at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Dr. Kraemer challenged the group to see what they could learn not only from the words on the page, but also the illustrations and style of the documents.
Food
No trip to New York City would be complete without some amazing kosher food. The group experienced grocery stores (Fairway, Zabar’s and stores in Borough Park); deli at Fine & Schapiro (Upper West Side); late-night shawarma, kebabs, and falafel at Ali Baba (Upper West Side); great vegan Chinese (Buddha Bodai, 5 Mott St, Chinatown); and kebabs and more at Ta’am Tov (Diamond District, near Rockefeller Center). Everyone enjoyed the delicious variety of kosher foods available in New York City.
The group completed their New York City immersion with a look at recent history at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, a long walk in Central Park and souvenir shopping.
The CAS Learning and Engagement Center is planning a similar adult trip in the future.

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Confirmation 2019: Part I

Confirmation 2019: Part I

Posted on 20 June 2019 by admin

Photo: Marc Sloter
The Beth-El Congregation confirmands and their educational leadership are: back row, from left, Andrew Nober, Ethan Johnson, Zach Schwartz, Simon Frayzond and Rabbi Brian Zimmerman; front row, Red Goldstein (instructor), Anya Stuart, Caroline Sloter, Molly Zimmerman, Sophie Ratsch, Sophie Appel and Shoshana Abrams Kaikov (education director).

The season of confirmation and graduation is upon us. Congregation Ahavath Sholom, Beth-El Congregation and Congregation Beth Israel had confirmation classes. This week is part one of Tarrant County confirmands: Beth-El. Next week we will share Congregation Ahavath Sholom, whose five confirmands were en route from the Big Apple at press time, and Congregation Beth Israel.
On May 4, members of the 2019 Beth-El Confirmation Class led an inspiring service of reflection, prayer and song. They considered their years together at Beth-El, connections to their temple, their families and the shared lessons learned on their Jewish journey.

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