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Around The Town: Chai Notes, paratrooper, visiting artists

Around The Town: Chai Notes, paratrooper, visiting artists

Posted on 19 January 2017 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Reaching Chai Notes

The Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County will host Reaching Chai Notes, a spectacular event in the Renzo Piano Pavilion of the Kimbell Art Museum, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4.
The Federation will honor Marcia Kurtz with the Manny and Roz Rosenthal Spirit of Federation Award and will be joined by Andrea Arbel of the Jewish Agency from Jerusalem and be entertained with fantastic jazz of the Sivan Arbel Septet from New York City. The program and concert will be preceded by a wine reception.
This special event will kick off the 2017 Annual Campaign. Dollars raised through the Annual Campaign support our efforts to ensure the well-being of our community by caring for those in need and providing opportunities for meaningful Jewish experiences for all who want them. There is no charge to attend. Please plan on making your campaign pledge to support all the work of the Federation at the event. Seats are limited; RSVP by Jan. 20 to Milena Razack at 817-569-0892 or at kickoff@tarrantfederation.org.
Thanks to the excellent efforts of Campaign Chair Diane Kleinman and Reaching Chai Notes Event Chair Noreen Houston, attendees are in for an excellent evening. All those making their pledges to the 2017 Annual Campaign by the event will be entered into a drawing for two very special gift packages and the winners will be announced at the end of the evening. Babysitting for children under 10 is available with advance registration. The cost of babysitting is $18 per family.

Paratrooper’s story

Chabad of Arlington and the Mid Cities will host a fascinating program following Shabbat services and dinner, Friday, Jan. 27. “Operation Thunderbolt: The Raid on Entebbe” will feature Sassy Reuven. A veteran of the IDF, Sassy Reuven was a paratrooper in the elite “Red Beret” unit during the terror-filled years of 1973-1976. He participated in several covert operations in Israel’s struggle against Arab terrorism.

Sassy Reuven

Sassy Reuven

Reuven will share his firsthand account of the raid on Entebbe to rescue Jewish hostages in 1976. Shabbat services begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by a gourmet Shabbat dinner at 7 p.m. Cost is $20 for adults and $12 for children. Sponsorships are available.
The event is made possible in part by the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County.

Save the date: Partnership Together visiting artists

Registration is open to sign up for workshops with two visiting artists from the partnership region of the Western Galilee. Visiting Fort Worth Feb. 24-26 are experimental glass artist Batya Gil and wire designer/maker Koby Sibony. Sibony
Born in Haifa, Koby Sibony graduated in 2011 with a degree in Industrial Design from the Bezalel Art Academy in Jerusalem. His art and design studio is on Kibbutz Lohamei HaGeta’ot (The Ghetto Fighters Kibbutz), a community in the Western Galilee established by surviving fighters from the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Koby lives with his wife Yael Ben Aarons on the kibbutz.
Batya Gil immigrated to Israel as a child from Canada and has been an artist for over 20 years. After graduating from Bezalel Art Academy in 1991, she and her husband moved to Clil, an ecological village in the Western Galilee. There they built their home and studio called ‘Jara,’ where they create and teach, and where they raised their children.

Submitted photo Batya Gil graduated from Bezalel Art Academy in 1991.

Submitted photo
Batya Gil graduated from Bezalel Art Academy in 1991.

A number of events are planned. Among them are a Community Art Project from 12 to 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at Sinaca Studios, 1013 W. Magnolia St.; a Gallery Talk from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at Rebecca Low Studio, 7608 Camp Bowie West; Glass Fusing for Self-Expression with artist Batya Gil from 12:15 to 2 p.m. at Beth-El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven Road; and Freestyle Metal Wire Design with designer/maker Koby Sibony from 2:15 to 4 p.m. at Beth-El.
The art workshops are for ages 10 and up, and materials will be provided.
To RSVP or learn more, visit http://bit.ly/2iKpn9A.

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Around The Town: Chasing Dreams baseball exhibit

Around The Town: Chasing Dreams baseball exhibit

Posted on 12 January 2017 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Chasing Dreams baseball exhibit speakers

A trio of speakers regaled some 200 attendees at the opening event of the Chasing Dreams traveling baseball exhibit at Congregation Ahavath Sholom Saturday evening, Jan. 7.
Tom Schieffer, U.S. Representative Roger Williams (R-TX), and Dr. Bobby Brown shared their perspectives and experiences of the “great game.”
Schieffer opened the evening and described his long relationship with Congressman Williams.
“We played Little League and Pony Ball together and play golf together most weekends.”

(From left) U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, Tom Schieffer and Dr. Bobby Brown at the Chasing Dreams exhibit, Saturday evening, Jan. 7. Photo: Aaron Helton

(From left) U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, Tom Schieffer and Dr. Bobby Brown at the Chasing Dreams exhibit, Saturday evening, Jan. 7.
Photo: Aaron Helton

He explained in 1989 how it came to pass that he became part of the George W. Bush group that purchased the Texas Rangers. At the time, Dr. Bobby Brown, a former World Series-winning third baseman for the Yankees in the ’40s and ’50s and a retired Fort Worth cardiologist, was the president of the American League.
Schieffer beamed as he described the undertaking of building The Ballpark in Arlington and his dream that the ballpark etch indelible memories in visitors’ minds when they visit.
“At every game, there’s going to be someone visiting for the first time,” he said. And, it’s that memory of one’s first major league game on which the love of baseball is often built. Schieffer explained that at first when he was approached to spearhead the building of the park he declined. It was his wife who encouraged him to take on the project.
Schieffer shared a story of a game day when he saw a mother with a picnic basket during early batting practice. She had spread out a blanket and her husband and son were playing catch in the centerfield grass. “To see people use it the way that it was intended was very fulfilling,” Schieffer said. “It was the most enjoyable thing I’ve ever done.”
Schieffer introduced U.S. Rep. Roger Williams. Many Fort Worth natives know Williams as the Arlington Heights standout who played at TCU and was drafted by the Atlanta Braves. Following his baseball career, he returned to Fort Worth and coached the Horned Frogs baseball team. Later, he joined his father at Jack Williams Chevrolet, the institution located on University Drive.
Williams spoke about both his love of baseball and his love and support of Israel. He recently returned from a trip where he thanked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for purchasing F-35s.
“I’m grateful for the strong support I get from AIPAC,” Williams said. “Israel is our only friend in the Middle East.” Later he added, “I want to make sure that USA never leaves the middle of JerUSAlem.”
As part of his remarks, Williams shared his all-Jewish team:
Catcher: Harry Danning (played in the ’30s for the New York Giants)
First: Hank Greenberg
Second: Lipman Pike
Shortstop: Lou Boudreau
Third base: Al Rosen
Left field: Ryan Braun
Centerfield: Shawn Green
Right field: Sol Gordon
Pitchers: Sandy Koufax, Ken Holtzman, Steve Stone and Ralph Branca
Bench: Rod Carew, Ian Kinsler and Mike Epstein
Play-by-play: Mel Allen
Manager: Brad Ausmus
Director of scouting: Moe Berg (a reference to the fact that Berg was a spy during World War II)
Another tidbit mentioned by Williams was his desire to help get a Jewish baseball hall of fame off the ground. Williams said Austin, where Hank Greenberg’s family resides, is a possible site.
The denouement of the evening was Dr. Bobby Brown. The 92-year-old Brown — who probably treated many in the audience’s family members when he was in practice as a cardiologist in Fort Worth — thrived at the podium. He shared one humorous story after another about his storied baseball career, which included three world championships with the Yankees. Brown played for the Yankees and completed medical school at the same time. When he met his future wife, Sara, he said he told her, “Tell your dad, I play third base for the Yankees; tell your mom, I’m in medical school.”
Brown explained that as a member of the Yankees it was often hard to leave the ballpark after a game. Back then, many players took the subway and it was quite a long walk from the players’ exit. Typically there was a mob of fans waiting for autographs. Brown said he learned to leave the ballpark with the big stars to provide “cover.”
Since he was a lesser-known player, it allowed him to slip away. One afternoon, he encountered an eager young boy and his mother. The boy had his pen and was about to search out Yogi Berra and Joe DiMaggio.
“Forget Yogi and Joe D,” Brown recounted the mother saying in a thick Yiddish/New York accent. “You want him — that one’s a docta.”
He capped his remarks of some 60 minutes with a story of a consult at Harris Hospital one Saturday afternoon. He was seeing a patient with chest discomfort. The patient was separated from his roommate by a divider curtain. There was a shared TV on the wall.
As Dr. Brown examined the patient, he realized that the TV was on and there was a ballgame on. As it turned out, it was a replay of the 1949 World Series.
“Now I want you to watch that TV up there. I’m going to come up and hit that ball against the right field wall. We had three men on base and they are all going to score — Henrich is going to score, Yogi’s going to score and DiMaggio’s going to score — and I’m going to slide into third with a triple. Sure enough the guy looks at me like I just got off a spaceship from Mars. He just can’t believe it.”
Brown described the play-by-play of Mel Allen, who had long since retired. As Allen called his sliding into third, Brown said, “The sheet flew back and the guy in the other bed jumped up and said, ‘Who the hell are you? Are you really a doctor?’ ”
The Chasing Dreams exhibit is open daily except for Shabbat and runs through March 5. It is sponsored by the Isadore Garsek Lodge of B’nai B’rith.

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Around The Town: Meals on Wheels, Beth Shalom annual meeting

Around The Town: Meals on Wheels, Beth Shalom annual meeting

Posted on 05 January 2017 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

 

Norman retires from 19-plus years at Meals on Wheels

Lynell Bond Norman retired last month from Meals on Wheels after 19½ years of dedicated service as a case manager. Among those lauding Lynell at her Wednesday, Dec. 21, retirement party were her children Ari and Whitney. Also in attendance were Ari’s wife Dana and his two children.

Lynell Bond Norman retired from Meals on Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County last month after 19½ years of dedicated service. She will be joining the staff at JFS part-time in the future.

Lynell Bond Norman retired from Meals on Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County last month after 19½ years of dedicated service. She will be joining the staff at JFS part-time in the future.

Sherry Simon, vice president of Nutrition and Health Programs, Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County, delivered A Top Ten List Regarding Lynell Bond:

  • 10. Please beware if you are caught sharing a hotel room with her … no TV or noise is allowed while she is sleeping. And a sleeping mask is always packed. I soon learned to bring my laptop and headphones to watch Netflix if I roomed with her.
  • 9. … Which means she knows nothing about any current shows on television.
  • 8. However, she does know everything local — news, restaurants, geography, organizations and people.
  • 7. She always sees the “sunny” side of every situation.
  • 6. And because of that … everything is just around the corner from where she lives … even if it is 5 miles away.
  • 5. She can work a room of strangers like no other.
  • 4. She is always willing to take leftovers home and make them into another dish.
  • 3. The MOWI staff will now never know when Hanukkah is approaching … because there will not be anyone else wearing dreidel earrings to announce its arrival on the calendar.
  • 2. I will miss my free therapy sessions.
  • And finally,
    1. Sad that I will no longer have to someone help me share in high-level Jewish Mother activities around MOWI.
    In addition to Lynell’s husband Norman, Carole Rogers, Adriene Deems, LaJean Sturman, Hedy Collins and Barbara Weinberg attended the retirement party. MOWI staffers Randee Kaitcer, Aaron Boardman and Carol Paul were also in attendance.

After a brief break, Lynell will serve JFS Tarrant County as a part-time caseworker. She will help JFS provide more consultations and assessments.
Mazal tov, Lynell, on your stellar MOWI career!

Beth Shalom holds annual meeting

Congregation Beth Shalom held its annual meeting Dec. 11. Cookie Kabakoff received the Congregant of the Year Award. Stuart Snow was recognized for his service to CBS with the David Feld Lifetime Achievement Award.

Stuart Snow received the Congregation Beth Shalom David Feld Lifetime Achievement Award. He is pictured with Marian Feld.

Stuart Snow received the Congregation Beth Shalom David Feld Lifetime Achievement Award. He is pictured with Marian Feld.

Beth Shalom Congregant of the Year Cookie Kabakoff, left, with Yael Sasley, congregation president

Beth Shalom Congregant of the Year Cookie Kabakoff, left, with Yael Sasley, congregation president

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Around the Town: Centenarian, Daytimers’ Hanukkah

Around the Town: Centenarian, Daytimers’ Hanukkah

Posted on 28 December 2016 by admin

Daytimers celebrate Hanukkah, from left,  Rita Hoffman,  Barbara Schuster, Larry Steckler and Ceil Cantor

Daytimers celebrate Hanukkah, from left, Rita Hoffman, Barbara Schuster, Larry Steckler and Ceil Cantor

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

100th birthday for Goldberg

About 40 members of the Jewish Family Service Senior Program joined Libby Goldberg to celebrate her 100th birthday.

Libby Goldberg celebrates with her son Larry and JFS Executive Director Dr. Carole Rogers.

Libby Goldberg celebrates with her son Larry and JFS Executive Director Dr. Carole Rogers.

Libby moved from Chicago to B’nai B’rith housing about 10 years ago to be closer to her son Larry, who lives in Denton. Larry joined his mom and friends for the festivities. Everyone enjoyed lox, bagels and all the trimmings. A highlight for Libby, besides being with her friends and Larry, was her favorite Black Forest cake! Mazal Tov!

Centenarian Libby Goldberg

Centenarian Libby Goldberg

Daytimers enjoy Hanukkah

More than 30 Daytimers gathered in the Great Hall at Temple Beth-El to celebrate Hanukkah.
Everyone noshed on latkes accompanied by sour cream and applesauce and watched a selection of Hanukkah videos while they ate.
Programming for the next three months were also announced:

  • On Jan. 18, Daytimers will meet at Congregation Ahavath Shalom for a baseball lunch and to explore a special Jewish baseball exhibit.
  • On Feb. 15, a speaker from the Amphibian theatre will be explaining how they operate and present insights into coming attractions.
  • On March 15, they will view Memories of Survival, a special collection of needlepoints celebrating the major Jewish holidays and remembrances of the Holocaust.
  •  On April 19, they are expecting to offer a musical presentation. And in May, a video release of Chicago.

For more details and reservations, please contact the Daytimers coordinator, Larry Steckler, by email at daytimersfw@aol.com or by phone at 817-927-2736.
To keep informed about all Daytimers events ask to be added to the email list by sending your request to daytimersfw@aol.com.

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Around The Town: Surgeon to retire

Around The Town: Surgeon to retire

Posted on 22 December 2016 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Longtime surgeon Dr. Michael Korenman retires

On Oct. 31, Dr. Michael Korenman laid his scalpel down and retired from the practice of surgery.
Dr. Korenman began his surgical practice in 1979. Taking calls at four hospitals, the next few years were very busy. He eventually narrowed his practice to All Saints Hospital and Harris Methodist.
In 1989 and 1990, surgery changed forever with the introduction of minimal access surgery. This approach had to be learned quickly by doctors who were skilled at open surgery but uncomfortable with these new instruments and video cameras. Dr. Korenman helped to introduce the new procedure to Fort Worth, participating in the first laparoscopic gallbladder operation done here and helping to craft the regulations needed to credential surgeons who had never done this before.

 Dr. Michael Korenman poses with granddaughters Layla and Emeline. Korenman began surgical practice in 1979 and recently retired. Submitted photo


Dr. Michael Korenman poses with granddaughters Layla and Emeline. Korenman began surgical practice in 1979 and recently retired.
Submitted photo

He served as chief of surgery at All Saints and went on to become the secretary, vice chief and finally chief of staff. He continued a wide-ranging surgical practice for 37 years. In 2003, Dr. Korenman helped to form a multi-specialty group, Texas Health Care, PLLC, which has now grown to 150 physicians. He remained on the board of managers for almost 14 years.
In addition to helping sick folks, Dr. Korenman was also active in the Jewish community. He was a longtime member of the board of the Jewish Federation, eventually becoming the campaign chair and the president of the Federation.
He became active in the movement to bring Torah-observant Judaism to Fort Worth, first by helping to start the Working Group for Traditional Judaism in Fort Worth and Tarrant County, and then as a supporter of the Young Israel of Fort Worth and now Chabad of Fort Worth. He enjoys leading services and is called upon to do the Haftorah most weeks.
With his calendar clear, Dr. Korenman, a sixth-degree black belt in karate, will be occupied teaching self-defense, alongside his teacher of 30 years, Grandmaster Richard Morris. He will be traveling with his wife Etta, both to Israel and to visit with children, Joey and wife Amy, grandchildren Layla, Emeline and Elliott in Florida, and also Adam and wife Corinne in Los Angeles.
Of course, daughter Sarah, son-in-law Jay, and their daughter Matilda are a powerful draw to continue spending significant time in Fort Worth.
He will be available for consultation as an expert witness.

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Around The Town: Torah covers

Around The Town: Torah covers

Posted on 15 December 2016 by admin

Submitted photos Edythe Cohen purchased new High Holiday Torah covers for Beth-El.

Submitted photos
Edythe Cohen purchased new High Holiday Torah covers for Beth-El.

Submitted photos Edythe Cohen purchased new High Holiday Torah covers for Beth-El.

Submitted photos
Edythe Cohen purchased new High Holiday Torah covers for Beth-El.

Submitted photos Edythe Cohen purchased new High Holiday Torah covers for Beth-El.

Submitted photos
Edythe Cohen purchased new High Holiday Torah covers for Beth-El.

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

A gift from the heart: custom High Holiday Torah covers

Edythe Cohen wasn’t born in Texas but, as the saying goes, she and her husband, Noel, got here as fast as they could some 50 years ago when they moved their English and Western store from New Jersey to Texas.
And the rest is history, a history of Edythe Cohen’s involvement in many arenas in Fort Worth, particularly the Jewish community where her activities — such as managing the Judaica Shop — have utilized her talents and fulfilled her desire to enhance Jewish life.
And so it was not surprising that when Cohen scanned Beth-El’s Wish List of needed and desired items, her decision to purchase new High Holiday Torah covers came easily.
“I wanted to ‘give back’ something significant that would be a lasting legacy for generations of worship at Beth-El,” she said. “It was a pleasure.”
And thus began the months-long process of creating six custom-designed High Holiday Torah covers.
Working with Custom Judaica, a Tucson, Arizona company that has created keepsakes and ritual items for customers on five continents, Cohen worked closely with Beth-El President Laurie Kelfer, studying pictures of designs as well as fabric swatches and trims and then reviewing and approving the finished covers. Each Torah mantle features a white chenille (velvet-like upholstery) background with silver-and-gold textured bands and neutral colors that complement the artistic, elegant designs.
Each Torah cover displays a different theme. The six themes are: “Behold It Was Very Good,” “Etz Chayim” (Tree of Life), “Pomegranates,” “L’Shanah Tovah” (Shofar Trio), “Shalom Ahava” (Peace and Love), and “Yom Teruah” (Day of Trumpets).
The inscription, “A Gift from Edythe Cohen, In Memory of Noel Arthur Cohen,” graces the back of each Torah cover, which will be stored in acid-free boxes until the next High Holiday season.
— Submitted by Arlene Reynolds

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Around The Town: Interfaith consortium, event

Around The Town: Interfaith consortium, event

Posted on 08 December 2016 by admin

Submitted photo Chasing Dreams: baseball exhibit Chasing Dreams, Baseball and Becoming American, a nationally acclaimed exhibit, sponsored by the Tarrant County B’nai B’rith Isadore Garsek Lodge, is making its exclusive Texas stop in Fort Worth.  The B’nai B’rith Committee (pictured from left, Murray Cohen, Karen Kaplan, Elaine Stanton, Jim Stanton, Zoe Pierce, Terri Hollander and Rich Hollander) is on deck making plans for the exhibit about Jewish American baseball heroes on display Jan. 8 - March 5 at Congregation Ahavath Sholom, Fort Worth, with promotional sponsorship from the Texas Jewish Post. Visitors from all over the Southwest will enjoy historic photos, films and interactive experiences that recreate the Jewish story of baseball in America. The show is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia.  For more information or to arrange for a docent tour, call 817-909-4354.

Submitted photo
Chasing Dreams: baseball exhibit
Chasing Dreams, Baseball and Becoming American, a nationally acclaimed exhibit, sponsored by the Tarrant County B’nai B’rith Isadore Garsek Lodge, is making its exclusive Texas stop in Fort Worth.
The B’nai B’rith Committee (pictured from left, Murray Cohen, Karen Kaplan, Elaine Stanton, Jim Stanton, Zoe Pierce, Terri Hollander and Rich Hollander) is on deck making plans for the exhibit about Jewish American baseball heroes on display Jan. 8 – March 5 at Congregation Ahavath Sholom, Fort Worth, with promotional sponsorship from the Texas Jewish Post.
Visitors from all over the Southwest will enjoy historic photos, films and interactive experiences that recreate the Jewish story of baseball in America. The show is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia.
For more information or to arrange for a docent tour, call 817-909-4354.

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Arlington Interfaith Consortium aims to create ties that bind

It was a match made in heaven. Perhaps literally!
When Cantor Sheri Allen, Dina Malki and Ruth Foster met a year ago at a Daughters of Abraham meeting (a monthly interfaith group of Muslim, Christian and Jewish women seeking to learn more about each other’s traditions), they could never have predicted where their friendship would lead them.
After a Daughters meeting at Ruth Foster’s church, Shepherd of Life in Arlington, Ruth introduced Sheri and Dina to her husband, John Foster, pastor of Shepherd of Life, who had big plans in mind. For a long time, Pastor Foster had wanted to coordinate an interfaith prayer service for the Arlington community, and asked Sheri, the cantor of Congregation Beth Shalom, and Dina, a public speaker, teacher, writer and interfaith coordinator for Al-Hedayah Islamic Center, if they wanted to collaborate in this effort.

Submitted photo Standing are Ruth Foster and Pastor John Foster. Seated are Cantor Sheri Allen (left) and Dina Malki.

Submitted photo
Standing are Ruth Foster and Pastor John Foster. Seated are Cantor Sheri Allen (left) and Dina Malki.

Over the next year, they gathered a committee together and began to brainstorm. The fruit of their labors resulted in the first of what they hope to be many interfaith programs. “Our Neighbors, Our Extended Families: A Gathering of Friendship and Fellowship” took place on the Sunday before Thanksgiving at the Al-Hedayah Islamic Center in Fort Worth. Originally projecting that around 20 members of each of their congregations would show up, they were overwhelmed by the attendance of close to 150 people.
Al-Hedayah members greeted each attendee with chocolates and welcomed them into their social hall, where they helped themselves to delicious food and were assigned to tables in order to socialize and introduce themselves to each other before the formal event began. Dr. Nizam Peerwani, president of the Islamic Center, graciously welcomed everyone, and guest Sheikh Salah El Tayyer beautifully chanted several verses from the Qur’an. A panel discussion followed, and Pastor Foster, Cantor Allen, and Emad Hamdan, an Islamic scholar who regularly delivers Friday sermons in local area mosques, were asked to explain how each of their faith traditions honored neighbors. The same question and a few others as well were then posed to the audience, who discussed their experiences reaching out to neighbors and being welcomed themselves. A question-and-answer session with the panel leaders followed, and interfaith prayers for peace were offered by all three panelists. The program concluded with a tour of the mosque and observation of a Muslim prayer service.
Participants left with a sense of hope for the future. In light of the increase in anti-Semitic and xenophobic acts since the presidential election, many felt invigorated and grateful that they could come together in a safe place and express their support for one another. Remarked Pastor Foster, “I didn’t realize how much I needed this.”
The feeling seemed to be mutual. Attendees expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to begin this interfaith dialogue, and were excited to hear about what will happen next.
Amy Keller of Shepherd of Life remarked, “I had a wonderful time of fellowship, hospitality, and education at Al-Hedayah Mosque with neighbors of the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian faith. It was so well-organized and welcoming! We even got a tour of the mosque including their prayer room. We took off our shoes and we women covered our hair in respect for the Muslim faith tradition of modesty. I’m so blessed to be in a congregation that encourages reaching out to our brothers and sisters of all faiths! I look forward to more of these opportunities!”
Indeed opportunities to pray, learn, and work together on social action projects will follow and, perhaps most importantly, friendships will deepen. Ms. Malki observed, “I have always had a dream to build bridges of communication and understanding between my Muslim American community and the at-large American community. I have spent more than a decade educating the public about Islam and explaining my faith to others to try to erase their fears and nourish their hearts with peace. What happened last Sunday was more than I ever asked for. It was a blessing from God. Love, compassion, friendship and serenity grew inside that building and instead of building bridges between communities we all became one community.”
Cantor Allen added, “It’s our hope that our fledgling Arlington Interfaith Consortium will foster greater compassion, respect and understanding.”
And that’s something we can all believe in.
— Submitted by Sheri Allen

Congregation Beth Israel to participate in Dec. 10 interfaith event

Clergy from three religions — Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker of Congregation Beth Israel, Father Richard Eldredge of Good Shepherd Catholic Church and Pastor Nick Billardello of Abiding Grace Lutheran Church, and Imam Yahya of the Islamic Center of Southlake — will speak briefly about the basic principles and tenets of their respective religions, with the focus of the event being the question-and-answer session with the audience. The program will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Islamic Center of Southlake, 1280 North Carroll Ave.
“I have had many people ask me in the past few weeks what we can do to bring people together and create a greater sense of unity in our community and our nation after the election. This event, which brings together members of different religious traditions and offers curiosity and questions and understanding, is an important opportunity for unity. I hope you will join us on Saturday evening,” wrote Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker in an email to the community.

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Beth-El to install Zimmerman as 13th rabbi

Beth-El to install Zimmerman as 13th rabbi

Posted on 01 December 2016 by admin

Rabbi Brian and Mimi Zimmerman with their children Saul and Molly at Molly’s bat mitzvah a year ago Submitted photo

Rabbi Brian and Mimi Zimmerman with their children Saul and Molly at Molly’s bat mitzvah a year ago
Submitted photo

By Jane Cohen
Special to the TJP

For the first time in 32 years, Beth-El Congregation, the Reform Jewish synagogue in Fort Worth serving Tarrant County, will install a new spiritual leader, Rabbi Brian Zimmerman, during an activity-filled installation weekend, Dec. 9-11, that is open to the community. Rabbi Zimmerman is the 13th rabbi to lead the 114-year-old congregation.
Zimmerman took over rabbinical duties July 1 from longtime Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger following Rabbi Mecklenburger’s retirement. Weekend activities will include a special Friday night installation service, unique Saturday morning worship options with guest speakers and study sessions that continue Sunday morning.
“As excited and overwhelmed as I am about a Friday night in which my father, Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman, my family, my friends and my congregation install me, I am equally excited about a special learning day we are offering all Shabbat day for congregants and community. These special learning opportunities represent what I really want my rabbinate at Beth-El to symbolize,” says Brian Zimmerman, a 12th-generation rabbi who was ordained at the Hebrew Union College in New York City in 1993.

Burkeman

Burkeman

Saturday activities include a Torah session with Sheldon Zimmerman, a special yoga Shabbat experience with Rabbi Danny Burkeman, an exploration of the meaning of Shabbat through text, film and television with Micol Zimmerman from Hebrew Union College and a discussion on Open Orthodoxy and a changing and challenging American Jewish landscape with Rabbi Asher Lopatin. Sunday, Sheldon Zimmerman will explore “ah-ha moments” and a new way to look at Torah.

M. Zimmerman

M. Zimmerman

Lopatin

Lopatin

Before leading Beth-El Congregation, Brian Zimmerman was the regional rabbinic director for the South District of the Union for Reform Judaism and served clergy and congregations in an 11-state district comprising 195 congregations. He was the rabbi at Congregation Beth Am in Tampa, Florida, from 1999 to 2006, and the assistant rabbi at Congregation Beth Ami in Rockville, Maryland, from 1993 to 1999.

S. Zimmerman

S. Zimmerman

Through his temple classes and other outside commitments, Zimmerman merges his two passions — Judaism and film, the latter of which he studied at Boston University. He has served as co-chair of Cinema Emanu-El in Dallas, a major summer Jewish film festival that attracts more than 2,000 attendees, and was chair of Film Procurement for the Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival. He enjoys teaching classes that explore religious themes in American films.
Zimmerman has served on boards and on numerous committees, including as vice president of the Rabbinic Association of Greater Dallas and president of the Tampa Rabbinical Association. In 2015, he was featured as one of Tablet magazine’s “15 American Rabbis You Haven’t Heard Of, But Should.”
“As Jewish leaders, we must constantly challenge ourselves to make Judaism joyous, meaningful and transformative,” says Rabbi Zimmerman. “Above all, our synagogues must be safe places for sacred conversations.”
His ongoing interests include all things youth group, Bruce Springsteen, scary movies and conversations about God, although not necessarily in that order. He lives in Fort Worth with his wife, Mimi, and two children, Saul and Molly.
— Submitted by Jane Cohen

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Around The Town: Artwork, Mah Jongg

Around The Town: Artwork, Mah Jongg

Posted on 24 November 2016 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Rachel Cristol’s Colorful Palette

Although Rachel Cristol always had an aptitude for art, she waited until she was a grandparent to hone in on her talent. During the past 16 years, her new career as a professional artist has flourished. Her vibrant pastels, oils, and watercolors are in galleries and private homes in Texas and Louisiana. Her portrait commissions hang at Tulane University and Louisiana State University.
For the next three months, she has a solo show at Fort Worth’s Beth-El Congregation.F107924.ai
“As a child, I was drawing faces with a pencil,” she said, recalling her girlhood in Norwich, CT.  “This has always been in my blood.”
Yet, during her years at the University of Connecticut in the 1950s, she took but one art class. Her academic load left no time for art classes.  The one elective she chose was a course in pastels – a medium that is pure pigment in chalk form and produces vibrant color, alive with light and shadow.
As the years passed, Rachel married cardiologist Dr. David Cristol. In Fort Worth they raised three children — Sara, Louis, and Reuben. With her mother, Cipa Taylor, z’l’, Rachel was active in Hadassah.  For 16 years, she was a docent at the Kimbell Art Museum and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. “It didn’t satisfy me. I decided I was going to take lessons.”
She asked Marvin Blum, a part-time artist and fulltime tax attorney, who his teacher was. He referred her to Judy Pelt, an acclaimed pastel artist who died last November. The class she taught in her home was full, but Rachel came anyway, with “my old palette and my old everything.” The art teacher suggested that Rachel instead enroll in her classes at the Woman’s Club of Fort Worth, headquartered in a landmark building on Pennsylvania Avenue.  Rachel joined that venerable institution, and the rest is evident on her colorful resume and the solo show that will remain in the Beth-El board room through the end of February.
— Submitted by Hollace Weiner

Time To Order New 2017 Mah Jongg Cards!

Suzie Herman is taking orders for the 2017 Mah Jongg cards. The orders benefit the Fort Worth Chapter of Hadassah’s Stem Cell Research Fund.
The cards come in two sizes: Standard size card is $8; Large print size card is $9.
Please send your check (payable to Suzie Herman) along with a copy of your order, and mail to: Suzie Herman, 4701 Springwillow Rd., Fort Worth, TX 76109. Suzie may be reached by calling 817-732-5151 or emailing suzherman@charter.net.
The deadline for ordering the new card is Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017.
Save the date: Federation Campaign Kick-off
Mark Feb. 4, 2017, on your calendars for a memorable evening at the Kimbell Art Musem, celebrating The Jewish Federation of Fort Worth & Tarrant County’s 2017 Annual Campaign Kickoff, “Reaching Chai Notes.”
The 7 p.m. event will feature special guest Andrea Arbel, director of the Partnership Unit of The Jewish Agency for Israel, and a jazz performance by New York-based Israeli singer/composer/arranger Sivan Arbel and her band, Sivan Arbel Septet Band.
Capping off the evening will be the presentation of The Spirit of Federation Award, which honors a man and woman who have demonstrated personal commitment, dedication and leadership to the Federation and its agencies.
Light refreshments will be served. The entire community is invited to attend.
Please RSVP by Jan. 20 to Milena Razack at 817-569-0892 or email: kickoff@tarranfederation.org.

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Around The Town: Blessing of the pets

Around The Town: Blessing of the pets

Posted on 17 November 2016 by admin

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Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Blessing of the pets

On Oct. 31, members of the Fort Worth and Tarrant County Jewish Community gathered on the back field of Congregation Ahavath Sholom to bless their pets and animals.
The congregation was of several North Texas synagogues that honored furry, feathery and scaly friends in honor of Parshat Noach. Rabbi Andrew Bloom and Cantor Shoshana Abrams led the blessing.
Pet food donations and monetary contributions were collected for Fort Worth’s Don’t Forget to Feed Me organization.

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