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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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Around the Town: Multicultural Alliance award dinner

Around the Town: Multicultural Alliance award dinner

Posted on 01 June 2017 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Multicultural Alliance holds annual award dinner

On April 20, the Multicultural Alliance held its annual award dinner at the Fort Worth Club. Honored this year were Dr. Basheer Ahmed and Robert Fernandez. The MCA presented Joan Kline with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ayesha Ganguly and Adena Cytron-Walker

Ayesha Ganguly and Adena Cytron-Walker

 
A board certified psychiatrist, Dr. Basheer Ahmed offers his medical expertise beyond the usual boundaries to unite communities. In 1995, when Muslim refugees from Bosnia arrived, there were no social service organizations to assist with the issues confronting Muslim refugees and immigrants. Basheer convened 35 community leaders representing interfaith religious establishments, healthcare institutions, corporate entities and nonprofit organizations. As a result, the Muslim Community Center for Human Services (MCC) was established. Today, MCC provides medical and social services to patients irrespective of race, religion or country of origin.
In 1963 the Fernandez family fled Cuba and arrived in Miami. The First Congregational Church sponsored Robert Fernandez and his family’s relocation to Fort Worth.

Ahmed

Ahmed

Arriving as a 6-year-old, Robert recognized the generosity of the church members and was profoundly impacted. He made a childhood vow that if possible, he wanted to be the person who made the difference in someone’s life. Within these five decades, the breadth and depth of his community and civic involvement is unparalleled. He has played a major role in over 60 organizations and nonprofit boards, affirming his commitment to make a meaningful difference.
The community contributions and life interests of Joan Kline are wide and varied. She is a business woman, education specialist, radiological technologist, community activist and parent of nine children. Seeking a safe street and playground was her first initiative that parlayed her community service to over 50 boards and organizations. Caring for all children is her passion. Her desire is that each person will live in a community that is inclusive and welcoming.

Kline

Kline

Fernandez

Fernandez

Adena Cytron-Walker was recognized by MCA Presiding Board Chair Dr. John Forestner, for her 10 years of service as the vice-president of programming.

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Around the Town: Annual meeting, award, caricatures

Around the Town: Annual meeting, award, caricatures

Posted on 18 May 2017 by admin

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
sharon@tjpnews.com

Federation annual meeting to feature national board chair

The Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County will convene its 81st annual meeting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 25, at Beth-El Congregation. Richard Sandler, chair of the board of trustees of the Jewish Federations of North America, will be the featured guest speaker.
JFNA brings together 148 Federations and 300 Network Communities to maximize impact as the central address of North American Jewry. Ranked among the top 10 charities in the world, JFNA collectively raises over $900 million through the Annual Campaign each year and distributes over $2 billion from foundations and endowments.
Sandler is the past chair of the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. Joining Sandler will be JFNA National Campaign Chair and Fort Worth native Harold Gernsbacher.
Federation President Lon Werner will present the “State of the Federation.” JFS Chair Alden Karotkin will provide an update on JFS’ services. Other items on the agenda include: honoring board members completing their terms; election of the 2017-2018 board of directors and officers; and election of the 2017-2018 Jewish Family Services Committee. A dessert reception will follow the meeting.

Newest recipient of the Sylvia and Jerry Wolens Award

The announcement of this year’s Sylvia and Jerry Wolens Award winner is surely to be a highlight of next week’s Federation meeting.

Lisa Rein

Lisa Rein

Lisa Rein will be presented with the prestigious award Thursday. Lisa takes an active role as a director of the Federation. She solicited donors for present and future gifts through her service on the Annual Campaign team and the Life & Legacy endowment development committee. Lisa was a member of the 2015 Federation leadership program that traveled to Israel and has been a strong advocate since. A person of integrity, Lisa is a dedicated member of Congregation Beth Shalom in Arlington and she is grateful to call it her congregational family and spiritual home, with Cantor Sheri Allen as its leader. Lisa is a financial advisor with Ameriprise Financial. She is the proud parent of two children, Rachel and David, and has been happily married to Michael for 31 years. Mazal tov Lisa!

Richard Baratz: a ‘portrait’ of artistic talent

“Find something that you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”
Familiar advice for finding one’s life’s work and very appropriate for caricaturist and multitalented artist Richard Baratz, whose passion for drawing is among his earliest, treasured memories. “From a very early age, I picked up something to draw with on anything handy, and at age 10, I began art school,” Baratz said.
For the next three months, Fort Worth’s Beth-El Congregation will showcase his work in “Capturing the Famous and the Familiar.”
Diverse, creative and eclectic aptly describe his decades of artistic creation, including scenes of New York, cowboys and the Old West, and Judaic art, both cultural and religious, executed in watercolor, pastel, pen and ink, and various types of mixed media.

Submitted photo Richard Baratz will showcase his caricatures during the next three months at Fort Worth’s Beth-El Congregation.

Submitted photo
Richard Baratz will showcase his caricatures during the next three months at Fort Worth’s Beth-El Congregation.

Submitted photo Richard Baratz will showcase his caricatures during the next three months at Fort Worth’s Beth-El Congregation.

Submitted photo
Richard Baratz will showcase his caricatures during the next three months at Fort Worth’s Beth-El Congregation.

Submitted photo Richard Baratz will showcase his caricatures during the next three months at Fort Worth’s Beth-El Congregation.

Submitted photo
Richard Baratz will showcase his caricatures during the next three months at Fort Worth’s Beth-El Congregation.

In addition to his primary career as a currency engraver for the U.S. Bureau of Printing and Engraving, Baratz has served for more than 40 years as the caricaturist for Sardi’s, a 90-year-old New York City institution, which he describes as “a magnetic and exciting mecca for stage and theater professionals.” And, since 1995, he has also been the artist for the Bob Hope Cultural Center’s McCallum Theater in Palm Desert, California.
As Sardi’s fourth resident and longest-tenured artist, he has created more than 1,000 caricatures of Broadway stars, writers, directors and producers as well as other celebrities who have frequented the legendary restaurant.
Well-known in the New York theater district, Baratz, a Brooklyn native who studied at New York’s School of Visual Arts and the American Art School, relocated to Keller more than a dozen years ago. Since then, he created the majority of the caricatures from photos emailed to him by Sardi’s current owner, Max Klimavicius.
“Baratz’s engraving background brings a rich look to his work,” said the late Vincent Sardi, Jr. Specifically, cross-hatching used in engraving gives a three-dimensional look to caricatures, which have evolved to feature less exaggeration of features and greater emphasis on flattering, identifiable portrayals.
With decades of interacting with a great array of Broadway talent, both onstage and behind the scenes, Baratz has amassed some treasured memories. Among his favorites are Katharine Hepburn and Tom Hanks, both of whom he worked with in person. He brought Hepburn a dozen roses and found her “charmingly old-fashioned and solicitous of his welfare.” More recently, he flew to New York to caricature Tom Hanks, whom he termed “a regular guy and everybody’s friend.”

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