Around the Town
By Amy Wolff Sorter

As I write this column, folks in the northeast continue digging out from Sandy. Whether you dub the event a “hurricane” or a “superstorm,” the fact is that it created a huge swath of destruction in Manhattan and New Jersey — and further inland.
As Jews, we embrace the concept that we’re responsible for our neighbors and our community; tikkun olam is not an empty phrase. Many of us have relatives or friends in the northeast that lived through this nightmare. For those few who aren’t related to, or friends with, those stricken, there is still the human tie that binds us all.
As such, it’s our responsibility to give back. Many worthy organizations have stepped up to fill the need. The Orthodox Union ( Union for Reform Judaism ( and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism ( have links on their websites for donations. Local Jewish organizations and synagogues also have relief programs under way.
Please support these efforts and help get those who have been affected by Sandy back on their feet that much more quickly.

Congrats to Leah …

… Leah Gilstrap, that is. Leah is an 11-year-old sixth grader attending Curtis Elementary in Weatherford. She’s active in 4H and, in a recent competition, won the fruits and vegetables division at the county level.
This means she advances to the district level competition, taking place this weekend in Vernon, Texas.
The theme of the competition was “Healthy Holidays,” and Leah’s take on this was to adapt a low-carb latke recipe relying on celery root with potatoes — and baking, rather than frying, the latkes. Best wishes for continued success, Leah. We’ll look forward to hearing more.

And congrats to Murray Cohen

Murray is president of Congregation Ahavath Sholom. On Oct. 24, he was also the recipient of the Everett Hanel Jr. Award from the American Biological Safety Association.

Murray Cohen of Fort Worth, center, proudly displays the Everett Hanel Jr. Award from the American Biological Safety Association, which was presented Oct. 24 in Orlando. The honoree is flanked by son Reed Cohen and wife Elizabeth Cohen. | Photo: Courtesy Cohen family

This award (named for the first ABSA president) is presented annually to an association member who has made a lifetime of outstanding contributions to both the organization and field of biological safety and fostering.
He’s the son of Plano resident Shirley Cohen. Congratulations on this achievement!

Welcome back, Normans

Lynell Norman told us that she and her husband, Charles Norman, just returned from a Holland America cruise that traveled from Boston to Quebec. The couple made this trip to celebrate their birthdays — and Lynell said they enjoyed the cool weather and changing colors of the leaves.

Happy birthday, CAS

This falls under “save the date,” but in my opinion, it’s never too early to honor something that has been around for more than a century.
That’s the case with Congregation Ahavath Sholom, which will celebrate 120 years of existence in Fort Worth with a huge gala, scheduled to take place March 2, 2013. Stay tuned for more information on this event, which is bound to be a special one, as it’s offering dancing, silent and live auctions and some pretty nifty entertainment.

And more immediate at CAS …

… will be the community garden groundbreaking ceremony, which will happen from noon to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11.

Thanksgiving for the seniors

The Isadore Garsek B’nai B’rith Lodge will host its annual senior Thanksgiving luncheon from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15 at Beth-El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven Road in Fort Worth.
Transportation will be provided from B’nai B’rith housing at 10:30 a.m., but RSVP is required. Contact Jewish Family Services at 817-569-0898 by Nov. 9 and let them know how many people will be coming.

Help honor the veterans

The next Daytimers event will take place at noon Wednesday, Nov. 14 at Beth-El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven in Fort Worth.
On tap will be Fort Worth physician and author Julian Haber, whose presentation is titled “Jewish Military Heroes You Never Heard Of” — a timely program in honor of Veterans Day.
Cost is $9 per person with lunch (catered by Ming Wok) or $4 if you’re interested only in the program.
For information and reservations, call Barbara Rubin at 817-927-2736, Hugh Lamensdorf at 817-738-1428 or Larry Steckler, 520-990-3155. Also reserve your space by logging onto

Craig Taubman on tap

To thank the Tarrant County Jewish community for its support, The Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County is sponsoring Craig Taubman, live and in concert at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 17 at Beth-El.
The concert is free.
Taubman is known, among other things, for his “Friday Night Live” music composed for monthly special services at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles.
Questions? Interested? Contact Angie Kitzman at 817-569-0892 or

A ‘thank you’ from Alex Nason

Last week it was announced that Alex Nason received the B’nai B’rith Person of the Year award. In response, he asked that we publish the following on his behalf.
“It has been over a week since the surprise announcement by Dr. [Barry] Schneider that I was selected as Person of the Year. What an honor it is to be recognized and to find my name on the same list with people who have been instrumental to Jewish life not only of our town, but influential in the U.S.A. and the world.
It feels like a dream but apparently it’s reality. And you, my family and friends, are making sure I know it. Every day I receive congratulatory messages, phone calls and letters. To everyone who sent me a note, or made a contribution in my honor, I decided to use the reaching power of this newspaper to say thank you.”

Finally …

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