Around the Town
By Amy Wolff Sorter

As you read this issue, you’ll either be celebrating Thanksgiving, or chowing down on leftovers the day (or two) afterward. It all depends on when you receive this publication. At any rate, Thanksgiving gives us a wonderful opportunity to truly appreciate what’s good in our lives, even as we’re facing yet another day of leftover turkey. The gratitude in that is, however, that we actually have turkey on which to dine (and from which to make leftovers). There are those who would be highly grateful for leftover anything.
So as we get together with friends, relatives and loved ones during this season of thanks, let’s express our gratitude to Hashem for the good things in our lives. Let’s also remember those who are less fortunate — and let’s take action, whether that action involves serving food at a soup kitchen, donating blood or filling the tzedakah box. We also need to pray for Israel’s safety during these difficult times.
Have a wonderful holiday, replete with love, laughter and friendship.

It’s that time of year again

While you’re enjoying Thanksgiving with friends and family, take a couple of minutes to mark the evening of Saturday, Dec. 8 on your calendar.
Beginning at 7 p.m., Congregation Ahavath Sholom will host a communitywide, first-night-of-Chanukah event that should, to mention a cliché, knock your socks off. Politicos will be on hand as honorary candle lighters — Fort Worth mayor Betsy Price is one of those who expected to be on hand. The CAS children’s choir will perform, the shul will be recognized for its Clean for Quarters program, and the entertainment comes courtesy of Lucky Break.
Lucky Break is — wait for it — a Jewish bluegrass band from Milwaukee located by Michal Bloom, wife of CAS’ rabbi Andrew Bloom. I ran into the Blooms at the recent Fort Worth Hadassah event and was told that Michal loves bluegrass.
As an aside, I was at last year’s CAS Chanukah event and it was packed — wall-to-wall people. Rabbi Bloom told me that this year’s is liable to attract even more folks, so it should be a lot of fun and a great way to honor the first night of this holiday. And yes, we’ll be there, too.

It’s also that time of year for …

… Winter Camp, courtesy of Camp Gan Israel of Fort Worth (hosted by Chabad of Fort Worth and Tarrant County; 5659 Woodway Dr.). The camp will take place Dec. 24-28 and is geared for children ages 5-12. Cost is $140 for the full week or $35 per day. For more information (or to register), log onto
And speaking of Chabad of Fort Worth, a hearty congratulations goes out to Rabbi Dov Mandel for completing the addition on the building on Woodway Drive. The addition provides greater room for services and educational opportunities (and it looks great, by the way).

Post-minyan dinners at CBI

Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville is introducing something kind of neat — several times during the next few months, the synagogue, located at 6100 Pleasant Run Road, will provide dinner and a local guest speaker in conjunction with Wednesday night minyan prayers. Dinner is served at 6 p.m., followed by the evening service at 7 p.m. The guest speaker will then be on tap from 7:30-8:45 p.m.
First up on Nov. 28 will be Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger with Beth-El Congregation in Fort Worth, who will present the topic “What, Exactly, is ‘Spirituality,’” which is based on his book “Our Religious Brains: What Cognitive Science Reveals about Belief, Morality, Community and Our Relationship with God.”
Upcoming guests will include Ron Bernstein, southwest emissary with the Jewish National Fund Israel (look for him on Jan. 9, 2013) and Rabbi Geoffrey Dennis of Kol Ami in Flower Mound, who is scheduled for Feb. 6, 2013.
The program is funded by the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, and looks to be very interesting. There doesn’t seem to be a cost for these dinners, but for more information (and to RSVP), email

And speaking of CBI and saving dates …

… not to mention somewhat awkward written segues, Congregation Beth Israel’s next blood drive will take place Sunday, Jan. 6. I don’t have the details yet, but I do plan to attend once again, and this time I will not drink coffee before donating blood.
Apparently caffeine lowers one’s iron levels, and speaking from personal experience, when that happens, you don’t get to donate.

… and another save the date …

Last one. I promise. The Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County will honor four generations of the E.M. and Rosalyn G. Rosenthal Family at a special celebration, taking place Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013 at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
As part of the celebration, the federation will present a “Legacy of Giving” tribute book to the Rosenthal family. Many of you may have received emails about this, but if not, contact the federation for more information by calling 817-569-0895 or visit

And here’s the pitch

One thing I’m very thankful for is the personal news coming out of the Tarrant County Jewish community. I love posting positive happenings, from accolades, to family and friend get-togethers.
We’re coming up on a very happy time, between Thanksgiving and Chanukah. I’d love to receive information about parties and gatherings, as well as photos of holiday fun. My email address is the same — I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

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