Around the Town
By Amy Wolff Sorter

It might seem as though recent “Around the Town” columns have been Chanukah, Chanukah and more Chanukah. But I want to remind everyone out there that there are non-Chanukah events also occurring in December and early in January. For example:

  • Beth-El Congregation’s Winter Blood Drive will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16 in the synagogue’s library at 4900 Briarhaven. If you want to request a time slot, call Dan Halpern at 817-223-9194 or at 817-426-3239.
  • Beth-El will also host a broadcast from the 92nd Street Y at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9 (latkes, of course, will be served). The broadcast will feature author Jon Meacham as he discusses his book, “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power.”
  • And moving into January, TCU’s Brite Divinity School, as part of its Cristol Lecture Scholar, program, will host Ross Kraemer as he talks about “Christian Bishops, Christian Emperors, Jewish Subjects: The Fate of the Mediterranean Diaspora” at 7 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 6 at Congregation Ahavath Sholom. I’ll get more information out to you as I receive it.

Planning for Chanukah

Now, back to Chanukah. The wonderful news is that there are plenty of Chanukah activities going on throughout Tarrant County. Now another one has come to our attention — Beth-El Congregation at 4900 Briarhaven, is hosting a Chanukah Dinner and Celebration beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8.
In addition to dinner, those attending will be treated to a musical play, presented by Kids who Care, titled “Freedom Bound.” Following the play will be a dessert reception, games and crafts — in other words, fun for the family.
The event is free, but RSVPs are necessary. Call the synagogue office at 817-332-7141.

And more Chanukah

Congregation Ahavath Sholom’s community wide first-night-of-Chanukah event also takes place Dec. 8, across the street from Beth-El at 4050 S. Hulen. This event starts at 7 p.m. with candles to be lit by Fort Worth city officials and the Jewish bluegrass band Lucky Break from Milwaukee on hand for entertainment.
If you plan to attend, please call the office at 817-731-4721 and let JoAnn know how many tickets you’ll need.

And still more

The Chanukah celebrations don’t end on Saturday — the next night, Sunday, Oct. 9, Chabad of Arlington will have its annual “Can-Orah” menorah lighting at 6 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9 at Arlington City Hall, 101 W. Abram St.
An Arlington city official will be on hand to help light candles, and the event will feature live music and arts and crafts for the children (along with latkes and doughnuts). This event is also free and open to the public.

… and an icy menorah lighting

Chabad of Arlington is also hosting a “Chanukah on Ice” from 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12 at Ice at the Parks, 3815 S. Cooper St. in Arlington.
Ice skating, Chanukah music, latkes, doughnuts, hot chocolate and dreidels will be in abundance — as will the grand menorah lighting. The cost is $10 per person (and includes skate rentals) — $40 maximum for families.
RSVPs are essential for this event — you can either let them know you’re coming by calling 817-451-1171 or emailing

… and the Chanukah Bowl

Just in case you want more to do during Chanukah, Chabad of Fort Worth will have its annual Chanukah Bowl from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15 at Cityview Bowling, 6601 Oakmont Blvd. in Fort Worth.
In addition to bowling, the Chanukah Bowl will abound with dreidels, latkes and a light dinner, complete with chocolate gelt for the kids. Cost is $12 per person ($50 maximum per family). For reservations, call the Chabad at 817-263-7701 or log onto

For those who like trivia

Does Beth-El Congregation have a night for you? Come on down for the synagogue’s “Trivia Night and Chinese Dinner,” which will take place at 7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 24 at 4900 Briarhaven. You can sign up as an eight-person team or individually (with teams being created).
The cost is $20 per person and includes a catered Chinese dinner. Sign up by logging onto

Daytimers head to Plano

Daytimers will travel to The Legacy at Willow Bend in Plano Wednesday, Dec. 12. Legacy will provide transportation from Beth-El Synagogue (4900 Briarhaven in Fort Worth), along with lunch and Chanukah candle lighting.
This is a terrific opportunity to visit with former our-towners Greta Beckerman, Shirley Cohen, Hanna Hochster, Nancy Rakoover and Dorothy and Harold Winston, as well as to help spread Chanukah cheer among Legacy residents.
For information about this upcoming trip, or to make a reservation, contact Barbara Rubin at 817-927-2736 or log onto

The pitch for pictures

Just like there can’t be too much celebration of Chanukah, there can’t be too many reminders from yours truly to please send photos of Chanukah celebrations.
Have photos of family get-togethers and cute kids lighting the menorah? Did you go to a classroom to teach younger kids about Chanukah (I did this when Young Sorter was in elementary school — most of the non-Jewish kids fell in love with my latkes)?
Let me know by sending information to me at

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