Around the Town
By Amy Wolff Sorter

This week, I’m going to make my pitch for news, notes and photos at the top of this column rather than the end in hopes to get information across. Thanks to the upcoming secular holidays, we’re spending the next two weeks pushing three issues out the door. In other words, please get information, photos, news, blurbs and so on to me by Friday, Dec. 14, if you want to see it in print in 2012 (or the first week of 2013).
What would I like to see? Anything from family get-togethers to photos of kids lighting menorahs, munching on chocolate coins or spinning dreidels. I also want to hear about trips or other events — I attended a couple of Chanukah events this past weekend, and several people came up to me, telling me about trips they went on and events they participated in. “I need to email you,” they told me. As a reminder, here’s my email address: I’ll look forward to receiving this information.

CAS announces new initiatives

Dave and I split duties Saturday night. We both started out at Congregation Ahavath Sholom’s community Chanukah celebration, but I took off early to go across the street to Beth-El Congregation’s event. Dave stayed at CAS, and I obviously missed out on the big news items there before Dave joined me at Beth-El. Here’s his report:
Just before Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, lit the large menorah, CAS president Murray Cohen announced some new programs the shul has established as it celebrates its 120th year.

  • “We will see the creation of the Hebrew Bible Institute,” Cohen said. This library of scholarly works on the Torah and the prophets will be open to all, with a special interfaith invitation to Christians and Muslims.
  • The Gan Garden, for which groundbreaking took place last month, will grow fresh produce for the Tarrant Area Food Bank.
  • CAS is partnering with the Gladney Center for Adoption to donate diapers and baby formula for children there.

Also at the event, it was announced that CAS had collected $650 for the Quarters for Cleaning program, a Fort Worth interfaith effort to give the needy quarters to use in coin-operating clothes-washing machines and dryers. Rabbi Andrew Bloom then presented the organization with an additional $100 worth of quarters.

There’s still time to celebrate Chanukah

… at the Chanukah Bowl, which takes place from 7:30-9:30 p.m. 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

… and there’s time for trivia …

… that is, if you’re not doing anything else Monday, Dec. 24. Beth-El Congregation is hosting a “Trivia Night and Chinese Dinner,” which will take place at the synagogue, located 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

… another opportunity for Dec. 24 …

The good folks at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville are also inviting those in the area to a Chinese or Asian dinner at a yet-to-be determined restaurant. The event will begin at 6 p.m. and Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker is taking suggestions (email him at if you have any thoughts).
If you’re interested in attending, email Stephanie at by Dec. 20 so they know how many folks are coming.

Speaking of the holidays …

If you’re worried about your kids being at loose ends during the winter break (and they’ve exhausted all the fun out of their Chanukah gifts), consider sending them to Chabad of Fort Worth & Tarrant County’s Gan Israel Winter Camp during the week of Dec. 24-28.
The camp runs from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Sonnenschein Chabad Jewish Center, 5659 Woodway Dr. in Fort Worth. Children ages 5 to 12 will participate in arts and crafts, field trips and generally having fun with friends.
Questions? What to register? Log onto the website at or call 817-263-7701.

… and if your mind is directed toward mitzvot …

… Congregation Beth Israel’s Social Action Committee will visit nursing homes on Christmas Day.
For more information about how you can become involved, contact Barry Klompus at 817-271-1569 or email him at

Finally, it’s not too soon to be thinking about January …

One of the first events of the (secular) New Year will take place at Congregation Ahavath Sholom at 7 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 6 — and involves Ross S. Kraemer, Cristol Lecture Scholar, who will talk about “Christian Bishops, Christian Emperors, Jewish Subjects: The Fate of the Mediterranean Diaspora.”
The event is taking place in conjunction with TCU’s Brite Divinity School — and Kraemer, who is professor of religious studies and Judaic studies at Brown University, is a font of knowledge on this topic.

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