Around the Town
By Amy Wolff Sorter

I remember a few years ago traveling with my husband and child to Florida, where we celebrated my father-in-law’s 80th birthday. The plan was to surprise him on Dec. 25 — but the only restaurants open on that day were Japanese and Chinese. We ended up at a Japanese restaurant (think Benihana style, where the chefs are as entertaining as the food is delicious). Said my mother-in-law with a shrug, “those are the only ones open on Christmas Day.”
I think of that time when I think about Jews, Christmas and Chinese food. There are a couple of Tarrant County activities happening Dec. 24 that involve both Jews and Chinese food — if you aren’t up to anything else, check ‘em out.
Beth-El Congregation is hosting a “Trivia Night and Chinese Dinner,” which will take place at the synagogue, 4900 Briarhaven beginning at 7 p.m. Dec. 24. Sign up as an eight-person team or individually; you’ll be placed on a team. Cost is $15 per person and includes a catered Chinese dinner. Sign up by logging onto
Meanwhile, Congregation Beth Israel Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker and wife, Adele, have issued a kind invitation to those in the area to join their family for a Chinese dinner Dec. 24 at a to-be-determined location. The event will begin at 6 p.m., and the rabbi is taking suggestions (email him at if you have any thoughts). If you’re interested in attending, email Stephanie at today so they know how many folks are coming.
Also, if you want to give back on Dec. 25, contact Barry Klompus at 817-271-1569 or email him at to learn more about the CBI Social Action Committee’s plan to visit nursing homes on that day.

Mah jongg, anyone?

Barbara Weinberg reminds us that it’s the time of year to announce mah jongg card orders. These cards ($7 for standard size, $8 for large print) benefit Hadassah. If you have questions, call her at 817-346-0331. If you know what you want, mail the order (with the check payable to Barbara Weinberg) to her at 4600 Westlake Dr., Fort Worth, TX 76132. Deadline for orders is Jan. 10.

Items requested for annual donor brunch

The local chapter of the Women of Reform Judaism is seeking goods or services for its upcoming annual donor brunch. Anyone with a service or product to be donated can email Kristen Oderberg ( or Trudie Oshman ( The WRJ is starting to compile a list and coordinate pick-up for collection of these items as the event comes closer.
The WRJ is also thinking ahead — the group is planning an expedition to Dallas’ Fair Park in April to see the musical “Wicked.” Possible dates are either April 11 or April 25 (both shows start at 7:30 p.m.), and it’s best you reserve now, as tickets will likely be sold out.
Ticket price, including transportation, is $50 per person for second balcony seating. Email Oderberg (again, for more information.

Carnival time

The children and counselors of Chabad of Fort Worth’s Camp Gan Israel are putting on a carnival from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25 at the Chabad, 5659 Woodway in Fort Worth.
The carnival is open to children in the community of all ages. Children not enrolled in camp should be supervised by an adult.
The $5 admission includes all activities. Hot dog lunches may be purchased.
For information, call 817-263-7701.

Coming up in January

The Chabads of Fort Worth and Arlington are hosting their monthly Rosh Chodesh Society workshops. These are monthly get-togethers for women only and discussions focus on issues ranging from organizing one’s life to dealing with food.
As the calendar switches from Tevet to Shevat (around the middle of January), the topic will be “Food in Focus: The Kabbalah of Spiritual Dieting.” Personally, I’ve attended a couple of these workshops and it’s a great excuse to meet up with other women, share experiences and learn something about the importance of Judaism in our lives.
If you’re interested in in more information (and specific dates), log onto the Chabad’s websites — or
Incidentally, as the Rosh Chodesh Society is part of the Chabad movement, they also take place at Chabad of Plano ( and Chabad of Dallas (

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