Around the Town
By Amy Wolff Sorter

As we come out of the secular New Year, we’re almost immediately faced with another new year — Tu B’Shevat.
Tu B’Shevat (this year, at sundown Jan. 25), also known as the “New Year for the Trees” or the “Jewish Arbor Day” provides a great opportunity to reflect on caring for our planet.
Some ways in which the holiday is observed include a seder in which certain types of grains and fruits are consumed. Other people plant trees on this day — and this is also the time of year during which Jewish children request funds to plant trees in Israel.
Now, you don’t have to plant a tree to get in the spirit of the holiday. It is a good idea, however, to reflect on nature and to figure out ways in which sustainability can become an important part of life.
However you decide to observe this holiday, may your trees — and plants — grow green this spring.

Daytimers examine the “Yiddish Song in You” — with books …

In the last column, we mentioned that the next Daytimers’ program at noon Wednesday, Jan. 23, titled “Yiddish Song in You,” will feature Yiddish musician and music researcher Janice Rubin, who will offer some of her insights on Yiddish folk songs.

Janice Rubin makes matzoh balls with her grandmother, the late Gertrude Steinberg Rubin, in this picture on the cover of Janice’s songbook, which will be given out at the next Daytimers event. | Photo: Courtesy of Janice Rubin
Janice Rubin makes matzoh balls with her grandmother, the late Gertrude Steinberg Rubin, in this picture on the cover of Janice’s songbook, which will be given out at the next Daytimers event. | Photo: Courtesy of Janice Rubin

Rubin — daughter of Barbara Rubin of Fort Worth and Sherwin Rubin of Arlington — also comes bearing gifts: She’ll bring 50 copies of her illustrated songbook, “Feels Like Family,” for the first 50 people to arrive.
She’ll also explore various aspects of Yiddish music, such as lullabies, children’s play songs, humorous and satiric songs and ballads of Jewish revolutionaries of czarist Russia.
Accompanying her will be Barry Roberts, one of the performers on Rubin’s album, appropriately titled “Feels Like Family.”
The event takes place at Beth-El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven in Fort Worth. Lunch will be catered by Pak-a-Pocket.
To make a reservation, have your credit card ready and call Barbara Rubin at 817-927-2736 or Larry Steckler at 520-990-3155.

Jewish Film Festival

If it’s winter, it must be time for the Beth-El Congregation’s film festival. The first film, “Salsa Tel Aviv,” was shown this past Saturday. Remaining films to be screened will be “Bride Flight” (Saturday, Feb. 16) and “My First Wedding” (Saturday, March 23).
The films will be shown at the synagogue, 4900 Briarhaven in Fort Worth. They’re free to the public, but RSVP is suggested. Either call Beth-El at 817-332-7141 or email; for more information.

Kornbleet Scholar event …

The Larry Kornbleet Memorial Scholar-in-Residence program will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7 at Congregation Ahavath Sholom, 4050 S. Hulen in Fort Worth.
This year’s the scholar in residence is Raphael Danziger, director of research and information with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and editor of the Near East Report. Danziger will discuss “The U.S. Policy in the Middle East.”
The presentation is free, and a reception will take place afterward, hosted by the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. The program also receives funding from the Kornbleet Scholar-in-Residence Fund and the Molly Roth Endowment Fund.

Coming this spring …

Though we haven’t even started discussing Passover, the good folks at the Fort Worth Chapter of Hadassah are already thinking ahead to April — 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, to be exact. That’s the date for the organization’s “Check it Out” program, which focuses on breast cancer awareness.
The guest speakers on hand will be Sherree Bennett, director and certified breast health nurse navigator for the Joan Katz Breast Center at the Baylor-All Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth, and Arielle Yorczyk, certified genetic counselor at the UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Moncrief Cancer Institute, also in Fort Worth.
The program will take place at Beth-El Congregation, and we’ll let you know as more news about this is offered. In the meantime, if you have questions, contact Debby Rice at 817-346-2944.

A final word …

I always want to share your news. I can be reached at

We’re looking for a writer

If you like to write, schmooze and contribute to the Fort Worth/Tarrant County Jewish community, you might want to be the TJP’s next Around the Town correspondent.
Amy Wolff Sorter will soon be giving up the column because of added responsibilities at her primary job — though she will still write occasional features for the TJP — so we’re looking for someone who writes in a lively, informal style and is connected with the people, synagogues and Jewish organizations in Fort Worth, Arlington, Northeast Tarrant County, the Mid-Cities and environs.
The new columnist will be responsible for a weekly 800-900 word column submitted on strict newspaper deadline.
Even if you don’t know everyone yet, we’ll get you off to a good start. And yes, there is some compensation.
Interested? Let us know by sending an email telling us a bit about yourself and why you’d be a great Around the Town columnist. Send it to publisher/editor Sharon Wisch-Ray (
We look forward to hearing from you.

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