Around the Town
By Amy Wolff Sorter

This is the time of year when the weather is weird — one day it’s in the upper 60s and we fling the windows open; the next day a blue norther comes through, forcing us to slam the windows shut and turn on the furnace.

Participants prepare a meal at Chabad of Arlington’s “Shabbat in An Hour,” on Jan. 13. Those in attendance learned how to prepare quick, tasty Shabbat meals. | Photo: Chabad of Arlington
Participants prepare a meal at Chabad of Arlington’s “Shabbat in An Hour,” on Jan. 13. Those in attendance learned how to prepare quick, tasty Shabbat meals. | Photo: Chabad of Arlington

It’s also the time of year to expand our minds a little. Many organizations have Shabbatons and “scholar in residence” programs, all of which are geared to connect us further to Judaism.
In previous columns, I’ve written about the Kornbleet Memorial Scholar-in-Residence program, which takes place at Congregation Ahavath Sholom (4050 S. Hulen in Fort Worth) beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7. Raphael Danziger with American Israel Public Affairs Committee and editor of the Near East Report is the guest speaker.
A couple of days before the Kornbleet event, on Tuesday, Feb. 5, CAS launches another series, this one titled “Jews in America.” The first of the five-part lecture series begins at 7 p.m. and will run Tuesdays through March 5.
During these presentations, Jane Guzman Pawgan will take participants through the history of Jews in America, from colonial times to 1948.
Those of you who know the presenter know that she brings all kinds of experience to her presenter’s role — she’s a doctor of philosophy, is well educated in American history and political science and is part of the adjunct faculty at schools such as Texas Woman’s University, Richland College and Tarrant County Junior College, among others.
She also lectures at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center in Dallas and at SMU. I could go on, but you get the point — she knows her stuff.
Even better is that this series is free and open to the public, as is the Kornbleet program.

Also open to the public …

… is Congregation Beth Israel’s “Good Food, Good Learning, Good Community” series, featuring guest speakers, dinner and the evening service.
Dinner begins at 6 p.m., the service launches at 7 p.m. and the speaker comes on board at 7:30 p.m. Coming up are Kol Ami’s Rabbi Geoff Dennis (Wednesday, Feb. 6) and Ron Bernstein, Jewish National Fund Israel Emissary for the Southwest (Wednesday, March 6).
All take place at CBI, 6100 Pleasant Road in Colleyville, and are supported by the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. To RSVP, email

And now, for a little entertainment

This time of year is also a good one for some movie-watching. Specifically, movie-watching at Beth-El Congregation’s film festival. Films still to be offered are “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 an RSVP is suggested. Either call Beth-El at 817-332-7141 or email for more information.

Also at Beth-El

Women of Reform Judaism are gearing up to host its annual donor brunch — the organization’s main fund-raiser — which takes place from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Feb. 3 at Beth-El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven in Fort Worth.
This year’s theme is “Fifty Shades of Red,” and, appropriately enough, will feature Israeli wines. Robert Chicotsky of Chicotsky’s Liquor Store will offer his take on the wines, and provide a mini-wine tasting with some good advice about wine-meal pairings.
Feastivities is providing the brunch, a silent auction will take place — and RSVPs are still being accepted (through Jan. 25). Interested? Log onto for more information. Funds benefit Beth-El’s religious school and scholarships to Greene Family Camp, among other worthy charities.

Purim is just around the corner

And the CAS Ladies Auxiliary needs volunteers to help make hamantaschen between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Feb. 3 and 10 in the synagogue’s kitchen — the address is 4050 S. Hulen in Fort Worth.
All the ingredients will be provided; what’s needed are helping hands. Those interested in helping out can call 817-731-4721.
The hamantaschen, incidentally, will be for sale (flavors include apricot, prune, poppy seed and raspberry) at a cost of $12 per baker’s dozen. Advance orders are welcome; call the number above for more info.

The final note

It’s not too late to send “holiday vacation” information to be published in Around the Town. Did you go somewhere fun? Did family come town? Did you celebrate with friends? Let us know! Send your info to me at

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