By Amy Wolff Sorter
This past Sunday, I had the distinct honor of being present at the 2013 Women of Reform Judaism Donor Brunch, appropriately entitled “Fifty Shades of Red.”
Not everyone wore red, rather, the “red” referred to red wine, as the guest speaker was Robert Chicotsky of Chicotsky’s Liquor Store on West 7th Street in Fort Worth. Robert spoke about the different wines of Israel (and taste tests were encouraged).
Just as important as the wine, the food and the schmoozing (which were tasty, delicious and a lot of fun, respectively), was the purpose of the event. The brunch is the WRJ’s big fundraiser of the year, with money raised going to the Beth-El Congregation religious school and other causes. Turnout was great, bidding on many of the silent auction items was competitive, and here’s hoping the WRJ met and exceeded its monetary goals.
I’d also like to extend a special thank you to Hollace Weiner for inviting me as her guest, and a “shout-out” to the tablemates who helped make this event so great: Ellen Appel, Mary Smith Katten, Sarah Mountjoy and Valerie Simanek. I truly enjoyed meeting you and schmoozing.
An extra-special shout-out goes to Marcy Paul, also a tablemate. In talking, we learned that in a weird quirk of what-are-the-odds Jewish geography, we grew up in the same city (Evanston, Ill.), attended the same high school (Evanston Township) and were members of the same synagogue (Beth Emet). The coincidence ends there, as she graduated from it all a year before I did. Suffice it to say, we had a lot of fun comparing people we knew, teachers and so on.
Getting back to Hollace, she writes that she and husband Bruce ended up in Israel and Jordan during the December holidays. The trip took them into Jordan, via the Allenby Bridge, where they traveled along the Dead Sea highway to Petra.
“The most inspirational place we visited in the hills was Mount Nebo, where Moses viewed the Promised Land,” she writes, adding that the Franciscans now own the site and tend it very well.
While in Israel, Bruce and Hollace ventured into occupied territory between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, where they viewed excavations at Herodion National Park, the site of King Herod’s summer palace and, in later centuries, where Bar Kockba’s fighters converted the palace’s tunnels and cisterns into hiding places.
Hollace says sightseers can go through these passages underground.
Hollace sent pictures too — the one I liked was the Texas A&M shirt that reads “Texas University” in Hebrew. Thanks for sharing.
Daytimers to discuss Ferguson
In 1915, anti-prohibitionist James Ferguson became governor of Texas, and was ultimately impeached because of questionable business dealings.
Wife Miriam (known as “Ma”) ran in 1924 for the office her husband had left in such disgrace — while opposing prohibition and the Ku Klux Klan, “Ma” Ferguson also sought to clear the family name, becoming the first female governor of Texas.
Close to 90 years after all of this happened, Jane Guzman-Pawgan will talk about it during the February Daytimers’ program, which will take place at noon Wednesday, Feb. 13 at Beth-El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven Road in Fort Worth. Lunch will be catered; the program with lunch is $9; without lunch, the cost is $4.
To make a reservation call, with your credit card information handy, Barbara Rubin 817-927-2736 or Larry Steckler 520-990-3155. For information call Rubin.
Bake, baby, bake
With Purim coming up at the end of the month, it’s time for all hands on deck in the making and buying of hamantaschen. The Women of Reform Judaism will have its annual hamantaschen bake-in from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10 at the Beth-El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven Road in Fort Worth. Questions? Call the office at 817-332-7141.
Interested in ordering hamantaschen? Congregation Ahavath Sholom’s Ladies Auxiliary has lots, with a huge choice of flavors (apricot, raspberry, poppy seed and prune) at $12 for a baker’s dozen. For information, contact the office at 817-721-4721.
And coming in March …
… is a gala celebrating Congregation Ahavath Sholom’s 120th birthday on Saturday, March 2 at the synagogue, 4050 S. Hulen in Fort Worth.
The evening will began at 7 p.m. with a Shabbat-closing Havdallah service, followed by a party, complete with a jazz band (courtesy of Paschal High School), dancing, silent and live auctions, raffles, gaming for prizes, hors d’oeuvres and an open bar.
This black-tie-optional event is free to congregants and $60 per person for non-members. The money raised will benefit the Legacy Fund for the continuation of youth education, among other things.
To purchase tickets and make reservations for the anniversary gala, contact Ahavath Sholom at 817-731-4721 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The final word
Thanks to people who are sending me news (and who plan to). If you live in Tarrant County and have family news, want to share trips you’ve been on or won an award, don’t keep it a secret. Email me at email@example.com so we can publish it.