By Amy Wolff Sorter
As you read this week’s column, you’re no doubt thinking about a special holiday, one in which love triumphs over all and sweets are presented — and consumed — in mass quantities.
I am, of course, referring to Purim. (Did you really think I’d say Valentine’s Day?)
We all know the story of how good triumphs over evil, as Queen Esther begs King Ahasuerus to hold back Haman’s desire to kill the Jews in 4th century Persia. We all know the story — but each year, we’re commanded to listen to the Megillah, the Book of Esther.
This year, Purim begins on Feb. 23, a Saturday evening, and there are plenty of activities throughout the area to help us fulfill this mitzvah. These range from kid-friendly Purim shpiels and carnivals (complete with costume parades) to adult-only celebrations where, according to halachich law, it’s OK to drink to excess. If you do so, however, be sure you’re not driving.
The point here is that Tarrant County Jewish organizations are offering a lot of opportunities to listen to the Megillah and to celebrate the good-versus-evil tale that doesn’t grow old with the retelling. Check out the calendar at www.tjpnews.com for more information on when, where and what.
Speaking of love
Heartfelt congratulations go to Cantor Shoshana Abrams of Congregation Ahavath Sholom, who is engaged to Mordecai Kaikov, son of Miriam “Mimi” and Roni Kaikov.
A very excited future mother-of-the-groom wrote us the following, which I think conveys the nachas this union has brought:
“Mordecai Kaikov on bended knee proposed to Cantor Shoshana Abrams of Congregation Ahavath Sholom on Groundhog Day, Feb. 2. Mordecai chose this day for the proposal as he knew it would make his late grandpa happy and forever be a memorable day. The young couple met at CAS in Fort Worth, and while the proposal was a surprise to Cantor Abrams, there was no surprise to family and friends. Their love and affection is incredible — huge — Texas Style!”
This is wonderful news for all concerned, and we’ll look forward to learning an official wedding date.
Meanwhile, following Purim’s festivities …
… the partying doesn’t stop. On Saturday, March 3, Congregation Ahavath Sholom is hosting its own birthday bash — 120 years, to be precise.
This will takes place at the synagogue at 4050 S. Hulen in Fort Worth. The evening will begin at 7 p.m. with Havdallah and continue through a party consisting of dancing, silent and live auctions, gaming for prizes and lots and lots of food.
Money raised from the event will benefit the Legacy Fund for the continuation of youth education, among other things. The event is free to members and $60 per person for non-members. To purchase tickets and make reservations for the anniversary gala, contact Ahavath Sholom at 817-731-4721 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nor is CAS the only institution celebrating an anniversary
Sixty years ago, the preschool now known as the Lil Goldman Early Learning Center opened, becoming Fort Worth’s first preschool. At the time, the preschool had six students, one teacher and tuition of $12 a month — and it occupied a room at Congregation Ahavath Sholom’s Myrtle Street synagogue.
These days, the Lil Goldman Early Learning Center fills an entire wing at the synagogue, has an enrollment of 92 children, employs a staff of 19 and has an annual budget of $800,000.
A new commemorative exhibit at CAS celebrating the preschool’s 60 years includes class photos from each decade (including the one on page 8) and a plaster handprint made by CAS’ current president, Murray Cohen, when he was a preschooler in the 1950s.
The exhibit is organized by the Fort Worth Jewish Archives, with research provided by Hannah Klein and Joe Klein and arrangements made by Diana Krompass and Hollace Weiner. Additional thanks go to Hollace for supplying the information and photo as well.
And then there’s art
Or rather, a panel presentation titled “Biblical Influences on Modern Synagogue Art and Architecture,” which takes place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7 at CAS, 4050 S. Hulen in Fort Worth.
The panelists — noted architects David R. Stanford, Gary M. Cunningham and Lynn Milstone — will speak about synagogues — more specifically, ancient worship places around the world in comparison with contemporary architectural practices.
Local sculptor Etty Horowitz will also be on hand to serve as the program’s moderator.
The event is free to the public, but space is limited. Interested? Call 817-731-4721 for information or to make your reservation.
The final word
The main themes of this particular column involve 1) anniversaries and 2) Purim. If you have photos and/or news of either one, please send them along by emailing me at email@example.com.