Around the Town
By Sharon Wisch-Ray

I often wax nostalgic this time of year when I think of my hometown of Fort Worth, particularly Beth El’s closing religious school exercises. Last week, I asked my own 9-year old, Jimmy, about Congregation Shearith Israel’s final assembly. I wasn’t able to attend, because it coincided with Akiba Academy’s graduation and my niece, Rosie Bernstein, was a graduate. Jimmy said, “It was pretty good, lots of singing and the presentation of the ‘Kiddush Cup’ awards.” This was a great opportunity for me to share with Jimmy my favorite memory of Sunday school at “the Temple.” I shared with him how Rabbi (Bob) Schur gathered everyone in the sanctuary and gave essentially the same message year in and year out of which I’ve never tired. His prescription for the perfect summer: “Read a good book, take a long walk and make a new friend.” I’ve written about this many times, because it made such an impression on me and to this day, I try and live by this edict. Jimmy’s comment? “Sounds like a pretty good idea, I’m going to do that this summer.” Then I told Jimmy the whole community convened at Burger’s Lake afterward. I never was able to master that rope swing.

Federation annual meeting will honor Mort House

When the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County holds its annual meeting next Thursday, June 6, honoring the retiring Mort House will be at the top of the agenda. House’s tenure at the federation will come to a close Aug. 31 after 11 dedicated years at its helm. House joined the federation Sept. 1, 2002, after serving as executive director of the Dayton (Ohio) Jewish Community Center and, before that, as assistant director of the Jacksonville (Fla.) JCC. The annual meeting is open to the community. Program director Angie Kitzman and meeting planners are eager to get a headcount for the evening’s festivities which begin at 7:30 p.m. at Beth El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven Road in Fort Worth. Angie is also collecting notes for Mort, which will be presented to him at the meeting. Rounding out the program will be Southwest Jewish Congress director Gil Elan who will speak on current events in Israel. To RSVP, contact Kitzman at or 817-569-0892.

See you at the movies: Cong. Ahavath Sholom style

Congregation Ahavath Sholom has your summer planned for you with its 2013 Summer Film Festival. The film festival is free and open to the community. Seven films will be shown on Sundays starting at 6:30 p.m. (after the evening minyans) from June 9 through Aug. 18. The films have been carefully chosen to interest everyone, and moderators will lead the discussions after each film. The films are CAS’ gift to the community and the popcorn and cold drinks are complimentary as well. A special “thank you” goes out to the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County for supporting the Summer Film Festival.
The schedule is as follows:
On June 9, “Chariots of Fire,” which won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1981, will be moderated by Posy McMillen, founder of Yad B’Yad, the organization for reconciliation between Jews and Christians.
On June 23, “Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story,” will be moderated by Murray Cohen, CAS president and an avid baseball fan. Wear your favorite baseball gear while you enjoy hotdogs for this one.
On June 30, “Footnote,” an award winning Israeli film about a father and son who are rival professors in Talmudic studies, will screen. This film will be sponsored by the TCU Jewish Studies Program whose director, Dr. Ariel Feldman, will lead the discussion after the showing of the film.
On July 14, “Arranged,” an Israeli film about two young women, an Orthodox Jew and a Muslim, going through parallel experiences of arranged marriages. Sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary of Congregation Ahavath Sholom, the film will be moderated by Cantor Shoshana Abrams and Dr. Jane Pawgan.
On July 28, “Victim No. 17,” an Israeli documentary about a terrorist suicide attack during the Intifada, will be on tap. One of the victims, Number 17, was unidentified and this story is about the search for his identity. Sponsored by Congregation Ahavath Sholom, Rabbi Andrew Bloom who served as a medic in the IDF, will lead the discussion.
On Aug. 11, “The Magician of Lublin,” based on an Isaac Bashevis Singer story, will screen. This film stars Alan Arkin playing a Jewish stage magician, conman and mystic who tours Eastern Europe while his personal problems begin to destroy his career. Leading Houdini expert Arthur Moses, along with a local magician, will cast a magic spell over all who attend in the discussion that follows.
On Aug. 18, “Follow Me,” the story of Yonaton Netanyahu, the hero of the Entebbe raid which saved 103 hostages from Idi Amin’s hands, will conclude the series. Yoni was the only Israeli casualty and this story is about him. Sponsored by the Southwest Jewish Congress (SWJC) whose CEO, Lt. Col. (res.) Gil Elan, will lead the discussion after the showing of the film.
The Summer Film Festival is sure to be a success and hopefully will be an annual event for Congregation Ahavath Sholom. Committee members are Liz Chesser, Kate Cohen, Hedy Collins, Bruce Miller, Jane Pawgan, Debby Rice, Reggie Rog, Jayna Sosland, Jim Stansbury and Louise Vermillion.
For more information please call Congregation Ahavath Sholom at 817-731-4721.

‘Daytimers’ Annual Movie and Ice Cream Party

The next event for the “Daytimers” will be the annual movie and ice cream social at 1 p.m., Wednesday, June 12, at Beth El. It will feature the Barbra Streisand film, “The Guilt Trip.”
Andy Brewster (Seth Rogan), an inventor, invites his widowed mother, Joyce, (Streisand) on a cross-country road-trip as he tries to sell his new product (an environmentally-friendly cleaning fluid). While on this sales trip across America, Andy and Joyce have to deal with long simmering family tensions that neither wants to confront. Andy does not truly want his mother on the trip, but he wants to reunite her with a long-lost first love. Across 3,000 miles of ever-changing landscape, he is constantly aggravated by her antics, but over time he comes to realize that their lives have more in common than he originally thought. His mother’s advice might end up being exactly what he needs.
The program includes all the popcorn and ice cream you can eat, plus the film for only $5. Reservations are requested, so there will be enough ice cream for all. We can order no fat, low fat, lactose and sugar free if you tell us your needs when you reserve. For information and reservations, call with your credit card to Barbara Rubin, 817 927-2736, Larry Steckler, 520-990-3155, or Hugh Lamensdorf, 817-738-1428, or reserve for yourself at
The Sylvia Wolens “Daytimers” is a program of Beth-El Congregation with financial support from the Jewish Federation.
I’d like to think that most times I under promise and over deliver. Last week, I promised that we’d report on Marvin Blum’s Q&A with Warren Buffet. We haven’t forgotten that promise, and hope to have it for you next week, when we have a little more space to work with. Until then, that’s a -30-.

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