Around the Town
By Sharon Wisch-Ray

Summer updates from the Jewish Education Agency

Lil Goldman’s Early Learning Center has hosted summer Camps Gan and Shalom for pre-school through middle school-aged children.
Every year, exciting new themes are added and this year is no exception. As the second half of camp begins, the pre-school campers can look forward to a “World Tour,” “Yucky and Wacky Week,” “Lego Duplo Building Expo,” “Artful Antics” and a “Hawaiian Hullabaloo” while school-aged campers are gearing up for “Artful Expression,” “Mad Science,” “Baking Wars,” “Trip Out” (this includes a field trip every day of the week except Fridays) and “Camp Fit” (come join for yoga, dance parties and more!), in addition to various afternoons spent swimming at Lockheed Recreation Center.
It may be summer, but Lil Goldman ELC teachers don’t miss a beat. Their dedication is obvious in every smile on each camper’s face.
Camp Shalom coordinators Katrina Diaz and Sarah Sinofsky pulled off an amazing Shabbat Service in which Jewish War Veterans were honored during the patriotic season.
At this Friday’s July 12 preschool Shabbat service, there will be a special ceremony to honor Becca Sankary Bodzy and the memory of her beloved parents, Rose and Al Sankary. Refreshments will follow and a special unveiling of a memorial plaque will take place.
The Lil Goldman Early Learning Center and Camp Gan and Camp Shalom invite the community to stop in and say hello as it embarks on its 60th anniversary. There is a lot to celebrate!

Curriculum enhancements at Beth El Religious School

Ilana Knust, Beth El Congregation Religious School director, shared that the curriculum of the Beth El Congregation religious school is undergoing modifications based on the input of the students and teachers.
“We are very proud of our religious school of nearly 200 students in Fort Worth, but especially we are proud of the impact the students had on this upcoming year’s curriculum. We met with our younger and older students, and received constructive feedback which we are incorporating into our curriculum next year to make our school a more meaningful place for our students. In addition, the teachers worked countless hours with me to make the curriculum more in depth, but still engaging and interactive.”
Knust explained that a key element that students are asking for is to be more knowledgeable and to be able to fully explain their Judaism to their friends. They want to experience Judaism outside of the Temple and do more tikkun olam projects.
Knust says that she hopes the changes will increase Jewish knowledge and the sense of community, understanding, ownership and pride in our heritage.
Among the changes will be more Torah, more Talmud and more Jewish history at every level. Also, there will be more long-term tikkun olam projects, special mitzvah projects for every class and many field trips related to the curriculum.
Her enthusiasm for the changes are evident and she explained that the theme for the Beth-El Religious school this year.
Following the words of Isaiah 42:6, “You shall be a light unto the nations,” this year’s religious school theme is, “Seeing the light of the Torah, and being the light.”
“As a community here at Beth-El Religious School we are faced with the challenge of Jewish literacy, and we are hoping that by searching into Jewish books we will increase our passion and enthusiasm for Jewish learning and doing and let students see the light of Torah in order to become the light of Torah,” Knust said. “By adding depth to Jewish learning, we will inspire ourselves and each other to see the beauty and relevance of Torah today. We must understand that Torah is not merely a body of rules to live by, but a powerful spiritual channel to communicate directly with God and understand G-d’s will on both a personal and universal level.” Knust invites the community to come checkout the Beth El Religious School.

Arlington’s Camp Gan Israel kids take lesson to heart

Last week’s theme at Camp Gan Israel in Arlington was all about heroes. The kids had a chance to meet many everyday heroes such as police officers, firefighters, Israeli soldiers and many more.
After hearing the tragic news about the 19 Arizona firefighters who perished earlier in the week, the children honored their memory by personally thanking Arlington firefighters for their service in the community and delivering special made cards to be taken to the families of the Arizona firefighters.
The cards express the children’s sentiments of gratitude for their service and words of encouragement to the firefighters’ family members during this difficult time. About 30 kids ranging in age from two to 12 participated.

Don’t forget …

At 6:30 p.m., Sunday, July 14 Ahavath Sholom will screen the fourth film in its summer series, “Arranged.”
The movie is about the unique friendship that develops between two young women, an Orthodox Jew and a devout Muslim. They find that they share much in common, including going through the process of arranged marriages, despite their cultural differences.
This film is eye opening and very interesting. Cantor Shoshana Abrams and Dr. Jane Pawgen will lead the discussion that follows.
Also, at noon on Wednesday, July 17, the Daytimers will be entertained by Kids who Care at Beth El Congregation. Both are programs not to be missed.
We would like to hear from our readers! Send your news, simchas and anything else on your mind to me at or Sharon Wisch-Ray, 7920 Belt Line Road, Ste. 680, Dallas, TX 75254. Or, you can always give me a jingle at 817-927-2831.

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