By Sharon Wisch-Ray
Playgroup at Beth-El Congregation
In its second year, Beth-El Congregation’s Parents/Toddler Playgroup “Tinokot” is bringing mothers of young children together to provide a place where they can meet, network and enjoy learning about the Jewish faith, home and community. The toddlers and mothers and fathers initiate everlasting friendships. Children (from birth to age 4) have the opportunity to play in a secure, loving environment while mothers and fathers are able to visit with each other.
The most recent program was held at Beth-El Congregation on Sunday, Oct. 13. The topic was “Torah — A Reason to Dance.”
Tinokot, which is Hebrew for toddlers, meets once a month in the preschool room in the Religious School on Sunday mornings; mothers or fathers bring their infants and children. Beth-El Education Director Ilana Knust tells us that the families are benefitting in a number of ways, including:
- Enjoying the company of other members of the community and making new friends.
- Learning about prayers and blessings, and discussing Jewish and general parenting topics (for example, observing Shabbat, Sukkot and Chanukah in your home; how to cope with toddlers with colds and flu; the annual “December dilemma” and more).
The youngsters are being introduced to Jewish activities, stories, words, foods and so on. Ultimately, of course, the objective is to enhance Jewish identity by bringing in young parents to do Jewish things and learn to provide an enriching Jewish environment for their children.
- Introducing young families to various community resources.
Along with Knust, Alice Finkelstein is coordinating the program. Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger is also involved, along with other Jewish community experts from congregations and JEA programs.
Robbi Sherwin will entertain ‘Daytimers’ next week
Talented entertainer Robbi Sherwin will be featured at the “Daytimers” Wednesday, Oct. 30 luncheon and program, at Beth-El Congregation. The program begins at noon.
Sherwin leads Shabbaton, life-cycle events and retreats specializing in spiritual connections to God through music and nature. Her specialty is congregational songwriting and she enjoys helping those from every flavor of Judaism think outside the bimah. She received cantorial smicha in 2003 and is vice president of the Women Cantors’ Network, a certified Maven with Storahtelling and she remains an energetic instigator. For the last seven years, she has served as the spiritual leader of B’nai Butte Congregation in Crested Butte, Colo., enjoying the Rocky Mountain “chai” of a community located at 9,000 feet, complete with Ski Shabbat mountain minyans, alpine hikes and an attitude of high-altitude gratitude that draws participation from around the world.
Catering for the event will be Pak-A-Pocket, and guests have a choice of turkey, pastrami, chicken schwarma, or the Israeli favorite falafel, all on pita sandwiches. Cost is $9 for lunch or $4 for the program only.
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 www.bethelfw.org/donations. The Sylvia Wolens “Daytimers” is a program of Beth-El Congregation with financial support from the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County.