By Sharon Wisch-Ray
The Kennedy assassination is not my “I remember where I was when moment.” I vaguely remember when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon; clearly remember where I was when President Reagan was shot; and when the Space Shuttles Challenger and Columbia exploded. And of course, I will never forget the trauma of 9-11. For the assassination of JFK, like many of you, I’ve had to rely on firsthand accounts from family and friends, and what I’ve read and seen and the phenomenal Sixth Floor Museum, which I visited for the first time two years ago with my son’s fifth grade class. My folks, the late Rene and Jimmy Wisch, TJP editors and publishers, covered the Kennedys’ visit both in advance and after that fateful November day. One can get a good flavor of what was happening in the Metroplex Jewish communities by reading the pages of the TJPs at that time. You can find some of that reportage on pages 17-21 of this week’s issue. What follows here is a walk down memory lane, courtesy of Around the Town with Rene, Nov. 21, 1963.
“NEWS FROM NICE: This week’s mail brought an airmail letter, bedecked with pretty French postage, from the Riviera. That’s where two of ourtown’s longtime residents, Rose and Jake Luskey, are sojourning on another leg of their fabulous trip that will take them to Israel following their tour of Italy.
“ ‘The Luskeys have had a fabulous trip as sketches from the following will indicate as penned to your ART scribe:
“ ‘I met the president and ex-president of B’nai B’rith in Nice on the Riviera and I had a long talk with both of them and their wives.
“ ‘The ex-president only talks French, but the new president and his wife talk a good Yiddish. We had dinner at the hotel at our invitation. I asked a lot of questions.
“ ‘The city is just beautiful. It would take too long to describe the beauty and climate. It’s a wonder city 300,000 population and 15,000 Jews. And only a B’nai B’rith membership of 75 and 2 shuls.
“ ‘I asked why just 75 members of 5,000 Jews, he told me they only take the best and selected. In order for a man to become a Ben Brith he must be tops and do an awful lot of work.
“ ‘In Nice to become a Ben Brith is very hard and the greatest privilege and honor.
“ ‘For the Jewish holidays the 2 shuls are too small so they rent 3 more halls. Toward late they had a large influx of Jews from Morocco.
“ ‘They have a lot of intermarriage in France. They need more Jewish schools and more Jewish teachers for the children. The president’s name of B’nai B’rith is Jacques Vatine. He is head of Lodge Cote Dazur No. 1625.
“ ‘Give regards to both Rabbis, their wives and children.
“ ‘Please tell everybody ‘hello’ for us because we don’t want to miss anybody.’
“From Nice the Luskeys head for Italy and then to Israel.
“NEWS AND NOTES: One of ourtown’s top bridge enthusiasts, Dr. Charles Robinson, has received one of bridgedom’s highest awards, being made a Life Master in the American Contract Bridge League. Ruby (Mrs. Jerry) Kantor is spending several weeks with family in New Orleans. Just back from Las Vegas are Miriam and Shooky Labovitz and Shirley and Larry Goodwin. Rae Goldstein a recent visitor to Purdue University in Lafayette, Ind. where her son, Jack, is a senior student. Mrs. Isadore Garsek and daughter, Barbie, plan to meet sons, Eddie, and Ellie (both students at the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Ill.) in Des Moines, Iowa, during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
“Larry Steinberger, son of the Dr. Eugene Steinbergers, has been made a member of Texas Cowboys, men’s honorary service organization at the University of Texas. Mr. and Mrs. Ben Schwartz, formerly of Hartford, Conn., spent several weeks here with son, Paul and Margot Schwartz and family, before leaving for permanent residency in Israel. The Dr. Philip Sheinbergs with brother and sister-in-law, Israel and Betty Sue Sheinberg of Dallas attended the TCU-Texas Game in Austin last weekend. Hattie and Jack Landman and youngsters are residing on Bellaire Drive while awaiting the completion of their new Overton Park home. Florine (Mrs. Harry Klein) of Springfield, Mo. guested here with her mother, Mrs. Emma Gudinsky and brother and family, Shirley and Larry Goodwin. Betty and Henry Weltman are holding open duplicate bridge games at their South Hills home. Margaret and Irv Leva of Omaha, Neb., recent visitors to our town and Big D.
Paschal High seniors who are members of the National Honor Society include Roger Kaye, Bonnie Korman, Diane Mehl and Harold Zenick. Added to our list of Life Members honored at Hadassah’s luncheon earlier this week is Sondra (Mrs. Gilbert) Friedson. Attending the New Orleans Medical Convention in New Orleans this week are Dr. and Mrs. Frank Cohen, Dr. and Mrs. Louis Levy and Dr. and Mrs. Irwin Robinson. Among those we’ve heard of tripping abroad on the Sealy trip to Spain are Peggy and Ike Haas, Shirley and Al Haas and the Louis Haases. Becky (Mrs. Fred) Carter and children, Mike and Ann, recent Galveston visitors. Laurie Barnett, daughter of Madlyn and Lou Barnett, pretty as a picture in her volunteer uniform at the Fort Worth Children’s Hospital. Mr. and Mrs. A. Pozez of Topeka caring for young granddaughters, Nan and Laura, while mother Marcia (Mrs. Larry) Kornbleet recuperates at Harris Hospital.
Hadassah’s Gift Wrapping Service holds promise of a huge success according to the vibrant interest and enthusiasm displayed thus far by Hadassah members. Volunteers are still needed. Florence Stern, chairman, tells me to man the gift wrapping shop which will be held in the First Baptist Church Building, Fourth and Throckmorton (across from J.C. Penney Co.). Business will start on Friday, November 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, through the Holiday Season. Added details can be had from Mrs. Stern at WA 4-2333 or her co-chairman, Freida Gachman at WA 4-1357. Assisting are Frieda Jaffee, Bessie Berman, Judy Breitman, Arlene Antweil, Elaine Rubin, Dottie Kaplan, Karen Kaplan and Pauline Levine.
Just a reminder that this Saturday morning at Ahavath Sholom, Steven Paul, son of Blanche and Herb Paul will celebrate his Bar Mitzvah. The Pauls will honor their son at a reception following in the Synagogue Center to which all friends are invited.
A few housekeeping items
In last week’s issue, I inadvertenetly left out Bernie Appel’s name in the photo of past Person of the Year awardees. Apologies.
The “Daytimers” Veteran’s Day program was well-attended. I’ll have a full-report in next week’s AT column.
Debby Rice tells me that after the success of the summer’s film series at Congregation Ahavath Sholom, the shul has planned a winter series beginning Dec. 1.
The entire community is invited to the 2013-14 Film Series from December 1 through July 13. Nine films will be shown on Sundays starting at 6:30 pm (after the evening minyan) with the exception of Christmas Day when the film will be shown at 3:30 p.m. As a reminder, Dec. 25 is a Wednesday.
The films have been carefully chosen to interest everyone and moderators will lead the discussions after each film. There is no cost, the films are a gift to the community and the popcorn and cold drinks are complimentary A special “Thank You” to the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County for supporting our CAS 2013-14 Showtimes Film Series; without their help, we would not be able to proceed.
The series will open with “The Attack,” a troubling film about the tense Israeli-Palestinian relationship. The discussion will be moderated by Rabbi Andrew Bloom who served in the IDF while living in Israel. This movie should generate an interesting discussion and hope many of you will attend this opening film.
On Christmas Day, “Keeping the Faith,” a feel-good family film starring Edward Norton, Ben Stiller, Jenna Elfman, Anne Bancroft and Eli Wallach will screen.
More to come in future columns when the series resumes Jan. 19.
Be sure to thank committee members Liz Chesser, Elizabeth Cohen, Kate Cohen, Foster Owen, Dr. Jane Pawgan, Debby Rice, Reggie Rog, Jayna Sosland, Jim Stansbury and Riki Zide when you see them at the movies.
For more information please call Congregation Ahavath Sholom at 817-731-4721.
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