Around the Town
By Sharon Wisch-Ray

The Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County held its Major Gifts event Feb. 9 at the home of Laurie and Lon Werner. Lon is this year’s campaign chair. He and Laurie are native Fort Worthians and quick to share how often they have seen the Federation’s good works in action. The 2014 Campaign Kick Off  event will be held at 7 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 23 at Colonial Country Club, 3735 Country Club Circle in Fort Worth. Dubbed Golda Meir — One Night Only, the evening will  feature actress and Chautauqua scholar Joan Wolfberg Rosenblum as Golda. This is a one-night only opportunity.
In addition, Dr. Alice Viroslav, a member of the board of trustees of the Jewish Federations of North America and chair of the board of the Jewish Federation of San Antonio will speak.
To RSVP, contact the Federation at 817-569-0892 or

Hear from Holocaust survivor Edith Eger this Saturday

Holocaust survivor and inspirational speaker Dr. Edith Eva Eger will speak at 10 a.m. Shabbat Services Saturday, Feb. 15 at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville. She will share her story of overcoming adversity to create a fruitful life. This event is for the entire community, with students in sixth grade and above encouraged to attend.
A native of Hungary, Eger was just a young teenager in 1944 when she experienced one of the worst evils the human race has ever known. As a Jew living in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe, she and her family were sent to Auschwitz, the heinous death camp. Her parents lost their lives there.  Toward the end of the war, Eger and other prisoners were moved to Austria. On May 4, 1945 a young American soldier noticed her hand moving slightly amongst a number of dead bodies. He quickly summoned medical help and brought her back from the brink of death.
After the war, Eger moved to Czechoslovakia where she met the man she would marry. In 1949 they moved to the United States. In 1969, she received her degree in Psychology from the University of Texas, El Paso. She then pursued her doctoral internship at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center at Fort Bliss, Texas.
Eger is a prolific author and a member of several professional associations. She has a clinical practice in La Jolla, Calif. and holds a faculty appointment at the University of California, San Diego. She has appeared on numerous television programs including Oprah Winfrey and was the primary subject of a holocaust documentary that appeared on Dutch National Television. She is frequently invited to make speaking engagements throughout the United States, Mexico and abroad.

Last chance to see Chagall gems

Three paintings by Marc Chagall are part of a visiting exhibit at the Kimbell Museum. One of them, “The White Crucifixion,” shows Jesus on the cross with a tallis wrapped around his loins and scenes of the Holocaust all around him.  The painting is Pope Francis’s favorite work of art.  Also in the show is Chagall’s famous “The Praying Jew,” which shows a man wearing the tallis and tefillin that belonged to the artist’s grandfather. A third Chagall oil is titled “The Birth.” The Chagall paintings have not received any publicity, for the exhibit was overshadowed by the opening of the Kimbell museum’s new building. Moreover, the title of the visiting exhibit is “The Age of Picasso & Matisse: Modern Masters from the Art Institute of Chicago.” This is the last chance to see these riveting, historically significant works by Marc Chagall.

WRJ donor brunch set for March 2

Rosalind Franklin was called the “dark lady of DNA.” A brilliant biophysicist, she was the daughter of aristocratic British Jews. When her ancestors first moved to England in the 18th century, they anglicized their surname from Frankel to Franklin. The family traced its lineage to King David. Rosalind’s great-uncle served in the House of Lords. Her grandfather’s country estate, Chartridge, had a shochet on staff. At St. Paul’s Girls School, where daily church services were compulsory, she and the other Jewish students were sent into a separate room where they did their homework and joked that these were their “Jewish prayers.”
Learn about this Jewish version of “Downton Abbey” from acclaimed local actress Myra Schussler, who will re-enact the life of Rosalind Franklin at the March 2 WRJ Donor Brunch at Beth-El Congregation. For reservations to the Beth-Elton Abbey brunch, call the Temple at 817-332-7141. High Tea apparel, meaning hats and gloves, are optional.

News and notes

• Sixth-grader Samantha Simon, daughter of Cindy and Robert Simon, played Ms. Nelson in Fort Worth Academy’s production of “Ms. Nelson is Missing.” The play was presented before winter break.
• Ahavath Sholom is working with the Dallas JCC to have Fort Worth and Tarrant County kids participate in the 2014 JCC Maccabi games, which will be held in Cherry Hill N.J. and Boca Raton, Fla. in August. Tryouts are available for 14U boys basketball, 16U boys basketball, 16U girls basketball, 14U boys soccer, 16U boys soccer, girls soccer, lacrosse, baseball, volleyball, flag football, table tennis, tennis, star reporter, swimming, dance, tennis and swimming. To see a tryout schedule and download a parent packet visit, and click on the Maccabi Games link. Time is of the essence. Organizers need to know how many kids will be going by the end of February, so that they can secure grants to defray the cost. If you have any questions, please call Naomi Rosenfield at 817-246-3908.

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