Around the Town

Beth-El kids do Purim mitzvot

Beth-El Congregation Sunday school teacher Rivka Marco has taken her fourth-grade class to the Mollie and Max Barnett Apartments for the past six years during Purim, to perform gemilut chasadim and fulfill one of the four mitz­vot of Purim. Her students collected dried fruit, tea, cookies and candies for mishloach manot, assembled the baskets and then on Purim, the students and parents delivered the goodies to Jewish seniors at the assisted living center.
The students were surprised how the seniors reacted to the small gifts and the visit.
“I felt like I was doing a real mitzvah,” Kaylie James said.
“I was nervous when we started,” Julie Kalpin said, “but it was a lot of fun.”
All the residents were grateful for the Purim goodies. Some spoke very little English, but managed to communicate with the fourth-graders. One man had the Megillah in Russian, and shared a little reading. Other residents responded with gifts of cookies, candy and fruit — another mitzvah for Purim.
Seth Front to speak on Jewish culinary history at CAS brunch
Guest speaker Seth Front will present “A Culinary History of Jews in America, Based on the Astrological Signs of the Delicatessen” at the annual donor event of the Ladies Auxiliary of Congregation Ahavath Sholom. This fascinating lecture will take place Sunday, April 3, at 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Front founded the Jewish Zodiac and uses an interactive lecture to weave the social history of the Jewish delicatessen using the 12 most iconic deli foods as guideposts. These food symbols comprise Mr. Front’s Jewish Zodiac, which can be found online at
Find the answers to “How did Broadway entertainers help popularize deli, and how did deli culture help ease Jewish entry into mainstream American society?” “What factors brought the decline of the deli and how can our original comfort food adapt to a more health-conscious America in the 21st century?” And the most important information of all: “Who has the best pastrami sandwich in the country?”
Come join in this informative and entertaining luncheon. Donation to the CAS Ladies Auxiliary of $50 includes lunch and entertainment by Mr. Front as well as door prizes and camaraderie. The Ladies Auxiliary of CAS maintains the kosher kitchens, runs the gift shop and supports the religious school as well as the synagogue with funds and support. Please help with their endeavors by joining our organization and attending this major fundraiser of the year.
Please make reservations by March 31 to Joann English at CAS, 817-731-4721.

Haiti, health and Zionism

On March 31, Dr. Mitchell Schwaber, director of the National Center for Infection Control of the Israel Ministry of Health, will speak about his experiences in Haiti, and how his work is a reflection of his personal view of Zionism. A dessert reception will follow.
The event is sponsored locally by B’nai B’rith Isadore Garsek Lodge and Yad B’Yad/HaShomer, and nationally by the American Zionist Movement (AZM). AZM is the U.S. affiliate of the World Zionist Organization. It will be held at 7 p.m. at Congregation Ahavath Sholom, and there is no charge.

CAS invites community to rare  Torah scroll exhibit

On Sunday, April 3, at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Congregation Ahavath Sholom, 4050 S. Hulen St., Fort Worth, will have on display all of the books of the Jewish Bible in scroll form. This collection of scrolls, made available by The Christian Heritage Foundation, is one of only two such collections which are accessible to the public.
As part of the presentation, two scribes, Rabbi Avi Bloomenstiel, Sofer of the South, and Garry Zimmerman will show how the parchment and ink are prepared as part of a living tradition which is at least 3,000 years old.
For additional information and to schedule a visit, please call 817-731-4721.
Multicultural Alliance honors Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger
On Thursday evening, April 28, the Multicultural Alliance, formerly known as the National Conference of Christian and Jews, will honor Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger at the Multicultural Alliance Annual Awards Dinner. The event begins at 6:30 with a host reception, followed by dinner and program at 7 at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel in Fort Worth. To purchase tickets, contact the Multicultural Alliance at 817-332-3271.
Rabbi Mecklenburger joins a stellar group of past honorees of the Multicultural Alliance. The Multicultural Alliance President, Dr. Cheryl Kimberling, stated, “We are so delighted to honor Rabbi Mecklenburger on our 60th anniversary. No one bridges the past, present, and future of The Multicultural Alliance like Rabbi Mecklenburger.”
The Multicultural Alliance is celebrating 60 years of service to the Tarrant County community. The mission is to promote inclusion, diversity and understanding while working toward eliminating bias, bigotry and oppression. The Multicultural Alliance brings people together for educational opportunities and shared experiences. Examples of their programs include Camp CommUNITY, interfaith dialogues and workshops.
Rabbi Mecklenburger has been involved with the Multicultural Alliance for over 25 years. He has served in a multiplicity of roles including board membership both locally and nationally, resource scholar, interfaith dialogue facilitator and participant. In 1988 Rabbi Mecklenburger served on the national board of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. At a board meeting, he learned of the seminary interfaith program and brought the concept to the area. The four-day retreat, “Seminarians: Sharing Our Faith Traditions,” is designed to prepare future ministers, priests, imams and rabbis for their roles as religious leaders in an interfaith, pluralistic, harmonious society.
Born in Hartford, Conn., Rabbi Mecklenburger graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati and received advanced degrees from Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institution of Religion. He was ordained in 1972 and served congregations in San Francisco, Calif., and Ann Arbor, Mich., before his move to Fort Worth to serve the Beth-El Congregation as senior rabbi in 1984.
In addition to his congregational duties and his involvement with the Multicultural Alliance, Rabbi Mecklenburger has been involved with community affairs locally and nationally. Rabbi Mecklenburger is an adjunct faculty member at Brite Divinity School, TCU. He has been vice chairman of the United Way of Metropolitan Tarrant County, and has served on the Fort Worth Human Relations Commission. He has chaired the Jewish Family Service Agency and was vice president of the Dan Danciger Jewish Community Center. He serves on the boards of the Chisholm Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Day Resource Center, the Jewish Federation and Jewish Family Services agency. He chairs the Advisory Committee of the UTA School of Social Work and is a member of the downtown Rotary Club.‘

Daytimers’ to tour Acme Bricks on April 13

The next event for “Daytimers” is a tour of the Acme Brick Company art collection, Wednesday, April 13, at 11 a.m., followed by lunch. Most of the 27-piece collection was developed especially for the architecturally beautiful building. The collection includes bronzes, oils, iron and brick sculptures, photographs and mixed media.
Following the docent-guided tour, the group will have lunch on the beautiful patio overlooking the Trinity River trail (weather permitting) or inside in the Acme Brick café. Lunch will be catered by Pak-a-Pocket. Guests have a choice of Turkey Pastrami Pocket, Chicken Shwarma Pocket, or Baba Ghanoush (eggplant) Pocket, plus chips and cookies. Cost is $9 each including lunch, or $4 for only the tour.
To reach Acme Bricks from Beth-El, take Highway 183 to Bryant-Irvin Road. Turn right. Just before you reach Vickery (it’s on the south side of the river), turn right. The street on the left is River Park Drive; to the right is the unnamed Acme Brick Plaza. It is 1.2 miles from Beth-El. There is plenty of visitor parking.
For reservations, call Barbara Rubin, 817-927-2736, or Irv Robinson, 817-731-7447, or checks can be mailed to Daytimers, Beth-El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven Road, Fort Worth, TX 76109.
The Sylvia Wolens “Daytimers” is a program of Beth-El Congregation with financial support from the Jewish Federation.

CBI Sisterhood to hold annual spring fashion show

Congregation Beth Israel Sisterhood will hold its annual spring fashion show on Sunday, April 3, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Ooh La La, 408 South Main St. in Grapevine. Ladies, come to this fantastically fun and fashionable fundraising event! Delicious lunch will be catered by Tastefully Yours. Price is $20 per person. There will be a 10 percent discount on all purchases at Ooh La La and a 10 percent donation to CBI Sisterhood. Please send your check for $20 (made out to CBI Sisterhood) to: Lisa Wax, 1607 Sleepy Hollow Drive, Westlake, TX 76262. For more information, please e-mail

Shabbaton weekend at CBI, April 8–9

Congregation Beth Israel will have its first Shabbaton — a weekend filled with prayer, conversation and, of course, food and fun for all ages — April 8–9. This weekend is dedicated to CBI’s membership and will focus on how to build the congregation within the community. CBI is 160 families strong now, with much diversity. This is your opportunity to meet other families and participate in planning for CBI’s future.
You are encouraged to attend all of the activities, but the two days are designed so you can join in at your convenience.
The weekend will start with a Friday night family service at 6:30. Saturday morning service will be followed by a luncheon. During the day there will be special activities for children and topical discussion for the adults. Come open the conversation and share what you want CBI to be in the future and how everyone together can build a strong Jewish community. There will be a break at 3 p.m., then dinner will be at 6, followed by Havdallah, fun and games.
If you have questions or want to share ideas, please e-mail Julie Marks,

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