By Sharon Wisch-Ray
It was fun to see Greta Beckerman, Nancy Rakoover, Hanna Hochster and Harold Winston Feb. 20, when I spoke at the Legacy Willow Bend in Plano. In all about 20 folks showed up to hear me share the history of the TJP in Fort Worth and Dallas. Nancy Rakoover reminded me that she and my late mom, Rene, were roommates at Harris Hospital when she had Ronnie and my mom delivered Susan. Susan tells me that they had many shared birthdays over the years. Ronnie lives in Austin with his crew and Laura Rakoover-Peitzer is a teacher in Richardson. Laura’s sons Ben and Nathan are in college at UNT. The only Fort Worthian who missed the talk was Shirley Cohen who I understand was at a family wedding. I love talking about the TJP, if you’d like me to speak to your group, just give me a jingle at 817-927-2831.
Calling all Purim punims
Hooray, It’s Purim time! This time of year, I’m always thinking of learning to bake hamantaschen with my mom in the shul kitchen. Miriam Labovitz, of blessed memory, was leading the charge that day of putting together the dozens of hamantaschen for sale by the Ladies Auxiliary. The tradition continues, and if they are not sold out yet, the shul has hamantaschen for sale this year as well.
Each synagogue is having a celebration Saturday night, and there is a big community event Sunday sponsored by the Federation and hosted by Congregation Beth Israel from 12:30-3:30 p.m. at the synagogue, 6100 Pleasant Run Road in Colleyville. I’m told that the more volunteers the merrier and anyone in sixth grade or above is welcome to lend a hand. If you know specifically when you can help out, email firstname.lastname@example.org or just let them know when you arrive. Tickets are 25 cents for one, or five for $1. Lunch is $3 for a kosher hot dog, chips and drink.
Last installment of lecture series
There is still time to catch the last of the three-part series “Jewish Relations with the Roman State and the Origins of Christian Anti-Semitism.” UNT professor Christopher Fuhrmann will present this final installment at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 18 at Congregation Ahavath Sholom, 4050 South Hulen Street.
Fuhrmann was born in 1976 and grew up in the Kentucky college town of Murray. Following high school graduation, he entered the University of Kentucky, where he took classes in religious history and ancient languages. He entered the history graduate program of UNC-Chapel Hill in 1999 and also did a field in ancient Mediterranean religion. In 2005, he completed his doctorate and that same year became assistant professor of History at the University of North Texas. Now associate professor at UNT, he teaches classes on ancient history and religion, plus co-leads a study abroad program to Italy every other May. He is Roman Catholic, lives in Denton with his wife Tiffany, three children, a dog, a hedgehog and seven laying hens.
The event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County.
WRJ donor tons of fun
I’m told by numerous sources that the WRJ donor March 2 at Beth El was a big hit. Those who braved the frigid temperatures and donned their “Downton Abbey” attire were treated to a reenactment of the life of Rosalind Franklin, by ourtowner Myra Schussler.
Called the “dark lady of DNA,” Franklin was a brilliant biophysicist and 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.”