Many thanks to Laurie James, who penned this week’s column while I was in Israel.
Looking to make an Impact this summer?
For 19 summers, Camp Impact (housed at Congregation Beth Shalom in Arlington) has provided underprivileged children in Arlington and surrounding areas with a meaningful, fun summer camp experience. Camp Impact’s counselors are youth from the NFTY and BBYO programs from Arlington, Fort Worth and Houston. Last weekend, CBS held a Shabbaton, where youth interested in being prospective counselors got together for fun, worship and a little planning.
Many of the campers participating in the program are homeless, and would not have the opportunity for campership. Our youth are the camp’s counselors, and their families and donors provide all the transportation, activities and meals for a week’s worth of camp.
Lance Friedensohn, the camp director, says that Camp Impact is really interested in attracting more counselors from the Dallas area. Although the campers are bussed in daily, the counselors stay at the camp site in Duncanville. Camp Impact will run the second week of June, just before Jewish camping season starts! For more information, or to donate, contact Lance at or 214-676-3636 or Friedensohn@gmail.com.
Beth-El Social Action Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
In partnership with Tarrant Churches Together, Beth-El Congregation’s Social Action committee held the first-ever Sackapalooza for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Tarrant Churches Together has held an annual countywide event for the last five years. Last Monday, over 150 community and congregational volunteers gathered in Beth-El’s Great Hall to assemble sack lunches for the day workers who staff the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. Jews, Presbyterians, Mormons, Baptists and Methodists worked together for about two hours. For many of our visitors, it was clearly the first time they had been in a synagogue. Dr. Michael Ross led a tour of the sanctuary and the chapel after the work was done. The oldest volunteers were in their 80s. The youngest was 3. Anyone can make a difference!
WRJ Donor Brunch features a food lover’s paradise
The annual Women of Reform Judaism Donor Brunch at Beth-El Congregation was a great success, thanks to Anna Caplan and her team! This year’s theme: Eat, Drink and Be Generous. Attendees were treated to lunch catered by Louise Lamensdorf (formerly of Bistro Louise). Anna rounded up several local restaurateurs, who provided tasting stations. WRJ’s brunch helps raise $10,000 for camperships and other local causes.
News from the Federation
The Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County has a lot going on, according to Executive Director Bob Goldberg.
First, the Federation’s Tu B’Shevat event Feb. 3 celebrates the Jewish New Year of the Trees. This community program, held at Congregation Beth Shalom in Arlington, will feature a spiritual seder led by Stephanie Zavala and Israeli dancing led by Ben “Astaire” Weiger. This community event is supported by the DDJCC/FWHDS Supporting Foundation.
Second, summer camp scholarships are available! Jewish summer camp is a special experience for our youth, and the Federation allocates funds from the Annual Campaign to each of the Fort Worth congregations for summer camp scholarships. If you are interested in taking advantage of this Jewish experience scholarship for your children this summer, contact your congregation for more information.
Third, Federation Foundation has made available 10 scholarships worth $750 each for Tarrant County Jewish athletes who qualify for the Dallas Maccabi Games set to take place in August. For tryout dates and time and other information please go to www.dallasmaccabi.org.
Finally, the Federation’s 2015 Annual Campaign kicks off next Sunday. Watch your mailboxes and inboxes for more information to come in the weeks ahead from Vice President, Campaign Chair Lon T. Werner. This year’s goal is to raise $950,000, to support these and other good works!