Around the Town

Thank you to my buddy Rafael McDonnell, who graduated Trinity Valley School with me and has had a distinguished journalism career for attending the B’nai B’rith Person of the Year dinner two weeks ago and filing the following report. Incidentally, Rafael is eager to cover more Fort Worth events and profiles, send your story ideas to me at

Last year’s Person of the Year winner Shuggie Cohen at left, and the 2011 honoree, Dr. Barry Schneider.

Barry Schneider admits his resume can be daunting, but he can now add B’nai B’rith‘s 2010 Fort Worth Jewish Person of the Year to that list. The 50th annual award, given by the Isadore Garsek Lodge #269, was presented at a dinner on June 26 at Mira Vista County Club.
Schneider’s background includes 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, 17 years with the Fort Worth ISD, immediate past president of the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, past commander of the Fort Worth post of the Jewish War Veterans of the U.S. and past board president of Congregation Beth Shalom in Arlington.
Last year’s Fort Worth Jewish Person of the Year, Alfred “Shuggie” Cohen, said Schneider has worked with “virtually every Jewish organization in Tarrant County and stepped up to take positions of leadership in those organizations.”
“I don’t think about my resume — I just do it,” Schneider said. “Maybe it’s because of my military background, where you are expected to do things within the community. We’ve been here for 30 years, which is longer than I have lived any place in my entire life. It’s what being Jewish is about: participation, helping in the community and doing what’s necessary. “
Schneider was actually a member of the selection committee for the award, so he was surprised to be picked. “If you look at the group of honorees over the past 16 years, I’m awestruck to join them. I never would have expected it,” he said.
After retiring from the Air Force, Schneider joined Fort Worth ISD, first in human resources, and later moved to the district’s research department before retiring in 2004. He admits that he’s busier than ever in retirement.
“Retirement is the best job I’ve ever had. I should have done it years ago,” he said. ”It’s about the control of time; I do the things I want to do and that are important to the local community, the Jewish community and the greater community. It’s fun, it’s not work.”
Schneider is also a member of the National Jewish Committee on Scouting. He said, “I was an Eagle Scout, and remained active in scouting while in the military.” Schneider’s son is an Eagle Scout as well.
Schneider was born in St. Louis. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from California State University, Northridge and a master’s in management, guidance and counseling from the University of Southern California. Schneider and his wife, Delores, have been married since 1967 and have two children.
Alex Nason, first vice president of the Isadore Garsek Lodge, said Schneider was an ideal choice for the award. “He’s my kind of guy, a nice person. My wife and I are fortunate enough to have Delores and Barry as our personal friends. You can count on him whenever you need to,” he said.
“There are plenty of people in our community doing a great job for the Jewish community in Tarrant County, but Barry has done much more than an average person,” Nason added.
B’nai B’rith also awarded two scholarships as part of the program to Ben Cristol, son of Dr. Louis and Rebecca Cristol and Carly Karten, daughter of Steven and Mona Karten. Cristol graduated from Paschal High School and will attend Washington University in St. Louis; Karten graduated from Western Hills High School and will attend the University of Texas at Austin. The Texas Gypsies provided musical entertainment for the evening.

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