Around the Town

Welcome Amy Sorter

I’m sure you can all imagine the huge shoes I have had to fill with the death of my beloved mother, Rene, last November. I have been trying the best I can to cover the news “Around the Town,” but frankly I think we can do a better job, and sentimentality aside, mom would want me to. I have been in search of the right person with whom to entrust this column; and I’ve found her – Amy Sorter.
In my years at the TJP, I’ve had the privilege of interacting with families that have ably used their skills to benefit the Jewish community. One of those families is the Sorter family, and the Wisches have been fortunate to have a wonderful and ongoing professional relationship with these talented journalists and editors.
My mother had frequent contact with Amy while she was communications director at Temple Emanu-El and had dealings with Dave during his stints as editor for papers such as the Plano Star Courier. We also were privileged to have Dave work with us for a while at TJP.
So when Amy contacted me recently to catch up and said she’d be glad to cover activities in Tarrant County and outlying areas, I was pleased to bring her on board to help with “Around the Town” beginning next week.
Amy’s impressive resume includes close to 30 years as a journalist, with bylines appearing in Dallas Business Journal, Dallas Morning News and D Magazine. She is also an award-winning author, with Jewish-themed novels “Servant of the Gods” and “Soul Obsession” generating critical acclaim.
About a year ago, Amy, Dave and their son Michael gave up their suburban life in North Dallas to relocate to Joshua, a small town south of Fort Worth, sandwiched between Burleson and Cleburne. Life is different in Joshua, Amy told me. Though she likes the slower pace and the friendliness of the people, the nearest synagogue is 45 minutes away, quite a change from the 10-minute drive she used to make to Chabad of Plano. Still, with her family settled, Amy said she, Dave and Michael are eager to reconnect with the Jewish community.
You can help the Sorters reconnect and get your own news into print by e-mailing stories and ideas to Amy at Of course, you can always send story ideas, and items for Around the Town to or by fax or regular mail. I’ll make sure they make their way to Amy. Please join me in extending a hearty “Baruch Haba” to Amy, Dave and Michael to the TJP and Tarrant County family.

Rabbi Andrew Bloom to join Ahavath Sholom clergy

Ahavath Sholom will welcome Rabbi Andrew Bloom to Fort Worth. Rabbi Bloom’s duties begin Aug. 1. Interim rabbi, Gary Perras, will stay on as associate rabbi of the congregation. Rabbi Bloom comes to Fort Worth from Rumson, N.J., where he was the rabbi of Congregation B’nai Israel of the Greater Red Bank Area.
Born in New Jersey and raised in Maryland, Rabbi Bloom was 19 when he made aliyah to Israel where he immediately enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces. He served as a combat medic in an artillery unit in Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza as well as serving as his unit’s medical chemicals expert during the Gulf War. He was honorably discharged in 1991, after two and a half years, having achieved the rank of sergeant.
After the army, Rabbi Bloom began studying Education and History at the State Teachers College- Seminar Hakibutzim. It was there that he met his wife, Michal, also an education and history student. They were married in 1993. After graduating cum laude in 1995 with a B.Ed. and a teacher’s certificate, Rabbi Bloom entered rabbinical school at The Schechter Institute for Judaic Studies in Jerusalem, the Israel branch of the Jewish Theological Seminary. As a student rabbi and after completing his studies, Rabbi Bloom served in various synagogues both in the United States and abroad, including Congregation Kiryat Hayovel in Jerusalem, Saint Albans Masorti Synagogue in England and Temple Emanuel in Woodcliff Lake, N.J.
Over the years, Rabbi Bloom has been involved in creating family-friendly services which led him to author a prayer book geared toward children ages 5 and younger. His interest in pastoral counseling led him to become a certified Pastoral Counselor after completing the course work in the Doctor of Ministry program at Hebrew Union College and the Post Graduate Center of Mental Health in New York City. Rabbi Bloom is currently working on his doctoral thesis titled, “The image of God that 12-year-olds hold and how an integrative God image assists teenagers overcome the obstacles of peer pressure.”
Among his achievements in the greater community, Rabbi Bloom is particularly proud to having served as the first Jewish Police Chaplain for the Rumson police force. He hopes to continue that service when he arrives in Fort Worth. With all of these achievements, Rabbi Bloom says that his greatest success in life was marrying his wife, Michal, and the birth of their three children, Daniel, Lia and Maya. Stay tuned for more on Rabbi Bloom in an Amy Sorter feature article in the near future.
For more information about Congregation Ahavath Sholom, visit, e-mail or call the synagogue office at 817-731-4721.

David Beckerman remembered by state legislators

State of Texas House of Representative Marc Veasey, a board member of the Multicultural Alliance, wanted to honor David Beckerman’s life with a Resolution from the State of Texas House of Representatives. The Resolution is a formal expression of opinion that is offered for approval to one or both houses of the legislature by a member of the House or Senate. Congratulatory resolutions typically honor individuals, institutions or organizations for accomplishments or commemorate or acknowledge events. Memorial resolutions pay tribute to the life of a deceased individual.
The document acknowledges the life of David Beckerman, his devotion to his family and his promotion of cultural understanding and tolerance as a member of the board of directors of the Multicultural Alliance. The Resolution states that he gave generously of his time and resources to many causes, including MCA. House Resolution No.864 was unanimously adopted by a rising vote of the House, and when the House adjourned on March 31, 2011, it did so in memory of David Beckerman.

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