As this issue arrives in your mailbox, the Kol Nidre service, the gateway to Yom Kippur, is less than 48 hours away. Two years ago at this time, our son was a bar mitzvah — and yes, he decided to lead services, and read Torah, on Shabbat Shuva.
As such, I find it impossible to go through the Days of Awe and into the Day of Atonement without recalling the wonder and emotion of hearing our son’s chanting Parshat Ha’azinu, and feeling the closeness of friends and family around us, followed almost immediately by worship requiring an accounting of our sins and prayers for forgiveness and repentance.
The good news here is that, if we are sincere in our prayers and actions, we are forgiven by God. This is something I take into every Yom Kippur with me: The idea that sincerity is at the root of repentance.
As we head into our holiest day of the year, I wish each and every one of you an easy fast, and a day of cleansing, prayer and reflection to truly start this year off right.
Opportunities to perform mitzvot …
One way to improve oneself is to give of oneself to others through acts of charity and/or volunteerism. Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County is offering a plethora of such volunteer opportunities throughout 2011 and into 2012.
If you’re interested in any of the following activities, contact Angie Kitzman (with your volunteer activity of choice) at the Federation: 817-569-0892 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oct. 30: Community Thank You Program — Amy & Andra concert/Congregation Ahavath Sholom. Volunteers are needed to help backstage and to organize a small reception.
Nov. 20: PJ Library Family Activity. This is a new program that, according to the Federation, is “geared toward our littlest citizens and their families.” Have ideas? Join the committee!
Jan. 20, 2012: Kornbleet Scholar in Residence. Be a part of bringing an informative and engaging speaker to town.
Feb. 5, 2012: Community Tu B’Shevat Program at Beth-El Congregation.
March 2012: Women’s event —ideas are welcome.
March 4, 2012: Community Purim Carnival, Congregation Beth Israel.
April 15, 2012: Yom Ha’Shoah, Congregation Beth Shalom. Help be a part of this moving program.
April 25, 2012: Yom HaZikaron, to honor Israel servicemen and servicewomen. Beth-El Congregation.
April 29, 2012: Yom HaAtzmaut at Congregation Ahavath Sholom — Israeli Independence Day!
News from the Jewish Veterans …
Last June Jewish War Veterans Martin Hochster Post 755 installed new officers at a brunch at Congregation Beth-El. The new officers were: Rich Morris, commander; Ron Sivernell Sr., vice commander; Peter Levy Jr., vice commander; Jose Siegel, judge advocate; Arthur Pawgan, quartermaster; Constance Siegel, adjunct; Michael Bumagin, historian and Rabbi Marc Ben-Meir and Rabbi Sidney Zimelman, chaplains.
An award for service to veterans was presented to Judge Brent Carr (U.S. Marines Ret.), Chairman of VetCo and founder of the Veterans Court. Beth-El Brotherhood prepared a wonderful brunch.
The group has also donated DVRs (for patient and staff training) and a refrigerator to the Fort Worth VA Clinic. Twenty-five clock radios, an outside metal table and chairs, an American flag and toiletries were donated to Liberty House, a residential rehabilitation facility for homeless veterans. Scholarships to ROTC students were also provided.
Donations for toiletries and snacks were presented to the USO at the Fort Worth Airport for our soldiers returning to combat in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
On Sept. 11, 2011, several of the Post’s members attended and participated in a interfaith ceremony in Colleyville commemorating the events of the 2001 attack on our country. Among those attending the ceremony cosponsored by Congregation Beth Israel and Rabbi Charley Citron-Walker were George Sepp, Barry Schneider, Rich Morris and Ron Sivernell.
The JWV offers military memorial services given at the funerals of all Jewish veterans when requested, and a folded flag provided to their loved ones.
Furthermore, JWV’s book “They Were Soldiers in Peace and War,” volumes 1 and 2 are given free of charge to bar and bat mitzvah honorees throughout Tarrant and Denton Counties. Both volumes contain more than 100 interviews and the early history of Jews in the military in North America. The second volume, incidentally, was partially funded by a grant from the endowment committee of the Jewish Federation of Tarrant County.
Many thanks go to our veterans, both past and current, for all they do to help preserve our freedoms.
Directory Notification …
The Isadore Garsek Lodge of B’nai B’rith is in its last stages of editing on the local B’nai B’rith Community Directory of Tarrant County. Any changes or additions (or deletions, for that matter), need to be in to Alex Nason by Nov. 23. Contact him at 817-346-3991 or email@example.com.
And a Note to ‘Outliers … ’
There will be a meet-and-greet for Johnson County Jews (and others in the general area south of Fort Worth) on Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. Site is still to be determined, but likely at our house in Joshua, Texas.
I’ve heard from a couple of folks out there, but if you’re interested in coming — or can’t come but are still interested in anything that might come out of this meeting — let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hadassah Happenings …
The Fort Worth Chapter of Hadassah will host its “Champagne & Chagall at SiNaCa: A Hadassah Happening!” which will start at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 29 at SiNaCa Studios at 1013 W. Magnolia Ave. in Fort Worth. The cost is $10 per person, $18 per couple.
Contact Debby Rice at 817-346-2944 or email@example.com for more information — I’m told invitations will shortly be on their way.
Yasher Koach to JFS …
Jewish Family Services of Fort Worth and Tarrant County has been awarded $2,400 for computer equipment for its Senior Program, which provides emergency groceries and snacks.
The grant was one of 10 announced by Tarrant Area Food Bank at its Partner Agency Conference last week.
Ten hunger-relief charities in six counties served by Tarrant Area Food Bank were presented Capacity-building Grants totaling $25,000 for equipment, information technology and services.
The Tarrant Area Food Bank Capacity-building Grants provide targeted support for organizational development to increase agencies’ abilities to create, deliver, expand, evaluate and modify effective services, according to Lori Pope, agency relations manager.
According to Kay Dillard, director of programs at Tarrant Area Food Bank, 42 partner agencies seeking to expand their capacities to serve clients submitted requests that totaled $40,000. The Food Bank had $25,000 it could distribute.
Reminder from the Daytimers …
Daytimer’s October event will feature author Richard F. Selcer, who will speak about “Hells Half Acre,” the red-light district where the Convention Center is now positioned.
Mr. Selcer will be introduced by another well-known Fort Worth historian, Hollace Weiner.
The event will take place at noon, Wednesday Oct. 12 at Beth-El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven Rd. in Fort Worth. Lunch will be catered by Ming Wok, and choices are beef lo mein, chicken with vegetables or tofu with vegetables; egg roll is included. Cost is $9 including lunch or $4 for program only.
For reservations, call Barbara Rubin, 817-927-2736, or mail checks to Beth-El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven Rd., Fort Worth, TX 76109, or make your reservation at www.bethelfw.org/donations.
Chess for a good cause …
Under the category of “good causes,” Isaac Narrett is hosting a chess tournament on Sun., Oct. 15 at Beth-El Congregation to benefit the Jewish National Fund Trees for Israel.
This “non-rated” tournament is Isaac’s bar mitzvah project, and beginners to advanced players of all ages are welcome (sponsors are certainly welcome as well).
Questions? Contact Marcy Paul, 817-921-9204 or Isaac at Isaac.firstname.lastname@example.org.