Around the Town
By Amy Wolf Sorter

There is nothing like a good cold snap to really put me in the mood for winter festivities and Chanukah. As I write this, the temperature is hovering around freezing and a couple of snow flurries are drifting past my window. Not enough to shovel, thank goodness, but enough for me to break out my cozy sweaters and slipper socks.
Speaking of Chanukah, we’re fortunate to live in an area that boasts a lot of great Chanukah activities that young and old can enjoy. I also highly encourage all of you to turn to this week’s “Foodie” column — Annabel always introduces some scrumptious stuff, and this time, in keeping with the holiday, she has some great-looking recipes for oil-fried foods. Chanukah is about the oil and the lights, so cook those latkes and attend one of the many events going on throughout Tarrant County!

A Musical Daytimers

Before you delve into Chanukah, think about attending the Daytimers event on Wednesday, Dec. 14, which will feature Beth-El’s favorite mezzo soprano, Genie Long.
Genie will treat attendees to various songs from several decades in a program entitled “A Sentimental Journey.” Beth-El’s Brad Volk will also be there as accompanist.
In addition to treating your ears, you can treat your tastebuds with lunch, courtesy of Pak-a-Pocket (pita sandwich choices are turkey pastrami, chicken schwarma or babaganoug — eggplant).
Interested? Call Barbara Rubin, 817-927-2736, or Irv Robinson, 817-731-7447, or mail checks to Beth-El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven Road, Fort Worth, TX 76109. You can also reserve online at

Bring your chanukiahs and rub elbows with city leaders

Kick off the eight days in grand style! Congregation Ahavath Sholom is inviting the community to bring their chanukiahs, two candles and their families to participate in the first night of Chanukah activities beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 20 at the shul.
Joining the folks at CAS will be Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Congresswoman Kay Granger, who will light the outdoor chanukiah, located at the shul’s main entrance, to kick off both this event and the eight-day celebration. The religious school students will lead participants in song.
Following the main chanukiah lighting, the event will move indoors, where the preschool children will sing as families light their own chanukiahs.
Also on tap: Dinner, dancing and Klezmer music.
This event is free and open to the community, but reservations are suggested — call the office at 817-731-4721 or e-mail Naomi Rosenfield is chairing Ahavath Sholom’s Chanukah Celebration.
Committee members include Linda Collins, Elsie Blum, Yossi Yaacobi, Shoshana Howard, Judd Vermillion, Marvin Beleck, Debby Rice, Rabbi Andrew Bloom and Rabbi Gary Perras.

Meanwhile, in Arlington …

Also kicking off the first night is Chabad of Arlington, which will have its own chanukiah lighting at 6 p.m. on Tues., Dec. 20, at Arlington City Hall. Admission is free and the event will offer hot latkes and donuts, live music and arts and crafts. Bring a can of food for the needy, and watch as a “Can-Orah” (a giant menorah) is created from all those donated cans! Those cans will, in turn, be sent to a local charity. The Chabad is looking for sponsors as well. Interested? Log onto

Another Chanukah observance

Congregation Beth-El offers a pre-Chanukah celebration on Friday, Dec. 15. Following a Shabbat service at 6 p.m., dinner will be served, complete with latkes made by the Brotherhood. Also on hand is a musical program with the Crowley Honor Choir. RSVPs are required for the dinner; contact Beth-El at 817-332-7141 or e-mail

Bowling for Dreidels

Well, not really. One typically bowls for pins, but those who don’t have plans on Dec. 25 are invited to the annual Chanukah Bowl from 4 to 6 p.m. at Citiview Bowling, 6601 Oakmont Blvd. in Fort Worth.
The event is hosted by Chabad of Fort Worth and Tarrant County.Dreidels will be included — so will latkes, a light dinner and chocolate gelt for the kids. Cost is $12 per person ($50 per family).
Want to come on out? Call the nice folks at Chabad of Fort Worth at 817-263-7701 or log onto

Send ‘em off to camp!

I’ve always liked winter breaks — mainly because it means I don’t have to be up at the crack of dawn to get our child out of bed so he can get to school. But one downside of winter break is that the kiddos can get real bored, real quickly.
I was always grateful the Chabad of Plano had its Camp Gan Israel winter camp — and this is why I highly recommend that those with younger kids sent them to Chabad of Fort Worth and Tarrant County’s Gan Israel Winter Camp.
This camp will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Dec. 26 to 30, and it’s a great opportunity to get your kiddo (or kiddos) out of the house for some real fun.
This camp is for those ages 5 to 12, and the campers will enjoy everything from field trips, to crafts, to just hanging out (our son liked the “hanging out” part best).
Cost is $150 for the full week or $34 per day.
Questions? Log onto the Chabad’s website at

Get your theater on

Jerry Russell with Stage West Theater in Fort Worth tells us that the organization is producing David Ives’ play “New Jerusalem: The interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation, Amsterdam, July 27, 1656.”
This is a historical play, for the most part — in 1656, Amsterdam gave special asylum to the Jewish community on the condition that Jews didn’t speak of religion to any resident.
Anyone familiar with Spinoza also understands he didn’t suffer this restriction silently — and this play focuses on the efforts of Talmud Torah Congregation to rein Spinoza in before the entire Jewish community (all of which suffered from the Inquisition in Portugal) gets into trouble.
Run dates are Jan. 5 through Jan. 29. Times are 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays, 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and matinee performance at 3 p.m. on Sundays.
For more information, call the box office at 817-784-9378 or log onto
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