Around the Town

Lots of Chanukah happenings in Tarrant County

Tarrant County celebrated the fourth night of Chanukah at Beth-El Congregation with a menorah lighting, latke dinner and concert featuring Rabbi Neal Katz. All four area congregations — Beth Israel in Colleyville, Beth Shalom in Arlington, and Ahavath Sholom in Fort Worth — along with the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County supported the event, which started with lighting the outdoor at Ahavath Sholom. Dinner was prepared by Beth-El’s Men of Reform Judaism. Beth-El’s children’s choir SHIR Energy, under the direction of Monica Braverman and Angie Kitzman, joined Rabbi Katz on the pulpir. Katz is a renowned Jewish musician and songwriter, in addition to being Rabbi at Tyler’s Congregation Beth-El. The night finished with sufganyot.

Musical program for ‘Daytimers,’ Dec. 15

Next event for the “Daytimers” will be a musical film, “Dudu Fisher in Concert from Israel,” Wednesday, Dec. 15, at noon, at Beth-El Synagogue. This concert, live from Jerusalem, presents a full hour of 20 such favorites as “I Dreamed a Dream,” “Jerusalem of Gold,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Halleluyah” and “Exodus.” In addition to Hebrew and English, Fisher does two songs in Ladino and in Yiddish, plus several from “Les Miz.” He played the role of Jean Valjean in Israel, in London and on Broadway.
Lunch is catered by Boopa’s Bagel Deli, and guests have a choice of turkey and hummus on a honey wheat bagel, tuna salad on a sesame bagel, or cream cheese and lox on a pumpernickel bagel. Cost is $9 per person, or guests may attend for the program only for $4 per person. In addition, in honor of Chanukah, donut bites will be served.
After three years of service in the Israel Defense Forces, Fisher studied at the Tel Aviv Academy of Music and also privately with some of the great cantors of the previous generation. He was only 22 when he was invited to become the cantor of the Great Synagogue of Tel Aviv. Along with his synagogue duties, Fisher also traveled throughout the world, bringing traditional Chassidic, Yiddish and cantorial music to new audiences. During a trip to London in 1986, he happened to see a performance of the musical “Les Miserables.” It was an event that changed his life. When word was released of the show’s forthcoming production in Hebrew, Fisher knew that he had to audition for it. The fact that he had absolutely no experience working in the theater did not deter him for a moment. In true Broadway musical fashion, the British director of the Israeli version, Stephen Pimlot, chose the inexperienced Fisher for the lead role of Jean Valjean. The rest is history. “Les Miz” became the longest-running show in Israel, and Fisher became a superstar. His stardom is not limited to Israel. In 1988 he was invited to London to take part in a royal command performance hosted by the queen of England. The performance was a special version 0f “Les Miz,” featuring artists from the many “Les Miz” productions playing around the world. From there, the play’s producer, Cameron Mackintosh, invited Fisher to play the role of Jean Valjean on Broadway and in London’s West End.
For reservations, call Barbara Rubin, 817-927-2736, or Irv Robinson, 817-731-7447, or checks can be mailed to Daytimers, Beth-El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven Road, Fort Worth, TX 76109.
The Sylvia Wolens “Daytimers” is a program of Beth-El Congregation with financial support from the Jewish Federation.

News and notes: In step with the Appels

It was a busy fall for Ellen and Bernie Appel. In October, they traveled for a two-week stay to China, where they cruised on the Yangtze River past the Three Gorges, then visited Xian to see the Terra Cottas, and Beijing to walk on the Great Wall. Then they went to New Rochelle along with Sheril and Jerry Appel and their children, Max and Sophie, for their grandson Joshua Max Kleinberg’s bar mitzvah. Joshua is the son of Arlene and Michael Kleinberg. His twin sister, Arielle Faye, celebrated her bat mitzvah a year ago. Both are students at Westchester Day School in New York and will be attending Hebrew High School next year. A highlight of Joshua’s bar mitzvah preparations was traveling to Israel with his dad to purchase his tallit and tefillin. Also celebrating was the Kleinbergs’ oldest daughter, Alyssa Hedy, who graduated from Ramaz High School in Manhattan and spent a year abroad in Israel. Alyssa is now in her second year at Boston University. The whole Kleinberg family are avid sports fans, rooting for the New York Mets, Boston Red Sox and the Dallas Cowboys.

New book from Dr. Julian Haber

Our good friend and Martin Hochster Post JWV Post Commander Dr. Julian Haber recently sent us a copy of his most recent book, “They were Soldiers in Peace and War, Volume II.” Haber interviewed North Texas veterans, both men and women, from World War II through Iraq. Among the 50-plus veterans interviewed for the book were Hal Radetsky, Monte Shaw, Leslie Kaitcer, David Eisenman, David Luskey, Stanley Kurtz, Earl Givant, Joseph Coggan, Rabbi Sidney Zimelman, Rabbi Murray Berger, Mary Soltz, Beverly Ross, Susan Margolis, Michael Ross, Scott Baum, Peter Levy and Jon Haber. Stay tuned for a full review of “They Were Soldiers” in a future issue of the TJP. The book is given free of charge to bar and bat mitzvah kids from several local congregations. It is partially funded from a grant provided by the Tarrant County Jewish Federation.
For further information, contact Julian Haber, commander, JWV 755,, 7001 Candlestick Court, Fort Worth, TX 76133, phone 817-346-1902.

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