Around the Town
By Amy Wolff Sorter

As I write this week’s column, I’m somewhat depressed — the well-liked and well-respected high school basketball coach at Joshua High School where young Sorter attends was “asked to resign” for no apparent reason. Despite the community’s good fight to keep him, the school board supported that decision.
Certainly there is more to life than high school basketball. I highly doubt that in other parts of the world, a departing coach from a small-town school would register on the top-ten worst actions of all times. But it does raise the question of why bad things happen for no reason.
You can probably see where this is going. Yom Hashoah — Holocaust Remembrance Day — takes place April 19. Certainly, there is a huge gap between a fired basketball coach and six million Jews who perished in some of the most horrible circumstances imaginable. But such situations, large and small, force us to take stock and take steps to ensure that these things don’t happen again.
Through Yom Hashoah we remember each year; and we vow that nothing that heinous should ever happen again. Not forgetting is becoming more and more important each year, especially as the pool of Survivors continues to dwindle. Remembering also becomes hugely important — it seems as though the further we draw away from that dark and terrible time, the more Holocaust naysayers come out of the woodwork. It’s our responsibility to shut these deniers down, and to remember those who suffered in our prayers.
There are Yom Hashoah events taking place throughout Tarrant County (which I’ll mention in more detail next week, space permitting). And, in the near term, as you and your families sit down at your Pesach seders, I highly encourage you to talk about the Exodus — and the Holocaust.

Seder Time

If you aren’t hosting your own seder or aren’t invited to one, plenty of Tarrant County Jewish organizations are hosting first- and second-night events. On Friday, April 6, Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville and the Chabads of Arlington and Fort Worth are hosting first-night events.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, April 7, Congregation Ahavath Sholom and Beth-El Congregation (Fort Worth) and Beth Shalom (Arlington) are doing the honors.
I love that these different synagogues are offering these seders — they’re a great place to gather together with old friends and to meet new community members.
If I wasn’t leaving town for my own family seder, you can bet I’d be at both first- and second-night events.
Whether your seder is home-prepared or in one of the warm and welcoming synagogues listed above, I hope your Pesach celebration is meaningful.

Forgotten Gateway Is Coming to an End

We’re winding down the last few weeks of “Forgotten Gateway: Coming to America Through Galveston Island,” which is taking place at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, is winding down. Monday, April 1 is the last day to see this informative exhibit that showcases how a lot of immigrant (Jews and non-Jews) came through Galveston to make their homes in the Lone Star State. Take some time out this weekend (or even on Monday) to view it. Also take a look at the article in this week’s TJP on p. 17 to learn a little more about this exhibit.

Another Final Reminder

The Beth-El Congregation boomers group will be attending Circle Theatre’s production of “The Whipping Man,” at 8 p.m., Saturday, March 31 at 230 W. Fourth St. in Fort Worth — just in time for Passover. The Pesach-themed play discusses the relationship between a Confederate Jewish soldier and the slaves he once owned; giving a whole new take on the “festival of freedom.”
Appropriately enough, these three celebrate Passover together at the soldier’s ruined plantation, during which some seemingly unpleasant truths are revealed about each of the characters.
A $5 discount is available to all members of the Jewish community, so call the Circle Theatre’s box office (817-877-3040) and mention the promo code “FLYER” to get both tickets and your discount.

The Next Daytimers’ Event …

… will take place Wednesday, April 18 and will feature a trip to Dallas, via the TRE, to view the Kennedy exhibit at the Sixth Floor Museum. The group will meet at the Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center at 1001 Jones St. at noon, and to keep costs down, lunch will be a do-it-yourself affair.
Barbara Rubin tells us there is a Subway sandwich shop at the ITC, if anyone wants to buy lunch to eat on the train. The train is scheduled to return by 4:45 p.m. so you’ll be home in time for dinner (rush hour permitting, of course).
Cost of the trip is $15 (and includes train fare, museum admission and bottled water). For information and reservations, have your credit card handy and call Barbara Rubin, 817-927-2736 or Hugh Lamensdorf, 817-738-1428. You can reserve for yourself, too, by logging onto

Press notes

Mazel tov to Beth El Congregation’s Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger on the publishing of his new book “Our Religious Brains.” The book is a groundbreaking, accessible look at the implications of cognitive science for religion and theology, intended for laypeople.

Dr. Bruce Weiner assists James Gilstrap with a tombstone rubbing at Hebrew Rest Cemetery Tombstone Rubbing on March 14. | Photo: Connie Bally

At last Sunday’s book signing all copies were sold out, but another 60 copies were purchased and are on order. Stay tuned for a review of the book in a future issue.
During spring break, Historic Fort Worth organized tours for kids and parents at 11 local pioneer cemeteries. They sold a booklet that had clues and activities for kids to look for at each cemetery. The tour included two African American cemeteries.
Also included were Ahavath Sholom’s cemetery, which dates to 1909, and Emanuel Hebrew Rest, which dates to 1879. Hebrew Rest was only open one day. There were docents and tombstone rubbings. Around 50 visitors came.
The gates are usually locked, so this was an opportunity for congregants and people who work in the neighborhood to wander in and learn about it.
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