Around the Town
By Amy Wolff Sorter

Congratulations to Congregation Ahavath Sholom! The search has ended and the synagogue has a new cantor. Shoshana Abrams has agreed to take on the duties of musical director and education director of CAS’ religious school. Her official start date is July 10.
According to information sent to us from Martis Herman (who chaired the synagogue’s search committee), the search consisted of a lot of meetings, resume reviews and Skype interviews (what did we ever do before Skype?). The winnowing-down process led to two candidates coming to Fort Worth for in-depth interviews and visits with the congregation.
Cantor Abrams has spent time at congregations in Ohio and New Jersey as a student cantor and obtained teaching experience in New York. She’s also lived in California (in fact, she received her bachelor’s degree in music from the University of California, Santa Barbara). Additional education includes  a masters’ degrees in sacred music and Jewish education from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
Welcome, Cantor Abrams!

The legal side of things

Marla Chicotsky, daughter of Fort Worth residents Donna and Robert Chicotsky and a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was a guest on the Nancy Grace Show (CNN) on April 16. The topic involved a difficult one: Two infant deaths, in the Clark family of Texas, have been allegedly linked to co-sleeping habits. Marla gave the criminal law perspective as to how and whether the parents should, or would, be charged in one or both deaths. From what Robert tells us, Marla is a veteran criminal law expert who has appeared on Fox News and Fox Business News in the past.

An interesting book signing

Join former Fort Worth resident Jack L. Schwartzwald on Thursday, May 10 at Beth-El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven Road. Jack will be signing copies of his book “Nine Lives of Israel,” which discusses the history of the land through its various leaders — from Herzl to Sharon (the whole gamut of modern Zionism). Jack will also give a short talk about the topic and will take questions.

Author Jack L. Schwartzwald will be at Beth-El Congregation on May 10 to sign his book “Nine Lives of Israel.”

These days, Jack is a clinical assistant professor of medicine at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island (Jack lives with his wife, Cheryl and two cats, Cody and Crosby in Kingston, R.I.). Thanks to Frances Schwartzwald for sending this information — this book looks like a wonderful read and very educational.

Batya and Jakub Brand are leaving

If you want to say goodbye to the Brands and wish them well, their friends are sponsoring a Kiddush lunch for them following services on Saturday, May 12 at Congregation Ahavath Sholom.
If you’re able to attend, please contact Beverly Ross at 817-346-3416 or by May 2. Also, the Brand’s friends are putting together a book/album for them; anyone who wants to say something special in a note to the Brands, or wants to submit a picture, can send this information to Beverly no later than May 1.

Live from the 92nd Street Y

There’s still time to catch Madeleine K. Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State through a life satellite broadcast at 7 p.m., Thursday May 3 at Beth-El Congregation. Donations are $3.

Jewish Community Blood Drive

The annual Fort Worth Jewish Community Blood Drive will take place Sunday, May 6, between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. — also at Beth-El. This drive is taking place in conjunction with Carter BloodCare, and while walk-ins are welcome, it’s better to make a reservation. You can do so by calling Dan Halpern at 817-426-3239.

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