Around the Town
By Amy Wolff Sorter

Last Friday, I traveled to Congregation Ahavoth Shalom to visit with Rabbi Andrew Bloom, who became the synagogue’s spiritual leader Aug. 1, 2011. This was a long-overdue visit, but definitely worth the wait.
As Fort Worth’s conservative synagogue prepares to celebrate its 130th year of existence, it has a spiritual leader with a very interesting background. It was a real pleasure talking to Rabbi Bloom and I’ll look forward to more interaction with him, executive director Michael Linn and new Cantor Shoshana Abrams in the coming months.
While visiting CAS, I stumbled onto a cool event — the preschoolers were celebrating Field Day in conjunction with Lag B’Omer. I chatted briefly with preschool director Patricia White, who told me that the event included an egg race and tug o’ war, and was geared to help the pint-size kiddos with an interactive Lag B’Omer experience. I was able to get only a couple of impromptu photos, but from what I could tell, children and adults enjoyed (as did Rabbi Bloom).

The mikvah is ready

My husband and I have been enjoying the Jewish Learning Institute’s “Art of Marriage” course at Chabad of Fort Worth and Tarrant County.
Last week, Rabbi Dov Mandel proudly showed off the shul’s completed mikvah, which is now open for business. Last fall, we spoke with Rabbi Mandel about the mikvah — at the time, it was leaking because of sealant issues, which have been repaired. The Chabad mikvah is a lovely and serene spot and open to the community.
For more information or to make an appointment call the Chabad at 817-263-7701.

The Jerusalem International Press Club

Carole Rogers, the wonderfully energetic leader at Fort Worth’s Jewish Family Services, sent some very intriguing news. Her brother-in-law, James Gurland, secured a grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to set up the Jerusalem International Press Club, the first of its kind in Israel.
The purpose of the press club is to help international reporters attain a better understanding about Israel — and to hopefully build more honest perceptions. The organization is located in the Mishkenot Sha’ananim (a neighborhood outside the Old City walls). According to a news release about the grant, the club is being “retrofitted and renovated,” a process that should be completed in about a year.
Bravo, Mr. Gurland, on your efforts. Israel has taken such a beating in recent months in both the U.S. and international press, this new endeavor will hopefully provide some much-needed perspective and resources to journalists the world over.

Congratulations to Dr. Korenman …

Etta Korenman writes to tell us that Michael D. Korenman, M.D., was honored recently at Baylor All Saints Health Foundation’s Heritage Awards Dinner.

Dr. Michael Korenman, left, accepts the Dr. Truman C. Terrell Award from Mike McMahon, Baylor All Saints Health Foundation president, and Arnold Gachman. | Courtesy photo

Korenman received the Dr. Truman C. Terrell Award for exemplary dedication and commitment to his patients and the practice of medicine. Funds raised from the dinner — which took place March 22 — support the Joan Katz Breast Cancer Endowment at All Saints. “It was a pleasure to have so many family members and friends present,” Etta added.

… and mazel tov to Noah Eckles

Noah Chase Eckles was called to Torah as a Bar Mitvah on May 5 at CAS. Noah is the son of Daina and Daniel Eckles, brother of Aaron Eckles and grandson of Claire and Harry Eckles.
According to the CAS bulletin, Noah’s bar mitzvah project involves helping out at the Rickords Animal Hospital. Congratulations, Noah, and may this be the start of lifelong learning and love of Judaism for you.

Final reminders …

We’re coming on the “last call” to apply for the Isadore Garsek B’nai B’rith Lodge’s college scholarships. If you’re a member in good standing of a synagogue or the local B’nai B’rith lodge (and your child or grandchild is a high school senior getting ready to head off to college), get your application in by May 24.
Contact Barry Schneider at or get in touch with your synagogue’s youth advisor or rabbi for information.
Mark your calendar for Sunday, June 3 — this is when Isadore Garsek Lodge honors its Person of the Year.
If you know of someone from the community who is deserving of this award through community works and other reasons, submit your nomination (and the reasons why that nomination is deserving) to B’nai B’rith Lodge, P.O. Box 101234, Fort Worth, TX 76185. The dinner is $25 per ticket.
If you’re interested in attending the dinner, or have questions, contact Alex Nason at 817-346-3991 or, or call Harry Kahn at 817-926-6566.

A final, FINAL reminder

This is the time of year during which graduations, marriages, awards, proms and so on are taking place. Yet my email box remains empty — and this column is still too sparse for my liking.
Please don’t be shy about your news — most parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles I know LOVE to boast about their kids (heaven knows I do). If you’re one of those who likes to boast, this is the place to do it. “Around the Town” means just that — news from around the town. Please send that news to me at

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