Around the Town
By Amy Wolff Sorter

Most Jews are familiar with Tisha b’Av, better known as Av 9, during which unfortunate catastrophes befell the Jewish people (not the least of which was the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem; the final one taking place in 69 CE).
But one thing that’s interesting in observance of Av 9 is that there is a three-week period of mourning beginning on Tammuz 17, leading up to what dubs as “the destruction of the Holy Temple and our launch into a still-ongoing exile.” The ninth of Av, in fact, is the conclusion of this 21-day period of mourning.
On the secular calendar, this period begins at dawn Sunday, July 8 (technically Tammuz 18, because Tammuz 17 occurs on Shabbat this year). The more observant will spend this time fasting, mourning and putting more emphasis on Torah study and prayer. Also, in reviewing some of the requirements set forth by, it’s forbidden to try anything new — it’s not appropriate even to recite the Shecheyanu.
Lest anyone out there think that this period of mourning is solely doom and gloom, it’s not. “A sense of purification accompanies the fasting, a promise of redemption pervades the mourning and a current of joy underlies the sadness,” notes
This is the terrific aspect of Judaism; there is a specific time to mourn. Then, when that mourning is finished, it’s time to move on. Though we mourn the destruction of the two Temples, not too long after that, begins Elul — and in Elul, we begin preparations for the New Year, the Days of Awe and Yom Kippur. There’s a time to grieve for the destruction of all that is dear to Jews. Yet within two months of that grief, we have the opportunity to celebrate once again.

Time for giving blood

Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville is teaming up with Carter Blood Care for a blood drive to take place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, July 22 at the synagogue, 6100 Pleasant Run Rd. If you participate, you’ll get more than the great feeling of helping someone else — you’ll receive a gift certificate for a free pint of Blue Bell ice cream and will be entered to win other prizes such as Texas Rangers tickets or a bed-and-breakfast getaway in Brenham, Texas (home of the afore-mentioned Blue Bell).
Though walk-ins are happily welcome, it’s suggested that those interested make an appointment. For information, call 817-581-5500 or send an email to

Happy birthday wishes go to these June celebrants

My apologies if I left anyone out (please let me know if I did so).

  • Ruth Berkowitz
  • Steven Brown
  • Gene Carr
  • Jetti Cole
  • David Cristol
  • Greg Derozier
  • Daniel Eckles
  • Abe Factor
  • Harriette Gachman
  • Shirley Givant
  • Jerome Goldstein
  • Beyla Goykman
  • Gilbert Greenberg
  • Philip Gressel
  • Sandra Luskey
  • Joseph Mintz
  • David Nudleman
  • Sarah Ravech
  • Judith Rubenstein
  • Marilyn Rubin
  • Richard Savitz
  • Leonard Schreier
  • Israel Shafir
  • Paul Solomon
  • Jayna Sosland
  • Nancy Stansbury
  • Judy Weinstein
  • Sophia Weinstein
  • Donald Wolf

Looking for a place for the kiddos?

Chabad of Arlington is preparing for its third year of Camp Gan Israel, a day camp geared toward Jewish children ages 5-12. There is also a Mini Gan component (for those ages 18 months-4 years).

Campers and staff gather at last year’s Camp Gan Israel at Chabad of Arlington. This year’s version starts Monday. | Photo: Chabad of Arlington

The purpose of Camp “Gan Izzy” is to treat children to a wide array of trips, activities and educational programs, all of which tie in nicely to Jewish themes. The camp runs June 25-July 13, or you can choose to attend for one or two weeks. Times for the older division are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and for the mini campers, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Extended care is available before and after camp, but you need to make arrangements in advance.
Questions? Interested in registering? Contact the good folks at Chabad of Arlington at 817-451-1171, email or log on to

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