Around the Town

CAS to host Catholic-Jewish meeting, Jan. 15

Congregation Ahavath Sholom invites the entire community to a historic meeting of Catholics and Jews scheduled to take place at the synagogue on Saturday, Jan. 15, at 1 p.m. At that time, Bishop Kevin W. Vann of the Diocese of Fort Worth and Rabbi Gary G. Perras of Congregation Ahavath Sholom will hold a dialogue on “Catholic-Jewish Relations Since Vatican II.”
Ahavath Sholom President Marvin Beleck pointed out that following the “Nostra Aetate” statement of Vatican II, great strides have been made by the Catholic Church in fighting anti-Semitism and promoting a genuine respect for the Jewish religion and for the Jewish people. Perhaps the culmination of this process to date was the recognition by the Vatican of the state of Israel, which was a very moving and significant event for the Jewish people.
Ed Bond, chairman of the congregational ritual committee, added that part of the mission of the congregation is to serve the larger community and promote the cause of peace and justice. This can only be achieved when different groups come together to share their traditions and concerns. For that reason, the shul hopes to have a sizable turnout from the community at large.
Bishop Kevin W. Vann, JCD, DD, was ordained and installed as the third bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth on July 13, 2005. He was born May 10, 1951, in Springfield, Ill., and is the oldest of six children of William M. Vann, Jr. and Theresa Jones Vann. Bishop Vann attended Springfield College and earned a Bachelor of Science in medical technology from Millikin University in Decatur, Ill. After working three years as a medical technologist, he entered the seminary in 1976, spending a year at the Immaculate Conception Diocesan Seminary in Springfield and four years at Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, Mo., majoring in theology. After his ordination on May 30, 1981, he was assigned to graduate studies in canon law at the Angelicum in Rome. Upon returning to the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, Bishop Vann was involved in the work of the Diocesan Tribunal and the Tribunal of Second Instance in Chicago. He served as pastor of parishes ranging in size from 30 to 1,300 families, two of which had large schools. Bishop Vann celebrated the 25th anniversary of his ordination in 2006.
Rabbi Gary G. Perras is a native of Baltimore, Md., and was educated in the Baltimore public schools. He received a B.A. (liberal arts/philosophy) from Johns Hopkins University in 1962 and graduated from Baltimore Hebrew College that year. Rabbi Perras received his MHL from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1965 and spent a year of study at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He was ordained as rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1967. Rabbi Perras has served with distinction at pulpits in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida. He has received numerous awards and honors for service to the Jewish community and the community at large.
Congregation Ahavath Sholom is located at 4050 S. Hulen St. in Fort Worth. For additional information, call the synagogue office at 817-731- 4721.

Dr. Kenneth Stein to speak on ‘Hijacking Israel’s Legitimacy,’ Jan. 20

Dr. Kenneth W. Stein, the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County’s 2011 Larry Kornbleet Memorial Scholar-in-Residence, will be in Dallas on Thursday, Jan. 20, to give a 7:30 p.m. lecture on “Hijacking Israel’s Legitimacy.” The program will take place at Congregation Ahavath Sholom, 4050 S. Hulen, Fort Worth.
Israel’s sovereignty was recognized first by the United States in 1948 and then by the United Nations. Despite peace treaties with two Arab states triumphing over foreign armies, terrorists and insurgencies, Israel’s legitimacy remains under onerous attack. This hostility is fed by sources in the Middle East, in the media, at academic institutions, among intellectuals, by former presidents and in international organizations. How did this reality unfold and what can be done by Jews and non-Jews alike to combat this insidious scourge?
Dr. Stein is convinced that “allowing others to hijack our history and tell our story is equivalent to running aimlessly from the battleground.” As a professor of contemporary Middle Eastern history, political science and Israeli studies at Emory University, Dr. Stein states, “Silence is acquiescence. Confronting falsehoods means having to know your own story, to own it and to be proud of its unfolding. It means being critical when necessary, but not falling on your own sword in demonstrating wisdom, compassion and competence.”
Professor Stein is the author of numerous books, scholarly publications, book chapters and reviews. He writes on the development of modern Israel, American foreign policy toward the Middle East, origins and development of the Arab-Israel conflict and modern Arab history. He devotes much of his time to educating educators, students and learners of all ages about the compelling aspects of Israel’s history.
At this very serious juncture in contemporary Israeli history, Professor Stein will provide graphic analysis and context for one of the most serious challenges facing Israel and world Jewry.
This event is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County with financial support from the Kornbleet Scholar-in-Residence Fund and the Molly Roth Endowment Fund. It is free and open to the public. A dessert reception will follow. There will be no solicitation.
For babysitting reservations (children 4 and under) or more information, please call the Federation office at 817-569-0892.

Fort Worth son to address the ‘Daytimers’

Danny Tobey, author of the new novel “The Faculty Club,” will speak at the “Daytimers” group, Wednesday, Jan. 26, at noon at Beth-El. The program is late in the month because Tobey and his wife are expecting their first child on or about Jan. 15. Tobey is the son of Beth-El members, Dr. Martin and Judith Tobey.
When Danny Tobey was an Ivy League law student, he often found himself musing about elitist secret societies that thrived on campus. People were dying to join. “Well, not literally dying,” the Fort Worth native says.
But within the pages of Tobey’s debut novel, “The Faculty Club,” people are literally dying. The book opens like a John Grisham legal thriller, and then veers into territory that borders on the supernatural. Maybe, if one of the secret societies had invited Tobey to join years ago, his fantasies wouldn’t have run amok.
“I was always fascinated with them,” he says. “The closest I ever got was I had a roommate who was in one that was more like a fraternity, nothing secretive about it. He wanted me to try out and, oh, it was such a bad fit. I went to the first two events; then I was cut from the audition process.”
Today, Tobey works as an associate attorney with a Dallas law firm representing doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. He finds time after hours to write novels. Book two is a medical thriller with supernatural elements. It’s already finished and in the hands of his publisher, Simon & Schuster. Now he’s eager to get cracking on his third book.
Tobey was born in Dallas and grew up in Fort Worth. He’s a Paschal High School grad, class of ‘95, who continued his studies at Harvard University and Yale Law School. An overachiever, he followed law school with four years at the UT Southwestern Medical School.
Lunch will be catered by Jason’s Deli, and guests have a choice of turkey on whole wheat, chicken salad on whole wheat or tuna salad on rye, plus chips and cookies, coffee or tea. Cost is $9 each, or guests may attend the program only for $4.
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.

CBI offers weekly classes

Congregation Beth Israel, 6100 Pleasant Run Road in Colleyville, will offer a six-week class in Basic Hebrew on Thursday evenings, beginning Jan. 13, from 7 to 8 p.m. CBI member, Rabbi Marc ben-Meir, will teach the basics of the alef-bet. By the end of the course, participants will be able to read Hebrew and learn basic vocabulary. There is a potential for extra classes if needed. Cost is $18 for CBI members, $36 for non-members. The text, “Aleph Isn’t Tough” (URJ Press), is not included in the cost of the class; if you would like the synagogue to order it for you, please e-mail Stephanie at by Jan. 6. Please RSVP to Stephanie to register for the class.
Beginning Thursday, Jan. 20, also from 7 to 8 p.m., CBI will offer a three-week class on “Genesis — Creation.” The first three chapters of Genesis impact our culture and how we understand the world as much as any writings in Western literature. But when we read them closely and understand these texts through the lens of history, science and our rabbis, it turns out there is a great deal to discover. Explore with Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker. Recommended contribution is $18; no texts are required for the class. Please RSVP to Stephanie (see above) to register for the class.

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