Around the Town
By Amy Wolff Sorter

I had the privilege of being on hand at Beth-El Congregation’s religious school opening day Sunday. This event featured a pretty cool American Jewish museum detailing the impact of Jewish immigration on America. Also present was a lot of energy from students, parents, teachers and Ilana Knust, the religious school director.
The synagogue’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger, was on hand to welcome the troops, with his reminder to all of us that we’re now in the month of Elul. This, in turn, will be followed by Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, Simchat Torah — and so on. In other words, we’re going from a period in which there have been few holidays of any type to a very busy period. As Mecklenburger pointed out during his welcome, “We Jews don’t mess around.”
No, we don’t. And the best way to keep track of the upcoming holidays, observances and rituals is by finding a Hebrew calendar. These are readily available online, and now is a good time to start knowing when those holidays take place — and it’s never too soon to think about preparations.

Mazel tov to the Sands

We just learned that Marissa Nicole Sands, daughter of Linda and Edward Sands (of Mansfield), is engaged to Yosi Sandler of Monterrey, Mexico.
Marissa and Yosi met at Camp Young Judaea in 2005; Marissa made aliyah in 2009 and Yosi joined her in 2011. These days, the couple resides in Tel Aviv. The wedding is planned for fall 2013 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Our congratulations go out to the couple and their families.

Prevent boredom this weekend

The High Holy Days are still a few weeks off and we’re still in that lazy period. So if you find yourself with absolutely nothing to do this Sunday, Sept. 2 (Labor Day weekend), take a swing by Congregation Ahavath Sholom at 4050 S. Hulen St., set up your lawn chair, haul out your picnic basket and prepare to be entertained.
No, not by the traffic whizzing by on Hulen, but rather by the free outdoor movie, “Mamma Mia,” which is being underwritten by the B’nai B’rith Isadore Garsek Lodge No. 269.
The movie itself is free. If you’re hungry, snacks (popcorn, hot dogs and drinks) are $1 and are going for a good cause — BBYO. The outdoor movie begins at 8 p.m. There is also an indoor showing that will begin at 7:45 p.m.
Jim and Elaine Stanton are chairing this event. For information, call the Movie Hotline at 817-927-2555.

Speaking of B’nai B’rith and calendars

The organization’s Person of the Year award dinner will take place on Sunday, Oct. 28. We don’t have the specific details just yet, but we known enough to let you folks know that authentic Russian food will be served, with Klezmer music as the entertainment.
Sounds like a really great time — stay tuned for more information.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Sept. 5

Jewish Women International will have its open meeting at Beth-El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven. The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. and will feature Fort Worth Jewish historian Hollace Weiner, who will talk about “A Flashback to the Past.”
The event is free and includes breakfast. Questions? Feel free to call Ina Singer at 817-292-1580.

Still needed: school supplies

The sisterhood of Colleyville-based Congregation Beth Israel is doing a bang-up job collecting school supplies and other things for the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD. The community has turned out en masse with all kinds of donations.
Items still needed include zippered binders, socks and underwear (sizes 3T through 6-8, for accidents and spills among the younger kiddos). If you’re interested in donating, leave those items in a box in CBI’s lobby at 6100 Pleasant Run Road.

Daytimers enjoy Modern Art Museum

The most recent event enjoyed by the Sylvia Wolens Daytimers was a trip to the Modern Art Museum, where participants enjoyed their tour of the “Lucian Freud Portraits” exhibit. Thanks goes to museum docent Cheryl Levy, who arranged to have the tour at no cost.

Sheryl Levy of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth explains the Lucian Frieud exhibit to Sylvia Wolens Daytimers members, from left, Bernard Zilberg, Arthur Pawgan, Mike Blanc, Jane Guzman Pawgan, Anita Davidson and Barbara Weinberg. | Photo: Submitted by Daytimers

Barbara Rubin tells us that the next Daytimers’ event will deviate from its usual Wednesday slot and will take place on Monday, Sept. 24, at Beth-El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven, where the guest of honor will be Cantor Bruce Ruben.
Ruben is director of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at Hebrew Union College and will present “The Impact of Jewish Music on the American Musical Theater.” The cantor is returning for a third year to Beth-El as the synagogue’s High Holy Days cantor, and the event should be a highly entertaining one.
And, yes, lunch is available. The cost for the entire event (including lunch) is $9 each; if you’re interested only in the program, it’s $4.
For information and/or reservations, call Rubin, 817-927-2736, or Hugh Lamensdorf, 817-738-1428, or log onto

Don’t forget that New Year gift

If you’re looking for ideal way to extend holiday greetings, consider buying a special jar of honey through Congregation Ahavath Sholom’s Ladies Auxiliary. An 8-ounce jar of honey costs $10, which includes a personalized card wishing your recipient a happy and healthy new year, a notification that a donation in the recipient’s honor has been made to CAS’ Ladies Auxiliary and shipping and handling in the United States.
The auxiliary will also ship this product outside the U.S. for a small extra fee. But time is running out — Sept. 7 is the last day to order this sweet greeting. For information on this fundraiser, visit or contact Linda Lavi at 817-731-4721 or

And don’t forget

To send information about weddings, trips, the award your son or daughter received and so on. Again, this is “Around the Town” — meaning we need news from “the town.” In other words, readers! Send information (and photos) to me at

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