Around the Town
By Amy Wolff Sorter

Though the Holy Days are behind us, the celebrations continue in full swing. We have Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, Simchat Torah and Chanukah ahead.
There is, however, another holiday that takes place, one that isn’t talked about much — Hoshanah Rabbah. This year, Hoshanah Rabbah falls on Oct. 7, the final day of Sukkot.
According to, Hoshanah Rabbah is the final “sealing of judgment” that begins on Rosh Hashanah. The explanation here is that on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, humanity is reviewed by God. During Sukkot, the world is reviewed in terms of its handling of water, fruit and produce. It makes sense, therefore, that on the seventh day of Sukkot, the judgment is sealed, as human life depends on water (not to mention food and produce). Among very traditional Jews, Hoshana Rabbah involves prayer and repentance.

James and the Giant Skype

Mary and Guy Gilstrap of Weatherford write that their son, James, who is in third grade at Curtis Elementary, had the opportunity recently to introduce himself and his class, via Skype, to other third-graders attending Martin J. Gottlieb Day School in Jacksonville, Fla., a Solomon Schechter School.
The occasion was International Dot Day, inspired by Peter Reynolds’ book “The Dot,” which discusses how people can make their own marks in the world. The two classes exchanged greetings, comments and even a few Hebrew words. James attends religious school at Congregation Ahavath Sholom and everyone in the family — including older sister Leah — is a member of Beth-El Congregation.

An update from the Rice family

Proud grandmother Debby Rice tells us that her grandson Nathan Rice, a freshman at TCU, joined Kappa Sigma and is having a good time in his first college year. Debby also shares that her grandson Max Rice managed to confound the folks at the Fox News Channel show “Fox and Friends.”
There isn’t enough room in this column to state specifics other than, through this prank, Max managed to totally fluster host Gretchen Carlson. I suggest you Google Max’s story and see what went on. That information will also tell you why he’s been in great demand for interviews — and why his name even showed up in a Jimmy Kimmel monologue.
Debby said Max is no friend of Fox News, namely because of his belief that Fox doesn’t report “news” so much as the network tells people what to say on the air. In fact, in follow-up interviews, Max earnestly said that the mainstream media has a definite disregard for substance and facts, something he tried to point out through the “Fox and Friends” experience.
“Max is a great kid and very smart, and he played it just right,” Debby noted. Max is a film student at Columbia College in Chicago.

Federation does a good job

Just read where the Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County did a great job in its 2012 annual campaign, exceeding last year’s take by more than $7,000.
Nice work, folks. Results like this will keep the Tarrant County Jewish community vibrant and growing for decades to come.

Gumbo in the Sukkah

If you’re tired of dining alone in your sukkah, the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County wants to invite you to its community Sukkot celebration at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 3., at Congregation Beth Shalom, 1212 Thannisch Dr. in Arlington.
This is a family friendly event featuring meat and vegetarian gumbos, crafts for the youth and all-around general schmoozing.
There is also a charity involved — the federation is collecting plastic cups, plates and utensils for Arlington LifeShelter. The event is free, but reservations are required so enough food is available.
Let them know you’re coming by registering through the Federation’s website (; email Angie Kitzman at or call the Federation office at 817-569-0892.

Or consider eating under CAS’ sukkah

The Ladies Auxiliary of Congregation Ahavath Sholom also invites you to dine at its Sukkah Fest, which takes place 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, at 4050 S. Hulen St. The cost is $18 per person (payable at the door). RSVPs are requested by tomorrow (Sept. 28) by calling 817-731-4721.

And while you’re dining in your sukkah.

Don’t forget to send those photos (and other information) to me at

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