Around the Town
By Amy Wolff Sorter

As any parent knows, there’s always a sense of satisfaction when one’s child is called to the Torah as a bar or bat mitzvah. The same holds true when a Jewish organization reaches the golden age of 13 years old.
One Tarrant County synagogue is celebrating such a milestone — Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville will celebrate its 13th birthday/bat mitzvah during the weekend of Nov. 9-10.
Events will include a congregational bat mitzvah, complete with Kiddush lunch, a huge celebratory party — and presentation of a new Torah.
More information will be forthcoming, but if you have any questions or if you’re interested in volunteering to help, contact Nancy Finfer at Many congratulations, CBI.

An interesting journey

While a child’s journey toward becoming a bar or bat mitzvah is fascinating, so is an individual’s journey from Christianity to Judaism. Such was the journey of evangelical Christians Jack and Sally Parisi.
Jack, who was at one time pastor of an Evangelical church in Oklahoma, began a search for the roots of his faith in the Old Testament. That journey’s endpoint was the couple’s conversion to Judaism in 1998.
Fourteen years later, Chabad of Arlington is presenting “A Pastor’s Journey to Judaism” at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4 at the Arlington Sheraton, 1500 Convention Center Dr. The cost is $20 for advance tickets and $25 at the door; sponsorships are available.
For information, visit

Recapping Gumbo in the Sukkah

Angie Kitzman from the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County writes that this year’s “Gumbo in the Sukkah” event, which took place Oct. 3, attracted 100 parents and children from around Tarrant County.

Diners enjoy the savory gumbo and the spiritual sukkah during Gumbo in the Sukkah Oct. 3. More than 100 people attended the event. | Photos: Angie Kitzman

Following a brief service conducted by Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker of Congregation Beth Israel (complete with shaking the lulav), people schmoozed and laughed over bowlfuls of Barry Goldfarb’s gumbo (meat and vegetarian were available).
Also on the federation’s “thank you” list for this event: Stephanie Posner, the event chair, and Jennifer Siegel, who created the table centerpieces, and the many community volunteers who helped set up, serve, direct parking and clean up after the event.

Mazel tov Elsie Blum …

… who received Congregation Ahavath Sholom’s President’s Award on the first day of Rosh Hashanah.

Barry Goldfarb cooks up some gumbo for the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County’s Gumbo in the Sukkah event Oct. 3.

The award was presented by synagogue president Murray Cohen, and recognizes Blum’s leadership, accomplishments, dedication to the Jewish community and support.
Past awardees include Louis Barnett, the late Al Sankary, the late Leon Brachman and Sam Reznikoff.

A Fort Worth faith-based event

The folks at Congregation Ahavath Sholom are inviting the community to participate in “Connect with the Community,” which takes place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at Casa Manana, 3101 W. Lancaster Ave. in Fort Worth.
The event will allow participants to meet the members of Mayor Betsy Price’s Faith Leaders Cabinet as well as the opportunity to listen to faith choirs from around Fort Worth (the CAS Children’s Choir, under the direction of Cantor Shoshana Abrams, will perform).
In addition, jackets for CAS’ winter coat drive will be collected at the event.
Tickets are available, but seating is limited. For information call 817-731-4721.

And speaking of events

The B’nai B’rith’s outstanding person of the year celebration will take place at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28 at Congregation Ahavath Sholom, 4050 S. Hulen.
Goga Denisov will provide music for entertainment with dinner consisting of kosher Russian food and wine.
The cost for the evening is $25 and add-ons are available: $10 extra buys you limitless shots of vodka, while an additional $10 buys you caviar.
Contact Harry Kahn, 817-926-6566;; Alex Nason, 817-346-3991, or Marvin Beleck, 817-921-2438, to make reservations or for more information.

Craig Taubman on tap

The Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County is sponsoring a concert by Craig Taubman at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 17, at Beth-El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven Road in Fort Worth.
The family-friendly event is the Federation’s “thank you” to the community for its support — and it’s free.
Taubman is known, among other things, for his “Friday Night Live,” music composed for monthly special services at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles.
Questions? Interested? Contact Angie Kitzman at 817-569-0892 or at

A reminder

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, please don’t be shy about sharing. Sharing anything. If you’re in Tarrant County (or are an “outlier” of this area) and have news including awards, birthdays, fun vacations, family visits, etc., etc., etc. I’m here at

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