Around The Town: Artwork, Mah Jongg

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray

Rachel Cristol’s Colorful Palette

Although Rachel Cristol always had an aptitude for art, she waited until she was a grandparent to hone in on her talent. During the past 16 years, her new career as a professional artist has flourished. Her vibrant pastels, oils, and watercolors are in galleries and private homes in Texas and Louisiana. Her portrait commissions hang at Tulane University and Louisiana State University.
For the next three months, she has a solo show at Fort Worth’s Beth-El
“As a child, I was drawing faces with a pencil,” she said, recalling her girlhood in Norwich, CT.  “This has always been in my blood.”
Yet, during her years at the University of Connecticut in the 1950s, she took but one art class. Her academic load left no time for art classes.  The one elective she chose was a course in pastels – a medium that is pure pigment in chalk form and produces vibrant color, alive with light and shadow.
As the years passed, Rachel married cardiologist Dr. David Cristol. In Fort Worth they raised three children — Sara, Louis, and Reuben. With her mother, Cipa Taylor, z’l’, Rachel was active in Hadassah.  For 16 years, she was a docent at the Kimbell Art Museum and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. “It didn’t satisfy me. I decided I was going to take lessons.”
She asked Marvin Blum, a part-time artist and fulltime tax attorney, who his teacher was. He referred her to Judy Pelt, an acclaimed pastel artist who died last November. The class she taught in her home was full, but Rachel came anyway, with “my old palette and my old everything.” The art teacher suggested that Rachel instead enroll in her classes at the Woman’s Club of Fort Worth, headquartered in a landmark building on Pennsylvania Avenue.  Rachel joined that venerable institution, and the rest is evident on her colorful resume and the solo show that will remain in the Beth-El board room through the end of February.
— Submitted by Hollace Weiner

Time To Order New 2017 Mah Jongg Cards!

Suzie Herman is taking orders for the 2017 Mah Jongg cards. The orders benefit the Fort Worth Chapter of Hadassah’s Stem Cell Research Fund.
The cards come in two sizes: Standard size card is $8; Large print size card is $9.
Please send your check (payable to Suzie Herman) along with a copy of your order, and mail to: Suzie Herman, 4701 Springwillow Rd., Fort Worth, TX 76109. Suzie may be reached by calling 817-732-5151 or emailing
The deadline for ordering the new card is Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017.
Save the date: Federation Campaign Kick-off
Mark Feb. 4, 2017, on your calendars for a memorable evening at the Kimbell Art Musem, celebrating The Jewish Federation of Fort Worth & Tarrant County’s 2017 Annual Campaign Kickoff, “Reaching Chai Notes.”
The 7 p.m. event will feature special guest Andrea Arbel, director of the Partnership Unit of The Jewish Agency for Israel, and a jazz performance by New York-based Israeli singer/composer/arranger Sivan Arbel and her band, Sivan Arbel Septet Band.
Capping off the evening will be the presentation of The Spirit of Federation Award, which honors a man and woman who have demonstrated personal commitment, dedication and leadership to the Federation and its agencies.
Light refreshments will be served. The entire community is invited to attend.
Please RSVP by Jan. 20 to Milena Razack at 817-569-0892 or email:

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