Around The Town: Mega Challah Bake, Klimt painting
Photo: Robert Viglasky/The Weinstein Company Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann and Ryan Reynolds as her attorney E. Randol Schoenberg in the film Woman in Gold

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray

We can always count on Congregation Ahavath Sholom’s Showtimes Film series for a good flick of Jewish interest. Last year’s Woman in Gold will be on tap this Sunday, Feb. 21, at 6:30 p.m., immediately following the evening minyan.
As always, the film and refreshments are free, thanks to Ahavath Sholom with support from the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. The dedicated Showtimes committee members are Liz Chesser, Hedy Collins, Lisa Laudato, Posy McMillen, Foster Owen, Arthur Pawgan, Jane Pawgan, Debby Rice, Reggie Rog, Naomi Rosenfield, Rena Seiden, Jayna Sosland, Jim Stansbury, Robin Stein, Sheila Stocker, Roz Vaden, Barbara Weinberg, Dianne Young, Stephanie Zavala, CAS President Ebi Lavi and Michael Linn, CAS executive director. Read on for more info about the Women in Gold back story.

Mega Challah Bake, March 10

Plans are underway for a Mega Challah Bake in Tarrant County. This will be an evening of fun, inspiration and unity as women from across the community join together to bake challah.
This event will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 10, at the historic YWCA Grand Ballroom, 512 W. Fourth St., Fort Worth. Preregistration is required. To register or for more information, go to

The sordid Nazi history behind this famous Klimt painting

By Jacob Kaplan
Jewniverse via JTA

Maria Altmann’s story has all the hallmarks of a great thriller: stolen famous art, tight-fisted government officials, Nazis. It’s no wonder, then, that the late Altmann (née Bloch-Bauer) has been the subject of three documentaries, a memoir and, most recently, a feature film starring Helen Mirren by the veteran British director Simon Curtis.
Altmann, who hailed from a wealthy and influential Viennese family, fled Austria with her husband during the 1938 Anschluss; they eventually made their way to Los Angeles. Much of the family’s fortune was expropriated by Nazis, including two famous portraits of Maria’s aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer, painted by no other than the celebrated symbolist painter Gustav Klimt. After the war, five of the family’s Klimts, including the portraits, ended up in the possession of the Austrian government.
Curtis’ film Woman in Gold tells the story of Altmann’s legal battle to reclaim the paintings. It took most of seven years, but with the help of lawyer E. Randol Schoenberg, she won the battle against the Austrian government. In 2006, five years before her death, the works were returned to her estate. Schoenberg, played in the film by Ryan Reynolds, is now the president of The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, and Klimt’s portrait of Maria’s aunt is on permanent display at the Neue Gallerie in New York.
Jacob Kaplan is a writer and a teacher. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Leave a Reply