Around the Town: Reading mentorship, scholarships

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray

CAS to participate in reading mentorship program

At press time, Rabbi Andrew Bloom announced that Congregation Ahavath Sholom would participate in a reading mentorship program with Westcliff Elementary School. Rabbi Bloom wrote in an email:
“The Fort Worth Literacy Partnership recently reported that ‘just three out of 10 Fort Worth ISD third-graders read on grade level.’ This is both shocking and sad, and how wonderful would it be for us to help raise this statistic so that more of our children succeed in providing a good future for themselves and their future families.
“It is in this light that I am proud to announce that through Compassionate Fort Worth, TarrantNet and the ‘Read to Win’ project that CAS has been chosen as a mentoring congregation in helping the reading and general language performance of first-graders at Westcliff Elementary School.
“Two weeks ago I was able to meet with the director and the coordinator of community outreach from TarrantNet and the principal of Westcliff Elementary School to finalize our adopting of the school. I am proud to say that we are the first synagogue to participate in this important program.
“We need volunteers to give of their time and talents once a week for an hour of your choosing to come and work with two individual first-graders for 30 minutes each. The lesson plans, teaching areas and training will all be provided by Westcliff Elementary School. Westcliff Elementary has been deemed a school in need of partnership and I have no doubt that this relationship will last for many years to come. We are blessed to be partnering with them.
“We will begin this project during the first week of April with training occurring in the next 10 days. In order to participate you must first fill out this FWISD background check form as well as letting me know what days and times you are available. School starts at 8 a.m. Children over the age of 12 can volunteer with the participation of an adult.
“In Judaism we believe in ‘L’Dor V’Dor,’ from ‘generation to generation.’ This value reinforces the importance of our children and our responsibility toward them and their futures.
“I look forward to all of us making a difference in a child’s life and am excited that we are now part of this fantastic program. Let us all ‘Read to Win!’ For by doing this, all of us and the children of Westcliff Elementary will be winners.”
If you are interested, please contact Rabbi Bloom with any questions and let him know what time you can volunteer and when you have filled out the background checks. He can be reached at or 817-731-4721.

Applications open for annual youth scholarships

The Isadore Garsek B’nai B’rith Lodge No. 269 will offer two $1,000 college scholarships. Applicants must be high school seniors graduating between December 2016 and June 2017. Parents or guardians must be members of the Isadore Garsek Lodge and/or members of an established Jewish congregation in Tarrant County. The parent or guardian must be a member in good standing for a period of 12 months before submission of the application. Children of deceased parents are also eligible if the parent died while a member for at least 12 consecutive months.
Awards will be presented at a date and time determined. Recipients will be notified in mid-June 2017.
The Academic Grant is a competitive and will be awarded based on overall academic achievement, GPA, Standardized Admission Test (SAT or ACT) and extracurricular activities. The BBYO Participation Grant is based on BBYO activities, leadership roles and active participation in local, regional and national events. The deadline for applying for either or both scholarships is May 31, 2017.
For more information or to request an application contact your rabbi, youth advisor, education director or Dr. Barry Schneider at dr_ barrys@

News and notes

  • On Sunday, April 2, The Federation’s Partnership2Gether committee will present a special public presentation from the Galilee Medical Center featuring Dr. Tal Marshak and Dr. Yoav Hoffman, who will speak on how Israel is helping Syria’s injured. The program is from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Beth-El Congregation. This event is free to attend and open to the public.
  • The Isadore Garsek Lodge of B’nai B’rith Annual Community Senior Seder will be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 5, at Beth-El. To join the festivities, call Lesly at the JFS office at 817-569-0898.

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