Around the Town with Rene

TCU gets a permanent Hillel Conference Room
Hillel members at TCU now have a permanent conference room and meeting place on the second floor of the beautiful new Brown Lupton University Union building, thanks to the vision of Fort Worth attorney Morty Herman, who saw the need to create a stronger and more permanent Jewish presence on TCU’s campus, get Jewish students more involved and encourage more Jewish students to attend the university.
Morty, along with his wife, Dr. Barbara Brown Herman (TCU’s associate vice chancellor of student affairs), agreed to match any funds raised for a Hillel Conference Room. Within one week, the funds were raised due to the generosity of Shirley Anton; Arnold, Harriette and Iric Gachman; Howard and Joan Katz; Stan and Marcia Kurtz; I. Jack Miller, Jr.; Billy and Rosanne Rosenthal; and Roz Rosenthal.
Additional contributions have been made by Jerry and Ruth Berkowitz, Irwin and Lea Ann Blum, Jeff and Linda Hochster, Sharon Wisch-Ray and Rene Wisch.
TCU Hillel held its first meeting in the new Hillel Conference Room at the start of the fall semester, with the newly created Community Advisory Council comprising members of Fort Worth’s Jewish community.
A cocktail party is planned to officially unveil the Hillel Conference Room in the coming months. Anyone interested in participating as a sponsor, please contact Jerry Appel at: 817-727-8003 or e-mail
For more information on how you can become involved with TCU Hillel and sponsorship opportunities, contact TCU Hillel Advisor Dr. Arnie Barkman at 817-257-7553; TCU Hillel, TCU Box 29850, Fort Worth, TX 76129.

Jewish Family Services Chanukah party a success
The Jewish Family Services Chanukah party was a huge success. The children from the Lil Goldman Jewish Community Preschool braved the frigid weather to walk over to Beth-El Congregation to sing and perform for the seniors. It was wonderful, they were adorable and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The seniors presented the children and their Morah Rachel Yaacobi with a beautiful framed puzzle of Noah’s Ark. The seniors had worked hard on the puzzle. Federation Director Mort House was also presented with a large framed Judaica puzzle to thank him for all his support. The JFS board helped with the Chanukah celebration and assisted him in playing “Chanukah Harry.” The seniors all received beautifully wrapped and beribboned gifts chosen for them (vacuum cleaners, teakettles, toaster ovens, printer ribbons, etc.) due to the generosity of the Fort Worth community’s fundraising efforts specifically for this purpose. The participants also received Kroger gift cards to offset rising food and medication costs. The party culminated with homemade latkes, applesauce, a healthy dairy lunch and heated games of dreidel. It was a great way to start the festivities. Happy Chanukah to all from the Jewish Family Services Senior Program!
‘Daytimers’ party features gifts to Food Bank
Generous guests at “Daytimers” filled four large cartons for the Tarrant County Food Bank at a Chanukah party Wednesday, Dec. 17. And the guests who forgot their canned and packaged items raised another $159 in cash for the Food Bank. The candlelighting and blessings were lead by Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger as each table’s shammes lit the candles for their own table.
The afternoon featured a musical program of Jewish and Chanukah music presented by Armen and Ariana Cherkasov. Many in the group clapped and sang along with tunes from “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Milk and Honey” and many Yiddish and Hebrew favorites. And the group thoroughly enjoyed the Israeli buffet catered by Riki Epstein. First-timers to “Daytimers,” who were introduced by emcee Edythe Cohen, included Jerry and Edrie Goldstein from Weatherford, Leon Brachman and Donald Cohen. Fran Mendelsohn brought her father, Charlie Gropper, who recently moved to this area.
January’s “Daytimers” program will feature Fiske Hanley, who is the historian for the 504th Bomb Group and lives in Fort Worth. He has written “History of the 504th Bomb Group” and “Accused American War Criminal.” He was a flight engineer on a B-29 flying mission over Japan’s Shimonoseki Straits in 1945. His plane was shot down, and he was only one of two survivors of his B-29. He considers his story of survival as a “special prisoner” while awaiting trial and execution as a modern miracle.
Lunch will be catered by Jason’s Deli. New luncheon cost is $9. Guests may attend the program only for $4. For reservations, call Barbara Rubin, 817-927-2736, or Sylvia Wexler, 817-294-1129, or checks can be mailed to Daytimers, Jewish Federation, 4049 Kingsridge Road, Fort Worth, TX 76109. There has been a change in their credit card processing. “Daytimers” now accepts Discover cards in addition to MasterCard, Visa or American Express. Each card must include the mailing ZIP code and the three- or four-number security code from the card.
The Sylvia Wolens “Daytimers” is a program of Congregation Beth-El with financial support from the Jewish Federation.
Colleyville high schoolers travel to D.C., meet with members of Congress
Earlier this month, a group of Reform Jewish high school students from Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville joined more than 300 teenagers from across the country to participate in a unique occasion in Washington, D.C., where they had the opportunity to voice their opinions to their members of Congress.
The teens learned to look at social justice and public policy issues through Jewish eyes by participating in the Bernard and Audre Rapoport L’Taken Social Justice Seminar, an intensive four-day seminar sponsored by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC). The RAC is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis.
This unique opportunity enabled student to hear from experts both inside and outside the Jewish community as they thoroughly examined contemporary issues such as poverty, health care, the environment and Israel against a backdrop of Jewish texts and values in a variety of interactive formats.
The group also toured the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and participated in a unique candlelit Havdallah service on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial.
RAC Program Director Rabbi Michael Namath said of the L’Taken seminar, “This program allows students to discover the connection between Judaism and social justice. At the end of the four days, the participants understood the Jewish mandate to be a part of social and political change.”
The students spent the final day of the program on Capitol Hill participating in the advocacy process firsthand by meeting with members of Congress and their staff. This hands-on advocacy presented the students an extraordinary opportunity to put their four days of learning into action.

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