Around the Town with Rene

Bubbe and Zayde dinner to honor the Weiners, Jan. 9
It’s not too late to RSVP for JEA’s annual Bubbe and Zayde Dinner. Help them honor their Bubbe and Zayde for 2009 Sylvia and Jerry Weiner, longtime community leaders. The event will be held this Friday evening, Jan. 9, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Congregation Ahavath Sholom.
Bring your family and grandparents, and spend an evening with the most important people in our lives!
Call 817-737-9898 now to reserve your place at the family table for a very special dinner.
Beth-El Film Festival features movies for adults, kids
Beth-El’s Film Festival committee has covered all angles in their series of movies to be shown during January and February. On each evening — Jan. 10, Jan. 24 and Feb. 7 — separate films for children and for adults will be shown simultaneously.
Saturday, Jan. 10 promises to be a stellar evening. The 6:30 p.m. dinner will be a tasty Middle Eastern meal catered by Pak-a-Pocket. Fee is $10 a person for ages 12 and older, $5 for children ages 3 through 11 and free for youngsters under 3. Reservations for dinner are a must, but you are welcome to the free film with or without dinner. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.
Adults will enjoy “The Band’s Visit,” the heartwarming and poignant winner of the Cannes Film Festival. It’s the mesmerizing and witty story of strangers in a strange land. A fading Egyptian police band arrives in Israel to play at the Arab Cultural Center. When they take the wrong bus, the band members find themselves in a desolate Israeli village. With no other option than to spend the night with the local townspeople, the two distinctly different cultures realize the universal bonds of love, music and life. Set against a breathtaking desert landscape, this cross-cultural comedy proves that getting lost is sometimes the best way to find yourself.
At the same time, the film for kids of all ages is “The Point,” an animated story of an unusual kingdom in which everything and everybody is pointed — except for a young boy named Oblio. Despite his round head, Oblio has many friends. But an evil count, jealous that Oblio is more popular than his own son, says that without a pointed head, Oblio is an outlaw. Along with his faithful dog Arrow, Oblio is exiled to the Pointless Forest. There, he has many fantastic experiences (including encounters with a three-headed man, giant bees, a tree in the leaf-selling business and a good-humored old rock). From his adventures, Oblio learns that it is not at all necessary to be pointed to have a point in life. The music was composed and performed by Harry Nilsson (“Me and My Arrow”), who also wrote the story.
The annual film festival is made possible by Beth El’s Endowment #2 and a grant from the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County.
Stuart Isgur, CLU, elected to NY Life Chairman’s Council
Fort Worth insurance executive Stuart Isgur, CLU, has been elected a member of the 2008 Chairman’s Council of New York Life Insurance Company. Members of the elite Chairman’s Council rank in the top three percent of New York Life’s elite sales force of approximately 11,000 licensed agents.
As a Chairman’s Council member, Stuart was invited to attend the annual meeting in Madrid, Spain.
Stuart has been a New York Life agent since 1984 and is associated with New York Life’s Fort Worth General Office.
Stuart and Rebecca are the proud parents of a wonderful family: two sons and their spouses, Benjamin and Shoshana and Jeremiah and Lesley; and five fabulous grandchildren, Dorothy, Aviva, Isaac and twins Elijah and Leia.
New York Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States and one of the largest life insurers in the world. New York Life has the highest possible financial strength ratings from all four of the major credit rating agencies. Headquartered in New York City, New York Life’s family of companies offers life insurance, retirement income and long-term care insurance. New York Life Investment Management LLC provides institutional asset management and retirement plan services, as well as institutional and retail mutual funds. Please visit New York Life’s Web site at for more information.
Tour group is brought home safely from Israel
Naomi and Mark Rosenfield (coordinators of the trip to Israel that just returned) brought their group home safely. Among those on the tour led by Rabbi Baruch Zeilicovich were Carol-Ann Schwartz and her cousin; also, Sam Reznikoff, Jodi Berger, Phyllis Gordon, Jen and Hal Ratner, Nancy Spiegel and son David, Louise and Judd Vermillion and Linda and Ebi Lavi.
‘Daytimers’ to hear airman and author, Fiske Hanley
The January program for the Sylvia Wolens “Daytimers” will feature Fiske Hanley, who is the historian for the 504th Bomb Group. He will talk about his book, “Accused American War Criminal,” on Wednesday, Jan. 21, at noon at Beth-El Congregation.
Hanley, a Fort Worth native and a Texas Tech graduate, is a 43-year General Dynamics employee and a member of the Lockheed Martin retirees’ association, and recently completed his book. 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 one of only two survivors of his B-29. The book describes his treatment by the Japanese Kempei Tai secret police while he was a prisoner of war in Japan. He considers his story of survival as a “special prisoner” while awaiting trial and execution as a modern miracle.
Kept in overcrowded, filthy dungeon cells in Tokyo, across the moat from the emperor’s palace, the special prisoners were beaten, tortured, starved and continually threatened with death. They were not treated as prisoners of war but were designated special prisoners to be tried and executed for the killing of innocent women and children. While awaiting trial they were considered subhumans, starved on half-POW rations, issued no clothes or basic hygienic needs, allowed to suffer and die from torture, beatings, wounds and lack of medical treatment. Fortunately, Fiske Hanley was rescued at the end of the war in spite of orders from Japanese leaders that all the special prisoners were to be executed.
As the official historian of the 504th Bomb Group, Hanley has also written “History of the 504th Bomb Group.” He will be introduced by his longtime friend and co-worker, Bill Margolis.
Lunch will be catered by Jason’s Deli, and guests have a choice of breast of turkey, chicken salad or tuna salad. New luncheon cost is $9. Guests may attend for 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. “Daytimers” can accept 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.
Seniors get snuggly blankets from the Reynolds family
Michelle Reynolds, the Reynolds family and Michelle’s mother, Bernice Etcoff, generously donated their time and money to create fleece blankets for the Jewish Family Service Senior Program participants. They were all different and each more beautiful and colorful than the next. Shuggie Cohen’s blanket even had a golf theme — his favorite sport! What a warm and snuggly Chanukah the Reynolds family made for the seniors. A big thanks for their time and thoughtfulness. Come join — the JFS program meets daily at the Temple or call Hedy Collins for more info, 817-296-3709.

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