Around the Town with Rene

A good deed

When Congregation Beth Jacob in Galveston lost their High Holy Days machzorim during Hurricane Ike last year, they were in desperate need of at least 50 books for their members. Congregation Ahavath Sholom came to the rescue by sending over 30 books, and Temple Beth Israel in Illinois also made a generous donation of some of their machzorim. Together, the two synagogues made sure Beth Jacob had their 50 books in time for Yom Kippur.
The mitzvah was led by the mother-daughter team of Jayne Michel and Elaine Bumpus, co-chairs of the CAS Social Action Committee, and Dr. Etta Miller.
Thinking of Ahavath Sholom reminds me that Ritual Director Dr. Javier Smolarz was surprised, shocked and moved to tears when he was given the significant honor of being named Chattan Torah at Shabbat services last Saturday. A similar honor was accorded my former son-in-law Eli Davidsohn (still considered a family member) at Congregation Beth Torah in Richardson. While I am not familiar with who is the Chattan Torah and what does he do, my informant tells me that “Chattan Torah,” the Groom of the Torah, is the title given to the individual who bought the honor at the auction or the person designated by that buyer (usually a highly respected member of the congregation). He is called to the Torah with a beautiful chant describing his greatness in glowing terms, and is given the honor of reciting the blessing over the last section of the Torah to be read in the current year, which is the conclusion of Moshe’s valedictory address to the Jewish people. For Javier it was a complete, but thrilling, surprise.

Connect to your Jewish heritage at Beth-El

You might have missed the first meeting of Batya Brand’s nine-week course on “Connecting to Our Jewish Heritage” which started last night, the 14th, at Beth-El, but you’ll be fascinated with the remaining eight sessions that will meet on Wednesday evenings at Beth-El at 7:30 p.m.
From what I remember about Batya as one of my Melton School instructors, she is a phenomenal storyteller and a fountain of knowledge.
She will bring literature, stories and songs that connect us to our past. The class will integrate fun with tradition. Telling the stories and singing the songs will keep our history alive.
“Connecting to Our Jewish Heritage” is an hour of leisure and storytelling. The stories will reflect on Jewish life in Europe and its historical roots for various customs practiced now and then. The purpose of the class is to evoke memories in addition to providing the pleasure of good literature. Everyone will have the opportunity to share thoughts with the class. The stories were written in Hebrew or Yiddish and will be told in English.
Additional information is available from either Ilana Knust, 817-332-7141, or the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, 817-569-0892.
The program is partially funded by the Jewish Federation of FWTC.

Posy McMillen to receive Bnai Zion award

Toni and Harold Gernsbacher will present the Bnai Zion America-Israel Friendship Award to Posy McMillen, tried and true friend of Israel, at this year’s gala on Sunday, Nov. 1 at the Westin Park Central Hotel. Posy has many of her Fort Worth friends attending and among the familiar faces I’m looking forward to greeting are Roz Rosenthal, Abe and Kim Factor, David and Rachel Cristol, Dr. Stanley and Marcia Kurtz, Laurie and Len Roberts, Naomi and Mark Rosenfield, Debby Rice and Rabbi Dov and Chana Mandel. And I’m sure there will be more of Posy’s friends at the gala. In the meantime, RSVPs can be made with Bnai Zion Regional Director Avrille Harris Cohen, 972-918-9200 or Complimentary transportation from Fort Worth will be provided.

Press notes

Ladies, save the date of Monday evening, Nov. 2. It’s a stellar Hadassah program. The powers that be say, plan for encouragement and inspiration, for at least an hour, when Dr. Maria Sirois, a noted clinical psychologist, master storyteller and author of “Every Day Counts,” speaks at Beth-El. Her words about strengthening resiliency are most inspiring. She will discuss how women are the foundation of a community and how women together can accomplish great changes in the world. Debby Rice is among the Hadassah VIPs planning the program.
Long before television, memories of Molly Goldberg go back to my childhood when my mother and I would sit in our kitchen and listen to “The Goldbergs,” Molly and her Jake, on the radio. The Goldbergs have been entrenched in my heart and mind for long years, and how I had hoped for a return visit from their family! I followed news of a documentary being presented in various communities in the country and lo and behold, it’s opening at Dallas’ Inwood Theatre. I hope you read Susan Wilkofsky’s review in this week’s issue of the TJP. Don’t miss it. It would be a great outing for the Daytimers and worthy of an extra program date.
Daughters of Abraham, an organization of members of three religions, will meet at Beth-El on Tuesday, Oct 20, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Guest speaker will be Mary Anderson, from the Tarrant Area Food Bank, who will speak about the problems her organization is facing. A donation of canned foods will be appreciated.

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