Around the Town with Rene

CAS announces film series

Congregation Ahavath Sholom is excited to announce its 2009–2010 Community Film Series starting Sunday, Dec. 6. There is no charge for the films, and complimentary popcorn and lemonade will be served. Their outstanding United Synagogue Youth members will sell drinks and candy. Come early and nosh with your friends at 2:30. The films will be shown at 3:30.
The first film, “The Lemon Tree,” described as “a film for all audiences,” won the award for Best Film at the Berlin International Film Festival. A movie directed and supported by both Israelis and Palestinians, it’s a shining, courageous and honest step forward for both peoples. It uses the media to support peaceful change rather than selling newspaper space and television time through the blood and tears of those who live among the lemons.
The Ahavath Sholom preview committee has given “The Lemon Tree” a resounding “Five Star of David Award.” Because the movie is thought-provoking and timely in its description of Israel and its neighbors, Batya Brand will facilitate a discussion following the film.
We know you won’t want to miss this inaugural event. In order to reserve babysitting, requests should be made to Garry Kahalnik, CAS executive director, at 817-731-4721. The film is rated parental guidance (PG-13) for viewing.
The film committee consists of Batya Brand, Elizabeth Cohen, Phyllis Gordon, Suzie Herman, Etty Horowitz, Shoshana Howard, Stuart Isgur, Garry Kahalnik, Peter Lederman, Walter Listig, Alex Nason, Marla Owen, Debby Rice, Naomi Rosenfield, Nancy Sheinberg, Dr. Javier Smolarz and Jim Stansbury. This Ahavath Sholom Film Series is funded by the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County.
See you at the movies!

JFS Seniors enjoy the ‘Z Café’

After an exciting but exhausting shopping experience at the Target, Marshalls and Ross at Montgomery Plaza, the JFS Seniors had a chance to eat at the “Z Café.” Jewish Family Services of Fort Worth and Tarrant County collaborates with Senior Citizens Services, Meals on Wheels, Tarrant Area Food Bank, YWCA and now Samaritan House. The “Z Café” is located in the Community Arts Center and the staff is from Samaritan House. This café, besides having wonderful food, helps support this great facility with the proceeds from sales and the employment of the staff. They did a double mitzvah — feeding the JFS Seniors and helping Samaritan House. It was quite a treat! Our JFS village is growing and we hope the support continues. To all of you that support the Jewish Family Services Seniors “Village” — thank you!

92nd Street Y program, Dec. 7, on business in Muslim world

The 92nd Street Y Program “The Coming Commercial Revolution in the Muslim World” with Vali Nasr will be held on Monday, Dec. 7, 7:15 p.m. at Beth-El Congregation.
Nasr, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, argues that the great battle for the soul of the Middle East will be fought not over religion, but over business and capitalism. Learn why extremism has become such a problem and how it can be defeated, how regional stability can evolve and how Middle East–United States relations can be dramatically improved. Nasr is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He has been tapped to be a senior adviser to Richard Holbrooke, the Obama administration’s special representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is the author of “Fateful Crescent: The Commercial Revolution That Will Transform the Muslim World.”

‘Daytimers’ honor WWII vets

A dozen World War II veterans were honored at the November luncheon for “Daytimers” last Wednesday, at Beth-El Congregation. Author Bryan Rigg held the group spellbound as he discussed how he came to write one of his books, “Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers: Question of Jewish Identity and Morality.”
Raised as a Protestant, in the Texas Bible Belt, Bryan Mark Rigg was surprised to learn of his own Jewish ancestry while researching his family tree in Germany. This revelation, as well as a chance encounter with a Jewish veteran of the Wehrmacht at a Berlin screening of “Europa Europa,” roused him to embark on a decade of research while a student first at Yale University and later at Cambridge University. “Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers: The Untold Story of Nazi Racial Laws and Men of Jewish Descent in the German Military” was the result of his efforts.
Veterans who were honored in a presentation by Edythe Cohen were Tom Bessant, Ken Bobkoff, Bob Clemmer, Joe Coggan, Arthur Hofstein, Frances Kleiman, Herman Morris, Irv Raffel, Dr. Irwin Robinson, Seyman Rubinson, Arnold Schectman and Mort Werner. Rigg was introduced by Kenneth Baum.
He also brought copies of his books “Rescued from the Reich: How One of Hitler’s Soldiers Saved the Lubavitcher Rebbe” and “Lives of Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers: Untold Tales of Men of Jewish Descent Who Fought for the Third Reich,” all of which sold briskly after his talk.
Next event for “Daytimers” will be the Chanukah party on Wednesday, Dec. 16, featuring Darren Woods of the Fort Worth Opera Festival. The party will be a benefit for the Tarrant County Food Bank, and guests are asked to bring canned and packaged goods to help make a holiday for many needy families. Luncheon will be catered by Boopa’s Bagel Deli.
For reservations, call Barbara Rubin, 817-927-2736, or Sylvia Wexler, 817-294-1129, or checks can be mailed to Daytimers, Beth-El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven Road, Fort Worth, TX 76109.
The Sylvia Wolens “Daytimers” is a program of Beth-El Congregation with financial support from the Jewish Federation.

Meanwhile, down at the ranch … in Israel

When friends told Texan Eitan Ginsburg he’d feel surprisingly at home in Israel, he didn’t realize that his year would include an assignment in the Israeli desert working with horses. But Ginsburg, from Fort Worth, chose an initial volunteer stint at the horse ranch in Israel’s rustic desert town of Arad. He cleans stalls, takes out mares and foals and helps new riders, including kids who need riding as a form of rehabilitation. “I love it,” says Ginsburg, who shares an apartment with other teens from England and the United States. He takes classes in Hebrew and Jewish history in the afternoons.
Ginsburg is one of 300 Young Judaeans spending their gap year between high school and college in Israel on the Hadassah-sponsored program of volunteering and education. Ginsburg arrived in September, and will remain in Arad for three months. He’ll spend additional three-month stints in Jerusalem and in Bat Yam, a city south of Tel Aviv.

JFS to offer new Matan program

Jewish Family Services is starting a new program, Matan, for bat ­mitzvah–age girls and their ­mothers. It was brought to the community’s attention by Etta Korenman.
Etta, who spends most of her time in Israel, is always looking out for our community and trying to find ways to help us learn and grow. The program is funded by the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. Ilana Knust, director of Beth-El Congregation’s Religious School, is coordinating the program. Batya Brand, teacher extraordinaire, is being trained on the course material and will teach the girls and their mothers. It is open to all members of the Jewish community. Anyone interested can call Ilana at 817-332-7141.

Greet the troops

Barbara Rubin mentioned to me last week that if individuals, families, youth or senior groups would like to greet soldiers returning from Iran or Afghanistan, the opportunity is available. Troops arrive daily in the early morning.
Barbara said it brought tears to her eyes when she saw the young soldiers greet loved ones, knowing they would be home for only two weeks.
You can call 972-574-0392 for information. Free parking passes are given.

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