Around the Town with Rene

Tzedakah Sunday is Feb. 21: Please answer the call

Once again, Tzedakah Sunday volunteers will be calling you asking for your gift to the Jewish Federation Annual Campaign.
By now you know that programs at Jewish Family Services, Lil Goldman Early Learning Center, Tarrant County synagogues, the UNT Jewish Studies Program, BBYO, Jewish War Veterans and other local programs are funded by the Annual Campaign.
In fact, 50 percent of the allocable dollars raised in Tarrant County stays in Tarrant County.
Another portion (42 percent) of our allocable funds from Campaign was sent overseas to fund programs of the Jewish Agency and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, aiding needy Jews in Israel and around the world. The last 8 percent was used to fund regional and national agencies including university programs (Hillel), Birthright Israel, Jewish Children’s Regional Service, Jewish Council for Public Affairs — to name just a few.
So now that you know where the money goes (35 different places) and the thousands of lives the Annual Campaign contribution affects everyday, PLEASE ANSWER THE CALL. It’s for you; it’s for all of us. Better yet, why not join the Mitzvah Corps at Ahavath Sholom that Sunday from 8:30 to 4:30. Volunteers are needed to help make phone calls, do administrative tasks or assist with refreshments. Shifts are three hours in length. Call the Federation at 817-569-0892 to learn how you can help our community.
Live generously. It does a world of good.

Camp Shalom has big plans for the summer!

Patty White, director for more than five years of Camp Gan/Camp Shalom for our community’s youngsters, is planning a banner program for the kids. Children in the preschool through grade five age group can sign up for a week or the whole summer. Camp dates are June 22 through July 17 and July 27 through Aug. 21.
This scribe remembers long years ago when our children — three of mine, Linda Wisch Davidsohn and Steve and Judy Wisch — were among those who traveled to the outskirts of Fort Worth for the community’s first day camp experience. It was rugged, but the kids had a wonderful experience. The late Dr. Frank Cohen, beloved community leader and pediatrician, was always on call and the first to see the need for a summer camp program for our youngsters.
Through the years we’ve had a series of summer camp programs and it’s still ongoing.
You can be sure that at Camp Shalom, your children will be well cared for.
The program includes eight weeks of nonstop outdoor activities including crafts, swimming and sessions, full of Jewish values and summer fun.
Registration for camp starts in March. You can get additional information from Patty White by calling the camp office, 817-737-9898.
The program is part of the Lil Goldman Early Childhood Center.

Benjamin Darling to celebrate bar mitzvah this weekend

Mazel tov to Benjamin William Darling, who will be called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah during Shabbat services this weekend at Congregation Ahavath Sholom. He will lead both the Friday night and Saturday services. Rabbi Alberto “Baruch” Zeilicovich will deliver the charge to Benjamin,
A seventh-grade Honor Roll student at Fort Worth Academy, Benjamin was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society this year. He has played football since age 5 and was on the Fort Worth Academy team which went to the playoffs this school year. Benjamin, who currently plays basketball for his school, has other interests including reading, travel and computers.
Mazel tov also to his parents, Michael and Betsy Darling, and his sister Rachel. On the maternal side, he is the grandson of Frances Kleiman and the late Albert Kleiman. On the paternal side, he is the grandson of Selma Darling and the late Irving Darling. Benjamin also has three pet cats, Max, Leah and Angus.
He will be honored at a series of events during his special weekend including the Kiddush luncheon hosted by his parents and other celebration activities.
Benjamin and his family are looking forward to the joyous occasion with family, friends and the congregation.

News and notes

Mazel tov to proud parents, Tamara and Kevin Garsek, on the recent birth of their son Melvin and to delighted grandparents Ava and Marvin Beleck and Patty and Elliott Garsek. Rabbi/uncle Eddie Garsek of Cincinnati will perform the circumcision ceremony.
Karen Nogen and her husband, Alex Zamansky of Sacramento, Calif., are house hunting for a new home in Texas, preferably in the Fort Worth/Dallas area. Good friend Toni Gernsbacher took them on a tour to see what’s available here.
Welcome guest at the home of Dr. Bernard Zilberg is his son Jonathan from Indonesia. Barbara Rubin recently went on a skiing trip with family to Colorado over the Presidents’ Day weekend. Good news that Mike Blanc and Alex Hoffman are on the mend. Happy birthday greetings to one of my favorite valentines, Debby Rice, who celebrated her birthday in true Debby style.
Words that have stayed with me through the years: Each year, the late Rabbi Robert J. Schur would say to his students. “This summer, I want you to take a long walk, read a good book and make a new friend.” It’s good advice. I’ve never forgotten it.

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