Around the Town with Rene

apr10a-8Beth-El’s annual ‘FUNdraiser’: It’s time to celebrate 10 years!

The entire community is invited to a celebration in honor of 10 fabulous years in Beth-El’s current building. The party is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 1. Enjoy a delicious Tex-Mex dinner and margaritas. Back by popular demand, the BluPrint Band will provide great dancing music and tunes. And lastly, attire is casual — no need to dress up!
The synagogue has a long and fascinating past. The history surrounding Beth-El’s three successive homes is full of inspiring stories of community, faith and exceptional individuals.
The first Temple, on Taylor Street, was built in 1908. The initial money raised for that house of worship came from a “Temple sinking fund” into which each woman in the congregation contributed 25 cents per month.
In 1920, the congregation moved into a larger synagogue on Broadway Avenue. Beth-El flourished and grew for 80 years at this location. In 1946, the Temple survived a three-alarm blaze. It was rebuilt, and the congregation was strengthened from the ordeal. The red-brick building at Broadway and Galveston had many beautiful limestone features and enhancements, some of which were carefully incorporated into the current building.
Its present home on Briarhaven is beautiful and inspiring. The Building Committee, headed by the incomparable Irwin Krauss, worked long and hard to communicate to the architect exactly what was wanted. It is truly a pleasure to walk into this building and an even greater privilege to be able to call it home.
In attendance will be the builder Jim DeMoss and architects from Hahnfeld Hoffer Stanford.
Join the Temple community on Saturday, May 1. Your participation is needed, particularly at a time when endowment income is low and maintenance expenses are on the rise. There’s still time to join in the fun. For more information or a last-minute reservation please contact Julie Diamond at 817-975-0705 or at by Friday afternoon.

Bruce Cohen returns to ‘Daytimers’

The “Daytimers” loved the program Bruce D. Cohen presented last year on the Jewish soldiers in World War II. He will return to “Daytimers” at noon on Wednesday, May 12, at Beth-El Congregation to talk about his new project, “Jews in the Middle Ages.”
The presentation features stories and pictures illustrating the wide variety of experiences and cultures that Jews created and lived in during the centuries between the expulsion from Judea and the Renaissance.
Bruce is now a full-time history student, but at one time he was associate general counsel for Verizon Wireless. He is an attorney, a father of two young children, a board member of Congregation Kol Ami in Flower Mound and a Sunday school teacher. He is a graduate of Virginia Military Institute and is now pursuing a master’s degree in history at University of North Texas.
Lunch is catered by Subway Sandwich Shop, and guests have a choice of turkey, chicken teriyaki or tuna salad, plus chips, cookies, coffee or tea. Lunch is $9 person, or guests may attend for $4 for the program only.
For reservations, call Fanette Sonkin, 817-346-4666, 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.

Happy birthday to Gayle Johansen!

Gayle Johansen celebrated her 65th birthday in New York City at the home of her brother, Sherwin Goldman. Gayle loves cooking and especially enjoys the Martha Stewart show. Her daughters, Michelle Lockhart and Margaret  Hirsch, planned and pulled off the 24-hour surprise trip to New York to celebrate their mom’s 65th, on April 6. The group attended the Martha Stewart show, which will be aired this Friday, April 30, at noon on NBC. (Martha asked Margaret a question, she was filmed and she “could” be on the air!)

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