Around the Town with Rene

Beth-El students, volunteers make blankets for homeless
With temperatures dropping, Congregation Beth-El’s Social Action Committee, with the leadership of Michael Sankary, is working to help keep the less fortunate warm this winter by making blankets for the Presbyterian Church Night homeless shelter. Many congregants gather together with the seventh-, eighth-, ninth-grade and confirmation students around tables and on the floors to create the warm blankets which hopefully will also create warm hearts at the shelter during the cold winter.

The warmth of Beth-El’s students and congregants finds expression in this warm blanket they are making for the less fortunate.

For nearly 25 years, the Presbyterian Night Shelter (PNS) in East Fort Worth has served the needs of Tarrant County’s homeless. The largest provider of services for the homeless, PNS is the only free area emergency shelter without length-of-stay restrictions. Located in the shadows of downtown Fort Worth, the shelter believes in respecting the dignity of its clients, while supplying meals, beds, and basic human care to an average of 704 homeless men and women every night and approximately 5,000 annually. It provides hope to its clients and is working to end homelessness. Through counseling and specialized programs, PNS provides resources so clients can re-enter mainstream society. For example, 35 homeless people are employed by the shelter in day-to-day operations. Case management and specialized services are also provided at each of the four facilities on the 5-acre campus.
Andy Karsner wins Building Council award
David and Blanche Karsner are kvelling over son Andy’s latest achievement. Last week, Andy was given the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest honor: the President’s Award (their leader of the year). It was presented in Boston before a record audience at their annual GreenBuild Conference.

‘Daytimers’ plan Dec. 17 Chanukah party
“Daytimers” are looking forward to a Chanukah party Wednesday, Dec. 17, at noon at Beth-El. The afternoon will feature a musical program featuring Jewish and Chanukah music presented by Armen and Ariana Cherkasov. In honor of the holiday, the luncheon will be an Israeli buffet catered by Riki Epstein.
The event is also a benefit for the Tarrant Area Food Bank. Guests are asked to share their holiday by bringing canned and packaged goods for the Food Bank. The holidays may be bleak for many needy families without our help.
Armen Cherkasov, violin, and Ariana Cherkasov, piano, were trained at the State Conservatory of Baku, Azerbaijan. They both played with the Baku Opera and Symphony Orchestra, and both taught at the Music College in Baku. They came to the U.S. in 1989 following the civil war which led to the breakup of the Soviet Union. They are part of a musical family. Their son is the assistant concertmaster of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and their daughter-in-law teaches piano in the Music Department at TCU.
Their program will feature Chanukah songs, some favorite Yiddish melodies and selections from “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Milk and Honey.”
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. There has been a change in the credit card processing. “Daytimers” can now 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.
Yee-haw! Come to Beth Israel’s Chanukah Hoedown, Dec. 7
An exciting raffle and auction will highlight Congregation Beth Israel’s Chanukah Hoedown on Sunday, Dec. 7, 3 p.m. at the Rocky Top Ranch in Keller.
You could be the winner of some fabulous prizes. Bring your cash and checkbook.
All proceeds will go toward improving and upgrading Beth Israel’s kitchen.
Raffle tickets are only $3 each or 10 tickets for $25, or you can participate in the silent auction. Part of the fun at the Hoedown is bidding on items you want to win.
Silent auction items include: Bed and Breakfast at the Hilton, one weekend night stay with breakfast for two at the DFW Hilton Lakes; Have a Suite Weekend, one weekend night stay with manager’s reception and cooked-to-order breakfast for two at the Grapevine Embassy Suites; Take a Staycation, certificate for a night at the Marriott Solana; Take Me Out to the Ballgame, certificate for a 20-person Texas Rangers Suite during the 2009 regular season (some limitations, food not included); golf for four at Timarron Country Club; golf for two at Vaquero; new Calloway golf clubs.
Raffle items include: The Rabbi Cooks Tonight, gourmet dinner for four (or two couples) prepared by Beth Israel’s own Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker; dinner and a $25 gift certificate for Cheesecake Factory and $25 certificate for Harkins Theaters; Grapevine Concert, $100 gift certificate from Bob’s Steak and Chop House in Grapevine; Shop and Lunch in Grapevine, $50 gift certificate for Chico’s and $25 gift certificate for Cheesecake Factory; A Night with the Stars, four tickets to a Dallas Stars game, center ice; The Play’s the Thing, two tickets to a 2009 main-stage production of the Uptown Players in Dallas (not good for Saturday evening); CBI Bling, unique handmade jewelry set from Beth Israel’s own Karen Reid; Grapevine Bling, beautiful turquoise-colored earring and necklace set from Ooh La La in Grapevine handpicked by Beth Israel’s Sylvia Helton and your very own Lolita hand-painted wine glass; Stay in Shape (two), one month free membership to Larry North Fitness with one free personal training session; Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel, unique handmade wooden art dreidel from Blue Moon Gallery in Grapevine; for the sports fan, official Major League baseball autographed by Mike Young of the Texas Rangers.
You can do your part to help CBI and have fun at the same time.
Chanukah: Yesterday and Today presentation Dec. 14
Judy Cohen, Chanukah Heritage chair for Historic Fort Worth, Inc.’s observance of Quality Hill Holidays, has her days filled with stellar plans for the upcoming observance of Chanukah: Yesterday and Today, which will be held at the Mitchell-Schoonover House–Law Office of Art Brender at 600 8th Ave. The Chanukah presentation will be directly across from Thistle Hill’s display of A Cattle Baron’s Christmas. The one-day event for both presentations will be held simultaneously on Sunday, Dec. 14 from 2 to 6 p.m.

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