The great hall at Beth-El Congregation was overflowing Oct. 30, when the Isadore Garsek Lodge of B’nai B’rith honored Harry Kahn with its 2016 Person of the Year Award.
Kahn is well-known throughout the Jewish community as a man that gets things done and co-opts many into community service spanning more than five decades in Fort Worth. Kahn immigrated to Chicago at age 11 in 1939, following Kristallnacht. During his remarks, he explained that the BDS movement so prevalent on many college campuses is the modern form of Joseph Goebbels Nazi propaganda. “If you tell a lie often enough, people start to believe it.”
Kahn thanked the full house for turning out in support of B’nai B’rith. His remarks were brief considering the magnitude of his contribution to the Fort Worth Jewish community and community at large. “The thing I’m proudest of is the Second Seder we started at Ahavath Sholom,” he explained. Kahn went to Rabbi Isadore Garsek, of blessed memory, and pitched his idea for the community Seder. Rabbi Garsek responded with skepticism, but Harry convinced him to support the endeavor.
“We had 125 people at that first Seder, people who may not have participated in a Seder at all without that one.” The Seder continues every year.
The Isadore Garsek Lodge is considered one of the top five most active chapters across the United States, in no small part thanks to Harry Kahn’s energy and commitment.