Beth-El Congregation

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Welcome to Beth-El Congregation

A Reform Synagogue Serving Metropolitan Tarrant County

Building the Jewish Future

At Beth-El Congregation, we strive to meet the spiritual, educational, social, and religious needs of our members through the teachings and practice of Reform Judaism.  Our community supports the life events of our congregants and demonstrates diverse ways of caring and sharing.  We invite you to come to our Temple and join us for worship, study, tikkun olam (repair of the world) and friendship.


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Shabbat Services

Kabbalat Shabbat Early Service

Ottensteins

Friday, November 24

5:45 pm - Wine, Cheese, and Shabbat Candles
6:15 pm - Kabbalat Shabbat Early Service

 

Service of Thanksgiving
Scott Sloter will lead the music.

 

Introduction to Judaism Class

Intro to Judaism

Judaism

Tuesday, November 28, at 7:30 pm

Come explore the customs and culture, festivals and philosophy of Judaism. The class is open to all those interested in conversion, those who are Jewish and want to keep up with their children in religious school and those who might just want a grown-up refresher course. No prior knowledge of Judaism or Hebrew is required.

This year, the course will be taught in three five-week sessions linked to seasons in which the holidays and related concepts take place. The first five-week class will focus on themes related to Chanukah, Jewish History and Shabbat and begin on Tuesday, November 7th
A complete schedule will be handed out at the beginning of the first session. Please contact Rabbi Zimmerman with any questions about this ongoing class.

 

Thursday Morning Kabbalah

Kabbalah: The Journey of the Jewish Soul

Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman

Thursday, November 30, at 11:30 am

There is still time to join Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman for an Introduction to the Kabbalah.  He will teach a lunchtime course exploring the Zohar and the secret texts of Jewish mysticism at 11:30 am every other Thursday. Please buy and bring your own copy of The Essential Kabbalah, the Heart of Jewish Mysticism, by Daniel Matt.

 

Many people have turned today to the study of Jewish mysticism sometimes called “Kabbalah.”  We have tried to renew this study especially when many of us are seeking meaning in our faith and tradition.  Many non-Jews as well have turned to these ancient teachings to find meaning for themselves.  We shall begin with an attempt to gain an understanding of these teachings and what we can learn from them about faith, life’s purpose and our own role in bringing about the redemption of the world.

The class will continue on Thursdays, December 14, January 11 and 25, and February 8.

 

Introductory Torah Trope

Learning to Leyn with Monica Braverman

Monica Braverman

Thursday, November 30, at 7:30 pm, at the Temple

You can still join Student Cantor Monica Braverman for a 10-week adult class on Torah Trope. Trope is the melodic punctuation system that teaches us how to chant sacred Jewish text from Torah.  This class will focus on understanding the names and melodies of the t’amim (trope signs). Together we’ll learn the melodies for reading Torah on Shabbat, and you won’t believe how much easier it makes reading Hebrew and pronouncing it correctly! If you can read Hebrew even a little, you can do this! Guaranteed to be fun and interactive!  It is NOT singing, so don’t say, “Oh, I can’t sing.”  It is chant!  Try it out Thursday nights at 7:30 pm.

 

Family Activities Chanukah Party

Chanukah Party

Chanukah

Saturday, December 2, 3:30 to 5:15 pm
At Pump It Up!

Please bring a wrapped book for an exchange.  $5 per child is not required, but will help defray costs.  RSVP to Erica Bekerman.

 

Sunday Morning Conversations

Sunday Morning Conversations

Selected Sundays at 9:00 am in the Board Room.


Rabbi Seymour Rossell

Sundays, December 3 & 10

Rabbi Seymour Rossell will speak on Myths of Christmas and Chanukah.

We may resist the idea that holy days can be connected across religions, even as we attempt to find ways in which “our” holy days are somehow loftier or more meaningful than “their” holy days. Actually the celebration of our holy days can be elevated and intensified by seeing how connected we really are. Give yourself a seasonal gift. Come and explore the secret nexus between Christmas and Chanukah. Be surprised.


Susan Lippe

Sunday, January 7

The Order of the Books of the Bible in Christianity, Judaism and Islam:  Why are they Different and Why that Matters, with Rabbi Susan Lippe.

Rabbi Seymour Rossell

Sunday, January 28

20th Century Jewish American Literature: The Very Quick Concise Version Part I, with Bob Goldberg


Bob Goldberg, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, earned his Master’s Degree in literature. We are excited that Bob will bring his love of Jewish literature to our adult morning conversations on several Sunday mornings.


Rabbi Seymour Rossell
Six-Part class beginning on January 14, and continuing January 21, February 11, 18, April 8, and 15

Priests, Prophets, and Kings with Rabbi Seymour Rossell

The Book of Samuel lays bare the politics, checks, and balances in early Israel. For our part, we will read it with modern analysis, archaeology, and criticism. How much is history and how much is propaganda? Why did our ancestors not “clean up” the stories of Saul, David, and Solomon? What can we take away from this engaging and shocking book that adds to the richness of our modern lives? Out of politics, kings, prophets, and priests comes a sacred text bearing a sacred message.

 

Movie and Discussion

Movie and Discussion

Norman Movie

Sunday, December 3, 6:00 pm

Richard Gere gives the performance of his career as Norman, a low-level New York City fixer trying to catch a break. When he buys a pair of shoes for an up-and-coming Israeli politician, Norman finds himself on everyone’s rolodex and enmeshed in the politics of Israel, his local temple, rabbinic officiation at weddings, and even his own wild imagination.  

The film draws upon a rich history of American Jewish theater, literature, and film to create a thoroughly modern comic tragedy that is rooted in a disappearing past.

Rabbi Zimmerman will moderate a post screening conversation with Bob Goldberg, Executive Director of The Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, and Richard Allen, professor of Film, Television and Digital Media at TCU and Director of The Orchard Theatre of Fort Worth.

 

People of the Book

People of the Book

Sailor and Fiddler

Tuesday, December 5, at 10:00 am

Gail Roberts will lead our discussion on Sailor and Fiddler: Reflections of a 100-Year-Old Author, by Herman Wouk, in which the beloved author reflects on his life. Some of his experiences include writing for comedian Fred Allen’s radio show, enlisting in the Navy, falling in love with his wife of 66 years, and writing his masterpieces.  For more information, contact Marla Parvey.

See more about the book here.


After the Fire

Tuesday, January 23, at 10:00 am

Rebecca Cristol will lead our discussion on After the Fire: A Novel, by Lauren Belfer. Per BBC.com, this National Jewish Book Award winner is “finely written historical fiction layered with richly detailed characters and moral complexity.”  For more information, contact Marla Parvey.

See more about the book here.

 

WRJ Latkes and Literature

Latkes and Literature

Latkes

Sunday, December 10

To welcome the “holiday season,” and most importantly, Chanukah, WRJ is hosting its second annual Latkes and Literature on Sunday, December 10, at Liz Manion’s home.  Mulled wine, crispy latkes, sparkling conversation and a rather competitive book exchange are all on the docket.

I hope all ladies (members and non) will make plans to come. It is sure to be a veritable bestseller of an event! The cost is $5 for WRJ members and $10 for non-members.

Online reservations will be available soon.  Please email Anna Caplan for more information.

 

Chanukah Synaplex Celebration

Chanukah Synaplex

Friday, December 15

5:30 pm - Tot Shabbat Chanukah Service
6:00 pm - Chanukah Family Dinner (RSVP Required) prepared by MRJ.  Bring your Chanukiah and candles!
7:15 pm - Synaplex Shabbat Options

 

It’s Chanukah, it’s Synaplex—it’s Chanukahplex!
Come for the dinner, bring your menorahs, come for the programs, and come to be with your Beth-El family!
We have Synaplex programs for the whole family.

  •     Musical Shabbat Experience—A special musical program with Scott Sloter and friends. (Kaddish will be recited).
  •     The Great Debate—Apple Sauce vs. Sour Cream:  bring your best argument.  Be prepared to take a stand and choose a side!
  •     The Great Family Menorah Light Race—with Ilana

Rolling Oneg to follow.  You must RSVP for the dinner to the Temple office at 817-332-7141.  No charge for the dinner, but donations to the MRJ are always appreciated.

RSVP to the Temple by calling 817-332-7141 or emailing.

 

Chinese Food and Trivia Contest

Chinese Food and Trivia Contest

Sunday, December 24, at 6:00 pm

MRJ’s Christmas Eve Trivia Challenge and Chinese Food Dinner is back this year!  After a year off, MRJ’s Trivia Master, Les Rosenthal, will once again bring a wide range of topics to challenge you and your friends.

Like the 2015 Challenge, this year’s affair will feature dinner from Szechuan on Camp Bowie.  The trivia challenge will follow, and participants will be able to seat themselves at a table of their choice, making their own team of eight trivia challengers.

Trivia categories and topics will be wide ranging and challenging for everyone from young adults to experienced trivia veterans. So bring everybody who is at home on Christmas Eve and enjoy MRJ’s evening of fun and competitive trivia!  Great prizes will be given to everyone at the winning table.

Space may be limited and reservations are an absolute must!  Reservations will close at 2:00 pm on Friday, December 22.  No reservations will be taken after the deadline.

If you’d like more information about the event, contact Les Rosenthal at 310-910-9505 or Howard Bellet at 817-937-4613.

The price is $15 per person.  Click here to register online.

 

Social Action Events

Volunteer at Beautiful Feet Ministries on Christmas Day

Beautiful Feet

Monday, December 25

Join fellow Temple members and volunteers from B’nai B’rith in preparing a holiday meal and distributing gifts at Beautiful Feet Ministry on Hattie Street in Fort Worth. Shifts are available from early morning through early afternoon. Volunteers are welcome to bring gifts of clothing, especially women’s clothing in sizes L and XL and all sizes of socks, t-shirts, and underwear; small-size toiletries in a ziplock bag would also be appreciated. To volunteer or make a donation, please email Randee Kaitcer or call her at 817-377-0505.
 


MLK Day of Service

MLK Day of Service

Monday, January 15

Temple members of all ages may join with volunteers across Fort Worth for service projects around the city. Visit Tarrant Churches Together to sign up. The day starts with an interfaith service celebrating the legacy of Dr. King and concludes with a luncheon where volunteers can meet one another. Area schools are generally closed so this is an opportunity for teens and perhaps even younger children to spend part of the day volunteering.
 


Planned Parenthood Speaker at Shabbat Service

Planned Parenthood

Friday, January 19, 6: 15 pm

A representative from Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, Virginia Braly, will speak at Friday night services about the organization’s work and will also discuss ways to support its mission. Come and learn, too, about the Jewish perspective on family planning and health care.
 

 

College Students' Winter Break Event

Pizza, Ice Cream, and fun!

Winter Break

Wednesday, January 3, at 6:00 pm

Meet your friends, catch up on old and new news, grab some pizza, ice cream and other treats and say hello to the new Rabbi! Stop by Beth-El on for our Winter Break Celebration.

Please RSVP to the Temple by Tuesday, January 2, at 817-332-7141 or email the rabbi so we can be sure to have lots of food for all.

 

Religious School Family Day

Family Day Flyer

 

Shabbat Shira Musical Scholar-In-Residence Weekend

Shabbat Shira Musical Scholar-In-Residence Weekend

John Kaplan

January 26-28, 2018

Friday, January 26, at 7:30 pm: Sermon-in-Song with the Beth-El Choir, Klezzoup!, and all interested Temple musicians
Saturday, January 27, at 11:30 am: A Service of Renewal
Saturday, January 27, at 7:00 pm: Havdallah Kumsitz Sing-Along.  Bring your guitar, your voice, or your enthusiasm for a celebratory end to Shabbat.
Sunday, January 28, at 9:30 am: Morning prayer and song experiences with our Religious School students.

We are delighted to welcome Rabbi Cantor John M. Kaplan as our first Shabbat Shira guest scholar. Rabbi Kaplan currently serves Congregation B’nai Israel in Jackson, Tennessee, and is the Cantor Emeritus for Temple Israel where he served as a member of the clergy team for over three decades. Rabbi Cantor Kaplan works with all voices, all instruments and all ages to bring creativity, passion and joy into the traditions of our sacred musical past.

This event is made possible in part by the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County.

 

Shabbat out of the Box

Join us for Shabbat Out of the Box

Shabbat out of the Box

Saturday, January 27, any time between 10:30 am and 1:30 pm

Yoga, Drum Circles, Meditation, Musical Services of Reflection, Improv Torah study; each Shabbat Out of The box will offer multiple opportunities to experience Shabbat in ways that engage the senses, body and soul in unique and different ways. Each morning will offer special guests who share expertise and help us unlock the nature of the day of rest. Come for one session or more and stay for a community Shabbat lunch experience.

 

Texas Jewish Historical Society

Save the Date

Drive-In Movie

The Texas Jewish Historical Society will gather at Beth-El April 13-15, 2018

Schedule for the weekend:

Friday, April 13 - Shabbat dinner catered by MRJ and services with Rabbi Zimmerman and the The Beth-El Choir

Saturday, April 14, 10:00 am - Presentation in the Great Hall: Gone 2 Texas: Two Waves of Jewish Immigration--Soviet and South African.  Guest Moderator will be Dr. Mark Goldberg, Director of Jewish Studies at the University of Houston.  Lunch will be sandwich platters from Yogi's Deli.

Saturday night - The Beat Goes On: Klezmer Havdalah.  Local Klesmer musicians (The Klezzoup! troupe) will serenade during a barbeque dinner.

Sunday, April 15 - TJHS General Membership Meeting.

Would you like to volunteer for the Host Committee?  Local volunteers will be encouraged to mingle with out-of-towners during dinner, bring homemade dishes for the oneg Shabbat, and help with Registration.  Click here to volunteer.  The weekend's musical theme is "Orchestrating Our Heritage."

 

Life & Legacy Program

BETH-EL CONGREGATION LIFE & LEGACY PROGRAM

 

Beth-El Congregation’s Life & Legacy Program is a platform to steward donors and promote after-lifetime giving to benefit Beth-El Congregation or other Jewish entities in the local community. Beth-El Congregation has, to this point in time, recognized individuals and families who have included the congregation in their estate planning as Pillars of Beth-El. Through their generosity, they have planted seeds for those who will come after them, helping ensure that the congregation will remain a strong home of worship, education, and service. Life & Legacy continues and builds on the Pillars of Beth-El.  A legacy gift will not only continue your financial support of the congregation, it will signify to your loved ones and the entire community the importance of the passage of values from one generation to the next.

 

To continue reading about the Beth-El Life and Legacy Program, please click here

Click here for the Beth-El Live Streaming Worship Services

Streaming is available on a periodic basis; check this site for announcements.

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