Abels expands FW&TC Federation programs

Photos: Courtesy Jewish Federation of Fort Worht & Tarrant County
Federation staffer Cindy Simon reads a PJ Library book about Sukkot to children and parents at Oakmont Park on Sept. 19, 2021.

By Ben Tinsley 

FORT WORTH — Barry Abels, the new executive director of the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth & Tarrant County, has brought his love of Jewish culture and history to exciting new programming for the community. 

“Barry has hit the ground running and hasn’t looked back,” said Todd Blumenfeld, Federation board chair. He explained that Abels has been able to incorporate what he’s learned from his past posts and incorporate what’s worked with what fits with the Tarrant County Jewish community.

“He’s a doer, and everyone that I’ve spoken to in the community has had nothing but positive things to say about him, and having worked with him pretty closely since he got here, I would say the same. He’s exactly what we needed and I feel like we are lucky to have him.” Blumenfeld added.

From superheroes on Zoom to presentations about the Jewish experience in China, Abels is pursuing diverse experiences on behalf of the community, said Carole Rogers, Psy.D., director of Jewish Family Services. “He loves Jewish culture, and he loves the history of being Jewish,” Rogers said.  

One example of the creative programming is tonight at 7 p.m., when author Roy Schwartz presents: “Is Superman Circumcised? The Complete Jewish History of the World’s Greatest Hero.” Find the Zoom link at tarrantfederation.org. 

Another don’t-miss program is “Judaica Journeys,” a Jewish version of Antiques Roadshow, in which Judaica expert Arthur Feldman, owner of his eponymous gallery in Chicago, will be on hand at Ahavath Shalom Congregation at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, to discuss Jewish ritual items and Jewish artwork and provide requested background. 

“He (Feldman) will be able to provide background information about the artist or manufacturer, country of origin and, if desired, an unofficial appraisal of the item,” Abels said.

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