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Who We Are:

Hazak is a welcoming senior (50+) group of men and women who meet about once a month at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville. We also carpool to various cultural events in the Fort Worth/Dallas area, although we're now meeting virtually to continue our community in a safe way.

Hazak provides a venue to welcome older adult congregants. Our group fosters spiritual growth, creating a vibrant Judaism in the home, synagogue, and community. Hazak promotes congregants' connection to the congregation and each other. We value community and mutual respect as we share the joy of Jewish life. Under the inspirational guidance of our Rabbi, we make a difference in the lives of our members.

Hazak's Next Events:

Hazak Hanukkah Zoom: Sunday, December 13, 2:00-3:30 pm

Join us for our annual Hanukkah celebration! Don't miss the Hanukkah Quiz, which just might have a few laughs.

Hazak January Zoom: Sunday, January 17, 2:00-3:30 pm

Join us for our first event of 2021.

Recent Events: 

Hazak November Schmooze via Zoom on Sunday, November 8, 2020. At the November Schmooze Zoom sixteen of us shared our experiences and somehow the burden of isolation seemed lighter. A granddaughter is trying to establish a Jewish club at school and hasn’t been able to get a sponsor. One member has 2 new dachshunds, including a real charmer named Ginger; the family is temporarily living in part of the house due to flooding from a slab leak. A couple lives for the weekends now, taking walks, playing with the dog, who picked out her own treat at the pet store; a kid is on the Appalachian trail this weekend. There are now eleven big geese in the subdivision pond of one member, who won’t be with extended family for Thanksgiving due to Covid. Another member’s grandson got married yesterday; she couldn’t attend, but the ceremony was Zoomed plus she got 20 photos and 2 videos. She’s still visiting the camels at Shiloh Road and FM 1171 most weekends. We heard a joke about weight loss, and shared recommendations for binge-watching the Israeli TV drama Srugim, reading Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, watching The Queen’s Gambit miniseries about a chess prodigy, and seeing the film The Life Ahead with Sophia Loren playing a Holocaust survivor.  One member calls her 93-year-old mother every day, and has family Zooms every other week with participants in Ecuador, Paris, London, Madrid, Washington, and California. Another member was accused of becoming a Gladys Kravitz type busybody (Bewitched) for watching new neighbors move in (the movers said to their clients, “Your neighbor has walked by 3 times, why not talk to her)”. The little things bring us joy – autumn leaves, fresh raspberries, getting a manicure an hour before the salon opens. Many of us will have Thanksgiving at home with no visitors. But we all agreed on a handy rule of thumb: When in doubt get Chinese take-out.

Hazak October Show & Tell via Zoom on Sunday, October 18, 2020. We shared original songs ("I am 60 going on 70"), a joke, Sri Lankan carved demons to keep illness away (so far it's worked), grandmother's 120-year-old black lace shawl from Russia, a brass candlestick the grandparents brought over from Russia, magnets from a balling gun to isolate metal debris in a cow's stomach, an original watercolor showing a woman on a bench at Brighton Beach, a painting of distinguished grandfather which may be the original or one of several copies commissioned in Japan, crocheted tablecovers and blankets, quilts, a mystery book recommendation for Shari LaPena, Saipan Chamorran wood carvings from the 1940s, an oil shale rock bigger than the one in a museum, a photo of grandfather's garment factory in Montreal, a story about hitting the road in 2018 in a 23-foot RV named Sandman and meeting Natalie the lone cycler, and an Austin Healy sportscar stolen in 1970 and recovered in 2012 (the actual car). The 18 people had so many stories to share!

Hazak August Scavenger Hunt via Zoom on Sunday, August 9, 2020. We had so much fun at our Scavenger Hunt! Many thanks to Nancy and Howard Weinberg for being our host and scorekeeper. The competition was close, and when it came down to 2 finalists (the Leeds and Cyndy), we had to go through several tie-breakers to get a winner. There was quite a story behind some items. For example, why would you have tickets to box seats at the 1971 World Series? Because your husband wore the wrong jacket that day and the tickets were in the pocket of the jacket back home! You ended up watching the series on a TV set in a bar. We saw such a variety of travel souvenirs. There were 19 people on the Zoom. Before the Hunt began, we schmoozed and talked about voting by mail and how important it is to mail the ballot in quickly and sign with your usual signature, because we would love for CBI to be a 100% voting congregation.

Hazak July Schmooze via Zoom on July 12, 2020: Amazing variety of topics with 22 participants! We shared: where you can drive to view 2 camels in a field, an adventure getting lost in a gated community under construction (with security guard escort to the exit), a visit to a peach farm, doctor-hopping, playing rummy tile, finally getting a car delivered from Florida, shops re-closing in Mexico, a cat named Miss Dior, advocating for nursing home Covid tests, Covid impact on wedding plans for 2 sons, tutoring online 5 hours per day, how Covid has changed our dreams, and congrats on a grandchild being a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.

Hazak June Schmooze via Zoom on June 14, 2020: It was great to see the faces of 20 Hazak friends. We shared joys and sorrows from our recent experiences: playing bridge with friends sitting far apart outdoors while wearing masks, celebrating grandchildren's graduations, navigating a spouse's non-Covid hospitalization during a pandemic, experiencing the death of an elderly parent overseas and not being able to travel there, and some unexpected and not entirely delightful aspects of being a medical expat in Mexico when the situation changed due to Covid-19.

Hazak Virtual Gathering with the Rabbi on May 17, 2020: There was a tremendous turnout, with 29 people sharing their sequester experiences. We learned that some of us have had immediate family members come down with Covid-19. Many of us are appreciating nature and the birds in our yard and even the road work crews. Rabbi Charlie fielded all questions, which ranged from Hakol vs. Meitim, why some of the Shema is whispered in some congregations and not in others, the beauty of the Plum Street Synagogue in Cincinnati, and a question about the Jameh Mosque in Isfahan in central Iran.

Hazak Shabbat and Oneg on March 20 in the CBI Sanctuary:  Due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19, this service was not held as planned. We regret this but made this decision out of respect for the health of our members. We need to act responsibly in accordance with Jewish values.

Seussical Musical Play:  Our February 2020 event was a cheerful one: Seussical is a rollicking, high-energy musical which had all eleven of us laughing, a fun show with a serious message. (Did you know that Theodor Seuss Geisel worked with Mel Blanc making hilarious army training films during World War II?) After the play, we enjoyed a meal together at the Black Walnut Cafe, where we learned that one of us has taken to heart the advice to eat dessert first.

Dr. Max Spindler and Carol J. Levy: Max and Carol spoke about Max's Holocaust experiences as a child hidden in Catholic facilities in Belgium, in a moving and engaging presentation on January 26, 2020. Max was shuffled from orphanage to orphanage during World War II, and finally moved to Israel and later to the United States after the war. We had the rare privilege of hearing the first-person account of a child who survived the Holocaust, pieced together his history over many years of research, and reclaimed his Jewish identity. At the end there were many questions; 43 people were present. Delicious refreshments were enjoyed before and after the talk.

Who is Dr. Max Spindler?

Dr. Spindler was a Jewish Hidden Child in Belgium. His parents placed him in hiding for protection in 1943 when he was only 4-½ years old. Max remained in various Catholic orphanages until 1949. He was introduced to his younger brother in December of 1947, the first inkling that he had relatives in this world.

Max Spindler rejoined the Jewish community in 1949. He was taken to Israel when he was nearly 11 years old, and then went to live with an aunt in New York City in 1952, just before his 14th birthday.

After completing his formal education, Max came to Dallas in 1967 to take a job. He has reared two sons within the Jewish faith and is retired from the University of Texas at Arlington, where he was an Associate Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.

Hazak Hanukkah Celebration:  Our hosts Christine and Gene Posnock made us feel so welcome December 8, 2019. From Christine's potato latkes to the ever-popular White Elephant Gift Exchange, we had a great time together, enjoying a meal and conversation together. It was one of our most joyous gatherings ever, with 35 attendees.

National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame:  We had a great visit November 3, 2019, with 13 attendees! There was even a special exhibit featuring our favorite Israeli Wonder Woman Gal Gadot. A Texas Jewish cowgirl is honored there: Frances Rosenthal Kallison, who was also instrumental in founding the Texas Jewish Historical Society. Several of our Hazak cowgirls were filmed competing in a rodeo (it's on video - it must be real). We agreed that lunch at Gloria's in Montgomery Plaza was delightful.

"Ask the Rabbi" Session:  Many thanks to Rabbi Charlie for our kick-off event in September 2019, the ever-popular "Ask the Rabbi" session. We had a good turnout of 21, with LOTS of questions, ranging across topics as diverse as recent anti-Semitism, Rabbinical education and ordination, Reconstructionist Judaism, female Orthodox Rabbis, Chabad, intermarriage, Jews for Jesus, the Amidah, the Bar'chu, the Jewish ethic against waste in this week's Torah portion, and layers of meaning and metaphor in the Hebrew language. Thank you to our members who brought and served the delicious, bountiful refreshments.

Dallas Holocaust Museum Visit: An enlightening and sobering visit on July 14, 2019. We had so many attendees (22) that the museum provided Hazak two separate docent-led tours, each covering the museum as a whole as well as the special exhibition "Let Me Be Myself: The Life Story of Anne Frank,” which is the last special exhibition in their current building. Afterwards we shared a meal together at the Spaghetti Warehouse nearby.

Musical Play: Joseph and the Amazing Color Dreamcoat had us dancing in our seats in June 2019. We had a great turnout of 20 people, and enjoyed a meal together afterwards at the Black Walnut Cafe.

Annual Luncheon: We had a wonderful time at our annual luncheon May 5, 2019, at Howard Wang's China Grill with 18 attendees. The Millimets made us feel so welcome at the dessert and conversation afterwards in their home.

Havdalah and Movie Night: The Israeli film The Green Dumpster Mystery was featured at Hazak's "Havdalah and Movie Night" on March 16, 2019.

People sat rapt during the screening. At the end of the film, no one was restless - we watched the credits, held in the moment.  The effective use of music sustained the mood.

When we finally turned up the lights, the first comment was said softly, "They only wanted to live!"

Then one person exclaimed, "I felt like I was there! That is my story! When they went to the cemetery, Shoah is in area 13, and my husband is in 16. Shoah was 20; my husband was 32."

Another comment: "I've been doing genealogical research on my family, and can really identify with the search, the conflicting information, dead ends, and frustration, especially when he couldn't find the baby girl's name."

People felt that the movie shows the aftermath of the Holocaust in a way that "shocks slowly," as it reveals the families to be remnants of a lost, murdered world. The filmmaker's decision to frame the story around his discovery process added to our experience because we could feel his curiosity and persistence as he followed clues and leads.

Hazak provided a family tree handout to help us follow the story. The subtitles were clear. As an added bonus, one attendee who is totally deaf could follow the film without assistance. There were 19 attendees.

Hazak Events 2012-2020

Oct 2012: “Ask the Rabbi” open learning session with Rabbi Charlie

Nov 2012: Get Acquainted Game and Planning Session

Dec 2012: Hanukkah Celebration and Tzedakah Gift Basket

Jan 2013: Hazak Luncheon, Bellisimo’s

Feb 2013: Charley’s Aunt play by Onstage in Bedford

Mar 2013: Speaker: Diana Staples on “Synagogues in Thailand and Taiwan”

Apr 2013: “Chagall: Beyond Color” exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art

May 2013: Fiddler on the Roof play in Grapevine

Jun 2013: Hazak Annual Luncheon, From Across the Pond

Sep 2013: Sukkah, Planning meeting and blessings with the lulav and etrog

Oct 2013: Ask the Rabbi: “Did that really happen? Archaeology and the Bible,” Rabbi Charlie

Nov 2013: “Israel Visit: An Ultra-Orthodox Bar Mitzvah in Jerusalem,” Judith & Stuart Yarus

Dec 2013: Hanukkah Celebration: home of Carol Hammock & Rich Morris

Jan 2014: Smokey Joe’s Café musical at the Artisan Center Theater

Feb 2014: Speaker: artist Richard Baratz, Sardi’s caricaturist and U.S. currency engraver

Mar 2014: Dallas Holocaust Museum visit & film: “BESA: A Code of Honor: Muslim Albanians Who Rescued Jews during the Holocaust”

May 2014: Hazak Annual Luncheon, Bellissimo's & dessert at the Millimets’

May 2014: Sponsor and host the Oneg after the Friday night service

Oct 2014: IMAX film Jerusalem at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, with Sisterhood

Nov 2014: “Ask the Rabbi” open learning session with Rabbi Charlie, and refreshments

Dec 2014: Hanukkah Celebration and Tzedakah basket: home of Carol Hammock & Rich Morris

Jan 2015: “Faces of Impressionism: Portraits from the Musée d’Orsay” at the Kimbell Art Museum

Feb 2015: Speaker Dr. Max Spindler, The Yiddish Language

Mar 2015: Hazak luncheon, Italianni’s

Mar 2015: Havdalah & Israeli Film The Dove Flyer, Ruth Levitz hosting Q&A, Iraqi refreshments

May 2015: "SIX13" Jewish A Cappella Group, Congregation Ahavath Sholom, lunch at Charleston’s

Jul 2015: Sponsor and host the Oneg after the Friday night service

Sep 2015: Hazak Aliyah on Yom Kippur morning

Oct 2015: “Ask the Rabbi” open learning session with Rabbi Charlie, and refreshments

Nov 2015: “A Time to Talk--A Jewish Community Conversation about Advance Care Planning," Beth-El Congregation, Fort Worth

Dec 2015: Hanukkah Celebration, home of Claudio & Elena Man

Jan 2016: Forever Plaid musical play & meal at Ti Amo’s

Feb 2016: Perot Museum of Nature & Science and lunch at the museum

Mar 2016: Havdalah & Film Yidl Mitn Fidl, Yiddish-themed refreshments

Apr 2016: Dallas Holocaust Museum visit & lunch

May 2016: Hazak Annual Luncheon, Bellissimo's, Dessert at the Millimets’

Jun 2016: Bureau of Engraving & Printing visit & lunch at Tom+Chee

Aug 2016: Modern Art Museum “Frank Stella” exhibit & lunch at Milano’s

Sep 2016: “Ask the Rabbi” session & refreshments

Nov 2016: George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum visit, with lunch

Dec 2016: Hanukkah Celebration, home of Claudio & Elena Man

Jan 2017: Havdalah & Film Carvalho's Journey & Q&A, with refreshments

Feb 2017: “Pablo Picasso:Ceramics” Arlington Museum of Art, Babe’s lunch

Mar 2017: Hazak Shabbat and Oneg

May 2017: Hazak Annual Luncheon, Palio’s Cafe, Dessert at the Millimets’

July 2017: On the Town musical play

Aug 2017: Amon Carter Museum of American Art visit, Terra Mediterranean

Oct 2017: Ask the Rabbi” session & refreshments

Nov 2017: Application Pending play at Circle Theater, lunch at Corner Bakery

Dec 2017: Hanukkah Celebration, home of Claudio & Elena Man

Jan 2018: Bob Goldberg, Jewish Federation & refreshments

Feb 2018: Moon over Buffalo play & lunch at Big Fish Seafood Grill

Mar 2018: “Posnocks in Africa” presentation and refreshments

Apr 2018: Havdalah & Film Theodore Bikel:In the Shoes of Sholem Aleichem, Oneg

Jun 2018: Hazak Annual Luncheon, Tio Carlos, Dessert at the Millimets’

Jul 2018: The Wedding Singer musical play & lunch at Terra Grill

Oct 2018: “Ask the Rabbi” session & refreshments

Nov 2018: Kimbell Museum lunch & “Balenciaga in Black”

Dec 2018: Hanukkah Celebration, home of Claudio & Elena Man

Jan 2019: Journalists Kerry Gunnels & Marice Richter

Feb 2019: Hazak Shabbat and Oneg

Mar 2019: Havdalah & Israeli Film The Green Dumpster Mystery, snacks

May 2019: Annual Luncheon, Howard Wang’s, Dessert at the Millimets’

June 2019: Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat play, Black Walnut

July 2019: Dallas Holocaust Museum: Life Story of Anne Frank & lunch

Sept 2019: “Ask the Rabbi” session & refreshments

Nov 2019: National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame visit, Gloria’s Cuisine

Dec 2019: Hanukkah Celebration, home of Gene & Christine Posnock

Jan 2020: Max Spindler & Carol Levy: Holocaust Experience as a Child Hidden in Catholic Facilities

Feb 2020: Seussical musical play, meal at Black Walnut Cafe

May 2020: Virtual Gathering and "Ask the Rabbi" session

June 2020: Hazak June Schmooze via Zoom

July 2020: Hazak July Schmooze via Zoom

Aug 2020: Hazak Scavenger Hunt via Zoom

Oct 2020: Hazak Show & Tell via Zoom

Nov 2020: Hazak November Schmooze via Zoom

Thu, December 3 2020 17 Kislev 5781