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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:

"Tell Me Something" Zoom: Sunday, November 7, 2021, 2:00 pm  
"Tell me something about yourself that we don't know" - This is a guessing game! Before the event, you'll be invited to send the leader an email with a personal fact or anecdote, telling something about yourself that people may not know. It could be something funny, unusual, or even something ordinary that may not have come up in conversation. Then we'll try to guess which fact belongs to which person. 

Hanukkah Celebration Zoom: Sunday, December 12, 2021, 2:00 pm  
Join us for a joyous celebration! We'll share stories, and then have some laughs as we take this year's not-entirely-serious Hanukkah Quiz, which promises to be all-new, gluten-free, and even Kardashian-free.

Recent Events: 

Ask the Rabbi Zoom Session on October 10, 2021. In our kick-off event for the year, Rabbi Charlie answered our questions on a wide range of topics large and small, beginning with “What do we mean by fusion services?” followed by “If we’re the chosen people, why did G-d let Hitler annihilate six million Jews?” He gave examples of how Jews were able to survive and even thrive in the face of hardship and persecution. We then asked about the founding of Israel and the interplay of secular and Orthodox Jews, Theodore Herzl, the terminology of Western Wall/Wailing Wall for Herod’s retaining wall in Jerusalem, the introduction of the mechitza separating men and women at the Wall, Rabbi Charlie wearing his kitel on Yom Kippur, some rabbis wearing an atarah on Rosh Hashanah, and the role of ghosts in Jewish tradition. Rabbi Charlie told us how years ago he was assembling his deceased grandfather’s chair, and it suddenly started rocking! Rabbi Geoffrey Dennis of Congregation Kol Ami in Flower Mound wrote The Encyclopedia of Jewish Myth, Magic and Mysticism. Rabbi Charlie demonstrated the new audio-visual system in the sanctuary, including new projectors which were installed this past week. There were 21 people participating.

Hazak July Schmooze on July 18, 2021: Our July Schmooze themes include "Texas Weather Calamities," "Recommendations," and "Covid Dodging." One member is still in a hotel from February's winter storm that broke water pipes; now it's the carpet company that's backlogged. Another member told about the terror of being in a third floor apartment with big windows during a hailstorm with softball-sized hail. The same hailstorm shredded another member's screens, broke windows, and destroyed their roof (all fixed now). Another member had hail damage to the garage door and car, on top of the damage from the winter freeze. The mosquitoes are crazy in Michigan now.

Shortages everywhere – plumbers, car repair, even caramel and lemonade at Starbucks. The day after suffering a hit & run, a member had a leaking water heater, and can’t get a plumber to call back. A daughter is spending April-September walking from Mexico to Canada, sleeping in a tent along the way, posting blogs and podcasts. Another member’s daughter got engaged. A member is getting ready for shoulder surgery. Another is pet sitting their grown kids’ dog, who got gravely ill while the kids were traveling. One couple is going to Maine to see family, and ended up buying a car+lodging package to get a place to stay.

Members recommend: Sparger Park on Bedford Road in Colleyville, Fire Cup Coffee in Haltom City (good coffee, outdoor seating), “Last Tango in Halifax” (even though husband dislikes it), “Republic of Doyle,” “Unorthodox” and “My Unorthodox Life” on Netflix. As Covid variants spread and new Covid cases surge in the county, the sixteen attendees are judging day by day what activities to undertake. On a funny note, we heard two jokes featuring Moses.


What Happened to Egyptian Jews: One Family's Story  on May 30, 2021, was utterly fascinating!


64-minute video of the talk on Zoom


Our congregant Mary and her sister Renee told us how their Italian family had lived in Cairo, Egypt, for generations. After Nasser came to power, anti-Jewish sentiment increased. During the Suez crisis of 1956-1957, the Jews of Egypt were expelled.

Renee and her parents were forced to leave Egypt in 1956. They were allowed to take only one suitcase and $300 each. They had to leave everything else behind - their homes, businesses, jewelry, any wealth they had. They went to France as refugees, living with four families crowded in a house. Mary was born in France. HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, helped them get to the USA. Their green card listed them as "stateless."

Renee told us how the experience of Jews living in Muslim lands was different from that of Jews in Christian lands. In Egypt, her family spoke French and Arabic, and considered themselves part of Arab culture, even though they were observant Jews who attended synagogue and kept Kosher. Being refugees was especially hard on their father, who was raised in a patriarchal society and treated like the king of the family - a contrast with 1960s USA - and hard on their mother, who became despondent, and so they sent for her mother (Mary and Renee's grandmother), who had come to Egypt from Rhodes as a young bride in an arranged marriage.

Mary and Renee are descended from the famous Soncino family of Jewish printers, who printed the first complete edition of the Hebrew Bible in book form. In fact, when Renee married, her rabbi wanted her to keep the distinguished Soncino name.

In the 1400s, when Jews were expelled from Italy, the Soncinos went to Turkey, where they again set up printing presses. Then at some point, they moved again, to Egypt.

There were 33 people on the Zoom event, including one congregant who told us about her own family's experience, leaving Germany in 1933 for Paraguay, where she lived till she was ten, and her family came to the USA, to New York, where she was able to communicate in Spanish as there were so many Spanish speakers there.

This was a fascinating look at a Jewish family's story of accomplishment, struggle, dislocation, adaptation, and survival.

Hazak Shabbat on Friday, April 23, 2021, was a beautiful service that began with music especially selected to honor the older members of the congregation. Many thanks to our song leader Raymond Farris and to Rabbi Charlie for providing such meaningful worship and celebration.

Hazak March Schmooze & Passover Quiz via Zoom on Sunday, March 21, 2021. We schmoozed with our friends and shared our experiences of memorable Passovers in the past - amazing variety from the 19 people present. Then we took a not-entirely-serious Passover illustrated quiz, and laughed some more.

Understanding Modern Antisemitism with Rabbi Charlie on Sunday, January 17, 2021, was an insightful, balanced, and sobering look at the recent resurgence of antisemitism on both the right and the left ends of the political spectrum, and on college campuses. Rabbi Charlie gave examples of antisemitism and explained the harmful impact of enablers: The utilitarian antisemite "pot-stirrers" who enable haters magnify the impact of the extremists by expanding the circles of influence. Modern antisemitism is shockingly similar to more ancient forms, with the primary differences being the addition of the new topics of Israel and Zionism, and the adoption of modern forms of communication. There were 42 people in the Zoom session.

Hazak Hanukkah Celebration via Zoom on Sunday, December 13, 2020. We shared stories of memorable Hanukkahs, including a 120-year-old menorah, lights in windows, Hanukkah in Jerusalem, Brooklyn, and Brookline, and a Texas childhood gathering tumbleweed and painting it to create a Hanukkah bush. We voted on latke protocol - applesauce? sour cream? both? jam? (if you grew up in Holland) ketchup? (Jewish French fries) Then we took a not-completely-serious Hanukkah Quiz, and then schmoozed some more. There were 19 people, with the 20th joining in the last moments.

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. 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 2012-2021

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

Dec 2020: Hazak Hanukkah Celebration & Quiz via Zoom

Jan 2021: Understanding Modern Antisemitism with Rabbi Charlie

Mar 2021: Hazak March Schmooze & Passover Quiz via Zoom

Apr 2021: Hazak Shabbat

May 2021: "What Happened to Egyptian Jews: One Family's Story"

July 2021: Hazak July Schmooze

Oct 2021: "Ask the Rabbi" Zoom Session

Sun, October 24 2021 18 Cheshvan 5782