JTA – Two Jewish-Americans are among the three players remaining at the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event.

Neil Blumenfield of San Francisco and Josh Beckley of New Jersey are battling with chip leader Joe McKeehen of Pennsylvania in a bid to reach the finals Nov. 10 night at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The tournament started with 6,420 players.

During the past few months, pundits and politicians have been amazed by the huge turnouts at Bernie Sanders’ rallies. Sanders, an avowed socialist, evidently poses no threat to public safety or the government, as the police presence at his events has been unexceptional – just the usual numbers sufficient to handle large crowds. No accounts of his speeches accused him of fomenting revolution.

This acceptance of a socialist candidate for president, albeit under the banner of the Democratic Party, brings to mind another gathering and the speech of an avowed socialist many years ago. It was described in an article titled “The Day the Anarchist Came to Town,” written by Dr. Carol Ingall for the Rhode Island Jewish Historical Association Notes.

How can you learn where your ancestors lived before they arrived in the United States?  Keren Weiner, a noted genealogist from Pittsfield, Mass., spoke to the Rhode Island Jewish Historical Association on Oct. 18 at Temple Habonim, in Barrington, as part of the Bonnie and Seebert Goldowsky lecture series.

The Cranston Senior Guild’s annual holiday party will be held Dec. 2 at the West Valley Inn, 4 Blossom St., West Warwick, at noon.  The cost of the lunch is $21, which includes soup, salad, pasta, entree and dessert.   

Following lunch, there will be entertainment by Stan Freedman and Sounds of Simcha. A raffle will be held.  Men and women 55 plus are welcome to join the guild. 

Reservations for the lunch must be made by Nov. 20. For information call Natalie at 401-615-9483.

Tichyeh SchochetTichyeh SchochetThe Jewish Women’s Conference has been a regular date on my calendar for nine years.  It’s no ordinary day when a kaleidoscope of Jewish women from all backgrounds, in all variety of dress and hairstyles, learn Torah together.  

Together, the women also talk about marriage, which, not surprisingly, presents the same challenges, rigors and pleasures no matter who you are, and listen to speakers. One such speaker was Reyna Simnegar, who was raised Catholic in Venezuela and spoke about uncovering her hidden Sephardic roots and how she came to write a Persian cookbook. Another year the leader of OneFamily spoke about defending victims of terror in Israel.

What will be radically different at the Nov. 22 meeting will be the absence of vibrant organizer and founder Tichyeh Schochet.  With her dynamism and curiosity, Schochet created the conference for women to learn, grow and investigate our spiritual place in the world.