Oct 8, 2013

All Hands on Decks, Dots & Desserts to Kick off Women's Season with Timeless Games

A terrific evening of Canasta, Mah Jongg, Social Bridge and treats awaits women of all ages from throughout the community. They’re invited to bring their “game” cards and sets to the beautiful Woodfield Country Club, 3650 Club Place in Boca Raton on October 29. The fun and friendship begin at 7:00 p.m.; the energy is sure to stay high and the welcome warm for hours.

Players at all levels are most welcome, and Canasta and Mah Jongg instructors will be on hand to help newcomers get started and experienced players boost their games. Since the 1920s, the game of Mah Jongg has ignited the Jewish-American women’s imagination and served as a community-builder. Canasta came on board in the 1940s. Both of these games are still bringing Jewish women of all ages and backgrounds together (see the brief history below).

With creative co-chairs Lori Gutmann and Janice Obuchowski, plus a vibrant, diverse committee, Decks, Dots & Desserts is sure to be a season opener with all hands on deck for the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County’s Dorothy Seaman Department of Women’s Philanthropy. Guests are also invited to support those in need by bringing one of the three T’s – tuna, towels (paper) and toiletries – for distribution through the Ruth Rales Jewish Family Service (JFS) Jacobson Family Food Pantry.

The Decks, Dots and Desserts Team (L-R): Top Row – Sharon Burns, Judi Schuman, Barbara Lewin; Middle Row – Beth Mishkin; Event Co-chairs Donna Richter, Helen Heiman & Lisa Siemens; Judy Kay; Bottom Row – Lorraine Udwin, WP Outreach Vice Chair Eydie Holz, Gina Cayne

The couvert for this great night of games, companionship and treats is $36. A minimum individual woman’s gift of $118 to the UJA/Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach 2014 Annual Campaign is required to attend. Space is limited so early registration is urged. For additional information, visit jewishboca.org/decksdots or contact 561.852.5031 or kathleenb@bocafed.org.

Wells Fargo Private Bank is the generous sponsor of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County’s Dorothy Seaman Department of Women’s Philanthropy.

A Little History About Mah Jongg, Canasta and Jewish Women

Since the 1920s, the game of mah jongg has ignited the Jewish-American women’s imagination. The game continues to delight players with its beautifully adorned tiles, associations with other lands, and mysterious rules.

Mah jongg was — more than anything — a community builder. It was the perfect complement to women’s gatherings and fundraisers, and it quickly became a fixture in the Jewish women’s world. Mah jongg games offered relaxation, companionship, plus a way to raise money for worthy causes. By 1937, the National Mah Jongg League was formed to standardize the rules of American mah jongg. Today, hundreds of thousands of Jewish women play mah jongg, and it continues to be a vital part of communal, personal, and cultural life.

Canasta can be considered a classic card game although it is actually younger in game history than other popular card games. The game appeared in the 1940s in the country of Uruguay and eventually spread throughout Latin America, only to be adopted in the United States, where it became a card game that can only be described as one of the most popular ever. The first standard and official rules appeared thanks to the Manhattan Regency Club and the game received the name of Classic Canasta. Today the popularity of canasta is still as high as it was in the past. The word “canasta” actually means basket in the Spanish language, a reference to a tray that was used to hold cards.

Both of these games are still bringing Jewish women of all ages and backgrounds together.