Mah Jongg Tourney at the Temple

Mah Jongg table

Temple Emanuel Sisterhood will be hosting a Mah Jongg Tournament on Sunday, Oct. 6, at Temple Emanuel in Beaumont.

Doors open at 9 a.m. with the tournament starting at 9:45 a.m. Tickets are $40 per person and include lunch, dessert and four rounds of Mah Jongg. (Each round is four games).

“Mahj makes you think,” said Mindy Eisen, co-president of Temple Emanuel Sisterhood. “There is certainly some good luck involved, but there are rules, and there are strategies to be learned and discovered. It is a fun way to spend an afternoon or an evening — playing with others, socializing, using your mind and memory.”

Proceeds from the tournament will be used for projects benefiting the community, Eisen said.

“Last year, we donated money to Some Other Place Back to School Drive, the Giving Field, Nutrition and Services for Seniors, and we hosted the ‘Gift of Life’ mammogram van at the Temple just last month,” she said.

According to Eisen, the game is becoming quite popular in Southeast Texas and the surrounding areas.

“There are many groups playing in and around Beaumont these days,” Eisen said. “We hear there is a group in Devers … all the way over to Lake Charles. There are tournaments in Houston annually at several different synagogues; attendance can vary from 40 people to 160 people. A group of us attended a tournament in Houston last year, and there were 12 tables of four.”

Mah Jongg dates back to 500 B.C. and its invention was accredited to Confucius. The American businessman Joseph P. Babcock, who had lived in China, introduced the game in the United States around 1920.

Reservations for the Temple Emanuel tournament are due by Monday, Sept. 30, and those interested in participating can register by visiting and clicking on Community, Sisterhood and MJ Tournament. A registration form can also be picked up at Temple Emanuel, 1120 Broadway in Beaumont. (The office doors face Forrest.) For more information, e-mail Chairman Laura Thomas at lthomas [at] kbmt12 [dot] com.

— Kevin King