A Light in the Prairie: Temple Emanu-El of Dallas, 1872-1997 by Gerry Cristol

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By Gerry Cristol

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Additional resources for A Light in the Prairie: Temple Emanu-El of Dallas, 1872-1997 (Chisholm Trail Series, No 17)

Example text

Rabbi Levi Olan, a member of the first archives committee, was interested in sponsoring a history of the temple, which he insisted must be an "interpretive" history. " Many other talented people have contributed to the preparation of the book. Barbara Zale, whose artistic flair has enhanced and enlivened exhibits in the archives, helped to choose photographs to illustrate the book. Frances Steinberg diligently typed the archives' card catalogue organized by Carol Sandfield, thereby ensuring an invaluable research tool.

Interviews completed over several decades played a crucial part in my interpretation of events. I am most appreciative of the more than fifty congregants who allowed me to record their recollections and of other members and rabbis of the congregation who were previously taped as part of the oral history program led by Joan Loeb and Evelyn Eldridge. Rabbi Gerald Klein, Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman, and Rabbi David Stern contributed a great deal of information about themselves as well as insight Page xv into the workings of the congregation.

The likelihood is that they were transients, or had decided not to retain their Jewish identity, or were not Jews. The next Jewish settlers to arrive in Dallas after the Civil War entered the city about 1871. There is no mystery why these Jews elected to make up-and-coming Dallas their home basethe railroad was on its way. Emanuel Kahn, who would serve as president of Temple Emanu-El in 1894, epitomized the ambitious, venturesome young men who made their way to Dallas. As a very young boy in Trimback in Alsace, France, he and his brother Leon peddled merchandise in the countryside to eke out a living after their father's business failed.

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