Esther Bramnik, the oldest of four children, was born in 1934 in Havana, Cuba. Esther’s father came from Syria to Cuba at age 13 and became a jeweler. Esther is a very musical woman who loved playing piano and singing as a young girl. She met her husband, Maurice, at her home during a party that her parents had put together, and they married in 1957. She moved to the United States in 1961 with her husband and two children and eventually her whole family moved out of Cuba. They settled initially in Miami but ended up in Dallas. Appreciative of her new life in America and the welcome she received from the Dallas Jewish community, Esther has always been interested in giving back to the community. Click on the image to watch the video, or click here.
Rabbi Dr. Murray Berger was born in 1937 in Brooklyn, New York, but moved shortly thereafter with his family to Cleveland. Rabbi Berger’s parents were both born in Poland and made their way to America independent of one another in the late 1920s and early 1930s. While in university, Rabbi Berger decided that he wanted to become a rabbi in order to be able to help others learn about their heritage. Rabbi Berger married in 1963, the day after he was ordained. Immediately after ordination, he volunteered for the army, serving on active duty for two and a half years and staying in the reserves until age 60, retiring with the rank of Colonel. During that time he moved his family to Dallas and became Associate Rabbi at Temple Shalom for four years. Dr. Berger also served as Rabbi at Congregation Ner Tamid in Carrollton, at Anshei Emet, and several other congregations in the area, and currently maintains a private psychology practice with his wife, Bobbie. Rabbi Berger has also served as the National Deputy Chaplain for the Jewish War Veterans of the USA. Click on the image to watch the video, or click here.
Jerry Benjamin was born in 1934 in Memel, Lithuania. His family left Lithuania in 1937 before the war and arrived in New York City, where his grandparents had moved a year earlier. He first lived in Brooklyn then in Manhattan, where he lived until he finished Brooklyn College and went into the U.S. Air Force. In 1963, he moved with his family to Dallas in search of a place suitable for raising kids. After the unfortunate passing of his first wife, Jerry married Diane and joined their families as one. He has been an extremely active member in the Dallas Jewish community, leading and voluntering with many different organizations and institutions including Tiferet Israel, Jewish War Veterans, and Akiba Academy, among others. Click on the image to watch the video, or click here.
Syl Benenson was born in 1933 in Lexington, Mississippi. After high school, Syl attended the University of Texas where she majored in speech therapy. She moved to Houston after graduating and worked as a speech therapist, ultimately moving to Dallas in 1960. Syl married her late husband, Murray z”l, who worked as an accountant. She has been a heavily involved leader and supporter of the Dallas Jewish and general communities and has also been honored with many awards from various different organizations and agencies, both locally and nationally. Syl has been at the forefront of many social action programs for National Council of Jewish Women where she served as president. In addition to the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, Syl has volunteered at Jewish Family Service and Temple Emanu-El, among many others. Click on the image to watch the video, or click here.
Jay Beck was born in 1932 in Dallas, Texas. He attended Forest Avenue High School and was captain of the rifle team and colonel of the ROTC there. Jay attended medical school at UT Southwestern and became a physician. He married wife, Joan, in 1955 and together they have three children and multiple grandchildren. Click on the image to watch the video, or click here.
Dr. Larry Barzune, a third generation Dallasite, was born in 1939. Larry’s father was also a physician, and Larry felt from a young age his calling to tend to others’ health needs, providing care and support. Larry met his wife, Dolores, at the University of Texas and they married in 1961. Larry has practiced as a surgeon in Dallas for many many years. As a loving father and grandfather, Larry is a naturally compassionate man concerned with the well-being of all those around him. Click on the image to watch the video, or click here.
Dolores Barzune, a fifth generation Texan, was born in 1939 in Alice, Texas, and raised in Hebbronville, Texas. As a young girl, Dolores played basketball and piano, displaying from a young age her love for classical music. Dolores transferred to University of Texas after her freshman year at Del Mar College, and during that first year at Texas she met her husband, Larry. Dolores was a beloved teacher who loved her students and her job. After having children and deciding to leave teaching in the classroom, Dolores has since become an influential leader and teacher as she has made it her role to teach others how to raise money in order to support different organizations and institutions. Dolores is a huge supporter of all the arts institutions in Dallas and also chaired the Cultural Affairs Commission for the City of Dallas for eight years. Click on the image to watch the video, or click here.
Richard Aston was born in 1936 in Dallas, Texas. Richard attended Highland Park High School followed by Florida Southern College for his undergraduate years. While in college, he entered the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, and after graduating in 1960, he went right into the army as a Second Lieutenant. After his service, Richard was working for a pharmaceutical company as well as at his family’s bakery. Richard’s family bakery was kosher for a while and coordinated with many caterers that catered to Temple Emanu-El, Tiferet Israel, and Shearith Israel. Richard was married to loving wife, Gladys, until her passing in August 2012. Click on the image to watch the video, or click here.
Suzie Ablon was born in 1935 in Dallas, Texas. A natural saleswoman, Suzie was a pivotal employee in the catering business for 35 years. Suzie married at age 19 and is a loving mother of four children. She has a big passion for rhythm and dancing, has been an important contributor to the Dallas Jewish community, and led the Federation drive in 1962. Click on the image to watch the video, or click here.