Recently, I was looking through the archives when I stumbled upon a file labeled “JFK”. I assumed it was about the assassination, maybe a newspaper article or a witness testimony from somebody who was there. Instead, what I found was an invitation for someone to attend the inauguration in DC. It stood out to me, not because it was odd that a Jew from Dallas was close enough to be invited, but because it was a glimpse of a world where the words “Dallas” and “Kennedy” could be mentioned in the same sentence without automatically causing us to think about murder and conspiracy theories. One of the interesting things about working in an archive is that you get to not only learn about different people in history, but you also get a glimpse at what the world looked like through their eyes.
By Stuart Rosenfield, DJHS Board Member Among the many collections to explore, the archives of the Dallas Jewish Historical Society, located in the Aaron Family JCC, houses a collection from one of Dallas’s most progressive Court of Appeals judges, Barbara Rosenberg. Barbara Rosenberg’s story, from her early political beginnings while studying for the bar, to being a pioneer as a woman in the legal profession, her nationally renowned campaign against an establishment candidate, and her tireless legal work to advance gay and lesbian rights, is a story documenting Dallas’s changing attitudes from the late 20th century to today. Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Rosenberg attended the University of Texas at Austin, and later moved to Dallas where she became involved in the Democratic Party. In her early career, she worked with several law offices, including the legal team that defended people arrested during raids at Village Station in the late 1970’s. A constant advocate for LGBT and women’s rights, Rosenberg worked to educate members of the Gay Political Caucus on the participation process for the Democratic Convention and served as vice-chair of the Dallas Area Women’s Political Process. Appointed to her first judiciary position as Associate Municipal…
Stephanie Berman was born in 1966 in Dallas, Texas. She attended Akiba Academy of Dallas through Kindergarten and later attended J. J. Pearce High School. Stephanie, a successful jewelry designer, opened a jewelry store inside the Shops at Willow Bend, but later opened her own studio. Stephanie’s husband, Peter, is an electrical contractor for commercial buildings. As a proud Jew, Stephanie urges people to stand by their religion and traditions. Click on the image to watch the video, or click here.
Fonda Schepps Arbetter was born in 1956 in Dallas, Texas. Her great-grandparents, Nathan and Freida Schepps, founded Schepps Dairy in Russia before coming to Texas and continuing the family business. Fonda attended preschool at Congregation Shearith Israel and years later met her husband at one of the singles’ events she had put together at the Jewish Community Center. Fonda has been a very active member in the Jewish community, having been inspired by her father’s involvement and hard work. She has been on the Board of Directors for Congregation Shearith Israel and has displayed leadership in many other Jewish organizations. Click on the image to watch the video, or click here.