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Voices From the Board

A Little Genealogy Goes a Long Way!

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One afternoon in early 2013, I received a phone message from Rabbi Zell of Tiferet Israel. He said to call him back on his personal cell phone, so I did. He had received an odd e-mail from a man identifying himself as Douglas Parker from New York who believed he was a cousin of a congregant named Bill Pakowsky. The rabbi, not knowing my maiden name, asked around to see if anyone knew of a Bill Pakowsky, to which Tina (Tobolowsky) Israel replied that the Pakowsky family had been very active at Tiferet Israel. Tina had provided the rabbi with my married name and phone number. The rabbi wanted to know if it was OK to forward this e-mail to me and I said that was fine. I read it over very carefully. There were several details in it about my grandfather, Morris Pakowsky, and his family; things I didn’t know about, but Douglas Parker did. For example, my grandfather and father kept the original spelling of their last names, but the rest of the siblings (there were 7) didn’t. They ended up with “Parker,” “Parks” and a few other last names. This was all news to me, and I…

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Marcus Rosenberg and his Legacy of Jewish Learning in Dallas

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Today, Dallas boasts six Jewish day schools. How did a city in the Southwest, one that could not keep even one Kosher restaurant in business in the 1970s, get to a point that it could accommodate and maintain so many Jewish schools? Actually, the seeds for Dallas’ diverse and growing Jewish community that supports these schools were planted more than 50 years ago by a man named Marcus Rosenberg. Growing up in the idyllic town of Bardejov, Czechoslovakia, before World War II, Marcus’ rights and freedoms as a Jew were protected by a democratic government. However, when the fascist Hlinka party gained control of the country in 1939, the situation took a dire turn. Sympathetic to the Third Reich, the new government instituted a vast number of Nazi-like, anti-Jewish laws and began deporting its Jewish citizens “to the east.” The Rosenberg family was torn apart by war, deportations and horrific experiences in the Nazi death camps. Miraculously, Marcus and three of his siblings survived, returning to Bardejov to rebuild their lives. Within a few years, the country was again taken over, this time by Communists – and the Rosenbergs escaped to the United States. Marcus found his way to Dallas to reunite…

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Let’s Pray for Each Other

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I have a client in Atlanta who does bookkeeping; he is an incredibly nice guy and has a great practice, but what really sets him apart is his faith. We produce a quarterly newsletter for him that includes a “president’s message” in which he expresses some kind of view, mostly about the future business outlook. For the most recent newsletter, he talked about prayer. I knew he was a deeply religious man; in fact, for his client gift this past holiday season, I made a donation to his local church in his honor. I was stunned when he sent us this message: We recently made a decision to pray for each of our clients by name in our weekly team meetings. We have actually already had the opportunity to pray for particular needs that our clients have had, such as when they have lost a loved one or have been in the hospital. We would love to be able to pray for you and/or your business more specifically. Obviously, we are not asking that you share anything personal or confidential in nature. But, if you have something you need prayer for and you feel comfortable in sharing, we would love…

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