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DJHS Admin

From the Archivenews

DJHS Founder’s Records Come to Light

Recently, our archivist, Jessica Schneider, and our archives assistant, Corynthia Dorgan, collaborated to write an article for The Rambler, the newsletter of the Southern Jewish Historical Society. The article, "DJHS Founder's Records Come to Light," highlights the large, invaluable collection of Ginger Jacobs, a co-founder of DJHS. Follow the link to reach the article, along with several others contributed by our regional colleagues. Rambler Spring 2021, Volume 25 Number 2              
DJHS Admin
April 28, 2021
oral history

Meyer Rachofsky

Meyer Rachofsky was involved in several Dallas community organizations, both Jewish and Secular. He was interviewed by Ginger Jacobs on December 14, 1971. Click the orange "play" button below to listen to his interview.   dallasjewishhistorical · Meyer Rachofsky - Dallas Jewish Historical Society Oral History Interview
DJHS Admin
February 25, 2021
oral history

Morton Rachofsky

Morton Rachofsky, an avid inventor and artist, was a native Dallasite. He was interviewed by Nancy Ungerman on February 4, 2013. To watch the video, or click here.
DJHS Admin
February 25, 2021
news

The Christmas Day Classic: a multi-generational Jewish Dallas tradition

Listed alphabetically: Arthur Eisenberg, Mike "Izzy" Eisenberg, Mike Gallant, Albert Goodman, Mike Grossfeld, Steve Gutow, Billy Jacobs, Neil Landsman, Chuck Lewis, Danny Litchenstein, Paul Marcus, Steve "Yogi" Marcus, Ronnie Meyers, Seth Meyers, Alvin Miller, David Rosenfield, Mark Schor On Christmas morning in 1964, this group of young Jewish men met on the field of the Jewish Community Center for a football scrimmage - full contact, and no pads. And then, they did it the next year, and the year after that...continuing until this year, 2020, when the Christmas Day Classic was canceled amid social-distancing recommendations due to covid-19. In 2014, for the 50th Anniversary of the Classic and attendant celebrations that have developed over the time, several Classic members had a documentary made to immortalize this unique tradition, an ode to their life-long friendship. In place of the 56th annual game, Mitchell Meyers, Christmas Day Classic athlete and DJHS Board Member, worked with DJHS Staff to bring our community a special screening of the film and a panel discussion with five of the original players, Mike "Izzy" Eisenberg, Mike Gallant, Mike Grossfeld, Steve Gutow, and Mark Schor. Follow the link below to watch the film and panel discussion, which were…
DJHS Admin
December 28, 2020
1940sFrom the ArchiveJewish Veterans

Sylvan Karchmer Collection

The life of an archivist often involves stumbling down rabbit holes. Morsels of information located in primary source materials prompt further research, forming webs woven from a multitude of sources, connections made with dedication and deductive reasoning… It is this formula with which I bring you a recent acquisition, the Sylvan Karchmer Collection—a WWII Era correspondence collection donated by a niece of Sylvan's that provides an in-depth review of daily life and the experiences of an enlisted WWII soldier stationed in Italy and North Africa, and the lives of his loved ones during the conflict. Sylvan, standing far right, with other soldiers, undated To be honest, this collection is, as of yet, only partially processed. The content has not been closely studied, cross-referenced, or transcribed. It has simply been organized – chronologically and by author/recipient, so that the above tasks may be accomplished more efficiently. During that process, I was able to build a basic outline of Sylvan's family structure and a timeline of his training and service locations. Even so, organizing the materials still required outside research to learn about Sylvan and answer a few questions that arose - mainly: what is the structure of the Karchmer family tree?…
DJHS Admin
December 11, 2020
From the Archive

Torah in case

According to the Jewish Virtual Library, “Our knowledge of Torah cases and mitpaḥot in pre-modern times is meager; the process whereby the case evolved from a mere receptacle for carrying the Torah into a sacred artifact can at most be conjectured.” Here we have a sefer torah scroll within a cylindrical “tik” or case with an onion shaped crown.“Cases may be adorned with colorful drawings or covered with leather, fabric, or beaten silver plates”. This particular case is composed of silver-colored plastic and adorned with hanging baubles and red and blue tones. Torah cases come in a variety of shapes, and styles that stem from different regions of the world. The onion shaped crown stems from Babylonian communities. Dorothy Wolchansky Collection https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/torah-ornaments http://www.stam.net/silver-torah-case.aspx https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sefer_Torah#Torah_ark,_rollers,_casing_and_decorations
DJHS Admin
November 10, 2020
news

Estelle & Martin Rosenfield Shearith Israel Reservation Cards

On Tuesday, November 3, 2020, Estelle Lenore Rosenfield passed away. She was wife to Martin and mother to DJHS Board President, Stuart Rosenfield. Stuart is quoted: ...my mom passed away on Tuesday at the age of 90 (my dad passed away in 2010). She and my dad were born and raised in Philadelphia and moved to Dallas in 1961.  Their friends and family wanted to know if they would start riding horses and wear cowboy hats.  The first thing they did was join a shul (Shearith Israel) and they joined what was then the Julius Schepps Community Center where they met many of their lifelong friends. It wasn't long before these unlikely transplants from the Northeast fell in love with the city of Dallas and the Dallas Jewish community. Their love for the greater area of Dallas and the Dallas area Jewish community rubbed off on me which is why I am a part of the Dallas Jewish Historical Society. Estelle & Martin's commitment to their community and shul is partially represented by this collection of Shearith Israel High Holy Days Service reservation cards. There are 20 cards, an incomplete run from 1962-1996. Year after year, they reserved seats in…
DJHS Admin
November 5, 2020
From the Archive

Charles Kassel- Tefillin Bag

This Tefillin bag belonged to Charles Kassel. On one side of the velvet bag has a “C” and “K”,  his initials, and on the other side the Magen David, or Star of David, is embroidered with the Hebrew year 5653, which translates to 1982 or 1893 in the Gregorian calendar, depending on the specific date. The velvet bag with a drawstring closure on top looks very similar to bags from Europe in the early 1900s (example linked below). The velvet bag holds Tefillin, or phylacteries, which are small black leather cases containing a Hebrew text that, traditionally, observant Jewish men tie to their arm and head during daily prayers. Public records indicate that Charles (1877-1943) is buried at Greenwood Memorial Park in Fort Worth, Texas.   Charles Kassel Collection http://cja.huji.ac.il/browser.php?mode=set&id=4639
DJHS Admin
November 5, 2020
From the Archive

“Blue & White Night” – Drumsticks

These “I Love Israel” drumsticks were given out during "Blue & White Night," held on May 9, 2019, for the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas' Israel Week Celebration, in Zale Auditorium at the Jewish Community Center. The invitation said, “Celebrate the beauty and excitement that is Israel! Come see Zale transformed like never before! Featuring Israeli performance group, Jaman, for a night of music, dance, light and more!” Israel Week has long been a celebration embraced by the Dallas Jewish community in commemoration of the formation of Israel in May 1948. Debra Polsky Collection 
DJHS Admin
November 3, 2020
From the Archive

Russian Zvetouchny Metal Tea Canister

This cannister once held Russian Zvetouchny tea, or better known to some as Swee-Touch-Nee tea. The tea brand is approved during Pesach or Passover since it is Kosher and has been enjoyed by Jews worldwide for over 100 years - though predominately available in Russia and Europe. In fact, during the Holocaust, a tin tea canister helped a couple hide their jewelry from the Nazi’s. They had someone melt down their rings and hide it within the lip of the canister (the entire story is linked below).  https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/06/03/480176649/tea-pride-mystery-for-one-family-that-fled-the-nazis-a-tin-canister-held-it-all https://www.baltimoresun.com/citypaper/bcp-cms-1-1222926-migrated-story-cp-20111026-art-20111026-story.html https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth544331/m1/38/zoom/?q=Swee-Touch-Nee%20tea&resolution=4.691339796927518&lat=6626.769975333891&lon=2187.325481503419
DJHS Admin
October 30, 2020