From the DJHS President – Join us for our Annual Meeting – June 14 at the JCC

Join us at our Annual Meeting on June 14, 7PM, downstairs at the JCC, as we celebrate our many successes this year, install our new board, and hear Andres Lecture Series Speaker author Mike Silver who will talk about his book “Stars in the Ring: Jewish Champions in the Golden Age of Boxing”.

We have several new board members who will be installed at the meeting. They include David Abrams, Fonda Arbetter, Ron Blumka, Ilene Breitbarth, Lori Goldberg, Scott Kaufman, Kace Phillips, and Sherri Shidlofsky. I look forward to work with them this year.

If you haven’t heard, the May 3 DJHS Ann Loeb Sikora Humanitarian Award Event honoring the Genecov family was a huge success. We had a capacity crowd of over 300 people, many of them Dallas Jewish leaders and contributors in their own right, come to honor the many contributions of Jeff Genecov, Julie Genecov Shrell, and David Genecov. Thanks again to the family for allowing us to honor you.

The new fiscal year starts July 1. We have another exciting year planned, so stay tuned to the website for details.

Stuart Rosenfield
President, Dallas Jewish Historical Society

From the DJHS President – Join us on May 3 to honor the Genecov family for their service

All of us want our children to be happy, healthy, and successful in whatever they chose to do with their lives. If we are lucky, our children will not only bring us “nachas”, but will make a difference in the lives of others.
If your name is Sally and Ed Genecov, you are very lucky.

Sally is the mother of Dr. Jeff Genecov, Julie Genecov Shrell, and Dr. David Genecov.  

On May 3rd at 5:30 PM at the Communities Foundation of Texas, the Dallas Jewish Historical Society is honoring these 3 siblings with its Ann Loeb Sikora Humanitarian Award. This highly selective award is given bi-annually to Dallas-area Jewish individuals who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to public service and who stand as role models for future generations.

Dr. Jeff Genecov, a Master Orthodontist, and Dr. David Genecov, a world-renowned Cranio-Facial Surgeon, volunteer with Smile Train, an international children’s charity that provides 100%-free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children in over 85 developing countries,

Julie Genecov Shrell, an ovarian cancer survivor, co-founded the Be the Difference Foundation, which has raised over $2 million for ovarian cancer research.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. We are also selling individual event tickets for $100. This event will likely sell out well before the event date.

Please contact the DJHS office at to receive a Sponsorship package and an invitation to the event.

Help us honor these great siblings. Sally, Ed, and the DJHS would appreciate it.Capture

From the DJHS President: Do you watch the “In Memoriams” every year on TV?

At the end of each year, I always take great interest in watching one thing on TV – the memorial tributes by the networks and awards shows honoring the many great people who passed away that year. Yes, it sounds a bit gruesome, but to me, it provides me with a moment to reflect on 1) the great contributions made by these people to society and 2) the effect many of them had on my life. Whether I enjoyed watching them in a favorite TV show or a funny movie or cheered them on as they won the Masters or made history blasting into space, almost all invoked some special time in my life that I will always remember.

I also take time at the end of the year to remember those who may not have been as rich or as famous as those people mentioned above. These may be personal friends, work colleagues, shul friends, and on occasion family members. These people knew me, my family and I knew them and their family. If they were Jewish, I went to their funeral or attended a shiva minyan. Since I grew up in Dallas, I probably knew them for decades, attended high school or was in BBYO with their kids, or they were friends with my parents. Many of them were leaders in local businesses or the Jewish community. Some were just transplants from the eastern US or even from another country.

If the people who died the past year were famous, they were professionally memorized through their profession (movies, TV, sports) or professional biographers. If I wanted to share a memory, I would only need to rent one of their movies or pull up a speech on YouTube. If they were not as famous, it is a bit tougher, unless I asked a friend or family member for a video tape of a wedding or bar mitzvah.

Fortunately, if you are part of the Jewish community in Dallas, there is a way to share the memory of a loved one forever – get an oral history from the Dallas Jewish Historical Society. It takes no more than a couple of hours and is done at the JCC by an experienced interviewer. Hundreds of famous and not-so-famous Dallas Jews have already been videotaped. Most of the interviewees are still with us. Unfortunately, many are not. But thanks to the Dallas Jewish Historical Society, their memories will be with us forever. We will always have the opportunity 24/7 to view a person we remember being with or give a student of history an opportunity to see someone they only heard about from their parent or whose name they read on a memorial plaque.

If you know someone, famous or not, whose spirit you would like to keep alive forever, encourage them to contact the Dallas Jewish Historical Society at 214 -239-7120 and ask to get on the schedule for an Oral History interview. Don’t wait until it is too late. Make it a New Year’s Resolution.

If you’ve never been to the Dallas Jewish Historical Society, visit us next time you are at the JCC. We are in the hallway to the left of the Zale Auditorium. You’ll meet great people and learn a lot of Dallas history.

On behalf of the DJHS, we hope you and your families have a happy and healthy 2017.

Stuart Rosenfield
Dallas Jewish Historical Society

From the DJHS President: Do You Want to be Part of History?

I admit it. I am a history buff. I like going to history museums, watching Ken Burns documentaries on PBS, and looking up famous people on Wikipedia. I remember going to the Library of Congress on a trip to Washington DC and seeing all the great artifacts from decades of American culture and government. On that same trip, I went to the Newseum where I viewed hours of video from war correspondents and seeing documents that I previously only saw in textbooks or online. It made me feel great to be an American.

Did you know that as a Jew in Dallas, you have something similar that showcases the history of Jews in Dallas? The next time you are in the JCC, take a left at the front desk and go by the office of the Dallas Jewish Historical Society. You will see volunteers cataloging pictures from the earlier to mid-20th century of Jewish families who settled here. In the humidity-controlled Archive, you will see BBYO pictures from conventions in the 1960 and 1970s (yes I had hair back then) and collections of books, magazines, and other treasurers from decades of family collections. There are over 10,000 artifacts from people who donated family heirlooms or things from Dallas’s political history (campaign buttons and literature) or culture. Remember shopping at Titche’? There’s a collection from there. Did you shop at NorthPark when it open in the 1960s? We have promotional literature from its opening. We have Texas Jewish Posts going back 50 years. Talk about a Library of Congress – and it’s all in one place. Just ask our Archivist Alexus Ferguson to show you around.

If you don’t get by the JCC that often, look online at There you will find hundreds of oral histories from some of Dallas’s famous and not-so-famous Jewish residents who shared their journey to our area from places as far away as Russia and South Africa or as close as New York or Houston. Pretty fascinating stuff.

You can be a part of history too. If you have a family collection, come by the office and donate it to the Dallas Jewish Historical Society. We’ll take good care of it. Have a good story to tell about growing up in Dallas or why and how you moved here? Schedule an appointment to give a recorded Oral History. Your family will appreciate it for years. What a way to leave a legacy.

If you like what you see (and who wouldn’t?), we would love you to join us. Membership is only $72 (you can sign up on our website). There are also sponsorships available for programs the DJHS offers during the year. Just let Debra Polsky, our Executive Director, know how you can be a part of Jewish Dallas’ best kept secret.

I hope you join our family and be part of Dallas’s Jewish history.

Stuart Rosenfield
Dallas Jewish History Society