Joel Batalsky

Joel Batalsky
Born in 1940 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father passed away when Joel was just five years old, and Joel grew up in an orphanage while having his mother by his side. A strong man, Joel received a wrestling scholarship to Temple University. He joined the military after studying business administration and accounting and graduating college in 1962. Joel and his wife have been heavily involved in the Jewish community in Dallas as active members of Temple Emanu-El, the Jewish Community Center, and various veterans organizations. Joel is a proud Jew and American, inspiring many with his desire to act with kindness and to repair the world around him.
Published on September 30, 2015 and amended on October 19, 2018.

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Peter Vogel

Vogel, PeterPeter Vogel was born in 1947 in Yonkers, New York. His family moved to Dallas in 1948 after World War II when he was just ten months old. His father was a quartermaster in World War II and ultimately served in Europe. Peter’s maternal grandparents were from Latvia and immigrated around 1911 to New York, while his father’s family was from Austria and also ended up in the United States. Peter’s father was president of the JCC from 1962-1964, and in 1984 his mother, Thelma, co-founded the Dallas Jewish Coalition for the Homeless, which created a shelter for children of homeless families. Both Peter and his wife are very active supporters of the shelter, called Vogel Alcove. Peter is a renowned lawyer who has served the greater Dallas legal community and has been an adjunct professor at SMU law school for over 28 years.

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Max Tonkon

Tonkon, Max

Max Tonkon was born in 1927 in Houston, TX, but moved with his family to Dallas when he was a few months old. Max had his bar mitzvah in 1940, after having learned closely with Rabbi Dr. David Lefkowitz, of Temple Emanu-El. Max heroically served in the army. Later on, he served as Chairman of the Temple Emanu-El Cemetery Committee for 23 years. A proud father and grandfather, Max and his wife, Marilyn, happily live together in Dallas.

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Nita Mae Tannebaum

Tannebaum, Nita MaeNita Mae Tannebaum was born in 1933 in St. Louis, MO, but grew up mainly in Oklahoma. Nita studied education, while her husband studied accounting. Marrying in 1995, a week after their graduation from the University of Oklahoma, Nita and her husband moved to Dallas, where Nita got a job teaching in the Dallas Independent School District. Nita and family have been dedicated members of Temple Emanu-El since 1957, and Nita has been a part of its Sisterhood. Nita sat on the board of the Jewish Community Center, and additionally taught in the JCC preschool. She has been involved in many other Jewish organizations, including the National Council of Jewish Women and the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas.

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Helen Stern

Stern, HelenHelen Stern, a native Dallasite, was born in 1926 during the Depression. Helen’s father came to the U.S. around 1911 through Galveston at age 16 and was the only one in his family at the time to leave Diersburg, Germany. He didn’t speak any English at the time, and was taken in by a family in South Dallas. Her mother, also from Germany, was one of nine children. Helen went to the University of Texas at Austin during the war and described it as being a girls’ school during the week due to the nature of the war. Helen and her late husband, Arthur, had three children. She remembers learning to drive on Northwest Highway and telling the milkman and baker when to make deliveries to their home. Helen volunteered her time with the Sisterhood in Temple Emanu-El, working as treasurer and working on the yearbook as her first job with them.

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