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Please contact Lauri Prengler at [email protected]; Valerie Alberts Murray at  [email protected]; or Steffani Bailin at [email protected] with any questions, or to arrange pickup or delivery.

The Dallas Jewish Historical Society (DJHS) is honored to bestow the Ann Sikora Humanitarian Award to three deserving women of our community. Each exemplify outstanding leadership and commitment.

  Jeri Finkelstein

Jeri is a third-generation Dallasite. In 1995, she became the Executive Director of Dallas Kosher (The Vaad Hakashus of Dallas, DK), and currently serves as Board President. Under her leadership, DK has grown exponentially to include a wide range of restaurants, caterers, and food programs; assisting with kosher supermarkets, kosher sections in grocery stores and kosher events throughout our city. Jeri has also held leadership roles with the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, JFGD Women of Philanthropy, Israel Bonds, ADL, The Holocaust and Human Rights Center, JCC of Dallas, Jewish Women’s International (formally B’nai B’rith Women), National Council of Jewish Women, Chabad, Congregation Shaare Tefilla and Shearith Israel.

Jeri with a 1990s appointment from the State of Texas, was the first Chairperson of the Charitable Bingo Committee of the Texas Lottery Commission, raising proceeds benefitting many local Jewish schools and non-profit organizations. She also was integral in raising funds for the Jerusalem Hills Therapeutic Center in Israel, and Jewish Family Service’s Special Needs Program in Dallas. In the last three decades, Jeri’s efforts resulted in making available over $3.5 million in grants.

Over forty years ago, Jeri chartered a new chapter of B’nai B’rith Women, “The Career Network Chapter.”  In doing so, Jeri educated, conducted leadership training, and personally mentored many young women. Today, these women have continued to carry leadership roles throughout our Jewish Community.

Jeri, and her husband, Bill (JFGD Immediate Past Board Chair), have been married 51 years. They have 3 married daughters, Robin Stone (Evan), LeLe Sadoughi (Armand) and Shana Bygott-Webb (Sam). They have 8 grandchildren. Jeri is the sister of Kenny and Neil Goldberg.  Jeri’s parent’s Bob & Lois Goldberg “z”l”, who both passed away in 2020, lived a shining example of L’dor V’dor during the 74 year marriage.

It is with great pride, DJHS honors Jeri Finkelstein, with the Ann Sikora Humanitarian Award for her outstanding vision, dedication, and commitment to our Jewish community.

The Dallas Jewish Historical Society (DJHS) is honored to bestow the Ann Sikora Humanitarian Award to three deserving women of our community. Each exemplify outstanding leadership and commitment.

  Liz Liener

 

Liz, a third-generation Dallasite, graduated Phi Beta Kapa from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Computer Science before joining Ericsson Inc. During her 17-year tenure at Erricsson, she married Robert Liener, and had three children, Aaron, Benjamin and Sarah.

Liz and Robert’s children attended Akiba Academy and Yavneh, believing strongly in Jewish education. Liz began volunteering at their school. She served on the Akiba School Board, serving as their VP of Education, then President. Additionally, she served as Board Trustee at Yavneh. When the schools merged, Liz joined the steering committee.

Liz authored and published a memoir, Markus, Planter of Trees, about the late Marcus Rosenberg, a Holocaust survivor, who was a prominent businessman, philanthropist, and influential member of the Dallas community.  He and his wife, Ann, were instrumental in founding Akiba Academy and Congregation Shaare Tefilla, planting the seeds of Dallas’ thriving Orthodox community.

Over the past two decades, Liz has taken multiple key leadership positions in our community to include serving on the boards of JCC of Dallas and The Legacy Senior Committee. She is the current Board Chair of Legacy at Home, and has additionally served as Vice Chair of Maccabi Games, Chair of Dallas Jewish Book Fair, JCC Cultural Arts Chair, VP of Portfolios for the JCC Preschool, Membership and Premiere Memberships. She was also on the Planning and Allocation Committee for JFGD.

Liz has received the JCC Leader of the Year Award.

Liz has been involved with the Dallas Jewish Historical Society (DJHS) for the past 11 years, first as a board member, then advancing to Vice President, a position she held through 2019. She has been an integral part of DJHS’ growth this past decade, imparting her wisdom and helping the organization with her outstanding non-profit expertise.

It is with great pride, DJHS honors Liz Liener, with the Ann Sikora Humanitarian Award for her outstanding vision, dedication, and commitment to our Jewish community.

The Dallas Jewish Historical Society (DJHS) is honored to bestow the Ann Sikora Humanitarian Award to three deserving women of our community. Each exemplify outstanding leadership and commitment.

  Marilyn Pailet

Marilyn – wife, mother, grandmother (Mimi), friend and realtor – has  been a true gift to DJHS. Her memory of early Dallas extends back to pre-DJHS where her authority comes naturally by being born into one of Dallas’ bedrock Jewish families. Her parents were the beloved Frances and Ervin Donsky. After teaching high school for 2 years, Marilyn joined her family’s business, Sterling Jewelers. After 43 years, Sterling’s closed. Marilyn and her 3 siblings, Michael, Howard and her sister Gayle Borovay, have carried on the family tradition of contributing greatly to the Dallas community.

Marilyn was born during WWII, attending Highland Park schools, and was an active member of Zesmer BBG, and Young Judea. After graduating from Tulane University, where she was a member of the Jewish Sorority, Sigma Delta Tau, and President of Hillel, she married Harrell Pailet in 1962. They recently celebrated their 60th anniversary. Harrell was an officer in the Army, where they were stationed for 2 years in Germany. During that time, they adopted their son, Eric, who was born in a US Army hospital. Upon their return to Dallas, they adopted their second son, Jeffrey, through Jewish Family Service. Their family was complete as Marilyn and Harrell were then blessed with their third son, Kevin and shortly after, their fourth son, David.

Marilyn is in her thirtieth year with Ebby Halliday Realtors. She has received numerous business awards from Big D Magazine as Best Realtor and Texas Monthly Best Realtor.

In Marilyn’s service to the community, some of her countless leadership roles have included Chair of the Federation’s Teen Tour, serving on the DJHS board, Vice-Chair of the JCC, Shearith Israel, Akiba Academy Academy PTA, Hebrew Free Loan, National Council of Jewish Federations Women’s board, Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas (where she served as Champaign Chair & Division President), President of Chai Chapter of B’nai B’rtih Women, National Hillel board and the North Texas Hillel Vice-Chair.

Marilyn has been the recipient of the Jewish Federation of Great Dallas’ Frances Donsky Achievement Award and the Helen Gross Leadership Award. She was presented the L’Dor V’Dor award by the State of Israel Bonds. She is a life-member of Hadassah, Jewish Women International, National Council of Jewish Women and Shearith Israel Sisterhood. She was on of the 2013 Torah Fund honorees.

In recognition of Marilyn’s extraordinary commitment to our Jewish Community, it is an honor to present Marilyn Pailet with the Ann Sikora Humanitarian Award.

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The Dallas Jewish Historical Society became a reality over five decades ago.

Watching the demolition of Temple Emanu-El’s early South Dallas building, a concerned group of onlookers, including Ginger Chesnick Jacobs and Ruth Brown Kahn, became acutely aware of the importance of saving local Jewish history. That moment triggered the inspiration for the establishment of the Dallas Jewish Archives, a committee of the Jewish Community Center (JCC), in 1970, which evolved into the  Dallas Jewish Historical Society (DJHS), dedicated to education on and preservation of Dallas Jewish history. With its mission of “preserving the precious past as a living legacy for our community,” the agency is the only one that collects, preserves, and records the history of the entire Greater Dallas Jewish Community.

Within the walls of our Archive are a plethora of documents, photographs, and objects from early Jewish-owned businesses, synagogues, families and individuals woven into the fabric of Dallas history. Currently located in the JCC, the DJHS features a climate-controlled vault, allowing for research under the highest archival standards. Since its founding, the DJHS has served as a repository for many agencies in the Jewish Dallas community, with the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas and the Jewish Community Center (JCC) at the forefront. In addition to many treasured artifacts, Dallas Jewish Historical Society continues to expand its collection of oral histories, having gathered nearly 700 personal interviews with members of our Jewish community since 1971.

From Downtown to South Dallas, the Cedars to Goose Valley, Deep Ellum to North Dallas and beyond, Jews have influenced the formation of Dallas. From the long-standing congregations of Temple Emanu-El, Shearith Israel, and Tiferet Israel to the newer houses of worship, and those long since faded into obscurity—Agudas Achim and Anshe Sphard among them—DJHS stands to preserve their past and their future in history. The DJHS safeguards not only our history, but also information on our impact locally,  nationally, and internationally.

Today, the Dallas Jewish Historical Society is a partner agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas and is primarily supported by membership contributions.

Our Vision:  To help connect present and future generations with Jewish Dallas

Our Mission:  To preserve and protect collections of written, visual and audible materials that document the history of the Dallas Jewish community, to make these materials available to the public and researchers, and to keep the past as a living legacy for our community

What is the Dallas Jewish Historical Society?

  • DJHS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
  • We acquire and preserve personal papers, organizational records, photographs, and memorabilia documenting Dallas Jewish community history.
  • We serve as an educational research center for historians, writers, students, and genealogists.
  • We provide an Annual Lecture series, workshops, and other community programming.
  • We record and make available the oral history interviews of individuals and families in the Dallas Jewish community.
  • We present exhibits on various aspects of Dallas Jewish community history.
  • We are a community partner of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas.

How are your memberships and donations utilized?

Below are pictures of some of the items contained in our archive, and below are examples of how monies raised benefit programs and preservation duties at the Dallas Jewish Historical Society.

  • A gift of $25 provides preservation for one rare book in the DJHS collection
  • A gift of $35 covers cost of one set of Preservation 101 workshop materials
  • A gift of $50 provides 100 acid-free archival quality file folders
  • A gift of $100 provides 10 acid-free archival quality document storage boxes
  • A gift of $150 covers the cost of producing and preserving one Oral History interview

 

The Ann Loeb Sikora Humanitarian Award is DJHS’ biennial fundraising event, and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to public service, and who stand as role models for future generations. Honorees represent Ann Loeb Sikora’s legacy of leadership and devotion to social justice and humanitarian causes in the Jewish and general community.

 

Ann Loeb Sikora

Ann Loeb Sikora was a native Texan with roots in Ballinger and Sweetwater. After attending University of Texas – Austin, Ann returned to Sweetwater to work in her family’s business, Levy’s Department Store. Eventually, Ann made her way to Dallas where she worked in Neiman Marcus and became involved in community causes.

Endearingly dubbed a “professional volunteer,” she volunteered and/or served on the Board of Directors for a plethora of organizations including: United Way of Metropolitan Dallas; Community Council of Greater Dallas; Greater Dallas Community Relations Commission; American Jewish Committee; Council of Jewish Federations; National Council of Jewish Women; Congregation Shearith Israel; and, Golden Acres –Home for the Jewish Aged.

Ann passed in 2001, leaving an emptiness in all areas in which she served and big shoes to fill for her successors. Ann Loeb Sikora was loved and respected by many. Her legacy is rooted in her devotion to countless causes in the Jewish and general communities. And, her time and attention continue to resonate today.