History of the Jews in Dallas
German Jews arrived in Dallas as part of the mid-nineteenth century immigration to Texas from the German principalities following their revolutions. They established the city's first Jewish cemetery in 1854. The small but growing Jewish community wanted a permanent religious structure as well as a rabbi to conduct services and to offer religious education for children. In 1873, several families founded the first congregation in the Dallas area, Jewish Congregation Emanu-El (now Temple Emanu-El), a Reform congregation. The Temple was chartered in 1875. The next year they built a small red brick temple in the Byzantine style at Commerce and Church (now Field) streets in downtown Dallas. The congregation engaged its first rabbi, Aaron Suhler, in 1875 and joined the Union of American Hebrew Congregations in 1906, an association of Reform congregations.
In 1947, a member of the Jewish community in Dallas began printing the Texas Jewish Post. In 1957 the temple moved to its present location in North Dallas. Architects Howard R. Meyer and Max M. Sandfield, with noted California architect William W. Wurster as consultant, received an Award of Merit from the American Institute of Architects for the design of the present structure, which was enhanced by art coordinator György Kepes of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The Handbook of Texas states that, "The formal preservation of the history of Texas Jewry goes back to Rabbi Henry Cohen of Galveston and Rabbi David Lefkowitz of Dallas, who set out to interview as many early settlers and their families as possible. They produced a historical account for the Texas Centennial in 1936."
Early Merchant Community
Many Jewish merchants contributed to the growth of Dallas, often working together for the betterment of the city. Because Jewish merchants were often the prime supporters of the community's cultural institutions and charities, their economic health often dictated the economic health of the city. Local newspapers received most of their income from advertising from Jewish merchants, enabling them to remain independent and impartial in their reporting unlike European newspapers which were often funded by a particular political party. Jewish merchants were often among the largest bank depositors and frequently sat on the boards of local banks.
Notable Jews of Dallas
||This list of "famous" or "notable" persons has no clear inclusion or exclusion criteria. Please help to define clear inclusion criteria and edit the list to contain only subjects that fit those criteria. (September 2012)|
- Max Goettinger and Edward Titche: founders of the Titche-Goettinger department store in 1902.
- Adolph Harris: founder of A. Harris and Co. department store in 1891.
- Emanuel Meyer Kahn: founder of E. M. Kahn and Company in 1872, which continued for ninety-two years as a family-owned business; it was the oldest retail store in Dallas, the city's first air-conditioned store and the first store west of the Mississippi with fixed prices.
- Arthur Kramer: son-in-law of Adolph Harris and president of A. Harris and Co. for 37 years. He was also president of the Dallas Symphony Society, Dallas Art Association, and the Dallas Grand Opera Association.
- Edward Titche Levy: served as Executive Director of the Dallas Community Chest from 1922 to 1939. Also on the board of Dallas Trust and Savings Bank.
- Joseph Linz, Elias, Simon, Ben and Albert Linz: founded the Linz Brothers jewelry firm in 1891.
- Herbert Marcus, sister Carrie Marcus Neiman and her husband Abraham Lincoln Neiman: founders of Neiman Marcus department store in 1907.
- Minnie Lichtenstein Marcus: Herbert Marcus' wife and Vice President of Neiman Marcus. She was also on the board of several organizations including the Dallas Jewish Welfare Federation, Temple Emanu-El, Golden Acres Dallas Home for Jewish Aged, and had a prominent role in founding the Dallas Garden Center. Her sons and other descendants including Lawrence Marcus and Stanley Marcus have been active in the family business and in other endeavors in Dallas and elsewhere.
- Jack Ruby, killer of Lee Harvey Oswald.
- Phillip Sanger and Alex Sanger: managers of the Dallas Sanger Brothers department store, which opened in 1872 and soon became the main store.
- Alex Sanger was the first Jew to be appointed as a regent of the University of Texas. He was elected as a City Alderman and served the City of Dallas throughout his life in many capacities: State Fair Exposition, Volunteer Fireman Engine Company #1, Director of City National Bank of Dallas, Director of the Board of Trade, and Director of the Dallas Club.
- Elihu Sanger: on the board of Dallas Trust and Savings Bank.
- Edward Titche - co-founder of Titche-Goettinger department store in 1902; original member of the Citizen's Charter Association; he served as vice president of the Dallas Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children. Titche was the second life member of the Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers; he became a charter trustee of the Dallas Historical Society; and he was on the board of Dallas Trust and Savings Bank. Edward Titche Elementary School in Dallas was named for him.
Other community members
- Adlene Harrison, mayor
- Martin Frost, Congressman
- George E. Kessler, city planner and architect
- David Lefkowitz, rabbi
- Stanley Marcus, retailer
- Lawrence Marcus, retailer and World War II veteran
- Laura Miller, journalist, city council member and mayor
- Levi Olan, rabbi
- Julius Schepps, businessman, civic leader and philanthropist
- David E. Stern, rabbi
- Annette Strauss, mayor
- Robert Schwarz Strauss, leading figure in national politics and diplomacy
- Steven D. Wolens, state representative
- Jewish population small in number, large in influence in Texas by Glenn Dromgoole. Abilene Reporter-News, 11 Mar 2007. Retrieved 2012-04-27. In this article, which is a review of Lone Stars of David: The Jews of Texas, ed. Hollace Ava Weiner and Rabbi Kenneth D. Roseman (Brandeis University Press), it is stated that Dallas' Jewish population of approximately 45,000 is the largest of any Texas city.
- Jews from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Temple Emanu-El, Dallas from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Texas Jewish Post from the Handbook of Texas Online
- "Titche--Goettinger Department Store," Texas Historical Commission Atlas. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
- Emanuel Meyer Kahn from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Minnie Lichtenstein Marcus from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Sanger-Harris Collection, Texas Archival Resources Online, from the University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
- Dallas Independent School District information page for Edward Titche Elementary
- George E. Kessler from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Rose G. Biderman. They came to stay: the story of the Jews of Dallas, 1870-1997. Eakins Press, 2002. ISBN 1-57168-648-7, ISBN 978-1-57168-648-0.
- Gerry Cristol. A light in the prairie: Temple Emanu-El of Dallas, 1872-1997. Texas Christian University, 1998. ISBN 0-87565-184-4, ISBN 978-0-87565-184-2.
- Kerry M. Olitzky, Marc Lee Raphael. The American synagogue: a historical dictionary and sourcebook. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996, page 340 (retrieved 2011-08-22). ISBN 0-313-28856-9, ISBN 978-0-313-28856-2.
- Preservation Dallas, Dallas Architecture Forum. Howard Meyer: Temple Emanu-El and Other Works. Preservation Dallas, 1997.
- Dallas Jewish Directory
- Houston Jewish Directory