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Jewish Starts in Texas; Rabbis and Their Work

Weiner, Hollace Ava

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ISBN 10: 0890969000 / ISBN 13: 9780890969007
Published by Texas A&M University Press, College Station, TX, 1999
Condition: Very good Hardcover
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

xxiv, 302 pages. Illustrations. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Foreword by Rabbi Jimmy Kessler. Inscribed by author on fep. Gift note not from author laid in. DJ has slight wear and soiling. Hollace Ava Weiner, a journalist turned historian, is a native of Washington, D.C., and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Maryland. After college, she wrote for the Baltimore News American. While raising two children, she freelanced for the Washington Post until her family relocated to Texas. From 1986 to 1997, Hollace was a news and feature reporter at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Hollace is a past president of both the Southern Jewish Historical Society and the Association for Women Journalists. She has won research grants from the Jewish Women's Archive in Brookline, Mass., the Southern Jewish Historical Society, the Texas Jewish Historical Society, and the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati. A fraction of Texans are Jewish, yet Texas rabbis are among the most influential, colorful, and celebrated figures in the state's history and culture. In "Jewish Stars in Texas, "Hollace Ava Weiner examines eleven rabbis whose wisdom and leadership were felt not only by their congregations but also by their communities. Of Weiner's eleven rabbis, ten grew to lead Reform congregations, stressing social justice and community service, and one was affiliated with Conservative Judaism, which seeks to balance tradition with modernity. "Jewish Stars in Texas" begins with the first large wave of Jewish immigrants to arrive in Texas in the 1870s. Weiner addresses the rabbis' roles as mixers, who bridged Jewish traditions with the cultural demands of Texas, and as motivators, who stirred up involvement in social causes. The influence of these Texas rabbis--whether it involved fighting the Ku Klux Klan or founding a symphony--can be appreciated by everyone who benefitted from the causes they championed. Jews and Texans who wish to learn more about their heritage will find this book essential reading and an engaging source of informative and colorful stories. First Edition [stated], presumed first printing. Bookseller Inventory # 74362

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Jewish Starts in Texas; Rabbis and Their Work

Publisher: Texas A&M University Press, College Station, TX

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very good

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


"This thoroughly researched volume, covering a time span from the 1870s through the 1920s, tells the lively stories of eleven rabbis, their lives, and their Texas towns, from big cities such as Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio to the remote locales of Hempstead and Brownsville."--BOOK JACKET.

From the Inside Flap:

Texas Jews may be only a small proportion of the state's population, but their leaders have often shone as unlikely stars in this Bible Belt state. Grounded in the culture that gave rise to Christianity and thus sharing many of the community's values, rabbis schooled outside the region brought erudition and an exotic individuality to the frontier. Furthermore, a rabbi's prophetic sense of social justice, honed through centuries of Talmudic thought, gave a Hebrew minister moral clout in a vigilante climate.

Because Texas synagogues were small, rabbis served entire communities, evolving into public figures recruited for an array of roles. They blessed stock shows and rodeos. They founded hospitals, symphonies, and charities. They broadcast Sunday sermons over the radio. They challenged the Ku Klux Klan and fought for academic freedom and prison reform. Their names are etched on cornerstones and scrawled on state documents. Welcomed as leaders of the Chosen People, rabbis thrived, and many stayed their entire careers.

Rabbis who accepted a call to the Lone Star State when it was still on the edge of the frontier often ventured out West as a last resort. Some were freelancers, never ordained. Others came because they had no better pulpit offers. A number had left Europe as rebels, seeking to escape traditional religious practices. These maverick rabbis were drawn to places with little Jewish history or hierarchy -- communities such as Beaumont, Galveston, Fort Worth, Lubbock, El Paso, and Tyler -- where they created their own religious blueprints.

This thoroughly researched and engaging volume, covering a time span from the 1870s through the 1920s, tells the lively stories of elevenrabbis, their lives, and their Texas towns, from big cities such as Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio to the remote locales of Hempstead and Brownsville. Sit back and enjoy Texas history through rabbinical eyes.

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