TJHS Awards $5,000 Grant For Blue House Film | Shalom Austin

TJHS Awards $5,000 Grant For Blue House Film

The Jewish Outlook

Jun 29, 2022

The Texas Jewish Historical Society has awarded a grant of $5,000 to Mark Birnbaum who is completing a documen­tary film called THE BLUE HOUSE, a home once owned by Max Rosenfield (1859-1935), a Jewish businessmen and civic leader in Dallas. The home, built in 1885, was a landmark that stood for years in southeast Dallas. It had changed owner­ship, fell into disrepair, and was scheduled for demolition. But local communities rallied successfully for its survival. The grant was approved at the Society’s Spring Board Meeting, the first weekend in April.

Also approved was a grant for $500 awarded to Gabrielle Lyle, who is gathering details of Jewish communities that were settled, sometimes deserted, along the Texas-Mexico border. Gabrielle is working on a PhD from Texas A&M and is writing her dissertation on the subject.

New officers installed for the coming year are as follows: President Sheldon Lippman (Austin), 1st VP Joan Linares (Baytown), 2nd VP Susan Novick (El Paso), 3rd VP Janice Gerber (Houston), Recording-Sec­retary John Campbell (Austin), Corre­sponding-Secretary Amy Milstein (Frisco), Treasurer Ben Rosenberg (Houston), Historian/Archivist Sally Drayer (Dallas), and Parliamentarian Susan Zack Lewis (Big Spring).

Among agenda items discussed was the kind of family documents and other materials that can be donated to the Briscoe Center at UT Austin where the TJHS Collection is housed. TJHS member­ship stands at 501 with 18 new members being added since January. The TJHS Website ( is being updated so current and new members can register and pay memberships online by credit card. An application for membership is currently on the website.

Davie Lou Solka (Austin), editor of the quarterly TJHS Magazine, asked for stories about Jewish immigrants coming to the United States since the 70s. Jan Hart (Temple), chair of the TJHS Speakers Bureau, reported that Barbara Rosenberg (Sugar Land) gave speeches on January 3 on the history of Jews in San Angelo and February 10 at Congregation Beth Israel in Houston.

Speakers at the TJHS 2022 Annual Gathering were David Katz (Dallas), who spoke on the history and current study of the Yiddish language; and Hollis Weiner (Fort Worth), who spoke about mysteries solved in Fort Worth after congregational minutes were translated from Yiddish to English. Meeting committee chair Sally Drayer (Dallas) announced that the first in-person Board meeting (with Zoom component) since 2020 will take place in Bonham during the weekend of July 16-17.

President Lippman recognized three TJHS members for their longtime commit­ment and contribution to TJHS: Rusty Milstead (Longview) for his diligence in collecting information for the TJHS Jewish Burial Database ( which has over 47,000 names to date; Marc Wormser (Pearland) for his management of the TJHS membership database; and David Lou Solka for her many years as editor of the TJHS Magazine.

For more information, contact Sheldon Lippman at

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