The Bookshelf, The Parlor, The Young Texas Reader, and the Monthly

The Texas Bookshelf is different from the The Texas Parlor, . The Texas Parlor carries "general" bookish information and non-book information and even different Texana news and notes of use to the bibliographically challenged and other nosey folks intersted in historical, literary, and cultural observations. Will's Texana Monthly may carry material from either blog, but extends itself beyond those, especially for longer compilations or treatments. The Monthly, the Bookshelf and the Parlor are all companions. So, is the Young Texas Reader which specialized on books and such things for the youngest to the teenagers.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lone Stars of David: The Jews of Texas.

Compiled and edited by Hollace Ava Weiner and Kenneth D. Roseman, foreword by Robert S. Strauss. Waltham, Mass.: Brandeis University Press / University Press of New England in association with the Texas Jewish Historical Society , 2007 • 332 pp. 184 figs, 18 color plates, index 8 1/2 x 11" $34.95 Cloth, 1-58465-622-0 ( Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture and Life). Toll-Free: 800-421-1561

A wonderful collection, richly illustrated, these 21 chapters by three dozen knowledgeable authors are charmingly readable. The lively chapters, each with a separate bibliography, are in a chronological order, colonial period onward, and written on particular locales, families, and individuals, but some are topical, e.g., on clubwomen in the state, Zionism, and little synagogues across Texas.

Picking a favorite chapter is just hard to do. In some I visit topics I’ve known elsewhere like Ray K. Daily on the Houston School Board, the merchant families Sanger and Neiman and Marcus, the be-diamonded Zale clan, and the venerable Rabbi Henry Cohen. Others are fresh to me, Mayer Halff’s cattle empire, Max Stool setting up shop in Laredo, and El Paso’s open door to Holocaust survivors. And there’s the evolving story about what the Dell they are doing in Austin.

For my favorite, I’ll point you to the photograph on page 202 of my hometown Marshall’s Temple Moses Montefiore, tucked as I remember into the trees before it was razed for the new police station. Not since Deep in the Heart of Texas: The lives and legends of Texas Jews and Jewish Stars in Texas: Rabbis and Their Work have we been so blessed.

For special arrangements contact in Austin the Texas Jewish Historical Society for a synagogue near you. And thanks to Marvin Rich, bookman & past president TJHS, for the volume!

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