By Linda Wisch-Davidsohn
Dallasite Melvin Weinberg earns doctor of science in Jewish Studies
Good wishes to Melvin Weinberg, who received his doctor of Science in Jewish Studies from Chicago’s Spertus institute for Learning and Leadership Sunday, Aug. 24.
A life-long Dallas resident, Dr. Weinberg has been a member of Temple Emanu-El for more than 40 years. He received his undergraduate degree from SMU with a degree in Business Administration, and spent much of his career as an accountant for Dallas-area financial companies.
In 1999, he received his M.A. in Jewish Studies at Spertus Institute of Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago, where he continued to pursue doctoral work under the guidance of Rabbi Dr. Byron Sherwin. Upon the approval of his dissertation, Weinberg received the degree of doctor of science in Jewish Studies.
Dr. Charles Silver, Frisco Physician, returns to Poland
“We” love hearing from our readers and learning about their history. The following is an email received from Dr. Charles Silver, M.D., written in his own words:
I had wanted to return to Poland for years. I was one of the “hidden children” from the war. In fact I was one of the rare infant Jewish survivors of the Holocaust.
I was born in December 1942 in Radom, Poland — about 60 miles south of Warsaw. It had a Jewish population of nearly 30,000 out of about 90,000 people. The Jews had been herded into two ghettos where they were starved and slowly decimated. On August 1942 the Radom Ghettos were liquidated and most of the Jews were sent to Treblinka. My parents were young and able-bodied and assigned to labor camps; I was born four months later. For nine months I survived on breast milk and sleeping pills.
Then another Aktion followed and it was deemed unsafe to harbor a Jewish infant anymore. I was to be kept by a young Polish woman who had no children, Marisza, since my parents were to be transferred to concentration camps. Marisza was too afraid to go through with the transfer. She decided to leave me in an orphanage near the ghetto. Since I was fair-haired and not circumcised I could pass for an Aryan child. Subsequently, I was adopted by an elderly Polish couple who kept me through the duration of the war.
My mom went on to Auschwitz-Birkenau and my dad to Majdanek and then to Schindler’s list — something I did not discover until many years later. They both survived!
After the war they returned to Radom where they found me and “bought “ me back from adoptive Polish parents for the exorbitant sum of 50 thousand zlotys — a sum my father was able to accumulate by dealings in the black market.
We moved to the American zone of occupation in Munich after being in displaced persons camps. In December 1949 we came to the United States.
I have had a long, fulfilling life in America. I went on to medical school and became a surgeon. I married a wonderful woman, Kathi, had three great children and now, three grandchildren. I have been in Dallas since 1992. My parents lived long lives, well into their 90s. My father passed on in 2008 and my mom died last year. They never forgot their experiences in the Holocaust and taught my sister and I to remember our heritage and be proud of our Judaism and of the State of Israel
After my mother died, I finally had to go back and visit my birthplace. My life had come full circle and I had to discover my roots. I am an American but I hold no malice or ill will to the people of my birthplace. This summer I took an Adult USY tour of Poland where we toured through Warsaw, Krakow, Lublin, and Lodz and toured the concentration camps. At Auschwitz, I cried when I finally saw the names of my grandparents on a long list that I never knew and who perished in the Shoah. Being a grandparent is so important since I never what it is to have grandparents.
I then took a two-day side-trip to Radom where I saw the site of the old ghetto, my parents’ apartments. I also was able to locate the orphanage I stayed in which was run by nuns. We had a very capable and fastidious Polish guide during our trip to Radom,
Poland and the Czech Republic, especially since the fall of Communism, have made determined attempts to acknowledge the importance and achievements of their former Jewish communities. In 1939 Poland had the second largest Jewish population in the world! In Warsaw there is under construction a Museum of history of Jewish people of Poland. There is even a street in Warsaw, near the site of the Warsaw Ghetto called Mordecai Anelewitz, the leader of the uprising who perished.
I am enclosing a picture taken by the Radom paper of me in front of a memorial at the site of the former great synagogue of Radom.
Noted endocrinologist, Dr. Jaime Davidson, to be honored by Bnai Zion
On Sunday evening, Nov. 9, the Texas region of the Bnai Zion Foundation (bnaizion.org) will honor Jaime A. Davidson, M.D., FACP, MACE, a clinical professor of medicine at the Touchstone Diabetes Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, at its annual Gala. Dr. Davidson will receive the organization’s Distinguished Humanitarian Award in recognition of his work in diabetes and global diabetes education programs.
Previous recipients of this award have included Dr. Stephen Swisher, Dr. Craig Rosenfeld, Dr. Brian Cohen, Dr. David Genecov, Dr. and Mrs. Tim Shepherd, Herb and Donna Weitzman, Pastors Mike and Kathy Hayes, Pastors Larry and Tiz Huch and other prominent individuals in the Dallas community.
Michael Medved, the nationally syndicated radio host, best-selling author and veteran film critic, will be the featured speaker at the gala. A frequent guest on many TV talk shows, Michael writes a column for USA Today, where he serves as a member of the board of contributors.
Ynette Hogue and Janice Pullman are gala co-chairpersons.
Proceeds from the event will help fund construction of a new protected underground emergency department at the Bnai Zion Medical Center in Haifa. A major institution with 450 beds serving the northern population of Israel with compassionate care, the Medical Center was on the front lines of the Second Lebanon War, treating hundreds of injured citizens and Israel Defense Forces soldiers. With the expansion of Hezbollah in Lebanon, Islamic fundamentalists in Jordan and instability in Syria, the new emergency facility is an urgent priority.
Diane Benjamin, president of the Texas region of Bnai Zion, said, “During this critical time in Israel, it is imperative that this project be completed as soon as possible before, G-d forbid, lives are unnecessarily lost.”
Bnai Zion, in existence 106 years, supports humanitarian projects in Israel that improve the lives of thousands in need across the religious, ethnic and economic spectrum. Its projects in medical, educational, social service and cultural areas transform and strengthen Israeli society. One hundred percent of all designated gifts to Bnai Zion are transferred to its projects in Israel.
The gala will be held at the Westin Galleria Dallas. For more information and sponsorship opportunities, please contact the Texas region executive director, Avrille Harris, at 972- 918 -9200 or by email: email@example.com.
Herzl Hadassah announces Opening Meeting for Sept. 8
I always look forward to hearing from Rose Biderman, who is Herzl Hadassah’s publicist. Rose recently wrote that Herzl Hadassah will hold its opening meeting of the season. Featured speaker, Rabbi Nasanya Zakon, will speak on “Mastering the Art of Criticism.”
It will take place at 10 a.m., Monday, Sept. 8 in the Senior Assembly Room at the Aaron Family JCC. Lunch, prepared by the Herzl Board, will be served and all members and guests are invited to attend. Herzl Hadassah Projects and plans for the coming year will be discussed.
For additional information, please contact Herzl President Marjorie Rosenberg, by phone or email. All attendees are encouraged to bring Food Bank items or small toiletries.