Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
DJCF: We won’t be silent against hate
On Aug. 24, DJCF awarded $25,000 in grants to five organizations in response to recent racially divisive events, declaring “We will not be silent.”
The Dallas Holocaust Museum, Anti-Defamation League, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Catholic Charities–Refugee and Resettlement Department and Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ received $5,000 each.
“The Dallas NAACP wants to thank the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation for their longtime commitment to social justice and partnership in our efforts to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination,” Aubrey Christopher Hooper, president of the Dallas NAACP, said. “We will not be intimidated by neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and KKK members marching through our streets. The true beauty of our country is in its diversity and we celebrate the contributions of all who contribute to the greatness of America.”
Along with representatives from each beneficiary, DJCF trustees Howard Cohen, Rusty Cooper (chairman of the board) and David Eisenberg were in attendance.
Dignitaries attending were Holocaust survivor and Korean War veteran Max Glauben and his wife Frieda, as well as World War II veteran Leon Rubenstein.
“It was an honor to stand with representatives of these organizations and to support their vital work,” Meyer Bodoff, DJCF president/CEO, said. “We believe in the basic right of every human being to be treated with dignity and respect. Those who carry messages of hate and racism are not welcome in our community. We have learned the awful lessons of history when people of goodwill remain silent. That will not happen in Dallas today.”
— Submitted by Mona Allen
Kreditor will bring ‘Jews, Pews and Blues’ to Emanu-El
Mark Kreditor, the chairman of the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, is also a scholar of American musical theater and the surprisingly extensive influence of Jewish cantorial modes on the great American song standards.
Kreditor’s informational musical presentation “Jews, Pews and Blues” will be presented at the Temple Emanu-El Brotherhood meeting Sept. 6 in Linz Hall. The Brotherhood monthly board meeting is open to guests and visitors. The meeting kicks off with a buffet dinner at 6:15 p.m. and the meeting starts at 7 p.m. Dinner is $10 per person and you can reserve at tebrotherhood.com/guest.
“Some 70 percent of the great standards of musical theater in 20th-century America were written by Jewish songwriters,” says Kreditor. “And many of those were the sons of cantors.” The specific cantorial modes of music (nusach in Hebrew, essentially meaning “flavor sounds”) generally parallel the messages of the Jewish prayers.
“The yearning for a relationship with God in the prayers might be translated into the yearnings for a relationship with a girl or guy,” says Kreditor. “Love, fear, celebration can be translated musically with minor, diminished, major.” His presentation traces those origins with melodies familiar to generations of America.
Kreditor is the grandson of a cantorial student from the Ukraine and he has been singing in synagogue since he was 8. As a student in Boston, he earned money by being a five-night-a-week “piano man” in local bars. It was then that he began to make the connections between the Jewish songwriters and the religion-based melodic flavors of their songs.
In addition to running his own successful residential property management company and managing the affairs of the Federation, he finds time to create original musical compositions and take his musical presentations to synagogues, churches and other locations around the country, educating people about the Jewish writers who built the American songbook.
— Submitted by Charlie Redden