By Deb Silverthorn
There is little better to go with a dinner than a side-dish, truly the main dish, of Max Glauben. On Jan. 21, a dinner for a dozen couples at Nick & Sam’s turned into a $16,500 donation benefiting the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center.
It began at the Sept. 18 opening of the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, Bennett Glazer was seated next to Glauben for dinner. While he had heard of Max, he had never really heard his story. Once he did, he knew he had to share it further.
“Max is just beautiful. He’s a mensch, and while I had heard about him, after our first meeting I couldn’t get enough,” said Bennett Glazer, who came up with the fundraising idea after speaking with his wife Marion and Lisa Lieberman, both members of the J’s 2020 “be.” event committee. “His is a story that everyone needs to hear and to help the JCC, by presenting this man so much the center of our community, made sense.”
Fast-forward to January, and Frieda and Max Glauben were the intended guests of the Glazers, Dawn and Todd Aaron, Angela Horowitz French, Lauran and Robert Goldberg, Lisa and Neil Goldberg, Shelli and Marshall Goldberg, Karen and Alan Katz, Lisa and Steve Lieberman, Mark and Rebecca Masinter, Laurie and Todd Platt and Mark Zale. Doug French and Lisa Zale were unable to attend.
The Glaubens were the only “intended” guests, as each of the other couples paid $1,500 for dinner at Nick & Sam’s. In the end, everyone became guests of Samir Dhurandhar, who donated the meal, and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, which supplied the wine.
“These good people came together to support their community, the J, and we wanted to be a part of that. I’ve been blessed by the restaurant, a wonderful wife and children and it’s important to give back,” said Dhurandhar, the restaurant’s corporate chef and partner with founder Phil Romano and Joseph Palladino.
Dhurandhar explained he has learned a great deal over the years from his colleague and friend, Bennett Glazer, executive vice chairman of Southern Glazer’s.
“I treasure what started as a professional relationship with Bennett. He’s taught me a lot about business, and a lot about giving, and this was my honor,” said the chef. “How incredible to meet Max and Frieda. It’s important to surround yourself with good, and to do good, and everyone involved in the dinner fit that ideal.”
Two videos were screened highlighting Glauben being named 2019 Texan of the Year by the Dallas Morning News and an overview of the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum. Glauben, a regular speaker at the Museum, is one of its founders.
At dinner Glauben shared his story, his courage and faith with many of whom he’d never met, all he now considers friends. By way of Jewish geography, Glauben let Glazer know that Joe Pincus, of blessed memory, and he were both stationed at Fort Hood during the Korean conflict. The two would drive together to visit Dallas, where they met their future wives —Frieda, who married Max, and Sandra, a cousin of the Glazers, who married Pincus.
“What an invitation, what a night,” said Glauben, who turned 92 in January, his age not defining of the man who won’t be slowed. “These people are appreciative and respectful of their Judaism, of charity and caring and they’re certainly Upstanders.”
The donation of these couples, and the restaurateur, are far-reaching as they’ll support programming, services and resources to maintain, enhance and secure much at the J.
“Max and Frieda are always here working out or socializing, as is Bennett. It’s fantastic that these people — who I love and see all the time — came together to help support us,” said the J’s CEO, Artie Allen. “Max is a living testimony, a gift. His impact on everyone he meets is something to cherish.”