Make ’em laugh
By Deb Silverthorn
To know Martin Golman even for a moment is to experience delight, connect to goodness and to feel the laughter. And reading his book, “The Three-Year Weekend,” even if you’ve never met him, brings you deep into his circle.
Those good feelings will be shared at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9, as Golman and Steve Waldman participate in a conversation as part of the Jewish Community Center’s Margot Rosenberg Pulitzer Dallas Jewish Bookfest. The $30 registration provides the Zoom link and a copy of the book.
“This book defines me and my relationship with people,” said Golman. “I really do love all people.” The book shares stories of the people in his life, of travels, sports, food, fundraising and work. “My relationships have had a profound effect on me. We’ve meant a lot to each other,” he said.
The son of Gladys and Max, of blessed memory, the Hillcrest High School alum is a third-generation Dallas native. His family has had roots here since 1911. His paternal grandmother Chana Chaya was a Schepps, and his paternal grandfather Maier, for whom he’s named, was a Talmudic scholar. He is also the brother of Ida Ann (Harold) Zweig. The family has been affiliated at Congregation Shearith Israel for generations.
He has been married to Susan (Szafir) for almost 53 years, and the couple have three children —Stacey (Doug) Baer, Max Golman and Robin (Craig) Unterberg —and four granddaughters: Hailey and Zoe Baer and Riley and Tatum Unterberg.
The Bookfest event is a reunion, with many of Golman’s friends, who are also JCC past presidents, participating in the fun. Ron Foxman will make the introductions; Jeff Seymour will help produce the event; and Steve Waldman will serve as host.
“Marty is bigger than life, the sweetest, kindest, most genuine person who everyone wants to be near,” said Waldman, a lifelong friend. “I couldn’t be more excited to come together to reminisce, to raise money for charity and to, I promise, guffaw a whole lot. Anyone signing on will feel ‘that was fun’ because fun is who Marty is.”
Golman, a JCC past president, will donate proceeds of the evening to the JCC. He’s also a former sports participant (football, basketball, softball and tennis), who in 1968 received the J’s coveted Hank Bodner Sportsmanship Award.
“Marty is everyone’s ‘best’ friend. We’re all his best friends and blessed to be so,” said Seymour. “Using the book to help others is who he is and the J couldn’t be more appreciative. Between the tornado and the pandemic, we’re operating at a different level. Whatever is raised is very appreciated.”
Golman, who served in the U.S. Coast Guard for almost six years, started his career with his father, the two running Max Golman Wholesale Liquor Co., which was sold to the Glazer family in 1987. After five years of retirement, Golman joined IMA Waldman LLP (then Waldman Bros).
“Five years off was enough. I get to talk to friends and family about business, go to lunch and ‘shhhh,’ Steve pays for it,” says Golman. “It can’t get better than this.”
In addition to continued support for the J, Golman hopes his book will provide future opportunities to support NTO/BBYO, the Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital. Golman is connected to these organizations as a Rubin Kaplan AZA alum, as he spearheads the return of SAM to the University of Oklahoma for the first time in 40 years, and as a Mason and Shriner since his early twenties.
“I love concocting any reason to bring people together, even now when we can’t be together. I dare anyone to come into this Zoom room and not leave laughing,” said Golman. “Having each other, and a chance to help others, is what life is all about.”
For registration, or additional sponsorships of the event, visit jccdallas.org/special-events/bookfest.