A legacy for the community
Old pictures are fun to look through. They show what people looked like at a particular moment in time. But unless you knew them personally, you don’t know their mannerisms, how they talked, their environment or how they felt when that picture was taken. You don’t know their story spoken in their own words.
Over the past 51 years, the Dallas Jewish Historical Society (DJHS) has provided a free service to the community that captures the stories of Dallas Jews in their own words through its Oral History Project. Over 800 people, many of whom are no longer with us, have spent about 30 minutes in front of a camera and more recently, in front of their computers, sharing the stories of their lives as Jews in Greater Dallas. Some of them grew up in Dallas; some of them have been here a short time. Some of them were/are pillars of the Dallas community; most are just ordinary folks with a story to tell.
All of these stories have been digitally captured and are available on the Dallas Jewish Historical Society’s website in the Morton Rachofsky Oral History Archive page (https://djhs.org/archive/oral-histories/) for anyone to view.
Jewish War Veterans have a unique and important story to tell, not only for current generations, but for generations to come. You have stories from your time in the military about self-sacrifice and duty to country. How did you being Jewish affect your service? You have seen things that most American Jews never experience. Unless people tell those stories now, it may be too late to tell them later, and the story will be lost forever and never be told.
The DJHS is actively scheduling oral histories to add to its collection. If you have a computer and 30 minutes, you can do an oral history. You can schedule your oral history interview right on the webpage.
No one can tell your story better than you. What a great legacy to leave your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren — an oral history from you that will live on for generations. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but wouldn’t you want those words to be yours?
The Dallas Jewish Historical Society