TJHS 40th Annual Gathering Held in Houston

TJHS 40th Annual Gathering Held in Houston

For the first time in the organization’s 40-year history, an awards banquet took place Saturday night, honoring Lynna Kay Shuffield of Houston and Babette Samuels of Corsicana, who received porcelain plaques in recognition of their work promoting Jewish interests. Credit: Susan Lewis

By Tumbleweed Smith

The 40th annual gathering of the Texas Jewish Historical Society was held April 5-7 in Houston at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Members attended a Friday night Shabbat service at Congregation Beth Israel, which hosted a meal after the service. Following the meal, the synagogues’ cantor and pianist provided insights into Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin and presented samples of their music.

On Saturday, members spent time at Houston’s Holocaust Museum, which moves into its $50 million facility in June. The luncheon speaker at the museum was Susan Septimus, a professional Jewish genealogist who encouraged people to discuss their family histories at Passover, finding out why and how their ancestors immigrated to the United States.

For the first time in the organization’s 40-year history, an awards banquet took place Saturday night, honoring two members who had worked for years promoting Jewish interests. Lynna Kay Shuffield of Houston and Babette Samuels of Corsicana received porcelain plaques for their major historic projects. Shuffield was recognized posthumously for her efforts to preserve Jewish cemeteries. Samuels, the last remaining Jew in Corsicana, worked to preserve the two former synagogues in her city.

New officers and board members were installed at the Sunday morning board meeting. Susan Zack Lewis of Big Spring is president. Sonny Gerber of Houston is first vice president, Jack Solka of Austin is second vice president and Jane Manaster of Dallas is third vice president. Recording secretary is Joyce Wormser of Pearland, Amy Milstein of Frisco is corresponding secretary, Ben Rosenberg of Sugar Land is treasurer, historian/archivist is Sally Drayer of Dallas, and parliamentarian and immediate past president is Davie Lou Solka of Austin.

Board members include Elaine Albin of Rockport, Douglas and Winnie Braudaway of Del Rio, Gayle Cannon of Austin, Nelson Chafetz of Cedar Park, Lynda Furgatch of Brownsville, Janice Gerber of Houston, Dolly Golden of Austin, Jan Hart of Temple, Morton Herman of Fort Worth, Guy Manaster of Dallas, Abbi Michelson of Lockhart, Joan Linares of Baytown, Samylu Rubin of Dallas, Phyllis Turkel of Houston, Gary Whitfield of Fort Worth and Cynthia Wolf of Beaumont.

The next quarterly meeting of TJHS will be held in Palestine, Texas, July 13 and 14. ■

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Susan Zack Lewis of Big Spring Elected TJHS President

Susan Zack Lewis of Big Spring Elected TJHS President