A Light in the Prairie: Temple Emanu-El of Dallas, 1872-1997 by Gerry Cristol

By Gerry Cristol

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Additional info for A Light in the Prairie: Temple Emanu-El of Dallas, 1872-1997 (Chisholm Trail Series, No 17)

Example text

Lehman later wrote "the staple articles with us proved to be revolvers, shotguns and musical instruments . . sold generally for gold. 19 In 1858 Lehman's older brother Isaac had opened the first store in McKinney, housed in a rickety wood-frame cracker-box building typical of those thrown up overnight along the frontier. The first member of his family of seven brothers and three sisters to emigrate from Obernbreit, Bavaria, Isaac had landed in New York in 1852 at sixteen. For about five years he apprenticed in his uncle Jacob Heller's small retail store in New Haven, Connecticut, performing mundane chores and receiving valuable bookkeeping experience.

Incinerated in the blazing ruins were Simon's warehouse and the new store. After the fire, according to his advertisements in the Dallas Herald in the fall of 1860, Simon rebuilt his store and reopened for business under his own name. The next year the Civil War broke out. When Texas voted early in 1861 to secede from the Union, the hostilities refocused the community's attention and slowed the pace of rebuilding the business district. Dallas writer A. C. Greene has described the interval from 1861 to 1865 when Dallas Page 6 "embraced secession, the Confederacy, and war with fervor" as a time when the citizenry brooked no tolerance for dissent.

At the suggestion of Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman, I sent the first draft of A Light in the Prairie to Jonathan D. Sarna, Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University and 1990 Sam R. Bloom lecturer at the temple, a scholar who generously and kindly agreed to look at my work. " In addition, Jonathan Sarna has honored our temple by writing the introduction to its history. When I sent the manuscript to Judy Alter, director of Texas Christian University Press, she gave the work professional standing by selecting it for publication.

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