Jews in Texas have individually and collectively contributed to the state’s life and development throughout its history. While small in number, especially compared to other religious and ethnic groups, diverse in their own viewpoints and cultural expressions, and despite frequently encountering challenging conditions, Jewish Texans have thrived and made significant impacts in a variety of ways. To name just a few, they have enriched the state’s life economically, culturally, intellectually, religiously, and politically. Their presence and actions have helped create more diverse and equitable spaces and brought valuable perspectives that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. Yet, Texas’ non-Jewish populations are often unaware of these contributions and their associated stories, frequently portraying the state’s history without considering how Jews have experienced and contributed to the Texas narrative.
This roundtable, however, presents an opportunity for Texas Jews to bring out another layer of the state’s complex history. This discussion will highlight and critically analyze some of the Jewish contributions to Texas, the circumstances surrounding them, and how they have affected and shaped life in Texas. We will explore how these contributions and, more broadly, Texas Jewish experiences can be effectively integrated into the teaching of Texas history.
- Dr. Scott M. Langston, Texas Christian University, Religion Department (retired) and Native American Nations and Communities Liaison; Board Member, Texas Jewish Historical Society
- Hollace Ava Weiner, Director, Fort Worth Jewish Archives; Author; Board Member, Texas Jewish Historical Society
- Dr. Harriet Denise Joseph, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Professor of History; Research into Jews of Rio Grande Valley, Mexicans and Tejanos in Texas.
- Rabbi David Lipper, Temple Sinai, Houston; Previous Pulpits in San Antonio and McAllen; Authored Study of Jewish Mysticism and Greek Philosophy.
- Eric S. Lipper, Hirsch & Westheimer, P.C.; Houston Attorney with Expertise in Construction, Oil & Gas, Aviation, Maritime Industries. His family tree extends deep into the heart of Texas.