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Brotherhood Past Presidents-Jim Hogue, Jerry Gray, Bob Weinfeld, Michael Kaplan, Irwin Kaufman. Back Row: Dennis Eichelbaum, Mark Fishkind, Ken Parker, Bill Hoffpauer, Scott Butnick, Perry Zidow

On Saturday, February 17, 2018, Temple Shalom Brotherhood celebrated its 50th Anniversary. The Gala, Art Auction and Dance format for the event was a celebration honoring Brotherhood Past Presidents, and their legacy and accomplishments from 1968-2018.  

Event Co-Chairs Dennis Eichelbaum and Steve Weintraub and their committee worked together for more than a year to create the hoped for perfect evening.  Guests in the early evening enjoyed a happy hour with piano music by Eric Willis as they gathered and previewed the auction art.  

After many early in the evening photo ops, Brotherhood members and their guests reminisced about past events and accomplishments over dinner and through a program which featured emcees, Bob Weinfeld, Ken Parker, Scott Butnick and a 50th year commemorative video. Temple Shalom Rabbi, Andrew Paley, led off the evening program with the following remarks. “We at Temple Shalom are who we are and we have beenable to do what we have done in large part because Temple Shalom Brotherhood shows up and does what needs to be done – with smiles, laughter and love.  Here is to another 50 years!”The event offered attendees a Tribute Book which included many written and photographic memories, congratulatory proclamations and letters from the Governor of Texas and the Mayor of Dallas, Temple Shalom Clergy, Temple Shalom President, Josh Goldman, and current Brotherhood President, Bill Hoffpauer. Some of the book’s main content included letters from Jerry Bemel (of blessed memory), the First Brotherhood President, “who took his responsibilities very seriously,” as his wife Dorothy wrote on his behalf. “One of Brotherhood’s first projects was to mow and clean the 14 acres of grounds purchased for the new sanctuary and the men were so proud after completing this project!”  Young and energetic and ready to take on any challenge was what Temple Shalom Brotherhood was all about in its early years.  Second President Jim Hogue, amongst his many accomplishments during his term, proposed the idea of building the first Temple Sukkah, helping with parking for Sunday School, and hosting the congregation and Brotherhood’s first weekend youth conference. He also presided over a “buddy system” to welcome and guide new members.  Third President Bob Weinfeld created numerous traditions and programming which continue to this day-Brotherhood Man of the Year, Lox & Bagel Breakfasts with guest speakers, the Annual Brotherhood Picnic and the Temple Shalom Softball League. Twenty-four more presidential bios extending to the present day were also included in the 50th event’s keepsake publication. It was evident from their bios that the first three Presidents hit the ground running and were hard acts to follow. However, their successors did so admirably.

For 50 years through these great leaders, Brotherhood has followed its mission statement to promote an ongoing relationship with God, Torah, Israel and the Jewish people through worship, study, culture and Tikkun Olam.  L’dor V’dor (from generation to generation) with special emphasis on our youth as the path to the future. Temple Shalom Brotherhood strengthens our ties, and our children’s ties to our Jewish heritage and tradition.    

After a delicious dinner catered by Aboca Italian Grill, it was time to honor the Past Brotherhood Presidents. Guests were then entertained as the men on video shared their stories and hopes for the future. Most men claimed their Brotherhood friendships as the most memorable part of their Brotherhood experience.  “Expanding Tikkun Olam efforts to include Ronald McDonald House, CHAI, and raising money for the Dallas Holocaust Museum and Center for Education and Tolerance Museum Experience Fund are just a few of the projects that have been added to Temple Shalom Brotherhood traditions,” was mentioned as a great source of pride during his term by former President Perry Zidow in his video contribution.  

The 50th year celebration would not have been complete without honoring many other important groups of distinction: Brotherhood Men of the Year, Brotherhood Hall of Famers, Brotherhood Life Members and Shalom Award Honorees. Congratulations complete, it was time to move onto the art auction. 

Auctioneers are known for their quick- spoken cadence, and Rick Brandwein of Marlin Auctions did not disappoint. Approximately 100  pieces of art were bid on in record time. From Agam to Dali to Rembrandt, 50th Gala attendees walked away with beautiful art and in all cases some very good deals.  

After eating, drinking, art shopping and reminiscing, it was time to put on the dancing shoes and groove to the number one hits of each February 17th  of the past 50 years—compliments of DJ Dennis Eichelbaum. Everyone had a favorite decade and a favorite song, but celebrating together was definitely the number one hit for the evening and the entire group. 

”It was heartwarming to recall the different ways over the past fifty years that Brotherhood has touched lives and our community in so many different ways,” said  event co-chair and Past Brotherhood President Dennis Eichelbaum. 

“We envisioned and hoped for this event to be a celebration of our past and a springboard to our future. With the help of our planning team and so many dedicated volunteers, we believe we accomplished that goal,” Event Co-Chair Steve Weintraub added. 

Perhaps emcee and past Brotherhood President Scott Butnick said it best: “When one reflects  on 50 years of  the Brotherhood’s service, the smiles come to mind. People contributing, people having fun, people sharing a laugh, and people knowing they were doing the right thing and making a difference. With that approach, smiles come easy.”