Scope and Contents
One box of speeches, event programs and media, newsclippings, and bulletins document some of Dolores Wilkenfeld's interests and activities, from 1973 to 2017, within the Reform Jewish Community in Houston and around the world, with a focus on assisting Russian Jewry. Of particular interest is a resource manual, consisting of a compilation of programs and activities that can assist during the development of a Soviet Jewry program of Bar/Bat Mitzvah Twinning, to promote awareness of the plight of Soviet Jews.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish material from the Dolores Wilkenfeld papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.
The Woodson Research Center use policy is that researchers assume sole responsibility for any infringement of privacy, literary rights, copyrights, or other rights arising from their use of the archival materials. In addition to any restrictions placed by donors, certain kinds of archival materials are restricted for the life of the creator plus 50 years. These materials include, but are not limited to, student grades, transcripts, and any job applications or recommendations.
Biographical / Historical
Dolores Jean Kosberg was born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1932, to Cy and Dorothy Kosberg. The family moved to Waco, Texas, a few years later, where Dolores's brother, Livingston, was born.
Dolores grew up in Waco and, after graduating from high school, she attended the University of Texas from 1949 to 1951. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Theater in 1954, from Southern Methodist University, where she was National Intercollegiate Debate Champion. She later received a Teaching Certificate in Secondary Education from the University of Houston in 1968.
Dolores married Julian H. "Buddy" Wilkenfeld in Houston on July 15, 1956. The couple had one son, and were married forty-seven years, until Buddy's death in July 2003.
Dolores has been heavily involved in the Houston Jewish community. Some of her past activities include: President, Emanu El Sisterhood; President, NFTS District #22, Texas-Oklahoma Federation of Temple Sisterhood; Founding member, the Texas-Israel Agricultural Exchange Program (TIE); Chair, Committee on Synagogue-Federation Relations of the Union for Reform Judaism; Co-Producer/Hostess, "Voices of Temple Emanu El," weekly radio program; President, St. Joseph Hospital Women's Public Relations Council; President, Alpha Epsilon Phi Alumni Association of Houston; and President, Congregation Emanu El in Houston. She also served as President, International Division of THERAPISTS UNLIMITED from 1991 to 1997.
Among Dolores's many honors have been major tributes and awards from the following: Houston Assembly of Delphian Chapters; Houston Joint Committee for Reform Judaism in Israel; Jewish National Fund; Jewish Community Center of Houston, David H. White Award; Women's American ORT, the National "Tikkun Olam" award; and WRJ Southwest District, "Woman of Valor Award."
Dolores has dedicated many years toward growing Reform Judaism in North America and the Former Soviet Union. In 1971, she served as National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods' -- now known as Women of Reform Judaism -- (NFTS/WRJ) Convener for the first “Women’s Plea for Human Rights for Soviet Jewry” in Houston. She has been among the tens of thousands of women of NFTS/WRJ who serve as a collective partner of World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) in its mission to offer a modern, egalitarian, relevant, and meaningful Judaism to today’s Jews wherever they live. Her endeavor in the former Soviet Union was one of the earliest efforts to secure rights for Soviet Jews to have the freedom to practice their religion in their homeland. The work of Dolores's organizations have assisted many Jews around the world and were instrumental in strengthening the Shaarei Shalom in St. Petersburg.