Virtual Oral History Interviews
Dallas Jewish Historical Society
Disclaimer: This volunteer position requires an application that will be provided by the Dallas Jewish Historical Society once we receive notification of your interest in volunteering. Please read the full description carefully
This position will report to the DJHS Archivist, but will occasionally also assist the Executive Director and Administrative Assistant with various clerical tasks. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the Dallas Jewish community while earning experience in a nonprofit setting!
Oral History Interviewers play an integral role within the organization - to continue collecting the oral histories, and thus the collective memory, of Jewish Dallas. We are consistently contacted by individuals interested in donating their oral history, so there are always interviews to schedule and conduct. This is a virtual position that requires a strong internet connection, a web camera/audio, and access to Zoom Video Conferencing. Training will be provided for all tasks and assignments, so no previous experience is required. However, we do recommend the following:
- strong organizational skills
- strong attention to detail, and active listening
- ability to speak clearly and concisely
- willingness to learn new procedures
- an interest in history, historical preservation, and meeting new people
Duties will include:
- contacting prospective oral history donors via phone and/or email
- scheduling interviews based on your and donors’ schedules
- timely communication with the archivist upon scheduling an interview
- familiarization with basic interview questions, and actively listening to ask personalized follow-up questions, as applicable.
- joining DJHS-hosted Zoom meetings in a timely manner from a quiet, well-lit location with a strong internet connection
- completion of necessary paperwork (deed of gift)
We require a commitment for a minimum 3 months, while striving to complete 2 interviews a week, which includes contacting and actively engaging with potential donors to secure interviews. Oral History interviews can be conducted outside of business hours following training and with approval from the Historical Society. Please contact our Volunteer Director and Archivist, Jessica Schneider, to find out more about the application and opportunity.
Background of the organization:
The Dallas Jewish Historical Society works to collect and preserve the papers, photographs, and artifacts that illustrate the history of the Jewish community in Dallas. We strive to keep the past alive through innovative programming, community outreach, and by making our collections accessible to our patrons and researchers. Our archive includes textual documents, maps, photographs, slides, artwork, objects, textiles, and an extensive oral history collection in various formats from vinyl to digital. Programs include the Lecture Series, the Oral History Program, Historic Bus Tours, and Photo Socials.
Our community engagement efforts and daily tasks result in a surplus of projects that include everything from filing to data entry, to research, to occasional editing and revision of outgoing communications.
About Dallas Jewish Historical Society
7900 Northaven Road, Dallas Jewish Historical Society, United States, Dallas, TX 75230, US
It is the mission of the Dallas Jewish Historical Society to preserve and protect collections of written, visual and audible materials that document the history of the Dallas Jewish community, and to make these materials available to the public and researchers, and to keep the past as a living legacy for our community.
The Dallas Jewish Historical Society was established in 1971 with the mission of "preserving the precious past as a living legacy for our community." The agency is the only one that actively collects, preserves, and records the history of the entire Greater Dallas Jewish Community for research purposes. The Dallas Jewish Historical Society is a partner agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas and is primarily supported by membership contributions.
The Dallas Jewish Historical Society became a reality nearly four decades ago to "preserve the precious past as a living legacy for all our community’s tomorrows." Watching the demolition of Temple Emanu-El’s early South Dallas building, a concerned group of Dallas Jews, including Ginger Jacobs and Ruth Kahn, became acutely aware of the importance of saving local Jewish history. In 1970, the Dallas Jewish Archives were established and evolved some 18 years later into the Dallas Jewish Historical Society. Today, the DJHS is an agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas supported primarily through membership contributions.
The Dallas Jewish Historical Society serves as a repository for the many agencies of the Jewish community of Dallas, first and foremost the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas and the Jewish Community Center. The holdings of the DJHS holdings include many documents, photographs, and ephemera of the early Jewish-owned businesses, synagogues, families, and individuals woven into the fabric of Dallas history. From downtown to South Dallas, from the Cedars to Goose Valley, from Deep Ellum to North Dallas and beyond, Dallas Jews have made an impact in Dallas. From the long-standing congregations of Temple Emanu-El, Shearith Israel, and Tiferet Israel to the newer houses of worship, and those long since faded into obscurity, Agudas Achim and Anshe Sphard among them, DJHS stands to preserve their past and their future in history.
In addition to many treasured artifacts, Dallas Jewish Historical Society continues to expand its collection of oral histories, having gathered more than 200 personal interviews with well-known Dallas Jews since 1971.
In 2007, the Dallas Jewish Historical Society moved into newly expanded office facility within the Jewish Community Center. The highpoint of the expansion is the spacious climate-controlled vault which now allows DJHS to maintain the highest archival standards for carrying out the Society’s mission of preserving Dallas Jewish History.