At Home on the Range: Jewish Life in Texas
One Hour Television Documentary
This program explores the Jewish experience in the Lone Star State. For over 150 years, Jews have played a vital role in the development of Texas. Their impact has been felt in the large cities and the smaller towns that dot the state. This rich history is brought to life by tracing the lives of both the early settlers and those who today call Texas home.
From the oil fields of East Texas, the cattle ranches of West Texas, and the citrus groves of South Texas, the Jewish people have had a great impact across the state. The early pioneers followed economic opportunity--usually to the rural areas just beginning to develop. In the most unlikely of places, Jews built thriving communities. They established cemeteries, synagogues, and religious schools. They were seen as an integral part of the community and interacted with their Gentile neighbors on almost every level.
However, as economic opportunity shifted towards the larger cities, these communities lost much of their Jewish population. Without a strong core of people, many were unable to maintain the institutions they had struggled so hard to create.
"A welcome addition to the small but growing history of Jewish life here." -- TEXAS MONTHLY
"In the 1870s, San Angelo, TX was actually owned by a Jew, Marcus Koeningheim. He had lent Bart Dewitt $1500 to buy land in the area. When Dewitt defaulted on the loan, Marcus found himself the owner of a garrison town full of saloons and brothels and gambling dens. He tried to trade it all for a barrel of whiskey, but the man with the barrel refused, saying that at least his whiskey was worth something."
Fort Concho Historical Society
Broadcast Premiere: 1996
Presenting Station: KEDT/South Texas Public Broadcasting
Magnes International Film and Video Festival, San Francisco