HOLLACE AVA WEINER
HOLLACE AVA WEINER, a journalist turned historian and archivist, is a native of Washington, DC, and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Maryland. After college, she wrote for the Baltimore News American. While raising two children, she freelanced for the Washington Post until her family relocated to Texas. From 1986 to 1997, Hollace was a news and feature reporter at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She took a leave of absence in 1997 to complete Jewish Stars in Texas, had a publishing contract within a month, and never went back to daily journalism. Her first book, now in its 3rd printing and available in paperback, profiles trailblazing Lone Star rabbis.
In 2020, the Star-Telegram invited Hollace to write monthly local-history columns. She often draws stories from the Fort Worth Jewish Archives, where she has been volunteer-director for two decades.
Most recently, Hollace published her family history, From Lithuania to Lorain: A Jewish Journey. The coffee-table book has hundreds of vintage photos, correspondence translated from Yiddish, and the dramatic story of her family’s trek from the Baltic Sea to the Great Lakes. A 7,000-word article based on the book and subtitled “Remembering my Grandfather, ‘The Sabbath Observant Jew . . . Memorialized in a Catholic Hospital,'” has been accepted for publication in the American Jewish Archives Journal.
Hollace was the contributing editor of Lone Stars of David: The Jews of Texas, an anthology from Brandeis University Press and University Press of New England. Published in 2007, the anthology quickly went into a 2nd printing. It won the Deolece Parmelee Award from the Texas Historical Foundation. It was featured in 2007 at the Texas Book Festival in Austin.
Hollace’s third book, The Jewish “Junior League”: The Rise and Demise of the Fort Worth Council of Jewish Women, 1901-2002, was also featured at the Texas Book Festival. It traces the growth and collapse of Fort Worth’s most prestigious Jewish women’s group. Published by TAMU Press, the book originated as Hollace’s Master’s thesis from the University of Texas in Arlington.
A popular anthology, Grace & Gumption: Stories of Fort Worth Women (TCU Press), includes a chapter Hollace wrote about Amelia Rosenstein, the colorful teacher who ran Fort Worth’s Americanization School. The book’s sequel, Grace & Gumption: The Cookbook, includes Hollace’s essay, “Let My People Eat.”
Hollace worked from 2008 to 2011 on the centennial history of Fort Worth’s oldest country club, River Crest. The 544-page book, beautifully illustrated with more than 900 pictures and masterfully researched, is sold through the country club, although it can be found at estate sales. It is on the shelves of reference libraries and archives that focus on golf and Texas history. The book won a 2012 Preservation Achievement Award from Historic Fort Worth, Inc.
Another of Hollace’s essays, “Whistling ‘Dixie’ While Humming’ Ha’Tikvah,'” was published in the winter 2007 issue of American Jewish History, the prestigious journal of the American Jewish Historical Society. The 2017 issue of Southern Jewish History published “Monuments and Memory: Fort Worth’s World War I ‘Tribute to Our Boys.'” That article won a writing award from the Texas State Genealogical Society. The spring 2012 issue of Texas Heritage and a 2015 issue of Western States Jewish History featured articles Hollace wrote about Francis Rosenthal Kallison, a “Cowgirl with A Conscience,” who was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame. (Hollace nominated her!)
For Hollace’s accomplishments as a Texas historian, the Fort Worth Business Press in 2011 proclaimed her a “Great Woman of Texas.” The Southern Jewish Historical Society honored her with the 2021 Sam Proctor Award for foundational research in Texas Jewish history, and the Texas Jewish Historical Society honored her in 2021 for “Extraordinary Preservation of Texas Jewish History.”
Hollace lives in Fort Worth with her husband, Bruce, a retired children’s dentist and a graduate of Virginia Military Institute. They have two grown children, who live in New York and Northern Virginia, and four grandchildren. For recreation, Hollace kayaks and bike rides along the Trinity River Trails.