Brite Welcomes First Jewish member of the Board of Trustees

April 8, 2014

Red_GoldsteinDaniel “Red” Goldstein,  co-founder of Teak Tree Capital Management in Fort Worth, will be installed as the first Jewish chair of the Board of Visitors and the first Jewish member of the Board of Trustees at the Brite Divinity School, affiliated with and located at Texas Christian University and affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

The seemingly “odd couple” match may have been made in heaven or at least inspired by a  godly man – the late Rev. Granville Walker of University Christian Church at TCU.

Granville was minister at UCC from 1943 to 1973, and had the love and respect of those who heard his sermons, delivered with intelligent, humble resonance, often injected with a touch of humor, and occasionally passion to stir reaction to injustice. Goldstein was one of throngs who came to know and appreciate Granville’s genius.

Since Goldstein semi-retired from Teak Tree, he is spending his extra time working with the non-profit world, writing two books (one business and one spiritual) and enjoying his first grandchild in China. Brite easily fit in as he recalled his early spiritual mentor.

“Rev. Walker saw in me a spiritually struggling 15-year-old Jewish kid that he could have converted to his Christian belief in a heart-beat had he chosen to do so. Instead, he helped guide this 15-year-old back to his own 3,300 year-old tradition,” said Goldstein. “The power of Rev. Walker’s action has carried with me ever since, allowing me the opportunity to grow in my Jewish faith, finding further spiritual sustenance along the way. I now feel it’s my duty to give back to the Disciples of Christ, as an institution, in honor of Rev. Walker.”

Part of his giving back includes living a philosophy of religious phases. Goldstein believes  Phase One reflects the attitude –  “My religion is better than yours, therefore I will negate you and your religion.” This unfortunate view, he notes, has given rise to much angst, leading to much death and destruction.”

Phase Two projects “my religion is better than yours, but I’ll tolerate you as long as we can discuss other things and perhaps do business together.”  This is better than Phase One, but this approach is still very unsatisfying, said Goldstein, since it can ultimately lead a person back to a Phase One attitude.

Phase Three recounts “my religion gives me spiritual sustenance. Even though yours is fundamentally different than mine, your religion gives you spiritual sustenance as well. Therefore, I’m thankful we both have workable spiritual paths.”

While Goldstein believes this phase transcends the need to view one’s own religion as superior to that of another and can allow for the possibility of peace for mankind, a next step is necessary.

Phase Three Plus calls on a person of one religious belief to guide another person who is struggling spiritually, but having expressed another belief, back toward that struggling person’s stated belief.  It recognizes the validity of the other person’s way at a time when he is most vulnerable.

“This is the highest form of religious expression I can imagine,” said Goldstein, and the path he has chosen to both honor Rev. Walker and live his beliefs.

“If I, as a non-Christian, can help Christianity and its adherents grow in their Christian spiritual path, then I will hopefully work to fulfill my share of the tenets of Phase Three Plus. I believe doing so will further the tradition of the Stone-Campbell movement and the good works of pioneers like Rev. Granville Walker.”

Goldstein also teaches Confirmation Class (10th grade) at the reform temple Beth-El Congregation and serves an advisory role with the Endowment Committee of the conservative congregation his family helped to found in 1892, Congregation Ahavath Sholom. He also attends Chabad of Fort Worth, the Orthodox congregation.

Goldstein has two sons Andy, a manufacturing consultant in China, and David, a Spanish major at UNT in Denton. His wife, Julie is a free-lance accountant and has one son Jacob Fuld, a student at Paschal High School who will attend the University of Oklahoma in the fall.

Brite, a theology school also approved by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church and recipient of support for its Baptist Studies program from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, provides a broad spectrum of religious teaching. The student body represents about 30 denominations, and the current 25 full-time faculty members represent several different Protestant denominations, two Roman Catholic scholars and a Jewish scholar.

Brite affirms all people regardless of race/ethnicity, gender/sex, sexual orientation/sexual identity, gender identity/presentation, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical ability and physical disability.