Congregation Toras Chaim sits on the corner of a noiseless street, in an affluent neighborhood of Far North Dallas, a beige water tower looming over its shoulder. From the street, the home—which lawyers have termed “the Mumford House”—looks like any of the neighboring houses, a mid-70s family home, with an intricate garden full of elaborate succulents and blooming willows and giant decorative stones. A few houses down, two people shine a yellow Mustang at the curve of the cul-de-sac. A group of young boys practice coach-pitch baseball. Chirping birds. Smiling joggers and unconcerned dogs on walks, trotting along tree-lined streets that curve into cul-de-sacs.
It’s a crime watch neighborhood; the signs stalk the foremost curbs as you pass the entrance gates and appear sporadically throughout the branching streets.
Many of these homes fetch half-a-million dollars, sometime more, backed by the Highlands of McKamy homeowners’ association that makes sure the yards stay trim and the unsightly fences come down.