January 2013

The year 2012 has closed on a very positive note thanks to a very wonderful article by Joanne Palmer, Editor at the Jewish Standard and the equally wonderful photographs by Jerry Szubin that appeared in the December 14th issue of the Jewish Standard out of Teaneck and for which we are deeply indebted.  The Society has been truly blessed to end the secular year on a high note. Exposure is a very important part of our existence.  This is the third time in five years we have been exposed on the cover of the Standard and the first time we have had such a reaction.  Hopefully this will open doors that have thus far been closed to us.  Our archives continue to grow and we slowly but surely are beginning to make order.  The feed-back has been tremendous and though Chanukah has passed we are indebted to Joanne for the light that now shines upon us.  The article can be viewed on the Internet at: <jstandard.com>, December 14th issue and click on ‘cover story’.

The devastation caused by Sandy is a perfect example of what could have happened to the Society and our archives.  We were truly blessed that the worst that happened to us was the loss of heat, electricity and time.  Although we are presently based in a basement, we were not inundated with flooding.

I would like to acknowledge all the kind words, congratulations  and contributions we have received from many of you concerning our monthly newsletters and Photo Friday.  They are very gratifying and encouraging.  Photo Friday, the inspiration of Dorothy Greene, is designed and emailed by Dorothy and Lou Mechanic, assisted by Michael Kemezis our archivist.  Thanks to your contributions we have been able to acquire more acid-free boxes and other protective covers to ensure the life of what has thus far been collected but we still need additional supplies.

Our archives continue to grow and slowly but surely we are beginning to make order.  Ellen Kot Resnick recently donated family items including Paterson high school yearbooks, passenger lists from from the U.S. Lines, union dues books, photos albums, naturalization and citizenship certificates as well as other items.  We still need new equipment to once again conduct oral interviews as well as more acid-free boxes and folders to protect the thousands of photos we have collected.  I personally had hoped for workshop space in order to further enhance and repair some of our collection.  As yet this has not come to pass.  It is something we look forward to.  Mark Magyar and Steve Troulis of Rutgers University have become interested in our collection of oral tapes and have undertaken the task of helping to preserve them.  This is why your contributions, financial and otherwise, are so extremely important to us. Your generosity is critical to our existence with a contribution of $18. per individual, $36. per family or any other amount you might generously wish to donate to help insure our mission.  All donations are most welcome and appreciated and are tax deductible.

For the Society, the year now ended has been a trying and rewarding year and we hope all or most of our heavy problems are behind us.  Our volunteers have enjoyed working and doing their thing. We need volunteers who can spend more time and give us some relief.  I personally open and close the office three times a week and by appointment and Dorothy Greene is there beside me.  The previous group of dedicated people who volunteered so much of their time have moved away or passed away.  Your support, physically and financially are sorely needed.  If I keep repeating myself I apologize but response has been minimal.  Please!  Do not allow us to disappear.

Dorothy Greene has instituted a program wherein volunteers Mireille Schuck, Ina Harris and Anne Myers have been writing and collecting biographies of local Jewish leaders (1920-1960).  We are in hope that one day students will be able to utilize our archives for research and any other purpose. We also have a collection of Jewish books (Yiddish books also) by Jewish authors and Jewish related subjects that we also hope can be utilized by scholars, students and other interested persons. These books are being organized and cataloged by Miriam Gray.  Dorothy and Miriam have begun traveling around the north Jersey area lecturing to interested groups about the Society’s mission and purpose.

The Society wishes you all a healthy happy, prosperous and peaceful New Year and many more.  If anyone is not aware of it, there is a new Jewish TV channel Shalom on Cablevision channel 138.

Have you checked your closet lately?

Jerry Nathans, Pres.