Newsletter – May 2014

1937 Paterson Y basketball team

1937 Paterson Y basketball team

You thought it would end but it almost never did.  There was one snow storm after another.  Icicles cascaded from our gutters making huge dripping crystal necklaces wrapped around our eaves.  The three foot wall of hard snow on each side of our front walks continually became narrower and deeper.  Our shovel was now too wide  to plow through it.  You were frustrated and homebound and there was a lot of time to do a lot of thinking.  You conjured up regrets over the past…the past that is sometimes lost to remembrance.  Your self-image has taken a beating.  We, the Jewish Historical Society, have a solution to put the youth back in your soul.  Your second chance will come on May 4th at the “Y” in Wayne.   At this time we are happy to present to you our exhibit titled, “Local Heroes: Paterson Sports in the Golden Era of the 20th Century”.  Not only will you become absorbed in your personal stream of thoughts and reminiscences but you will meet those very people who are landmarks in your memory.  This is better than going to your high school reunion.  For those Paterson athletes who are long gone, you can appreciate their images at our photographic exhibition.  For those who you grew up with, don’t be surprised if you see them once again in person at the exhibit and have a special chance to mingle with them as though no time had ever passed.  This time you will say all the right things.  We know this winter was bleak and unrelenting.   It’s over now and it’s time for all of us to experience anew the enchanting days of mid-century Paterson. Meet wonderful new people so that new memories could be made or just decide to step inside some of your old ones.

Dr. Leonard Cole

Dr. Leonard Cole

If that indefinable yearning for “days that once were” is still swelling inside you like the rising tide, we have that solution also. It’s time to come to our annual gala . This year we will be honoring Dr. Leonard Cole on May 20th.  A graduate of Eastside High School, Paterson, a proud member of the Alpha Phi Pi Fraternity and former President of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, Dr. Cole continues his communal service as a respected leader.  Lenny is an expert on bio terrorism, terror medicine and is an adjunct professor of political science at Rutgers University.  He is also the author of several books and has served as a consultant to the U.S. Congress.  At the Washington Township YJCC you will have both the pleasure of meeting Lenny in person and supporting the Jewish Historical Society of North Jersey.  Please come and honor Lenny’s community service.  Meet old friends while relishing an old fashioned kosher meal.  We can’t live in the past but we can sure visit it.

Postcard Jerusalem 1958

Lenny Cole is very interested in promoting Birthright Israel.  The Birthright program began in 1994 so that young Jewish adults from around the globe can discover and explore their ancient and spiritual homeland, Israel.  There is evidence that participants in this program are more prone to marry within the Jewish faith and, in fact, marry fellow birthright travelers.  Participants spend time with Israeli citizens especially soldiers.  This is so that these young explorers can understand what living is Israel is like and feel more connected to their Jewish identity and appreciate their commonality and culture.  This month on May 5th is Israel Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut).  Let’s join in our shared history and express our solidarity for the State of Israel.


Life flows in its accustomed stream…let’s participate.
Dorothy Douma Greene, President