Newsletter – 2018

January 2018

Our newsletters are currently being written by a revolving group of Board members and guest writers drawn from our membership list. We encourage readers who wish to submit prospective future newsletters to do so. Topics can range from neighborhoods, businesses, camps, or community centers and could include family memories or personal experiences you have had in the north Jersey area. Selwyn Jacobs, a JHSNJ member, has written our January 2018 newsletter.

Paterson’s Jewish War Veterans

Listening and reading all the current tributes to former servicemen and women who served our country during times of war, it seems appropriate to have listed in the JHSNJ archives, those Jewish men and women from Paterson who served their country with some having made the supreme sacrifice. Obviously I cannot name all those who served in WWI, WWII, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam and the Middle East conflicts. I would like to submit those I knew and remember basically through WWII and the Korean Conflict and encourage any person who has names not mentioned, to submit same to the JHSNJ. This hopefully will reach out to other cities that have their own veterans.

By the way, the respect and tributes being rendered, in my opinion, are long overdue since I can personally state that after spending 3 years in the army during the Korean Conflict, it actually took over 50 years to get a “thank you” which prompted me to write this newsletter.

The following are those I knew and remember and my apology to any not herein mentioned. I hope this newsletter will encourage others to submit names to be remembered. With that in mind, I wish to list the following:
WWI – Ben Jacobs, army
WWII – “Coach” Abe Arnowitz, army; Marty Bernstein, army; Bernie Braverman, army; Herb Braverman, army; Bert Bressler, Army Air Force; Hy Eisman, army; Harold Feldman, navy; Len Friedman, army; Arnold Frost, army; Happy Gottlieb, army; Alvin Greenbaum, army; “Coach” Lou “Red” Grower, army; Sandy Jacobs, army; Les Kravitz, Army Air Force; Senator Frank Lautenberg, army; Irving Libert, Army Air Force; Sidney Libert, army; Hy Miller, army; Ben Miller, army; Dick Nachimson, Coast Guard; Marvin Resnick, army; Irving Rifkin, navy; Ben Rosenzweig, army; Bernie Saltzman, army; Lou Sirota, navy.
Korean Conflict – Stanley Blake, army; Julius Corn, army; Dan Epstein, army; Max Friedman, marines; Jerry Gelfand, army; Bill Goldberg, army; Bob Gray, army; Selwyn Jacobs, army; Alan Kessler, navy; Sid Opper, army; Marty Rittenberg, navy; Jack Rosenbloom, army; Sid Shapiro, army.
Once again, it is my hope that there are those who will submit additional names of veterans to the JHSNJ for inclusion in its archives.

Selwyn Jacobs, member of the JHSNJ


Selwyn’s newsletter brings to light the fact that the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam “Police Action” were, for years, thought of as America’s ‘forgotten wars’. That perception has slowly been changing with the building of the Korean and Vietnam war memorials in Washington, D.C. Ken Burns’ PBS documentaries have also helped us remember the sacrifices of our veterans. As you probably know, since 1973 our armed forces have been strictly voluntary. Nowadays, it is estimated that only 1% of Americans actually know someone serving in the armed forces which is quite a contrast to the time period that Selwyn served in the U.S. Army.

As a follow-up to Selwyn’s newsletter we went back into the JHSNJ archives and extracted some items we feel will be of interest to our readers.

At the annual meeting of the officers, directors and members of the YM-YWHA on 10/24/44, William Pinsker, the Executive Director of the ‘Y’ at that time, noted “the honor roll in the lobby of the ‘Y’ listed 2200 young men and women from our community that served in the war”. {WWII}

Editor’s note – In other publications that we have at the JHSNJ, each and every serviceman and woman are listed individually by name. The “Y” always welcomed area service personnel and regularly sent them packages and periodicals such as the ‘Bugle’ and ‘Criterion’. Many other well-earned benefits were also offered. Upon their return from active duty, every veteran received a six months free membership to the “Y”.

There are letters from service personnel and regular columns that appeared in the ‘Y’ Criterion (“Furlough Chatter”, “Jottings”,”Nutshell News” etc.)devoted to our service men and women. Samplings from 1944 appear below:

A WAC thanks the “Y” – somewhere in England – I wish to thank you all very much for the gift you have sent to me. I received it today and was elated with the contents of the box. It contained many small but very necessary articles and I appreciate every one of them. It was very thoughtful of you to remember me way over here in a strange land where such things like this bring me nearer to home. May we all have the opportunity to be there this time next year. Sgt. Beatrice B. Puch

********Buy War Bonds And Stamps********

2. Lt. Oliff Writes From Ship – December 25, 1943, Aboard Ship. Hello Folks: At present I am enjoying the oceanic beauty and sights of places that were mere geography until now. The first day aboard ship the funniest coincidence occurred, while standing on the main deck a fellow passed me that looked quite familiar and we both stopped and turned around and looked at each other quizzically for a moment, and believe it or not, it was Arthur Hartman, Radio Man 3/c U.S.C.G., who once we began to recall familiar incidents about home and the Sunday afternoon basketball league in which we both participated at the same time. Please note my new address and continue sending me your publications. Regards to all. Lt. Danny Oliff

*********Buy War Bond And Stamps ************

{Editor’s note: After the war, Danny Oliff opened a shade and window treatment store on Maple Avenue in Fair Lawn near the River Road intersection.}

3.misc.— “As Garry Smith writes us from India, Sa-laam A-Lai-Kum, friends – sound familiar? Sgt. Julian J. Katz has been promoted to Staff Sgt…. 2LT Irving R. Hirsch has recently been promoted to 1LT – what comes next Irv? Cadet Carl W. Glass has successfully completed the 11 week course at the U.S. Navy Pre-Flight School at Chapel Hill, N.C…..Home again fellas and how I’d like to see the rest of the PANTHERS. Things are quiet without you muggs, Cpl. Geo.”Tsatz” Infald…PFC Joe Rubenstein says “Hello to all SYACS and E.14th Street gang over in England: Butch, Bolia and Rube”

{and the personals and greetings go on and on………}-ed.

4. On the second anniversary of Pear Harbor – a letter from Sgt. Milton B. Bromberg to Mr. Albert {who was on the “Y” staff}: North Africa, December 7, 1943. Dear Mr. Albert – Like most every other American I was listening to the radio 2 years ago, in fact hearing a football game. It was a typical Sunday afternoon, with the family all gathered around, and after finishing dinner- when a brief terse announcement awoke us all from that usual lethargy one feels after putting away a big meal.

I don’t believe it is necessary to repeat that announcement. We are all familiar with it- but how it has altered all our lives. Gone was that “it’s not our war” feeling, for we had been stung- stung hard. We had been hit on our “home grounds” and we didn’t like it one bit. It was more than a threat to our American way of life. Now that threat has been answered and you can read about it in the headlines and hear about it over loudspeakers daily. From all walks of life, the laborer, the salesman, the businessman, the school boy, etc. answered that threat and answered it by fighting! History is now being written by them – men and boys alike who never had a warlike life. And now, 2 years later, let’s just pause and slowly take stock of what has been accomplished. Speaking for myself – as a Jew and a Patersonian now overseas close to 18 months, I would like to say a few words which might be of interest to you.

Without being melodramatic, I can truthfully say that the torch handed down to us is burning more brightly than ever. Not only as an American but as a Jew this has been our battle for survival – and in true American style we are fighting side by side with all races and nationalities, and in all corners of the earth… and while I am writing this, our President has just concluded conferences putting the remaining nails in the coffins of Hitler and Hirohito.

It hasn’t been an easy 2 years, but we never asked for the easy ways. Now we are roaring down the home stretch and I know that my friend, Sgt. Sidney Harris, who was killed in Bataan, did not hesitate to fight for the preservation of our way of life and as he looks down upon us he is smiling and says “well done”- and it must be well done for after the armistice is signed our battle has only begun. We must never have a recurrence of this struggle and I know that all us Patersonians overseas, as well as all of you back home, certainly stand together in pledging to Sgt, Harris, continued undying effort in seeing that the day will come when we can return to our original way of life so rudely suspended that Sunday afternoon 2 years ago today. Then, and then only can we acknowledge the “well done” handed down to us by Sidney Harris and all those other loyal companions who made this possible. Sincerely, Milton B. Bromberg, Sgt.

{a photo of Sgt.Bromberg appears below}-ed.

Sgt. Milton B. Bromberg

Sgt. Milton B. Bromberg.

February 2018

Our newsletters are currently being written by a revolving group of Board members and guest writers drawn from our membership list. We encourage readers who wish to submit prospective future newsletters to do so. Topics can range from neighborhoods, businesses, camps, or community centers and could include family memories or personal experiences you have had in the north Jersey area. Mickey Levine, a member of the JHSNJ, has written our February 2018 newsletter.

Before I begin, you should know that one of the first things that a Jewish immigrant did upon arriving in America during earlier waves of immigration was to join a Jewish Burial Society or an association that had a cemetery. In this way if they passed away, they would be assured of being buried on hallowed ground. That phenomenon led to one of the best kept secrets of the Passaic/Bergen area, the Cemetery Association. As of today the Association owns, maintains and operates 15 old Jewish Cemeteries in Passaic & Bergen counties. The history of the organization began in the mid-1970’s when a group of leaders from the North Jersey Federation, along with some other members of the community, got together to figure a way to insure that Jewish Cemeteries would not become an eyesore in the community. They noticed that many of the old Jewish organizations in the area had established cemeteries but those organizations were steadily losing members. They felt there was a need to insure the upkeep and maintenance of those particular cemeteries.

All of the Jewish organizations in the area were invited to join the Association. There were many meetings held to try and convince every organization to join; however, when all was said and done, only seven organizations agreed to join the Cemetery Association. The original cemeteries were the Americus Oddfellows Lodge, the B’nai Shalom Lodge and Yanover Lodge in Saddle Brook, A.M. White Lodge and Stein –Joelson Lodge in Totowa, the Nathan & Miriam Barnert Organization and the Independent Passaic County Club in West Paterson (now known as Woodland Park). Over the years the Temple Emanuel Cemetery, the Workmen’s Circle # 121 & # 970 Cemeteries, the Ozerkower Benefit Society Cemetery, Congregation B’nai Israel Cemetery in Saddle Brook, Workmen’s Circle # 13 in Elmwood Park, the Independent United Jersey Verein Cemetery in West Paterson (Woodland Park), and the Congregation Ahavath Joseph Cemetery in Hawthorne have become part of the Association. The Association is now in the process of taking over the Yavneh Academy Cemetery in Saddle Brook and the Silk City Lodge Cemetery in West Paterson (Woodland Park). We believe that these two cemeteries will be a part of the Association by June 2018.

At its inception, the Association established a ‘Perpetual Care Fund’ which was funded in part by monies that the organizations held in their treasury prior to them coming into the Association. In addition, money was given by next of kin. As part of our policy we request that the perpetual care fee be paid prior to burial. This fund permits us to provide care to the cemeteries on a continuous basis. In addition to the basic care, the fund has permitted us to raise headstones which have fallen due to age or weather conditions. Moreover, the fund has permitted us to clean up a number of cemeteries that we have taken over so that we could restore them as necessary. For example, we replaced a wall on Mc Bride Ave in Woodland Park which was deemed to be unsafe by the town’s officials following a hurricane. On a few different occasions, the monies have enabled the Association to raise headstones in our cemeteries that were knocked down due to vandalism; and, in one instance, it enabled us to come to the aid of the community to cover the cost of raising headstones in a cemetery that was not even part of the Association.

As previously mentioned, we are in the process of taking over the Silk City Lodge Cemetery on Mc Bride Avenue in Woodland Park. Their members grew up in Paterson and established the cemetery; however, the organization has not functioned now in more than 15 years. We are now in the process of raising money from the community in order for us to take over that cemetery. There are many toppled stones there as a result of age and falling trees, stumps located in the middle of graves, overgrown trees and trees along the fence line that continue to come down, as well as badly leaning headstones which could fall at any point. All of these problems need to be dealt with in order to bring the cemetery back to its proper condition. The Federation has made a financial commitment to the Cemetery Association in its fundraising effort for this cemetery but it will cover only a portion of our needs.

While we are concentrating our fundraising efforts on the Silk City Cemetery refurbishment, we are also raising additional money to install footstones on 40 unmarked graves that exist in some of our cemeteries. We also need to remove large dead and dying trees and disintegrating concrete beds so that we can improve the look and safety of our cemeteries.

The question is always asked if these cemeteries are still functioning. The answer is most definitely ‘yes’. During the year, there are burials taking place on most of our cemeteries and we still have graves available for purchase. Since we are non-profit, our fees are quite reasonable.

We are continuing to improve and update our data base. We welcome inquiries from next of kin as to the cemetery and location of their relatives. Any questions can be made either by email to , by phone to 973-784-3294 or 917-699-6057, or by mail to Cemetery Association, 701 Ford Road, Box# 5, Rockaway, NJ 07866. We are currently building a website with all the information on the Cemetery Association and its cemeteries.

The Association exists because of our belief that we have an obligation to take care of the final resting place of those who came before us. Over the coming years you will see us assuming control of additional cemeteries that were established by Jewish organizations and religious institutions which are no longer in existence. We welcome your participation.

Mickey Levine, Member of the JHSNJ

The two pictures below (left, right) are of the Silk City Cemetery.

The above left photo was taken at the Temple Emanuel Cemetery and the above right photo was taken at the Workman’s Circle 121 Cemetery.

We thank those who submitted the following additional names of local Jewish veterans in response to our January 2018 newsletter. – Joy Kurland, Executive Director, JHSNJ

Louis Jasper
Army – Nate Friedman (one-time Commander of VFW Post 139); Alvin Gallan; Dr. Alex Hochman; Bernard “Bernie” Neufeld (Pacific Theatre); Donald “Duddy” Neufeld (stateside); Harold “Hal” Neufeld (ETO; trials of German prisoners); Lewis Schwartz (KIA, Anzio Beach, Italy)
Navy – Sol Walkowitz
Army Air Force – Marvin L. Brawer (KIA);
Marine Corps – Phil Margel
Army- Murray Cohen; Eugene Licker
Navy – Lloyd Nussbaum; Herbert Gold
Air Force – Robert Brown
No branch listed: Robert “Bob” Lazerowitz
Army – Edward Hochman