* PROF. ASHER J. MATATHIAS *
14 Av - 5774 August
OF HAPPY ENCOUNTERS and ELEVATING EXPERIENCES
As sons-in-law Bradley E. Herman, and Lee-Lev Thayer, with me behind the wheel, pulled into the driveway, we were eager to spill the beans of an extraordinary weekend to Mom Nina, their spouses, and my wife, Anna, preparing her return from Volos, Greece, in less than 72 hours. The three of us had driven to Philadelphia, PA, to join my brother Daniel, 13 years my junior, coming from Brookeville, MD, having planned an excursion to visit the National Museum of American Jewish History’s exhibit of coreligionist diamond heroes --- baseball having been a sport notorious for its racism towards African-Americans, and other minorities well into many of our own lifetimes!
Our hearts repeatedly heaved with emotion, as Stephen the docent guided us from one epoch to the next, from the Jews’ first appearance in Peter Stuyvesant’s New Amsterdam, to early token settlements in colonial America, and key roles in our collective drama, found on both sides of every important issue: pro-slavery (Judah P. Benjamin, 1818-1884, was “the brains of the Confederacy), and abolitionist, Yankee and Rebel, along with the frequent ironies attendant to such memberships. For example, how to reconcile slavery for Southern Jews, with the annual recitation of the archetypical story of liberation found in the Passover’s Hagadah, story of the Exodus?
Or, the unambiguous exchanges of letters between Moses Seixas, on behalf of the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, R.I., congratulating our first President George Washington on his election, and the Chief Executive’s response, himself a slaveholder, declaring: It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support. (Brad presented each of us a scroll, containing parchment copies of these exchanges.)
There was ample documentation of the Jewish immigrant experience, post the great migrations of the 1880’s and prior to the enactment of the restrictive quota law of 1924, which was replaced by the more compassionate reform of 1965. Here is another irony, as the Sephardic Emma Lazarus pens the poem The New Colossus inscribed in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, looking outwards and welcoming, and in stark juxtaposition to the embarrassment that the current inane debate over immigration must bring to some thoughtful people:
Not like a brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. “Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddles masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Other highlights included the essential Jewish role in the civil rights movement, with Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel prominently marching next to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax proudly demurring to pitch the opening game of the 1965 World Series against the Minnesota Twins because it fell on Yom Kippur; the consciousness-raising women’s liberation and political empowerment campaigns were freighted with Jewish intellectuals, a condition thrillingly associated with the liberal democratic ethos that imbues our nation!
As we were located at Hampton Inn Center City-Convention Center, and always walking, we toured points of historical interest to the founding of our beloved republic, in the perimeter of Chestnut Street, most prominently, the Liberty Bell, and Independence Hall where in 1776 and 1787, the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, respectively, were drafted and adopted by our Founding Fathers! An enjoyable post-Shabbat frivolity, replete with a ride on SEPTA, the Philadelphia subway where I, as a senior, was accorded a free ride, was attending a game between the Mets and Phillies, won in 11 innings by the visitors, 2-1, at the 10-year-old Citizens Bank Park. In the morn, before departing for New York, we enjoyed a relaxing session in the Jacuzzi.
An unexpected delight was the long-postponed personal introduction to the eminent and published pediatric medical expert on cancer (St. Christopher’s Hospital), and all manner of pathologies, neurology, and lecturer (Drexel Medical School), Dr. Christos D. Katsetos. Under prearrangement, we met him in his office, doing research hunched over a high-powered microscope, ready to make us known to his loyal assistants, while I blushed listening to the encomiums he wove about my person to my accompanied family members.
It was Dr. Katsetos, along with Dr. Cornelia Tsakiridou, of La Salle University, who arranged for me to be part of an international panel to discuss the past, present, and future of Greek Jewry, only to have the multi-venue program become another casualty of the murderous Hurricane Sandy that swept our eastern American shores on October 30, 2012. An ongoing conversation on Greek-Jewish relations, and not only, has been a welcome outcome, and my eagerness to meet this progressive Greek would not be denied!
The good doctor was ever-solicitous, guiding owner Jeff Katz, of Lox Stock and Barrel, to prepare platters of Jewish --- read distinctly Ashkenazi, but widely tasted by a broad segment of the public, Sephardic and Gentile --- food: Nova lox, of course, and bagels, latkes with apple sauce, cold salmon, heaps of variety spreads, matzo ball soup, challah, and kosher wine used when I recited the Kiddush!
Satisfied in the pallet and tummy, all of us engaged in animated talk, with Yvonne, one of Dr. Katsetos’s helpers also joining us. As comes naturally to people of good will, we early, and thoroughly came to a convergence of thought: Greece’s contemporary social pathologies, especially the fraught issue of anti-Semitism, can be addressed by revamping curricula, and having devoted professionals with vision and political commitment; the Church must play a pivotal role to both reform itself, and encourage the polity to follow suit (Metropolitans Ambrosios, Anthimos, Serapheim, and their ilk, should be chastised, even disciplined for their outspoken bigotry); and the Jewish State can serve as an inspiring example for Greece, to invest heavily on R & D (research and development), factors that conspired to make Israel a heavyweight among nations in technology, science, and every other worthy human endeavor!
May we always forge ties of understanding, acceptance, and tolerance, with mutual respect; after all, much before we encounter Heaven, we must attempt its earthly creation, for the benefit of humanity and the glory of G-d. Amen.
*Asher, Thank you for your kind note. It was a pleasure meeting you in person along with your brother Daniel and your two sons-in-law. Also, many thanks for your kind gift. It was very thoughtful of you. I am pleased that we had the opportunity to break bread on Shabbat. I particularly enjoyed the experience of listening to your chanting the kiddush over kosher wine, which gave a special note to the occasion. All the best to you and your family, with a special blessing to your dear mother, Nina. Christos / Christos D. Katsetos, MD, PhD, FRCPath
** Very nice, especially coming from a non-Jewish Greek! J.A., NYC
***How nice of you to write these beautiful words! From your mouth to G-d's ears … Our daughter- in-law is from Philly. Her brother, B”H starts Drexel Medical School in September, after four years in the Israel IDF. He thankfully is home. He was based in Gaza. Sounds like you once again build bridges and continue to be a Kiddush HaShem!!! Shavuah tov and may we hear good news! … Hope Greece was great, and to see you soon in the city! Warmest regards to Anna and you, love, Kim A., NYC
*GREAT READ, THANKS. JERRY F., Woodmere, NY
**Thank YOU for sharing your experiences --- I do enjoy your writing style and learning from you. Be well and send my love to Anna! Marlene S., Brooklyn, NY
***Hello, Bro. Asher. Thank you for your great travelogue. Thanks to you I feel I've been to Philly, and seen the sights! Be well. H.A.M., Norwich, NY
*Thank you Asher, this was most interesting; how lovely that you got to have a trip and bond with your sons-in-law, you are truly blessed. Janice L., Toronto, ON, Canada
**Dear Asher, Your exposition, beautifully written, of an interesting (indeed inspiring) visit to Philadelphia revived some old memories of my own going back more than 55 years ago. As for Dr. Katsetos, not only is he devoted to his science, but also to establishing a world of fairness and justice. Orestes Varvitsiotes, Brooklyn, NY (now in Athens)
55 DELEGATES AT CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION
CT: Oliver Ellsworth, William Samuel Johnson, Roger Sherman DE: Richard Basset, Gunning Bedford, Jr., Jacob Broom, John Dickinson, George Read GA: Abraham Baldwin, William Few, William Houstoun, William Pierce MD: Daniel Carroll, Luther Martin, James McHenry, John Francis Mercer, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer MA: Elbridge Gerry, Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King, Caleb Strong NH: Nicholas Gilman, John Langdon NJ: David Brearley, Jonathan Dayton, William Houston, William Livingston, William Paterson NY: Alexander Hamilton, John Lansing, Jr., Robert Yates NC: William Blount, William Richardson Davie, Alexander Martin, Richard Dobbs Spaight, Hugh Williamson PA: George Clymer, Thomas Fitzsimons, Benjamin Franklin, Jared Ingersoll, Thomas Mifflin, Gouverneur Morris, Robert Morris, James Wilson SC: Pierce Butler, Charles Cotesworth Pickney, Charles Pickney, John Rutledge VA: John Blair, James Madison, George Mason, James McClurg, Edmond Randolph, George Washington, Georger Wythe Rhode Island did not send delegates to the Convention.
* * * NORMAN "LEFKY" LEFKOWITZ * * *
Pickleball is the newest sport activity for senior citizen, a matter fact it is great for all ages and all sexes. This sport is an all-age activity that requires little skill and can progress very quickly the more often that you play. I am new to the game. This is similar to ping pong and tennis on a very small scale. There is very little running too. And, it requires two players on each side.
Pickleball requires a special paddle and a hard waffle ball. The net is about 3 feet high, the length is about 30 feet and the width is about 20 feet. It is an 11-point game and scoring is a little different. You get points only on your serve. And it is quite a wonderful workout without much running. There is about an two-and-a-half-foot area on either side of the net that is no persons land called the kitchen.
In conclusion, for those who like a wonderful workout experience without much running, try Pickleball. The men play Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in my community. The women play Wednesday and Friday. We're opting for unisex games.
IRMA SHERMAN LATINSKY
INVITATION TO TJHS LUNCHEON/REUNION
Irma Sherman Latinsky returns to Florida in November. This translates to parties, more parties, and more parties! Irma has once again ignited interest in a winter reunion/luncheon and you, our TJHS sisters and female spouses of TJHS male graduates of all graduating years are invited!
Note: This invitation will post on our Class page and as private messages or postings on many Facebook pages, not in a private mailing - because of computer issues with mass mailings. You are therefore asked to please share the details of our upcoming Florida luncheon with TJHS grads.
THEME: Winter Wonderland in Florida - For Women Only
DATE: Thursday - December 11, 2014
TIME: 1 P.M.
ADDRESS: 16850 Jog Road, Delray Beach, FL
DETAILS: Separate checks
RSVP:: by December 2 - December is Florida's busy season - we need to know in advance how many reservations you require. Plan early. Tell Irma to count you in!
CALL: Irma - 561-638-3802
ABOUT HENRY'S -"Henry’s is the winner of Boca Raton Magazine’s 2012 and 2013’s Readers’ Choice Award for Favorite Restaurant and Best American Cuisine. Henry’s offers classic and contemporary comfort food in a warm and inviting setting. Henry's also offers a beautiful patio for al fresco dining during cooler months. The menu at Henry’s features the best in-season products, select cuts of meat and poultry and the freshest seafood available.
"Executive Chef, Ben Burger, offers a wide variety of menu options including Horseradish Crusted Salmon, Turkey and Mushroom Meatloaf and Coriander-Seared “Rare” Yellowfin Tuna. Henry’s also offers a large selection of gluten-free, vegetarian and low-calorie menu options."
* AL CINAMON '55 *
DRIVERS MED COURSE
A driver over 65 is likely to never drive drunk. Unfortunately, alcohol is only one drug that impairs drivers. Older drivers are the most likely to drive while under the influence of multiple medications. Drugs typically affect people differently at age 60 than at age 20. With age, people tend to gain weight and lose muscle tone, which changes the way chemicals are absorbed. An older body can also take longer to rid itself of drugs.
So if you are taking medication, should you be driving? Most likely, yes. But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises that it’s best to be absolutely sure before you get behind the wheel. While most medications don’t affect driving ability, some prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can cause reactions that may make it unsafe to drive. These reactions may include sleepiness/drowsiness, blurred vision, dizziness, slowed movement, fainting, inability to focus or pay attention, nausea, and excitability.
Driving while on medication can also be a legal issue. State laws differ but in New York driving under the influence of certain medications (prescription and OTC products) could get you in the same kind of trouble as people caught driving under the influence of alcohol.
Knowing how your medication – or any combination of them – affects your ability to drive is clearly a safety measure involving you, your passengers, and others on the road.
Products that could make it dangerous to drive include some anti-depressants, some cold remedies and allergy products, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, pain relievers, diet pills, drugs containing stimulants such as caffeine, or codeine. It’s also important to know that you should never combine medication with alcohol, which would create a synergistic effect (a greater effect than if each were taken separately).
If you must drive, don’t stop taking your medicines unless told to do so by your doctor. Do talk to your doctor or pharmacist about possible side effects of the medicines you take.
It would also be advisable to carry a list of your medications including names and dosages, just in case of an emergency.
Please assist us in our effort to maintain a Web presence that performs in the best possible manner. I am here to present you with quality reading material, help navigate your journey through the halls of TJHS and to assist you in re-connecting with long-time friends. Your submissions and suggestions are welcomed! Please direct correspondence to TJHS1961@aol.com
MISSING GRADS - I've received hundreds of requests to locate your friends. Be assured that each request remains active until the person is found. It may take a day, a month, even a year or more, but we are working diligently to find them. Lend a hand -- alert '61 Jeffersonians in hiding to come-out-come-out-wherever-you-are!
PROFILED BUT NOT REGISTERED? - Please be advised that a profile exists for all students of TJHS 1961 including those “Missing.” If this is your first visit to our web page, please do not create a second Student File. First consult the 1961 Class Directory which is listed in alphabetical sequence by last name. It is accessible at the top of our page within the TJHS 1961 orange header.
If you are a regular visitor but have not registered, please do so by assigning your private password. Without a registered password you will not be able to gain entry to your file or edit - nor will you be unable to contact students who elect to maintain privacy - nor will you be able to post messages or become involved with many activities available to those who are. Your Password is confidential - you and the Classreport organization alone maintain such information. Assign your private password: refer to the "Sign In" box (upper right), then click "Lost Password" and, upon prompt, enter your "PW." Then click "Save."
SOCIAL LINKS (i.e. Facebook, et al.) have been added to many profiles by the respective registrants. The links you post should lead where directed. In instances where the link was not added correctly, it leads to a dead zone. Accordingly, we have deleted the invalid link and added a notation in your respective Bios. Please test your links before posting.
ABOUT YOUR PROFILE - We have completed yet another phase in updating personal biographies. Your profile now includes the Honor Societies, Service Clubs and Extra Curricular Activities (ECA) you performed for our Alma Mater. Learn more about your role and those of the young adults with whom you forged friendships in high school because of your services to our school. Check out biographies on Classreport.
PRACTICING EMAIL COURTESY - When you forward e-mail received from others, please delete the forwarding history, which includes the e-mail addresses of EVERYONE listed. It is a courtesy to others who may not wish to have their e-mail addresses sent throughout the Internet. Erasing the history helps prevent spammers from mining addresses, computer fraud, identity theft and viruses. Always use the "BCC" feature when sending e-mail.
Conversely, when preparing e-mail which originates with you, so as to maintain the privacy of those to whom your communication is forwarded, it is necessary that you "BCC" everyone rather than publish private contact information for all to see. "BCC" is a standard feature and represents "Blind Carbon Copy." The feature is an option in email preparation. Please use it.
THE CLASS OF '61 has officially entered the world of TECHNOLOGY . Reunion invitations will be available to you on this web page and via e-mail. If you have not provided us with your e-mail address, kindly add it to your Classreport profile. Now is also the time to update your profile and correct all outdated data. It is your decision whether to go private or public with this information so that others may reach out to you; however, be assured that if you wish privacy, your email address will not be viewable to anyone but the Office; plus, my outgoing e-mails are always distributed as "blind copies." When someone requests your e-mail address, it is my policy to drop you a note requesting permission to share.
Note: Our presence on Classreport will continue strong, as will the continuation of the TJHS Alumni Association and the TJHS Alumni Newsletter. Our newsletter is brought to you by Al Solomon '49, Alumni President; Stu Rothstein'64, Editor and Coordinator; and literary contributions from Alumni members. Tell us of your news ... write your Class Administrator!