This site is operated and funded by members of our class.
Class Administrator: Alex Cinamon
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“Green Jenine,” is the daughter of our classmate, Sandy Rich Tankoos.
Jenine has been working with environmental causes for over 25 years. Her background includes working as a scientist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, volunteering as an educator for the Wildlife Conservation Society, chairing her town’s environmental commission, and serving as a trustee for the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions.
Jenine has received numerous awards, including the Community Catalyst Award from One Change, which recognizes an outstanding community leader who has acted as a catalyst for significant environmental action. As a professional photographer, Jenine’s favorite place to create portraits is outdoors in nature.
Inspired by her son Aaron’s early passion for the Earth and all its creatures, Jenine decided to create a book that the two of them could work together to inspire more families to also become Earth’s caretakers. It’s titled, “Let’s Go Green Together.”,/b. Aaron is the youngest winner of the Garden State Green Award, honored when he was a third-grader for inspiring others with his conservation activities focusing on monarch butterflies. Aaron began raising the butterflies when he was 8, starting with just one caterpillar in his bedroom. With his mom Jenine’s help, he has now raised and released hundreds of butterflies from a backyard tent. Aaron also advocates for monarch butterflies and their endangered migratory path at fairs and other events, encouraging people to plant milkweed on which monarch butterflies depend. Jenine and Aaron live in New Jersey.
Sidney and Edith
Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé married each other in Las Vegas in December of 1957. Lawrence, born Sidney Leibowitz in Brooklyn in 1935, had a huge solo hit in 1962 with “Go Away, Little Girl,” written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, which sold more than a million records; Gormé, born Edith Garmezano to Sephardic parents in the Bronx in 1928, was a big-band singer and had a huge hit in 1963 with “Blame It on the Bossa Nova,” written by Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, which also sold more than a million records. Gormé was fluent in Spanish and Ladino, and worked for a while as a UN translator. She met Steve Lawrence when they were both booked on The Tonight Show, hosted by Steve Allen. As a duo, they appeared regularly on the Carol Burnett Show, and as a bawdy, quarrelsome, and adorable night club act. Gormé died on August 10, 2013, just six days before her 85th birthday. To see and hear them singing a tribute to Gershwin, click below.
“Eydie has been my partner onstage and in life for more than 55 years. I fell in love with her the moment I saw her and even more the first time I heard her sing. While my personal loss is unimaginable, the world has lost one of the greatest pop vocalists of all time.”—Steve Lawrence
80th Birthday Bash
Russo's On The Bay
After a year of planning and cajoling, our Birthday Bash is now in the history books. A total of 46 people attended.
Awards were given to people who have helped make our past reunions a success, namely, Bob Bruno, Myles Seitz, Bob Davidson, Ruth (Yablonsky) Becker, Eileen (Kesden) Reinish, Charlie and Rosalind Berger, and Phyllis (Hoffman)Miller. An award will be mailed to Doreen (Deutsch) Spungin who was unable to attend.
An award was also presented to Stuart Rothstein, the Director of the TJHS Alumni Association, who has always underwritten our gatherings and provided the Jeff banner to be hung high in our hearts. He was also given a donation of $200 for the Alumni Association on behalf of the Class of '55.
Another expression of thanks to a grateful and humble classmate who takes great pleasure in keeping us all together.
The letter reads as follows:
Sometimes Thanks Is Not Enough
By Dd. Spungin
Al, the amazing
Loving and loyal
No one else would have kept us together
A job, many jobs, so well done
Making this group (for so many years) shine on
Officially speaking, our deepest thanks
Never to be forgotten—our Al Cinamon
And who would have dreamed, back in 1955 that we’d be still clinging to our beloved TJHS memories. Al, you grabbed the bull by whatever was available and created this amazing cluster of Brooklynites. Without your work, your vision, your dedication, we wouldn’t be here (or be wishing we were here) today.
You are a force to reckon with, and we reckon you have no equal when it comes to dreaming a dream and making it come true. From the quiet kid we all knew as Alex from Wyona Street to the single minded dynamo we know now, you’ve etched your image in our memories, even as you have almost single-handedly preserved our precious high school memories in our hearts.
No sometimes “Thanks” is not enough. How about, “Thanks and love, dear friend!” Stay well and enjoy the rest of the ride.
In addition to the framed letter, I was given a Yankee cap and enough money to buy a pair of Yankee tickets to a game of my choosing. Wow! Did I really deserve all that? These reunions were a labor of love for me. I never expected any compensation except for the pleasure of my classmates so many of whom have gone on to accomplish so many great things for our community and world.
At this time I would like to once again sing their praises.
With us at this Birthday Bash was none other than the January class president, Bob ”Butchie”Davidson A/K/A Davis, a great "tumler" who started as a social director in the Catskills, but since he liked being president, he went on to become the President and CEO of the Daytona Hotel and Motel Association, which represents over 100 hotels in the Daytona area.
Another tumler, who started in the Catskills, is Harvey "Arvito" Averne who went on to receive the first two Grammy awards ever presented for Latin music.
Also present was Jerry “Cookie” Wolkoff, a great real estate developer who is now in the midst of building a "city." Yes, a self-contained city called Heartland, in the Brentwood section of Long Island.
Barry Elbaum was also in attendance. As Chairman of the Dental Department at Monmouth Medical Center for 30 years, Dr. Elbaum was the recipient of the Pinnacle Award, the highest honor to be bestowed on a member of the dental profession
Bob "Nemo" Nemser, a Past President and Chairman of the Education Council of the Art Directors Club of New Jersey has received over 350 industry awards for his communication achievements including 5 Gold Medals from the Art Directors Club of NJ and the prestigious "Andy" award from the Advertising Club of New York. I think he started by drawing "hopscotch" boxes on the sidewalk.
It was my distinct honor to be sitting at their table; my compensation, you see.
Phyllis Hoffman Miller was seated at another table. She started as a reporter for a NJ weekly paper and then went on to become the editor of a large daily NJ newspaper. She recently received the Presidential Lifetime Award for volunteer service. (Of course, her greatest accomplishment is writing the reviews of our reunions).
Sadly, many of our great classmates are already gone.
Alex Fefer, class president of the June class, was a member of the pioneering Seattle bone marrow transplant team that developed transplantation as a therapy for leukemia, and other blood cancers. His research spurred the development and testing of immune therapy of cancer in the ensuing decades. The bone marrow transplantation studies he led were the first to show that patients with chronic phase chronic myelogenous leukemia could be cured. He passed in 2011.
Emanuel "Manny" Axelrod served as Orange County, New York District Superintendent of Schools and Executive Officer of B.O.C.E.S. for nineteen years. During his tenure he significantly enhanced programs for children with special needs and for those in occupational education. he spearheaded the drive to build world class facilities on the B.O.C.E.S. campus in Goshen, NY Early in his superintendency, at the bidding of the commissioner of education, he served an integration order on the Newburgh City School District and courageously promoted its implementation. He passed in 2013
I believe our classmates have many more great accomplishments to achieve, so I pray that you all take care of yourselves and stay healthy. You have made me so proud to be part of the Class of '55
History Of TJHS
Did you know that Jeff opened in October of 1924? In the Danny Kaye biography Nobody's Fool, it was noted that the school was built on the grounds of a former gypsy encampment. The school-age population quickly exceeded its capacity of 4000, and a number of annexes were utilized, including the former P.S. 63 facing Hinsdale Avenue. The second World War reversed that trend, but Jefferson retained an excellent reputation both for its academics and its sports teams. The hard times which fell on the area after the 1960s left the school battling poor test scores and low graduation rates. Mayor Bloomberg finally closed Jefferson and now houses 4 smaller specialty schools.
There was a major celebration on October 29, 1924 to mark the opening of the school. A large parade, followed by a number of speeches including New York Mayor Hylan filled the day.
The first principal Elias Lieberman, served until 1940, when he became Associate Superintendent of Schools.
The statue of Jefferson within the lobby is the source of one great story. Allegedly the entertainer Danny Kaye was asked to leave the school after a prank involving horse manure and the statue. Entertainers Steve Lawrence and Shelly Winters also attended Jefferson, but they, too, did not graduate, but left for show biz.
There is a terrific resource for Jefferson yearbooks. Hosted by the Museum of Family History, a Jewish genealogical research site, it has a searchable database of yearbooks stretching from 1927 to the 1960s
4/2/2018 Catskill Update
The Breezy Corners Bungalow Colony was bulldozed a few years back. It was replaced by a casino hotel, Resorts World Catskills, which opened last month.
The casino is not the only tourism-
. . .
12/22/2017 How Old is Grandpa??
One evening a grandson was talking to his grandfather about current events. The grandson asked his grandfather what he thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just thin
. . .
12/14/2016 "What You Don't Know About Driving Can Get You Killed"
A expose of phony traffic laws and dangerous driving habits. Authored by Al Cinamon and available on Amazon.com It's a must read for anyone who drives or walks...especially new or learning
. . .
I've been married to Linda for the past 45 years. We have 2 children and 5 grandchildren. I am currently retired living in Monroe Township, NJ in a community by toll brothers, "Regency at Monroe," (which, by the way, has more Jeff graduates than any other school from the NY area).
I am a senior officer of a large charity in NYC called : THE WIDOWS AND CHILDREN OF THE NY POLICE AND FIRE WIDOWS AND CHILDRENS BENEFIT FUND INC. I have been involved with this charity since it started in 1985. It is all voluntary and we raise about 3 to 5 million dollars a year, which is passed onto the widows and their children.
My wife and I spend time playing golf and tennis as well as being active in our community. And, of course, we love to spend time with our 5 gorgeous grandkids.
This is a great website and I read it all the time and hopefully more people will do the same.
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