Today is my father’s seventh Yahrzeit.

When I was little I used to pore through the photo albums that then lived in the basement. Perhaps because we didn’t talk to most of our relatives, I used to study the photos in the albums as if they were my families Rosetta stone.


Here is my father with his twin sister Irene. I’m guessing they were not yet two when this photo was taken.tbt 001

Here they are about a year or so later. While my father and his twin looked nothing alike as children, I their old age they looked remarkably alike.  Irene is still alive.

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My father grew up in Miami and came to New York to attend the Jewish Theological Seminary.

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My father used to say that when he got to JTS he felt for the first time that he was among people who were like him. Is that not a great tie?


My father’ first pulpit was in Halifax, NS.  I believe this photo was taken during my parents’ first visit there. I think it’s a law that all visitors to Halifax must be brought to Peggy’s Cove.

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Here are the officers of the synagogue with my father.

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My father loved being a rabbi. He took  both the study of Jewish texts and the doing of Jewish ritual seriously. Unfortunately, I think that he felt that most people saw the things my father was so passionate about very much the way the people who are NOT my father seem to in this photograph.

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I have no idea who the bride, the groom or the man at the microphone are. My father is clearly leading birkat hamazon. I am guessing that no one is singing along with my father.

This photographs all existed in the world of my father’s mythic past deep in the mists of history.


Next week  we go to Cincinnati because my father’s life’s work, will now be entering  the collection of the Skirball Museum at Hebrew Union College.

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My father is no longer alive, the synagogue is no longer there, and yet, those incredible windows now have a new home. Each day as I go to morning minyan I hear my fathers bellowing voice  in my head davening with gusto.

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  1. That was a beautiful tribute and I loved seeing those photos.

  2. Sarah, the picture of your father, the one with the wonderful tie, I immediately recognized him as your father - you really look like him don't you?

  3. I do look like my father. My older son and my nephew do as well. Tonight my older son was making hamburgers, he looks so much like my father, and was doing something my father did so often...it felt like I was seeing my father, a nice thing for my father's yahrzeit.

  4. Cheri, I love that I now own the photos. I really wanted them, and no one else did. I have been scanning and posting them so they are available to everyone from the family.


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