“Why don’t you write a book?” This question has been asked of me countless times over the years. While circumstances never allowed me to do so, I am very excited for this opportunity to share what I have known, seen and experienced in my 60 years of life as a part of the Jewish community of this great city. In my lifetime, I have seen this city change in monumental and unthinkable ways, both in good times and in bad, up until the time they happened. The story of the last 60 years is my story, too. In each column, I will share pieces of that story. The details remain fresh in my mind.
As a historian by both nature and education, I am blessed with the ability to remember long-ago events and I look forward to sharing them with you. The Greater Washington Jewish community is unique; it does not have many of the characteristics that make New York so Jewish, and has a distinctly different flavor than our nearby neighbor of Baltimore.
The Greater Washington Jewish community has done more, with less, than just about any other Jewish community in the United States.
Because this series is written through the prism of my own experiences, there may be unexpected twists in the stories; and because I grew up in the movie industry, I have many tales to share about the distinct Jewish personalities of show business. I have hosted a Jewish music radio program for over 35 years, and I will tell you about some of my experiences with the show as well.
I hope to educate you with each column. If you read it and say, “I never knew that,” then I will have done my job. I hope to entertain you as well and am delighted to have you along for the ride.
So, join me for a look back, a look at today and even a look forward. We will take a look at my town, my life and the life of this city. I have lived, loved, laughed, cried and grown in this great town which I call my own.
I was a seven-year-old boy standing on Pennsylvania Avenue watching President Kennedy’s funeral.
Five years later, I saw much of Jewish Washington looted and burned.
I saw “No Jews” signs and wondered who would post such a thing.
I worked in the Union Market, long before it became fancy, cut chickens and drove a truck for my grandfather.
I was in the stands of RFK Stadium, the Capital Centre and even Griffith Stadium once, for just about every important Washington sports game for over 30 years.
I fell in love with–– you guessed it–– another native Washingtonian, my wife Shari. I have raised three wonderful children here, Benjamin, Matthew and Shayna, and I look forward to telling you all about it. There is so much to tell and so many people, events and opportunities that have shaped my unique story. So now that we’ve been introduced, as they say in the radio business, stay tuned...
NEXT TIME: The story of “Cousin” Kirk