Recollections from the early days at Temple Beth Israel
Martin Israelit It was spring and I was eight-ish. Our teacher asked everyone to bring a baseball glove to school to begin to learn the great game. My parents really did not understand what the objective was to be but found a nice leather glove at some store for me to take along. I was quite happy. Soon my classmates had quite a laugh because it was an infant’s glove, and the fingers were not connected together. This hampered my fielding abilities, and I was totally embarrassed. My classmates did not have to go overboard ridiculing me because I felt terrible. Soon thereafter all worked out. We shopped upstairs in the Sports Division of the Blumenthal hardware store and Meyer Blumenthal fixed us up with a proper first baseman’s glove and a can of saddle soap.
I spent a lot of time breaking in that glove and it was the envy of some of my classmates. Thinking back, I think my parents could not afford the purchase and were helped by Meyer Blumenthal. Anyway, I never made the pros as a first baseman, but I did field a few grounders in school and at camp.
Elsie Fetterman This is an Anna Israelit story. I was the Sisterhood president from 1950 through 1955. We always started our sisterhood meetings with singing the Star Spangled Banner. After one of the meetings, Anna came up to me and asked me in her very quiet voice, "Do you think that we could also sing Hatikvah?" I told Anna "Of course. But I do not know the words. Please tell me and I will type them and make copies." (No computers in the 1950s!!) Anna had such great humility - and I think that it took a lot of gumption for her to ask me. There were other Holocaust survivors who were Sisterhood members who might have wanted us to sing Hatikvah but they never let me know. From then on, we began our meetings with the Star Spangled Banner and Hatikvah.