Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Milestone, Odds and Ends and Part 4 of Sol Weinstein

     The idea started in late February.   In preparation for an Adult Education meeting at Adath Israel, I mentioned to the AE committee that, in addition to having Michael Aaron Rockland, co-author of the Jews of New Jersey, A Pictorial History, and an American Studies professor at Rutgers, speak at a Sunday morning meeting, I wanted to present some of the research that I had been doing down at the Trenton Public Library on the Jews of Trenton.    
     Lisa Snyder and Beverly Rubman were more than supportive and suggested that maybe I could create a blog, post pictures, print up some business cards and get things organized, so that when the meeting took place, there would be a way for those in attendance to follow up.   But first we needed a name.
     That's where the Trenton Jewish Project was born.   Now, a little more than 3 months later, we celebrate more than 2,000 page views and a groundswell of support for the "Little Idea that Could".   The progress has been both amazingly swift and frustratingly slow.   I knew there would be some interest in the history of the Jews of Trenton, but I couldn't anticipate how far-reaching it would be.
     From Sol Weinstein in New Zealand to Carol Angtreich in Alabama, Lou Gordon in LA to Tal Brody and Bob, Fay and Richard Olinsky in Israel, this has truly become an international community.  And it continues to grow. In fact, one e-mail from Israel indicated that a group of Trentonians were trying to arrange a reunion in Ha'Aretz, brought together by this blog.   
     The frustrating part is that there is so much to do and so little time to do it in.  I'm not a native Trentonian, so I'm dependent on you and your friends to help generate content.   The easiest way to do that is to send me e-mails with your specific remembrances of what it was like growing up in Trenton.  There is a lot of material in the library about the different Jewish institutions that existed, but not nearly as much about the every day life and what made that time and place so special.   So, spend a few minutes at the computer and organize your thoughts.   Send them to me in an e-mail and I will incorporate them into blog entries.   Scan and send me your pictures, look through the photo galleries, and if a pictures evokes a memory, write about it.

     The best way to reach me is by e-mail at  I promise that I will respond.   I might not be able to act immediately on your requests, but int he coming weeks and months, I hope to organize a meeting with people interested in helping keep this project going.  I know what my priorities are:
  1.  Continue to scan and identify pictures at the archives, so that these links to the past don't become nameless relics.
  2. Organize speaking engagements to show the pictures and gather stories from people who grew up in Trenton. 
  3. Do video interviews with Trentonians for use in a documentary about the Jews of Trenton.
  4.  Raise awareness that Jewish Trenton existed and was an integral part of the city.
     What would you like to see?   What can you add?  It’s up to you.


     Here’s the fourth installment of my interview with Sol Weinstein.   In this episode, Sol continues about his life in comedy and goes into depth about the Oy, Oy, 7 books and sings some songs for use.  Again, a warning.  There is mild adult language in this episode, but nothing worse than what’s on the news these days. :) 

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