Am Yisrael

Ulm: Stolpersteine Ceremony

Ulm

Baden-Württemberg

Federal Republic of Germany

October 29, 2016

My Cousins and the Stolpersteine

Otto Polatschek is gone but not forgotten.

Lisa Polatschek is gone but not forgotten.

In Ulm, Germany, Otto inherited a retail shoe business from his parents Alois Polatschek (1879-1929) and Paula née Brumlik Polatschek (1883-1932).  But as the Nazi menace in Germany became more threatening, Otto sold his business to the Werdich family and fled with his wife Lisa to Berlin.

"Shliach" is the Singular of "Shluchim"

ב"ה

Shliach is the Singular of Shluchim

 


Brooklyn
New York
November 8, 2015

 

I met Harley Greenberg in Chengdu, by chance....

……….

Harley Greenberg and I first met in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China in the fall of June, 2010.  We have been friends ever since.

Harley was a Peace Corps Volunteer in China.  He smiles, a warm and caring smile.   

Harley and his wife Helen live in Chengdu (population 9.6 million).  They have a darling infant daughter who they named Jeanne.  From the recent photos he has sent, Harley appears to be one of the most affectionate men I have ever known.   He overflows with gratitude and joy and love as he embraces his wife and child.

Harley and Helen operate the Windhorse Tour travel agency in Chengdu – the gateway city to Tibet.  In 2010 they helped me with my local plans and also booked me on the Yangtze River Three Gorges Cruise.

In the spring of the 2011, I called Harley from Bangkok.  During the course of our conversation I happened to ask him if he was planning to attend a Passover Seder in Chengdu.  Not only did Harley have no idea if there were any other Jews in Chengdu, he was quite unaware that Passover was soon to arrive.  

As we spoke, I did a search and found a small group of Jews in Chengdu who were gathering to conduct a Seder.  I gave Harley the information and encouraged him to make contact.

Two weeks later I called Harley again. 

The Big Birthday!

Bangkok

Thailand

September 20, 2015  

Hello,

My Birthday weekend has come to an end.  It was a quiet day today after two wonderful events.  

On Friday night, my actual Birthday, September 18, I decided to attend synagogue Sabbath services where I gave a brief talk appropriate for the day and the location.  

On Satuday night, I had a typical birthay party with both old friends and new friends.  We enjoyed a variety of Thai food dishes and two birthday cakes: fruit cake and mocha layer cake.  

Of course, I gave a short speech and thanked my friends for celebrating with me. (Photos attached.)

And thank you all for your birthday wishes from around the world.

Below is the text of my remarks at Synagogue.

Be well,

Jan

.....................................................................................

Temple Beth Elisheva

Bangkok, Thailand

September 18, 2015

Friday

My Dear Family.  My Dear Friends,

Shabbat Shalom.

I am Jan Robert Polatschek.     I live here in Bangkok.   I am a member of the congregation Temple Beth Elisheva.

Today, September 18 is a special day for me.

On this very day in New Rochelle, New York, Ruth Rebeka Lifson Polatschek and Otto Siegfried Polatschek became the proud parents of a six pound eight ounce baby boy.  The date on the Hebrew calendar was 15 Elul.

Wedding of Miriam and Zev

Tzfat

Northern District

State of Israel

October 29, 2012

 

Larry Benowitz

Boston, Massachusetts.

USA

 

Dear Larry,

 

cc: Friends and Family

 

Thank you so much for inviting me to your daughter’s wedding.  I am sure that you and Brooke and all of your family are delighted that your daughter Miriam has chosen Zev Padway to be her husband.

 

I was happy to make a slight detour in my travels in the Caucasus and fly from Tbilisi, Georgia to Tel Aviv.  I rented a car for the beautiful drive north past Haifa and then east to Tzfat.  What could be more inspiring than the farmlands on the open plains and on the rolling hills of the Galilee?

 

Tbilisi: An Accident?

Tbilisi

Georgia

October 1, 2012

Monday 

Dear Rabbi Kantor, 

cc: Family and Friends

What happened today, was it an accident?

After yesterday's tiring journey from Bangkok to Tbilisi, after a late breakfast today, after several telephone conversations with two hotels, after a period of indecision and finally a decision, after waiting for an appointment who never showed up, finally, at about 11:30 in the morning, I began my stroll in Tbilisi.

Mysterious Jewish Cemetery

Yeghegnadzor

Republic of Armenia

October 19, 2012

Dear Family and Friends, 

 My grandfather, Herman Poláček, had a dry and sometimes biting sense of humor.   Yet, he always delivered his remarks with a twinkle in his eye and a broad, devilish grin that spread from ear to ear across his round Slavic face.

When my Grandmother poured him a cup of coffee, black as night, he took a sip, smiled and said, “Warm ist es.”  (At least it’s warm.)   When she served a delicious Czech-style meal, he laughed and said, “Die bidienung ist sehr schlecht hier.”  (The service is not so good here.)

After he had purchased a burial plot he proudly and comically announced, “Es hat eine gute Sicht.”

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