By Linda Wisch-Davidsohn
Among the fondest memories I have of the beginning of Rosh Hashanah stemmed from early childhood. At the time, we lived on South Adams Street in Fort Worth. There were two Jewish families in my elementary school — the Coplins and our family. Judy, Susan and Sharon were “but a twinkle” in my dad’s eyes as he used to say. Many of you know that my mother, Rene, (obm) was not a native Texan, although she qualified for distinctive status after living here almost 66 years with her “Y’all come back now, you hear?” Mom was so many things to different people — daughter, wife, mother, grandma, bubbe, friend and truly never knew a stranger. She was a transplant from Roxbury, Mass., where she and her brother, Arnold, grew up with my Grandma Radin (who was widowed as a young mother) or “Gittel” as mom called her. Looking back, I knew that the holidays were coming when a cherished package arrived from Grandma Radin — a tin of teiglach, which was a delicious confection of twisted and gooey honey pastry. Tasting it would be at least a five-napkin affair, and the sweetness has remained all these years. Although Gittel could not join us in Fort Worth due to her poor health, she sent her sweetest wishes for a Happy New Year in the form of the tin of delicacies. The tradition continued for many years — and although there were a few good chefs in the Wisch family, no one tried to duplicate this delicacy, for as Carly Simon once sang “Nobody Does it Better.” And, believe me, that is truth, not kinfolk lore. Every Shabbat, mom and I would walk to the neighborhood grocery store, Huddleston’s. She would march back to see the butcher and have him hold up the hens for her perusal. “Are these the freshest you, have?” she would ask in her Boston dialect. She would then re-examine them for the coveted egg yolks that made the chicken soup a gastronomic delight. I remember feeling special when one or two of those yolks appeared in my soup — it was placed there with love and care — and I am sure many of you readers may remember this old fashioned chicken soup as well. Mom rendered her own chicken schmaltz as well — and left it on the counter to cool. The soup pot was simmering on the stove. I was young, and a little hungry or thirsty, so I thought that I would taste what I thought was plain chicken soup. I knew immediately that it was not soup that I tasted but the rendered schmaltz. I have looked back over the years and laughed at the mistake. It may have been a lesson that I taught my children. I have learned to ask before tasting anything unless I am doing the cooking.
Another tradition I remember is going to Mehl’s Shoeland in Fort Worth for Yom Tov shoes. My mother did not drive, even though she worked full-time, when most moms did the Donna Reed thing and were housewives. I know that we did not walk there — but somehow we got there, and were outfitted for the holidays. The Mehls (Bess and Meyer obm) had a secret under their cash drawer. There, hidden from childrens’ eyes, were trays of rings with sparkling multicolored stones for both boys and girls. We knew we had to behave. When the transaction was completed, Mr. or Mrs. Mehl would pull out the trays of glittering gems, and the decision making process began — so hard to choose — would it be the rubies, sapphires or the emeralds? Mehl’s was a wonderful shoe store that provided spectacular customer service and also served many generations of Fort Worthians — and Dallasites. My children, Amy, Reuben, Jordana and Ethan each got their first pair of high-tops and dress shoes at Mehl’s.
Prior to services, the house was filled with an array of spectacular aromas — and our table was full of family, friends—all loved ones. Dad would welcome everyone and say the blessings as well as metaphorically describe how the holiday related to current Jewish events. Coffee and dessert would just be served when dad began tapping his watch — we knew that it was time to leave for services and usher in the New Year. At this holiday season, I wish each of you your own sweet memories, the wonderful aromas, and a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Former TJP intern to work as script coordinator for ‘Good Morning America’
Good wishes to Naomi Nason, daughter of Meryl and Scott Nason, who interned as a staff writer for the TJP in 2011. Naomi graduated from Chicago’s Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism in June. After a cruise in the Adriatic and Mediterranean in August, Naomi relocated to the Big Apple where she is a script coordinator for ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Dr. Andrew R. Zinn named dean of UTSW Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Good wishes also go to Dr. Andrew R. Zinn, who has been named dean of UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. A geneticist, Zinn is currently a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and the Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development. Zinn will head the graduate school, which is ranked in the top 20 programs in the nation for biological research. The program has nearly 650 students. In addition, Dr. Zinn will continue to lead the Medical Scientist Training Program, which annually enrolls about 10 outstanding M.D./Ph.D. dual-degree students from around the world who have laboratory investigations experience and a strong desire to pursue a medicinal (sic) research career.
Zinn was a UT Austin honors graduate and began researching protein synthesis there before earning his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from UT Southwestern. He was inducted to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society as a medical school student, and also received the 1988 Nominata Award, the highest honor awarded to graduate students by the school. Additionally, he has an active Genetics Lab, and heads the MD/Ph.D. Medical Science Training Program.
He is the third son of Betty Zinn and the late Dr. Myron Zinn, (obm), of San Antonio; and the brother to Dr. Phil Zinn, Bert Zinn also from San Antonio and Dorothy Zinn Ph.D. of Matera, Italy. He is married to Lizzy and according to her, “he is an amazing dad and moral compass and adoring father to Meyer and Sophia.” He is an assistant scoutmaster for Boy Scouts of America’s Troop 730 at St. Marks School of Texas. “He is most admired by his walking buddy, Shadow, a 105 lb. black lab he adores over every human inclusive,” Lizzy also stated. The Zinns are members of Temple Emanu El. Andrew’s hobbies include fishing in Nantucket. An outstanding chef, Dr. Zinn is known for his amazing smoked blue fish that he makes from his late father’s recipe. He is an avid herb gardener. This is truly a testament to the statement that busy people get things done! Congratulations to the entire Zinn family.
Temple Emanu-El Couples Club encourages membership for all Jewish community seniors
Recently, founding President Nelda Golden, spoke at a meeting of the Temple Emanu-El Couples Club. She talked about the importance of joining a club like this one. Nelda, and her husband Stan, formed this club as part of the non-existent senior program at Emanu-El at that time.
The Temple Emanu-El Couples Club was founded 24 years ago. It is a social club that is open to all members of the synagogue and members of the Jewish Community as well. One member of the couple should be 55 years of age or older. It is comprised of duos interested in socializing with other Jewish couples for dinners, parties and other fun and interesting activities. The ideal purpose is to have an opportunity to make new friends and reconnect with past acquaintances.
Fun-filled events are planned for November, December and January, which include wine socials, catered dinners and professional entertainment. For additional information, call Presidents Carole or Barry Cohen 972-867-0079, Membership Chairs Roslyn and Richard Polakoff 972-701-8271, or Rozann and Harry Hermann 972-235-3455.