FEBRUARY 11, 2022


Hi W-Neighbors and W-Friends,
Judy McEvoy Zangrilli (68) is now receiving email at judy.zangrilli@gmail.com.
Jac Toporek (6/63) recalls a friend who passed this week:
It was with sadness that I read last Sunday’s Star Ledger and notice an obituary for Bernard Sobel. Although Bernie graduated WHS in 1945, 18 years before I did, I had the privilege of associating with him while serving on several Jewish community organization committees interested in philanthropy and advocacy. I was the new recruit and Bernie was the seasoned and well-respected pillar of the community from whom I learned much. Bernie was one of those in the community whose leadership and friendship helped me become the Jewish community advocate that I would become. His obit can be found at  Bernard Sobel Obituary. Jac
J. Paul Blake (68) keeps the connection:
A wonderful time was had by all who attended the Bar Mitzvah of Alexander Assayag in San Pedro CA. It was a special treat to see Alexander's father, Armand Assayag, my former baseball teammate when he attended Weequahic before moving and graduating from Irvington High School in 1969. It had been 20 years since I last saw Armand, his wife Claire and Alexander's older sister Angelique, an infant at that time. The photo at left includes me (on right), Armand on left and Alexander in center.
The Assayag family has roots at Weequahic. Marie (second picture, at right) graduated in 1966 and lives in Florida. Armand (center) was a teammate on our WHS 1968 City Champions baseball team. Albert (at left) graduated from Irvington HS in 1973. I have been told that Maurice Assayag graduated Weequahic in June 1959 and Jacques Assayag was a member of the Class of January 1964. Paul
Fran Katz Sekela (54) seeks assist:
Louis La Porta was very cute and had a beautiful singing voice. Does anyone keep in touch with him? Please get back to me at fransekela@gmail.com. 
Anyone in zip code 34987 or it’s vicinity? I’m at Port St. Lucie, Florida. Feel free to contact me. Fran
Marv Goldberg (6/47) revises a Weequahic cheer:
Going back in time, a few of us "oldies" may remember the WHS chant that went something like this, "Ikey, Mikey, Jakie, Sam; We are the boys who eat no ham; We play football, we play soccer; we keep matzos in our locker." etc. So, with that in mind and thinking back to those good old days at Weequahic High, I came up with this one:
Woodys, Tudies, Mudies, Morties
Those were the guys from the nineteen forties. 
They played football, but rarely won,
Parents would choose "Band" for their biggest son.
The best-looking girls were picked to cheer,
But they were not as loud as the clowns in the rear. 
The girls got even and kept this up their sleeve,
They would say they were busy for New Year's Eve.
When thinking back about it all,
I just remember having a ball.
Aye Yi, Aye Yi, Aye Yi, Yi
I'm glad I went to Weequahic High! Marv
Nathan Himelstein (South Side 1/55) reports on Newark monument:
In the early fifties, the monument pictured, below, was erected in memory of Louis Schleifer who lost his life on December 7, 1941 during the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan. The monument was placed in a park in Newark on Elizabeth Avenue between W. Bigelow and W. Runyon Streets to honor Newark's “First Son” to make the “supreme sacrifice. The park was named Schleifer Park. It stood there until the late 70's when Mayor Sharpe James was notified that it was being desecrated by graffiti. The monument was removed, the graffiti removed, the stonework cleaned and placed in a new home where it is visible today on the grounds of Temple Beth Shalom in Livingston, New Jersey. Each year the Jewish Veterans of Livingston commemorating Armistice Day memorialize Louis Schleifer in their ceremony. Nathan
Bouncing back to basketballing:
Lewis Cohn (6/63)
Regarding the Essex County Tournament game where Al Friedman (62) won the game against South Side with his no time on the clock foul shot, my father, Abe "Six" Cohn, was one of the referees for that game. Lew
Matty Benoun (6/62)
Remembering Allen Friedman. Sad that he passed away a short few years ago.
Wonderful player. I talked to Allen a lot on the telephone.  Matty
Fred Derf Goldman (6/62)
Once again, reading the newsletter brought back memories of great times but I always remember this story about Weequahic basketball so now I get to share it with fellow students and alumni. Let’s go back to 1961 when I first got to WHS. Loved sports; ran indoor and outdoor track which attracted about three people to watch. Another sport was baseball which had a small following. Then there was football which sold out almost every game but it wasn't much fun rooting for a team that hardly ever won. Weequahic’s best team yearly was swimming which only drew some life guards. I think they were city champs and undefeated and was coached by Mr. Leo Pearl who was tough as a Marine sergeant on his team.
Quickly became a fan of WHS basketball coached by Mr. Les Fein. At school back in 1961 and 62, Mike Weisholtz, Frank Argenziano and I got the nickname “The 3 Basketeers.” We tried to see every game, not an easy task until we could. We took buses and even a train for the big state games. Even got stuck in New Brunswick after a loss to Camden. Missed the last train back to Newark and had to stay in the train station till we could catch the train back to Newark.
There was another game held at Seton Hall and after the game we go outside finding a foot of snow on the ground and more coming down. The three of us walked all the way home wearing sneakers and not very warm clothes, no hats or gloves. That walk almost sent us to the hospital, but we wouldn't go. 
There are a bunch of other occurrences like where we learned how to avoid getting beat up after we would win a game at some other school’s gym. But the big story is when we won the state beating Westfield and their big 6-10 center Bob King. That was a great win for Weequahic and for the City of Newark as South Side, also from Newark, won their Group 2 championship game.
So, let’s go forward about 35 years and I, a retired mailman, still needed a part time job. Where do I wind up working? For Les Fein and his wife and daughter at Weight Watchers. When I would go into Les' office, I got to see all his great trophies. He was so surprised I could remember so much about his teams. I mean, instead of doing my job, we would just talk baskets. Coach Fein had season tickets to the NY Knicks; if he couldn't go to a game, I would get the tickets. Not only was he a great coach but his whole family were the nicest people. Made my job so easy. Derf
Jeff Golden (6/63) responds to Susan Simon as whether anyone remembers the Byalistoka Kitchen on Clinton Avenue:
I think the sign actually read "Bialystocker Kuchen." I remember, probably about the time I was first learning to read, wondering, "What is a Bialystocker Kuchen? What is that sign trying to tell me? Or did they just misspell 'kitchen'?" I would ask my mother as we passed by in the bus. She would say, "It’s some kind of bread-thing. You wouldn't like it." So, even though I always liked all kinds of bread, I never had an opportunity to walk down Clinton Avenue, enter into the Bialystocker Kuchen, buy a bialy and taste it.
Fast forward about 40 or 50 years; I was somewhere (can't remember where) where they had bialys. I'll try one. Hmmm; something like a bagel, a little bit bigger, but with a dollop of onion-stuff in the middle and poppy seeds. How do you eat this thing? Too thin to slice open like a bagel. Where do you put the butter? Oh, let’s just smear it on top. Delicious! I was hooked.
So, what does “Bialystocker Kuchen” mean? Bialystock is an Eastern European city, now in Poland, but in Russia and other countries over the years as borders shifted. And “kuchen” means "oven" or "bakery" (I think) in German and Yiddish. About 20 years ago, food writer Mimi Sheraton wrote a book "The Bialy Eaters" about her travels to Bialystock seeking the holy grail of its baked namesake (Hint: you can no longer get a bialy in Bialystock).
Today, if I am breakfasting with someone, and there happens to be a bialy on the menu, after the "what's that?" questions, when we get to the part where I tell them about the Bialystocker Kuchen on Clinton Avenue in old Newark, this becomes yet another fairy-tale story about that long-lost wonderland called Newark. My dining partner, who never heard of a bialy before that day, asks, "You mean there was a bakery that sold only bialys? How could that be?"
Today there are a couple of bagel places in my neighborhood that occasionally have bialys. I keep trying, but never the real authentic texture and taste. Jeff
(Jeff; NY’s lower east side, near Katz’s, there is a shop that sells mainly a Newark style bialy; at least it did many years ago when last visiting the place)

The WHS NOTE is emailed to you by the WEEQUAHIC HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION for the CLASS OF 1963 ASSOCIATION and editor, Jacob Toporek.


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