05 My Jewish mom? The Jewish School

hebrew school new haven 1950s

I’m in discovery mode about my mom. I write about discoveries on this blog, which is kind of what blogs are all about. And I think with my keyboard, which lends itself to the statement that I have no unpublished thoughts. One might think this to be quaint, but this series in particular is really getting on the nerves of some. I have an idea of where this might be going, and I have some motives beyond anything about family trees. If you’re brave enough to accompany me, I’m happy to have you come along.

I was speaking with yet another someone else who grew up with mom the other day. That person doesn’t remember all that much (mom having been born very close to a century ago), except to say that mom was actually quite fluent in Polish and Yiddish, and that she attended a school where all the kids were Jewish, well, except for a “few Italian kids.” Yes, well, one might call to mind that there are plenty of Italian Jews! Back in the day, such schools would be private schools. You would have to be Jewish to get into the Jewish school. Jewish schools were for Jewish kids.

The picture above is from the 1950s, just after the horrors would be known by all, and some twenty years after mom was in a Jewish school, which would have been during the most intensely anti-Jewish times, when the camps were starting and the last of those who would escape in any numbers did, with all their stories. Below is a picture of a modern Jewish school. Get the idea?

jewish school

Sending a non-Jewish kid to a Jewish school in those days? Didn’t much happen, not then, not even now.

So, a pattern keeps building up about my mom.


Filed under My Jewish Mom

8 responses to “05 My Jewish mom? The Jewish School

  1. nancyv

    I am not brave, but am grateful that you allow us to accompany you on this journey. My only regret is not asking my parents (God rest their souls) more about their upbringing! My dad’s first employer was a Jewish shopkeeper, Mr. Cohen, who taught him much.

  2. pelerin

    Me too nancyv. I do hope Fr George finds definite proof – the evidence so far does seem good.
    Many of us regret not asking questions to our parents about their lives. In the last conversation I had with my father before his death, I found out that Mgr Ronald Knox had been one of his great friends for many years. They had even planned to write an operetta together although the British hierarchy put their foot down and forbad it! If only I had known earlier …..

  3. Aussie Mum

    If your mother was in Poland as the Nazis invaded, perhaps she was taken in and protected by a Catholic family and that led to her later becoming Catholic.

  4. Aussie Mum

    Well then, being both American and Jewish, might your mother have worked undercover for the US government (or a Jewish or Catholic organisation) during WWII helping Jewish refugees? I wonder what her passport might reveal.

  5. Nan

    I learned a lot about mom after her stroke, when we hung out in the nursing home. All kinds of things that never came up before.

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