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Thursday, April 25, 2013


  Below are only a few of the numerous articles in the "JEWISH" folder in the Hamilton Township Public Library Local History Collection. Note that each graphic must be clicked in order to be enlarged.  There are numerous files in the "JEWISH" folder that are later than those in the above graphic. There are a few articles on the YMHA, Brith Shalom, Anti-Jewish matters, and other related subjects, more to come as they are uncovered. Unfortunately, digital slide shows do not allow for oversized articles on an individual slide due to the fact that each article has to be reduced in size to accommodate the individual slide. Our Jewish residents have a splendid historical heritage in our local Trenton-Mercer County area. These articles and those to come are sure to be of interest to those of our visitors are of the Jewish faith and are interested in its origins in Trenton and the Mercer County area. 

The photo above was sent by one of our regular visitors
and a terrific source for Trentoniana,Mike Kuzma.


It's ironic you chose this week to feature Trenton's Jews.
I spent last weekend Jan. 15th in Jacksonville NC with Ivan (Itchy) Popkin. Itchy and I grew in the 30's, 40's and 50's in "Jewtown" That wonderful enclave bounded by Market St. Warren St. and Bridge St. The hub of activity was Maket St. between Broad and Union Streets.
All of the schuls were located on Union St. between Market and Fall St. where I was born.
Itchy and his brothers left Trenton in the late 40's,and early 50's. They went on to become one of the wealthiest families in the South, owing several furniture companies, and real estate holdings. Like all my old neighbors, he was thrilled to see an old friend who he could sit and rembember the days of his youth, poor but happy were the bywords.
Though born in the USA, my mom and dad spoke several eastern European dialects, among them was the mostly spoken "Yiddish". Growing up, I was able to get by with my yiddish, and had a hard time convincing Jews, I was goyum. While waiting for the bus to go to Jr.#4 on Union St. I was approach regularly to come to schul to form a minion (10)for dovin (prayers)
It was a standing joke, that the important Schuls were located on our blocks of Union St., and the "Hungarian Schul" was situated on the other side of the Penn. RR main line across from Parker School.
We had the best deli's in the world, and at least a dozen butcher shops, Kosher, and non Kosher, and a bakery or two for each block. Dr. Julius Hafetz who passed away last month grew up on Union St. where his dad was an outstanding Kosher Butcher.
We didn't have just food stoes, but beyond Van Sciver's reputation, we had Herman Spiegel Fine Furniture on Market and Union.I still chat via email with his son Herb, Uber Professor at MCCC.
Alex Segal famous for "Playhouse 90" grew up over his father's deli on Market St. next to Kohn's bakery. Segal came to Trenton back in the sixties to film a movie with Van Heflin, and Peter Fonda. The had a casting Call at the State house, and I showed up.
In the lull of selecting extras, I shouted out, "Your father had the best Pastrammi on Market St." He demanded that I identify myself, and when I did, he asked if I was Eddie Kuzma's brother, when I acknowlged it, he bellowed ,"than you deserve a speaking part"
And that's how I became a star!!! LOL It's all about neighbors!!
Hanging in my office, is a photo of me, and my basketball teamates from the YMHA, Every other year, I was honored as "Best Goyum" in the league. Russell Hedden a buddy from Lamberton St., who went on to become a VP with Bell Telephone, got it the altenate years. Can you imagine, we Catholics were not even supposed to join the YMCA in those days.

Best regards



Tony S said...

Absolutely splendid and much appreciated. There are several people who were thrust from forgotten memory, long forgotten but are now back in the present. I thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the redeux of my comments. The photos were fantastic. Among the family friends I note Jules Kelsey who was our family attorney, Joe Fishberg who was the referee in Bankruptcy, Bennie Olinsky my "yiddish big brother" as he was the hero to most kids in Jewtown. Sheldon Cohen; my tennis partner Bobby Baran my cleaners,Metz Berger my neighbor and girlfriends brother etc. etc, etc. The articles were of course great, and instantly refreshed the wonderful exciting memories of
my youth in the "Valley of the Isrealites" as coined by Harry Berkowitz.
As they say Tom; Thanks for the memories. I want to pass this wonderful collection along to my good friend Herb Speigel, now livign a white bread life in bucolic Lambertville and who knows every joke every told from 1932 till today.

Shalom Tom!

Mike Kuzma ( often known as Moishe)

herb s said...

This is priceless.. Passed on by Mike(Mickey) Kuzma and so much appreciated. We had Spiegel Furniture for 52 years in Trenton and I still call myself a Trentonian here in Lambertville. Every once in a while I convince non-believers by saying Trent-in OR WHAS UP? Keep up the memories...just love it.

Tom Glover said...

Very happy to see that y'all like my venture into posting multiple graphics relating to specific subjects. Trenton's golden years included the countless citizens and the equally countless merchants of the Jewish faith who made it such a great town.


Anonymous said...

Glad you like the picture of the 1949 YMHA "stars". I noticed you placed an arrow to identify the only Christian in the wandering tribe. Alas it is over the head of my good friend Herbie Speigel.
Possible to move the arrow to the left a bit?

Art Finkle sent me somthing interesting which identifies with your neighborhood development of Trenton. I will pass it along to you. Sure you will find it helpful.

Mike Kuzma