The story of how Aunt Claire connected with them is itself a Jewish geography story extraordinaire.
Gregarious, warm, and outgoing, Aunt Claire readily introduces herself to anyone she doesn’t recognize. When she did so with the Fleischers, new to Fox Run, a conversation along these lines ensued:
Aunt Claire: “Where are you from?”
Rhoda: “I’m originally from the Bronx.”
Aunt Claire: “I am too! We lived off the Grand Concourse.”
Rhoda: “So did we. Where did you go to school?”
Aunt Claire: “P.S. 70.”
Rhoda: “I did too!”
Aunt Claire: “What’s your maiden name?”
Rhoda: “Brotman.”A few days later, Rhoda produced a copy of her sixth grade class photo with none other than my Aunt Claire sitting a few seats away!
Aunt Claire: “Rhoda Brotman! We were in the same class from kindergarten through junior high school!”
Rhoda: “Claire Skaletzky! You played the violin!”
Although my Jewish geography encounter isn’t nearly as exciting, it deserves a spot on this blog nonetheless.
When I met them, the Fleishers asked where I worked, When I told them, Rhoda said her father’s sister, Lenore, had married a rabbi, Howard Greenstein, z’l. Although I didn’t know him personally, I do know that his son, Micah, is the rabbi in the Reform congregation in Memphis.
Yes, they told me, but they’d lost touch with the family a number of years ago. I was able to give them contact information for Micah, and they are eager to reconnect and, most of all, see how Lenore is doing.
Ah, Jewish geography….