Norman B Jacobowitz (1912 - 1985)

‹ Back to Jacobowitz surname

View Norman B Jacobowitz's complete profile:

  • See if you are related to Norman B Jacobowitz
  • Request to view Norman B Jacobowitz's family tree

Share

Nicknames: "Nachman ben Elijahu"
Birthplace: Monmouth Hospital, Long Branch, Monmouth, New Jersey, United States
Death: Died in San Diego, California, United States
Cause of death: Heart
Managed by: Saul Jacobowitz
Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About Norman B Jacobowitz

He would have been 100 this August 6, 2012. Norman Jacobowitz SSDI === Birth: Aug 6 1912 Death: Feb 1985 Last residence: San Diego, California 92128, USA Residence code: 05

=

Norman B Jacobowitz California Deaths Gender: Male Birth: Aug 6 1912 New Jersey Death: Feb 22 1985 San Diego, California, USA Mother's maiden name: Kreinik

view all 34

Norman B Jacobowitz's Timeline

1907
1907
- 1960
Jersey City, NJ, USA

"When Dudu and Popop married, in 1906, they settled in Jersey City, where Popop and his brothers had established a wholesale and retail tobacco business., There was no synagogue in the Bergen section where they lived.

Popop set about correcting that: he became chairman of the building committee. When their babies began arriving, and no Hebrew school for them to attend, Dudu became president of the ladies auxiliary. Her belly big with my brother Bud, and pushing Ruth and Miriam in a baby carriage, Dudu went from Jewish door to Jewish door gathering pledges and money. The synagogue was built, and a few years later, the school. Ruth and Miriam were among its first pupils, and Bud (Eugene) and I in its first graduating class. We took our Hebrew education five afternoons a week, after public school, and we were still pretty good streetball players along with our neighbor kids.

Bud and I, and a cousin also named Norman Jacobowitz (after the same ancestor) took turns reading the weekly portion from the Torah - the five Books of Moses - in the original, at our young peoples' Saturday morning services. These hand-lettered sheepskin scrolls were replicas of the ancient scrolls, with no vowels, no punctuation and no sentence division, and no musical markings to guide us in our chanting. 'Tweren't easy. But it paid off when Bud and I were bar-mitzvahed - two years apart. Each of us read the full weekly portion aloud before the whole congregation, and the weekly portion from the Prophets, Only the Shamus - beadle - the rabbi and a few of the elders knew the original by heart, or could read it, yet you should have heard the rapping from all over the congregation when Bud and I inevitably made a mistake. Those old boys were following us in their completely printed texts, and they weren't going to let us get away with anything. I think this says something about Jews, and about Americans, too; If you hold yourself out as superior, the world will hold you strictly to your own estimate. Jews made the mistake of claiming to be God's chosen people. All the unchosen people have, ever since, never let us make the human errors they do. They vote to eject Israel from the UN for retaliating against Arab terrorism, they condemn the United States for fighting an evil
war in Vietnam, yet the French walked away from Indo-China and the Russians invaded Afghanistan with almost no ripples of any consequence."

Norman B Jacobwitz, Letter to My Grandsons, 1984, Pages 19- 20

Leak Kreinik Jacobowitz, As I Remember, Page 49.
Perhaps at this point I should go back to the beginning of my social life in Jersey City. When Ruth was about six, going to school on Virginia Ave., we began to think about Jewish education. We belonged to a little Synagogue housed in a private house not far from Pop's Bergen Ave. store, too far for small children to go for lessons, and no regular Hebrew school anyway. I had become acquainted with a few of the Jewish people in the neighborhoood: the Richmans who ran the Variety Store on Jackson Ave., the Halperins of the drug store, the Sharrs, photographers, a few on Oak St., and others. We started talking about this, and arranged a meeting. We rounded up thirteen women, all of us with small children ready for a Jewish education, and organized. Without a Synagogue to sponsor us, we called ourselves "The Bergen Auxiliary" -- of whatever Shule would be built in the future. Open your mouth at a gaqthering of this sort and someone is sure to put a "Chair" in your mouth, and you become President, willy-nilly. I occupied that chair for seventeen years, with a two year interval before the last two years, when Hannah Greenside took over. We prospered and grew to be the finest Jewish organization in the Bergen section. At first we rented a hall over a store in the neighborhood, engaged a Hebrew teacher, made a drive for funds, an annual ball with an ad Journal for which we scouted around the city, and ran other little affairs with programs we created oursleves, besides the usual meetings and Board meetings. We grew to about four hundred and fifty members.

The men got busy too, raised funds, in which Pop was very active, and Agudath Sholom Synagogue was built. Classes were held in the Vestry of the Synagogue, and the Auxiliary met there also. We celebrated our third anniversary there, with a skit I wrote, directed and played in, called "The Schatchen" (Matchmaker). That skit, by the way, was plagiarized entirely by the daughter of one of our own members. It was produced on Broadway, in company with other one-act plays, and was given rave notices. I was angry, of courese, and called upl the "author" and asked her how she liked the success of my own play. Of course she denied copying, said she had had that idea long before, etc. It was an undignified thing to fight over, and I let it go; after all, it wasn't such a brilliant idea that someone else couldn't have the brainchild .....

The Auxiliary found itself crowded in the Vestry room, the leaders of the Synagogue objecting to some to some of our programs, and we began saving seriously for a regular Hebrew School. There was a vacant lot in back of the Synagogue, and after due consultation with the elders, we paid a deposit of $100 on this ground, on which eventually The Bergen Hebrew Institute was built. Pop was the Chairman of both building committees; I was the Secretary for the Institute. The Jacobowitz Brothers were on these committees, and contributed generously. Our names are inscribed on the permanent tablets in the building.

April 25, 2013, Charlie Hollander found this in the Jersey City Real Estate Records:
"1915 P 1220 264 Elias Congregation Agudat Shalom 472-4-6 Bergen Ave. Pew*7, Left Balcony, Right 5 ($305)"

1912
August 6, 1912
Long Branch, Monmouth, New Jersey, United States

"Norman came along two years after Bud; he was born in the Monmouth Hospital, Long Branch, the only one born in a hospital. My Father had rented a house there for the summer, hoping to do enough business to make it pay, even for a permanent residence if advisable. I had laryngitis that summer, and the folks insisted on my coming with the children to stay there. Anna came and just packed me up and helped me to get over there. I had a wonderful time at the hospital; Norman was a quick, easy delivery, though he was slow in getting started. I stayed in a four-bed semi ward, with three women of very different personalities, but we got along beautifully. One was a Polish woman who spoke very little English, and she kept us in "stitches" -- a different kind, aided and abetted by the interne who tried to fool us by mixing up the babies." Leah Kreinick Jacobowitz, As I Remember, 1962, p 37.

"In 1912 our family home was in Jersey City, N,.J., but on August 6th Dudu was on vacation at the seashore, so I was born in Monmouth Memorial Hospital in Long Branch, N.J. Long Branch in those days was "restricted", meaning no Jews allowed, but that didn't stop Popop He was ever one to stick up for his rights,, So we vacationed in Long Branch.. But came the eighth day of my life and we had a problem., We didn't have ten adult Jewish males (a minyan) to witness my circumcision (brith).: Norman B Jacobowitz, Letter to My Grandsons, 1984, p. 17

August 14, 1912
Long Branch, NJ, USA

" But came the eighth day of my life and we had a problem., We didn't have ten adult Jewish males (a minyan) to witness my circumcision (brith).

Let me tell you about the brith., The first Jew was Abraham. He and God made a covenant: all Abraham's male descendants would be circumcised on the eight day of their lives as a sign that tlhey recognized the one God as their god, and for which God would give them all the land of Canaan and be their god for evermore. At least that's what the Bible says,, ( Modern Israel is part of that ancient land of Canaan - which accounts for the almost fanatic attachment many Jews have for it. Another and stronger reason may be that they have so long been rejected by the rest of the nations that they feel Israel is the only place wherein they can live out their lives, and consciences, as Jews. It is their last place of refuge.

As Jews, (Saul Abraham is named after Jew #1 and Laura's father,
Abraham Danziger . )
So to carry out the Covenant with God I was to be circumcised in the presence of ten adult male Jews. (There was no lack of male chauvinism in Biblical times, about 6,000 years before Chauvin was even born,. Until only recent times,only Jewish boys were accorded [son of the commandment ] the rite of passage known as bar mitzvah fat the age of 13, making them officially adults, and thus responsible for their own sins and relieving that burden from their fathers., Nowadays even some orthodox congregations allow bat mitzvahs [daughter of the commandment] according females the same privileges and responsibilities, )

That was a lorg parenthesis, but I'm back to August 6, 1912, and Popop searching the streets of Long Branch for Jews. Some men he asked threatened him with mayhem. A few glared at him and stalked away without answering. Finally he found one Jew, who agreed to gather several more and join Popop as soon as possible. Alas, after an hour, they were still one short, and Popop was still searching.

Along came a tall man wearing cowboy boots and a ten-gallon hat - a most unlikely prospect, Popop approached him. "Pardon me," he said, "but are you a Jew?" "And what if I am?" said the man menacingly. "If you are," replied Popop, "we need you for a minyan. My new son's brith."

"Well why didn't you say so!" roared the man, clapping Popop so hard on the back that he almost fell over. "Here I am all the way from Texas just in time for a brith! Mazeltov! " So I had a proper minyan and a proper brith.

Now Popop was famous for his embellished stories, but Dudu assured me, when I was old enough to be told the story, that Popop indeed had searched the wilderness for Jews. And I believe it, for it was typically Popop. He knew what he was, he had pride in himself, he was a truly religious man even while he observed the trappings and rituals that have so obscured the real meaning of religion."

Norman B Jacobowitz, Letter to My Grandsons, 1984, pp. 18-19

1914
1914
- 1924
Age 1
Jersey City, NJ, USA

LKJ: " Now the trips to the folks included Norman. He was almost two years old when I knew there would be another addition to the family, and that was the first time I had a rebellion. No, I wasn't going to live in a crowded apartment with five children and two and a half bedrooms!...
Pop lost no time going out house hunting, and almost the first "For Sale" sign he saw was at 89 Oak St., and he lost no time buying it. I might add here that I never went out house or apartment hunting; Pop had a fine sense of values, examined every corner, every closet, and knew just whet we would need, and the Oak St. house was wonderfully right: eight rooms, a small front porch, a back styoop with Pop enlarged later, and a nice big yard. Mother used to say if she had so much ground, she'd have a garden with flowers and
vegetables; I told her I was "growing children." The entrance hall led to stars going up, and further down to the kitchen; on the left the good sized living room, with window seats, cupboards on the bottom; next a library, opening with rolling doors, bay windows and window seats there also; then the dining room looking out to the back yard. Upstairs a bathroom on the right, a small room beyond, and another room alongside, both looking South; in the middle another room, and beyond that, the front master bedroom, bay windowed with the usual boxed-in seats, and an alcove large enough for twin beds and a night table. A lovely home." As I Remember, 1962. Page 39.

"We lived in the Oak St. home about ten years. Pop attended an auction on Harrison Ave., and yes, he bought "150."

1916
February 18, 1916
- February 18, 1916
Age 3
Jersey City, Hudson, NJ, USA

LKJ: "As usual, Anna came to help us get settled, in time for Passover. Life at 89 Oak St. was happy, often exciting; we lived there about ten years until Ruth was eighteen. Toddy was ten months old when we celebrated our tenth anniversary, doing my own catering with the gelp of a "girl", and in the middle of things having to run upstairs to nurse the baby. Ruth made up an anniversary song (starting her career as a talented Hadassah programmer): "Who are we? We are the Jacobowitz Family;
And we in it? Well, I guess:
Jacobowitz, Jacobowitz, yes, yes, yes!"
The foursome were the hit of the party. " As I Remember, 1962, p. 39.

1918
September, 1918
- June, 1924
Age 6
Jersey City, New Jersey
1922
1922
Age 9
Jersey City, NJ, USA

"He grew fast, his Bar Mitzvah made us proud, reading the entire Portion and the Mussaf as well, followed by Kiddush in Shule and a party at home." LKJ p 72

1924
September, 1924
- June, 1928
Age 12
Jersey City, New Jersey
1924
Age 11
Jersey City, NJ, USA

We lived in the Oak St. home about ten years. Pop attended an auction on Harrison Ave., and yes, he bought "150." It was a beautiful, well built house, formerly owned by an architect who had built it for himself, and Pop fell in love with it; at last he found "Mommy's house." The family went over to see it, were immediately charmed by it. To me it seemed oike an aristocratic old dowager who had come on hard times, forsaken, neglected. The radiators were all broken, the beautiful hardwood floors almost unrecognisable. But how were we going to keep up a 14-room hours? Ruth at once offered to contribute $50 a month, the children would all help as, if, and when they could, and it was settled. Pop had no trouble getting a loan from the bank, where his name was A1, and he spent well over a thousand dollars on repairs and decorations. There were real fireplaces, one in the large entrance room which was a library, with hardwood built-in book cases, window seat, and the parquet floor, a wide staircase with a landing part way up, showing a large stained glass window almost covering the wall, which the Western sun turned into rainbow colors. On the right was the living room with (a) rolling door entrance; on the left of that the dining room, also with an entrance from the foyer; it, too, had a colored tile fireplace. On the second floor there were six rooms; the first front one intended for a sitting room, with a brick fireplace, wich became Ruth and Miriam's bedroom; on the left the large master bedroom, with a marble built in basin; next room a bedroom, also with a marble sink; across this room from the hall, a large tiled bathroom with the biggest bathtub I ever saw., Further down the hall, another bedroom facing the rear, and from an ell turning left, two more bedrooms, with a basin at the end of the hall -- smaller rooms evidently intended for servants. Back stairs led to the kitchen downstairs, which was a 20-foot square sunny room, a big pantry, a little hall which led to the dining room on one side, and into a "Butler's Pantry" on the other, This latter room we changed into a breakfast room; it also had a built-in book case. There was a dumbwaiter in the little hall to the second floor, and a large clothes closet which Pop turned into a "powder room." The top floor was a finished apartment, one large room with floor, walls and ceiling (slanted) finished with paneling; a small store room in front, a larger room in the rear, and a nice bathroom. We put a gas range in the store room, and rented the big room to a couple named Brody; they stayed with us a number of years, both were business people and never bothered us. Later on Irving's son Horace found a job in Brooklyn and came to live with us, occupying the rear bedroom. After his engagement to Anne Wernick, a Holyoke girl, she too came to live with us, having gotten a teacher's job in Brooklyn. We put a bed in the little room for Horace and Ann occupied the bedroom, but it wasn't long before they left to be married. LKJ As I Remember, Pages 53-54.

1927
July 4, 1927
Age 14
North Weymouth, MA, USA

"In the summer of 1927 Bud, at 17, got his driver's license. Popop had a 1926 Studebaker Big 6, a seven passenger hardtop with roll-down isinglass windows - the last of the fully open cars but not quite the glass, rollup-window- sedan. Grandpa (Josef Kreinik) wanted to visit his only son, Irving, in Massachusetts. Popop was only too happy to let Bud drive Grandpa there, and I went along. For the ten hours or so it took to drive up the Boston Post Road (no super highways then), Grandpa sat erect and alone in thai huge back seat, saying nary a word. But I had the feeling he was enjoying this trip to his only son, driven by his oldest grandson. I hope Î live long enough for one of you to do the same for me."
.... digression ....
"But back to our visit with Grandpa to Uncle Irving's house. They had a summer place with the mouth filling address of 15 Wittawaumet Road, Wessagusset Beach, North Weymouth, Massachusetts, and their lifestyle was just as multi-syllabic: three daughters, two sons, all about the age range of our family, all as noisy or noisier than we were and with one advantage Bud and I were envious of: Aunt Lily made the best tasting root beer ever, and in scores and scores of bottles that we could drink whenever the fancy struck us - even with our meals, But, alas, tragedy struck. For some reason - probably because of too much yeast in the mix - a whole batch of eagerly awaited brew blew up one night, popping its corks like firecrackers and waking everyone in the house. Tragic as that was for all of us (except possibly Grandpa), the house rocked with laughter the rest of the night.

The next morning, it being the Fourth of July, we kids went traipsing across the countryside toward the many celebrations going on, careful not to trample on the crops growing in the fields, and joined by hundreds of others, including the farmers, doing the same thing. I still remember the marvelous feeling it gave me - all those people celebrating a common joy, walking along together and forgetting their differences , even if only for a brief day."
Norman B Jacobowitz, Letter to My Grandsons, 1984, Pages 47-48