Chatting With Chapey
Each year we look forward to spending Labor Day at the annual barbeque at the West End Temple. Our friends Florence and Ed Spierer lead the Social Club at the Temple. They are a fabulous couple, who create energy and enthusiasm in everyone. Their pep, vim and vigor are contagious. This year, as every year, we especially enjoyed those wonderful hot dogs with sauerkraut. Thanks also go to Charles and Evelyn Thau, and Lyn and Hal Kramberg for leading this Social Club activity. They are always ready to lend a helping hand to all worthy causes.
It was our pleasure to sit with the Temple President and his wife, Stan and Elaine Gelda. Congratulations to them on their grandson’s starting his college career at Princeton University. Princeton only accepts the best and the brightest to continue their valued academic reputation. We can easily see that apples in the Gleda family are not falling far from their family tree. Both Stan and Elaine Gelda have strong academic accomplishments. Elaine graduated from Hunter College. She has highly respected credentials specializing in the area of early childhood development. She utilizes these talents for the benefit of our community by devoting her time to the pre-K program at the West End Temple. This program has a superb reputation among the parents in our neighborhood who eagerly enroll their children in the program. Kudos also go to Sherry Bernstein the director of the program. Stan Gelda graduated from New York University and has a MA degree from City College. His degrees in business and accounting led to his being a licensed CPA in New York State. Stan Gelda became a partner in an accounting firm which can count among their clients some of the most prestigious firms in our city and state. Elaine and Stan are really childhood sweet hearts who met in James Madison High School.
The Jewish New Year began on Wednesday night at sundown. May this Rosh Hashanah bring happiness, good health and peace. It is my hope that at this New Year we will be blessed with contentment and peace and that it will be the beginning of a wonderful year for everyone. Happy New Year.
As the Fall season cools the temperatures, the political season heats up. It seems that the number of different polls and predictions are multiplying exponentially. Newscasters and media experts are basing their prognostications on their favorite theory. I read one political pundit who noted that subsequent to the political conventions if the stock market keeps rising it is better for the incumbent. Another columnist, Albert Hunt in his column in the Daily News on September 12 entitled “Signs on the Road to the White House,” points to several indicators: (1) the Buckeye State (Ohio) (2) the debates and (3) the unemployment statistics. Hunt notes that “as the Buckeye State goes so goes the election”. No Republican has won the White House without carrying Ohio. Currently the candidates are planning for the debates. They have their colleagues working out the exact details. Two or three debates are proposed. One big mistake in this venue could cost Bush or Kerry the election. The unemployment statistics are usually published on the Friday before the election. However this year the first Friday falls three days after the election. Hunt therefore believes that this will mean that the unemployment statistics will not be a major factor in the election. As he points out, the unemployment figures given in early October will only be a distant memory by the November election.
Another interesting election fact is that this year seven of the 15 nonfiction titles on the New York Times best seller list are political as pointed out by Paul Colford on Sunday, September 12 in the Daily News. Four years ago, during the last presidential season there was only one political book on the list. Bob Wietrak, the vice president for merchandising at Barnes and Nobles is quoted by Colford as saying that sales of books in the political category are up 50% over 2003. Leading the political titles is the well publicized book “Unfit for Command.” Sales of books in the political category are up 50% over 2003. Leading the week by Kitty Kelly’s gossipy tome entitled “The Family.” It promises to tell us all that we did or did not want to know about the Bush family. In her attempt to be sensational Kitty Kelly may have ignored or distorted the facts.
During this season we are lucky in New York. Not only aren’t we likely to be in the eye of hurricane Ivan, but we are not in the eye of the political storm either. Our cousins live in Ohio – one of the battle ground states. Neighbors there are vying with one another by sticking Kerry or Bush signs on their lawns. Every TV station is inundated with political commercials. Personal appearances by the candidates and their surrogates are bombarding the air waves, the newspapers and community gatherings.
In New York we are to be commended for the excellent way that the Republican National Convention was handled. Everyone was able to do their thing while protecting the rights of citizens to continue with their lives. It is amazing that New York could host the Convention and the Tennis Open at the same time. One should never question the ability of New Yorkers to meet every challenge and to come out ahead of the game.