Meta Tells of Early Dinners

I asked how Jerry oH juggled his business and the dinner and about tense moments before the dinners. I did not inform her that I would post her answers, but there is nothing here of a private nature. Good Shabbos.

 

“I remember an early Dinner Meeting on a Motzoei Shabbos in our apartment

on Cabrini Boulevard, so it must have been 1952.  Manfred K’stein and Harry Levi

came to discuss details for the forthcoming Dinner.  – You can come to my apartment

and see the picture of the first Dinner 1945!   Amazing.  Some members of the Kehilla

ran it, plus a Journal.  My husband involved himself in K’hilla work soon after he returned

from the Army, which would have been around ’45-46.  I have a small Roedelheim

Siddur that was given out at the Dinner January 26, 1958.

There was no Dinner Office until Harry Levi decided we have to have a central place

to work properly for the Dinner.  Before that, part of the work was done at Artus in

Englewood and part at Bechhofer Brothers on Beaver Street.  I remember taking the bus

to Englewood to do proofreading for the Journal.  –  In our apartment we housed a giant

Printer where lists and such were regularly printed.  My husband would do Dinner work

in the office and at home.  Once the Dinner Office came into being, he would be there

after hours till 11-12 sometimes.  People remarked on the light always on in the Dinner

Office.  His  business was running more or less – he had faithful employees, but Harry Levi

convinced him to take over the D.O., where he had spent so much time anyway.

He loved it, except for the fact that it was Uptown, he preferred to work Downtown!

People came in and out – it was a welcoming place – and the Dinners were a  big success!

My husband would spend the night before the Dinner in the Hotel; a room was rented for

him, so he could oversee everything from early on the next day.

The Dinner Meetings were wonderful, with lots of participation – and Mr.  Victor’s eggs

were raffled off every week!  After the Dinner Meetings we would sit at the computer till

midnight to produce the weekly Dinner News.  People ‘complained’ their mail boxes are

always full on Wednesdays with all the Dinner stuff, but they read them. It all helped for

the success.

Was there tension: oh yes, ask my family.  Before there was a D.O., all seating sessions

were in our house.  My father would usually receive one or two men of the Meeting.

My sons would alphabetize the Dinner cards, etc.  Yes, there was lots of activity and plenty

of tension with seating!

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