April 18, 2024
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April 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Yes, the time has come to say goodbye.

It has been a lot of fun during the past more than three and a half years to write about my past under the heading “Personal History” in The Jewish Link. During the early weeks I submitted what I had already written years earlier and printed in “My Stories.” I submitted the good and the not so good, the happy and the sad, the uplifting and the disappointments, deleting only what was too personal about others.

After I had finished submitting everything, including the second revision of “My Stories,” I started writing about interesting happenings in the later years.

I had expected many comments from readers, directly to me or via letters to the editor. But there were only very few. What I, and others in my family, did receive were comments from many readers who face to face told me they were reading my column. Jokingly I would then ask whether they also enjoyed it. The answer was always positive.

And now I have run out of history. My heading, “Personal History,” limited me to writing about two subjects, “Personal” and “History.” “Personal” presented no problem. I am still here, and if Hashem wills it, I hope to be around for many more years. “History” is what I have run out of. You cannot make up history. It is only what actually happened, no more, no less. You can write endlessly about the future, but not the past. The past, meaning “History,” is limited. You can stretch the definition a bit, as I have done several times, but even then, there is a limit.

So, I am “closing shop,” ending my career as a writer, or rather as I prefer, as a storyteller. I have never claimed to be a writer. I have written as I would speak to you, telling a story, nothing fancy, just plain talk. Naturally should something new and interesting happen in the future I hope that The Link will permit me to tell you about it. Although I have little hope that I will receive a reply from Minsk about Dorothy’s father, should I be surprised and hear from them I would also want to update the readers.

For the time being, goodbye it is, with thanks to all who have helped me. Especially helpful always was Jill Kirsch, senior editor. Jill was always available, always replied to every email, always promptly, and always able to help me when I had made a mistake or had forgotten something in transmitting a story. I cannot imagine a person more helpful than Jill. I will miss the always pleasant contact with her.

And then there is the boss. Moshe Kinderlehrer, co-founder and co-publisher of The Link. Since Jill was always there for me, I did not have frequent contact with Moshe, but when I did, he was always helpful. No question remained unanswered, and he was always friendly, courtly and courteous.

And finally, I must thank Dorothy, my dear wife, for proofreading everything that I wrote. Dorothy handled the job efficiently and quickly. If I gave Dorothy something to proofread and told her “no rush,” within half an hour she returned the pages to me with her comments. DD, thank you.

To my readers, I say thank you, for reading my columns, and seemingly enjoying them.

Adieu, adios, addio, auf Wiederhören, so long and goodbye.


Norbert Strauss is a Teaneck resident and Englewood Hospital volunteer. He frequently speaks to groups to relay his family’s escape from Nazi Germany in 1941. He has been a contributor to The Jewish Link for the past four years, and he will be missed.

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