For First-Time Visitors

If this is your first time here, you can find out about the origin of this project by reading this introduction by my daughter Jennie which describes how we started this blog:
All About My Father

The blog actually begins with the post Kristallnacht, written by Jennie as well. After that, you will notice little hyperlinks in the bottom right of each blog post that take you to the next entry, for example, the next post after Kristallnacht is Visits with My Father.

Here is a list of posts you might read if you are just getting started at this blog:

I’m going to experiment with other ways to navigate the posts on this site. If you have any good ideas, please let me know.

I try to respond to all comments on the blog. There is also a contact form you can try.

11 Responses to For First-Time Visitors

  1. Joyce greenberg says:

    I was searching for an old friend named Maximillian Fingerhut whom I had met in 1960
    while traveling from Italy to Israel . He was a medical student in Heidelberg at the time-thus I gravitated to your site when I saw the name. He would have been born around 1940 and would be around 71, This is not answering my search but enjoyed
    reading about your father.

    • Alex says:

      Sorry I couldn’t be of any help. My Max died in about 1942, and would be well over a hundred years old, had he survived. He did have a nephew, named Norbert, who survived the war in the same orphanage I was in, and last I heard he was living in Canada. You might try to check that out. They could be related, although the birthdate of your Maximilian would make that doubtful.
      Glad you enjoyed the item about my father. I’m going to have to re-read, as truth be told, I don’t quite remember it!

  2. Joe Feinglass says:

    Hello Alex-Jessie Simpson (Linzer) turned me on to your terrific blog, it is great! Hope you are well. Cherish memories of Higley Hill, a huge influence on my life and values, best to Linda, Joe

  3. AlexLevy says:

    Hi, Joe!
    Very good to hear from you! Jessie is an invaluable link to all our pasts. She steered me to Steve Vedro’s stories about his past a couple of days ago, and of course, I couldn’t resist checking out Peter Vedro. Isn’t the Web wonderful!

    Hope you and yours are all well.

  4. Billy Walker says:

    What a wonderful blog Mr. Levy!

    Came across the blog via a story in today’s (Thanksgiving 2012) New York Times. Although I am not Jewish I love to read things of this nature along with trip’s down memory lane visiting various Jewish merchants in Manhattan. As a Christian who tries to read the Bible daily I find the reading of the Old Testament, the ultimate Jewish story, to be tremendously rewarding.

    I have bookmarked your site for future reading. My wife is Latina, from Chile`, and I just happen to be from New Jersey (how exotic). The only other blog of a personal nature I have bookmarked is “My Big Fat Cuban Family” which is written by a woman of Cuban descent. I guess at the age of 58 that makes me a diversified individual :-).

    Best of luck with future writings and thank you once again for the stories.

    Billy Walker

  5. Hannah Gutmann Sherak says:


    Until a few moments ago, I had no clue about your history.

    In fact, perhaps ironically, I’d been thinking of you about a year ago as someone I might try to ask for help in understanding how even the Jewish New Yorkers with whom I grew up never asked about or commented upon my status as a second generation survivor, let alone my parents….

    I wish I’d known.

    I’d always felt alone and different growing up. I came back to NY in the hopes that things would feel different now. With trump’s stunning victory this week, I’ve grown up finally and real fast — I’m here to help others have a better experience than I did. To do anything and everything within my power.

    • AlexLevy says:

      Good to hear from you, Hannah! I think I saw you at the funeral of Bob Shapiro some years ago, the husband of a friend. Was that you? As to my background, I thought everyone who knew me knew. 🙂

  6. Terri Hofmeister says:

    Hi… I hope that someone will be reading this…. This past week my nephew forwarded your story to me . He was doing some research on Clinton Street. How he remembered the names of Jack and Nettie Spirgel is beyond me , but he did. They were my aunt and uncle and Irene my cousin… They were a big part of my childhood years and now I realize that you knew Irene in the Convent. My name is TERRI HOFMEISTER. My parents were SIGGI and CLARE WEINRIEB and we lived in Queens. I have been living in Israel the past 24 years and would see Irene there occasionally. Everyone is gone now. I would love to speak with you if possible. I spend a lot of time in Florida now in the winters.. My children and grandchildren live there. I remember Ruby… I think he was Nettie’s brother or brother-in-law… I hope this finds you in good health…
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Terri Hofmeister.
    2200 Park Lane Apt. 305
    Hollywood , Florida

  7. Lois Weiner says:

    Hope you’re well! I learned so much about your personal history. I was surprised to be mentioned though my recollection of those ancient events is different. Wasn’t there a contestation about whether the position in the English Department at Humanities would be filled by a teacher-director rather than an AP – for which you were indeed certified. (Never my desire to be administration!) Faculty, many of us activists in the union chapter, who wanted to maintain less hierarchical relations were distressed when the position eventually was filled as an administrative line. Pat Adler who was appointed the teacher-director before Gertrude K. came, right?

    • AlexLevy says:

      Good to hear from you, Lois, and somewhat surprised. I really don’t remember all the details of what happened at the time, but in the normal course of events, I would have been appointed to whatever the position was called. I really don’t remember what Pat Adler was appointed to. I also remember that some of the “activists” in the union ran their own small racket, filling positions for which they were completely unqualified. I guess I was part of an older generation that really believed, rightly or wrongly, in meritocracy, but the times they were achanging. Anyway, I applied for administrative positions for the next twenty years, after having earned an Ed.D. in educational administration, with a special area of compensatory education, but to no avail. I spoke with a slight foreingnism, was too tall, too Jewish, not female, not black, and not Latino. After surviving the Nazis, it turned out I hadn’t been discriminated against enough. But life isn’t always fair. In any case, I hope you are well and happy, and more successful professionally than I have been. I think I’m about to break the record for longest retirement, having reached almost 29 years. Currently I give speeches about the Holocaust (this is my busy season), and work with Parkinson’s Disease patients to teach them table tennis as a means of slowing down the disease. What are you doing with yourself? Still working?

      • Lois Weiner says:

        Sounds like you’ve filled the years in ways that are meaningful to you. Nice!
        I continue to be involved with many projects related to urban education, the subject of my doctoral work at Harvard Since my recent departure as a professor (a.k.a. retirement), I’ve been advising young teacher union activists and writing about the walkouts and will be revising my book about teachers unions and social justice.
        Our recollections of events, your role and mine, as well as conditions, certainly diverge. I was curious to hear the union at Humanities characterized as a “racket.” Union work certainly never helped me professionally as I lost jobs due to my activity! Maybe others who participated will weigh in with clarifications.

        Hope the future brings satisfactions.

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