Published Author, Echoes Of A Lifetime: How Mario Lanza Saved My Life
PhD in Clinical Psychology, New York University
Graduate of the Cantor’s Institute-Seminary College of Jewish Music
Former National USY President and Treasurer
USY was important socially as I entered my adolescence. I was a member through my local Brooklyn synagogue (Temple Petach Tikvah) and the METNY region, as it was then called. As a teenager I was kind of a blend of being a shy kid, yet one who also liked to perform (sing) and speak publicly. Over the years, many of my close friends were also actively involved in USY. Spending summers in Camp Ramah (Connecticut) was special and memorable.
I am now retired, having enjoyed two professions, some twelve years when I served as a hazzan in synagogues in the general New York area and forty plus years in my subsequent career as a clinical psychologist. After I graduated from the Cantor’s Institute-Seminary College of Jewish Music, although my role as a cantor and teacher provided many positives spiritually and musically, I returned to further schooling and earned my Ph.D. at New York University in order to pursue a childhood dream of becoming a psychologist. My inclination is that my more essential “accomplishments” are more that I was married to a wonderful woman and had two children, Josh and Yael, of whom we are very proud. Our son is a teacher of special and physical education and our daughter, a clinical psychologist, lives in Israel with her four children. They certainly are a source of nachas and bracha.
Finally entering full retirement facilitated my embracing a longstanding love of writing and the publishing of a personal memoir, which does include some personal recollections of USY. At this time, hopefully an additional three books will be published in the very near future. This has been an exciting new chapter and for anyone curious, here are the book titles: Echoes Of A Lifetime: How Mario Lanza Saved My Life; Renewal, Growth And Hope: A Psychologist Walks With Torah; Other Stories From The Heart; and The Cars I Have Loved And Their Stories.
USY significantly enhanced and deepened my connection to Judaism, Israel and a commitment to an observant religious life. In fact, one early highlight of my adult life was to have been sponsored by USY to spend a year in a very special program in Israel, then called HaMachon-Institute of Youth Leaders in Israel from Abroad.
Over the years we have been more affiliated with the local Orthodox community. Still, the contribution of USY to my Jewish identity and earlier development has never been forgotten or minimized.