September 7, 1937 – The Last Letter.

07 Sep
September 7, 1937 – The Last Letter.

The last letter

This the last of the complete letters in the set of some three hundred pages Trudel translated, some 90 letters originally written between May 1934 and September, 1937. I hope to post additional materials in the weeks and months to come – some information on her life for the next 60 years, perhaps a new photo gallery and other things. For a special treat, don’t miss the continuation of this note and the recording linked there, just below the letter and above the video clip.

One of Trudel’s Sons




September 7, 1937

Happy birthday Papa! Wish we could celebrate with you.

Leonard went with me to the German service** Sunday evening and I saw many people I know.

Monday morning we went to services at Temple Sholom and Leonard was very enthused about the rabbi, who he heard for the first time. Actually, he had not been in a synagogue in four years, but saw so many people he knew.

Temple Sholom

Temple Sholom


Rabbi Louis Binstock – Temple Sholom

We saw another excellent movie, “The Life of Emile Zola.”


The last letter – continued

Trudel was an exceptionally positive woman, and she constantly expressed gratitude throughout her life. A few years ago I came across a recording of her practicing the “Sheheyonu” for my bar mitzvah in 1956. It is a Hebrew prayer offered at every happy occasion and every holiday and celebration. It is a difficult tongue twister. Over the years it became her prayer. At every occasion we would ask her to recite it.

Listen to Trudel recite it, in Hebrew and then in English. Let us celebrate with her.

Press or click here to hear the recording.

One of Trudel’s sons.

The Life of Emile Zola


** In this letter and her previous one Trudel writes about going to the “German service.” I have been unable to identify the specific congregation she was referring to. However with the assistance of the Chicago Jewish Historical Society, I have learned she may have attended a service at the North Side Jewish Center Congregation that was started around 1936-7 by German Jewish refugees and about 1946-7 changed its name to Congregation Ezra and later Temple Ezra. If she went to her friends in the Hyde Park neighborhood, she could have attended the Habonim Congregation, or one of the established congregations that were started by German-Jews — Sinai Temple, Kehilath Anshe Maariv, or Isaiah Israel.

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About Leonard Grossman

Writing about the online world since 1992: The ModemJunkie's Portal Taught school in the inner-city from 1967-78, Government lawyer from 1979-2010. Married to the incredible Cindy Barnard. Proud father of Sarah and grandfather of Gavin.

Posted by on September 7, 1937 in Chicago, immigrant experience, Judaism


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4 Responses to September 7, 1937 – The Last Letter.

  1. Edgar Hiestand

    September 8, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    It has been good to read these posts about from your mother’s letters over the years. And hearing the blessing is a blessing still.
    Also, your Facebook posts in general are also appreciated.
    Keep it up. And hope to see you soon.

    • Leonard Grossman

      November 5, 2015 at 12:23 am

      Hi, Ed. Sorry it has been so long since I checked for comments. Thanks for your note. It was good to see you the other day.


  2. David

    December 24, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Hello Len,

    You may not remember but my wife and I met you in the park in March of last year where you recommended locations to look for housing when we were moving up. I kept the card to this blog you gave me and wanted to say both thank you and this is a beautiful thing you did for your mother. I hope you are well and are able to share this with more people.


    • Leonard Grossman

      January 8, 2017 at 5:43 pm

      Yes. I remember. Sorry I haven’t checked comments for a couple of weeks. Thank you for you kind words.
      How did your search for housing go? And where did you wind up.

      Happy New Year to both of you.



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