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Annual President's Day celebration at The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage


On Monday, February 19th, we went to the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage on Richmond Road in Beachwood to attend its annual President's Day celebration which featured crafts for children and re-enactors of U.S. Presidents who talked of their relations with the Jewish people many of whom were immigrants.

The aforementioned U.S. Presidents and their re-enactors were George Washington (Nate Arnold), Abraham Lincoln (Harvey Krieger), Theodore Roosevelt (Jeff Kaplan), Franklin Roosevelt (Victor Goodman), Dwight Eisenhower (Thomas Harley) and Harry Truman (Tony Dreskin).

Also playing a part were Emma Lazarus (Adrienne Yelsky) and Eleanor Roosevelt (Judy Dunn).

We have gone to this program several times over the last few years but it is always good to review such facts as Abraham Lincoln being the first to admit Catholics and Jews into the Chaplain Corps.; Teddy Roosevelt donating his Nobel Prize monies to Jewish causes; General Dwight Eisenhower (before he became President) being instrumental in exposing the brutalities of the concentration camps; Harry Truman's support of the creation of the State of Israel; and Franklin Roosevelt's regret over not being more supportive of refugees.

In response to a child's questioning, a couple of us got out our iPhones and learned  that from the time he assumed office in 1945 when Roosevelt died to the time of his official election to the U.S. Presidency in 1948, President Truman didn't have a Vice President; if Truman had passed the Speaker of the House would have become the President. In 1948, however, U.S. Senator Alben Barkley was Truman's running mate and became our Vice President in 1949.

In addition to meeting and talking with our "Presidents", the children had a good time answering the question, "If I were President, My Executive Order would be..."

As we were leaving, Ms. Audrey Kaplan-Goodman, a trusted volunteer, thanked us for often coming to this program.

Ms. Kaplan-Goodman is married to President Roosevelt (or Mr. Victor Goodman who re-enacted him) so we joked with her about what a challenge it must be being married to F.D.R. and she admitted it had its moments.


Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

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