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American Hungarian Friends of Scouting Annual Scout Banquet

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On Sunday, February 25th, we stopped off at the annual Scout Banquet put on by the "American Hungarian Friends of Scouting" in the Parish Hall at St. Emeric Church on West 22nd Street.

We shared a table with our old friend Mr. Ernie Milhaly as well as Mr. Alex Kezdi who recognized us from meetings of the "Eastern European Congress" and Mr. Bandi and Ms. Andrea Lazar who host the Hungarian radio program (conducted in both English and Hungarian) that is broadcast every Sunday night at 7pm on WCPN. 

Prior to the start of the start of the meal, Mr. Mike Horvath addressed us for a moment and said that the reason that the Hungarian Scouts have lasted so long in Cleveland is the commitment level of both the scouts and their parents who, over the past 60 years, have worked very hard by way of participating in and/or supporting its activities on both a personal and a financial level. They are also very much involved in the planning  of the organization's future.

Along these lines, Ms. Kristina Nadas then recognized an array of young people who have met the requirements to be designated as newly trained leaders. They all attended a camp in August, 2017 in upstate New York and were very proud to be so honored.

One of the people who was there was Mr. Walt Mahovlich who plays with the musical group "Harmonia" and also with "The Lori Cahan-Simon Ensemble" which is devoted to the preservation and appreciation of Yiddish songs.

Interestingly, just a short time later that afternoon, we actually met Ms. Cahan-Simon at the Maltz Museum where we were both part of the audience for a program about the history of the Yiddish language and its use at this time. What attracted us to this forum was the knowledge that in the late 19th century and early part of the 20th century, Jews immigrated to the U.S. and Cleveland from all over Europe and the Yiddish language was a unifying element that helped them to communicate with each other.

The program was conducted by Dr. Sean Martin of the Western Reserve Historical Society who was quite an authority on the subject even though he, himself, does not happen to be Jewish. With great patience and care, he walked us through the origins of the Yiddish which he termed a "fusion" language with Germanic (overwhelmingly) as well as Slavic and Hebrew components.

Sadly, we learned that of the six million victims of the Holocaust perhaps 85% of them were Yiddish speakers. Their loss was a great loss to the language although he is still very much alive today in different venues.  

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For example, there is the "Yiddish Farm" in Hampton, New York which conducts immersion language programs while the participants learn about farming. There is also a reading group that meets monthly in Cleveland to study writings in Yiddish. Of course, Dr. Martin discussed Mr. Sholem Aleichem, the great Yiddish author and playwright, who was responsible for the Tevye stories that served as a basis for "Fiddler on the Roof".

We also very much loved talking to Ms. Cahan-Simon who was very appreciative of our curiosity about a language that means so much to her. We encourage our readers to visit https://m.facebook.com/The-Lori-Cahan-Simon-Ensemble-6063719298/ just as we did. In the the near future, we can hopefully take in one of her concerts.

The Lori Cahan-Simon Ensemble

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The Lori Cahan-Simon Ensemble, Beachwood, Ohio. 148 likes. Unique Yiddish songs and music, from Eastern Europe and the U.S., played in the traditional Eastern European folk style, by the finest...

 

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC