Presidents Day

My father was the President

of the Beth Israel Synagogue, formerly

in Ansonia, Connecticut before they raised

money for a new building and the synagogue

moved to Derby.  The old synagogue became

a Black Baptist Church.  There were many

disagreements about architectural details

and religiosity but in the end the building,

an ordinary looking structure with pew seats

and brass plaques from people who gave money

the building and what happened inside

Friday night services classes bar mitzvahs

the building and what happened inside

became the center of our life.  My father developed an ulcer

from the board of directors conflicts and there was

a period where he was drinking a lot of over the counter

ulcer medicine but the ulcer went away when

my Uncle Jack assumed the role.  What about

a woman President I asked my father so many years ago

and he didn’t want to tell me no so he said

One Day instead.


Esther Cohen
Let me tell you why I'm here, and why I hope you'll join me. I am here to poem, to play with words, to tell stories when I can, and to ask you for yours. Words are what I love, how I see, and what I say. Words are how I know my life, and how I find my friends. I'm here to ask you to join me. Right here. To send me your stories, and your poems. And to read mine when you can.


  1. Dear Esther:
    Your daily visits to my computer are greatly appreciated… brought fond memories of my great uncle Morris Singer and his wife Fanny (my bubbie’s sister) who owned the General Store in Ansonia way back when….. maybe the ’30s, ’40s?

    Alice Radosh tells me that I should contact you about me coming to the Alte meeting in NYC in March (is it the 5th?)
    Please let me know details!
    Barbara Sarah

  2. It looks like you’re getting grey at the temples -said one of my sisters to the other who had assumed the presidency of her shul.

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