My Life in Post-Its or, How I Got from There to Here by Dr. Marcia Weiss Posner takes the reader on a delightful stroll through her life. I relished reading about Posner’s adventures with her family and friends, and learning about her civic-minded mitzvahs.
Dr. Posner is a “doer,” much like her intrepid paternal grandmother, Regina Klein Weiss, who immigrated to the U.S. from Hungary and turned her prodigious sewing skills into a successful custom dressmaking business. Regina was the center of the family circle and the main support for her seven children. Her religious husband, David, was asthmatic and not business-oriented. The family moved in search of healthier air for David to a farm near Lakewood, New Jersey, and plucky Regina soon transformed her home into a small hotel with a restaurant. Her kasha varnishkes, chicken paprikash, and delicious strudel became popular favorites.
This memoir epitomizes Jewish ingenuity and success. Posner’s cheerful problem-solving gusto is ever-present and reflected in her approach to life, including moving their family from the Bronx to Queens and finally to Manhasset Hills on Long Island. Along the way she gets a degree in library science, which she quickly puts to use as a librarian at the Hillside Library and later as a part-time professor of library education at Queens College. She also earns a library science doctorate at NYU. Throughout she remains a devoted wife and loving mother to her children.
Books and libraries are her enduring passion. On Long Island she established a first-rate library at the newly constructed Shelter Rock Synagogue. She became the library consultant for the UJA Federation and a dynamo at the Jewish Book Council. It was Posner who served as a “shatkin” and persuaded Dr. Carolyn Starman Hessel, another Jewish book angel, to become more actively involved in the Jewish Book Council. Dr. Starman Hessel took the position of director and transformed the JBC into a vibrant, and very important Jewish organization committed to supporting Jewish writers and literature all over the world. This magazine is a program of Jewish Book Council.
At her retirement in 1995 at the age of sixty five, Posner created an outstanding memorial library at the newly-formed Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau. The Louis Posner Holocaust Memorial Library is a remarkable collection of Shoah materials. It has over 8,000 books, art works, photos, recordings, films, and an extraordinary vertical file of pamphlets, line drawings, maps, photographs, and maps. Scholar-authors from all over the nation and young people from all over Long Island use materials in the collection. In addition to the library, the Center has exhibits, teacher training workshops, conferences and poetry and essay contests for school children. Its work has ensured that thousands of children, educators and researchers do not forget the enormity of the tragedy of the Holocaust. In 1998 alone, over 12,000 students visited the Center. Posner’s fascinating history of the Center, entitled Zachor: Not Only To Remember, which captures the testimonies of survivors, liberators and volunteers who make the Center so successful.
Posner’s new memoir is filled with love. The book will bring smiles to your face and a sense of admiration for Dr. Marcia W. Posner’s verve, endearing sense of humor, kindliness, and productivity. Her memoir is also an illuminating piece of social history of Jewish life in twentieth- and twentieth-first century America. Glossary.
- Interview with Marcia Weiss Posner
- Avi Steinberg: Short Friday
- Michal Malen: The ABC of It: Why Jewish Books Matter
- C. Alexander London: The Never Ending Book