Israel Edward Press, O.D. 1920 – 2015: Part 5 – The Family Tree

Throughout his lifetime, my father shied away from being President of the many organizations with which he was involved.  One exception was the Hapoel Hamizrachi -מזרחי הפועל.  At the age of 24, he was President of the Eastern Seaboard Region of this American Group that supported pioneering efforts leading to the establishment of the State of Israel.   It was comprised of young adults predominantly from Philadelphia, Trenton, Wilmington, Washington D.C., and Baltimore.

In March 1945 my father was at a regional meeting of Hapoel in Baltimore when he met an attractive, local 20 year-old whose name was Violet Rosenthal.  They chatted briefly and agreed to carry on the conversation at a later time.  At the same meeting an acquaintance from Philadelphia, Anne Twersky, the Tolner Rebbe’s daughter, told my father that he had to meet a vibrant young woman to whom she had been introduced.  My father politely declined, having already decided that he should follow up on the mutual attraction with Violet.  But Anne was determined, and the following day she was persistent enough to introduce her fellow Loganite to the Baltimorian.  As it turned out, the young woman who Anne insisted my father meet was none other than Violet Rosenthal.

Israel and Violet were married on October 28, 1945, and the following year purchased the private house with a converted office in which they would raise a family and a practice in the Logan section of Philadelphia 0n the corner of 10th & Louden.  My sister Arlene was born in 1947 and brought along much joy.

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1948 would be a year of euphoria for Dad tempered by great sadness.  There was a tremendous sense of gain in that the country that would bear his name declared its statehood on May 14, 1948.

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… and there would be a tremendous sense of loss three months later with the passing of the courageous woman who was the bedrock of his upbringing.

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About Leonard J. Press, O.D., FAAO, FCOVD

Developmental Optometry is my passion as well as occupation. Blogging allows me to share thoughts in a unique visual style.
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