If you rooted for the Duke while others cheered for Mickey and Willie, hung out at Big Daddy’s on Coney Island Avenue or at the Boardwalk for Tuesday night fireworks night, or had a hot pastrami on rye at Zei-Mar’s, Grabstein’s or Hy Tulip’s delicatessens, then the “Bridge to Brooklyn” nostalgia program on Saturday evening, Nov. 13 in East Brunswick will bring back some great memories for you.
Temple B’nai Shalom’s Daniel Pearl Education Center, which supports interfaith outreach programs in the name of humanity and understanding, will host a night filled with the sights, sounds and, of course, tastes of the center of hustle and bustle known as Brooklyn, America’s fourth largest city. The program will begin at 7:30 p.m. with an original Brooklyn-style pizza dinner.
The night of fun and memories will also include a slide-show presentation by Ron Schweiger, the official historian of the Borough of Brooklyn; a performance by do wop group Memories of You; trivia contests and giveaways; music from Brooklynites Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow and Neil Sedaka and groups Jay and the Americans, Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge, the Tokens, and more; and, perhaps best of all, cheesecake and, of course, egg creams.
“As we started planning this program, the Brooklynites on our committee began tossing out street names, restaurants, high school rivalries – you name it,” says Dr. Andy Boyarsky, chairman of the Daniel Pearl Education Center. “We knew we had a hit program right from the start. What Brooklynite wouldn’t want to join us to relive the good ol’ days? But even a boy like me, from New Jersey, or even someone from one of the other New York boroughs, can appreciate what it must have been like to grow up in Brooklyn. And, besides, who can pass up Brooklyn-style cheesecake?”
DPEC trustee Danny Gresack, a proud Brooklynite, is heading the program, with support from former borough residents and DPEC members Judy Steiner and Shelly Laufgraben.
“It just seems like those were much simpler times,” Gresack explains. “Our biggest concerns were where to go on a Saturday night and which high school – Erasmus, Tilden, and the others – was the best in the borough. It will be great to share those memories at our Bridge to Brooklyn night.”
The highlight of the evening will be Schweiger’s presentation. Born and raised in Gravesend, Schweiger attended Abraham Lincoln High School and Brooklyn College, where he majored in Education. After getting married, he moved to Prospect Park South, also known as Victorian Flatbush. He taught science for more than 30 years at P.S. 219 in East Flatbush.
For years, he has organized walking tours all over the borough for organizations such as the Flatbush Development Corporation, Municipal Art Society, Brooklyn Historical Society, and the Prospect Park Environmental Center.
Appointed in 2002 by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz as Brooklyn Borough Historian, Schweiger, a lifelong Brooklynite, will share all kinds of facts and figures about Brooklyn in a style that can only be described as authentic Brooklyn. Following his presentation, Schweiger will participate in a Q and A with the audience, and attendees are welcome to test his Brooklyn IQ.
The program will feature a special musical performance by the renowned a cappella group, Memories of You, who will provide the sounds of the old street corner, like “In the Still of the Night,” “Gloria,” and “Sunday Kind of Love.”
The cost of the program is $25 per person, and anyone who comes displaying some type of Brooklyn paraphernalia – a high school sweatshirt, Brooklyn Dodgers baseball cap, etc. – will receive a gift.
All proceeds from the evening will go to the Daniel Pearl Education Center, a non-profit, charitable organization committed to the ideals of understanding and cooperation – principles that are part of the legacy of the late Daniel Pearl. Pearl, the Southeast Asia bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped and murdered by extremists in Pakistan in October 2002. The DPEC sponsors a broad spectrum of community-wide, interfaith programming, highlighted by its annual teen bus trip, with St. Bartholomew’s School and other houses of worship and youth groups, to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.
Additional information is available by contacting Temple B’nai Shalom at 732-251-4300.