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|Comments:||ASTONISHING FAMILY RESEMBLANCE. We are also Jewish from Chicago, and your photos look a LOT like us--I mean to the point where we would pick you out from a crowd as related somehow. What were the other family surnames on the Birkenstein side? What towns in Poland or Russia did they originate from?|
|Comments:||I just remembered. I would drive with my father from Oak Park to Orleans Street with the dummy for Integrated Education so that Jean could do something with the art work. This was around 1963-1970 or so.|
|Comments:||My father, Meyer Weinberg, helped AL Raby and Jean Berkstein start Teachers for Integrated Schools and Integrated Education magazine. I used to cut out articles and/or paste them into the files for Integrated Education. My brothers, Carl and Ben, also did the articles/clippings. Those files are now at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. I am now a librarian at the Gary Public Library in Gary, Indiana. Mazal tov.|
|Comments:||Jean rescued me at a difficult time in my life and took me under her wing. My experience with her has been invaluable and I am truly blessed to have known her. Not only was she an activist, phenomenal teacher, great artist but a mentor and mother figure as well to me. I have fond memories of discussing the mysteries of the universe into the wee hours of the night. Jean is still a part of my everyday life even though she is no longer with us on this earth...her memories live on.|
|Comments:||It's the first night of Passover and I miss my son and daughter-in-law and grandkids who are up in Hartford and I'm in NYC. Started googling for Black Jews, to find them a possible Seder up in Hartford, and one thing led to another to this beautiful Memorial Page. My son calls me The Only White Woman in the Projects... i hadn't noticed in 30 years! i love your tribute to your Mom and family member. She was a wonderful woman... teacher, artist, civil rights activist... i am inspired by her life and am trying to work along in similar ways.
Happy Passover 2007... peace to all.
|Name:||Glen G Washington|
|Comments:||Her son, Born in 1953|
|Name:||Jeffrey Lewis Knapp|
|Comments:||I found out about this exceptional lady today and feel the great loss the world has suffered. She is unique to say the least and exceptional to say the most. This is the type of person that will make a big difference in the world when they are here and a bigger difference in memory. She is in a wonderful place now remembered by many.
God bless her, God bless her memory, God bless her legacy and God bless her children.
|Name:||Taylor A. Cisco, Jr.|
|Comments:||Jean was one of my employees during the 1970's at Malcolm X College. She taught Math 111 and Math 112 in the Learning Resources Center ("LRC"). Jean was an excellent instructor. Her classes had record low attrition rates and good student success rates. During her boughts with asthma, her students would visit her oxygen tent at the hospital. As a team member, she was superb. She made several recommendations to our mathematics curriculum. During birthday celebrations, the coordinators, teachers, and tutors in the LRC Math/Science Tutorial Center would disclose their birthdays in terms of difficult equations. Over the years, I have share stories about her as examples of outstanding teaching. She will be missed by many.|
|Name:||Rudolf Cohn Birkenstein|
|Comments:||My Mother was Gertrud Birkenstein (1896-1985),daughter of Julius,granddaughter of Eduard,Greatgranddaughter of Elias Birkenstein.
Perhaps we are related.
I have an Genealogic Tree with all the Birkenstein's since 1780
Would appreciate your answer. Thanks.
|Comments:||I was checking information on classmates.com when I came across the message about Ms. Washington. She was my favorite teacher at Roosevelt. I took her class as a senior (I graduated in '66) beacuse I traansferred to Roosevelt during my junior year. I have very fond memories of her. She had me pose as the model when we were drawing the human figure and loved the (crude) drawing I did of a rat with beer cans and a cigarette. Good bye to both a teacher and, at that time, a friend.
Mark 'Maybach' Menke
|Comments:||July 25, 2003
Unfortunately I am unable to attend the much memorial tribute to my too long ago friend.
In what is considered one of the most memorable stages of my life I had the pleasure to spend so much of it with my very good friend Jean Berkenstein.
These were years when Jean was just completing high school and I was just beginning.Ê She and I were fully engaged (as engaged as teenagers can possibly be) in the anti-fascist war against Hitler Germany. At the same time we were keenly aware of the continued discrimination against African Americans in our own country.
Jean and I together with many other young folk in the American Youth for Democracy conducted our own picket lines and sit ins at segregated movie theaters and bowling alleys.
But we had fun too. We gathered at Jean's home to decorate their Christmas tree and for a while acting like grown ups we made ourselves fancy dishes and "swiped" enough liquor from her folks to make a fairly potent punch.
We carried this what became a custom into our adult lives. Jean and Tale were married at about the same time that Bill Mitchell and I were married. Jean was maid of honor at our wedding. We shared the first floor of a house that was to become a landmark.
Jean was a talented artist and often she and I would spend hours on the Oak Street Beach while she sketched or painted and I would read.
We traversed that same beach as we sought to collect signatures on the Stockholm Peace Appeal Petition. We were often chased by goons and warned by police to stop requesting signatures. But we were young and with all the energy and adventure and the conviction that we were correct we went right on getting people to sign our petition.
I regret that I have not been able to see much of Jean since I left Chicago in the mid fifties.Ê One day just a few years ago a young handsome man and child walked into the office of the National Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression in New York and introduced himself as Robin Washington.Ê Of course I knew at once that he was Jean and Atlee's son.
I have seen Jean only twice since that time and am so pleased that Robin made himself know to me.Ê I hope that he, his family and I will find the time to spend together.
We will miss Jean but she leaves us all a legacy of love, commitment, honesty and tenacity in the struggle for freedom, peace and equality for human kind in a safe sustainable world.
Jean Berkenstein, Presente!
I am Jean's nephew, Federico.
At Jean's burial service I told the story of how Jean got knocked
down flat by her sister Dotty's dog, Eros -a 120 pound black Great
Dane usually aloof but clearly agitated by Jean's size and demeanor.
Jean was visiting San Miguel de Allende, where Dotty and her family
live. Eros pushed Jean down when she was taking a pre-lunch walk in
the garden, looking at flowers and enjoying the warm day and no doubt
invading Eros' turf.
I like the story for two reasons: it was a vintage Jean moment; when
I saw her laying flat on the grass, Eros fully in control, towering
above her, I immediately saw there was no danger. Nevertheless I was
relieved when Jean actually got up and said to no one in
particular: "It's OK; he knows I'm a cat". I also like it because I
had never seen her in action with an animal other than a cat. I was
impressed by how Jean emerged from the lawn battleground brushing off
the incident as if if it were the most normal thing for a giant dog
to attack an "obvious" target such as she.
I remember Jean had a great time on that year-end vacation in San
Miguel Allende. I enjoyed introducing her to that other side of the
family, which now included dogs. I don't know how she viewed that
other side, but I felt we had lots in common.
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