Perth Amboy Jewish History Book Authors Offer Trivia Challenge

PERTH AMBOY — Having completed the collection phase of material for the Perth Amboy Jewish history book, best-selling author Robert Spector (author of The Mom and Pop Store — a history of mom and pop businesses in America inspired by his childhood at his family’s Perth Amboy butcher shop), is now organizing and writing the book.  A team of researchers and interviewers conducted outreach to those who were part of the vibrant Jewish community in Perth Amboy for personal interviews, photo acquisitions, and fundraising.

The project has been in progress for several years, and the wealth of information that was gathered has inspired the addition of a Perth Amboy Jewish Community trivia chapter.  Author Robert Spector remarked “As I’ve been reviewing the interview transcripts, I have been so impressed with the quality of the family stories, individual accomplishments, and especially the warmth and congeniality that defined the Jewish community in Perth Amboy.”  He added, “I think there’s an abundance of anecdotal material for a chapter devoted to trivia.”


To provide examples of the types of interesting, quirky, and humorous stories and events that are sought for this new chapter, the book project team is providing the following three-question trivia contest and is offering a copy of the book as a prize to the first person who answers all three questions correctly:

  1. When Max D. Davidson was rabbi at Congregation Beth El in Asbury Park between 1922 and 1928, what was his other “moonlighting” job?
  2. When Hirsch L. Chazin was cantor at Congregation Shaarey Tefiloh between 1920 and 1975, what were his three other “moonlighting” jobs?
  3. Who was the toastmaster of the dinner program for Congregation Beth Israel’s 75th Anniversary in 1965?

Answers to these questions should be sent to the project team, and the team especially requests and welcomes any and all Perth Amboy Jewish community trivia that readers would like to share for possible publication in the book.

The book is expected to be available in December 2011 (Kislev 5772), and plans for the marketing, distribution and launch are currently being devised.  The project team seeks volunteers willing to help with the planning and implementing of book distribution.

In addition, fundraising continues and the project offers a number of opportunities for financial contributions to Friends of Perth Amboy Jewish History Inc. – a 501(c)(3) organization — including Family Tribute pages, quarter-page commemorations, premiere sponsorships, and more.

Dr. Mona Shangold, a founding member of the project team, observed “Family Tribute Pages have not only helped to fund this project but have also enabled many families to come together in a very special way — gathering material and photographs for a family tribute has provided them with a unique opportunity to share common experiences and work together as a family to honor their common ancestors.”  She added, “Older family members have noted that it has helped them share with younger family members the magic of growing up in the Perth Amboy Jewish community.”

For more information on how to become involved in this project and for trivia submissions — or to submit answers to the trivia contest above, contact Marilyn Millet Goldberg: or call 1-609-655-2351.  You can also write to Dr. Mona Shangold or Jane Sanders Leal at Friends of Perth Amboy Jewish History Inc., P.O. Box 184, Edison, NJ 08818.  If you would like to be added to the project mailing list (USPS and/or e-mail), send your address.

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