Letter to Rabbi Joshua Boettiger
Grreat Grandson of FDR
February 11, 2005
Dear Rabbi Boettiger,
I hope this letter finds you quite well. I recently read about you in the recent issue of the Jewish Week. Of course after reading your name and story in the newspaper, my wife suggested that I send you a copy of a speech that I had recently delivered on FDR and the Jewish Community. I have included a copy for your review.
I have been a collector of Roosevelt memorabilia for decades and have been lecturing on the Roosevelt’s and their era for a number of years. My wife and I belonged to Bet Am Shalom, a Reconstructionist Synagogue for 25 years when we lived in White Plains. Over the years I have studied the complex issue of FDR and the American Jewish community and I am convinced that FDR was a great and sincere friend of the Jewish people. I am presently a member of the Roosevelt Institute, and was the promulgator of the renewed FDR Birthday Ball that celebrated his birthday with the March of Dimes after an interregnum of 58 years.
My wife Linda and I would love to meet you and have you to our home. I have a very large FDR collection, and you may enjoy seeing how it is displayed. We live in Tarrytown, NY, and I can be reached at 914-524-8381 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Richard J. Garfunkel
Meeting Rabbi Boettiger at Friday Night Services
February 18, 2005
A funny thing happened on the way to the game. After seeing and visiting my mother and father, regarding her very recent 97th B-Day,(my father's pushing 101) we stopped off to scout restaurants in the Village of Hastings and Dobbs Ferry for our post mixed doubles tennis meal, that is scheduled for tonight. Well we found a small Chinese one that specialized in Pacific Rim cuisine and happily had a very decent and reasonable meal. We were also in Hastings to see if a small Reconstructionist Jewish Congregation (Havurah) was meeting in one Saint Matthews Church on Farragut Parkway. The essence of this odyssey was to meet the Rabbi, whom we had read about in the “Jewish Week.” His name is Joshua Boettiger, a great grandson of the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt. I had noticed, in the article about him, that he wished to learn more about FDR's involvement with the Jews during WWII. I had sent him my recent lecture on FDR and the Jewish Community, that can be found in http://www.richardjgarfunkel.com. Well we contributed our presence to the establishment of the minion, met the Rabbi, he's a handsome, tall young fellow of 32, and sat through and participated with the service.
It was quite a memorable meeting. He's anxious to see my FDR collection, one of the best private one's around, if I may say, and I did! He another one in a long line of Roosevelt's that I have met over the years. Unfortunately I didn't get to the game, but I intend to get to the finals.
Happy President's Day