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June 13, 2014
 

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PAGE 8A fami y HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 13, 2014 Lou and Helen Showstack, second and third from right, attending the 1973 By Hillel Kuttler Showstack but came up empty. Unable to locate his BALTIMORE (JTA)-While relative during his stay, he visiting Israelin 2009 towatch gave up. his son Bruce coach the U.S. In March, Pearl mentioned basketball team to the gold the search to "Seeking Kin." medal at the Maccabiah Aretiree livingwith hiswife, Games, Bernie Pearl perused Barbara, in Boynton Beach, local phone books. Fla., Pearl, 80, still hoped to He spent an hour calling find his third cousin, Gerry people with the last name Stowstack. He knew Show- J maSef str/n Amabel Estrin, daugh- ter of Karen and Mark Estrin of Maitland, will be called to the Torah as a bat mitzvah at Congregation Beth Am in Longwood on June 20 & 21, 2014. Amabel just completed seventh grade at Maitland Middle School where she is a member of the Maitland Middle School Symphony and recently performed in New York; the school news crew, which placed high in a national competition; and plays viola in the school orchestra. Her hobbies and interests include playing volleyball, water sports, reading and science. Sharing in the family's simcha will be Amabel's brother, Bob, and sister, Abby; her aunt and uncle, Linda and Eric Estrin, and cousins, Adam and Robin of California; cousins Jane Rubin, Ken and Meryl Rubin and their children, Sarah and Matthew, all of New York. Bernie Pearl bar mitzvah of Bruce Pearl near Boston. stack was younger than Bruce and had red hair. He also knew he had two sisters and had taught at the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa after making aliyah from their native Boston. "Seeking Kin" pursued the Technion lead with con- tacts there. Oren Kaplan, a Maryland native who works in the library, checked an employee directory but didn't find Showstack's name. How- ever, he did see a telephone listing: Showstack resided in Omer, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Beersheva. Turns outhe's lived in Israel since 1982 -- precisely the time frame Pearl remembered -- and is the father of four, with a first grandchild due this fall. For the past decade, By Cnaan Liphshiz A game ofmahjong anyone? (JTA)--It was the threat that European authorities dreaded--and Europe's Jews suffered the first blow. The suspect arrested in the attack last month at the Jewish museum in Brussels that left four dead was a French-born jihadistwho had Shown here are friends playing mahjong while celebrating the 97th birthday of May Gitles (center) Mrs. Gitles enjoys the company of these Jewish Pavilion volunteers, each week along with the strategies and enjoyment of a game of mahjong. For the people living in senior living communities, a game of mahjong may not be so easy to come by. Volunteers are welcome to join in this game and others in Maitland, Altamonte Springs and Sanford. Call the office at 407- 678-9363 for more in formation on where a game is taking place. Showstack told"Seeking Kin," he has worked for nonprofit organizations to develop their branding and fundraise. He had taught sociology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. But Showstack, who at 66 is actually 12 years older than Bruce Pearl, said he had never been affiliated with the Tech- nion or even lived in Haifa. In fact, Showstack esti- mated that he has not seen Bernie Pearl's branch of the family in 50 years. Knowing he was the object ofthesearch is interesting, and "it's nice to maintain a family connec- tion," he said, but"I'm not sure it has real meaning." The branches had been close, but ties frayed with the passage of time. Pearl recalled thathis father's extended fam- that happenedwith much less ily, all living in and around frequency; in mykids'genera- Boston, had held monthly tion, interacting frequently, get-togethers on Friday nights unfortunately, has become at the homes of rotating hosts more the exception than the - a "cousins' circle." rule." Among the participants Pearl said he would like to were Showstack's parents help improve the situation. -- Louis, a lawyer, and Helen, Asked why he had tried in who worked at the Home 2009 to locate Showstack, he Savings Bank. Also, Pearl's answered, "I like family. It's father, JackPearlmutter (Ber- important to know family." nie shortened the surname Ifhe'duncoveredhis cousin many decades ago), an im- during that Israel visit, "I migrant from the formerwould've given him a hug and Austro-Hungarian Empirea kiss and told him I remem- who worked as a peddler and bered his parents," he said. later a plumber, who was the Speaking by telephone second cousin of Helen.from Knoxville, Tenn., where Pearl said the Showstacks he had just attended the attended his bar mitzvah and high school graduation of his wedding, both at the Aperion grandson Michael, Pearl said, Plaza, ahallonRoxbury'sWar- "Family is my life. I get emo- ren Avenue popular among tionaljust thinking about it." Jewish families. They also Headded, speakingofShow- attended Bruce's bar mitzvah, stack,"It'sagoodfeelingknow- Neither Showstack nor ingthere issomeone I knewa Pearl could pinpoint their longtimeagowho'sstillfamily precise connection, only that andstill there. I thinkit'd make itwasthroughtheir respective Lou and Helen, wherever they grandfathers, Sam and Louis are, happy and smile that we Pearlmutter. remember each other." Bothsaidthatwhile they've Please email Hillel Kuttler been strangers for several at seekingkin@jta.org if you generations, being in touch would like "Seeking Kin" to and even meeting would be write about your search for welcome, long-lost relatives and friends. "There's some value in Please include the principal knowing family history and facts and your contact in- staying connected," Show- formation in a brief email. stack said. "Seeking Kin" is sponsored "As achild, I remember sed- by Bryna Shuchat and Joshua ers where there were several Landes and family in loving tens of [relatives] on that side. memory of their mother and It was a family circle, and my grandmother, Miriam Shu- family generally got together chat, a lifelong uniter of the frequently. In my generation, Jewish people. returned home from fighting only way to prevent attacks terroristattacksintheirhome in Syria. like the one in Brussels." countries. Now European Jewish in- On Friday, police in Mar- French Prime Minister stitutions are left to reckon seille arrested Mehdi Nem- Manuel Vails said in January with the danger of European mouche,29,onsuspicionthat that the threat of jihadists jihadists coming home from he carried out the May 24 at- returning to Europe is "the Syria with deadly new skills, tack at the Jewish Museum of greatest danger that we must extremist fervor and mali- Belgium. Frenchpolice found face in the coming years." He cious intentions, an assault rifle, handgun and added, "It's a phenomenon of "There has been a change a small video camerain Nem- unprecedented size." and it requires us to fun- mouche's bag. Ghozlan has called on his damentally reconsider the Nemmouche, who was governmenttorevoketheciti- degree of threat posed to bornon France's border with zenship not only of jihadists Jewish targets not only in Belgium, is believed to have who leave to fight but also of France, but across Europe," traveledviaBrusselsin2012to their families. said Sammy Ghozlan, a fight withjihadists in Syria's "Our synagogues and French former police officer civil war. Western intelligence schools already resemble and president ofthe National agencies have feared that fortresses," he said. "It's Bureau for Vigilance Against European Muslims fighting in anti-Semitism. "That is the Syriawill return and commit Brussels on page 9A Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images Relatives and family members mourning in Tel Aviv during the funeral for Emanuel and Miriam Riva, the Israeli couple killed in the May 24 shooting attack at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels, May 27, 2014.