some of mine too – a full ancestry genealogy is the last in this photo album
Left to right at Sue’s shower: Grandma Freda Belford, (standing) Sadie
Scheer Roth (Sue’s grandma), Roz
Auerbach (Sue’s ma), (standing) Bobbie Heller Polinsky (my sister), Sue Auerbach Heller (my wife), Jeanne Heller Polinsky (my mother
married my sister’s husband’s father).
My mother, Jeanne Bernstein Heller Polinsky,
has related family strains of Bernstein, Roth, Goldstein and Reitman.
My father Hoyt Bernard Heller changed his name
Bernie Heller, his maternal side includes Belford (my grandmother’s
maiden name), Fish, Berger, and Abrams.
Sadie Panzer married a Scheer; her daughter Roz married Herman
Auerbach. Sadie, widowed,
married a Roth who was no relation to the strain of Roth on my mother’s side.
Left picture: Grandma Freda Belford Heller, Sue
Auerbach Heller, mom Jeanne Heller Polinsky.
Right picture: Sadie Panzer Scheer Roth with her two
grandchildren, Marc Auerbach and Sue Auerbach Heller.
God knows the names of my Dad’s paternal side because my
grandfather Albert Heller was Christian and converted to Judaism at age
twenty-four, circumcised too. His
alleged German Swiss and Mennonite background was kept a secret by my mother
Jeanne and her sister-in-law Jeanne who was married to Ralph, Bernie’s younger
I only learned about this secret at age twenty-five, made my
first research foray into northeastern Pennsylvania at age fifty-eight – explored
Hellertown, Allentown, Bethlehem, Saylortown, Penn Argyll to search for my
roots. I expect to return for
another research trip after the DNA ancestry search to fill in current
Right picture: My nephew Craig Polinsky and fiancée
Tara Levene at their engagement party.
Left picture: Sister Bobbie Heller Polinsky, her
sister-in-law Paula and brother-in-law Murray Polinsky, my brother-in-law
Arnold’s brother at Craig and Tara’s party. Paula, a nice lady who loved her family, passed away from
cancer recently. She is
Left picture: First cousin Ivan
Heller and wife Gail Heller. Right picture: Their son Jared, age six, twenty
Left to right below: At Brett
Polinsky’s Bar Mitzvah; Ivan Heller, Arnold Heller, Sasha Heller, Sue Heller,
Linda Belford and Carole Belford Hannauer. Linda married first cousin Larry Belford, who is not
pictured. Carole was Larry’s
sister and Linda’s sister-in-law.
Cancer would claim Ivan, Sue, and Carole.
Left picture: Reitman women family
line; sitting – Doris Reitman married Morris Reitman, Barbara Reitman married
Irving Reitman; standing – Francie Reitman Solisch married Herbie Solisch,
Harriet Reitman married Seymour Reitman.
Right picture: Lisa Auerbach at 1979
Chuck Mangione concert in Berkely, CA.
Lisa, married to Marc Auerbach, Sue’s brother, is holding her daughter
Maggie, now age 39 and mother of Talulu and wife of Paul Bolstad.
I have made five trips to
Israel – 1976 family tour and driving trip; 1998 North Atlanta High student
exchange with Ostrovsky High School of Ra’anana; 2000 Mayoral Twinning
Delegation to Ra’anana; 2010 Ra’anana visit and national driving tour; 2015
Mayoral Cybersecurity Mission to Tel Aviv and Ra’anana.
On each trip I usually
visited with Moshe and Chaya Ilani of Holon. Sue’s great-uncle was a respected architect and a creative
photographer and Chaya made the
world’s best gefilte fish. We are
pictured on a hill in a park overlooking Old Jaffa – the Tel Aviv skyline can
be seen through the clouds. Chaya
passed in 2012, Moshe passed last year so I was fortunate to see him one last
time in 2015. He was suffering
from dementia but smiled knowingly at me.
For more on the Panzer
family, access www.arnoldheller.org/social-studies/my-panzer-family-in-israel-web-page.html.
Capetown, South Africa family branch
on Herman Auerbach side: Shap, Richfield, Kreiner.
Sue and I had always dreamed
of visiting beautiful South Africa and finally did so in 2006. We stayed with Rosalie (not pictured)
and Julian Richfield (sitting), Claire, his daughter standing behind him and
flanked by Sue and I. Julian
worked in public relations and marketing in Capetown for most of his career and
recently began a wine, food, and culture blog. Claire is a talented baker and chef and Rosalie worked in
the University of Capetown’s administrative office.
Benjamin Shap, Rosalie’s
grandfather, left Lithuania for Johannesburg in 1922 via a two year stay with
the Auerbach clan in Brooklyn.
Rosalie’s father Jack managed a general store for a black township – he
was also the postmaster, banker, and a kind of mayor. Most South African Jews immigrated from Lithuania and are
Orthodox in their practice.
My sister Bobbie’s best
friend for sixty years has been Bobbie Pollack of Springfield, NJ who is a
quasi-sister to me. She is
pictured with her daughter Gerilyn Gerry Goldman
of Portland, Maine and who once lived in Atlanta for a few years in the 1980’s with her husband Mitch
Goldman. Steve Pollack, Gerry’s
dad, died of a heart attack when she was a child, her brother Jeff an infant. Bobbie has been a highly successful
Special Ed educator and college counselor. They have become part of our extended family.
Left picture: Bobbie Pollack and
Right picture: Sue with Dale Camhi in
1979 in Atlanta
Another example of extended
family is Dale Camhi and her husband Stan and family. We met after Sue and I moved to Atlanta – Stan was
graduating from Emory Law. They
moved to Washington, then on to Long Island. Sue and Dale remained close over the years and when I am up
north I try to make it out to Long Island to see them.
Sue, Sash, me and niece Carrie
Polinsky at her Bat Mitzvah in New York.
Nephew Craig Polinsky with Sue and I
assisting the lighting of his Bar Mitzvah cake.
Sue and I – in our
thirty-eight years together – had many close friends that became surrogate
family; foremost in Atlanta are the Zandmans, Herschene and Joel Borrin and
their daughter Danielle, Bruce and Shelly Gaynes and their three chldren
Melanie, Jonathan, and Carlie.
Many more ‘surrogates’ will be presented in following albums.
The Heller – Polinsky clans
are the core of the family today.
Our primary means of keeping the family bond strong is an annual family
reunion for the past seven years in Boca and Plantation the last week of December.
Please go on to Photo Album 5
– Arnold & Sue Heller: Sasha’s Bar Mitzvah 1