Seattle Jewish community activists Alice and Art Siegel were honored last Friday for their long-standing involvement and contributions to the African-American Jewish Coalition for Justice, along with Thad and Lois Spratlen. The recognition came during the AAJCJ’s first annual appreciation lunch, held at the Rainier Club.
Fundraising for the minority scholarship fund, designed to benefit ethnic, racial and other minority students who commit to studying education or social services, is the current function of the small, all-volunteer organization, Art tells me. The AAJCJ was founded in 1993 to promote economic development in Seattle’s Central District as well as to rekindle the historic cooperation between the African-American and Jewish communities.
Over the years the organization has promoted economic and social justice through a variety of programs that include Passover freedom seders and the Black Scholars Project. There has also been a personal component, Art says. When the organization started, it fostered relationships between Jewish and African-American families, and many of those relationships continue today.
Most recently AAJCJ has been a strong participant in SaveDarfurWashingtonState Sudan relief program.
“I still hope,” says Siegel, “that there is a future for this little organization. I think it is our business to be more active and more effective.”
For more information about the AAJCJ, please visit their Web site at www.scn.org/aajcj/ or call Don Armstrong at 206-461-3240.
Spring is here, the tarp is off the diamond, and Sidney Stock is calling with an update on his grandson, Robert Stock. We’ve been following young Robert’s baseball career for the past few years in this column, but this year has brought a dramatic change: Robert, 17, decided to skip his senior year of high school and go straight to college last September. He is now the starting catcher for the University of Southern California Trojans.
Along with his parents Gregg and Randy, Robert spent the early part of his childhood in Issaquah and attended the SJCC preschool. He was up here last weekend, along with his team, playing a three-game stand against the Huskies (USC won two of the three games).
Sidney loves to talk about his grandchildren, but managed to let it slip that he and his wife, Jennifer, just retired from his long-time chiropractic practice.
“We have grandchildren in Hong Kong, Nebraska and Southern California, so we’ll spend a fair amount of time visiting,” he conjectures about his newfound leisure time. Other plans include, “sleeping in…walking around in our pajamas and finding out what it means not to be tied to a schedule.
“I’ve been working since I was 7,” adds the Bellevue resident who started out selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door in Vancouver, B.C. He remembers going around his neighborhood in the dark and cold, enduring repeated rejection. “People couldn’t afford the nickel it cost.”
Sidney has a few book ideas up his sleeve, including a memoir about “growing up as a working class Jew in [an] overwhelmingly Christian Canada and U.S.”
He’d also like to write about civil rights and separation of Church and State, an area in which he’s had some personal experience, having challenged the City of Bellevue over its official Christmas tree a couple of years ago.
The Stocks are also enjoying the fact that Robert’s younger brother, Richard Stock, is an up-and-coming star on the Agoura High School baseball team. Like Robert, he hopes to play professionally someday.
Issaquah native Alex Rosenstein joined Windermere Real Estate last month.
“I love it,” she says of her new position, where she is putting her marketing background to good use. Alex has a degree in Communications, with a focus on journalism and marketing, from the UW. She cut her teeth in the marketing and Young Leadership divisions of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and on the sales team at Warm 106.9-FM.
Alex has also been, for many years, a producer in a family fundraising project, “Christmas in the Northwest.” This annual music CD raises money for Children’s Hospital where Alex was treated as a toddler for a serious case of E. coli.
Following her recovery, her family wanted to do something to benefit the hospital, and since her parents, Steve and Debbie Lawson, had a recording studio, music seemed a natural choice. The CDs highlight new and emerging Northwest talent, but local big names like Kenny G and Heart have also contributed. Over $600,000 has been raised over the past 10 years.
A long-time member of B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, Rosenstein now serves as chair of the BBYO adult commission, which raises money for BBYO programs. (An Evergreen region alumni reunion is coming up on May 5 at Studio 116 on Queen Anne in Seattle. All BBYO alum are welcome. Contact Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.)
Alex still lives in Issaquah along with her husband, Dan, their two cats and a golden doodle named Cooper. Alex specializes in residential real estate in the Issaquah area and is especially interested in working with first-time buyers.