Fox Point retiree Cary Silverstein grew up in Jewish Queens, New York. If his bubby and zaide didn’t want him to understand their conversation, they’d speak in Yiddish. Once they realized he could make out a word or two, they switched to Russian.
The fond memories have led to a book, “The Mayor of Jackson Heights: Growing up Jewish in New York in the 1950s.” This October, Silverstein published the memoir 15 years in the making. It’s available at Amazon.com.
Since his childhood in New York, he relocated to Milwaukee in 1978 to advance his career in retail management. Since then, he earned a certificate from Marquette University, taught graduate school at several Wisconsin institutions, and has written close to two hundred articles for BizTimes Milwaukee, a business news and analysis publication.
According to Silverstein, writing the memoir was a journey. It began in 2005 when he started work on the manuscript but had to put it aside for several years until he found the papers on his desk two years ago, still held together by an alligator clip.
More than anything, the book is a gift to his 15-year-old granddaughter. Silverstein hopes the memoir will offer her a complete family history.
Silverstein is an active member of the Milwaukee Jewish community. In the 2000s, he was the treasurer for the Wisconsin Society for Jewish Learning. He also serves on the board for his synagogue in River Hills, Congregation Emanu-El B’Ne Jeshurun, and in the past has served on the board for the Steve & Shari Sadek Family Camp Interlaken JCC in Eagle River.