I just reread Charles Bakst’s excellent article on growing up in Fall River, and would indeed be remiss if I didn’t add a few comments. After all, similar to Proust’s madeleine, his astute words brought back to life many good memories, akin to those of Mr. Bakst, as I, too, grew up in Fall River.
One of these vivid memories was attending a small, nondescript shul at the corner of Columbia Street, a few streets from downtown Fall River, when I was very young. Strange perhaps that I remember standing on a small stage in that building, when I was about 5 and, forgetting my lines in a play, I turned to my parents who could offer no help at all.
My father was born and grew up in Fall River. He attended the orthodox Pearl Street shul which Charlie mentions, and I recall the many times I, too, attended services with him where my mother was seated in the balcony above with the other women. None of those shuls exist any longer; in fact, the only synagogue that still exists in Fall River is Temple Beth El.
Thanks and kudos, Charlie, for detailing such a rich and vivid apercu of local, Jewish history.
Mel Yoken, Ph.D.
New Bedford, MA