We are here tanite to onna a kid by the monika of Ralphie from da Bronx.
Ralphi and me, we met in da late 50’s at Hillel at City College of New York (CCNY). I don remember what
street Ralhie lived on but it don make a diff as dey were all de same.
We had lots of peoples that all lived dere on da same block. Back den when evreyone wasnt so super
uptight we had different names for all da groups. But tonight, in respect of da event, I will say dey were
Italians, Irish, Jews, Germans and maybe a couple of others.
As a side bar CCNY used to be a good college where you had to have some smarts to get in. Also in da
50’s, after da big war, lots of Jewish kids who ended up in NY went dere. Da campus use to be a
catholic convent. So we called CCNY Catholic College Now Yiddish.
What Ralphie was doin at Hillel who the heck knos. It aint like Ralphie never saw the inside of a shule. He
travelled all over da world and went to a lot of shules. Mostly cause he liked the architecture. It wasn’t
like he was looking for a minyan to davin scharit.
It aint like Ralphie didn’t care about being Jewish. If someone was dumb enough to do sumptin to a Jew
Ralhie wudda knocked their head off. Ralphie and me, we had plans about what we would do if anything
like Hitler happened here in da USA.
Who wudda thought that a kid named Ralphie from da Bronx would move to La La land. He meets this
blond LA girl and calls me and says she speaka de real English. Ralphie tells me that he is going to have
to learn to speak da real English.
And the rest is history. Ralphie finishes art school, marries the girl, has three kids and lots of grandkids.
Along the way Ralph goes into business and becomes very Californian.
Ralph changes his name from Lacher unofficially to LaCher. The business are generally successful.
Ralph then goes on his 1 st trip to Israel with JMI and his son in law Jeff. The trip is a life changing event.
Ralph’s connection to Judaism blossomed as a result of the first and additional trips to Israel with this
great bunch of new friends at JMI.
It’s not like Ralph is going to be going to shul 3 times a day. Or on the other hand who knows?
For 63 years Ralph has been a great friend. Actually more like a brother.
We have gone through simchas and tzuras. Good business deals and not so good business deals. All on a
hand shake. I would trust Ralph with my life.
AISH is lucky to have Ralph and Jackie as supporters. And, as Tevya says in Fiddler, on the other hand
Ralph and Jackie are lucky to have AISH in their lives.
We love you, Donna and Paul Vann