Jerry Pinsker is Menorah's honoree at Saturday night's Bialywood: From Bombay to Boulder. BJN thought that readers might be interested in knowing a little more about Boulder's Man for All Reasons.

4 Questions for Jerry Pinsker

Jerry Pinsker is Menorah’s honoree at Saturday night’s Bialywood: From Bombay to Boulder.  BJN thought that readers might be interested in knowing a little more about Boulder’s Man for All Reasons.

Where did you take Marilyn on your first date?

Marilyn and I were a blind date set up by a friend who is now in Congress representing parts of the Bronx, Westchester and Rockland counties in New York.  We went to see Midnight Cowboy at the Lido theater on Fordham Road in the west Bronx.  I had been on 3 dates during that time and all of them were to see Midnight Cowboy.  My date with Marilyn was the last time I saw that film.  We almost didn’t have a third date when on the second she wouldn’t go to Chinatown because her mom had cooked dinner.

What brought you to Boulder in the first place (and when)?

Teaching 5 years in the South Bronx brought us to Colorado (Boulder).  I taught in a neighborhood called Fort Apache (they made a film of that title staring Paul Newman).  The first school I taught at closed after I was there for 3 years because it was the only building still standing, all the tenements had been burnt down.  I will say the kids did try to burn down the school but cinder block does not burn well.  They did manage to burn down the EL station. Our apartment in New York had no air conditioning, so we used to leave a day or so after the start of summer break and didn’t return until a day or two before classes resumed.  We would travel cross country.  We fell in love with Boulder and decided to take a chance and moved out here the summer of 1976.  It wasn’t easy as both our families were still in New York.  I was able to get a teaching job in Aurora and was constantly asked how I could work in Aurora and live in Boulder.  My reaction used to be, hey 40 miles, 40 minutes and no tolls, I used to go 15 miles in 1 1/2 hours and had to pay $3 each way for the privilege.

Where do you get the energy?

Well, you don’t spend 31 years in a middle school classroom without figuring out how to get energy!  Of course since I retired I do get more sleep (not getting up at 5 am).   To me, energy comes from doing things that you enjoy and that is what I am currently doing.  Also there is a lot of truth in the power of 20 – 30 minute afternoon power naps.  The Mediterranean community has it right with a siesta.

You’re Mr. Fixit at the Boulder JCC.  What most needs fixing in our community right now?

The Boulder Jewish community is incredible.  It is so connected.  I was very disappointed in the Denver community during the time I worked for ADL in Denver.  It seemed to me that each segment of the community was in its own silo.  I don’t see that in Boulder.  Each segment of the community is willing to talk to the other and better yet, celebrate and help each other.  I feel that we still need to do a better job of making the mixed marriage community feel more welcome.  I see this among the preschool families.  A large percentage are mixed marriage and they are rarely connected outside of the JCC.   Of course being the fixit guy at the JCC I can tell you that what needs fixin’ is the JCC by getting that new building built and that will not happen until we get the funds committed.

Thanks, Jerry! See you on Saturday night at Bialywood!

About Staff

They call me "NewsHound IV," because I'm a clever Finnegan, sniffing out stories all over the Boulder area. I love Jewish holidays because the food is GREAT, especially the brisket. Well all the food. I was a rescue pup and glad to be on the scent!

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