Each week, The Silver Summary will feature one alumnus from our rich alumni network.
East Brunswick, NJ
What years did you attend The Silver Academy?
September 1957-June 1962. We moved to Harrisburg from Pikesville, Maryland where I had attended public school through the third grade. I started fourth-grade in English studies and second grade in Jewish/Hebrew studies. Already tall -- even though I was only eight years old -- I recall sitting in the front of the second grade room feeling very out of place. But I made it to the fourth grade Jewish/Hebrew class toward the middle of the school year.
Where did you grow up in Harrisburg?
We started out briefly in the 2700 block of the Green Street apartments and then moved to 4020 Green Street where my parents lived until 1994. A great location to be a Jewish kid in the 50's and 60's I might add.
Where did you go to school after The Silver Academy?
Susquehanna Township public schools; Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster Pennsylvania; American University Law School for one year; Hebrew University School of Law in Jerusalem where I received my degree.
Bruce Dorbian, Irving Levin, Martin Raffel
Where do you live now?
East Brunswick, New Jersey.
What do you do?
I am senior VP of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, which is the Jewish community's umbrella/coordinating organization with 15 national and 125 local member agencies (JCRCs). My particular area of responsibility is Israel, world Jewry and international human rights.
What was your favorite class at The Silver Academy?
mmmmm. That's a tough one. It's been so long. Probably Jewish and general history, subjects I enjoy learning about to this day.
Who was your best friend at The Silver Academy?
I hung out with Bruce Dorbian a lot (even though he was a Yankees fan and my team was the rival Baltimore Orioles.) We would play wiffle ball home run derby in his back yard for hours on end.
What was your favorite school lunch?
How many times were you sent to the principal's office?
Surprisingly, more than people probably think. I was there at least two or three times, and I once was sent home from school. If anyone is interested in knowing the circumstances, please contact me :).
What was your favorite memory and/or do you have any funny stories about The Silver Academy?
I have many great memories, including seeing my dear aunt every day in school-Eleanor (Elkie) Koplovitz, z"l (although I was the only one of her nephews and niece not to be in her classroom). And I did my best to remember to call her Ms. Koplovitz, not Elkie. My brother was less successful, at least one time. I also recall fondly a debate Marion Frankston and I participated in as eighth graders against two seventh graders on the issue of nuclear testing in the atmosphere. Arthur Goldberg, z"l, came up to my parents afterwards and said that I would make a great lawyer someday, which, as you can imagine, gave them considerable nachas. In fact, I did go to law school-- in Israel -- and worked briefly as a lawyer, but shifted gears early on into the Jewish community relations/public affairs field.
What was your favorite thing to do at the JCC?
Basketball, hands down.
Who was your role model in Harrisburg?
In Harrisburg, and everywhere, my father Maurice (Maish) Raffel, z"l.