To view "full screen" place your mouse on the bottom of the screen and then click on box on the far right.
If, for any reason, you cannot play video, go to "Featured Links" and click on: "Current Slide Show."
Jan 29- Harold Edelstein in Berlin
Holocaust Remembrance Day is Jan. 27
This site is operated and funded by members of our class.
Class Administrator: Alex Cinamon
Page Hits: 106,760
Harvey Averne and the Grammys
This year the Grammy Award Ceremony will be held on January 28.
The Grammy Award, originally called the Gramophone Award, is an award presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievement in the music industry. The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held on May 4, 1959. The first Latin Grammys ceremony was held in Los Angeles on September 13, 2000 and our Harvey won the first that year and a second the following year.
At the age of ten, Harvey began violin lessons, which he hated. So he broke his violin, knowing that it was the only way that he would be allowed to stop.
His parents bought him an accordion, and much to his surprise, he had a natural talent for the instrument. Harvey recalls, "I started winning talent shows at the age of 12. The big accordion and little Harvey playing 'Lady of Spain' was a winning combination. At 13, I was already playing sweet sixteen parties, weddings and Bar Mitzvahs. The following year I started to work away from home during the summers, at the Catskill Mountains. Harvey’s career in music was underway.
He took a liking to Latin music and assembled a group called Harvito and his Latin Rhythms, playing the hotels, as well as a residency at the Boulevard nightclub at Rego Park in Queens. The group worked constantly, playing hotels, resorts and dances at the mecca of Latin music - the Palladium.
The band's Palladium debut was alongside Tito Puente, whose songbook and arrangements were a prime source for the Arvito band. Harvey was extremely nervous. He asked Puente about the many tunes that he had copied from him. A generous man, Puente told him not to worry. "I have a lot of songs," he said. "Just tell me which ones you are going to perform, and I won't play those tonight." "We became great friends," recalls Harvey. "He remained a mentor throughout my career.”
Eventually, Harvey formed his own record company and in 1972 signed the iconic artist Eddie Palmieri to his label, producing and mixing two of Palmieri’s groundbreaking albums; “Sentido” and “Sun Of Latin Music”. These recordings were considered radical departures from the type of dance-oriented music that had prevailed during the previous two decades. The latter album earned Palmieri, Averne and CoCo the first Grammy ever awarded to an artist in the newly created “Latin Music” category (1975)
The following year (1976), Averne produced and mixed a third Eddie Palmieri album (“Unfinished Masterpiece”), which also won the coveted Grammy award.
Harvey was honored by the NYC Council for his contribution to harmony in the city.
Prospect Park is Now Car-Free!
As of Jan. 3, Prospect Park is officially and permanently car-free, the culmination of 50 years of advocacy.
"A great new year’s gift that recognizes the special place the park holds for so many Brooklyn families,”
After an eight-week trial last summer, this morning marked the first workday where the whole loop was off-limits to private cars on a permanent basis.
The first step toward a car-free Prospect Park came in 1967, when the city first prohibited motor vehicle access on the weekends.
80th Birthday Bash
Russo's On The Bay
After a year of planning and cajoling, our Birthday Bash is now in the history books. A total of 46 people attended. You can view a list of all who attended in the Class News section below.
Awards were given to people who have helped make our past reunions a success, namely, Bob Bruno, Myles Seitz, Bob Davidson, Ruth (Yablonsky) Becker, Eileen (Kesden) Reinish, Charlie and Rosalind Berger, and Phyllis (Hoffman)Miller. An award will be mailed to Doreen (Deutsch) Spungin who was unable to attend.
An award was also presented to Stuart Rothstein, the Director of the TJHS Alumni Association, who has always underwritten our gatherings and provided the Jeff banner to be hung high in our hearts. He was also given a donation of $200 for the Alumni Association on behalf of the Class of '55.
Another expression of thanks to a grateful and humble classmate who takes great pleasure in keeping us all together.
The letter reads as follows:
Sometimes Thanks Is Not Enough
By Dd. Spungin
Al, the amazing
Loving and loyal
No one else would have kept us together
A job, many jobs, so well done
Making this group (for so many years) shine on
Officially speaking, our deepest thanks
Never to be forgotten—our Al Cinamon
And who would have dreamed, back in 1955 that we’d be still clinging to our beloved TJHS memories. Al, you grabbed the bull by whatever was available and created this amazing cluster of Brooklynites. Without your work, your vision, your dedication, we wouldn’t be here (or be wishing we were here) today.
You are a force to reckon with, and we reckon you have no equal when it comes to dreaming a dream and making it come true. From the quiet kid we all knew as Alex from Wyona Street to the single minded dynamo we know now, you’ve etched your image in our memories, even as you have almost single-handedly preserved our precious high school memories in our hearts.
No sometimes “Thanks” is not enough. How about, “Thanks and love, dear friend!” Stay well and enjoy the rest of the ride.
In addition to the framed letter, I was given a Yankee cap and enough money to buy a pair of Yankee tickets to a game of my choosing. Wow! Did I really deserve all that? These reunions were a labor of love for me. I never expected any compensation except for the pleasure of my classmates so many of whom have gone on to accomplish so many great things for our community and world.
At this time I would like to once again sing their praises.
With us at this Birthday Bash was none other than the January class president, Bob ”Butchie”Davidson A/K/A Davis, a great "tumler" who started as a social director in the Catskills, but since he liked being president, he went on to become the President and CEO of the Daytona Hotel and Motel Association, which represents over 100 hotels in the Daytona area.
Another tumler, who started in the Catskills, is Harvey "Arvito" Averne who went on to receive the first two Grammy awards ever presented for Latin music.
Also present was Jerry “Cookie” Wolkoff, a great real estate developer who is now in the midst of building a "city." Yes, a self-contained city called Heartland, in the Brentwood section of Long Island.
Barry Elbaum was also in attendance. As Chairman of the Dental Department at Monmouth Medical Center for 30 years, Dr. Elbaum was the recipient of the Pinnacle Award, the highest honor to be bestowed on a member of the dental profession
Bob "Nemo" Nemser, a Past President and Chairman of the Education Council of the Art Directors Club of New Jersey has received over 350 industry awards for his communication achievements including 5 Gold Medals from the Art Directors Club of NJ and the prestigious "Andy" award from the Advertising Club of New York. I think he started by drawing "hopscotch" boxes on the sidewalk.
It was my distinct honor to be sitting at their table; my compensation, you see.
Phyllis Hoffman Miller was seated at another She started as a reporter for a NJ weekly paper and then went on to become the editor of a large daily NJ newspaper. She recently received the Presidential Lifetime Award for volunteer service. (Of course, her greatest accomplishment is writing the reviews of our reunions. Stay tuned for the latest).
Sadly, many of our great classmates are already gone.
Alex Fefer, class president of the June class, was a member of the pioneering Seattle bone marrow transplant team that developed transplantation as a therapy for leukemia, and other blood cancers. His research spurred the development and testing of immune therapy of cancer in the ensuing decades. The bone marrow transplantation studies he led were the first to show that patients with chronic phase chronic myelogenous leukemia could be cured. He passed in 2011.
Emanuel "Manny" Axelrod served as Orange County, New York District Superintendent of Schools and Executive Officer of B.O.C.E.S. for nineteen years. During his tenure he significantly enhanced programs for children with special needs and for those in occupational education. he spearheaded the drive to build world class facilities on the B.O.C.E.S. campus in Goshen, NY Early in his superintendency, at the bidding of the commissioner of education, he served an integration order on the Newburgh City School District and courageously promoted its implementation. He passed in 2013
I believe our classmates have many more great accomplishments to achieve, so I pray that you all take care of yourselves and stay healthy. You have made me so proud to be part of the Class of '55
12/22/2017 How Old is Grandpa??
One evening a grandson was talking to his grandfather about current events. The grandson asked his grandfather what he thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just thin
. . .
12/14/2016 "What You Don't Know About Driving Can Get You Killed"
A expose of phony traffic laws and dangerous driving habits. Authored by Al Cinamon and available on Amazon.com It's a must read for anyone who drives or walks...especially new or learning
. . .
12/18/2014 Yearbooks Available On-Line
Both the January and June 1955 Jeff yearbooks are available online, thanks to Steven Lasky. They are searchable, and if interested, you can print out the entire yearbook. Images of the cove
. . .
I got married in 1957, had 3 children and got divorced in 1987.
I married my present husband in 1998. We retired and moved to the small Caribbean Island of Trinidad. The Island is most famous for its Carnival, Steel Pan music and the birth of the limbo. He is a citizen of Trinidad. We resided there for 9 years.
We moved to Florida in January of 2008 and are presently enjoying living in an active retirement community.
Family News Summary
Enter your Family News Item choosing from our pre-defined categories:
Anniversary, Award, Birth, Death, Diagnosis, Engagement, Graduation,
Lottery, Retirement, Vacation, Wedding, Other.
This class reunion website is a complementary
addition to your existing alumni resources. It is a product of
Classreport, Inc. and may not be affiliated with Thomas Jefferson High School or its alumni association.
Does your High School Class have a full-featured Alumni Website?Start One Now!
(Or start one for your Mother, Father, Sister,
Brother, Spouse, Son, Daughter, Friend . . .)
"Your site is amazing. Kudos to you and your staff. You have benefitted so many high school alumni in organizing their class reunions."
"Thanks to classreport.org our class website played a huge part in the success of our Reunion. We greatly appreciate your wonderful support."
"Thanks for all your hard work and ingenious spirit."
"Thanks guys, you are Good!!"
"I love your service and will continue to support you."
"We have been using the website for more than 10 years now. It's still the best website out there for classmates to meet, collect their info and advertise their reunions. Thanks for inventing it all!"
"Thank you for your assistance. It was very helpful. Looks good!"
"I am so grateful I found your website. It is especially wonderful for our classmates. I will spread the word!!"
"Our high school reunion was a great success and our site on ClassReport.Org was a HUGE help in that success! ClassReport.Org is by far the best platform on the Internet when it comes to high school reunions!"
"Thanks for all of your help and the great web site you have. We have a great response for our upccoming reunion events in September."
There are no fees required for participation on this site.
Please support this site with your voluntary contributions.
We cannot provide this service without your support. Thank You!
Please read Our Story