Irene Hizme, an Auschwitz survivor who suffers from multiple sclerosis crafts, hand-lettered cards
to benefit aging Holocaust victims.
In the basement of her Oceanside, L.I., home, next to a window and a hand-lettered “Patience” poster, Irene Hizme sits at a drawing board, creating works of intricate calligraphy and flower-filled branches.
A Czechoslovakia-born Holocaust survivor in her “early 70s” and retired biochemist/computer programmer, she spends much of her free time these days making thank-you notes and birthday cards. She does many of her works as a volunteer for The Blue Card, an organization that offers financial assistance to aging Holocaust survivors.
Nobody shops for shirtwaists anymore. Even those who favor women’s tailored blouses are unlikely to know their traditional name. The word shirtwaist still recalls the worst factory fire in the history of New York City, on March 11, 1911, at the Triangle Waist Factory, also known as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. That day, at least 146 workers died, most of them immigrant Jewish women, many jumping through the blazing windows to their deaths. The building, at the corner of Washington and Greene Streets in Greenwich Village, still stands.
They met in high school and became lifelong friends. For six years.
Carol Kestenbaum, from Bellmore, L.I., and Nicole Schiffman, from Merrick, L.I., — classmates at Kennedy High School in Merrick — were typical teenage friends, “talking together and shopping together and watching movies together,” said Laurie Fontana, a friend of the Kestenbaum family. They graduated together in 2005. “They went together to their senior prom.”