December 12, 1993

Dear Ticktin Family Member,

             It is now a few months since the first Ticktin Family Reunion was held here in Los Angeles over the recent Labor Day Weekend - Saturday, September 4th and Sunday, September 5th - and I am happy to report that it seems like everyone had a terrific time.

    103 relatives showed up for the dinner and picnic and it was a great success by all accounts.  The ages spread from the oldest, Rohama Lee at 88 and her sister Gittel Labovitz at 86, to Gittel's great-granddaughter Hannah Seligman at four months, with everyone in between.  The families that traveled the greatest distance to come were Zev and Ruth Kossin and Gloria, Ancil and Shira Zeitak, all from Israel.  Virtually every branch of the tree was represented by at least a couple of people, with the Lewis/Siegel and Kossin families having the largest clans there.

            People started to gather and run into each other early on Saturday at the Ma Maison Hotel where most of the out-of-towners were staying.  Standing in the spacious Mediterranean-style lobby, you could hear screams of recognition as families who hadn't seen each other in ages were starting to reunite.  Hanging out with my mother, Carol Cleveland, one of the "Kossin twins", was a great magnet since she had grown up with many of the people who were only vaguely remembered faces for me.  I kept hitting her and saying "There's a cousin!" every time someone walked by who looked familiar.  Of course, they all knew her and came running right over.  Hugs and kisses abounded.

            The dinner, held at Panecaldo Bistrot, an Italian restaurant in the design district of West Hollywood with a lovely view of the Hollywood Hills and a spectacular sunset that evening, opened the festivities and officially welcomed everyone, beginning with introductions and champagne cocktails.  Ticktin Family Reunion canvas bags containing name tags, an updated family tree and address book, a list of participants, and the reunion t-shirts were distributed.  The colorful logo for the bags and t-shirts, based on a Giacometti image and representing people gathering from all over the world, was designed by my boyfriend, Alberto Prospero.  Everyone was requested to sign the mounted family tree and the guest book.  There were no complaints on the delicious meal.  Cameras were out and we had a documentary filmmaker covering the event with a video camera.

            In addition to most relatives meeting each other for the first time, there were family members who hadn't seen each other for over fifty or sixty years.  I saw Sarah Fay Silverstein talking to Rohama Lee.  The last time they saw each other was when Sarah Fay was an infant.  Zev Kossin wrote me later that he had somehow immediately recognized his second cousin Rivie Gurau, both of them now in their sixties, even though they hadn't seen each other since they were children.  Hopefully some of the younger children who were there won't have to wait as long the next time to see some of their relatives again.

            After dinner everyone reconvened in the hotel lobby for a couple of hours, passing around photos and albums, reminiscing and sharing old stories.  No one wanted to go to bed since the excitement of being together was keeping everyone in high spirits.

            The next day we all met at the secluded woodsy Crestwood Hills Park in Brentwood from noon til six.  The weather was sunny and mild.  More reminiscing and pouring over photos, softball games and frisbees, children everywhere, plenty of picnic food and trying to assemble everyone for the group photo were the events that kept everyone busy.  There seemed to be more catching up with what people were doing with their lives since last heard from and hearing news on relatives who weren't able to attend.  The filmmakers were trying to capture as many people as possible on video and there are some wonderful, funny and touching stories that everyone should hear.

            Later, back at the hotel, people started to say their goodbyes.  Everyone was saying that they couldn't wait for the next reunion, with Toronto and Philadelphia relatives volunteering to coordinate it.  There were many votes for having it on the east coast the next time around since so much of the family is based there.  Let us know, we look forward to it.

            To recapture some of the glow of the weekend, I am including in this letter copies of the articles about the party that appeared in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal thanks to my cousin Leslie Friedman, and a nice 5"x7" group photo with a list of who's who.  While I think I know who everyone was, we were a lot of new faces so if I got anyone wrong, please let me know right away.

            Although not everyone who wanted to was able to attend the reunion, I received numerous calls and notes of well wishes hoping that everyone would have a good time.  Unfortunately, none of the relatives in London, South Africa or Australia were able to make it but they sent their best.  In particular, both Vernon Katz in Sydney, Australia, and Paul Wershof in London have requested that anyone coming their way, please look them up.

            We are in the process of editing the video, trying to whittle eight fascinating hours down to one truly memorable one.  We intend to include everyone who was there as well as making it interesting to those who weren't.  Even if you didn't attend the reunion but would like to see some familiar faces, meet new relatives, hear firsthand some of the family anecdotes, see some of the old photos which you have never seen, and know more about your family and background in general, this should be a tape you will enjoy. 

            We hope to have the video completed and ready for shipping by the end of February or early March and will start taking orders now.  Because of the expense of the filming, editing, duplicating and shipping, we are asking for what I hope is a reasonable amount for this commemorative, once-in-a-lifetime video.  An order form is included in this letter.   TECHNICAL NOTE:  If you live outside of North America (U.S. and Canada), you will not be able to play this tape unless you have a tri-standard machine.  It will be an NTSC, not PAL, tape.

            In the coming year, I hope to catalogue all the names on the tree on a special computer program so that we can register the family with the Diaspora Museum in Israel and the Mormon Temple which also keeps lists of family trees, as well as any other suitable place.  Since each name has to be individually logged and there are a couple thousand names since spouses also have to be logged separately, this will take a long time to complete. 

            Please continue to keep me abreast of all family announcements and change of addresses.  FYI, the address book is currently holding over 180 names and continues to grow as more relatives let me know they want to be included.  If you know of anyone who is not on the list but would like copies of the newsletter, send me their address and phone number.  This especially includes grown children no longer living at home.

            It was wonderful to meet so many of you this year, and I look forward to continuing to get to know more of you in the future.  Happy holiday season to everyone and best wishes and good health in the coming year. 

                                                                                    Warm regards,

                                                                                    Elyse Eisenberg


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