RHODA (Chickie) KAUFMAN
– A Very Popular Resident
WHAT WAS LIFE LIKE LIVING
IN A SMALL TOWN?
My Dad was an electrical contractor spe-cializing
in schools and hospitals. It was quite
unusual for a Jew to be able to get into the
electrical union at that time. People respected
his work and he became a mentor to many
young electricians and was a frequent adviser
As I look back, it was an ideal place to
grow up. Most people knew each other by
name and were very friendly. For example, I
was very close to a college roommate and our
parents got to know each other. Years later, her
parents were vacationing at the Nevele Hotel
in Ellenville and wanted to call my parents.
They couldn’t think of their last name. While
in a local bakery they asked the owner if she
knew a couple whose daughter was called
Chickie. Immediately, the owner gave them
my parent’s last name and directed them to
where they were.
HOW DID YOU GET THE
My brother was fifteen months older than
me. When they brought me home from the hos-pital
as a newborn, they introduced me to him.
Evidently he couldn’t pronounce “sister.” What
came out of his mouth sounded like “Chickie.”
The name stuck. Family members and friends
used it all the time.
While I was in college my Dad would send
me a check to use as spending money. In order
to cash the check we had to see a bank offi-cer
for identification and approval. On one
occasion my father wrote Chickie Levine as
the payee. When the officer saw that name he
was so intrigued and said, “You’ll never have
to pay a fee to cash your checks.”
WHERE DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL?
During my time in high school, children did
not go to summer camps. We all had paying
summer jobs. I was a bus girl one summer
and was promoted to waitress the following
summer at the Homowack Lodge, a popular
hotel. Another summer
I worked as a switch-board
operator at the
Tamarack Lodge. While
at Drexel University in
Philadelphia, I worked
summers at my broth-er’s
where I pumped gas.
In addition, I looked
under the hood and
checked the tires. At
first, it amazed the
customers to see a girl
I graduated from
Drexel with a BS degree
in Home Economics.
I was very active in
student activities. I
started to teach when
my youngest son was
in junior high school. At first I substituted in
three different school districts but later got
a permanent job in Westbury, ten years in
the junior high school and then ten years in
the high school. Before that I taught cooking
classes for small groups of adults in my home.
After preparing the food I demonstrated how
to serve it at a lovely luncheon table.
WHAT CAME NEXT?
My husband was a physician and I met
him through my high school geometry
teacher who was his brother. My marriage
to my husband was the BEST. When we
met it became a long distance romance as
he was a resident at Beth Israel Hospital
in Manhattan and I was at college in
Philadelphia. When he completed his
residency he enlisted in the Public Health
Service to pay back his medical school
commitment. At that time we had our first
child, Jeffrey, and we were sent to Lawton,
Oklahoma, to the Kiowah Indian Hospital.
That was quite an experience.
During our free time we did a lot of traveling
in that part of our country.
WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF YOUR FAMILY?
After Milt’s stint in Oklahoma we moved
to Rego Park where our daughter Barbara
was born and then our son, Howard. After
Howard’s birth we bought a home in Country
Estates, East Hills, Roslyn. Milt was chief of
anesthesia at what was then called Manhasset
Hospital and then was chief at Hempstead
General. He kept the position until his
Our son Jeffrey became a physician also. He
and his wife Jessie live in Burlington, Vermont.
Barbara works for a commercial management
company and is married to Daniel Harrigan.
Howard works for NYU Langone where he
is in charge of their Forest Hills group. He is
married to Lori. I am blessed with 11 grand-children
and 7 great grandchildren.
WHAT WERE SOME OF YOUR ACTIVITIES
IN YOUR COMMUNITY?
I was a den mother and then joined the board
of the Country Estates Civic Association. I was
also a board member of the Nassau County
Home Economics Teachers Association and
chaired the Coordinating Council of Parent
Associations of the Roslyn school district.
WHEN DID YOU MOVE TO NORTH SHORE
After my husband passed away I moved to
NST. That was 8 ½ years ago. I became active
almost immediately. Gloria Beck and I are
co-presidents of the NST Women’s Club and
helped it grow to 335 members. During the
summer months when Bobby Gould returns
from Florida we resume our positions of co-vice
presidents. I am one of the original members
of the NST Cultural Programs Committee and
help select programs from the 92 Street Y.
I love to bake and entertain. This virus has
made me feel so frustrated and isolated. My
mantra now is, “This too shall pass”. I hope
sooner than later.
When people ask me how I like living here,
my answer always is, “What is there not to
Chickie Kaufman was born and grew up
in Ellenville, NY, a town 100 miles north
of Queens if you drive along Route 17N.
Many readers who have been to the Catskill
Mountains are familiar with Ellenville. After
graduating from Drexel in Philadelphia, she
and her husband Milt lived in Oklahoma, Rego
Park and Roslyn before she came to North
Shore Towers as a widow. Almost immediately,
she joined many clubs here and assumed a
leadership role in her varied activities. She is
one of our most popular residents.
Milt and Chickie Kaufman
4 NORTH SHORE TOWERS COURIER ¢ June 2020