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Transcript of interview with Jerome Countess and Dorothy Eisenberg by Barbara Tabach, October 28, 2014






Interview with Jerry Countess and Dorothy Eisenberg by Barbara Tabach on October 28, 2014. Countess discusses his childhood and military life. He became involved in the United Jewish Appeal in Las Vegas and started the Jewish Reporter newspaper. Dorothy Eisenberg is also involved in the interview to discuss the Jewish Federation and the Jewish community.

Jerome Countess, known as Jerry to most, was born on December 22, 1920 in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in the borough's Jewish neighborhood, and he developed a reputation for being a skillful handball player and a great dancer. Though he was not allowed to enlist in the U.S. Coast Guard due to colorblindness, Jerry was eventually drafted into the army during World War II. With very minimal combat training, Jerry was sent to North Africa as an infantryman, and was later stationed in Italy. After three years of service, Jerry returned home and married his childhood sweetheart, Rachel, in 1945. Using the G.I. Bill, he enrolled at New York University to study writing, though he quit just shy of graduation as his wife was expecting. After briefly working in the television broadcasting industry, Jerry landed a job with the United Jewish Appeal. In 1975, following in his desire to move west, Jerry took the job of executive director of the Combined Jewish Appeal in Las Vegas, what would soon be renamed the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas. Under his leadership, the federation started the Jewish Family Service as well as The Jewish Reporter, a monthly publication to promote engagement of the Jewish community. Jerry served as the executive director of the federation for many years, serving at the pleasure of many board members and presidents, including the first female federation president, Dorothy Eisenberg.

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Jerome Countess oral history interview, 2014 October 28. OH-02177. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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Today is October 28, 2014. I am sitting in-is this Summerlin, Sun City...? Yes, Sun City Summerlin. In Mr. Countess' home. This is Barbara Tabach. My full name is Jerome D. Countess, C-O-U-N-T-E-S-S. Great. It's been the same name I've had all time, so I remember that. No aliases, huh? No aliases. That's great. What I'd like to first do is for you to tell me a little bit about your family ancestry. How far back can you remember where your relatives came from? I don't remember my father although I had seen him a few times. My father was the classic non-worker. Because of that my mother ultimately divorced him when I was three-years-old. I never saw him since-I saw him once or twice in between, but for nothing. I won't tell you some things about him. My mother worked in a garment factory. The job that she worked at was called looper. I don't know if you're familiar with it. No. When you have a sweater or sleeve, it has a neck. Those parts at the end of the sleeve are sewn on to the thing; they don't come when they're made. So they sit at a wheel that's about this round with needles all around the outside. The wheel will have either sixteen needles per inch or twenty inches beneath or twenty-eight. Her job was to take the piece of material that was made on the machine, fit it onto that thing-and it constantly went around-fit it on, then take, let's say, the neck piece, and fit it onto that thing, too. When it went around it was sewed on. At the far end, 1 when it came back, then it was already a sewed on thing. Then she did it with the sleeves. Some had hems done. I watched her do that, an exceedingly tedious job. I never figured out how come she didn't go blind doing that; looking at twenty needles to an inch all day long as they went around the wheel. Oh, my goodness, I can't imagine that. She was called a looper. And this was in the Garment District of New York City? This was in Midtown Manhattan where everybody we knew worked. The only people that didn't work there were dead. What kind of neighborhood did you grow up in? A tenement district, the Jewish ghetto. We didn't call it that. But the only people we knew in the area who were not Jewish usually were the janitors or the superintendents of the buildings. We all lived in these houses, three or four stories. The buildings touched each other. So there was no in between. If you wanted to go inside, you had to go down a flight of stairs, through a tunnel, and then you went into a center area. That's where the beggars and the others used to come, including musicians who would come about once a week-a violinist, two violinists or something-and they would play in the courtyard and people would throw down pennies, nickels, if they were lucky, dimes. Every week they came by as long as I can remember. Other people would come and sell fruit and food. Yes, not as much in that, in the tenement district. The food was more where they had more open spaces. We had no open spaces. It was just one wall of buildings from this end of the street to that end of the street. That's the only background I ever knew, the only houses I ever knew were lived in until I was late teenager. My wife lived in a distant area in Brooklyn and I used to go there by 2 bicycle. We went through an area like this, a similar area. You wouldn't know the schools. But several of the big schools that we wanted to go for high school, I couldn't get to because it was a block off the dividing line. Some of my other friends went there. So we went to different schools. I went to three high schools. I went to eight public schools. Why so many? I've never been asked that. I mentioned that this was the middle of the Depression. Nobody had any money. My mother moved every year. When she moved from one house to another, you got a month's free rent. So a lot of us did it. My mother was the only one working in the family. There was no other money. So saving a month's rent, which was not very high, was very important. So every year we moved. So I went to eight different public schools. So she was very clever. How many siblings did you have? Or was it just you? Yes. She was clever enough to dump my father. She was something that you did not hear of very often, somebody who divorced her husband when the child is three years old. You never heard of that. They lived with it. My father was a unique experience. My father's father was a general in the Turkish Army, but he was Jewish and nobody knew that. One day in his life, he decided he had enough. So he waited for pay day to come. When the pay was delivered to pay the troops, he took the pay day, he took his wife, he took his three children and they fled. To where did they flee? United States, New York City. They lived in the Bronx. I lived in Brooklyn. In the Bronx they lived-I don't know how well you know the city. There used to be a lot of elevated trains. Some of them came down and became trolley car lines. Beneath the elevated trains were what you mentioned, the pushcarts, a mile of them, two miles of them, one after another. My father had a pushcart. He never did a day's work with it. But he had two sons-three 3 sons who did that-no. His father had three additional sons. So every day they sold bananas or whatever thing they could get. My grandfather, the general, went to an adjacent little-I can't call it a restaurant. It was a place where guys hung out, and six of them would gather around a hookah. Are you familiar with that? Sure. They would sit there and they would play cards and they would talk all day long. Then at night he would get up and go outside and get his two kids, and they'd push the pushcart to wherever they pushed it at night. I don't know. That's what he did. So he never worked and he managed to get by. My father was also...not uncommon, he could speak five languages and read and write at least three or four of them. That's pretty smart. It was pretty smart. Remember, my father's father was a general, so he had had a better education. With all that smartness he tried work in everything and nothing worked. My mother happened to meet some guy who was had a local position in some area of the judicial department. He got my father a job as an interpreter. That was an unusual job. It paid more money than any other job he ever had. It was a job where you wore a suit. Everybody was happy. My mother was happy. I remember they had a party and everything. He lasted five weeks. That is the longest he ever worked at a job in his life. It was not setting an example. He could not stand going to work everyday at the same time and ending work everyday at the same time. Also, he couldn't meet girls there. So after four or five weeks, he just vanished. He left. Twenty-five years later my father was walking down the Boardwalk in Coney Island. Are you familiar with that? 4 Yes. And on the Boardwalk, he met my mother. She had gone down there for whatever. He didn't recognize her. She recognized him. He tried to pick her up. So eventually she told him who she was. So he tried to borrow money from her. Now, I'm not saying that these were examples for me, but these are stories I've heard. That's the story of my mother and my father. Wow, that's interesting. That's very colorful. It is very interesting. So your mom never remarried? No, she never remarried. She did have gentlemen friends. Some of them I know lasted three, four, five, six, seven, eight years. But she never remarried. I think she never got married because they didn't make enough money to support her and me. Her mother was still alive at that time. Did your grandmother live with you? Yes, she did. She came from Odessa, Russia. She got out just at the time that they were starting the (programmes) there, as did a great many other Jewish people. She came to the United States with her daughter and husband. He never really lived with us. I think he was trying to take after my father, but whatever. At any rate, he came and went and ultimately disappeared. Her father was a typical old Jewish man, a very wonderful person, honest, neat, wonderful. All he did all day after work when he came home was sit down and read his religious books. I had a grandfather like that. He knew several dozen words in English. Always smiled, was always cheerful. We had conversation. I talked to him. He said, yes to whatever I said, and then he said some things in Yiddish, which I didn't understand very much of. But he was a nice man. He died one day. He was gone the next day. I don't know what happened. I don't know who buried him. That was the 5 end of the discussion with him. So he just disappeared after. Yes. Did you have an orthodox religious upbringing or how would you describe that? I had no religious upbringing. Because that man was there, I knew religion. Theoretically I was Jewish. Did you have a bar mitzvah? I wrote several stories about that. The answer is ultimately, yes, I did have a bar mitzvah. My mother had an agreement with me that when I told her I was not going to have a bar mitzvah. I was in an area where there were thousands of young kids my age and many of them were bar mitzvahed. I went to several of them and I saw them. Every boy having a bar mitzvah ever saw wanted to die, wanted to crawl under the floor. You had to get up there and say, "Today I am a man." I'll explain that real quickly for you. When I was twenty-one, I got into the (Lewis Pitkin), which was the big movie theater in that part of town, for a child's price. He was little. At twenty-one. Ah. So you're diminutive stature. Not just diminutive. I looked like thirteen. That's what I looked like. Youthful looking. I wrote another story about it. I'll tell her. If you have nothing to do, I'll talk to you. I love hearing this. This is great. When I was sixteen the best friend I had deserted me. Not only deserted me, all his friends did. 6 Why? He just said, "I'm sorry; you can't come and join us at our get-togethers anymore." Those things were nothing; they were just gatherings in front of the house. Why? Because some new girls joined their group and the girls took one look at me and they said, "We don't want to go with him; he's a kid; he's too young." And they said, "No, he's our age." They said, "We don't care. If anybody sees us going with him they're going to say, what kind of kids are you going out with? You're sixteen and this is..." So because of the girls, he said goodbye to me. Not really he did, but all the related people. I was very unhappy for a while. It wasn't my fault; I didn't look like that. But I was a handball player. And like the rest of my friends, we had no money. On Saturday and Sunday, we went to the public school. Public school was a brick building, but one wall of it was absolutely bare. So the school marked off things and you had three handball courts against the wall. I played there usually eight hours a day, seven days, six days [a week]. Oh, yes. We didn't eat lunch, but we did have water. I loved it; I loved handball. I was pretty good at it. After this guy dumped me, I played there even more often. I met a guy who was a competitor, but he was a good player and we became friends-not friends, but friendly. Then when I went one day they needed two people to play doubles. So he said, "Do you want to play doubles with me?" And I'd watched him. He was a good player. I said, "Sure." So we played doubles. That doubles lasted all day. We won every single game we played. And the rule was if you won the game, you played next one; if you didn't win the game, you got out of the way. So that's great. He said, "Do you come here often?" I said, "Yeah, I see you all the time." He said, "Okay, maybe next time we'll try it again." It worked out just fine. In a week or two we were playing together every single day and winning a lot of games. I got all this down in writing in stories. At any rate, one day he said to me, "Hey, why don't you come and join us?" Who's us? He said, "Us is five or six guys like me and five or six or seven girls. Somebody told me that you can 7 dance." Theoretically. I knew a little bit. He said, "Well, we need somebody that can join us because we have an extra girl and she doesn't have anybody to dance with." "Okay," I said, "We'll try it. " Turns out they lived three blocks away from me, and they lived a half a block away from where my friend who dumped me lived. So I knew the area. Every one of those big houses on that block had a stoop. You know what a stoop is? Sure. Six, seven, five, four, eight steps. That's where we all hung out. We didn't have any place to go, so we hung out at the stairs. The guys and girls would sit around there. Something worked out that was very convenient. None of the families had any money. They all worked for a living. So the only thing that the parents could do on the weekends was go to a movie. But they couldn't go to the movies because they had kids in the house. So they couldn't leave. They needed someone to watch the kids. So this group of young people who were sixteen, fifteen, seventeen, said to their parents, "Go ahead and we'll watch the kids for you." The parents were very, very happy to do that. So they left and we had a place to go. If it wasn't this house, the next one would be this house. All the parents knew all the kids anyway. So they would go. There's always somebody had good control on one of the houses. We were sixteen, seventeen. We played, we danced, we sang. You wouldn't remember. In those days it was a very common thing for all of the younger people to get little magazines, a paper just like this with all the songs of the day; it only cost five cents. There would be fifty or a hundred songs. As new ones came, they added them. So we all went and sang and danced, and we had a great time, no money. It sounds like fun. It got even better because after about an hour or two of that we started to vanish. We picked up a 8 girl and went to another bedroom or a living room. We really didn't do what in today's world is more normal. We were just learning the basics. So we kissed a little bit and we petted and it was a lot of fun. The girl that I danced with became quite-it was great. It was fun. About a month or two after that I was walking the street one day when guess who I met? The guy who dumped me. "Hey, hello, hey, we're glad to see you." That was very funny. What do you mean you're glad to-why? He says, you know so-and-so, a girl's name? I don't remember her name. "Her cousin has come to stay with them for two weeks. They don't have anybody to go with. We know you're a good dancer. Why don't you come and join us again?" I said, "You guys dumped me." He says, "It wasn't me; it was the girls that did it." (Inaudible/18:48). It turned out the girl he was talking about was a nice-looking girl and a very good dancer. So we were getting along fine. The other girls saw me dance, and none of the guys were good dancers. So at the end of the evening they said, "Why don't you join us again?" [Laughing] That's a great story. It was a great story. I was very nice. I didn't say nasty, terrible things. But, boy, that gave me a lot of (inaudible). Still, three or four years after that I went into Lewis Pitkin with these girls. It was a problem. It was a problem when you entered the army. How old were you when you went into the army? I joined the army when I was twenty-one, but I actually signed up when I was twenty-two. I did because we had tried to get in a lot of other things. Nobody would take me. They wouldn't take me not because of how I looked. I was sufficiently color blind that I couldn't tell major things. I could tell red, blue, yellow. But between red and green, or green and brown, I had a problem. I really wanted to be an fighter pilot. They said that I fit the model of what they want. Most people don't know it. If you have seen fighter pilot planes, what they sit in is only this wide. They like 9 five-foot-six guys; they didn't like six-foot guys. So they liked me. But they said, "We can't put you in. You have to go shoot these people because they're wearing the wrong uniform. You're going to shoot the wrong ones because you can't tell the right color." No, that wouldn't be good. I understood. They were right. So I said, "Well, we've got to join the army." We found out that the coast guard of all the other ones was the best one to join. The coast guard people didn't have to do the heavy military training and all that stuff. Are you being bored? No. I know people that went in the coast guard. Again, I wanted to join the coast guard. The guy who dumped me became my closest friend after that. He said, "Okay, let's all join the coast guard." Because we had taken the system where they first handed out new numbers to everybody. Yes. They had started the draft. Before the war, they started a draft. Oh, I see. And you had to sign up. I was in the first draft, about six hundred. Everybody got a draft number. I got the lowest one there was, which meant in two or three months I was going to be drafted. So I thought that's not really what I want. I don't want to be an infantryman; that's the worst. So we went to the coast guard and they took us down for an interview. But in order to join the coast guard, you had to pass the test for being able and dash code? Morse code. Morse code. None of us could do that. They said, "Well, go to school; there's lots of schools out here." As it turned out a different high school than the one from which I had just come out of said, "Yeah, we have that course; you can go to it." So my friend and I joined. The course was 10 supposed to be three months. In a month, we became experts at Morse code. They couldn't believe it. How in a month? My friend, he selected buttons by color in a factory in Midtown Manhattan. What could you do better than that? I joined the course with him, and in a month, we had the Morse code down. So we went back to the coast guard. The coast guard said, "Welcome, welcome, come on in." They said, "In ten days you will go to the school." Okay, fine. Morning of the tenth day came. We kissed our parents goodbye. They didn't like us going into the coast guard, but it was better than going into the army. We went to the coast guard at Battery Park in Midtown Manhattan. We were waiting to go on. Everybody had their little suitcase. A guy comes in, in a uniform, and he says, "Before you go you have to take an eye test." We took the eye test; we passed it. He said, "No, this is a color test. It's called the Ishihara eye test." He said, "You guys are going to be repairing radios. You're going to be on a ship. If the radio goes on the blink, you have to repair it. If you put a green line where a red line is, you're going to blow up the ship, you're going to blow up the boat, you're going to blow up the whole thing. You have to be able to do it." I understood. It made sense. So we got in line; it came my turn and I sat down to the table. He opened the book and showed me. Of fifteen pages, I could read five. Five numbers I got right. He said, "Sit over here." My friend then, the guy with the color button sorting, sat down. He got seven. He'd been working sorting buttons for years. He was colorblind. Oh, my. So we both went home. Our parents were glad to see us. Then a month later I was called for the draft. 11 We'll save the war stories for a different interview. So you went through the war and then you come out. How long were you in the service? Three years. Three years. When you came out what kind of work did you come out to do? Fifty thousand different things, a half dozen anyway. I had no skills, no training; no training whatsoever. A close find of mine, his father was in a factory that made something you probably never even heard of-baskets, willow baskets. You know old baskets you see in stores when you go to a nursery? Yes. That's what they made. So he said, "We need one person to join us. Can you join us?" You know what they did? There were five guys sitting around a round wooden table thing about this size. Baskets in the middle; the material for the baskets in the middle. Each guy made an individual basket, threw it in the middle. At the end of the day there would be a big pile of baskets and we went home. We did that every day. It occurred to me that if we used more modern technology, we could do more baskets. There was a round piece of wood about this big, the size of a plate. And you took the weaving material and at the end it had a narrow point. You put that into holes that somebody drilled on a machine. Then you were able to weave in between the things. Well, as soon as we did that, we tripled the speed at which we could make baskets. It worked out. My friend's father quit; he gave the job to him. We were going to do great things. At that point, the first time ever they had plastic for baskets, which came on big wheels this wide, and that was better than the reeds. So when you say this wide, about an inch wide? 12 Half an inch. So it would go in between the things. We could make a basket in half an hour where it used to take an hour at least. So naturally, everybody was happy. My friend was an intellectual genius. A jerk, but an intellectual genius. We had the idea, why don't we go to someplace like Macy's and tell them. Nobody has plastic baskets anymore. We'll have plastic. So we told them that and he screwed it up. Macy's liked the idea of plastic, but he was afraid of making a lot of money and having a big business. We made other things. Every place we went to he screwed it up. So that took care of that. I went into something else and I went into something else, different things. A lady friend of mine, a girlfriend of my wife said, "You know, somebody in Manhattan has an employment agency for sale and it's only five hundred dollars. Why don't we own the employment agency then we don't have to worry about what kind of job we're going to have?" We did it. It was successful for two or three years, not greatly successful, but I made a living at it. I learned that the easiest [job] you could get for anybody were jobs in the restaurant business. The largest turnover of any business in the country is restaurants. Remember in those days there were diners all over the place. They have vanished. They became other things. So there was a load of people who knew enough to be diner cooks. If I remember correctly, the fee for placing the guy in a job as a diner's worker was forty-five dollars. Everybody said yes, everybody paid a down fee, and never again did you ever see another nickel from any of them. I said, "You know what? Instead of us trying to get money from them, why don't we say we'll get you a job for ten bucks? You don't have to pay us anything after that." They loved it. Look, you don't have to have a thing running around that they all owe money. So I did that for three years until I got fed up with that. But it was nice. I went to work. I worked five days a week, made a living. It was great. Then we went to something else; I don't know what. 13 You didn't go to school on the GIBill? I went to NYU. United States Government, God bless them, did two things for me, which I will never, ever be able to repay. One was to send me to NYU. It was a high-class school in those days. The other was to allow us to buy a house. I lived in a basement apartment with my wife and our baby. We were paying eighty-eight dollars a month for a basement apartment. I bought a house built by this guy Leavitt. I bought the house for a hundred dollars down, and my monthly payment was sixty-four dollars. So twenty-something dollars a month cheaper and we had our own house. That worked out real nice. I went to school. What did you study? I studied writing. The last six months before graduation my wife got pregnant. She wanted me to continue going to school. I didn't want to do it. She worked up until three weeks before her baby. Well, see, she worked. My wife loved nursing, loved it. She worked for forty years and worked for free for another thirty. She worked here at the Summerlin Hospital, the only person in this city who ever got an award from the governor, for serving ten thousand free hours. She loved it. What did I do every Tuesday and Thursday? I got up every morning. At a quarter to six I dropped her off at the hospital. She had to be there at six. Always a quarter to six. She worked for free all day. She was so good that she was the only one nobody ever told what to do. When she came in, they said, "Good morning, (NAME)." She knew everything that they did. She was in obstetrics. She loved obstetrics. But she was working in the emergency room. Whatever they needed, they knew they didn't have to ask her and she didn't have to ask. She knew what to do get. She knew what to do. She loved it. 14 So she was a nurse while she was pregnant and- Well, after you got help. Yes, I didn't want her to be a nurse and not working while I was going to school. We probably would have survived, but it wouldn't have been good. I said, "The hell with it; I'll find some other work." It didn't work out that way. So you never finished your degree? I never finished. I did other things. I took special courses here and there. But I never got my degree. What were you studying? What would you have liked to have been studying? Writing. Writing. Oh, and I've heard about your writing. I told her. We'll have to talk about that. It was a unique thing that was started for the first time in the school's history. I did not have a class. They gave me an established writer who was also a writing teacher. She would look at my work once a week. I went to her house and we would spend four or five hours in her house. She'd examine the works and tell me what to do. Ultimately, she thought it was good enough [that] she got me an agent, the hardest thing in the world to get. The agent was very interested in my work. But after six, seven, nine months she couldn't place anything and she gave it up. So I did something else. But I was writing all the time and I had a lot of fun. Ultimately, later on, my best friend was a high tooting guy in television. You probably don't know it. Everybody knows that there's NBC and CBS and everything. There was a group of people who were not part of the regular programmers. These were independent stations. They did 15 not have any clout with the big organizations. He joined them. They created an organization and he became the president of it. They achieved a lot of good things. National Public Radio (NPR), it was he who talked to the United States government about radio and eventually they all became legitimate. What was his name? Herman Land. He had his own place and I worked for him for several years. Then along came another depression. I had twenty-six Ph.D.'s working for me. We did special surveys in various places. In 1970, the boom fell and all of a sudden everybody was being laid off; everybody was being dropped. My job was to fire each one of the twenty-six Ph.D.'s. Wow. How did you handle that? With difficulty. I did handle it and then there was just me, and one other person in the organization. What were you doing? Other than firing people. I was doing a lot of the writing, investigation. We did surveys, the National Broadcasting Company. Don't go away. Okay. [Pause] For the National Broadcasting Company about something called the Wired City. This was the beginning when all of a sudden cities were starting to-I'm just showing you what. But this must be the guy here, Herman Land. Herman Land was the guy. Yes, I've heard of that name, actually. My closest friend. I've heard of that name, yes. 16 So we went to Boston and we interviewed two hundred and sixty of the leaders of the community, everyone you could think of-the chief of police, the chief of the fire department, the chief of-to ask them about the Wired City. Did they like the idea of having wire instead of...? Herman went to the United States Congress. And when the United States Congress was checking us out, it was his testimony that got the approval to do that. Subsequently, that became what it is today. I was the second in charge. I did all the other stuff including the writing. It was a fun job, three years. I only traveled in airplanes first class. I only stayed in the biggest hotels. We didn't pay it. Pretty cool. The people that you were working for, the big organizations, they didn't give a damn. That's what they paid everybody. So we had that for three years. It was great. It was a lot of fun. So the book you just referenced was printed in 1968. When did you come to Las Vegas? No. I mean when did you get into federation stuff before? I'm almost there. Finally there was nobody left to fire but me. It was he and me. So I fired me. We got by for a week, two, a month. But after three months, it began getting difficult. I couldn't get a job anywhere. I had a friend who was working as the assistant public relations director for something called UJA. What is UJA? I don't know. United Jewish Appeal. United Jewish Appeal. It was a national organization, Midtown Manhattan. So I said to him, "Hey, look, you're a big shot here; you're the second in command of that. Get me a job." He said, "You don't know any of this stuff." I said, "Right, but if you get me a job, I'll know it." So he talked to the public relations director who was a close friend of his. The guy said, "Sure, with that 17 kind of a backbone, bring him in." He told me on Thursday. I said, "That's great." He said, "Come in Monday morning." Fine. Monday morning I traveled for 25 miles from Long Island and Westbury. I went to Midtown Manhattan. I found the building. I went upstairs in the building. I had to wait an hour to see the personnel director. Then I went in to see the PR director, a nice old guy, not American, spoke more Jewish and Russian then, very clever man. He said, "Hello. What do you want?" I said, "I've got an appointment with you." He said, "Oh, yeah, there's your name." I said, "I'm here to..." He said, "Jeez, I'm sorry. I had a guy here an hour ago and I gave him that job." Oh, no. I was tight for money at that point. I said, "Listen, okay, you don't have it in PR. Do you have any job available?" He said, "Yeah, we got some jobs, not for you." Right now anything is for me. They had a deal. They had about forty-five guys working. Mostly they were guys from Israel who needed to pay something off; they did work but there was no money. So the Israeli government worked out a deal with the UJA people, famous soldiers, executives who they had discharged. They sent them to UJA. These guys got a job with UJA. They were called field men. A field man was a guy who usually was given a state. He handled this stuff. These were not by the people who had workers working for them. These were for free. They would come in. If you were going to have a party, they would send you a famous Jewish soldier. Moshe Dayan was one of the guys who came in a couple of times. They went from one town to another, and they'd spend a week here and three days here and five days there. He said, "I have a place in New Jersey." New Jersey? I live in Manhattan. That was fine. "Okay." He said, "You've got twenty-seven communities." Okay. What do I know? It's okay with me. He said, "Okay, you start Monday." I start doing what? He said, "These are your communities. You've got to help them out, raise 18 money, and organize. If they're going to need a speaker, talk to us, we'll get you a speaker." Okay. I went out of his office and I saw in the public relations department they had a wall with pamphlets. I took about fifty pamphlets, every pamphlet I could get. On Monday morning I went to that place in New Jersey where I had to go, registered at a Holiday Inn or one of those small places, not a big fancy one. I went in with all the pamphlets and for three days I sat there reading every single pamphlet. You know what? I knew more than anybody else did. These guys had not changed their way of doi