Morristown Jewish Center

Rose Haimowitz and the Thrift Shop

Respectfully submitted by H. Lewis Stone, MJCBY Historian

I was inspired to write this article because I knew of Mrs. Haimowitz’s long term commitment to the shul.

My motivation was to acknowledge her contribution but also to point out to the reader that one person, over time can make a significant contribution.

Note: someone will need to fact check this story. I actually have no idea how long she was involved in the Thrift Shop. I also know that many other Sisterhood members were involved in the Thrift shop including Carol Rogoff and others. Nothing in this article is meant to belittle their contribution to MJC. Someone would have to review this article to somehow play that up without defeating the inspirational purposes of the article Rose Haimowitz’s Half Million Dollar Contribution to MJC.

In the movie Bull Durham, Kevin Costner plays a veteran catcher names Crash Davis in the minor leagues. He is good but past his prime but plays on nonetheless. He has a contribution to make and a goal to set but doesn’t talk much.

Year in and year out, he toils at the game racking up a few homers each year without much fanfare.

It is not until much later in the movie that it is revealed that one person totals up his homers over his career and discovers the reason he toils on. Soon he will pass the all time record for homeruns for this league! While he never hit well enough each year to be a star, over his career, he proved his worth by determination.

Mrs. Haimowitz’s ran the Thrift Shop. For those who need a little background, MJC ran a Thrift Shop since at least the 1950’s. Members would donate their old clothes and dishes and whatever and they would be sold in the store. Usually people in the neighborhood would buy from the store so it became a local treasure for those in the neighborhood less fortunate.

At one time the store was in a separate building and at some point [if someone knows the date] the store moved into the building and occupies the space now occupied by the executive offices. When the plan to move the offices to make way for an expanded Sisterhood gift Shop was adopted by the Board, the store closed.

While many members volunteered their time, Mrs. Haimowitz’s was the CEO. It survived and thrived because she made it so. She took her retail and managerial talents honed in the food and fruit business and turned them to the Thrift Shop. The store contributed $30,000 annually to MJC. Since there was no rent and no cost for the merchandise, the $30,000 was pure profit. She ran the store for [and here is where I need real information and dates for more than 15 years.

Many people contribute to MJC. Some give time and some give money. Some are more generous than others. Some give to the KNA, others donate rooms. Some give anonymously. She is a person who gave time and turned it into money.

How did Mrs. Haimowitz’s give Half a Million Dollars? Well, the store brought in $30,000 a year for 15 years. While no one ever added it all up, just like the catcher in Bull Durham, the total over her career is $450,000 [or whatever the real number comes out to be].

This makes Mrs. Haimowitz a life worth celebrating. Just like Crash Davis, what matters is not always what we do in a particular year but rather what we do over our career as Jews.

So too with the contributions in our own life. This is why there is a plague dedicated to Mrs. Haimowitz in the new office wing.