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'Public schools were dangerous'

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Moving to the Golden Ghetto
Jeremy Bernstein Scientist
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The War Department decided that chaplaincy programmes should be directed by civilians. So my father was tapped to be the director of the Jewish chaplain's programme for the armed services. And as such, he went to New York, and after a bit of time, we followed to New York. I think the only time I ever saw my mother cry was when my father said that we were going to New York. I think she was… although it's curious, because she was born in New York, grew up in New York, but she just hated the idea of leaving her house and her garden and all the rest.  We went to New York, and it was a very strange experience, because we then lived in an apartment. It was a perfectly nice apartment on Central Park West. At that time, it was known as the Golden Ghetto because the wealthier Jews lived on Central Park West.

Born in 1929, Jeremy Bernstein is an American physicist, educator and writer known for the clarity of his writing for the lay reader on the major issues of modern physics. After graduating from Harvard University, Bernstein worked at Harvard and at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton. In 1962 he became an Associate Professor of Physics at New York University, and later a Professor of Physics at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, a position he continues to hold. He was also on the staff of The New Yorker magazine.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: United States Department of War, New York, Central Park West

Duration: 1 minute, 1 second

Date story recorded: 15th June 2011

Date story went live: 17 August 2011