Fatherhood Means Putting Family First, Setting Strong Ethical Standards, and Being a Loving Role Model
By Michelle Daino
On any given day, the personal and professional accomplishments of his children and grandchildren make Harold Schoenholtz beam with pride, but they hold even fonder meaning as Father’s Day, and other significant milestones near.
Schoenholtz and his wife, Evelyn of 68 years, have lived at Stein Assisted Living in Somerset since moving from New York a little over a year ago. They share one daughter, Sharon and two sons, Andrew and Kim, as well as four grandchildren: Ari, David, Noah, Matthew and grand-puppies Ubu and Ziva.
Sharon is a physician at a clinic operated by Mount Sinai and Beth Israel hospitals, Andrew is a lawyer teaching law at Georgetown University, and Kim teaches at New York University’s (NYU) Stern School of Business.
“God has been good to us,” said Schoenholtz, who will turn 97 in August. Evelyn will celebrate her 90th birthday in July.
The respect and admiration that Schoenholtz holds for his offspring is mutual, as Kim explained, “Dad was in the Army Air Force and was a radio operator/gunner in a B25. He flew 25 missions before being shot down over Brenner Pass, which borders Italy and Austria. He survived being a POW and still looks back fondly on General George S. Patton who liberated him and his colleagues in April of 1945.”
His father’s survival and determination through the POW experience coupled with the fact that Schoenholtz is a cancer survivor, makes for a strong role model whose personal history and opinions about fatherhood have been a testament to his character.
“I grew up in the Bronx,” Harold explained. “My father was a dentist and my mother was an American girl. My father came from Austria and practiced dentistry for 35 years.”
Schoenholtz has two sisters. Eve and Estelle. Estelle was five years younger than him. Eve, who was three years older than Schoenholtz and is now deceased worked as a CBS radio announcer during World War II.
Harold graduated from City College of New York in 1938 and earned a master’s of science degree in chemistry from NYU.
With a career in industrial chemical sales, first selling lacquers and next vending industrial chemicals used to coat steel drums and steel pails, Schoenholtz started work quickly after returning from his military service.
He also served as the president of the Hebrew high school in their neighborhood, always instilling in the family the importance of learning about Jewish life and faith.
After living in the Bronx, the family resided in Forest Hills section of Queens, Valley Stream in Nassau County, NY, and in Bayside, Queens, and had a vacation home in Florida before settling their roots at Stein Assisted Living.
“We consider ourselves blessed to have found Stein,” said Kim. “My parents really love it here.”
Kim’s wife, Elvira, added that Harold and Evelyn – who are known by many as a loving couple who still holds hands are the “most wonderful, loving and supportive parents that you can imagine.”
“We’ve had friends who, when they meet my parents, always come over to us to say how lucky we are to have them as parents,” added Kim, who recalled one of his favorite father-son memories was attending a New York Yankees doubleheader where Mickey Mantle hit three home runs.
There are certain ingredients which are needed to be a good father, suggested Schoenholtz: “You must enable your children to pursue honest, intelligent lives associated with the Jewish world. I am always pleased to do whatever I can for the state of Israel.”
Taking good care of your wife and children also sets a good example, he said, as well as always being able to supply them with adequate resources to support them and keep them fortunate.
When asked about what it was like when he first learned that he was going to be a father, Schoenholtz chuckled and said “Whoa” as well as “Bless the Lord.”
As a grandfather, Schoenholtz added, “I am extremely proud of the four boys. They are going out for higher education, all of them.”
Ari is pursuing a degree in clinical psychology in Berkeley, California, while David works for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Noah is at Harvard, pursuing a master’s in education, and, Matthew is currently in high school, and shows great promise.
For Kim, his father has made an indelible mark on his life by setting a standard of always putting family first.
“He also loved us as much as anyone could, providing understanding better than anyone could. You couldn’t ask for any more than that,” he said, adding that his father also provided him with a good education in ethics.
On behalf of all of us at The Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living, we wish you and your family a Happy Father’s Day!
The Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living is comprised of Stein Assisted Living with the Jaffa Gate Memory Care Neighborhood, Stein Hospice, Wilentz Senior Residence, Wilf Transport, Wilf At Home, and The Foundation at the Wilf Campus. For more information, contact us at (732) 568-1155, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at www.wilfcampus.org.