After decades of facing racism themselves for their Jewish beliefs, Saul Glickman and his wife Shirley Glickman said they were frustrated when they learned about the immigration ban against Muslims.
The 84-year-old husband — who grew up in a predominantly Jewish part of Brooklyn — shared memories of being one of a few Jewish men in the Airforce in the 1950s, while his wife told a story of being called a “Christ killer” as a child by some of her classmates.
The couple, who live at the Seacrest Village senior living facility, said the immigration ban seemed all too familiar, but they believe it has no place in the United States.
They were two of about 25 older folks who voiced their opinions by writing postcards to elected officials in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 7.
“Being a Jew, you’re always going to be detested by a rather large portion of people,” said Shirley Glickman, 81. “The only place I’ve ever felt totally safe was in Israel. ... This [Women’s March] movement is so thought-provoking, and I’m so angry. We don’t have another 20 years. If we stand back and let our judiciary system get screwed up, that wouldn’t be right.”
The postcard-writing event was a follow-up to the Women’s March on Jan. 21 in which thousands of people across the country showed their support for issues such as respect for women, access to health care, reproductive rights, race and gender equality, and immigrants’ rights.
About 50 residents at Seacrest also participated in the march in their own way by making laps around the center while carrying signs.
“What was so marvelous is we had them free-stand walking, some on crutches, a lot of walkers and a couple wheelchairs,” said Dee Rudolph, an 86-year-old Seacrest resident who spearheaded the event. “Every stage that was possible to move was there.”
Joshua Sherman, communications and creative manager for the Leichtag Foundation, who participated in the Women’s March in Washington, said he was so inspired by the march at Seacrest that he reached out to Rudolph and local activist Denny Cope to create the postcard-writing event.
Cope, who has called local representatives regularly over the last few weeks and visited Seacrest for the postcard-writing event, said she loved that the fight has been multi-generational.
Rudolph said the residents marched and are writing letters to politicians for younger generations.
Her message to the elected officials was simple: “We just want them to keep on, keep on, keep on.”
Shirley Glickman said she marched in solidarity with her daughters and granddaughters, who participated in protests in New York.
Agnes Herman said she was writing for human rights and freedom.
The 95-year-old woman said she made the decision on her own to come to Seacrest, and that she has lived freely all her life. She would hate to see those rights taken away from younger generations, she said.
“I think we really should be concerned with human rights, and I believe in equality,” she said. “It’s very scary, even for me, at 95. I find that the political atmosphere is very scary. I am scared to see our freedoms taken away.”
Rudolph said she was fearful women’s rights will rewind if nothing is done.
She said she has lived through many political events — including Roe v. Wade, which she said she is fearful of being overturned — but the Women’s March and the events following have been unique.
“I’ve never seen a movement like this, where people are so anxious,” she said. “When old people can make themselves heard, you know we’re living in a different world.”