Will Rosenthal, son of Pamela Brewster and Stuart Rosenthal of Cranford and an incoming freshman at Cornell University, recently stopped by the Jewish Historical Society of Greater MetroWest NJ to visit a friend who is interning there. During the visit, he was able to see photos, documents, and other information about his great-grandfather in the society’s archives. Mr. Rosenthal’s great-grandfather, Harry Lebau – coincidentally a Cornell alum – wrote a memoir, “The Perfect Cipher,” that highlighted the role he played in the Greater MetroWest Jewish community. Mr. Lebau was the executive director of the YM-YWHA of Union County for four decades and served in many organizations, including the Elizabeth chapter of UJA and the United Way.
In his memoir, Mr. Lebau wrote about his daughter Ruth Brewster, who was the first female president of the YM-YWHA of Union County, and her husband, Harold, who was the Y’s president from 1985 to 1987. The Y is named the YM-YWHA of Union County – Harry Lebau Jewish Center in his memory.
There’s a copy of the memoir, along with much other information about Mr. Lebau and many other influential people in the archives.