Saturday, June 11, 2011

49. History of UEA/New York Office Volunteers

While Rochelle Grossman was the power behind the UEA/New York Office for several decades, there was a time that several people volunteered at the office at 777 United Nations Plaza, Manhattan, each week for a few hours a week or a few days weekly. A notebook called "Volantulaj Kontribuoj- 27 Oct '83-8 Feb. '92" was in the office when I took over August 2008.

Many of the volunteers were active in the Esperanto Society of New York, so I knew them personally. Some are unknown to me. It seems that most of these people never got involved with computers, so this may be the first, if any, documentation on-line of the energy behind the office during the 80's and 90's. Since I came to the office about once a year before 2008, I didn't know so many people regularly came until browsing this notebook.

Known personally to Neil

1. Julius Manson and Elizabeth Manson were a husband and wife team dedicated to Esperanto. Throughout the 1980's they were regulars at the office, several days a week. Like several other active Esperanto speakers they lived in Stuyvesant Town, across the street from where I was born (Beth Israel Hospital). I bumped into Julius a few months before he passed away (a year after his wife), held his arm and slowly walked an hour, just one block with him, near his apartment. He had a cane to assist him. Recently I discovered that Elizabeth's sister was the famous urban planner, Jane Jacobs.

2. Leonid Dzelzitis was known for teaching Esperanto for a number of years at Stuyvesant High School, Adult Education Center. He was an immigrant from a Baltic State. He came a distance (Tarreytown?, New York) to be active for Esperanto, once or twice a week for several years.

3. Lydia Tabor, an immigrant from Poland, came into the UEA office about once a week for several years. She returned to Poland. She gave me (and a Turkish Esperantist, Semra) some furniture when planning to return to Poland. I believe she told me that it was important for her husband to die in Poland. If memory serves me, a portrait of her husband in Polish military garb (pre-communist?) was on the wall. I saw her husband but never got to know him. Lydia was famous for her joviality, her Esperanto-sing-alongs and her support of Servas, where she also volunteered on John St., Manhattan. I was one of the last people to visit the John St. office (which relocated to California), mentioning her, when I joined for one year, a few years back.

4. Nancy Medrano, who at some time was the only paid secretary of the office for a year ( in this time frame, according to conversation with Jim, her husband--probably shortly before I returned from Israel in 1987) visited occasionally, according to the notebook. Nancy, with her husband, Jim, were/are good friends of mine and the motor of the Esperanto Society of New York for over a decade. Jim both edited our paper newsletter, Prismo, and taught our language at Stuyvesant for some years. I hope to revive regular contact with them soon. Jim and Nancy hosted dozens of foreign Esperanto travelers, perhaps until about the year 2000. Their children, Emily and Beka are now 8th gr. highschool and 2nd year college students.

5. Renata Kaczmarska was a new immigrant from Poland (early 1990's) when she volunteered a few times at the office. In recent years she has been helpful as an employee of Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations.

Unknown (personally) to Neil

1. Doris Haim came regulary for several years, once or twice a week.

2. Gerson came occasionally, a few times a month. Could this be Margot Gerson? In the 1950's to early 1970's there was an Esperanto Information Center, headed by Margot, at 156 Fifth Ave, Manhattan. I was among the last people to visit that office (at its doorway), when trying to get my first information on Esperanto in the early 1970's. When Margot Gerson passed away a few years ago, her daughter, Claudia, gave the club a few hundred new and old Esperanto books. (Her daughter used her (native?) skills in German for professional purposes (Lufthansa?).

3. Victor Lopez (several times in May-June 1987)

4. Sharon Bourke came a few times.

5. A. Ried came a few times.

6. In 1984-1985 Neelu Dhoe and M. Tata came seperately a few times.

7. In 1984 John C. Cunningham and Fatima Schoebi came seperately a few times.

8. I. Itzenberger volunteered, i.a. for a conference, a few times in 1984.

9. Irving Shanker came a few times in 1984.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011



ESPERANTO Multilingual Workers' Site (Esperanto version). Esperanto Green Party videos. Esperantist Workers' Movement.
(Green Party of Ireland: founded by Christopher Fettes and other leading Esperanto advocates in Ireland).

(Maire Mullarney, Irish member of Parliament for the Green Party and author of several books on Esperanto) Progressive principals in many languages of Universal Esperanto Association. Esperanto Commission of the Green Party of France (Les verts). Esperanto version of a multilingual progressive site. Esperanto-bicyclists for practical and environmental goals. World Vegetarian Esperanto Assocation for environmentalism and humane treatment of animals.
A Greenpeace ship is named “Mond-civitano”, world-citizen in Esperanto. Bona Espero School, orphanage and garden in rural Brazil, 200 miles from the Brasilia, founded by Esperantists and teaches it regularly. Advocacy for the United Nations in the Esperanto Community/UEA Free on-line self-instruction of Esperanto used by about 120,000 people.

Contact Neil Blonstein 777 UN Plaza 212 687 7041
All these links are at

The Radical Party uses Gandhi as its symbol. They strongly oppose the death penalty.

The German-based Nature Friends Community Centers/Guest Houses has maintained a cordial relationship with Esperanto for decades: 
Ekologia ret-pagxo en Esperanto.
The movement founded by Gary Davis, World Service Authority, suggesting world citizenship, has been producing a passport I.D. using Esperanto and six other languages.
The CGT is a major anarchist  worker's union in Spain, notably in Catalan. Esperanto is used or advertised at its website:


About Me

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I have lived 16 years in other countries, notably, Israel and Brazil, among another 30 countries.