chapter
7 Pages

Grandpapa

WithJoseph Rykwert

Joseph Rykwert, his grandfather was bilingual in Polish and Yiddish and spoke both English and German, yet he was also of that early group of Zionists who adopted the Sephardic pronunciation of Hebrew. He and his grandmother did visit Palestine in 1924, and again in 1927. Rykwert noted his grandfather's upright bearing: he probably owed it to his lifelong devotion to sport. He was an excellent swimmer. As the Vistula froze over in November and remained ice-bound until early March, a big hole would be cut through it and maintained free through the winter for fish to breathe and be fed. The sporting inclination was inherited by his father, who was a soccer fanatic and organized a football team in his gymnasium – reputedly, the first school soccer team in Poland. To his constant chagrin, he failed to pass this passion to him.