Friday, September 24, 1999

'Ejay' Callner assisted HUC archivist


Secretary also worked at hospital, temple

BY REBECCA BILLMAN
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SYCAMORE TOWNSHIP — Etheljane “Ejay” Callner once said that of all the jobs she had and all the different things she did in her life, she thought her work with Dr. Jacob Rader Marcus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion was the most important.

        Ms. Callner worked for 47 years as Dr. Marcus' secretary and personal assistant.

        The Sycamore Township resident died Sept. 14 at age 87.

        Dr. Marcus founded the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati in 1947, and Ms. Callner, a secretary at Rockdale Temple at the time, was there almost from the beginning.

        “She was instrumental in helping him to continue his scholarship and research while carrying on the archives,” said Dr. Gary Zola, current director of the archives. “They were two people in the trenches together for years.”

        Dr. Marcus made many references to Ms. Callner in his writings and expressed appreciation for her hard work. Ms. Callner worked for Dr. Marcus until he died in 1995.

        “You could sense that she thought what he was doing was so very important and valuable,” Dr. Zola said. “She felt very proud to be a part of it. In a sense, an era ends with her death.”

        When Ms. Callner was small, her family moved from Cincinnati to Chicago, where she graduated from high school and took stenography and secretarial training.

        A single mother, she was an office manager for TV Guide in the Federated building, downtown, for 25 years.

        In addition, Ms. Callner volunteered at Jewish Hospital and the craft shop for the handicapped at Lazarus. For many years, she was an active member of the Rockdale Temple Sisterhood board and chairwoman of the Uniongram program, as well as a volunteer at the Temple library.

        She was a member of the National Council of Jewish Women, and the Women's American ORT (Organization for Rehabilitation through Training). She was involved with writing friendship cards for Ruth Lodge of B'nai B'rith and did stenography for American Legion conventions.

        Mrs. Callner also was a typist for the Braille Institute and an usher for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's morning concert series.

        Survivors include a son, Marty Callner of Los Angeles; a daughter, Susan Levy of Hyde Park; a sister, Marion Silverman of Philadelphia; 13 grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

        Services have been held.

        Memorials: Etheljane Callner Fund of the American Jewish Archives, Hebrew Union College, 3103 Clifton Ave., Cincinnati 45220-2488.

       



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