Most of my mother and father’s generation have passed on and some of mine too – a full ancestry genealogy is the last in this photo album series.

Left to right at Sue’s shower: Grandma Freda Belford, (standing) Sadie Scheer Roth (Sue’s grandma), Roz Auerbach (Sue’s ma), (standing) Bobbie Heller Polinsky (my sister), Sue Auerbach Heller (my wife), Jeanne Heller Polinsky (my mother married my sister’s husband’s father).   


My mother, Jeanne Bernstein Heller Polinsky, has related family strains of Bernstein, Roth, Goldstein and Reitman. 

My father Hoyt Bernard Heller changed his name to Bernie Heller, his maternal side includes Belford (my grandmother’s maiden name), Fish, Berger, and Abrams. 

Sadie Panzer married a Scheer; her daughter Roz married Herman Auerbach.  Sadie, widowed, married a Roth who was no relation to the strain of Roth on my mother’s side.

Left picture: Grandma Freda Belford Heller, Sue Auerbach Heller, mom Jeanne Heller Polinsky. 


Right picture: Sadie Panzer Scheer Roth with her two grandchildren, Marc Auerbach and Sue Auerbach Heller.

God knows the names of my Dad’s paternal side because my grandfather Albert Heller was Christian and converted to Judaism at age twenty-four, circumcised too.  His alleged German Swiss and Mennonite background was kept a secret by my mother Jeanne and her sister-in-law Jeanne who was married to Ralph, Bernie’s younger brother. 


I only learned about this secret at age twenty-five, made my first research foray into northeastern Pennsylvania at age fifty-eight – explored Hellertown, Allentown, Bethlehem, Saylortown, Penn Argyll to search for my roots.  I expect to return for another research trip after the DNA ancestry search to fill in current gaps. 

Right picture: My nephew Craig Polinsky and fiancée Tara Levene at their engagement party.

Left picture: Sister Bobbie Heller Polinsky, her sister-in-law Paula and brother-in-law Murray Polinsky, my brother-in-law Arnold’s brother at Craig and Tara’s party.  Paula, a nice lady who loved her family, passed away from cancer recently.  She is missed. 


Left picture: First cousin Ivan Heller and wife Gail Heller. Right picture: Their son Jared, age six, twenty years ago. 



Left to right below: At Brett Polinsky’s Bar Mitzvah; Ivan Heller, Arnold Heller, Sasha Heller, Sue Heller, Linda Belford and Carole Belford Hannauer.  Linda married first cousin Larry Belford, who is not pictured.  Carole was Larry’s sister and Linda’s sister-in-law.  Cancer would claim Ivan, Sue, and Carole.

Left picture: Reitman women family line; sitting – Doris Reitman married Morris Reitman, Barbara Reitman married Irving Reitman; standing – Francie Reitman Solisch married Herbie Solisch, Harriet Reitman married Seymour Reitman.


Right picture: Lisa Auerbach at 1979 Chuck Mangione concert in Berkely, CA.  Lisa, married to Marc Auerbach, Sue’s brother, is holding her daughter Maggie, now age 39 and mother of Talulu and wife of Paul Bolstad. 

I have made five trips to Israel – 1976 family tour and driving trip; 1998 North Atlanta High student exchange with Ostrovsky High School of Ra’anana; 2000 Mayoral Twinning Delegation to Ra’anana; 2010 Ra’anana visit and national driving tour; 2015 Mayoral Cybersecurity Mission to Tel Aviv and Ra’anana.

On each trip I usually visited with Moshe and Chaya Ilani of Holon.  Sue’s great-uncle was a respected architect and a creative photographer and Chaya made  the world’s best gefilte fish.  We are pictured on a hill in a park overlooking Old Jaffa – the Tel Aviv skyline can be seen through the clouds.  Chaya passed in 2012, Moshe passed last year so I was fortunate to see him one last time in 2015.  He was suffering from dementia but smiled knowingly at me.

For more on the Panzer family, access 

Capetown, South Africa family branch on Herman Auerbach side: Shap, Richfield, Kreiner.

Sue and I had always dreamed of visiting beautiful South Africa and finally did so in 2006.  We stayed with Rosalie (not pictured) and Julian Richfield (sitting), Claire, his daughter standing behind him and flanked by Sue and I.  Julian worked in public relations and marketing in Capetown for most of his career and recently began a wine, food, and culture blog.  Claire is a talented baker and chef and Rosalie worked in the University of Capetown’s administrative office. 

Benjamin Shap, Rosalie’s grandfather, left Lithuania for Johannesburg in 1922 via a two year stay with the Auerbach clan in Brooklyn.  Rosalie’s father Jack managed a general store for a black township – he was also the postmaster, banker, and a kind of mayor.  Most South African Jews immigrated from Lithuania and are Orthodox in their practice. 

My sister Bobbie’s best friend for sixty years has been Bobbie Pollack of Springfield, NJ who is a quasi-sister to me.  She is pictured with her daughter Gerilyn Gerry Goldman of Portland, Maine and who once lived in Atlanta for a few years in  the 1980’s with her husband Mitch Goldman.  Steve Pollack, Gerry’s dad, died of a heart attack when she was a child, her brother Jeff an infant.  Bobbie has been a highly successful Special Ed educator and college counselor.  They have become part of our extended family.  

Left picture: Bobbie Pollack and Gerry Goldman.


Right picture: Sue with Dale Camhi in 1979 in Atlanta

Another example of extended family is Dale Camhi and her husband Stan and family.  We met after Sue and I moved to Atlanta – Stan was graduating from Emory Law.  They moved to Washington, then on to Long Island.  Sue and Dale remained close over the years and when I am up north I try to make it out to Long Island to see them. 

Sue, Sash, me and niece Carrie Polinsky at her Bat Mitzvah in New York.

Nephew Craig Polinsky with Sue and I assisting the lighting of his Bar Mitzvah cake.

Sue and I – in our thirty-eight years together – had many close friends that became surrogate family; foremost in Atlanta are the Zandmans, Herschene and Joel Borrin and their daughter Danielle, Bruce and Shelly Gaynes and their three chldren Melanie, Jonathan, and Carlie.  Many more ‘surrogates’ will be presented in following albums.

The Heller – Polinsky clans are the core of the family today.  Our primary means of keeping the family bond strong is an annual family reunion for the past seven years in Boca and Plantation the last week of December.  

Please go on to Photo Album 5 – Arnold & Sue Heller: Sasha’s Bar Mitzvah 1