Posted in Brown/Tanner, Familes, Genealogy, Jewish History

How To Face The Future by Grace Tanner

I ended my last post with a picture of the few momento’s that I have from my adopting parents, Grace and Howard. While just ‘things’ they hold tremendous value for me. It wasn’t until my mother had passed away that I discovered the greatest treasure of all. Tucked away in her Union Prayer book was a yellowing folded paper in pristine condition folded in an envelope glued to the back of the book. Grace passed over a year ago now and I can honestly say I can not remember a day in 60 plus years that I ever saw her pick up or look at her Prayer Book. Our conversations on faith, our faith was limited to non existent. In fact as she drew near to her last day and was asked if she would like a Rabbi or any clergy for that matter, she declined. Did that mean she had deep peace? or had she remained stoic in her persona that at her passing she needed nothing outside of herself? I could not get to her in time and knowing she was alone and wanted no one had deeply affected me. That is why finding this hidden in the back of the prayer book, buried deep in her being, I knew she truly had a commitment and connection to the greater being of her inherited birth-right. She had peace and had walked her road, not my road, not your road but truly walked her road.


No words were said at my mother’s passing, there was no true family to gather to remember or morn her. Finding this essay was a blanket of comfort for me.

At first I believed this was written about 1946, my mother would have been 20, a year after Hitlers defeat. I have no idea why this was written, for who or whom or why. It sounds very much like a graduation speech and so I wondered if perhaps not a bit earlier and for her high school graduation. I will never know and I will never be able to talk with her about it.

What I do know is that in today’s world her words hold great meaning and truth.

“We shall strive at all times to reflect credit on ourselves and on our religion. (no matter what religion) We shall carry on to the best of our ability, no matter where the road will lead.”


Grace Judith Tanner (Tannenbaum) 1 February 1926




Grace Tanner and my father Howard Joseph Brown (1944)


15 March 2015



**Thank you for inspiring me to share this Amy   






16 years ago I located my birth family, both maternal and paternal side. After literally years of searching, even before the help of the internet, I just couldn't stop searching so I began digging into my new found families past. The journey has been amazing as we connect and reconnect lost and found generations.

7 thoughts on “How To Face The Future by Grace Tanner

  1. Dear Sharon, Just read this post about your mom and was moved, almost to tears. A lot to think about and was really impressed. She was a beautiful and intelligent woman. Always wish I could talk to my loved ones who are gone, but I guess we all do. What’s it all about?………..Love UJ

    On Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 8:48 PM, Haimowitz Family Blog wrote:

    > nwpaintedlady posted: “I ended my last post with a picture of the few > momento’s that I have from my adopting parents, Grace and Howard. While > just ‘things’ they hold tremendous value for me. It wasn’t until my mother > had passed away that I discovered the greatest treasure of al” >

    1. Uncle Joe..thank you for the response to my post. She truly was beautiful but never believed she was, she was an extremely intelligent woman. I always felt I needed to follow in her footsteps for acceptance and missed the real message for too many years, to walk my own walk…I wish I could talk to her now about this…but I have someone just as important to talk to…you; so thankful for you….Love ya UJ

  2. The essay gave me the chills. How uplifting and how optimistic she was. It does sound like a graduation speech—or perhaps a confirmation speech?

    I am not sure whether I am the Amy you are thanking at the end—I assume not. Whoever inspired you to share this gave all of us a tremendous gift. Thank you, Sharon.

    1. Hi Amy- It was definitely you I was thanking for inspiring this post. You may have something about it being a confirmation speech written pre Hitlers rise. I couldn’t find a specific age for confirmation, Reformed marking it 9th, 11th or 12th grades? My mother was raised Conservation. If Confirmation around 9th grade that would definitely fit. She attended a public school so a speech like this would not make sense. Thank you again Amy, you are an amazing writer and your posts always inspire me in some way 🙂

      1. Wow, I am very humbled by your praise. Thank you so much. I believe confirmation was at about age 15, though I think of it more as a Reform tradition. Perhaps before girls had bat mitzvah ceremonies, there was an alternative even in Conservative congregations. Where did she grow up? I could probably check.

  3. Amy~ you asked where she grew up and that you could probably check spurred me to check on this. I got her Union prayer book out again and I am not sure how I missed it but what I thought was just a simple service program tucked away was actually….
    The Confirmation Services Program Class of 1941 Temple Israel, Lawrence, New York
    Grace is in there giving i of 4 speeches on the topic of The Jew and the World
    Out of all her personal belongings she kept this is the only and I mean only keepsake of her Jewish roots and of her childhood to young adulthood.

    1. A google search of Temple Israel, Lawrence, NY states it is a Reformed congregation. Her parents were also members of Temple Emanu-El in New York City. Googling that it too was a Reformed Congregation which totally surprises me. I always thought the family was conservation. I have very vivid and fond memories of attending Temple Emanu-El with my grandfather.

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