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Witenberg, E.G. (1992). The John L. Schimel Memorial Meeting February 10, 1992—Opening Remarks. Contemp. Psychoanal., 28:401-401.

(1992). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 28:401-401

The John L. Schimel Memorial Meeting February 10, 1992—Opening Remarks

Earl G. Witenberg, M.D.

WE ARE GATHERED HERE TONIGHT to share our experiences of Jack Schimel. Let me begin with one memory. In 1953 Clara Thompson invited Jack and me to join with The Financial Committee of the Board of Trustees in order to raise money for a building. Jack and I sent out a letter to the then graduates of the Institute. A couple of the answers that we received from the membership were typical analyst responses. Rather than say that they did not want to contribute money for this undertaking they asked us to document the viability of the Institute and its function in the professional world. I noted the motivation. Jack said it doesn't matter, let's just reply to them and see what happens and we did. They, of course, did not give us any money and as a matter of fact several of them left for greener pastures before we purchased the building. We purchased our present home in 1963 ten years later. If today's Society raised the equivalent amount from its present membership they would have raised $3, 000, 000. Jack helped fund this building; he entered into the pursuit of a new building for 1980 with vigor and enthusiasm. Phyllis and he gave generously to the new building fund. The last memory I have of Jack in an official capacity is his pointing out at the Fellows' meeting that their proposal to have two ways of being elected to the Council of Fellows would weaken the Institute organizationally and structurally.

Tonight you are going to hear from people who experienced Jack in many different roles.

The first is Dr. Albert Bryt, who has known Jack as a colleague and friend one day more than I did. He will tell you about the experiences he had with Jack from 1947–1991. Albert was my first introduction to transcultural psychiatry. I was a young resident at Bellevue in 1946, Albert had been there a year longer.

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