The Kosher Racer
Brooklyn-born Nancy Morgenstern was working as an executive assistant at the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. She died in the terrorist attacks that day but left a lasting impression on friends and family. Nancy’s parents, Harvey and Suri Morgenstern, came to the MobileBooth at Lincoln Center to pay tribute to Nancy and share stories of her adventurous life which included world travel, skiing and cross-country cycling.
As an Orthodox Jew, Nancy had to be creative about observing her faith while she was on skiing or biking excursions. “In 1994 she decided she was going to take a back road trip out west, I think it was a 10 day bike tour, into southern Utah and northern Arizona. But she had no problems,” says Harvey. “One time she stayed in a tent over the entire Saturday and then ultimately caught up with the group subsequently on the Sunday.”
Harvey and Suri came to the MobileBooth with a copy of the book they published after Nancy’s death. The book serves as a companion to the website Harvey and Suri created to honor their daughter. Harvey read one of the passages written by one of Nancy’s fellow cyclists: “Nancy always worked harder than everybody else because she was a kosher racer. It’s hard to arrange bike racing around the Jewish Sabbath rules but Nancy always did it.”
“After 9/11 when we went back to her apartment to retrieve many of her belongings there was her racing bicycle and her skis,” recalls Harvey. “I barely could get on a bicycle and get off without falling and also my skiing is not the greatest but I was determined to basically be able to ride her bike. Getting on and off the bike and riding up and down Central Park or Prospect Park or up in the mountains gave me a sense of how Nancy felt riding the bike.”
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