blog header image

The Kosher Racer

Posted on Thursday, July 9th, 2009.

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.

mbx005278_g2

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.”

nancy_helmet

“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.”



One Response to “The Kosher Racer”

To preserve the StoryCorps mission and experience for our readers and participants, comments are subject to the StoryCorps Terms of Service. Comments may be held for moderation or removed if deemed offensive or off-topic. Please do not resubmit your comment if you don't see it right away, it will be approved as soon as possible. Thank you.

  • Your daughter’s story makes me proud to be a jew! There is always a way to keep kosher. Your daughter’s memory lives on.

    Comment from Jonathan Rich on July 10, 2009 at 10:02 am - Reply to this Comment

Leave a Reply


  • Major Funding Provided By

    CPB Logo
  • National Broadcast Sponsors

    CTCA Logo Ford Logo
  • National Partners

    NPR American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress
  • Charity Navigator Logo