Fall 2020 Virtual Meeting – 10/25

Greetings again, ICFS cousins and Happy Succoth, everybody.

The Fall Meeting of the Israel Cantor Family Society ON ZOOM is coming up on SundayOctober 25th at 4 pmBrooklyn Larry is urging you STRONGLY (if you know what’s good for you) to Zoom with us on Oct 25.

Some details:

  1. If you would like some help working with Zoom, send an email to and we’ll walk you through it.  
  2. What would you like to know about the Society, what subjects would you like to cover, what networking would you like to do? Please send your ideas no later than October 11th to
  3. Also, we are looking for historical photographs of Society events. Do you have any photos from the reunions, meetings, or parties? We’d especially like to see photos from the early days. Do a little research, scan the photos (Staples can do scanning), or take a digital photograph of the picture, and send to no later than October 11th
  4. PLEASE Tell your siblings, children, and parents about the Zoom meeting, ’cause we don’t have everyone’s email!. 

As we get closer to the meeting, we will send you an email with the Zoom link.  On the day and at the time of the meeting, just click on the link.

Put Sunday, October 25th at 4pm EDT on your calendar now, and join in with your family.
Watch your email for more details, Zoom information, and meeting link.

Your cuz,
Phil Cantor


Fall 2019 Meeting @ Ben’s Deli 10/27

Dear ICFS Member,
The leaves are falling, apples are in the farmers’ market, and pastrami is in the air. We’ll be talking about our recent 106th Anniversary held this past June 2nd at Belmont Race Track.

The fall meeting of the Israel Cantor Family Society will be held on 
Sunday, October 27, 2019 at Ben’s Deli (209 W. 38th Street – Manhattan) Lunch at 1 pm. Meeting starts at 2 pm. $10 per person… the Society picks up the rest of the bill.

Please RSVP,
Cousin Phil


Family Society Picnic – CANCELLED

Greetings cousins,

We hope that everyone is OK in this topsy-turvy time. Our thoughts go out to anyone effected by this terrible pandemic. 

The Family Society was planning a big picnic for May 31, 2020, but unfortunately gatherings are prohibited and we have to cancel the event. We will most certainly reschedule the event for next year in 2021.

Our fall membership meeting will be on Sunday, October 25, 2020, 1 pm at Ben’s Deli in New York City. 

Stay safe,
Phil Cantor 


Jeri Bilus, 1945–2020

The Israel Cantor Family Society is sorry to report that our member, Jeri Ellen Bilus, died last week at age 74 due to complications caused by COVID-19.

Jeri was born August 24, 1945 in Jersey City to Irving Bilus and Irene Cantor Bilus.  Irene was the daughter of Dora Cantor, the second wife of Benjamin Cantor; and was the sister of Edith Cantor Brown. Irene was the half-sister to Norma Cantor Lang and Karl Cantor, who were children of Benjamin and his first wife. Jeri is survived by her brother Ben Bilus and her sister-in-law, Betsy. Jeri’s closest Cantor cousins are Rhoda Brown Chait and Paula Brown Vogel, daughters of Edith Cantor Brown.

Jeri grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey and graduated from Syracuse University in 1967.  She moved to NYC after graduation where she became a teacher and then worked in the Lindsay administration. She joined Citibank in the Human Relations department and was working for American Express on 9/11 across from  the World Trade Center when it was attacked. She was evacuated and walked home to her apartment on the upper east side.  Starting in the 1990s, she survived a series of cancers and other health problems. The rehab/nursing facility she was in while recovering from pneumonia and a dislocated hip, had an early COVID case and was closed to visitors for the last several weeks.

The burial took place at the Bilus Family Circle burial plot at United Hebrew Cemetery in Staten Island where her mother and father and grandparents are buried. Unable to have a funeral service or sit shiva, due to the pandemic, only Ben, his wife, Betsy, and the Rabbi were present at the graveside. The Bilus family plans to hold a celebration of Jeri’s life sometime during the summer.


Family Society Spring 2020 Picnic

UPDATE 5/24: The spring picnic has been cancelled due to COVID-19. See you (hopefully) in the fall!

Hi Cousins,

We hope that everyone is OK during this extraordinary and distressing time. As a Family Society, staying in touch with our far-flung cousins is a way to keep connected. Hopefully we will be able to return to some type of normalcy sooner than later.

We are monitoring the situation and we are still hoping to have our Spring Picnic at Eagle Rock Reservation in New Jersey on Sunday, May 31. As we get a little closer we will, of course, let you know.  

Looking forward to seeing everyone in person soon.
Stay healthy and safe.  

Barbara Greene
Larry Becker
Phil Cantor


Where We Going? Spring 2020 Meeting 5/31

Dear Cantor Family member, 

Yes, it is me, Larry, again. Perhaps you didn’t make it to the spring event at Belmont Park last June? Had other plans?  Didn’t care for horse racing ?  Live too far from Belmont Park?  Whatever the reason, we understand. But, you missed a splendid time and we want to make sure you don’t miss out again.  We have started planning our next event for May 2020.

Now, we could return to Belmont once again.  But the Cantor tradition demands we spend time debating what to do and where to do it… That’s what we do. So here’s the thing: 

  1. We could return to  the Belmont park picnic area where we could watch the horses run, drink (us, not the horses), bet, kibbitz, cook out and eat.
  2. We could have an old fashioned Cantor family picnic at South Mountain Reservation in West Orange, New Jersey. We can play softball, visit the park zoo, bbq, drink, kibbitz, and eat.
  3. Or, we could go bowling in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, wear different shoes, drink, kibbitz and eat. (I assume you noticed a common theme here). 

But we want YOU to have a say in what we do.  
The date is Sunday, May 31, 2020.  Let us hear from you.  
respond and tell us if you would prefer to:

  1. SPARE no expense and go bowling (get it? SPARE no expense?) 
  2. Stay on the RESERVATION and have a get together at South Mountain (get it? SOUTH MOUNTAIN RESERVATION?)
  3. Or, we can WIN at the PLACE we SHOWED up at last year, beautiful Belmont Park (get it? WIN PLACE AND SHOW are racing terms… Oh never mind). 

Let us know.  Save the date, Sunday, May 31, 2020. Tell us where you would like to spend that day with us. Will it be the track, the reservation or bowling?  We need everyone to chime in. But remember, wherever most of us decide to spend the day, it will be a great day ’cause we will be together once again, griping, kibitzing, complaining and eating.

And of course you haven’t heard the last from me.

Cantor Strong,
Larry Becker (Amy Hornick’s husband)


The Passing of Irwin Pomranz

I regret to inform you of the passing of our member Irwin (Pete) Pomranz, 92. The World War II veteran was buried this past Sunday, March 31, 2019 in the ICFS section of Beth Israel Cemetery in Woodbridge, NJ, next to his wife, Ray (Stein) Pomranz who died in 2016. Family was extremely important to Pete. Even though he lived in St. Louis for most of his life, the father of Steven, Jeffrey, Jon, and Craig was a lifelong member and supporter of the Family Society. We extend condolences and our good thoughts to his family.

The following obituary appeared in the St. Louis Jewish Light:

Irwin (Pete) Pomranz, age 92, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 in Sarasota, Florida. 

He was born on September 18, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York, the only son of Joseph and Celia Pomranz. He is preceded in death by his wife Ray (nee Stein), whose hand he held for 69 years; and by his sister Lenore Shier. He was the proud father of 4 sons: Steven (spouse Meg), Jeffrey, Jon (spouse Cynthia), and Craig (partner Tom Fernandez).

Pete’s most passionate and proudest times involved his family and his community. He led by example and placed an emphasis on moral integrity and family values. He coached Khoury League Baseball for his sons. He was past President of the St. Louis Chapter of the B’nai B’rith, and a former Councilman for the City of Olivette, Mo.

Pete had a strong entrepreneurial spirit. He owned several businesses over the years and was involved in multiple other enterprises. He was a World War II Veteran, having met his vivacious wife, Ray, at a USO dance while stationed at Scott Air Force Base.

Pete was also grandfather to 2 grandchildren: Michael Pomranz (spouse Claire) and Kristyn Merritt (spouse Jeff), and great grandfather to Delaney, Polly and Maisy; and favorite Uncle to Susan Shier and Jessica Shier Speck. He was loved and respected by many and will truly be missed.

A family graveside service was held on Sunday March 31, 2019 at Beth Israel Cemetery in Woodbridge, N.J., the location of the Israel Cantor Family Society burial site.

For those wishing to make a donation in his name it is suggested they do so with the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation or the Jewish National Fund.



Hello! Yes I mean you, Mr. or Ms. Cantor Family member.

You probably don’t know me. We both probably have not gone to many family society meetings. Too much to do, people you don’t know. Maybe you don’t have that much interest anymore. We are the oldest chartered family society in New York State. That should mean something. The question for all of us, myself included, is whether it still means enough to keep the society going. At the last meeting people actually talked about whether they should just give up trying to keep the Society going. And yet…..

We are the oldest chartered family society in NY state!

If we can keep it going, no other family society will be able to make that claim!

So I am emailing all of you, to persuade you to come to our next event where we are planning something different: The Cantors are going to hold our 2019 spring event on June 2nd at Belmont Park on Long Island, one of the most famous horse racing tracks in the country. We’ll get to see each other, renew friendships, meet new cousins, and of course do what we do best—eat, talk and have fun. We may even have a race named in our honor (oh, yes we may!). We may get a tour of the paddock area where you can see the horses before the race (oh, yes we may!). 

We will have a special picnic area just for us at the Top of the Stretch, right next to the track. We will picnic, grill (our own food, including Kosher), eat, drink (including our own beer and wine), and adults can gamble on the races. Even if you don’t want to bet, come watch the races. Just by coming out for the day you’ll be a winner!

There is a playground for the kids and you can see the horses before they go out to the track.  So this is definitely a kid-friendly event. They will get a kick when they see the horses start to CANTOR around. (I know you were thinking about that pun…)

The date: Sunday June 2, 2019. 
The time:  Noon to 5. (The races start at 1 PM.)
The location: Belmont is located on the Queens–Nassau border at 2150 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont, NY 11003. 

Check your email and click on the link to tell me if you are thinking of going. No commitment yet. If you need more information tell me that also. Please tell me as soon as possible, but no later than Sunday, March 31, 2019.  I plan to NAG (get it?!) you several times about this.

You can do this. I can do this. We can do this. We only get together twice a year. If we can get more people to come, we can have a fall event that you can help with and then maybe another spring meeting and then…….
But wait. One step at a time. I will be in touch. But make a plan to be there. One Sunday in June is all it takes to keep us going. Come on.

Your not so distant relative,
Lawrence “Seabiscuit” Becker (Amy Hornick’s husband!)
ICFS spring event committee



ICFS Meeting Rescheduled – 11/18

We are postponing the October 28 ICFS meeting due to too few RSVPs.

The fall meeting of the Israel Cantor Family Society has been rescheduled for Sandy Hornick’s house in Brooklyn.

Sunday, November 18 at 1pm
142 Park Pl, Park Slope, Brooklyn


ICFS Fall Meeting 2018 on 10/28 [Postponed to 11/18]

Update 10/22: The meeting has been postponed to 11/18 and moved to Sandy Hornick’s. Please RSVP!

The leaves are falling, crisp apples are in the market, and pastrami is in the air.  We’ll be talking about our recent 105th Anniversary held this past June at a Mets–Yankees game (the Mets won) and we’ll discuss upcoming plans. Hope you can make it!

The fall meeting of the Israel Cantor Family Society will be held on:
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Ben’s Deli (209 W. 38th Street – Manhattan)
Lunch at 1 pm, Meeting starts at 2 pm. $10 per person… the Society picks up the rest of the bill.

Be there or be square,
Your cousin, Phil