The Lambda Chapter of Alpha Zeta Omega Pharmaceutical Fraternity is closing its era. The Fraternity has 13 active remaining members. These are the ones who have continued to pay their dues till the end. They are Bill Klein, Sid Bederman, Donald Gordon, Leon Figa, Sid Figa, Merle Kaplin, Gene Miller, Charlie Rosenberg, Aron Schwartz, Sonny Steinberg, Jacob Wishnia, Simon Wolf and Arnold Zegart.
When the Pharmacy School moved its location from First and Chestnut in Louisville to the brand new school in Lexington, KY, the Alumni Chapter of Lambda was formed in Louisville. There were approximately 10 fraternity members to make that move. After that time, there were fewer Jewish students going into Pharmacy at the UK Pharmacy School. The fraternity was known for its Yom Kippur Break the Fast affairs, New Year’s Eve dances and many stag affairs.
Many local fraternity members held national offices, including Jake Chitlik, who served as national president. At that time, Yale Kessel attended many national conventions; Bob Goodman held the office of chaplain for many, many years; and I attended a national convention held at the Concord Hotel in the Catskills, of which I have fond memories to this day.
Our AZO chapter was able to contribute to many charities and scholarships over the years. Bob Goodman would order prescription empty vials and bottles in large quantities, store them in his basement and we would help distribute these by either fraternity members picking them up during meetings or helping deliver them to the many stores in many instances. This was probably our largest, continuing fundraiser.
Back in the early years, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, many AZO fraternity members owned their own pharmacies throughout Jefferson County and southern Indiana. Many of them were in close proximity to one another and yet they all made a living while being in competition with one another.
It would not be fair if we did not mention the wonderful, active AZO Auxiliary to which our wives belonged –some of whom were also pharmacists. They held many social activities and contributed to many charities as well.
So as our era of existence is ending, after awarding $5,000 to the University of Kentucky Pharmacy School and making small donations in honor of and in memory of our fraters and their families, we have chosen to make our last donation to the Jewish Community of Louisville’s Federation Campaign. At this time our donation of $649.58 will be matched by the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence Double Your Impact Challenge. We feel that we would like to make our last contribution for the welfare of the community.
I was blessed to have known dozens of the members of AZO, various chapters, beginning in 1958.
The losses of friends over the years was difficult but none as when dear friend Robert Kirschner died – just when we reconnected.