Jack Goelman

PORTLAND – Jack Goelman passed away peacefully, January 24, 2020, at The Cedars nursing home.Born in Bialystock, Poland, July 29, 1922, to Laibl Goelman and Razel (Yanushevsky) Goelman.Jack was predeceased by his mother and father, as well as brothers: Velvel, Elazar, Moishe and Alan; sisters, Nechama Kaner and Chaya Segal. He is survived by son, Arthur B. Goelman. Jack leaves behind many nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews as well as great great nieces and nephews.Jack arrived in America by ship with his family at the age of four except for his oldest brother, Velvel, who went straight to Palestine. Jack grew up on the lower eastside on Henry Street during the Great Depression, sharing a bed with his younger brother, Moishe. A voracious reader, he read his way through the local library, moving on to more distant branches. Movies played a large role in his life as a youngster and throughout his life. His mother, Razel, would somehow find the change for him and his younger brother to go to see silent films. His father Laibl, was a Rabbi who taught at a Talmudic School right in the neighborhood which Jack attended. As a youth, he followed his sisters and brothers into Hashomer Hatzair, a secular socialist Zionist youth movement. His involvement and relationship with Hashomer Hatzair would eventually end, but its influence would continue to shape his political, moral and ethical positions for the rest of his life.During the war, Jack built liberty ships in Carney, N.J. with two older brothers overseas and served in the army at Fort Dix, N.J. at the end of the war. Discharged from the army he used the G.I. Bill to attend film school at C.C.N.Y., run by Hans Richter. Out of school, Jack landed a job with Amos Vogel who founded Cinema 16 with his wife, Marcia Vogel. It was considered on the job training that the G.I. Bill paid for. When the money ran out, Jack worked as a machinist for Curtis-Wright on jet airplane engines in New Jersey. Returning to Cinema 16, Jack collaborated with Marcia and Amos Vogel for the next 10 years. Cinema 16 was a New York City based membership film society, perhaps the most influential in North America, at its height boasting 7000 members. Cinema 16 closed in 1963. Amos went on to program for the New York film festival and Jack went into film research, first as a freelancer, then later at Grinberg Film Library as an archivist film researcher. Jack’s film credits as a researcher include; A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The White House, Korea: The 38th Parallel, Rise and Fall of The Third Reich, The Atomic Café, Elvis on Tour, The March of Time and many more.Jack raised a family in Sunnyside, Queens, summering on Peaks Island, for many beautiful summers from 1972 until 1981. Later summering on Pleasant Lake in Casco for many beautiful summers with his second wife, teacher and artist, Ellen Mary Hoffman. Jack was a New Yorker through and through. Walking all over Manhattan and exploring, always curious throughout his life. An avid reader his whole life, still reading the NY Times and the Portland Press Herald and the New York Review everyday right up through 97 years old. In 2014, he donated his personal collection of books and rare periodicals devoted to the post-war years of American avant-garde cinema to the Film Studies Program at Montclair State University.At 91 years old, Jack moved to Portland, Maine, to be closer to his son and resided at the Osher Inn at The Cedars. The Cedars gave him fantastic support; the staff was great and truly cared about him. While he did protest, his lack of full independence and dreamed of being back in New York City. Living independently, it proved to be a safe environment where he and his son, Arthur, could spend time together exploring greater Portland. A stroke in July 2019, two weeks before his 97 birthday, affected him greatly and precipitated his move next door to the long term nursing care. It was obvious how much the staff there cared for him and loved him. Thank you to everyone at The Cedars.The family invites you to a time of visitation at Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home, 199 Woodford St., Portland, on Friday, February 7, from 5-8 p.m. A memorial service will be celebrated in the spring in New York City. You may offer your condolences and share your memories at www.jonesrichandbarnes.com