Deborah Kornfeld and Ruth Rappaport-Kristal

Recorded July 23, 2021 Archived July 23, 2021 18:40 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: mby020909


Sisters, Deborah Kornfeld (73) and Ruth Rappaport-Kristal (62), share the wonderful story of how the holiday Ice Cream for Breakfast day came to be.

Subject Log / Time Code

DK gives some background on her mother and frames the conversation of ice cream for breakfast day.
RRK gives historical context on Ice Cream for Breakfast Day.
“Memory is an ambiguous thing, I would say,” says RRK.
DK shares a story of her niece who lives in China and the way they celebrate Ice Cream for Breakfast Day.
“How do you celebrate this holiday?” DK asks RRK.
DK and RRK share stories of the way ice cream for breakfast is able to brighten the mood of people being challenged by difficult situations.


  • Deborah Kornfeld
  • Ruth Rappaport-Kristal


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00:02 My name is Ruth rappaport-kristal. It was formerly Ruth Kramer. I am 62 years old and today is Friday, July 23rd. 2021. I am in Rochester, New York and I am sitting here with my sister, Debbie, kornfeld, and I'm Deborah kornfeld, and I'm 73 years old. And it's the same date February, July 23rd, and I'm in Rochester, New York and the name of our. Our conversation. Today is Florence, Jean, Santo, Rapaport, and ice cream for breakfast day.

00:43 Okay, I'm going to start a little bit but I decided I'm sort of rigid and I made a whole list and everything like that, but we can interrupt each other which is the way home. That's the way we talk. So I can give you a little background. My mother, Florence. Jean, Zano Rapaport was born in August of 1919. Is she a little, a little background and then some info on how this one day in February, a little inspirational day in 1966 Camp catapulted into a holiday that still celebrated around the world. Matt's ice cream for breakfast day. It is what it is. Exactly what my mother was a child of the depression. She was from a hard-working modest middle-class family. She was smart and beautiful but limited by social expectations and finances from

01:43 Judge in a career. She married my dad Lester Rappaport November of 1940 and they were married for sixty-five years. At the time of her passing. They were devoted to each other. But our mother was a more private person to my father and amused attitude toward us for life. In general. She had six children over 17 years and was sort of more like two families, so she had Lewis and Jane and myself from 1942 to 1948 and then from 9:57 at night to 1508 1958 and 1959.

02:28 Mom took a traditional route of motherhood, marriage volunteering PTA ironing in those days. You spent hours ironing Communications community-minded and illiberal. She raised us to be just a little out of sync with everybody first in our reform, Jewish Community having six kids was outrageous. It was just insane about. We, and we were also a little more traditional than most reform Jews. We kept the form of the Jewish dietary laws and many more of the holidays. It was not a lavish lifestyle. There is no TV. No toy guns. No comic books. Mini Barbie Barbie, no big lavish vacation, but it was yesterday, Leo. And yes, the library cards and playing outside for hours with little supervision. And we always were encouraged to work at jobs in our teens and she was abused by us. And I'm using from time to time. She would stand on a chair, a kitchen chair and decor.

03:28 She was resigning from otherhood. So I just want to. And then she did this. The older siblings, were deeply amused, and I was terrified. I thought my mother would leave it alone all day long. With all that, she had a hidden ambition and of perseverance at age, 44, he returned to work and to school. And to the college. She was working with Tyrus young mothers. She got her BS in social work at age 59 and it turned out that she was the 5000 graduate of Empire college and was featured in the newspaper maybe to her mom and was super supportive of her daughters when they became mothers. Some of them returning to work. After taking off just a maternity leave. She was also able to adapt to changes in how babies were treated and was not in.

04:28 Celtic about the good old days. We all nursed our children. She said they were she was we were bottle-fed you. Do you put your babies on your stomach, but now you put them on for you. Because of who she was as a kind of a life-long learner. Right? Right. That was right. She was the central Grandma table 13 of her, grandchildren and tortured children. She remained a supportive and inspirational figure affirming our Ambitions and helping us out with our struggles. In short. He was just a really wonderful mother. She really was she a bad person. Yes. She was everybody loved her yet. She is best remembered by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and the family. Now number is 56, all in all the 13 grandchildren and now on 18, Greg G as being the inventor of ice cream for breakfast day. And if you haven't heard about it, it's about time right now.

05:28 The historical perspective, of course answer, youngest in this kind of large family. It turns out, I have no real memories, but you know, I'll make them up. Let us have one. My brother Joe and I were little, she let us have ice cream for breakfast. During this horrible snow storm in February and we were just bored out of our minds and probably driving her crazy. And then we would remind her of this annual tradition and announced she would indulge us every now and then she was a, she and her family were big fans of ice cream on the same side as a big thing. But she went Joe and I were getting ready to go to college. He's just 13 months older than I am.

06:17 We took this tradition and we would have ice cream parties in our college dorms. And that's how it's worded morphed into this, you know, holiday that grows exponentially. So in college, I have this friend. Barry. Barry has been an incredibly loyal Observer of ice cream for breakfast day. He has this huge holiday. Joe has been doing this holiday for four years. He has very small apartment in New York City, you know, it's a size of a postcard and he, you know, has 50 or 60 people coming in every year for ice cream for breakfast Day related. That he, since 1981, he celebrated this and he has contest and he celebrates postcards. He wants sometimes the name of his ice cream dish after a historical figure, write a poem about an ice cream.

07:17 Ice cream sundae costume on the internet, which

07:22 Which is really a ridiculous looking costume, but he, where is it for ice cream for breakfast day and we have occasionally been in the same place during ice cream for breakfast day and that's, that's always a treat one. Couple I guess met at his party and married and you know, I don't know what they have done. Yes, they made it into a big, big holiday. So there are hotspots known or cold. So I guess you would say for ice cream for breakfast day. In various parts of the world. In China are nice design, a huge fundraiser. She's the youngest daughter of our older sister and she's been living in China for years. She makes ice cream for breakfast, a fundraiser, and has been running a really successful. But so yeah, and these college friends continuing it and it's better.

08:22 Birthday in some ways cuz I'll get kind of random calls from people or random stories from people and this year, this past year, you know, we were sort of feeling sorry for ourselves because we couldn't have a party because of the pandemic. But then Joe and I got invited to a zoo party for the sky in Washington, this college friend of mine and we were we were like celebrities because these people have been hearing about us for years. All these are the founders. So, you know, we need our egos stroked a little so that was really fun. It was memorable. My my daughter was studying in Jerusalem, and she met somebody an ice cream for breakfast day who claims that he knew the inventor of ice cream for breakfast. And she said and she was treated with the dignity that you should be treated if you happen to have invented a holiday.

09:22 Nice Rosie was in England, 1 year and she saw a sign for ice cream for breakfast day. So she went to the random one and it turned out to be also a friend of a roof and my son, my oldest son lives in Israel, and he was studying in the south of Israel in the desert, and was talking to somebody, you know, sort of randomly and said, you know, what's your favorite holiday? And this person said ice cream for breakfast and he said, oh, yeah, that's my grandmother's Holiday Inn, and you don't have to go on the internet and prove it, but there is a Wikipedia page. Don't let you know dedicated ice cream for breakfast day. So for all you non-believers, you can check it out. I'll name is in it. And also there are you have been several newspaper, articles one in the Washington Post, several years ago and one of the Democrat and Chronicle our local paper for me and Sarah, also grandchildren, and a big party in DC. And they are, you know, when they do.

10:22 Something they do it, right? They also have contest. They have a historical time corner where they have let, you know. I even some historical interest about ice cream or about ice cream for breakfast or about breakfast. And they have about 80 people. They rent a cabin. And, you know, they they bring me ice cream and they have to debate every year how much ice cream to bring and people bring the toppings with the understanding that they take them home cuz you know who wants to be left with a thousand types of toppings. And I did that one year was telling Debbie when we were rehearsing get out of cabin when my son's I have three boys were young and I will never

11:04 Do that again. You give me a whole day care, you know, a bunch of sugar and see what happens. It was absolute chaos. These kids were running around. I'm surprised. Nobody killed himself and it was too cold in Rochester to go outside. You know, it was just like while absolute crazy. So I only did that one ice cream for tennis shoes, tennis shoes, like the reception after the service day. And one time my brother Joe and people asking like what's exact, you know, that Orthodox Jews. What's the exact date of ice cream for breakfast day? Well, you know, they're pretty is pretty lenient. You can have it, you can get away with that. When you want to make up your own recently. We've all been talking about this because of storycorps Debbie's husband, send an email recently saying he had this Vivid memories of his synagogue. There's a guy getting ready for ice.

12:04 For breakfast day and he recalled it being a friend of mine and he had the the name, you know, it was a friend and I said it might be a good memory but it is James friend and you got the name. Wrong is a ambiguous thing. I would say is sweet. Story was about my niece in, in China for the last sixteen years. She's observed ice cream for breakfast day. And one time she was going out with a guy and they were just starting to date and he was not in wherever she was, she was in and he couldn't get the train. So we took a bus and took him 3 hours to get there and he's trying to use his ethnic Chinese person. Anyway, when he finally got there, he decided he loved this holiday and he loves it because it was it's what I brought them to my mother and you know, it made him. It was a

13:04 An honor to remember my mother and there was sweet and they have also, they don't have it in their own home and they have to have in a restaurant or something like that. And the toppings in China are very, very different. She actually, she's a journalist herself and she just had to buy them on. I'm trying to let the cold world radio tritri where she was talking about the types of toppings that they put on in China. They put on hot things. And, you know, very, actually, I was in China when you're visiting this nice, it were a pretty close extended family, even though we were all very far away from one another and my husband, and I went to China in 2009 and it hasn't happened. It was on ice cream for breakfast day. And she because of her media connections had a photographer there and it's harder for her was from the Chinese version of cosmopolitan.

14:05 So, I tell people all the time, but I want to have my picture and Cosmo. It's me as a middle-aged woman with gray hair. But still, we have a refrigerator that we care about and that we think Grandma would care about. And I know that grandma didn't like to think of herself as defined by ice cream for breakfast day, but she was saying, she thinks that you would be happy with how is become a vehicle for social change and it's love how it's taken on a life of its own. So that's very sweet. Marie in Fairport New York. That does this as a fundraiser, you know, when they have lines going going out the door when it was not the pandemic and you know,

15:04 Always getting mine. I have one son, who happens to live in Rochester. So we try to meet there and you know, I want to butt in line and say, hey.

15:16 Is there for the ice cream and I think it is really just as you think, you have some ice cream, you have it for breakfast, you know, your idea of breakfast, your idea of ice cream. When you celebrate with a bunch of middle-aged, people are older now, like, well, this one phone call. Now, I probably won't Juliet is one, but people can be, you know, Joey had a party. Also, one person said they can, why aren't this? These were people who were very competitive about the contest and he actually stopped having the contest cuz they were so competitive.

16:16 I wondered why he didn't. You know why he didn't serve Bagels also, so the next year, he served Bagels, but he thinks he's very serious.

16:42 But we do, I mean, part of the joke is that our mother wouldn't really appreciate our father would and see what you would be an said, right? She, she, she whispered once and I really liked oatmeal better for breakfast for me about it. Is that how it's morphing that I can meet somebody who? I don't know, who doesn't even know who's or somebody like that. And when I mention, I should Rebecca state where they mention ice cream for breakfast day, it, it really lights up a room. It's a, it's a nice holiday. And when I was working in the public school, I'm an occupational therapist, and I mentioned it to the staff and they took it home. They said, oh, how much their children like and what a wonderful idea. You don't wake up and surprise them one morning. Just something really different.

17:42 I was working in a in a shelter for for victims of abuse and they had a bunch of kids and we brought in ice cream and it was sort of similar to the cabin experience, hit up a bunch of people with a sugar high in a closed. I think your mother would be happy in the sense that sometimes people money for this. That brings the light to her grandchildren and two great-grandchildren and that sort of a very Vivid way to keep her memory alive. And I know that both our parents would be happy cuz they were huge radio. We really grew up with the radio, right? And so this would be a nice tribute.

18:31 Okay, I think we're good. Thank you.