Jill Hausberg

After high school, I attended NYU Uptown in a program entitled the Metropolitan Leadership Program. I guess I was slated to be a Metropolitan Leader. During my sophomore year, my mother died from the ravages of breast cancer, and I, distraught and overwhelmed, took a leave of absence from school. I went home to Scarsdale, spent a lot of time with my younger brother Jimmy and worked at Scarsdale National Bank. One Sunday, I was prompted by an advertisement in the Sunday Times to attend Tel Aviv University. My parents had traveled to Israel and my mom had wanted so much to return, so without much thought, just from my gut, I sent for an application, took Hebrew lessons, and in January 1972, went to Tel Aviv University. Israel had an astonishing effect on me, peaked my interest and gave me a new focus.

I returned to NYU (the Washington Square Campus) and completed my degree in Middle Eastern Studies and continued at NYU in the Graduate School of Near Eastern Languages and Literatures. At the same time, I had a stipend from the Jewish Agency to promote Israel on college campuses across America. In the midst of all this, the Yom Kippur War broke out. The Jewish Agency was the responsible arm for gathering up American volunteers for Israel, and I was slated with the task of having this effort documented which resulted in a 30 minute documentary film, Days of Judgment. Shortly after this, I fell in love with David Marinoff, a Los Angelino, who had been living in New York and also working for the Jewish Agency. We married on July 4, 1974, and settled in Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, I worked for the Jewish Federation in the development and creation of a city wide Solidarity Walk, which still takes place annually.

The most wonderful part of my life then began with the birth of my daughter, Deborah, followed shortly thereafter with the birth of my son, Michael. I was a full time mom, and housewife, and during my free time played lots of tennis and learned to cook. I became active in the community and childrens’ school and the West Los Angeles Little League, where I became the first female coach.

In the early 80’s, I decided to return to work and I faced the difficulty of trying to find something of interest that would not take me away from the kids and at the same time be somewhat financially rewarding. First stop, I went to work for my husband, who was now in the Entertainment Marketing business. Under his guidance, I produced a radio promotion in search of the funniest person in America "The Jest of the West". The final event was held at The Improvisation in Los Angeles with the winner being none other than the yet to be discovered Denis Leary. With that success under my belt, I decided to move on – quit while you’re ahead. Anyway, family business isn’t such a great idea. Inspired by a friend, I started to work in the financial service industry. Being on the west coast, this allowed me to be finished with work by 2:00 p.m., with plenty of time to be on carpool line. This was a great, but tiring endeavor, and when my friend, now business partner, became engaged to my brother, we decided to sell the little boutique investment firm we had established. So out of work, I went to UCLA, opened their catalogue and said what next. Having considered law school at one point, I decided to take UCLA’s year-long paralegal program and see where that took me. Since then, I have been working in law firms as a litigation paralegal on significant toxic tort cases, medical malpractice cases and sexual abuse cases. As long as the work stays interesting, I’m in.

My children have now grown up. Deborah, who is 23 years old, graduated from Northwestern University where she studied film. She now works for Abandon Entertainment in Manhattan. Michael, is 21 years old, also went to Northwestern where he studied theatre, and is currently in New York, working for Talk Magazine and auditioning. David’s business brought him more and more to New York over the past few years, so we left Los Angeles after 25 years and are now living in Connecticut.

I have been in touch with many people from Scarsdale over the years and have always felt close and connected. We grew up in a special place, at a very special time, and its impact ties us together.