Still Another Honor Awaits
By Ronald Sullivan
(From: The New York Times, Sunday, October 31, 1976)
TEANECK -- Ann and Adolf Robison are of an age and disposition that could prompt them to give up their gracious home here for, say, an apartment in New York or a retirement place in Florida. Both are in their early 70's, and their two sons have their own homes and families in other communities.
But the Robisons have no intention of leaving their home or Teaneck. When they arrived here in 1941, they came to stay. As a consequence, while other couples seek to escape the burden of a house that has became too large and the lifestyle of a suburban community that no longer suits them, the Robisons plan to stay put.
Mr. Robison is 72 and his wife is 71; both, it would appear, are in the prime of their lives. The couple have long records of achievement, and both believe that they have a lot more to give and receive from a community that they have loved and served for more than 35 years.
Mr. Robison is a major textile manufacturer, and his wealth has enabled him to become one of the most prominent Jewish philanthropists in Bergen County. Mrs. Robison is a top member of the National Council of Jewish Women, and she spends a great deal of her time giving speeches on international relations.
Together the Robisons have accumulated more awards, testimonials, honorary degrees, citations, plaques, prizes, medals and commendations than a typical graduating class at a university.
On Wednesday, the Robisons will receive one more award, this one given to them as a couple. The Jewish Federation of Community Services will present to them its highest honor--it is in the name of Maimonides-in citing their dedication and service to the Jewish community.
The other evening, the Robisons, who have been married for 49 years, recalled with great pleasure their arrival in Teaneck in 1941 and how their lives and the growth of the community have been intertwined ever since.
The Robisons are very attractive. Both are fit and trim. Both appear much younger than their ages.
For example, Mr. Robison celebrated his 72 birthday last February by walking down Broadway from Yonkers, N. Y., to the Battery. He also plays tennis a lot, despite a torn tendon in his right leg.
The Robisons were initially attracted to Teaneck by the township's reputation for good schools and progressive government. When they arrived, there also were about 200 other Jewish families on hand, thus, providing the base for a strong,, vital Jewish community that is still one of Teaneck's strongest assets.
"We love it here " Mrs. Robison said. "We love the people, their community interest. Moving away would be like signing a death warrant. Give credit to this town; it has kept itself attractive."
As for their' role in the township, Including Mr. Robison's term as Councilman during the mid-50's, Mrs. Robison said, "You always get more out of something than you put into it."
Despite a lifetime of outside achievements, the Robisons have given much of themselves to the township. The library recently exhibited a collection of old sheet music that Mr. Robison had lent it, and both have led any number of community drives of one kind or another.
"I love this town," Mr. Robinson said. "You can go to any neighbor and get a favor or help if you need it. It's nice to be surrounded by people who know you are alive.
The Robisons say that life in a luxury apartment in Manhattan or a retirement home in Florida holds no interest for them. Their lives are in Teaneck and in the work they have done, are still doing, here.
For example, Mr. Robison writes poetry and music, while Mrs. Robison writes a weekly column for The Jewish Standard. Their awards and a, list of their community activities run on and on.
Mr. Robison's credits include numerous awards and citations from Jewish organizations. But perhaps the one he treasures the most is the award he received from Israel for his duty as an officer in the Haganah, the underground army that enabled Israel to gain its independence.
That award stands close to a Congressional Medal of Honor citation that was presented during the Civil War to Mr. Robison's great-grandfather, the first Jew to receive the nation's highest military honor.
Mr. Robison also has served on any number of Jewish philanthropic organizations. The couple have had halls and dormitories at Fairleigh Dickinson University named in their honor, and both have received honorary degrees, his from Fairleigh Dickinson and Kyung Hee University in Korea and hers from the University of Maine, of which she is an alumna.
Mr. Robison, is a graduate of Columbia University and both he and his wife are members of Phi Beta Kappa.
Mrs. Robison has had a long career as a leading spokeswoman for the National Council of Jewish Women. She has lectured throughout the world, primarily on educational and international subjects.
The award program Wednesday evening will mark the beginning of the Jewish federation's 1977 fund-raising campaign. Minimum contributions for the dinner, to be held at the Tammy Brook Country Club, are $1,500.