By Barry Israel
Pictured above: This was taken at a friend’s “shack” here in Germantown.
My name is Barry Israel and my ham radio call sign is KC4SVR. I am a proud member of several programs at Jewish Family Services including “special needs” equine therapy, a highly educational art program, and Rabbi Mordechai Harris’ Super Hero class. These programs are supported by your gift to Memphis Jewish Federation’s Annual Community Campaign.
I became a licensed ham radio operator in 1990 after studying for and passing a multiple-choice test on radio and electronic related topics. The club I helped found is The Nashoba Amateur Radio Club. We have about 60 members and usually have a turn out of 20 or so for monthly get-togethers. There are classes given several times a year on what you need to know to become a ham. They meet for 5, 2-hour sessions.
It’s that wonderful feeling you get. You sit down at the new state of the art computer you’ve just bought. It’s customized just for you. You hook up to the Internet on an ultra high-speed line. You have subscriptions to Google, Yahoo, and AOL. And, you play – and you SURF!
This is how hams feel when sitting down at a ham “station.” One aspect of ham radio that fascinates me is ham radio as husband’s revenge. This happens when a wife heads into the dress store for an hour at a time. What is he to do to stay busy? They turn on their local talking ham radio and dial in a popular repeater frequency. Suddenly they are having interesting discussions with 2, 3, 4 other hams. Ham radio is alive and well as long as there are honey-dos.
Hopefully your family has received the latest news from Jewish Family Service in your mailbox this week. Barry and his family have benefited from the services provided by JFS, which is supported by the work of Jewish Foundation of Memphis and Memphis Jewish Federation, both operated by Jewish Community Partners. Because of this connection, we’re thrilled to share Barry’s story about his out-of-the-ordinary hobby.