Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Happy 99th Birthday!

Yesterday I had the honor of wishing a happy 99th birthday to a very special person: Mr. Irving Horowitz of Queens. 

Our chapter in Mr. Horowitz's story began 86 years ago, in the mineral club of the Brooklyn Children's Museum. This club was started by Mr. Jack Boyle, the Museum's first mineral curator, to spark kid's curiosity about Earth. He took the kids on field excursions to mine and collect specimens, gave them access to the Museum's mineralogy lab with tools, and had them print a mineralogy newsletter "Pay Dirt" - on a printing press.

This club inspired an interest that led its young members to lifelong achievements and contributions. One of its members, who had been introduced to Uranium in the club, became a nuclear engineer. A girl in the club became one of America's first female geologists. From his mapping and charting skills learned in mineral club, Irving Horowitz helped make aeronautical charts and maps for the Allied forces during World War II. Mr. Horowitz taught earth sciences for more 50 years in NYC public schools and Brooklyn College and rewrote the textbook used to prepare students for the Earth sciences regents exam.

Mr. Horowitz has been collecting and teaching about minerals ever since. And last year, his son, Michael Horowitz reached out about displaying part of his collection, his lifelong love and work, as the beginnings of the Museum's mineralogy exhibit. His goal is to share his love of this aspect of the natural world and its beauty -- here in Israel. The minerals arrived a few weeks ago, and we are in the process of setting up this remarkable exhibit!

We are grateful and humbled for the opportunity and the work ahead as we begin to catalog and prepare the display and exhibit. Happy 99th birthday, Mr. Horowitz. And thank you!


  1. What a wonderful, sweet story! Thank you!

    I grew up in Brooklyn, and attended Brooklyn College. Never met Mr. Horowitz, unfortunately.

    Good luck with the Mineral Collection!

  2. Very inspiring! Just curious - how does this connect to biblical natural history as apposed to just regular natural history?

    1. The museum's mission is to educate about the animals that appear in Scripture and the Land of Israel, to identify and teach about the wildlife of the Bible's stage
      Within the Torah, numerous minerals and metals are mentioned, particularly in the construction of the wilderness Tabernacle

  3. Mazal Tov to Mr. Horowitz. But I'm also interested in what the Torah angle on a minerals collection would be.

    1. The Torah talks about minerals in many places, and identifying them would require, among other things, a good science and history (and linguistics) background.

  4. Mad props to Queens!

  5. As a great nephew of Jack Boyle, I thank Mr. Horowitz for the articles he wrote about great-uncle Jack, and wish him appy 99th! Mazel Tov!


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