Simcha Gersh


Class of 2006

Daniel Webster defines “pillar” as an upright structure, support or monument, and a Jewish dictionary version would say “Mensch.” All would pertain to Simcha!

His “pillar” base begins at 6th & Wolf Streets in South Philadelphia. He even delivered Jewish newspapers (Der Forwitz) to Eddie Gottlieb’s house.

Many more stones were added to the Pillar when he conned the U.S. Army and enlisted as a young teenager. He was destined for heroism. This courageous young man earned the Bronze Star for service of the highest merit; the Silver Star twice for gallantry in action, the Oak Leaf Clusters for services beyond the call of duty, the Distinguished Service Cross, Belgium Forragere and the French Croix de Guerre.

At wars end, Simcha began graduate work in Germany, pioneering in silicone polymer technology, receiving a Ph.D. in this special field. The learning was the catalyst for his successful business – Insta-Mold Industries, which he and his sons Richard and Todd now run.

All of this has seasoned Simcha to his real love (aside from his lovely wife, Hope, of course), which is the J.B.L.A. – Jewish Basketball League Alumni.

The organization began in 1938 and prospered from Gottlieb to Dave Dabrow to Gersh. For fourteen years Simcha has been president of the J.B.L.A. Twice a year in June and November, he presides over 300 to 400 fellow former Jewish basketball league players who all played in this building, the former YMHA. What a responsibility! Yet each event is a huge success and to make so many former Jewish jocks happy is a miracle, and Simcha is the reason.

He is a man of extremes – always generous, patriotic, religious, a wonderful husband and father, and a true friend.