Mel HaberMel Haber

Little Neck, NY

Member of EHSLI since 1998

Write a short paragraph or two about yourself.

I am basically someone who enjoys being with people and sharing my passions with them. Because my greatest passions are music and teaching, I’m lucky that when I retired in 2013, I have been able to present programs at various places where I’ve taught people about the artistry of both popular and operatic singers.

I’m also someone who works hard at being a good listener and enjoys having mutual conversations with others. I believe I’m a warm and friendly person with a good sense of humor.

What’s your favorite movie/book/play and why?

My favorite film is Ikiru (To Live), a Japanese film about a man who, at the beginning of the film, is diagnosed with cancer and told he has six months to live. In the course of the movie, he learns how he can lead a meaningful life after spending most of it as a cipher. It is a deeply moving film, which made me think about my own life and what I do, or should do, to make it more meaningful.

If you were having your last meal on earth what would it be? 

I would have a pastrami sandwich on rye from Katz’s Deli, an order of French fries from Nathan’s, a glass of Dr. Brown’s cream soda, and a piece of coconut custard pie from Horn and Hardhart’s Automat.

What do you do in your spare time? (e.g., hobbies or other volunteer work)

I read my email, listen to music of all kinds, read the daily New York Times, and watch TV shows and movies at night.

What is your favorite thing to do on a weekend? 

I love to get together with friends, go to a movie and/or restaurant, or simply get together and talk. I also like going together with my wife, Barbara, into Manhattan to a museum or concert and having a nice lunch or dinner.

What is your ideal vacation? 

Barbara and I are big-city people and like traveling to major cities in the U.S. or Europe.

What is your favorite quote? 

Work fascinates me. I could watch it for hours.” [This was the quote that I used in my high school yearbook.]

Who is your role model, hero, or inspiration – and why? 

Barbara, my wife, is my role model. I’ve learned so much about how to be a decent human being from her warmth, sensitivity and caring.

If you could do one thing over in life, what would it be (or had done that you never did)

I would never have waited so long to get a computer.

What is one thing you absolutely want to do before you die? 

Play boogey-woogie piano.

Why are you a member of EHSLI? 

I want to be part of a spiritual group of like-minded people. As a member for over 20 years, I enjoy the social benefits of the friendship and support of fellow members, as well the educational knowledge I gain from Sunday meetings.