Kenton City Schools is excited to announce the class of two alumni to be inducted into the Kenton City Schools Alumni Hall of Fame: Tom Brim, Class of 1968, and William Rosenthall, Class of 1945.
William Abraham Rosenthall was born in Kenton, Ohio on March 8, 1927, to Gordon Leopold and Florence Amster Rosenthall. His grandparents were Abraham and Jeanette Moss Rosenthall. Abraham, the grandfather, owned a clothing store in Kenton located on the west side of the square.
William graduated from Kenton High School in 1945. He was the editor of the Echo, the school yearbook, the vice president of the senior class, and participated in other activities such as the boy’s choir and the dramatic club. In 1957 he married Irene Ostrower in Manhattan, New York.
The following information was taken from his obituary published by the Charleston Post & Courier on May 2, 2005.
“Rosenthall, William Rabbi Emeritus, K. K. Beth Elohim, Charleston, SC –
Before being called to the pulpit of Congregation Beth Elohim in 1976, Rabbi William A. Rosenthall had been Executive Director of the World Union for Progressive Judaism in New York. He served in the U.S. Air Corps, and studied literature, modern languages, and art at Syracuse University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1950. After a brief business endeavor he earned BHL and MHL degrees at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, where, as president of the senior class, he was ordained in 1956. Rabbi Rosenthall became assistant rabbi of Washington Hebrew Congregation in the nation’s capital, from which position he resigned to pursue studies in Israel and Europe. He was rabbi of the Woodsdale Temple in Wheeling, West Virginia from 1958 to 1962, when he was appointed to the directorship of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPI), the international organization of the Reform and Liberal religious movement. As director of the WUPI for more than a decade, Rabbi Rosenthall coordinated the activities of congregations in two dozen countries and administered the organization’s rabbinate, programs, publications, and international conferences. He was instrumental in establishing new congregations in Latin America, Israel, and Europe, and has preached in many parts of the world. After resigning his post on the transfer overseas of WUPI headquarters, he was engaged as interim rabbi at synagogues in the New York metropolitan area. Rabbi Rosenthall was long a member of the Governing Body of the World Union, of which he is an Honorary Life Member, and of its North American Board. He was active in the International and Latin American commissions of the American Jewish Committee and the Latin American Committee of the ADL. Deeply interested in interfaith cooperation, he is the past president of the Christian-Jewish Council of Charleston and also the past president of the Ministerial Association of Greater Charleston. He was awarded the Doctor of Divinity degree in 1981. He frequently lectured on Jewish graphic arts and had become widely known in this community, throughout the country, and abroad. Selective exhibitions of his prints have been much acclaimed in Washington, DC, Cincinnati, Charleston, and Savannah. For many years he was on the boards of the Carolina Art Association, the Collections Committee of the Gibbes Art Museum, and the Charleston Museum. Dr. Rosenthall retired from Beth Elohim in June 1992 and served as the Temple’s Rabbi Emeritus until his death on April 30, 2005. He is survived by his wife, Irene, son Gordon, of Columbia, SC, and daughter, Marcia, of Washington, DC.”
Tom Brim always had a vision of how he wanted to accomplish his life goals. Through his leadership, handwork, and perseverance he has successfully built and expanded his business over the past 50 years. He has faithfully served the customers of Brim’s Imports/Brim’s Salvage yard by providing his customers with exceptional, honest, and fair service. Their needs as well as their satisfaction have always been Tom’s priority. He also had the vision with his business to include a vintage motorcycle collection. His “museum” draws customers and motorcycle enthusiasts domestically and internationally. He shares his love and knowledge of motorcycles with various clubs and individuals who visit Brim’s. He also lends some of his collection to more prestigious museums in the country. They also owned and donated a vintage bicycle, ridden by Major Taylor, the first person of color professional cyclist, to the Wilbur Force Museam. Finding a meaningful home for this bicycle was his way of educating others on cycling history, as well as commemorating bicycle racing among people of color. Tom has literally sold cars, parts, motorcycles, or bicycles to customers on six of the seven continents. In spite of his global outreach and success, his heart lives with his local customers at Brim’s Imports. They have become his Brim Imports Family. They are the fundamental core of his business.
Tom has honorably served as a Kenton City Schools Board of Education member for a total of 14 years. He was committed to Ensuring 100% transparency to the public of school operations. He was instrumental in safeguarding KCS’s fiscal stability. His door was always open to the public’s questions and concerns.
Tom is a “quick” philanthropist. We will never really know how many people his generosity has touched. He will always donate to a deserving cause never expecting recognition or a thank you. Recognition and thanks aren’t important to Tom. Serving others is, and always will be his focus.
Tom has reached many of his lifetime goals, but I’m sure he isn’t don’t yet. He has achieved these goals through leadership, hard work, honesty, and integrity. His biggest achievement has been serving others. He wouldn’t have it any other way.
Brim and Rosenthal will be formally inducted during Kenton High School Graduation on May 27, 2023.