Is this your mother’s Mah Jongg?

by | Feb 14, 2014 | What’s Happening

Monday, August 18

The answer is probably “Yes.”

The game, as played by American Jewish women, has changed very little in more than 50 years. It was all the rage in the roaring 20s, but its popularity waned by the 30s. In 1937, thinking that this was at least partially due to widely varying and terribly complex table rules, four lovers of the game placed an add in the New York Times inviting Mah Jongg enthusiasts to a meeting at The Essex House in New York City. Two hundred women attended. It is interesting to note that they were all Jewish.

The National Mah Jongg League was established to standardize rules and to publish a list of hands on a card that would change from year to year. All who play, know it as “the Card.”

This year, the Annual Janet Gordon Mah Jongg Tournament at Beth Sholom Village will have a new look, which will actually be the old look.

Chairwomen Charlene Cohen and Ellen Mesh are asking for pictures of “you or your mother’s, or your mother’s mothers’” Mah Jongg groups playing; vintage Mah Jongg cards or sets to help take the trip back in time.

Contact Mesh at 757-490-1289; Cohen at 757-676-6902 or Claire Roth at 757‑961‑3024 at the Village to loan any Mah Jongg memorabilia. The women promise to take good care of these treasured possessions and if possible, make copies and immediately return the originals.