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About Linda Feinstein
Mah Jongg & Canasta Instructor
Linda Feinstein learned Mah Jongg when she was nine-years-old, during one of her family's Coney Island summers. She immediately fell in love with the game, making her a natural player. Her love of the game's excitement continues: "Even now, when I open the Mah Jongg case and set-up the racks and spill out the tiles, I cannot wait to play."
The Manhattan Mah Jongg Club concept begins twelve-years ago, when Linda Feinstein decides to teach her sister how to play Mah Jongg. This gives her the idea that other Manhattan women might like to learn how to play this beautiful, traditional Chinese game. She puts a small ad in an Upper East Side newspaper, and the rest is history. She has taught over four-thousand students, in her home, and the continuing requests for lessons still amaze and thrill her. When the students complete their three-week Mah Jongg course, they are ready to play the game. Indeed, her reputation brings prospective Mah Jongg players from as far as the Hamptons and Philadelphia. Women with various backgrounds enjoy learning Mah Jongg. Such well-known people as Jane Raab, producer, Sex in the City & Blue Bloods; Meryl Poster, NBC executive; Letty Aronson, producer, Woody Allen Films; and Judith Ripka, acclaimed jewelry designer.
As the game's popularity grows, Linda's passion, mixed with an energy-filled ambition, inspires her to realize her longtime dream-come-true — a club where Mah Jongg players can meet and do their favorite thing — play Mah Jongg.
With happy, nervous excitement, club preparations begin. Linda finds the perfect location, sends announcements, purchases Mah Jongg sets, and crosses her fingers. Initially, thirty-six women respond, and, on April 11, 2005, the Manhattan Mah Jongg Club's Mah Jongg Mondays begin. The grand opening is a fabulous success; Linda's vision comes true. Mah Jongg Mondays unfold in a friendly Upper East Side restaurant, 12:00pm - 4:00pm, including a delicious lunch, on-going beverages, and desserts. Linda arranges seating to accommodate varying skill levels and circulates to assist and answer questions, ensuring a comfortable playing environment.
Currently, the club's Mah Jongg Mondays, eight-years strong, attract 100 players weekly. Women call early to reserve their seats, meet their friends, and play Mah Jongg. If it's Monday, it must be Mah Jongg!
In addition to her private Mah Jongg and Canasta instruction and running the club, Linda plays an active community role. She has taught Mah Jongg classes at Manhattan’s world-renowned 92nd Street “Y” and the Upper West Side’s Jewish Community Center, as well as donating her Mah Jongg and Canasta expertise to various charitable organizations. Interestingly, Lauren Glassberg, ABC Channel 7 Eyewitness News; Jill Urban, NY1 News; Ben Aaron, NBC Live New York; and the New York Post have all recognized and featured Linda and her Mah Jongg renaissance. Moreover, The New York Resident, a local newspaper, honored her as one of the Top 100 New Yorkers of the Year.