31 December 2015

Treasure Chest Thursday: Julius Reitman's English essay, FLPBA 40th anniversary publication

This wonderful essay penned by Julius Reitman summarizes some of the accomplishments of the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association during its first 40 years. While genealogists tend to think of landsmanshaft organizations as responsive to the welfare and needs of their members - including acquisition of burial plots - Julius hardly mentions those activities. For him, the crowning FLPBA achievements are those directed at the welfare of those left behind in the old country - in the home community of Lubin and in surrounding communities. Impressive accomplishments, indeed! And completely in line with the Jewish concept of tsedaka: the obligation to do what is right and just.

[I have transcribed and annotated the essay, below.]  

     I regret that I cannot in detail speak of every action of the First Lubiner through all the years of our existence.[1] However, there should and indeed must be mentioned the glorious relief chapter of the first world war in which we played our full part.

     I am sure everyone will recall how eagerly our organization participated in the relief work that American Jewry undertook then under the leadership of the Joint Distribution Committee as well as the People's Relief Committee.[2] Every one of us not only donated individually, but also worked tediously in order to enable others to do their bit for our brothers and sisters overseas who depended so greatly on the outcome of our work.[3] And our help at that time was not given to Lubiner Landsleit alone, but to Landsleit of the entire Lubiner surroundings.

     It is also perhaps worthwhile to speak of that little but very important chapter, of our efforts to bring over here the rabbi of Lubin and to support him until he was in a position to earn his livelihood.[4] Permit me to say to those who might think this too little to be mentioned here, that our entire life is only a continuous flow of little things, and if we overlook these little things, we overlook the very life of people. For that reason our sages and elders of past generations taught us that anyone who helps to save one life has in fact helped to save the whole world, for every human life is a world in itself. 

     Also I believe it worthwhile to pay a little attention to the activities of the First Lubiner of today as well as of the last few years.

     Our organization, as you know, is helping and participating in the relief work through substantial donations to the United Jewish Appeal, to HIAS,  to Histadruth and to many other large and small organizations. At the same time, while we are doing our duty to the national organizations, we never forget and never overlook our responsibilities to bring relief and succor directly to our sister and brothers of Lubin and vicinity. These very few survivors of our people there, need so desperately our attention and out help in order to enable them to start their shattered lives once again.

     I am sure that you are aware of the many relief packages that we sent to our brothers and sisters in the concentration camps as well as to those who survive in many towns and cities of the Soviet Union.

     In conclusion, let me state that by mentioning all these activities I had no intention of patting myself or the members of the First Lubiner on the shoulder for what we did. Rather by mentioning our past activities I wanted to help all of us to remember that such relief work was and still is the moral justification for our existence as a Jewish Landsmannshaft. 

     In the activities of rebuilding the lives of our brethren in all lands as well as in Israel, the land where so many of them found a home, is justification as well as strength and courage for us to continue the work that is so imperative in our times. It is in the name of these activities that I would like to express our hope that we, all of us, will live to celebrate our 50th anniversary 10 years hence, at a time which, we hope, will be the time of real peace and security for our people and the entire world.

Notes:
1. The First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association began in 1911 in Manhattan. Julius Reitman immigrated to the United States in 1921. Manifest, S.S. Kroonland, arrived 9 August 1921, stamped p. 119, line 11, Zyna Chajtman, age 23; images, "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 December 2010).
2. For further discussion of the work that the FLPBA funded via the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee see my blog post here. For discussion of the relationship between the Joint and the People's Relief Committee, a Socialist organization, see this link. Records of the People's Relief Committee are archived at the Center for Jewish History in NYC.
3. It appears that there was an arm of the FLPBA, called Lubin Relief, that oversaw the landsmanshaft's fiscal participation in relief activities. I have located a letter in the online JDC archive to my great great uncle, Myer Myers, regarding Lubin relief work. The letter may be found on this page at: "Letter from I.M. Naishtut to Mr. M. Myers," item ID 356440. 
4. This was Rabbi Yoer Lerner, his wife Rebecca and his son Szyza (who became Sam Lerner in the USA). They arrived in New York on the S.S. Cedric on 11 March 1924. Manifest, S.S. Cedric, arrived 11 March 1924, Fre Lerner and Rebeka Lerner (stamped list 7, lines 2 & 3) and Szyza Lerner (stamped list 5, line 5); images, "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 September 2014). 

29 December 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Philip and Sarah Schenkerman, Beth Moses Cemetery, Pinelawn, NY

Gosh, I so love grave plantings! I have made it a policy to just say "NO!" when cemeteries ask me if I would like something planted on a loved-one's grave. Usually, when I record graves in a cemetery, I take along pruning shears so I can make the information on the stone readable for the camera.

Unfortunately, the growth on the Schenkermans' graves was more than I could handle. Fortunately, I was able to wrestle the vegetation away from the stone enough to jot down most of the salient information. 

SCHENKERMAN
Here lies
Pinkhas
son of Mordechai
BELOVED HUSBAND
DEVOTED ...
[DIED JULY 11, 1975
AGE 78 YEARS]
----------
Here lies
Sarah daughter of
Avraham Mosche
BELOVED WIFE ...
[DIED SEPTEMBER 18, 1961
AGE 67 YEARS]

I posted previously about Philip Schenkerman's advertisement in the 40th anniversary publication of the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association (FLPBA). I also posted about his father Max Shenkerman's grave in one of the Montefiore Cemetery FLPBA plots, Queens, NY. Philip and his wife, Sarah Tabachnik Schenkerman, are interred in adjacent graves and share a tombstone in the FLPBA plot, Block 24, Maccabee Road, Beth Moses Cemetery, Pinelaqwn, NY.

Philip and Sarah's marriage certificate indicated that Philip's parents were Max (Anglicized from Mordechai) Schenkerman and Dora Kopetz.[1] Sarah's parents were Abraham Tabachnik and Bess Wenger.

I have located records for their children in Ancestry's database for Social Security applications.[2]
  • David Schenkerman 28 June 1919 - 13 March 2003
  • Rose Schenkerman Friedman 5 November 1921 - June 1982
  • Irving Schenkerman 27 May 1926 - 11 August 1986
Notes:
1. New York County, New York, marriage certificate no. 14350 (1917), Philip Schenkerman and Sarah Tabatznik, 9 May 1917; Municipal Archives, New York.
2. "U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007," database online, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 October 2015); entries for David Schenkerman, Rose Schenkerman Friedman and Irving Schenkerman. 

24 December 2015

Treasure Chest Thursday: Julius Reitman's Yiddish essay in the 1949 FLPBA anniversary publication

The 1949 anniversary publication of the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association [a landsmanshaft organization in New York City for immigrants from the town of Labun (Lubin in Yiddish), Russian Empire] included pages of both Yiddish and English language essays by then recent past President Julius (Zine) Reitman. This week I will present the Yiddish essay; next week, the English one.

Special thanks to Emma Karabelnik and Bill Liebner who each provided their takes on English translation. I had posted an image of the essay on JewishGen's ViewMate - a wonderful application for, essentially, crowd-sourcing translations and other questions about images. Translation is an art. Since there were sometimes differences in translated wording, I had to make choices. Errors as a result of these decisions, are, of course, my own.


Dear compatriots
 

I Zineh and my wife Sarah Reitman, natives of Lubin, took it upon ourselves to to congratulate our compatriots and their families on the 40th anniversary of our society.[1] We hope that all of us will live to celebrate the 50th anniversary.
 

We came to America in 1921.[2] Three days later, we became members of this Society. My late father Moshe Reitman was one of the most devoted members in this organization.[3] I follow in his footsteps, being devoted to all our fellow members. Time and money do not prevent me from actively participating in the activities on behalf of the society.[4] I consider it a pleasure to be active in the society. 

In honor of this special holiday, we congratulate all our Lubin friends and we wish us to have a lot of joy and "nakhes" from all of you.[5]

Mr and Mrs. Zine Reitman
Mr. and Mrs. Israel Berman[6]
Levi Yitzhak, Yossef and Rachel Reitman[7]
 

Notes:
1. Louis (Zine) Reitman married fellow Lubiner Sarah Sherman in Manhattan on 31 December 1922. New York County, New York, Manhattan marriage certificate no. 252, Julius Reitman and Sarah Sherman, 31 December 1922, Municipal Archives, New York City.
2. Manifest, S.S. Kroonland, arrived 9 August 1921, stamped p. 119, line 11, Zyna Chajtman, age 23; images, "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 December 2010). I have been unable to locate a manifest record for Sarah Sherman Reitman.
3. Moshe Reitman arrived in the United States in March 1913 (less than two years after the 1911 founding of the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association). He passed away on 7 January 1935 and in buried in the FLPBA plot in Montefiore Cemetery.
Manifest, S.S. Prince Friederich Wilhelm, arrived 31 March 1913, stamped p. 79, line 15, Moische Chajtmann, age 43; images, "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 December 2010).
New York County, New York, Manhattan Death certificate no. 688 (1935), Morris Reitman, 7 January 1935, Municipal Archives, New York City.
4. Julius and Sarah operated Roosevelt Glass in the Jackson Heights area of Queens. Julius was a skilled carpenter and Sarah was a glazier. "Julius Reitman, 96, was carpenter, Jewish leader," obituary, Boston Globe (Boston, MA), 14 May 1994, p. 74.
5. Nakhes - is a Yiddish word translated as taking great pleasure in the success of another.
6. Mildred Reitman, one of Julius' and Sarah's daughters, married Israel Berman. 
7. These are, likely the Hebrew names of Julius and Sarah's other children: Irving, Jerome and Rhoda. 1940 U.S. Census, Queens County, New York, population schedule, Queens, enumeration district 41-186, sheet 12B, household 273, Julius and Sarah Reitman family; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 December 2015); citing NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 2734.

22 December 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Samuel and Sarah Rogel, Montefiore Cemetery, NY

Sam and Sarah Rogel are both buried in the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association plot in Montefiore Cemetery in Queens County, New York (block 89, gate 156N, line 10R, graves 1 and 2).


ROGEL
SAMUEL
BELOVED HUSBAND
DEVOTED FATHER
AND GRANDFATHER
DIED DEC. 11, 1962 AGE 73
Shmuel son of Mosche
Died 14 Kislev 5723

SARAH
BELOVED WIFE
DEVOTED MOTHER
AND GRANDMOTHER
DIED FEB. 28, 1978 AGE 90
Sarah daughter of Benyamin
Died 21 Adar 5738

Last Thursday's post was about this couple, as well. What I did not say then is that they confound me(!). Actually, it is Sarah who has me confused. 

When she arrived in this country in 1906, she did so as Sure Fellhandler.[1]

When she married Abraham Rogel in 1909 and, later, his brother, Samuel, in 1915, her name was Sarah Feldman.[2] She identified her father's first name as Benjamin.

One of her sisters (whom she traveled with to the United States), Rivka Barshak, married Abram (Abraham) Malzmann (Maltman). Another of Sarah's sisters, Fannie Barshak, married Morris Feldman. Their father was Benjamin Barshak.

When Benjamin Barshak traveled to the USA the first time in 1903, he was accompanied by Abram Malzman.[3] 

When he arrived in the USA in 1921, he was heading to his other son-in-law Sam Rogel.[4]  

There was a Szewa Barsiak who arrived in Boston in February 1921 and was heading to her son-in-law Samuel "Rojel" in Brooklyn.[5] She is likely Sarah's mother (and Benjamin's wife).

On Morris Feldman's 1904 manifest, he identifies the person he is going to meet in the US as his brother-in-law Abram Malzmann.[6]

In Ancestry's database, "U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007," Sarah Rogel's father is identified as Benjamin Barshak. The surname Feldman is not mentioned. 

So, why did Sarah arrive in the US a Fellhandler and marry under the surname the Fellhendler family adopted in the USA: Feldman? A mystery.

Of course, the first genealogy research rule to follow is  acquire original  documents - don't work from indexes. I have Sarah and Sam Rogel's marriage certificate. Both Rivka and Fannie married in the old country - and vital records for that area and from that time period have not yet been located.

New York laws will not yet allow me, a non-descendant, access to Sarah's death records. I have not yet ordered her Social Security application (SS-5).

Benjamin Barshak died in 1930 and is buried in another plot in Montefiore Cemetery. I'll have to get more info about his death and burial. 

I have not thus far been successful tracking Benjamin and Szewa in the United States.

And then there is the Feldman family. Perhaps their history might shed light on this mystery.

Notes:
1. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 16 December 2015), manifest, S.S. Noordland, Antwerp to New York, arriving 10 April 1906, list A (handwritten), list 71 (stamped), line 7, Sure Fellhandler; citing NARA microfilm publication T715, roll 689.
2. New York County, New York, marriage certificate no. 4666, Abram Rogell and Sarah Feldman, 28 February 1909, Municipal Archives, New York City.
New York County, New York, marriage certificate no. 5140, Samuel Rogel and Sarah Feldman, 26 February 1915, Municipal Archives, New York City.
3. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 April 2009), manifest, S.S. Moltke, Hamburg to New York, arriving 7 January 1903, list 5, line 26, Abrom Malzmann, citing NARA microfilm publication T715, roll 317.
4. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 June 2011), manifest, S.S. Zeeland, Antwerp to New York, arriving 9 October 1903, list 23, line 26, Benjamin Barszak, citing NARA microfilm publication T715; roll 3034.
5. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 2 February 2011), manifest, S.S. Manchuria, Danzig to Boston, arriving 9 October 1903, list 8, line 2, Szewa Barziak, citing NARA microfilm publication T843; roll 514.
6. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 February 2011), manifest, S.S. Belgravia, Hamburg to New York, arriving 1 July 1904, list 8, line 20, Moische Felendler, citing NARA microfilm publication T843; roll 472.

17 December 2015

Treasure Chest Thursday: Sam and Sarah Rogel advertisement, FLPBA 1949 anniversary publication

Sam Rogel was an immigrant from Polonne who became a member of the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association. Polonne is 10 miles NE of Labun (aka Lubin), today in Ukraine. He and his sister Chaye (on separate pages of the same ship's manifest) arrived in the United States in January 1911.[1] They were the children of Moische Rogol who stayed behind in Polonne and Rebecca.

Sam married Sarah Feldman on 26 February 1915.[2] While their marriage certificate indicates this was the first marriage for both, it appears that Sarah was married previously to Sam's elder brother, Abraham, who died in 1913.[3] Sam and Abram's mother's maiden name is written as Bych on Sam's marriage certificate and Bitz on Abram's.

Sarah arrived in the New York as Sure Fellhandler on 10 April1906.[4] She traveled with the wives of a couple of my relatives from Labun: Rivke Barshak Malzmann (Rebecca Maltman) and Jette Meyers (Yetta Myers). Sarah's parents names, as listed on her marriage certificates, were Benjamin and Sadie Feigenblatt. Feigenblatt is a surname known from the town of Labun. And Sarah is related to the Feldman (Felgendler) family of Polonne discussed in previous posts here and here.[5]

Like so many immigrants associated with Labun, Sam and his brother were both glaziers. Sam's store was at 207 E. 9th Street, NY, NY.[6]

Abraham and Sarah did not have any children (sounds sort of Biblical doesn't it!), but her marriage with Sam begat one child, Milton (1916-1980).[7] 

Sam and Sarah are buried in the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association plot in Montefiore Cemetery. Sam died in 1962; Sarah in 1978. 

Notes:
1. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 4 January 2015), manifest, S.S. Potsdam, Rotterdam to New York, arriving 10 January 1911, list 4 (handwritten), line 20, Schmiel Roger; citing NARA microfilm publication T715, roll 1617.  
"New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com, manifest, S.S. Potsdam, Rotterdam to New York, arriving 10 January 1911, list 3 (handwritten), line 27, Chaje Rogol. 
2. New York County, New York, marriage certificate no. 5140, Samuel Rogel and Sarah Feldman, 26 February 1915, Municipal Archives, New York City.
3. New York County, New York, marriage certificate no. 4666, Abram Rogell and Sarah Feldman, 28 February 1909, Municipal Archives, New York City.
New York County, New York, death certificate no. 5265, Abraham Rogol, 16 February 1913, Municipal Archives, New York City.
4. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 16 December 2015), manifest, S.S. Noordland, Antwerp to New York, arriving 10 April 1906, list A (handwritten), list 71 (stamped), line 7, Sure Fellhandler; citing NARA microfilm publication T715, roll 689. 
5. There is some confusion, however, that I have yet to decipher. Feldman family contacts have told me that her maiden name was, in fact, Barshak and that is the name shown on the Social Security Applications and Claims Index on Ancestry. I will have to order her actual Social Security Application (SS-5) in an effort to sort this out.
6. Trow's 1917 New York City Directory (New York: R.L. Polk & Co., 1917), p. 1656, entry for Saml Rogel; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 16 December 2015).
7. 1920 U.S. Census, Kings County, New York, population schedule, Brooklyn, enumeration district 298, sheet 2B, dwelling 19, family 33, Samuel and Sarah Rogel family; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 10 November 2010); NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 1168.
1930 U.S. Census, Kings County, New York, population schedule, Brooklyn, enumeration district 24-1193, sheet 23B, dwelling 100, family 741, Samuel and Sarah Rogel family; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 10 November 2010); NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1511.

15 December 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Abraham and Lillian Feldman, Beth Moses Cemetery, Pinelawn, NY

I recently wrote about Abraham Feldman and Lillian Feldman, from Polonne who purchased an advertisement in support the 1949 anniversary publication of the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association. They are buried in the landsmanshaft plot at Beth Moses Cemetery (block 24, Maccabee Road) in Pinelawn, Long Island, New York.

The top part of the tombstone includes the ten commandments (on a tablet held between the lions) and the abbreviation (at the bottom) for "May their souls be bound in the bonds of the living" - a standard statement on most Jewish tombstones.

FELDMAN

Here lies
A woman of valor, who can find her?
Our beloved mother, a God-fearing woman
Her children rise and praise her
Chaye Liba bat Noach Feivel
Died 20 Kislev 5757
LILLIAN
BELOVED WIFE
MOTHER-GRANDMOTHER
DEC. 15, 1930 - DEC. 1, 1996 
--------------------
Here lies a good and honest man
Who guards the Mitzvot and loves the Torah
And loved aand gladded people with all his heart
Died 2 Shevat 5748
ABRAHAM
BELOVED HUSBAND
FATHER - GRANDFATHER
FEB. 5, 1905 - JAN. 20, 1988

The epitaph on Lillian's tombstone reflects a portion of Proverbs Chapter 31, "Woman of Valor," often sung by a husband to his wife at the Friday night Shabbat table. Here is a fairly traditional version.

The first full line ("A woman of valor...") is part of line line 10, Chapter 31 and the third line ("Her children rise...") is from line 28. Chapter 31, in its entirety describes one hard-working, worthy woman - it make me tired just reading it.

I am indebted to, Robin Meltzer (especially), and Ellen Rosenberg Portnoy, Israel Pickholtz, Zev Steinhardt and Chaia Beckerman for not only their translations, but also their educational guidance in placing this text into its traditional context. They all responded to my posts on Tracing the Tribe FaceBook page. And, of course, thanks to Schelley for maintaining this useful electronic venue.

10 December 2015

Treasure Chest Thursday: Abe Feldman family advertisement, FLPBA 1949 anniversary publication

Abe Feldman (1905-1988) entered the United States at Boston as Abe Felgendler.[1] He traveled with his mother Feiga (Fannie) Barshak Felgendler and his siblings Leib (Louis) and Jankel (Sam) and his cousin Jankel (Jack) Feigenblatt. Moische Felgendler, Abe's father, immigrated in New York in 1904 and became Morris Feldman.[2] The Feldman family was actually from the larger community of Polonne, 10 miles northeast of Labun, today in Ukraine.

Abe became a glazier like his brothers Louis and Sam and their father. The 1940 census shows Abe, his wife Lillian and their son Norman living at 952 43rd Street in Brooklyn with Fannie, who had been widowed in 1938.[3] Abe and Lillian later had another son. I have not yet located a marriage record for Abe and Lillian. I suspect, based upon Norman's age, that they were married between 1934 and 1936. The 1940 census reveals that Lillian was also an immigrant from "Russia."

Abe, Lillian and several Feldman family members are buried in the Beth Moses Cemetery's First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association plot, Pinelawn, NY.

Notes:
1. "Massachusetts, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1820-1963," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 2 February 2011), manifest, S.S. Manchuria, Danzig to Boston, arriving 21 February 1921, list 8, line 23, Abe Felgendler, citing NARA microfilm serial T938, roll 260.
2. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 12 February 2011), manifest, S.S. Belgravia, Hamburg to New York, arriving 1 July 1904, list 2, line 20, Moische Felendler, citing NARA microfilm serial T715, roll 472. Apparently, Morris must have traveled back to the old country several times before the family immigrated in 1921 - the evidence being that Morris and Sam (b. 1910) were born after 1904 and before 1921.
3. 1940 U.S. Census, Kings County, New York, population schedule, Brooklyn, enumeration district 24-949, sheet 61B, household 148, Abraham Feldman; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 5 October 2015); NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 2570.