Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Readers' Comments

Barbara Leah Block
Thanks for posting my article. You certainly have extensive materials on the shofar on your page. Must tell you - I lived and went to high school (Bridgewater East) in NJ back in the 60s-70s.
L'shanah Tovah!


Rescha Spector Bistrong
I have been reading excerpts from the Trenton Jewish Historical Society - very enjoyable. Happy that you friended me - you will need to block my games as they will be very annoying. Fred and I have been living in N CA for the last 17 years and love it. Hello to Linda.


Jonathan Weber

 likes your photo. 1:02am


Herb & Joan Spiegel


Good stuff Art. Saw Myer Bloom play.
Even good after a meal at Benny Hock. 

Herb

On Sun, Dec 1, 2013 at 2:31 AM, paul and tania feinberg wrote:

Dear Arthur-as you see, you are very much in our thoughts, continually, but most immediately, yesterday around our Shabbat luncheon table, with  Rabbi Joshua and Maxine Haberman, and Judy, who came with her parents to Trenton  as a close to new-born! Of course they remember you and Linda well, and here you appear in an early am welcome, with Chanukah Sameakh  passing between our homes.
My sister Miriam is thrilled too with the wonderful   'restoration'  mission you are undertaking, "renewing our days, as of old!" In this too, my father's great interest in you,  and your work, and leadership throughout the years adds to the blessing, and of his memory!
With blessings for good health,
In friendship,
Paul

Doris Kramer 
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif
Hi Art,
I'm Doris Silk Kramer, daughter of Jack and Ann Byer Silk, seen here posing in front of their first drug store at 1837 Greenwood Ave, Trenton. My best guess on the date is 1926.  The store moved to 1901 Greenwood Ave, in  the next block in 1940. It was later taken over by my brother Harvey, and continued as one of the last independent professional pharmacies in the area.
   

Doris Kramer

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif
Hi Art, I'm Doris Silk Kramer, daughter of Jack and Ann Byer Silk, seen here ...

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif
Doris Thank you for sending the photo iteration. Is Harvey Silk related? art



Related- yes. Harvey is my big brother, born 1928, named for mother's father,  Chaim Byer. I was born 1931, named for grandmother Devorah Beyla Silk.
Our mother, Ann, was one of seven children - all growing up in Trenton. The boys: Morris, Leon and Sam Byer, the girls: Ann Byer Silk, Sue Byer Vine, Ida Byer Berhang and Sara Byer Wilson Saks. We were eighteen Byer first cousins.

Best Wishes. Keep up the good work.

Dori Kramer 
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif

paul and tania feinberg 
wrote:

Dear Arthur-as you see, you are very much in our thoughts, continually, but most immediately, yesterday around our Shabbat luncheon table, with  Rabbi Joshua and Maxine Haberman, and Judy, who came with her parents to Trenton  as a close to new-born! Of course they remember you and Linda well, and here you appear in an early am welcome, with Chanukah Sameakh  passing between our homes.
My sister Miriam is thrilled too with the wonderful   'restoration'  mission you are undertaking, "renewing our days, as of old!" In this too, my father's great interest in you,  and your work, and leadership throughout the years adds to the blessing, and of his memory!
With blessings for good health,
In friendship,
Paul

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Emigrant Preparation and American Ports of Entry






Castle Garden, NY - up to 1892


Until 1890, each state had jurisdiction over admitting immigrants.  Ports of entry were five main cities:

New York Castle Island served as the port for New York City 1830-1892; thereafter Ellis Island served port of entry (1892- 1954); Boston (customs passenger lists through 1899); Boston (customs passenger lists through 1899); Philadelphia (customs passenger lists through 1899); Baltimore (customs passenger lists through 1891); and New Orleans.  through 1902)



Ellis Island, NY


Approximately, 40 percent of all current U.S. citizens can trace at least one of their ancestors to Ellis Island.

There were also several minor ports, e.g. Mobile, Al., Bath, Me., and Galveston, TX.



Shortly after the U.S. Civil War, some states started to pass their own immigration laws, which prompted the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in 1875 that immigration was a federal responsibility. Chy Lung v. Freeman (92 U.S. 275, 1875)



Philadelphia Port

Baltimore Port



However, the states continued to pass legislation on immigration entry. The Immigration Act of 1891, however, stopped all state incursions into immigration matters. Legislation authorized the Office of the Superintendent of Immigration (Treasury Department), responsible for processing immigrants.




At the beginning of the 20th century the Hamburg Shipping Lines (Hapag) built an emigrant's "city" in Veddel, in the port area, as a refuge. It could accommodate 5,000 people awaiting departure of their ships. It included a kosher canteen and a synagogue.

In Russia’s larger Jewish communities, assistance agencies arose in response to the enormous emigration.





In 1891 in London by Baron M. Hirsch of London, has an idea that Jews should become agriculturalists, something denied 
in Europe. Accordingly he established a society to benefit of those who wished to take up work in agriculture. He and the 
Russian government agreed to relocate Jews up to 3,250,000 Jews emigrating over a 25-year time period.
Baron Hirsch also sponsored sixteen agricultural development in the United States, of which Woodbine, NJ was a successful.

             Israel Zangwell - Leader

In 1907, the Jewish Territorial Society established in Warsaw. This society was a break-off of the Zionist movement. It wanted to relocate European Jews wherever they would be accepted; not exclusively Palestine. However, it closed its doors the very next year, although the organization, itself, continued to exist.
Jewish Emigration Society - Russia

The Jewish Emigration Society, 1909 operated from Kiev, with numerous offices in other centers of the Russian Empire. Its mission was regulation of Jewish emigration to redirect Jews outside the overpopulated large cites, (New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston and Chicago) to the southern and southwestern states of North America, where there seemed to be more economic opportunity.
 It assisted the Jewish emigrant from departure from Russia to establishing his new location in another country to the extent that they no longer need assistance.
Supported by well-to-do Jews, one of their experiments was immigration to Galveston, Texas. A middling success, in 1909 (773); 1910 (2,500); 1911; (1,400). By 1913, the threatened competition to nativists and the ‘strange’ religious rituals Jews exacted political retribution from the Texan communities.

http://www.rtrfoundation.org/kiev-1.html




When the Jewish refugees arrived in America, The Hebrew


 Emigrant Aid Society (HEAS), heavily supported by Jacob 


Schiff, provided shelter on Ward Island in the New York 


harbor and Greenpoint, in Brooklyn. See Sacher, p. 128






Initially, the Jewish agencies in Hamburg, Berlin, Antwerp and London supplied immigrant needs. However, the flow developed into a torrent.


The constant flow of Jewish immigrants from Russia gave birth to the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) in 1881. An international organization, HIAS rescues, relocates, relocates families through resettlement.


HIAS officially started in 1881 as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society – HIAS. Operating out of New York, it provided shelter for immigrants disembarking from Castle Garden, up to the opening of Ellis Island in 1892.


The Society helped immigrants find employment in New York and New Jersey and established agricultural colonies in other states to provide land on which they could settle.


HIAS advocated for those Jews who were initially screened out of the immigration process, arguing before the Boards of Special Enquiry to prevent deportations. It lent needy Jews the $25 landing fee, and obtained bonds for others guaranteeing their employable status.


The Society also searched for relatives of detained immigrants in order to secure the necessary affidavits of support to guarantee that the new arrivals would not become public charges, the lack of which detained the immigrants.


Many of the Jews traveling in steerage refused the non-kosher food and came to the U.S. in weakened condition. To correct this, in 1911, the Society installed a kosher kitchen on Ellis Island.


In 1909, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society merged with the Hebrew Sheltering House Association and became universally known as HIAS. By 1914, HIAS had branches in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, and an office in Washington, D.C.


Every community had a different story. In the case of Eishyshok in Belarus, near the Ukraine, an 1895 fire the dwellings and markets to which the Rothschild’s, both the Vienna and Parisian branches of the Rothschild family helped to restore the village. (James Mayer de Rothschild (1792–1868), in Paris and Salomon Mayer Rothschild (1774–1855) in Vienna. Seeing outside help, the town fathers asked for additional help when the larger portion of Jews wanted to escape the persecution that the Russian government imposed. See Yaffia Elliach


There were also local organizations such as Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society, founded in 1879. In Trenton, there was the Hebrew Mutual Aid Society, the Jewish Sheltering Home and the Hebrew Free Loan Society, among others.

It is remarkable that only, while the total figure was that 26% of immigrants to U.S. retuned; for Jews, 7%. See James




Sunday, September 28, 2014

Eastern Europeans Arrive in Trenton


Arthur L. Finkle



The East European immigration began in the late 1870s, was composed mainly of Russian, Polish, and Hungarian Jews. They organized the synagogues Achenu Bnai Yisroel (1883); Anshei Emes (1891); Ahavath Israel (1909); and Poaley Emes (1920). For all Congregations, see Appendix III, page 259

Jacob Barker immigrated to the US in 1880 and arrived in Trenton in 1881. He and his wife raised seven children. Jacob was one of the founders on Congregation Brothers of Israel. One of his sons, Rufke owned a slaughterhouse and eventually opened a meat market. Monty, another son, was the ‘though’ guy. Meyer Stark arrived from Lithuania via Scotland in 1883. Another founder was Simcha Lavine, he arrived in Trenton in 1895. He raised five children: Sophie (Nathan Siegle); Toby (Popkin), Isaac (Lavine’s Department Store; and David (Grocery store. Eventually, all the boys opened Lavine’s Department Store at 187 S. Broad St.
Jewish education was conducted by private teachers until Brothers of Israel Synagogue founded a Hebrew school in 1893. Later, in 1945, it became part-time day school, under the leadership of Rabbi Issachar Levin, serving the Trenton community from 1927 to 1969. In 1969 it became the Trenton Hebrew Academy. Renamed in 1981 as the Abrams Hebrew Academy (named for a local foundation that made a significant endowment to the school), it moved from Trenton to Yardley, PA in the 1980’s.

The main reasons for the immigration to USA were to flee the harsh Russia anti-Semitism policy, the coercive and discriminatory 25-year military service, lack of economic opportunity and the pogroms.

By the May Laws poof 1882, Jews were restricted to live in the Pale of the Settlement in what is now Lithuania, Russia, Romania and the Ukraine. In addition, one on seven Jewish boys was conscripted into the Tsar’s Army (1 in 10 non-Jews). Length of swerve – 25 years!

General laws applicable to Jews included: (1) the family of a Jew who evaded military service was assessed a fine of 300 rubles; (2) capturing a Jew who evaded military service yielded cash reward of 50 rubles.
 Between the years 1874 and 1892 (excluding 1883 for which no reliable figures are available), a total of 173,434 Jewish recruits were drafted. See Dan Leeson, Military Conscription In Russia    
in the 19th Century leeson@aspen.fhda.edu

Moreover, if the child were less than 16, then the term of his military duty from age 12 to 18 was another six ‘tacked-on’ more years up to age 18. Insidiously, the Kahal, a semblance of the Jewish ruling committee in each community, was the agent of the government to present these new conscripts, under penalty of fine or increased conscription for the community.  Severe restrictions  were placed on the number of Jewish doctors and lawyers (The Legal Bar went from 22% to 9% in a year); cannot use machinery; cannot sell items made out of one’s own shtetl; quotas and Gymnasia’s Academic High Schools) and Universities.

Indeed, Simon Dubnow expounds on the effect of these oppressive May Laws of 1882:

The May Laws of 1882 also temporarily forbade the issuing of mortgages and other deeds to Jews, as well as the registration of Jews as lessees of real property situated outside of towns and boroughs; and also the issuing to Jews of powers of attorney to manage and dispose of such real property. Further, “Jews are forbidden to transact business on Sundays and on the principal Christian holy days; the existing regulations concerning the closing of places of business belonging to Christians on such days to apply to Jews also." See Paul Kriwaczek, Yiddish Civilization: The Rise and Fall of a Forgotten Nation, Vintage Books, NY, 2005.