This Month's Spotlight

A history as told by Sarah Eva (Sally) Roth, August 17, 1987

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I am Sarah Eva (Sally) Roth, daughter of Raezel (Rose) Denburg and Sender (Samuel) Weiner.

My niece, Leslie Wellings, my brother’s daughter, has taken me to task for she feels uninformed of any family history–so here goes, Leslie–to the best of my knowledge, this is the way it was.

Your grandmother, Raezel (Rose) was born in the village of Schedrin, Russia, in the early 1880’s, daughter of Sorreh Riveh (Sarah Riva) and Arreh (Harry) Denburg. She was the youngest of five girls, no boys, the oldest was Mutlech, then Bayleh, Hodeh, and Raezel. Zlateh came before Raezel.

From the day of Sorreh Riveh’s marriage to Arreh; Rochel, Arreh’s widowed Mother, shared her home with them. Rochel was a tiny woman, a most capable house-keeper, cook and baker, neat and clean, an exacting taskmaster who ruled with an iron will. She was BOSS. Sorreh Riveh and her daughters obeyed Rochel. The girls adored their Grandmother — they respected and were much closer to her than to their Mother.

Their Mother was the bread-winner of the family. She was a dealer in pots and pans and was known in the community as “Sorreh Riveh Der Kesslerkeh.” Mum said they were “koupperneh,” copper pots.

Arreh was known in the village as an intellectual. He was exceptionally well-read. There is a book written by him and to the best of my knowledge, one of the relatives in Canada has it. (Track it down, Leslie. It should be fascinating reading. Perhaps Mark and Selma can help you.) At least we should have a copy of it for translation. Arreh was not a worker, he was a dreamer.

While Raezel was still a nursing infant, Arreh became ill. There was no Doctor in the village–one would wait until the “Felsher” came around. (I am not certain if that was his given name or whether it is the name of his profession.) He was a sort of Pharmacist, who traveled from village to village with his bag of pills and his personal diagnosis. Shall we call him, a Jewish Medicine Man????

Anyway, it would often take him months to make his rounds. By the time he saw Arreh, there was nothing he could do for him except recommend a hospital. The closest was in Babroisk, the county seat, so to speak, and quite a distance away.

Sorreh Riveh packed up her husband and her nursing baby and went to Babroisk where she stayed with relatives while Arreh was hospitalized. Arreh was diagnosed as having a brain tumor and in a few months he died in the hospital.

Sorreh Riveh buried her husband in Babroisk and returned home, a widow, with her baby.

To digress-while with the relatives in Babroisk, Raezel was placed on a large bed for a nap while Sorreh Riveh was at the hospital. Raezel rolled off the bed and ended up with a large goose-egg on her head which she worried about all her life, fearing it was going to develop into a brain tumor.

Sorreh Riveh continued with her business, Rochel ran the house and raised the children. I remember Mum telling me that Bohbe Rochel was so particular–no one was permitted to touch any of her belongings; she was very possessive and fussy. The sheets on her bed never had a wrinkle in them, even while she slept.

The girls grew, Mutleh, the eldest, married, had one daughter that i know of, Hodel. Mum and I visited her several times in the Bronx. Mutlech died young, brain tumor. She never came to America.

Hodel had two sons, Motchke was one but I can’t think of the other’s name nor can I remember their last name. Hodel’s husband, a very handsome man, Fivel (I always called him Tivel, translation, Devil). Mum got a kick out of that. Hodel and Fivel, gone.

Back to Schedrin

Hodeh, the middle daughter, was engaged to be married. Her fiance went off to England to seek his fortune, promising to send for her. He did send her the fare but at the time it arrived, she was very ill with Typhoid….totally out of it….incoherent….so, Baylech, “The Aggressive One,” took the money, and went off to England to seek her own fortune.

Hodeh recovered from Typhoid, there was no longer any boy-friend in England. There’s a vague story running around amidst my brain cells that Baylech did meet with him, whether there was hanky-panky, I’m not quite certain, if not, it makes for a good story anyway. I think she dropped him. Whatever, Hodeh was out of a boy-friend.

In due time, a match was made for Hodeh with Izzy Weiner (no relation to Dad). They married, came to America and settled in Roselle, N. J. They had daughters, Sarah, Rae and Dora. Dora died in her early teens (heart). They had sons, Harry (Higgins), Morris (Murphy) and Barney. All married.

Rae to Harry Levine, they had two children, Norma, married. Can’t think of the son’s name. Rae and Harry gone.

Sara married to Willy Lipschitz, two daughters, Ruth and Temmie, married.

Harry married and last I heard, living in Mass. Murph married to Betty, living in Harrisburg, PA.

Barney married to, can’t think of her name. She was your Mother’s seamstress in Teaneck, Leslie. You probably know more about this clan than I do.

Back to Baylech

Baylech became Betsy in London, she married an Englishman, Harry Jacobs, they owned a saloon. She was a toughie. Lived through two World Wars, lost her husband. Lost two sons, Sonny and Maury. She, too, is gone.

As far as I know, her youngest son Izzy still runs a resort bus and her daughter, Beck, as far as I know, is alive. Sarah Rifkin’s daughter, Ruth, during her visit to London, quite a few years ago, did reach them. Izzy and his wife came to Ruth’s hotel to see her but Beck didn’t come.

Our Harry lived with Beck and her family for a while when he went to school in London. He wasn’t too enamored with any of them.

Aunt Betsy and Izzy came to visit us, they spent about a month with us. They loved America but England was better. I think they came to see if they would like to live here but they went back. And some years later….World War II.

My niece and nephew, Lynn and Jerry Harris, were in London a few years ago. I suggested they look up Izzy Jacobs, but the closest they came to it was to see a bus with the name “Jacob’s Resort Bus Line,” or some to that effect but time didn’t allow them to pursue it further.

Eddie went to visit Aunt Betsy when he was stationed in London during World War II. She was beside herself, her windows had been blown out for the third time….Hitler’s bombs. She had her own air-raid shelter dug under in her back yard. She served Eddie tea. He went back to see her before he was transferred and took her some goodies from the PX - she was very grateful. She is gone.

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