Monday, April 15, 2013

Locating Family Materials at Auction

By Ann Rabinowitz


Association of Rabbis in Lithuania, Kaunas, 6th of Iyar 1926

(Rabbi Yosef Leib Bloch, Rabbi Avraham Dovber Shapiro, Rabbi Zelig Reuven Bengis, Rabbi Baruch Horowitz and additional rabbis)

The above photograph was taken from an online auction of Kedem Auction House, Ltd., in Israel: http://kedem-auctions.com/en/home.  It is only one of many wonderful items which can be seen and obtained from auctions. 

This particular auction house has many items of a Jewish religious nature and one of the items I found was related to Rabbi Dov Ber (Bernard) Abramowitz, grandfather of Rabbi Dr. Abram Sachar, which I was able to send a copy of to his descendants: 

 
 
Letter by Rabbi Dov Ber Abramowitz, to Rabbi Shmuel Salant, Rabbi of Jerusalem. New York, Elul 1900

What a wonderful momento of their ancestor who was known for his erudition as well as being one of the founders of the U.S. Rabbis Association which was attested to by the letter at the auction. 

Upon providing the letter to the Sachar family, I received the following photo back from them of Rabbi Abramowitz which is quite historical in itself:

 


I also found on the Kedem site that there were numerous other references to individuals who served in St. Louis, Missouri, in rabbinical capacities such as Rabbi Abramowitz had.  Amongst these were:  Rabbi Menachem Tzvi Eichenstein, Rabbi Ya-akov Ha-Cohen Flakser, Rabbi Chaim Herschenson, Rabbi Zechariah Yosef Rosenfeld, Ga’on Rabbi Binjamin Trachtman and Rabbi Shalom Elchanan Yaffe. 

Many of these references contained photographs and descriptions.  These had mentions of others in the community which would be of interest to family researchers of the town.

Another great photo on the auction site was one taken of the Lithuanian and Libyan contingents who made up part of the 1,350 total participants in 18 sports at the opening ceremonies of the Second Maccabiah, Tel Aviv, April, 1935.  In this case, the photo was even signed by the photographer Ephraim Erde (1905-1987).

Second Maccabiah, Tel Aviv, April, 1935


Previously, I had written about the 1935 Maccabiah Games here on the JewishGen Blog, http://jewishgen.blogspot.com/2011/06/1935-maccabiah-sports-highlight.html, so it was nice to find another photo and especially of the Lithuanian contingent which was of interest to me and also the Libyan one who had been participating for the first time in the games. 

Not only are photographs and documents available online, but artistic works are also shown such as a collection of works by well-known Lithuanian-born artist Shmuel Rozin, who was born 1926, in Kaunas, and was a graduate of the Leningrad Art Academy. 
 
 
Included is the piece above which features one of the artist’s works about the war and reflects his wonderful talents in the woodcut genre.
 
The Kedem site is just one of many online auction portals which are a rich source of materials for items of a Jewish nature.  It is helpful to every once in a while to check out these sites to see what is being put on offer.  It may lead you to a family document or photograph or possibly information about the town they came from. 

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