Sam Reiss z”l, 1903-1995

Few are the folk who do good deeds without fanfare, and who seek absolutely nothing in return . . . not thanks, not praise, not even recognition.

Grandpa, outside "the shop"

Grandpa, outside "the shop"

“Did he wear a bow tie and smoke a cigar?” is the usual response, whenever I ask an East Ender if he or she came across my maternal grandfather, Sam Reiss. That, however, was the only ‘loud’ thing about him.

“What a character!” they exclaim, when they realise that we’ve got the same man. And grandpa, whose Yahrzeit (Jewish anniversary of death) was on Sunday, was indeed an original. He even sported his trademark bow tie in recognition of his bar mitzvah parsha (Torah portion) being Bo.

Grandpa was born in 1903, in Galicia (south-east Poland today), close to the Hassidic centre of Ropczyce, home to the famous tzadik (righteous man) Zvi Naftali Horowitz. The Reiss family resided either in the village of Radomyśl Wielki or the town of Sędziszów Małopolski – grandpa used to mention both of them, and I am not sure that even he knew exactly which (Jewish suffering in the “Old Country” making it a rather taboo subject for his parents’ generation). He arrived in Britain as a baby, together with his parents and older sister Sadie. 

Family Reiss (circa 1938) Back row: Brothers Morry, Solly, Charlie, Alf, Joe & my grandfather Sam (separated by Alf's wife Bella & bar mitzvah Lionel Becker). Middle row: My mother Norma & grandmother Leah. Front row: My great-grandmother & grandfather Chana & Naftali, flanking Reiss sister Sadie, her husband Jack & son Alan Becker.

Family Reiss (circa 1938) Back row: Brothers Morry, Solly, Charlie, Alf, Joe & my grandfather Sam (separated by Alf's wife Bella & bar mitzvah boy Lionel Becker). Middle row: My mother Norma & grandmother Leah. Front row: My great-grandmother & grandfather Chana & Naftali, flanking Reiss sister Sadie, her husband Jack & son Alan Becker.

My great-grandparents, who had five more boys in England, were Dzikówer Hassidim (of the Ropczyce Hassidic dynasty) – followers of the tzadik Eliezer of Dzików, the son of Zvi Naftali of Ropczyce – and grandpa davened (prayed) at the East End’s Dzikówer Shtiebl, a small synagogue attended by immigrants from that part of the world.

A furrier by trade, grandpa took over the Brick Lane hosiery store of the brother of his new wife, Leah – who, for some curious reason, he always referred to as “Mrs. Reiss” – above which they brought up my mother, Norma, and her three younger siblings, Mavis, Stanley and Gerald. Grandpa then moved the business, now S. Reiss, to Whitechapel High Street, where the artistic flair of my dear late uncle Stanley developed it into a successful, niche, safari suit wholesaler.

This was the precursor of today’s Reiss global fashion chain (my grandfather gifted a store in Bishopsgate to his brother, Joe, which was in turn inherited by Joe’s son, David Reiss). After my visit to the shtetls (small, Eastern European, Jewish towns or villages) of Ropczyce, Radomyśl and Sędziszów, in 2000, it has been both wonderful and somewhat strange to stumble across Reiss stores on New York’s trendy Bleecker Street, as I did last month, and next to that bastion of ‘Englishness’, Trinity College, Cambridge, last summer. From such humble beginnings . . .

During breaks from the hardship of university life, I worked in “the shop” – it was always referred to as that, even though there were more than one – which grandpa believed would teach me a lot more about life. It certainly taught me a lot more Yiddish – whenever someone dodgy-looking walked in, grandpa would alert shop assistants with a cry of “ganef” (thief). As a result, his staff – which included Pakistanis, Sikhs and Greek-Cypriots – developed a command of Yiddish that would have put most British-born Jews to shame.

Grandpa, in his habitat

Grandpa, in his habitat

Until his late eighties – and with his ever-devoted Stanley always by his side – grandpa went into work six days a week, taking liberties and Sundays off in his nineties. Indeed, “the shop” was grandpa’s habitat, and – living for work, rather than working to live – it became an end in itself.

Grandpa had no interest whatsoever in the trappings of the good life that he could so easily have enjoyed. Only peer pressure ‘forced’ him to visit the new State of Israel (see the photo in my e-memorial to my grandmother), and, following another rare trip – to New York on the QEII (with my late brother Jonny) – he commented that “Broadway is just a poor man’s Tottenham Court Road”. In a similar vein, when my parents informed him that they would be visiting Hong Kong, he responded “What do you think you are going to find there? It’ll be like Petticoat Lane with Chinamen.” (And, on arrival, my parents gave each other a knowing look, as if to say “He’s right again.”)

Grandpa had a deep interest in, and understanding of, the stock market. When not in the synagogue, he would spend most of Shabbos (Saturday) devouring the Financial Times and Investors Chronicle. In fact, fellow-congregants of Raleigh Close (Hendon United Synagogue) had more questions for Grandpa on Shabbos mornings than they ever did for the Rabbi.

I would often while away Shabbos afternoons with grandpa in the periodicals section of Hendon Public Library, where he would further study the financial pages. It is to my eternal regret that I never showed the interest in “the markets” that he so wanted his grandchildren to – I would have gleaned more practical and invaluable information from him than I ever did from school or university.

Grandpa was a deeply modest man, uninterested in publicity, self-aggrandisement, or communal high office. In his own unassuming way, he was most definitely another Galician tzadik. In addition to being extremely charitable – letters requesting donations were still flooding in over ten years after his death – grandpa would never turn away anyone he knew, if they needed money during difficult times. When they could return it, well and good. When they couldn’t (or just didn’t), he would simply write it off . . . and suffer the inevitable verbal lashing from my grandmother!

Moreover, grandpa agreed to act as a financial guarantor for numerous refugees to Britain from Eastern Europe – at a time when many were scared to – thereby saving them from the tentacles of Nazism. When publicly thanked by such people, years later, at their family Simchas (joyous occasions, such as weddings and bar mitzvahs) – which he didn’t particularly want to attend! – grandpa would be rather embarrassed, and make nothing of it.

A man of simple pleasures, grandpa truly understood the words of Shalom Aleichem, “A kind word is no substitute for a piece of herring.” Post-synagogue gatherings at my grandparents’ home would generally commence with an in-depth critique of the herring served up at the synagogue kiddush (post-service ‘refuelling’). And I vividly recall grandpa scooping out the brains, or the kop(head) as he referred to it, of fish – a delicacy he claimed – which his neighbours, in Prothero Gardens, would save for him.

His grandchildren, even as young boys, were the beneficiaries of grandpa’s frugality, receiving crisp twenty and fifty pound notes in crafty handshakes, always accompanied by a wink and sideways jerk of the head to indicate that we mustn’t tell our parents. If Iceland’s banks had had the cash reserves that I had under my mattress, they would never have collapsed!

Though without formal education, grandpa possessed an innate literary streak, which produced a distinctive “people’s poetry”. He would make up verses especially for his grandchildren, whilst coining various other expressions that I have never heard elsewhere. For instance, out of superstition, he would never refer to death . . . only to the “dickybirds”. And grandpa was politically incorrect in the delicious way that so many Jewish East Enders were, carrying on the rich tradition of Yiddish irreverence (there are numerous great examples, which are too un-PC . . . even for melchett mike!)

Grandpa also possessed a healthy cynicism. Whenever there was a bar mitzvah in a non-religious family – who only attended synagogue in the run-up to (and, sometimes, only on) the “big day” – the Rabbi would always (as was incumbent on him), in his sermon, encourage the boy to continue attending. Unfailingly, grandpa would wryly whisper to his neighbours that the Rabbi was “flogging a dead horse” (and, again, he was right . . . of course).

Grandpa, I would like to think that you are looking down on us, your grandchildren and great-grandchildren, from “dickybird” country . . . and are proud that we have all, without exception, carried on your Reiss legacy of good humour, honesty, and straightforwardness.

“Moyshe”

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32 responses to “Sam Reiss z”l, 1903-1995

  1. Danny Landau

    Very interesting, on 2 points. I remember the Reiss shop on Whitechapel High St., as my dad’s shop was in Brick Lane. Is Danny Reiss your cousin?
    Also, our family are descended from Naftoli Ropshitz, although you clearly have a far better knowledge on this than I.

  2. Danny, you obviously haven’t read Hasmo Legends I, in which I refer to Abie’s pigeonholing of a then innocent first former, for the rest of his time at Hasmonean, as “Reiss’s cousin”!

    Are Mildred and Max your folks? (Info supplied by my mother.)

    Ropczyce is the name of the place. The Rebbe’s surname was Horowitz. Everyone claims to be descended from him . . . even Sammy Rubin (that should draw him out of his melchett mike abstinence!)

    Sadly, we seem to have been mere “foot soldiers”!

  3. Danny Landau

    Yes, they’re my aunt and uncle, and I have many relatives called Horowitz, though they’re mega-frum and probably wouldn’t cross the road to urinate on me if I was alight.
    And yes, I think Sammy Rubin really is descended from him as well.

  4. Adam Rabinowitz

    Fascinating…
    As I was mostly brought up in Birmingham, my memories of ‘grandad’ were slightly different.
    On reflection I remember him as a very kind man, always interested in me, even if I was a little terror at times!
    I distinctly recall every Birthday him giving me the exact money pound for pound as my age, and I was always thrilled by that notion. I remember I was really looking forward to becoming twenty, as I thought I couldnt wait to receive a whole twenty bob note all to myself!
    I also recall the cigar smoke from both him and Uncle Stanley and that his speech was sometimes a little difficult to understand, but I loved him deeply…
    Now, one question, who is Gerald?! My missing uncle?

  5. “Who is Gerald”?!

    Ask yer mum.

    This family . . . bloody hell!

    😉

  6. stephen carr

    I had the pleasure to work at reiss/manstore in the seventies, what a wonderful time in my life, my uncle sam cohen was friends with sam reiss in their young days.

    This picture of Sam outside his store, if it was taken between 1975-78 the guy in the background could well be me!!!

  7. Hi Mike, I’m Adrian, live in Jerusalem, your mother is my cousin (my father z”l was Charles, brother of your grandfather Sam z”l whom I remember well) and you were at my oldest son’s weddding in Rehovot some 6 years ago.

    I enjoyed the article immensely, since it gave me some pieces of information about family origins that were long lost forever.

    I had never heard about was Gerald, who was he? and also Adam Rabinowitz – is he also family?

    I’d be more than happy if you could email me re further additions to this site!

  8. Adam Rabinowitz

    Hi Adrian,

    I am very much family, thank you!
    originally adopted from Dublin.. at the tender age of one week old..
    Son of Cynthia Mavis Reiss
    1st Cousin of Michael

    Adam

  9. Hi Adam,

    If I’m not mistaken Cynthia is Martin’s brother and Alf and Bella are her parents.

    I remeber that she married an American from Texas in 1964 (named Jock?), just before I took off for a year in Israel, which I haven’t yet completed. That was probably the last REISS wedding I attended in England.

    Cynthia’s secnd name is Mavis? I know that Uncle Sam had a daughter named Mavis.

    Please send my best regards to Cynthia – a first cousin of mine (as is Michael’s mother, Norma) but I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to her …

    Best regards,
    Adrian.

  10. Adam Rabinowitz

    Dear Adrian,

    Wrong Cynthia!
    Ok, Family tree lesson time…
    My mum and dad are Eli Dovid and Cynthia Mavis.
    Mavis’s sister is Norma
    Norma and Mavis (and the late Stanley and Gerald) are then of course Sam’s kids..
    Hope that clears things up..

    Adam

  11. Adam, thanks for clearing that up.
    I sat next to Mavis and Eli Dovid at Robert’s (Stanley z”l’s son) wedding quite a few years ago, here in Israel.
    I just didn’t know that Mavis is also named Cynthia, I’ve always known her as Mavis.
    Please send her and Eli Dovid my best regards.

    I’m beginning to think it’s about time to organize a REISS family reunion here in Israel. Any chance of REISS’s you know making the trip?

    AFAIK Sam’s daughter Norma is here, as is her son Michael; Stanley’s son Daniel is here, and possibly his brother Mark is (still) here; Solly’s daughter Channi is here; Charles’s 2 sons (myself and David aka Bambi) are here.

    Best regards cousin,

    Adrian.

  12. Mike, sorry to butt in, but interestingly Eli Dovid is my father-in-law’s (Leo Winter) family, so perhaps we’re connected again in addition to the Ropshitz thing mentioned above.

    He’s quite a character !

  13. Hi,

    I am Morris Reiss’s daughter Carol. Morris was married to Dora who unfortunately passed away last week. I saw my cousins David, Martin and Cynthia at the shiva and they told me about your research. Fascinating reading, my dad Morris had 3 children Joyce, Me and Melvyn. Please send my love to your mum Norma.

  14. Hi Carol,

    Mum and I wish you all long life. I heard the sad news on Friday, from David’s daughter Ali.

    We will be in touch off-blog.

    Mike

  15. Philip Trauring

    Mike,

    I recently came across your blog posting on your grandfather Sam Reiss. I noticed the mention of Sędziszów Małopolski and I wondering what else you might know about the Reiss family that was from that city.

    I’m researching a family that is almost certainly related. I’ve been looking for records on Naftali Trauring, who was married to Gittel Reiss – from Sedziszow. Naftali himself was from Lancut. I’ve also managed to track down another Reiss, probably Gittel’s sister, living in the US in the early 1900s (she shows up in the 1900, 1910 and 1930 censuses). Her name was Hattie Suffrin. A man I am guessing was a son of Naftali and Gittel shows up in the house of David and Hattie Suffrin in Chicago, and lists them as his aunt and uncle.

    I was in touch with other relatives who mentioned the Reiss family in Sedziszow ran a brewery, but I don’t know too much about it.

    Gittel Reiss was born in 1864. Naftali and Gittel had three daughter that I can confirm through records – Taube (b. 1897), Itta/Hilda (b. 1902) and Golda (b. 1904). I’ve been told they had 8 children altogether. One of them was probably Max (b. approx. 1885) who is the one who shows up at his aunt’s house in Chicago.

    Anyways, if you know anything about the Reiss family going back that far, or can point me to someone who does, I would be very appreciative.

    Thank you,

    Philip Trauring
    http://family.trauring.com/

  16. Grandad would be so proud of his nephew . . .

    http://edition.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/bestoftv/2011/04/27/piers.morgan.david.reiss.cnn.html

    My mother seems to think that David was at Carmel College with (Sir) Philip Green . . . but David, thankfully, is so much more polished (i.e., less cringingly Jewish-sounding!)

    Anyway, the bottom line is that melchett mike, as one would expect, is only a first cousin “once removed” removed from the Royal Wedding. 😉

  17. Noch shlepping again Michael?
    Seriously though… WOW!
    Even more wow on the blog about your Grandpa, and how it all started!!!
    Pity you didnt tell me last week, I could have congratulated Norma in person!

  18. You’ve either got it or you haven’t, Liz: my family (though, tragically, only the extended one) has got Reiss . . . while yours has got Moss Side Hillel! 😉

    Though the Dan Panorama is clearly the great equalizer!

  19. Philip Kornbluth

    I’m Philip Kornbluth, grandson of Toba Esther who was the (older, it seems clear!) sister of your grandmother, my (great-) Auntie Leah. My father was Nat Kornbluth whose shop in Whitechapel High Street was across the road and a few doors down from Uncle Sam’s shop. As a kid I was often sent across to take or fetch a few shirts or belts that one needed from the other. My father was very close to his Uncle Sam and to Stanley, who sadly passed away in 1996 just 6 months before my father but much younger. Their graves are quite near each other in Bushey

    Gerald, as you may know but others may not, was Stanley’s twin brother but died aged only 8. His grave (sorry to be a bit morbid, but it’s information) is in Edmonton near to those of Auntie Leah’s parents (Nachman Yehuda and Chaya Sarah Araten Levy – see Joni’s data in your Leah Reiss blog).

    To help complicate matters, I should point out that Sam’s brother Alf married Bella (as shown in your wonderful photo) nee Kornbluth (my father’s sister), ie Alf married his brother’s wife’s sister’s daughter (yes it is allowed!).

    I came across this blog when googling to see if the ubiquitous Reiss shops are any relation (answer: yes) and have no idea if anyone’s still looking at this thread, so please confirm if you read this Mike, and thanks for all you do. (My brother David just told me he’s now posted something on your Leah Reiss blog.)

  20. Hi Philip and David,

    Great to receive your comments, and welcome to melchett mike!

    I know exactly who you both are. And, whilst I am not sure that you and I have met, Philip, you, David, have no such excuse! We have met on numerous occasions – most recently, a couple of months ago, on Yehuda Halevi in Tel Aviv (I was the one with the two dogs) – and I have even had the pleasure of being at your Shabbos table . . . well, good to know that you: 1. talk to strangers, and 2. don’t know who you are entertaining! 😉

    My mother is, indeed, Norma (and I just spent this Shabbos with Gigi and our mutual second cousin, Sheila). On the subject of Stanley z”l, it sounds like you might not have come across this yet . . .

    https://melchettmike.wordpress.com/2010/09/26/stanley-reiss-z%e2%80%9dl-1934-1996/

    I remember your father well, and we are always surrounded by his wonderful etchings.

    Stay in touch.

    Mike

    PS Were either of you Hasmo boys? If you haven’t spotted that either yet, I mention the place, from time to time, on this blog.

  21. Philip Kornbluth

    Thanks for that link. No, we were at that other Jewish school, William Ellis (minyan for mincha, only Grodz buns at the tuck shop), along with Joni Grodzinski, Rabbi Shimon Winegarten and other illustrious folk. But I knew many stories (even songs) about Bertie, Willy, Curly, Sid etc from my friends. Have you come across:

    My name is Curly
    I live in Wowsley
    Vot ze dickens is ze matter wiz me?
    My name is Curly Kohn
    Vot on earss is going on?
    Zere’s a tewwible wow in ze upper libwawy!

  22. Alexa Raine nee Bloch

    What a wonderful testimony. He sounds like a truly “gitte neshama” (good soul) as my Robcycze descendant late mother-in-law used to say! By the way,her brother, my husband’s uncle, the late Jack Liebert used to attend the Dzikower shtiebl in Spitalfields that you wrote about. And my family ard part of the Horowitz clan. Small world isn’t it? We might even be related!!

  23. Thank you, Alexa. He was, indeed, a good soul.

    I must point out that, as it is pronounced Ropshitz, your misspelling could be taken the wrong way by Roberts!

    Just been on the blower to my mum. She doesn’t recall your husband’s uncle, but she filled me in re who you are . . . regards to your mother from Norma!

  24. i wanna find this women Lydia B. nee Reiss

  25. JCWmoderator

    Lydia B, how are you a nee Reiss?
    Adrian Reiss (son of Charles, brother of Sam).

  26. My name is Brad Coven. It was nice to read this site. Our family also came from Sedziszow. My great grandmothers maiden name was Helen Reisenfeld. Her father was Leib Reisenfeld and her mother was Anna Reiss. Anna Reiss was born in 1862 in or near Sedziszow. My grandmother had always told me she was related to the Suffrin family in some way and in the early 1940’s the Suffrin family had helped several of her cousins emigrate to the US from Vienna, Austria.

  27. Pleased to ‘meet’ you, cuz! If you have ever ventured to that part of the world – very small towns and villages – as I have, I think you will realise that, with the name Reiss, we will almost certainly be related . . . and, if you demonstrate a healthy disregard for authority combined with an irreverent sense of humour – as do most of the Reiss’s that I know – we definitely will be!

    Check out the comment of Philip Trauring above, who also mentions the Suffrins. I will notify him of this development by e-mail, and hope that you will share your findings here.

    Best,

    Mike

    PS Are you ever in the Holy Land? There are at least two dozen Ropczyce/Radomyśl/Sędziszów Reiss’s here . . .

  28. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for getting back to me. Yeah it definitely sounds like we are relatives. Good to meet you too. I certainly think I’m funnier than shit and I have no use for authority. It was great to stumble across your blog. We know very little about the Reiss family, what my grandmother does remember is kind of spotty. We know much more about the Reisenfeld side of our family – who was Anna Reiss’s husband. If you know anything about them that would be great and if I discover anything I will let you know. From Anna or Channa Reiss – who I think was your grandfathers great aunt or maybe aunt, we have a very large family – mostly in Chicago or Cleveland in the USA or Melbourne in Australia or Haifa or Tel Aviv in Israel. But again, we know basically nothing about the Reiss portion of the family.

    When I read the Suffrin part of your blog from Trauring, I knew we had to be related in some way, as I had heard many stories about them saving my grandmothers first cousins from certain death in WWII.

    I was in Israel about 15 years ago and would love to go back. I will bring my wife and daughter one day when our daughter is older.

    Again, great hearing from you. I sincerely appreciate it. If you can pass on anything about Anna or Channa Reiss’s parents or grandparents that would be great. If you are ever near Cleveland, Ohio, give me a shout.

    I have to tell you, I am not very good at building a family tree, but I think for a novice I have done a pretty good job. If I can figure out how to share it I will make it public. Our tree is under my name – brad coven on http://www.ancestory.com.

    Thanks again,

    Brad

  29. Hi Brad,

    My late father, Charles Reiss zl was the brother of Mike’s Grandfather, Sam zl. Their mother was named Chana, and her maiden name – if I’m not mistaken – was Oster. She was thus Mike’s Great-Grandmother, so this would have been a different Channa to the one you refer to.

    BTW, I”m one of the Israeli Reiss’s, and have so far contributed 3 terrific Israeli grand-children to the strengthening and continuation of the tribe.

    Avraham (Adrian) Reiss

  30. I don’t have many more details than I posted a couple of years ago, but it certainly seems there was a family in Chicago, David Suffrin married to Hattie Reiss (this is inferred, not spelled out, but I think it’s pretty solid). That would likely make Hattie, Gittel and Anna all sisters (since I’m already pretty sure Hattie and Gittel were sisters, and Gittel was born about 1864 and Anna was born in 1862.

    I do have some records I’ve collected, however. David Suffrin moved to the US in 1887. He applied for a passport as a naturalized citizen in 1906 (I have the app). In the app he just says he was born in Galicia, on Feb 19, 1870. It also shows he was lived the whole time in Chicago and was naturalized through the Cook County Circuit court on March 4, 1896. You might be able to get that naturalization document, but before 1906 they rarely give a lot of information.

    Another passenger record shows David and Hattie were married December 18, 1895 in Chicago. That’s a better piece of information since if you could find their marriage record, it would almost certainly confirm Hattie’s maiden name to be Reiss. Unfortunately I checked the Cook Country Genealogy site (http://cookcountygenealogy.com/) and I couldn’t find a record of that marriage.

    The 1910 census shows David and Hattie with 3 children – Harry,Goldie and Lilian. Harry was 20, Goldie 16 and Lilian 2 in 1910. The census seems to say that David, Hattie and Harry were born in Germany, and the daughter in Illinois, but I think that’s wrong, as David himself says he was from Galicia in his passport application and Hattie was presumably from Sędziszów.

    The 1940 census shows David and Hattie living in Los Angeles. I’m going to guess it was to be near their daughter Goldy, who shows up also in Los Angeles in 1940, divorced with a 14 year old son named Albert.

    Harry was married to Dorice. In a passenger manifest it lists Harry’s birthdate as Sept 14, 1890 (in Chicago) and Dorice’s as Dec 14, 1894 (in Charleston, Illinois). Oddly there’s a second Dorice Suffrin listed on the manifest who was born in 1916 in Detroit. Not sure what that means (a daughter with the same name as the mother?).

    Harry is listed in the SSDI as dying June 1968 in Leelanau, Michigan. It lists his birth date as 14 Sept 1889 (a year earlier than the passenger manifest).

    This article shows a picture of the ‘Harry Suffrin Shop’ in Detroit in 1947:

    http://www.hourdetroit.com/Hour-Detroit/April-2009/1947/

    And then there’s this piece of information:

    http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/1581109/person/-1912302196?ssrc=

    It’s a family tree on Ancestry that lists Johanna (Hattie) Reiss, married to David Suffrin with a daughter Lilian. Presumably the person who posted it is related to Lilian (since it doesn’t list Lilian’s two siblings names).

    If someone were so inclined they could try to contact the owner of that tree, find the child of Lilian, and see what they know about the family. They could also try to find Goldy Sufferin’s son Albert and figure out if he has any descendants. Harry probably also had children, but I don’t know about them (unless that second Dorice really was a daughter of theirs).

    Philip Trauring

  31. Hi Philip,
    That is really interesting. My grandmother was able to confirm that her grandmother was sisters with Gittle and Hattie. She was not aware of your family though. She is 91 and some days has a great memory and then other days… not so good. She did mention that Harry was David and Hatties son and that he grew up in Chicago and then moved to Detroit and that her mother – Helen Reisenfeld and Sister, Ruth Reisenfeld nee Goldman, had traveled to Detroit to ask Harry to sponsor her first cousins (Max and Cherta Silberman) in emigrating to the US from Vienna. She was positive that it was in 1933. Harry Suffrin was able to get them into our Country and amazingly both of them are still living in Cleveland.
    Have you been able to find any information about Anna, Gittle and Hattie’s parents. My grandmother could not recall their names. However, she seemed to think that she was probably named after their mother. She also thought that her first cousin Cherta was also named after her. She thought that the name probably started with an H or Ch. This would have been my grandmothers – great grandparents. Any information you have would be wonderful and if you ever want to see what we have been able to compile, you are more than welcome to check our tree on ancestry – Mike has my email.

    Thanks,

    Brad Coven

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