Life and Times of Ellen and Jacob Cohen: 1870-1950, The
The story of Ellen and Jacob Cohen, as emigrants from the Russian Empire during the reign of Nicholas II, the last Czar of Russia, offers a fascinating personal glimpse into an extremely important period in Jewish history. The material on the following pages, which provides a brief overview of their life and times, came from a number of sources.
The photographs of shtetl scenes were taken during a trip to Lithuania in 2001. Some, but very little, of the background information was obtained from family members over the years. The dates, addresses, occupations, and ages were gathered largely from documents such as death certificates, city directories, and US Census reports. To provide a general account of the times during which the Cohens resided in that part of the Russian Empire, subsequently known as Lithuania, I consulted a number of books, monographs, and web sites all of which are listed in the bibliography. While it is quite possible that I included more detail than was necessary, in the event that others may wish to read further or conduct additional research on the family, I felt that it would be better to err on the side of too much rather than too little detail.
Ellen Cohen was born around 1871 in what today is Veisiejai, Lithuania. Ellen’s father was Gerson Mendle Slasovitch. Her mother, Malka (maiden name unknown), was Gerson’s second wife.
|Ellen Cohen||Gerson Mendle Slasovitch|
Ellen had three older step sisters, Malka Baily (oldest), Lena, and Libby. Because Ellen’s mother was much younger than Gerson and died at an early age (of a leg abscess), I was told that Gerson was so distraught over her death that he refused to eat and eventually died of self-starvation.
The Jewish cemetery in Veisiejai which today is overgrown but is still largely intact, probably contains the remains of Ellen’s father, mother, and possibly even other family members.
|Jewish Cemetery of Veisiejai|
|Western Russia Showing the Pale of Settlement|
At the time of Ellen’s birth, Veisiejai, then known as Vishey, was located in Vilna Guberniia, a province in the northern part of the Pale of Settlement where the majority of Jews who resided in the Russian Empire had been forced to live since the early 1800s. Although Vishey, originally settled in the 16th century, was extremely small, in the 19th century it had a sizable Jewish population. A census taken in 1897 revealed a population of 1,540 people, of whom 974 (63%) were Jews (Rosin, undated).
In the late 1800s the majority of Jews in Vishey earned their livelihood mainly from commerce, crafts, fishing and agriculture. Some, however, must have been quite successful in that several Jewish families owned what Schoenburg and Schoenburg (1991) called "great estates." According to Ellen her father was a very learned man to whom people often came for advice. He worked in, what she referred to, as the "leather business." Among the Jews who lived in Vishey during the late 1800s, involvement in the leather industry must not have been altogether uncommon. In the adjacent provence of Kovno, for example, there were 32 tanning factories, 31 of which were owned by Jews, and at least one, in the town of Shavli, was extremely large in that by the early 1900s it employed no fewer that 1,000 people (Levin, 2000). In the town of Swislocz, which was located in the other adjacent province of Grodno, nearly 70% of the Jewish population were directly or indirectly connected with the leather industry and in this town alone, by the turn of the century there were eight leather factories employing between forty and fifty workers each, and a number of smaller shops employing from six to twelve workers apiece (Ain, 1949).
The most notable resident of Vishey around the time of Ellen’s birth was Ludvig Zamenhof, a Jewish physician who lived there in 1886/1887. While in Vishey he developed the groundwork for Esperanto, an international language intended to help promote world peace. Of the many attempts to construct such a language during the 1800s, his was the most successful (Forster, 1982). Because Ellen was about 16 years old when Zamenhof resided in Vishey, she may have even been treated by him if she suffered any illnesses during his stay.
|Aerial photograph of Lake Anicia taken in 1944 |
(from Rosen, undated)
In shtetls such as Vishey almost every Jewish home had a small farm which normally consisted of a vegetable garden, fruit trees, a cow and some chickens. If these photographs are any indication of the way the town appeared during the late 1800s it is not surprising that, according to the family, Ellen had many fond memories of growing up in Vishey.
|Farmyard in Veisiejai (Vishey) dating from late 1800’s||Lake Ancia with a view of the bridge in the background|
Three major fires occurred in Vishey, the first in 1872, which destroyed large parts of the town. During one of the fires the original synagogue too was destroyed but was subsequently rebuilt. Today, because there are no Jews in Vishey, this building no longer serves as a synagogue but instead now houses the Living Way Baptist church.
Jacob Cohen was born on February 1, 1871, in what today is Vilnius, Lithuania. At the time of his birth Vilnius, then known as Vilna, was a major metropolitan city also located in the province of Vilna Guberniia. Nothing is known about his parents other than that the original family name was Katz, not Cohen. Because Katz is a Jewish acronym for the term kohen tzedek, which means "priest of righteousness" the name was changed to Cohen after the family arrived in America. According to family lore, the name was changed because it sounded too much like "cat."
|Jacob Cohen||Jacob Cohen’s Mother |
Jacob had four older siblings all of whom died, hence, according to Jewish tradition when he was born he was called the "Alter" (the old one) to ward off the angel of death. Jacob also had a younger brother, Harry, and a younger sister, Rivel. As a young man Jacob trained to become a chazzan (cantor), mohel (circumciser), and schochet (ritual meat slaughterer).
It is unclear how Jacob acquired these various skills although it is possible that he became a chazzen through an apprenticeship system that was widely used in Eastern Europe at the time (Slobin, 1989). To become an apprentice young men typically made an arrangement with an established chazzan to serve in his choir thereby becoming one of his meshoyrerim or choirboys. Because the elder chazzan’s home synagogue usually provided minimal support, to earn a living the chazzan and his choir would tour the provinces. The choirboys, however, received no wages, instead:
they drew their support by going every Friday with a sealed collection box from door to door; by singing at weddings and circumcisions -- and after the chazzan had sung a special blessing for the father of the bride and the father of the groom, the choirboys circulated among the guests asking for misheberach (money)...The chazzan didn’t have to feed the choirboys either, they had "eating days" [rotating meals at local homes, like religious school students]. If a day wasn’t covered, the choirboys went hungry. (Slobin, 1989, p. 14)
Since a chazzen was largely dependent on donations to make a living, becoming a chazzen was not considered a desirable vocation for a young man to follow. As an example, Slobin (1989) cites the experience of Zavel Kwartin (1874-1953) who came from a small village in the southern Ukraine and who subsequently became an extremely successful chazzen after he emigrated to America. When Kwartin married into a wealthy merchant’s family before departing, his father-in-law was very distressed on grounds that his daughter would be marrying a beggar.
What, a chazzan, a beggar, in our family? And my coddled and delicate daughter should become a khaznate, a beggar, so every yidene (gossip) can look into her pot, and my son-in-law should go around to brisses (circumcisions), weddings, and pidyon-habens (a ceremony for a firstborn son), funerals and yortsayts (anniversaries of a death), delivering misheberachs (blessings)... and then stretching our his hand, so maybe someone will feel sorry and throw him a dollar? (Slobin, 1989, p. 15)
Jacob and Ellen married around 1892/1893. How they met is also unknown, however, if Jacob did become a chazzen in the manner suggested above, a meeting might have occurred if he stayed at the Slasovitch home as part of a choir that traveled from Vilna to Vishey. On the other hand, it is equally possible that their marriage was arranged which was a common practice at the time. In either case, it is unlikely that their marriage could have taken place unless Ellen’s three older stepsisters had married first because it was also the custom that the eldest should always marry before the youngest.
Their first child, who died, was born around 1894. Their second child, Molly, was born in 1895. When Molly was around six months old all three left for the United States via Bremen, Germany, and arrived at Ellis Island in May, 1896. It is quite likely that they traveled on a steamship belonging to the North German Lloyd Steamship Line which was the only Line that sailed from Bremen and arrived in New York in May, 1896 (Anonymous, 1931). Upon arrival they traveled to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre region of Pennsylvania and settled in Plymouth where their third child, Freida, was born in 1897.
Why they decided to leave and subsequently settle in this region is uncertain, however, some general background information might help to explain their decision. According to Ausubel (1954) in the early 1860s there was a strong nationalistic movement in the Russian Empire expressed in the slogan "One Russia, One Creed, One Tsar" which meant that, to survive, Jews along with other religious groups, were expected to convert to the Russian Orthodox religion. Those who did not convert suffered oppression and were blamed for all of the economic hardships that were befalling the country.
The first government-approved plan to rid Eastern Europe of its Jews (known as a Pogrom) took place in Odessa in 1871. A series of pogroms then followed which became especially severe in the early 1880s under Alexander III. On May 3, 1882, the government passed the "May Laws" which were intended to bring a quick or total solution to the so called troublesome Jewish problem..."the formula worked out for the liquidation of the Jews in the Russian Empire was arithmetically neat: one-third by conversion, one-third by emigration and one-third by starvation" (Ausubel, 1954, p. 234).
Although during the time of the pogroms there was an outpouring of Jews from the Russian Empire, by the 1890s the situation had changed considerably. In 1896 when the Cohens emigrated only about 28,000 Jews from Eastern Europe left for the United States (Sorin, 1992). While this number may seem large, in reality it represents a very small fraction of the total Jewish population in Eastern Europe at the time, which is estimated to have been around five million. Moreover, the greatest majority of those who left did so not for safety reasons (the pogroms were largely over by around 1882) or to avoid the draft (the harsh conscription measures that began in 1827 and that pertained only to Jews ended in 1856), but instead, because they were poor and were seeking a better life elsewhere (Howe, 1976). Considering the difficulties associated with earning a living as a chazzen in Eastern Europe, this may have been at least one of the reasons the Cohens decided to depart.
While most of the Jews who landed at Ellis Island remained in New York City and settled in the lower east side, a few traveled to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area. Starting around the 1860s this region of Pennsylvania became somewhat of a hub for Jewish as well as non-Jewish immigration due largely to the discovery of vast deposits of anthracite coal. To obtain the necessary work force, laborers were recruited from various sites in Eastern Europe, including what is now Lithuania and Poland, to work in the anthracite mines (Zbiek, 1994). Since the majority of Eastern European Jews who settled in America initially became peddlers, this meant that a ready market would have existed among the miners for the goods and services that Jewish peddlers and small shop owners could provide. Hence it is not surprising that at least some of the Jewish emigrants from Lithuania would have elected to settle in this area. Indeed, the first Jewish settlers in Wilkes-Barre came from the small town of Pren, which was only about 40 miles north of Vishey and about 80 miles west of Vilna (Levin, 1999).
Jacob’s younger brother, Harry, left prior to Jacob. Where he went immediately after he landed in America isn’t known, though, he is listed in the 1900 US Census as a 21 year old living in Scranton in a boarding house owned by the Solomon family. He remained in Scranton as a self-employed tailor with a shop at 228 Spruce Street until his death around 1941. He also operated a clothing store in Scranton from around 1920 through 1924 at 207 Lackawana Street. Ellen’s two older stepsisters, Lena and Libby, also settled in Scranton. Lena’s husband Abe Shiller was in the jewlery business while Libby’s husband Nathan Survitz was in the wholesale dry goods business.
Soon after arriving in America the Jews from Eastern Europe typically banded together and established Orthodox synagogues modeled after the ones they had attended in their home shtetls in Europe. In Wilkes-Barrie, the first synagogue was established in 1871 by the Jews from Pren and was often referred to as the Prenner Shul (Levin, 1999). The next was formed in 1881 as a break away congregation by the Jews from Vischan and was known as the Vischaner Shul.
In the late 1800s some members from the Wilkes-Barre Jewish community moved across the river to Plymouth and founded another orthodox synagogue, B’nai Israel. As the Plymouth Jewish community grew the first person they would have wanted to hire was someone with the skills of a chazzan, mohel, and/or schochet since such a person was considered essential if the community was to survive. The members of the congregation would also have wanted someone who was familiar with the service that they were used to attending in Vilna Guberniia. Given these requirements coupled with the proximity of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre region to Plymouth, it is quite possible that Harry (or perhaps even Lena or Libby) might known of this need and have informed Jacob of an opening at B’nai Israel. In essence, it is not unlikely that Ellen and Jacob decided to emigrate and settle in Plymouth for at least three reasons: (1) lack of employment opportunities in Europe, (2) the prospects of a job at B’nai Israel, and (3) to join family members who were already living in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton region.
How did they arrange passage? Here, too, we have no direct information about the Cohen family, however, there is considerable information about how Jews in general managed to depart Eastern Europe and arrive in America in the late 1800s. Between 1871 and 1896 more than eleven million emigrants of all nationalities left Eastern Europe for America. Because of this number each of the major Western European steamship lines employed representatives, referred to as "agents," stationed throughout Eastern Europe who operated in many respects like today’s travel agents. While most of the steamships typically carried 1st as well as 2nd class passengers, since the numbers were usually quite small, to remain in operation most of the lines relied almost entirely on the income generated from the vast numbers who could only afford to travel in steerage. Therefore, the agents’ major responsibility was to solicit business from the class of emigrants who could rarely purchase anything other than a steerage ticket.
Who were the agents? They could be anyone such as a rabbi, priest, teacher, post-master, shopkeeper, et cetera, who was literate enough to write a receipt for a deposit and who was willing to work only on commission. With at least eight lines constantly vying for business, there was considerable competition among the agents, reducing some to practices which were often unethical. To solicit Jewish customers agents frequently
distributed pamphlets in Yiddish praising the United States and promising cheap steerage fares. They flooded the shtetls on market days, boasting of the success of the emigrants whom they had personally forwarded to America. Some traveled from village to village telling "fairy tales" about the opportunities the United States offered. Others employed "professional immigrants" whose very presence incited emigration fever (Nadell, 1984, p. 56).
A common form of inducement was a promise by the agent to arrange transportation from the place of departure to the port of embarkation. Indeed, because of the need for bribes, this overland journey was often difficult or impossible for an emigrant to arrange unless an agent was involved. Since the German lines typically offered the lowest fare, the majority of Eastern European Jews departed on a ship that left from either Hamburg or Bremen. Due to a cholera outbreak in Hamburg in 1892, however, the steamship companies were required by law to establish control stations at the German border to prevent any emigrants from crossing the country who might be carriers of this illness. Jews from regions such as Vilna Guberniia normally traveled from the city of Vilna by train
towards the border, debarking a few miles east of the frontier. There they waited in lodging houses, usually run in collusion with smugglers, until a guide had put together a large enough party, perhaps ten to thirty people, to make it profitable to pay off the border guards. The smugglers would then ship the emigrants’ baggage via wagons to the control station...on the German side of the border. Then at night they would lead the emigrants across the frontier on foot. (Nadel, 1984, p. 64)
Once past the border the emigrants would be taken to the control station where they would receive the first of three medical examinations. Those deemed medically unfit were not permitted to proceed. If they passed this exam they were then transported by train to the port of embarkation where they were subject to the second exam. The reason for this exam was that if any were subsequently denied entry to the United States due to a medical ailment discovered during the third exam at Ellis Island, the ship that brought them was required to bear the cost of returning them to the port of embarkation. It is interesting that the only emigrants who were subjected to these exams were the ones who traveled in steerage. Emigrants who traveled in 1st or 2nd class were automatically considered "healthy."
What was steerage like? The following description is typical of many accounts given by emigrants who arrived at Ellis Island in the late 1890s. While kosher food was often available in steerage, since many distrusted the ship owner’s claim that the food was indeed kosher, they often brought a sufficient quantity of their own food to last the duration of the voyage.
A steerage berth was an iron bunk with a mattress of straw and no pillow. The floors of the compartments were made of wood, which were swept every morning and sprinkled with sand. Two washrooms were provided for the steerage class, and both were used by both sexes at the same time. There was a small basin and a dishpan plus some other cans that were used as laundry tubs. Since most of the metal cans were used for washing, there was a shortage of receptacles to use in case of seasickness. Thus, as the voyage progressed, the conditions became more filthy and more unbearable. During the twelve days across the ocean, only the salt breeze overcame the odors. And by the end of the journey, everything was dirty and disagreeable. On rough passages the conditions were far worse, because the decks were filled with vomit and there was no provision for personal cleanliness. Before docking, immigrants were given presents by the steamship company, each woman was given a piece of candy and each man a pipe and tobacco. (Israelowitz, 1990, p. 12).
If the third medical examination at Ellis Island was passed successfully, the next step was an interview by an immigration official. Here a standard list of 29 questions, which the emigrant was made aware of prior to embarkation, had to be answered satisfactorily to gain final admission to the United States. Among the most important was whether the emigrant was in possession of at least $30 in US funds, the name and address of the friend or relative who they were going to join, and "whether (they were) coming by reason of any offer, solicitation, promise or agreement, expressed or implied, to perform labor in the United States." (Sanders, 1988). In short, unless the emigrant could convince the examining officer that they would not become a financial burden to the country they could once again be denied entry.
(From a genealogical perspective, it would be extremely interesting to know how Jacob answered these questions. Unfortunately, however, the building on Ellis Island to which the Cohens were taken in May, 1896, was destroyed by fire on June 15, 1897. The present building was opened in December, 1900. Because most if not all of the records housed in the original building were lost, it is unlikely that any records dealing with their arrival still exist. However, if a job prospect was indeed in the offing, it probably would have been very helpful for Jacob to have mentioned this at the time of the interview).
During the final stage of processing, the steerage passengers were divided into two groups: those who would remain in New York City and its surroundings, and those who would depart for other destinations. It was at this point that the Cohens probably encountered the money exchange office and then purchased the necessary railroad tickets to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area.
After Ellen and Jacob arrived they had seven more children. Four were born in Plymouth (Freida in 1897, Isadore [Irving] in 1900, Louis [Louie] in 1906, and Meyer, in 1908). Two others were born in Shamokin, PA (Lena in 1901, Milton [Manny] in 1904), and the last child, Samuel (Mooley) was born in Lynchburg, VA, in 1910.
Although Jacob never became a citizen, on December 2, 1901, he signed his first Declaration of Intention to become a citizen in the Court of Common Pleas in the County of Northumberland, Sunbury, PA. On February 27, 1912 he signed a second Declaration of Intention in the District Court of the United States (Western District of Virginia), Lynchburg, VA. It is worth mentioning that on the 1901 Declaration he signed his name, Jacob, and in 1912 the name he used was Julius. Why he changed his name and why he never completed the citizenship process also remains a mystery, however, the name change could have occurred as early as 1907, if not before, because he is listed as Julius Cohen in the 1907 Lynchburg City Directory.
Between the time of his arrival in 1896 and his death in 1940, Jacob served as chazzan, mohel, and/or schochet in at least five synagogues. As mentioned above, his first appointment was in Plymouth where he remained until around 1900. The family then moved to Shamokin, PA, remained in Shamokin until around 1904, returned to Plymouth, then moved to Lynchburg, VA, in 1907. They remained in Lynchburg until around 1913, moved to Charleston, SC, where they remained until 1919, and then moved to Scranton, PA, where they resided until Jacob’s death.
In Lynchburg he was affiliated with Agudath Sholom (153 Church Street), in Charleston with Beth Israel located at 145 St. Philip Street, and in Scranton with Keneseth Israel (121 Linden Street). Because of its location, Keneseth Israel was informally referred to as the Linden Street Shul.
While the reason for these many changes is unclear, what is clear is that the job of chazzan in North America during the early part of the 20th century was at best an extremely tenuous, unstable, position. In many postings the contract was for a very limited term and renewal was frequently contingent upon two factors: (1) the availability of funds and (2) internal disputes over the degree of orthodoxy that the congregation wished to pursue.
Consider, for example, Beth Israel in Charleston where Jacob was posted from around 1913 through 1919. The congregation was founded in 1911 by a break away group of approximately 60 members of Brith Sholom who were primarily from the town of Kaluszyn in Poland. The reason they left their former synagogue was that Brith Sholom had apparently failed to abide by its commitment to the strict observance of an Orthodox service as practiced by the Jews of Poland and Lithuania (Gurock, 2004).
With approximately $500 this break away group purchased a wooden building at 145 St. Philip Street. Because most of the members were poor and could not afford a full-time rabbi, Jacob was hired to fulfill a bylaw in their constitution which required them to secure the services of a chazzan, mohel, and schochet. Given their limited funds, it is not surprising that the Cohen family received quarters at the rear of this building where they resided for about six years.
With respect to Orthodoxy, even in Beth Israel strict adherence was not always the case at least in the eyes of certain members of the congregation.
Beth Israel’s few extant records...suggest a turbulent social scene akin to that at other immigrant congregations elsewhere in America. For example, when worshippers failed to get along with synagogue rules and leaders, aggrieved parties sometimes took their battles "outside," even resorting to fisticuffs when tempers flared...Beth Israel leaders and members (also) struggled to keep their fellow Jews in line within a rambunctious immigrant synagogue environment where, reportedly, they’d yell and scream if the Torah reader made a mistake... (Gurock, 2004)
Apparently a similar situation existed at Jacob’s earlier posting in Lynchburg where, around 1913,
a group of dissidents took the Torah, broke away from the temple (Agudath Sholom) and joined the Beth Joseph Congregation. Despite efforts to bring the groups together, it wasn’t until September 16, 1916 that they agreed to a "Beth Din" (court of mediation) headed by a Rabbi whose expenses would be shared by both. One year later they agreed to reunite. (Anonymous, 1997)
Perhaps this dispute is the reason the Cohen family left Lynchburg and moved to Charleston, which was also around 1913. In any event, the continuing existence of these doctrinal arguments coupled with the limited funds available to these small congregations, certainly helps to explain why, from what I was told, the Cohen children would gather together when the time approached for Jacob’s contract to be renewed in anticipation of yet another move.
In addition to these changes in postings, the family also changed street addresses on a number of occasions. In Lynchburg in 1907 they lived at 1009 Monroe Street, by 1909 they had moved to 1011 Monroe. When they first arrived in Charleston they lived at 166 Coming Street but by 1914 they had moved to 145 St. Philip Street. In Scranton in 1919 they initially resided at 421 Franklin Street, in 1923 they lived at 1224 Mulberry Street, and by 1925 they had moved to 433 Taylor Street. Finally, in 1935 they moved to 219 Webster Ave where they continued to reside until Jacob died of complications associated with diabetes on August 22, 1940.
Following his death in 1941, Ellen along with other members of the family moved to Syracuse, NY. She initially resided at 904 1/2 Harrison Street and around 1948 moved to 502 Irving Ave where she lived until her death from cancer on January 13, 1950. Both Ellen and Jacob are buried in Dalton Cemetery in Scranton.
|Dalton Jewish Cemetery, Dalton, PA|
|Directions: take exit 58 off hwy 81 or exit 39 off the Pennsylvania Turnpike then take route 11N-6W 7.5 miles to the Dalton Exit. At the bottom of the Dalton Exit turn left, go 1/2 block then turn left on Turnpike Road. Proceed one mile to Shoemaker Road, turn right and proceed one further block up Shoemaker Road. Dalton Cemetery is on the left.|
|Ellen and Reverend Jacob Cohen (photograph taken in Scranton around 1930)|
What would have happened if Ellen and Jacob had decided not to emigrate, but instead to remain in Lithuania? During the early 1900s conditions in Eastern Europe became worse with the passage of a number of anti-semitic laws. For instance, Jews were excluded almost entirely from government service and found it very difficult to engage in such traditional occupations as shopkeeping and manufacturing. During the 1930s the government owned radio stations made appeals to the people to boycott Jewish business establishments. In the schools the Ministry of Education legalized the use of so called "Ghetto benches" which were seats that were specifically set aside for the use of Jewish students only. Then, around 1939, the vast majority of Jews who remained in Eastern Europe were confined to 13 large cities, Vilna being one.
Finally, in the early 1940s, which was during the initial stage of the Holocaust, the majority of Jews in Lithuania were killed largely by Lithuanian collaborators of the German occupying forces. The Jews from Vishey, along with those from several other neighboring communities, were executed outside the nearby town of Lazdijai on November 3, 1941. The Jews in Vilna were executed in nearby Ponar between September 1 and November 25, 1941. (Klee, Dressen, and Riess, 1988).
In honor of Ellen and Jacob’s memory, and to commemorate their decision to leave, in 1988 the Cohen family name was inscribed on the American Immigration Wall of Honor at Ellis Island.
Marvin L. Simner is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. Marvin was born in Wilkes-Barrie, PA, and spent his early years in Syracuse, NY. After completing post-doctoral training at Brown University in 1969, he moved to Canada with his wife to assume a faculty position at the University. Prior to retirement in 2002, his teaching and research responsibilities focused largely on children at risk for early school failure.
Marvin has had a long standing interest in Jewish history in general and in the history of his family in particular. Following retirement, he was able to combine both interests into an exploration of the reasons for the departure of his grandparents, Ellen and Jacob Cohen, from Eastern Europe and their eventual settlement in the Wilkes-Barrie/Scranton area. Marvin also edited a booklet in 2006 that focuses in part on his early experiences in Syracuse. This booklet, which is entitled Growing Up Jewish in the 15th Ward: Recollections from the 1920s through the 1950s, is available from the Onondaga Historical Association in Syracuse.
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