Anatomy of a Family Circle Celebration

Posted on December 28, 2012 by

A blog post by Barry S. Lever, Special Projects Consultant

The Baltimore Sun’s Maryland News section on Monday December 17, 2012, featured a half page article, “Hailing 100 years in America.” by Julie Scharper.

http:///www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-hankin-family-100-20121216,0,1139305.story

This story outlined how the original members of the Hankin Family arrived in Charm City in October 1912.  Personally, I delighted in the festivities so creatively and elegantly organized by my cousins as well as the Baltimore Sun feature article detailing the gathering.

Abram, and his new bride, Bessie Gorelick Hankin, along with Abe’s younger brother, Sam were the advance party of what is now a remarkable 6th generation family proudly tracing its lineage to those eight siblings and their parents,  Chaim and Surha Hankin.

As Abe and Bessie’s eldest grandchild I had the good fortune to personally know all of the elder Hankin siblings, as well as their parents, Suhra and Chaim.  It is a personal delight to share those stories with my many cousins who were never privileged to know them. Behind the scenes the Jewish Museum of Maryland played a significant role for that Hankin Family 100th Anniversary Celebration.

As the largest regional Jewish Museum in the United States part of its mission is to collect and preserve the material and intellectual record of the Jewish experience in Maryland.

Sam Hankin’s grandson, Harvey Golomb, a Colorado cousin came to visit Baltimore and used the JMM‘s voluminous collection and expert staff to search the immigration records, photo images and oral histories.  From these and other sources he assembled a unique memoir, The Hankin Family: Journeys to America, making it available to the entire family.

In gratitude for the Museum’s assistance, the Hankin Family Circle (HFC) donated a copy of this memoir to the JMM‘s collection accompanied by a copy of the minutes of the first meeting of the  Hankin Family Circle in April 1947.  In addition to the incredible archives and artifacts housed at the JMM’s Herbert Bearman Campus, the Museum is currently displaying a highly acclaimed exhibition, The Voices of Lombard Street.

This exhibition features many of the scenes that Abe, Bessie and Sam Hankin would have encountered when they stepped off the gangplank of the North German Lloyd Vessel, S.S. Main which docked that day at Locust point in the shadow of Fort McHenry.

The JMM’s staff of docents looks forward to greeting you when you arrive to visit that exhibition and enjoy retracing what it was like to land on these shores as my immigrant family did on October 24, 1912.

On behalf of The Jewish Museum of Maryland I wish all of our members, website and on-site visitors, a Healthy, Happy and Peaceful 2013.

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3 Comments

  1. Phyllis Horwitz says:

    What a thrill it is to see our wonderful Hankin family featured in the JMM blog!!! For those of us who do not live in the Baltimore area, I am sure over the coming months, many of us will visit your present exhibit. Our bubbie and zedie stories of their early memories living in Baltimore will come to life in your exhibit. Thank you for recognizing the Hankin Family’s 100th anniversary coming to Baltimore from Belarus.

  2. Megan Cotugno says:

    How eloquently said, Barry! I, too, am so proud of our rich heritage and am so thankful for the detailed documentation that we have of our family. Thank you for the fine work you do!

    • Thank you for your comments to this blog.

      The JMM has the largest collection of regional Jewish history in the U.S. and the Hankin Family Circle’s history is now a part of it. The professionalism and diligence the museum’s collection staff ensures that the future generations of the HFC will always have access to this legacy.

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