Our Miniature Chanukah Celebration – Part 2

Posted on December 22, 2016 by

Following up on last week’s post, here’s a closer look at a few more of the Chanukah programs featured in our mini exhibit in the Lloyd Street Synagogue…

Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

First, a nice little souvenir program for a “Grand Chanuka Concert given by Rev. S. Schenberg with a double choir, assisted by the talented violinist, Mr. Charles Weissmann. Given on Sunday December 5th, 1915, 5:30 pm under the auspices of Aitz Chaim Congregation, the Eden Street Synagogue. Dr. Romanoff, Rabbi of the Congregation.”  This is an eight page booklet, with a tasseled cord around the binding. Inside can be found the evening’s musical selections, in both English and [Yiddish], and the event committee is listed on the back cover. In case you’re still planning your own Chanukah concert, you can take some inspiration from the program here:

Music Selection Ida [sic] from Verdi

Brohcos – Grossman

Hanaras H’lolu – Berkowitz

Selection, Israeli – Weissman

Lecture ‘Chanuca’ – Dr. Romanoff

Mismoir Schier Chanukas – Sestofol

Solo Violin – Weissman

Ma Oshiv – Schenberg

Serenad Music – Schubert

Ahavti – Weissman

Loy Omus – Schenberg

 

Most of the booklet, however, is given over to advertisements, in English, Hebrew and Yiddish, for a variety of  businesses:

>J. Castelberg’s National Jewelry Company

>Baltimore Commercial Bank

>Hendler Creamery (“The Velvet Kind”)

>R. Ember Co. – furniture

>Osias Schoenfeld’s New York Dairy Lunch

>Commercial Savings Bank [in Yiddish]

>N. Ginsburg, Dealer in Cigars & Tobacco

>Y. Samuelson – pictures and frames [in Yiddish]

>F. Hurwitz Kosher Delicatessen

>Barney’s Café

>The Capitol Tailoring Co.

>Frank Merin, Contractor and Builder

>Hochschild, Kohn & Co.

>I. Greenhood Ladies’ Tailor

>E. Tamres, Dealer in Leather, Shoe Findings and Shoemakers Supplies

>Old Town National Bank

>Jack Lewis with Robert Kinnier, Hiring and Boarding Stables

>Jack Lewis, Undertaker and Embalmer [in Yiddish]

>Goldenberg Brothers ‘Greater Stores’

>Rev. Samuel Schenberg, Cantor of ‘Etz Chaim,’ First Class Practical Mohel; also does weddings [in English and Yiddish]

>The Reliable Plumbing Co.

>Stewart & Co.

>National Marine Bank

>The Eden Street Synagogue (“Aitz Chaim”)

>B. Mankowitz, Dealer in Delicatessen, Scotch Herring, Sardines

>Schaeffers Orpheum Theater [in Yiddish]

>Bernstein, Cohen & Co., Bankers

>A. Sindler, Furniture and Carpets

>Rev. N. Glazer, Hebrew School (“Special attention given to Bar Mitzvah children with the nicest English and Yiddish speeches”) [in Yiddish]

>Kosher Mikveh for all Jewish Women, with the approval of Baltimore Rabbis [in Yiddish]

>London Fur Mfg. Co.

>Saiontz Fur Co.

>Hackerman’s The Lucky Corner – Hatter and Gent.’s Furnisher

Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

1993026044-5

Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

1993026044-6

Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

1993026044-7

Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

1993026044-8

Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

1993026044-9

Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

…Another inside-peek-worthy item in the exhibit is the script for What Happened on Chanuka, by Rabbi G. Lipkind, published by Bloch Pub. Co. in 1924.  According to a note inside the cover, the play was “Presented twice with great success by the Intermediate Adath Boys on Sun. Dec. 13, 1933 (& Dance) & on Tuesday Dec. 19, 1933. Coached by Saul Taragin (15 rehearsals)”.  Taragin (1917-1997), son of a rabbi, emigrated to the US in 1929; he worked as a teacher and, in 1992, helped found Baltimore’s Yeshivat Rambam Day School.  The “Adath Boys” may have been affiliated with Adath B’nei Israel, a young adult congregation founded around 1920, though it could also refer to Adath Israel (now Beth Isaac Adath Israel), founded in 1914.

Gift of Rose Cohen. JMM 1997.130.1

Gift of Rose Cohen. JMM 1997.130.1

What I’d expected to be a light-hearted story about a family celebration is actually a rather deep examination of assimilation, adoption, intermarriage, and personal religious identity.  (Though I confess I have not read the entire script yet.)  There are a few annotations throughout, with some word changes here and there.  This page spread touches on a few of the play’s themes, as well as the central event of the Gerson family’s Chanukah celebration:

Gift of Rose Cohen. JMM 1997.130.1

Gift of Rose Cohen. JMM 1997.130.1

The cast list, delightfully, includes the actors’ names in pencil. I’ve not matched all of them up to their histories (and I’m not sure who played young Benno), but the players included Zelda Zafren (later Rivkin), born 1918; Pauline Kurland (later Kramer), born 1918; Beatrice Shoenig (later Krohn) born 1917; and Yetta Townsend, born 1918, who played the role originally written as Louis – it looks as if, for the purposes of Taragin’s production, it was changed to “Rebecca”.

Gift of Rose Cohen. JMM 1997.130.1

Gift of Rose Cohen. JMM 1997.130.1

Fifteen rehearsals is a lot of work for a bunch of teenagers, especially when their leader is himself only 16. I’m glad that Taragin’s “great success” can be remembered today, thanks to the annotated script.

Saul Taragin, right, with an unidentified friend, possibly at his graduation from Baltimore Polytechnic [link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore_Polytechnic_Institute] in the early 1930s. Museum purchase. JMM 2003.83.10

Saul Taragin, right, with an unidentified friend, possibly at his graduation from Baltimore Polytechnic in the early 1930s. Museum purchase. JMM 2003.83.10*

*Saul is standing with his older brother Azreal. The photo is indeed of graduation from Polytechnic Institute, the two brothers graduated together – they then attended Hopkins together as well.. Thank you to Faith Shabat and Sonny Taragin for this additional information!

JoannaA blog post by Collections Manager Joanna Church. To read more posts by Joanna click HERE.

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6 Comments

  1. Jane Wiesand says:

    I am wondering if you might be able to get in touch with someone for me. My mom long ago was very close friends with Zelda Zafrin who later married ellis rivkin. They had two daughters Rosalyn and Sharon. I have a whole stack of letters that Zelda wrote to my mom when they were young. Very entertaining read. Looking to give them a proper home. Thanks for any information you can provide. Jane Wiesand

    • Rachel says:

      Dear Jane – thank you so much for getting in touch, those letters sound fascinating! The best person to speak with is Joanna Church, our collections manager. She is currently away at a conference, but will be back in the office next week. Her email is jchurch@jewishmuseummd.org.

  2. Faith Taragin Shabat says:

    Thank you for this lovely article. Here is some additional information about my father, Saul Taragin, A”H. Firstly, the picture, that you posted, is my father and his older brother, Azreal when they graduated Polytechnic Institute together. My father eventually received a masters in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins. He had a distinguished position at Aberdeen Proving Ground which was a major accomplishment for an Orthodox Jew at that time. He worked very hard for HaPoel Mizrachi and Bnei Akiva, serving as President of Mizrachi of Baltimore for 40 years until he passed away in 1997.

  3. Sonny Taragin says:

    The picture at the bottom is Saul Taragin and his slightly older brother, Azreal. They graduated Poly (and went to Hopkins) together.

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