A few weeks ago I posted the finding aid for one of our midwife records collections. Midwife records can provide a wealth of information for genealogists and historians. The following finding aid is for another type of collection that also helps genealogists reconstruct the story of their ancestors – circumcision records.
Reverend Hersz F. Kinek (1900-1976)
Circumcision Records, 1940-1967
The Jewish Museum of Maryland
ACCESS AND PROVENANCE
The Board of Jewish Education Collection was donated to the Jewish Museum of Maryland by Isaac Kinek in 1990 as accession 1990.50. The collection was processed in Spring 2002 by Ed Schechter and Myrna Siegel.
Access to the collection is unrestricted and is available to researchers at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the Jewish Museum of Maryland before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library’s usual procedures.
Hersz Kinek was born in Lodz, Poland in 1900. He lived in Belgium, Switzerland and Austria(where he learned to perform ritual circumcisions) before moving to Milan, Italyto accept a cantorial position with the Tempio Israeletico congregation. The Tempio awarded Kinek a life contract, and he resided there for 15 years. When Mousollini forced all Jews in Italyin 1938 to register as Jews, Kinek prepared his family to leave. He applied for a visa to Palestine, but was denied entry by the governing British. With the help of an American relative Kinek sent an affadavit and was granted permission to come to the United States. Kinek and his family were aboard a U.S.-bound ship when World War II broke out in September 1939.
In Baltimore, Kinek became the cantor of Bais Hamedrash Hagodol Congregation, located then at the corner of Baltimore and Chester streets. The Kineks moved from East Baltimore to Forest Park, and then to upper Park Heights Avenue, and Reverend Kinek served as the cantor for Shaarei Zion Congregation for approximately ten years before moving to Bnai Brak, Israel, in 1967. Kinek served as Baltimore’s leading mohel (ritual circumciser) during the years he lived there, performing the ceremony on thousands of children.
SCOPE AND CONTENT
The collection contains record books and forms of circumcisions performed by Reverand Kinek for 1940 through 1967. The records from 1940 until April 12, 1951 are organized chronologically. Records from April 12, 1951 are organized in reverse chronological order. Records may contain the following pieces of information: name of the child in English and Hebrew/Yiddish; date of birth; date of circumcision; place of circumcision; name of father; name of mother; address of parents; telephone number.