Anatomy of a Family Circle Celebration

Posted on December 28th, 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.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




MS 55 The Louis E. Shecter Collection

Posted on December 6th, 2012 by

Louis Shecter as a graduate from Baltimore City College, 1918. Courtesy of Louis E. Shecter. 1974.21.4

Louis E. Shecter (1901-1992) Collection

n.d., 1921-1985

 MS 55

Jewish Museum of Maryland

 ACCESS AND PROVENANCE

The Louis E. Shecter Collection was found in the collection as MS 55.  Multiple accessions have been identified as materials donated by and related to Louis E. Shecter and probably incorporated into MS 55: 1973.013; 1974.021; 1975.020; 1982.015; 1985.104; and 1985.105.  However, none of the materials in the manuscript collection can be positively identified with these accessions.  Because of this the collection was given the FIC accession number 2012.061. The collection was processed at some unknown date then reprocessed and given a finding aid in June 2012 by Jennifer Vess.

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.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Louis Shecter (1901-1992) was born in Baltimore and graduated from Baltimore City College in 1918.  He began work at the Baltimore Sun then left for the Joseph Katz advertising company.  In 1928 he became the advertising director for the Hecht stores until 1931 when he and his brother-in-law, Jack L. Levin, started their own advertising company.  Shecter also began to invest in real-estate and businesses, ultimately owning several theaters (The Rosalyn, The Rex, The Roxy, and The Times – now known as the Charles Theater).  Other businesses included the Famous Ballroom and two bowling centers.

Rosalyn M. and Louis E. Shecter on their way to London aboard the R.M.S Queen Mary, 1946. Courtesy of Louis E. Shecter. 1982.15.17

In 1939 Shecter married Rosalyn Margareten (d. 2009).  Rosalyn was born inNew York City and attended first Hunter College then later the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) for sculpture.  Louis and Rosalyn had three children: Alan, Mark and Alyce.  In 1961 Rosalyn was appointed vice chair of the Maryland Board of Motion Picture Censors.  Rosalyn focused on preventing children from being exposed to adult content in films, and she played a minor role in the implementation of the current movie rating system.

Louis Shecter was involved with a number of political figures and also became a collector and promoter of the arts.  Shecter died on November 9, 1992.  Rosalyn died on November 24, 2009.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

The collection is divided into three series: Series I. Louis E. Shecter, n.d., 1921-1985, Series II. Rosalyn Shecter, n.d. 1931-1984, and Series III. Children and Grandchildren, n.d., 1949-1983.  Series I. is further divided into eight subseries: Subseries A. American Jewish Congress, n.d., 1957-1983, Subseries B. Business, n.d., 1924-1984, Subseries C. Politics, n.d., 1944-1985, Subseries D. Genocide Convention and Civil Right Activities, n.d., 1954-1981, Subseries E. Charitable Contributions, n.d., 1945-1985, Subseries F. Art Collection, Museums and Culture, n.d, 1953-1983, Subseries G. Personal Correspondence, n.d., 1921-1984, and Subseries H. Misc, n.d., 1932-1984

Louis Shecter with Ladybird Johnson, 1962. Courtesy of Louis Shecter. 1975.20.33a

Series I. Louis E. Shecter, n.d., 1921-1985 contains correspondence, programs, clippings, and writings related to Shecter’s business dealings, civil rights activities, charitable contributions, art collecting, and personal life.  The series is divided into eight subseries. Subseries A. American Jewish Congress, n.d., 1957-1983 contains correspondence, press releases, newspaper clippings, meeting minutes and programs related to Shecter’s work with the American Jewish Congress in Baltimore.  Subseries B. Business, n.d., 1924-1984 contains correspondence and clippings related to Shecter’s work with the Joseph Katz advertising firm, the Hecht Company, his own advertising firm, his real-estate ventures, the Advertising club, etc. Subseries C. Politics, n.d., 1944-1985 contains invitations, correspondence, clippings and programs related to Shecter’s interaction with politics and political figures at the local and national level. Subseries D. Genocide Convention and Civil Right Activities, n.d., 1954-1981 contains correspondence, clippings and talks related to Shecter’s work promoting the Genocide Convention and Civil Rights.  Subseries E. Charitable Contributions, n.d., 1945-1985 contains correspondence, clippings, invitations, etc., related to Shecter’s involvement with charitable organization and his own charitable contributions.  Subseries F. Art Collection, Museums and Culture, n.d, 1953-1983, contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, lists, newsletters, magazines and minutes related to Shecter’s art collection activities, his donation of art, and his interactions with museums and other cultural institutions and organizations. Subseries G. Personal Correspondence, n.d., 1921-1984, contains Shecter’s personal correspondence including a collection of letters (photocopies) to and from H.L. Menken.  Subseries H. Misc, n.d., 1932-1984 contains membership materials to the Masonic Lodge and Beth Tfiloh, invitations, play programs, writings, etc.  All of the materials are organized alphabetically within each subseries.

Louis Shecter and Senator Edward Kennedy reviewing a painting of President Kennedy and Governor Tawes at the opening of JFK Highway. Courtesy of Louis E. Shecter. 1975.20.25a

Series II. Rosalyn Shecter, n.d. 1931-1984 contains correspondence, diplomas, booklets, publications, newspaper clippings, scrapbook pages and genealogical material related to Rosalyn’s education, work and family.  A large portion of the collection relates to Rosalyn’s work with the Maryland State Board of Motion Picture Censors.  The folders are organized alphabetically except for the genealogy materials which are placed at the end of the series.

Rosalyn Shecter being sworn in as chairman of the Maryland Board of Motion Picture censors, 1968. 1974.21.18a

Series III. Children and Grandchildren, n.d., 1949-1983 contains correspondence, invitations and writings related to Louis and Rosalyn’s children and grandchildren.  The series is arranged alphabetically.

Rosalyn, Louis, Alan and Mark Shecter, 1950's. Courtesy of Louis E. Shecter. 1974.21.20

RELATED COLLECTIONS

The American Jewish Historical Society and Syracuse University Library both have Louis E. Shecter Manuscript collections.

adobe cs6 master collection download

Louis Shecter with Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland, 1952. Courtesy of Louis E. Shecter. 1975.20.1

zp8497586rq

Posted in jewish museum of maryland