Posted on December 6th, 2012 by Jennifer
Louis Shecter as a graduate from Baltimore City College, 1918. Courtesy of Louis E. Shecter. 1974.21.4
Louis E. Shecter (1901-1992) Collection
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.
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
The American Jewish Historical Society and Syracuse University Library both have Louis E. Shecter Manuscript collections.
Louis Shecter with Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland, 1952. Courtesy of Louis E. Shecter. 1975.20.1
Posted on November 26th, 2012 by Rachel
A blog post by Deborah Weiner, Family History Coordinator.
In a typical week, the Jewish Museum of Maryland receives ten requests for help from individuals looking for information about their families.
Our Robert L. Weinberg Family History Center, located in the JMM library, assists all kinds of people with all kinds of needs. Some seek a relatively simple yet crucial detail, like “where is my grandmother buried?” Others, compiling family trees or writing family histories, want us to give them “everything we have” on their ancestors. In every case, we draw on a tremendous resource to assist them: our Family History collection.
A very creative family tree. JMM 1997.125.37
Even in the Internet age, with so much genealogical information available on the web, our Family History collection constitutes a unique resource that allows us to provide genealogical services unusually extensive for a regional Jewish museum. Here are some highlights:
- Our cemetery database includes more than 60,000 names of individuals buried in Maryland Jewish cemeteries. While most of the listings are from cemeteries in the Baltimore area, we also have listings from Annapolis, Cumberland, Frederick, Hagerstown, and Salisbury.
- Funeral records from the Jack Lewis Funeral Home from the 1920s-1930s, 1950s-1960s. This firm, no longer in existence, rivaled Levinson & Bros. in popularity through most of the 20th century.
- Indexes of records of several Baltimore midwives and mohels allow access to thousands of births and circumcisions from the late 19th to mid 20th centuries.
Rev. A.N. Abramowitz, Baltimore mohel. His circumcision records are part of the JMM family history collection. JMM 1988.155.3.
- Obituaries from the Baltimore Jewish Times from the 1920s to today, indexed for some decades.
- Genealogies and family trees from more than 400 Maryland Jewish families.
These resources were developed through the efforts of numerous volunteers as well as the cooperation of Maryland’s Jewish cemetery associations and congregations. We are constantly working to expand our resources; for example, two volunteer projects now underway include the creation of an index of engagement, marriage, and birth notices in the Baltimore Jewish Times, and a renewed effort to record as-yet-uncharted sections of the historic—and massive—Rosedale cemetery. (We recently crossed the 10,000 mark of burial listings at Rosedale.)
Over the past several years we have worked to make our collections accessible online. Most notably, we partnered with the Jewish Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) to make our burial listings available on JOWBR’s fully searchable online database. We are currently working with JewishGen, JOWBR’s “parent,” to make more of our resources available on the JewishGen website.
There are three ways you can access our Family History collection: online at JOWBR or at our own website (where we’ve posted pdf files of cemetery burials and other indexes), by visiting the museum to do on-site research (by appointment), or by using our research-by-mail service, where we do the research and send you the results (for a fee).
Genealogy is a burgeoning field, as many people have become interested in finding their “roots.” Fortunately anyone with a connection to Jewish Maryland has a great place to start: the Robert L. Weinberg Family History Center of the Jewish Museum of Maryland.
Posted on August 31st, 2012 by Rachel
A blog post by Education Director Ilene Dackman-Alon.
This time of year always seems so bittersweet for me with the end of summer upon us, the kids going back to school. The specific date of August 29th has so many meanings for me….. this year would be my mom, Barbara Sue Levy Dackman’s 83rdbirthday. It was also the day 7 years ago when Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans; which coincided with the first day that I started to work at the Jewish Museum of Maryland.
My employment at the JMM was not something that I had intended…My connection with the JMM seven years ago was only that I had made an appointment to meet with the JMM’s family historian, Dr. Deborah Weiner of the Robert L. Weinberg Family History Center to help me in my search for my own family’s past. My father was always fascinated with his own family genealogy and was quite proud that his father, Zelig Dachmann travelled alone at age 20, to Baltimore from Dvinsk, Latvia on the Munchen, a ship that was a part of the Bremen Lines and arrived in Baltimore in March, 1899. I was delighted that I able to get a copy of the ship’s manifest from the JMM and show it to my father.
I was amazed by the breadth of information that was available for researchers at the Family History Center. Researchers have access to Baltimore City directories dating from 1752-1963; US census records for Baltimore from 1900-1930; passenger manifests of ships that arrived in the Port of Baltimore; records of Jewish cemeteries in the Greater Baltimore area; along with the communal records of birth, circumcisions, marriages and death and so much more……. I felt like a kid in a candy store- and also thought that I could spend so much time here at the JMM trying to really document my own family’s journey to Baltimore.
Fast forward -Seven years have passed since my first introduction to the Jewish Museum of Maryland and I am sad to say that I have not finished researching all that there is -but every once in awhile something reminds to go back and delve deeper into my own family’s roots.
There are places outside the JMM where you can do research from the confines of your home. The website of Jewish-Gen which is an affiliate of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York offers access into many databases all over the world. I was able to locate the surname of Dachmann from Dvinsk and I found the names of my own paternal great grandfather-Jankel Mowscha and his father-Simon Dachmann. I also noted that Simon had a brother Mordechai.
The internet has really allowed us to have such an easy access to information and I decided to “google” my last name (maiden name)-and I discovered that there were many people with names are quite similar to mine, and I started to contact each one…..
Ilene Dackman and Barbara Dachman.
Last weekend-I had the opportunity to meet one of the descendants of Mordechai Dachmann-my great-great grandfather’s brother. I met Barbara Mae Dachman (a similar name to my mother) who grew up in Queens, New York and has lived in Puerto Rico over the past 25 years. Barbara was here in the US visiting her mom and sister Ileen (so weird that there are two Ilene Dackman/Dachman walking around on this planet).
Ilene and Barbara on the boardwalk – Far Rockaway Beach, Queens, NY.
I travelled to NYC and hopped on the A train to Far Rockaway Beach in Queens. We had such a delightful visit-one of those moments that you take with you and just smile….. I found Barbara to be a lovely person-her mom Lorraine was able to give us both an insight to Barbara’s father, Seymour and life living with Barbara’s paternal grandfather – Samuel Dachman, who was the only son of Mordechai Dachmann-and the nephew to my great-great grandfather, Simon Dachmann. Our visit only lasted for two hours- but I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to meet a new relative- but I also think that I have also made a life-long friend.
Ilene, Lorraine Dachman (Barbara’s mom) and Barbara.
I encourage you to visit the Robert L. Weinberg Family Research Center-it is so fascinating to touch documents from the past that bear the names of relatives that have lived before us… All of us have an immigration story-past and present. The JMM is a great place to start on your own family adventure.