Preface

Three reasons for writing The Tailor Shop

1--Our parents --remembrances--what they were like
The word "devotion" stands out in my mind when I think of my parents--devotion to their children, and the dream for them to be educated and become professionals. Towards this purpose, Lena and Adolph labored tirelessly, much at the expense of personal sacrifice. Over the years, I wondered how to find words to explain their selfless and intangible love imparted to us. Unlike today, Lena and Adolph never uttered the words "I love you"; their daily deeds expressed it time and again.

A book I recently read, Life is with People,The Jewish Little-Town of Eastern Europe (1), written in 1953, addresses this very subject. Anthropologists from Columbia University examine the uniqueness of the Ashkenasi (2) (means German) community known as the "shtetl". In minute detail, they carefully reconstruct the framework and culture of these people, aspects surprisingly similar and familiar to my upbringing. Where possible, specific examples I recall are coupled with relevant quotation(s) from the book. The complete quotations can be found by following the links.

2--The immigrant experience--what was it like?
Saying good-bye to their homeland, as all immigrants experience, Chana, Fischel, Lena, and Adolph left behind things dearest to them ... birthplace, families, language, youth, adulthood, and social status, to name some ... things that shaped what they were.

The recent comments (edited) from a fellow Jewish genealogist, Lilli Sprintz , speaks of this in a message sent to Jewishgen.org Tuesday, December 5, 2000:

"1 1/2 years ago I started researching the history of one side of my family. In the process, I uncovered lots of information I had not been raised with. Mostly, information not passed on because of particular issues that made it difficult for some of my family members to do. These involved issues of shame for being poor, or starting out somewhere (like in Europe) with some money, and coming to the US and winding up poor; persecution & issues of mental health difficulties due to the strain of leaving one's previous country; and then of course the usual embarrassment of dealing with oppression issues and trying to sort those things out in the process of sometimes separating from other family members."
Lilli Sprintz

3--Last link to the old world
My siblings and I, first-generation Americans, are also the last link to our parents and their family's eastern-European way of life. Now, the readers' memories of this history become new links to help us preserve the past.

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Home - Introduction - Prologue - Preface - Table of Contents - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8 - Chapter 9 - Chapter 10 - Guest Book - References

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Compiled by Susana Leistner Bloch and Edward Rosenbaum.

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