The KORNBLAU - ROSENBLATT Family Biography

by Florence Rodman Klevit

My parents, David RODMAN (b.1894) and Pepi (KORNBLAU) Rodman (b. 1897) were both born in Janów / Yanov. I always enjoyed hearing stories about their early years there, and when I became interested in genealogy, I started out by first researching their home shtetl. I was very fortunate to find two touching Yizkor stories about Yanov. These stories are now on our Janów / Dolina webpage.

I have not yet progressed in my family genealogy search, and therefore this narrative will only refer to what I know about my maternal grandfather's and my mother's siblings.

My maternal grandfather, Isaac KORNBLAU , was born in Yanov in 1867. He was one of six brothers. Grandfather Isaac's first wife, Feiga KLINE, for whom I am named, died during the pandemic of 1918. My grandfather then married Bosia (b. 1874). He was a lumber and grain merchant.

Grandfather Isaac visited our family in Atlantic City in the early 1930's. It was a very special occasion, but I was a small child, and I don't remember him at all. He died in 1936.

Isaac's four brothers, our great uncles Benny, Jack, Alex and Harry KORNBLAU, immigrated to the United States in the early 1900's. They all settled in Atlantic City with the exception of Uncle Alex, who made his home in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. (I never met Uncle Alex).

Isaac's brother, Yusha and wife Yitta, immigrated in the mid 1920's and settled in New York. Yusha was a furrier. He was the only brother who never became fluent in English. He and his wife, Tanta Yitta, would often spend summer vacations in Atlantic City, and I would enjoy attempting to communicate with him in Yiddish.

I remember brothers Benny, Jack and Harry being in the restaurant and window cleaning business in Atlantic City. Alex was in the window cleaning business in Wilkes-Barre. Our family was always proud of Uncle Harry's daughter, Lee, who was married to Joseph ALTMAN, a popular mayor of Atlantic City during the 1940's.

Now a little about my mother's siblings. Her oldest brother, Schulim KORNBLAU (b. 1890 in Yanov) was also a lumber and grain merchant in Yanov. He married Sarah ROSENBLATT, who was born in Skalat. Schulim and Sarah had three children: Joseph (b.1913); Gusta (b.1917); and Regina (b. 1923). Wife Sarah died when Regina was only two years old. Then Schulim married Pessie (b. 1898 in Podhajce), and they had a son, Mundek (b.1926).

In the early 1940's the letters from this family suddenly stopped, and we eventually learned that Schulim, Pessie, Gusta and Mundek had sadly become victims of the Holocaust. We never exactly learned about their ultimate tragic end.

Regina survived the Holocaust by leaving Yanov in 1937. Regina's brother, Joseph, fortunately survived by escaping to Russia. He, his wife, Regina TOKER, who was from Tarnopol, and their two children, Lucy and Jack, joined our family in Atlantic City in 1947.

My mother's sister, Anna (Kornblau) ERDE (b.1892 in Yanov) was married to Binnie ERDE (b. 1891). (I know nothing about him). They had three sons. I don't remember being told the names of the boys, but I was told that two of them were deaf. Tragically, we lost this entire family to the Holocaust and never learned details of their deaths.

My parents often spoke about the poverty and anti-Semitism that had always been prevalent in Yanov as in all of Poland. And I remember my mother telling me that after her mother died and her father remarried, her life became sad, lonely and even more difficult. So for many good reasons she decided, along with her younger sister, Rechel, to leave the home shtetl and find a new home across the ocean where the five uncles were by then comfortably settled.

My mother, Pepi, and her sister, Rechel, arrived in New York in July 1920. Their first cousins, Anna and Charlotte Kornblau, also of Yanov, the daughters of Fetter Yusha, all sailed together on the same ship, the Kroonland. After living in New York for a few years, both my mother and my Aunt Rechel, moved to Atlantic City where they married and raised families. Anna and Charlotte also married and made their homes in Atlantic City.

My mother's older brother, Alex (b.1894 in Yanov), the restaurateur and philanthropist (see "A Tribute to Alex Kornblau") entered the United States in 1921. He and his wife, Bertha WINKLER, whom he married in 1925, welcomed Regina into their home in February 1937 and raised her as their daughter.

My mother's younger brother Morris (b.1903 in Yanov) arrived in 1923. He became a partner with Uncle Alex in the operation of Kornblau's Restaurant, a popular eatery in Atlantic City from about 1930 to 1970 and even well remembered to this day.

Morris married Martha WEICH c.1928. Martha was also born in Yanov.

For the last ten or so years of his life, my grandfather Isaac still had living in Yanov only his oldest son, Schulim, and his oldest daughter, Anna, along with their families. I suspect those latter years were lonely for my grandfather because he had, in effect, been abandoned by four of his children and his five brothers.

I consider it an enormous personal loss that I never knew my mother's family, and especially my grandfather Isaac, because they remained in Yanov and became victims of the Holocaust. May these family photos and this narrative preserve their precious lives in Jewish history.

The KORNBLAU - ROSENBLATT Family (Includes a photo of Lusia LANDES), submitted by Florence Rodman Klevit
The KORNBLAU - ERDE Family. submitted by Florence Rodman Klevit
The WEICH Family. submitted by Florence Rodman Klevit


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