Friday, January 24, 2014

Goldstein (or Yancu) Cousins in Israel

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the JGSGB (Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston) "Annual Help Day" where members volunteered to help with translations. I brought digital images of several photographs with handwriting on the back in either Romanian, Yiddish or, in some cases, both. These are photographs from Morris Goldstein's family.

At right is a photo of Morris (and wife, Rose) with his brother, Max (and wife Lottie) which I previously shared. There were six brothers in the family, and Morris and Max were the only ones who immigrated from Iasi, Romania, to America (along with sister, Anna, who died in 1918).

Even though the volunteer translators didn't have the time to provide complete translations for all of the Romanian and Yiddish I had (some of the handwriting was challenging to decipher), I was able to get enough to piece together the family a bit more.

I know that two brothers went to Israel and I believe two remained in Romania, the oldest and the youngest; the oldest brother is the only one I don't know the name of. The family story says that their surname was originally Yancu, but some of the family changed their surname to Goldstein (before immigration), and some retained the Yancu surname. I am still looking for confirmation of this. I believe at least one of the brothers who immigrated to Israel kept the Yancu surname.

The brothers did stay in touch with Morris and sent pictures of themselves and family members. Morris never returned to Romania and never saw his brothers again. (Morris died in 1965.)

However, his widow, Rose, his daughter, son and daughter-in-law visited Israel in the late 1970s and met one of his brothers, the next youngest, Shmuel, and his family. Shmuel could speak and understand Romanian and Yiddish (he never learned Hebrew) and his sister-in-law, Rose could speak and understand English and Yiddish, so she communicated with him in Yiddish. His daughters did learn Hebrew and English, having been born and raised in Israel.

The translation of the Yiddish on the back of this photograph is:
From Shmuel-Leib
and Ethel
for their Rose
15/1/67 [15 January 1967]

My mother-in-law told me that some of the mannerisms of her uncle reminded her of her father, even though they hadn't seen each other since Morris left for America in 1914. Shmuel died soon after their visit to Israel.

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