Monday, December 28, 2009

Amanuensis Monday: Free Schools for Jewish Children

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

Back in April of 2008 I wondered if the Missouri Sanborn Maps told me where my great grandfather, Herman Feinstein, went to school.

This St. Louis Post Dispatch article from 1909, which I found in the St. Louis Post Dispatch 1874-1922 archives, reminded me of this conundrum, even if it didn’t answer all of my questions.

St. Louis Post Dispatch – March 24, 1909

Thefharas Zion Talmod Thora Association Buys Tabernacle.

The old Memorial Tabernacle at the corner of Fifteenth and Carr streets has been bought from the Second Presbyterian Church by the Thefharas Zion Talmod Thora Association, which will conduct there a free school for Jewish children. The price was $13,100 and $3500 of it was paid in cash. The balance will be raised by contributions and by entertainments that will be given from time to time in the school.

The officers of the association are M. Appalman, president; S. Segoloff, treasurer; S. Meisinberg, secretary; and S. Feinstein, chairman. It was largely through the efforts of Dr. M. J. Birenbaum of 1697 North Tenth street that the old tabernacle was bought for the school for Jewish children.

One day a few months ago he went into the present school of the association at 913 North Ninth street and found 200 Jewish children crowded into a small place there.

He began looking around for a larger place that he might buy. He found it in the old tabernacle. It is being repaired now and the school will be in it within two weeks.

It is expected that 600 children will attend there. They will attend the free school from 7:30 to 8:45 am and from 3:30 to 7p.m. The free school is designed to keep the children off the streets during the hours before and after the hours of the public schools.

My great great grandfather, Selig Feinstein, and his children lived at 1122 North Eighth from 1896-1906. The 1909 Sanborn map places a Jewish school immediately behind 1122. So that clearly isn’t the school at 913 North Ninth. But the school on North Ninth had 200 students, and the new school at 15th and Carr was predicted to have 600, which suggests it would be getting some additional students who were possibly crowded into similar small spaces.

My great grandfather, Herman, was 23 by 1909, so this new school wouldn’t have had an impact on him. However, his brother Aaron, who would have been 11 in 1909, or his sister Rose, who would have been 8, may have attended this new school.

Most importantly perhaps this news article indicates Selig Feinstein was chairman of the the Thefharas Zion Talmod Thora Association (aka Tiphereth Zion Talmud Torah).

I already knew he was active in the Chesed Shel Emeth Society.

(note: I have only found two Feinstein families in St. Louis in the early 1900s, so I am able to differentiate most references even with initials.)

If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, feel free to add a link to your post below, or in the comments.

No comments: