His story/her story: From Europe to the Ivy League

Kathryn Hellerstein is planning to write about her family, an unusual array of German and Czech Jews who came to the Midwest in the middle of the 19th century.

By RENÉE LEVINE MELAMMED
January 16, 2014 19:23
4 minute read.
American Hassidic Jews at a funeral [illustrative]

American Hassidic Jews 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

 
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Kathryn Hellerstein is planning to write about her family, an unusual array of German and Czech Jews who came to the Midwest in the middle of the 19th century. Until she finds the time to do so, we can listen to her comments when I interviewed her: How far back can you trace your ancestors? In 1840, Samuel Loeb Colman and Ella Strauss left Bavaria because of a law that allowed only one son to marry, in this case, Samuel’s brother; this couple emigrated because they wanted to be married. They traveled for months that winter, arriving in Baltimore and eventually settling in Cleveland, Ohio, near some landsmen.

How did they survive? Samuel first worked as a peddler, but eventually opened a store after amassing cash. In the meantime, Ella gave birth to 12 or 13 daughters! Which daughter was your foremother? Leah Colman met her future husband, Edward Rosewater, in the family store. He arrived in the US in 1854 at bar mitzva age.

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