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Ainbinder Family Tree
Ainbinder Family History
Source of the name AINBINDER/ Einbinder
The name is Yiddish based! Meaning a book binder. It can be spelled in MANY ways. The Russian spelling was Ajnbinder or Aynbinder (Ambinder, Anbinder, Anbender, Enbinder etc. are all variants of the SAME name). It was probably assigned to the family because of an ancestors trade! (i.e. a book binder). The name probably was given around 1820 or so during Tzar Nicholas’ attempts to register the Jews and draft them into the Russian Army for 25 years. If you were lucky (or rich and could bribe the census taker) you were assigned a nice name like Goldman, Silverman etc. If you had a lazy census taker you got a name either by profession or even by the town you lived in (Kovler from Kovel, Warsaver from Warsaw, Berliner from Berlin etc.). One that was in a hurry and you got a color (Schwartz = black, Weiss = white, Roitbaum = red tree, Rothchild = red shield etc.). And if he was nasty or a real anti-Semite you got a name that made fun of you like Kartofle = potato etc. (as a matter of fact one of our cousins was Molly Kartofle (Molly the potato) thanks to a census taker (or because of the local authorities).
History of the Ainbinder Family
The earliest verifiable ancestor I know of is Zarah (Zurach) Ainbinder from Kovel in the Ukraine. He was born c. 1850 and died c. 1916. He was a shoemaker. He married Hannah Hudis Morotchnick in Kovel, born c. 1850 died c. 1917. They lived in abject poverty (there were not enough shoes for all the children). “Family Legend” has Zarah’s father as Abraham Ainbinder born c. 1825 who had at least two other children Muntzi who married Gershon Wax (Wachs? Vaks?) and a son (who I have not been able to trace as yet). Avraham (or HIS father) is said to have been a scholar and to have published book(s)? NOTE: my mother (Edna Anne and Zarah are named for their grandparents, Hannah Hudis and Zarah). Avraham’s wife was thought to have been called Sarah (?). Zarah and Hannah Hudis were a “match” (there was no “dating game” in those days). Hannah Hudis had at least one sister (I do not know of any other siblings), Tcharna who was born in c. 1858 in Kovel. Tcharna married Hersh Potchter c. 1874 (he was born c. 1828! therefore MUCH older than she! Tcharna was his second wife!). Hersh was a tailor. Tcharna and Hersh had (at least) 5 children together Laibel, Joseph, Moishe (Morris), Shia and Malka (more about them later - THIS is where the Kovner family is related to us ). Now back to Zarah and Hannah... They had eight children who lived to adulthood. Shia, Bella, Ethel, Max, Benny, Esther, Celia, and Harry. Shia married Chaveh Luschitzer in 1891 in Kovel (I was told that they were first cousins! - please, someone try to confirm this). Shia was born c. 1873 in Kovel, immigrated to the USA in 1912, became a US citizen on January 20, 1927, passed away September 24, 1939 (age 66). He is buried in Mt. Lebanon Cemetery. He was a shoemaker. Shia used the name Samuel in the USA though the root of his name was Isaiah. Shia was 18 when he got married. Chaveh was born June 14, 1872 (I do not know where the family was from but presume Kovel). She left Europe on August 13, 1929 aboard the TSS Niew Amsterdam and arrived September 5, 1929. NOTE: There was a 17 year separation between Shia’s arrival and Chaveh’s. They had ten children together: Zlata, Reuven, Baila, Tzivia, Ethel, Dvorsa, Esther, Srulik, Mottel and Herschel. IF anyone has papers and/or documents, I would love to have copies!! (passports, tickets, pictures of Kovel etc.). Srulik used Isidore in the USA. He was born February 29, 1906 (?) in Kovel (some sources said 1904!?). He changed his birth date to 1908 to avoid the Polish Draft. He was an artist in Europe but couldn’t make a living so he became a barber. He and my grandfather Harry (Tzvi Hersh) were the moving force behind the creation of the Zarah Ainbinder Cousin’s club established in the early 1950’s and lasted until around 1956 (I found some of the minutes of the meetings amongst my mother’s (z”l) papers, so when I get a bit more organized I can give you more details). They were also the family “Peace-makers” so once they passed away many in the family simply stopped talking to each other! Doris (Dobcha) was born in Brynsk, Poland on July 4, 1910 (?) though her papers say January 15(?). She immigrated to the USA in 1928 coming from Amsterdam on the SS Arabic. According to one story Izzy and Doris met on this boat BUT according to other information Izzy came to the USA on the TSS Volendam!! (Please clarify). Pre-1928, after which he left Kovel forever, Srulik lived in #80 Warszawska St. in Kovel. He left from Warsaw to Danzig (alone), then Danzig to Holland on the SS Baltonia of the Anglo-Baltic Line, then on March 13, 1928 left from Holland to the USA. His Polish passport was issued (?) March 9, 1928. He became a US citizen June 26, 1934. He passed away on April 23, 1973 and is buried at New Montifiore Cemetery, Pine Lawn, Long Island, New York c/o Free Sons of Israel.
I have been using a researcher in Europe who has access to certain Russian and Polish records and I have been paying as I receive information (contributions welcome). There was a search done for Einbinder/Ainbinder & Pochtar (Pochter) & Morotchnick in Kovel (and area) AND in Kobrin (and area). Kobrin??? you ask (it is a town just east of Brest Litovsk and several hundred miles north of Kovel!). My request is the result of an interesting “coincidence”. In order for one to get into the USA in the 1920’s one had to ‘prove’ that one was family of the US citizen who was sending for you. A relative of mine from the Pernick-Jasinofsky Line (my father’s mother’s family), Pesha Baila needed such proof. She therefore went to the authorities in order to swear out an affidavit that she was the wife of Markel Pernick (her husband, who was sending for her). In order to make the affidavit “legal” one had to bring two witnesses. My aunt Esther (my father’s sister) sent me Pesha Baile’s papers. Upon inspecting the names we discovered that an Ajnbinder had signed as a witness! Therefore I requested the search of Kobrin AND lo and behold YES there are three Ainbinders listed in the 1907 Voter Registration of Kobrin Moshe Itskovich (Isaac’s son), Yitzhak Avrum Leybovich (Leib’s son) and Moshe Avrum Leybovich (Leib’s son). Moshe and Yitzhak are possibly (probably?) brothers. The signature on the Affidavit is of A. (Avrum?) Ajnbinder! I also have TWO other Ainbinder/Einbinder family trees that I have not been able to “connect” as yet! (but more about them in the future). Even more exciting is the results of the search for Pochtar (Pochter) in the Kovel area. Yankel Gershkovich Pochter is listed in 1906 & 1907 in Kovel! That is Jacob son of HERSH (possibly the Hersh who married Tcharna Morotchnick - Hannah Hudis’s sister). This is a whole new branch! AND Hersh himself is listed in 1906 in the town of Nesukhoizhe and in 1907 in Stobykhva (neither of which I have, as yet, the slightest idea of where they are located outside of the fact they are “near” Kovel) WITH his father’s name, Isaac! Which puts that branch back one more generation!(small steps... but).
Bella Ainbinder was born May 10, 1880. She was married twice. First to Joe (Yossel) Richmond, with whom she had one son Abe (Avrum - named for her grandfather?). Joe owned a farm in Europe. According to the story I heard he died tragically. In an attempt to avoid the Russian draft he tried to puncture (or have someone else do it) his eardrum. It killed him. She then married Benjamin Tarcher and had two sons with him Mortimer and Lenny. (It is through this family that we are distantly related to Shari Lewis thru marriage). I do not have a date for either marriage nor any dates of death, nor am I sure where Bella and Ben are buried. I think they are in Cypress Hills in the Kovel Section but I do not know.
Ethel married Harris Kaggan and they had three children: Dorothy, Abraham, and Julius. I have old pictures of Harris and he looked like a very distinguished gentleman.
Max (Mottel) Ainbinder born c. 1886. He married Sonia Altman. Bella had helped Max come to the USA. There is a story told that once Max got to the USA he had little to do with the family. I do know that he borrowed money from my grandfather Harry and had Harry also sign on a loan to the Kovel Association. According to what I was told the loan was not repaid and because my grandfather was unable to pay (or unwilling?) as a guarantor should, he lost his membership in the Kovel Association and the right to be buried on their plot, which is why he is buried out in Farmingdale! Max and Sonia had five children: Sally (Sarah), Dorothy, Hank (Zarah), Alex and Seymour. Max was a Dress Manufacturer. He had Parkinson’s Disease.
Benny was born August 8, 1893 in Kovel. He was a Hat Blocker (Presser) by trade. He married Molly Kartofle. He was a small wiry man of 5’5”. According to some of his family he was able to press 12 hats at a time. He loved books (as did most of the Ainbinders). He died c.1940 about six months after Molly passed away. They had nine children together: Abraham born c.1914 died of spinal meningitis c. 1916, Paul, Zarah, Edna, Sarah, Saul, David, and two other sons (?) who died in childhood.
Esther married Benzy Kotler (some say that he was her second husband). Benzy is said to have been very sickly and died in Europe. Esther had either two or three children with her first husband. All together there were five children: Sarah, Laibel, Dvorsa, Reuven, and Zarah. The story is told that (like with all the other siblings) the family in the USA sent for Esther and her children. They all arrive at Ellis Island. One of the children (a son?) is said to have had an eye disease (glaucoma?) or was sickly in some other obvious way. The immigration officials passed the whole family BUT were going to send the sickly son back to Europe! Esther, refusing to abandon her child AND not wishing to break up her family returned to Europe with ALL her children (all of them but one, Zarah = Kotik) perished in the Holocaust.
Celia (Tzivia) was born Nov 5, 1893 in Kovel. She arrived in the USA in 1911. She married Teddy (Itzik) Balf in the USA and they lived and raised their two sons, George and Oliver in Rye Beach, New York. Celia was one of the youngest of the Ainbinder family. At the age of 10 she was apprenticed out as a maid to a family which treated her very well. Celia was self-taught and (like many other of the Ainbinders had a love of books and learning). She suffered most of her life from Colitis. Teddy kept diaries, one volume of which still exists, in which he tells of the trials and tribulations of life. Teddy was born Oct 14, 1888 and was a watchmaker by trade. He had a store in Rye Beach and lived behind it. Pictures of the store were in my mother’s papers and I have a copy. Originally when he first arrived in the USA his first job was selling Manoshevitz Matzo. He opened the store in Rye in 1912. He was musically inclined and played the clarinet (and possibly other instruments). He was a Zionist and always had a little blue “puskeh” (charity box) in his home. His fondest dream was to settle in Israel. He was in touch with his cousins (Shia’s children) in Israel. He died of Leukemia and is buried in the Kovel Society Plot at Cypress Hills Cemetery. Interestingly, one of Oliver’s sons, Michael, did come to Israel and is living on Kibbutz Maagan Michael with his wife Rachel Helfer and their three children (but more about that generation in another chapter).
And last but not least, Harry (Tzvi Hersh) my grandfather. Born May 16, 1899 (Lag B’Omer), came to the USA after WW I. Married my grandmother Helen (Chaya) Lichtenstein in Mexico City on Jun 10, 1925 and then brought her into the USA. Harry was a leather worker (shoe tops?). Having been born when his mother was in her 50’s he was younger than many of his nieces and nephews! It is said that his older sister(s) even nursed him! There were three children: David, who died of pneumonia at two weeks of age (his death so traumatized my grandmother that she was always overly cautious with all children, from what I remember she was afraid to even hold the grandchildren as babies!), Edna (Hannah Hudis) my mother of blessed memory, and Zarah.
These are all the offspring of Morris (Moishe) Potchter and Baila Chasan. Morris’ father was Hersh Potchter, his mother was Tcharna Morotchnick (the sister of Hannah Hudis Morotchnick-Ainbinder). Hersh had at least FIVE children with Tcharna: Laibel (who came to Israel), Joseph, Morris, Shia and Malka. Harold was in contact with Shia! I have no further information on Shia except that he was born c. 1890, was a tailor, moved to Israel, married and had at least one child. The story goes that he was a very good tailor. He was drafted into the Russian Army in WW I. He “left” the front in order to get married (it was a ‘match’). He was caught, tried and then stood up against a wall to be shot!! The firing squad was up to aim when an officer ‘happened’ to be passing by and said “Hey, wait a minute, THAT’S MY TAILOR! I need him to sew on some buttons!” So the officer took him away to do some work. Shia later escaped!!
Muntzi Ainbinder married Gershon Wax. They had at least six children. Max (Mortcha), Avrum, Zurach, Shia, #5, & #6. Max married Bella and had three children: Morris, Anna and Gussie (Gittel).
Morris Wax married Fay (Fanny) Criss and had Milton Lawrence, Albert Jacob, Sally Rosalee and Irwin Gary. Last known address 181-19 Kildare Rd, Jamaica, NY Phone: 380-3772.
Milton Lawrence Wax (born 1937) was a diamond setter. Albert Jacob Wax (born 1940) lived in San Francisco and married Margaret Jenkins. Sally Rosalee Wax (born 1944) married Allan Levy. She worked in advertising. Irwin Gary Wax (born 1950) worked in computers.
Anna Wax married Irving Chesner (later divorced) had four children Maxine, Rozie, Sylvia and Gary. Last known address for Anna was on Starett St. in Brooklyn. Phone 648-6936. Maxine was Miss NY State. She married and had at least three children, Sheryl, Barbara and Ellen - I do NOT have a family name for them!! Rozie married and had three children - also have no family names! Sylvia married Andy and had two children AGAIN no names!! and I know nothing about Gary Chesner!
Gussie (Gittel) married Irving Cohen. Last known address 253 E 94th St., Brooklyn Phone: 642-8183. They had two children Marsha and Michael. Marsha married and had at least three children, No further info!!
Michael married and had at least two children.
As for Shia, yes there have been “rumors” etc. BUT his offspring (Esther Rozanski z”l) fervently deny them!! Which brings me back to Shia who was born circa1873, came to the USA 1912, became a US citizen Jan 20, 1927 and died Sept 24, 1939 (age 66) and is buried in Mt. Lebanon Cemetery. He was a shoe maker by trade. The fact that he was not a US citizen ‘might’ have been the reason for the ‘delay’ in sending for his wife!? His wife was Chaveh Luschitzer, born June 14, 1872, came to the USA on the TSS Nieuw Amsterdam on Sept.5, 1929 (the boat left Europe on Aug 13, 1929 - making it about a THREE WEEK trip!. Chaveh went by the name Eva. Shia and she are said to have been FIRST COUSINS but I cannot verify this as yet. They married in 1891, when she was 19. They had 13 children of whom only 4 survived to adulthood. He was about one year YOUNGER than she was! Their children (in order of birth): Zlata, Reuven, Baila, Tzivia, Ethel, Dvorsa, Esther, Srulik, Mottel, and Herschel. Zlata born 1896 (Erev Pesach). She fell in love with a young Jewish soldier who was soon thereafter killed at the front (during WW I a not too unusual event). When she found out she was devastated and swore never to marry... she never did! She did come to Israel. My mother z”l met her but it was a “big” secret as to where she lived (the story ‘might’ be told some day?). Reuven died in childhood some time before WW I. Baila was born 15 of Shvat 1901, in Kovel (my mother’s Yahrzeit!). Baila came to Israel in 1921 and married Yoske Birman circa 1923. They had four daughters - Rifka, Zilpa, Aliza and Hagit. It is from them that most of the family in Israel comes! I have met them in the past but have not been in touch for years. Rifka died in circa 1974 and her husband Haim Edan also recently passed away. They had three children Edna, Ofer and Adi. Adi and his wife live about 20 miles from where I once lived. I have met his wife and children but he always seems to be at work. He lives in a lovely hilltop settlement nearby. I received their address from Ofer and one day decided to look them up. I asked about them at the settlements store, and inquired of neighbors until I found their home. There was a baby-sitter with their children. I said hello and said I would be in touch, leaving my name and phone number! Little did I know the ‘panic’ I would cause! The next day I had three phone calls from different police departments and the ‘cops’ had visited my home!!! I’ve had ‘trouble’ with relatives but this was a “bit” much. It turned out there was a very good reason. Adi’s wife, Esti is a Social Worker working for the Prison Authority! One part of her responsibilities is to determine suitability of early release and probation!!! Their name and address AND phone number are ALL unlisted and secret (there is always the fear of retribution!) so that when I “appeared” they thought I was one of her “clients” and they feared for the family (the police were already on guard and were going to move the family into hiding!!). AND of course they went on alert and fully investigated yours truly... who said genealogical research is “an armchair” hobby (PS I have also been researched by the FBI and CIA - it seems that one of my relatives on the Pernick side was an officer in that “world” and got very upset that people were being asked about him!! que sera!). Aliza is married and lives in Tel Aviv. Hagit is living on Kibbutz Kfar Szold (where she had gone to school and met her husband). She and her husband were in the states for a while marketing a Depilatory Device for the Kibbutz! (I think they were in Virginia).
Tzivia was born 1902 and died in childhood.
Ethel and Dvorsa were twins born in 1903, also died in childhood.
Esther was born June 6, 1905. She came to Israel May 11, 1925 and married Zvi Rosanski in Nov 1926. They had three children. Her son Yitzhak (who tragically was killed in the Jewish Brigade in WW II during the Italian Campaign), Yonah and Ziva. Ziva was a founding member of Kibbutz Rosh HaNikra (on the coast right on the border of Lebanon!). She brought Esther to live with her there. Yonah is living in Petah Tikva (as of 1977).
Srulik is “Uncle Izzy” (I think I wrote his info in the past!?).
Then there was Mottel, born in 1908 and Herschel born in 1910 both of whom died in childhood. Herschel died at age one in Kovel of the Measles!
I would like to hear and stories, legends, events etc. from YOU about any of the Ainbinder “Elders”! Also pictures, documents or papers! If you have any additions or emendations please contact me at your earliest convenient moment.
For example: I have most of the letters between Harry (Tzvi Hersh) Ainbinder and Helen (Chaya) Lichtenstein-Ainbinder. I don’t know if you got to know Helen nor do I know what you heard about Harry but through “peeking” into their lives I have found two very special people. Harry was an idealist and joined the BUND in Russia. The reason he left was probably that he was running for his life!! When the communists took over in Russia the first “enemies of the State” to be eliminated were their fellow socialists, especially the Jewish Bund! On his way to the “Golden Medina” (the USA) he stopped off in Warsaw where he rented a room by Malka Lichtenstein (my great grandmother). It was there he met Chaya and a “fiery love affair” was lit between the two of them. They came from two completely different backgrounds. The Ainbinders were poor ‘peasant’ (village) Jews. The Lichtenstein’s were wealthy “aristocratic” Jews of Warsaw (city). Harry had left practicing religion though as a Bundist firmly supported the “cultural ideals” of Judaism as he saw them. Helen came from Hasidic “Aristocrats” related to Rebbes! The Lichtenstein’s were followers of the Kotzker and Gur (Ger) Rebbes. Menachem David (my great grandfather) was raised in a Rebbe’s house! The Lichtensteins were (like many of the Ger Hasidim) comfortable in ‘both worlds’ (the gentile and the Jewish). They learned and worked and saw no contradiction between serving G-d in this world and also enjoying what this world had to offer (within limits). Helen was educated by private tutors! She helped her father in the family business and after his tragic accidental death, she ran the family business!! She was an extremely strong willed person. So when “love” struck she followed her heart! Harry left for the USA and they corresponded for about two years (I have most of those letters and hope to translate them in the future). Harry worked in the leather industry in New York (I was told he was also a Union Organizer!!), he probably worked in shoes or shoe tops. He was a vital, lively, loving man. He seemed to be able to get along with everyone. He had a beautiful voice and loved to sing. He also felt that Family was very important and he acted the part of family peacemaker (a roll that he played all of his life). Helen, though she “ran from” Europe was extremely close to her family. She, as the eldest child, felt a responsibility toward the rest of her siblings and her mother (which is why, even though her own family was struggling, she always sent packages ‘back home’ to her mother and siblings: my mother was very upset when she found out, years later, that the family in Europe were far better off than Helen and Harry were in the USA!). She also felt “guilty” at having “runaway” and often blamed herself for the misfortune which overcame the family during the Holocaust. Helen as long as I knew her, never ate ‘solid’ food! For years I thought it was because of her teeth or something. It was only after she passed away that my mother told me that as of the day that Helen heard her beloved brother and sister were sent to their deaths in Treblinka she could never swallow solid food again! She was a woman of strong passions and beliefs and was very traditional in outlook. She wanted only the “best” for her children (which is why she sent Zarah to Yeshiva when he was young). She was also extremely independent and wanted to depend on no one, nor to be a “bother” to anyone. At the same time she could be extremely dominating. She was also a strict disciplinarian (from the old school of “hit now ask later”). My mother spoke of the ‘welts’ from the smack of the wet kitchen towel! Zarah was the “apple of her eye” and could do no wrong. She had very defined boundaries of ‘right and wrong’. When she made up her mind NOTHING could change it. She had a very well defined ‘morality’ and a very Jewish biased outlook. She was the first in the family to be happy with the “observant lifestyle” which I chose (so you can see I am biased). For many years I would go to her house and spend hours listening to stories of the “old country”. She did not like to talk about herself or her life at all!! It was my mother that filled in all those details (and later the relatives here in Israel, especially uncle Haim, grandma’s brother - who is still living in Rishon L’Zion). In the future, when I get all my notes together and translate the letters, I shall write more details of her life. It was Helen who insisted that I should only go out with Jewish girls (my parents never tried to direct my relationships). If she thought a certain way she came out and let you know. She said that “this is the proper way and that is the way it should be done...” to many things in life. She was mostly self-educated (and went to night school in the USA to get her High School Diploma). She was extremely well read (she probably read every book in the Williamsburg Public Library). Spoke more than eight languages fluently (Yiddish, Hebrew, English, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and German - that I knew about). She was an extremely hygiene oriented person (probably due to the death of her first child). Her house was always immaculate, you could (literally) eat off the floor. She was neat and orderly, to an extreme. She saved almost every personal letter, document, message etc. ever sent to her! ( my mother was also that way, as too am I). She saved all Zarah’s scholastic awards and letters of commendation (it was some collection! - I do not know what happened to it). She was the only adult EVER to hit me as a child (I was extremely sensitive, all you needed to do was to raise your voice to me and I was in tears). It seems that I ‘talked back’ to her (which was NOT acceptable behavior)... I NEVER did that again! My parents never hit me. All my mother did was to “show” disapproval and I would take my “little benkel” (stool), and place myself into the corner!! Helen painstakingly prepared all food from scratch (she hated canned foods). And always insisted that YOU eat! She was a good baker (they had owned and ran a bakery in the 1920’s which went bust in the depression!) and always had chocolate chip or cinnamon-sugar cookies available for us (kids). (I would very much like to hear YOUR family memories and record them as well!!