Joan Sohn found her grandparents? 36 letters, tucked away for 65 years in a small brown paper bag. When she read them, her family?s story came alive. Of course, there were missing pieces?many of them; and so she began a long labor of love, filling in the gaps. Thanks to those letters and Sohn?s determination, we have that story ? about people who left their homes for a new start and never returned. They reinvented themselves; they changed their citizenship, their language, their customs, and even their names. 36 Letters is about separation, personal struggle, and achievement. It?s about people who landed at Ellis Island and made their way, somehow, to New York?s Lower East Side, and then to Philadelphia, where they grew and multiplied and made remarkable contributions to the city?s development. Accompanied by over 100 stunning photographs, maps and illustrations, and, of course, the letters.
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Lost and Found
A Brief Family Tree
The Old Country
The People in the Letters
36 Letters and the KormanYesersky Engagement Contract
And they lived happily ever after
Appendix A How Passover Will Be Celebrated on the East Side
Appendix B The Stage Coaches and the Mail
The Hope a Poem by A S Yesersky
Appendix C Immigration Records
Appendix D Names of People in the Letters
America army arrived Aunt Belarus Binyomin Korinman Brest Brest Fortress bride Brisk brother Castor Avenue Chaim Korman Chaim Soloveitchik Chaya City cousin Czar Dear Chaim delight dowry earn Encyclopedia engagement contract everything father Fonye God’s sake Grodno Harris Brody healthy and happy holiday Hyman Korman immigrants Isard Jewish Colonial Trust Jews Lazar Leah live married Miriam mother numbers Pale of Settlement parents Passman Passover peace photograph pogrom Rabbi Rabbi Benjamin Korman railroad received your letter regards Remain healthy Rokhl rubles Russian Russo-Japanese Russo-Japanese War Sabbath Samuel Sarah sent ship’s Sholem Aleichem shtetl Sidelnik Smolensk Solomon Yesersky soup greens South Philadelphia stagecoach Svisloch Swislocz synagogue tenaim thank thatI things Torah town Translated from Hebrew Translated from Yiddish Tsvi uncle Velvyl week whenI wife write written wrote Yechezkel Yente Yente’s Yesersky Yetta York Yoyl