Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Shmelik: The Personal Secretary Of Rabbi Bernard Levinthal

My great-grandfather had an older brother named Shmelik, who immigrated to the United States in 1921. Besides being a mashgiach in Philadelphia, Asher recently told me that Shmelik (known as "Samuel" in America) also worked as the personal secretary of Rabbi Bernard Levinthal who was renown as the leader of Philadelphia Jewry.

I have only been able to find a few scraps of information in my genealogical research on Shmelik's life. Aside from the recollections of Asher and my great-aunt Rose, no one remembers him. My attempts to find his living descendants have been unsuccessful. While I have been able to locate the graves of Shmelik's children, I am still searching to find the Shmelik's grave and the date of his yahrzeit. I have called numerous Jewish cemeteries in the Philadelphia area but still have not found it.

Noticing that that Philadelphia Jewish Archives Center listed that their collection included extensive information on Rabbi Bernard Levinthal, I inquired whether this collection also happened to have information on Shmelik. A few days later I received a response back that unfortunately it did not.

Once again I am stuck at another genealogical brick wall…

Shmelik's Declaration of Intention Form


At August 1, 2006 at 8:40:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Neshama said...


The Declaration of Intention indicates Delaware County.
Have you only been looking in Philadelphia.
There is a very very old cemetery in Upper Darby called Har Jehuda, at 8400 Lansdowne Avenue, 19082, 610.789.2104 - This is where my great-grandparents and other family members are resting. Just a long-shot, but give them a call.

Also, their address seems to be in Chester PA. I guess you checked the cemeteries there? Did they always live there? Did they move to another area after that? How come they ended up in Chester? Are you sure the records would be in Philadelphia?

I was so overjoyed when I found my grandparents. I know how you feel. If I come across any other clues, I will send them.

At August 2, 2006 at 4:53:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Neshama: It is interesting you mention Har Jehudah since Shmelik's mother came over from Sudilkov in 1908 and is buried in that cemetery.


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