Romania SIG #Romania Seeking Information on Rabbi Amram b. Yitzchak Yakov BLUM #romania
In the course of researching my BLUM family >from Gebe, Hungary (present day
Nyirkata), I'm seeking to clarify the locations associated with Rabbi
Amram b. Yitzchak Yakov BLUM (1834 - 1907), his siblings and ancestors.
I'm hoping that some of the readers of this posting to Rav-SIG, H-SIG,
Rom-SIG and JewishGen (please forgive the cross-posting) will be able to
The published sources that I've been able to consult--Magyar Zsido Lexicon,
as well as various online family trees--have Rabbi Amram's place of birth
as Samson, Hungary (present day Hajdusamson). His father Yitzchak Yakov
is also referred to as the 'Shamshon Rav' and the Pinkas Hakehillot entry
for Hajdusamson (http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/pinkas_hungary/hun270.html)
states that he was a Rabbi there but doesn't provide specifics. The Zsido
[Moderator Note - This is in Hungarian] Tiny URL: <http://tinyurl.com/jl4fkjh>
states that he served there until his death in 1851, but since I don't know
Hungarian it's unclear to me when he started; however, the information at this
website (http://www.virtualjudaica.com/Item/19407/Responsa_Maharaf) about Rabbi
Aharon FRIED states that he served as the rabbi of Hajdusamson >from 1844-1860.
There is a Karoly Fried listed in Samson in the 1848 Census, but no details fit
other than his birth year.
The research that I've been able to conduct in the primary sources indexed
in the JewishGen Hungary database state that Rabbi Amram (secular name Abraham),
his brother Rabbi Moshe (Moricz) and sister Hava (Eva) were all born in
Nagykaroly (present day Carei, Romania)--see the 1869 Hungarian Census entry
for Mad, Hungary. Additionally, the Encyclopedia Judaica entry for Amram
states that "He studied under his father, who was head of the bet din in
Nagykaroly, and later in the seminaries of Nagykaroly [under Rabbi Meir Perles],
and of Abraham Samuel Benjamin Sofer, rabbi of Pressburg."
I'm new to rabbinic genealogy, but I'm surprised that there isn't more
information readily available about Amram's father if he indeed was ABD of
Nagykaroly which was an important town at that time and one of the oldest
Jewish communities in Hungary / Transylvania. In addition to the 1869 Census
entry, I believe I can substantiate that the family was in Nagykaroly starting
in at least the 1820s as I found an entry for Yitzchak Yakov's father Levi BLUM
in the 1828 Hungarian Property Tax Census.
According to Yitzchak Yakov's family tree on Geni, his first marriage was to
a STERNBERG who I believe was Rabbi Bernard (Dov Ber) STERNBERG's daughter and
whose other daughter married Rabbi Shimon SOFER (son of Chatam Sofer). His
second marriage was to Miriam ROSENBAUM, daughter of Rabbi Amram Chassida
ROSENBAUM. My limited understanding of rabbinical marriages leads me to
believe that Yitzchak Yakov must have been a fairly well-known and respected
rabbi in his time to have merited matches with other prominent families, and
would align with him being ABD Nagykaroly.
Other than the Encyclopedia Judaica entry though, I can find no other mention
of Yitzchak Yakov as a rabbi in Nagykaroly. According to the timeline I've
been able to piece together >from various sources, Rabbi Moshe Aryeh b. Mayer
Yehuda OSTREICHER served >from 1774 to his death in 1820, followed by Rabbi
Isaac b. Asher Uri Lippmann FRANKEL >from 1820 to his death in 1834, followed
by Rabbi Meir b. Isaac Moses PERLES >from 1834 to his death in 1893. However,
the book "Wine and Thorns in the Tokay Valley..." states that Rabbi FRANKEL
died on October 10, 1825 which I would tend to believe since it appears to be
well-sourced. That discrepancy could align with Rabbi BLUM serving at that time,
or perhaps others were considered the chief rabbi while he was ABD?
So, the association with Nagykaroly seems to be well established. What I'm
trying to clarify is the association with Hajdusamson, particularly in the
late 1700s and early 1800s. The later association (i.e. after 1850) seems to
be more clear, either with Yitzchak Yakov dying there and/or Amram serving there
in his early career. Amram's son-in-law Rabbi Yosef Zvi SOFER served there as
did his son-in-law Rabbi Gavriel (Gabor) ILLIOVICS.
The key seems to be finding more information about Yitzhak Yakov and his
father Levi / Lebi. I wonder whether his father was a rabbi, or if not
clearly was wealthy enough to have owned property in Nagykaroly. I'm hoping
that some subscribers will have access to other sources (e.g. Hakhme Hungaryah
and Hakhme Transilvanyah by Yitshak Yosef Kohen, Toledot Geonei Hagar and
Shem ha-Gedolim me-Erets Hagar by Schwartz, or Rabbi Blum's own works) that
may have more information on them.
I speculate, but hope to more definitively establish, that Yitzchak Yakov
was born in Hajdusamson and possibly his father Levi as well. Unfortunately,
I've been unable to locate them in the 1848 Hungarian Jewish Census records
that have been indexed in the JewishGen Hungary database which could have
provided the birthplace. Although there are no fixed surnames, there are
likely candidates in the early 1770 census indexes due to the given names
and frequency of those names in later BLUM family records.
My apologies for the long note, but I tried to make it as succinct as
possible while including all the information I've found.
WOROSHILSKY - Bialystok area, Poland
GOLDBERG, KATZ - Dabrowa Bialostocka, Poland
ZLOTNIK, RZEZNIK - Nowy Dwor Mazowiecki, Zakroczym, and Nasielsk, Poland
SCHAPIRA - Jagielnica and Horodenka, Ukraine
BLUMENTHAL, KANTOR - Borshchiv, Husiatyn and Horodenka, Ukraine
BLUM, KATZ, MARTON, LIEBERMANN, ELKOVITS, VAISZ, SAMUEL - Salaj, Satu Mare,
and Maramures Counties, Romania