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Congregation Anshe Motele, Chicago #belarus #usa #rabbinic


Alex Feller
 

Adam,
With all due respect to Joe Kraus, the book by Bea Kraus and Norman Schwartz called "A Walk to Shul" contains a handful of pages about the history of Congregation Anshe Motele under the section about Congregation Ezrath Israel Anshe Motele on page 128.  Another book about Chicago Landsmanshaften called Bridges to an American City by Sidney Sorkin has a little more information about the synagogue's history starting on page 255.  In regards to the surname Kaplan in connection with Congregation Anshe Motele, Sorkin mentions Harry Kaplan, Tzvi Kaplan, Bernard Kaplan, Jack Kaplan, and Rabbi Kaplan.  It appears the source of this information comes from a 1978 Yearbook/Yizkor book for Anshe Motele and possibly from congregational record/minutes books.  It might be worthwhile to see if such records books still exist with the synagogue. 
I have also found in the course of my own research on Chicago synagogues that information on sales of temple seats is documented in property records from the early 1900s.  There may also be information in newspapers like the Sentinel.  https://www.nli.org.il/en/newspapers/cgs

Good Luck.

Alex Feller
Chicago
aefeller@...


Adam Turner
 

Thanks. Just an FYI for those suggesting the JGSI database - I actually searched it before making my post, but it's only of limited usefulness for my purposes here. The only records in the database that list Hebrew names (which hint at kinship) are for the small minority of members who are not buried in this shul's Waldheim cemetery (gate 40). Of the remainder (those in Waldheim gate 40), none of the rest with the name "Kaplan" appear to be in the immediate family of the Moshe Chaim Kaplan I mentioned. (Those include Rabbi Aryeh-Leib Kaplan, the longtime rabbi of the shul, who not only wasn't a close relative of the ones I'm researching, he most likely wasn't from Motol at all.)

Primarily I am trying to find:

-Any sisters of Shachne and Isaac. These are much trickier to find, since if they lived in Chicago, they would likely not have the Kaplan surname. (I already searched the non-gate 40 list for anyone whose father is Moshe Chaim. No dice - but again, the non-gate 40 names only cover a small minority of synagogue members.)
-Any brothers of Shachne/Isaac, who most likely lived elsewhere. That's why I asked about the early history of the synagogue - maybe there is an account somewhere that might hint at their other relatives.

A family member (whose entire maternal side comes from the Yanova/Drogichin area, very close to Motol) has a strong DNA match to one of Shachne Kaplan's descendants, and I'm trying to see if I can quickly identify others in this family among her top matches.

Adam Turner


Martin Fischer
 

Adam Turner wrote:
 
"Does anyone know anything about the people involved in the early history of Anshe Motele in Chicago? I am researching a KAPLAN family with at least two sons who were connected to this shul."
 
Adam, if you have not done so, be sure to search the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois' JGSI Jewish Chicago Database (JJCD) at: https://jgs.jgsi.org/jjcd/
Search The JGSI Jewish Chicago Database (JJCD) Last Updated December 3, 2019. Records in the database: 99,000 NOTE: This database is a large file (approximately 17 MB)
jgs.jgsi.org


--
Martin Fischer
Vice President-Publicity
Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

JGSI website: https://jgsi.org


krausj2@...
 

Have you tried the Chicago Jewish Historical Society or the information desk at Asher Library at Spertus Institute? 

I looked in my copy of H.L. Meites's History of the Jews of Chicago and in Bea Kraus and Norman Schwartz's book on Lawndale-area shuls and found nothing. (I do realize that Anshe Motele is currently on the North Side, but a lot of congregations moved across the city, and I thought it might have West-Side roots.)

Sorry I struck out, and good luck.
--
Joe Kraus
krausj2@...


Sherri Bobish
 


Adam,

One way to search for other KAPLANs from Motol is to go to www.stevemorse.org and search the Ellis Island Database for surname KAPLAN and town name Motol.  I got 2 hits:
Kaplan, Leie, arriving 1905
Kaplan, Piukus, arriving 1906
Looking at the manifests at the above site should help you figure out if they are connected to your KAPLANS in Chicago.

Also, at www.familysearch.org a search for surname KAPLAN and birthplace Motol got one hit:
The WW1 draft card of Morris KAPLAN, born Motol, living in Chicago.  The draft card, which can be viewed at the above site, will give your more data on Morris.

Hope this helps,

Sherri Bobish


Adam Turner
 

Does anyone know anything about the people involved in the early history of Anshe Motele in Chicago? I am researching a KAPLAN family with at least two sons who were connected to this shul:

  • Shachne aka Sam Kaplan (~1877?-1968), the former shamash of this synagogue
  • his older brother Yitzchak aka Isaac Kaplan (1860?-1940), who I think might have served as a cantor at the same synagogue; he appears to be listed in the 1920 census as the nonsensical "Santor - Church" and in the 1910 census as "Janitor - Church".
Their father was a Moshe Chaim Kaplan who probably lived in Motol and may have been born in nearby Yanov (Ivanava). I am trying to find any other siblings in this Kaplan family, particularly those who might have also been in Chicago.

Adam Turner