Auction 79 Judaica from the Finkelstein Family Collection
Jun 21, 2021
8 Ramban St, Jerusalem., Israel

The auction has ended

LOT 15:

Wooden Gavel – Presented to Chebra Rofei Cholim Krakauer Society – New York, 1884

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Wooden Gavel – Presented to Chebra Rofei Cholim Krakauer Society – New York, 1884
Gavel with dedicatory inscription, presented to the Chebra Rofei Cholim Krakauer society. [New York], 1884.
Wood, turned, carved and painted.
Inscribed: "Presented by S. Fisch to the Chebra / 1884 / Rofei Cholm." The coat of arms of Krakow appears on bottom.
The Chebra Rofei Cholim Krakauer Society in New York was founded in 1855, at a time when Jews from Eastern Europe were a minority amongst American Jews who had emigrated from Western Europe. The first Jews to settle in North America were mostly members of Sephardic communities from Western Europe, descendants of Spanish and Portuguese exiles. In the 18th and first half of the 19th centuries, Jewish immigration to the United States was for the most part German; in the 1840s, conditions were ripe for increasing emigration of Eastern European Jews to the United States. Only in the 1880s, after the pogroms in Southern Russia, did the great wave of emigration from these parts begin, bringing millions of Eastern European Jews to the United States.
Mutual help societies for immigrants originating from the same city or state (Landsmanshaftn) provided their members with financial support in times of distress, sponsored medical care when necessary, assisted with burial costs and supported orphans and widows. These societies often acted as unofficial guilds based on common professions, as social circles and a replacement for the extended family; some adopted political and social agendas. In New York alone some 2060 such societies were recorded until WWI, from some 900 European cities and towns, including 21 societies of emigrants from Krakow and the surroundings alone. The Chebra Rofei Cholim Krakauer Society was the first of these 21 societies to be recorded. In the Washington cemetery in Brooklyn NY, there is a separate plot for members of this society.
Height: 32 cm. Minor defects.
Reference: Nathan M. Kaganoff, "The Jewish Landsmanshaftn in New York City in the Period Preceding World War I." American Jewish History, vol. 76, no. 1, pp. 56-66.

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