Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Neustadt Mishpocheh

Rabbi Neustadt

So, the Neustadt clan... to go forward we need to step back a bit. Rabbi Isaac Eli Neustadt also known as Isaac Elchanan Neustadt Negnevitsky (1871-July 23, 1913) was a Lithuanian-born Orthodox Rabbi. One source says Neustadt was born at Novardok in Navahrudak, Russia. He was an early leader in the Indianapolis Jewish community. He was married to Minnie A. Krasnopiorka (Krasnow) in about 1895 and they had nine children: Ben, Aaron, Celia, Alice (Leah), Clara, David, Shirley (Frieda), Hannah and Naomi.

Indianapolis Star
Rabbi Neustadt had been a worldwide traveler working in Jewish religious circles and raising funds for Russian Jews until settling in Indianapolis in 1901. He founded the Jewish Educational Association, now called the Bureau of Jewish Education, in Indianapolis in 1910. Neustadt began raising funds for the United Hebrew Schools in 1905 and classes were first held on November 12, 1911. Rabbi Neustadt envisioned a Hebrew School utilizing the latest techniques in Hebrew education and providing Hebrew education to all students in Indianapolis. In 1913, the United Hebrew Schools changed its name to recognize the death of its founder and became the Rabbi Neustadt United Hebrew School.

You're getting the picture now, right? Rabbi Neustadt was what we might call a "kinda big deal." His death from appendicitis in 1913 was front page news in the Indianapolis Star.

So, what happened after he died and how did his family end up in Woodland Park? Well, it looks like it was all about The Ohio Jewish Chronicle.

The American Printer of March 5, 1922 says, "The Ohio Jewish Chronicle is the name of a new newspaper started during February in Columbus to serve the Jewish people. The paper is published in the Hebrew language. Aaron Neustadt is editor-in-chief and Benjamin J. Neustadt business manager."

A 1997 interview with Ethel Neustadt (widow of Ben Neustadt) on the Columbus Jewish Historical Society website helps us out. Ethel was asked when the Chronicle was founded and she replied, "In 1922... Ben did a terrific job, worked very hard. His father died when Ben was 17. He was a rabbi with four congregations in Indianapolis and Ben was asked to come to Columbus. I don't know whether it was the Lazaruses, or the Schanfarbers, or Schonthals who were interested in him and in having a newspaper. His younger brother and sister Cele (Celia) worked on it, too. It was a Jewish paper. They talked him into coming here, and starting it. Shortly after starting it, Aaron came - his brother - did part of the marketing, and Cele came and married Herb Byer.

Cele Neustadt was the oldest girl, and ... she was married about a year before Ben and I were married. Ben was the oldest. As a matter of fact, his baby sister was born after her father died - that's Naomi Canowitz - she was married to Dr. Canowitz. She passed away last year - she was the baby of six girls and three boys. Ben was the oldest.

...Ben raised that family with his mother, he went to school, to college at Butler University, he just did so many things. That's why he was very, very close with his siblings. To them, he was their father, and that's the way it was until they all passed away."

Ethel commented that, "Ben with his sisters and brother made a very close-knit family." She also commented that Ben was "quite a violinist. In our early days, a lot of organizations, when they had affairs, I would play the piano and he would play the violin."

From reading this interview and some selected parts of old Chronicles, it looks like Ben came to Columbus first, Aaron soon after followed by Celia, and it was not until sometime in 1923 that Minnie and the others moved to Columbus. She purchased the Woodland Park house in October 1923. Ben's obituary in the Chronicle states that he was a graduate pharmacist and came to Columbus in 1921 "at the urging of Fred Lazarus, Jr., E.J. Schanfarber and Joseph Schoenthal, who felt that a Jewish newspaper was needed to unite the community behind a fundraising effort for European Jewry."
Minnie Neustadt

Minnie was born December 15, 1873 in Novogrodek, Minsk, Poland. She came to the United States in July 1903 when her husband was chosen to be the spiritual leader of the Jewish community in Indianapolis. She moved to Columbus in 1923 to join her children here. She was pregnant with Naomi at the time of her husband's death in 1913. She died in Columbus on January 23, 1940 of pneumonia.
Ben Neustadt

Ben Zion Neustadt was born in Russia on February 23, 1896. He married Ethel Doris Atkin in New York City on March 15, 1941. They had three children: Richard, Charles and James. In the 1949 Columbus City Directory he is listed as editor of the Chronicle Printing Co., residing at 236 S. Ardmore Rd. in Bexley. Ben died in Columbus on February 6, 1985.
Aaron Neustadt

Aaron Manual Neustadt was born on April 1, 1898 in Russia. And yes, Manual seems to the the correct spelling of his middle name. He never married. In the 1939 Columbus City Directory he is listed at a salesman for Penn Mutual Life Insurance residing at 946 Bryden Rd. He is listed in the 1949 Columbus City Directory as a salesman for New York Life, residing at 775 Oak St. Aaron committed suicide in 1952 by jumping from the ninth floor of the Deshler-Wallick Hotel in downtown Columbus. The newspaper reports of his death say that he had been a patient of the
Columbus State Hospital.
The Ohio Jewish Chronicle
October 22, 1926

Celia "Cele" Neustadt Negnevitsky was born July 22, 1901 in Lithuania. She married Herbert Byer on October 21, 1926 in the Woodland Park house where a dinner for 35 was held! Celia and Herb had three children: Howard, Helen and Eve. Celia died in Columbus on September 19, 1991.

Alice Leah Neustadt was born April 23, 1904 in Lithuania. She married Hersh Rivitz on January 4, 1936 and they had two children. On December 12, 1952 she was living in Cleveland Heights, Ohio and she became a naturalized US citizen. Alice died October 8, 1990.

Clara B. Neustadt was born in May 2, 1906 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Clara never married. She was a world traveler, sailing to Italy in 1933, France in 1934 and England in 1953. She is listed as a teacher at Crestview School and residing at 946 Bryden Rd. in the 1939 Columbus City Directory. Clara died in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 5, 1987.

David E. Neustadt was born October 4, 1907. He married Dorothy "Dottie" H. Rosin in Philadelphia on March 15, 1941 and had two children. They lived in Philadelphia and in Florida most of their lives. David died in Santa Monica, California, on September 6, 1999.

Frieda Neustadt Wise
Shirley Frieda "Fritzi" Neustadt was born October 21, 1909 (another source has her birthdate as October 3) in Indiana. She married Herbert S. Wise of Lima, Ohio, in Covington, Kentucky on October 18, 1930. In November 1930 they moved from their honeymoon home of the Seneca Hotel to an apartment at 1514 East Long Street. They had two children. She died in Columbus on October 6, 1993.

Hannah Neustadt was born on April 5, 1911. In the 1939 Columbus City Directory she is listed at society editor of the Ohio Jewish Chronicle and residing at 946 Bryden Rd. Aaron Canowitz, Hannah's brother-in-law recalled, " My sister-in-law Hannah, who was teaching, had passed the Ohio State Board but was not allowed to teach in Columbus schools until she had a couple of years practice, so she got a job in Hamilton, Ohio, and after that two years she came back to Columbus and got a job" at Fulton Street School. She is listed in the 1949 Columbus City Directory as a teacher, residing at 2605 Bryden Rd. She traveled to Bremerhaven, Germany each year from 1951-1953. She appears in a Fort Lauderdale City Directory in 1984. She died in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on October 14, 1996.

Naomi Neustadt Canowitz
Naomi Neustadt was born October 13, 1913 in Indiana. She married Dr. Aaron S. Canowitz in 1936 and they had three children; David, Mimi and Nancy. Naomi died May 18, 1990 in Columbus.
946 Bryden Road

Minnie purchased the house at 946 Bryden Road on November 20, 1931. It went from her to Leah in February 1934 and then to Ben and Ethel in January 1937. They sold the Bryden Road house in November 1941.
Mansfield News Journal
August 5, 1952

The Zanesville Signal
August 4, 1952

Zanesville Times Recorder
August 5, 1952
The Deshler-Wallick circa 1950s
The Gray Drug marquee is visible on the corner.

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