Detroit Family Traces . Ancestryto N•Y. Rabbi
By IRVING I. KATZ
Ida Hart Silberman, native De-
troiter and one of the oldest life-
long members of .Temple Beth El,
is a great-granddaughter of one of
the early spiritual leaders of New
York's first Ashkenazic (German
The oldest Jewish congregation
in the United States is New York's
Sephardic (Spanish rite) congrega-
tion, Shearith Israel (Remnants of
Israel), established in 1654, when
23 Jewish refu-
gees from Brazil
landed in New
New York City.
and founded the
first Jewish corn-
- munity in North
and Shaarey Zedek (Gates of president of Temple Beth El, and
Righteousness) — Pisgah. Lodge was one of the founders and the
Bnai Brith, Montefiore Lodge of first president of the Gentlemen's
the Order Free Sons of Israel, Hebrew Relief Society, a joint
and the Ladies' Society for the philanthropic organization of Con-
Support of Hebrew Widows and gregations Beth El and Shaarey
Orphans in the State of Michigan. Zedek. He was a school inspector
* * *
of the Sixth Ward, the first Jew
The Leeser Collection, at Dropsie to hold office in Detroit's public
College in Philadelphia, contains school system. He was nominated
a letter about Detroit, written in to run for the office of Alderman
1867 by Isaac Hart to Rabbi Isaac and for the State Legislature, but
Leeser of Philadelphia. We quote refused the nominations. He was
the following excerpt from the let- vice president of the Michigan Li-
ter: "The Minister of the Rivard cense Association, comprising the
St. Synagogue (of Beth El), Mr. brewers, distillers and wholesale
Epstine (Elias Eppstein), is a very liquor dealers of the State. The
talented man. He preaches every Workums moved to Cincinnati in
Shabbat alternately English, Ger- 1877 where David continued in the
man. His synagogue is well at- same line of business and as a
tended. He has that happy oratory lay leader in Congregation Bene
of making his hearers feel his Israel and the community.
For 171 years, words and frequently the whole
New York had but one congrega- I audience are in tears at the
Elizabeth Hart and David J.
tion and its mode of worship was strength of his inspiring words. Workum were the parents of five
according to the rite of Spanish The Polish Synagogue (Shaarey
and Portuguese Jews. In 1825, a Zedek) is fairly attended. They children. Rae married Alfred
Holzman, and their daughter, Lib-
group of members seceded from have a Hazan but no Preacher.
bie Holzman, was the well-known
Shearith Israel and established We have formed a social club of actress and singer.
Congregation Bnai Jeshurun with about 45 members — cards, dra-
David J. Workum had one broth-
the express purpose of using the matic performances, lectures, con-
ritual at its
its worship cert balls.
Two performances I r and four sisters. Theodore, his
services. The first Hazan (cantor- in English and one in Ger- I nephew, married Ruth Iglauer, sis
minister) of the newly formed con- man by the members. their wives ter of Dr. Samuel Iglauer of
gregation was Phineas Hart, who and sisters was played equal to I Cincinnati and aunt of Dr. Helen
R. Iglauer Glueck, noted Cincinnati
served from 1825 to 1830. He was any stage."
physician and wife of Dr. Nelson
succeeded by his father, Alexander
Glueck, president of the Hebrew
Hart, who officiated as Hazan from
Hart was an active member of Union College-JeWish Institute of
1830 to 1837.
Temple Beth El until his passing
Alexander Hart was an English- on Jan. 11, 1890. His wife died Religion and internationally fa-
man by birth, probably a native March 23, 1906. Both are interred mous archaeologist.
of Portsmouth. England. He was in Beth El's Section F. of Wood-
probably related to John I. Hart, mere Cemetery.
Simeon Hart was married in De-
the first president of Congrega-1 Julia and Isaac Hart had 10 troit to ,Henriette Brown, daughter
tion Bnai Jeshurun, who was the children, all born in New Orleans: of Henry and Babetta (Snow)
son of Rev. Judah Hart of Ports-
Alexander, Sidney A., Elizabeth, Brown of Flint. He was first en-
mouth. He was married in Ports--; Morris and Rachel (twins), Kate, gaged in the cigar business and
mouth to Elizabeth Moses, came Nathan, Simeon, George and then became associated with A.
to Cincinnati, 0., with his wife Fanny.
Krolik Sr Co., a wholesale dry-
and children about 1820, when that
goods business (the firm was
city had a handful of Jews froni
owned by Adolph, Henry and Her-
England, and soon thereafter !
moved to New Orleans. From Va., his home. He was a Confed-i
there, he went to New York.
attaining the .rank of major. He
Elizabeth Moses Hart evidently married Leonora Levy. Her broth-
died in New York, for. in 1835,
Alexander was married for the er, Isaac Levy, was a Confederate
second time. The ceremony was soldier in the Civil War and was
performed by John Jackson, presi- killed
Jacob in Ezekiel,
dent. of Bnai Jeshurun. In
Alexander returned to New Or-
leans where he died the followincr Union College frorn --1876 to 1896,
Israel More Democratic Than U.S., Poll Shows
LONDON (ZINS) — Dr. Dean pased, the correlation between eco-
Newbauer of the University of Cali- nomics and democracy ends.
fornia in Irving, has compiled an
indexed assessment of democracy
In prepared graphs he demon-
in relation to the economic situa- strates that the United States oc-
tion in various countries.
cupies first place in economic
In his work Dr. Newbauer re- growth but drops to the 15th as a
futes the widespread belief that na- democratic government. Israel IS
tions which develop economically
15th in economic achievement, and
and socially are more democratic
than backward peoples. He con- 12th in democratic development,
cedes that a minimum of economic which means it is behind America
expansion is required for a country economically, but ahead of it demo-
to attain a democratic society, but cratically.
the moment that minimum is sur-
England is listed first as an au-
Henriette and Simeon Hart had thentic democracy, and seventh in
three daughters, one of whom was economic prowess. In the same
Ida. Ida married Sidney Silber- order France is second and 10th.
man, son of Jacob Silberman In reverse order, Sweden is second
(first pr e side n t of Detroit's and fourth; West Germany ninth
Temple Beth El from 1850 to and 13th; Chile 21st and 19th;
1855) and Sophia (Brandeis) Sil- Canada fourth and 15th, and Bel-
berman. Sidney Silberman was in gium 12th and sixth.
the fur business. He died in 1929.
The London "Times" in publish-
Ida Hart Silberman is still a ing Dr. Newbauer's tables inter-
resident of Detroit. Her sons, preted the term "economic develop-
Henry H. and John A. Sills, live in ment" as meaning a "comparative
Detroit and are affiliated with standard of living" in the countries
Temple Beth El
14—Friday, June 7, 1968
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b and her cousin, Sir Moses J. Eze-
* * *
kiel, was a Civil War Confederate
soldier and an internationally fa-
In addition to Hazan Phineas mous sculptor.
Hart. Elizabeth and Alexander
Hart had a son, Isaac, who was
Sidney A. Hart served during
born in Portsmouth, July 30; 1814. the Civil War in the Confederate
He lived with his parents for a Army and came with his parents
short while in Cincinnati, 0., to Detroit in 1865. He married
moved with them to New Orleans, Fanny Amberg. He moved to
where he remained for 25 years, Grand Rapids where he became
and was married in 1838 to Julia associated with his brother-in-law,
David Amberg, in the wholesale
liquor business, served as presi-
Isaac Hart became a prominent dent of Grand Rapids' Temple
communal leader of New Orleans. Emanuel (God Is With Us), re-
He was president of Congregation turned to Detroit in 1887 and en-
Shaarai Hesed (Gates of Mercy), tered the insurance field. He be-
New Orlean's first Jewish congre- came a member of Temple Beth
gation (established by German El and served on its board of
Jews in 1828) in the late 1840s and trustees. Fanny and Sidney Hart
its new building was dedicated in were the parents of four children,
1851. This Ashkenazic synagogue including Blanche J., who served
was merged with Congregation as the first professional superin-
Nefuzoth Yehudah (the Dispersed tendent of the United Jewish
of Judah), a Sephardic synagogue, Charities of Detroit. Mr. and Mrs.
organized in 1840, to form the Ares- Sidney A. Hart are interred in
ent reform Touro Synagogue of Beth El's Section North F. of
New Orleans. Woodmere Cemetery.
When Edward Kanter, later De-
troit's first Jew to serve in the
Elizabeth Hart married David J.
State Legislature as well as De- Workum in New Orleans in 1864.
troit's first Jewish banker, landed David Workum was the son of
in New Orleans in the 1840s as a Jacob L. Workum of Amsterdam,
penniless immigrant from Ger- Holland, who came to New Or-
many, and contracted yellow fever, leans in 1818 and moved to New
it was Isaac Hart who befriended York in 1821. Jacob L. Workum
him and helped him get started was one of the founders of New
in the New World. During New York's Congregation Bnai Jeshu-
Orlean's yellow fever epidemic of run, in 1825, and in 1827 assisted
1853, Hart risked his own health in the laying of the cornerstone of
in alleviating the suffering of the its first edifice on Elm Street.
David J. Workum was born in
In 1865, Hart and his family Cincinnati, and, although northern
moved to Detroit, where he be- born, served in the Confederate
came associated with the firm of Army during the Civil War. He
his son-in-law, David J. Workum, and his wife came to Detroit after
who was a "manufacturer and job- the war. At first, David engaged
her of Hats, Caps and Gents' Fur- in the manufacturing of men's
nishing Goods." Detroit's Jewish furnishings but later he became
community numbered at that time a partner of the firm of Fech-
about 400 souls (80 families), in a heimer and Workum, dealers in
population of about 60,000. There wines and liquors (his partner was
were two small congregations in Morris C. Fechheimer who came
the city—Beth El (House of God) to Detroit in 1851). He served as
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