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The following surname origins were requested by readers of
L'Chayim's "What's in a Name" column.
Chimoff was derived from the diminutive of Shimon, which
became Shimmel, Shimme or son of Shimon or Simon.
Kleinman, is a descriptive name which means small or short
man. Many families using this surname and the name Klein,
originated in Hungary. The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, 10 vols.,
N.Y., 1939-1948, has a biographic sketch of a Kleinman family from
the 19th to 20th Century. The Unbroken Chain, by Neil Rosenstein,
also makes reference to a family of this name.
Nuch was probably derived from the Hebrew Noich or Noah —
thus son of Noah.
Tabachnik is the Russian and Polish word for a producer or seller
of snuff. The Encyclopaedia Judaica, lists an Abraham Ber Tabachnik
(1901-1970) who was a well known poet and essayist, born in the
Ukraine. He immigrated to New York in 1921 and worked for the
Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
The name Tobin may be a derivation of the name Tobias, son of
Tobias. This surname could also have originated from the biblical
place named the Land of Tob. "A man of Tob", meant a "man of
Israel" or a "man of God."
Press/Presser/Pressman was the name for a tailor or a person
who pressed clothing. Families using this name could also have
originated in the city of Pressburg, which is now Bratislava,
Czechoslovakia. The Encyclopaedia Judaica, discusses a leading
seismologist, Frank Press, born in Brooklyn in 1924. He taught at
Columbia and M.I.T. Universities and was on the Presidential Scientific
Advisory Board from 1961 to 1964. It also refers to Yeshayahu Press
(1874-1955) born in Jerusalem and a famous author, historian and
Buhler/Buehler originated from an ancestor who lived in the city
of Buhl, Germany. The Encyclopaedia Judaica lists a Charlotte Buhler,
born in Berlin, 1893, famous clinical psychologist. She taught at the
University of Vienna until 1938 and escaped to the United States in
1940. She published many books on social behavior of children and
taught at the University of Southern California.
Weinshenk denotes an ancestor who was a dealer or producer of
Simkovitz is a name adapted from Simkin, descendant of Simon
Miller/Millman/Milstein are all names used by persons who were
Yolles/Yale/Yollek/Yoelberg/Yoelson all names stemming from the
Hebrew word for Joel (Yoel).
Cogan is the Slavic form for Cohen/Kohen. It indicated a priestly
Betty Provizer Starkman is the past president and founder of the
genealogical branch of the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan.
Family Havdalah Observance
Saturday, Nov. 21
Jewish Experiences for Families and the
Jimmy Prentis Morris Branch of the Jewish
Community Center in cooperation with The
Jewish News and L'Chayim Family Section
will co-sponsor "When Three Stars Appear,"
a free community-wide Havdalah observance
and celebration at 7 p.m. Saturday at the
Morris Branch in Oak Park.
The evening will include star gazing
through the telescopes of experts William
Beres and Norbert Vance, sing-alongs,
dancing, refreshments and more.
Sunday, Nov. 22
The Children's Sundae Sunday Theater
will present mime O.J. Anderson at 1:30 p.m.
FRIDAY, NOV. 20, 1987
Sunday in the DeRoy Theater at the main
Jewish Community Center. Anderson's
concerts stress physical movement, audience
participation and emotional expression. Ice
cream sundaes will be served following the
performance. There is a fee. For information,
call Jo Greene, 661-1000, ext. 344.
Friday, Dec. 18
The Birmingham Temple will have a
Chanukah family service at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18
in the temple. The service will be conducted
by the students in the temple school, under
the direction of Elaine Kamienny and Sheila
Millman. A Chanukah party will follow the
service. Children, parents and grandparents
TOYS AND GAMES
Tradition, a new children's edition of the popular
Jewish trivia game. Available at Borenstein's.
Inflatable mitzvah ball, for children up to age 6.
Available at Borenstein's.
Uncle Moshe Visits Torah Island, children up to age 8.
Available at Borenstein's.
The Marvelous Midos Machine, Vol. 2, stories and songs,
for children through age 12. Available at Borenstein's.
Uncle Velvel's Shabbos World, Shabbat songs, for the
whole family. Available at Borenstein's.
Borenstein's is located at 25242 Greenfield, Oak Park.
Write To A Soviet Jew
One way to learn about Jewish
life around the world is to write to a
Jewish family in another country.
What is daily life like in the pen
pal's country? What is Jewish life
like? How are the holidays
celebrated? To help our readers
learn about Jews around the world,
L'Chayim is making available
addresses of Jewish families in
This month, the address of
Russian Jewish refuseniks was
made available by the Detroit
Soviet Jewry Committee of the
Jewish Community Council. Before
writing, please read these special
rules for corresponding with
Letters should be personal,
warm sympathetic, and should ask
about birthdays, anniversaries and
family events. Cards should be
exchanged on these occasions and
on the Jewish holidays as well.
Avoid any anti-Soviet material and
refrain from mentioning names of
Soviet Jewry rescue organizations.
Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew or
English may be used. The standard
way to address a letter to the Soviet
Union is the reverse of the
American Way: USSR, Name of
Republic, Name of City, Address,
Addressee (last name first). The fee
is 44 cents per 1/2 ounce, up to two
This month's refusenik family is
that of Arkady Mai, his wife, Helena
and 25-year-old daughter, Naomi.
The family first applied for exit visas
in 1974, and were refused on the
grounds of "secrecy" and "state
Although Mrs. Mai is a linguist,
she has been unable to obtain
employment in her field since
applying for an exit visa. Naomi was
denied permission to study in her
chosen field of sociology, and is
now attending a technical school
where she studies management and
Letters may be sent to the Mais
as follows: USSR, RSFSR, Moscow
125445, Leningrad Shosse
112-1-3-709, Mai, Arkady.