Morris (Moishe) Gelman &   
Udasha Uberstine

Click photo left for blowup and details on this new treasure.

Above: last photo we have of Moishe and Udasha.
Photo above right was taken in the 1890's, according to Joe Erber. "When Grandpa Ike Gelman came to the U.S. in 1900, this was the photo he brought with him" Joe wrote in the note he sent with the photo. The original is "cameo-size in an antique silver frame," said Joe, who loaned us the 8 by 11-inch glossy enlargement he had made.  

A love match

"She had her eye on my grandfather from the start, and there never was a matchmaker involved -- it was a love match," said Rashka Gelman Kirshner's granddaughter.

Late into the night, Moishe and Shimsel would pore over their books.  A single lantern hung from the Gelman's kitchen ceiling.  "To be nearer to the light and better see their texts, they would sit on the table," said Marilyn Fuselier, who heard the story from Rashka, herself. 

And that's how we came to learn that Moishe Gelman of Volozhin was a learned man, and that Shimsel Kirshner was a yeshiva student.  Volozhin was a center of Jewish learning with a multiplicity of yeshivas in addition to the famous one. 

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The American Gelmans    


Ike stands between
Louis and Roshka

The Gelmans' children in America

Ike Gelman went to live in Mississippi, because that's where his wife's numerous family had settled. 

Rashka Gelman made her life with Shimsel Kirshner in Brooklyn.  Rashka's Aunt Ida Uberstine Farberman didn't live far, nor did her mother's niece, Ethel Rubenstein Varonok. 

Louis Gelman came back from World War I and headed to Mississippi to join his brother, Ike.  But soon he was thinking of his Aunt Toby Uberstine Cohen's daughter, Minnie. "He remembered her from Europe, and he had liked her," said their daughter, Shirley Gelman Hausman.  Lou went to see Minnie in NYC. They married and settled in the Bronx, in the same neighborhood as their Uncle Mayer Uberstine.   

But wait; there's more.  Mayer's oldest daughter, Lena, married Toby's son, Meyer, and they, too, made their homes down the street.  Toby lived with her daughter, Minnie, who kept strictly kosher as her mother required.  In later years, Toby's brother, Mayer, and his second wife, Gitel, would visit Toby with the latest Yiddish newspapers in hand. Gitel would read aloud.

Roshka and Shimsel on their 50th wedding anniversary


Rashka and Shimsel
posed for this portrait
on their 50th anniversary.


Shimsel had worked in a factory making pocketbook frames in order to earn enough money to bring Rashka and their children to America.  On June 23, 1925, Shimsel became a citizen.     

Shimsel brought Rashka and their three children to America over a decade before Morris and some of his siblings were able to bring over the Karbens.  (Carl Karben was unwilling to be separated from his family.) 

In the photo below taken before the rest of the family came to America,  Rashka posed with her three somber-looking children, Al, Faye, and Esther, standing right.    

Our families of Essex Street, Brooklyn

By the time the Karbens made their way to America, Shimsel Kirshner had the house at 601 Essex Street just down the way from Morris Rubenstein's family, who lived at 505 Essex Street. 

The Kirshners shared that house with the Karbens: Dora Rubenstein Karben (Morris' youngest sister), her husband, Carl Karben, and their children, Shirley, Phil, and Arthur.

A porchful of Shirleys

Shirley was a common name in those days.  Shirley Karben remembers that visitors would sometimes encounter four Shirleys on the porch swing at the same time:  Shirley Kirshner, Shirley Gelman, Shirley Karben, and the 'new' wife of Shirley's brother, Arthur Karben.  She was the second Shirley Karben. 

The two Shirleys Karben posed for a photo with Marcie Shapiro.  She had came down from North Adams with her mother, Esther-Minnie, to see Dora, who was her younger sister and the mother of Arthur and Arthur's sister, Shirley.

Expansion of our history of Rashka's branch -- the Kirshners -- would not have been possible without the enthusiastic participation of the children of Esther Kirshner Kay and Ruby Kay --  Marilyn Kay Fuselier and Sheldon ("Shelly") Kay.

See Snapshots section for its page about the activities of Sheldon and Marilyn.

See photo of Sheldon at Lockheed with his Hubble telescope team on the May 2000 history Front Page by clicking here for that.  It's in the Uberstine family history Page One archive, 1997 - 2002.

Sheldon (Shelly) Kay was giving his mother, Esther Kay, a major hug in this photo of November, 1944. Esther was the oldest of the four children of Shimsel Kirshner and Rashka Gelman.  April-hugs-toc-136h-5k.jpg (4320 bytes)

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