The Ohio Uberstines: A Prequel      

The houses and, from afar, the family visitors

"prestige address"
'A prestige address': 1140 E. 98th St.

In 1927, the year of the portrait at right, Harris and Etta Uberstine, plus nine other family members, were living in the house above.  They had settled in Canton, Ohio, where they remained until 1921. East 98th Street was the first Uberstine home in Cleveland, and they stayed until 1931.  "This was a prestige address," said granddaughter Lois Lavine.     

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Harris Uberstine in 1927

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Ida Uberstine Farberman visits
Cleveland brother, Harris, on the way
to see ailing son in Denver,Colorado 

In the late 1920s -- and certainly before the stock market crash of 1929 -- Ida embarked on a voyage to visit her middle son, Max, who had been sent years earlier to Denver to recover from TB.   

Of course she stopped in Cleveland to visit   her brother, and we know she had a good time.  In 1988, when Ida's oldest daughter, Rachel, was 91 years old, her daughter, Doris, recorded her mother's memories.  On the tape,

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Ida with son, Max

she recalled how important Ida's trip was to Ida.  She "couldn't stop talking about how wonderful the large family was,  and how beautifully they all got along [with all of them living in the

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same house] and with everyone pitching in to help," Doris said.

The house?  That would have been East 98th Street.

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The Uberstines in 1927, the only
photograph [we have] where Harris smiles

Family historian, 
Lois Lavine, provides
rare photo

"Zayde [as Harris was known to family members] was worth $250,000 at this time," said Lois. 

"Then he lost everything during the Depression -- all his properties, and this house [East 98th Street] included."


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The 'fabulous house' on Drexel  Ave. was home to eleven Uberstines

Lois Lavine lived there with "Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts Mary, Libby, Alice, and Florence, and Uncle Lou," and her mother, Dorothy, and father, Philip Sless, and her twin sister, Marilyn. 

Ida's oldest son, Sam, visits
'Uncle' Harris on honeymoon;
Bride Betty keeps detailed journal

"...that night [March 19, 1935], we had Purim supper with the Uberstines," wrote Betty Friedman Farberman, who had married Sam Farberman two days earlier.  "
What a wonderful family.

Honeymoon: Garden of the Gods, Colorado
Above: Betty Friedman Faberman and
Sam Faberman on April 2, 1935, at
The Garden of the Gods in Colorado.

"Uncle is a dear old man. [Etta had passed away almost five months earlier.]  "Alice and Florence are both very sweet girls. Dorothy and Phil and their twins [Marilyn and Lois] are such a lovely family. 

"After supper, Lou, Alice and Florence drove us to Max's [drug] store [in the neighborhood, not far from the house], and then brought us back to our hotel. The next morning Lou and Alice took us riding. Cleveland is such a beautiful city and kept so clean. 

"We rode through Shaker Heights and then back to their home. We had a Chinese dinner that Dorothy had made; it was delicious.  

honeymooners came calling

10601 Drexel Avenue: The home of the Uberstine family until 1935

"Later on in the evening, Max and his wife [Sarah] came, and so did Minnie, another sister. They took us back to the hotel..."     In the morning, the honey- mooners set off on the next leg of their journey.  Ahead of them was one of the 1930's most famous dust storms. 

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Above: The Fabermans explored Colorado, here, on the shore of Boulder Canyon lake.

In her diary of their honeymoon, Betty wrote about a terrible dust storm they endured from Salina, Kansas, into Denver.  At the end of their journey, they had a most welcome surprise:  room service awaited them, courtesy of Sam's middle brother, Max Faberman.  He was the manager of The West Hotel on California Street in downtown Denver, an old-west style hotel with a balcony right out of a movie western.


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Harris wins car in raffle;
Daughters Florence and Alice
Hop in car to drive him to NYC

Larger versions of the photos at left are in the Farberman chapter.  All were taken in the summer of 1936, when Harris won a car in a raffle.  Two of his still unmarried daughters -- Alice and Florence -- hopped in his car and drove him to New York City.

Harris visits siblings:
Two brothers and two sisters

This major 'photo shoot' took place in the backyard of the Brooklyn house of Ida Uberstine Farberman.  Their widowed brother, Mayer Uberstine, came from The Bronx with Gitel, who would become his second wife.  Their youngest brother, Isar, came in from Trenton, New Jersey.  He was still in the barrel business there,  just as Harris had been before his move to Cleveland. 

Harris visits The Bronx to see
Sister Toby, nieces and nephews

Harris' sister, Toby Uberstine Cohen, was living with her daughter, Minnie, and Minnie's husband, Lou Gelman, in the Bronx.  Minnie and Lou's daughter, Shirley Gelman Hausman, was a major source for CousinsPlus and provided many of these photographs.

On this trip, Harris managed a reunion with all his living siblings:  sisters Toby Uberstine Cohen, Ida Uberstine Farberman, Mayer Uberstine, and Isar Rubenstein, the only sibling who had changed his surname. 

To take another look at the CousinsPlus skeletal overtree of Uberstine siblings, click here.

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Watch chains were the rage:  Harris poses between Isar (left) and Mayer. Brother-in-law Harris Farberman, near picket fence, observes with hands in pockets. 

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Alice (far right) joins Gitel for another snapshot with Harris, Mayer (center) and Isar (between Gitel and Alice) in Ida's Brooklyn backyard.

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Harris and Alice (far right) posed on
the Gelman's porch in The Bronx with
Lou (left), Minnie and son, Julius.


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summers with cousins

'Now a shameful disaster
but once, a happy house
with lots of fun summers'

In this two-family house, Harris, Lou, Alice and Florence lived upstairs, and the Sless family -- Philip, Dorothy Uberstine Sless, Marilyn and Lois -- lived downstairs.

The house at 10301-03 Ostend Avenue was home to the Uberstines from 1935 (Etta had died in 1934) to 1945. 

"It's a shameful disaster today," said Lois, "but it was once a very happy house.  There were lots of fun summers, when all the other Uberstines came from  Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to visit with many cousins our age." 


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The Old Jewish Center Synagogue

For many years, Harris lived around the corner from the Synagogue, and he was regularly part of the morning minion.  The building now houses a church with a black congregation from the area.   The Uberstines lived in the neighborhood from 1921 to 1945.

Once the largest in the country

The congregation was formed in 1872, and the building in the photo, which can seat a maximum of 2,300, opened in 1923.  "It was the largest synagogue in the country in 1929, and it had 750 members at its peak," said Rabbi Armond Cohen, who became its rabbi in 1934.   

Venetian classical design

In a telephone interview facilitated by Harris' granddaughter, Lois Lavine, Rabbi Cohen said that the synagogue's classical design was inspired by a church on a piazza in Venice, and not by the "three jewel-like synagogues tucked away in its Jewish quarter."  Rabbi Cohen, who turns 91 in June of 2000, assumed the post of Distinguished Service Rabbi in 1989.

1920's rabbi also headed Zionists

The congregation began as orthodox but changed to conservative under Rabbi Solomon Goldman (1922-1929), who also

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Photos by Harris' great granddaughter, Lauren Lavine.

headed the Zionist movement in America at the time, Rabbi Cohen said. After Rabbi Goldman took over, "the men and women began to sit together."

Building now houses church

In 1943, the Jewish Center Synagogue building became home to the Cory Methodist churchThat's when Rabbi Cohen and the congregation moved to a new building with a seating capacity of 4,000 in Cleveland Heights, situated in a park of 33 acres.   From then on, the Anshe Emeth Beth Tefilo Congregation was also referred to as the Park Synagogue.  In 1999, there were 1,988 family memberships.   

Uberstine family also moves

Two years after the new synagogue building opened, the Uberstines, too, made the move to Cleveland Heights. 


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1945 to 1976 in
Cleveland Heights

In this two-family house, Harris and Lou, and Alice and her husband, Abe, lived upstairs.   Dorothy and Philip Sless had the downstairs, and newlyweds Lois and Philip Lavine lived on the third floor.  This arrangement prevailed "until Alice moved to assisted living," said Lois Lavine.  "All the rest were gone long before."

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2827-29 Derbyshire Road


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