A month ago I received an email from a woman I knew when I was a boy. She was my older sister’s best friend. She lives in Israel—close to my sister as neighbor and close in the friendship they have for nearly a half century. Mirel is her first name. It took me a minute to realize that it was she that was writing me and letting me know she was contemplating coming to Denver this summer and could I help? The following is her story and request.
My request to you is twofold:
1. If you have any information about her great-uncle Julius Teitelbaum who lived in Denver (he worked in a clothing store) a century ago, please let me know.
2. If you can join me and Mirel at the graveside service next Wednesday from 6:30-7:00 pm please let me know (Fairmont Cemetery is on the corner of Alameda and Quebec streets and the Temple Emanuel section is on the west side of the cemetery off Quebec).
Sometime over a century ago, a young man left his home in Zborov, Hungary to follow his older brother to the shores glistening with the promise of the American dream. Born about 14 months apart, the two boys must have been close. I can picture how the younger brother pined for his brother; how he must have longed for the adventure and the freedom! It is easy to understand him following his brother to the American shores. Only there is no trace of it.
Wherever I looked, my great-uncle Yehuda eluded me. That only intensified my sense of his calling out to me. I thought that by finding the date of his death and his final resting place, I could rest at peace knowing that I’d solved the enigma that obsessed my grandmother for years. And yet, he continues to beckon, pulling the string as it twists this way and that, teasing me, distracting me–not letting me rest until I find another piece of the puzzle
We knew he was buried in Denver. And we assumed that ativan causing palpitations he’d died in Denver, because he was sent there to convalesce after being injured on board ship during his military service in the First World War. So I now began to wonder if the story wasn’t simpler than I’d thought. If perhaps after his injury he just went home and died there. But then this week, while trying once again to determine whether Yehuda, or Julius as he was known in America, had served in the Navy or the Merchant Marines I found yet another document: A death certificate issued in Brooklyn, NY.
I was beginning to pull my hair in frustration. Yehuda’s only known relative in the United States was his brother in New York. So if he died in New York, why wasn’t he buried there? Why was he shipped back to Denver where he had no one to mourn him?
Well, it seems that, as usual, life is complicated. Four months before Yehuda died, Annie, his sister-in-law, gave birth to her third child, her first boy, named Charlie for his father because some months before Charlie was born, his father died.
And so, in August of 1919, my great-uncle Yehuda’s body was shipped to Denver and buried far from his family. For 94 years, his family knew only the fact of his death and of his burial in Denver. His English name: Julius S Teitelbaum. The Hebrew date of his passing: the 24th of Av. We know that he was buried in Temple Emanuel at Fairmount, 430 South Quebec Street. Burial Plot: 11–04-SN.
So now that this is probably the last time I will be in America I would like to make sure that this year, for the first time in the 94 years since he died, his memory will be honored with a minyan to recite the special prayers for the elevation of his soul.
This year, the day of his death, the 24th of Av, falls on Wednesday, July 31. Please help me spread the word so that I can have a minyan at 6:30 p.m. at his gravesite.