Discovering a Long Lost Kiddush Cup from the Kletzker Brotherly Aid Association

Posted on: February 13th, 2013 at 11:11 am by

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Last night, we fielded an email from a giddy reader about a recent find. “History rescued from the great melt,” he wrote with excitement. It’s the classic story of unwittingly finding treasure. In this case, the item is a traditional Jewish goblet from a turn-of-the-century Lower East Side organization. The Kletzker Brotherly Aid Association.

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Out tipster discovered the prized Judaica in a scrap silver box retrieved from his friend’s coin shop in Miami. The sterling kiddush cup, used for blessing wine, was specifically crafted for the fortieth anniversary. According to the inscription, it was given as a gift on October 10, 1937. It reads:

40th ANNIV.
OCT. 10-1937
IND. KLETZKER
BRO.AID ASSN.

Founded on the Lower East Side, Kletzker was one of the many “landsmanschaftn” set up at that time to care for the hordes of Jewish immigrants flowing through Ellis Island. Such groups provided much-needed medical care, unemployment insurance, burial plots, and social activities for its members.  This particular society helped those from Kletzk, Poland. Its base of operations was located at 5 Ludlow Street where it still stands today. After departing the block, a series of funeral parlors followed, each catering to the neighborhood composition at the time, starting with Jews, then Italians, and now Chinese.

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