My great grandfather's Chanukiah
My great grandfather's Chanukiah

 The object in the photo is a candelabra used on the Jewish holiday of Chanukah. My great-grandfather, who immigrated from Poland to Argentina in 1926, crafted this chanukiah by hand. He was a welder and locksmith by trade and used the skills of his trade to hand craft the different pieces. He made the cast out of wood and then filled the mold with lead. Once the lead solidified, he put the pieces together into this memento that has now been in my family for four generations. This piece is significant because it is a link in my family history; it connects me to my parents, to my grandparents, and to my great grandfather, who created it. As a Jewish object, it has meaning to me, because it is something we still use on Chanukah. It is interesting to note, however, that my grandfather was not a religious man. He was a very liberal man, a so-called Communist and Free Thinker, who did not believe in nor practice organized religion. He left his Jewish roots behind in Poland and started a new life in Argentina, but the object he chose to make was a Jewish symbol. He never actually lit his own chanukiah, or practiced the holidays, but within the four generations that followed him, the chanukiah has been a symbol of rekindling of Judaism in our family. His child founded a Jewish day school in Buenos Aires, his grandchild became a Rabbi, and his great-grandchildren, as proud Jews, light the chanukiah that for years was an ornament on a shelf. 

Place(s): Poland, Argentina, USA
Year: 1926

– Marcella

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more