Silver Candelabra

The Candelabra
The Candelabra

Traditionally, candelabras such as this one are used to celebrate the Jewish Sabbath.  This silver candelabra was given to my great grandparents Samuel and Anna Goldstein at their wedding in Warsaw, Poland, in 1935.  This date of their marriage is actually inscribed on the bottom of the candelabra (December 29th, 1935).  This is one of the few items they took with them when escaping Poland to move to Palestine and also kept when later immigrating to New York City in 1940.  Soon after moving to the United States, my great-grandparents gave up most of the Jewish traditions they had kept while living in Warsaw and Palestine, such as keeping Kosher, but continued to observe the Sabbath.  My great-grandfather would work overtime almost every day to make ends meet, but always made it home early on Friday nights.  Despite the fact that so many of their other customs had been left behind in Europe, this one stuck with them.
To me, this candelabra symbolizes the history of my family on my mother's side, and the decision of where to draw the line between adapting to fit the modern world and maintaining a connection to the past.  I don't know the full meaning of the translation, but I was able to decipher that the first phrase is "This is protection! Anna Goldstein".  What I can surmise from this is that it was a gift from my great-grandmother's side of the family, and was intended to be a good luck charm, possibly intended to protect them and remind them of home on their travels.

Year: 1940

– David McIntosh

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant