The Bird Pin

My great great grandmother walked down to the chuppah unadorned of jewelry; She walked back up the aisle with a husband and a gold band on her finger. In the Yichud room, where the couple is alone, symbolizing their marriage to each other, she received a pair of earrings and a gold and diamond pin. This is the story of the gift, a journey over a century ago, across the ocean and from a European shtettel to NYC.  Toba married Samuel David in 1905 in Ciechanow, Poland. At the wedding dinner, she wore her gift- a pair of small drop diamond earrings and a gold and diamond pin. The pin is in the shape of a bird, as Toba means pigeon in Yiddish.    In Ciechanow, the couple were shopkeepers; they ran a small food store. The Sabbath was the time that Toba wore the earrings and the pin.  Samuel David decided it was time to leave for the America. He left for NY alone. Toba’s wedding gifts continued to be worn, but now the earrings stayed on daily, and she continued to wear the pin on her holiday and Sabbath clothes. The couple was separated during World War I, as he could not bring her across the ocean during the war. In 1919, Toba and her sons crossed the ocean to New York City. The family and the wedding gifts found a new home in Harlem.
Samuel died in 1928 at the age of 44. Toba continued to wear her wedding band, her earrings, and the diamond pin until she died in 1978. In September 1978, the ring, the pin and the earrings, were passed to her oldest granddaughter, my grandmother. 

Place(s): Poland,Harlem
Year: 1919

– Daniella Seelenfreund

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