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From Humboldt Park

Submitted by Edward

I was born 10/13/42 in Deaconess Lutheran Hospital. My parents, David and Rena Mazur, were from Bialystok, Poland. I attended LaFayette G.S., “chedered” at Yavne Talmud Torah, bar mitzvahed at Atereth Zion Cong, Div. and Spaulding Avenues.

Humboldt Park was a signficant Jewish neighborhood (also Polish, Italian, Irish) between 1900-1960. Many synagogues, large and small, kosher stores, delis including Joe Pierce, Ruttenberg’s, Spot, Brown & Koppel. Theatres like Biltmore, Strand, Vision, Crystal. My zayde, Jacob Kleinbort, and uncle Norman, had a jewelry store, Norman’s Jewelry at 2714 W. Divison for more than 50 years. I worked at PD Kahn’s Butter and Egg Store and ran errands for the sharpies at the Humboldt Billiards and Nate’s Barber Shop. This area was home to the Sholem Aleichem School, Chesinsky’s Bookstore. A favorite gathering place for the landsmanschaften was Humboldt Park. My father was a blue–collar employee in a large commercial dry cleaning plant and my mother was highschool educated in the gymnasium of Bialystok and was active with the Bialystoker Ladies Auxiliary and the Northwest Side Builders of the City of Hope. My older brother, Sander Leon, attended the Chicago Jewish High School adn the Yeshiva. The area became a Puerto Rican neighborhood by the 1950s and the Jews had relocated to the suburbs like Skokie, Morton Grove, and north side areas like West Rogers Park, Albany Park, and Hollywood Park.

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Division St. and California Avenues