Sunday, March 26, 2006

Rose Dubrow

This is only marginally related to Dubrow's Cafeteria, but I'm going to post it anyway.

This is the only thing I have that belonged to my great grandmother, Rose Dubrow, wife of Benjamin Dubrow, who of course was the man who started the Dubrow's Cafeteria chain. The inside monogram of the mink stole indicates that belonged to Rose Dubrow. It says "Rose D" and there is a similarly monogrammed mink stole that belonged to Sylvia Kaplan, Rose's daughter.

Very little was known about Benjamin Dubrow. He emigrated in 1914 from the village of Pagost (Pahust) outside Minsk, Russia. Simon and Rivka Soloway, parents of Rose Dubrow, had already emigrated in 1907. Little is known about Benjamin Dubrow's parents or ancestors, except that he had a sister named Sylvia who refused to emigrate when he did.

A family story that has been passed down to my from my grandparents and mother is that Benjamin did not want to leave Russia, but Rose did. She took him to the rebbe in their community, who told him "if you don't like it, you can come back." They left for America, on what turned out to be the last boat before World War I, when the ports closed. Effectively, this meant Benjamin Dubrow couldn't come back.

And had he waffled any longer, and not listened to Rose and his rebbe, he might not have ever made it here. And - though this seems inconsequential in some ways - there might never have been a Dubrow's Cafeteria.

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