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B'nai Spotlight - Eileen Gross and the Dubin Family

Eileen "Cookie" Gross lives in Silver Spring, Maryland and is a dedicated member of Ohr Kodesh in Chevy Chase. By the fourth grade, Eileen's immediate family had moved out of Baltimore, but she regularly returned to visit family and remembers accompanying her grandparents to B'nai Israel as a child. With a visit to B'nai Israel during the summer of 2021 after reconnecting with the synagogue through the Descendants' Day project, Eileen has come full circle and rediscovered childhood memories through her exploration of her family's history in Baltimore and her spiritual roots at B'nai Israel. In the photo to the right, Lia Dankowicz. Descendants' Day researcher (left) goes through Dubin family records with Eileen (right).


Eileen Gross recalls visiting her grandparent’s store on
East Lombard Street as a child in the late 40s. The Dubin Variety Store was located on what was known as Corned Beef Row at 1011 E. Lombard, the same block as Attman’s Deli, and functioned as a grocery store from around 1930 until around 1960, when Eileen graduated high school. Eileen’s grandmother Sadie and her husband Raymond Dubin lived above the shop and were members of B'nai Israel, and, they, along with other members of Raymond’s family, were buried in the B'nai Israel Congregation Cemetery. 

During their time on E. Lombard Street, Raymond and Sadie attended services and events at B'nai Israel. They are listed as patrons of a siyum hagodel, which took place at the synagogue in 1936, and as members of the Diamond Jubilee committee in 1948. Several members of the Dubin family participated in the Chevra Kadisha, appearing in the Chevra Kadisha ledgers during the 1930s and 1940s.

The Dubin Family Immigration

Raymond Dubin was the second child of Moshe and Toba Dubin. His older brother, Abraham, was the first to immigrate to the United States. He arrived in Baltimore around 1890/95 and eventually made his way to Philadelphia, where he met and married Minnie Boss in 1903, with whom he would have three children.

Raymond joined Abraham in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1900, like his brother traveling first to Baltimore. He is shown in the 1904 Harrisburg city records as living at 518 State Street.

By 1906, Raymond had moved back to Baltimore and was living at 139 W. Camden St. In September 1906, Raymond submitted his declaration of intention to naturalize, having now moved to 1011 Watson Street. 

In April 1906, Moshe and Toba Dubin, along with their three other children, Hene (Hannah), Jossel (James), and Berl (Benjamin) arrived in Baltimore. The boat manifest lists them as coming from Tauroggen, today known as Taurage, Lithuania. They wrote that they were headed to join their son, “Reimund Dubin,” at 139 W. Camden Street.

In 1907, Raymond left his family in Baltimore and rejoined his brother in Pennsylvania, where he submitted his petition for naturalization in 1909, with Abraham (Abe) serving as a witness. He can then be seen in the 1910 census living as a boarder in a large family home in Perry County, Pennsylvania. 

The Dubin Family Becomes Centered in Baltimore

In the meantime, only three years after her arrival in the U.S., Toba Dubin died in July 1909 and was buried in B'nai Israel Cemetery. Her husband Moshe remarried in September 1909 to Mrs. Etta Melnikoff, herself a widow. A 1910 census record shows Moses and Ethel living with James at 261 Caroline Street in Baltimore. Ethel Melnikoff seems to have retained the name Melnikoff, as following her death in February 1920, she was buried in the B'nai Isreal Cemetery under the name Melnikoff, not Dubin. 

In October 1920, Moshe attempted to remarry, this time to a widow named Nasha/Masha Hendler. Whether or not he succeeded is unknown, though he did obtain a marriage license, which showed him as living at 261 S. Caroline Street at the time. A Baltimore Sun article published on 20 October 1920, a day after the marriage license was recorded, (see image at right) describes how Moses was “courting” Nasha (listed here as Masha) Hendler. Notably, the article describes Moses as not speaking any English and living with his daughter on Caroline Street, the same address where he was living with Ethel Melnikoff.

Moses lived another 10 years, dying in 1930, and was buried in the Bnai Israel Cemetery.

Hannah was supposedly living with Moses in 1920, though no census record has been found. A possible 1930 record shows Hannah living as a patient in Spring Grove State Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in Baltimore, but the rest of her life is unknown. James and Benjamin never married and were buried in the B'nai Israel Cemetery in 1968 and 1961, respectively. 

In the meantime, Raymond moved back to Baltimore in 1916 and married his first wife, Anna Hamburger, on December 31st. Anna and Raymond had one son, Harry, born November 26th, 1917.  Raymond's WWI draft registration card shows the family living at 1727 N. Carey Street, and identifies Raymond as a salesman working for The Bernheimer Brothers dry goods store at 311 and 313 W. Lexington Street. The marriage was short lived due to Anna’s untimely death on October 6th, 1918. The 1920 census shows Raymond and Harry living as boarders in a home on Fairmount Avenue., and Rayomd still employed as a salesman.

At some point between 1922 and 1927, Raymond married Sadie Azlant. Sadie was the daughter of Nathan and Ida Azrilant (Azlant/Azriliant), originally from Bratslav, Ukraine. She arrived in Baltimore in 1922, with her mother, two younger sisters, and her young son, from a previous marriage. 

Sometime after 1920 Raymond left his employment with The Bernheimer Brothers and opened the Dubin Variety store. By the 1930 census, Sadie and her son Max (Eileen’s father) were living with Raymond, Harry, and Sadie and Raymond’s son Theodore at 1011 E. Lombard Street right above their grocery store, the Dubin Variety Store. At the time they were renting the building.

In 1925 Raymond filed for a patent (see image on left - Source: Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office, Volume 350), presumably for use in the store, of what might have been used as a candy machine, where children could place in a coin and receive an “article of merchandise.”

By the 1940 census the Dubins now owned the building at 1011 E. Lombard Street.  Max had moved out, having married his first wife, Freda Sacks in January 1940. Sadie and Raymond, along with Harry and Theodore, were still living and working at 1011 E. Lombard. Sadie and Raymond would continue to live there for several more years, moving out around 1960. 

Raymond and Sadie died in 1962 and 1966, respectively, and were buried together in the B'nai Israel Congregation Cemetery. 

Mon, December 11 2023 28 Kislev 5784