The Keeper of the Records

6 May

In my family, I have become the keeper of the records.  I believe it is because I actually do something with them.  I scan them in to the computer; I research these records; I write about them; and then I share the information with my family through my blogs.  I hope that my doing this will keep these memories alive for future generations.

So recently, when I was in New Jersey, I asked my sister where she had put our parents’ wedding album, as my sister wanted it when we cleaned out our parents’ home.  It was easily accessible, so I looked through it, searching for a particular photo.  I had seen it the album many times, so knew it was included.

The biggest problem with this album is that the photos are encased in plastic. That must have been the style as I have seen other albums from this era also with plastic.  So those photos are difficult to photograph or scan, as you see here.


My parents listening to the reading of their ketubah.

I found what I was looking for: a photo with my parents’ ketubah, Jewish marriage license.  It was important for me because I have both their marriage license and the engagement agreement that was signed at the same time.

The engagement contract is in disrepair.  I hate even taking it out of its’ envelop, but I did for a photo.  It is signed by both of my grandfathers. It was kept in an envelop addressed to my Dad at my grandparents’ bakery.


The ketubah is in much better shape.  Written in both English and Hebrew, it is pretty simple.  Not an artist drawing, but rather a form Ketubah filled in by the Rabbi.  The most important part for me is that it lists my mother’s Hebrew/Yiddish name.  We sometimes had a debate on that as my grandparents, and sometimes my dad, would call her ‘Fegilah,” little bird.  But we were pretty sure her name in Yiddish was Freida, which is confirmed with the ketubah.

The photo with the ketubah almost makes me laugh.  Their wedding was arranged quickly.  Dad was in the army and going to Korea.  Yet there he is in tails and a top hat!  My Mom is standing by the huppah in a veil that almost hides her face. It is much denser than the veil my sister, sister-in-law, and I wore, and our daughters.

They both look so serious.  It is difficult to believe that they were just 22 years old. My uncle, my Mother’s brother, is there as well.  Thanks to him we actually have a movie of my parents’ wedding!  No voices, but all the action is shown.

To me having this photo together with the ketubah is important.  It is a link that ties the document to the people in it.  Now forever together in this blog.

I think that is why I am the designated keeper of the records.

6 Responses to “The Keeper of the Records”

  1. Amy May 6, 2019 at 5:07 pm #

    What a beautiful ketubah! I have no idea whether my parents’ still exists or where it would be. My mother’s Hebrew/Yiddish name is also Frieda, named for her aunt who died in childbirth.

    And that is a wonderful photograph. They were probably more scared than serious!

    • zicharon May 6, 2019 at 5:16 pm #

      Another connection. My Mom was named for her great grandmother!

      • Amy May 6, 2019 at 8:59 pm #

        Six degrees of separation!

  2. Donna May 6, 2019 at 5:26 pm #

    I empathize with the wedding pictures in plastic. My folks went with the trend of 1951 and had color slides made with a viewer. The bulb died a few years ago, and now I’m disabled and unable to get to a camera shop.

    • zicharon May 6, 2019 at 5:33 pm #

      My parents were also married in 1951. But we have the black and white photos and a movie which my brother had put on DVD.

  3. myanstory May 6, 2019 at 5:29 pm #

    I empathize with the plastic pages. My folks went with the trend of 1951 and had color slides made with a viewer. The bulb died a few years ago. Now I’m disabled and unable to get to a camera shop. Who knows if they would even have the correct size bulb?

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