The Aretsky Family
According to several family stories, the Aretsky family was related to the Yarmovsky's. Various members of the Yarmovsky family attended Aretsky family events and were considered to be cousins of the Aretsky's. Unfortunately, the exact relationship is not known. It is believed that Sophie Geller Aretsky was related to either Shmuel David Yarmovsky or his wife Hene.
Simon Aretsky and his wife Sophie had three children: Lida, Lucky, and Hannah. Lida married William G. Seidenbaum and they are believed to have had one child. Lucky's married name was Shor (or Shaw?) and she is believed to have had one or two children. Hannah's married name was Metric and she is believed to have had two children.
Simon Aretsky and Sophie arrived in NYC on 7/16/1904 on the ship Cedric which sailed from Liverpool, England on 7/8/1904. Simon was shown as age 32, his wife Shifra (which became Sophie) as age 25 and their daughter Like (which became Lida) as age 2. They were enroute to NYC to their friend Moritz Schonfeld, 16 Market St. Simon was shown as a watchmaker.
The passenger record for the ship Pennsylvania sailing from Hamburg arriving in NYC on 11/9/1906 for a Eliks Aretzky showed him (a 20 year old locksmith) enroute from Odessa to see his brother Simon in Jersey City at a street address of 222 Van Horn St. The ship's passenger record for the S.S. Kroonland from Antwerp arriving in NYC on 10/1/1907 showed 58 year old female Chae Aretzky enroute from Odessa with Rode Aretzky (17 year old female) to son S. Aretzky, 222 Van Horn St., Jersey City, NJ.
The 1930 Federal Census showed Simon Aretsky (age 58, proprietor of a jewelry store) with his wife Sophia (age 56), daughter Rose (age 20, bookkeeper in an advertising agency) who later apparently became known as Lucky, and daughter Hannah (age 15). They lived at 527/535 Seventh Avenue in the town of West New York, Hudson County, New Jersey. Simon was shown as born in Russia (Odessa was still part of Russia in 1930), Sophia in Poland (Note: the Yarmovsky family came from towns which were all in the Grodno district, which was part of Poland in 1930, some later becoming part of Belarus) and Rose and Hannah in New Jersey. Simon and Sophia were shown as having been married for 30 years, having immigrated to the U.S. in 1904 and as having been naturalized.
According to family stories, the Aretsky family lived in Sheepshead Bay or Brighton Beach where Hannah was married about 1939, a wedding which was attended by her mother Sophie (presumably her father Simon had died earlier in NJ). Lucky was living at the time in an apartment building in Brighton Beach, the same building where a daughter of Libby Yarmovsky lived.
By 1944, Lida Aretsky was living in Tuckahoe, NY with her husband William George Seidenbaum (born 9/8/1900 in NYC) and her son Arthur David Seidenbaum. Lida was still living at the same address in 1952 when she applied for her Social Security number (her birth date shown as 7/22/1902). Her parents were shown as Simon Aretsky and Sophie Geller, her place of birth as Odessa, Russia (now in the Ukraine), and her employer as William G. Seidenbaum Co. at 267 Fifth Ave., NYC. The family later moved to Los Angeles, CA. Lida died on 9/9/1984 in Los Angeles.
Lida's son Arthur was born on 5/4/1930 in the Bronx, NY and died on 7/15/1990 in Los Angeles, CA. Art was a Los Angeles Times journalist and the author of several books. His books include Los Angeles 200, A Bicentennial Celebration (1980), This is California, Please Keep Out! (1975), and Confrontation on Campus, Student Challenge in California (1969) (search for Art Seidenbaum at www.bookfinder.com to find titles, some of which are signed by the author). The dedication in the This is California book reads in part, "To Lida, who brought me into New York life..." The Los Angeles Times gives out an award called the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction which commemorates the work of the late Times book editor and Book Prize program founder. A search for Art Seidenbaum at www.google.com will find numerous quotes and references to poems, quotes, and articles by Art Seidenbaum.
The author of this site would love to hear from any descendants of the Simon and Sophie Aretsky family. See the link at the bottom of the home page.
Copyright 2002, 2000, Gregory Kolojeski. All Rights Reserved.
This page was last updated 03/01/09