May 1, 2006 [May Day]

Hořovice , Horowitz, Hurwitz, Hurvitz

Our search for the source of the surname Hurvitz

There are many names related to Hurvitz. Among these are those above as well as Horwich, and many that begin with "G" in place of the "H".

Are you a Levy?

Every "Hurvitz" (and that includes all those with the related names) I've ever met knows that "he" is a "Levy". This suggests that there is some common origin of those who share the name.

Our particular branch of "Hurvitz" comes from the Russian Gurevitch

In fact, from our father's family tree research done before Jay was born, our little branch of the family begins with Eliochim Gurevitch who was exiled to Siberia for 5 years because he allegedly set fire to a house while drunk, but stayed 17 years establishing a blacksmith business.
Eliochim was the father of Chaim who was born in 1860 and lived in Chernigov in the Ukraine (Pale of Settlement) where he died in 1929, 15 years after his son
Hillel, my grandfather (and his wife Fayge Brinn from Veliszh (Vitebsk Gubernia in Russia)) left for America.

Famous Now

The name is now known because of the food concern Horowitz-Maragareten and Vladimir (the pianist).

Famous Jewishly

The earliest and most important fame comes from the man known as the ShLaH from the title of his book "Shnei Lujot HaBrit" (The Two Tablets of the Covenant).

from the book

The young woman at the research center in Prague gave me a photocopy of a page from her book which documents that Jews lived here and not in the "other Horovitchky:

Hořovice (Germ. Horowitz)
Beroun district

Jewish settlement documented in the mid 15th century, since the 16th century til the mid-19th century the Jews were not allowed to live in the town. The recent religious community existed since the mid-19th century until the Nazi occupation, strongest at the turn of the 19th and 20th century (1903 - 300 Jews), 1930 - 50 Jews. Synagogue - Valdecka street, south of the square, built in 1903, replacing an older prayer-room. It served its religious purpose until the Second World War, during the war used as a warehouse for furniture, in 1947 adapted for religious purposes of the Evangelical Church, which uses it up to the present. In 1972, the main prayer hall was halved and a flat established on the first floor.

From Lidice we drove a beautiful two-lane country road through farms and forests down a hillside into Beroun and then west again through farm country till we came to town.

One of the towns we passed through had an odd name we could not get explained for us:

The approach to town (it is much bigger than Mark had imagined (based on the maps he'd seen)):

After a little wandering in town we found the "synagogue". This photo matches the angle from the photocopy Mark had:

The "synagogue" is this far from the town square (Mark turned around to take the photo from the same location as the preceding one):

Then Debbie took a photo of Mark in front of the building:

Along the way to Karlovy Vary it became increasingly clear that this was indeed May Day:

© Mark Hurvitz
Posted on May 16, 2006 (Nathan and Faye Hurvitz's anniversary... the first year since both have died)

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