Jake Cohen, ne Chuna (Yakov
Elchanan) Skora/Skura, was a cousin of my grandfather, though the exact
connection is unknown. It is said that he came from a village called
Dlugosiodlo, located thirty-five miles from the city of Lomza.
There he met Zlate Dinah Polakiewicz and they married. While Zlate was
with child, Jake traveled to the United States, and like so many other
folks, paved the way for the eventual immigration of his wife and child.
Before Zlate and daughter Bejla
(Rose) were able to emigrate and join Jake in the U.S., war broke out in
Europe, making their emigration impossible. Eventually, a landsman who himself
had immigrated to the States, told Jake some bad news. It seemed that
Jake's wife and child had perished in Europe. However, to Jake's surprise,
his wife and daughter showed up in New York in 1920!
The three of them lived in
Cleveland, Ohio for a time before returning to New York. There they
resided in Brooklyn and had three more children: Sylvia, Harry and Pearl.
Jake and his family lived on Riverdale Avenue in the East New York section
of Brooklyn, a few blocks from the apartment in which my grandparents and
their family lived.
Rose's daughter Rhoda remembers
the times my grandparents Flora and Harry would come to her grandparents'
place for a visit:
"Flora and Harry Ness were cousins of my grandparents Zlate and Chuna
Cohen….I lived with my parents in Brownsville in a two-story
house. My grandparents lived downstairs and we lived on the top floor.
Every Saturday night after Shabbos, Flora and Harry would come to my
grandparents' home. My father Louis Morgenstern, my
grandfather Chuna and Harry would sit down to a game of either poker or
The women, consisting of my mother Rose Morgenstern, my grandmother Zlate
and Flora, would sit down to a game of rummy. Although I was only a young child of
about eight or nine, they would allow me to sit and watch them play. I
would also be allowed to listen to all the grown-up conversations that
were so interesting. The three women were always loving towards me and
treated me as an adult. They never scolded me for asking
questions and were quite humored by them.
After rummy, my grandmother would serve coffee and cake. I always enjoyed
having that bit of coffee with the women. But most of all I enjoyed
taking Hershey kisses and putting it on my
spoon as I dunked it into the coffee and watched it melt. What a
marvelous flavor. Flora would make sure when she came over that she always
brought me the Hershey kisses….I remember both
Flora and Harry being a sweet gentle couple."