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Jewish Research and Education - Cuba Family Archives, Finding Aids

Dates:  1868-2011

Creator:  Buchsbaum and Levy Family

Summary/Abstract:  Documents and clippings relating to the Buchsbaum and Levy families of Savannah, Georgia and New York City.

Quantity/Physical Description: Two full-size document cases (0.83 linear feet)

Language(s):  English

Repository:  The Cuba Family Archives for Southern Jewish History, The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, 1440 Spring Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30309.

Restrictions on Access:  There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Restrictions on Use:  Copyright restrictions may apply.  Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright.  Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation:  Box #, Folder #, Mss 345, Buchsbaum and Levy Family Papers, The Cuba Family Archives for Southern Jewish History, The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, 1440 Spring Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30309.

Acquisition:  Gift of Esther Buchsbaum, 1996, 1999, 2010, 2011; Aaron Buchsbaum, 1996, 1999; A.J. Cohen, Jr., 1996.

Custodial History:  The Buchsbaum and Levy family papers are part of the Savannah Jewish Archives that were transferred from the Georgia Historical Society to the Breman Museum in 2015.

Separated Material:  Oversize Materials and photographs

Related Materials: Mss 342, William A. Wexler Family Papers

Processed by:  Valerie J. Frey, 2002; N.E. Galler, 2004; Lynette Stoudt, 2011; Lindsay B. Resnick, 2015.

Arrangement:  This collection is organized into four series: Series 1. Buchsbaum family; Series 2. Levy family; Series 3. Additional surnames; Series 4. Jewish publications. Within each series, folders are arranged alphabetically by surname.

Biographical/Historical Note: The Buchsbaum and Levy families are connected through the marriage of two natives of Savannah, Georgia, Herbert “Herbie” Buchsbaum (Sep. 21, 1902-Oct. 18, 1948) and Sarah “Sauchie” Levy (Sep. 13, 1904-Jul. 30, 1972).  They were married Mar. 25, 1927 in Charleston, SC.  Both died in Savannah.

Herbert was the son of Abraham Buchsbaum (ca. 1861-May 7, 1909) and Gussie Finer/Feiner Buchsbaum (1868-Oct. 26, 1911), both of whom came to the United States in the 1880s and moved to Savannah by 1900.  Abraham was born in Limanova, Austria (now Poland).  The couple married ca. 1887 and both died in Savannah.

Sarah was the daughter of Aaron “Alter” Malitz Levy (ca. 1864-1929) and Rachel Gold Levy (1876-1951) who arrived in Savannah from Russia in 1903.  Aaron was born in Brest L’Tovsk (now Belarus) with the surname Malitz and was the father of eight children:  Abe Levy (b. 1887), Sophie Levy Wills (1889-1978), Ida Levy Barnett (b. 1894), Matthew Malitz Levy (1899-1971), Sarah Levy Buchsbaum (1904-1972), Rosaline “Rosalie” Levy Tenenbaum (1906-1983), Jack Malitz Levy (1908-1988), and Dorothy M. Levy Wexler (1911-1969).  The first three children were by his first wife, Rifka Hannah Goldblatt Malitz, who died in Europe.  After reaching Savannah, Aaron changed his surname to Levy and opened a watch repair business named A. Levy & Son.  This business later became Levy Jewelers, which remains an active retail store in Savannah. 

Of all the Levy children, Matthew (Mar. 1, 1899-Sep. 4, 1971) is most heavily represented in the collection.  He attended the University of Georgia and Harvard Law School then went on to practice law and serve as Judge of the Municipal Court of the City of New York and Justice of the New York State Supreme Court.  His wife was Pearl G. Spivak Levy (1898-2000), who was also his first cousin.  There are also materials on the youngest Levy child, Dorothy Levy Wexler. She was the wife of international B’nai B’rith President, Dr. William A. Wexler, and was active in the community.  The Savannah chapter of B’nai B’rith Girls was renamed in her honor in 1971.

Herbert and Sarah Levy Buchsbaum had one child, Aaron Levy Buchsbaum

(Apr. 9, 1931-Apr. 12, 2014).  He graduated from Tulane University and Emory University Law School prior to becoming a Savannah attorney and civil rights activist. He married Esther Deborah Rosenbaum Buchsbaum (b. 1936) on Jun. 21, 1956 and together they had four children:  Herbert Richard Buchsbaum, Lauren Gail Buchsbaum, Susan Rachel Buchsbaum, and Elizabeth Ann Buchsbaum.  He passed away on April 12, 2014 from Alzheimer’s disease and was buried in Savannah’s Bonaventure Cemetery.

The Odess family also appears in the collection. Dorothy Spivak Odess (1912-1984) was a niece of Rachel Gold Levy.

Scope and Content: This collection contains biographical information, certificates, correspondence, clippings, publications, and a will.  Most of the papers relate to Aaron L. Buchsbaum and Matthew M. Levy. Material in this collection dates from 1868 to 2011.

Of particular note are materials regarding Aaron L. Buchsbaum's career, which include information on specific legal cases, community involvement, awards, and letters to the editor of the Savannah newspaper.  There are also clippings concerning noteworthy civil rights cases in which he was involved.  Please note that these papers consist primarily of clippings and do not contain any confidential client information. Also included are Matthew Levy's World War I photographs and Sophie Levy's photograph album. Other family members and friends represented in the collection include: Dorothy Boblasky, Alan Buchsbaum, Esther Buchsbaum, Herbert Buchsbaum, Sarah Levy Buchsbaum, David Leon Barnett, Ida Levy Barnett, Pearl Levy, Micheal Lutzker, Odess family, Sarah Prisant, Edward Serotta, Susan Barbara Slutsky, Thelma Swartzberg, Albert Tenenbaum, Betty and Lou Weiner, Dorothy Levy Wexler, William Wexler, and Sadye Blumenfield Yergen. Undated materials are located at the back of their respective folders.

Collection Inventory

Series I: Buchsbaum family, 1946-2011

 

Box

File

Description

Date

 

Subseries 1.1: Aaron L. Buchsbaum, 1946-2011

1

1

Awards and certificates

1959-2002

1

2

Biographical

1952-2001

1

3

Correspondence (personal)

1965-2007

1

4

Letters of recommendation

1954-1960

1

5

Oral history

2001-2002

1

6

Frederick B. Tuttle legal case (re: civil rights)

1963

1

7

Great Speckled Bird legal case (re: obscenity laws)

1969

1

8

Governor’s Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals

1974-1976

1

9

Savannah Bar Association resignation (re: discrimination)

1980

1

10

Sherry Heard legal case (re: illegal search and seizure)

1997-1999

1

11

Clippings

1946-1972

1

12

Clippings

1975-2011

1

13

Event programs

1959-2011

1

14

Savannah Jewish Council annual meeting

1963

 

Subseries 1.2: Other family members and friends, 1936-2002

1

15

Alan Buchsbaum

1968-2002

1

16

Esther Buchsbaum: Miscellaneous

1958-1993

1

17

Grand Jury of Chatham County

1978-1982

1

18

Herbert Buchsbaum: Miscellaneous

1946-1954

1

19

Herbert Buchsbaum: Will beneficiaries

1949

1

20

Sarah Levy Buchsbaum: awards and certificates

1936-1959

1

21

Buchsbaum miscellaneous clippings

1946-1947

1

22

Buchsbaum Brothers Grocery Store fire

1947

1

23

Edward Serotta correspondence and clippings

1986-1987

 

Series II: Levy family, 1868-1998

 

Box

File

Description

Date

 

Subseries 2.1: Matthew M. Levy, 1919-1971

2

1

Award celebrations

1950, 1971

2

2

Biographical sketch

1943, 1950

2

3

Campaign letters

1950

2

4

Miscellaneous campaign materials

undated

2

5

Clippings

1933-1950

2

6

Clippings

1951-1971

2

7

Correspondence

1938-1971

2

8

Eulogy for Matthew M. Levy

1971

2

9

Federation of Jewish Philanthropies

1949, 1964

2

10

Federation-Synagogue Relations

1962

2

11

Funeral services

1971

2

12

Induction as Justice of the Municipal Court

1938

2

13

Last Will and Testament

1971

 

Subseries 2.2: Other family members, 1868-1998

2

14

David Leon Barnett

1995

2

15

Ida Levy Barnett

1948

2

16

Pearl Levy: Award luncheon

1956

2

17

Pearl Levy: Birthday speeches

1988, 1998

2

18

Miscellaneous clippings

undated

2

19

Aaron Levy home (214 Gaston Street East): Chain of title documentation

1869-1930

2

20

Dorothy Levy Wexler

1969-1971

2

21

William A. Wexler

1962-1972

Series III: Additional surnames, 1954-1965

2

22

Odess family

1954-1965

2

23

Albert Tenenbaum

1956

Series IV: Jewish Publications, 1925-1926

2

24

B’nai B’rith Magazine

1925

2

25

New Palestine Magazine

1926

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