E. Jeanne Blitzer Andelman bio, 9/1/06

I was born in February, 1932, Toledo, Ohio, USA to Lena REITER and Adolph BLITZER, immigrants, arriving to America in 1913.  I'm the 6th of 7 children--5 boys, 2 girls.  My ability to sing at an early age led to piano studies and singing during my elementary and highschool years, eventually receiving a BM degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music in piano and Dalcroze Eurhythmics.  I taught classical piano for 31 years and Dalcroze for 9. 

During WWII  when my brothers were at War, I had more time with my mother and began asking her about her childhood, growing up in Europe--somewhere?  She told me that she came from a town called Mielnitza, Austria (I could hardly pronounce it) which was ruled by a kindly Emperor, Franz Joseph. Most  interesting, though  for me were the stories Lena  told me about her mother, Chana FLEISCHMANN ??REITER, c 1851-1939, a graduated midwife who upon immigrating with Lena and my grandfather, Fischel Reiter, traveled to somewhere in Columbus, Ohio, where she took an examination, earning a midwifery recertification to practice in Toledo which Chana did, retiring at the age of 75.  The idea of a "professional" woman fascinated me as I didn't know a mother at the time who was one

 In 1990 my husband Ted brought home a word processor. At the same time a friend told me she was researching her family history as a member of the Cleveland Jewish Genealogy Society.  Although I didn't have the time, I joined the group in hopes of finding out something about my grandmother Chana--were my mother's stories tales or facts.  I had no documents other than my father's naturalization paper or any relatives from whom to gather family history; I just had a burning desire, that drove me to find answers.  

My father, Adolph BLITZER, told me that his father, Nachman, sent him as a young boy, to Mielnitza to apprentice with my grandfather Fischel, who had a  tailor shop.  When Adolph completed his training, he moved to CZERNOWITZ where he found work tailoring women's suits and coats.  For my father, (c 1898-1978), an intellectual and arts devotee, this was a city that enabled him to become self educated . This was a city that nourished and influenced Adolph's thinking.  He took advantage of all cultural opportunities (student ticket prices) ie the opera,  theater, and most of all  books which he brought to America in 1913,  written by great people, particularly philosophers ie Spinoza who was Adolph's favorite. My grandfather, Nathan, was chasidic, denying Adolph a public school education which in Austria at that time was compulsory.  He spent 3 days in jail for breaking the law. Adolph was a very good student in Cheder and felt at home among the Yeshiva institutions in Czernowitz.  Adolph was born in Kudrynce (pronounced kid-er-unce) Kudrintsy, Ukraine

The results of my research can be read at:  http://reiterblitzer.com
a book (in progress) that  I've been writing online since Feb, '01, titled The Tailor Shop, Threads of our Past.