In this highly readable volume, we travel back to the European roots of a remarkable family who crossed the ocean from Lithuania with little baggage but their religious faith and a young man's ambitions.
I'm going to bake matzos this year...We ll see how it goes, said Behr Manischewitz. One bright spring morning in 1888 a young immigrant father named Behr makes this offhand announcement to his modest wife Nesha. Within record time, the ambitious young Talmudic scholar has a burgeoning bakery and is on his way to success. But the years go by and the growing family is ever more complicated, colorful and sometimes explosive. The women of the Manischewitz family who mostly operated behind the scenes played a critical role in providing the mortar that held the family together. As for the men, they covered a broad spectrum: some more able than others, some more affable than others, some more religious than others.
What united them, men and women alike, were bonds of kinship, as well as a firm allegiance to the Jewish people. With these qualities they kept the family business alive and in the family for over 103 years until 1990 when it was sold to various conglomerates as were other ethnic American family food businesses: Ronzoni, Franco-American, La Choy, and Lender's.
Laura Manischewitz Alpern recounts the family's history through the lives of its leading men and women. Her insider' s tale of the family that transformed the world of matzo and became a symbol of 100% kosher reminds us why the name Manischewitz remains magical still. Man, oh Manischewitz, what a story! From the Introduction by Jonathan D. Sarna, Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History Brandeis University