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Inventory of the Helen Stern Lipton Papers, 1932-2008

Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Letters, postcards, and other materials relating to Helen Stern Lipton, a Jewish woman who left Poland in 1915. Correspondence in Yiddish (with English translations) from Lipton's family members in Poland focuses on efforts to help them escape to America before and during World War II. Includes a set of tefillin with a cloth bag for storage.
Title: Helen Stern Lipton papers
Creator: Lipton, Helen Stern, 1899-1987
Date(s): 1932-2008  
Extent: 0.5 linear feet
(12 folders)
Repository: Jewish Heritage Collection, Special Collections, College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: (843) 953-8016
Fax: (843) 953-6319
URL: http://archives.library.cofc.edu
Call Number: Mss 1065-012
Language of Material: Materials in English and Yiddish

Biographical Note

Helen Stern (1899-1987) was born to a large Jewish family in Kielce, Poland. She immigrated to the United States in 1915 to avoid an arranged marriage, joining her brother, Gabriel Stern, who had already emigrated. She followed her brother from New York City to Charleston, South Carolina, where she met and married Samuel H. Lipton (1894-1983), a native of Lithuania and resident of Beaufort, South Carolina. After marrying, the Liptons lived in Beaufort where they raised three sons, Joseph, Morey, and Alfred.

Helen Lipton's family in Poland, including her mother, Rivke Machale Sterenzys, one of her brothers, Chiam Sterenzys, and several of her nephews, wrote her letters and postcards before, during, and after World War II. The bulk of this correspondence includes pleas for help in immigrating to the United States, addressed to both Helen and Gabriel Stern.


Collection Overview

Letters, postcards, and other materials relating to Helen Stern Lipton, a Jewish woman who left Kielce, Poland, in 1915. Correspondence in Yiddish (with English translations) from Lipton's family members in Poland focuses on efforts to help them escape to America before and during World War II. Includes materials from the 1964 meeting of the American Jewish Historical Society in Charleston, South Carolina, the Fall 2008 newsletter of the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina, and a set of tefillin with a cloth bag for storage.

Collection Arrangement

Materials are described at the folder level.


Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index this collection in the Library's online catalog. They are grouped by name of person, family, or organization, by topical subject, by place, and by types of material.

    Names

    • Lipton, Helen Stern, 1899-1987

    Subjects

    • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
    • World War, 1939-1945--Atrocities
    • Tefillin

    Places

    • Charleston (S.C.)
    • Poland

    Types of Material

    • Correspondence
    • Digital images
    • Exhibition catalogs
    • Manuscripts
    • Newsletters

    Related Resources

    Related Material

    Related materials in College of Charleston Special Collections include a 1997 oral history interview with Joseph J. Lipton and his wife, Nancy (Mss 1035-156), and a 1998 oral history interview with Morey and Sandra Lipton (Mss 1035-181).


    Inventory



    Correspondence, 1932-circa 1937   folder 1

    Contains letters in Yiddish to Helen Lipton from her mother, Rivke Machale Sterenzys; her nephew, Dovid Albirt; and her brother, Chiam Sterenzys, all in Poland. Topics include the desire of the family to come to America; family marriages; and the health of family members, including Chiam Sterenzys and Mendel Menachim Sterenzys, Lipton's father. Also includes English translations.



    Correspondence, 1938   folder 2

    Contains letters in Yiddish to Lipton from Rivke Machale Sterenzys and Dovid Albirt. Topics include Lipton's purchase of a house in Beaufort, South Carolina; the successful escape to America of a fellow Jewish family from Poland; and additional discussion of plans for the family's immigration to America. Also includes a letter to Gabriel Stern, Lipton's brother, from Rivke Machale Sterenzys, urging him to write and help bring Dovid Albert, his nephew, to America. Also includes English translations.



    Correspondence, circa 1938   folder 3

    Contains letters to Lipton from Rivke Machale Sterenzys; Dovid Albirt; and Chiam Sterenzys. Letters focus on efforts to help Sterenzys family members escape Poland and come to America, including obtaining immigration papers and ships' tickets. Also includes English translations.



    Correspondence, 1940-1961   folder 4

    Contains letters to Lipton from Dovid Albirt and his brothers, Israel Moishe Albirt and Leipchik Albirt. Israel Moishe and Leipchik Albirt survived the war together in Samarkand, Russia (later Uzbekistan). Israel Moishe Albirt was killed during a pogrom in Kielce, Poland, after returning there in 1946. Also includes English translations.



    Correspondence, undated   folder 5

    Contains letters to Helen Lipton and Gabriel Stern from Rivke Machale Sterenzys and Dovid Albirt. Topics include the fact that the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society had received papers for Chiam Sterenzys on behalf of Helen Lipton; news about various Albirt family members; and discussion of the problems with Dovid Albirt's ship's ticket. Also includes English translations. In addition, four empty envelopes addressed to Lipton include Nazi censorship tape and stamps.



    Digital image of Sterenzys family, circa 1925   folder 6

    Portrait of Sterenzys family on CD. Marked photocopies identify each family member in the portrait.



    American Jewish Historical Society Meeting, 1964   folder 7

    Materials relate to the 1964 meeting of the American Jewish Historical Society in Charleston, South Carolina. Items include a draft of a resolution welcoming the AJHS to South Carolina written by Joseph J. Lipton and correspondence relative to it; an address by Thomas J. Tobias rededicating the Coming Street cemetery of Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim; and a program from a concurrent exhibition at the Gibbes Museum of Art entitled American Jewish Art and History in the South, 1697-1900.



    Correspondence of Joseph J. Lipton, 1997-2001   folder 8

    Correspondence from Joseph J. Lipton to Michael Grossman, Dale Rosengarten, and Martin Perlmutter relating to Jewish events in the Charleston area, including the creation of the Holocaust Memorial, Jewish Piccolo Spoleto events, and events at the McKissick Museum.



    Presentation to the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina, 1998   folder 9

    Draft of presentation given by Joseph J. Lipton to the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina on October 24, 1998 in Beaufort, South Carolina, focusing on his childhood in Beaufort and the influence of religion on his life.



    "The Maggid and Me and the Lie," 2001   folder 10

    Manuscript of a short parable by Joseph J. Lipton.



    Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina newsletter, Fall 2008   folder 11

    Correspondence and drafts of two articles by Joseph J. Lipton for the Fall 2008 Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina newsletter. The first article, "The Desk," recounts Lipton's memories of reading letters from his Polish family members with his mother as a child. The second, "The Photograph," discusses the family portrait of the Sterenzys and his effort to identify each person in the photograph. The published newsletter is included.



    Tefillin with bag, undated   folder 12

    One set of tefillin with green cloth bag.


    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions

    This collection is open for research.

    Copyright Notice

    The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

    The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Helen Stern Lipton papers, College of Charleston Libraries, Charleston, SC, USA.

    Acquisitions Information

    Materials were donated in 2007, 2008, and 2009 by Joseph J. Lipton.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Rebecca McClure, May 2011.

    Encoded by Rebecca McClure, December 2011.

    Reviewed and uploaded by Martha McTear, January 2012.

    Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the processing of this collection and encoding of the finding aid.

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