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Manischewitz: The Matzo Family: The Making of an American Jewish Icon

3.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1602800038
ISBN-10: 1602800030
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Matzo—unleavened bread—is eaten on the Jewish holiday of Passover. The B. Manischewitz Company was started 120 years ago, two years after its founder, Dov Behr, immigrated to Cincinnati from Salant, Lithuania, in 1886. He first slaughtered and peddled kosher meat, then branched out into matzo baking. The author, Behr’s great-granddaughter, chronicles the family’s history and the technology for baking matzos. By the 1920s, Manischewitz had become the world’s largest manufacturer of matzos, producing 1.25 million a day. She reveals that decade after decade, the firm, working within the confines of Jewish law, managed to synthesize the requirements of the faith with the most modem technologies to produce more matzos for more people than any company in Jewish history. Eventually, it exported matzos to Jewish communities around the world and expanded to include such products as gefilte fish and kosher wine. This exhaustively researched book is an engaging account of the family and their matzos. --George Cohen

About the Author

Laura Manischewitz Alpern was born in Cincinnati, where she grew up with stories of her great-grandfather Dov Behr Manischewitz, founder of the Manischewitz Company. Later she lived in New Jersey and Israel, then settled with her husband in Geneva where she raised two daughters and worked for three decades as librarian in an international organization. She is a member of the Geneva Writers Group and has been published in Offshoots; Writing from Geneva.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 202 pages
  • Publisher: KTAV Publishing House (January 31, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602800030
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602800038
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,605,670 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am working on just such a story myself about my family and reading this book gave me not only a captivating story about similar times and trials in my family, but a clear and organized way of structuring and choosing among the dozens of facts available. Kudos to laura Manichewitz Alpern!
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Format: Hardcover
Anyone who grew up in a Jewish household in the US, whether kosher or not, is no doubt familiar with the Manischewitz brand of matzo, wines, and other Jewish delicacies.

Ms. Alpern has managed, by way of her thoroughly enjoyable and readable book, to invite us into the Manishewitz home, sharing with us their entry, during times of great economical hardship, into the business of making matzo readily available to families for their Passover seder, and seeing it as a mission.

The modesty of this family is to be admired, and we get a glimpse of the women behind the scenes, who dared not be too outspoken, yet managed many of the family matters with their unfailing intuition.

One can just sail through this book, and I would recommend it as a wonderful Chanukah/Christmas gift.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved reading the history, not only of the entreprenurial spirit and process that went into the founding of the company, but the background and details of the family history. I found it very interesting how the religious studies that Dov Behr had undertaken at the Yeshiva while still living in Europe, seemed to be essential in the later marketing of his products and acceptance of the new ideas for improvements in their manufacture.
After reading the book, I bought a copy for an elderly friend of mine, also a Jewish immigrant from Europe, and she found many similarities in her life relating to the place of women, in particular, as reflected in this family history. She was very enthusiastic about the book.
The original photos, letters, and information about the company in more recent times, all add to make the book an important addition to the history of immigrants and their contribution to Americanlife and business. For me, the name Manischewitz is one of the first "brand" names I ever remember seeing as a child, so it was particularly interesting to read about the history of that "brand" and the family who created it.
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