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Abraham Seligman

(1883 - 1963)


This 70-second film shows Abraham Seligman lighting Chanukah candles in the dining room of 34 Renner Avenue, Newark, New Jersey on December 11,  1955 as family and friends look on.  

Opposite page, top: A photo of the Bobruisk band. Abraham is center right, in the first row, holding a clarinet.  Bottom: A formal portrait of Abraham, probably taken in Bobruisk before his departure in 1904.


braham Seligman (1883-1963), son of Israel, was raised by his grandfather Gedalia in Bobruisk. As a young man he studied Torah  and played the clarinet in a local band. He was drafted, but deserted in 1904 and left Russia, probably with his brother Nathan. He went to Germany and England and landed at Ellis Island on April 9, 1905 at 22 with less than $10 in his pocket.

Abe worked as a shoe stitcher in Brockton, Massachusetts and moved to New Jersey in 1912. He met Gussie Rudbart, his wife-to-be, at night school and married her in 1914. She bore him three children: Edward in 1915, William in 1918 and Frieda in 1925.

He owned several businesses in Elizabeth and Newark candy stores, a smoke shop, a hardware store and a luncheonette. He died in 1963 and is buried in Clifton, New Jersey.