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Safer/Katz Family











Click to go to: Safer History - Part 1 - - - Safer History Part 3 - - - Safer Descendants - - - Katz History - - - Katz Descendants - - - Photos of Pruzhany




LEAH SAFER (HENACH 3 SEIFER, ZELIK ICKOVICH 2, ITZKA 1 ) was born about 1849 in Pruzzeneh (Pruzhany) . She is listed on the 1867 family list of Jewish Residents in Pruzhany as being 18.



SIMCHA SAFER (HENACH 3 SEIFER, ZELIK ICKOVICH 2, ITZKA 1 ) was born about 1851 in Pruzzeneh (Pruzhany). On the 1867 family list of Jewish Residents in Pruzhany it says he was 16. He married CHAVA-SORA UNKNOWN who was also born about 1851. They had two children before 1873 in Pruzhany and then they asked to be listed with the KOBRIN Jewish Community in 1876. They eventually immigrated to the US.


i. CHARLIE SAFER b. about 1873 in Pruzhany

ii. ESTHER SAFER b. about 1875 in Pruzhany

iii. AARON SAFER b. after 1876 in Kobrin

iv. EVELYN SAFER b. after 1876 in Kobrin



RIVKA SAFER & MAR'YASHA SAFER (HENACH 3 SEIFER, ZELIK ICKOVICH 2, ITZKA 1 )were twins and they were born about 1854 in Pruzzeneh. They are listed on the 1867 family list of Jewish Residents in Pruzhany as being 13.



GITA -ROCHLYA SAFER (HENACH 3 SEIFER, ZELIK ICKOVICH 2, ITZKA 1 ) was born about 1856 in Pruzzeneh. She is listed on the 1867 family list of Jewish Residents in Pruzhany as being 11.



TZIV'YA SAFER (HENACH 3 SEIFER, ZELIK ICKOVICH 2, ITZKA 1 ) was born about 1857 in Pruzzeneh. The 1867 family list of Jewish Residents in Pruzhany shows him as being 10 years old. However, in 1875, he appears on the Tsar's Army Recruiting List as being 21 years of age (which conflicts with the previous list that implies he was 18) and he was granted a one year extension on being recruited for the Tsar's army. As no additional records are found about Tziv'ya in Pruzhany, he may have left Pruzhany in order to escape the army.


YITZCHAK- ISAAC SAFER (a.k.a. Isaac or Itzrok-Isaac)

NOTE: The Katz & Safer families are related because Yitzchak-Isaac Safer married Chayie-Malka Katz-Safer.

 YITZCHAK-ISAAC SAFER (HENACH 3 SEIFER, ZELIK ICKOVICH 2, ITZKA 1 ) was born about 1858 in Pruzzeneh (Pruzany), in what was then a section of the Russian Empire that is now Belarus. He married CHAYIE-MALKA (aka Mollie) KATZ, daughter of LIPA COHEN-KATZ and RACHEL YANOWITZ . She was born about 1862 in Pruzzeneh and Yitzchak-Isaac and Chayie Malka were married July 25, 1881. At the time, he was about 23 and she was about 19 years of age.

Conflicting Age Assumptions: Immigration records state he was 60 in 1921 -- implying a birth year of 1861. Immigration records state she was 57 when they immigrated in 1921 -- implying a birth year of 1864.

YITZCHAK-ISAAC and CHAYIE-MALKA had 3 sets of twins and a total of 10 children (seven survived into adulthood). All were born in Pruzzeneh. Isaac and Mollie immigrated to the USA together on March 29, 1921. While their passports show he was 60 and she was 57 when they immigrated, he was actually 63 and she was 59. They arrived on the Gothland and went to Philadelphia rather than New York because there was an influenza epidemic in NY at the time. They stated they were headed to their son "Jacob Saffer" (Jack). Their children Zelig, Jack and Pauline were already living in New York and had all chipped in to pay for their passage and had arranged an apartment for them near Isaac's sister, Chaia.

When they immigrated, they came over with: their son, Samuel (age 17); their twin daughters, Anna and May (age 15); their daughter Rachel (age 39) (aka Rose who was married to Hershel Block who was already in NY); and Rachel’s two children, Frank (9) and Fannie (6). (NOTE: All ages listed are as per their immigration records. Later census records do not all agree with these ages. Rachel was more likely 29.)

It is told that on their way through Europe prior to getting on their ship, Yitzchak-Isaac purchased a crate of oranges just in case anyone got sick on the trip. Each time someone came to him for an orange he would say "you're not sick enough" ... and hence they arrived in America with half a crate of rotten oranges!

While living in NYC, Isaac worked in a brewery and was the shammas (sexton) in the Uptown Talmud Torah (school) on East 110-111 Street in NYC. Passover Seders were held at their apartment on E. 110th St. and the whole family came. In preparation for the holidays, Mollie always had live fish swimming in her bathtub to make gefilte fish.

Isaac and Mollie celebrated their 50th Golden Wedding Anniversary on Saturday evening, July 25, 1931 in NYC. Hence we assumed the date of their marriage to be July 25, 1881.

CHAYIE-MALKA KATZ SAFER died at the age of 73 on November 19, 1935 in New York. They lived at 57 E. 111 St. in Manhattan at the time of her death. YITZCHAK-ISAAC SAFER then moved in with his son and daughter-in-law, Schmoiel & Raizel Safer, in the Bronx until he died at the age of 90 on October 30, 1948 in New York. They are buried together in Mt. Hebron Cemetery, Bl 55 Line 8 Grove 12 (Congregation of Rabbinical Study of Bklyn).

Back in Pruzzeneh, Yitzchak-Isaac may have been the shammas for Rabbi Elihu Feinstein. (A research avenue yet to be followed up on!)

Sources: Death Certificate # 16638, Isaac was living with his son Sam at 1412 Charlotte St in the Bronx when he died. He had been living with Sam for at least 4 years prior to his death.

Naturalization: Never naturalized; Occupation: Sexton in a synagogue.


i. SET OF TWINS SAFER, b. before 1882, Pruzzeneh (Pruzany); d. before 1882, Pruzzeneh (Pruzany).

ii. PAULINE SAFER-POMERANTZ, b. 15 May 1882 , Pruzzeneh (Pruzany); d. 07 Feb 1968 , Flower 5th Ave Hospital, NYC.

iii. TWIN OF ZELIG SAFER, b. 1886, Pruzzeneh (Pruzany); d. 1886, Pruzzeneh (Pruzany).

iv. ZELIG SAFER, b. 06 Oct 1886, Pruzzeneh (Pruzany); d. Mar 1970, Atlantic City , NJ .

v. YANKELE (JACK) SAFER, b. 1892, Pruzzeneh (Pruzany); d. 27 Jan 1948, NYC.

vi. RACHEL (ROSE) SAFER-BLOCK, b. 1892, Pruzzeneh (Pruzany); d. 15 Apr 1964, NYC.

vii. SAM (SCHMOIEL) SAFER, b. 1900, Pruzzeneh (Pruzany); d. 25 Sep 1985, NYC.

viii. ANNA (TWIN) SAFER-WEISENFELD, b. 15 Feb 1906, Pruzzeneh (Pruzany); d. 18 Dec 1993, in CA.

ix. MAY (TWIN) SAFER-SILVERMAN, b. 15 Feb 1906, Pruzzeneh (Pruzany); d. 26 Sep 1971, NYC.

Henry Safer's Wedding

Henry Safer's Wedding - 1945

1 Yitzchak-Isaac Safer 16 ? 31 Flora Pomerantz-Weller
2 Yankele (Jack) Safer 17 ? 32 Jules Fine
3 Henry Safer 18 ? 33 ?
4 Claire Weisenfeld 19 ? 34 ?
5 May Stern-Block 20 Lester Block 35 ?
6 Betty Ismack-Block 21 ? 36 ?
7 ? 22 ? 37 ?
8 Rozzie Silverman-Gottlieb 23 ? Where's Rita (the bride)?
9 Pauline Safer-Pomerantz 24 Sidney Weisenfeld  
10 Harriet Safer-Punim 25 Harvey Weisenfeld  
11 Fanny Block-Guterman 26 Henry (Hank) Silverman  
12 Bert Pomerantz-Fine 27 Sol Silverman  
13 May Safer-Silverman 28 ?  
14 ? 29 Herschel (Harry) Block  
15 Rachel Safer-Block 30 Charles Safer  




CHAIA-SARAH SAFER (aka Chaia Bereznyak and Ida Blinderman)

CHAIA-SARAH (aka Ida) SAFER (HENACH 3 SEIFER, ZELIK ICKOVICH 2, ITZKA 1 ) was born 10 Dec 1860 in Pruzzeneh. She died at the age of 68 on 19 May 1928 in Brooklyn, NY and is buried in Mt. Hebron Cemetery, Queens, NY.

Age Issue: Chaia-Sarah's Death Certificate (#11621), states her date of birth to be 10 DEC 1853; immigration records state she was 54 upon arrival -- implying her birth year was 1860; the 1920 census states she was widowed and that she was born 1853. As she is listed on the 1867 family list of Jewish Residents in Pruzhany as being 7 we are accepting her birth year as 1860.

Chaya-Sarah married (1) ELYA M. BEREZNIAK about 1878 in Pruzzeneh. Elya was born about 1851 in Pruzhany, and died about 1891 in Pruzhany. They had two children before Elya died.


i. CHANA BEREZNIAK , b. about 1879, Pruzzeneh; d. 26 SEP 1939, New York.

ii. LEIBL BEREZNIAK , b. 06 Feb 1886, Pruzzeneh; d. New York.

After ELYA's death Chaia Sarah married (2) HERSHEL BLINDERMAN about 1892 in Pruzzeneh. HERSHEL was considerably (twenty-three years) older than Chaia Sarah. He was born about 1837 in Pruzhany and died in Pruzzeneh about 1902.

NOTE: There are indications that the original name was BLINDE. That name translated from French, German and Yiddish does not mean "blind man".  Blind(e) is an old European Jewish name, Sephardic, that has been traced to Germany and France.  


i. CELIA BLINDERMAN , b. 11 Dec 1893, Pruzzeneh; d. 17 May 1966, San Francisco, CA.

ii. JOE BLINDERMAN , b. 15 Apr 1894, Pruzzeneh; d. May 1978, Queens, NY.

iii. RONYA BLINDERMAN , b. 1896, Pruzzeneh.

iv. RACHEL BLINDERMAN , b. 1902, Pruzzeneh.

v. ANNA BLINDERMAN , b. 1903, Pruzzeneh.





Chaya-Sarah and Runya and Joe, Rachel and Anna circa 1908

Chaia-Sarah immigrated without Hershel (presumably after he died). On 09 Jun 1914, she immigrated to the US with her two youngest daughters Rochel (11) and Annie (10) on the ship NOORDAM. The ship manifest indicates Chaia (Chaje) was 54 (implying a birth year of 1860) and was widowed (hence we know her husband died prior to 1914). Her occupation is listed as housewife. She listed her brother-in-law "Avram Fridman" at 115 Broome Street as their US destination (although Avrum was actually her son-in-law, married to her daughter Chana Berezniak). Chaia listed her brother "Izik Safer" as her closest relative back home. (Isaac & Mollie did not immigrate until 1921.)

The 1920 US Census shows Ida living at 177 East 109 th St., NYC and her daughter Celia, with her husband, Harry Schwartz, and family living just next door. Ida is listed as head of household, and widowed. Her children Joseph, Anna and Ray (Rachel) are all shown living with her. Ray and Anna were both dressmakers and Joe was a brass molder in a brass foundry. She was living just around the corner from where her brother Yitzchak Isaac Safer would settle the following year. From the census, we know her daughter Celia was married prior to 1920.

Her death certificate lists her father as HENACH "SCHAEFFER" and her mother as FEIGE COHEN and states Ida died of diabetes and chronic myocarditis. She was living in a "tenement" at the time of her death at 967 Bergen St. in Brooklyn, NY.




CHAVA SAFER (aka Eva Spelke)

CHAVA (aka Eva) SAFER (HENACH 3 SEIFER, ZELIK ICKOVICH 2, ITZKA 1 ) was born about 1872 in Poland, and died about 1950 in Stamford, CT. She married DAVID SPELKE about 1894 in Kobryn in a Polish region of the Russian Empire. He was born 1870 in Poland and died Nov 1908 of pneumonia in Stamford, CT.

In 1907, “Chawe Spielke” and three of her children emigrated from Kobryn where they had lived on a small farm with a cow and a horse. They sailed on the Pennsylvania from Hamburg and arrived in NY on June 30, 1907 to join Chava’s husband, DAVID (aka Zoltish?) SPELKE who had arrived three years earlier in 1904 and was living on Pacific Street in Stamford, CT. David was a blacksmith. Unfortunately, he developed pneumonia and died ten weeks after their fourth child, Henry, was born in 1908. To support her family, Eva opened and operated the first kosher restaurant in Stamford. It was on the third floor of a small walk-up building.

Their daughter Sarah is listed on immigration records as Gitte Lore although it should be Gutta Sora. The 1930 census shows three children still living with Chava (aka Eva): Sam (aka Zelig) - a plumber, Anna (aka Honie) - a bookkeeper and Henry - a wholesale drug salesman. Sarah was already married with children in 1930. Henry (who lived until age 95) reported that Eva was a very charitable and religious woman and was a member of the synagogue in Stamford from 1907 until she died. She never learned much English.

Children of CHAVA SAFER and DAVID SPELKE are:

i. SARAH SPELKE-REBACK, b. about 1897, Russia; d. about 1970, CT.

ii. SAM (aka Zelig) SPELKE, b. 1901, Poland; d. about 1966, Bronx, NY; m. EMILY UNKNOWN.

iii. ANNA (aka Honie) SPELKE-MINTZ, b. about 1906, Poland; d. about 1970, CT.

iv. HENRY SPELKE, b. 01 Sep 1908, Stamford, CT; d. Nov 2003, FL.


PESHE SAFER (aka Peshe Quatinsky or Kovatinetz)

PESHE SAFER (HENACH 3 SEIFER, ZELIK ICKOVICH 2, ITZKA 1) was Henach and Feige-Gittle's youngest child. She was born 1874 in Pruzzeneh (Pruzhany), and died 1954 in Israel. She married YOSEF QUATINSKY (aka KIVATINETZ) about 1890. YOSEF was born about 1863 in Pruzzeneh (Pruzany), and died 1943 in Palestine.

In November of 1890, PESHKA KIVATINETZ, daughter of Genach and Feiga-Gitl Seifer, got permission from the Grodno Gubernia Police Department to emigrate abroad. Based on the last name, we assume Pesche was already married. Her parents were issued a permit to travel abroad at the beginning of May 1891. As permits were good for one year, it is possible that Peshe was married in Pruzzeneh, Yosef left for Palestine, and Peshe traveled with her parents to meet her husband in Palestine.

Age Issues : It has been said that Peshe was 90 when she died in 1954. Given that she immigrated to Palestine when she was 16 and she immigrated in 1890, it is clear she was only 80 when she died.

The picture below is of her daughter Nechama's wedding. Nechama married at age 26 in 1921. If Pesche died at the age of 90, she would be 57 in the picture. However, she does not look 57 - she barely looks 47 - see for yourself!

Nechama's Wedding - 1921














The Marriage of Nechama Quatinsky & Abraham Wittenberg - August or September 1921

top: Moishe Levin, Shifra Quatinsky, Moshe Quatinsky (?), Nechama, Abraham, Aaron Quatinsky (?), Rivka Quatinsky middle: Rochele Quatinsky-Levin (holding Avram Yitzchak Levin), Peshe Safer Quatinsky, Yosef Quatinsky, Zalman Quatinsky & Rifka Quatinsky seated in front: Yona & Ahuva Levin holding a photo of Pesche and Yosef's marriage photo (try as we might, we could not get any details in that photo)

Hence, we believe Peshe was born in 1874, immigrated to Palestine at the age of 16 in 1890, was 17 when her first child was born and was 80 when she died in 1954.

The QUATINSKY’s either came from Argentina to Pruzzeneh or started in Pruzzeneh, went to Argentina, returned to Pruzzeneh and then went on to Palestine. In any case, there is some connection to Argentina. MOSHE KVUATINITZ (their oldest son who took the original family name) moved to Argentina and raised a family there.

Yosef Quatinsky was known in Israel as “Yossel the Schmidt”. He was a blacksmith and made wheels for carts and was commissioned by the Ottoman Empire (the Turks) to restore the gates around the Old City of Jerusalem. He restored the iron work on the Jaffa, Damascus, Zion and Lion gates.

Peshe could not be buried on the Mount of Olives as it was under Jordanian rule when she died. Instead she is buried at Gnat Shaul, in western Jerusalem. Peshe was smart but illiterate. She spoke only Yiddish and was very observant.

Yosef was educated. Part of his family was in Argentina. He lived in Beit Yakov in Nazareth. He opened a blacksmith shop in 1922 that is still in the family today. Burial: Mount of Olives, Askenazi Jews section.

Interesting Anomaly: Yitzchak Isaac Safer named his eldest daughter (my grandmother) “Peshe” while his sister Peshe was still alive. We believe he must have named his daughter after the same woman his sister was named after (possibly Itzka's wife?).


i. MOSHE KVUATINITZ, b. about 1891, Palestine; d. about 1970, Argentina.

ii. ROCHEL QUATINSKY-LEVIN, b. about 1892, Palestine; d. 1971, Israel.

iii. NECHAMA QUATINSKY-WITTENBERG, b. about 1895, Jerusalem, Palestine; d. 1985, Israel.

iv. AARON QUATINSKY, b. about 1900, Palestine; d. about 1952, Israel.

v. ITZRAK QUATINSKY, b. about 1901, Palestine; d. Jerusalem, Israel.

vi. SHIFRA QUATINSKY-STEIN, b. 02 Aug 1902, Israel; d. 13 Mar 1993, Washington, DC.

vii. ZALMAN QUATINSKY, b. about 1906, Palestine; d. Israel .

viii. RIFKA QUATINSKY, b. about 1907, Jerusalem, Palestine; d. Israel.

Issue: Peshe's grandson, Murray Stein, heard there were 11 siblings and believes we are missing three brothers, two of whom were twins.


Click to go to: Safer History - Part 1 - - - Safer History Part 3 - - - Safer Descendants - - - Katz History - - - Katz Descendants - - - Photos of Pruzhany


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