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David Karesh letters

Identifier: Mss 1034-014

Collection Overview

Collection includes seven letters from David Karesh to Frank and Nettie Levenson of Bishopville, South Carolina. The letters were written in Yiddish, and English translations are included. Karesh often traveled from Columbia to Bishopville to provide the family (and friends and relatives) with kosher meat. Letters contain Karesh's expressions of thanks for the Levenson's hospitality, mentions of his work at the slaughterhouse, comments on assimilation of American Jews, reform among Jews, and loss of Jewish traditions with related personal thoughts and philosophy. Several letters were written on stationery from House of Peace Synagogue and a Columbia butcher, A.G. Dent. Letters have been photocopied. Unrelated material includes an invoice (1947) for Nettie Levenson's doctor's visit and letter (1949) from a couple in White Plains, NY, thanking the Levenson’s for their hospitality on a visit to Bishopville.


  • Creation: 1949-1957


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.

Biographical Note

David Karesh was born in Trestina, Poland, in 1878. At age eleven, he entered the Yeshiva at Byalystok, Poland, and devoted his life to the study of Judaism. Karesh immigrated to America in 1899 and spent several years in New York. He married his wife Lena (d. 1954) in 1902 and served as Rabbi for various New York synagogues. Karesh moved to Columbia, South Carolina, in 1908 and took over as Rabbi at House of Peace Synagogue. He also served many of the smaller communities around South Carolina, conducting weddings, bar mitzvahs, and funerals.


33 items

Language of Materials



Acquisitions Information

Materials donated by Ella Levenson Schlosburg.

General Note

The letters were translated from Yiddish to English by Jean and Paul Birnbaum of Savannah, Georgia.

Inventory of the David Karesh Letters, 1949-1957
Processed by: Special Collections staff; finding aid created by: Special Collections staff
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections
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Charleston South Carolina 29424
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