Between 1880 and 1925, over 2 million Jews immigrated to America from Eastern Europe. Driven out of their homelands by discrimination, persecution, and grinding poverty, they came to the United States in search of economic opportunity and religious and political freedom. Most poor Russian Jewish immigrants traveled in steerage and were unable to bring many possessions with them. As they acculturated to American life, religious objects and family mementos helped ease the transition by connecting the new immigrants to their religious traditions, as well as to relatives back in the old country.
In 1892, Lena Epstein Lipton traveled by ship to the United States and eventually settled in Denver, Colorado. Other than a few clothing items, the only possession she brought was a pair of brass candlesticks used to usher in the Jewish Sabbath. She was born in Russia in 1879 and lived in New Haven, Connecticut before moving to Denver around the turn of the century. She and husband, Julius Lipton, had two children, Belle Rene and Isadore. Belle Rene Lipton Price’s daughter, Maylene Price, was born in Denver. She married Stanley Morris, who was also born in Denver. Their daughter, Karen Morris Kataline, inherited her great-grandmother’s precious Russian candlesticks and donated them to the Ira M. and Peryle Hayutin Beck Memorial Archives.
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