The Cooks: Bella TEPLITZKY NUSSBAUM
By Daniel Nussbaum II
Related to: General Ukraine
My mother, aleha hashalom, Bella
Yapha Teplitzky Nussbaum, was born in Ukrainia in the early part of
the last century. After living through the Russian revolution in Ukrainia,
which was considered the worst thing to ever happen to the Jewish people
until the Holocaust, she escaped with her parents and sisters by walking
across the Dniester River on the ice.
After many adventures, which
included spending a night in jail in Bucharest, Rumania, she came to
Brooklyn. There she worked in a sweat shop for a while. Then she decided
to go to nursing school. She applied to Mount Sinai Hospital, but they
did not take immigrant girls especially from Eastern Europe. They recommended
that she apply to Beth Israel. She did so, was accepted and became
a Registered Nurse.
For a long time it looked like
she was fated to be a spinster, until she was introduced to my father,
a Yekkey. At that time Yekkeys were known as 'refugees.' Within a month they were
married and stayed married until she died.
Because my father had been
a cattle merchant, a common occupation among the Jews of southern
Germany, her brother-in-law, who managed a dairy farm in New Jersey,
offered him a job. He took it and they moved to New Jersey where they
stayed. She did not cook much, but among her recipes was a 'zhakoya,' which
others have told me is a Ukrainian pot roast.
My son, who is a Hollywood director,
has videotaped my father, allow hashalom, telling his story. A copy
of it now sits in the Jewish museum in Berlin. Unfortunately my mother
died before my son was on the scene. I was not as interested in family
history then nor technologically adept, so I never taped my mother.
I think her story would be as interesting as my father's.