Tzedakah Box

Chapel tzedakah box in memory of Betsy Sachs, died 20 June 1923From Rabbi Elliot Gertel...

The tzedakah box in the Glick Chapel is in memory of Betsy (Mrs. Barnett) Sachs, of one of the three founding families of Rodfei Zedek (Flaxman, Levine and Sachs).  Barnett was a grocer and a colorful character.  He was secretary of the Board of Rodfei Zedek, but lost that position in 1914 when he punched the president, Harris Goldstein.  Carole Krucoff records the details in Rodfei Zedek:  The First Hundred Years, p. 26.

The tzedakah box was donated for the chapel in the 1924 synagogue (54th Place and Greenwood) by children Harris and Leah Sachs.  Betsy Sachs had passed 20 June 1923; Barnett remained a member of the Congregation until his death in 1937.  When the Greenwood Avenue Synagogue was emptied and torn down in the early 1950s, the Board asked Rabbi Daskal to return the tzedakah box to Jean and Laurence Sachs because it was not "modern enough" for the new building.  (I assume that Rabbi Daskal was asked because of his longtime relationship with the family.)  Jean Sachs donated the restored tzedakah box to the Congregation when the current building was erected.  The box has an honored place in the Glick Chapel, where it is used by members of the Daily Minyan.

Harris Sachs was a board member of Rodfei Zedek, and Leah was a Sisterhood president.  Harris had a dry goods store at 48th and Ashland.  Before that he had worked in the stockyards.  He got the nickname "Pinky" because he looked pink and ruddy upon returning from the stockyards.

Harris and Leah were the parents of Laurence Sachs, who married Jean Berkson Sachs.  Jean studied chemistry and nutrition at the University of Chicago.  Laurence was a grain broker, and he became one of the first soybean brokers in 1946.  Laurence was appointed a "junior board member" of Rodfei Zedek.  Laurence died young in 1962; Jean raised their sons Harris and Randy, who were 11 and 6 at the time, as a single mother.  She went back to school to earn her teacher's certification.  Jean became chair of the Home Economics Department at Morgan High School for six years, and then was the Home Economics Director for the Chicago School System for several years.  Jean was active in Sisterhood, chaired many Earning Fund Luncheons at the Palmer House, and loved the Sisterhood Bowling Team at Lucky Strike in the late 1950s, early 1960s.  She was a cousin of Pearl Moskow and a childhood friend of Jane Melnick Stengel, with whom she was reunited in the Rodfei Zedek Sisterhood.

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