ISRAEL WEITZMAN was born in Eastern Europe around 1872. After coming to the United States he lived in Pennsylvania for a while in the 1890s, where daughter Lillian and son David were born. The Weitzman family moved to New Jersey shortly after the 1900 Census was enumerated, and a third child, Harry was born here. A fourth child, Arthur, was born shortly after the census was taken in 1910. A fifth child, Edward, died in a drowning accident at the age of 13.
Sometime after September 1903 Israel Weitzman acquired the property at 1195 Chestnut Street in Camden from Anton Lukaszewski. Israel Weitzman and his wife lived and did business at 1195 Chestnut Street, the corner of Louis and Chestnut Street. He was engaged in the wholesale distribution of imported and domestic wines, liquors, beer and other beverages. He also bottled his own line of soft drinks. At home were the Weitzman's three children, Lillian, David, and Harry. Their neighbors in those years included the John L. Wojtkowiak family, at 1210 and 1212 Chestnut. John L. Wojtkowiak was one of the founding members of the predominantly Polish St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, located at South 10th and Mechanic Streets. One of his sons, also named John Wojtkowiak, was killed in action during World war I. Another son, Stanley Wojtkowiak, founded the Stanley Heat & Fuel Company which operated in Camden for many years.
When Prohibition was enacted in 1919 Israel Weitzman ventured into real estate. By January of 1920 the family had moved to 1201 Chestnut Street, just across the street from their previous abode. During the 1920s the family moved to the Parkside section of Camden, and bought a fine home at 1530 Baird Boulevard. 1195 Chestnut had been sold during the 1910s to Frank Wozniak, who ran a tavern there. His son, Walter L. Wozniak and his wife carried the trade on into the 1970s, the bar then being known as the Boulevard Inn.
Israel Weitzman was active in civic and religious affairs during the 1920s. He was a founding member of Congregation Beth El, and was a member of the Camden County Historical Society, with a special interest in Jewish history.
The stock market crash and ensuing economic depression cost Israel Weitzman most of his fortune, but he did not declare bankruptcy and insisted on paying off his creditors.
At the end of Prohibition, Israel Weitzman's son Arthur purchased one of the first liquor licenses available in New Jersey and opened up a new liquor store at 136 North Broadway, at the corner of Broadway and Cooper Street in the then relatively new Wilson Building. This of course was then and still is a very desirable location, made more so in those years by the presence across the street of the Walt Whitman Hotel.
Israel Weitzman passed in 1934. He is listed in the New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory for 1936, however. The 1947 Camden City Directory lists his wife Sarah as a widow. Sons David and Arthur were carrying on the business in that year.
The Weitzman Liquor Store remained open in Camden until well into the 1980s. The store never had anther tenant, and still can be seen in 2004 is the sign for what was for decades one of Camden's most popular liquor outlets.
Jewish Yearbook for 1931-1932
Dale, H., Haddon Book Bindery
R., 1455 Broadway
Camden Courier-Post * October 29, 1931
BAIRD TO ADDRESS HEBREW LEAGUE
David Baird, Jr., Republican nominee for governor, will make his final appearance in the current election campaign Monday night, in his "own home town," when he will address a monster rally at the Hebrew Republican League, at the Talmud Torah, 621 Kaighn avenue.
The Hebrew league reorganized formally at a luncheon in the Hotel Walt Whitman. Lewis Liberman, assistant city solicitor, was elected president; Sig Schoenagle, Samuel Shaner, Israel Weitzman, vice-presidents; L. Scott Cherchesky, secretary, and Samuel Label, treasurer.
Trustees of the league include Hyman Bloom, Mitchell E. Cohen, Benjamin Friedman, Jacob L. Furer, Isadore H. Hermann, Carl Kisselman, Edward Markowitz, Louis L. Markowitz, Harry Obus, Maurice L. Praissman, Samuel Richelson, Meyer L. Sakin, Julius Rosenberg, Jacob Rosenkrantz and Jack Weinberg.
In addition to former Senator Baird, speakers at the Jewish rally will include Mrs. Elizabeth C. Verga, Republican state committeewoman and vice chairman of the county committee; Congressman Charles A. Wolverton, Congressman Benjamin Golder, of Pennsylvania, and State Senator Samuel Salus, of Pennsylvania.
My brother found your web site and I do want to thank you for some of the history of my family
Israel Weitzman is my grandfather, Arthur Weitzman is my father.
Israel had 5 children. Edward the youngest died of a drowning accident at age 13.
My grandfather Israel died in 1934. He lost almost everything in the Stock Market Crash but refused to declare bankruptcy and chose instead to pay off all his creditors. He was a member of the Historical Society and particularly interested in Jewish History. I have some of the books from his reference library. He was also one of the founding members of Beth El synagogue.
Actually the store Weitzman Liquors was started by my father Arthur after the death of his father Israel. I believe he bought the 3rd New Jersey liquor license available after the repeal of prohibition. My Uncle Harry loaned him $550 which was the cost of the license and there was another $500 borrowed for store fixtures etc.
He sold the store in the early 70s. He and my mother retired to Fla...along with the rest of the seniors of the Camden Jewish community.
Thank you so much for your mention of my family in your website.
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