#52snapshots 2022 | Week 44–Reunions, Weddings, and Funerals

This week’s prompt calls for writing about family gatherings. I chose to write about the Krasner family reunion that I organized early in my family history journey. We held it in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, in August 1990. It was the first time the Krasners and the Sklut family got together since the 1920s.

How the Skluts are related, that is, how their mother Anna (Chaike) Shavelson Sklut, was related to the Krasners I still have no idea, even though I was given copies of letters to Chaike in Yiddish written by her mother. Even though I tracked down Chaike’s ship passenger record and marriage record. At the reunion we had representatives of Anna’s four kids: Millard, Lydia, Morton (named for my great-grandfather who died in 1915), and Sybil. My father’s first cousins Adele and Merle also attended. At the time, I didn’t really know about my father’s other paternal first cousins.

We chose Mt. Laurel as a central spot between Delaware, Maryland, and north Jersey. As I looked around the room, watching the animated gestures and conversations among family members in the generation ahead of me, I thought, I made this happen. I closed this fifty-year gap for them. Since the 1920s, when the families vacationed together, they grew up and priorities shifted to their spouses and children.

The generation before me, at least of these two families, are gone now. But thinking about this reunion makes me want to reach out to descendants in any way I can find, most likely through social media.

The Skluts and the Krasners ca. 1920 (left to right): Sklut child, Dora Williams (daughter of Ida Krasner Williams), two more Sklut children, Krasner, Bryna Krasner, baby Adele Engel, Bessie Krasner Engel, Fannie Shifrin Krasner, Anna Shavelson Sklut

About Barbara Krasner

History writer and award-winning author Barbara Krasner writes Jewish-themed poetry, articles, nonfiction books, and novels for children and adults.
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