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September 5, 2003     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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September 5, 2003

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FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 5, 2003 PAGE 13 Jean's global popularity apparent in crowd ~ Photo by Ruth E Gruber/JTA rtrait of Levi S~auss at entrance to the Levi n$s ~,f, Museum tn mCenheim, Germany. !3y Ruth E. Gruber HANDI-MAN & PAINTER BUTTEN. HEIM, C e ram:ennY- (~A)-'Thls year marks and a half since a oun ~er - Y g n~''dn Jewish immigrant ~"~ Levi Strauss settled in ~11 .~'rarlcisco, became an ~;zerlcan citizen and opened it~l~s ds store. ~ SOmarks 130yearssince "~ttsSand an associate, Jacob Davis, took out a joint patent here they are coming for this ever, the museum traces the for"riveted waist-overalls"-- museum." The popularity of personal story of Levi Strauss heavy-duty work pants rein- the museum bears vivid wit- himself, using an audio narra- forced with metal rivets at the ness to the way jeans have con- tion that presents much of the cornersofpockets, thebaseof queredtheworld, Roppeltsaid. story as if seen through the fly and other stress points. "I would say that 95 percent Strauss' own eyes. Today, we call their inven- of our visitors are wearing It tells the fascinating and tion jeans, jeans,"she said."Most of them little-known tale of 19th-cen- A century after his death, come because they have worn tury rural Jewish life in Bavaria Levi Strauss is a household jeans all their lives and want aswellastheepicsagaofimmi- name around the world. His to see how they came into ex- gration to the United States. invention has evolved from istence, how it all began." Jews settledinButtenheim work trousers to fashion icon, Pretty much no one in in the 17th century. A syna- becoming a symbol of free- Buttenheim had any inkling gogue was built there around dom, youth, independence, that Strauss had been born 1740, andby 1810 Jews made pioneeringspirit--andsome- here until 20 years ago, when up one-fifth of Buttenheim's times more than that. a woman in Milwaukee orga- population.AJewishcemetery It allstartedinButtenheim, nizing a festival about -Ger- was established on a low hill Germany, a sleepy market man immigrants wrote to the outside of town in 1819. town in northern Bavaria near former mayor asking for in- Strauss came from a typical Bamberg, where Levi Strauss formation. Jewish family. was born on Feb. 26, 1829. Local officials searching Hisfather, Hirsch, wasborn Today, in the blue-trimmed, through Jewish birth and in Buttenheim in 1790 and, half-timbered house where he death records and emigration like many other rural Jews, was born and raised, a mu- documents discovered that was apeddler, traveling house seum honors Levi and what Strauss indeed had been born to house selling clothing and the museum calls "the most and lived his childhood in one dry goods. Strauss' grandfa- famous pair of trousers in the oftheoldesthousesstillstand- ther, JacobStrauss,wasacattle history of mankind." Opened ing in the village, merchant--alsoatypicalJew- in 2000, the Levi Strauss Mu- Townauthoritiespurchased ish trade -- and he, too, lived seum, which has won several the dilapidated building, in the village. awards, is subtitled"Jeans and which dates from 1687, and Strauss -- whose original Cult." In less than threeyears it eventually restored it as close first name was Loeb -- was hasattractedsome30,000visi- to its original form as pos- one of Hirsch Strauss' three tors from as far away as China sible.AhugeportraitofStrauss children by his second wife, to an out-of-the-way village of now looms out of an alleyway Rebekka, who was the daugh- just 3,000. The only other at- to mark the entrance, and a ter of another Buttenheim tractionshereareapairofbrew- big Levi's shop stands a few cattle merchant. eries, a baroque church and a yards down the street. By the time Strauss was rundown manor house. The museum uses audio- born, poverty and restrictive "We are very surprised at guide headsets, videosandwall legislation had prompted lo- the numberofforeignvisitors panel displays to recount the cal Jews to begin to emigrate we get," said the museum's history of jeans and how they to the United States. The Jew- director, TanjaRoppelt."Two aremadeandmarketed.Italso ish community, in fact, days after we opened we al- includes a room full of glass dwindled steadily until it dis- ready had visitors from Japan. cases exhibitingvintage Levi's solved in the 1890s--the syna- There is nothing else in dating back decades, goguewent outofusein 1892 Buttenheim,soifpeoplecome Just as importantly, how- and has long since been incor- porated into one of the local breweries. at Strauss' birthpl Hirsch Strauss' death in As the museum puts it, 1846 from tuberculosis Strauss "discovered his per- prompted Rebekka to move to sonal vein of gold -- not the America the next year. precious metal, but cloth." After an arduous voyage, Strauss died in San Francisco she, Levi Strauss and his two in 1902, but he never forgot sisters joined two of Strauss' Buttenheim. older half-brothers who al- Toward the end of his life, ready had emigrated and ran he sent money back to main- a dry goods business on New tain the town's Jewish cem- York's Lower East Side. etery. The little walled grave- Strauss followed the lure of yard still lies on a hill outside the California gold rush and town amid lush, rolling farm- founded the clothing busi- land--and weathered tomb- ness that made him both a stones there still mark the wealthy man and a house- graves of Strauss father and a hold name. brother. Today, the Levi Strauss For more information on Company employs some theLeviStraussMuseum,visit 20,000 workers in 69 coun- w w w. 1 e v i - s t r a u s s - tries, IJ ~ ~ Located in the Albertson:~!aza ] I=H "r GRAIm H Y Lake Mary' Ft ridq/ / I I I ~ ~ ~ " CE Ken Laker PROFESSIONAL HANDI-MAN & PAINTER Pressure & Chemical Cleaning Interior & Exterior Painting x~ Roofing-Siding-Trim-Gutter Repair x~ Damaged Wood & Stucco Repair ~x Ceramic Tile-Marble-Granite-Grout x~ Dry Wall & Texture Repair Screen Repair 407-769-1348 All Repairs, Improvements & Odd Jobs, Large or Small Shir Shalom of Oviedo. Services begin at 7:30 children, socialactivities, com- family-ori- p.m conducted by Cantorial munity projects and more. congregation, Soloist Beth Schafer.An Oneg Family, singleadultandsenior families to Shabbat follows, memberships are available. HOuse on Sunday;Temple Shir Shalom is East High Holiday tickets are 3-5 ~.m. at the Orange and Seminole coun- available to the community. ilding,38 ties'onlyJewishcongregation, The ticket includes all Rosh Ave. (SR 434), serving families from the Hashanah and Yom Kippur Fire Station in Waterford Lakes area toservices:Adults $50, children OViedo. ChildrenSanford. The temple has expe- (12 and under) $18 and col- sh- rienced tremendous growth lege students (with ID) $18. d. since six area families founded Tickets may be ordered ,~n HOUse will also be itlastyearwithalmost50fami- through the temple website. to Shabbat fam!ly lies now joined. The temple Formoreinformationabout at offers a full schedule of ser- Temple Shir Shalom, visit vices for the upcoming High ood Blvd. in Holidays, religious school for or call 407-366-3556. I ioria Yousha y' at Street Where You Live," "Get And Derek Powell plays the Me to the Church on Time," perfect gentleman, Colonel watched all and "I've Grown Accustomed Pickering, who helps Higgins have watchedto Her Face," as well as many transform a gutter-snipe into other familiar tunes, a fine lady. COuldhave! Outstandingintheirrespec- Robert May's Iove-smit- entertainingThe tive roles are Frank McClain tenFreddyEynsford-Hill;is Dinner The- as Henry Higgins and Julie perfect, as is his singing of My Fair Ruth as Eliza Doolittle. voice. McClain is a marvelous ac- The entire cast (including ,musi- torwho handles the lead role Chris Barletta) is superb of its original of Professor Higgins as Rex more than superb! local produc-Harrison did and that's the The singing is beautiful. : re- highest compliment I can pay The acting is top notch. him! The dancing is fun to watch. eorge BernardJulie Ruth reminds me of a There is a lot of humor and young Julie Andrews, who, and the songs are familiar and be one of theopposite Harrison, created unforgettable! American mu- Eliza Doolittle on Broadway. Don't miss My Fair Lady at "Lady features Itdoesn'tgetanybetterthan the New Mark Two Dinner music of Alanthis, folks! Theater. and FrederickThe entire cast is outstand- It runs through Sunday, ing, especiallyDougTruelsen Oct.12. as Eliza's despicable father, For tickets and other infor- Have Alfie Doolittle, who is also a mation, contact the box office :," "On the lovable drunk, at 407-843-6275. I glgb No#da ys In our/gLrlW ome ~Ve'Sto/~ ig welcome the 2nd das Rogh Ha.6ana. Tickets are available for Purchase for grey Rosh Hashana, the 1~ Da~ Roah I-Iaghana and Yore Kippur. College ~tudenta and Militar~ Peraonnel (with ID) are alwa~g welcome to attend all of our High Holida~ ~ervice q. eee Sunday, September 7 Open House Saturday, September 13 10:00 am - 12:00 noon Havdallah, 7:30 pm Sunday, September 14 Open House 10:00 am - 12:00 noon Call the office for More info (407) 647-3055