Bob's Ancestors

Bob's Parents

Lewis (Lew) and Ida (Fineberg) Dworsky


Ida was born in 1900 in Kobryn, Poland. Her given name was Chaya Roedoc. Her father, Abraham Roedoc, brought the family to the USA in 1905 and they all passed through Ellis Island for immigration. Abe’s brother had arrived in America a few years prior, and wanting to assimilate and avoid antisemitism, had changed his name to Fineberg. Abe followed suit, and changed the family name to Fineberg, and called his little daughter Ida. Ida had artistic talent, studied painting, and designed her own dresses. At age eighteen, she told her father she had her eyes on Lew Dworsky. Abe approved and said Lew had a good head for business. Ida said “Good! Cause I’m going to marry him”.  They were married, and Lew opened an Army surplus store in St. Paul on Wabasha and 10th Street. Lew and Ida ran the store there until the Great Depression hit and, like many, they lost the store. Abraham Fineberg helped Lew start a new business selling neon signs and fluorescent lights.

After the Depression, Lewis and his brothers owned several Army surplus stores in the Midwest. After raising their two boys in St. Paul, Minnesota, Lew and Ida lived in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for 13 years and ran a store there. They then spent the rest of their lives in Los Angeles, where their son Daniel and family lived. Lew retired at age 50 but would still go to the local Merrill Lynch office daily to watch the stock market ticker.  

Lewis Dworsky 
Born: 1898 in Minneapolis.
Died: 1977 in Los Angeles, CA

Ida Claire Fineberg 
Born: 1899 in Kobryn, Poland
Died: 1991 in Los Angeles, CA

Bob's Maternal Grandparents

Abraham and Tillie Fineberg

Abraham and Tillie Fineberg (seated) and family.
Russia, circa 1905. Ida is seated in front of Abe.

Abraham and Tillie Fineberg (seated) and family.
Russia, circa 1905. Ida is seated in front of Abe.

Abraham and Tillie Fineberg (Ida's parents) circa 1920

Abraham and Tillie Fineberg -1920
Abraham | Born circa 1869 in Rovno Gubernya, Russia | Died 1950

Abraham and Tillie Fineberg came to St. Paul, Minnesota from Russia in the early 1900s. They were residents of the famous Fourteenth Street neighborhood where a community of Russian Jewish immigrants settled beginning in the 1880s (near the site of current day Regions Hospital). Abe was a successful businessman and a religious and civic leader. He was the founder of U.S. Mail Order Company, and one of the founders of Temple of Aaron and Talmud Torah (Jewish Educational Center), and the first member of B’nai B’rith. Abe was also a cantor at the Jewish Community Center, Temple of Aaron, and temples in Minneapolis.

Abraham Fineberg (center with white yamulke). Cantor at various temples in St. Paul/Minneapolis.

Bob's Paternal Grandparents

Sam and Rose Dworsky

Rose Dworsky

Rose (Roizeh Shmuel’s)
Levine (Levinsky)

Born: 1876 in Krasnopoleh, Lithuania
Died: 1958 in Mpls, Minnesota, USA

Samuel (Schmuel) Dworsky

Samuel (Shmuel) Dworsky
Lewis’s father 

Born: 1869 in Yagestov, Russia
Died: 1938 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Samuel (Schmuel) Dworsky - Lew's father

Samuel (Shmuel) Dworsky
Circa 1938

Shmuel was the son of Yitzchok (“Itcheh”) and Basheh Dworsky. He grew up in Yagestov, Lithuania. As an infant, he fell from his high chair and injured his back. As a result, his growth was stunted above the waist. He was short and misproportioned and avoided being photographed. His parents and siblings emigrated to America, but Shmuel remained in Yagestov to study at a yeshiva (Jewish religious school) as long as possible. In 1885, at age 16, he left for Minneapolis. His daughter, Shirley Dworsky Agel, recalled “My father was the only religious member of his family. He was very pious. In fact, after he retired, he attended services every day. I guess, to make up for the rest of his family. My mother was not as strict.” Shmuel owned a grocery store and later became a grocery wholesaler.

Rose (Roizeh in Yiddish) was born in Krasnopoleh, Lithuania. Her paternal grandfather was Rabbi Leib Levinsky, the Rav of Krasnopoleh. Her father, Dovid Eliezer arranged for a marriage with a Lithuanian, Peter Dworsky, who was living in Minneapolis. But when Rose arrived, Peter’s older brother Shmuel used his seniority to prevail and marry Rose. In the family, she was known as “Roizeh Shmuel’s” (Shmuel’s Rose) to avoid confusion with the other two Roses in the family. She lived twenty years longer than Shmuel, was always well dressed, followed Jewish traditions strictly, and was revered by her seven children.

Bob's Paternal Great Grandfather

Yitzchok Dworsky

Isaac Dworsky 1831-1916 (Lewis Dworsky's grandfather) | circa 1905

Yitzchok Dworsky (also called Itcheh or Jacob) | 1831-1916 (Lewis Dworsky’s grandfather)

Yitzchok (also called “Itcheh”) was a son of Zelig and Bashke Dworsky of Lazdei, Lithuania, and married Basia Rochel ( Basheh) Hershberg of Seiny, Lithuania. They had eight children. Itcheh emigrated to America in 1882 where he went by the name Jacob. In 1884, most of his family joined him in New York. They then spent some time in Dubuque, Iowa, and finally moved to Minneapolis where the Jewish community was rapidly expanding. Itcheh was originally in the grain business in Minneapolis, and later assisted in the operation of his son Shmuel’s grocery store. Itcheh helped found the Ohel Jacob Shul (synagogue) in 1888, to provide for the spiritual needs of the many newly arrived Lithuanian Jewish immigrants settling in Minneapolis. He was one of its first presidents.

Bob's Ancestors Gallery

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