Jewish American Heritage Month

Manischewitz: The Matzo Family

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Manischewtiz Family

By Laura Manischewitz Alpern

Read on! This special 120th Anniversary Book is available online at and It is also available in Judaica stores. The book retails for $25.

Excerpts From Book

"It was a crisp March morning in 1888. Behr paused in the doorway, on his way to work, and turned to speak to his wife, who stood stoutly behind him as she did every morning, waiting to close the door after him. 'I'm going to bake matzos this year, and sell them to our community, and maybe to others too. We'll see how it goes.' He said it with a half-smile, as though it wasn't so important to him whether it would go well or not. But Behr seldom made a casual remark."

"In March 1907, Behr enlarged the bakery again. He purchased the adjoining bakery, which was larger and had a lot of equipment already installed. Some of it had to be adapted to the special art of matzo baking. Behr made his own designs for the ovens and the other machinery."

"She and Jake already knew the contents of Behr's will, and Hirsh was soon informed. In his last testament, Behr had tried to maintain his influence over his family even after death. He had set out stipulations to ensure the success of the business for the next generation, and to protect them from any rash decisions they might make through inexperience."

"Meyer allowed himself a smile. This was one time he had been just as clever as his brother. He had come up with the idea of other projects first, and he granted use of the family name to a noodle manufacturer in New York; Jake had not even found out about it until the noodles were already appearing on the grocery shelves."

"He located a company, Monarch Wine, that agreed to follow the very stringent rules governing the production of kosher wine, from grape to the bottle, and under totally reliable supervision. Max explained everything to them in detail, feeling very proud that he still remembered it so well from his yeshiva days so long ago in Jerusalem. Then he signed a license allowing them to put the Manischewitz name on the bottles."


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