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§06 Brina Lewin

By Levi Clancy for לוי on

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No documents have been found for Breina and Rubin Levy so we can only speculate as to the various dates of events in their lives. Breina was the third child born to the Lewin family in Dziewieniszki, Russia and we can guess that event to have bee around 1878 or 1879. Probably around 1898, she must have married Reuven Wittenson in Dziewieniszki and they probably moved to Leeds, England in 1899 as their son, Wolf, was born there early in 1901. Their first daughter, Millie "Minnie" was born late in 1902, followed by their second daughter, Ann, in late 1904. Reuven worked in the tailoring trades. Around 1912, the family decided to leave Leeds and go to Toronto, Canada. At that time, the family name was changed to Levy. Reuven became Reuben or Rubin and Breina became Brina. However, we are not certain of the spellings. Brina may have been called Rebecca in English. She died in 1930. Rubin lived into the 1940's and remarried. However, he contracted Parkinson's Disease and his second wife left him. We don't know his exact date of death. The three children of Brina and Rubin died over fifteen years ago so any information they may have had has been lost to us.

Wolf Levy was born in Leeds, England, on January 1, 1901 as Wolf Whittenson or Weddenson or Vittenson, etc. His parents were Breina and Rubin Whittenson, later changed to Levy upon immigration to Toronto. His first wife was Becky Grossman and he had one son by her, Myron Melvin Levy, born July 9, 1926. He later married Cecilia Deisenhaus and had three more children, namely Gordon Levy on August 4, 1933, Beverly (Levy) Friedman on February 7, 1935, and Mark Levy on January 25, 1937. Wolf has seven grandchildren. Please see the family tree.

The only photographs available for the Wolf Levy group are shown above from the files of Lillian (Baylinson) James. One picture of Gordon Levy is in the group pictures section shown with Barry Levi of England.

Repeated requests for photographs and biographies, etc., from the children of Wolf Levy have failed to produce any input as of this printing, May 1989.

MILLIE "MINNIE" (WHITTENSON/LEVY) MUNITZ/KAPLAN by Bea (Munitz) Leven: Mom was born in Leeds, England as Millie Whittenson, on December 3, 1902. Her parents were Reuven Whittenson and Brina (Lewin) Whittenson but, when the family migrated to Canada from Leeds, they changed the family name to Levy. The move took place around 1911 when my mother was nine years old. The family then moved to Los Angeles when my mother was 17 which could have been around 1920. "Minnie" married Solomon Munitz in April of 1922 when she was 19 but they divorced when she was 27, some three daughters later. She didn't remarry until she was 50. She raised the three of us (Estabella, Bea and Shirley Munitz) alone and it was a real struggle. She died of pneumonia in 1966 at the age of 63. Editor's note: "Minnie's" second husband was Harry Kaplan, a very nice man, with a great sense of humor, but who suffered very badly from a severe case of crippling arthritis. Minnie helped Harry in his "Ace Stitchery" business on Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles, always working hard and never striking it rich. However, with Minnie's three daughters and some nice grandchildren, they were a happy couple. Until her last year, she was faithful in visiting your editor's parents in a North Hollywood rest home. Ida Lazarus died the same year as Minnie and Ben Lazarus the following year, 1967. Minnie was a kind and thoughtful person with a big heart.

ESTABELLE (MUNITZ) SAMUELS by Bea (Munitz) Leven: Estabella by [sic] born on November 2, 1922 after a short pregnancy. She was an assistant manager at a Thrifty Drug store until she was pregnant with her first daughter, Ronna who was born on March 4, 1950. She was very happy with her husband, Philip Samuels who she married on June 6, 1949. Her main interest in life were [sic] her children. She was at home until they were grown. Then she went to work for Ed Leven and learned office work. She later worked for Conroy Florists as a bookkeeper. Their daughter Caren was born on August 27, 1953 and their son, Howard on October 26, 1954. Estabelle developed pulmonary fibrosis in November of 1981 and died on May 12, 1982 when only 59 years old. She was a wonderfully warm person and a terrific sister.

BEA (MUNITZ) LEVEN: I was born on May 16, 1924 in Los Angeles and was raised by my mother, without assistance from my father. She was a very special lady. I worked as a hairdresser for over 21 years and, just in the last 9 years, went back on a part-time basis. I did not marry until July 17, 1960 and I have no children. I have a great relationship with my husband, Ed Leven, and led a relatively happy life until a bout with lung cancer in 1988, from which I am now recovering and getting stronger.

CAREN (SAMUELS) MALINOWSKI: I was born to Philip and Estabella (Munitz) Samuels on August 27, 1953. After divorcing my first husband, I married Frank Malinowski who is a Property Manager at N.A.S.A. in the Pasadena area. I teach Special Education in Burbank. Between my two marriages, I assumed the married name of my grandmother, Minnie Kaplan, but spelled it Caplan to match my first name. I have pursued spiritual studies over the last six years and am most interested in the Kabbala teachings (Jewish mysticism).

RONNA (SAMUELS) STREETON: I was the first child of Philip and Estabelle (Munitz) Samuels and was born on March 4, 1950. I live in Ventura, California with a wonderful husband of 13 years, Robert Streeton, called "Bob". We own a home and work as teachers. We have begun our son in Hebrew School and both children go to Torah School. We know that my mom would be very proud of us and the life we have. She died in 1982 when only 59 years old. My dad still lives in Culver City.