My ancestors in Jerusalem
This is a photo of my maternal great-great-grandparents. The photo was taken in Jerusalem about 150 years ago when that city was ruled by the Ottoman Turks.
My maternal grandmother, with whom I lived during my childhood, brought this photo of her own maternal grandparents with her when she arrived in the U.S. in 1903. The family came from the Czarist Russian province of Minsk in what is now Belarus. The picture was obviously an extremely important possession of Grandma's, having survived that arduous journey with her husband, three small children and all their belongings.
I do not know whether these ancestors of mine were visiting Jerusalem on a religious pilgrimage or whether they had come from Russia to settle in the Holy Land. As a boy, I was aware of the photo's existence. But I do not recall that Grandma, beyond identifying the couple in the picture as her grandparents, ever explained their presence in Jerusalem.
The photo, which was restored, was originally on a postcard. The word "Jerusalem" was elaborately printed on its back, as was the photographer's Armenian name.
The couple's family name was Gurevich, which I believe is the Russian version of the name Horowitz. I do not know their first names. Nor have I ever known any relatives who bear their surname. I do take some satisfaction, however, in imagining that I may have been distantly related to the late, great Russian-born pianist, Vladimir Horowitz.