Guide to the Papers of the James Levinson Family, undated, ca. 1900-1969

Processed by Kora Welsh

Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS

99-101 Newbury St.

Boston, MA 02116



© 2019  Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS, Boston, MA. All Rights Reserved.
Machine-readable finding aid created by Kora Welsh as MS Word document, March 25, 2014. Finding aid was encoded by Christine McEvilly on July 8, 2014. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: James William Levinson
James Levinson Family
Title: James Levinson Family Papers
Dates:undated, circa 1900-1969
Abstract: The Levinson family has its origins in Eastern Europe, though the majority of its members immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s. Members of the family were active in Boston business, science, and law. The material in the collection includes publications, photographs, a scrapbook, a photo album, and awards.
Languages: The collection is in English and Hebrew.
Quantity: .5 linear feet (1 manuscript box)
Identification: P-984
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location: Located in AJHS Boston, MA
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Historical Note 1

During the second half of the 19th century, the Levinson family lived in Zidikai, Lithuania. Mendel and Ada (Medalia) Levinson had nine children, and their oldest three (Nathan, Charles, and David) emigrated from Lithuania, arriving in Boston around the turn of the 20th century. Charles and David established a chain of men’s clothing stores, Charles & David, and later brought the rest of their family, including siblings Hyman, Julius, Edward, Samuel, and Rose, to Boston.

One of their younger siblings, Hyman, managed a Charles & David store in North Station. Hyman married Mollie Sandler, whose family also originated from Eastern Europe. Mollie’s father, Jacob Sandler, had a scrap metal business based initially in Boston, then in Plymouth, which the family was forced to sell during the 1930s when Jacob died. Mollie was an active member of Hadassah and served for a term as the Roxbury Chapter’s President. With Hyman, she had three children, Sumner, Leon, and Mendel.

Hyman and Mollie’s son, Mendel, took over the management of the North Station Charles & David, where business was flagging by the 1950s. The store closed when Mendel died in an automobile accident in 1954. Leon became a doctor, specializing in internal medicine, and married Muriel Rosalie (Stone) Levinson. The Stone family had emigrated in the mid-19th century from Posen, in what was then Prussia and is now Poland. Muriel’s grandfather, Mark Stone, was a lawyer, actively involved with Temple Ohabei Shalom and the Home for Jewish Children. His son Leo, Muriel’s father, was a civil engineer whose projects included the Sumner Tunnel in the early 1930s.

Leon and Muriel had two sons, James William Levinson and Mark Leo Levinson, and were married until Leon’s death in 1955. In 1964, Muriel married her second husband, Herbert Hess. James resides in Massachusetts and works as a Development Researcher at Brandeis University. Mark lives in Herzliya, Israel. He is married to Leah (Mizrachi) Levinson and they have one son, Shakhal.


1888 Leo Solomon Stone born
circa 1890 Hyman Saul Levinson born
1894 Mollie (Sandler) Levinson born
circa 1900 Nathan, Charles, and David Levinson immigrate to Boston, MA., and established the Charles & David clothing stores
1915 Sumner Levinson born
1919 Leon Levinson born
1920 Muriel (Stone) Levinson born
1925 Mendel Levinson born
circa 1930 Jacob Sandler dies and his scrap metal business is sold
1946 James William Levinson born
1948 Mark Leo Levinson born
1950 Julius S. Levinson dies
1954 Mendel Levinson dies in an automobile accident
1954 Charles & David closes in North Station
1955 Leon Levinson dies
1959 Hyman Levinson dies
1964 Muriel Levinson marries Herbert Hess
1967 Susan Eve Axelrod (adoptive name, daughter of Mendel Levinson) married Peter Lemkin
2009 Muriel (Stone) Levinson dies
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Scope and Content Note

The James Levinson Family Papers contains records relating to the activities, education, and achievement of various family members, with the bulk of the materials primarily focusing on James Levinson and his immediate relatives. There are several family artifacts, such as photographs, largely from the first half of the 20th century, a scrapbook, a photo album, awards, and a commemorative plaque. The “Scribe and Scroll” is a publication from the Temple Shalom Religious School, in Newton, Massachusetts, and showcases compilations of student work.

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The collection is arranged into a single series as follows:

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Collections and Engagement of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:
American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011

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Related Material

Jewish Memorial Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, I-336

Temple Ohabei Shalom (Brookline, MA), I-459

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); James Levinson Family Papers; P-984; box number; folder number; Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS.

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Acquisition Information

Donated by James Levinson in July 2011.

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Access Points

This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Click the box in the request column to learn more about viewing materials at the Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS.


Series I: James Levinson Family Papers, undated, ca. 1900-1969

English and Hebrew.
Box 1, Folders 1-10 and one OS box.

Arranged alphabetically by type of material.

Scope and Content:

See Collection Scope and Content Note.

1 1 Certificates undated, 1948, 1953 request_box
1 2 Confirmation Certificates 1962, 1964 request_box
1 3 Family History and Research undated request_box
1 4 Photographs – Hyman and Mollie Levinson undated, 1948 request_box
1 5 Photographs – Portraits circa 1900-1930 request_box
1 6 Photographs – Susan and Peter Lemkin Wedding Album August 27, 1967 request_box
1 7 Scrapbook – Jim Levinson’s Bar Mitzvah 1959 request_box
1 8-9 Scribe and Scroll 1956-1961 request_box
1 10 Temple Ohabei Shalom Activities undated, 1907, 1923 request_box
OS Wedding Album (photos removed, see Box 1, folder 6 for photographs) 1967 request_box
OS Phi Delta Epsilon Plaque undated request_box
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