Ira Glener and Bossie Dubowick
Bossie, who remained a great reader her entire life, would be glad to know that her library has found a new home at the Yiddish Book Center.
When Bossie Dubowick, née Bas Zion Olshanitskiy, came alone to the United States from Vinograd, Ukraine, around 1914, a family friend met her at the boat. “She was eighteen or nineteen years old,” shares Bossie’s son-in-law, Ira Glener, “and the man who picked her up fell instantly in love with her and said he was going to marry her.”
Settling in New York City, Bossie taught herself English by reading the New York Times every day. The prediction of her young suitor, Morris Dubowick from the Ukrainian town of Boguslav, was happily borne out. The couple married and had two children: a son, Milton, and a daughter, Esther—Ira’s future wife.
Bossie, who remained a great reader her entire life, would be glad to know that, thanks to Ira, her library has found a new home at the Yiddish Book Center. Ira has also donated an ornate gavel used by Bossie during her long tenure as president of the Landslayter Vinograd Society (the American landsmanschaft for her Old Country Jewish townspeople).
In further remembrance of his late mother-in-law, Ira is now funding a major educational program at the Center. The Bossie Dubowick YiddishSchool, which launched this year, offers week-long sessions of Yiddish language learning, lectures, and workshops for adult students. Ira, already a regular visitor to the Center, enrolled himself in the spring 2022 Program—the first held in person since the pandemic began.
“I’m fairly knowledgeable in the language from growing up with Yiddish-speaking parents,” Ira observed. “Now I want to learn how to read and write it.”
For Bossie, who always had a pushke—collection box—on the table, Ira’s bequest is a fitting tribute to her passions: education, Yiddish culture, and charity. As she liked to remind people: “When you’re giving, it’s better to give with warm hands.”
For information on how you can establish a named fund at the Yiddish Book Center, please contact Zvi Jankelowitz at [email protected] or 413-256-4900, ext. 117.
From Kvel, the development newsletter of the Yiddish Book Center (Spring 2022)