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Cynkin (Shankin) and Dworkin Families from Mir

Yisroel Nachum Cynkin (1882-1975) was the youngest son of Elye and Mirka Cynkin of Mir. He came to the US from Mir in 1910, where his name became Isidore Shankin. He joined the Mirer Young Men's Benevolent Educational Society in New York in 1911 and was a lifelong member. (On the 1940 roster his name is spelled Shenkin, in the 1953 membership directory he is listed as Shankin.)

Yisroel married Elke Sara Dworkin (b. Mir c. 1885-1925), daughter of Avraham and Esther Dworkin, in 1905. He left for the U.S. five years later. Elka Sara remained behind in Mir with their three children, Shayna Etel, Zalman Ber and Itsche. Due to the outbreak of World War I and the Russian revolution, she and the children would not be able to join her husband in NY until 1921. In 1922, they had another daughter, Leah, (mother of Ellen Sontag of Long Island and Mir researcher Marsha B. Cohen).

Elka Sara had at least two siblings, her brothers Samuel and Feivel. Sam Dworkin also emigrated to the US, married Bessie (Batsheva), and fathered two sons: Abie (Avraham) and Joe (Yossel). Feivel Dworkin remained in Mir, where he, his wife Etka, and their children Elka, Yitzchok, Hershel, Eliyahu, and Avraham Isser, perished in 1942 during the annihilation of the Jews of Mir. Only their son, Yerachmiel (1918 - ) survived, joining the partisans and making his way to Israel, where he became one of the founders of Kibbutz Nir David.

After Elka Sara arrived in 1921, she used the name Sarah Shankin. Shayna Etel became Jeanette Shankin (1906-1996). She married Jack Axelrod. They had two daughters, Eleanor and Estelle, who reside in N.Y. Zalman Ber became Sol Shankin (1908-1965); he and his wife Thelma had two children, Alan and Sara Shankin, both of whom live in California. Itsche became Irving Shankin (1909- ) who married Jean Weingard; their children, Marvin, Eunice, Sandra and Enid, all live in Florida.

Yisroel Tsinkin (Isidore Shankin), his wife and mother Mir 1904

Isidore Shankin (Yisroel Nachum Cynkin, 1883-1975), with his wife Elka Sara (nee Dworkin, 1885-1925) and his mother Mirka (c. 1845-?). Photo taken 1904-05 in Mir.


Mirka Tsinkin, Mir
Mirka Cynkin (c. 1845-? ) wife of Elya Cynkin.
A note in Yiddish on the back of the photo, which was found among Isidore Shankin's papers, says, "This is your mother and my Bubbe in Mir. The photograph was discovered during the war."

Esther Dworkin was a Mir midwife during the late 19th-early 20th century. She was the wife of Avraham Dworkin, mother of Sarah Shankin, Sam and Feivel Dworkin.

Avraham Dworkin, his son Samuel (b. Mir c.1883-d. NY 1948), and his grandson Itsche (Irving Shankin). The little boy in the photo celebrated his 102nd birthday in August 2011.

In 1901, just after the Boer War, Elye and Mirka Cynkin's eldest daughter, Sophia, was sent to Capetown, South Africa, to find a husband. She worked as a dressmaker and at a cousin's boarding house before meeting and marrying Reuben Newstead, a baker. They had five children: two sons, Alec and Bonny, and three daughters, Libby, Rose and Dvora/Dolly

In 1953, for the first time in 52 years, Isidore Shankin (left), was reunited with his sister Sophia (center) during a year long journey he took by sea and air to Israel and to South Africa, where he spent 7 months. (See article from The Zionist Record, South Africa)

Sophie Newstead and Isidore Shankin, 1953
Isidore Shankin, Sophia Newstead (1881-1977) and her Riga-born husband Reuben Newstead (1883-1955)

Another sibling, Yisroel Nahum's brother Motte Velvel, had a daughter, Frieda/ "Fraddle" (1905-1984), who left Mir for Palestine. Around 1920, Frieda and her husband, Yeshayahu Margolin (1905-1971), moved to Capetown, South Africa. One of Motte Velvel's granddaughters, Leah Teper, now lives in London, UK.

Jeanette Shankin Axelrod, her husband and daughter, June 1937
Jeanette Shankin Axelrod (Shayna Etel Cynkin), daughter of Isidore and Sarah Shankin, was born in Mir in 1906, and died in Queens, NY in 1996. She arrived in the US in 1921. The ship's manifest lists her as Sejna Cynkin. This photo, with her husband, Jack Axelrod and daughter Eleanor, was taken in June 1937


Irving & Sol Shankin

Irving (born in Mir, 1909) and Sol Shankin (born in Mir, 1908 — died Miami, 1965) with Sol's wife Thelma. (Photo taken around 1940)

Isidore Shankin and his son Irving. Isidore left Mir just before or after the birth of his younger son, who would not see his father until he was 11 years old.

Sol Shankin (1908-1975) served in the US Army
from 1940 to 1945

Irving Shankin in 1930s


Irving Shankin and his sister Leah on his 99th birthday, 2008
Irving Shankin (Itsche Cynkin) on his 99th birthday, August, 2008, with his sister Leah Shankin Ball. Born in 1909, he is among the oldest surviving Mir-born Jews in the world, perhaps even the oldest.

Yerachmiel Dworkin (born Mir 1918), son of Feivel and Etka Dworkin, is listed in the Mir Memorial book among the "People of Mir who served with the partisans and fighters."

After WWII Yerachmiel made his way to Israel. He joined Kibbutz Nir David, where he has lived ever since. In this photo (1988), he is with Arnon, the youngest of his and his wife Yocha's three sons, all of whom live in Israel with their families. Only one, Shraga, still makes the kibbutz his home.

Yerachmiel Dworkin

Alternative spellings: Cynkin/Tzinkin/Tsinkin/Zinkin, Dworkin/Dvorkin

Marsha B. Cohen , granddaughter of Isidore Shankin, provided the information and most of the photos above.

Updated October 2011


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