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1.8 cubic feet

The Esserman family settled in Rome, Georgia in the early 1890s. In 1896 Pressley I. Esserman founded Esserman & Company, a retail clothing company. Mr. Esserman married Anna D. Friedman in May1898. Mr. and Mrs. Esserman had six children: Hyman, Ben, Mildred, Edna, Faygie, and Rose. Rose Esserman Levin was born in Rome, Georgia on December 18, 1914, the youngest of six. Anna Esserman died in 1928; Rose was fourteen years old. Rose attended Rome public schools and Shorter College. She worked for many years as a salesperson and buyer at Esserman and Co. Rose was a leader and active member of the Rome Jewish community. She taught Sunday school at Congregation Rodeph Sholom for many years, studying on her own, she developed a curriculum for students of Rodeph Sholom. During World War II Rose worked as a volunteer with the American Red Cross. Jule Levin was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, March 6, 1913 to Hyman and Celia Levin. Jule attended Woodward High School and the University of Cincinnati, College of Law. At the age of eighteen he was one of the founders of the Jewish Community Center in Cincinnati, and served as its secretary and first membership president. While Jule was traveling on business in the South (selling dresses) he met Rose Esserman. In November 1940 they married and settled in Rome, Georgia. In 1942, Jule Levin purchased partnership in the Esserman and Co. Jule and Rose had two daughters, Ellen and Ann. Jule and Rose were very involved in the Jewish community and the community of Rome. The Levin’s were strongly committed to civil rights and were involved in the1950s and early 1960s in efforts to achieve racial equality and integration throughout the South. The Levin’s worked to insure that the African-American community attained rights, privileges and opportunities that were denied or made difficult to achieve. They worked with others in the civil rights movement to ensure peaceful desegregation of schools, lunch counters and other public facilities. In 1963, Mr. Levin and his family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, so that he and his twin brother could fulfill a life-long dream of being business associates of the I.C. Elman Company, which later became Elmex Inc., a national toy wholesale company. The family joined Isaac M. Wise Temple. There they continued serving on boards of trustees and working with the congregation’s youth group. The Jule and Rose Esserman Levin Papers, 1920-2002, are arranged in alphabetical order by subject and chronologically within each folder. Of special interest in this collection are the personal stories, and history of Rose Esserman Levin while growing up in Rome. The collection includes a brief history into the life of the Esserman Family, how Esserman & Co. became a successful clothing business and their many contributions to the community. One can also get a brief look into individual family members. Finding aid available in library.

Mss 162

Jule and Rose Esserman Levin Family Papers

34 Related Subjects


Levin, Rose Esserman (1914 - 2002)

Levin, Jule

Blacks--Relations with Jews
Jews - Relations with Blacks

Blacks--Relations with Jews--Domestics
Jews--Relations with Blacks--Domestics

Chamber of Commerce (Rome, Ga.)

Civil Rights Movement

Freedom Rides, 1961
Civil Rights Movement

Clothing and Dress

Clothing Industry and Trade

Cleveland (Ohio)

Department Stores
General Stores; Dime Stores; Dry Goods



Esserman, Anna, 1877-1928

Esserman, Ben, 1902-1989

Esserman, Edna, 1909-2003

Esserman, Hyman, 1900-1984

Esserman, Phyllis

Esserman, Pressley I., 1873-1944

Feinbloom, Mildred Esserman

Jews--Relations with Blacks
Blacks - Relations with Jews

Jews--Relations with Blacks--Domestics
Jews--Relations with Blacks--Domestics


Lads and Lassies Shop - Rome, Georgia
Clothing Industry and Trade

Public Schools

Race Discrimination


Rodeph Sholom Congregation (Rome, Ga.)


Rome (Ga.)

Tanenbaum, Aaron (1873-1967)

Esserman, Jule, 1913-1994

Toy industry

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