Aaron, Joseph, & Mildred Moskowitz

Maurice (Mordecai/Morris) and Esther Goldberg Moskowitz of Russia settled in Galveston, Texas, where –after surviving the hurricane of 1900 — he ran a grocery store and they raised six children. In 1910, Esther died. With the recommendation of Jules Block, president of Galveston’s Hebrew Benevolent Society, the Home’s board admitted the three youngest Moskowitz children: Aaron (11), Joseph (10), and Mildred (8).

Aaron lived in the Home until 1917 when the board enrolled him in the National Farm School in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, which had been established two decades earlier. As envisioned by founder Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf, the farm school gave industrious Jewish lads training in farming, landscaping, animal breeding and other agricultural pursuits in an effort to reverse historic discrimination that had prohibited Jews from owning land or belonging to trade guilds. When Aaron died in Houston in 1979, survived by his children and second wife, the death certificate listed his occupation as “merchant, bag and burlap dealer.” He was buried in Houston’s Emanu El cemetery.

Joseph was discharged in 1918 to Galveston where he initially worked for his oldest brother George Israel, a merchant and civic leader who was president of the Texas Produce and Commission Company on the Strand in Galveston. Joseph died in 1959 survived by his wife Rose.

Mildred remained at the Home until 1920, when she graduated from Isidore Newman Manual Training School. She, too, returned to Galveston where she married Nilus Phillips and raised a family, before relocating to North and South Carolina. She died in 1988 at age 85. 

Esther Goldberg Moskowitz, n.d.

Esther Goldberg Moskowitz (n.d.), whose death in 1910 precipitated Aaron’s, Joseph’s, and Mildred’s admission to the Home. Photo and additional family information from Natalie Moskowitz Ornish, Pioneer Jewish Texans (Texas A&M University Press, 2011), with thanks also to Natalie’s daughter, Laurel Ornish.