Berman’s Branches
Barbara Hacker Berman
Interviews - Sylvia Rubenstein Greenberg

Phone Interview with Sylvia Rubenstein Greenberg 11/16/96

Sylvia is a delightful 87 year old lady with a marvelous memory and sense of humor. We chatted for ages as she rattled off lots of information and wonderful stories. I hope to visit with her in NY this spring. While Sylvia has some eyesight and other physical problems, she remains active, peaceful and enthusiastic. (She was going out tonight with friends to a steak restaurant!)

Pincus Hacker was a terror! He had three wives and made them all miserable. The first wife was Chaia Faiga (Harriet Frances). She came to this country with their four children, Bertha, Michael, Max and Anna. Harriet died at about age 45 in NYC. Bertha died as a young woman, before marrying. She had TB and died in upstate (Liberty) NY. Pincus had a brother (name unknown) who had a son Louis, who lived in the Bronx. Louis had a daughter, Vickie.

Bertha and Louie Gingold were also cousins. Bertha was a first cousin to Moe through Bertha’s mother.

Sylvia was madly in love with Harry Hacker. Anna Hacker broke up their relationship as she did not want Harry to marry a first cousin. Ironically, Anna then made a match between her first cousin, Shirley Zimbler and Harry!

Sylvia married Irwin Ettlinger on May 30, 1937. A fter the date was set, Anna Hacker planned the marriage of Moe to Florence Druse on the same day so the relatives would have to choose! Sylvia and Irwin had one son, Howard. Howard is now about 57. He lives in Jacksonville. Unfortunately, he and Sylvia are estranged.

Sylvia and Irwin were divorced. Sylvia went to work making albums to support herself. She also rent rooms. Sylvia married Sam Greenberg. They had a lovely six years before Sam died.

Sylvia was very fond of Moe and Florrie and spent time with them in Florida also.

Max Rubenstein was married to Rose. They have no children. Rose is still alive and lives close to Sylvia. They are not in touch. Rose is known to be a rather nasty, negative person.

She remembers Max Hecker and Bessie a as very warm and funny. She was quite close to them and their family.

Call from Sylvia, Nov. 25, 1996: Pincus had a tattoo on his arm. It was a tattoo with a purpose that had to do with the Russian Army. He had a brother, Michael who was Louis Hacker’s father. Sylvia remembers loving Pincus long black coat. It was lined with raccoon and had a chinchilla collar. As a child, she remembers hoping when he died she would get the coat! Sylvia was named after her maternal Grandmother or Gr. Grandmother.

Sylvia called Shirley Hacker and they had a long talk. Shirley’s daughter Lynn was named after Shirley’s mother, Leah. She remembers Shirley working at Lane Bryant for years.