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Sterling and Selesnick Family Papers

 Collection
Identifier: P-1040

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains photographs, scrapbooks, comic strips, publications, correspondence, memoirs, and reports documenting the family life of the Sterling, Selesnick, Segal, Shapiro, Katz, and Zoll families, as well as the educational and professional work of Hinda Sterling and Herb Selesnick—particularly the work they conducted for Sterling & Selesnick, Inc., their organizational consulting firm, and Stockworth, the comic strip they produced. Their work with their organizational consulting firm contain digitally-created documents, including reports, proposals, research, agendas, guides, and outlines, for various clients and are only accessible online. Material related to their production of Stockworth include newspaper articles, comic strips, negatives, reports, and books. Born digital materials, which will be accessible via the Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society's Digital Archive, are not currently available online. This finding will be updated once access is available.

Dates

  • undated, 1905-2014

Creator

Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for researcher use. Please contact us to request access or to make an appointment to view this collection at jhcreference@nehgs.org.

Born digital materials, which will be accessible via the Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society's Digital Archive, are not currently available online. This finding will be updated once access is available.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of this collection. For more information contact jhcreference@nehgs.org.

Biographical Note

Jacob and Emma (Speigelstein) Shapiro and Family

Jacob Shapiro and his wife Emma (Speigelstein) were both born in Russia (current-day Poland) circa 1860. They immigrated to the United States in the 1880s, first settling in New York, New York, where Jacob worked as a shoemaker, and then, before 1910, moving to Lynn, Massachusetts, where Jacob worked in a shoe factory. Together they had eight children:
  1. William Isadore Shapiro: born January 1884 in London; died December 20, 1968
  2. Ann Shapiro Menkes: born March 13, 1889 in London; married Henry Edward Menkes (circa 1890-November 24, 1920) with whom she had two children, Martin and William; died May 24, 1968
  3. Gussie Shapiro Schwartz: born November 15, 1893 in New York City; married Samuel Schwartz (May 1885-February 14, 1926), with whom she had one child, Shirley; died November 6, 1951
  4. Bessie Shapiro: born January 1892 in New York City; married Harry Margolis; died circa 1980
  5. Joseph Shapiro: born February 1, 1894 in New York City; married Ann, with whom he had two children, Robert and Rose; died September 4, 1961
  6. Max Shapiro: born May 1896 in New York City; date of death unknown
  7. Henry Hyman Shapiro: born April 1899 in New York City; married to Frances Baitell; died August 25, 1964
  8. Rose Shapiro Katz: born January 1, 1901 in New York City (see below)
Emma died on June 2, 1942, and Jacob died on September 8, 1942.

Jacob and Rachel (Zoll) Katz and Family

Jacob Katz, born circa 1874, and his wife Rachel Zoll, born in 1877, were both born in Panevėžys, Lithuania. The couple immigrated to London, England, and later, after immigrating to the United States in 1904, settled in Salem, Massachusetts, where Jacob worked as a salesman in the leather industry. Together, they had four children:
  1. Abel Katz: born December 25, 1895 in London; married Anna; died February 15, 1961
  2. Hyman Katz: born June 12, 1899 in London (see below)
  3. Michael Katz: born circa 1903 in London; date of death unknown
  4. Max Katz: born 1912 in Massachusetts; date of death unknown
Jacob and Rachel's dates of death are unknown.

Hyman and Rose (Shapiro) Katz and Family

Hyman Katz and Rose Shapiro married in 1927 and settled in Lynn, Massachusetts, where Hyman worked in at the GE Aircraft and Engines Plant and later as a meat cutter in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, where he operated his own meat market. Together, they had two children:
  1. Lewis Katz: born 1939 in Salem, Massachusetts; married Gloria Levine in 1965; died March 2003
  2. Hinda Katz: born September 2, 1945 (see below)
Hyman died on June 29, 1975, and Rose died on March 22, 1989.

Samuel and Eva (Goldberg) Segal and Family

Eva Goldberg was born in Koretz Wolyn, Ukraine in 1889 to Nathan Beresvorov and Adel Goldberg (they took on her family name just before immigrating to the United States). At the age of 17, her father and uncle arranged her marriage to 25-year-old Samuel Segal, born circa 1882 in Zvhil (now called Novohrad-Volynsʹkyĭ), Ukraine, the son of Shlomo Mendel, a rabbi and teacher, and an unknown mother who died during childbirth when Samuel was 5 years old. Samuel, who grew up under the care of his grandmother Reisa, received an education and was the owner of a successful hardware store. Samuel and Eva married in 1907 and had five children:
  1. Chajka (Edith) Cohen: born October 8, 1911 in Zvhil; married Abraham Cohen (1911-1984), with whom she had four children, Harvey, Paul, Norman, and Barbara; died April 19, 1993
  2. Leibel (Louis) Segal: born June 10, 1913 in Zvhil; married Ann Berkowitz, with whom he had one child, Evelyn; date of death unknown
  3. Reisa (Rose) Selesnick: born June 9, 1915 in Zvhil (see below)
  4. Jankel (Jack) Segal: born circa 1917; married Ruby Blum, with whom he had one child, Stanley; died 1970
  5. Minnie Golditch: born January 30, 1923 in Beverly, Massachusetts; married Meyer (Mike) Golditch (1916-1990), with whom she had one child, Stephen; died June 29, 1979
In 1906, Eva’s parents and siblings immigrated to the United States, where they settled in Massachusetts; Eva and her family stayed behind due to the success of Samuel's hardware business. During the years of World War I, Samuel was conscripted in the Russian Army, but was able to pay someone to take his spot (an acceptable practice during this time). In 1917, after Bolsheviks began attacking and killing business owners, including Jewish ones, Samuel, Eva, and their then four children fled Zvhil on foot, roaming through Europe for five years. They immigrated to the United States, arriving in New York City on December 18, 1922. Later that month they settled in Beverly, Massachusetts, where Eva’s parents and siblings resided.

Later, Samuel, Eva, and their five children moved to Chelsea, Massachusetts, where many of Samuel’s landsmen (villagers from Zvhil) lived. Samuel took on various jobs, including as a laborer at the Revere Rubber Company, and he eventually opened a grocery store in Chelsea, which he and Eva ran. On October 6, 1936, Eva died, and five years later, in 1941, Samuel died.

Harry and Flora (Weinbren) Selesnick and Family

Hillel Chaim (Harry) Selesnick, born May 5, 1873, was born to Simon and Kayla (Katz) Selesnick in Anykščiai, Lithuania. Circa 1900, he married Fradel Miriam (Flora) Weinbren, daughter of Yankel and Tsipa Hinde Weinbren, born circa 1877, in Moletai, Lithuania. Together, they had seven children:
  1. Rose Hochberg, born March 3, 1902 in Anykščiai; married Moische (Morey) Hochberg, with whom she had two children, Lloyd (James) and Peter; died July 24, 1994
  2. Sydney Selesnick: born August, 9, 1909 in Chelsea (see below)
  3. Celia Selesnick: born circa January 1911 in Chelsea; died July 27, 1911
  4. Goldie Selesnick: born circa January 1911 in Chelsea; died July 24, 1911
  5. Jacob Selesnick: born October 5, 1912 in Chelsea; died December 15, 1960
  6. Gerald (Jerry) Selznick: born December 5, 1914 in Chelsea; died September 21, 1986
  7. Leon Selznick: born June 4, 1917 in Chelsea; married Ruth Goldberg (1923-2008), with whom he had two children, Phyllis and Julie; died April 18, 1991
In Lithuania after completing fifth grade, Harry worked with his father and uncles building vacation estates for Russian nobles. Between 1892 and 1899, he served in Tsar Nicholas II's Imperial Russian Army, initially as a foot soldier in the Army’s Caucasian Cavalry Regiment and later as a commissioned officer and cornetist in the Russian Imperial Court Orchestra. After an honorable discharge, Harry immigrated to South Africa in 1900 where, using the skills he had gained working for his father and uncles, he designed and supervised construction of shafting in the diamond mines that ringed the city of Johannesburg. In 1908, having saved enough money, Harry immigrated to the United States and sent for Flora and Rose.

They settled in Chelsea, Massachusetts, where many of Harry's landsmen from Anykščiai lived. The great Chelsea fire of 1908 gave Harry, now a self-taught architect, the opportunity to obtain many architectural commissions. In the 1920s, he designed and supervised the construction of numerous custom homes and large commercial buildings in greater Boston, including an office building for Senator Henry Cabot Lodge. When Massachusetts began licensing architects after World War II, Harry became one of the state’s first licensed architects, based solely on his body of work.

Flora died on August 3, 1942, and Harry died on April 26, 1965.

Sydney and Rose (Segal) Selesnick and Family

On July 30, 1939, Rose Segal and Sydney Selesnick married at the Bow Street Synagogue in Beverly, Massachusetts. Together, they had three children:
  1. Herbert Selesnick: born June 2, 1940 (see below)
  2. Charlene Selesnick: born May, 26, 1941; married Gerald Eigen, with whom she had one child, Gregg; married Martin Hurwitz, with whom she had one child, Richelle
  3. Fern Selesnick: born May 15, 1950; married Tom Day, with whom she had one child, Heather
For eighteen years, Sydney worked at a clothing store in Chelsea; on October 18, 1958, he opened his own men’s clothing store, Syd’s Men’s Shop, at 336 Broadway in Chelsea. In March 1971, a fire on Broadway severely damaged the store, and they reopened it in a rented space at 402 Broadway. In 1979, the Selesnicks purchased 402 Broadway, and in March 1987, they retired and closed the store.

Sydney was active in the Knights of Pythias, serving as Chancellor Commander and District Deputy Grand Chancellor. He also was a blood bank chairman for the American Red Cross and worked for many years with Kiddy Camp, a camp which provided services to needy children. Sydney was also active in the Chelsea business world, serving as president of its Business Merchants Association. His religious life included two years as president of the Jeremiah Kamens-David A. Lourie Lodge of B’nai B’rith and president of Temple Emmanuel of Chelsea in 1988 and 1989.

Sydney died on November 1, 1990, and Rose died on February 12, 2006.

Herb Selesnick and Hinda Sterling

Herbert (Herb) Selesnick attended Tufts University for one year, and later transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), earning a Bachelor of Science in Physics. In 1964, he earned his Master of Science in Management from MIT, submitting a thesis entitled “Overlapping Group Memberships, Cross-Pressures and Cognitive Dissonance.” In 1970, he received his Ph.D. in Political Science, with a concentration in Communication, from MIT, writing a dissertation called “The Diffusion of Crisis Information: A Computer Simulation of Mass Media Exposure During the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Aftermath of President Kennedy’s Assassination.”

In 1965, Herb married Judith Finkelstein. Together they had two daughters, Marcy (born October 25, 1968) and Julie (born September 12, 1972); Herb and Judith divorced in 1977.

For 15 years, Herb worked at Harbridge House, a multinational consulting firm as a management consultant. There, he launched a new profit center, the Human and Community Services Group, and served as a group vice president. Herb also taught strategic manning principles and techniques as an adjunct faculty member at local colleges and universities, including MIT’s Sloan School of Management from 1981-1984, Suffolk University’s School of Management from 1983-1984, and North Shore Community College in 1984. He also published several articles and books, including "Who is Listening: Evaluating Audiences" in American Statistical Association 1965 Proceedings of the Business and Economic Statistics Section (1965), Rent Control: A Case For (1976), Condominiums: The Effects of Conversion on a Community (1981), and “Changing Worker Values and Worker Utilization of Industrial Skills Training” in Workplace Perspectives on Education and Training, vol. 1 (1981).

Hinda Sterling attended the University of Massachusetts, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She later earned a Master of Arts in Education from Salem State College in 1965 and a Master of Science in Fine Art from Pratt Institute in 1971. In 1997, Hinda earned her PhD in Organizational Psychology from Fielding Graduate University, submitting a thesis entitled “Trancensus: A Case Study of the Small-Group Consensus Experience.” She worked at Random House, Little, Brown, & Co. and Houghton Mifflin & Co., and later Harbridge House, where she served as vice president specializing in technical training. Since 2010, she has taught as a visiting assistant professor at Salem State University, teaching graduate-level industrial/organizational psychology courses.

In 1969, Hinda married Edward Mark Sterling. Together they had one daughter Erica (born October 16, 1972); they divorced in 1977.

Herb and Hinda married on September 2, 1978, and in 1981, the couple founded Sterling & Selesnick, Inc., an organizational consulting firm in Salem, Massachusetts. The firm provides group facilitation services in support of strategic planning, employee engagement, leadership development, change management and dispute resolution. They have worked with more than two dozen of the largest federal agencies (including the Internal Revenue Service, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Customs Service, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), private business (such as American Express, Revlon, and McDonalds), non-profit organizations (including the AFL-CIO, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and Massachusetts Teachers Association), and state and local agencies (such as the Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development, Massachusetts Department of Community Affairs, and the New York State Department of Transportation).

As organizational consultants, Herb and Hinda facilitated meetings that led to redesign and upgrade of the gold-standard system used by National Institutes of Health for scientific peer review of biomedical research grant applications; installation of objective employee performance planning, review and appraisal systems in dozens of federal and state agencies; creation of non-adversarial labor-management partnership forums across the length and breadth of the federal government; and successfully negotiated rulemakings between representatives of the U.S. Customs Service and the American import/export trade community concerning the implementation of NAFTA regulations.

For their work, particularly with the federal government, Herb and Hinda each have received recognition. Both received a Hammer Award from the Government Reinvention Task Force headed by then-Vice President Al Gore for their “contribution to building a government that works better and costs less;” Hinda was awarded for her work in the negotiated rulemaking between Customs Service and the American import/export trade community, and Herb was awarded for his work in the facilitation of design teams that developed blueprints for modernizing IRS administrative structures, business systems and labor-management forums. Herb also was awarded a Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Certificate of Recognition in 1990.

In May 1981, as part of Sterling & Selesnick, Inc., Herb and Hinda produced storyboards for a business humor comic strip called Americorp. Soon after, the Boston Globe and Essex County Newspapers purchased the comic strips to publish in their newspapers. However, it was soon discovered that there was a pending legal trademark application under a similar name, and to avoid possible litigation, Americorp was renamed Stockworth.

Stockworth was a four-panel black-and-white comic strip about business focusing on Seymour Stockworth, chairman of Stockworth Ltd., and various employees of the company, including personnel manager Polly Nurture, executive assistant Libby Sloan, shipping foreman Upton Downs, executive secretary Mary Scuttle, marketing vice president Ernest Hopeful, treasurer Audie McBean, and junior executive Bif Gambit. The writing was done by Herb and the artwork by Hinda.

On August 1, 1982, Stockworth began appearing daily in the Boston Globe’s financial section, and on September 1, 1982, it was also published daily in the Peabody Times, Beverly Times, Gloucester Daily Times, and Newburyport Daily News (all part of Essex County Newspapers). From November 1, 1983-September 30, 1984, Sterling & Selesnick, Inc. entered into a contractual agreement with the New York Times Syndication Sales Corporation, which gave them exclusive rights to syndicate the comic strip worldwide. Starting on October 1, 1984, Stockworth returned to being self-syndicated.

Throughout its run, Stockworth regularly appeared in 77 various publications with a combined six million subscribers, including newspapers, business newsweeklies, financial newsletters, and other various commercial periodicals. In addition to the Boston Globe and Essex County Newspapers, these included Boston Business Journal, Toronto Financial Post, Executive Female Magazine, Singapore Straits Times, Minneapolis Citybusiness, California Business, California Jobs Journal, Los Angeles Breeze, and Idaho Statesman.

In May 1986, Herb and Hinda stopped producing Stockworth. In 1989 Abt Books published and Dow Jones-Irwin distributed Stockworth: An American CEO, a 230-page paperback featuring 600 Stockworth strips. An original Stockworth strip hangs in the International Museum of Cartoon Art at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, alongside the comic creations of Walt Disney, Charles Schulz, Walt Kelly, Mort Walker, Al Capp and Rube Goldberg.

Herb served for many years as secretary of the Jewish Heritage Center of the North Shore. He and Hinda also served for many years as Board members at Temple B’nai Abraham in Beverly, Massachusetts. Herb and Hinda continue to run their organizational consulting firm. He and Hinda Sterling continue to run their organizational consulting firm and currently reside in Salem, Massachusetts.

References

  1. Material in the collection.

Chronology

1860
Jacob Shapiro is born.
1862
Emma Speigelstein is born.
May 5, 1873
Hillel Chaim (Harry) Selesnick is born.
circa 1874
Jacob Katz is born
circa 1877
Fradel Miriam (Flora) Weinbren is born.
1877
Rachel Zoll is born.
circa 1882
Samuel Segal is born.
1889
Eva Goldberg is born.
1890s
Jacob and Emma Speigelstein Shapiro and family immigrate to the United States.
June 12, 1899
Hyman Katz is born.
circa 1899-1900
Harry Selesnick and Flora Weinbren marry.
January 1, 1901
Rose Shapiro is born.
1904
Jacob and Rachel Zoll Katz immigrate to the United States.
1907
Samuel Segal and Eva Goldberg marry.
August 9, 1909
Sydney Selesnick is born.
June 9, 1915
Reisa (Rose) Segal is born.
1917
Samuel and Eva Segal and family flee Zvhil, Ukraine.
1922
Samuel and Eva Segal and family immigrate to the United States.
1927
Hyman Katz and Rose Shapiro marry.
October 6, 1936
Eva Goldberg Segal dies.
July 30, 1939
Sydney Selesnick and Rose Segal marry.
June 2, 1940
Herbert Selesnick is born.
1941
Emma Speigelstein Shapiro dies.
Samuel Segal dies.
August 3, 1942
Flora Weinbren Selesnick dies.
September 2, 1942
Hinda Katz is born.
September 8, 1942
Jacob Shapiro dies.
October 18, 1958
Sydney Selesnick opens Syd's Men's Shop at 336 Broadway in Chelsea, Massachusetts.
April 26, 1965
Harry Selesnick dies.
1971
Syd's Men's Shop moves to 402 Broadway after damage from a fire.
Hinda Sterling earns a Master of Science in Fine Art from Pratt Institute.
June 29, 1975
Hyman Katz dies.
September 2, 1978
Herb Selesnick and Hinda Sterling marry.
1981
Herb Selesnick and Hinda Sterling found Sterling and Selesnick, Inc.
August 1, 1982
Stockworth begins to syndicate in the Boston Globe.
November 1, 1983-September 30, 1984
Stockworth is syndicated internationally by the New York Times Syndication Sales Corporation.
May 1986
Stockworth production ends.
March 1987
Syd's Men's Shop closes.
1989
Stockworth: An American CEO is published.
March 22, 1989
Rose Shapiro Katz dies.
1990
Herb Selesnick receives a Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Certificate of Recognition.
November 1, 1990
Sydney Selesnick dies.
1990s
Hinda Sterling and Herb Selesnick each receive a Hammer Award from the from the Government Reinvention Task Force.
February 12, 2006
Rose Segal Selesnick dies.

Extent

10.8 linear feet (2 document boxes, 4 manuscript boxes, and 6 OS boxes)

Abstract

This collection contains photographs, scrapbooks, comic strips, publications, memoirs, and reports documenting the family life of the Sterling, Selesnick, Segal, Shapiro, Katz, and Zoll families, as well as the educational and professional work of Hinda Sterling and Herb Selesnick—particularly the work they conducted for Sterling & Selesnick, Inc., their organizational consulting firm, and Stockworth, the comic strip they produced.

Physical Location

Located in Boston, Mass.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Herb Selesnick and Hinda Sterling, December 2014

Processing Information

Processed by Lindsay Murphy, 2017
Title
Guide to the Sterling and Selesnick Family Papers, P-1040
Author
Processed by Lindsay Murphy
Date
2017
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society Repository

Contact:
99-101 Newbury Street
Boston MA 02116 United States
617-226-1245