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Metz-Greene-Stone Family Papers

 Collection
Identifier: P-587

Scope and Content Note

The Metz, Greene, Stone family papers contain correspondence, birth and wedding certificates, diplomas, photographs, audio and video recordings, diaries, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, and ephemera. The core of the collection consists of correspondence and photographs of the Greene family members from 1929 to 1960.

The collection is a valuable resource to researchers studying suburban Jewish American families, specifically women's roles at home and in the community. Lois Greene Stone has donated the collection and provides notes explaining the different items within the collection. It also serves as a resource for studying the history of Queens, New York and Jewish Community Centers from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Highlights of the collection include the extensive photographic documentation of the Greene family, specifically the Greene family women. The collection is particularly strong in images of confirmations, graduations, and weddings.

The collection has many materials relating to Carole and Lois' childhood, but lacks materials pertaining to Joyce Greene. Also, there are few photographs documenting the Greene family celebrating religious and national holidays.

Dates

  • undated, 1910-2015

Creator

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers, except items that may be restricted due to their fragility, or privacy.

Use Restrictions

No permission is required to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection, as long as the usage is scholarly, educational, and non-commercial. For inquiries about other usage, please contact the Director of Collections and Engagement at mmeyers@ajhs.org.

For reference questions, please email: inquiries@cjh.org

Biographical Note

Four generations of a Jewish American family are represented in the collection: the materials document the Metz, Greene, and Stone families from 1910 to 2013. The majority of the collection is concentrated on the Greene family and provides a portrait of a Jewish American family living in suburban Queens from 1930 to the 1950s.

1st generation: In July 1905, William Metz married Rebecca Miller at the Orchard Street Synagogue in New York City. She came from Russia at age 16 ½; William came later, also from Russia. Their first child died from diphtheria. Their other children were Tillie Marion, Mollie, Benjamin, and twins Leon and Isidore. Rebecca did not know the exact date of her birth, according to her granddaughter, Lois Greene Stone, it was celebrated on the last candle of Hanukkah. According to social security death records, it is listed as December 28, 1886. Rebecca moved from Flushing, Queens to Oregon later in life to be closer to one of her twin sons, Irwin. She died and was buried in Oregon September in 1968. William was born in 1887 and died in 1957. He and Rebecca divorced in the 1930s.

William Metz was a professional photographer and owned Metz Studios, located on Pitkin Avenue in Brooklyn. He photographed all of the U.S. presidents from William Howard Taft to Harry S. Truman. The majority of the family photographs between 1910 to the 1950s were taken by William.

2nd generation: on January 12, 1908, Rebecca Miller Metz gave birth to her second child, Tillie Marion Metz. Crowned "Miss Pitkin Avenue" in 1925, Tillie Marion (who dropped Tillie from her name in adulthood), was the second oldest sibling of six children. Marion married Leo A. Greene in March 1930 and had three daughters, Carole (b. 1931), Lois (b. 1934), and Joyce (b. 1938). From 1940 to the 1950s, the Greene family lived at 33-54 165th Street and 33rd Avenue in Queens, New York.

Leo A. Greene was born in 1908 and worked as a traveling salesman eventually becoming the vice president of the B. Blumenthal & Company, Inc. Many of the correspondence between Leo and Marion are written during his business trips and reflect the lifelong affection the couple had for each other.

The Greene family belonged to the Flushing Jewish Community Center which Leo Greene and Marion helped establish. According to Lois Greene Stone's recollection, the Flushing Jewish Center was Conservative with leanings towards Orthodox. The reason the FJCC was established was to allow congregants to sit together as families but to otherwise remain traditional. Originally it met in a single room above a shoe store by the Broadway Station Depot of the Long Island Railroad. Eventually they found a house for sale on Northern Blvd. in Flushing and converted it into the synagogue. Leo Greene was president from 1951 to 1952 and Marion served as president of the ladies guild.

The Greene girls attended PS 32 and Bayside High School in Queens. Tragedy struck the family on May 20, 1954 when Leo Greene died suddenly of heart attack in his home at the age of 45. Marion never remarried.

3rd generation: Carole Greene attended Junior College of Bergen County in 1950 and married Cantor Bennet Mermel at the Flushing Jewish Center on June 1952. Cantor Mermel was born in Czechoslovakia, graduated from the Hebrew Gymnasium and was awarded a three year scholarship to the Academy of Music in Munich, Germany. In 1949, he came to the United States and attended Hebrew Union College, School of Sacred Music, in New York, and graduated in 1953 as a Cantor and a teacher. He became cantor at the Flushing Jewish Center in 1951. Carole Greene and Cantor Mermel have three children.

Lois Greene graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1955. In 1956, she married Gerald E. Stone who graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 1957. Lois attended graduate school at Columbia University Teachers College. Mrs. Stone has written extensively and her articles and poetry have been published in a variety of newspapers, journals, and books. She writes about her childhood experiences and reflections of being a Jewish American woman. They have three children, Sheryl, David, and Alan. She also has been both a high school and a college teacher. After marrying in 1956, Lois and Gerald lived in Tennessee for two years while he completed medical school and his first year medical residency.

Joyce Greene married David Rose and they have three children. She taught elementary school. There are very few materials in the collections pertaining to Joyce.

4th generation: Alan Stone, the oldest of the Stone children, was born in 1959. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania, then earned his MD from Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse. He married Tamar Brooks in 1985 and they became Hasidim. His legal name changed to Aaron Leib when becoming Lubavitch. Aaron Leib's wife, Tamar Brooks Stone, has a Master's in Human Development which she earned while Aaron was doing some of his medical residency after getting his medical degree. They have ten children, Chana Miriam, Binyamin Eliezer, Shumel, Devorah Leah, Rivka, Ester, Sara, Rochel, Menachem Mendel, and Shaina Bracha and live in Brooklyn.

Sheryl Stone, the second oldest, was born in 1960. She graduated from both the University of Pennsylvania and the Barry University receiving a BA in psychology with Phi Beta Kappa from Penn, and a BS in nursing from Barry; both degrees were Summa Cum Laude. She married Stanley F. Clay in 1986. Stanley F. Clay is a Supervisor of Aircraft Maintenance. His undergraduate degree and master's courses focused on aircraft structures. They have two children, David and Jennifer and live in Mason, Ohio.

David Stone, the youngest, was born in 1963. He graduated from Syracuse University, earning a BS and works as a CPA. He is currently Vice-President and Chief Accounting Officer for a large commercial real estate developer. In 1990, he married Kathleen Matthews. Kathleen Matthews Stone was a secretary before marriage to David, and has an Associates Degree from Alfred University. They have three children, Kevin, Elaina and Julia. They live in Pittsford, N.Y.

Extent

28.24 Linear Feet (15 manuscript boxes, 3 half manuscript boxes, 7 oversized boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Hebrew

Abstract

The collection documents three generations of a Jewish American family: the Metz, Greene, and Stone families. The collection contains correspondence between family members, newspaper clippings, photographs, scrapbooks, baby, confirmation, and wedding photo albums, and ephemera.

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY

Acquisition Information

Lois Greene Stone donated her family's materials throughout the years 1988-1998, and donated additional photographic materials and ephemera in 2002, 2006, 2009, and 2013.

Related Material

Photographs from this collection were digitized in 2008 and can be viewed here.

Lois Greene Stone has donated family materials to the following institutions:

Ameican Jewish Historical Society

ARTISANworks

Atlanta Historical Society

Baker-Cederberg Museum & Archives

Bayside High School, NYC Dept of Education

Berkshire Historical Society

The Bill Memorial Library (Groton)

Binghamton University, SUNY

Brooklyn Historical Society

California Historical Society

The Corning Museum of Glass (included wedding-gift glass stemware)

Connecticut Historical Society Museum & Library

The Costume Institute

Dutchess County Historical Society

Franklin D. Roosevelt Library

Folger Shakespeare Library

Georgia Historical Society

The Historical Assoication of Southern Florida

The Historic New Orleans Collection

The Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

International Museum of Photography (George Eastman House)

The Jazz Archive

The Ledyard Historical Society

Metropolitan Historical Commission (Nashville)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Monroe County Medical Society

Nevada State Museum and Historical Society

Onondaga County Public Library

Onondaga Historical Association

The New York Historical Society

The New York Public Library

The New Jersey Historical Society

Pike County Historical Society

Pittsford Historian

Queens Historical Society

Queens Museum of Art

Rochester Historical Society

Rochester General Hospital

Rochester Public Library

Shippensburg University

The Strong Museum

The Smithsonian Institution

Syracuse University Library

Toronto Public Library

Town of Pittsford

University of Connecticut

University of New Hampshire Milne Special Collections and Archives

University of Rochester Edward G. Miner Library

University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives

U.S. Coast Guard Museum

Vanderbuilt University

Vermont Historical Society

Virginia Historical Society

Warner Brothers Historical Foundation

Yale University Library

Creator

Title
Guide to the Metz-Greene-Stone Family Papers, undated, 1910-2015   P-587
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by Felicia Herman in 1995, reprocessed by Jennifer Anna in 2008. Materials added by Boni J. Koelliker in 2013.
Date
© 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Revision Statements

  • January 7, 2014: Encoding was updated by Boni J. Koelliker
  • June 26, 2015: Links to photos added by Kevin Schlottmann
  • 2018 August 29: Added museum object to Series V. Tanya Elder.
  • September 2020: RJohnstone: post-ASpace migration cleanup.

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

Contact:
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States