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Lena Bertha Kopelman

Lena Bertha Kopelman

April 29, 1869 – December 3, 1947

 

Lena Bertha Kopelman photo

“My mother… [was] a wig maker and maker of hair switches and other hair goods. [She] taught us all how to weave human hair and we became 


fairly adept at it, but we could never make our fingers fly like our mother did… Kopelman’s Beauty Shop was one of the very first beauty shops in Fargo…

Rose, Dorothy and I helped to make the shop a going business, all of us merely helping our mother who was quite a business woman.”

~ Jeanette Kopelman Saval, letter, 1977. [1]

            Mrs. Kopelman was the owner of Fargo’s first beauty salon.  She was a wig maker, widow, and mother of seven children.  One December 22, 1901 she became the president of Sister’s of Peace, which is a Jewish charity organization.[2]  As a devoted member of the Jewish community, she also had a business agreement with the Fargo Hebrew Congregation to run the mikvah in the basement of her store.  (A mikhav is a bath meant to purify women within the Jewish faith before a Sabbath or after menstruation.[3])  She would charge $1 and provide towels, water, and soap. (See agreement between Mrs. Kopelman and The Fargo Hebrew Congregation)[4]

Heather Brinkman, Digital History 2012

[1] Schloff, Linda Mack. And Prairie Dogs Weren’t Kosher: Jewish Women in the Upper Midwest since 1855.  St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, 1996. Print.

[2] “American Jewish Year Book.” Google Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2012.  <http://books.google.com/books?id=0LUyAAAAMAAJ>.

[3] Farlex, Inc. “Mikvah.” The Free Dictionary. Farlex, 2012. Web. 30 Oct. 2012. <http://www.thefreedictionary.com/mikvah>.

[4] Schloff, Linda Mack. And Prairie Dogs Weren’t Kosher: Jewish Women in the Upper Midwest since 1855.       St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, 1996. Print.

Kopelman Building photo

This is the outside of the Kopelman building. This building housed many different offices as well as the beauty salon run by Mrs. Lena Kopelman.

 

Inside of the Kopelman Store photo

This is a photo of the inside of the Kopelman store.

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