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Anne Russ Federman, 97; had a diminished teenage social life because she usually smelled of fish
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Rick B.
2018-09-23 12:50:54 UTC
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https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/21/obituaries/anne-russ-federman-dies.html

Anne Russ Federman, the Last of Russ's Culinary Daughters, Dies at 97

By Sam Roberts

Sept. 21, 2018

Anne Russ Federman, who gained a New York brand of culinary celebrity as
one of three sisters with whom Joel Russ shared the name of his venerable
Lower East Side temple of herring, lox and other delicacies, Russ &
Daughters, died on Thursday at her home in Pembroke Pines, Fla. She was 97
and the last survivor of the four.

The cause was heart failure, her granddaughter Niki Russ Federman said.
With Josh Russ Tupper, her cousin, Niki Federman represents the fourth
generation of the family to own and run the store, at 179 East Houston
Street in Manhattan, near First Avenue.

Joel Russ, a Jewish immigrant from Galicia in what is now Poland, started
out in the food business by peddling mushrooms and herring from a
pushcart on Hester and Orchard Streets. He opened Russ's Cut Rate
Appetizers in 1914, moved to Houston Street in 1920 and enlisted his
daughters as partners (he had no sons) in 1933, after they married.

As the neighborhood morphed from an immigrant ghetto to a trendy
destination, Russ & Daughters endured. It is now coupled with a cafe
around the corner, another at the Jewish Museum uptown on Fifth Avenue,
and a booming catering and online ordering business (embellished with
innovations like wasabi fish roe).

It remains among the last of the neighborhood's so-called appetizing
stores, which can be loosely defined as places where finicky customers
argue with counter people about the perfection and price of smoked fish,
cream cheeses, dried fruits, salads and other delectable "appetizers" that
Niki Federman once described as "Jewish madeleines that have the ability
to transport you in time and connect you to your lineage."

Anne Federman began working in the store when she was 14. Working weekends
meant she missed football games at nearby Seward Park High School (where
the actor Walter Matthau was a classmate). It also led to a diminished
teenage social life because she usually smelled of fish.

But working at the store did not stop her from finding a husband. One day
a regular customer asked which of the three daughters was not yet married.
After the woman announced that her son was "the sheikh of Brooklyn," Anne
agreed to meet him - and ultimately to marry him, in 1940, after
graduating from high school. Her husband, Herbert Federman, also joined
the business.

"Joel Russ didn't arrange his daughters' marriages," Mark Federman, Anne's
son, wrote in "Russ & Daughters: The House That Herring Built" (2013),
"but did retain what is called in business today the right of first
refusal."

All three daughters - Hattie, Ida and Anne (by birth order) - learned the
value of hard work from their father. But they also, fortunately,
developed their own interpersonal skills.

"My father had no patience," Anne Federman told The Times in 2000. "If a
customer said a word to him that wasn't right, he would chase her out of
the store."

The daughters were different, as Calvin Trillin recalled in the foreword
to Mr. Federman's book:

"At Russ & Daughters a particularly adorable two-year-old didn't get the
quick smile and cursory 'Isn't she dear' that you might hear from, say,
the proprietor of an English tearoom. The daughters of Joel Russ, The
Founder, were running the place then, along with their husbands, and they
were people who had fully absorbed the profound teaching of Willy Loman's
wife: 'Attention must be paid.'

"Am I just imagining it," he continued, "or did one of them, while
emerging from behind the counter to get within cheek-pinching range of one
of my daughters, sometimes say to her colleagues, 'How can you stand there
and slice fish with a face like that in the store?' "

Anne Russ was born in Manhattan on June 11, 1921. Her father and her
mother, Bella, were Jewish immigrants from Galicia. They both worked in
the store, which moved to its present location in the 1940s.

In addition to her grandchildren Ms. Federman and Mr. Tupper, Mrs.
Federman is survived by her son, Mark, who retired from the store in 2009;
two daughters, Tara Federman and Hope Gottlieb; five other grandchildren;
and nine great-grandchildren. Her husband died in 1980.

Mrs. Federman had retired to Florida, in Broward County, where she coached
recent immigrants in English and lived with her sisters for many years.
Ida Russ Schwartz died in 2001 at 86; Hattie Gold, in 2014 at 101. Joel
Russ died in 1961.

Waxing rhapsodic in The New York Times Magazine in 2003, the editor and
publisher Jason Epstein wrote that Russ & Daughters was "New York's most
hallowed shrine to the miracle of caviar, smoked salmon, ethereal herring
and silken chopped liver."

When he walked from his apartment to the store, he added, "I experience
that enlargement of the soul felt by ancient worshipers as they blissfully
approached the temples of their gods."

The store also elicited mouthwatering reminiscences from Supreme Court
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the actress Maggie Gyllenhaal and the
journalist Morley Safer in a documentary film, "The Sturgeon Queens"
(2013).

Martha Stewart recalled recently that in the early 20th century there were
two dozen or more appetizing stores on the Lower East Side. "Today," she
wrote, "only one remains: Russ & Daughters."

The reason, Mark Federman explained, was simple: "No one wanted their kids
in the business."

Yes, his daughter is now an owner of Russ & Daughters, but his son, Noah,
practices medicine.

"As far as I know, I am the only Jewish father who was disappointed that
his kid became a doctor," Mr. Federman said. "I was thinking sturgeon, not
surgeon."
Louis Epstein
2018-11-02 09:03:30 UTC
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Post by Rick B.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/21/obituaries/anne-russ-federman-dies.html
Anne Russ Federman, the Last of Russ's Culinary Daughters, Dies at 97
By Sam Roberts
Sept. 21, 2018
Anne Russ Federman, who gained a New York brand of culinary celebrity as
one of three sisters with whom Joel Russ shared the name of his venerable
Lower East Side temple of herring, lox and other delicacies, Russ &
Daughters, died on Thursday at her home in Pembroke Pines, Fla. She was 97
and the last survivor of the four.
The cause was heart failure, her granddaughter Niki Russ Federman said.
With Josh Russ Tupper, her cousin, Niki Federman represents the fourth
generation of the family to own and run the store, at 179 East Houston
Street in Manhattan, near First Avenue.
Joel Russ, a Jewish immigrant from Galicia in what is now Poland, started
out in the food business by peddling mushrooms and herring from a
pushcart on Hester and Orchard Streets. He opened Russ's Cut Rate
Appetizers in 1914, moved to Houston Street in 1920 and enlisted his
daughters as partners (he had no sons) in 1933, after they married.
[snip]
Post by Rick B.
Anne Russ was born in Manhattan on June 11, 1921. Her father and her
mother, Bella, were Jewish immigrants from Galicia. They both worked in
the store, which moved to its present location in the 1940s.
So it has been in different locations on Houston Street?

(I made a point of going by there on a visit to that part of Manhattan
late last year,but it looked too busy to take time going in...there
were people on benches outside as well as filling the space between
the counters.Katz's looked very busy too).
Post by Rick B.
In addition to her grandchildren Ms. Federman and Mr. Tupper, Mrs.
Federman is survived by her son, Mark, who retired from the store in 2009;
two daughters, Tara Federman and Hope Gottlieb; five other grandchildren;
and nine great-grandchildren. Her husband died in 1980.
Mrs. Federman had retired to Florida, in Broward County, where she coached
recent immigrants in English and lived with her sisters for many years.
Ida Russ Schwartz died in 2001 at 86; Hattie Gold, in 2014 at 101. Joel
Russ died in 1961.
-=-=-
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