Ida Urkofsky joined Samuel Moskowsky in England where he served as a baker for the Royal Family. In 1910, he left England to join Ida's brothers and became a baker in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Nine months later, on July 9, 1911, Ida and their four children arrived at Ellis Island on the SS St. Louis. Later, Samuel learned of an opportunity to own his own bakery in Madison. The family moved once again, this time into an empty three-story building at 214 S. Murray St. Before long, the European-style wood-fired oven and hearth at Moskowsky's new Milwaukee Bakery sent out fragrant messages of bread baking to be remembered years later by everyone who lived in the Greenbush neighborhood. The Moskowsky's living quarters on the second floor were quite small. However, because of a baker's schedule, the family made due by sleeping in shifts. After Samuel (Moss) Moskowsky died in 1934, Ida kept the bakery in full operation with the help of her children. With their dedication to the bakery and respect for their mother, the Milwaukee Bakery continued supplying bread and other baked items to local restaurants, churches, synagogues, UW dormitories, retail shops and loyal Greenbush customers. Ida retired in the early 1950s.
"Her Yiddish name was 'Haddash,' but I referred to her as my 'Bubbe' (grandmother). 'Bubbe' became my surrogate mother and most influential person in my life. I treasure memories of her. I remember her 'buyer beware' attitude when shopping for meat at the neighborhood kosher markets. Convinced that one of the butchers weighed meat with a heavy finger, she'd threaten to 'take the meat axe' to the scale. On more than one occasion she'd leave the market and march up the street to Shapiro's. If she wanted a chicken, she'd stop by a place near A.J. Sweet's by the railroad tracks. After she hauled the chicken home in a gunny sack, she'd call Rabbi Madnick, the 'shoyket', to come by her house to make the chicken kosher. By the time the chicken was plucked, singed, cooked and eaten, the only thing left was the beak."
Samuel S. Moss, grandson
Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures The University Club 432 E Campus Mall Madison, WI 53706 608-262-8180