Taube did not approve of Ray’s future husband. Find out why.

Ray (Rachel) Leber Pollay

Ray Leber Pollay

Ray was born in March 1893 in New York City

She married Benjamin Pollay on Dec. 18, 1915, in Brooklyn, NY, when she was 22 years old.  Her mother, Taube, did not approve of Ben since he came from a poor family, and was a foreigner, and she felt Ray could have done better.

Ben was born on July 15, 1887 in Minsk, Belarus, to Hyman Pollay and Bessie.  He emigrated to the US at age 20 in 1908 to escape the pogroms in Russia.  In 1920, he was a shoemaker, but by  1942, at age 54, he was in business for himself.

Engagement Photo of Ben and Ray Pollay
Ben and Ray’s Engagement Photo

Ben and Ray's Marriage Index

Ben Pollay's WWI Draft Card
Ray at her father's gravesite

Ray at her father’s gravesite

Rachel kept a kosher home but they were not observant.  Ray loved to cook and bake.

Ben bought the “House of the Four Sisters” at 2054 78th Street in Brooklyn, and one by one, Ray’s sisters moved in. Ben and his family lived upstairs in the front of the building.  He eventually had to sell the building and moved his family to a larger 2 family house where they lived downstairs and rented out the upstairs.  When their daughter , Millie, got married, she moved an sdher new husband stayed in one of her parents’ bedrooms.  It was a great arrangement, since once Millie had children, especially while her husband was away in the Service, her mother could always babysit for her.

Taube need not have worried since Ben became known to the family as “Ben-e-factor” since he was always helping people out. However, he also had some controversial political views which made him unpopular with some of the family.

Ray and Ben Pollay
 Ray and Ben Pollay

Ben died on March 7, 1955, from Parkinson’s Disease.  He was only 49 when he first developed Parkinson’s, but lived with it until he was 67.

Ben Pollay Death Information

Towards the end of her life, Ray lived in Long Island with her daugther, Millie.  She died at age 75.

Ray's Death Information

Pollay Gravestone in Mount Hebron Cemetery

The Children of Ray and Ben

Ray and Ben had 3 children: Hyman, Max and MIllie. Below is a lttle bit about each one of them.


Hy was born October 16, 1916, in New York. He resembled his father’s family and was considered the scholar in the family.  He was known to be quiet and reserved.

He married Mollie and had 3 children.

Below is a family occassion. Hy’s three children are standing on the right side of the picture. They are behind their Uncle Mac (center).

Others in this photo are:

Standing: Wilton Zucker and his wife, Hilloh Streicher,

Seated: Merlie Streicher Winnick, Harry Laber, Don San Marco, Max’s (Mac) business partner at the Peekskill Dude Ranch, Don’s wife, Mallie, Max (Mac), unknown man

Pollay family event

He died at home from pancreatic cancer on July 4, 1976, at age 59.  It was the bicentennial year and his sister, Millie, and her family got stuck in traffic on the way to his home. When they finally got there, they took Hy’s youngs children to downstairs in the basement while the ambulance workers carried his body out of the house.

He died before his son became a Bar Mitzvah so Millie’s family made the Bar Mitzvah for their nephew.


Max Pollay
Max Pollay

Max, aka, Maxie or Mac,  was born Jan 16, 1920, in Brooklyn, NY. Max was named for his grandfather, Max Leber, who died around the time that his brother Hy was born.

Max was a dashing bachelor like “Our Man Flint” and looked like his mother, Ray.  He owned the Peekskill Dude Ranch and his own small twin-engine plane. He also had something to do with selling jukeboxes to bars.

Max died Jun 10, 1998, at age 74,  in Broward county, FL, from complications during surgery.  He was having aortic valve repair surgery and something when terribly wrong.

Millie (Mildred)

Millie was born about 1925 in NY.

Millie only remembers her grandmother, Taube, as being sickly.  Millie was 13 when Taube died. While Taube was on her deathbed in Minnie’s apartment, Millie was asked to sit by her side.  While she was sitting there, her grandmother called her, Leeba, meaning love in Yiddish.  It was the first time Millie felt affection from her grandmother.

Millie in the backyard of 2054 78th Street
Millie in the backyard of 2054 78th St.

Millie’s remembers that her father would not let her wear lipstick.  If she snuck it on, he would grab her with soap and water and wash it off.  He believed the lipstick would draw out the pink color from her lips.

Millie  married Irving (Cookie) Abramson. After her family moved from 78th Street, Cookie was one of their new neighbors.  She was 14.  He came over and said “Don’t you think neighbors should know each other”.   When she was 16 he gave her a locket and wanted to go steady. 

Cookie was very smart in school, skipped a few grades and graduated at age 16. His parents even attended MIllie’s high school graduation.

Millie was 19 when she got married.  Cooke was 20 ½.  Cookie came home on furlough and they got married in MIllie parents’ basement. It was very informal. Millie did not wear a bridal gown and they served deli to their guests. They She never dated anyone else. They did get to spend two nights at a hotel in Manhattan and while they were there, they wevt to see some Broadway shows. Since Cookie had to return to the Army, they lived with MIllie’s parents, Ray and Benny, until after their first son was born.

As of 2018, they have been married over 70 years.

Irving "Cookie"  Abramson

Cookie was in the garment industry and even helped my father, Bernie Blieden, get a big account when Bernie opened his own business, Twinkle Town Togs.  Cookie was successful and they were able to move to their own home in Long Island. Millie had her mother, Ray, live with her.  Ray was 75 when she died.

In 1960, MIllie’s son, Jeffrey, was Bar Mitzvahed with many from the Laber (Leiber) family as guests.The Bar Mitzvah ceremony was at Temple Hillel in Valley Stream, New York. The reception was held at The Coral Reef, a beachfront catering hall.

Jeffrey's Bar Mitzvah, 1960

From left to right: Millie and Hy Pollay, Molly Abramson (Cookie’s sister), Ray Laber Pollay, Cookie, Mac Pollay, Millie Pollay Abramson, Cookie’s parents

Jeffrey's Bar Mitzvah-1960 Laber Table

From the left seated: Archie Winnick, Harry Laber, Billy Shaw, Stanley Ackerman

From the left standing: Goldie and HIlloh Streicher, Merlie Streicher Winnick, Hannah Laber Zucker, Marilyn Streicher Ackerman, Rose Laber Streicher

Millie was devasted when her beloved Cookie died on October 7, 2019. However, she eventually persevered and even continues going to Florida for the winters. She drives down with her son, Jeff. She enjoys going out to eat, seeing her many friends and playing mahjong.