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George GershwinHis Life and Work$
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Howard Pollack

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520248649

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520248649.001.0001

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Gershwin and His Family

Gershwin and His Family

(p.3) Chapter One Gershwin and His Family
George Gershwin

Howard Pollack

University of California Press

George Gershwin's parents were Moishe (Morris) Gershovitz and Rosa Bruskin. They changed the family name to Gershvin (later spelled Gershwin) well before their children rose to fame. Neither Morris nor Rose, it is true, provided much support for George's early artistic ambitions, though whether this left him more defiant or regretful is difficult to say. On the other hand, at least in later years, his parents took obvious pleasure in his work. George remained close to his entire family, thoughtfully returning from trips with gifts for relatives. The relative secularism of the Gershwins in part may have reflected Morris's and Rose's roots in St. Petersburg as opposed to the more insular towns and shtetls of the Pale. How seriously George took his Jewish heritage in later years is difficult to ascertain. He wrote most of his works in collaboration with his elder brother, lyricist Ira Gershwin.

Keywords:   Moishe Gershovitz, Rosa Bruskin, George Gershwin, St. Petersburg, Jewish heritage, Ira Gershwin

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