The Rakusins of Leeds

Lazarus Lloyd Rakusen. Lloyd passed away in 1944

 
(from the Rakusens Ltd web-site)
 
Rakusenís was founded at the turn of the century by Lloyd Rakusen
 
Lloyd Rakusen was a Jeweller by trade, and to this day a pocket watch shape is incorporated into the Company trademark.
Each Passover he would bake Matzos in a back room of his house. His business prospered, and in the early 1930ís a large factory was built in Leeds, where he was joined by his sons.
 
Lloyd Rakusen died in 1944, and the business continued to be carried on by his family.In 1973 the Company bought Bonn & Co., who also made Matzo products at the premises of Carrs of Carlisle. Bonns products continued to be made in Carlisle until the range was eventually discontinued.
 
In 1978 Rakusens was acquired by United Biscuits, and soon afterwards Rakusen products came under the supervision of the London Beth Din, and leading UK Ecclesiastical Authorities.
 
In 1983 a management buy out by Leslie Fox, Donald Macfarlane and Alan Pridmore meant the company was once again privately owned, as it still is today. Further expansion took place with the acquisition of the Tomor brand of Kosher Margarine in 1987, and Kippax Biscuits and Vegetarian World in 1989. Although Kippax Biscuits was sold a few years later, it still produces Rakusenís Kosher Biscuits under their Rabbinical Supervision. Vegetarian World makes all Rakusenís soups and beans.
 
The Company now operates from a modern factory on the outskirts of Leeds, where it combines the most stringent demands of Kashrus with up to date methods of food production. On site Religious Supervisors are in attendance all year round, to ensure all stages of production comply with Kosher Standards, before Rakusens products are distributed to shops and supermarkets throughout the world.
 
All Rakusens products continue to be approved by the London Beth Din and leading Ecclesiastical authorities in the United Kingdom and Abroad.
 
Charles Rakusen (one of the sons of Samuel Rakusen who was the brother of Lazarus Lloyd Rakusen). Charles passed away in 1958
 
I foiunf the following on a web-site of some people who were researching the Jews of Shanghai (http://www.shanghaijewishmemorial.com/15.htm). Charles went to China (he was also imprisoned by the Japanese during World War II) and was a very eminent eye doctor specializing in myopia whose work and findings are still quoted in academic studies on the subject. For example:
 
"In younger patients, faster results have been reported seen with plus lenses. C. P. Rakusen (1937) did his work in Shanghai, China. He took ten children "whose age and history indicated recently acquired myopia." They all had a manifest refraction of one to two diopters of myopia. Their naked vision ranged from 20/100 to 20/200. He had the school physician verify the children's naked eye vision, after which he prescribed convex lenses, with base-in prisms, to be worn constantly for close work, and as much as poible for indoor activities. After only one week, every single child had improved naked-eye vision, and three of them had improved to 20/20. Rakusen followed the cases for two years, and found that there was further improvement in all cases and no retrogression as long as the special lenses were worn for close work. The one child who discarded the glasses became nearsighted again.

Rakusen also cites a case of a girl who was prescribed concave lenses by an oculist who used cycloplegics. Rakusen had seen this girl for three years since the age of seven, who had been suffering headaches, but could read the distant eye chart with normal acuity. As she had a tendency to hold the book close to her face, Rakusen prescribed weak plus lenses, through which the girl maintained a vision of 20/40. The girl left the country for three years. When she came back she was wearing myopic glasses of 2 diopters, which were prescribed by an ophthalmologist using cycloplegic drops. Even though these drops are supposed to entirely eliminate functional myopia, Rakusen found that much of the myopia was indeed functional, since he was, after one year, able to reduce it "by more than a half" using plus lenses for reading. "
 


 
Gravestone of Charles Rakusen in Shanghai. Born
 
From the web-site http://www.shanghaijewishmemorial.com/15.htm
RAKUSEN CHARLES
 

Country of Origin:
ENGLAND,LEEDS

Date:
1894.7.16-1958.11.27

Surface Treatment :
English inscription only.

Stone :
White Marble

Family Contact :
Sister Adele List lives in England

  Stone Found at:
MinZhu 6 Village house No.395

Date the Stone Was Found:
2002.7.23

Size:
70x70cm

State of Conservation :
Broken in three with only two pieces recovered
.

 

 
     
Additional Info
Dr. Rakusen Percival Charlesworth died in Shanghai in 1958. It is the youngest stone we found dated 1958 while very few Jewish people keep leaving in Shanghai. It's possible that Dr. Rakusen was one of the last Jewish people who died and burried in Shanghai. The top piece was covering the sewage watercourse runs out of the house to the field. The second piece was part of the floor in the front yard. At this day the landlords did not want to give us the stone unless we pay them a lot. It was the first time that we met this kind of attitude. All our attempts to convince them did not work. Later that week through Dvir Bar-Gal's connection with the Jewish Chronical of London, we located the Rakusen family in UK. Dr. Rakusen's younger sister Mrs. Adelle List lives in Leeds. With that information we came back to take the stone one week later. This time the landlord hide the stones from us, but after additional negotiation they were willing to give us the stone for 90RMB.

From the family
Dr. Charlesworth Percival Rakusen

He was the eldest of the children and the first son. He was a colourful character, who liked the good things of life. In Shanghai, he ran the O.I.C. Oculists Institute Company, optometrists and opticians. He had a large house, servants, a yacht, and a Rolls Royce car. He married Lucille. There were no children. He seemed to have had various affairs and lived a busy social life. His name was Charles. The additions 'worth' and 'Percival' were his own inventions. Einstein is reputed to have visited him when in China, and I have a photo of Einstein with members of the Jewish community. Charles was interned during the Second World War. He remained in China thereafter probably because of his links there

 
Florence Rakusen  (my grandmother, daughter of Samuel Rakusen). Florence passed away in 1997 aged 99
 

 

 
Florence (nee Rakusen) and David Sadofsky 1946

 

 
Florence (nee Rakusen) Sadofsky 1988 (aged 90). Died 1997
 
Nesta (nee Sadofsky - daughter of Florence, nee Rakusen, and David Sadofsky) Murray (sister of Aubrey Sadofsky and Stuart Sanders). Nesta was my mother and passed away in 2003. Cyril passed away in 2000

 

 
Nesta (nee Sadofsky - daughter of Florence, nee Rakusen) and Cyril Murray 1946

 

 
Nesta (nee Sadofsky - daughter of Florence, nee Rakusen) and Cyril Murray 1997 

 
Menasseh Manny Cussins (Leeds)
 
Chairman of Waring and Gillow (furniture) and John Peters. Philanthropist. Chairman of Leeds United Football Club
 
Philip Cousins (Newcastle)
 
Property developer and philanthropist
 
 
----- Original Message -----
To: Steven Moore
Sent: Sunday, January 07, 2007 11:34 PM
Subject: Re: COUSINS/RAKUSEN

 
Shalom Alechim Steven.

 

I was so happy to receive your very kind email this evening. I have been trying to piece together the different areas of the family and the Leeds section was sent to me by a Genealogist (in Israel), Lenny Shoshley with whom I have been working over the past year or so. The family was well connected between the Glasgow Cusins (Rakusin) and the Leeds Rakusins and as you can see from the trees I have managed to go back to our village in Lithuania to around the late 1600's. I could have gone further back but I felt that I needed to have a starting point and that was the best I could do (or afford|)

 

I was in Lithuania for a week last month photographing Vilnius for background. Our family comes from Zhagare on the border with Lithuania and Latvia. It was a large town with good streets and fine buildings. The name itself was taken from another smaller townlet or village nearby Rokiskis (Pronounced: The Z has an H after it so Zagare is pronounced Zhagare and an H after the K and so Rokiskis is Rokishkis.) I spoke to researchers at the Jewish Museum in Vilnius and they explained that the town was called a Shtot and the smaller town a Shtetle- Not the much earlier farmyard type buildings of Fiddler on the Roof that we came to believe was a Shtetle. It was a town with paved roads, and fine houses. For me, a revelation.

 

There are a number of Zagares in the area and these meant-in Russian- a place beyond the hills. However, my father told me many years ago that they came from outside Riga. I went to Riga two years ago and traced from there. Except no one in the Riga Shul had even heard of Zagar. Perhaps if I had pronounced that correctly one or two may have been able to help. Then my Great Grandfathers Naturalisation papers were found online at the UK records office and that told me it was New Zagare. I eventually found New Zagare on a map and discovered that this was indeed the place and that it was on the border but just inside Lithuania. Itʼs well known for its Cherry Trees and Cherry production. Zagare is divided into New and Old Zagare.

 

Our Zagare is just over 700 years old and that was the start point. I suppose that I could have gone through records with the help of local Genealogists and found even older generations. As Cohenim, I suppose there was a smattering of Rabbis or clergy but I have not really found many illustrious ancestors until they arrive in the 20th Century and in the main these are the children of the first late 19th century immigrants to the UK. I have also found a branch that settled in Uruguay and that is a great story as well. I shall write that up this year hopefully and before extreme age sets in.  I was hoping that other branches of the family would be able to write up their family stories and send that to me for inclusion on the website.

 

I have a long way to go with the family tree and your information is perfect for this project. I am correcting input and now putting flesh on the bones of the charts. Trying to locate family stories and some interesting information about the lives of or predecessors. I can only hope that others in the family have also done some family trees that we can share. Perhaps this is really for our grandchildren so that they will have a better idea from where they came.

 

Old photos are also very helpful and if you know anyone that has some family photographs, would they get these scanned and emailed to me (as at high a resolution as possible to allow me to work with these should they need restored)
 

Thank you so much for writing to me and I hope that you will come back to me at any time and hopefully with some photographs perhaps?.

 
All the very best to you for 2007
 
Best wishes ,
Craig Coussins
 
To ensure a fast response, leave the email
trail by replying to previous emails so I can
refer to what we have discussed. Please try
 not start a new email trail.


 
----- Original Message ----
From: Steven Moore
To:
Cc:
Sent: Sunday, 7 January, 2007 7:42:11 PM
Subject: COUSINS/RAKUSEN

 
Dear Craig,
 
I just found your web-sites (http://www.itsourfamily.co.uk and http://coussins.org/) by chance (we're also looking into family history and I was looking my great grandfather - Samuel Rakusen) so I am writing to you to fill in some spaces on your chart.
 
My name is Steven Moore, living in Israel and Switzerland,  and I am the son of the late Nesta (nee Sadofsky) and the grandson of the late Florence (nee Rakusen) and the late David Sadofsky (see all below from your list). By the way, Aubrey, Nesta and Stuart were siblings (i.e. Nesta and Aubrey were not husband and wife) and Ian (Sadofsky) is the son of the late Aubrey and Nadia (the late Aubrey's wife). 
 
Our little part of the family (descendants of Samuel as per your list below) is as follows:
 
Florence Rakusen (sister of Anne, Netta, Adele and Maurice Rakusen and the daughter of Sam Rakusen- who, by the way was the brother of Lloyd, the founder of Rakusen's Matzo etc -) married David Sadofsky of Hull in 1917
 
Florence and David had 3 children:
 
Aubrey, who married Nadia (nee Pinnick). - 1  son, Ian.
Nesta, who married Cyril Murray of London -1 son, Steven and 1 daughter,  Ruth
Stuart who married: 1.Rosalyn Sherman - 1 son, David and Nicole
                             2.Angela (?)
                             3.Kathryn Bleichroeder - 2 children, Jonathon and Jeremy
 
There are other Rakusen descendents I know of here in Israel - Monique (the daughter of Phil Rakusen and the sister of Lloyd and Anthony Rakusen, all of Leeds  and descendents of Lloyd (Lazarus) Rakusen of Rakusen's Matzo who was the brother of Sam Rakusen, Florence's father)   has lived here for the past 35 years - her married name is Harel. I have sent her a linl to your sites as well.  Mannie Rakusen's (Philip's brother) daughter Ann has 2 sons living here (this information is correct as of end 2002).
 
As far as I know, following is the history of  Lloyd (Lazarus) Rakusen's family (the founder of Lloyd Rakusen & Co Matzo). As mentioned above, Lloyd was Samuel Rakusen's brother (Monique Harel has more detailed information):
 
Lloyd Rakusen married Gertrude ? and had 5 children:
 
Mannie (Menashe) who married ? and had 2 daughters, Ann and Edwina
Netta who married ? and had 2 sons Robert and Rodney
Montague (Monty) who married ? and had 1 daughter, Penny. Monty was killed in action in World War II
Philip who married ? and had 1 daughter, Monique, and 2 sons, Lloyd and Anthony
Arnold who married ? and had 1 son Michael and 1 daughter Gill.
 
From your list (as it appears on http://coussins.org - I have not corrected it)

.................................. 6 Samuel Rakuzhin 1870 -

........................................ +Sara

......................................... 7 Charlie Rakuzhin - 1957

............................................... +Lucille

......................................... 7 Anne Rakuzhin

............................................... +Michael Sobell (Sir)

................................................ 8 Hilda Sobell

...................................................... +Unk. Ruben

................................................ 8 Netta Sobell

...................................................... +Arnold Weinstock (Lord)

......................................... 7 Florence Rakuzhin

............................................... +David Sadovsky

................................................ 8 Aubrey Sadovsky - 1976

...................................................... +Nesta Sadovsky

NOTE: Nesta and Aubrey were brother and sister - not husband and wife

....................................................... 9 Ian Sadovsky

................................................ 8 Stuart Sadovsky Sanders

...................................................... +Unk. Sherman

................................................ *2nd Wife of Stuart Sadovsky Sanders:

4

...................................................... +Unk.

................................................ *3rd Wife of Stuart Sadovsky Sanders:

...................................................... +Kathryn Unk.

 

......................................... 7 Florence Rakuzhin

............................................... +David Sadovsky

................................................ 8 Aubrey Sadovsky - 1976

...................................................... +Nesta Sadovsky

....................................................... 9 Ian Sadovsky

................................................ 8 Stuart Sadovsky Sanders

...................................................... +Unk. Sherman

................................................ *2nd Wife of Stuart Sadovsky Sanders:

4

...................................................... +Unk.

................................................ *3rd Wife of Stuart Sadovsky Sanders:

...................................................... +Kathryn Unk.

Hope this helps to complete your family chart.
 
Best regards and (I assume) family greetings!,
 
Steven Moore
 
ISRAEL

 

    I hope this finds you well and that your great project is going forward successfully. I sat down over several hours and put together the Family tree of the Leeds Rakuzhins. I know you did not commission it, but I will be happy to receive whatever you think that it is worth to you, whenever you have the budget for it. I have a number of other lines when the time comes. What is perhaps a bit more exciting is that many of the priestly families, when they were obliged to take family names, took the name Cohen or as it is spelt in Russian, Kagan. Thus in my own family there are three or four branches that took the name Kagan. Well I have found a 17th/18th century family of Kagans that I believe to be an offshoot of the Rakuzhins, whenever you should be interested
                                                        Good Luck and Best Regards
                                                                        Len Yodaiken, Israel. 2006

http://www.myheritageimages.com/Q/storage/site63161131/files/5i/7s/70/5i7s70_763656af9fa0a4ars12j70.pdf  to see the PDF family tree-(printable) of the Leeds family

Below is the transcript of that tree.

Menashe Rakuzhin

Birth:

1835

Zagare, Lithuania

Deceased

Gerty

Birth:

1837

Bausk, Latvia

Deceased

Hyman Khaim

Rakusen

Birth:

1868

Zagare, Lithuania

Death:

1940

Leeds, England

Tilly Toby Klein

Birth:

1868

Lithuania

Marriage:

Leeds, England

Death:

1942

Leeds, England

Rose Rakusen

Birth:

1901

Leeds, England

Death:

1981

Leeds, England

Maurice Jonny

Jackson

Birth:

1895

Leeds, England

Death:

1977

Leeds, England

Ronald Jackson Michel Jackson

Birth:

Leeds, England

Gloria Hill

Marriage:

1951

Leeds, England

Stuart Bernard

Jackson

Lorna Unk.

Rebecca Jackson

Susan Debra Jackson

Menasse Nat

Rakusen

Maurice Rakusen Jean Margerite Michaelson

Toby Theo Rakusen Hyman Samuel

Rakusen

Susan Lane

Martyn Rakusen Phillio Rakusen

Bessie Rakusen Morris Rothchild

Pearl Rothchild Nat Dennerstein

Jackalyn Dennerstein Anthony Bednar

Victoria Bednar Georgina Bednar

Neil Dennerstein

Sylvia Rothchild Jack Shulman

Beryl Shulman Michael Garside

Daniel Garside

Rochelle Lee Shelly

Rothchild

Morris Moe Spector Heather Rothchild Zigmund Strauss

Beth Strauss Martin Falk

Rebecca Falk Matthew Aaron Falk Unk. Falk

Michael Strauss

Netta Rakusen David Goldberg

Ruth Goldberg Sydney Lachs

Ian Lachs Elaine Lachs Jorgan Unk. Dana Lachs Gideon Unk. Sandra Lachs

Death:

+ 5 children

Tvi Vinder Stuart Lachs

Maurice Goldberg Jeffrey Goldberg

Samuel Rakuzhin

Birth:

1870

Zagare, Lithuania

Deceased

Sara

Charlie Rakuzhin

Death:

1957

Lucille Anne Rakuzhin Michael Sobell (Sir)

Hilda Sobell

Death:

+ 2 daughters

Unk. Ruben Netta Sobell

Death:

+ 2 children

Arnold Weinstock

(Lord)

Florence Rakuzhin David Sadovsky

Aubrey Sadovsky

Death:

1976

Nesta Sadovsky

Ian Sadovsky

Stuart Sadovsky

Sanders

Unk. Sherman

Netta Rakuzhin Bernard Barney

Glassman

Sheila Glassman Aubrey Rose

David Rose

Birth:

1957

Death:

1998

Jonathan Rose Caroline Cornfield

Marriage:

1998

Esther Rose Mr. Kurland

Joshua Kurland Jessica Kurland

Maurice A. Rakuzhin

Death:

1961

Leeds, England

Evelyn Killpack Adele Rakuzhin

Death:

+ 3 children

Harold List Sydney Rackind

Israel Rakuzhin

Cussins

Birth:

1872

Zagare, Lithuania

Death:

1939

Hull, England

Emily Sadovsky

Phillip Cussins Doreen Leah Cussins AlexWoolf

Harry Woolf (Lord) Margarite Sassoon

Death:

+2 children

Douglas Woolf Patricia Woolf

Death:

+5 children

Monty Schamiso

Rita Cussins Samuel Bieber Menasseh Manny

Cussins

Muriel Field

Audrey Cussins Arnold Rubin

Victoria Emily Rubin Michael Kaye Alison Rubin Muriel Rubin David Zucker Richard Morris Emile

Rubin

Lesley Gold

John Cussins

Blanche Cussins Unk.

Joan Cussins David Bieber

Unk. Bieber

Betsy Rakusen

Birth:

1874

Zagare, Lithuania

Deceased

Leah Rakuzhin

Birth:

1879

Zagare, Lithuania

Deceased

Lazarus Lloyd

Rakusen

Gerty Sadovsky

Menashe Rakusen Anne Rakusen Netta Rakusen

Descendants of Menashe Rakuzhin

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