Brooklyn's Jewish Businessmen: Pre: 1925 Furst-Galitzka


FURST, Michael

Michael Furst, Chairman of the Board of the National Title Guaranty Company, and attorney of 215 Montague Street, has been a close observer of the real estate development of Brooklyn for probably a longer period of time than any other man as conspicuous and notable as he is. He has literally seen Brooklyn grow from a mere pretense of a town to its present status of a gigantic and hectic city, with unlimited possibilities.

At all times keenly interested in the growth of this boro, Mr. Furst had a special opportunity to serve the cause for its development, when, in 1905, he acted as Commissioner in the condemnation proceedings which resulted in the widening of the now busy and prosperous Livingston Street. He was then serving with J. Edward Swanstrom, who subsequently became Borough President, and with Luke D. Stapleton, who later became Justice of the Supreme Court.

Furst was born July 15, 1856. He attended P.S. 6, the oldest in Brooklyn, the Polytechnic Institute, and then Yale College, where he took the A.B. degree in 1876, and finally Columbia Law School, from which he graduated in 1878. The same year he was admitted to the bar, and he has been practicing in this borough ever since. He was, incidentally, the first Jewish boy from Brooklyn to go to college, the only Jewish boy in Yale, from which he graduated with honors, and where, on graduation, he delivered an address on "The Modern Jew," the "modern," being the Jew of 1876.

Although he is nearing his three-score-and-ten mark, Furst takes an active part in many philanthropies, to which he contributes liberally. He is unusually energetic, alert and invariably progressive.

The veteran attorney is now First Vice President of the Brooklyn Bar Association; he is a director of the Mechanics Bank, oldest commercial banking institution in the boro; member of the American Bar Association and New York State Bar Association; a director of the Manhattan Bridge 3c Line; director and counsel, until 1919, of the Montauk Bank; one of the first trustees of the Greater New York Savings Bank; and member of the Real Estate Board.

Furst's civic, communal and charitable interests may be gleaned from the fact that he was Assistant Corporation Counsel of this borough, for four years; member of board of Child Welfare, for three years; in 1915, chairman of the municipal Court Commission; he is a governor of the 12th A.D. Republican Club; an honorary trustee and member of the board of governors of the Hebrew orphan Asylum; founder and former President of the Y.M.H.A., a founder and former director of the Brooklyn Federation of Jewish Charities; a director of the Girls memorial Home; past president of Temple Israel of Brooklyn, where he succeeded the late Abraham Abraham; a charter member and for ten years vice president of the Hebrew Educational Society; member of the Hebrew Home for the Aged; member of the South Brooklyn Board of Trade, and Prospect Heights Citizens' Association.

Furst's social and club affiliations are: member of the Montauk Club, Brooklyn Club, Yale Club and Yale Alumni Association of Long island, Society of Old Brooklynites, Order of Heptasophs, and Past Regent of the Gilbert Council of the Royal Arcanum.


Samuel Galitzka, of 1223 Avenue J, Flatbush, is a well-known real estate man with thirty years' experience in handling Brooklyn properties. The bulk of this time Galitzka had been active in Bay Ridge where he is extensively and favorably known, and where he had engaged in various phases of real estate. He was one of a few men who had labored indefatigably in behalf of the construction of the Fourth Avenue subway which presently came into existence.

Galitzka came to Flatbush eight years ago. The reason which led him to forsake Bay Ridge lay in a setback which he had suffered as a result of a twist of unavoidable circumstances. When one day he found himself financially ruined he faced the music bravely and at once resolved to start anew. He refused, however, to walk upon the streets of Bay Ridge with the drooped head and the furtive gaze of the man who suddenly slips from his pinnacle; he brushed aside any assistance of friends, and sped to Flatbush with a full conviction that once more he would climb the ladder of prosperity. And he did.

In the seven years which he spent in Flatbush he emerge3d from utter obscurity to the position as a leading broker with a splendid reputation. then, as time permitted, he ramified his efforts and did some brokerage outside of Flatbush. Galitzka has sold a multitude of homes in flourishing Flatbush, and his clients have come to regard his judgment and his commitments, whether oral or written, with an unflinching confidence.

Galitzka was born in Russia, on February 15, 1878. He was brought here when he was a boy of ten. For a time he attended school, and then he started his lifework in his father's office. At sixteen he had a real estate office at 58th Street and Fifth Avenue, Bay Ridge, and here he remained for a number of years. He had established a large following and a good name when the reverses, alluded to above, overtook him, shattering him financially and physically. After recovering his health he resumed his activities, this time in Flatbush where he remains at present.

Galitzka has been instrumental in some of the outstanding deals consummated in Brooklyn.

He is a member of the Eighth Avenue Temple's Men's Club, Federation of Jewish Charities and its Real Estate Club, the Laurelton Golf Club, and the Jewish Communal Center of Flatbush.

Golfing and motoring constitute his diversions. He is married, and lives at 701 Avenue K.


Website: The History
Article Name: Brooklyn's Jewish Businessmen: Pre: 1925 Furst-Galitzka
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Building up Greater Brooklyn: with sketches of men instrumental in Brooklyn's amazing development, Brooklyn, N.Y. by Leon Wexelstein; Brooklyn Biographical Society 1925.
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