Bread Givers | Study Guide

Anzia Yezierska

Get the eBook on Amazon to study offline.

Buy on Amazon Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Bread Givers Study Guide." Course Hero. 1 Mar. 2019. Web. 22 Sep. 2023. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2019, March 1). Bread Givers Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2019)



Course Hero. "Bread Givers Study Guide." March 1, 2019. Accessed September 22, 2023.


Course Hero, "Bread Givers Study Guide," March 1, 2019, accessed September 22, 2023,

Bread Givers | Characters

Character Description
Sara Smolinsky Sara Smolinsky is the protagonist of Bread Givers. She is a young Jewish woman determined to support herself. Read More
Reb Smolinsky Reb Smolinsky is the patriarch of the Smolinsky family. He does not have a paying job but rather spends his time studying sacred texts. Read More
Shenah Smolinsky Shenah Smolinsky is Reb Smolinsky's wife and the mother of four girls, including Sara Smolinsky. She works hard and worries constantly about her family. Read More
Fania Smolinsky Fania Smolinsky is a middle sister in the Smolinsky family. She works various jobs to help her family survive. Read More
Mashah Smolinsky Mashah Smolinsky is one of the middle Smolinsky sisters and the beauty of the family. She spends her wages on herself and attracts the attention of men. Read More
Bessie Smolinsky Bessie Smolinsky is the oldest sister in the Smolinsky family, and she carries the burden of being the primary wage earner. Read More
Berel Bernstein Berel Bernstein, a cutter in the shop where Bessie works, is Bessie's first suitor.
The boss at the laundry The boss at the laundry is a "huge, bulgy-faced man" who is impressed by Sara's determination and hires her.
The dean The dean of Sara's college is kind to Sara and befriends her.
Mr. Edman Mr. Edman is the psychology professor at Sara's college, and he is uncomfortable with Sara's attention and "crush" on him.
Mrs. Feinstein Mrs. Feinstein is Reb Smolinsky's second wife. She lived above the Smolinskys before Shenah died, and she is only interested in material gain.
Shprintzeh Gittel Shprintzeh Gittel is a woman in the neighborhood who supports Reb Smoklinsky's striking the landlady in anger.
Shprintzeh Gittel's daughter Shprintzeh Gittel's daughter is "Americanized" and speaks out against Reb Smolinsky hitting a "lady."
Max Goldstein Max Goldstein is a wealthy businessman from Los Angeles who courts Sara and is obsessed with his own prowess.
Hannah Hayyeh Hannah Hayyeh is a poor washerwoman living on the same block as the Smolinskys.
Landlady The landlady is described as a fat, angry woman who steps on Reb Smolinksky's Torah.
Morris Lipkin Morris Lipkin is a poet and writer for a newspaper. He and Fania Smolinsky fall in love, but Fania marries someone else.
Moe Mirsky Moe Mirsky claims to be a diamond dealer even though he is just a clerk in a jewelry store. He marries Mashah Smolinsky.
Mukmenkeh Mukmenkeh is a kind old woman who helps Sara Smokinksy's mother when they need a bed.
Jacob Novak Jacob Novak is a musician with whom Mashah Smolinsky falls in love. He cares about her but his piano playing will always come first.
Abe Schmukler Abe Schmukler is a gambler from Los Angeles who marries Fania Smolinsky.
Hugo Seelig Hugo Seelig is the principal of Sara's school and ends up being her sweetheart. He is passionate about teaching and his students.
Store owner The store owner in Elizabeth, New Jersey, swindles Reb Smolinsky by selling him a mostly empty grocery store for $400.
Zalmon Zalmon the fish peddler is an older man with many children who marries Bessie Smolinsky.
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Bread Givers? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!