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´╗┐Zera Lipitz:

Afternoon for the JCC family history project. The date is October the 10th and I would like to introduce Ray Eva Lipchitz. She has consented to share her recollections with us this afternoon. Ray Eva, would you please give us your name, address, and if you wish, your phone number.

Ray Eva Lipetz:

Hello, I'm Ray Eva Lipetz, 3032 Carson Way, 452-2892.

Z.L.:

Thank you very much. Ray Eva, we want to go back in time. I think you told me that you know a great deal about your grandparents and your great grandparents. So if you'll just please take over now and tell us as much as you can recall, we'd appreciate it.

R.L.:

Well, let's start out on my mother's side. Her grandfather was Abram Finko, F-I-N-K-O, who was a [inaudible 00:01:03], which was the physician under the 1:00Russian government and he received, many years after being a physician, medals from the Czarina because he perfected some sort of an injection for some disease, which I'm not sure of.

R.L.:

My great grandmother's name was Golde. My grandmother's name was [inaudible 00:01:33] Weinstein who was their daughter and she was married to [inaudible] Weinstein and they had six children. My mother was one of the younger ones and the children came, all migrated to the United States at various times. Mama came over in 1904, my father, Maurice Lipetz came over in 1905. My mother's father 2:00was also a doctor, although he didn't work for the Russian government, I don't think. He may have.

R.L.:

My father's father was Samuel Joseph Lipetz and he was a sofer. He wrote Torrahs and Mezuzots for a living. His wife was... Her name went out of my mind just now we might have to think about it. At any rate, she supplemented the family income by being a butcher. Her name was [foreign language 00:02:51] for whom my sister was named and they had three children. My father and older sister and a younger 3:00brother and the brother's name was [foreign language 00:03:07] and then he stayed in Europe and was in the Holocaust. He, his wife and four children. The remaining four children of his went to Israel and I'm trying to think what else you want to know. My parents had five children. The oldest was Martha, it was my brother Irving and my brother Sidney who died at three months. They were twins and then my sister Sophie and I'm the youngest. Martha, Irving, and Sophie were born in Brooklyn but came to Louisville at a very early age. I was born here in Louisville. And when I was born we lived on Preston Street, which was in the heart.

4:00

Z.L.:

Just a minute, before you go into when you were born, could you tell us a little more about how mom and Papa came to Louisville and who was, well you said that Irving was born New York.

R.L.:

The three of them were born in New York. It seems that Irving and Martha were having trouble health-wise in New York. The weather was just a little bit too extreme for them and papa proceeded to find a place that would be warmer for them and where they could grow up a lot healthier. And mama had cousins here in Louisville, Mrs. David Carp and the Simon Fine, and Julius Fine, same fine. And Mrs. Anna Osland was also in the family and he came here to find out what was 5:00going on in this part of the country. And when he arrived here in December, it was one of our very rare sunshiny days and he was very excited. He called mom and said, pack up the children and come. This is the place for us. And when they got here, mom arrived with the three children in tow to a snow storm in January. But they were always glad that they came to Louisville because they were able to give their children things here that they would not have been able to give them in New York.

Z.L.:

That's really very interesting. And now I wonder if you'll tell us about what was your birthday and where you lived in and so forth?

R.L.:

When I was born in November of 1920, mom and Papa had gone into the wallpaper 6:00business and had a store at Preston and Walnut. And we lived upstairs and they always said that I must've brought the family prosperity because we had a girl to take care of me while mama was in the store and we lived in the heart of the Jewish area there. It was a mixed neighborhood, there were Jews and there were Italians and they were black people and later on, many years later, the Lebanese came in and moved in that area. But we had already moved away, but we were only a block and a half from the schul. Preston and what is now Liberty, but what's Fear Avenue at that time, we were right near the butchers. We were across the street from the delicatessen and we were only two blocks from Hebrew school, which was utmost in mama's mind. We had to have a Jewish education.

7:00

Z.L.:

How long were you there? Where did you live after that?

R.L.:

We lived there until I was six years old. And then we had rented that property and papa bought a house at 614 East Market Street. And we lived there for 12 years until the property was sold, until he sold the property and moved closer to downtown area.

Z.L.:

Do you remember something about your school days and your Hebrew school days and who was the principal then and some of the other people involved and what mama did in the Hebrew school?

R.L.:

When I went to Hebrew school you see Irving, Sophia, Martha, where out, but the 8:00principal, I think was Mr., it was Rabbi Cedar Bomb and at that time, I had four teachers, Rabbi Cornfield, Rabbi Zussman,and later on there was a Rabbi Kirschner there, but he didn't teach me and a Rabbi Schwab. But that was after me. Mama became interested in the Hebrew school and was president of the Ladies Auxiliary for many years. And papa always told the story that he never knew when he came to the store whether it would be open or closed because if the Hebrew school needed money, mama would close this door and go [inaudible 00:08:40] , canned goods and different things so the Ladies Auxiliary could make a cafeteria supper to make money to pay the teachers.

Z.L.:

What did you and your parents do for social activities during those years?

R.L.:

Was quite interesting. As I say, we lived in a very Jewish area, but in the 9:00summertime when it was ungodly hot and there was no way that they could put us to sleep upstairs over the store, we would all pile into the truck. All the neighbors would get in their cars and we would ride out to Jacobs Park. That was four nights a week, Monday through Thursday, and they'd go out there. We didn't play cards at Shawnee park. All the people who lived in the west end would get together and go out and play cards, but there was always a discussion group going on at the Jacob's Park and the kids would play together on the swings or whatever they wanted to do, and then when it cooled off, we would go home.

R.L.:

Friday night, of course, was shabbat and nobody went to the park on shabbat. Saturday night was spent in our family, at least going to the Haymarket to buy 10:00vegetables and to the butcher to buy the meat to do things. The shopping that couldn't be done during the week was done on Saturday night. And then in our household, which was most unusual, mama and Papa would get dressed up on Sunday night and go in and have dinner and go to the Kentucky picture show when Papa would have to see the show twice. That meant that they sat through a double featured twice, but they enjoyed it and then they'd meet their friends in a restaurant on Fourth Street called Thompson's where they would get all, everybody would join for coffee and then they'd come home.

Z.L.:

Do you recall what the prices were like in those days? How about as you got older, where did you go to school and did we cover that before? No. When did you 11:00go to school and can you remember some of your contemporaries that lived in the neighborhood?

R.L.:

Well, when Papa bought the house on Market Street, it was right across the street from the Ham Roberts School and I went there for five years. I have this strange experience that everywhere I went to school, they tore it down. It wasn't because I couldn't get out, but they did. I went to Ham Roberts School. I went to Margaret Merker for one year and then I went over to Eastern Junior High School and from Eastern Junior High school I went to Louisville Girls High School. None of which is in existence right now.

Z.L.:

What's that? Talk a little bit about those people cause a lot of them are still around today.

R.L.:

I graduated from Fader with Eli Jaffe with the Leon [inaudible] with Esther. Her 12:00name was Schlosberg at that time. Her name is...that's gone for me too. Okay. She lives in Florida now and then I went to school with Charlie Weisberg, I think they call him Pinky now, and Goody Goldberg and [inaudible] and they were older than I, but we all went to the same school together and [inaudible 00:12:37] Yaki and Jerry Castleman who's a doctor now in Houston, Texas. As a matter of fact, there were a lot of Jewish people, kids going to school at at Eastern Junior High School and they always used to say they could close up on the Jewish holidays cause nobody was there.

Z.L.:

Can you talk a little bit about the synagogues, which synagogue you went to and 13:00who was the rabbi or the cantor or so forth?

R.L.:

Well when I was little, we went to, as I've told you before, to the [inaudible 00:13:13] and then in 1925, I think it was, or maybe '24 or something right in there, they decided to consolidate the [inaudible] and the B'nai Yacov Shul and they bought property on Floyd and Jacob and they consolidated and became the Knesset Israel. Papa was one of the signers on the mortgage. So that they would be able to build the shul. And I remember I couldn't have been very old, but I remember going to the cornerstone laying and we walked in the mud and everything just to get up there and watch him lay the cornerstone. Then as I grew up, when we went to to the Knesset Isreal and I joined the Guild, which was a teenage 14:00club that belonged to, and I think I was the treasurer at one time and we used to meet and have dances and just the idea of getting the Jewish kids together.

R.L.:

So Rabbi Mandel was our first rabbi in that shul.

Z.L.:

And then when did you go to the Condesa? You go the Condesa that was Knesset and then there were other rabbis that, yeah,

R.L.:

Rabbi Branchim came down after Rabbi Mandelbaum left and he brought his wife with him who was only about 20 years old or 21 years old at that time and really did a lot of work with us in the Guild.

Z.L.:

I know you said that you and your mom used to pal around together a lot and tell 15:00us something about your Saturday excursions.

R.L.:

We lived on Hancock and Market, and mama would work in the store on Saturday morning and sometimes I would go to shul and sometimes I would just stay home. But after lunch Papa would come in. He stayed on Saturday afternoon and mama and I would walk to Fourth and Market and then walk all the way down to Broadway and back going into all the stores, doing all the shopping, doing a little buying at the time to for everybody who needed anything Pop or Irving. The girls usually did their own, but then we would turn around and walk all the way back and get home before suppertime

Z.L.:

and then rewind it a bit and see how far.

16:00

Z.L.:

Well what do you recall about some of the social activities?

R.L.:

Well, as a family, we always went during the summer to the various picnics at the shuls and the organizations gave at the end of Third and Southern Parkway at New Cut Road, there was summer's park, which was rented to us, to the organizations. And they had booths. There was like a carnival, they had booths and they had rides. And then you have a band and there would be a dance. And it was just, there were a general get together for everybody. And then they also have the summer picnics. There was a cafeteria. Supper too that the women of the organizations would make for everybody. And there was a park at Old Third Street Road, New Cut Road, which just maybe a half a mile away from the other park.

17:00

R.L.:

And that was called Sendings Park. And the interesting thing about Sendings Park, which is where the colonial gardens is now is that they had a little zoo and we could go and see all the animals that we wouldn't have seen anywhere.

Z.L.:

You remember any of the people that participated in this with you?

R.L.:

Well, of course there was the people that I went to school with generally, but there were other people like they came from other shuls. I remember Maurice Flamberg and and his wife Sylvia Turk and the Kleinmen kids, Silvia and her sister Ruth and, Oh, there were just lots. I remember going up to when the 18:00Kleinmens had moved out to Mount Holly on Brownsboro Road, which was in the country at that time and we used to have picnics out there at later years. Mr Kleinmen was also a big worker in the shul and no names, other names don't come to me right now [inaudible] in on it.

Z.L.:

Oh, okay. Where are you in the family active at the YMHA?

R.L.:

I was, I went through at the Y.M.H.A. I was in young Judaea. I was in Junior Hadassah. I president of Junior Hadassah one time and in Hadassahand other social affairs and of course during the war we work for the USO and mama used to go with the Talmud Torrah to make supper for the soldiers on Sunday night. Or for breakfast is on Sunday morning and they also went to Fort Knox to cook for 19:00the soldiers and I remember Mama and Papa and the rabbi and several other people going out there. Irving's mother-in-law, Mini Ginsburg used to be quite active and cooking for them too and Mrs. Tannenbaum and Mrs. Castleman and Mrs. Schwartz, Mrs. Shafts, they were all women who worked in the organizations.

Z.L.:

Can you think of any funny things that happened? Any little anecdote you might remember?

R.L.:

Not really, but what I do want to remind you, every member is that when Bialik came to Louisville, Hayim Bialik, the Hebrew poet, came to Louisville to speak at the Hebrew school. I was just a little girl, but I do remember hearing that 20:00Sophie met along with the committee, met him at the train and gave him roses and somewhere there is a picture taken in front of the old Hebrew school or 208 East Walnut of everybody including Bialik and all the kids who were there that day.

Z.L.:

Can you remember any of them that, were there? The names of any?

R.L.:

well the Jaffes, so there was Janette Jaffe and Craine and Rosie and Eli and the commerce that was a Jenny and Emma and Alvin Comber and the Pursegees. That would be Dorthy and Hannah and Selma, and Morris and Robert and I'm just trying to think who else was in the neighborhood. The Synders. Rose and Sammy Snyder 21:00and probably some of the waldmans and some of the yafees names are escaping me right now cause as I say at that time I was just a little, I might have been three or four years old.

Z.L.:

Tell me something about you, who you work for and so forth.

R.L.:

Well, I went to work at 14 as everybody else did. We worked on Saturday and my first job was working for Dave Conn in his five and 10 cent store on Preston and Walnut. I worked for a glowing $4 a day and that was a day and then I got a job working for Waterman's for $5 on Saturday and that was because she gave us supper too. [inaudible] was a real doll. I'm telling you.

Z.L.:

What about later? Didn't you work for L&N.

22:00

R.L.:

much later. I went to work for the L and N 1943, and late 1943, and I would work there for 36 years until the L and N left Louisville was taken over by the Seaboard Coastline and I decided not to go to Jacksonville, Florida and I just quit.

Z.L.:

Did you do any traveling via the railroad While you were working for them?

R.L.:

Yes. One of the benefits that I got was a free pass on a farm road once a year, but I also did a lot of traveling on the L and N line. I went to Atlanta several times. I went to New Orleans and went to Cincinnati and I went to lots of places on the road and of course I did go to New York twice a year to see my sister and her husband and children.

Z.L.:

Before we close, How about bringing us up to date on your family, your sisters 23:00and who they married and so forth?

R.L.:

Well, my oldest sister who is now deceased, married Max Hitlin in January 01, 1939. Irving was the first one married and he married Blanche Ginsburg, August the 14th 1938. My sister Sophie married Dr Samuel Novel on November 10, 1940, and moved to the hinterlands of Canada [inaudible] and six months ago about a year later they moved to Kil Mara, Ontario, which was much better, while it was still up on the mountain, it was only 60 miles from Montreal.

Z.L.:

Before we conclude this interview, is there anything else that you would like to tell us? Any other memories that you would like to put down on tape?

24:00

R.L.:

I do want to say only one thing. I'm very glad that my parents decided to live in Louisville because I think I've had a real full life here and that I wouldn't have had in a bigger city.

Z.L.:

Thank you very much. This interview was conducted by zero Lipitz sister-in-law to Ray Eva.