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´╗┐Laura Colby:

-25th 1977, it's two o'clock, and I am Laura M. Colby. And I am interviewing Mrs. Sam Weissberg. Millie is her first name. Mrs. Weissberg lives at Christopher East Nursing Home on Browns lane, and she was nice enough to consent to this interview. I'm going to ask you some questions now, Mrs. Weissberg. What is the- were you born in Louisville?

Millie Weissberg:

Yes.

L.C.:

And what was the date?

M.W.:

I was born December the eighth, 1895 .

L.C.:

All right, and you now live at Christopher East Nursing Home. What were your parents' names?

1:00

M.W.:

My father's name was Frank [Hyman]. My mother's main was Clara Hyman.

L.C.:

Were they natives of Louisville?

M.W.:

No.

L.C.:

Where were they from?

M.W.:

They both came from Romania.

L.C.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Where you- had they lived here long when you were born?

M.W.:

Had they lived here-?

L.C.:

In Louisville? You were born in Louisville?

M.W.:

Yes. There were two boys older than me and they were born here in Louisville.

L.C.:

I see. Your two brothers, are either of living now?

M.W.:

No.

L.C.:

All right. Mrs. Weissberg, let's see. Do you know why your family came to Louisville from Romania? How did they pick Louisville?

M.W.:

They came to New York first. They were married in New York. They came over on 2:00the ship.

L.C.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M.W.:

That's where they met each other.

L.C.:

On the ship?

M.W.:

On the ship.

M.W.:

And they came... Landed in New York. And then from New York they came to Louisville.

L.C.:

Did they have... There was no family here. Did they already have family in Louisville?

M.W.:

That I don't think so. Not at that time.

L.C.:

Okay. When you were born, do you remember, I mean I know you don't remember, but do you recall in what area of Louisville that your family lived?

M.W.:

Yes, or so I was told, on Seventh Street it was called Castle Garden.

L.C.:

Castle Garden. Were you born at home?

M.W.:

Oh, of course.

L.C.:

Yeah.

M.W.:

Yes.

L.C.:

All right. And you were the third child?

M.W.:

I was the third. Then there was two later than me, two brothers younger and two brothers older.

3:00

L.C.:

Oh, you were the only girl. All right. Now what business was your father in?

M.W.:

He was always a tailor.

L.C.:

A tailor.

M.W.:

Yes.

L.C.:

Wjere- did he have his place of business then on Seventh Street, in that area?

M.W.:

He worked out. But then when I was a child, I remember that he had a shop where we lived and he employed people. They were making men's coats.

L.C.:

And this was where you lived?

M.W.:

For a factory. Yes. He had a shop.

L.C.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). All right. Do you recall were you all members of any Jewish organizations when you were child?

M.W.:

Other than Anshei Sfard, I don't-

L.C.:

Where was Anshei Sfard?

M.W.:

Anshei Sfard was on First Street near Walnut, and my father, [avrei sholom 4:0000:04:03], was one of the... Do you call it an instigator? Or one of the new members? That organized...

L.C.:

Oh, he was one of the founders-

M.W.:

One of the founders of Anshei Sfard, but it wasn't on First Street then. From what I recall, it was somewhere in a neighborhood where they had a room upstairs. That I don't remember.

L.C.:

Do you remember the names of any of the early rabbis at Anshei Sfard?

M.W.:

No, as far back as I remember was Rabbi Zarchy. He was one of the older rabbi.

L.C.:

Did your brothers, or did you, attend a Hebrew school?

M.W.:

No.

L.C.:

None of you attended Hebrew school?

M.W.:

No.

L.C.:

Did your father- were your brothers bar mitzvah'd?

5:00

M.W.:

I remember my younger brother, the one that was 12 years younger than me, he was bar mitzvah'd.

L.C.:

Well, I wonder where he got his training.

M.W.:

Well, I think then they went to a Talmud Torah.

L.C.:

Well, then he did go to Hebrew School.

M.W.:

If I do remember correctly.

L.C.:

Right. Right. Do you recall where-

M.W.:

He's-

L.C.:

Where he went to the Hebrew school?

M.W.:

No, I don't. I remember my son going, but I don't remember my brother.

L.C.:

All right.

M.W.:

Because I was just 12 years older than he.

L.C.:

Well then, you were a young woman when he was ready for his bar mitzvah. I mean, you were 24 years old.

M.W.:

What?

L.C.:

You were 12 years older than this brother.

M.W.:

Yes.

L.C.:

So you were probably... How old were you when you got married?

M.W.:

I was 22 when I got married.

L.C.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). And Mr. Weissberg, was he a native of Louisville?

6:00

M.W.:

No, he came here from Russia.

L.C.:

I see.

M.W.:

In fact, he ran away from the army. He was in the army and he-

L.C.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M.W.:

He was here in Louisville only three years-

L.C.:

-when you-

M.W.:

-when I married him.

L.C.:

I see.

M.W.:

He had had a brother that brought him here.

L.C.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). When you were... You lived out on Seventh Street. Is that where your family stayed all through your childhood?

M.W.:

Not all through. No, no, we... No. I was there when I got married.

L.C.:

Were there are a lot of Jewish people that lived out on Seventh Street there?

M.W.:

Quite a few.

L.C.:

Were they mostly Orthodox?

M.W.:

Mostly. Yes.

L.C.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M.W.:

Yes.

L.C.:

And most of these people, did they belong to your temple? Your Shul?

7:00

M.W.:

A few that I can remember back that far, yes.

L.C.:

Did you grow up in a kosher home?

M.W.:

Absolutely.

L.C.:

How was- were there kosher butchers here in Louisville?

M.W.:

Yes. There was one on Seventh Street where where we live.

L.C.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M.W.:

There was one on... Oh later, on Floyd and Market. But there was... Oh, absolutely, a Jewish butcher shop. And my mother was very orthodox, not fanatic, but she was very, very orthodox-

L.C.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M.W.:

And I was raised that way.

L.C.:

I see. So, that your family sort of stayed around this Seventh Street area. Is that Seventh and what?

M.W.:

Seventh, we lived part time on Jefferson. Wait a minute, Seventh and... Well, those days it was called Green Street. Then, it was Liberty.

8:00

L.C.:

I see.

M.W.:

And Walnut.

L.C.:

Okay. Right. I understand where you mean now. And Anshei Sfard was up on First Street-

M.W.:

On First and Wal... On First-

L.C.:

How did you get there? Did you-?

M.W.:

Walk, honey.

L.C.:

You walked.

M.W.:

Absolute... Walk.

L.C.:

I wonder why the Orthodox community didn't live closer to the Shul? That was a long way.

M.W.:

That was just from Seventh to First Street, honey.

L.C.:

I guess so. Just walked.

M.W.:

That wasn't considered anything, man... Later in life we lived down on 22nd and Greenwood.

L.C.:

Really?

M.W.:

Yes.

L.C.:

Was this after you were married?

M.W.:

After I was married. And even in those days we walked to Shul.

L.C.:

From 22nd and Greenwood-

M.W.:

Yes, ma'am. We walked to Shul and walked back from Shul, and it wasn't-

9:00

L.C.:

Were there lots of Jewish people that lived at 22nd and Greenwood?

M.W.:

There was a few.

L.C.:

Why did you live down there?

M.W.:

The Fishmans lived there. Some of the Lerners lived there. We bought a home, it was a new home-

L.C.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M.W.:

That Mr. [Jacobson 00:00:09:16] had built, and we bought that home. And then of course the Fishmans moved down there, and the Lerners moved down there, and we walked to Shul and walked back, honey.

L.C.:

Well I was just interested in why... Since that time the Jewish community has certainly moved eastward-

M.W.:

Well that was so much-

L.C.:

Was there a reason why-?

M.W.:

Honey, that was so much later in life.

L.C.:

No. Oh, I realize that. But what I'm saying is the Shul was up on First Street. There must have been a reason why you moved down to 22nd and Greenwood and there weren't a lot of Jewish people. Was your husband's business in that area?

10:00

M.W.:

No. He- my husband was a tailor and worked out.

L.C.:

Did he work for your father?

M.W.:

No.

L.C.:

Didn't you say your father was one also?

M.W.:

He was a tailor, yes, but he... My father was out of a business then.

L.C.:

Yeah. Uh-huh (affirmative). And your husband was a tailor.

M.W.:

My husband was a tailor and worked for Sherman up on East... On Market Street between Seventh and Eighth. They had a factory there.

L.C.:

Sherman?

M.W.:

I think it was Shermans, yeah, it was a factory.

L.C.:

Do you recall your mother, or you in your early days, being members of any Jewish women's organization.

M.W.:

My mother did, honey. It was... Oh, I can't remember the name. She did, yeah. 11:00She was very active both in the organization and in the Shul.

L.C.:

I see. Was there a sisterhood at that time?

M.W.:

I think... I don't remember if there was this... She, wait a minute, she belonged to a benevolent, it was a benevolent society-

L.C.:

Right. Right.

M.W.:

That I remember.

L.C.:

It was called The Jewish Ladies Benevolence Society.

M.W.:

Yes.

L.C.:

I see. And they did... Do you remember any of the work that they did? Any of the projects or-?

M.W.:

Well, those days, honey, people were neighbors. And neighbors contributed to their other neighbors. She was very, very efficient in what she done and helped out.

M.W.:

In fact, I remember even hearing her say that she helped deliver...

12:00

L.C.:

The baby-

M.W.:

Yes, I do.

L.C.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Right. Well now, then you met your husband and and you married and you settled here in Louisville. And was your first home at 22nd in Greenwood?

M.W.:

The first home that we bought, yes.

L.C.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M.W.:

And then of course we went into business.

L.C.:

What was that business?

M.W.:

We went into grocery at Campbell and Jefferson.

L.C.:

Wow, that was pretty far from 22nd and-

M.W.:

Yes it was. We were in that business for close to 40 years.

L.C.:

Really? Do you have a big Jewish clientele, or-

M.W.:

No.

L.C.:

Mostly-

M.W.:

It was a mix. It was mixed black and white.

L.C.:

I see. Now, did you, after you married, stay a member of Anshei Sfard?

M.W.:

I've been a member of Anshei Sfard since as far back as I can remember. As a 13:00little child.

L.C.:

Were you confirmed or-

M.W.:

No. No, not those days. No, not those days. I can give my age.

L.C.:

Well, you gave me the date. What are you-?

M.W.:

Oh, yes.

L.C.:

You're around 80 aren't you?

M.W.:

I'm 80... past my 82nd birthday.

L.C.:

Really? Well you're remarkable.

M.W.:

And I married in 1917.

L.C.:

So you were 19 when you got married?

M.W.:

I was 22 when I got married.

L.C.:

Oh my goodness. That was kind of late, wasn't it?

M.W.:

Yes.

L.C.:

Were they worried about you?

M.W.:

And you want to hear s- oh yeah, my mother-

L.C.:

Well, being the only girl, I would think that they were really concerned-

M.W.:

Yes, I was an only girl. But, you want to hear something that's unusual?

M.W.:

When I got married, my husband was not a citizen then-

L.C.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M.W.:

And in those days, marrying a foreigner, I became a foreigner.

L.C.:

You lost your American citizen-?

M.W.:

I didn't lose it. Wait a minute, I didn't lose... But I became automatically a 14:00foreigner. I was born and raised here in Louisville. I sai... What are they going to do, send me back to Russia? Or where?

M.W.:

But, I went down to the... I was notified and I went to the federal building and was sworn in as a citizen, now just-

L.C.:

Isn't that something. Because you married a-

M.W.:

And man. Because he wasn't a citizen at that time, but shortly after we married, he became a citizen and that was during World War I. That's why they were so-

L.C.:

Careful, I guess. At that time.

M.W.:

Yes. Uh-huh (affirmative).

L.C.:

Now, as a young woman, how many children do you have, Mrs. Weissberg?

M.W.:

I had two. I lost one.

L.C.:

I see. Charles-

M.W.:

Charles Weissberg is my son. He was born in 1919.

15:00

L.C.:

I see. Was he born here in Louisville?

M.W.:

Yes.

L.C.:

In a hospital or at home?

M.W.:

In the Jewish hospital.

L.C.:

I see. Tell me something. Have you been active? Were you, as a young woman, active at Anshei Sfard?

M.W.:

I was active in... Yes, in the sisterhood. I was active in Hadassah.

L.C.:

Oh well, now that's-

M.W.:

That was really my big project.

L.C.:

Hadassah?

M.W.:

Hadassah.

L.C.:

Right.

M.W.:

And I'm still a member of Hadassah, all those years.

L.C.:

Can you give me a general idea of when you were active in Hadassah, when you were working for them?

M.W.:

We were in the grocery business. I remember that. And we didn't go into the 16:00grocery... On the day that Charles was five years old. That was in 1924, and I was active probably 30, 35 something like that.

L.C.:

I see. Can you recall... Did Charles go to Hebrew school?

M.W.:

Yes. He went to the Talmud Torah.

L.C.:

Where was that?

M.W.:

On Walnut, right above Brook Street, I think.

L.C.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M.W.:

Yes, and he was bar mitzvah'd.

L.C.:

At Anshei Sfard.

M.W.:

At Anshei Sfard, yes.

L.C.:

Right.

M.W.:

I can't remember the young rabbi that was there then. I just can't remember.

L.C.:

Can you remember any of the women who were in the leadership capacity of Hadassah when you were active, or what some of their projects were? Where did 17:00they meet? Where did they hold their meetings?

M.W.:

Isn't that strange? I can't remember. I don't remember if it was the old YMHA or not.

L.C.:

Do you recall anything that was before the old YMHA at Second and Jacob? Was that-

M.W.:

Honey, I was married in the old... It wasn't... Was it Second and Jacob?

L.C.:

That was the old Brith Shol-

M.W.:

No. It was... The old YMHA-

L.C.:

The old YMHA that I re... Was it... It was Second.

M.W.:

First?

L.C.:

Second and Jacob was where it was before moved out to where it is now. Did your son participate in any activities at the YMHA? Did Charles go to anything at the YMHA?

M.W.:

Not that I can remember.

L.C.:

Well, it wasn't the hub of Jewish life or-

M.W.:

The what?

L.C.:

The hub... It wasn't like it is now?

18:00

M.W.:

No, no. Not then.

L.C.:

Uh-huh (affirmative).

M.W.:

Not then.

L.C.:

Do you recall that there was any kind of... not a segregation, but that the Jewish people that were members of Anshei Sfard and maybe the Jewish reform people, did they mix much in those days?

M.W.:

I don't think so.

L.C.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M.W.:

After World War II then-

L.C.:

Everybody-

M.W.:

Then we more or less became one.

L.C.:

Right.

M.W.:

The war done a lot.

L.C.:

I think you're right. I'm trying to think if there's... You were active in Hadassah and at Anshei Sfard. And after you lived at 22nd and Greenwood. Where did you move from there?

M.W.:

Honey, we moved up to Campbell and Jefferson-

L.C.:

Where your business was.

M.W.:

Where the business was.

L.C.:

Did you live right next to the business?

M.W.:

We lived with the business upstairs. Charles was five years old then.

19:00

L.C.:

I see. And then after... Now you were in business for, you said, for approximately 40 years-

M.W.:

Close to 40 years.

L.C.:

Did you work?

M.W.:

Every day.

L.C.:

Every day. It's a seven d-

M.W.:

And the hours were long and it was seven days a week. Yes ma'am.

L.C.:

So you were your husband's right hand man. You were right there along with your husband-

M.W.:

In fact, I taught him the grocery business because he was a tailor-

L.C.:

I see.

M.W.:

And he worked in the shop. And I tried my best to get him out of being a working man. I've wanted... Didn't want him to be a working man all of his life.

20:00

M.W.:

I was used to being in business because my mother, [avrei sholom 00:19:50], had a delicatessen on Seventh Street, near Jefferson. And I was in there with her. That was when I first gotten... That's where I married from.

L.C.:

That was Mrs. Hyman.

M.W.:

That's right.

L.C.:

I see.

M.W.:

That's where I met my husband. He used to come in there and that's how... I was introduced to him by Mr. and Mrs. Brownstein.

L.C.:

Who was that?

M.W.:

They lived on Sixth Street.

L.C.:

And this was all sort of near Jefferson?

M.W.:

Right between Jefferson and Market, right near Jefferson.

L.C.:

All right. Now you were in that business until what year? When did you close your business at... The grocery business?

M.W.:

That was before... Right before my husband retired. Wait a minute. He passed 21:00away in '68 and we were out of the business about three... We gave up the business in '64.

L.C.:

I see. And then did you stay living in that area or did you move?

M.W.:

Oh no, we had moved out. We had moved out, bought a home on Strand Avenue, between Newburg and Norris Place. We had been living there more than 20 years or more, I guess.

L.C.:

So that was when the Jewish people really had started to move out into the East End-

M.W.:

Oh, yes.

L.C.:

You came out?

M.W.:

Oh yeah. Right before then. And we bought a home there. We couldn't see which way to get away from the business-

L.C.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M.W.:

But we finally did and it worked out beautifully. That was when Charles was overseas-

22:00

L.C.:

Second World War.

M.W.:

That we bought the home, yes.

L.C.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M.W.:

He was overseas when we bought that home.

L.C.:

Let me ask you something, going back some, do you recall anything about like the Jewish Welfare Board here in Louisville, or any of the Jewish organizations? Was your husband active in anything?

M.W.:

No. No. He was active in the Shul.

L.C.:

Yes.

M.W.:

And after he retired, which was just a short while, he became a dollar a year man at the Shul-

L.C.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M.W.:

And was associated with Rabbi Rudman. He used to go there every day and spend time with him. And if they needed anything done for the Shul, my husband would get it.

M.W.:

A carpenter or plasterer. Those are the things that he'd done and he loved it.

23:00

L.C.:

Let me ask you something, Mrs. Weissberg.

M.W.:

Yeah.

L.C.:

Back in the early times, what were some of the professions? There were businesses of people that... Your father was a tailor. Your mother had the delicatessen-

M.W.:

Honey. The average people then were people that came from Europe. They were tailors. They were shoe makers. They were little dry goods stores, little businesses that people were able to take care of and accumulate a dollar, get on their feet.

L.C.:

Did you-?

M.W.:

All of them were from Europe, honey.

L.C.:

From more or less Eastern Europe, wasn't it? I mean Russia-

M.W.:

Oh, sh... Russia, Romania-

L.C.:

Czechoslo-

M.W.:

Yes.

L.C.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Let me ask you this. Did you all kind of support each other, help each other? I noticed you said your mother was a good neighbor. In 24:00that- did you- If you needed something from a clothing store, you went to a Jewish... The little Jewish?

M.W.:

Not necessarily. No, no, not, no, not especially.

L.C.:

Where did your son go to school?

M.W.:

Well, we were in the grocery story. He went to Margaret Merker over on Market between Wenzel and... That's where he went through school from the first to the eighth grade. Then he went to Eastern.

L.C.:

That was on Broadway?

M.W.:

Yeah. Then he went to high school.

L.C.:

Did he go to Male?

M.W.:

He did graduate... Oh, yes. He graduated Male.

L.C.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M.W.:

And-

L.C.:

Is he still a member of Anshei Sfard?

M.W.:

No.

L.C.:

He goes Adath Jeshurun now.

M.W.:

They belong to Adath Jeshurun because...well...

25:00

L.C.:

That's not nec... I was just asking that because I thought I used to see him.

M.W.:

No, he belongs to Adath Jeshurun. And he's been-

L.C.:

Well, I know he's very active in the Jewish community here.

M.W.:

Yeah. Thank-

L.C.:

That's right. Well, yes-

M.W.:

He's President of the Jewish Community Center now. Yes, he is.

L.C.:

Can-

M.W.:

I'm very proud of him.

L.C.:

I don't blame you, he's a nice man. Let me ask you this, Mrs. Weissberg, you would basically say then that your early days... It is hot in here.

L.C.:

Your early days, before you got married and even after you got married, kind of revolved around the Shul. Is that correct? I mean you were... And your business?

26:00

M.W.:

Well, I was confined to the business. And in those days, like I told you, they were long hours-

L.C.:

That's right, you did-

M.W.:

And were seven days a week. And I couldn't be active in the organizations. I just couldn't.

L.C.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M.W.:

I didn't have the time. I didn't have the energy.

L.C.:

I can understand that. Can you remember any of the names of some of the leaders at Anshei Sfard at that time? I mean, some of the lay people that were members of the congregation.

M.W.:

Well, the Brownsteins, the Bakers, the Lynchs, those days. Back in the young days. Recently, or up then, I didn't know. But back in the early days, yeah, 27:00those people were neighbors of ours when we were... And then they were active in the Shul.

L.C.:

Can you remember when the YMHA was formed? Do you know why? I mean, it didn't offer your family anything.

M.W.:

No, I was married in the old YMHA.

L.C.:

You were married in the YMHA? You mean in it proper? What, the Rabbi came to the YMHA? Was Anshei Sfard using the YMHA at that time for services?

M.W.:

Yes, ma'am.

L.C.:

What, they had-

M.W.:

That was in 1917.

L.C.:

That was during... was that the first World War?

M.W.:

Yes.

L.C.:

Had they lost their synagogue or why where they meeting at-?

M.W.:

Well, they wasn't equipped.

L.C.:

I see.

M.W.:

It wasn't equipped then. I was married there and I remember they served 28:00downstairs or was it called a base...? It wasn't a basin, but it was... they served the dinner there my mother prepared and that's where it was.

M.W.:

And then of course they danced. I didn't have an elaborate wedding, but I had a very nice wedding that I can remember at the YMHA.

L.C.:

Well, basically Mrs. Weissberg, nobody really had a heck of a lot of money at this time, did they-?

M.W.:

No.

L.C.:

I mean, people were just-

M.W.:

In moderate circumstances.

L.C.:

Trying to get going good-

M.W.:

Very, very.

L.C.:

But I mean, nobody went hungry.

M.W.:

Thank, God. No, never.

L.C.:

That's the important-

M.W.:

Oh, I can look back and remember a lot of things. I mean...

L.C.:

It wasn't always so easy, was it?

M.W.:

It wasn't-

L.C.:

When it-

M.W.:

It's so different today that I just can't believe it. Things were so different 29:00and still we had good times.

L.C.:

What'd y'all do for a good time? I mean when you were a young married?

M.W.:

Well we did go to a show. We took walks. Those days, honey, when I first got married, Fourth Street was Fourth Street. And on a Sunday night, my husband and I, maybe another one or two couples, we would go out and walk from Broadway to Market on one side of the street and window shop, and then come back on the other side. Or we would go to Childs restaurant.

L.C.:

Childs restaurant?

M.W.:

Yes. On those days they was Thompson's restaurant.

L.C.:

I remember Thompson's-

M.W.:

Or Childs. And you met half of the Jewish community there-

30:00

L.C.:

Uh-huh (affirmative).

M.W.:

And you would discuss things. And everybody was in a little business and had to open up in the morning.

L.C.:

They were open on Sundays.

M.W.:

Oh, sure.

L.C.:

Every day.

M.W.:

Sure. Seven days a week.

L.C.:

Now see, I can see where it would be a lot different seeming now-

M.W.:

Oh, the living was so different. But, if you did do something or have something you appreciated it.

L.C.:

I think people still do, to a degree.

M.W.:

I hope they do.

L.C.:

I do. I think so-

M.W.:

I don't know. Things come... I tell my children today, the grandchildren, I mean, and they just don't believe that things existed the way they did.

L.C.:

Well, basically life is easier now. I mean-

M.W.:

Sure it is.

L.C.:

Through different innovations and so forth. I mean, when you cooked a big dinner, you had to be in there cooking all day. We've got all kinds of 31:00different, you know.

M.W.:

Well, it's so different, honey. So different. Because I remember back, my mother lived with me for 20 years after my father passed away.

L.C.:

Well, that was the norm then, wasn't it?

M.W.:

And then-

L.C.:

When you had an old parent-

M.W.:

That was the thing.

L.C.:

They moved in.

M.W.:

That's right. I was the only daughter. And today, look, you've almost living luxury today.

L.C.:

Why not?

M.W.:

Well, you work hard when you're young-

L.C.:

That's right.

M.W.:

And you reap the benefits when you're old.

L.C.:

Well, that's the way it should be. Let me ask you, do you think... Can you think of anything else that you might be able to tell me about the early days in the Jewish community here that might be important?

M.W.:

The only thing I can tell you is neighbors were neighbors then.

L.C.:

That was-

M.W.:

I remember some people, I don't have to mention names, but people came here to 32:00Louisville and they had no place to go or stay and my mother took them in. And she helped deliver when they... And they're living here now, but I'm not going to mention name. [silence 00:32:16]

L.C.:

It was just... It's funny that they didn't click at that time. Yeah, I think it took them, I don't know what, but I think that all of our different Jewish agencies now here in Louisville had pulled different groups together.

M.W.:

Well I tell you, the Orthodox people. I will have to admit, were so... I don't know. I won't call the word prejudiced, but they were like... I don't know how-

L.C.:

You can say anything, it's all right.

33:00

M.W.:

But I don't want to-

L.C.:

Because-

M.W.:

It was different.

L.C.:

I grew up from a different angle, you see?

M.W.:

Well, there were some people, even then that were well to do, they were in the money. And some of the poor Orthodox... Back when I was a child, now that goes back a long way, honey.

M.W.:

They really were considered poor people. They barely eked out a living.

L.C.:

What are you saying, that they were poorer than the reform people, or-?

M.W.:

Yes.

L.C.:

Is that what you're saying?

M.W.:

Yes. There were so many than I can remember that were once considered well to do in those days.

L.C.:

You're talking about the reform now?

M.W.:

Yes. They were considered...

L.C.:

Kind of like high society, or-?

M.W.:

Well, they had the means to do things, where the Orthodox people didn't have.

L.C.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

M.W.:

Of course we lived accordingly, honey. I can't ever remember going hungry or going without shoes. And holidays came along and we celebrated them accordingly, 34:00and they were beautiful.

L.C.:

Did you -do you feel like the holidays were celebrated more?

M.W.:

Oh yes, honey.

L.C.:

In what way?

M.W.:

In every way. Children then were glad to get new shoes and a pretty dress. And, like, during Passover week, everybody went to visit everybody and we really looked forward to that holiday and it was beautiful. And my father knew how to conduct the Seders.

M.W.:

In fact, I remember my mother saying more than once that she fell in love with my father because he conducted a Seder so beautifully. Children didn't get away from the table until the Seder was over and it lasted for hours and hours and it 35:00was beautiful. It was sacred.

L.C.:

You feel like we're getting away from there?

M.W.:

Oh, in lot of ways, honey. Of course, I'm very fortunate today. I have one granddaughter that's married to one of my grandson that observes the Jewish tradition. And it's beautiful and I love it. And she's passing it on to her little one, too. She's just wonderful. Yeah, it's this one here, honey. She's a Louisville girl.

L.C.:

What was her name?

M.W.:

Aslyn.

L.C.:

Aslyn.

M.W.:

That's the baby.

L.C.:

That's... What was her maiden name? Your granddaughter's?

M.W.:

Aslyn.

L.C.:

Oh, I never heard that. Ain't that a cute shot.

36:00

M.W.:

And she's married to Ronnie Weissberg.

L.C.:

Well, I can't tell you how much I appreciate you talking to me.

M.W.:

Well for me-

L.C.:

I wish that there was something more I could-

M.W.:

That's my mother with Ronnie and Frank.

L.C.:

I know Frankie.

M.W.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). This was my husband. That was from- [silence 00:36:17]

L.C.:

This is Laura Colby, and I'm winding up the interview with Mrs. Sam Weissberg at Christopher East Nursing Home. She is a member of Anshei Sfard and an old Orthodox Jewish family. Thank you.