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Myer and Rosaline Feinstein Center for American Jewish History Oral Histories

Collection ID

SCRC 185

Related Subject(s)

Collecting Area(s)


Collection Summary

Myer and Rosaline Feinstein Center for American Jewish History Oral Histories

1970-2001, bulk 1996-1999

Collection ID
SCRC 185

Myer and Rosaline Feinstein Center for American Jewish History

5 linear feet (13 boxes)

Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries

Materials in English


Detailed Collection Information

Description of Collection

This collection contains oral histories with approximately 50 Jewish people who lived or were raised in the Philadelphia or surrounding areas. Interviews were conducted between 1996 and 1999.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 1 series, Oral histories, 1970-2001, bulk 1996-1999. Physically, the collection is divided into 3 sections: interview cassette tapes, transcripts, and background information files. In the inventory below, materials appear together under the name of the person interviewed, with an indication of in which box the tapes, transcripts, and files are stored.      

Patron Information

Other Finding Aids and Indices

Please see also the Index of Oral Histories by Personal Name.

Alternate Form Available

A number of transcripts of oral histories from this collection have been digitized and are available online on the SCRC Oral Histories Repository.

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Temple University’s online library catalog: http://diamond.temple.edu/record=b6157658~S12

Research Access

Collection is open for research. Some oral histories cannot be reproduced in whole or in part without permission of the interviewee, as noted in the inventory. Some oral histories are restricted from use and are stored separately. 

Collections Stored Off-Site

This collection may be housed off-site at the Library Depository, and require up to two business days to retrieve. Please review the finding aid and be prepared to identify specific materials to be retrieved. Contact the Special Collections Research Center in advance of your visit, so that materials may be relocated to the reading room for research.

Technical Access

Original audiovisual materials, as well as preservation and duplicating masters, may not be played. Researchers must consult use copies, or if none exist must pay for a use copy. Certain digital files may also be inaccessible. Please contact the Special Collections Research Center for more information.

Publication and Copyright Information

The Myer and Rosaline Feinstein Center for American Jewish History Oral Histories are the physical property of the Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries. Intellectual property rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for determining the identity of rights holders and obtaining their permission for publication and for other purposes where stated.

Preferred Citation

[Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], Myer and Rosaline Feinstein Center for American Jewish History Oral Histories, SCRC 185, Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Donated by the Feinstein Center for American Jewish History, circa 2000-2001.

Processing Information

Finding aid revised according to contemporary archival standards in June 2016 by Katy Rawdon, Coordinator of Technical Services.


Index Terms

The following headings have been used to index the description of this collection in Temple University’s electronic catalog:

Corporate Names
Temple University

Jews -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
City planning -- Pennsylvania --Philadelphia
Civic improvement -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
Municipal officials and employees -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia

Philadelphia (Pa.)

Material Types:
Oral histories
Sound recordings


Series 1: Oral histories, 1970-2001, bulk 1996-1999

Adams, Arlin M., 1921- (Judge, Federal Court of Appeals)
Interviewed by Louise Cohen

Discussion of family history and grandfather's arrival in Philadelphia; recounting childhood and early education; working for Moses Annenberg at Philadelphia Inquirer and at other Philadelphia newspapers; attending college and law school; serving as Navy officer during World War II; working at William Schnader's law firm; serving as trustee and then president of Keneseth Is­rael; involvement in building a new synagogue for KI; discusses travels to Israel; formation of Albert Einstein Medical Center and the establishment of Moss Rehabilitation Hospital; working on Scranton gubernatorial campaign and serving as Secretary of Health and Welfare; involve­ment in Republican Party; running Nixon's '68 PA campaign; appointment to Court of Appeals; receives consideration for nomination to US Supreme Court; service on board of the Pennsylva­nia School for Social Work and involvement with University of Pennsylvania in various forms; recalling friendships with others in Philadelphia legal community; recalls disagreements with others on court on issues such as habeas corpus; serving as independent counsel during HUD scandal; getting elected to American Philosophical Society; working with Hebrew Union College.

1          3          Adams, Arlin M.          Transcript          February 6, 1996
5          2          Adams, Arlin M.          Background information file          1997, undated
6                    Adams, Arlin M.          1 interview cassette tape          February 6, 1996
6                    Adams, Arlin M.          1 interview cassette tape          July 9, 1996

Alpert, Rebecca T., 1950- (Professor of religious studies, rabbi)
Interviewed by Sally Benson Alsher

Grandparents' immigration from Russia; parents' meeting and father's business troubles; lack of spirituality in home life; other childhood memories; choosing to be active in religious community; first encounter with reconstructionism; moving to Philadelphia and entering rabbinical school; historical precedents for women in rabbinate; early teaching and university jobs; joining rabbini­cal school staff full time; coming out as a lesbian and leaving rabbinical school; leaving Jewish community; publishing on Judaism and lesbianism; teaching and serving as a rabbi at Temple; local community and political work; balancing family and professional life; marriage, divorce, and having children; living on the margins of Jewish community; future of women and Judaism in America.

1          4          Alpert, Rebecca T.          Transcript          February 26, 1999
6                    Alpert, Rebecca T.          3 interview cassette tapes          February 26, 1999

Amsterdam, Gustave, 1908-2001 (Lawyer and businessman)
Interviewed by Andrew Harrison

Family history and immigration to America; limited religious education; education at Central High School and the University of Pennsylvania; experiences of anti-Semitism in the army; working with Albert Greenfield; working for Reconstruction Finance Corporation; failure of Greenfield's bank and the rebuilding of Greenfield's business via real estate; encountering concentration camps during army service; role of Judaism in marriage and family; dealing with labor strikes at Greenfield companies; City Stores' postwar expansion; owning stores in South during segrega­tion; missed opportunities for Bankers Securities companies such as Loft Candy; chairman of the Redevelopment Authority; purchasing AMG & Co. after Greenfield's retirement; political in­volvement and consideration of mayoral candidacy; obstacles faced by Jewish and Black businesspersons; problems at Snellenberg's, City Stores and Lit's; relationship with Arlen Specter and controversy over Greenfield and Co. real estate dealings; investment in and eventual closing of Hilton at 10th and Packard; rationale for building in city vs. suburbs in 60s and 70s; problems with other Greenfield Co. businesses and battles for control of Bankers Securities and AM Greenfield; law practice after sale of Bankers; service as chairman of board of Diagnostic and Rehabilitation Center; service on board at Penn and Jefferson and other area companies.

1          5          Amsterdam, Gustave          Transcript          October 8, 1996
6                    Amsterdam, Gustave          2 interview cassette tapes          October 8, 1996

Auerbach, Carol, 1943- (Activist and family therapist)
Interviewed by Mina Gobler

Family history, including mother's departure from Germany shortly after Kristallnacht; childhood memories of New York; trip to Israel while in college; first work experiences at a non-Jewish school; marriage to Benjamin Barg in 1967; Benjamin's death in 1974; starting a therapy practice; relationship with and marriage to Isaac Auerbach; adjustment to Philadelphia; involvement with Federation; philanthropic activities with area charities and Jewish organizations; involving children and younger generations in charitable work; children and stepchildren; Judaism in home life; challenges of being a woman in Jewish community.

1          6          Auerbach, Carol          Transcript          October 12, 1998
5          3          Auerbach, Carol          Background information file          September 24, 1998
6                    Auerbach, Carol          3 interview cassette tapes          October 12, 1998

Barness, Herbert, 1923-1998 (Real estate developer)
Interviewed by Polly Beckham
**Restricted: may not be reproduced without permission of interviewee**

Parents' immigration; farm and family life; social life in rural suburbs; effect of Depression on family real estate business; Air Force service in World War II; graduation from college and joining family business; parents' efforts to develop Bucks County; US Steel and Levittown's impact on Bucks County; founding of Bucks County Community College and work with Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture; international and Section Eight housing develop­ment; charitable and community involvement; ownership of sports teams and horse racing facili­ties; marriage and family life.

1          7          Barness, Herbert          Transcript          February 26, 1998
5          4          Barness, Herbert          Background information file          September 17, 1998
6                    Barness, Herbert          1 interview cassette tape          February 16, 1998
6                    Barness, Herbert          1 interview cassette tape          February 26, 1998

Beck, Phyllis W., 1927- (Judge, Pennsylvania Supreme Court)
Interviewed by Doris Guttentag and Sally Benson Alsher

Parents' immigration and family life in Bronx; lack of family religious observance; childhood and school life; entrance to Temple Law School and start of law career; appointment and subsequent election to PA Supreme Court; marriage to Aaron Beck, children, and home life/career stresses; clubs and community involvement; home life during World War II; social expectations of women in 50s and 60s; involvement in Jewish community; husband's and children's religious obser­vance; political career; challenges for women in 21st Century.

1          8          Beck, Phyllis W.          Transcript          May 7, 1997
6                    Beck, Phyllis W.          1 interview cassette tape          May 7, 1997
6                    Beck, Phyllis W.          1 interview cassette tape          August 11, 1998
6                    Beck, Phyllis W.          1 interview cassette tape          August 10, 1998

Berman, Philip, 1915-1998 (Entrepreneur and Art Museum chairman)
Interviewed by Doris Guttentag
**Restricted: may not be reproduced without permission of interviewee**

Childhood and family history; parents' religious observance; business activities in 1930s; impor­tance of family circle; business partnerships with siblings; departure from family trucking busi­ness and purchase of Mess's department store; work in nursing home industry; sale of both businesses in early 1980s and subsequent civic involvement; marriage and enlistment in Marine Corps in 1942; children's careers; initial forays into art world after World War II; growth of collec­tion and value of pieces; invitation to join board of Philadelphia Museum; absence of anti-Semitism in dealings with art community; service at other organizations, including Jewish Publication So­ciety, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, American Jewish Committee and others; Jewish life in Philadelphia; work with organizations of other faiths; personality problems with Jewish commu­nity in Allentown; explorations of art world and donations of pieces to museums and exhibits; health and future plans.

1          9          Berman, Philip           Transcript          March 11, 1996
5          5          Berman, Philip          Background information file          1997, 1998
7                    Berman, Philip          3 interview cassette tapes          April 8, 1996, undated

Bloom, Margo, 1953- (Director, National Museum of American Jewish History)
Interviewed by Sally Benson Alsher

Grandparents, parents and family life; relationship with parents; role of religion in upbringing; living in Swarthmore; trip to Israel during college years; graduate education and work in museum field; academic study of Holocaust; gender discrimination in and out of Jewish community; family life with husband and daughter; mentors and colleagues in museum field; vision for museum and its role in Philadelphia; professional involvement in Jewish community and other civic organiza­tions; Judaism as community, not religion; future prospects for women.

1          10          Bloom, Margo          Transcript          March 6, 1968
7                    Bloom, Margo          7 interview cassette tapes (4 duplicates)          undated

Bloom, Paula (Pepi), 1927- (Teacher)
Interviewed by Donna Yates

Childhood and family life in Bronx; Zionism and secular Judaism; Habonim, youth groups, and summer camps; childhood during World War II; Jewish presence in New York city colleges; assumed gender roles in 1940s; move to Israel; social networks and language barriers in Israel; housing and transit camps in Israel; idealism and frustrations in early days of the state; return to the United States and relocation to Philadelphia; efforts to maintain Jewishness in a non-Jewish community; start of teaching career; differences between children's Jewish and non-Jewish so­cial lives; adult children's family and Jewish lives; career at Akiba Academy; current state of Jewish education and socialization.

1          11          Bloom, Paula (Pepi)          Transcript          January 20, 1998
5          6          Bloom, Paula (Pepi)          Background information file          April 9, 1998
7                    Bloom, Paula (Pepi)          2 interview cassette tapes          January 19, 1998

Brenner, Clifford, 1924- (Public relations executive, public official)
Interviewed by Andrew Harrison

Childhood in Philadelphia and interactions outside Jewish neighborhoods; employment at Bulle­tin; working with Richardson Dilworth; Dilworth's campaigns for governor; involvement in Jewish and Zionist communities during 1950s and 1960s; Israeli government and bureaucracy; service on school board; public relations work at Temple; joining Philadelphia Electric; innovations in com­munity outreach at PECO; consulting work after retirement; switch to Republican Party and the Longstreth mayoral campaign; black-Jewish relations in Philadelphia; work with Nixon's re-elec­tion campaign; Jews' position in Philadelphia.

1          12          Brenner, Clifford          Transcript          March 26, 1997
7                    Brenner, Clifford          1 interview cassette tape          March 26, 1997
7                    Brenner, Clifford          2 interview cassette tapes          June 6, 1997

Cohen, Betsy Z., 1941- (Chairman and CEO, Jefferson Bank)
Interviewed by Donna Feinberg

Family history; childhood in Philadelphia; Jewish values and commitment to Israel; decision to enter law school; work as professor at Rutgers Law School; sexism in legal profession; marriage and formation of law firm with husband; launch of businesses, including Jefferson; experience as passengers on a hijacked plane; obstacles to obtaining bank charter; religious observance in home; service on community organization boards; separation of personal and professional lives.

1          13          Cohen, Betsy Z.          Transcript          February 6, 1998
5          7          Cohen, Betsy Z.          Background information file          1994, 1995
7                    Cohen, Betsy Z.          1 interview cassette tape          February 6, 1998

Cohen, David, 1914- (City councilman)
Interviewed by Burton Siegel

Childhood in Philadelphia; father's separation from family; family life and Jewish upbringing;
attending Penn and Penn Law School; organizing a protest in high school; discrimination at
Penn Law; class discrimination within Jewish community; working for the federal government in late 1930s; lack of awareness of Holocaust; initial involvement in labor movement; work with 30s peace movement; military service in WWII; anti-Semitism in army; union work in New York after war; experiences with red-baiting in unions in 1950s; return to Philadelphia; entry to electoral politics; work with local Jewish organizations; work on civil rights and voting cases; opposition from other Democratic Party leaders.

1          14          Cohen, David          Transcript          January 11, 1996
5          8          Cohen, David          Background information file          1997-1999
8                    Cohen, David          1 interview cassette tape          January 11, 1996
8                    Cohen, David          1 interview cassette tape          February 21, 1996
8                    Cohen, David          1 interview cassette tape          July 8, 1996

Cohen, Lita, 1940- (State representative)
Interviewed by Donna Feinberg

Family life and religious observance in the home; relationship with Billy Banks and Billy's career in Philadelphia media; education and religious training; sexism in legal profession; dating and marrying; working for school board; leaving work to raise children; appointment to Lower Merion planning commission; subsequent campaigns; work at WWDB and WHAT; balance of career and home life; starting a radio syndication company; children's training in Judaism and religious observance as adults; election and career as state representative; future political aspirations; women and Jews in Pennsylvania state government; community involvement.

1          15          Cohen, Lita          Transcript          March 19, April 13, 1998
5          9          Cohen, Lita          Background information file          undated
8                    Cohen, Lita          3 interview cassette tapes          March 19, April 13, 1998

Doe, Jane, 1921-2000 (Public official)
Interviewed by Barbara Trainen Blank

Family history and childhood; academic experiences; singing in university choir at churches;
childhood music and vocal training; professional singing work; marriage and family; involvement in synagogue and local community; religious observance in home; involvement in local politics; election to city council; service on various corporate boards; racial and gender-motivated deci­sions in politics; children, grandchildren, and legacy; problems faced by Jewish professionals within Jewish community.

2          1          Doe, Jane          Transcript          June 8, 1998

Eilberg, Joshua, 1921- (Public official)
Interviewed by Mike Martin

Childhood and family life in Philadelphia; experiences during Great Depression; childhood reli­gious training and observance; college life; military service in WWII; return to law school; early political involvement; origins of the Pennsylvania state college system; election to US House in 1966; US policy toward Nazi war criminals; helping Soviet Jews; trip to Soviet Union in 1960s; tenure as Executive Director of Brith Shalom brotherhood; entry into private practice; Hahnemann Hospital controversy and electoral defeat; investigation of Watergate and Nixon.

2          2          Eilberg, Joshua          Transcript          January 29, 1996
5          10          Eilberg, Joshua          Background information file          1970-1996
8                    Eilberg, Joshua          1 interview cassette tape          January 29, 1996
8                    Eilberg, Joshua          1 interview cassette tape          January 29 and 31, 1996

Eisner, Jane, 1955- (Inquirer editorial page editor)
Interviewed by Sally Weinstock
**Restricted: may not be reproduced without permission of interviewee**

Childhood and family life; father's education and encounters with discrimination; mother's war­time experiences and immigration to America; Jewish education and participation in Jewish youth groups; role of religious observance in Jewish identity; experience as editor of college newspa­per; early newspaper work; marriage and move to Philadelphia; career at Inquirer, efforts to improve newspaper readership, especially among women; improving work environment for women and employees with children; involvement in Jewish community; conveying a consistent Jewish lifestyle to children; improvements in status of women and Jews in America; role of service to others in Judaism and other religions; role of money in Judaism.

2          3          Eisner, Jane          Transcript          March 4, 1998
8                    Eisner, Jane          4 interview cassette tapes           March 4, 1998

Farber, Jack, 1933- (Entrepreneur)
Interviewed by Victor Levy
**Restricted: may not be reproduced without permission of interviewee**

Childhood and family life in Philadelphia; encounters with anti-Semitism while growing up; start­ing a delivery business while in college; decision to leave accounting; joining Butcher and Sherrard brokerage firm; effects of City Stores bankruptcy and liquidation; reorganization of Philadelphia Industries and CSS; marriage and family life; work with American Jewish Committee; service on Board of Trustees at Jefferson University.

2          4          Farber, Jack          Transcript          February 8, 1996
8                    Farber, Jack          1 interview cassette tape          February 8, 1996

Ferst, Nancy, 1950-1998 (Jewish community leader)
Interviewed by Lynnda Targan

Childhood and family life; religious education and youth group involvement; importance of Jew­ish camp; interactions with non-Jews, particularly during holidays; teaching Sunday school; work with Federation and Jewish campus groups; move to Philadelphia and work at Project PRIDE; role models in Jewish community; integrating Judaism into life experience; opportunities closed to women; children's Jewish education; personal sense of responsibility to live a Jewish life and make a Jewish home; difference in gender roles and responsibility within family; prioritizing and life choices; need to foster attitude of equality in subsequent generations; marriage and family life; current service and volunteer work.

2          5          Ferst, Nancy          Transcript          undated
5          11          Ferst, Nancy          Background information file          November 20, 1997
8                    Ferst, Nancy          1 interview cassette tape          December 8, 1997
8                    Ferst, Nancy          1 interview cassette tape          December 10, 1997

Frankel, Ellen, 1951- (Writer, editor, Jewish Publication Society)
Interviewed by Sally Weinstock

Grandparents' immigration and family history; father's love of books; childhood religious up­bringing and education; college and graduate work; dissatisfaction with the academic career track; social alienation during bar/bat mitzvah year; political involvement and activity during 1960s; marriage to fellow graduate student and rejoining the Jewish community; adopting a daughter and starting a writing career; adoption of second child; challenges of raising a child with emo­tional and developmental problems; decision to move to Philadelphia and search for a different kind of Jewish community; pressures of being an intellectual in a small town; work at Jewish Publication Society; JPS' mission to publish books for all denominations within Judaism; men­tors and role models; financial and bureaucratic challenges at JPS; storytelling career and writ­ing "The Five Books of Miriam"; importance of folk stories and traditions in perpetuating Jewish culture; speaking to Jewish groups about women's roles and women's contributions.

2          6          Frankel, Ellen          Transcript          August 5, 1998
9                    Frankel, Ellen          4 interview cassette tapes          August 5, 1998

Geffen, Rela M., 1943- (Sociology professor, university administrator)
Interviewed by Barbara Trainen Blank

Family history; parents' courtship and marriage; grandfather's and father's rabbinical work; child­hood religious training; clashes between generations and cultures on women's education and role in Judaism; trip to Israel at age 17; lack of career counseling for women in 60s; obstacles to a woman completing graduate work; completing a Master’s degree in sociology at Columbia; resistance to applying sociology to Jews; move to Florida to pursue PhD; move to Philadelphia and beginning of educational career; work at Gratz; changes in attitude toward social science's relationship to Judaism; rise of a Jewish feminist movement; efforts to change attitudes and customs regarding women along with laws and rules; Jewish women in academe; future chal­lenges for women and for Judaism; different attitudes toward women's role around the world.

2          7          Geffen, Rela M.          Transcript          April 29, 1998
9                    Geffen, Rela M.          4 interview cassette tapes          undated

Gershenfeld, Matti K., 1925- (Psychologist)
Interviewed by Rhonda Hoffman
**Restricted: may not be reproduced without permission of interviewee**

Family history; childhood in Philadelphia; start of religious education at 12; language and cul­tural barriers at school; attendance at Penn; work at Philadelphia Planning Commission; sexism at Wharton in late 1940s; part time work with community colleges and community groups; children's career choices; decision to pursue psychology degree; integration of Jewish identity with profes­sional life; challenges of being only woman or only parent in an academic program; focus on women's issues in education; development of Institute of Awareness in late 1960s; service with professional organizations; effect of professional research on personal development; balance of career and family life; opinions of different areas of America; current professional activities; thoughts on future of women in Jewish community; challenges facing Jewish organizations.

2          8          Gershenfeld, Matti K.          Transcript          March 11, 1998
9                    Gershenfeld, Matti K.          2 interview cassette tapes          March 11, 1998

Goldberg, Frances, 1927-2016: Jewish community leader
Interviewed by Barbara Trainen Blank

Parents' immigration and family life; economic life in 30s; Jewish observance and training during childhood; life at Penn State in late 40s; marriage, children, and life after college; involvement with volunteer community organizations; obligations of Jews to other Jews; work with Russian Resettlement Program in Harrisburg; participation in national projects such as Conference of the US Holocaust Memorial Council; women's current role in Jewish community.

2          9          Goldberg, Frances          Transcript          July 6, 1998
9                    Goldberg, Frances          2 interview cassette tapes          July 6, 1998

Jaffe, Susan, 1943- (Vice chair, Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment)
Interviewed by Mina Gobler
**Restricted: may not be reproduced without permission of interviewee**

Family history and childhood; father's departure from Germany in 1930s; father's role in founding Tikvoh Chodoshoh synagogue; childhood religious instruction; leadership roles in high school and college; early careers in education and speech pathology; first marriage and raising chil­dren; work with American Jewish Committee and Committee on Status of Women; efforts to integrate Philadelphia organizations and events; work with women's groups of other faiths; ap­pointment to Zoning Board; role of Board in quality of life and other matters facing City; working with other women to raise political profile; work with Women's Way and United Way and at­tempts to repair rifts between the two; relationships with children as adults; future of women's role in Judaism and in society.

2          10          Jaffe, Susan          Transcript          August 24, 1998
9                    Jaffe, Susan          3 interview cassette tapes          August 24, 1998

Josephs, Babette, 1940- (State representative)
Interviewed by Barbara Trainen Blank
**Restricted: may not be reproduced without permission of interviewee**

Birth in New York, family life and education; family influence in early career choices; marriage and relocation to Philadelphia; children's religious observance; entry into law and politics; parents' political leanings and activity during WW II; involvement in abortion rights movement and energy conservation movement; first run for office in 1982 and victory two years later; relation­ships with other legislators; anti-Philadelphia sentiment in legislature vs. sexism or anti-Semitism; future political aspirations; legislative accomplishments; involvement in Jewish and women's groups; role in revival of Gershwin Y and Jewish Community Center (JCC); life after husband's death; advice and assistance for younger women; importance of religious values and civil rights.

2          11          Josephs, Babette          Transcript          July 16, 1998
5          12          Josephs, Babette          Background information file          July 20, 1998
9                    Josephs, Babette          2 interview cassette tapes          July 16, 1998

Kahn, Charles, 1924- (Jewish community leader)
Interviewed by Bernard Stern

Family history and childhood; high school and college experiences; motivation for community service; experiences working with gangs in early 1960s; recent work on Catholic/Jewish relations; service on board at Holy Redeemer Hospital; experience with anti-Semitism in the military; future of Judaism; need for families and institutions to pass on Jewish traditions and identity.

2          12          Kahn, Charles          Transcript          1996
10                    Kahn, Charles          1 interview cassette tape          April 3, 1996

Karsh, Carole, 1938- (Assistant executive VP, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia)
Interviewed by Sally Benson Alsher

Family history and childhood; family holiday celebrations; religious instruction as a child; child­
hood friendships and youth group activities; interest in academics and in teaching career; process of getting involved in the local Jewish community; work and school experiences at Penn; mentors and role models; struggle for women's rights in religious affairs; fundraising work for Penn; efforts to make Penn aware of Jewish concerns; changes to Federation fundraising model; volunteer work with synagogues; challenges of “professionalizing” Federation operations; pro­fessional rivalries and problems; connection to Har Zion; tenure as president of Har Zion; thoughts on the fundraising process; marriage, children, and family life; religious life at home; hobbies and other interests; sense of spiritual belonging; travels to Israel; struggles to balance career and family responsibilities.

2          13          Karsch, Carole          Transcript          January 25, 1999
5          13          Karsch, Carole          Background information file          January 21, 1999
10                    Karsch, Carole          4 interview cassette tapes          January 25, 1999

Kodish, Debora G., 1952- (Founder/director, Philadelphia Folklore Project)
Interviewed by Sally Benson Alsher

Family history and childhood; anti-Semitism in Cleveland suburbs; lack of formal religious instruction; school clubs and activities; summer at American Field Service; involvement in political activities; tension with parents over political and cultural views; college experiences at Lehigh University; folklore study at graduate school in Newfoundland and Texas; discovery of Jewish communities; first jobs in Philadelphia; start of Philadelphia Folklore Project; marriage, family, and religious instruction for children; life in her diverse West Philadelphia neighborhood; plans for life after the Project; sense of Jewish identity and Jewish tradition.

2          15          Kodish, Debora G.          Transcript          April 20, 1998
10                    Kodish, Debora G.          3 interview cassette tapes          April 20, 1998

Landes, Sora, 1933- (Principal, Perelman Day School/Firnab Center)
Interviewed by Rhonda Hoffman

Family history and childhood; education and religious instruction; summer experiences at Camp Massad; marriage and life in New York; husband's ordination and military service; start of teach­ing career; life as a Navy chaplain's wife; move to Erie, Pennsylvania; interfaith relationships in Erie; move to Philadelphia and Beth Shalom; increasing involvement in Jewish education at Beth Shalom; role of a rabbi's wife; establishment of Forman Day School; merger and move of school to its current location; plans for future of school; brother's academic career and death from leukemia; future needs for Jewish education and educators.

3          1          Landes, Sora          Transcript          January 28, 1998
5          14          Landes, Sora          Background information file          February 18, 1999
10                    Landes, Sora          1 interview cassette tape          January 28, 1998
10                    Landes, Sora          1 interview cassette tape          June 11, 1998

Levin, Susan Bass, 1952- (Mayor of Cherry Hill)
Interviewed by Mina Gobler

Family history and childhood family life; childhood in a non-Jewish community; role models in family; choice of a legal career; children's careers and religious identity; move to Cherry Hill and start of political career; efforts to balance career and family; challenges of running a city govern­ment; role of mayor in community; need to reach out to groups within community; involvement in state and local politics; New Jersey politics as a 'man's game'; importance of family traditions and connections; future plans.

3          2          Levin, Susan Bass          Transcript          September 23, 1998
10                    Levin, Susan Bass          2 interview cassette tapes          September 23, 1998

Lissy, Barbara G., 1947- (Director, Sports for Israel)
Interviewed by Sally Benson Alsher

Family history; religious observance as child and now; current family relationships; childhood in Philadelphia; father's death during junior year at Penn; internship with U.S. Senator Scott and employment in Washington; work with Federation and then as business manager of Solomon Schechter Day School; service in Jewish community; glass ceilings and discrimination at Federation; move to Maccabi, USA in 1982; women in sports and sports organizations; importance of Jewish values, Jewish identity and Jewish home life; children's reactions to husband's death; children's Jewish education; activity in Jewish women's movement; marriage and keeping ko­sher; husband's fight against brain cancer; life as a single mother of young children; travels with children to Israel and other countries; life goals; changes in Jewish community in 21st century.

3          3          Lissy, Barbara G.          Transcript          March 17, 1998
10                    Lissy, Barbara G.          3 interview cassette tapes          March 17, 1998

Littell, Marcia Sachs, 1937- (Professor, executive director of Philadelphia Center on the Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights)
Interviewed by Sally Benson Alsher
**Restricted: may not be reproduced without permission of interviewee**

Family history and childhood; setting priorities and desire to focus on education; decision to
return to college after birth of children; opposition to service as leader of PTAs; first teaching
experiences; lack of available information about Holocaust in early 70s; mentor's opposition to
Holocaust as a subject for graduate work; first trip to Israel; personal and professional relation­
ship with husband Franklin; assuming leadership of Annual Scholars' Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches in 1980; challenges of treating Holocaust as a matter of interfaith con­cern; involvement in Jewish community; launching new Masters of Arts program at Richard Stockton College; plans for future; concern about divisions between Jews.

3          4          Littell, Marcia Sachs          Transcript          June 10, 1998
10                    Littell, Marcia Sachs          2 interview cassette tapes          June 10, 1998

Mattleman, Marcienne S.
**Restricted: may not be reproduced without permission of interviewee**

3          5          Mattleman, Marcienne S.          Transcript          April 13, 1998
11                    Mattleman, Marcienne S.          2 interview cassette tapes          April 13, 1998

Menaker, Mim
**Restricted: may not be reproduced without permission of interviewee**

11                    Menaker, Mim          3 interview cassette tapes          undated

Meyerson, Martin, 1922- (President, University of Pennsylvania)
Interviewed by Louise Cohen
**Restricted: may not be reproduced without permission of interviewee**

Family history and childhood; education and career choices; childhood religious training; first
efforts in city planning; teaching at University of Chicago; feeling of connection to Jewish institu­tions; visits to and work in Israel; return to Philadelphia and work at Penn; service at Berkeley in 1964; leaving California to head SUNY Buffalo; appointment as Penn's president; lack of Jewish representation in government and in university and corporate administrations; marriage and family.                                 

3          6          Meyerson, Martin          Transcript          November 11, 1997
3          6          Meyerson, Martin          Transcript          July 24, 1998
11                    Meyerson, Martin          1 interview cassette tape          November 11, 1997
11                    Meyerson, Martin          2 interview cassette tapes          July 24, 1998

Perlmutter, Felice Davidson, 1931- (Professor of social work)
Interviewed by Sally Benson Alsher
**Restricted: may not be reproduced without permission of interviewee**

Family history and childhood; father's involvement in Yiddish culture and education; role of secular dimension in Jewish culture; searching for right educational environment; graduate study in social work; integrating professional work with personal values and Jewish identity; ideological and professional conflicts in academic institutions; focus on research and writing; McCarthyism as a defining personal experience; progression through the academic ranks; topics of interest for research grants and projects; relationship with husband and children; social life and hobbies; future challenges for women and Jewish community.

3          7          Perlmutter, Felice Davidson          Transcript          February 11, 1999
11                    Perlmutter, Felice Davidson          1 interview cassette tape          February 10, 1999
11                    Perlmutter, Felice Davidson          1 interview cassette tape          February 11, 1999

Porter, Jill, columnist, 1946- (Philadelphia Daily News)
Interviewed by Sally Weinstock
**Restricted: may not be reproduced without permission of interviewee**

Family history and childhood; moving around constantly during childhood; lack of religious instruction as a child; experiences at Temple News; first professional writing jobs after graduation; working for F. Oilman Spencer at Trentonian and Philadelphia Daily News; getting her Daily News column; anti-Semitic responses to her columns; challenges of being married to a non-Jew; development of interest in Jewish history and culture; struggling to raise her son as a Jew; using column to give a voice to the powerless; challenges of being a columnist; necessity of taking stands and offending people.

3          7a          Porter, Jill          Transcript          circa 1998
11                    Porter, Jill          4 interview cassette tapes          September 25, 1998

Rafsky, William L., 1920-2001 (Public official)
Interviewed by Andrew Harrison
**Restricted: may not be reproduced without permission of interviewee**

Family history and childhood; religious observance at home; work on War Production Board; anti-Semitism in Washington during war; work with Philadelphia Democratic Party in 1940s and 1950s; service in Clark and Dilworth Administrations; efforts to improve public housing; development efforts in Center City; work with Greater Philadelphia Movement and Center for Philadel­phia Area Development; challenges and successes of Bicentennial Celebration; work on Model Cities program in 1960s; work in Finance Department, Parking Authority, and Goode Administra­tion in 1980s; City Charter reform movement; service on Temple Board of Trustees; work with American Jewish Committee; current problems facing cities; current state of public housing.

3          8          Rafksy, William L.          Transcript          February 1, 1996
11                    Rafksy, William L.          2 interview cassette tapes          February 1, 1996
11                    Rafksy, William L.          1 interview cassette tape          February 15, 1996

Ryda, Rose, 1928- (Professor of education)
Interviewed by Susan Levaseur
**Restricted: may not be reproduced without permission of interviewee**

Family history and childhood; family's religious education and holiday traditions; children's religious observance; influence of the Zionist movement; opportunities open, and not open, to fe­male Jews; marriage, children and family life; graduate study in biology; involvement in synagogue community; career choices and interest in education; thoughts of returning to Israel; cur­rent state of Jewish education in Philadelphia; status of women in modern Judaism; pressures for women to balance professional lives with family responsibilities.              

3          9          Ryda, Rose          Transcript          January 29, 1998
12                    Ryda, Rose          1 interview cassette tape          January 29, 1998

Ross, George, 1933- (Businessman)
Interviewed by Victory Levy
**Restricted: may not be reproduced without permission of interviewee**

Family history and childhood; changing name from Rosenkoff to Ross; career at Goldman Sachs; involvement in civic organizations and philanthropy; marriage and children.

3          10          Ross, George          Transcript          November 5, 1996
12                    Ross, George           1 interview cassette tape          November 5, 1996

Rubin, Ronald, 1931- (Real estate developer)
Interviewed by Polly Beckham
**Restricted: may not be reproduced without permission of interviewee**

Family history and childhood; growing up in Philadelphia; father's career in real estate; building real estate business with father; community service and work with Jewish organizations; Comcast deal for Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers; Bellevue Hotel restoration; involvement in Philadelphia politics; organization of the Center City District; work with Philadelphia nonprofit institutions.

3          11          Rubin, Ronald          Transcript          February 20, 1996
12                    Rubin, Ronald          1 interview cassette tape          February 20, 1996
12                    Rubin, Ronald          1 interview cassette tape          February 29, 1996
12                    Rubin, Ronald          1 interview cassette tape          March 20, 1996

Schneirov, Miriam A., 1938- (Jewish community leader)
Interviewed by Sally Benson Alsher
**Restricted: may not be reproduced without permission of interviewee**

Family history and childhood; mother's involvement in school and civic organizations; looking like a non-Jew; holiday traditions; school experiences; marriage during college; political activism during college; service on Jewish organizations; work on Federation budget committees; work on fundraising and planning committees; changing careers in 80s and launching consulting busi­ness; presidency of Federation; efforts to change and improve Federation; bringing American Jews to Israel; work with United Way; problems with women's committees; difficulties faced by women in leadership positions; support from husband and children, and family life; roles of women in professional and family life; role models in Jewish organizations.

3          12          Schneirov, Miriam A.          Transcript          April 1, 1998
12                    Schneirov, Miriam A.          2 interview cassette tapes          April 1, 1998
12                    Schneirov, Miriam A.          3 interview cassette tapes          April 13, 1998

Schwartz, Allyson, 1948- (State senator)
Interviewed by Barbara Trainen Blank
**Restricted: may not be reproduced without permission of interviewee**

Growing up in Queens; contrasting religious observance in her parents' family and her husband's family; college education and parents' expectations for career and family; marriage and move to Philadelphia for graduate study in social work; early work on community development and hous­ing; moving on to work in health care and starting Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center for Women; working to increase women's involvement in their health decisions; helping found Women's Way coalition; work in Goode Administration in managing director's office and Department of Human Services; election to State Senate; balancing career with marriage and children; providing a Jewish education and environment for her children; involvement in Jewish community; reconcil­ing legislative schedules with religious observance; serving as role model for women and for Jewish community; challenges of getting legislature to recognize religious diversity.

4          1          Schwartz, Allyson          Transcript          April 20, 1998
12                    Schwartz, Allyson          3 interview cassette tapes          April 20, 1998

Shapiro, Norma L., 1928- (Judge)
Interviewed by Mina Gobler
**Restricted: may not be reproduced without permission of interviewee**

Family history and childhood; religious instruction as a youth; accelerated progress through school; decision to enter law; taking time off to raise children; return to workforce; becoming a partner in law firm while working full time; appointment as judge; work with community organiza­tions; husband, children, and family; relationship between religious and secular life; work with Jewish Publication Society; recognition and honors from community; helping other women take prominent roles in society.

4          2          Shapiro, Norma L.           Transcript          October 5, 1998
5          15          Shapiro, Norma L.           Background information file          1978, undated
12                    Shapiro, Norma L.           2 interview cassette tapes          October 5, 1998
12                    Shapiro, Norma L.           1 interview cassette tape          December 9, 1998

Wachman, Marvin, 1917- (President, Lincoln University and Temple University)
Interviewed by David Canton

Family history and childhood; religious observance and training during childhood; playing tennis and working at tennis clubs; college and postgraduate education; dissertation work on Socialist Party; experiences in military during World War II; career at Colgate University; presidency of Lincoln University; challenges of leading an historically black college during a period of integra­tion; move to Temple in 1970 and appointment as president in 1973; overhaul of admissions procedures at Temple; increase in Jewish college presidents; anti-Semitism in social circles; marriage and family; involvement with community organizations; children's religious training.

4          3          Wachman, Marvin          Transcript          March 27, 1996
5          16          Wachman, Marvin          Background information file          June 28, 2001
13                    Wachman, Marvin          1 interview cassette tape          March 27, 1996
13                    Wachman, Marvin          2 interview cassette tapes          April 8, 1996
13                    Wachman, Marvin          1 interview cassette tape          June 6, 1996

Weisberger, Barbara, 1926- (Founder of Pennsylvania Ballet and Carlisle Project)
Interviewed by Barbara Trainen Blank

Birth and childhood in Brooklyn; family life and education; childhood ballet lessons and training; foundations of American ballet; Jewish presence in ballet and dance; early marriage and di­vorce; first job as a ballet instructor; second marriage and children; launch of the School of Pennsylvania Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet Company; fundraising efforts for startup; religious observance in home; need to compartmentalize family and professional life; leadership role in company and sacrifice of some creative duties; departure from Pennsylvania Ballet in 1982; infighting, politics, and other problems of artistic and civic institutions; birth of Carlisle Project to address those problems; lack of funds to keep Carlisle alive; hope for future.

4          4          Weisberger, Barbara          Transcript          July 21, 1998
5          17          Weisberger, Barbara          Background information file          1982-1998
13                    Weisberger, Barbara          2 interview cassette tapes          July 21, 1998

Wortman, Judy, 1947- (Executive vice president, Jewish Federation of Delaware)
Interviewed by Mina Gobler
**Restricted: may not be reproduced without permission of interviewee**

Family history and childhood; roots in Jewish community; differences among family members in religious observance; education and social experiences, including summer camp; start of career in Jewish community centers; undergraduate and graduate school experiences at Temple; work with Federations in Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware; taking the director's position at Delaware; obstacles to women in field of social work; priorities and projects with Delaware Fed­eration; marriages, children, stepchildren and family life; daughter's career as a rabbi; son's career choices; balance of work and family life; incorporating femininity into leadership style.

4          5          Wortman, Judy          Transcript          August 13, August 21, 1998
13                    Wortman, Judy          4 interview cassette tapes (2 duplicates)          August 13, 1998
13                    Wortman, Judy          2 interview cassette tapes (1 duplicate)          August 21, 1998

Zolot, Jane, 1931- (Community leader)
Interviewed by Sally Benson Alsher

Family history and childhood; parents' and grandparents' involvement and leadership at Beth Shalom; mother's role in Federation's women division; work for Hadassah, particularly in field of major gifts and presidency of Philadelphia chapter; studies with Elsie Chomsky; role and impor­tance of Hadassah; marriage and children; sponsoring research on Jewish women; role models and mentors in Jewish community; religious observance at home; travels to Israel; other service within Jewish community.

4          6          Zolot, Jane          Transcript          June 2, 1998
5          18          Zolot, Jane          Background information file          November 18, 1999
13                    Zolot, Jane          4 interview cassette tapes (2 duplicates)          December 16, 1997
13                    Zolot, Jane          1 interview cassette tape          June 2, 1998