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JHSBC Oral History Collection
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Albert Melul

Oral History interview with Albert Melul. He speaks French, Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, Italian, English, and some Ladino. He grew up in Tangiers. He was a scout and scout master as a teenager. When Israel was established, he helped move people there but decided to go see the world before settling. When he first came to Canada he worked in a factory in Toronto. He moved to Vancouver for a job with the JCC and National Council. He talks about the Sephardic community as well as the general community in Vancouver.

Louis Eisman

Oral history interview with Louis Eisman in preparation for the 2015 Scribe on Jewish clothiers. Louis speaks on his family history, his grandparents having moved to South Africa from both Russia and Lithuania, as well as his upbringing in Cape Town. In South Africa, Louis began working as a traveling salesman after six months of university, before going on to have an agency and manufacturing plant. In 1977 he moved to Toronto, Canada, where he was successful in his work for a few years. In 1979, he was offered a position in Vancouver, and after spending a weekend there, he and his wife prepared to move there in the following year. He also speaks about his involvement with the Jewish community, and his life and success in Vancouver since moving.

Benjamin Dayson (Baruch Dezick)

Oral history interview with Benjamin Dayson (Baruch Dezick). Interviewed by Irene Dodek. Benjamin speaks about coming to Canada, where his name was changed from Dezick to Dayson,in Alberta. He details an interesting story in which he received his citizenship after only three years in Canada. He also speaks about his adolescent life and trials in Russia, prior to immigrating. He explains how after many complications, and being unable to move to Canada as he had wished, he made his way to Rotterdam to take a boat to Mexico, when fortunately, he was able to move to Canada after all. He talks about this travel and immigration process in great detail. He also speaks on his work over the years and moving to Vancouver, where he was married, as well as his life and his family in Canada. His wife, Esther, is also present during this interview.

Michael Braude

Interview with Michael Braude. Interviewed by Sara Bernstein. Michael talks about his family's history and speaks fondly about his childhood in Cape Town, and in particular about his grandfather. Once he finished school, he wanted to leave South Africa because of the Apartheid. In the meantime he found a position in the jewelry trade, which he enjoyed, before going on to work for his fathers clothing business. He and his family lived in Israel for six years, but the climate didn't suit them and so they moved back to Cape Town where he had his career in clothing manufacturing. He also speaks about his wife, children, and grandchildren, as well as his interests such as music and archaeology. He has lived in Vancouver throughout the second half of his life.

Sonia Sara Bellas

Oral History interview with Sonia Sara Bellas, who immigrated to Canada in November, 1925, from a small town near Kiev, in Russia. Her family, unable to move to Philadelphia, in the United States, settled in Winnipeg. The purpose of immigration was simply to live closer to family. Sonia attended school until grade 11, after which she went on to work in laundry and dry cleaning. She met her husband in 1940, and they were married on December 26th, 1942, in Vancouver, at his parents' home. They have several children. Whilst living in Vancouver, Sonia worked in clothing retail. After her retirement, she spent much of her time with her husband and children and fondly remembers entertaining guests at her home. At the time of the interview, she enjoys attending services with her family for high holidays, having lunch with her children and grandchildren weekly, and is a member of Seniors Club. Her son is also present at the interview and offers additional insight to his mother's life as well as his experience growing up with his mother and father.

Pioneer Women - Gordonia Club

Oral history interview with several women from the Pioneer Women/Gordonia Club, including Mrs. Beaverman, Mrs. [Koloff] and Mrs. Rivkin. The women speak on their work in the Pioneer Women/Gordonia Club as well as their holiday traditions being a part of the club, weekly meetings featuring speakers, club membership, club leadership and conventions they have attended over the years. The women mentioned above are identified as the primary interviewees, however, other women who are also a part of Pioneer Women/Gordonia also speak in this group interview.

Susan Quastel

Oral History of Susan Quastel. Mrs. Quastel was born in Amsterdam in 1923. During the early part of WW2 she worked at the Jewish Hospital in Amsterdam. After the war she moved to London, where she had family. While in the UK, she trained to be a nurse at Charing Cross Hospital. She then went to Israel, where her sister lived, and worked at Hadassah Hospital. During her time in Israel, she met her husband, who was from Vancouver, at the Hebrew University. She moved to Canada with him and they got married here. In Vancouver, she worked for many Jewish organizations including Hadassah, The National Council of Jewish Women, the Vancouver chapter of Canadian Friends of The Hebrew University, and the Zack Gallery.

Betty Averbach

Oral history interview with Betty Averbach who was born in Romania in 1921. Her family moved to Canada when she was 3 years old, the Council of Jewish Women met them and helped them get settled. Talks about growing up in Vancouver and the Jewish community here. Her father was a junk peddler when they first arrived. Talks about raising her family in Vancouver and her family's active relationship with the Schara Tzedeck synagogue. Speaks of the importance of the Jewish Community Centre in the life of the community when she was young, the support and confidence it generated amongst Betty and her friends.

Ben and Rita Akselrod

Oral History interview with Ben and Rita Akselrod. Rita was born in Bacau, Romania. They met in a DP camp in Austria. After the war they went to Israel then came to Canada via Italy. They worked as a peddlers then with antiques. Then started a second-hand and antique store in New Westminster. They talk about how antisemitism didn't disappear after the war.

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