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JHSBC Oral History Collection Russia
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Elaine Charkow

Oral History interview with Elaine Charkow. Elaine was born in Russia. Her family emigrated when she was 8. They first stopped in Winnipeg where her father worked in the grain business. They moved to Vancouver in 1926. During the 1930's Her mother took in 2 refugees from China. Her father was one of the founders of the Vancouver Free Loan Association. Elaine talks about the importance of the Jewish Community Center on 11th and Oak. Elaine instrumental in finding housing for Polish immigrants. She worked with B’nai B’rith Girls, United Jewish Appeal, and Hadassah.

Dvori Balshine

Oral history interview with Dvori Balshine, who emmirgated to Canada in 1969 when her husband, Michael Balshine, was accepted to do his Ph.D at the University of British Columbia. She grew up in Rehovot surrounded by a large family. She was part of Tzofim (similar to scouts) while growing up. Her family was originally from Russia. When in Vancouver Dvori taught Hebrew at Talmud Torah and the community college. She was the cultural art director at JCC. She was the executive director of the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University. Talks about being welcomed by the community in Vancouver and becoming involved with the community.

Tamar Glaser

Oral history interview with Tamar Glaser, interviewed by Debby Freiman. Tamar talks about her family’s history and her upbringing in South Africa. In 1974, her family made aliyah, living in Netanya, Israel, before moving back to South Africa in 1980. She went into nursing at the age of 18 before meeting her husband the following year and getting married at 22. They both had their careers in Cape Town as well as had two children whilst living there. Finally, in 1998, they immigrated to Vancouver. Tamar remarks the differences between the Jewish community she experienced in South Africa in Vancouver.

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.

Anne Goldbloom

Oral History of Anne Goldbloom. Her father was from Poland, and her mother was from Russia, they meet in Liverpool. Her uncle, Jack Stark, first came to Winnipeg then moved to Vancouver. Her father followed and they opened a store. Most of the interview is about her work with the Baby Clinic.

Howard and Josephine Mallek

Oral History of Howard and Josephine Mallek. Howard grew up in Victoria. His parents owned a ladieswear shop and were a big part of the community. Howard and Josephine met during medical school at McGill. Josephine was the first Female staff doctor at St. Paul’s. Howard was the first Jewish department head at St. Paul’s. They both helped form the Jewish Medical Journal Club in Vancouver. Howard talks about his brother, Lawrence, a conductor, pianist, and organ player.

Lil Shapiro

Oral history interview with Lil Shapiro who came to Vancouver in 1936; her grandparents moved to Winnipeg from Russia in the 1880s. She was involved in B'nai B'rith, Youth Aliyah, Federated Jewish Women, Israel Bonds, and was the first regional president of the Hadassah Council. She discusses her love of singing and describes her experiences as Hatikvah singer. She mentions a number of women she worked with in a variety of Jewish organizations in Vancouver.

Sam Rothstein

Oral history interview with Sam Rothstein who was born in Russia, 1921. His family left Russia due to anti-semitism and post-revolution fallout, despite his father’s success in the lumber business. His father was Yisrael Leib and his mother was Elka Raisel. They settled in Vancouver because that’s where the rest of his family had chosen to live when they had arrived years before. He attended UBC for undergraduate studies and did a joined honours program in French and English and completed his masters there in French and English. He did his PhD at Berkeley and then got a teaching fellowship at the University of Washington in 1942 as a French teacher. He was drafted into the Canadian military during WWII. He served in counterintelligence. He was shipped to England in June, 1944 and then to Italy, Belgium and then stopped in Holland. While finishing his service, he came across a Librarianship pamphlet. He had money for the first time in his life and felt it was time for a change as he felt distance from the idea of being a French professor. He was invited to the faculty of the University of Manitoba as a French Professor but decided to go to Berkeley instead to become a Librarian, doing his PhD in Illinois. UBC offered him a job while he was briefly on return to Vancouver. He met his wife Miriam in 1948/49 through youth group activities at the JCC, they wed and then moved to Illinois to do his PhD, which he received in 1954 while Miriam worked as the dietician for the men’s residence. In 1961, he became the acting director of the UBC libraries. He also started the library school at UBC that same fall. Their daughter Linda was born in 1955 and Sharon was born in 1957. They were members of Beth Israel and Miriam was active in Hadassah. Sam served as an advisor to Hillel and joined the board at the JCC and eventually became president from 1970-1972. He served as one of the vice presidents of Jewish Congress.

Elena Bregman

Oral history interview with Elena Bregman. Born in Kraslava, Latvia. She discusses what it meant to be Jewish openly in the Soviet Union. Graduated from Leningrad University after studying finance. She met her future husband in Murmansk. Immigrated to Vancouver in 1991. She describes how the Jewish community in Vancouver aided her in settling in and her job change to cosmetology.

Gallia Chud

Oral history interview with Gallia Chud. Gallia Chud was born in Staraya Russa, Russia in the year 1923. She briefly describes her childhood in the town prior to her immigration to Canada in December, 1929 at the age of six. Her family settled in Winnipeg where she completed her studies and met her husband, Ben. They married in 1943 and were reunited in 1945 as Ben had been serving in the Canadian military during World War II. Ben was invited to teach at the Peretz School in Vancouver during its establishment and they moved to the city in October, 1945. Both Gallia and Ben were involved with the school for most of their lives while residing in Vancouver, with Ben serving as principal for fifteen years and Gallia serving as president for five while maintaining involvement with the PTA the whole time. They had two daughters. Ben passed away in 1986.

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