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.
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.
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.
Oral history interview with David Nemetz. David was born in Russia in the year 1894. He discusses his childhood in Russia prior to his immigration to Canada in 1912, when he arrived in Winnipeg. David describes his involvement in various Zionist groups in each city he lived in, such as the Young Zionist group and the Habonim Lodge in BC. His involvement in Canadian Zionist movements eventually lead to the establishment of Camp Hatikvah.
Interview with Susan Mendelson. Interviewed by Debby Freiman for The Scribe, 2018. Susan talks about her family's history, her upbringing in Toronto, and her first baking ventures in Vancouver. She became a regular on CBC Radio before eventually opening her own catering company, Lazy Gourmet. Susan talks extensively about her experiences in the business.
Interview with Leah Markovitch. Interviewed by Debby Freiman for The Scribe, 2018. Leah describes the foods of her childhood and talks in depth about her bagel shop, Solly's Bagels. She recalls the start up and operation of their shop, the tweaking of Jewish recipes, and the changing population and food scene in Vancouver. Leah talks extensively about evolving Jewish cuisine, culture, and identity.
Interview with Carole Malkin. Interviewed by Jane Cherry for The Scribe, 2018. Carole talks about her family's history and their restaurants in Vancouver, including Skipper Seafoods, The Fish and Oyster Bar, and The Dollhouse. Carole talks about her childhood and involvement in the Jewish community, including United Synagogue Youth, Young Judea, and Camp Hatikvah.
Interview with Bill Levine. Interviewed by Debby Freiman for The Scribe, 2018. Bill talks about his family's history, his childhood and education in Vancouver, and his career. He also talks about his late brother John Levine (d. April 17, 2012) who had owned and operated John's Pizzarama. Bill discusses his involvement in the community through organizations such as Jewish Committee Foundation and UBC Board of Governors among many others.
Interview with Vanessa Marks. Interviewed by Cindy Rozen. Vanessa talks about her family's history, her childhood, and her immigration to New Zealand and eventually Canada. She compares life, culture, and the Jewish community between South Africa and Canada, and talks briefly about her education, career, and family.