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Leslie Andrews

Oral History interview with Leslie Andrews. Born in 1929, Leslie grew up in a village a few miles out from London, and he speaks about what the Jewish community was like as he grew up. Leslie’s father was a tailor, and he collaborated with Leslie’s mother to start a clothing shop in London that sold waistcoats and petticoats called Andrews and Goldberg. During World War II, they moved their shop out of London to Aylesbury, and had contracts to make raincoats for the British Armed Forces. Leslie talks about the complications he had with both his secular and Jewish education in England. Leslie went to school to become a pediatric pulmonologist and proceeded to work in physical medicine. After the war ended, Leslie met his wife Iris, and became the first person in his family to come to Canada, emigrating to Vancouver in January 1962. He began working at the G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Center. Leslie, Iris, and their children attended Beth Israel synagogue, and were quite active in the Jewish community in Vancouver, with Iris working as a secretary and Leslie acting as chairman for various committees at Beth Israel. He talks about how the Jewish community in Vancouver has changed since he first arrived in British Colombia.

Irving Rivkin

Oral history interview with Irving Rivkin who was born in Winnipeg, 1915. Father Samuel Rivkin was in Russian army stationed in St. Petersburg, around 1905-1912; Irving's mother Lena Romalowski worked in St. Petersberg's large knitting factory. Ivring's wife, Ann, comes from England.

Helen Gorbovitsky

Oral history interview with Helen Gorbovitsky who helped establish the National Council of Jewish Women and was a member of the Pioneer Women and Gordonia Club. Her family originated in Rostov, Russia where her father was very active in the Zionist community. Helen discusses her thoughts and experiences with the Pioneer Women.

Marcia Pitch

Oral Interview with Marcia Pitch for the JMABC Artists Scribe. Interviewed by Carol Herbert. Marcia discusses her upbringing in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and her parents and grandparents’ origins in Eastern Europe and immigration to Canada. Marcia mentions influences that led her to the arts, including education at the University of Manitoba and doing graduate work in California. In 1969, Marcia experienced the police suppression in response to the People’s Park Revolution in Berkeley. Soon after she returned to Vancouver where she studied education at UBC and volunteered with Amnesty International. She pursued an art style that reflected her strong feelings about politics, war, and the influences of her grandparents’ stories of Eastern European pogroms. Marcia's art includes mixed media collages and sculptures, and producing large scale installations for her gallery exhibitions. Marcia speaks about her upcoming project focusing on sexuality, women’s repression and feminism. She further explains her perspective as an older woman in the art world and the differing responses she has received regarding her art online vs. in person. Marcia relates experiences such as having children, volunteering, and being a part of the recycling community to how they’ve inspired her pieces or participation in the arts community.

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, was the first family member to come to Canada. He originally settled in Winnipeg but moved to Vancouver before Anne's family immigrated. Her father followed her uncle to Canada and they opened a store together. At 16 Anne got a job as a stenographer, a skill that she used working as Secretary for many Jewish community organizations. During WW2 she was in charge of the knitting group that was making items to send to the overseas soldiers. Most of the interview is about her work with the National Council of Jewish Women and their Baby Clinic. She talks a lot about the Jewish community that she grew up in Vancouver.

Vanessa Marks

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.

Alan Herbert

Interview with Alan Herbert as part of the BC Jewish Queer & Trans Oral History Project, in collaboration with JQT Vancouver. Alan shares his experience of being both gay and Jewish in Vancouver. In part 1, he discusses his family, coming out as gay, the AIDS crisis, his involvement with AIDS Vancouver. In part 2, Alan discusses Vancouver during the AIDS crisis, getting the first funding for AIDS Vancouver, and feeling relatively accepted as a Jewish man in the LGBTQ+ community.

Gyda Chud

Number: CA JMABC A.1971.001-20.20-08
Name: Gyda Chud
Interviewer: Debby Freiman
Date: May 12th, 2020
Place: Vancouver, BC, via Zoom
Project: The Jewish Historical Society of British Columbia Oral History Project

00:00: Debby Freiman begins to introduce Gyda Chud, a male voice interrupts her.
00:37: Freiman introduces herself and Chud who are meeting over Zoom. Gyda was born in 1947 and has lived in Vancouver all of her life.
1:53: Gyda has a sister named Rita who kept the full version of their last name, Chudnovsky. Her mother, Gallia Chud was ninety-seven at the time of the interview but her father, Ben Chud had died many years prior. Gallia’s family came from Belarus while Ben’s came from Russia. Gallia’s family lived in Winnipeg. Ben and Gallia met in Toronto and married before coming to Vancouver.
3:56: Chud describes how her parents came to Vancouver and were met by several other community members at the train station. The Chuds arrived to help start the new Peretz school in Vancouver.
6:15: Chud mentions several families that were influential in the beginning of the Peretz school such as the Sarkins, Wynes, [Oberbachs]. The Peretz school was initially in an old Tudor style house on Broadway.
8:20: Gallia Chud was involved in parent’s organizations at Peretz. The students used to be at Peretz school twice a week and on Sunday mornings.
10:03: Chud explains the original secular humanist approach of the Peretz school. The children were taught Yiddish rather than Hebrew. Chud was an early childhood education professional.
13:23: Chud recalls performing plays in the auditorium of the old Peretz school building on the holidays.
16:14: Chud describes having her father as a teacher and his teaching style that attempted to be more interactive and engaging for the students.
18:00: Ben Chud left Peretz school in order to complete his high school education. He then went on to get his Master’s of Social Work and taught at the School of Social Work at UBC.
19:42: The two speakers discuss their memories of Ben Chud’s successor, [Label Bossman].
21:40: Chud describes a group she is part of called the Exploring Jewish Authors Group.
23:30: Chud describes making latkes for the holidays while attending Peretz. She also describes a secular humanist Haggadah that was developed at Peretz.
28:10: Chud tells the story of how the P’nei Mitzvah program and celebration came about.
35:35: The speakers discuss their memories and knowledge of Sara Sarkin.
37:06: Chud discusses the adult programming at Peretz including the Sholom Aleichem Speaker Series. She also discusses the other regular activities and classes that go on at the Peretz Centre.
41:06: The speakers discuss the rumours about the Peretz Centre being a place for communists. Chud rationalizes that people who saw the photo of I.L. Peretz on the wall may have thought he was a Russian man and a communist influencer.
44:30: Chud mentions her son and that he and his wife were married in the Peretz auditorium.
46:31: Freiman asks Chud about the population of Jewish people in Vancouver and how many are regularly involved in the Peretz Centre. Chud mentions that many local Jewish people don’t even know that Peretz exists.
49:18: Chud describes her happiness that the Peretz Centre has become a gathering place for the Jewish community and its organizations.
50:52: The Peretz Centre has several levels of Yiddish classes.
51:44: Chud describes how one of the teachers visited several Jewish families in the Squamish area and described the Peretz services and programs. She also tells of a program where children in the P’nei Mitzvah program gather with students from an Islamic school to learn from each other and cook for the poor of the area.
54:50: End of interview.

Logina Dimant

Interview with Longina Dimant. Longina, born as Hinda Wejgman, grew up in Warsaw, Poland. She talks about her life and her family in Poland before the Second World War, which she describes as happy. They lived in Pelcowizna, a neighbourhood in Poland, until the war. In late 1939, Longina and her family fled Poland by train to Siberia. They stopped in Małkinia for a few days before continuing on to Leninogorsk (now Ridder, Kazakhstan) where they lived for the next six and a half years. At 14, Longina began working at a brick factory. It was a difficult life and they were always hungry. After the war, Longina went to Moscow to try and speak to politician Kalinin to ask him if her family should go back to Poland or stay in Russia; he told her to go back to Poland.

Leah Markovitch

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.

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