Oral history interview with Dan Sonnenschein on his mother Bronia Sonnenschein, who was born in Vienna in 1915. Dan talks about his mother’s experience during the war. She was smuggled into Poland after the annexation but ended up living most of the war in the Lodz Ghetto before being sent to camps in 1944. After the war she moved to Prague, where she worked for the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. She got married in Prague and they moved first to Haifa Israel then Vancouver in 1950. Dan’s Father died in 1952. She got a job and raised her children as a single mother. After she retired, she volunteered with many organizations, including JCC and congress. She did a lot of work for holocaust education in BC by going on tours and giving talks to school groups and other organizations.
Oral history interview with Pnina Granirer. Her was born in 1935 in Romania. During WW2 she went to a Catholic school because Jews weren’t allowed to go to school. Pnina left Romania in 1950 and moved to Israel. She went to architect school but wanted to be an artist. She worked as an illustrator. She moved to Canada with her husband because of work. They originally thought they would move back to Israel, but it did not happen. Pnina is a successful painter and has taught throughout her life.
Oral history interview with Allegra Dayan who was born in 1914 in Egypt and emigrated to Vancouver, Canada in 1957. She started working as a nurse at age 14. Her father was a Rabbi at the Jewish Hospital. She got married, moved to Cairo with husband and mother-in-law. They had 6 children together. Her husband worked in a bank. In the mid-50’s the Egyptian government force her husband to leave his job. They fled to France. They moved to Canada in 1057. Some of her children moved to USA and Israel. She was active with the Golden Agers. Allegra sings in Arabic.
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.
Oral History interview with John Sitwell. John’s family is from Poland. His grandfather’s house in Poland was a large estate with a registration date of 1136. His family owned a sugar mill and sold bagged sugar. John and Rita went back to Poland and toured around the area his family lived. His parents survived the holocaust and then escaped Uzbekistan. They were on some of the first boats to Israel. In Israel, his grandfather owned a granary. They lived in Israel until John was 8, when they immigrated to Canada. They lived in Regina when they got here. John became a school councillor and moved out to the west coast. His parents followed him after they retired.
Oral history interview with Ophira Schwarzfeld, interviewed by Bea Berger. Ophira was born in Be’er Sheva. She talks about her family’s existing history in North America, and her trials when she first immigrated to Vancouver at the age of 15. She also discusses her own family’s life, and her weekly activities and involvement within her community.
Interview with Ilana Strummer. Interviewed by Bill Gruenthal. Ilana discusses kibbutzim in Israel and her family's history. She talks about her physiotherapy work in the Israeli army before immigrating to Canada, and her subsequent involvement in the Vancouver Jewish community.
Oral history interview with Allan Nortman, interviewed by Jennifer Yuhasz, in preparation for the 2014 Scribe with a focus on Jewish scrap metal dealers. Allan speaks on his family’s history, explaining how he came to be born in Haifa, Israel, in 1951. Following their short time in Israel, his family moved to England for a few months before setting in Vancouver in 1953. He speaks on his own career as well as his father’s though his own memories from his childhood.
Oral history interview with Irma Schneider, interviewed by Cindy Rozen. Irma speaks on her family’s history as well as her early life and adolescence in East London, South Africa. When she was married, she lived in Cape Town, where her children were also born, and in 1980 she immigrated to Vancouver, Canada. She details her family’s and her own experience with immigration and speaks about her marriage and her children.
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.