Interview with Marsha Ablowitz for On The Record: The BC Jewish Queer & Trans Oral History Project in collaboration with JQT Vancouver. Interviewed by Carmel Tanaka via remote Zoom video call. Marsha (she/her) is a Jewish lesbian born in Vancouver. Marsha discusses her family’s origins both in Canada, and as immigrants from Europe. She tells stories of her immediate family in Winnipeg and Vancouver. She talks about her heterosexual marriage, and how she didn’t realize she was interested in women until after getting married. She explains her little exposure to queer Jews outside of her uncle Max, and how she experienced discrimination more through racism against her husband, than through anti-Semitism or homophobia in the community. Marsha talks about being aware of the Holocaust and Jewish issues as a kid, being involved in Jewish youth groups into her twenties, and eventually becoming a social worker. She describes her community initiatives within Jewish community organizations, teaching women’s self defense classes and empowering women and LGBT communities. Marsha closes the interview by talking about Quirk-e, a queer writing collective she is presently involved in, life with her partner Maribel during COVID, and her connection to feminist counselling and women’s health movements across Canada.
Photograph depicts Cantor Murray Nixon (2nd in from left) and three unidentified people standing on either side of a sign. The sign is written in Hebrew and English and says: Jewish National Fund House, The Esther and Ben Dayson Vancouver - Canada 'Provisional Peoples Council and Administration' Educational Center and Museum.