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JHSBC Oral History Collection Vancouver
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Susan Quastel

Oral History of Susan Quastel. Mrs. Quastel was born in Amsterdam in 1923. During the early part of WW2 she worked at the Jewish Hospital in Amsterdam. After the war she moved to London, where she had family. While in the UK, she trained to be a nurse at Charing Cross Hospital. She then went to Israel, where her sister lived, and worked at Hadassah Hospital. During her time in Israel, she met her husband, who was from Vancouver, at the Hebrew University. She moved to Canada with him and they got married here. In Vancouver, she worked for many Jewish organizations including Hadassah, The National Council of Jewish Women, the Vancouver chapter of Canadian Friends of The Hebrew University, and the Zack Gallery.

Betty Averbach

Oral history interview with Betty Averbach who was born in Romania in 1921. Her family moved to Canada when she was 3 years old, the Council of Jewish Women met them and helped them get settled. Talks about growing up in Vancouver and the Jewish community here. Her father was a junk peddler when they first arrived. Talks about raising her family in Vancouver and her family's active relationship with the Schara Tzedeck synagogue. Speaks of the importance of the Jewish Community Centre in the life of the community when she was young, the support and confidence it generated amongst Betty and her friends.

Ben and Rita Akselrod

Oral History interview with Ben and Rita Akselrod. Rita was born in Bacau, Romania. They met in a DP camp in Austria. After the war they went to Israel then came to Canada via Italy. They worked as a peddlers then with antiques. Then started a second-hand and antique store in New Westminster. They talk about how antisemitism didn't disappear after the war.

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.

Isaac Lipovsky

Oral history interview with Isaac Lipovsky who was born in Russia in 1902 but the family emigrated to Winnipeg in 1905 after Issac's brother was born. Issac's father fought in the Russo-Japanese War, finding work at Red River Sheet Metal Works in Winnipeg, later opening B.C. Ceiling and Roofing Company once the family relocated in 1910. After working through a number of businesses, mainly concession stands and selling candy, started working for Woodward's Department Stores in 1932.

Ralph Levy

Oral interview with Ralph Levy. Interviewed by Molly Kumar for SLAIS Oral History class. Ralph Levy was born in February, 1934 in Istanbul, Turkey. He is the youngest of four. He describes the language Ladino, which he speaks fluently. He lived in England as a child, where he witnessed the Blitzkrieg and attended post secondary there in Lester. He served in the British Military and was stationed in Egypt for two years. He met his wife in Lester and they were wed in 1957. After closing his marketplace business in England, he lived in the south of France till a storm struck. In 1968, he immigrated to Canada. He initially settled in Melfort, Saskatchewan, then went to Calgary, Fort McMurray and then moved to Victoria where he resided for thirty years before retiring in Vancouver.

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.

David and Vera Bakonyi

Oral history interview with David and Vera Bakonyi on the late Peter Bakonyi (Vera's husband and David's father). Peter Bakonyi was born in 1933 in Budapest, Hungary. He met his wife Vera at a high school function. While in Budapest, he trained for the modern pentathlon event (fencing, swimming, horseback riding, shooting and cross country running) and played volleyball all while attending law school. He and Vera immigrated to Canada in 1957 as refugees and wed in Vancouver in 1959. He began solely training in fencing and switched his career path to real estate. Peter was a 6x Canadian Fencing Champion, 18x British Columbia Champion and attended the 1968 Olympic Games after being prevented from attending both the 1960 and 1964 games. He was also a founder of the Canadian Maccabiah Games team. He competed in the Maccabiah Games until his death in 1997. Vera and David discuss the legacy they've established in Peter's honour, such as the creation of the Peter Bakonyi World Cup (formerly Challenge Peter Bakonyi).

David Nemetz

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.

Brett Silberg

Oral interview with Brett Silberg. Interviewed by Debby Freiman. Brett talks about his family's history in South Africa, education, and the Apartheid. He arrived in Canada as a student before eventually immigrating and finding a renewed interest in Judaism.

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