Oral History interview with Elaine Charkow. Elaine was born in Russia. Her family emigrated when she was 8. They first stopped in Winnipeg where her father worked in the grain business. They moved to Vancouver in 1926. During the 1930's Her mother took in 2 refugees from China. Her father was one of the founders of the Vancouver Free Loan Association. Elaine talks about the importance of the Jewish Community Center on 11th and Oak. Elaine instrumental in finding housing for Polish immigrants. She worked with B’nai B’rith Girls, United Jewish Appeal, and Hadassah.
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 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.
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.
Oral History interview with Rita Sitwell. Her family is from Vilna Poland. Her grandmother was a baker and would make all the traditional baked goods for the holidays. Rita talks about growing up in Vilna under communism and antisemitism in the USSR. They move to Israel in 1970, when Rita was 25. She talks about finding freedom in Israel and later Canada. Her family moved to Montreal. Rita worked as a hairdresser, she tried to work with Jewish people so she could switch to Yiddish when she didn’t know the English words. Her mother loved Montreal because it was better for her health than Israel. They all moved to Vancouver in 1974. Her and John got married in 2000 and she moved to Victoria with him.
Photograph depicts the original Vancouver Jewish Community Centre on 12th and Oak. Written on verso: "Ben, This our community centre where all the Jewish clubs meet and affairs held. Its a beautiful building. Esther".