Oral history interview with Esther Kahn, 2016  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Kahn, Esther Chiprut
Oral history interview with Esther Kahn
2016 (inclusive)
Originals as received: 2 digital audio files (WAV) and 2 computer files (PDF & JPEG)
Collection Number
6105 (Accession No. 6105-001)
Personal Papers/Corporate Records
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Esther Chiprut Kahn (1922 – February 18, 2017) was a Seattle native who grew up in the Central District. She was part of the first generation of Sephardic Jews born in Seattle. Her parents migrated from Turkey in the early 1900s and raised Kahn speaking Ladino as her first language. Esther attended many single Jewish events at the Temple Circle Club, where she met Fred Kahn at a dance. They married and had three daughters: Erna, Vivian, and Susan.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Nancy Blase interviews Esther Kahn on Mercer Island on 17 November 2016. In the interview Kahn describes her father, Judah Chiprut, who came from Tikerdag, Turkey. He arrived in Seattle in 1909 via Ellis Island and first worked with his cousins in the wooden coal business. Her mother, whose parents' surname was Azose, was raised in Gallipol, Turkey. Kahn grew up in Seattle's Central District (on 20th Avenue between Yesler Way and East First Street). It was very diverse. She remembers the grocery store owned by Jack Maimon, who was especially nice to children. Sephardic Bikur Holim was built around 1929 at 20th Ave. When it was being built, Mr. John Calderon, the president, came every day to check on the progress and her oldest brother, Jack, would often sleep there during construction to make sure no one would steal anything from the grounds. Her father often volunteered her and siblings to help with synagogue functions and she describes frying fish for Sukkot in the downstairs kitchen. Her father, the Gabai of Sephardic Bikur Holim, for over 40 years, also went a few times a week to the Public Market to collect dues for the synagogue; people paid 10 cents a week, a hardship for many. He was a doer and also drove people to the hospital to visit the sick. Esther attended many single Jewish events at the Temple Circle Club, where she met Fred Kahn at a dance. Although some didn't want her to marry an Ashkenazi Jew, they were very happy. Her advice to young people growing up today: "Treat children with respect and love."

Other Descriptive InformationReturn to Top

Forms part of the Washington State Jewish Archives

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

Listen to the audio recording and view the transcript of this interview on the Libraries Digital Collections site.

Restrictions on Use

Creator's copyrights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Immigrants--Washington (State)
  • Sephardim--Washington (State)
  • Sephardim--Washington (State)--Interviews
  • Personal Names :
  • Kahn, Esther Chiprut--Archives
  • Kahn, Esther Chiprut--Family
  • Kahn, Esther Chiprut--Interviews
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Interviews
  • Oral histories
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Blase, Nancy (interviewer)
    • Corporate Names :
    • Washington State Jewish Archives (University of Washington) (host institution)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)