Interviews with Jews in Utah collection [transcripts], 1982-1988

Overview of the Collection

Oral History Institute
Interviews with Jews in Utah collection [transcripts]
1982-1988 (inclusive)
5 linear feet
Collection Number
ACCN 0998
The interviews with Jews in Utah collection [transcripts] (1982-1988) is part of a project funded by the Utah Endowment for the Humanities and undertaken by the Oral History Institute of Salt Lake City, Utah. Events recalled by the interviewees span the time period from the 1880s to 1986. Common themes include family life, immigration, relations with the LDS community, religious activity, the unification of the congregations Montefiore and B'nai Israel, Jewish businesses and organizations, and World War II.
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT

Telephone: 8015818863
Access Restrictions

Twenty-four hour advanced notice encouraged. Materials must be used on-site. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.


Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The interviews with Jews in Utah collection [transcripts] (1982-1988) is part of a project funded by the Utah Endowment for the Humanities and undertaken by the Oral History Institute of Salt Lake City, Utah. The goal of the project was to conduct interviews with members of ethnic minorities in Utah and document the degree to which ethnic cultures have been impacted by the greater Utah culture. These interviews were conducted between 1982 and 1986 by Leslie Kelan and Lorraine Ferra. Events recalled by the interviewees span the time period from the 1880s to 1986. Common themes include family life, immigration, relations with the LDS community, religious activity, the unification of the congregations Montefiore and B'nai Israel, Jewish businesses and organizations, and World War II.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The library does not claim to control copyright for all materials in the collection. An individual depicted in a reproduction has privacy rights as outlined in Title 45 CFR, part 46 (Protection of Human Subjects). For further information, please review the J. Willard Marriott Library’s Use Agreement and Reproduction Request forms.

Preferred Citation

Collection Name, Collection Number, Box Number, Folder Number. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Purchased from the Oral History Institute in 1988.

Separated Materials

Audio cassette tapes transferred to the Multimedia Division of Special Collections (A0324).

Processing Note

Processed by Karen Carver in 2005.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

David Alder to Joseph DoctormanReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1
David Alder
In this interview, conducted by Leslie Kelen, David Alder (b. 1901) recalls his early life in Latvia, coming to America, his father's position as a teacher in the cheder for Congregation Montefiore, various jobs, his trip to Latvia and Russia during the 1930s, and his involvement in local Jewish institutions. 37 pages.
1 2
Sadie Arnovitz Appleman
This interview was conducted by Leslie Kelen and Lorraine Ferra. Sadie Appleman (b. 1899) discusses her activities as a young woman in Salt Lake, her independence, and her involvement in religious activities. She also talks about Jewish-owned businesses in Salt Lake, keeping a kosher home, and the unification of Congregations Montefiore and B'nai Israel. 27 pages.
1 3
Michael Arnovitz
Kelen conducted a series of interviews with Michael Arnovitz (b. 1896) in November and December 1982. Arnovitz's wife, Rose Leibowitz Arnovitz, is present for the interviews, and her comments are included in the transcript (as indicated by the initials "RA"). Topics covered include Michael's childhood in Keyesport, Pennsylvania; his parents' life in Austria; the World War I era flu epidemic; jobs held in Pennsylvania, Idaho, and Utah; discrimination by the Irish; religious beliefs; keeping a kosher home; prohibition; pawn shops, and Jewish businesses in Salt Lake City during the 1920s and 1930s. Arnovitz also recalls Salt Lake City in the 1920s; seeing Al Jolson perform; the Depression of the 1930s; the stock market, business and morale; his perception of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, including comments on the fireside chats and the New Deal; Zionist support during World War II; the National Council of Jewish Women; tensions between Montefiore and B'nai Israel; a book called Up From Seltzer; the bar mitzvahs of his sons; and his memories of Rabbi Cardin. 173 pages.
1 4
Rose Leibowitz Arnovitz
Interviewed by Leslie Kelen, Rose Leibowitz (b. 1908) talks about her parents' lives in Rumania, their coming to America, her father's experiences in the egg and grocery businesses, her childhood, and Jewish rituals practiced in the home. She also remembers her involvement in various organizations in Salt Lake City, including the Talmud Torah ladies, B'nai B'rith, the Traveler's Aid Society, United Way, the Welfare Fund drive, and the Jewish Relief Society (which became the Jewish Family Service). Other topics covered include the differences between the B'nai Israel and Montefiore congregations, the social "clique-isness" of the women in the Jewish community, Rabbi Cardin, the high holy days, some of the people who were "bulwarks" of the Montefiore Congregation, and Zionism. She also recalls some of the locl scandals, the anit-Semitic situation in Salt Lake schools, and the younger generation of Jewish people moving away from Salt Lake. Finally, she speaks of her involvement in Hadassah, Youth Alleyah, fund raising, blue box luncheons, USO, the Jewish Relief Society, and help Jewish soldiers during World War II. 177 pages.
1 5
Bernice Frank Bernstein
This interview was conducted by Joyce Kelen. Mrs. Bernstein (b. 1913) talks about her parents' life in Russia, their views as young radicals, and their emigration from Russia to the United States. She discusses the tensions between Russian and German Jews in th 1920s, and details her family's situation during the Depression. She also remembers the tensions between B'nai Israel and Montefiore, World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt, her involvement in B'nai Israel, the Jewish Family Service, and her work as a social worker. 34 pages.
1 6
Herman Bernstein
Interviewed by Joyce Kelen, Herman Bernstein (b. 1912) talks about anti-Semitism during his childhood, conditions during the Great Depression, and his parents's life in Utah after emigration from Poland. He recalls his father's involvement with Shaary Tzedick and his kosher childhood home. He also talks about World War II, the early Jewish Community Center, interfaith marriages, his involvement in both B'nai Israel and Montefiore, and the move of the younger generation away from the Jewish religion. 19 pages.
1 7
Samuel Bernstein
This interview was conducted by Joyce Kelen. Samuel's wife, Jackie, was present and her comments are included in the transcript (as indicated by the initial "W"). Bernstein (b. 1909) recalls the Congregation Shaary Tzedick and his father's household. He also talks about Kaplan, who acted as kosher butcher, mohel, and cantor in Salt Lake City. He recalls his duties as the first president of Congregation Kol Ami, talks about the consolidation process, and remembers Rabbi Bergman. 15 pages.
1 8
Abe B. Cline
Abe Cline was interviewed five times by Leslie Kelen. Cline (b. 1895) talks about his father and grandfather, both of whom are buried in Jerusalem. He recalls various jobs held early in his life (often as salesman) and tells a number of stores about his years with the National Guard (Mexican Revolution) and the U. S. Army (World War I). He recalls his childhood and teenage years in Salt Lake, the Free Masons, doing business with Mormons, the Greek population, the Depression, France in World War I, and his feelings about Hitler, Germany, and the creation of the state of Israel. Other topics include the Cline Equipment Company, evaporative air coolers, the Salt Lake Jewish community, Rabbi Sam Gordon, his extended family, and Jewish businesses in Salt Lake. 179 pages.
1 9
Harry J. Doctorman
Interviewed by Leslie Kelen, Harry Doctorman (b. 1919) recalls his childhood in Salt Lake City and the congregation Shaary Tzedick. He talks about the meat-packing business he inherited from his father (including comments on unions, kosher butchering, and modernization). He also talks generally about his Jewish upbringing and more specifically about his bar mitzvah, meeting his wife, getting married, and relationships with Mormons. 96 pages.
1 10
Joseph Doctorman
In the presence of his son, Harry, Joseph Doctorman (b. 1896) talks about his early life in Russia and coming to America in 1912. He recalls peddling and business in Salt Lake. He also talks about helping to build Shaary Tzedick. Harry mentions hearing about some problems with a local Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s. Several pages appear to be missing from the end of the transcript. 28 pages.

Simon Frank to Betsy Bamberger LesserReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
2 1
Simon Frank
This interview was conducted by Lorraine Ferra. Simon Frank (b. 1905) tells about his family, his upbringing in the congregation B'nai Israel, his father's early jobs, meeting his wife, and his children. He also relates some of the differences he perceives between the culture today and the culture that existed while he was growing up. 29 pages.
2 2
David Freedman
David Freedman (b. 1947) talks predominantly about his high education and rabbinical training. He also gives his impressions of the leadership, demography, stratification, and needs of the Jewish community since his arrival in Salt Lake in 1980. 52 pages.
2 3
Alberta Freshman
Two interviews were conducted by Leslie Kelen. In the first interview, Alberta Freshman (b. 1907) recalls her childhood in Salt Lake City and New York, and discusses becoming an elementary school teacher. In the second interview, she talks about her family background, the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Adolph Hitler. She also remembers various minority groups in Salt Lake City and speaks of the changes she has seen take place in education over the course of her 46 years as a teacher. 44 pages.
2 4
Jack Goodman
Jack Goodman (b. 1913) talks about growing up, his schooling, and his career in journalism. He recalls working for the New York Post and the New York City Radio Station during World War II, and coming to Salt Lake City, Utah, to work for KALL Radio after the war. He talks about politics in Utah, the civil rights and socialist movements, and his move from newspaper and radio to television. 71 pages.
2 5
Abraham Guss
Abraham Guss (b. 1904) talks with Leslie Kelen about growing up in Russia, emigrating to Salt Lake City, his involvement with the local Jewish community, being a school teacher in Montefiore, serving as president of both Montefiore and B'nai Israel, and his time in the insurance business since 1924. 61 pages.
2 6
Doris Neiditch Guss
Doris Guss (b. 1909) grew up in Idaho and Ogden, Utah. She talks about the Jewish community in Ogden and mentions the synagogue, BethShalom. She also speaks of her husband, Samuel, and his recent death of cancer. An interview with Samuel Guss a year before his death is contained in folder 7.
2 7
Samuel Guss
This interview was conducted by Leslie Kelen. Doris Guss is present, and her comments are marked by the initials "DG." Samuel Guss (b. 1904) remembers growing up in Poland, the German occupation after World War I, and emigrating to the United States. He talks about Jordan Meat and Livestock Company, changing times, and troubles with unions. A member of congregation Montefiore, he briefly comments about the differences between that group and congregation B'nai Israel. 61 pages
2 8
Eugene Hertz
Mrs. Hertz is present for this interview. Her comments are included in the transcript. Eugene Hertz (b. 1910) recalls his childhood in Germany and working as a traveling salesman there. Both Hertz and his wife talk about anti-Semitism in Germany before 1933 and conditions after Hitler came to power. Mrs. Hertz recalls the pogroms in Germany just prior to World War II, particularly "Krystalnacht," which took place on 8 November 1938. Eugene Hertz talks about translating German letters and pamphlets for the FBI after coming to the United States in 1937. Both talk about tensions between German Jews and Polish and Russion Jews in Salt Lake City. 48 pages.
2 9
Dr. Victor Kassel
When first interviewed by Leslie Kelen in 1978, Victor Kassel (b. 1920) recalled his childhood in Brooklyn, the anti-Semitism he experienced, his experiences in the military during World War II, and his entry into the field of geriatrics. During the later interviews, Kassel speaks at length about geriatrics, discusses Medicaid and Medicare, the development of nursing homes, talks about his view of the Jewish community in Salt Lake, and his habit of making "outlandish" or controversial statements in order to make people think. He also offers his opinion on the physical and spiritual health of the Jewish community. 109 pages.
1978; 1987
2 10
Esther Kline
Lorraine Ferra conducted two interviews with Esther Kline (b. 1906), who talks about growing up in Salt Lake city, including her memories of Pioneer Day, local businesses, Kaplan (the local kosher butcher), the Bamberger Railroad, and her father's work as a junk peddler. She also talks about some of the early distinctions between the congregations B'nai Israel, Monefiore, and Shaary Tzedick. The transcript for this interview may not be complete. 69 pages.
2 11
Esther Landa
In her interviews with Leslie Kelen, Esther Landa (b. 1912) talks about her childhood, her parents and grandparents, going to school at Mills College during the Depression, and working for a school in public relations. She also speaks of her memories of Jewish refuges in Salt Lake before World War II. She discusses the involvement of her father and grandfather in the Utah Junk Company and in the Eastern Iron and Metal Company (EIMCO). Also included are descriptions of her involvement in community affairs and her thoughts on resentments and tensions between two groups of Jews in Utah. 83 pages.
2 12
Betsy Anne Bamberger Lesser
Betsy Lesser (b. 1922) tells Leslie Kelen about her childhood, and about her grandfather, Utah Governor Simon Bamberger. She recalls her memories of Mills College, World War II, the night of VJ Day, the Bamburger Railroad, Utah Coal Company, and the tensions between German Jews and other ethnic Jews. She also talks about segregation as she remembers it. She tells stories about family members, remembers going to high school at Rowland Hall, and talks about first hearing Hitler on the radio. Other topics include her father, Lagoon, ethnic groups in Salt Lake City, the community response to World War II, changes she has seen in Salt Lake, and her memories of International House at the University of California at Berkeley. 104 pages.

Fred Linden to Rose NordReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
3 1
Fred Linden
Linden (b. 1895) talks at length about his life in Germany prior to 1939. Topics covered include school, jobs, an apprenticeship, his marriage, early reactions to Hitler, and the pogroms on "Krystalnacht," 9 November 1938. He recalls moving to Shanghai in April 1939 and coming to the United States in 1947, where he was drawn to Utah because of the mountains. He recalls his early years in Salt Lake, talks about World War I, Israel, and a relative who changed her name and hid from the Nazis by working as a nanny for a Nazi family. A copy of Linden's autobiography follows the interview. 50 pages.
3 2
Dr. Laurence Delemos Loeb
In these three interviews, conducted by Leslie Kelen, Loeb talks about his family background, his activities in Jewish yough groups, and serving as cantor for the junior service in New York. He recalls entering the cantorate at 16 years of age and spending a year in Israel. Other topics covered include pursuing a degree in ethnomusicology and anthropology, teaching in New York, accepting a position at the University of Utah, Rabbi Bergman, being a cantor of B'nai Israel and Kol Ami, and returning to Israel on a Fulbright scholarship. He also talks about the Salt Lake Jewish community, the lack of anti-Semitism in Salt Lake, campus life, his Jewish identity and role as cantor, and the differences between the old and new Jewish communities. 142 pages.
3 3
Gerald Lutzker
Lutzker (b. 1941) details his family background and recalls growing up on a chicken farm in Sandy, Utah. He talks about the discrimination he experienced in grade school, anti-Semitism in Utah and Los Angeles, and his college years. He also speaks of the public visibility of Jews, Salt Lake City's attitude toward minorities, and the psychological effects of childhood persecution. 51 pages.
3 4
Howard Marcus
This folder contains two interviews, the second of which is incomplete. Marcus (b. 1919) talks about his grandparents from Germany, tells stories about his father's career in the film distribution business, and talks about his father's tenure as mayor of Salt Lake City during the Depression. Other topics covered include World War II, the merging of B'nai Israel and Montefiore, the Salt Lake Jewish community, and coming into a conservative setting with a reform background. 37 pages.
3 5
Sidney Matz
Matz (b. 1919) talks about his family background in Russia, the pogroms that took place there, his mother's immigration to the United States, his father's business, the Ku Klux Klan, and anti-Semitism in Magna, Utah. He also talks about the Greek unions, working for Kennecott during the Depression, school prayer, his lack of Jewish identity, and his father. He also touches on Hitler and World War II, life after the war, discrimination, and his years at Kennecott. 95 pages.
3 6
Joanne Spitzer McGillis
In this interview, conducted by Lorraine Ferra, McGillis (b. 1932) recalls her childhood in Sandy, Utah, her socialist grandfather, and local scandal involving Rabbi Gordon. She also talks about the differences between congregations Montefiore and B'nai Israel, her family's response to Hitler and World War II, anti-Semitism in her grade school, discrimination in the community, and her sense of Jewish identity. 34 pages.
3 7
Harry B. Miller
Miller was interviewed in 1982 by Sandra Fuller and in 1986 by Eileen Hallett Stone. In his interview with Fuller, Miller (b. 1905) talks about boxers such as Joe Dupler and Charlie McGillis during the 1920s and 1930s. He briefly touches on World War II, then goes on to discuss Utah Magazine and newspapers in the Salt Lake area. In the 1986 interview, Miller recalls installing a chapter of Junior B'nai B'rith in Salt Lake City in 1928. He talks about the differences between Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Jews, and tells stories about the lives of his parents in Russia. Other topics covered include his childhood, a Spanish flu epidemic, Jewish groups in Chicago and Denver, the distinct split between German Jews and other Jews, sports, World War II and European Jews, the makeup of Salt Lake's Jewish Community, and his career in publishing. 126 pages.
1982; 1986
3 8
Norman Nathan
Nathan (b. 1897) talks about his parents, his childhood, and going to school. He also discusses the relations between Mormons and Jews in Utah, growing up kosher, his Jewish identity, and the division between two local congregations. He remembers his father's business in hides and furs, talks of peddling junk and selling ore, recalls working in the mercantile and mining businesses, and explores the question "why be Jewish." Other topics covered include anti-Semitism, working for the Bamburgers, starting the local Zionist Organization in 1926, Shaary Tzedick, Rabbi Crickstein, and Kaplan, the kosher butcher. He also talks about being a member of the Elks' Drill Team and working for a Japanese camp in Idaho during World War II. 89 pages.
3 9
Rose Guss Nord
This folder contains two interviews conducted by Joyce Kelen. Nord (b. 1906) talks about her family, living in New York during the 1920s and 1930s, meeting her husband, raising children, and moving to Salt Lake City, where she took orders from the community for kosher meat which was shipped into her home from Denver. She also discusses some of the organizations with which she was affiliated, her Polish grandparents, and her own childhood in Russia and Europe. She talks about helping feed soldiers in Salt Lake City during World War II, war refugees, and the role of women in the Jewish community. She discusses the Talmud Torah Ladies and the B'nai B'rith sisterhood. 77 pages.

Milton Pepper to Helen SandackReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
4 1
Milton Pepper
Pepper (b. 1906) details his genealogy and talks about his parents, growing up in Salt Lake City, anti-Semitism, and the split in the Jewish community. He also talks about working conditions as a doctor in the Depression, World War II, prayer, being president of Montefiore, and the merging of the congregations. Other topics covered include Rabbi Cardin, various mohels in Salt Lake City, the congregation Shaary Tzedick, going to cheder, Jefferson elementary school, his role as a doctor, Dr. Alexander, and how being a doctor has changed over the years. 57 pages.
4 2
Sonia Pepper
In this interview with Leslie Kelen, Rose Arnovitz is present, as indicated by the initials RA. Sonia Pepper begins by discussing her parents, childhood, education, and work as a young adult. She also talks about collecting for the Jewish Relief Society, the inner workings of that group, the Jewish community in Salt Lake, being involved of the remodeling of Montefiore, and the role of women in the Jewish community. Pepper and Rose talk about the merger of the congregations, the James L. White Jewish Community Center, the United Fund, their social lives, other community members, and programs helping transients. 72 pages.
4 3
Bernie Rose
Rose (b. 1911) recalls growing up, school, religious influences, anti-Semitism, stories of his father's life, and participating in amateur boxing. He also talks about his separation from the Jewish community, practicing law during the Depression, prayer in the schools, and the issue of the separation of church and state. Other topics covered include Hitler, World War II, the differences between German and other ethnic Jews, serving in the army, interfaith marriages, and Jewish identity. 128 pages.
4 4
Isaac Rose
This folder contains interviews conducted on different occasions by Leslie Kelen and Sandra Fuller. Rose (b. 1911) discusses his family background and childhood in Poland, including anti-Semitic feelings there. He continues his story with the economic situation, Krystalnacht, Jewish ghettos, World War II, his experience in concentration camps (particularly in Auschwitz), living conditions and religious life, liberation by American soldiers, and life in post-war Germany. Other topics covered include traveling to the United States, the Salt Lake Jewish community, orthodox Judaism, and the merger of the Salt Lake congregations. 137 pages.
4 5
Milton Rosen
Rosen (b. 1912) recalls his childhood, schooling, jobs held, and Prohibition. He discusses the differences between congregations B'nai Israel and Montefiore, Jewish-Mormon relations, and Jewish businesses in Salt Lake City. Other topics include Hitler, World War II, war refugees in Salt Lake, his involvment with caring for the Jewish cemeteries, local Rabbis, and interfaith marriages. 55 pages.
4 6
Joseph Rosenblatt
This folder contains twelve interviews conducted by Leslie Kelen over a period of several months. Rosenblatt (b. 1903) talks about his family's background in Russia, the emigration of his parents, his father's involvement in Congregation Montefiore, the Salt Lake Jewish community, and two family businesses: the Utah Junk Company, and Eastern Iron and Mental Company (EIMCO). 148 pages.
1982; 1983
4 7
Sophie Fox Rosenthal
Rosenthal (b. 1894) details her background and that of her husband. She also talks about jobs held by her and her husband, places they lived, the Depression, the Jewish community in Salt Lake City, World War II, anti-Semitism, working for Makoff's, and keeping kosher. 35 pages.
4 8
A. Wally Sandack
Sandack (b. 1913) talks about his family background, schooling, his involvement with the Jewish community, and the Jewish quota at universities. He also discusses his career in radio broadcasting, the American anti-Semitic movement, his involvement with B'nai Israel, the merging of the congregations, and various Jewish newspapers in Salt Lake City. Other topics covered include politics, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John Kennedy, religion in politics, and sports. 84 pages.
4 9
Helen Sandack
In this interview with Lorraine Ferra, Sandack (b. 1917), describes her family background in Russia and recalls anti-Semitism, her experiences at work, her mother, growing up in an observant household, and the Jewish community in Salt Lake City. Other topics include Hitler and World War II, stereotypes, and the theater. 27 pages.

Joel Shapiro to Ralph TannenbaumReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
5 1
Joel Shapiro
Shapiro (b. 1922) discusses his family, his father's background in Russia, the Jewish community in Salt Lake City, congregation Montefiore, relations with Mormons, the evolution of the downtown area from a business to a professional district, various ethnic groups in Salt Lake, civil rights, and integration. He also relates stories about growing up, high school, dating in the 1940s, and his experiences in the army. Other topics covered include Hitler and World War II, the liberation of Dachau, how his army experiences changed him, the National Luggage Dealers Association, McCarthyism and the Right Wing political movement, the Anti-Defamation League, and discrimination. 127 pages.
5 2
Cecelia Siegal
Siegal (b. 1910) talks about her father's business, the American Fur company, and discusses the Jewish community in Salt Lake. Other topics covered include the celebration of Jewish holidays, her husband's ROTC experiences, Hitler, World War II, the Mormon community, and B'nai B'rith. 26 pages.
5 3
Dal Siegal
Dal Siegal (b. 1909) tells Leslie Kelen about his family background and childhood, his father's jewelry store, life during the Depression, his experiences in the ROTC, and anti-Semitism. He also talks about pawn shops owned by his family, congregation Montefiore, Hitler, World War II, the military, his religious outlook, the Jewish image in general, and the Masonic Lodge. 115 pages.
5 4
Eva Frank Siegal
Eve Frank Siegal (b. 1906) recounts stories of her parents and their emigration to the United States from Russia. She discusses growing up in Nephi, Utah, and talks about The Ladies Shop, a family-owned business. Other topics include social life in the Jewish community, Hitler and World War II, and changes in the Jewish community in her lifetime. 53 pages.
5 5
Rabbi Eric Silver
Silve (b. 1942) was the subject of seven interviews conducted by Leslie Kelen. In the first interview, Silver talks about his family background, his father's Hasidic upbringing, the pre-World War II immigration of his parents, talks about his own childhood. The next two interviews contain information on Silver's education, his seven years of Naval service (beginning in 1963), his experiences at Hebrew Union College, the spiritual responsibility involved in the rabbinate, and what it meant to go to a reform, rather than conservative or orthodox college. The remainder of the interviews focus on Silver's experiences as a rabbi and on the congregations and people he has served. Topics covered include interfaith marriages, how rabbis are placed, conflicts between reform and conservative components of the community, the "lost generation" of children veering away from their Jewish roots, his evaluation by the board of Kol Ami, the differences between being a rabbi and being a leader, and his decision to leave the congregation Kol Ami after five years. 210 pages.
5 6
Harry Smith and Marjorie Siegal Smith
Harry (b. 1912) talks about his family background, schooling, religion, and working on a chicken farm in the Depression. Marjorie (b. 1918) also describes her family and growing up during the Depression. She also talks about her education, getting married, her husband's chicken farm, and the local Jewish community. 35 pages, 43 pages.
5 7
Corrine Heller Sweet
In these interviews, conducted by Joyce and Leslie Kelen, Sweet (b. 1914) details her family background and recalls her childhood and education. She discusses the role of women in the Jewish community, conflict between Russian and German Jews, keeping kosher, the interaction between the Jewish and Mormon communities, World War II, Zionism, the Depression, and the general response to World War II in Salt Lake City, Utah. 109 pages.
5 8
Ralph Tannenbaum
Tannenbaum (b. 1921) describes his family background, businesses and prices in Salt Lake City during the 1920s, and his Jewish education. He also talks about scouting, school, ROTC and military school, and his social life as a teenager. Other topics covered include World War II, going into his father's business, Zionism, Mormons and the Masons, the merging of two Salt Lake City congregations, the Jewish underground in the 1940s, and the Jewish community and some of its leaders. 117 pages.
1982; 1983

Sade Bernstein Tannenbaum to Max WilsonReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
6 1
Sade Bernstein Tannenbaum
In a series of three interviews, Sade Tannenbaum tells Joyce Kelen about her family background in Poland and her immigration to the United States at the age of five. She describes her childhood, various jobs she has held, Mormon attempts to convert her, and the differences between the two Jewish congregations in Salt Lake City. Other topics covered include farmily members, keeping kosher, Jewish communities in Kansas City and Denver, her service in the task of preparing the dead for burial, Shaary Tzedick, life in Salt Lake City, and Zionism.
1982; 1983; 1984
6 2
I. J. "Izzie" Wagner
Wagner (b. 1915) talks about his family background in Russia, his visit to Russia in 1961, and his father's life as a peddler, which led to the formation of the family business, Wagner Bag Company. He also discusses various businesses in Salt Lake City during the 1920s and 1930s and the condition of the West side during the same period, Prohibition, bootlegging, Shaary Tzedick, anti-Semitism, a man named Victor Lustig who sold counterfeiting machines, and the red light district. Other topics covered include relations with the Mormon community, various peddlers in Salt Lake, the Depression, his experiences with the Marine Corp in World War II, the expansion of the family business, selling war surplus, Wagner Industrial Park, wealthy and powerful people in Salt Lake, Trolley Square, the beautification of the downtown area, religious influences, working on the zoning board, history and preservation of historical sites, the history of Salt Lake City, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
6 3
Max Wilson (Anatole Zucker)
Wilson (b. 1923) talks about teaching high school band and mathematics, his start in the music business, activities in his youth, his family and their involvement in the Jewish community. He recalls his religious education, going to music school, his music career, and anti-Semitism. He also talks about his father and their estrangement.

RestrictedReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Master Files
Restricted. Access prohibited except to staff of the Manuscripts Division.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Children of immigrants--Utah--Interviews
  • Immigrants--Utah--Interviews
  • Jews, American--Utah--Interviews
  • Jews--Utah--Cultural assimilation

Geographical Names

  • Utah--Emigration and immigration
  • Utah--Ethnic relations

Form or Genre Terms

  • Oral Histories