Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Helen A. Paritz, February 29, 1984

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:02:45 - The Background Story of Helen as a Young Girl

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Partial Transcript: Helen. I am so glad that I have the opportunity to interview along with Hilda Abraham and me, Ruth Kesler. I haven't been here as long as Helen, 47 years. But I met you. wait 37 years. I met you the first year that I came here and I'm very proud to say that in all those years we haven't been in one argument or disagreement. How many years? 37. Now how long have you known Helen, Hilda? Well I know I went in as president in 1939 and Helen had been on Activan Sisterhood how many years before that Helen? Well I guess it was long before that then. Okay I'll start. Helen Paritz. My parents and I came to Lexington when I was 9 years old. My brother was a student at the University of Kentucky. We had lived in Charleston, West Virginia. We came here I think I was in the 4th grade at Dudley School. Now most of you know it's called Dudley Square now, but it was Dudley School in those days. We lived at 377 South Upper. Dudley School was a 4th, 5th, and 6th grade. They had built Jeff Davis was the Junior High and it was out on South Lime. The University has bought all of that and put up buildings. But in those days it was a Junior High. Now the high school was on 4th and Lime, The Lexington Senior High School and I attended school there and I decided in order to graduate a year earlier I had to do summer school. The Gossamens were in charge of the summer school at the time. And I could double up in English and some other course or something or other. And I did that and I got out of high school a year early. I went to the University of Kentucky. And I really wanted to be a teacher so that's what I got my degree in. But I never taught.

Segment Synopsis: Here we get background information on how old Helen was when she moved to Lexington, KY, what schools she attended, and we just get a brief background of Helen in her younger years.

Keywords: 1930s; Charleston, WV; Dudley School; Dudley Square; Jeff Davis Junior High; Lexington, KY; the Lexington Senior High School

Subjects: Elementary School; Family; Middle School; Senior High School; Teacher; University of Kentucky

00:06:59 - The Temple and Synagogue in Lexington

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Partial Transcript: Lets see..my very best friend, well I don't know Hilda do you remember Schwartz' that lived here in town. They started out with a millinery store, and then they had ladies ready to wear and millinery on west main. They had a daughter about my age and we were very close. And umm, I think they stayed here until Sylvia graduated high school, she got out maybe a year early or something like that and in went back to New York. Somebody ask a question. Does the Schwartz girl come back later. Never saw her anymore after that because she was killed in an automobile accident and I never saw her after that. So you graduated from the University of Kentucky? Yes. How long after that did you meet your husband Iz? Well uh the Jewish community was very small. Did you go to the Synagogue? Yes yes we did, my parents belonged to the Synagogue, my father was very very religious. Is that where you met Iz? To tell you the truth I'm not quite sure where I met Iz at. We just came in contact with each other. I remember Iz and Dave as young men, and I cannot remember if they were members of the Temple or not. You know at one time Iz told me that, I don't know if they had a Synagogue then, I don't know, in those days, but they did go to the Temple Sunday School which was on Maryland Avenue because he said his class had Ijane Miller, Bob Strauss, and Jim Strauss, I think they were all in the same confirmation class, I don't really know. But I think they were in the same class because later on they evidently. It's very possible they didn't have a kindergarten at the Synagogue, if they even had one. How big was the congregation at the Synagogue then? I don't think it was too large, I really don't think so. Did the Temple and the Synagogue ever have any associations or did they come together? I don't think they did. Uh uh. I really don't. And it was not because they Temple did not make overtures, but it was like, well uh, there was a group of old timers and they just couldn't see the others. It was very different and most of the older ones had been born and raised in Europe and they couldn't see anything modern in their religion at all, because I'm going back to my father because he just wouldn't say anything about it. Do you remember who the Rabii at the Synagogue was at that time. I think when I was growing up it was Rabii Loenthal. Who later moved to Cincinnati and had two sons; one of his sons became an MD.

Segment Synopsis: This section discusses differences in the Synagogue in the Temple back in the times that Helen was growing up.

Keywords: Iz Paritz; Lexington, KY; Synagogue; Temple

Subjects: Differences in Synagogue and Temple then; Iz Helen's husband; Rabii Loenthal; Schwartz family

00:08:48 - Life After UK

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Partial Transcript: Lets see. After I graduated UK it was more or less during the time of the Depression. And it was really impossible to get a teaching position unless you wanted to go up into the mountains or some place like that because you just couldn't in the first place because Lexington was very small and you had these teachers who stayed until they died. I mean they never thought of retiring, nobody even retired back then. And it was just impossible so I did work at UK for a little while in the Political Science Department. Lost my way through, and in the PSD they had a Kentucky Municipal League it was made up of different cities in Kentucky and different people like mayors, city managers, and this Dr. Jones who was head of the Political Science Department and I guess he was an assistant, this Roy Owlsley later went to Louisville and was something or other in politics then. And uh that was more or less about it. And then I uh knew the Paritzs and I started going with Iz and we were married in 1933. I remember they had a very attractive sister. That was Rose who later married Syd Snyder in Louisville and of course they are both dead.

Segment Synopsis: This segment expresses how Helen's life developed after graduating from the University of Kentucky and how she met Iz Paritz who later became her husband.

Keywords: Iz Paritz; Kentucky Municipal League; Political Science Department at UK; Syd and Rose Snyder; University of Kentucky; teachers; the Depression

Subjects: Kentucky Municipal League; Political Science Department at UK; University of Kentucky; meeting husband Iz Paritz; teaching

00:11:26 - Recreational and School Activities

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Partial Transcript: What was it like, did you go to Sunday School at the Synagogue? Mhmm, the classes large? It's been so long ago that I don't remember. Do you remember, like growing up, what did you do for recreation? I really think that I walked around with a book in front of my face. Well really it was like Sylvia Schwartz and me and we'd go to the show. At the Opera House they had this stock company and oh we were ya know, every Saturday afternoon honey we had to go to the matinee and they would have a different play and ya know just things like that and then I took piano at the College of Music and Anna Kandler Goff brought some artists like Yalsa Hyfas in that old Woodland Auditorium like a barn; it should have been torn down 50 years before it eventually was. It was a milestone. I remember when I graduated high school they had the graduation service out at the Woodland Auditorium. And something I guess they did out at the public schools was with the 6th grades they'd have this music memory contests and play records, certain parts of the records. They'd set them aside, and they you umm I guess if you passed certain things at school you could go to Woodland Auditorium for all the schools, then they played the records and if you guessed it and wrote it down right then you got this music pin or something or other and I think I have mine around here somewhere. But you know that was really something, when you got that you really thought you were Pederefski or something. Uhh if you got your pin then they played more records at school for the ones who got this pin and then they'd play only like certain excerpts ya know which was much harder than playing the entire piece. But I don't know.

Segment Synopsis: This section is about childhood activities that Helen did when she was younger and even activities that were popular in school.

Keywords: College of Music; Lexington KY; Lexington Opera House; Sylvia Schwartz; Synagogue; Woodland Auditorium

Subjects: College of Music; Lexington Opera House; Sunday schools; Synagogue; Woodland Auditorium; music activities; reading

00:16:22 - Older Homes and the Bluegrass Trust

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Partial Transcript: The Schwartzs and my parents were sort of in the "mshbhooha". You know what that means? And we were really always together and they lived, I always feel now that if I walk through or around grads park that that's still my second home..it was mine too..wait I'm getting ahead of myself. They lived on Market street, right across from grads park, which was a very nice,old home and lovely people lived there. And then the last house that they lived on was on the corner of 2nd and Mill across from the Hunt Morgan House now. And of course it had been torn down, and that's when they decided that in order to save these old homes there needed, the Bradford who started the first printing press or something and lived there, it should have never been torn down it was really a nice, old home. After that where people were outraged at what they were doing around here so they started the Bluegrass Trust. And of course now you can't just tear anything down with the older homes.

So um after I got out of UK then I got married. And um Iz had bought the house that I'm still in. I just felt like one of my grandaughters when she was little said to me grandma are you going to live in this house until you die? And at the time I said it looks that way and of course naturally, well Iz died in the house. And uh Minnah Bloomfield was the president of sisterhood and I think when Allen was born, Minnah lived on Ridgeway with her mother and Hugo; and Minnah asked me if I would like to become a member of sisterhood. So I joined Sisterhood. Yes that was the only house I lived in, before then we lived on South Upper near Maxwell that was an old, old house. Built in the 1800, 319 Dudley is where I live now. We were the last street out, it was all farmland. Across from our house there were vacant lots and the cow and the houses would come up to the fence. It was much later that Chenowee was built. And uh during the war IJane Miller and Iz had two victory gardens and one of them one on um Chenowee and Heart Road. Ya know this was all country. And the other one was on, course none of that was cut throught ya know. They had some victory gardens. You know I think I had some of that food from those victory gardens. And I know that one time, I don't know if it was a cucumber or something, and it was real large and they made such a to do about it and they took it downtown and there was a newspaper that said something and I still remember I have those stickers I had printed for us, "The VGardens from the Paritzs" cause you were supposed to do things like that like patriotic. There was one near us by the Beaugards, opened up on 2nd block, cows came up every morning. I remember the Beaugards. Close to where Ruth lives now.

Segment Synopsis: It is in this segment that we get a background story on why the Bluegrass Trust was likely established and how it effected Helen's life and those around her.

Keywords: Bluegrass Trust; Grads park; Hunt Morgan House; Lexington, KY; University of Kentucky; victory gardens

Subjects: Bluegrass Trust; Schwartzs; mentions the Sisterhood; older homes; victory gardens

00:17:37 - Jews, Gentiles, and joining the Temple

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Partial Transcript: Helen, did you go with only Jewish people? Uhh some yeah. I mean I had Gentile friends. Some yes. Yes I had both. And there was no animosity between them? Yeah we got along really well and uh I mean they all knew I was Jewish because I had to stay out for all Jewish holidays regardless how minor, I was out all the time. I felt I was a very good student. Remember Hilda, Sollingers, Ted and Eva, he was here when Ben Snyder opened the store here Ted was sent to be the manager. And uh we were very good friends and they asked us to join Temple. And we did. And Iz became very interested and so did I and we were good members and we worked and things like that.

Segment Synopsis: The segment is about Helen's friends who were Jews and Gentiles and how they interacted together. Also we see how the Paritz's joined the Temple.

Keywords: Ben Snyder's store; Gentile friends; Jewish friends; Jewish holidays; Ted and Eva Sollinger

Subjects: Gentile friends; Jewish friends; Jewish holidays; joined Temple

00:19:32 - The Sisterhood and Hadassa

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Partial Transcript: And then let's see, Joan was born in 1939. Jay was born in 1943. And they went to religious school and uhh that was when they really didn't have any space at all for the kids, they had the history room. I think Jay's class was in the kitchen and the kids didn't like to go or something because they didn't have any room at all. Sherman Miller, the president then and they finally I don't know if people did give some money or something but they build one part; some Sunday school. Later on they needed more space, and uh I don't know, Iz was president. Now for one year I was president of sisterhood and Iz was president of the Temple. And I should go back somewhere along the line ya know with Hadassa. I think I was roped into doing that with being president. Um the first president of Hadassa I guess was Haanna Leevi, after that, do you remember if Rose Bloom was the president of Hadassa? I know Rose Bloom was part of Hadassa, I know that but was she president? Yes. Well then I don;t know how they ever decided I should be president, honey I shouldn't have any more been president of Hadassa than some else.

Segment Synopsis: This segment discusses Helen's entry into the Sisterhood and Hadassa, as well as how she became president of the Sisterhood.

Keywords: Hadassa; president of the Sisterhood; the Sisterhood; the Temple

Subjects: Hadassa; Her children; religious school; the Sisterhood; the Temple

00:22:06 - Helen's Experience as a Girl Scout Troop Leader

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Partial Transcript: Joan was a couple of years old or something like that. And I become president of Hadassa. Could have been 1943, could have been 1941. I was only president for one year and I was president I think. And in between oh when I was first married I had this girl scout troop at Schriners Children's Hospital. It was at the back of Good Sam on Harrison Avenue. The kids were darling. There weren't too many, and I had never been a girl scout myself. You were learning; I would keep maybe one step ahead of them. And the kids were just darling because as Hilda said before they really came from poor families the majority of them and whatever you did for them they really appreciated it and I know there were times where a kid was just coming out of surgery and they would put the children in the meeting rooms. And I'm telling you the anesthetic at times, they used Ether, you could really smell that Ether and I'd think oh geez will I be able to stay there for one hour. But the kids were so appreciative that when they would leave they would always write to ya, and one of them would say I don't know if you remember me but I would always make you laugh and at the end we'd always sing taps ya know, and we'd close with that. When Franklin Roosevelt was the president was sent him, I don't know if we wrote to him or sent him a telegram for his birthday, but I have the letter that was sent back ya know thanking the girl scout group. And I was the leader, and I have it framed somewhere around the house. What do yall wanna talk about now?

Segment Synopsis: Here we learn that although Helen was never a girl scout herself; she leads a troop from Schriner's Hospital and we see the activities they do.

Keywords: Ether used as anesthetic; Franklin D. Roosevelt and his birthday; Girl Scout Troop; Good Sam on Harrison Ave; Lexington, KY; Schriner's Children Hospital; telegrams

Subjects: Franklin D. Roosevelt; Girl Scout Troop; Schriner's Children Hospital; activities with girl scouts

00:25:31 - Social Life in the Jewish Community: Hadassa and Adath Israel Sisterhood

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Partial Transcript: How was your social life in the Jewish community? Recreation? Well I think at one time we'd meet at different homes, play penny poker, or something like that and then Sisterhood would have different functions. Or the Council of Jewish Women always dances later on. And you always had someone visiting in your home, or you were visiting someone else. And Hadassa had dances later on. And then like in the early years of Hadassa, now a days they don't think anything about asking you for $2-300, back then we were thrilled pink for 25 cents. When we'd have an ice cream social maybe we would charge 50 cents. The Temple held a Sader, for the entire congregation for $58. Sorry really, Hilda glances through a book from 1939 when I was president, I was astonished her even, apparently every time they had a meeting they had a marvelous society editor. Would print something that the first fall meeting of the Adath Israel Sisterhood, (further). (The meeting minutes were extensive.) The minutes she was looking at were dated November 11th. In detail every time we had a meeting. It always was. And I think they made a big mistake when somewheres along the line they decided that, with the congregational dinners, they completely stopped. And I think they should really start again on some things. There's a lot to learn by reading these. So many people who have died in the mean time.

Segment Synopsis: We learn all of the many things that Helen and the women participated in in the Jewish community of Lexington, KY.

Keywords: Adath Israel Sisterhood; Hadassa; Jewish community; Lexington, KY; Social life

Subjects: Hadassa; Jewish community; Penny poker; Social life; meeting minutes; the Sisterhood

00:27:36 - Sisterhood Conventions

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Partial Transcript: When I went in, let's see, before I became Sisterhood President I was either the third Vice President or the fourth Vice President, something like that.. and of course you knew that in so many years that you would be president, and you really paid attention...you did you really learned...you knew that you were gunna be there and um at the time we had this Kentucky-Tennessee federation it was like uh Louisville um I don't know did Ashland ever come to anything? Well I think they were in it but never came to anything, they weren't active. And of course Lexington, and there were Chattanooga, and Knoxville and there was one part of AL that was in it and they had a convention in Louisville and we would go different places. Like there would be one in Nashville, and there was also one in some small town in Alabama of course Lexington didn't have a convention. And now after the new building, we will be able to have some. They changed it afterwards, the whole nation had a redistricting and we even go down into the Ohio Valley. Of course we've never had anything here because we always felt that the other Temples were so much nicer and everybody had nice linens. And here they let the Temple here run down. Now we can start on other things.

Segment Synopsis: This segment is about the different places that the conventions occurred in and how they traveled a lot with the Sisterhood. It also shows the change in the Temple over time so that they can now host a convention.

Keywords: Alabama; Kentucky-Tennessee Federation Conventions; Louisville, KY; Nashville, TN; the Sisterhood

Subjects: Kentucky-Tennessee Federation Conventions; Lexington, KY; the Sisterhood

00:30:43 - Jewish Merchants in the Downtown Area during Helen's Life

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Partial Transcript: Lets see...the downtown area. Were there many Jewish merchants. There were quite a few and when you were growing up they didn't have all of the shopping centers, it was downtown. It was just everything. There was dry goods, they were whole sale, Lina Sculler had hers, this Leevy they had brown bootery, and uhh they had a tailor shop on Limestone, and Hammels. Because really when they had the Jewish high Holy days they would take out an ad that certain ones were closed and the year that Joan was born Hymson's opened, a small store...and lets see I was trying to think. Remember any of them that I have forgotten? There was Kauffman, Ben Snyder was here they opened in the late 30s, just about I expect. Greeville's, and Milton Hershfield..these are people who long since have gone. Across from the um, what did they have, men's furnishing. They were across the street from the courthouse. Haven't thought of these people in many years. Considering the downtown area there were a lot of Jewish shops, yeah there were...Joe Rosenthal knew him for years, and Elliot..they were on Lime. The store, Short and Lime Liquor...let's see when did Prohibition go out? Um, when Roosevelt was elected in 1933, 1934. So the stores there have been going on 50 years or something. There were quite a few merchants there really were.

Segment Synopsis: We get an explanation of the abundance of Jewish merchants and shops around the 1940s and 1950s in the downtown area of Lexington, KY.

Keywords: Jewish merchants; Lexington, KY Downtown area; Prohibition in Lexington

Subjects: Jewish merchants; Prohibition; Roosevelt's presidency; streets downtown Lexington, KY

00:31:38 - Their Experience With Prejudice

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Partial Transcript: As far as you can recall Helen, was there any prejudice with the Jewish merchants being in town? Well now I really don't know. I can't remember any I really don't. Even through the war I don't think. Now, in the first World War I remember my father in law telling that they had a bulldog, and my father in law ran a meet business, and he would take liver home for that dog. And the Ku Klux Klan members would gather and wanted to hang Jay Abraham because he gave good food to a dog during the war when food was so scarce. That I remember much.

Segment Synopsis: This chapter is about the brief and only recollection they have with prejudice.

Keywords: 1950; Jewish merchants; KY; Ku Klux Klan; Lexington; Prejudice

Subjects: Jewish merchants; Ku Klux Klan; Prejudice in 1950; World War I

00:35:52 - The Sisterhood and Adath Israel's Many Rabbis

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Partial Transcript: Remember me asking you about Ms. Tanner. About somebody in Frankfort. I just came across her name, the name was Tanner. I remember her very well, she was not Jewish but her husband was. I see here that Misses Arthur Lillyfield visited during my regime see I'd forgotten all of this. And a long article about her in the newspaper, Annual Luncheon. She was a big wig in Nationals. I used to do decorations for Sisterhood, later on I did congregational dinners...I still remember making those orange trees when Albert Louis when they were moving to California. We used to have the congregational dinner in February, one of the rabbis decided that everybody does their congregational dinners in the Spring, only around here that we had it in February so they changed it to May. Then they moved it. I've done everything in Sisterhood, but I don't know how I ever escaped Union-grams. I believe that was the only thing that I didn't do. Then I was on the District board after the National board, then I was selected to represent Adath Israel, ya know, for the National Board and they had the meeting in Washington when I was installed and that was four marvelous years because you met women who were really brilliant and at any of the conventions and of course the last convention I was at was in Dallas, when Marilyn Leaper was installed as one of the National Board members and when I was president we went to Toronto to a National Meeting. And Rabbi Therman and his wife were there. Now Rabbi Therman was one of the ones from way back. He was a brother law to, Edith Wheel. And then we always used to say at any of the National Conventions that ya know, Lexington had so many rabbis that it was always like an alumni group. Like Harold and Anita Baker would have cocktail parties before the banquet and they'd have all the old rabbis. Now in Dallis I don't think all of them were there, Mauri Davis wasn't there, Sydney Valon had died. That was it.

Segment Synopsis: Helen gives us a description of the many duties and positions she has held at the Sisterhood. We also get some information of past rabbis of Adath Israel.

Keywords: Adath Israel; President of the Sisterhood; Rabbis; the National Board

Subjects: Adath Israel; Rabbis; being President; the National Board; the Sisterhood

00:39:42 - Intermarriages and Conversions Into Judaism

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Partial Transcript: In those years did they have many intermarriages or many conversions to Judaism? Not encouraged. Once in a while but not too many. Every time I hear of a conversion in Temple, I begin to think now who's doing the Evangelistic work here? Is the rabbi going out looking for people, no they come to him, and he would only do this if they agreed to raise their child in the Jewish faith if there's an intermarriage. If he's was going to officiate a wedding where one was Jewish and one was not Jewish he would only do that if they agreed to raise their children in the Jewish faith. When Jay wanted to get married, he'd been going with JoAnn for about two years, and I finally said to him what is your intention with JoAnn now she's a lovely girl. Do you intend to marry her or are you going to take up her time for the rest of her life? And he said well I don't know how intermarriage would work. And I said why don't you go talk to the rabbi, and he said now I wouldn't do that. He'd tell everybody in town. And I said no he won't. So low and behold two days later Jay went to see rabbi, Mauri Davis and told him the situation. And I said bring the young lady to me let's talk about it. And JoAnn went over and talked to him and she was perfectly willing to go Jay's way. Cause Jay said he would not have a house divided that it had to be one way or the other. And he had no intention of leaving the Jewish faith, so the rabbi said if you want to convert then I will give you books to study she studied for six months with him and I will never forget she came over to visit us on a Saturday, and spent the night, and the next morning got up and I drove her to Temple and her instructions were that the rabbi and Ben Goldfar, who I believe was president at the time, would be allowed to be at her conversion but no one else. So that it never should be said that anyone imposed their will on her, ever. So she was there about how long it would take to be converted and I went to pick her up and she came tripping down the steps joyously and I said, she said my name is Ruth, that was her Jewish name. And I said oh I'm so glad that is one of my favorite names! Ruth and Naomi out of the Bible..and she's been terrific. She has been terrific when she was here. I remember when I was sisterhood president that I could ask JoAnn to do anything and she would she'd take charge of a program.

Segment Synopsis: This segment is about how intermarriages were worked through at this day and time. There's a long story given for example of her son Jay and his soon to be wife JoAnn.

Keywords: Conversions; Intermarriages; Judaism

Subjects: Adath Israel; Conversions; Intermarriages; Judaism

00:42:37 - Sisterhood Activities and Silver

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Partial Transcript: Then um, in those days we had a very good interface meeting. And that was a really large meeting where we would invite people from different churches and all, and JoAnn was in charge of those meetings, and a prominant speaker from Atlanta for the Brotherhood came. And JoAnn sang in the choir. When she and Jay decided to move to Louisville I thought we were losing a really good couple. I really do. They affiliated immediately there. And Harriet was very active in Sisterhood before she decided to further her education. You couldn't blame here. What else did we do? We would have dances and that is how they would raise the money for the Sunday School. And I know we would go to Frankfort and at that time there were quite a few Jewish people, now there's only a handful. Of course they had in Paris, there was Bernese Corn, those of who did work. The Sisterhood didn't really have any silver at that time. And when Janice Wheel was president I think she did not want the money so she bought some trays and things like that. We had a silver fun, which you started and I was the chairman of...and that's how we got money. They would give us money from Paris. And we gradually started acquiring pieces and had silver earns, they were terrific. People aren't as careful with things as they should be; I know they broke my silver candelabras. Ben Miller would throw a fit when anyone brought it up. And we would take the torahs and clean it all the time.

Segment Synopsis: In this segment we get a description of the various activities that the Sisterhood partakes in.

Keywords: Lexington, KY; Sisterhood; conventions; silver

Subjects: Sisterhood; conventions; silver

00:50:03 - The Roundabout Story of How the Temple Modernizes

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Partial Transcript: Children; Joan and Jay. Tell us about them. They went to the public schools here. Joan went to the University of Alabama for a year and didn't really like it so she went to Ohio State and decided to come back here to Lexington so she graduated from Transylvania. When she was at Ohio State she met her future husband, Marty Holsinger. At the time you'd go and I don't know, see each other. Some way or another they got together and he came down here and that's how the romance started again. They had two children. Well Marty got his dental degree from Ohio State in um '62, well Joan got her teaching degree and she taught at Kenwick which is now Julia Ewing; for a year. Then they were married here at the Temple and that is when beforehand Iz insisted that the Temple have air conditioning. The high Holy days always came when it was real real hot. Before that you would just burn up, and before that they would just get these fans. Remember Ruth, at the time before AC, said they'd get fans from GE on wholesale. Past Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippor still use those fans. Anyway Iz was on the board after he had been president and he did the garden that was dedicated to the members of the Temple who served in the armed forces, in WWII, at home I have pictures that I'm giving to Temple. In those days you didn't get money from the members, they thought it was simply terrible. You remember you couldn't get anything. So even when they finally finally build one section of the religious school and they felt they still needed more room, they might have gotten a mortgage on the Temple. I know I'm getting away from my subject but they needed a new organ. So Sal Leevy was very generous and they didn't naturally have any money at Temple, when it came to get the organ Sal said he'd give so much and Jimmy said there was money in some fund. So I remember one afternoon Harriet, may have been JoAnn and Iz and I drove over to church, wasn't Pair, Shelbyville and the organist or minister or somebody the woman there, then the Temple did buy a new organ. They just didn't have the money. One member said over my dead body and he's still a member of Temple, the AC issue came up too. They voted down, so at the next board meeting Iz brought up again, someone who is deceased now says well if we're air conditioning the Temple then we should the Sunday school rooms as well. Even though those weren't used in the summer. Finally they would do it. Raufmann was the rabbi at the time; he was okay, he was a little arrogant. Joan and Marty were married in June. And everybody said the reason the Temple was air conditioned was on account of the wedding. The wedding was only one day, and now they've enjoyed it. After 21 years it quit. But Rothman married Joan and Marty.

Segment Synopsis: This segment includes a long roundabout story of how the Temple get modernized with air conditioning and other money details.

Keywords: Lexington, KY; air conditioning; the Temple

Subjects: Joan and Jay the children; Lexington, KY; air conditioning; marriages; the Temple

00:56:01 - Overview of Helen

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Partial Transcript: I've been on the district board of sisterhood, and at one point I was asked to be vice president and then could've moved up to president I didn't want it. I was on the National Board. And I've always said Sisterhood has been one of my loves really; well family, and I've been a member for 50 years. Helen came at a fortunate time when people were interested in furthering her. All those years I never had a Sisterhood pin until about 10 years ago, when you were 50 years that's when I got it. I was Hadassa president but only one year. I decided to work for the Jewish Organizations and at times I've had regrets that I was too spread out a little, like AAUW, I felt I should have not spent all my time in the Jewish Org., but they're important. I had that scout troop at Schriners too. Then of course I worked at the store some. When Iz got sick I was down at the store all the time he was sick really 10 months, and um well going back when they had the 50th anniversary of the Temple we did all the decorations, we sprayed things in gold. That's when they brought back some of the rabbis, who was here when I came into the congregation now in Cincinnati, Marcus. How many rabbis did they have? Who came after Graffman, Davis, or Flaug or Lewis. I know I have jumped from one thing to another. I sat in on a board meeting where they discussed a book, yeah. At that meeting recommended that they give Graffman a $100 a year. When it came up we voted against it, he didn't get a raise. They used to just give the rabbi contract from Feb.-Feb. Who started putting in the pension fund for the union? That was more recent, spending some money. Sydney Valon was here and he used to have the kids come, children's services on Sunday morning. Mickey's class and Joan were confirmed, that year, 50th anniversary of the Temple. We carried out everything for the congregational dinner, kids from that confirmation class they did the serving and the girls were dressed more or less like they would have 50 years ago. Ester Canner was doing some sewing, I love Helen like a daughter but sewing she can't sew anything. The girls had the little bouquets with the gold and everything and the theme was on the 50th year Let's see, almost 5 years ago when they had the 75th at the Hyatt. The structure or the congregation. This one here, 1926, this one '84. The Marks family, Julius Marks, dedicated in his name, a son gave the money, $25,000 and congregation gave the rest to move on Ashland road. New when they built it. 1926. I remember going to the dedication. Evelyn Hymson, said listen Hilda, when Morris and I got married we would have been happy to have $50 a week. They lived in Providence when they were married, moved here and opened up their little store. That's where we first met them. I went in to buy something to take home to Mickey. Opened it when Joan was born, called it Tots and Teens. What was the name of the woman who was with them so long? Mary O'Kelly? No. Heavy set in the children's department, Nancy Vice no? We always went to Newcomers. Had to be at services when Iz was president we went every Friday night we went to Temple to meet the new comers. Story from a woman who isn't Helen. (inaudible really) We were the first organization of Sisterhood who sponsored a certified braille translator. Braille was a great thing. Did a lot of transcribing, I tried it it's hard. Well Helen we really appreciate and glad we had the pleasure of interviewing you and I know that others who will hear these tapes will benefit from them too.

Segment Synopsis: This last segment is a general overview of Helen and her many accomplishments as well as the activities she has taken part in.

Keywords: 50th anniversary of the Temple; Helen; Lexington, KY; the Sisterhood; the Temple

Subjects: 50th anniversary of the Temple; Helen; Lexington, KY; rabbis; the Sisterhood; the Temple

00:56:02 - Politics Is Politics Even In The Temple

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Partial Transcript: I want to know the history of the property, the ground that they gave to the Temple. Well someone Tanner was the president of Temple, deceased now, okay now, I must have been the president because Irve came after Iz. Different ones talked to Dot, Dot was very generous. Hershel always wanted a new Temple. Not on the same ground, he wanted to be out in the suburbs. I remember once at a board meeting in recent years he said that everybody had moved away from their original homes and I said I'm still in mine. So i was the only one at the time. So Dot decided to give $75 or 50,000 (goes back and forth). At the time, David Ballitin was married to Jane and they were living on Mount Tabor Road, well some of them started up that they didn't think that that was a good location. It worked out they could always sell that land; it was between that or right across from Glendover School or some Christian church. It would be entirely too much noise when the high Holy days came along for the kids across the street but with AC in a way they should have bought that. But the land has tripled because they land has tripled and they've owned it and they're hoarding it for if and when they need another Temple. Honey, when they get another Temple, they mean to sell. At one time they couldn't sell it or something. Only for a new Temple, had to get a special writ. Somebody talked to Mr. Wheezenthal, I don't know his name, at the time they said they could. When Dot gave this money she said there wasn't any strings attached, like she should have. She said they could do anything they wanted, more or less. There was a little jealousy in the congregation because somebody thought that why should they name something after Sal Leevy (she gave it in memory of her husband and later on married Ben Steinburg). When there were some people and everything, congregational dinner after and there was a lot of politicking and I was in the middle of it because somebody said that, wait what did they say, not going to mention his name that I said how can you be so narrow minded, maybe some other word that was very close to it. They were bringing it up at that night. All day long they decided they weren't going to split the congregation based on that so they didn't bring it up but they did make Dot mad, which was unfortunate. They could have had that new Temple; she would have given them more and more money, she was very wealthy and very generous. And Steinburg was a nice man in all, they didn't treat her right at all. Saying she wanted you to butter her up, which she didn't; and they would do that to anyone. In those days $75,000 was a lot of money, and if they would have played their cards right she would have built the darn Temple. Now you know that because you were really friendly with Ruth. She really was. Anything politics is politics even in Temple.

Segment Synopsis: Helen describes the politics that occur within the Temple in this segment.

Keywords: Lexington, KY; politics; the Temple

Subjects: Dot Leevy-Steinburg; Lexington, KY; building a new Temple; politics within the Temple; the Temple