Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Michael Grossman, March 24, 2017

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
Transcript
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Index
Search this Index
X
00:00:00 - Introduction

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Okay. So I'll start.

Segment Synopsis: A short segment in which simple introductions are made and Michael Grossman gives a quick summary of his life up until he moved to Kentucky.

Keywords: California; Companies; Company; Personal background; Personal history; UC Santa Barbara; University; University of California at Santa Barbara

Subjects: Universities and colleges.

GPS: University of California at Santa Barbara
Map Coordinates: 34.414, -119.849
00:02:49 - Family background

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Um, so would you tell us just a little bit about your immediate family. Um, what were your parents' names and occupations?

Segment Synopsis: First, Grossman discusses his family's past and how his parents and grandparents ended up in America. Then, he talks about growing up in a Jewish community in Los Angeles, California

Keywords: Fathers; Jewish neighborhoods; Los Angeles (Calif.); Mothers; Russia; Schools; Sisters

Subjects: Childhood; Families.; Family histories.; Fasts and feasts--Judaism.; Genealogy; Holidays.; Immigrants; Jewish children; Jewish families.; Jews--Identity.; Judaism.; Religion; Worship (Judaism)

GPS: Fairfax High School, Los Angeles, California
Map Coordinates: 34.0820, -118.359
00:08:50 - Childhood Jewish community involvement

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So it sounds like you lived in a very heavily Jewish community. How involved were you and your family in that community, and how did that help shape your Jewish identity?

Segment Synopsis: Grossman discusses his involvement in the Jewish community from grade school up through his undergraduate years, and how his faith developed over time.

Keywords: Bar mitzvahs; Community; Jewish awakening; Synagogues; Tulane University; UC Santa Barbara; University of California at Santa Barbara

Subjects: Childhood; Families.; Family histories.; Jewish children; Jewish families.; Jews--Identity.; Judaism.; Religion; Worship (Judaism)

00:14:59 - Post-grad and Notre Dame University

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So what drove you to, uh, want to pursue law and going to law school at Notre Dame?

Segment Synopsis: After graduating from the University of California at Santa Barbara, Grossman traveled with his wife before attending the most prominent Catholic university in the country, Notre Dame.

Keywords: Catholic; Law schools; Notre Dame University; South Bend; UC Santa Barbara; University of California at Santa Barbara

Subjects: College attendance; College environment; College students.; Universities and colleges.

GPS: University of Notre Dame
Map Coordinates: 41.705, -86.235
00:19:29 - Career and life in Lexington, Kentucky and South Bend, Indiana

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Um, so once you graduated law school, how did you, um, transition to working for Clark Material Handling?

Segment Synopsis: Starting with a conversation about working for Clark Material Handling as a lawyer, Grossman then talks about having children in South Bend and becoming more involved in the Jewish community.

Keywords: Clark Material Handling; South Bend (Ind.); Synagogues; Temples

Subjects: Families.; Jewish children; Jewish families.; Jews--Identity.; Judaism.; Lawyers

00:23:16 - Family's religion and conversion

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Um, so, kind of going back a little bit, uh, focusing in on your, uh, marriage, and then, I guess, dating before that. Um, did you focus on wanting, um, to be in a relationship with another Jew, or, like, how did that play a role?

Segment Synopsis: Grossman discusses the challenges he and his wife faced in trying to get married as a mixed faith couple, and how they raised their kids. He also mentions his wife's conversion to Judaism and his children's current lives.

Keywords: Conversion; Kids; Marriage; Mikvah; Mixed faith couples; Ohavay Zion Synagogue; Rabbis

Subjects: Families.; Jewish children; Jewish families.; Jews--Identity.; Judaism.; Religion; Worship (Judaism)

GPS: Ohavay Zion Synagogue
Map Coordinates: 37.998, -84.471
00:31:16 - Becoming a leader in the Jewish community

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So, kind of coming back to Lexington, here, um, would you tell us just a little bit about, um, kind of your social network?

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Grossman explains how he became the president of the Jewish Federation of the Bluegrass, and the difficulties of finding leadership in the Jewish community.

Keywords: Community organizing; Jewish Federation of the Bluegrass; Presidents; Social action

Subjects: Jewish leadership--Kentucky--Lexington; Jews--Identity.; Judaism.; Religion; Worship (Judaism)

00:37:50 - Anti-Semitism in Lexington

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Um, as far as coming to Lexington, and with it being such a smaller Jewish population, have you experienced any anti-Semitism here, that you would consider?

Segment Synopsis: Grossman speaks of his experiences with anti-Semitism within Lexington and how the community has been relatively free of discrimination. Although, he does touch on the fact that the current political climate has increased the amount of anti-Semitism slightly within the community, but not towards himself.

Keywords: Anti-Semitic; Henry Clay High School; Political climate; Swastika

Subjects: Anti-Semitism; Antisemitism; Discrimination.; Jews--Identity.; Judaism.; Lexington (Ky.); Religion and politics

GPS: Henry Clay High School
Map Coordinates: 38.016178, -84.468991
00:39:19 - Ukeles Report

Play segment

Partial Transcript: That's great. Um, shifting back to more of your time with the Federation, Dr. Jan told us a little bit about the Ukeles report.

Segment Synopsis: Grossman speaks of the Ukeles Report in depth, including what it is and what it was designed for. He talks about how it is a report created by Dr. Ukeles to show what the Jewish communities within central Kentucky need to do together to more efficiently save and allocate funds together.

Keywords: Jewish Heritage Fund; Jewish community; Ukeles; Ukeles Report

Subjects: Jews--Identity.; Judaism.

00:43:27 - Experience as President of the Jewish Federation

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Um, on top of that report, what were some of your greatest trials, triumphs, um, anything like that, during your time as president?

Segment Synopsis: Grossman speaks of his experience as the president of the Jewish Federation and his trials and triumphs through the Federation. He also speaks of its impact on the Jewish community and his own Jewish identity.

Keywords: Jewish Federation; Jewish community; Jewish identity; President of the Jewish Federation; Terrorism

Subjects: Jewish leadership--Kentucky--Lexington; Jews--Identity.; Judaism.

00:47:40 - Personal experiences being Jewish in different communities

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Um, looking more towards the future, what do you think some of the greatest trials for the Lexington Jewish community are in the next five to ten years?

Segment Synopsis: Grossman speaks of the different trials of Lexington's Jewish community and on the differences in his experiences within the Jewish communities of different areas he's lived in. He also talks about the impact the different Jewish communities had on his own personal Jewish identity.

Keywords: Jewish communities; Jewish community; Jewish community in Lexington; Kosher; Ukeles Report

Subjects: Jews--Identity.; Jews--Kentucky--Lexington.; Judaism.; Lexington (Ky.)

00:54:40 - Lexington Jewish community and connection with Louisville Jewish community

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Um, so, just out of curiosity, for us--the two interviews that we listened to prior to this, um, were people who were involved in the Louisville Jewish community.

Segment Synopsis: Grossman speaks on the ties between the Lexington and Louisville Jewish communities and the various Jewish organizations within Lexington. He also speaks of the potential for a physical Jewish community center being created in Lexington.

Keywords: B'nai B'rith; Camp Shalom; Heritage Fund; Jewish Community Center (JCC); Jewish Federation of the Bluegrass; Jewish community; Lexington Jewish community; Louisville Jewish community; Signature Club; Ukeles Report

Subjects: Jewish children; Jewish families.; Jewish leadership--Kentucky--Lexington; Jews--Identity.; Jews--Kentucky--Lexington.; Judaism.; Lexington (Ky.); Louisville (Ky.)

GPS: Camp Shalom, The Jewish Federation of the Bluegrass
Map Coordinates: 37.997942, -84.480164
01:03:56 - Judaism's impact on his life

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Um, so, um, kind of starting to close and get a little bit more general here. Um, we're kinda wondering, uh, how has your commitment to Jewish life influenced and shaped your attitudes and feelings towards Israel?

Segment Synopsis: Grossman speaks generally about Judaism's impact on his life. He also details his ties to Israel and gives thanks to the interviewers and for the opportunity to tell his story.

Keywords: Israel; Jewishness; Torah

Subjects: Jews--Identity.; Jews--Kentucky--Lexington.; Judaism.; Religion; Worship (Judaism)