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00:00:00 - Introduction and background

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Partial Transcript: Hello. Our names are Beatrice Schaffer, Abigail Camfield, and Bart Robertson.

Segment Synopsis: Rosenzweig describes his personal and family background. Born and raised in Long Island, New York, his mother Jodi Rosenzweig and his father Jonathan Rosenzweig raised Alex, his sister Elisa, and his brother Drew to practice Judaism. Rosenzweig describes some highlights of his childhood, including being the first student from Half Hollow School District to attend the University of Kentucky. He describes growing up in New York in a dense Jewish population, as well as his family's Ashkenazi, Eastern European Jewish ancestry.

Keywords: Ashkenazi; Bar mitzvahs; Dr. Janice Fernheimer; Drew Rosenzweig; Elisa Rosenzweig; Half Hollow Hills School District; Half Hollow Hills School West; Hebrew School; Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence; Jodi Rosenzweig; Jonathan Rosenzweig; Judaism; Kentucky; Long Island (N.Y.); Mechanical engineering; Mount Sinai Hospital; New York; University of Kentucky; Vanderbilt Elementary

Subjects: Childhood; Families.; Jewish children; Jewish families.; Jews--Identity.; Judaism.; Lexington (Ky.)

GPS: Long Island (N.Y.)
Map Coordinates: 40.8, -73.3
00:11:02 - Bar mitzvah and high school

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Partial Transcript: Um, so for your bar mitzvah, um, did you have friends from school?

Segment Synopsis: Rosenzweig describes his bar mitzvah and how it impacted his faith as a Jew and his life in general. He talks about his experiences in Hebrew school as a young child and as a high school student. He recounts a class trip to Prague he took as a senior in high school, and the rich Jewish history he learned there.

Keywords: Bar mitzvahs; Grandparents; Haftorah; Hebrew School; High schools; Holocaust; Institutional; Jewish life; Kiddush; Menorah; Ora Marcus; Prague; Shorashim; Temple; Yarmulke

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

GPS: Prague, Czech-Republic
Map Coordinates: 50.074503, 14.432586
00:15:41 - Home congregation and Jewish influence

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Partial Transcript: Um, are you--uh, back home in Long Island, are you and your family a member of any particular synagogue or temple?

Segment Synopsis: Rosenzweig explains that he and his family are a part of Dix Hills Jewish Center in Long Island, New York. He describes the vast difference in sizes of congregations in New York and Kentucky. He talks about his grandmother, Sandy Rosenzweig, who he describes as the rock of his Jewish faith; she played a large role in his Jewish upbringing.

Keywords: Bar mitzvahs; Bat mitzvahs; Bimah; Congregations; Dennis Rosenzweig; Dix Hills Jewish Center; Firstborn; High Holidays; Jewish education; Judaism; Kentucky; Long Island (N.Y.); New York; Rabbi Howard Buechler; Sandy Rosenzweig; Seder; Shabbat; Slaying of the Firstborn; Synagogues; Temple

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

00:19:38 - Summers at a Jewish sleep-away camp

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Partial Transcript: Uh, can you tell us a little bit about your summers as a child?

Segment Synopsis: This segment describes Rosenzweig's experiences at a Jewish sleep-away camp in upstate New York called Berkshire Hills. He recalls various activities he and the other campers participated in and some of the ways the camp helped him grow in his faith and as an individual, such as public speaking exercises. He also says that he enjoyed the camp so much that he was active as a staff member multiple times.

Keywords: 2009; Assistant Program Director; Assistant Waterfront Director; Berkshire Hills; Camps; Director of Transportation; Eisenberg Camp; Judaism; New York; Oneg; Shabbat; Summers

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

GPS: Berkshire Camp, Copake, New York
Map Coordinates: 42.079471, -73.574146
00:22:28 - Jewish observance growing up

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Partial Transcript: Um, what did your parents teach you about Judaism?

Segment Synopsis: Rosenzweig talks about how his parents and grandparents instilled Judaism in him as a child. He discusses primarily the large role his family plays in his life, specifically his grandparents and great-grandparents. He also describes the Jewish ritual practices he participated in as a child, such as family Shabbat gatherings. He then discusses how each member of his family has a differing level of Jewishness, and how these differing practices coincide. For example, Alex and his parents are conservative and practice regularly, while his siblings are more relaxed in their practice.

Keywords: B'nai mitzvahs; Bar mitzvahs; Bat mitzvahs; Chives Regal; Conservadox; Conservative; Grandparents; Hebrew schools; Israel; Jewishness; Judaism; Orthodox; Parents; Reform; Shabbat; Siblings; l'chaim

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

00:29:34 - Student life at the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Okay. So we're gonna make a little bit of a transition to, uh, student life.

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Rosenzweig details his college search experience. Planning to major in engineering, Rosenzweig applied to thirteen universities and found that he struggled to find schools with Jewish organizations such as Hillel. After being accepted to the University of Kentucky, he became acquainted with President Eli Capilouto. Rosenzweig was surprised to learn that Capilouto is Jewish, and Capilouto even invited Rosenzweig into his home for High Holiday celebrations. Rosenzweig describes his experiences adjusting to college life, meeting friends, and points out differences between Long Island and Kentucky.

Keywords: Alexandria; Bishop Brossart High School; Champions Court; College recruitment; College searches; Drew Rosenzweig; Drexel University; Eli Capilouto; Elisa Rosenzweig; Engineering; Family; High Holidays; Hillel; Jewell Hall; Kentucky; Living Learning Program (LLP); Louisville (Ky.); New York; Ole Miss; Southeastern Conference (SEC); Ted McDonald; Tolly-Ho; University; University of Kentucky; Virginia Smith

Subjects: College environment; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Religious life; College students--Social conditions; Holidays.; Jews--Identity.; Judaism.; Lexington (Ky.); Religion; Universities and colleges.; Worship (Judaism)

GPS: University of Kentucky, Lexington (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.032533, -84.504153
Hyperlink: Hillel Flyers
00:38:12 - Career aspirations

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Partial Transcript: All right. And so, uh, looking towards your future, you shared with us that you're in mechanical engineering.

Segment Synopsis: Rosenzweig discusses how being raised around antique cars sparked his fascination with mechanics and the automotive industry. He talks about a co-op he took part in with Metalsa, an automotive plant in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. He describes a hands-on project involving the production of frames for the Ford Motor Company, and how the experience furthered his ambitions to join the automotive industry.

Keywords: 2017; Antique cars; Automotive industry; Cape Cod; Careers; Connecticut; Education; Elizabethtown (Ky.); Ford; Graduation; Internships; January; Long Island (N.Y.); Mechanical engineering; Metalsa; Model A Ford; New York; USA Regional Project Management Team; Work experience

Subjects: Employment--Kentucky; Occupations.

GPS: Elizabethtown (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.708432, -85.858178
00:41:31 - Academics at the University of Kentucky and Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence

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Partial Transcript: Alright. So, uh, is anyone else in your family in engineering?

Segment Synopsis: Rosenzweig describes the professions of his parents and grandparents. His mother is a paraprofessional and his father is in the real-estate and insurance industries. His grandmother owned a lingerie shop in Long Island and his grandfather had several jobs in television, broadcasting, and radio. Rosenzweig also talks about his experience majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in Jewish studies, as well as well as scholarship opportunities offered through the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence. He describes how he and Dr. Fernheimer have tried to promote Jewish culture on campus at UK.

Keywords: Alumni; Automotive industry; Bagel shops; Bagel stores; Broadcasting; Culture; Curriculum; Dr. Beth Goldstein; Dr. Janice Fernheimer; Engineering; Furrier; History; Insurance; Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence (JHFE); Jewish studies; Long Island (N.Y.); Michael Twitty; New York; Nonprofit; Notary; Paraprofessionals; Radio; Real estate; Scholarships; Television; University of Kentucky

Subjects: College environment; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Religious life; College students--Social conditions; Family histories.; Genealogy; Jewish families.; Jews--Identity.; Judaism.; Lexington (Ky.); Religion; Universities and colleges.; Worship (Judaism)

00:50:32 - Hillel, Sigma Pi, and other student involvement

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Partial Transcript: And so, uh, your involvement in the Jewish community, could you tell us a little bit about that, on campus?

Segment Synopsis: Rosenzweig details his involvement in Hillel on campus, as well as various events through Hillel that strengthen the Jewish community on UK's campus. He also gives his take on the two Jewish congregations in Lexington, Ohavay Zion and Adath Israel. He goes on to describe his involvement with other things on campus such as Sigma Pi fraternity and being a Wildcat Ambassador. He discusses how much he enjoyed being a founding member of Sigma Pi at UK. The segment ends with his continued but indirect involvement with Hillel, and how the organization has grown during his time at UK.

Keywords: Alabama; Amy Groswald; Basketball; Campus; Conservative; Dr. Beth Goldstein; Eli Capilouto; Emma Rosenzweig; Extracurriculars; Fraternity; Greek life; Hillel; Jewish community; Kentucky; Michler's Florist; Ohavay Zion Synagogue; Pnina Goldstein; Reform; Robin Michler; Rosh Hashanah; Shabbat; Sigma Pi; State Street; Student involvement; Team Wildcat; Temple Adath Israel; Wildcat Ambassador; Zeta Beta Tau

Subjects: College environment; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Religious life; College students--Social conditions; Jews--Identity.; Judaism.; Lexington (Ky.); Religion; Universities and colleges.; University of Kentucky; Worship (Judaism)

00:58:05 - President Eli Capilouto and Hillel

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Partial Transcript: All right. And, uh, outside of the individuals you've already discussed in Hillel, are there anyone else that, uh, you can tell us about, uh, maybe their backgrounds, uh, both geographic and religious?

Segment Synopsis: Rosenzweig discusses the Jewish heritage of President Eli Capilouto, who identifies as a Sephardic Jew. He then describes a case where he and some other Jewish students partook in a Hanukkah ritual with Capilouto during a finals week when Hillel had no events planned.

Keywords: Ancestry; Ashkenazi; Festival of Lights; Hanukkah; Hillel; History; Judaism; Kentucky; Menorah; New York; President Eli Capilouto; Sephardic; Turkey

Subjects: College environment; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Religious life; College students--Social conditions; Jews--Identity.; Judaism.; Lexington (Ky.); Religion; Universities and colleges.; University of Kentucky; Worship (Judaism)

01:00:26 - Hillel's role on campus

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Partial Transcript: And, uh, you said Hillel has its own house. Uh, could you tell us a little bit about that?

Segment Synopsis: This segment describes Hillel's housing situation and Hillel's role on campus as a whole. Rosenzweig discusses meeting with a council for institutional diversity on campus in an effort to expand programs for Jewish students and expand Hillel's reach as an organization. Rosenzweig also talks about his role in advising current Hillel members.

Keywords: Activism; Amy Groswald; Bourbon; Campus; Community; Culture; Diversity; Extracurriculars; Hillel; Institutional diversity; Jewish; Judaism; Keeneland; Kentucky; Leisure; Recruitment; Student involvement; Student organizations; Vice presidents

Subjects: College environment; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Religious life; College students--Social conditions; Jews--Identity.; Judaism.; Lexington (Ky.); Religion; Universities and colleges.; University of Kentucky; Worship (Judaism)

01:06:38 - Overall experiences at the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Okay, so switching to other parts of student life.

Segment Synopsis: Focusing on Greek life, Rosenzweig discusses the responsibility of being the only Jew in his fraternity. He talks about embracing his Jewish identity and educating others about it. He also describes some of the highlights of his time at UK. These include basketball celebrations and Dance Blue. He closes the segment by explaining his satisfaction with his time at UK.

Keywords: Basketball; Final Four; Fraternity; Greek life; Jewish; Jewish identity; John Calipari; Sigma Pi; Student involvement; Student life; University of Kentucky; Wisconsin

Subjects: College environment; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Religious life; College students--Social conditions; Jews--Identity.; Judaism.; Lexington (Ky.); Religion; Universities and colleges.; University of Kentucky; Worship (Judaism)

GPS: University of Kentucky, Lexington (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.030947, -84.503819
01:10:18 - Jewish identity on campus

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Partial Transcript: Uh, going off of that, um, how's your time at UK kind of impacted your Jewish identity?

Segment Synopsis: Rosenzweig explains that the differences in culture between his home in New York and in Kentucky alter his perspective on being Jewish, but only positively. He explains that being the only Jewish person many of his friends knew helped him strengthen his faith by being an ambassador of Judaism. He expands on this by urging other Jewish students at UK to reach out and make connections with their fellow Jews and to do all they can to impact their Jewish community.

Keywords: Campus; Community; God; High Holidays; Hillel; Jewish identity; Judaism; New York; Religious practice; University of Kentucky

Subjects: College environment; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Religious life; College students--Social conditions; Jews--Identity.; Judaism.; Lexington (Ky.); Religion; Universities and colleges.; University of Kentucky; Worship (Judaism)

GPS: University of Kentucky, Lexington (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.030947, -84.503819
01:12:28 - Israel and Zionism

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Partial Transcript: So Dr. Jan, um, also told us that, uh, you're planning a trip to Israel.

Segment Synopsis: Rosenzweig describes his plans to travel to Israel. He was inspired to go by his younger brother, Drew Rosenzweig, who told him that the trip would strengthen his religious faith. He also describes a friend of his from Israel that he met at sleep-away camp who he looks forward to seeing again. He also states his indifference on the topic of Zionism.

Keywords: Birthright; Breakfast with Kings and Queens; Dr. Janice Fernheimer; Drew Rosenzweig; History; Homeland; Jewish identity; Jewish state; Judaism; Pilgrimage; Politics; Rabbis; Star of David; Travel; Zionism; Zionist

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

GPS: Jerusalem, Israel
Map Coordinates: 31.687708, 35.194369
01:16:39 - New York compared to Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Okay. So we're gonna switch gears a little bit.

Segment Synopsis: Rosenzweig describes the many everyday differences between New York and Kentucky, such as referencing county names rather than town names. He touches on the parts of his hometown that he misses, such as his antique cars, his dog, his family and his hobbies. He explains that growing up in New York instilled in him strong Jewish values while also instilling in him a strong sense of culture and ability to partake in many different cultures.

Keywords: Broadway; Cultural diffusion; Culture; Dix Hills; Family; Fayette County (Ky.); Identity; Kentucky; Lexington (Ky.); Long Island (N.Y.); Manhattan (N.Y.); New York; New York City (N.Y.); Parents; Suffolk County (N.Y.); Times Square; University of Kentucky; Ventriloquism; Wonderstruck

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

01:23:12 - Overall Jewish identity / Conclusion

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Partial Transcript: Okay. Uh, how--this is kind of shifting gears again--how would you just describe your Jewish identity, as a whole?

Segment Synopsis: Here, Rosenzweig quickly and eloquently wraps up his Jewish identity as an all-in-all gratifying experience. With this, the interview concludes.

Keywords: Culture; Experience; Family; Gratification; Identity; Judaism; Roots

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