Voice of the Week

Voice of the Week: Sharing the Voices of our Community

These are clips from some of the many voices in the Archives waiting to be unlocked.

Transcript for the February 8, 2021 voice of Dr. Howard Droker:

"Ok, so about 1965 the University Archivist, Richard Berner invited four ethnic groups to use the University as their archives: Jews, Scandanavian-Americans, Japanese-Americans, and African-Americans. And the Jewish Federation Women's Group found a core group of women to spearhead this and they became the Jewish Archives Committee. And they started collecting and doing oral histories...Well the other three groups disapeared within five years. And the Jews are still collecting."

Transcript for the February 1, 2021 voice of Fortuna Calvo:

"When the train stops you will find a city there that is called Seattle, and you will like it there because it's exactly like Marmara."

Transcript for the December 21st, 2020 voices of Judy and Krijn de Jonge:

"I was brought up that you give back. Tzedakah was just part of the Rosen family legacy. If we had something to give, then we'd give, If it wasn't monetary, it was physical, or mental."

Transcript for the December 14th, 2020 voice of Samuel Goldfarb:

"Also I might mention one of our big episodes in our lives was when the Temple gave us a round trip ticket to Europe and Israel, on my 25th anniversary. And we flew over to Europe.

...It was a three weeks trip and it really meant a lot of physical effort. So we decided to come back leisurely on the boat. This is actual fact, and it reads like the Chanukah story, a miracle. We saw our stateroom on the boat,... we wanted the one that has outside view. He said "Oh that one's taken but I'll put in a request for you.

...So we went through Europe and we visited here and visited there, and I heard some of my music sung Kulai in Hong Kong, the Shabbos music in Shalom Aleichem little island there has a Jewish center, off Hong Kong. We visited France and Italy, and Israel.

...We finally got to go back on the Andrea Doria, that was the boat we came back on. And as we checked in, the man looked up our record and says "Yes, I have a request here, and we were able to get you that other stateroom that you wanted." And they moved us. Of course you know the rest of it. The boat went down. And that particular part of the boat, I have the feeling was vulnerable—we might have been exposed to a lot of danger if we had been in that part of the boat. So I say, the good Lord has his plans, and wanted me to be here and do my work here."

Transcript for the November 16th, 2020 voice of Louis Kosin:

"I had never heard of Seattle. The ticket agent said you don't have much money its cheaper to go to Seattle. So naturally I asked is this American too? And he said Yes so we bought a ticket to go to Seattle.."

Transcript for the November 2nd, 2020 voice of Tana Senn:

"Probably my favorite story about them is in 1980 I believe '80-'81-'82 they became US citizens. And so they were in their late seventies and it was the first time in their entire lives that they had ever been a citizen of a country where they could vote. So it wasn't until they were in their late seventies where they ever lived in a country where they could vote. That was super powerful. My grandmother, who died at 94 never missed an election, knew policy issues, she could talk you under the table on what was going on. And so I definitely think It was engrained in me not to take that vote for granted."

Transcript for the October 26th, 2020 voice Ike Azose:

"From the time I was a bar mitzvah I had listened to every little nuance of the liturgy that I heard every time I went to synagogue."

Transcript for the October 19th, 2020 voice of Herman Kleiner:

"...from '89 to 1995 or so, we were able to aid in the resettlement of some 33 Jewish families from the former Soviet Union. In the Tacoma Jewish community probably spent $125,000 to resettle these folks. We worked with the Jewish Family Service in Seattle. We secured their apartment before they came. We stocked the refrigerator. We purchased used tables, chairs, everything. And when they came we would pick them up at the plane. We would bring them from the plane. They had just arrived from Moscow. We would record everything on a videotape and bring them to their apartment. It was absolutely one of the most wondrous parts of our lives."

Transcript for the October 12th, 2020 voice of Marvin Reiner:

"Well it was a small town and your friends were all the Jewish people in town. And the high holidays half of the downtown stores in Aberdeen were closed."

Transcript for the October 5th, 2020 voice of Alan Benoliel:

"And then every year for years -- I hope to be able to do it for many more years to come -- I get a truck and crew of young boys from the synagogue  and young men, and we go out to the woods and cut down the branches that we bring back for the thatching for the roofs of the Sukkot...in our synagogue we even go a step further and make home deliveries to the 20-25 homes where they're going to make a sukkah."

Transcript for the September 21st, 2020 voice of Sonia Spear:

"Every Jewish holiday two of my good friends and I would walk and go to every single synagogue and temple to hear and notice what they were doing and how they were doing it and we had a lot of fun."

Transcript for the September 7th, 2020 voice of Solomon Amon:

"...there were a lot of Sephardics working in the public market. At that time they even had Sephardic restaurants that people would go to. And it was packed full of Sephardics. If anybody came from out of town they'd go to the market and see their friends. And most of them were Sephardic and so they'd all come down and we'd get to meet a lot of people.(end 18:40)  It was good. We made a living.  But obviously it was hard.(end 18:46)  I worked for my dad for about 4 or 5 years and that's about all. And then he retired. And then I kept ownership of the company to myself and I've been there since '56."

Transcript for the August 31st, 2020 voice of Frances Rogers:

"And we were always looking for something new. That’s why Council House was the big thing in my year. We were working on it, but it was actually a dream come true in the year that I was the President. I was very fortunate to be able to speak along with the Mayor and the Governor of the State of Washington at the dedication of Council House."

Transcript for the August 24th, 2020 voice of Sam Stroum:

"I was a pretty entrepreneurial kid. I had paper routes, I worked as a soda jerker and assistant at the corner drugstore. I worked in the grocery story, made store deliveries. I once worked after school and on weekended at a meat market."

Washington State Jewish Historical Society is dedicated to discovering, preserving, and disseminating the history of the Jews of Washington state and promotes interest in and knowledge of the life, history, and culture of the Jewish people and communities through publications, exhibits, displays, speakers, tours, and performance.

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Transcript for the August 17th, 2020 voice Gerard Schwartz:

"My mother always wanted me to be a conductor and she said when she was pregnant with me, she dreamt numerous times that I was going to be a conductor."