- Alex Garfinkel discusses his father, Harry Louis Garfinkel, who emigrated from Divin, Russia, around the turn of the twentieth century to avoid conscription. He was followed to the United States by two sisters, four brothers, and his father. Harry heard there were landsmen (countrymen) from Divin in Charleston, South Carolina, so he moved there and worked as a shoemaker until he bought a mattress factory. He married Celia Hannah Lapidus of Charleston. At some point, Harry turned over the mattress business to his brother Sam and opened a junk yard, which grew into a successful scrap metal business. Alex grew up on Line Street, one of eight children. He attended Hebrew school at Beth Israel and briefly mentions the split between Beth Israel and Brith Sholom, the Orthodox synagogues. Alex talks about King Street merchants, his father’s businesses, and taking over the scrap yard as a young man, which exempted him from military service during World War II. He invited his cousin Max Garfinkel of Baltimore to join him in the growing business, and they remained partners for over forty years. See also interviews with other members of the Garfinkel family: Helen Rosenshein, Olga Weinstein, Sandra Shapiro, Nathan and Frances Garfinkle (Nathan spells the family name differently), Max and Jennie Garfinkel, and Philip Garfinkel.
- Jack Bloom describes growing up in Greenville, South Carolina, where his grandfather Harris Bloom, originally from Bialystok, Poland, established Bloom's Department Store around 1910. After serving in World War I, Jack's father, Julius, married Jennie Shatenstein, whose family lived for a time in a New Jersey agricultural settlement sponsored by the Baron de Hirsch Fund. Julius opened his own shop in Greenville, but later joined his father in business. The interviewee discusses his thoughts and current practices in regard to the laws of kashrut, and notes that his mother kept kosher but served classic southern cuisine. His family, including his brother, Melvin, and his sister, Shirley, celebrated all the Jewish holidays, and Julius, who closed his store on the High Holidays, was the cantor for their synagogue, Beth Israel. Jack recalls a few of the earlier Jewish families that settled in Greenville, and mentions several Jewish men, besides himself, who served in World War II. After discharge from the army, he attended Duke University Law School and returned home to open a practice. He married New Yorker Lillian Chernoff in 1963. Jack discusses his religious views and the history of Beth Israel, which, he notes, joined the Conservative Movement in the late 1940s. Note: the transcript includes comments added by the interviewee during proofing. For a related collection, the Julius H. Bloom papers, see Mss. 1034-012, Special Collections, College of Charleston.