- Eileen Strauss Rubin grew up in Sumter, South Carolina, the only child of Isaac and Pearl Weinreich Strauss. Isaac, who was born in New York, moved in the 1870s as a teenager, first to Mayesville, South Carolina, where relatives, the A. A. Strauss family, owned a store. After relocating to Sumter, he invested in land and helped a nephew get started in the printing business. He died when Eileen was only five years old. Eileen recalls celebrating the holidays and attending Sunday school at Sumter’s Temple Sinai, where she was confirmed. As a girl, she visited her mother’s family in Ohio and, having made a number of friends there, decided to go to Ohio State University (OSU). She met her husband, Herman Rubin, at a fraternity dance at OSU. Herman was an M.D. and practicing in Akron. About a year after they married and shortly after their first daughter was born, Herman, who was in the army reserves, was called up for active duty. After five years in military service, the Rubins returned to Akron, where their second daughter was born. In the early ’50s, in search of a milder climate, the Rubins moved to Sumter. Eileen discusses her family history, her daughters, and the family’s real estate business. Interviewer Robert Moses, a Sumter native and friend of the Rubins, contributes to the conversation. Note: daughters Ellen Rubin Eber and Gayle Rubin provided additional information noted in the transcript during proofing.
- Richard Phillips Moses, in an interview with his niece, Elizabeth Moses, describes growing up in Sumter, South Carolina, the youngest of seven children. He was born in 1926 to Charlotte Emanuel Moses and Henry Phillips Moses. Richard attended services and Sunday school at Sumter's Reform Temple Sinai. He explains how well Sumter's Jews have assimilated into the city's general population, and notes that despite the large number of Jews and people with ties to Judaism in Sumter, the temple's membership has declined in recent decades. Richard attended The Citadel for one year before entering the U.S. Navy to begin officer training. He was an aviation cadet when World War II ended, resulting in a change in his status to inactive. After discharge from the navy, Richard attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating in 1948. He worked for one year in Atlanta for an insurance firm before returning to Sumter to join his brother Robert and his uncle Herbert Moses in the insurance and real estate business started by Richard's father, Henry, who died in 1945. Besides talking about his aunts, uncles, and cousins on the Moses side of the family, Richard discusses how he met his wife, Eleanor Ruth Burke Moses, a Baptist from Alcolu, South Carolina; his three children; and the circumstances that led Perry Weinberg, a Sumter orphan, to join the family. Richard served as Sumter's mayor from 1972-76; he briefly mentions his response to black citizens seeking his help with civil rights issues. For related information see the August 16 and 17, 2013 interviews with Richard's brother Robert Moses and August 19, 2013 interview with Richard's sister Mary Octavia Moses Mahon. Special Collections, Addlestone Library, College of Charleston, is the repository for Moses family photographs and papers.
- Robert Altamont Moses, the fourth of seven children of Charlotte Virginia Emanuel and Henry Phillips Moses, was born in 1921 in Sumter, South Carolina, where his great-grandfather Montgomery Moses had settled around 1832. In describing the house and the property on Church Street where he and his siblings grew up, he notes that "looking back on it, I would say that it was a near-perfect childhood." The Moses family was Jewish, but celebrated both Jewish and Christian holidays. Robert discusses the deaths of his two oldest siblings due to polio; learning from his mother how to cure mullet roe and make haw jelly, "a Sumter specialty;" the 1950 death of his brother Vivian while flying for the United States Marines; and the life of his uncle Herbert "Unc" Moses, who partnered with Robert's father, Henry, in the Henry P. Moses Company, an insurance and real estate business. Robert attended The Citadel and, in the interview, recalls the difficulty of surviving freshman year. While serving stateside in the U.S. Army in the mid-1940s, he met and married Harriett Pace of Kansas City, Missouri, who was on the road playing violin with a band. They settled in Sumter and raised five daughters. Because Harriett was Catholic, they had to pledge to raise their children in the Catholic Church. Robert kept his promise, but states that it was "a bitter pill to try to swallow, to see your children raised Catholic and forbidden to be Jewish." Ironically, Harriett was not particularly observant after they married, and she later became a member of Temple Sinai's sisterhood. Robert and his youngest daughter, Elizabeth, who is an interviewer, discuss the various religious paths the five Moses daughters chose as adults. Note: see also a follow-up interview with Robert Moses dated August 17, 2013. For related information see the August 7, 1999 interview with Robert's brother Richard Moses and August 19, 2013 interview with Robert's sister Mary Octavia Moses Mahon. Special Collections, Addlestone Library, College of Charleston, is the repository for Moses family photographs and papers.