Jewish Heritage Collection: Oral history interview with Frances Deborah Baruch Abrams and Carolyn Baruch Levenson

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Jewish Heritage Collection: Oral history interview with Frances Deborah Baruch Abrams and Carolyn Baruch Levenson
Rosengarten, Dale, 1948–
Abrams, Frances Deborah Baruch, 1921-, Levenson, Carolyn Baruch, 1925–2010
Sisters Frances Deborah “Debby” Baruch Abrams and Carolyn Baruch Levenson grew up in Camden, South Carolina, in the 1920s and ’30s in a community where a handful of Jewish families maintained a close relationship with their gentile neighbors. Their mother, Theresa Block, daughter of German immigrants, met her husband, Herman Baruch, Jr., when she came to Camden from New York to help her recently widowed uncle, Louis Block, with his three girls. Debby and Carolyn do not recall experiencing any anti-Semitism as children, and Debby was active in the Baptist and Methodist church youth groups. Raised in the Reform tradition, they attended Sunday school in Camden and were confirmed by Rabbi Samuel Shillman at Temple Sinai in Sumter. Despite growing up in Camden, the sisters had strong ties to the coastal region of South Carolina north of Georgetown. Debby remembers visiting her cousin Bernard Baruch, financier and advisor to Presidents Wilson and Roosevelt, at Hobcaw, his plantation northeast of the city. The girls spent their summers in Pawley’s Island, which included visits to their uncle Joe Baruch in Murrells Inlet. Debby met her husband, Helmar Abrams, a pharmacist, in 1942, when she moved to Georgetown to begin teaching. She discusses life in Georgetown, including Temple Beth Elohim’s congregation, the businesses that lined Front Street after World War II, and the relations between Jews, gentiles, African Americans, Lebanese, and Syrians. Note: the transcript contains additions and corrections made by Debby during proofing.
Jewish Heritage Collection Oral Histories
Contributing Institution:
College of Charleston Libraries
Media Type:
Oral Histories
Personal or Corporate Subject:
Abrams, Frances Deborah Baruch, 1921–, Levenson, Carolyn Baruch, 1925–2010, Baruch family, Block family, Abrams family, Beth Elohim (Georgetown, S.C.)
Topical Subject:
Jews--South Carolina--Camden--History, Jews--South Carolina--Georgetown--History, Jewish merchants--South Carolina--Camden--History, Jewish merchants--South Carolina--Georgetown--History
Geographic Subject:
Midlands, Pee Dee
Shelving Locator:
MSS 1035-195
Internet Media Type:
audio/mpeg; application/pdf
Digitization Specifications:
Mp3 derivative audio created with Audacity software. Archival masters are wav files.
Copyright Status Statement:
Digital resource copyright 2012, The College of Charleston. All rights reserved. For more information contact The College of Charleston Library, Charleston, SC 29424.