Jewish Heritage Collection: Oral history interview with Helen Laufer Berle

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Jewish Heritage Collection: Oral history interview with Helen Laufer Berle
Zweig, Matthew Reid
Berle, Helen Laufer Dwork, 1923–2005
Helen Berle, a daughter of Harry and Tillie Hufeizen Laufer, immigrants from Mogelnitsa, Poland, reminisces about her parents’ business, Laufer’s Kosher Restaurant on King Street in Charleston, South Carolina. Popular among local merchants and military servicemen stationed in Charleston and Beaufort, the eatery served Jews and non-Jews for about two decades beginning in the early 1930s. Berle describes some of the kosher-style dishes that Jews from the Old Country brought with them to America. “Everything was just good, plain, old, basic cooking. . . . I think seasoning had a lot to do with it.” While blacks could not eat at Laufer’s, they were hired to work in the kitchen, and she recalls that the relationship between members of the Jewish and black communities of Charleston were good in the years before the Civil Rights Movement. She briefly mentions a branch of her mother’s family, the Hufeisens of France, who were also in the restaurant business. Note: the transcript contains additions and corrections made by Helen during proofing.
Jewish Heritage Collection Oral Histories
Contributing Institution:
College of Charleston Libraries
Media Type:
Oral Histories
Personal or Corporate Subject:
Berle, Helen Laufer Dwork, 1923–2005, Laufer's Kosher Restaurant (Charleston, S.C.), Laufer family, Hufeizen (Hufeisen) family
Topical Subject:
Jews--South Carolina--Interviews, Jews--South Carolina--Charleston--Social life and customs, Jewish merchants--South Carolina--Charleston--History, Restaurateurs--South Carolina--Charleston--History, Kosher food--South Carolina--Charleston--History, Jewish cooking, African Americans--Relations with Jews
Geographic Subject:
Shelving Locator:
MSS 1035-207
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.