Jewish Heritage Collection: Oral history interview with Henry Berlin

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Jewish Heritage Collection: Oral history interview with Henry Berlin
Grossman, Michael Samuel
Berlin, Henry, 1924–
In this brief interview, Henry Berlin, a son of Charleston, South Carolina, natives Sam and Bertie Livingstain Berlin, describes growing up in the coastal city where his grandfather, Henry Berlinsky, a Polish immigrant, opened a dry goods store on lower King Street in the 1880s. The family name was changed from Berlinsky to Berlin when Sam Berlin and his brother took over the store. Their father, an observant Jew, did not want his name to be associated with a business that opened on the Sabbath. Sam was active in political and civic affairs, and was one of the first Jewish Charlestonians to become a member of the St. Andrews Society, a charitable organization. A big sports fan, he owned Charleston minor league baseball teams and supported local boxing matches. Henry notes that they were one of the few Jewish families living south of Broad Street and, as a result, most of his friends were gentiles. Nevertheless, the Berlins attended the Orthodox synagogue Brith Sholom, and Sam led the effort to merge Brith Sholom and Beth Israel. Henry mentions the split that occurred prior to the merger, resulting in the creation of Emanu-El, Charleston’s Conservative congregation. Note: the transcript contains additions and corrections made by Henry during proofing.
Jewish Heritage Collection Oral Histories
Contributing Institution:
College of Charleston Libraries
Media Type:
Oral Histories
Personal or Corporate Subject:
Berlin, Henry, 1924–, Berlin (Berlinsky) family, Livingstain family, Brith Sholom Beth Israel (Charleston, S.C.), Emanu-El (Charleston, S.C.)
Topical Subject:
Jews--South Carolina--Charleston--Interviews, Jewish Merchants--South Carolina--Charleston--History, Jewish sects--South Carolina—Charleston--History
Geographic Subject:
Shelving Locator:
MSS 1035-117
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.