Jewish Heritage Collection: Oral history interview with Ida Berry

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Jewish Heritage Collection: Oral history interview with Ida Berry
Rosengarten, Dale, 1948-, Grossman, Michael Samuel
Berry, Ida, 1923-2009
Ida Berry, one of four daughters of Bessie Freed and Samson Berry (Berazin), was born in 1923 and raised in Columbia, South Carolina. In this interview she discusses her family history and her experiences growing up in the capital city. Samson emigrated from Visnea, Russia, early in the 20th century, and found his way to Columbia where he opened a small dry goods store on Assembly Street. Bessie, also from Russia, followed her father and sister to New York City, and was visiting her uncle in Columbia in 1917 when she met Samson. Two months later David Karesh, the shochet, cantor, and rabbi for Columbia’s Orthodox Jews, presided over their marriage ceremony in the House of Peace Synagogue (later called Beth Shalom) on Park Street. Ida recalls Columbia’s Jewish merchants, how her family observed the holidays, and the traditional foods her mother prepared in her kosher kitchen. While growing up she felt that there was an atmosphere of mutual respect between Jews and non-Jews, and she remembers that the city’s gentiles, including the Ku Klux Klan member who lived next door to the Berrys, were friendly and helpful. Ida describes Beth Shalom Congregation’s gradual transition from Orthodox to Conservative practices, from families sitting together at the Marion Street location to women reading the Torah from the bimah in the suburban Trenholm Street synagogue. Note: the transcript contains additions and corrections made by the interviewee during proofing.
Jewish Heritage Collection Oral Histories
Contributing Institution:
College of Charleston Libraries
Media Type:
Oral Histories
Personal or Corporate Subject:
House of Peace (Columbia, S.C.), Brith Shalom (Columbia, S.C.)
Topical Subject:
Jews--South Carolina--Interviews, Jewish merchants--South Carolina--Columbia--History, Jews--South Carolina--Columbia--Social life and customs, Jewish sects--South Carolina--Columbia--History, Antisemitism--South Carolina--Columbia--History
Shelving Locator:
MSS 1035-134
S.C. County:
Lexington County (S.C.)
Internet Media Type:
audio/mpeg, application/pdf
Digitization Specifications:
Mp3 derivative audio created with Audacity software. Archival masters are wav files.
Preferred Citation:
Ida Berry, audio interview by Dale Rosengarten and Michael Samuel Grossman, 03 March 1997, Mss. 1035-134, Special Collections, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA.
Copyright Status Statement:
Digital resource copyright 2013, College of Charleston. All rights reserved. For more information contact Special Collections, Addlestone Library, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC 29424.