Jewish Heritage Collection: Oral history interview with Frances Solomon Garfinkle and Nathan Garfinkle

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Jewish Heritage Collection: Oral history interview with Frances Solomon Garfinkle and Nathan Garfinkle
Rosengarten, Dale, 1948-, Brilliant, Marilyn Solomon, Fleming, Katherine
Garfinkle, Frances Solomon, 1925-2009, Garfinkle, Nathan, 1921-
Frances Solomon Garfinkle, daughter of Morris and Rina Chachevski Solomon, relates her mother’s stories of life in Zabludow, Poland, before she immigrated to the United States. Frances, a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, recalls visiting relatives in Charleston, South Carolina, as a child. She married Nathan Garfinkle, son of Sam and Annie Garfinkel, emigrants from, respectively, Divin and Grozny, Russia. Nathan, who remembers living in Charleston’s East Side before moving to the St. Philip Street neighborhood, attended Beth Israel, one of two Orthodox synagogues, with his father. Frances and Nathan discuss Charleston’s Jewish merchants, particularly wholesaler Sam Solomon, whose Sullivan’s Island summer home was a gathering place for Jewish families on Sundays. They describe Charleston and Jewish food traditions, including African-American street vendors and Jewish-owned markets, and the prevalence of Yiddish speakers among members of the Jewish community in the first half of the twentieth century. Even some African Americans who worked for Jewish store owners spoke Yiddish. Louisa Simmons kept house for Sam and Annie Garfinkel, and later for Nathan and Frances, for a total of than more than fifty years. “She was one of the family . . . we loved her.” Note: Other family members spell the name Garfinkel. The interviewee has spelled his name Garfinkle since his military service during World War II, when a typographic error was made and never corrected.
Jewish Heritage Collection Oral Histories
Contributing Institution:
College of Charleston Libraries
Media Type:
Oral Histories
Personal or Corporate Subject:
Beth Israel (Charleston, S.C.)
Topical Subject:
Jews--South Carolina--Interviews, Jews--Poland--Zabludow, Jews--South Carolina--Charleston--Social life and customs, Jewish merchants--South Carolina--Charleston--History, African Americans--South Carolina--Relations with Jews, Yiddish language--South Carolina--History
English, Yiddish
Shelving Locator:
MSS 1035-075
S.C. County:
Charleston 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:
Frances Solomon Garfinkle and Nathan Garfinkle, audio interview by Dale Rosengarten, Marilyn Solomon Brilliant, and Katherine Fleming, 04 June 1996, Mss 1035-075, 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.