Jewish Heritage Collection: Oral history interview with Morris Mazursky

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Jewish Heritage Collection: Oral history interview with Morris Mazursky
Rosengarten, Dale, 1948-, Moses, Robert A., 1921-
Mazursky, Morris, 1923-2012
Morris Mazursky, audio interview by Dale Rosengarten and Robert A. Moses, 9 February 1995, Mss-1035-006, Special Collections, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA., Morris Mazursky, who grew up in Sumter, South Carolina, recounts his father Abe Mazursky’s emigration in 1909 from Kobrin, Russia. Abe lived briefly in New York City before moving to Barnwell, South Carolina, home of his uncle Barney Mazursky, who hired him to work in his store. Abe soon moved to Mayesville, South Carolina, to help out in his cousin’s store, and later operated a dry goods business there with the help of wealthy lien merchant Henry Weinberg. When Abe and Henry’s partnership ended, Abe established his own store, The Beehive, also in Mayesville. Rabbi David Karesh of Columbia introduced Abe to his future wife, Mary Blatt, the daughter of Austrian immigrants Morris and Mamie Blatt, who had settled in Charleston in the late 1800s. Abe and Mary married in 1919 and moved with their two children, Helen and Morris, to Sumter four years later, where Abe had just opened another store called The Hub. Morris received his law degree from the University of South Carolina and worked with the firm Lee & Moise before starting his own practice in his hometown. He was elected to Sumter City Council in 1958 and served for twenty-eight years. With input from interviewer Robert Moses, also a Sumter native, Morris discusses the impact that segregation and poverty had on African Americans in the community, the effects of integration on the school system, and how the city upheld the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In addition, the two men recall Sumter’s efforts to improve its economic base by attracting industry and note the decline of Temple Sinai’s congregation as the area’s Jewish population dwindled. Morris describes how he met his wife Marcia Weisbond Mazursky—they, like his parents, were married by Rabbi Karesh—and talks about their three children.
Jewish Heritage Collection Oral Histories
Contributing Institution:
College of Charleston Libraries
Media Type:
Oral Histories
Personal or Corporate Subject:
Temple Sinai (Sumter, S.C.)
Topical Subject:
Jews--South Carolina--Sumter--Interviews, Jewish merchants--South Carolina--Sumter--History, Jewish merchants--South Carolina--Barnwell--History, Jewish merchants--South Carolina--Mayesville--History, African Americans--South Carolina--Sumter--Relations with Jews, Race discrimination--South Carolina--Sumter--History, Civil Rights--South Carolina--Sumter--History, School integration--South Carolina--Sumter--History
Shelving Locator:
MSS 1035-006
S.C. County:
Sumter County (S.C.)
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 2014, College of Charleston. All rights reserved. For more information contact Special Collections, Addlestone Library, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC 29424.