Edna Ginsberg Banov, in the third of three interviews, talks about her father-in-law, Sam Banov and his men’s store on the corner of King and Spring streets in Charleston, South Carolina. Sam, who emigrated from Russia by way of England, dispensed a number of home remedies from his shop, which Edna describes here and in her first interview. She reads from her memoirs a passage she wrote about Suzy, an African American woman who worked for the Banovs for decades. The interviewee discusses the cake-baking business she started with Hattie Kronsberg that targeted homesick Citadel freshmen, and notes that she “started the first market research business in Charleston.” Edna recalls childhood memories of shnorrers, Jewish men collecting for charities, coming through town, and Yom Kippur services held in Brith Sholom, one of Charleston’s Orthodox synagogues. She had difficulty relating to Orthodox religious practices and “felt more at home” in the Conservative Synagogue Emanu-El, organized in 1947. She and her husband, Milton Banov, were among the founding families; she explains the motivations of those families in leaving Brith Sholom and offers details about her own spiritual practices. Edna is joined near the end of the interview by Beatrice “Beatsie” Bluestein Solow, a cousin, and the two briefly reminisce. See also Edna Banov’s interviews of November 2, 1995 (Mss. 1035-045) and November 9, 1995 (Mss. 1035-046). For a related collection, see the Edna Ginsberg Banov papers, Mss. 1039, Special Collections, College of Charleston.
Edna Ginsberg Banov, born in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1908, expands upon the stories she shared in her first interview. A daughter of Pauline Kop and Isaac Ginsberg, of Vitebsk Gubernia, Belarus, Russia, she talks about her mother’s family and her parents’ wedding, which took place in the Old Country. She notes that her father worked in the Kimberley diamond mines in South Africa before the marriage. Edna reads from some of her writings about life in the Jewish neighborhood of upper King and St. Philip streets when she was growing up. The Ginsbergs were strictly kosher and Edna describes their diet and the meals her mother cooked. She tells a number of stories, including how the family didn’t know her birth date and how her father disciplined her when she was a young girl for taking something that didn’t belong to her. Edna remembers an African American woman they called Old Suzy, who worked for the Sam Banov family for years, Edna’s in-laws, and later worked for Edna and her husband, Milton Banov. See also Edna Banov’s interviews of November 2, 1995 (Mss. 1035-045) and November 14, 1995 (Mss. 1035-048). For a related collection, see the Edna Ginsberg Banov papers, Mss. 1039, Special Collections, College of Charleston.
In the second of two interviews conducted on September 28, 2021, Sandra Lee Kahn Rosenblum describes how she came to marry, in 1955, Raymond Rosenblum, a native of Anderson, South Carolina. They lived first in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Raymond, an M.D. who had signed on with the U.S. Navy under the Berry Plan, was in residency, and then in Great Lakes, Illinois. By the time Raymond was discharged from service, the Rosenblums were parents to Rachel, Fred, and Bruce. They decided to settle in Charleston, South Carolina, Sandra's hometown, and Raymond went into private practice. One reason they chose Charleston was they wanted their children to grow up in a city where there was a significant Jewish presence. Sandra notes that Charleston's Jewish community was "pretty cohesive. . . . like one big extended family." Just as the Jewish Community Center (JCC) on St. Philip Street was a focal point in her life when she was growing up in Charleston, the new JCC in the suburbs became a central meeting place after she returned with husband and children in 1960. Sandra and interviewer Dale Rosengarten discuss how a heavily-packed public events calendar sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program at the College of Charleston was a factor in the eventual demise of the JCC and its programming. Sandra and Raymond's fourth child, Elaine, was born in 1963. With household help and childcare provided by Lavinia Brown and Albertha Blake, Sandra immersed herself in volunteer work in local Jewish organizations and with the medical wives auxiliary. The interviewee explains the reasoning behind the decision to send Rachel to public school, while sending the other three children to Charleston Hebrew Institute (later renamed Addlestone Hebrew Academy). When her second child, Fred, was about to enter college, Sandra started taking classes at the College of Charleston. She majored in early childhood education and special education and earned a degree in six years. She talks about being a resource teacher at Murray-LaSaine School on James Island and working with disabled children as an itinerant teacher for Charleston County. Among other topics she touches on: Raymond's family in Anderson, South Carolina; Nat Shulman, JCC director from 1945 to 1972; traveling with Raymond; vacationing with family on Sullivan's Island; and Raymond's bar mitzvah at age seventy. In 1996, Sandra began volunteering with the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina, recording interviews with South Carolina Jews for the Jewish Heritage Collection Oral History Archives. Considering recent interviews she conducted regarding the acrimony among members of Brith Sholom Beth Israel (BSBI) and the events that led to a split in the congregation and the establishment of the Modern Orthodox synagogue Dor Tikvah, Sandra lends her view of what transpired. She also shares her feelings, as a lifelong member of BSBI, about the changes that have taken place and what she thinks the future holds for Orthodoxy in Charleston. Sandra and interviewer Dale Rosengarten talk about the changes taking place across the country in how Judaism is observed by participants in each of the major traditions and the responses of those traditions to societal conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sandra reflects on how her identity is rooted in being American, southern, and Jewish. She reports having conflicting feelings about how the Civil War and the lives of Confederates such as Robert E. Lee are being interpreted in the twenty-first century, which leads to a brief discussion about critical race theory. Sandra added comments and corrections to the transcript during proofing. See also the interview (Mss. 1035-582) that precedes this one. For related oral histories, see interviews with Sandra's cousins Ellis Kahn in 1997 (Mss. 1035-142) and Jack Kahn in 1998 (Mss. 1035-182); and Sandra's husband, Raymond Rosenblum, and his siblings in 2008 (Mss. 1035-134).