William Ackerman, an attorney and the developer of South Windermere subdivision in the West Ashley section of Charleston, South Carolina, recounts how he obtained the land, and who was involved in the design, construction, and sale of homes. After building began in the early 1950s, he decided a one-stop shopping center would be a useful addition, so he convinced Woolworth, A&P grocery, and Belk department store to serve as anchors. A number of local shop owners, despite widespread skepticism, moved their operations from downtown Charleston to the new suburban South Windermere Shopping Center, the first of its kind in the area. The residential-commercial venture was a tremendous success. Ackerman describes negotiations he held with major tenants, and recalls many of the businesses that have occupied space in the center. He also discusses the development, by Edward Kronsberg, and the demise of Pinehaven Shopping Center, in North Charleston. See also Mss. 1035-101, Special Collections, Addlestone Library, for William Ackerman’s December 5, 1996 interview.
Alan Banov, a native of Charleston, South Carolina, tells the story of his great-grandfather Alexander Banov (Banovich), who was born in a Polish town called Kopcheve, modern-day Kapciamiestis, Lithuania, and lived in Nemnovo in what is today Belarus. Alexander, who immigrated to the United States in 1889, came to Charleston, where his brother Isaac Wolfe Banov had settled. Daughter Rebecca followed her father first, then came son Cassell, and finally, Alexander's wife, Sonia Danilovich, and their remaining children, Rachel, David, and Leizer, in 1895. Relying on information from his great-uncle David Banov's oral history, Alan recounts living conditions in Nemnovo, and the trip from Russia to Charleston, in particular, a segment of David and Leizer's journey. Because Russian border guards were likely to prevent young males from leaving the empire, the brothers, just twelve and seven years old, separated from Sonia and Rachel, and a hired smuggler led them into Germany where they were reunited with their mother and sister. Alan talks about Alexander's stores in Charleston, Georgetown, and Red Top, South Carolina. The interviewee's grandfather, Leizer, who assumed the name Leon, was in the first confirmation class at Brith Sholom, the Orthodox synagogue in Charleston. Leon became a pharmacist and opened apothecary shops at 442 and 492 King Street before earning his degree in medicine at the Medical College of South Carolina. Dr. Leon Banov, Sr., went to work for the city and county health departments and, after becoming director, oversaw the merger of the two entities. Alan discusses some of his grandfather's accomplishments as a public health director. Leon married Minnie Monash, whose father, Morris, owned Uncle Morris's Pawnshop in Charleston. Alan's father, Leon Banov, Jr., the eldest of three, became a doctor like his father and married Rita Landesman from Morris Plains, New Jersey. They raised Alan and his younger sister, Jane Banov Bergen, in Charleston. Alan describes his experiences at Charleston Day School and Gaud School for Boys. In 1967, after attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he began law school at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. To get a draft deferment during the Vietnam War, he took education courses and signed up to teach school. He was assigned to Abram Simon Elementary School in D.C., where he taught sixth grade for three years while earning his law degree. Alan recalls his early career as a lawyer working first for the National Labor Relations Board, and then the law firm Donald M. Murtha & Associates. He originally intended to work in labor law, but switched to employment law. He explains why that trajectory changed and talks about his work as an employment lawyer and, more recently, a mediator. Alan married Marla Needel in 1969. They raised two daughters, Jessica and Rachel, before divorcing in 2001. His partner, Sandi Blau Cave, whom he met in 2002, was present during the interview. The transcript includes comments and corrections made by the interviewee during proofing. For related materials in Special Collections, Addlestone Library, see the Banov family papers, Mss 1025; the Edna Ginsberg Banov papers, Mss 1039; and interviews with Leon Banov, Jr., Mss. 1035-240; Abel Banov, Mss. 1035-060; and Edna Ginsberg Banov, Mss. 1035-045.
Lila Winter Lash, daughter of Fay Nebb and Louis Winter, was born in 1928 in Brooklyn, New York. She discusses her family history, including the Winter family’s early-twentieth-century connection to Charleston, South Carolina. When Lila met Alex “Al” Lash in New York, he was working as a kosher butcher in a family business that extended four or five generations back to the Old Country. Lila and Al, who married in 1947, describe Al’s training and career in butchering, kosher and non-kosher. Two years after they married, the couple moved to Charleston after agreeing to buy Joseph and Anna Zalkin’s kosher butcher shop on King Street. The Lashes recall the difficulties of running the business, including procurement, long hours, competition, and customer relations. Dealing with rumors that they weren’t kosher and storing their inventory during two hurricanes were among the challenges they faced. Lila provides anecdotes and information relating to Al’s love of bowling and his involvement in leagues.
Ira Rosenberg was born in New York City in 1937, eight years after his brother, Monte, to Bessie Lipschutz and Alan Rosenberg. The family moved to Richmond, Virginia, in the early 1940s, where Ira grew up in the midst of a sizable Jewish community. The Rosenbergs were Orthodox but Ira says his parents “were not very active” in the local synagogue. However, Alan insisted Ira go to shul every Saturday morning and attend Hebrew school in preparation for his bar mitzvah. Ira is joined in this interview by his wife, Anita Moise Rosefield Rosenberg, originally of Sumter, South Carolina. They married in 1963 while Ira was serving in the United States Air Force. Ultimately, they moved to Charleston, South Carolina, where they raised their children, David, Virginia, and Mindelle. Ira describes his career as a pharmacist after he was discharged from the military in 1966. In the 1980s he changed professions and opened his own business as a realtor and real estate appraiser, Rosenberg & Associates. Ira and Anita discuss changes in Reform Judaism and in their synagogue, Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim. They talk about Rabbi Stephanie Alexander, KKBE’s first female rabbi, and the degree of acceptance extended to lesbian and gay members by the rabbi and the congregation. Anita recalls being on the national commission of a program begun in the 1970s by Rabbi Alexander Schindler, a former president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. The program, called Outreach, was designed to encourage acceptance and inclusion of intermarried couples and their families. See also a follow-up interview (Mss. 1035-461) with the Rosenbergs, conducted on November 4, 2016.
In this follow-up to their June 23, 2016, interview (Mss. 1035-452), Ira and Anita Rosenberg talk about their children and grandchildren and how they observed Judaism as a family when the children were growing up. Ira notes that he was a co-founder of Dragon Boat Charleston, served on the boards of Charleston Jewish Community Center and Charleston Jewish Federation, and is a past president of Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim. He discusses the benefits of Jewish community centers, his thoughts on the recent transition of the local center to one without walls, and his feelings about the presence of Chabad in the area.
In this second of a two-part interview, Anita Moise Rosefield Rosenberg describes her career after graduating from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She first took a job as music director at WPTF radio in Raleigh, North Carolina. When she and her husband, Ira Rosenberg, moved to Charleston, South Carolina, in the 1960s, she went to work at WKTM radio, owned by her cousin Ansley Cohen, selling advertising spots, and doing whatever else was needed. Anita notes that working at WKTM was exciting because it was FM, which "was coming into its own," and it was "Charleston's first rock station." After a few years, she went into "the advertising agency world" and was active in the local professional association, Advertising Federation of Charleston, and the national association, American Advertising Federation, which recognized her work with their Silver Medal Award. One of her clients was Pearlstine Distributors, who hired her to run its marketing and advertising department. Anita talks about other jobs she held and the various types of work she did in advertising. "Just every different avenue of this profession has been fun and interesting, and very rewarding to do." In Charleston, the interviewee has been involved in numerous Jewish and non-Jewish community organizations and events as part of her professional work and her personal commitment to giving back. She recounts how she met her husband, Ira, the son of Bessie Lipschutz and Alan Rosenberg. "Two different worlds met each other." Ira's parents, Orthodox Jews from New York, raised him in Richmond, Virginia. Anita grew up in Sumter, South Carolina, in a Reform temple. Anita and Ira's three children are David, Virginia, and Mindelle. Anita discusses how and why she and Ira were able to adopt Virginia in 1967 as an infant. The Rosenberg family belonged to Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (KKBE), Charleston's Reform synagogue. The interviewee talks about her children and grandchildren. Her son, David, and his wife, Marcie, are members of the relatively new Modern Orthodox Dor Tikvah in Charleston. Anita and Ira started keeping kosher years ago?something they did not do while raising their children?to accommodate family members who are kosher. Anita considers how practices have changed at KKBE: they have their first female rabbi and their first gay rabbi; the revised prayer books have English and Hebrew with transliterations and translations; the cantor's role has expanded and is more inclusive. She says, "Conservative and Reform are moving closer to each other in today's world," and adds "from a historical point of view, the ancestors were Sephardic Orthodox Jews who settled here. That's my beginnings. So I don't feel like this is so strange, it's just a part of who I am." Anita briefly covers a number of other topics, including KKBE's past rabbis; its present-day choir; how the influx of people from other states has changed the congregation; the current status of Charleston's Jewish congregations and how/why they get along so well; her opinion about the presence of Chabad in the area; Jewish-gentile relations; and her thoughts on the Temple Sinai Jewish History Center in her hometown of Sumter. In a postscript to this interview, Anita recalls Alfreda LaBoard of Johns Island, the African-American woman who "was our nursie" from the time the Rosenberg kids were small. "She raised my children. I could never have done all the things that I did in the community, as well as Ira and I both busy with our careers, if it hadn't been for Alfreda." Comments and corrections made by the interviewee during proofing have been added to the transcript. For part one of this interview, see Mss. 1035-554. For related interviews, see Anita's interviews with her husband Ira Rosenberg, Mss. 1035-452 and Mss. 1035-461, and with her son, David Rosenberg, Mss. 1035-175. Also see a 1995 interview with her mother, Virginia Moise Rosefield, Mss. 1035-007.
David Moise Rosenberg is joined by his mother, Anita Moise Rosefield Rosenberg, in this interview, recorded in his place of business, West Side Deli, in Charleston, South Carolina. Keeping kosher is the focus of the conversation, a practice that was not observed in the family home when David was growing up in the 1960s and '70s. The Rosenbergs were members of Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (KKBE) in Charleston, which David describes as a "very liberal Reform temple." During his college years, he "had no interest in religion of any sort." His wife, Marcie, who grew up in a Conservative synagogue and wanted to keep kosher, sparked his interest in Judaism. David, a restaurateur, and Marcie, a chef, bought Alex and Lila Lash's kosher meat business and, in January 1992, opened West Side Deli, a market, restaurant, and delicatessen. David talks about their clientele?who they are, and who, among Charleston's Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Jews, are keeping kosher. David explains why he and Marcie think it's important to keep a kosher home, a process that was gradual for them, and he responds to the question, "how [do] you fit being observant in with being religious?" Anita, who grew up in Sumter, South Carolina, in the 1940s and '50s, and received a Classical Reform education at Temple Sinai, notes that she knew "absolutely nothing" about keeping kosher as a child. Her mother's ancestors can be traced in America to the 1700s; the family had been in Sumter for generations and were fully adapted to local foodways. When she was growing up, Anita's family "ate everything." Yet she describes a "very strong Jewish upbringing" and her deep involvement with KKBE, the Jewish Community Center, and other Jewish organizations. She does not keep kosher, but says, "I don't eat anything that walked on four legs." Anita discusses the family history of her husband, Ira Rosenberg, and his preferences in regard to kashrut. She sees that Reform Jews, nationwide, are becoming more traditional. "I think, probably, if Reform had been at the particular stage that it is now, in terms of the traditional trappings, the Conservative Movement would have had a hard time getting a foothold." She and Ira would have loved to settle in Sumter but decided to raise their children in Charleston, where their children "would have a much better chance of being Jewish and having a Jewish social life and marrying Jewish and continuing what was very important to us." For 2019 interviews with Anita, see Mss. 1035-554 and Mss. 1035-555. For Anita's 2016 interviews with her husband, Ira Rosenberg, see Mss. 1035-452 and Mss. 1035-461. For a 1995 interview with Anita's mother, Virginia Moise Rosefield, see Mss. 1035-007.
Flossie Ginsberg Arnold and her son, Norman Arnold, discuss their family history. Flossie and her parents, Isaac and Pauline Ginsberg, immigrated to Charleston, South Carolina, from Russia around 1908, when Flossie was about one year old. Flossie recalls living on Hanover Street in the neighborhood they referred to as “Little Mexico,” where her family owned a small grocery store. Ultimately, the Ginsbergs moved to a home on Ashley Avenue and Isaac opened I. Ginsberg, Inc., on Meeting Street, selling cigars, candy, and notions. Flossie was working behind the cash register when her future husband, Ben Arnold, walked in. Charleston was a port of call for the Clyde Line steamer Ben was taking to New York from Florida, where he operated drugstores in Lake Worth and West Palm Beach. Flossie and Ben married in 1928 and shortly after, moved from Florida to Charleston, lured by the presence of family and a Jewish community, and Isaac’s offer to include Ben in the family business. Isaac and Ben developed a wholesale tobacco and drugstore enterprise with locations in several South Carolina cities, including Columbia, the state capital. Ben ran the Columbia store, which they expanded to include liquor. Around 1940 Flossie, Ben, and their son, Arnold, moved to the capital city, and in the mid-’40s, Isaac and Ben split up the business, Isaac keeping the tobacco distributorship, and Ben assuming full control of the liquor operation.
Leon Banov, Jr., a retired proctologist at the time of this interview, was the grandson of Alexander Banov, an emigrant from Poland who ran a dry goods store in Red Top, South Carolina, a small, rural community a few miles from Charleston. Alexander’s son, Leon Sr., who was eight years old when he arrived in America, attended Charleston’s Orthodox synagogue, Brith Sholom, but received his confirmation instruction from Ellen de Castro Williams, a woman of Sephardic ancestry and member of the Reform synagogue, Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (KKBE). Leon Jr. credits her with starting the first Orthodox Sunday school in South Carolina, and his father was a member of its first confirmation class. To show his appreciation for Mrs. WiIliams’s efforts, Leon Sr. gave her a napkin holder shaped as a deer from his family’s modest collection of silver pieces. She, in turn, gave the napkin ring to Leon Sr.’s son, the interviewee, upon the occasion of his bar mitzvah. Thus began a tradition whereby the deer is passed down alternately to a descendant of the Banov and Williams families as a gift to a new bar or bat mitzvah. Leon Sr., a pharmacist and an M.D., became the first health director of the Charleston County Health Department in 1920, a position he held for forty-one years. He recorded his experiences in As I recall: the story of the Charleston County Health Department. He married Minnie Monash, whose family was from Germany and practiced Reform Judaism. The couple raised their three children in the Reform tradition and attended KKBE. Leon Jr. discusses his siblings and reports that he did not experience any antisemitism growing up. He organized the first cub scout pack in Charleston and received several honors for his involvement in and promotion of the Boy Scouts of America, including the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award in 1989. His numerous contributions to the medical community include serving on an advisory panel for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and acting as chairman of the Charleston County Board of Health. He also recalls certain former KKBE rabbis and describes how he met his wife, Rita Landesman. Note: the transcript contains comments made by members of the Banov family during proofing.
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.