Epstine, Jane M.
Interview Date
Respondent Volunteer, born 8/28/11.
[T1S1] Respondent gives names of parents, father's occupation, both born in America. May-Stern and Co. founded in early 1900s: Ohio. Respondent's uncle, Leo Lehman, sent to Pittsburgh. to open store. Home not observant. Respondent confirmed at Rodef Shalom. Comments on 2 daughters, their names and names of spouses; also grandchildren. Respondent's husband, Harry, died 1983. Mentions locations of May-Stern and Co., stores; husband Harry offered executive position by Leo Lehman. Respondent comments on Mother's death and raising by maternal grandmother and uncle, Leo Lehman. Respondent lists community boards Leo Lehman served. Respondent mentions Pres. Roosevelt turned away ship carrying Jews to the U.S. in early 1940s, notes Lehman family's involvement bringing Jewish families from Germany, among them: Alfred Oppenheimer and Felix Hamburger; recalls L. Lehman's comments on storm troopers and Jewish support of Hitler in early years upon return from Munich to hear Hitler speak. Respondent describes difficulties encountered in finding living arrangements for Jews rescued from Germany.
[T1S2] Respondent comments on rise of anti-Semitic acts: groups (KKK) and gangs. Reflects on her work at May-Stern Co.: buyer and decorator, number of years worked, buying trips to NYC and Chicago. Respondent describes relationship with Louis Caplan and how he and 2 brothers were raised in J. M. Gusky Hebrew Home and Orphanage (taken over by Jewish Family and Children's Service) when parents perished in Johnstown flood. Notes Louis Caplan's relationship with Judge Josiah Cohen: mentor. Respondent discusses involvement with Rodef Shalom Temple: arranged lectures; volunteered at YMandWHA (Young Men and Women's Hebrew Association; now JCC) introduced cooking classes for women, arranged for various chefs, also table and holiday decorations; volunteered during WWII at American Red Cross, experienced anti-Semitism. Started branch of American Women's Volunteer Service, describes role in group. Comments on personal experiences in Florida during WWII.
[T2S3] Comments on University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) takeover of Lehman-Epstine Research Wing of Montefiore Hospital.
Caplan, Louis; Social service; Hospitals; Montefiore Hospital (Pittsburgh, Pa.). Lehman-Epstine Research Wing; Lehman, Leo; May-Stern and Co.; Jewish orphanages; J.M. Gusky Hebrew Orphanage Home (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Length (hours)
Harrison, Mary
Dinman, Gabrielle
Berger, Betty
Collateral Materials
Box 101 FF 21
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