Kaplan, Bernard
Interview Date
January 17, 1976
Bernard Kaplan, a lawyer, instructor and Life Trustee of the Hebrew Institute (HI) in the tradition of his father, Rabbi Joseph Kaplan;
[T1S1] year of birth, 1908; parents' place of birth; father's religious instruction and ordination; family's immigration; father comes to Pittsburgh two weeks after his arrival to teach at Beth Hamedrash Hagodol in the Hill District; early family residences; names of siblings; financial situation at home; father becomes faculty member at HI; means of discipline in home; he contracts polio at the age of two; his mother's heart condition; his education and activities at HI; education, Franklin Grade School, Fifth Avenue High School, and University of Pittsburgh (UP); graduation from UP Law School in 1932;
[T1S2] family relations; religious observance as the center of family life; degree of observance among his children; his siblings' education and careers; becomes a teacher of Hebrew while in college; organizer of Avukah, the first collegiate Zionist organization at UP; activities in college; his mother's death when he was seventeen;
[T2S3] attending various camps between 1922-34; political affiliation; changes in his neighborhood in the Hill District; racial issues in the Hill District; mixed marriages that resulted from the racial diversity in his neighborhood;
[T2S4] discussion of different programs at Irene Kaufmann Settlement and HI; synagogues that held classes; history of HI; instructors at HI; location of first HI; HI becomes part of the United Jewish Fund; HI moves to Squirrel Hill area; his various offices at HI, including Life Trustee; effects of the depression on his family; opens a law office in the Frick Building; moves office to Grant Building; classroom discipline; president and Adult Leader for Avukah after graduation; secretary, vice president, Pittsburgh Zionist Organization of America; on the National executive Committee of Pittsburgh Zionist District; secretary of Beth Hamedrash Hagodol (BHH);
[T3S5] history of BHH; its relocation; courtship and marriage to Rose Lichter; her background and employment; birth of children; their education and careers; their religious education and camp experiences; their trips to Israel; comparison of his upbringing with that of his children; children's community activities and musical interests; observance of holidays; his personal religious observance; eating habits; involvement with United Jewish Federation and United Jewish Fund (UJF); discussion of controversy over merging UJF with Federation of Jewish Philanthropies in 1954; vice president, board member, UJF; his commitment to Jewry; emphasis of activities at Irene Kaufmann Settlement and Young Men's Hebrew Association;
[T3S6] changes in Jewish community; the role of Israel as a unifying force for the community; the need for Hebrew teachers; views about support for Israel; trips to Israel; his wife's community activities; history of the <i>Jewish Chronicle</i>; his role as president of the board of the <i>Jewish Chronicle</i>; his accomplishments; the need for respect of Jewish knowledge; discussion of Jewish youth; personal opinions
Economic Depression; Hebrew Institute; Hill District (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Jewish newspapers; <i>Jewish chronicle (Pittsburgh, Pa.)</i>; Lawyers; Law; Synagogues: Congregation Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Birth Date
Occupation (father)
Length (hours)
Dickman, Gene
Gershon, Jean
Reynolds, Jacqueline
Collateral Materials
Box 102 FF 45
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