Respondent
Kavaler, Vigdor W.
Interview Date
October 2, 1990
Abstract
Vigdor Kavaler served in an administrative capacity at the Rodef Shalom Temple and was professor of economics at the University of Pittsburgh for thirty-two years; birth year, 1925;
[T1S1] father's origins in Austria-Hungary; mother's origins in Poland; number of siblings in his family; his birth in Brooklyn, NY; marriage in 1950; adoption of children; recollections of early years; move to Pittsburgh as a college freshman; his service in the Navy; his religious education; experiences with anti-Semitism; recollections of his experiences at the University of Pittsburgh; more discussion of his service during WWII; his career at the University of Pittsburgh for twenty-two years; his service as an administrator for Rodef Shalom Temple;
[T1S2] reasons for his career choice; teaching economics at Carnegie Mellon University; his election to presidency of Phi Epsilon Pi Fraternity; his interest in athletics; the importance of his fraternity experience; courtship and marriage to Mina Serbin; his wife's background; adoption of their twins; their family life; family vacations;
[T2S3] teaching at the University of Pittsburgh for thirty- two years; his involvement with community organizations, including the American Jewish Committee, American Professors for Peace; his service as president of Jewish Children and Family Services; reflections on ethics, law and money; discussion of his participation with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); the principles of the ACLU; the importance of parenthood in his life; discussion of rabbis he has known; various temples in Pittsburgh; his relationship with Rabbi Freehof; discussion of the concept of Jewish law; views about homosexual rabbis and congregations;
[T3S5] discussion of Lillian Freehof's Braille program and her writings; his literary involvements, including editions of two series of Rabbi Freehof's sermons; discussion of Rabbi Freehof's book review series begun in 1934 at Rodef Shalom; his involvement with the book review series after Rabbi Freehof's retirement; some history of Rodef Shalom Temple;
[T4S7] discussion of the restoration of Rodef Shalom; his service as JCRC chairman with Lillian Friedberg; views about Lillian Friedberg; his service as president of the American Jewish Committee; discussion of some congregants at Rodef Shalom;
[T4S8] changes in the perception of Rodef Shalom; views about Judaism; his efforts to help Israel before the War of 1967; views about Israel.
Subjects
Economics; Economists; Freehof, Lillian S. (Lillian Simon), 1906-; Freehof, Solomon Bennett, 1892-; Jews--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh; Synagogues; University of Pittsburgh
Birth Date
1925
City
Brooklyn, NY
Profession
Economics professor
Work
University of Pittsburgh
Length (hours)
4
Interviewer1
Braun, Howard
Interviewer2
Kimball, Harold
Indexer
Reynolds, Jacqueline
Collateral Materials
Box 102 FF 55
Identifier
ais196440.232
Rights
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh