Respondent
Perlman, Mark
Interview Date
February 6, 1996
Abstract
Respondent. Economist, born 1923.
[T1S1] Respondent provides detailed background information: gives names of grandparents, parents, extended family; comments on grandparents arrival in America; their occupations; describes father's academic achievements; recalls childhood memories and family life while growing up; reflects on Bar Mitzvah and religious education.
[T1S2] blank
[T2S3] Respondent. continues background information; gives date of marriage to Naomi Waxman, 1953 and adoption of daughter, Abigail, 1958; comments on Abigail's high school years and higher education; mentions her marriage, divorce and remarriage. Respondent adds to childhood stories; gives names of grandchildren; comments on mother's death at young age; notes father's remarriage to mother's sister 6 months later, gives details: situation with step mother difficult and rigid. Respondent compares health care in early years to present, notes lack of antibiotics before World War II.
[T2S4] Respondent relates family stories, discusses life in Madison, WI, restrictions due to observance of Orthodox Judaism and conflicts in non-Jewish neighborhood; describes feelings: "outsider and loner": socially isolated, preferred being with adults. Respondent reflects on lack of athletic ability: embarrassed; elaborates on friendship with Max Caducean, director, Hillel Foundation in Madison; explains enlistment in Army after argument with stepmother, 1942, served as Italian interpreter, sent to various Army bases, gives names.
[T3S5] Respondent continues discussion on Army service; reflects on return to University of Wisconsin: work with father; explains offers from Yale and Princeton for graduate work: accepted Princeton, economics assistant; comments on association with notable people. Respondent describes meeting Albert Einstein and John Von Neumann: elaborates; reflects on relationship with Leon Trilling, professor of rocketry; gives background on Trilling's father, Oscar: had factory in Bialystok.
[T3S6] Respondent adds information on Albert Einstein and John Von Neumann; discusses experiences encountered in his generation; notes bribery occurred in some European countries in order to escape: gives lengthy explanation.
[T4S7] Respondent reflects on arrival in Pittsburgh, 1963: chairman department of economics, University of Pittsburgh; arrived during Chancellor Litchfield's leadership: "dictator and tyrant"; Respondent brought to upgrade quality of economics at university; comments on community, Jewish life and synagogues. Respondent describes and discusses Chancellor Wesley Posvar and interim Chancellor, Dr. David Kurtzman; explains dispute with ROTC, notes student revolt 1967-1968,
[T4S8] Respondent details Jerome Rosenberg's appointment as dean of the school of arts and sciences: forced Respondent. to resign over budget control; explains "things have to be my way"; notes becoming unpopular and discusses his suggestion to receiving a "chair": not approved: elaborates. Respondent discusses university's need to revise University Senate: gives details comments on need to expand undergraduate program.
[T5S9] Respondent continues discussion from previous tape; comments on Duquesne Club: Jews not permitted to join, only able to dine; comments on University Club; begins lengthy discussion on Hillel Foundation on campus: gives names of people involved; notes most synagogues make little effort towards adolescents; purpose of Hillel: to make Judaism an intellectually exciting experience; notes Orthodox Jews define their own background.
[T5S10] Respondent adds to discussion on Hillel: should be culturally respective and religiously appropriate; reflects on Jewish studies program at University of Pittsburgh: focus on criticism of Old Testament and richness of its interpretation. Respondent begins lengthy discussion of Beth Shalom Congregation: reflects on accepting Presidency, comments on Rabbi Moshe Goldblum and Cantor Moshe Taube: elaborates on their personalities and problems encountered; sheds light on circumstances involving Rabbi Goldblum's retirement and personal problems; provides information on disaffiliating with Beth Shalom Congregation.
[T6S11] Respondent continues lengthy discussion on problems encountered with Beth Shalom Congregation: isolation and exclusion and resignation; explains relationship with Rabbi Stephen Steindel; relates Biblical story of Jacob and Esau; comments on Tree of Life Synagogue: weak service and weak sermon.
[T6S12] Respondent discusses impact Judaism has on American civilization; notes reform Judaism stresses social reform, orthodox Judaism has continuity of past and conservative Judaism is superficial observation; mentions Judge Benjamin Cardoza: questions Jewish judgments in his law. Respondent describes position with United Jewish Federation; discusses Montefiore Hospital: wanted to serve on board, meeting with Irwin Goldberg, purpose: to suggest how Jewish hospital should be run, received no response. Respondent provides information on boards where he serves: not easy board member, not interested in Jewish social world.
[T7S13] blank
[T7S14] Respondent discusses uniqueness of Baltimore Jewish community; Assistant Professor at John Hopkins University; gives background on John Hopkins of John Hopkins University: highly intellectual and reverence for learning; discusses John Hopkins Hospital.
Subjects
Economics; Economists; Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955; Judaism; Kurtzman, David; Litchfield, Edward H. (Edward Harold), 1914-1968; Posvar, Wesley; Synagogues; Beth Shalom Congregation (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Trilling, Leon; University of Pittsburgh; Von Neumann, John, 1903-1957
Birth Date
1923
Profession
Economist
Work
University of Pittsburgh
Residence
Squirrel Hill
Length (hours)
6.3
Interviewer1
Braun, Howard
Interviewer2
Saul, Ruth
Indexer
Berger, Betty
Collateral Materials
Box 105 FF 3
Identifier
ais196440.346
Rights
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh