Respondent
Ruben, Sol H.
Interview Date
1998
Abstract
Respondent Businessman, born 4/1/1915.
[T1S1] Respondent born in Columbus, Ohio; provides names of parents: European background, dates of their arrival. Respondent describes early life in Columbus, father's men's clothing business, mother homemaker, notes mother educated herself in Columbus; gives names of siblings. Respondent notes parents involvement in many organizations, father very charitable, mother only girl among 8 brothers; details various business dealings of uncles and other family members. Respondent comments on move to Pittsburgh. after birth of daughters, Barbara and Judy, notes difficulty in finding home; established retail men's store downtown Pittsburgh: Stylebrook; previously called Brooks; comments on move to different location and becoming American Discount Corp.; first discount operation in Pittsburgh. Respondent reflects on Pittsburgh. Government employees purchase of clothing sent to White House. Respondent explains purchase of several commercial buildings under name: B and J; daughters' names. Respondent reminisces on holidays spent in Columbus, stores closed for high holidays, family dinners spent together; Bar Mitzvah in orthodox synagogue.
[T1S2] Respondent notes "melamed" (teacher) came to house to prepare him, delivered speech in Hebrew and English; comments on mother: most influential on Respondent; provided good Jewish education, mentions attending Jewish camp near Columbus; discusses depression years, failure of bank in Columbus. Respondent discusses meeting first wife and marriage in 1942; repeats names of two children: education, their spouses, careers, grandchildren, gives names of second wife's children and grandchildren, education and careers. Respondent comments on first wife's death: 1959, met second wife, Ethel, married 1962, purchases of various homes and move to present location: 1973; attendance at Beth Shalom Synagogue.
[T2S3] Respondent discusses volunteer work with Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and Hy Kimmel, executive director, comments on their long friendship of 35 years, lists various offices held, recounts monies raised and number of new members enrolled; describes work with Israel Bonds and founding of B'nai Zion Hospital in Israel, continues his support. Respondent comments on visits to Israel and it's continuous growth, notes newly developed areas due largely to Israel Bonds; mentions participation in United Jewish Federation (UJF) missions to Israel. Respondent comments on long association with Jewish Home for Aged and positions held, notes amount of money he raised. Respondent discusses position in Jewish Family Assistance Fund and services provided by group: very discreet; explains various needs of people receiving assistance, comments on outstanding work of Dr. Laibe Kessler; outlines additional work with various other groups. Respondent reflects on 35 year association with Rodef Shalom Temple, notes vacations in Sarasota, FL.
[T2S4] recounts political contributions and recipients; friendships acquired, comments on his good fortune. Respondent describes plaques and awards received.
Subjects
Abrams, Solomon; American Discount Corporation; Business; Industries; Columbus (Ohio); Community Day School (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Hebrew Institute; Hospitals; B'Nai Zion Hospital (Haifa, Israel) ; Israel; Bonds--Israel; Jewish Family Assistance Fund (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Jewish Home for the Aged (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Jewish National Fund; Kessler, Laibe; Kimmel, Hy; Pittsburgh Hearing and Speech Center; Stylebrook; Synagogues; Beth Shalom Congregation (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Rodef Shalom Congregation (Pittsburgh, Pa.); United Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh; Yeshiva Achei Timimim (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Zionist Organization of America
Birth Date
1915
City
Columbus, OH
Profession
Men's clothing store
Occupation (father)
Clothing Business
Length (hours)
1.75
Interviewer1
Schwartz
Interviewer2
Karelitz, Bess
Indexer
Berger, Betty
Collateral Materials
Box 105 FF 38
Identifier
ais196440.389
Rights
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh