Respondent
Soroker, Gerald
Interview Date
1993
Abstract
Respondent. executive vice-president of Pittsburgh United Jewish Federation (UJF), born 1913.
[T1S1] Respondent talks about childhood; born in Boston, Mass., mentions siblings; religious life, education; orthodox household; what Boston was like during childhood. Respondent recalls attending Harvard during depression; aid offered to students during depression; positive treatment of Jews; studying anthropology; paying tuition. Respondent lists jobs right after college. Respondent explains how he got into social work; attending University of Chicago. Respondent tells stories about his studies in social work; graduating at 29; moving back to Boston; working as caseworker. Respondent mentions wife Eleanor Perlove; their courtship, marriage in 1942. Respondent details his enlistment in Navy, duties, stories,
[T1S2] amusing anecdotes, assignments during WWII. Respondent explains how he got job in Chicago UJF's youth division; working at National Council of UJF in Dallas; Jewish life in Dallas; adopting son, Robert. Respondent recalls politics in Dallas; Respondent supported Henry Wallace. Respondent mentions moving to Syracuse, NY, to become executive director of UJF; Jewish community in Syracuse. Respondent recalls job with Cleveland's UJF in 1956; life in Cleveland; training volunteers; support he received.
[T2S3] Respondent mentions how Howard Metzenbaum, Mory Seltzman helped Cleveland UJF invest money; how people have helped him in his career, personal life. Respondent talks about where Pittsburgh UJF gets its money; reaction of members when Respondent joined Concordia Club. Respondent recalls decision to close Montefiore Hospital; lists reasons why hospital was closed; setting up Montefiore Foundation; funding Jewish Center. Respondent describes problems fund raising for Israel; mentions Rodef Shalom's part in fund raising; communities reaction to Six Day War, Yom Kippur War; how Dr. Stanley Hirsch, wife went to Israel to help during War.
[T2S4] Respondent discusses how community leaders', rabbi's negative feelings toward Israel made it difficult for UJF fundraising. Respondent mentions pro&#8209;Israel Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver. Respondent recalls meeting with Leon Falk, attorney Louis Caplan about UJF funding day schools. Respondent talks about Martin Luther King riots; what district was like after fires. Respondent discusses problems in UJF; dealing with hostile members. Respondent mentions his book <i>Fundraising For Philanthropy</i>. Respondent talks about his leadership development program which recruited new leaders.
[T3S5] (Tape distorted) Respondent compares involvement of rabbis in Cleveland with Pittsburgh. Respondent discusses problems with Rabbi Goldblum's synagogue Beth Shalom; controversy surrounding move of Jewish Community Center. Respondent talks about UJF's ties to community; UJF's involvement with Jewish Home for Aged.
[T3S6] Respondent describes his conflict with Aharon Kessler who headed School of Advanced Jewish Studies (SAJS). Respondent recalls how Saul Weisberg tried to merge Hebrew Institute and SAJS; UJF relationship with both institutions. Respondent talks about <i>Jewish Chronicle</i>; Albert Zecher, Albert Bloom's work with newspaper; its relationship with UJF; why chronicle decided to charge for subscriptions. Respondent recalls how UJF's role has changed in Pittsburgh. Respondent talks about second career as consultant to UJF, United Way. Respondent mentions people who were involved with Pittsburgh UJF.
[T4S7] (Tape distorted) Respondent elaborates on experience as consultant to 8 UJF's; why studies were performed; how he was hired for studies; wife's involvement; his duties; how his plans to improve cities UJF's were implemented. Respondent details problems, solutions at UJF's in Philadelphia, Buffalo.
[T4S8] (Tape extremely hard to hear) Respondent continues talking about Buffalo. Respondent describes problems at Dallas's UJF; how they started missions to Israel. Respondent mentions his study at Ft. Lauderdale, how they are still struggling.
[T5S9] (Tape hard to hear, music) Respondent compares how United Way, UJF raise money; Respondent observed that United Way doesn't individualize its donors. Respondent mentions other studies he did including Pittsburgh Day School.
Subjects
Bloom, Albert W.; Caplan, Louis; Cleveland (Ohio); Falk, Leon; Goldblum, Moshe; Hirsch, Stanley A.; Hospitals; Montefiore Hospital (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Jewish Home for the Aged (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Jewish newspapers; <i>Jewish chronicle (Pittsburgh, Pa.)</i>; Kessler, Aharon; Metzenbaum, Howard M.; School of Advanced Jewish Studies; United Jewish Federation of Buffalo; United Jewish Federation of Chicago; United Jewish Federation of Dallas, United Jewish Federation of Ft. Lauderdale; United Jewish Federation of Philadelphia; United Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh; United Jewish Federation of Syracuse; United Way of Allegheny County (Pa.); Wallace, Henry A. (Henry Agard), 1888-1965; Weisberg, Saul; Zecher, Albert
Length (hours)
4.25
Interviewer1
Weiss
Interviewer2
Braun, Howard
Indexer
Frisque
Collateral Materials
Box 106 FF 34
Identifier
ais196440.447
Rights
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh