Zelkowitz, Milton
Interview Date
February 25, 2000
Respondent salesman, born 1919.
[T1S1] Respondent provides background information: father Louis, born in Czechoslovakia; arrived with family in United States during World War I; describes conditions on ship: difficult and uncomfortable, reflects on experience. Respondent discusses family's arrival with seven children in Braddock, PA, had family there; notes Respondent's age at time: one year old; parents unhappy with apartment. Respondent mentions father's work as sexton of Agudath Achim Synagogue in Braddock; explains synagogue still open for high holiday services under direction of Eugene Litman; describes family holiday celebrations, social activities at Jewish Community Center in Braddock: center of Jewish life in active and vibrant community; provides name of rabbi: Rabbi Joseph Shapiro, later became rabbi of Poale Zedeck Synagogue. Respondent gives names of schools attended and involvement with Young Judea and AZA, mentions parents unable to provide college education.
[T1S2] Respondent notes addition of two children born in United States; gives names of 8 siblings; recalls taking commercial classes in high school and first job with Westinghouse Corp. as clerk; entered Army and upon return, attended Robert Morris College on GI Bill of Rights. Respondent discusses work in accounting for Star Furniture Co.; repeats information on Braddock: describes business area and theaters; notes factories would not employ Jews. Respondent explains loss of businesses in Braddock: overtaken by shopping malls, many families moved to Pittsburgh; begins discussion on Navy service as petty officer in communications: 1944-1946, sent to Great Lakes area, then Hawaii and Japan. Respondent describes meeting Reva Wilkofsky: their courtship and marriage, gives names of two children.
[T2S3] Respondent reflects on work as salesman: Prudential Insurance, 28 years, retired; discusses sabbath and religious observance and membership in B'nai Emunah Synagogue; volunteer work with Kosher Meals on Wheels, participation in Jewish Community choir; leads exercise class at Forward Shady apartments and holiday services in McKeesport synagogue: past 15 years. Respondent reminisces on life: lack of better education and income. (shows family photos and sings).
Braddock (Pa.); Social service; Sabbath Observance; Synagogues
Birth Date
Length (hours)
Leyton, Hope
Adelson, Ruth
Berger, Betty
Collateral Materials
Box 107 FF 32
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