Dorothy Grad: Jewish Families in Kerrisdale
Date:Sunday, August 4, 1996
ID:Digital audio recording #: 19.96-05
NR: Where were you living, what place was it?
DG: We were living in Kerrisdale, when I, just before I was born family moved there. I believe they were down on 13th Avenue, around 13th and Oak, I never, I don’t the address, I don’t know where the house was but before I was born we moved up into Kerrisdale on Marguerite Street, 45th and Marguerite. There were a handful of Jewish families in the area at that time. And when I say a handful, really just a handful. There was the, let’s see, who were our neighbours…There was the Diamond family but, his name will come to me, he died such a long time ago. His wife was Bessie Diamond. And they had, their company was National Spice. He packaged spices. And gave jobs to all the kids out of school and to a lot of the, you know, newcomers to town. They had two kids, Marsha lives in Toronto now, I can’t remember her married name but she’s an actress and Allan lives in Los Angeles. That was one family. There was the Brotman family, their daughter Tobi, Tobi Lenett still active in the Jewish community here. There was the [Marlov] family, their daughter, I can’t remember…See a lot of these I can’t remember a lot of the names. But there’s also, there’s Charlie Korsch, who in the early days, he was a manufacturer. I believe he made hats and then he went into real estate, his two sons Len and Stan are still in Vancouver, very prominent in the Jewish community.
So this was, and there was the Beck family, Ralph Beck. I think he was in the automotive industry, died young. Their three kids no longer live here so there’s no vestige of that family here, yet one of the sons Stan Beck, I believe he, and I think Howard too, they went into law and they became professors, prominent professors at Eastern universities. There was Sam Albert, Sam and Ida Albert. I believe he was in wholesale jewellery and their family isn’t here anymore. So there were, there was a big group that, and these were the ones that started the Congregation Beth Israel.
NR: So these were all the...Okay, this was Congregation Beth Israel, these weren’t people living up around Kerrisdale?
DG: This was the Ker…Yeah.
NR: These were the Kerrisdale…
DG: These were the, yeah, these were the Jewish families that lived in the Kerrisdale area. There was the Chess family, there were I think two brothers. And I believe the [Zion] family. So there were quite a few…and the Browns. There were quite a few. In our growing up.
NR: And you went to which school?
DG: I went to Magee. Went to Maple Grove for my elementary. Then at that time Point Grey was a junior high so went there for seven, eight, and nine. And then went to Magee for, to complete high school.
NR: And was it difficult being such a small number of Jews, was there ever any issue?
DG: I never found it difficult. I never found it difficult at all.