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Jewish Heritage: The Oral Histories - Cuba Family Archives

MEMOIRIST:           SHIRLEY BERKOWITZ BRICKMAN

INTERVIEWER:       NANCY POLLAND

DATES:                   NOVEMBER 12, 2002

                               NOVEMBER 21, 2002

LOCATION:             ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Transcript (PDF)

Biography

Shirley Berkowitz Brickman was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1935.  Her parents, Irving and Rose Berkowitz, owned a grocery store.  Shirley grew up in their home above the store and also worked in it.  She attended public schools and received her religious education in Sunday school.  Her family belonged to Ahavath Achim congregation.  She married, Stanley Perry Brickman, an oral surgeon in Atlanta.  They have three children: Jeffrey, Lori and Teresa.  Shirley has been active in many organizations in Atlanta including Hadassah, the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, and the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum where she is a docent.

Scope of Interview

Shirley talks about her ancestors and the extensive influence her parent’s had on her values, her work ethic, her religious perspective, and her views on raising her own children.  She reflects on her life in Atlanta as a child and how the city and the Jewish community in particular have changed during her lifetime.  She discusses meeting her husband, dating, their early marriage, the development of his career as an oral surgeon, and their life together.  Shirley talks about the influence of their travel during several Jewish Federation mission trips and how she became more observant, keeping a kosher home, observing the Sabbath, and eventually moving from Ahavath Achim to attending Beth Jacob, the Orthodox synagogue not far from her home.  She talks lovingly about her children and grandchildren.  She also discusses her work with various Jewish organizations over the years including the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum.

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