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Jewish Heritage: The Oral Histories - Cuba Family Archives

MEMOIRIST:             ABRAHAM ALHADEFF  

INTERVIEWER:        SANDRA BERMAN

LOCATION:               ATLANTA, GEORGIA

DATE:                        NOVEMBER 18, 2008

Transcript (PDF)

BIOGRAPHY

Abraham Alhadeff was born in 1919 in Atlanta, Georgia, to Estrella Benator Alhadeff and Solomon Alhadeff.  His mother was from the Isle of Rhodes.  His father was from Turkey.  They came to the United States around 1910.  Abraham is one of six children, who were all born in Atlanta.  Abraham’s father owned a shoe repair shop in Atlanta.  The family spoke the Ladino language.  The family had been members of Congregation Or VeShalom since 1915.  His father was one of the organizers.  His brother Charlie was the first bar mitzvah performed by Rabbi Joseph Cohen.

Abraham served in the United States Navy during World War II.  Abraham and his three brothers were in military service at the same time.  After the war, Abraham went to John Marshall Law School for his law degree and attended Georgia State University for his accounting degree. 

Abraham and Ruth Reicher married immediately after he returned from service.  They have four sons: Barry, Irvin, Steve, and David and many grandchildren and great-children. 

SCOPE OF INTERVIEW

Abraham Alhadeff begins the interview talking about his parents who came to Atlanta around 1910 from the Isle of Rhodes and Turkey.  He discusses his father working in the shoe repair business in Atlanta.  He reflects that Sephardic Jews were the majority of men who were in the shoe repair organization in Atlanta.  He talks about working at his father’s shoe repair business during summers and selling ice cream there.  He relates that he grew up speaking the Ladino language at home, but that the language is no longer spoken in the community or by the younger generations.  Abraham recalls Rabbi Joseph Cohen at the Congregation Or VeShalom. 

Abraham entered the United States Navy in 1942.  He discusses his training at the Naval Academy in Norfolk, Virginia.  He recalls hurricanes and typhoons and several military campaigns in the Pacific.  He describes an ordinary day on the ship, the USS Colonial.  Abraham mentions his involvement with the Jewish War Veterans. 

Abraham met his wife, Ruth Reicher, when he was stationed in Annapolis, Maryland, at the Naval Academy.  He reflects on how he corresponded regularly with her while overseas and set a marriage date immediately after returning home.  He talks about their four children, Barry, Irvin, Steve, and David.

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