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Jewish Heritage: The Oral Histories - Cuba Family Archives

MEMOIRIST:                              FRANCES WEINTRAUB

INTERVIEWER:                         SANDRA BERMAN

LOCATION:                               ALBANY, GEORGIA

DATE:                                        MARCH 10, 2011

Transcript (PDF)


Frances Sterne Weintraub was born in Albany, Georgia, in 1928 to Carolyn Gershon Sterne and Lee Melville Sterne, Sr.  Her great grandparents were the first Jewish people to settle in Albany in 1845.  Her mother is from Atlanta.  Her great aunt opened a school for girls in Albany, called the Henrietta Sterne School.   Frances’ grandfather had a grocery store in Albany, and her father was in the food brokerage business.  Frances has Confederate veterans in her family.  

Frances’ family attended Temple B’Nai Israel, a Reform synagogue in Albany, where she also attended Sunday school.  Her family observed the High Holy Days at the temple.  Her family did not have the Sabbath meal at home because her mother worked in the family business, but they attended Friday night services.  Frances’ father conducted the Passover service at home.   

Her mother had household help with cooks and nurses for the children.   Frances was an English major at Newcomb College in New Orleans, where she joined the AEPi sorority.  She met her husband Joseph Weintraub when she worked in Atlanta.  They moved to Albany and worked in the family business, the Sterne Company.  Frances and Joseph have three children. 


Frances Weintraub begins by talking about her family history as the first Jewish settlers in Albany in 1845.  She discusses her great grandmother’s school for girls and describes all the women in her family as influential teachers.  She talks about growing up during the Great Depression and her mother working in the family business. 

Frances talks about her relationships with family members.  She speaks fondly of Rabbi Landau and recalls attending Sunday School.  She remembers celebrating holidays at Temple B’Nai Isral and her father conducting Passover service at home.   She describes her family’s cooking traditions during Passover.

Frances talks about growing up in Albany and her close relationship with Lizzie Keen, who helped raise her.  She remembers going downtown as a young child and the Albany Movement during 1961.  Frances talks about attending college in New Orleans and working in Atlanta, where she met her husband, Joseph Weintraub.  She talks about returning to Albany to work in her family’s business.   She discusses the Great Flood of 1994 in Albany.  She highlights her son-in-law’s involvement and contributions in the city as an architect.    

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