Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Alice Abrams Siegal Interview
Narrator: Alice Abrams Siegal
Interviewer: Becky Fukuda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 13, 2004
Densho ID: denshovh-salice-01-0011

<Begin Segment 11>

BF: Now, were you, was your family fairly involved in the Jewish communities that were... I mean, in the Jewish community activities? Whether they're the synagogue activities or...

AS: Yeah, I would say that they were fairly involved. It wasn't a whole lot going on, but yeah, they did participate, they always belonged to a synagogue, and then we have a Jewish Federation here, I'm not sure of the age. I should know how old it is but I don't remember. And I, I know it was in existence when I was at least a young teenager, because I think both of my parents, or maybe it was just my father, would help to collect, go to Jewish business to help collect money, and the money was used then to help -- it must have been during my high school years -- help Jews locally. And that's when they started what is now called the Jewish Family Service, was actually, they're celebrating their hundredth anniversary. So there was something, of course, it was, usually it was volunteers. I mean, at that time, it was volunteers working there to help the Jews, the immigrants. And oh, let's see. Oh, yeah, so, and then money was also raised for Jews in other parts of the world that were having a very difficult time. So I know they, they were involved in that sort of thing, and, but they didn't have a lot of time, so it isn't like today, we have so many things going on. We have so many Jewish organizations, and so it was a lot less, but they were involved.

BF: 'Cause your father had his own, own business.

AS: Right.

BF: And he was running that, and your mother was taking care of the family, family.

AS: Right.

BF: And so, and then you at some point started working in your father's shop, right, also...

AS: Right. Yeah, when I was, I guess it was my first year in high school, freshman through senior, and my father was saying, I heard him complaining to my mother that, see, my older brother was supposed to help out in the store after school, and he says, "Oh, I can't count on Dave, he's just, he's never there. He's always visiting with the guys next door," that was the shoe repair shop, "and it makes it so hard." And I felt so sorry for him, and I thought, "Well, at thirteen, not roller skating or bicycle riding after school, and I found out I didn't have piano talent, and so I stopped my lessons and so I said, "Well, Dad, I'll come down." Well, of course, he didn't want to hear about that, and I said, "I can do it." I had already been helping, I'm sure I'd already started helping him with the bookkeeping, and so he finally consented, and so I started, yes, I'd go there after school every day and then all day Saturday. But I learned a lot; it was a good experience, and I got to really know my father, and that's what made it very, very precious, because he put in very long hours.

BF: He was always there.

AS: Yeah.

BF: And the shop was downtown?

AS: It was on First and Seneca, right next to... well, now it's a big building with stores. Yeah, it was down there.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.