Herbert Levine talks of his father's family and their immigration from Russia to the United States because of the religious persecution against the Jewish people. The family initially settled in the lower East Side of New York City. Levine's father, who had apprenticed with a jeweler in Russia, was able to find work in a jewelry factory, but left due to ill health. He then went to an agriculture school and upon graduating went to work on a farm for a short period of time. He then settled in Syracuse, NY where he went to work for his brother as a jewelry salesman. Being able to several languages was advantageous in his sales. During World War I he entered the armed services and was wounded. As a result he received a Purple Heart. Upon returning home he settled in the Triple Cities where he became a successful jewelry salesman because he spoke several languages. He later married and opened a jewelry business in Endicott, NY. Levine briefly talks about his mother's family. Levine also discusses his own life. He attended Syracuse University and after graduation went to work for Kay Jewelers until he was drafted during the Korean War. After the war ended he went to work at his father's jewelry business, Ruby and Sons, which he continued to operate after his father's death. He later sold his interest in the store to his brother and then purchased Van Cott's. He discusses his life in Endicott, as a child and as an adult, the Jewish population in Endicott and the organizations he belonged to.
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Levine, Herbert -- Interviews; Broome County (N.Y.) -- History; Immigrants; Endicott (N.Y.); Russians -- United States; Jews; Syracuse University; Korean War, 1950-1953; Jewelry trade; Jewelry stores
Ruby and Sons; Van Cotts
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About this Collection
The Broome County Oral History Project was conceived and administered by the Senior Services Unit of the Office for the Aging. Funding for this project was provided by the Broome County Office of Employment and Training (C.E.T.A.), with additional funding from the Senior Service Unit of the National Council on Aging and Broome… More