This interview for Beth Tikvah and the Columbus Jewish Historical Society is being recorded on August 10, 2015 as part of the Beth Tikvah and the Columbus Jewish Historical Society oral history project. This interview is being recorded at 6121 Olentangy River Road, the home of Beth Tikvah. My name is Abby Goldbaum and Rose Luttinger is assisting us with the recording. I am interviewing Patti Price, a past president of Congregation Beth Tikvah.
Interviewer: Patti, how far back can you trace your family?
Price: I can trace back to my grandparents of my mom and dad’s side.
Interviewer: What can you tell us about them?
Price: My grandparents on my mom’s side–Emanuel Baskin. He was married five times. He was a furrier. His first wife, who my mom is named after, died when my mom was like 14. Then he married several other women. We were very close to him growing up as children. My grandparents on my dad’s side — my grandfather died when I was a young girl, probably four or five. I do remember going to the nursing home to see he and my grandmother on my father’s side. I really didn’t get to know him very well because we were really young.
Interviewer: Did you all live in the same city and where was that?
Price: I grew up in Washington D. C. until my parents were divorced and then I moved to Bethesda, Maryland. My grandfather on my mom’s side lived in New York. Then he came to Washington, had a business in Washington. Then we he retired he moved to Florida and spent probably the last thirty years in Florida. My dad’s parents lived in the D.C. area. That’s where he was born and raised.
Interviewer: Were they born in this country?
Price: No, my mom’s parents were born in Russia, I’m sorry, my mom’s grandparents were from Russia but her parents and my dad’s parents were from the states.
Interviewer: You gave us the name of your paternal grandfather, right, or the maternal but not the paternal.
Price: Emanuel Baskin is my grandfather and my dad’s parents are Minnie and Simon Kimche.
Interviewer: What are your parents’ names and where were they born?
Price: Just to go back, one more thing. My dad’s parents, Minnie and Simon Kimche, they had a grocery store. Where as my mom’s parents, he was a furrier. My dad’s parents had a grocery store in D.C. My mom’s name is Leila Kimche McGrath. She married my dad who was Aaron Kimche and they were married thirteen years and then she got a divorce and then she married Dorn McGrath. So she kept her married name and her new married name. Leila Kimche McGrath is my mom. Dorn McGrath was my mother’s second husband and my mother’s first husband was Aaron Kimche. My father is Aaron Kimche, that’s my father.
Interviewer: How did they earn a living?
Price: My dad was a dentist and my mom was a homemaker for the first thirteen years till she got a divorce. She did a lot of volunteer work though while raising us. Then she went to work for some different organizations. She worked for Brandeis. She worked for American Science of Technology. She worked for FAPE which is an organization that raises money to put art in museums all over the world. So she had a lot of different jobs while we were growing up. FAPE stands for Foundation for Art and Preservation in embassies.They preserved art in embassies all over the world. She did this for about ten years, it was one of her jobs. She was on a committee. First they found art to loan to the embassies and then they ended up investing in art for the embassies, buying it and investing in it so it would appreciate. Anyway she had a lot of different things that she was involved in. Right before she died, she was in charge of getting art, elephants and donkeys, because she was in D.C., to put in different locations. They auction them off, like we have the Buckeyes here in Ohio and Dublin has the corn, so they had donkeys and elephants for the Democrats and the Republicans. She was in charge of doing this fund raiser and then raising money for the city, for D.C.
Interviewer: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Price: Yes, I have one brother and two sisters. My brother’s name is Scott Kimche and he lives in Park City, Utah. Then I have a sister, Daryl Kimche who lives in Atlanta, Georgia. My other sister is Jan Grossman and she lives in the Bethesda, Maryland area.
Interviewer: You lived in Washington D.C. you said?
Price: Uh huh, I lived in D.C. and then we moved to Maryland when the schools got bad, yes.
Interviewer: What were your interests as a teenager and then a young adult?
Price: I played tennis. I was in school clubs. I was involved in my youth group at our temple. We enjoyed snow skiing, cooking. I also tutored Hebrew when I was in high school through our congregation.
Interviewer: And what was the congregational name?
Price: It was called Adas Israel in Washington, D.C.
Interviewer: Was that Orthodox?
Price: No, it was Reform.
Interviewer: It was Reform?
Price: But understand, I grew up, when my parents were married, my dad was Orthodox and my mother was Reform. We belonged to an Orthodox temple for the first thirteen years. We started Hebrew School and Sunday School there. When my parents got divorced, we switched and we joined a, I’m sorry, it was a Conservative temple. Adas Israel was Conservative. We switched when I was thirteen so I missed having a Bat Mitzvah because I missed the time. That’s why I decided later last year, two years ago, to join the B’nai Mitzvah class here at temple and had my Bat Mitzvah. That was one of the motivating reasons.
Interviewer: Do you have a Jewish name, Patti?
Price: Yes, Penina.
Interviewer: And were you named after someone?
Price: Yes, I was named after my grandmother. Pearl, that was my mother’s real mother, her biological mother.
Interviewer: What is your full name? I don’t think I asked you that.
Price: Patrice Lynne Price.
Interviewer: Could you describe your Jewish background a little bit and your education? You talked about it a little bit, but if you could elaborate.
Price: We went to Sunday School and Hebrew School growing up and then when we switched temples I continued
Sunday School and then I got confirmed too, at the Conservative temple.
Interviewer: Did you say you were in Youth Group as well and what was that called? Do you remember?
Price: USY. I went to Israel when I was in tenth grade with our USY group. I went to lots of camps growing up, not very many Jewish camps but a lot of other camps that were non-denominational. My Jewish background, I lived in a very Jewish area. A lot of my friends were Jewish growing up in Bethesda and Chevy Chase, Maryland. A lot of my closest friends were Jewish growing up so I was very lucky.
Interviewer: Where did you attend high school?
Price: I went to Bethesda Chevy Chase High School in Bethesda, Maryland.
Interviewer: Where did you attend college?
rice: I went to I.U. (Indiana University) in Bloomington for a year and then I went to Indianapolis and went through a dental assisting program and a dental hygiene program. I got my Bachelors in Public Health and Dental Hygiene. So I am a Dental Hygienist by profession.
Interviewer: How did you meet your husband?
Price: We met at the dental school in Indianapolis. I was in dental hygiene school and he was a first year dental student. We were introduced by a roommate of mine from undergrad at a party and then we started dating.
Interviewer: Do you have children?
Price: Yes, three.
Interviewer: What are their names and where do they live now?
Price: I have three children. I have a daughter, Mindy Price Weily. She lives in Worthington. She just bought a house in Worthington Hills. Jeffrey Price is my second child and he lives in New Albany. He’s in the Columbus suburb. Johnny Price is my third child and he is in Columbus. I’m very lucky, I have all three children in Columbus.
Interviewer: Some of them became dentists, didn’t they?
Price: Yes, Mindy is a Pediatric Dentist and she is in our practice. She has one daughter who’s nine months and she has a baby on the way, due in January. Jeffrey is an Orthodontist and he is practicing in Gahanna. He has a baby that’s four months. Johnny is in dental school. He’s a third year. We have a lot of tradition and a lot of dentists in my family. All my siblings are dentists. Both of my sisters are dentists and my brother is a dentist. My dad obviously was a very strong influence but we had to do the work and follow through. It’s been great for everybody so I can’t complain.
Interviewer: You said you had grandchildren. What are their names?
Price: My granddaughter, Mindy’s daughter, her name is Leigh. She’s named after my mother, Leigh Rae Weily. Her first name is after my mother. Her middle name, Rae, is after her father’s mother who passed away. Jeffrey’s son is Beaux Gabriel. The first name is not after anybody, they just liked it. Gabriel is named after my father-in-law, my husband’s father. He was Abe, but he was Gabriel in a book that he had written before he passed away. It was his fiction name. It was a really good book. My father-in-law is a holocaust survivor. It was great to have my grandchildren named after our relatives.
Interviewer: What is the name of the book that he wrote?
Price: He wrote three books. (received after interview) His first book is called “Memoirs of a Survivor, My Life Under Nazi Occupation.” The last one he wrote is called — I’ll have to get you the names. It’s on Amazon, under Abe Price.
Interviewer: He’s quite well known in Naples (Florida)..
Price: Yes. His third book, I can’t think of it. I’ll have to e-mail it to you.
Interviewer: Would you like to tell us a little bit about your father-in-law and his volunteer work in Naples?
Price: My father-in-law and my mother-in-law were survivors of the Holocaust. My mother-in-law didn’t lecture to schools but my father-in-law lectured to churches and middle schools, high schools, colleges and did a lot of work before my mother-in-law got sick. She was sick for a couple of years. After she died, he went back to doing it. He wrote books, the three books. Then he lectured for two years afterwards. He really talked to veteran groups. He was very busy. He lectured at least once or twice a week. It kept him stimulated and doing such wonderful things to keep people knowledgeable so that this world war would never be forgotten. We hope that my husband, when he retires, will pick up from where he left off and do this in his retirement. I have to tell you one more thing. My father-in-law also started the Holocaust Museum in Naples, years ago, and was very active in fund raising. They brought a box car over. One of the families sponsored a box car from Europe.
Interviewer: I remember seeing that every time we’d go by.
Price: He was involved in the Holocaust Museum and his congregation as well, down in Naples. They were involved in the community a lot.
Interviewer: What is the name of your husband, his full name?
Price: Sidney David Price.
Interviewer: Was he born in this country?
Price: Yes, he was born, he’s one of three boys. His older brother was born in Germany till he was five years old. Harry was the second child and Sid was the third child. He was the youngest of the three. Harry and Sid were born in the states. They were sponsored by a family when they wanted to come to the states. After the war ended, they really wanted to go to Israel but they couldn’t get to Israel. They had to limit the number of people that they could take in so they ended up coming to the states. They were sponsored by a family in Goshen, Indiana, and lived there for a few years and then moved to South Bend, Indiana, once he took a job with a shoe store. They had a big shoe factory. Their family had a huge shoe factory in Europe before the war. Then it was taken away. He knew shoes really well. That’s why he decided to stay in that business here. He worked for Gallenkamp. You remember Gallenkamp shoes. Actually the owner of Gallenkamp shoes was the Schiff family from Columbus, Ohio. Interesting when we moved here we got to meet them.
Interviewer: Where in Europe were the Prices from?
Price: (Received after the interview) Abe Price, Sid’s dad, was born and raised in Kielce, Poland. His mom was born and raised in Sosnowitz, Poland. After the war they lived in Mittenwald, Switzerland, then went to Italy and then back to Germany.
Interviewer: Somehow they got caught up in this, being in Switzerland. They must have traveled.
Price: They did. My father-in-law escaped five camps. They both ended up going back to the same city where they were from and they got married within two weeks.
Interviewer: I thought your father-in-law was from Poland.
Price: They are from Poland, don’t ask me the city. They lived in Mittenwald.
Interviewer: They went to Switzerland at wars end?
Price: Yes, but they traveled in different countries before they ended up back in Poland where they were from. His mom was in a slave labor camp and his dad escaped five times and I forget the last time. One book is called “Tamed By an Angel.” One book is called “Din.” “Din” is the latest one. “Din” is a really interesting book because his dad was one of sixteen men that went after the Nazis after the war and they kept the secret. They went after the Nazis and they did a lot of bad things to the Nazis and they kept it a secret for sixty years. Then they wrote this book. So the names in the book are different names so they wouldn’t go after the real people. Of course my in-laws have both died now. “Din” was the third book. “Tamed by an Angel” was the second book.
Interviewer: (Rose) I read the first book.
Price: The first book is in the library here (at Beth Tikvah). It’s short, it’s about 60 pages.
Interviewer: I know I deviated from this because your family is such an interesting family. Back to the grandchildren, you gave me their names. Now we’re going to go on to Beth Tikvah and Columbus. How did you and Sid happen to come to Columbus?
Price: He went to dental school at IU, where we met, and then he did a residency at Ohio State in Pediatric dentistry from 1981 to 1983. Then he associated with a practice in Worthington. Then we decided to stay and we bought in to the practice. Then we moved the practice to where we are on Lazelle Road. We were on Worthington-Galena for five years, then we moved the practice up to Lazelle so we’ve been there since 1983,
so 32 years. We’ve been in our current practice for 27 years and then we were on Worthington-Galena, downtown Worthington, for five years.
Interviewer: So did that motivate you all to move to the north end?
Price; Yes, so we lived on the east side during his residency. We lived off of Main and McNaughten for the two years that he did a residency. Then I got pregnant and it was time to look for a house. We also wanted to be closer to our practice. We didn’t want to have to drive a long distance so we moved to Worthington. I used a realtor from Beth Tikvah. I contacted the temple and used a realtor. I joined Sisterhood. We joined the temple and we used a realtor who helped us look for a house. I can’t think of her name.
Interviewer: (Rose) Maxine Silverman.
Price: Exactly, Maxine Silverman and you guys know her from all the years. She was awesome. We built a house and we’ve been in the house for 32 years. Now we’re finally going to move.
Price: Yes, we’re going to built off of 315 in a new development. We’re going to build a patio home so, just ready for a change. All my kids are out of the house, ready for a different style and a different home.
Interviewer: (Rose) North on 315 or further down, south?
Price: Just north of Worthington Hills. It’s just north of the Hills. My daughter is in the Hills so I wanted to stay close to her and I wanted to stay in the area. It’s off Manning Parkway. Its just south of Lochloman Estates. It’s a new area that’s being developed. We’re excited. Its going to be great.
Interviewer: When did you decide to become active at the temple?
Price: We joined the temple. We had children. I always belonged to the Sisterhood. I always volunteered, different committees like fund raisers and helped the Sisterhood. I didn’t really get involved till later on I was Membership Chair. I’ve been on the Board, I counted 14 years. First I was the Membership Chair person. Then I did Youth Activities. Then I did Fund Raising for four years. Then I was First Vice President, then President, then Past President. So exactly the year that I started on the Board, is that what you asked me?
Interviewer: That’s alright. I think I was Social Action (Chair) when you were Membership. It must have been in the 90’s, like the early 90’s I think.
Price: It was a long time ago. I know Rhonda Moskovitz is the one that got me involved and asked me to be on the Board. She was membership chairman before me. Then I took her position.
Interviewer: Describe how you remember Beth Tikvah at the time of your presidency. It wasn’t that far back.
Price: You know I was President from 2011 to 2013.
Interviewer: Right. What was the biggest thing going on?
Price: When I became President, it was a transitional time with the new Rabbi. We had just hired a new Rabbi. It was really positive and also it was our building project. It was the time when after Rabbi Kellner started here we just decided. Everybody was ready to do something with all this money that we had. We had been such a roller coaster for 12 to 14 years with things going up and down, whether we were going to stay, move, come back. It was a time when we had to do something. The congregation was, people were upset and they wanted something to happen. So that’s when we decided that it was time to make plans and to create plans. John Stefano had worked so hard on so many architectural drawings with the architect. During my presidency was the time when we fund raised and created a plan and then we put it into action. We broke ground and we got the sanctuary built and finished during my two years as President. It was incredible. That was a huge accomplishment during my term.
Interviewer: What, if any, were the challenges that you faced as President?
Price: The challenges were when we had a new Rabbi. A new Rabbi brings changes and the challenging thing is we had a lot of changes in administration. So I was involved in that. We had Suzanne (our Temple Administrator) retire so we had to hire a new Administrator. Then we decided that we weren’t going to keep the Director of Education after a year so we had to search for a new Director of Education. Then our financial person retired. So I had a lot of changes and I had to deal with a lot of the administrative personnel and the staff changes.
Interviewer: What services would you say the congregants were asking for the most, or in need of the most, that prompted the building campaign that you were involved with?
Price: I think people had donated a lot of money and we needed to do something with the money. We needed to do something as a congregation to get people in a positive mood and get people feeling good about being here, really. The new Rabbi brought so many wonderful programs and ideas to our congregation so it was a really good time. Even though they say when you hire a new Rabbi, you should never do a building project. Well, we just had to do it. It was the right time for our congregation and it worked out great. Does that answer your question?
Interviewer: Um hum because certainly with the added space there are more programs that can be put into place and people are happier walking into the congregation that way, where they can do more.
Price: Now we have a social space where people can sit down and mingle and hang out after a program and feel comfortable. We have a new administrative wing so we were able to expand that. The new sanctuary is much more inclusive, having continuous seating plus it was needed really. Having the social space is just wonderful. We can rent the space. We can have more activities. We can have Bar/Bat Mitzvahs here, weddings here. People are starting to utilize the space for life cycle events.
Interviewer: Which is wonderful.
Interviewer: Now would you like to just talk for a moment about the recognition wall because I know you worked on that after your presidency?
Price: Right, that was my main project during my past presidency. I co-chaired that with Evie Freeman. It took us a year and a half almost, about a year and a half to create this. It was wonderful. We had a great committee. We met weekly and we had a great committee. We worked on the design and then all the details that went with it. We used Columbus Sign Company who were wonderful to work with. We gathered all the information, all the families that donated. We wanted to make a wall that was inclusive, included everyone. There was a committee that established a policy for placquing and it got approved years ago. We just decided its time. The Board approved it and its time to recognize people that have donated to this project. It was over 14 years. You know, its not for me. Its for my grandchildren, my kids when they come in. Its nice for people to come in and see who’s been involved in the congregation all these years and who’s donated. But there were a lot of families that have donated years and years before this. Its just that it wasn’t approved at that time to do placquing. We wanted to do something that was in good taste, blended in carefully and not bold. We wanted it to be very natural. The colors, we wanted the colors to match with the wood and the carpet and the light. We took so much into consideration and we had a unanimous group that worked together on this project. It was very rewarding and it was wonderful to see it go up after a year and a half of working on it.
Interviewer: (Rose) How many people were on the committee?
Price: We were five, well we were six. John Stefano was on it but it was hard for him to get to all the meetings. Five of us were regulars at every meeting. Sometimes, if I was out of town or Evie was out of town, it was great to have a co-chair because we covered each other. We could keep going. It was Evie and myself, John Stefano, Ernie Mendel, David Binkovitz and Susan Levin. It was a great group.
Interviewer: Good, good. Now looking ahead, what are your thoughts about what you envision Beth Tikvah of the future being and what do you think about the newest initiative to add on?
Price: The building project, oh I think its wonderful. I’m so supportive of it. We’ve been wanting the JCC in our temple. They’ve been wanting to be with us for the past 25 years. They’ve been looking for a home for 25 years. What better time to join up two wonderful organizations that will help the Jewish people and the Jewish kids in the next generation of children. I will be, my family will be influenced by this a lot. I will have my grandchildren, my daughter’s kids, who live in Worthington, will be coming to the JCC. and going to pre-school here and then they will be joining so both programs compliment each other and its such an asset to the north side and the Jewish community up here. We’re thrilled. It think that will be wonderful for the community. It will help everybody.
Interviewer: If you wanted to leave your children and grandchildren with some wise words, what would be either your advise or the values that you’d like to impart?
Price: I want them to stay close to our family, support one another, have fun together, work hard, celebrate Jewish holidays. I also want them to give back to the community. I would like my grandchildren raised in a Jewish home, have Jewish friends, and be connected to a congregation. Right now, none of them belong yet. I’d like them to get involved in whatever congregation they choose. I want them to be good citizens, help the Jewish community, and to support Israel.
Interviewer: Wonderful. Do you have any other things that you want to talk about?
(Rose) We didn’t ask her about what event stands out in your memory.
I thought it was the temple and the expansion.
Price: Right, believe me that’s a big thing, but I have some other things to add to that. The Rabbi’s installation, I was in charge of. It was just a wonderful, wonderful weekend. We had Rick Recht (Jewish rock star) perform a community concert that weekend. Also, Rabbi Kellner got a Cantor. His good friend from California came. That was just extraordinaire. That was wonderful the first year. We also had Dan Nichols (a popular and influential Jewish musician) do a dedication. When we dedicated the sanctuary, we had another community sing-a-long and family event that was just wonderful. We’ve never had those, but that was during my two years of being President. The ground breaking of the new sanctuary, the ground breaking was wonderful and the dedication of the sanctuary, after it was totally finished. Also, during my past presidency when we acknowledged the dedication wall. Because I co-chaired that, it was a big thing that I was involved in. Another event that I was involved in was selling the land at Smokey Row and Snouffer. I took the initiative. I was in charge of getting a realtor, going through the contract, getting
offers and then following through with a vote, getting the congregation to vote to sell that land. I’ll never forget that we had three inches of snow on that day. Suzanne (Parr) called me and said “What are we going to do?” I said “We’re not cancelling this meeting. We are coming to temple and we’re going to vote ” Low and behold we had more than a quorum for that vote. Every time I needed a vote, I was very influential in getting the whole congregation called so we could get people here to vote. That was very important and that was very effective. I still carry that on because, you know, I want people to be here and be involved and know what’s going on and be supportive of it. We had great turnouts. Those were a lot of the highlights. Of course the sanctuary being started and finished during my two years of presidency was amazing. (After the interview, Patti remembered that she didn’t mention the following highlight). She was very involved with getting Ohev Israel, a Newark congregation, once 80 families now 18, that was closing and looking to join with another temple. They interviewed all the Reform congregations and decided to join us, the farthest away from them. Patti met with the families numerous times and encouraged Rabbi Kellner to help them with life-cycle events that they needed. This was very important. When they joined us, we received their funds, their Torahs, their Commemoration Board, NerTamid, some of their history, and the involvement of the families who decided to join us, not all 18 families joined, but a substantial number.
Interviewer: (Rose) Do you have any other involvements in the Jewish community besides Beth Tikvah?
Price: I’m a member of Hadassah. I’m not an active member, but I join every year. I’m involved in the JCC. We’ve been members of the JCC for years. I’m taking a break. I’ve put in lots and lots of time for the congregation, which I love. I still love and will still always be involved. I am going to co-chair with Evie some kind of display after this next project. We will do something in the education area.
Interviewer: It’s wonderful. What are your present hobbies or interests now that you’re trying to relax a little bit.?
Price: I still play tennis. I play tennis and golf a lot. Pickleball is something we just took up. We joined Worthington Hills and that’s big there. I love crafts, beading jewelry, reading, and of course when I’m not working, I want to be with my grandchildren. It’s fun to be a grandparent now. Its the best in the whole wide world. So anyway, I am busy and we’re going to be building a house. That’ll keep me busy the next six months.
Price: We’re excited. I have lots of interests and hobbies that keep me having fun and doing some fun things.
Interviewer: That’s wonderful. On behalf of the Columbus Jewish Historical Society (and Beth Tikvah) I want to thank you for contributing to the Oral History Project. This concludes the interview. Thank you very much.
Transcribed by Rose Luttinger