This is March 18, 1997. This is Naomi Schottenstein. I’m interviewing Frank
Nutis and we’re at Frank’s place of business which is Nutis Press. Where are
we located Frank?

Nutis: 3540 E. Fulton Street in Columbus.

Interviewer: Okay. Frank, we’re going to do a little background information
here. Tell us where you currently are living.

Nutis: 2790 Dale Avenue, Columbus.

Interviewer: Okay. We’re going to get a little background of your family.
Who is your spouse?

Nutis: Thelma “Boots,” maiden name was Swartz.

Interviewer: And who were her parents?

Nutis: Joe and Rachel Swartz.

Interviewer: And they’ve been deceased for quite some time?

Nutis: Yes, 1967.

Interviewer: Both of them?

Nutis: Both of them.

Interviewer: Okay. We’ll come back to that a little. And who were your
parents Frank?

Nutis: Isaac and Molly Nutis.

Interviewer: And when was your father, when did he pass away?

Nutis: Dad passed away in 1945 and my mother in 1969.

Interviewer: Okay. And who are your children Frank?

Nutis: Sheila Cutler is the oldest.

Interviewer: And her husband?

Nutis: Michael. They live in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Interviewer: And who are their children?

Nutis: They have four, Andrea, Cynthia, Phillip and Michael. I mean Phillip
and Matthew.

Interviewer: Matthew, right. Okay. And your next child?

Nutis: Next is Ira. And he married Laura. They have three, Sam, Joe and Sarah

Interviewer: Okay. And your third child?

Nutis: Third child is Jodi. Married to Eddie Karmia. And they have one little
baby, Alyssa.

Interviewer: Okay. Let’s get a little background on your parents, your
family. Who were your grandparents?

Nutis: My grandparents were Harris and Elizabeth Block. He came to the United
States in about 1895 and settled in Burlington, Vermont. My father’s parents
came from near Odessa. They came to Burlington, Vermont also in 1906.

Interviewer: Do you know what brought them all to Burlington?

Nutis: My grandfather had to run away in the middle of the night. Something
must have happened in Lithuania and he left a wife with four children, and
pregnant. He came to America and he sent for the wife with five children.

Interviewer: Wow! And what was the reason for settling in Burlington though?

Nutis: Had a relative there.

Interviewer: That’s how it used to be. They’d go to wherever there was

Nutis: Yeah.

Interviewer: already established.

Nutis: Uh huh.

Interviewer: Uh huh. What did your mother’s family do in Burlington? What
kind of business were they in or what was their occupation?

Nutis: He was a peddler and I guess he did some retailing.

Interviewer: Did he just peddle from a wagon or did he have a store?

Nutis: He had a wagon. At the turn of the century, he’d go out in the
country, leave on Sunday and come back on Friday.

Interviewer: Oh.

Nutis: With pots and pans and things that the farmers might want.

Interviewer: Yeah there was a need for those things. Before department
stores, wasn’t it?

Nutis: Uh huh.

Interviewer: And your father’s family, what was their occupation? How did
they make a living?

Nutis: They were always in the printing business. They were in the printing
business in Europe. My grandfather was a writer and the sons became printers and

Interviewer: Uh huh. Frank, we’re going to go back now to family
establishments. You have siblings. Can you tell us a little bit about your

Nutis: Well I have an older sister Ethel in Milwaukee who was a social worker
in the school system for years and retired. And I have a sister Helen in
Columbus who is retired.

Interviewer: Who is Ethel married to?

Nutis: Norman Gill.

Interviewer: And they have children, do they?

Nutis: They have three daughters. Daughters are married and they all have

Interviewer: Okay. And Ethel lived in Columbus for a number of years didn’t

Nutis: Oh until she was about 19. She’s been gone a long, long time.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Was she actually born in Columbus?

Nutis: No she was born in Vermont.

Interviewer: Uh huh. So she didn’t live here that long?

Nutis: No. She came to Columbus when she was maybe a year old.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: And she lived here till she graduated college at the age of 19.

Interviewer: Did she go to college here in Columbus?

Nutis: At Ohio State. Got a Bachelor’s.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: Got her Master’s at Western Reserve.

Interviewer: Uh huh. And your sister Helen, has she always lived in Columbus?

Nutis: Yeah. She was born here, always lived in Columbus.

Interviewer: Uh huh. What did she do for a living?

Nutis: She was in the printing business for years. And then she retired and
did volunteering work after that.

Interviewer: Uh huh. So she’s basically retired now?

Nutis: Uh huh.

Interviewer: Can you tell us about some of the other relatives that you might
remember from Columbus or Burlington, some of your uncles, aunts, cousins?

Nutis: Well…

Interviewer: Do you have relatives in Columbus now?

Nutis: Well I have cousins. There was a David Block who just passed away not
too long ago. Was not married and left about $8,000,000 to various institutions,
Torah Academy, Beth Jacob Synagogue, and Heritage House. Other cousins were…

Interviewer: Now wait, David didn’t live in Columbus though did he?

Nutis: He lived in Circleville.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Well that was quite a coup for Columbus, wasn’t

Nutis: It certainly was.

Interviewer: How about any of your other relatives?

Nutis:… Oh there was Herbie and Macy Block that started Sun

Interviewer: And are either of those brothers living?

Nutis: Macy is. Herbie passed away about 15 years ago.

Interviewer: Okay. Do you remember any of your other aunts or uncles?

Nutis: Yeah they were nice people, part of the community. Took care of their

Interviewer: But they were actively involved?

Nutis: Were not actively involved in anything.

Interviewer: They weren’t?

Nutis: No.

Interviewer: Frank, tell us a little about your education. Where were you

Nutis: Ohio State University, Bachelor’s.

Interviewer: What elementary and grade school, high school did you go to

Nutis: Livingston Elementary, Roosevelt Junior High and South High School.

Interviewer: Well that seems to be a package deal for a lot of…

Nutis: Well we all lived on the other side of the track.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Okay. What was the other side of the track, Frank?

Nutis: Well that was the old Jewish community on the east side. Not too far
from synagogues, not too far from the butcher shops and everything you needed to
be comfortable as a Jew.

Interviewer: Can you pin that down for us in geographic location, the street
area, street areas that it might encompass?

Nutis: Well…

Interviewer: Off of Livingston?

Nutis: I guess Livingston might have been a radius that people lived north
and south of Livingston. They lived close to where Children’s Hospital is now.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: 18th Street which bordered Children’s Hospital was
primarily Jewish. Carpenter Street was the next. On the other side of Livingston
was Wager and Ann and 18th Street. They were all Jewish. But it
extended out as far as maybe Wilson Avenue or Oakwood Avenue. Most of the people
walked, at least on Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur, and they were within a radius
where they could walk.

Interviewer: How far north do you think the area might have included? Was it
north of Parsons Avenue or, no that’s west.

Nutis: That’s west.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: It probably went up as far as Grant Avenue. South it went down to what
we might call German Village. The other way it went as far as Bryden and

Interviewer: Can you kind of give us a picture of, for instance, where the
butcher shops might have been at that time?

Nutis: Butcher shops were, let’s see, there was Harry Center. He was on
Fulton Street near Washington. That seemed to be the big one. Then there was Syd
Mendelman on Livingston near Parsons. Farther down there was Katz the butcher.
Later became Haas. There was a Mrs. Brier had a butcher shop. She, Godofsky had
a butcher shop on, Martin’s father had a butcher shop on Parsons Avenue south
of Livingston. Goldmeier came in later. He had a butcher shop on Main and Ohio
or Main and Champion.

Interviewer: So it sounds like there were several butcher shops, kosher
butcher shops operating all at the same time?

Nutis: Yeah there was as many as six at one time. But they were all small. I
think all they really did was eke out a living. Each one had his own customers.

Interviewer: Well they, there was a need for that. They probably serviced
other communities as well too.

Nutis: It could have been but I was President of Vaad Ho-ir years ago and I
remember we had to send the meat to various butcher shops and now I can tell.
Some of them merely made a living. One shop today probably does more than the
six of them did combined.

Interviewer: Yeah well the geographic picture and the need certainly have

Nutis: Yeah.

Interviewer: through the years. What were some of the other religious
services that were accommodated in those areas besides the butcher shops? Were
there delis?

Nutis: Yeah there was Kroll’s Deli on I think Parsons and Fulton. There
were the bakeries. There was Luper’s Bakery and Schwartz Bakery on Mound and
Washington, next to each other. There was, Melmed had a fish market across the
street from the bakery where live fish would run around in the tub.

Interviewer: Oh that was real, made into gefilta fish, I’m sure.

Nutis: That’s right.

Interviewer: What about the synagogues? How many synagogues were in those
areas at that time? Well first of all, were all the synagogues within those
areas we had just talked about?

Nutis: Yeah they, Agudas Achim was the mother synagogue on Washington and
Donaldson. Then Beth Jacob…

Interviewer: Was Agudas Achim Orthodox?

Nutis: Yeah. The Beth Jacob broke off and they were about a block and a half
or two blocks west on Donaldson.

Interviewer: Do you remember about what time that might have been?

Nutis: No I’m not sure of the year. And the Ahavas Sholom broke off of the
Agudas Achim and they were just about oh, three or four doors north. Tifereth
Israel broke off of Beth Jacob and I think their first synagogue was called The
First Hungarian Synagogue and that was on Parsons Avenue not too far away.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: So they were all there. The Reform was on Bryden near 18th,

Interviewer: What was…

Nutis: They called it the Bryden Road Synagogue or Temple Israel.

Interviewer: Now it’s Temple Israel?

Nutis: Yeah I guess, well that was an… the original name, the first
one was on Main and Third and at that time it was called Temple Beth Israel. And
then they dropped the name of “Beth” which is…

Interviewer: So it sounds like there were fragmented synagogues, fragmented
from Agudas Achim but became well established then as time went on?

Nutis: Oh yeah.

Interviewer: Do you remember some of the rabbis, Frank from early days from
the different synagogues or?

Nutis: Well I remember as a child it was Rabbi Werne was at the Agudas Achim
and then after he left Rabbi Hirschsprung came and after Hirschsprung was Rabbi
Rubenstein and now Rabbi Ciner. At the Beth Jacob was Rabbi Greenwald who was
there for a number of years. And he was followed by Rabbi Pupko for a short time
and then Rabbi Stavsky. There was one rabbi there before Greenwald for a short
time. He left Columbus and he moved to Akron. I can’t think of his name right

Interviewer: Uh huh. And what about, do you remember any from Ahavas Sholom?

Nutis: Ahavas Sholom had rabbis from time to time. They didn’t stay really
too long.

Interviewer: That was a smaller synagogue, wasn’t it?

Nutis: Yeah it was small. They had Rabbi Rabinowitz was there. He was from
England. And Rabbi Jacob Baker. And Rabbi Finkle and Rabbi Julius Baker who
built the present synagogue.

Interviewer: Which is on Broad Street now?

Nutis: Yeah, yeah. And Rabbi Volinsky who moved on to Israel. Oh I forget.
Then there was a, I forget the next rabbi’s name. I should know. He lived in
my house. And then Rabbi Chin and now Rabbi Rosenberg.

Interviewer: Were there some cantors of note that you remembered through the

Nutis: Yeah, yeah. Agudas Achim has Rabbi Anshul Friedman who was a great
cantor in the days when they had cantors. He moved on to Chicago. And after him
came Cantor Gellman who was there for 35 years or better. A sweet man. A good
voice and after him we had a rabbi came from Russia…. remember his name.

Interviewer: A cantor.

Nutis: Yeah a cantor. Uh, Wiernikovsky. And now, then we had Cantor Yehudah
Shifman and then when he left, he sent his brother in, the present cantor.

Interviewer: Who is…

Nutis: Yeah.

Interviewer: Baruch Shifman?

Nutis: Yeah.

Interviewer: Uh huh. What about holidays, Frank, how were they celebrated in
the community? I’m talking about when you were a youngster. Was there a lot of
involvement in synagogue attendance and celebrations and so forth as families?

Nutis: Yeah it was a great group that worked around. In the old days, the
Agudas Achim on Washington and Donaldson and many people lived in that
neighborhood. They could put a light on in the evening and 200 people would show
up. There was no TV or very little radio at that time so anything that went on
in the synagogue, they’d have a crowd.

Interviewer: So it was kind of a social center as well. . . .

Nutis: It was a social center, yeah.

Interviewer: and information exchanged and…

Nutis: Yeah, yeah. And there was a place too where many of them,
first-generation immigrants were getting… formal language.

Interviewer: We’re going to kind of leave the synagogue and religious
atmosphere for just a short time. We’ll come back to that but I want to talk a
little bit about the business that you now have Frank and how you started as a
youngster, what you did to earn money as a young man and how you developed into
the present business you have.

Nutis: Well I was born and raised in the printing business. My father had a
printing plant and when I came back out of the Army in 1945, he had passed away
and my sister was running it and I worked with her for four years and then I
started out in ’49 on my own and we built the business.

Interviewer: Well I know you didn’t start where you’re at right now in
terms of the physical facility. Can you give us a picture of how that developed?

Nutis: Well we started real small and my wife helped me and…

Interviewer: Where were you located?

Nutis:… Where the State University is now on Washington and Grove. We
started there. We were there for a year in a small, little place and then we
moved to a little bit bigger place on Jenkins in the south end. And every year
we would put up an addition and then in 1971 we moved to our present location.

Interviewer: And tell us a little bit about your business as it is right
here, what kind of printing do you do, how many people are working for you, a
little, I know you have some inter- esting machinery here.

Nutis: Well we have in the neighborhood of about 150 people. We do specialty
work. We don’t do any commercial printing. It’s all with national accounts.
We do offset, flexigraphic printing and silk screen. We do possibly have some of
the newest and the latest technical equipment. We are one of the largest banner
manufacturers now in the country and…

Interviewer: Banner?

Nutis: Banners and we make a good living.

Interviewer: Thank goodness.

Nutis: Yeah.

Interviewer: Thank goodness. Do you remember what you did as a real little
boy? I mean did you have responsibilities at home? Did you…

Nutis: Yeah it was in the time of the Depression and I sold magazines, Saturday
Evening Post
, Liberty, Ladies Home Journal and oh, I made about a dollar and a half a week and I’d bring it in and put it
on the table and pretty soon it was gone.

Interviewer: So it, your parents…

Nutis: I never would, my parents wouldn’t take it from me.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: But…

Interviewer: But it became part of the family… .

Nutis: It became…

Interviewer: contribution?

Nutis: That’s right.

Interviewer: Uh huh. So you didn’t have the need like kids do now to spend
it right away and you knew how to earn it but…

Nutis: We knew how to earn it and…

Interviewer: took it easy with spending?

Nutis: We knew how to spend it but spending was pretty much limited. We
understood what was going on, that the Depression was pretty bad and…

Interviewer: Sure it was. Frank can you tell us a little bit about your
social life as a youngster, you know, what kind of organizations were kids
involved with, where did young- sters meet?

Nutis: We had Schonthal Center at the time on Rich Street. That was,
pre-dated the present Center. We had Boy Scouts and we had Young Judea. They had
a garage in the back where we played basketball. They had a second floor where
we held dances (Ed.: third floor) and that was pretty much through high school
until we went to college.

Interviewer: Were there a lot of activities when you were in high school? Did
you have, what was your life like in high school?

Nutis: Well.

Interviewer: Were there a lot of Jewish people or…

Nutis: Yeah we all got together. It was a lot of kids. We had the normal
football and basketball high school games. We had many a high school activities
and kids all got together.

Interviewer: Uh huh. What were your hobbies or interests as a youngster?

Nutis: Well a stamp collector and I guess like everybody else we played ball
and kept busy.

Interviewer: I know, talking about hobbies, we’re here at your place of
business and I know you have some interesting hobbies right here at your office.
Can you tell us about some of the interests you have?

Nutis: Well we raise birds. One of the girls, one of the ladies working in
the office got me involved and she takes care of it. We started mating love
birds, no first we started mating parakeets. Then after we had about 40
parakeets and gave them to every- body that wanted them, we started with love
birds and now we’re on cockatoos and we’ve got a group of those and well we
find it’s real interesting on mating them and how they take care of each
other. They don’t need a psychiatrist or a doctor or anybody to tell the male
what he has to do to feed the female and the female to feed the babies.

Interviewer: Interesting study on life, isn’t it?

Nutis: Yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: No outside interference. They just know how to go about it. I
know also that you have other activities here at the office, study.

Nutis: Yeah every Thursday we have a study group, about 25 or 30 people come
for lunch. This is, we’re finishing our fourteenth year. We go every week
Winter and Summer except if there’s a holiday like Thanksgiving or Yom Kippur
falls on Thursday, we don’t want to compete with it.

Interviewer: Yeah I can understand that. You don’t want to ruin that lunch

Nutis: Yeah that’s right. And we bring in various speakers and the group is
good, there’s a lot of questions fired back and forth and…

Interviewer: You’ve got some steady followers there, don’t you?

Nutis: Yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: Before we, I’m trying to get all this information here Frank.
You’ve had such an active, interesting life and trying to bring all this
together here. Before we get too far away from the time line here can you tell
us anything about your, during World War II what were your activities? How were
you involved? Were you in the military?

Nutis: Yeah I was in the Air Corps a little bit over three years.

Interviewer: What were your activities in the Air Corps? What did you do?
Where were you stationed, where…

Nutis: I was stationed in San Antonio. I enlisted at Patterson Field which is
now Wright-Patterson Field in Dayton after I graduated college and then I was
transferred to Stinson Field in San Antonio, Texas. They were opening up a
printing plant and they gave me the job of building it, putting equipment in and
training the people and I stayed there until the Stinson Field was closed and
then I went into the Chaplaincy and I was an Assistant Chaplain at Kelly Field
and then I was discharged.

Interviewer: Frank how did you get your training for to have the ability, for
instance, to be a Chaplain and your interest, you extreme interest, in Judaism?

Nutis: Okay. I wasn’t a chaplain by any means. When the Field didn’t have
a Chaplain and I had the job of doing it. I had a, my father was always
interested in Judaism as my mother was and I had a rebbe that probably
had more influence on me than any professor at the University did.

Interviewer: Who was that?

Nutis: Moshe Cohen and we studied every day Winter and Summer and I
liked the man…

Interviewer: But you didn’t have to be prodded into that? That was
something you enjoyed?

Nutis: I enjoyed it, yeah. And I followed it up afterwards.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Can you tell us about some of the activities that your
parents were involved in? I know they were community people as well.

Nutis: The, my dad was very active in the synagogue and the Hebrew School and
was President of the Hebrew School, was Chairman of the Board of Agudas Achim. I
think, if I remember, he ran the Sunday School, was head of the Sunday School
for 15 or 16 years. He was active in an organization that they called the Achnahsis
in that time where poor people would come through the city and they
had a place for them to sleep and to eat. He was active in that. I think he was
active in one of the first insurance organizations that they had, when the
people came over they were concerned about burial.

Interviewer: Came over from Europe?

Nutis: From Europe, yeah. They were concerned about burial, having enough
money for it and they had an insurance organization at that time and he was very
active in that.

Interviewer: Do you remember what the name of that organization might have

Nutis: There was a couple of lodges. One of them was the McKinley Lodge and I
guess they must have got the name “McKinley,” it was probably formed
when he was President of the United States.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: My mother was very active in the Sisterhood and she was a founder of
the, what is now known as the Heritage House. She was head of the, President of
it. And then when they split and they made the Heritage House and the Auxiliary,
she became President of the Auxiliary for an entire decade.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Where did the Heritage House originate, the organization
that is now Heritage House?

Nutis: It started on Woodland Avenue in a big home that, very interesting
story about that. It got started because the women at that time would get
together on Saturday after- noon and I guess talk over all the local gossip. And
at that time there were a couple of people that were sent to Cleveland to the
old folks’ home. And there was one man in one particular who was sent out to
the County Home which used to be on Refugee and Alum Creek.

Interviewer: So that wasn’t Jewish-oriented at all?

Nutis: No it wasn’t and the big thing that they talked about was this was a
very religious man who never ate any unkosher food in his life and never broke
the Sabbath, was sent out there and they figured if that was the case then they
ought to start a home. They went to what was known then, and this, before the
Federation there was another organization. I don’t remember the exact name of
it. It’s part, I think it’s on their letterhead yet. In any event they went
there and they got turned down as far as starting a home. People said they didn’t
need it. So these women went ahead and they started to sell raffle tickets and
raised money. Then they went back again and they took a survey and the survey
found there wasn’t enough people that they could ship them off either to
Cincinnati or Cleveland. So they went ahead and they bought this home and the
women took care of it.

Interviewer: Do you know approximately what the year was of that?

Nutis: Must have been in the early 50s.

Interviewer: Do you remember any other people that were involved in the
organization of the house?

Nutis: Yeah, yeah, yeah. There was Mrs. Finkelstein, Mrs. Goodman, Chikie

Goodman, Mrs. Speisman. There were a number of women and I think that they
should be noted with a plaque because they took on the entire community. If the
cook didn’t show, one of the women went down and did the cooking. They were
there to sew the buttons. They were there to play Bingo with them. They were
there to see that the laundry was carried out. They did everything they could
and it didn’t take long that the 12 beds were filled and then these people who
had said that it wasn’t worthwhile now became active. And the first Heritage
House was built with 50 beds. And the interesting thing about it was…

Interviewer: You mean Heritage House where it is now?

Nutis: Right where it is now.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: And the interesting thing about it is that when they came to open the
new Heritage House with the 50 beds and they had the first tea, the women who
were in charge and did all the work up to then, except for a few, were not even
invited to come. It was a whole new game that took over.

Interviewer: You mean they were just overlooked, just kind of…

Nutis: On purpose. They didn’t meet the standards of some of the, they
spoke Yiddish and they just didn’t meet the standards of the new people.

Interviewer: So they were kind of looked down upon?

Nutis: That’s right.

Interviewer: Well that’s too bad.

Nutis: And nothing was ever done, nothing was ever done to honor and to look
for the founders and to give them the Kavod and respect that they should
have had by really working hard and raising the money on their own, doing all
the work and coming there several times a week. There was no professional to run
it. They ran it and they did a good job.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: And they did it all because of their heart.

Interviewer: Yeah ’cause it was really from the heart. It wasn’t a
prestigious thing at that time. It was a definite need and…

Nutis: Oh yeah. All you had to do, that’s right.

Interviewer: Uh huh. So they certainly weren’t looking for recognition and
. . . .

Nutis: No I’ve always felt that, of course I guess that’s natural. That
happens in most organizations. New people come in and they don’t care about
who was there before.

Interviewer: Well that’s what time does unfortunately.

Nutis: Uh huh.

Interviewer: Let’s see. Is there any more that you can tell us about
Heritage? It sounds like we’ve got a pretty good background on Heritage House
and the start of that organization. Are you actively involved in Heritage House
right now at all, you or your wife?

Nutis: Well my wife is. She’s a former President of the Auxiliary and she’s
there quite often. I know right now she’s busy getting the Purim Party ready.
She does that. We, for years have had, after my mother passed away, shortly
after she was President of the Auxiliary, the Heritage House up to then used to
rent their linens. And then they decided to put in machines to wash and iron and
they were going to have their own linens. So they made the Linen Shower in
memory of my mother and we’ve sort of kept that up every year.

Interviewer: So through that, those funds, then new linens are bought? Is
that the idea?

Nutis: Yes that’s right, that’s right. And it provides much more money
than what the cost of the linens were.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: The family for years was donating enough money that paid for all the
linens and all the money that came in from the other people I guess got mixed up
somehow in some of the politics in Heritage House and I guess they went into the
General Fund instead of the Auxiliary Fund.

Interviewer: Hmmm.

Nutis: And I don’t want to get into that.

Interviewer: No, well but it’s still an annual event the… Let’s
talk about some of the other organizations Frank. I know that you were quite
involved with, well let’s start with the Columbus Hebrew School.

Nutis: Well the Columbus Hebrew School was originally on Rich Street between
Wash- ington and Grant and it was there where it was close to where the Jewish
community was. But over the years the Jewish community moved farther east and
the only way they could take the children was by a long bus ride, pick them up
at the schools and bring them back. And that didn’t serve very well.

Interviewer: Now was this a separate building or was it part of…

Nutis: It was a separate building, it was a separate building. It met
originally five days a week and then it, except for Friday and Saturday. And
then it took off, it went to four days because Sunday was competing with the
Sunday schools. But it was a four-day school. The school finally moved to, I don’t
remember the name of the school. The school was right close to what’s now
Driving Park. Anyway we moved into a public school and then when the Jewish
Center opened on College Avenue, the school moved in there. I was President of
it here at that time.

Interviewer: Was it called “Columbus Hebrew School?”

Nutis: It was called Columbus Hebrew School. It was Orthodox oriented and I
guess when, at that time, the Reform temples, the one on the north end did not
exist, they didn’t have anybody coming to school and I guess when they did
come I was out of it already. That’s when the Hebrew School stopped and the
Kol Ami started which was a different direction altogether.

Interviewer: So what used to be the Columbus Hebrew School…

Nutis: Columbus Hebrew School.

Interviewer: developed into Kol Ami?

Nutis: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: Are you still involved in…

Nutis: No I’m not involved any more.

Interviewer: Okay.

Nutis: But then I moved over to Torah Academy and there were four of us that
founded the Torah Academy.

Interviewer: And who were those?

Nutis: That was Rabbi Rubenstein, Dr. Marvin Fox, Harry Gilbert and myself.

Interviewer: About what year was that?

Nutis: Well let me tell you a little history of it. It’s, let’s see, it’s
got to be started roughly about 44 years ago. We started the school in, nobody
really wanted it. That was the time when big separation between the church and
state. Everybody had to go to public school.

Interviewer: Well that was in the early 50s then?

Nutis: Yeah, yeah, yeah. We had 18 children. We were ready to start. And
three weeks before school started, one of the teachers who was at Torah Academy
got a job in Pittsburgh and he moved to Pittsburgh. The problem was his wife was
supposed to be our first grade teacher.

Interviewer: And who was this?

Nutis: She was licensed in Hebrew as well as in English.

Interviewer: Who were they?

Nutis: Can’t remember his name except that he’s a relative, we can find
out. He’s a relative of Pearson Press.

Interviewer: Okay.

Nutis: They left three weeks before school was supposed to start. Well we
couldn’t find a teacher so we just couldn’t start. I think this is all, if
we go back and get out the Chronicle you probably could find it.

Interviewer: Okay.

Nutis: The next year we were going to start the school and we hired Mrs.
Zisenwine, Mrs. Gabriel Zisenwine. She was originally from New York. She’d
gone to, she had all the credentials for Hebrew as well as for English. We had
it all set that the class would start at the Jewish Center. They were going to
get one classroom. And just before school started one of the members, I guess it’s
in the minutes, asked for a special meeting because he said that this was
un-American, unconstitutional, that you couldn’t have a separate school and if
we would, he would drop out of the Jewish Center. And we didn’t get the room.
And Mr. Zisenwine was in business. He didn’t want any community problems.

Interviewer: Was that Gabriel?

Nutis: Gabriel.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: So his wife…

Interviewer: I’m trying to remember his wife’s name?

Nutis: Yeah, his wife could, their son became a rabbi at Tifereth Israel
later on.

Interviewer: David, David Zisenwine.

Nutis: So she couldn’t teach and here it’s time for school so we couldn’t
start. We did it the third time and we, Saul Schottenstein and I went to New
York and we engaged Rabbi Frank and then we got the Agudas Achim to give us a
classroom and we started the first group with 11 children. After that other
people came in when the school got going. Leon Schottenstein came in. Fred
Roland came in. He was the first Treasurer. Sam Schlonsky and a few others
joined us. But they didn’t join us until the third time around.

Interviewer: So it was really a struggle to get off the ground?

Nutis: It was a struggle. We worked hard because it was hard to get children.
We worked a whole Summer on it. We used to go to parents’ homes and talk to .
. . .

Interviewer: So it was a whole new concept and parents weren’t accepting it
. . . .

Nutis: It was a whole concept. Originally our first year that we could start
it and when we had the problem with the teacher leaving three weeks before,
Rabbi Rubenstein got mostly people at that time who were German refugees who
were willing to put their children in the class. And as time went on we were
able to get more Americans. Rabbi Stavsky who claims to be a founder, who is a
great guy and did a lot of work, but he came to Columbus after the school was
already started.

Interviewer: Was already under way?

Nutis: Under way.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: So he came…

Interviewer: Well you still needed…

Nutis: Those years are, I mean, could be substantiated. I think if Rubenstein,
Rabbi Rubenstein did anything great and Harry Gilbert, Dr. Fox, it was that they
saw the light of need of a school and against all, Rabbi Rubenstein even had
opposition in his own synagogue about it, but he was strong enough to go ahead
and do it.

Interviewer: Frank, we’re going to stop at this point so I can turn the
tape over and we’ll go to Side 2. So let’s just hold on a minute. Okay
Frank, we’re on Side 2 now.

Nutis: Okay. You asked me what the name of the first teacher was that we had
who left for Pittsburgh three weeks before school started. Well it was Mrs.

Interviewer: Rottenberg?

Nutis: Yeah.

Interviewer: Wow! You don’t hear that name. That’s, that beginning has
really changed a lot. We have, tell us about Torah Academy now. As you still

Nutis: I’m not involved any more.

Interviewer: Okay but tell us how it’s developed.

Nutis: Well in the beginning years the Torah Academy, we had no help at all
from the Federation. We had to raise our own funds and we raised them during the
year. However at times we didn’t have the money for payroll so one of us, and
I was Treasurer, and I would put the money out for payroll and then they would
pay me back when they got it. I think the most interesting thing was that at
that time we used to pay our Withholding Tax every three months and so when the
money was in the bank we would use it to pay the teachers. And one day Internal
Revenue comes by and said we hadn’t paid the Withholding Tax for nine months
so they came in to my office and it happened to be at a time in the early 50s
when there was a big thing with the blacks and this was a black man
investigating and I told him, I says, “You know, we pay every, we’re
going to get caught up. We’re going to have a big affair in November and we’ll
pay it up and.” Well before you know it we sat down, I took out a Chumish
and we started to study a little bit…

Interviewer: You and the black investigator?

Nutis: This black investigator. Because he knew he had problems with blacks
at that time and I had problems with the Jewish school, so we sat down and we
studied a little Torah and he left. And come November, we kept our word and we
paid off. Well three months later we don’t have any money. So at that time I get
a call from the manager of the bank and he says, “Mr. Nutis”, he says,
“The government was just here and they impounded all the money that you
had.” He said, “You even got some funds you called Tsadachy or
something,” he didn’t know how to pronounce the word Tsedakah. He
said, “You had about a hundred dollars in that and the government took
that.” And I says, “Well they can’t do that. They can’t take the
big money because the checks are out to pay the teachers.” They were all
going to bounce. Well I asked him, I told him I would cover it. He says,
“Okay.” But I called Dr. Fried who was the principal and told him what
happened and I says, “Call Federation and don’t tell Federation that I’m
going to cover the checks. Just tell the Federation what happened and ask them
for a loan, that you need money ’cause,” I said, “I’m in no
position to be covering checks all the time.” This was a long time ago and
I was just starting in business. So he called Ben Mandelkorn who was the head of
the Federation and he said well he’d have to call a meeting. And Dr. Fried
says, “There’s no time for a meeting. The checks are out now. We need the
loan. We’ll pay it back.” He says, “You got to get on the phone and
call a phone meeting.” And he said he would. Up to this date about 30 years
later, the meeting still hadn’t been called. So that was our relationship with
Federation as well as our relationship with a lot of other people that we were,
after 17 years, we were still not accepted in the community as a viable
organization. However we had sent more kids to higher Jewish schools and
yeshivas than everybody ever imagined. The rabbi that we have today at the
Ahavas Sholom came from Torah Academy at that time.

Interviewer: Rabbi…

Nutis: Rabbi Rosenberg.

Interviewer: Rosenberg?

Nutis: Yeah.

Interviewer: Uh huh. So it’s been a long, hard crawl but it’s developed
into a respectable community…

Nutis: I think so, yeah.

Interviewer: place of education and I don’t know how many kids are enrolled
there now. Do you have any idea?

Nutis: I don’t know what it is. I think it’s well over 300.

Interviewer: Well over 300?

Nutis: Yeah.

Interviewer: They certainly have expanded the building and it seems to be
very well community- accepted. Frank, I know that you’re involved, and or you’ve
been involved through the years with Vaad Ho-ir.

Nutis: Yeah, Vaad Ho-ir, yeah. I was President of Vaad Ho-ir
many, many, many years ago.

Interviewer: Tell us what the organization is.

Nutis: Well the Vaad Ho-ir is to see that we have kosher products in
the city and that those people, those purveyors of kosher products are, do keep
within the law. There’s money involved and it’s like anything else where
there is money, we don’t doubt the people but we have to make sure everything
is right.

Interviewer: What do you mean “money involved?”

Nutis: Well they make livings, you know, these people make a living and . . .

Interviewer: Who are the people involved that you supervise?

Nutis: Now, we, at that time…

Interviewer: Or what kind of businesses…

Nutis: At that time we super–, things were different because the freezers
that we have at home were just coming in so that people would, we didn’t have
frozen chickens at that time. We had, people would buy live chickens and they
would take it to the shochet who would kill the chicken according to
Jewish law and would have to be plucked and all and the whole thing. So we had
three or four men in the city that on Thursdays and other days, they had a
small, little place on Washington Avenue where you would bring the chickens and
they would kill them. There was Cantor Gellman, Briar, Yablok and Julius Baker
were shochtim at that time. At the same time cattle was killed here in
the city. Today it’s all shipped in from other places. They would bring in
live cattle and these men would have to go down and kill the cattle according to
Jewish law. And they would not only have to know how to do it physically but
they would have to be learned people. They would, the inter- esting this is that
we’ve been doing this for centuries and centuries and the new laws of the
veterinarians and health laws in the United States maybe only in the last 40 or
50 years and they’re still not as stringent as the laws of Kashruth.

Interviewer: So the laws of Kashruth haven’t really changed…

Nutis: No.

Interviewer: Jewish ritual is established?

Nutis: Ritual. They have to know the inside of the animal and they have to
know when the animal is fit to eat and not fit to eat. And that’s what these
men have to, had to study. It’s a long and extended course on learning. We had
at that time, we had butcher shops that we had to check so it was, had bakeries
and even though the butcher shops were much smaller, they had to be checked. The
meat that was there for more than three days had to be washed according to
Jewish law.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: And we had somebody who would take care of that. So we had a payroll
and it was quite an interesting and laborious job to take care of it. I’m
happy about it because many, many years later my son has the same job.

Interviewer: So Ira…

Nutis: Ira.

Interviewer: kind of…

Nutis: Yeah.

Interviewer: took over the reins?

Nutis: Yeah.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Is it an acceptable part of the community and there’s
no hassle like there has been with some of the other organizations that just . .
. .

Nutis: No, we did have a hassle with Block’s on whether they were following
the laws or not following the laws. And they had to pull the approval, the Koshruth
approval from them, not because they wanted to because there was direct

Interviewer: But they resolved the problems. The problem was resolved
somewhat and…

Nutis: Well yeah, the Vaad Ho-ir did everything they could to resolve
it. It was a messy thing because Block’s thought that they could strong-arm
the community and they brought people in who’d write letters in the Chronicle
and other places whose homes were not even, not kosher and who didn’t really
follow the law but always thought that they could make a political thing about
it. But Jewish law is the same for centuries after centuries so the people come
and go and the law remains because we are a people of laws.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Well it’s interesting how the Jewish community becomes
involved when there are fires burning and others want to get in on the colorful
bandwagon but we know that it’s an established part of the community and
accepted and that’s what’s important. Let’s go on to some of the other,
another thing that I know that you’ve been real involved with, Hillel.

Nutis: Yeah I was on the board of Hillel for a long time. I think you’re on
the board for six years and you’re off a year and back again so I…

Interviewer: Tell us what Hillel is.

Nutis: Well Hillel has a very difficult problem and the longer I was on
Hillel I could find out, determine how much more difficult it is. Many of us who
went to college really didn’t attend Hillel for whatever reasons it was but
now that we’re older and we have children there, we figure the children ought
to go.

Interviewer: Is it a social organization or is it a learning establishment?

Nutis: Well Hillel should be or it is a place where you bring the Jewish kids
together from all different degrees of learning and try to bring them together
and, as a social group. Some of them want to become activists and it’s a place
to become an activist. If you’re a Zionist or if you’re a marcher or if you
want something else, that’s the place to come to. If you want to have a social
life, it should be a place where you want to come to. If you want a religious
life, it should be a place where you come to. Hillel has many facets, you know,
just ready to be turned on if they could attract the right people. One of the
problems that I found…

Interviewer: What do you mean “attract the right people?” In terms
of the young people…

Nutis: Yeah, attracting the people to come. When students come to Ohio State
University or any other university, they leave home for the first time. Many of
them, all of a sudden their eyes open to a whole new vista and they sort of
become sometimes like social animals that they forget what they’re at the
university for. They don’t have Mom and Pop looking after them. They’ve got
all the beer parties, they’ve got all the excitement, they’ve got everything
else going and sometimes study becomes a smaller part of it and religion is one
of the last things that they can think of.

Interviewer: Or even attachment to…

Nutis: That’s right.

Interviewer: a Jewish…

Nutis: Now years ago they didn’t have any kosher facilities at all and I’m
not good with names. The rabbi now is in Philadelphia. I talked to him and he
came to my office with Bernie Gerson and we started a kosher kitchen. We
underwrote it. We under- wrote it with the philosophy that a hamburger couldn’t
cost any more there than it would cost at McDonald’s, that we wanted to have a
facility for those kids that kept kosher.

Interviewer: So it encouraged them to keep within…

Nutis: That’s right. If they were kosher all their life and they came to
campus and they want something that’s kosher, we were going to have dinners.
We set it up where they would have to contract though for the quarter that they
were going to eat there once a week, three times a week or five times, whatever
they’re going to eat, and we gave them a financial deal where they could
operate. The thing, the first year, we had to put money into it. The second
year, not as much and by the third year it was operating on its own. I found
that being on the board of Hillel that the university was so big, when I went to
Ohio State 50 years ago there was 15,000 students and I thought it was a
factory. And today there’s about 55,000. And for them to come to Hillel, there’s
the West Campus and the North Campus and the South Campus. The freshmen lived so
far away that I thought we ought to have an outreach program and I wanted to
take food over on Friday evening to a dorm and have maybe a speaker or a
get-together and to let these kids know that it was still Shabbos and
they were still Jewish, and I figured if I could get them that way that
eventually we could get them interested and come to Hillel.

Interviewer: So the outreach is the extension of…

Nutis: That’s right, that’s right.

Interviewer: …trying to contact other…

Nutis: You’ve got to go out after the kids. You can’t put up a sign and
say, “I’m Hillel,” or “I’ve got a great speaker this
time,” because even if they bring in the most famous speaker, the next day
he’s gone and we have to worry about getting the kids. So it’s not these
highlights that we have but it’s the daily thing that we do for the students.
So the outreach program turned out, although they didn’t think it would work
out and I paid for. At the end of the year, and I’m happy to say they told me
that was the only thing that was really good.

Interviewer: Well it was worth the investment.

Nutis: It was certainly worth the investment. I know of kids who could be a
mile away or two miles away on the other side of campus, it’s so big that the
last thing you’re going to do on Friday evening or any time is come to Hillel.
Especially if it’s cold outside in the Winter.

Interviewer: Sure.

Nutis: And that’s when they’re there. They’re there Winter Quarter,
they’re there Autumn Quarter.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: So the outreach program to me was the greatest thing that we could do
and of course now with, I’m not on the board any more. I served 12 years.

Interviewer: Well Frank, let’s go on to another place that is popular on
campus. Tell us about the House of Tradition.

Nutis: Okay.

Interviewer: Which is now called Chabad House? Is that how
it developed?

Nutis: Well yeah. It, we started that, there was a fellow in town by the name
of Rosenberg who was in the real estate business and started a house on
Indianola and 11th. He remodeled it and he brought in Rabbi…

Interviewer: Well it’ll come.

Nutis: No…

Interviewer: He’s here now?

Nutis: Yeah…

Interviewer: Not Kaltman?

Nutis: No, no… What’s his name? He got the restaurant on, Chanie’s

Interviewer: Capland.

Nutis: Capland, that’s it. He brought in Rabbi Capland. Capland was a
teacher, a Hebrew teacher in Savannah, Georgia and he brought him in to start
this where we could give the kids a little bit more than Hillel for the
traditional students, basically for those traditional students. Well before the
thing started he went bankrupt and he had to move to Cleveland and I was left
there with Kaplan. So I paid his salary the first two years and at the end of
the first year we moved. I bought the house on 14th Avenue close to
High Street because I figured the first house was just too far for the students
to come.

Interviewer: So you yourself bought the house?

Nutis: Yeah. The house was always mine.

Interviewer: Did you have any other community support at all?

Nutis: We started to get community support. We started to get community
support and then we got community support after that. Simon Handler was, rest in
peace, was one of them and Bernie Gerson, Tommy Schottenstein, and we started to
get some community support. Dr. B. B. Kaplan from the nursing home was a
supporter. We started to get a lot of support and I stayed with it for a long
time, I guess, I don’t know, 17-18 years. And then Jerome Schottenstein got
involved and he said he would give them a home and do a little more supporting
if they called it the Schottenstein place. So I told him, “Well all these
years I didn’t bother to call it the Nutis House but if he wanted it
that bad, he could have it.” So they moved over there and I took my house
and I sold it.

Interviewer: And is it, now they’re located…

Nutis: On 15th Avenue.

Interviewer: Uh huh. And it’s called “The Chabad House,” not . .
. .

Nutis: Well “Schottenstein Chabad House.”

Interviewer: Oh, okay.

Nutis: Okay.

Interviewer: And…

Nutis: So…

Interviewer: And who is the rabbi over there now?

Nutis: Well Areyah Kaltman is in charge of it and he’s grown. He has two
assistants now. He has one there on campus and one here in the community.

Interviewer: It’s quite an enthusiastic group.

Nutis: Well the truth of the matter is that they pull a lot, a lot, a lot of
students. They possibly, have the pulse of the student better than even Hillel.
He’s, had Mr. Herbert Glimcher donate a hot dog stand, a wagon that they put
up on High Street, where they sell kosher hot dogs.

Interviewer: Right on the street?

Nutis: Right on the street like everybody else.

Interviewer: So kids who want kosher can…

Nutis: Yeah right on…

Interviewer: have the hot dog?

Nutis: right on the street they can buy a hot dog and Kaplan meets the kids,
I mean Kaltman meets the kids, they eat the hot dogs and he puts the mustard on
it, then he gets them to come to the Chabad House.

Interviewer: Does he operate the stand himself or does he have kids?

Nutis: No he doesn’t operate it himself but he’s…

Interviewer: He has kids that…

Nutis: he tries to be there at the lunch hour when the kids come by and they
can meet him.

Interviewer: Now is this all year, all during the school year?

Nutis: Yeah.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: Yeah. Yeah, just during, just while school is on.

Interviewer: Well I think there are adults also that are interested, that go
to the House of Tradition. It seems that Kaltman has kind of spread out into the
community too, hasn’t he?

Nutis: Yeah he’s spread out in the community. That’s why I say he has
another rabbi he spread out and I would imagine one of these days he’s going
to open a synagogue in one of the suburbs.

Interviewer: Huh. So he appeals not only to students but to other…

Nutis: That’s right.

Interviewer: adults in the community? Yeah it’s really interesting how that
has also developed. I know there are so many programs that we want to get
covered here yet today. Tell us a little bit about the Red Mogen David. I
know that you’ve been involved in that through the years.

Nutis: Yeah we started…

Interviewer: What is it? What kind of an organization is it?

Nutis: Well that’s, the Red Mogen David is the, we don’t call it
the cross, we call it “Star of David.” It’s the same as the Red
Cross would be in the United States. Now the difference is that the Israel
government can’t pay for everything so we raise money for blood. Blood is a
commodity. We can’t ship blood from America to Israel. We ship, but blood
itself is turned in and I don’t know all the chemical terms, but a lot of the
money goes for that and then it goes to Israel.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: The ambulances are all bought, in Israel, are all bought by

Interviewer: So the Red Mogen David organization all takes place in
Israel but funds and support comes…

Nutis: In the United States.

Interviewer: from other…

Nutis: Yeah from all over the world.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: All over the world and we’ve started it, in Desert Storm when things
were so bad, we started the Red Mogen David and…

Interviewer: What was the, do you remember what year or the approximate?

Nutis: ’91 I guess and…

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: people just automatically joined with no problem…

Interviewer: But it was established that the Red Mogen David was
established in Israel before?

Nutis: Oh for years and years.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Nutis: Years and years. Yeah. They’ve made a lot of improvements too that,
with the scientists in Israel, has been copied by America and everyplace else,
on how to process blood.

Interviewer: Uh huh. There are a lot of innovations there.

Nutis: A lot of innovation there.

Interviewer: Are you still involved in the Red Mogen David

Nutis: Yeah to an extent but not as much.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Well since we’re in Israel, we’re talking about an
Israel organization, I know you’ve been quite involved with Israel Bonds
program too. Can you tell us…

Nutis: Yeah I was on the National Cabinet of Israel Bonds for a number of
years which meant that we’d go back and forth to Israel two or three times a
year and… for three or four days, when something special came up. We
raised, our big job was to raise money. It was to take the big boys overseas and
show them what Israel was doing and raise money. And that we did for a long,
long time. I think the biggest thing though was the Yom Kippur War when we were
called to come to Israel before the war was over and we got there I think just
the day afterwards and they took us by helicopter to the Sinai where the fight
was with the Egyptians. And we went there to cheer up the soldiers. From there
we went to, they flew us to the Golan.

Interviewer: Now were you part of a Columbus group at that time or did you
tie in with groups from…

Nutis: No they took, I think Schoenbaum went with me.

Interviewer: Howard Schoenbaum?

Nutis: Howard Schoenbaum. They took the people that could come that were
either on the National Cabinet or chairmen across the country. So there were
about 30 of us that went. And they took us up in the Golan and where it was
awfully cold. Soldiers there frozen, it was so cold. And how we, we cheered them
up. But then they took us to the Hadassah Hospital where we saw the soldiers who
were injured and there they lie in body casts, arm casts, leg casts. It was so
bad that ten minutes there is all we could take. And we ran out. That night we
met with Golda Maier and I remember her telling us…

Interviewer: What was her position at that time?

Nutis: She was Prime Minister. And I remember she telling us, I’ll never
forget, she said, “The Arabs have 22 countries. Can’t we have one?”

Interviewer: Hmmm.

Nutis: And that’s sort of been my philosophy ever since then.

Interviewer: It’s still a struggle, isn’t it?

Nutis: Still a struggle, still a struggle.

Interviewer: I know that you’ve recently been to Israel, Frank. Can you
tell us about your Missions to Israel, another new concept that you’re working
on and…

Nutis: Well we were in Israel, let’s see this is, in April of ’96. There
was Bernie Gerson and his wife Marian, Lev Kucherski and his wife and Boots, my
wife, and we had such an experience and when we came back, we’d all been in
Israel many, many times before. But this was a unique experience and we decided
we were going to put a tour together and make it a low-priced, economy tour . .
. .

Interviewer: Now wait. I know that you and Bernie Gerson had been to Israel
many times but Lev, had he been there…

Nutis: He’d been there several times before too.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Okay.

Nutis: And we were going to make an economy trip. We were going to go to the
hotels where they didn’t have the pools, but we were going to give them the
best tours that anybody’s ever given.

Interviewer: Kind of low frills?

Nutis: At a low price.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: And before we know it, we had over 80 people.

Interviewer: What was the price of this tour?

Nutis: $1,650.

Interviewer: Wow, that’s very…

Nutis: For a 12-day tour, that everybody else has for $3,000 or better. We
went off-season. We did it like business people. But our tours were fantastic.
Not only, where most tours ended by 3:00, we toured all day and all night. In
the evening, we had things going. We promised them one thing, that they would
have adequate hotels but they would need a vacation when they came back. And we
kept our word with it.

Interviewer: Uh huh. So it wasn’t, the price of the trip was not
underwritten. It just, you kept the price low…

Nutis: Well that’s right. We knew how to do it. What we did, our trip was
different than most trips ’cause we had nothing to sell. When I worked for
Bonds, we showed people what Bonds did. When you go Federation, they show you
what Federation does. Hadassah does the same or any other, Jewish National Fund.

Interviewer: No fund raising…

Nutis: There was no fund raising and we crossed all lines. We took them to
Hadassah Hospital. We had a speaker from Bonds. We took them to Jewish National
Fund and they all got on their knees and planted trees. We had three Bar
and 16 Bas Mitzvahs. Rabbi Rosenberg from Columbus taught
them. The ladies studied for better than three months with lectures before they
got there. We put on a, one of the finest services and afterwards we went back
to the hotel and we made it like a little American Bar Mitzvah or Bas
. We had balloons on all the tables and we had an orchestra and a
floor show and everything else.

Interviewer: So you partied?

Nutis: We partied all the time.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: It was no problem on that. I think one of the highlights was though
that we told the people before we left, ’cause we had several meetings, and we
told them that we were going to go in special places and if they wanted to come
with us, they had to dress accordingly because we were going into somebody else’s
venue. We couldn’t say that we were Americans, were British or French, we’ll
do as we please.

Interviewer: What do you mean by “dress accordingly?”

Nutis: Well because we told them they’re certain places, we’ll tell you,
you’ll have to wear skirts, not pants.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: Or, and, on that day that we’ll find some other place you can go.
But you can’t go and say that, “I’m somebody else and I can do
it.” Well they all agreed to it without any problem. And I think one of the
nicest places we took them to was an orphanage ’cause they’d never seen and
never could comprehend. There was between 700 and a thousand kids there.

Interviewer: Where was this located?

Nutis: This was in Geula, right out of Mea Shearim. We took them in and they
saw these kids and you’ve never seen so many tears in your life.

Interviewer: The emotion was…

Nutis: The emotion was so great. Here in America we have orphanages nobody
goes to. They, when they saw the little kids, that was another story. Some of
them came from soldiers who had passed on. Their wives couldn’t handle the
kids. Or they came from broken homes. They came from everything else. It pretty
much showed that the people in Israel are human and they’re our counterparts.
We took them into one place that, I’d been there 20-25 years ago, it was not
on the tour. It’s not a tourist place although they’re beginning to make it.
It’s a place in Israel where they, during the, before Israel became a State,
when Great Britain controlled Palestine, they didn’t give the Jews anything
and neither did the United States. They couldn’t protect themselves. So they
built this building and it looks like a one-story building but you can’t tell.
It has a very deep basement and you can’t tell the basement from the outside.
And in that basement they made bullets. But on the first floor…

Interviewer: They manufactured bullets?

Nutis: Bullets, for themselves. ‘Cause they couldn’t get them from
anyplace else, to protect themselves. And on the first floor, they had a bakery
and a laundry and then under, there was a trap door going down where they made
the bullets. And the people that made the bullets had to get there in the
morning before the bakery and laundry opened and they couldn’t leave until
afterwards, after it closed. They would have to change their clothes and
everything because there may be shavings on their clothes or on their shoes.

Interviewer: This was because of secrecy?

Nutis: Secrecy.

Interviewer: Yeah, uh huh.

Nutis: Well if Great Britain had found out that they were making bullets,
they would have killed them.

Interviewer: Sure.

Nutis: So the question comes in, what was the bakery and the laundry doing
there? Well you needed a smokestack to melt the metal. So when they had a
bakery, you need a smokestack and when you had a laundry, you need a smokestack.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: And then the laundry machine was the old-fashioned cylinder thing that
when that turned, it made all kinds of racket. So you couldn’t hear the racket
down below.

Interviewer: So they were able to conceal the…

Nutis: Be able to conceal…

Interviewer: secret enterprise there?

Nutis: Yeah. So we started the tour by showing what the Jews really had to do
to start the State and I think the last thing we did is we took them to Ben
Gurion’s burial.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: And because he was the George Washington, he was the man behind it
all, that it got Israel a State. So we used that as bookends and the tour was
fabulous. We’ve going to have another tour this November. We’re already
getting started for it and getting the prices and everything else.

Interviewer: November of this year?

Nutis: November of this year.

Interviewer: Yeah I talked to some people who went on the tour Frank and
there was an extreme amount of enthusiasm so I think it certainly was a success.
What is the trip that you’re planning? Is it the same kind of trip or is it .
. . .

Nutis: Well it’s basically the same type. We’ll find a couple of other
things that people didn’t do along with what everybody else does, because
there’s so much. The trip should be broken up, not only into a digs or
historical. It has to be broken up into contemporary, into modern, see what the
Jews are doing, how they live. We took them to homes. That was a job but we
secured enough homes that we could take them to on a Sunday evening where seven
or eight people sat around and talked to the local people.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Now were these mostly New Americans or what was the
breakdown in the…

Nutis: No we had very few New Americans. They were, we started, we thought we
were going to have New Americans. But I think we had two buses and a van. And
the two buses were English-speaking and the van was Russian-speakers. We had
five people, five Russians, five – not Russians, five New Americans.

Interviewer: Uh huh. So they were accommodated for especially with in terms
of their…

Nutis: Oh yeah, we accommodated them.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: Because they couldn’t understand the English. So we did, we got a
Russian-speaking guide and a van and they were only separate as far as traveling
was concerned. We were together. We ate together, we partied together and we did
a lot of other things together.

Interviewer: Uh huh. I’m going to try to cover a couple more subjects
Frank. Our tape is running low and I know we could probably run another hour and
a half with you. But let’s try to cover a couple more ideas here. I know you’ve
been real involved with New American programs and from the beginning. Give us
kind of the lowdown on that.

Nutis: Yeah I spend a lot of time with New Americans.

Interviewer: Who are the new Americans? Where do they come from? Who are we
talking about?

Nutis: Well they come from all the different countries that were under the
Iron Curtain, from Byelorussia, from the Ukraine, from Russia, from some of the
Arab places. They come from all over. We spend, raised a lot of money to bring
them over. But once we brought them over, we forgot all about them. Basically we
did. When they would come into the synagogue or they came in originally because
they really didn’t have what to eat and they knew the Kiddush was good
on Shabbos. And everybody would watch them to see how much cake they took
home. After a while they didn’t need the food any more. They came because they
had no religious knowledge but when were you sitting home on Saturday when there
would be a social. And after a while they came, maybe another year, until they
started to pick up a feeling of the Jewish religion. The people still look down
on them and they still know it. But times there when they would be short of
money. A guy’s car may break down or something. He might have needed $100 or
$200. And they knew I was active so they would come in and I would give it to
them and I would always get paid back. There was never any problem about it. But
one day I figured that’s no business for me so we started the Free Loan
Society. The Free Loan Society now has a good bit of money. They’re close to
giving their hundredth loan. I think we may have a, but nobody says anything
about it, close to a hundred loans now. We give up to $1,000. We’ve already
given one that’s $1,500. And they’re all current. They’re all current
except one and that one is an American who’s behind a little bit of money. But
everybody else, they all pay up.

Interviewer: So there…

Nutis: It’s very easy to get it. They come in and they give whatever story
they give you. A couple of weeks ago somebody came in and they said they got a
letter that the stone of their father was busted in Russia and they needed money
to buy another stone. Well we weren’t going to send anybody to Russia so we
gave them the money.

Interviewer: Took his word for it?

Nutis: Yeah we take their word for whatever…

Interviewer: Who runs the Hebrew Free Loan Society?

Nutis: It’s run by volunteers. The Treasurer of it though is Dave Mellman.
Dave retired now. He ran a large CPA firm in the city before. And he’s, he
takes care of the books and everything.

Interviewer: As a volunteer?

Nutis: As a volunteer. It’s all volunteer.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: And they give money out freely as anything. If you got any kind of a
reason and you go, you’re going to get it.

Interviewer: Well who listens to the…

Nutis: But they’ve got a committee. The committee gives it to them.

Interviewer: Who’s the committee?

Nutis: But the committee, I’ll tell you, but the committee is like the

Interviewer: Jewish Mafia?

Nutis: Yeah. You better pay up.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Nutis: That they know. They’ll do anything they want for you. They don’t
have to send out a social worker to find out. If you come and you need the
money, they take your word for it. But they want you to pay. And everybody pays
up very good.

Interviewer: But based on…

Nutis: The committee is made up of Americans that were born here and New
Americans. I think the President now is Howard Burnett.

Interviewer: This the investment…

Nutis: No, no, not Howard. Wait a minute. Oh Barnett, Barnett.

Interviewer: Rick?

Nutis: Rick Barnett.

Interviewer: Rick Barnett?

Nutis: Rick Barnett, yes.

Interviewer: Uh huh, he’s a realtor.

Nutis: Yeah Rick Barnett, the realtor. Yeah, he’s President of it, yeah.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: So it’s run very well and they have a fund raiser once a year, raise
a few thousand dollars and there are a few people that donate money to it.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: I think it was started originally by a $7,500 grant from Arthur
Kobacker. What’s his name, Schiff, Herb Schiff makes an annual contribution.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: And…

Interviewer: When was this all started, the Hebrew Loan…

Nutis: About four years ago.

Interviewer: Uh huh. When the thrust of New Americans were coming?

Nutis: Well it started much afterwards. About four years ago it was started
and it’s done very well.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: Done very well. We hope in time to be able to have enough money to
make substantial loans to people.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Well it looks like it’s falling into place and there
certainly is a need for it.

Nutis: Yeah.

Interviewer: Okay, Frank. Let’s kind of start wrapping up this interesting
interview. I know that you’ve been involved in many things in the community
and you have seen the fruits of your labor. I know there have been a lot of ups
and downs but you can look back with a lot of satisfaction. And you’ve raised
a beautiful family.

Nutis: Thank you.

Interviewer: And we talked about your family at the beginning, Sheila, Ira
and Jodi and of course I’ve known them since the day they came into this world
and your world.

Nutis: That’s right.

Interviewer: They were all adopted. And you also raised your nephew.

Nutis: Ronnie Carmen.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: Yeah.

Interviewer: Ummm…

Nutis: He’s an Orthodontist today.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: Married, two children, yeah.

Interviewer: Yeah. And what was the reason that you ended up rearing or
raising Ronnie? What happened to his family?

Nutis: Well my wife Boots’ sister passed away and she left…

Interviewer: Her sister was Ronnie’s mother?

Nutis: Ronnie’s mother, yeah.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: And she left a little boy and the father had a problem and we ended up
taking him…

Interviewer: Yeah.

Nutis: and raising him.

Interviewer: Yeah and he was an important part of your family, I know that.

Nutis: Oh he certainly was.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Nutis: He certainly was.

Interviewer: Yeah it just so happens that you and Boots were married shortly
after Bernie and I.

Nutis: Just about 30 days.

Interviewer: Thirty days to the day. Our anniversary is February 27, 1949 and
yours is March 27th.

Nutis: That’s right.

Interviewer: Which is soon.

Nutis: Yeah we’ll have to celebrate together.

Interviewer: Fiftieth anniversary. I hope we…

Nutis: Where do you want to go, to Australia?

Interviewer: No Israel, Frank. It sounds like you’ve got a good deal going
to Israel.

Nutis: Yeah.

Interviewer: I want to thank you for the time. It’s been really
interesting. I’ve known your background. I’ve known some of the things that
you’ve gone through and you have been a tribute to the community and I hope
God gives you many more healthy years to continue what you’re doing now.

Nutis: Thank you. You’re very sweet.

Interviewer: And the Jewish Historical Society thanks you and I’m sure we’ve
left a lot of things out and we may have to come back to you again. And thank
you for your hospitality.

Nutis: Oh you’re sweet.

* * *

Transcribed by Honey Abramson

Proofread by Marvin Bonowitz

Corrected by Boots/Frank Nutis

Edited by Peggy Kaplan