This is the afternoon of June 12, 2007.  My name is Naomi Schottenstein.  I’m an interviewer for the Columbus Jewish Historical Society and I’m here to interview Judy Brachman and we’re at the office of the Historical Society at 1175 College Avenue in Columbus, Ohio.  Judy, give me your full name and if you have a nickname.

 Brachman:       Okay my nickname is Judy and my full name is Judith Yenkin Brachman.

Interviewer:     Do you know about your Jewish name?

Brachman:       It’s Jehuda Leah.

Interviewer:     And do you know who you were named after?

Brachman:       Yes I was named after my mother’s father whose name was Louis Levin.

Interviewer:     Do you know what the Yenkin family original family name was?

Brachman:       No I don’t.

Interviewer:     And do you know if it was ever changed?

Brachman:       I don’t know that either.

Interviewer:     Okay.  How did your family, your immediate family, come to be (blank space on tape) . . . .

Brachman:       . . . . parents came to this country as adults.  On my mother’s side . . . .

Interviewer:     Well let’s go a little further with your father’s situation.  Do you know what brought him to Logan, Ohio?

Brachman:       I believe he was in the fur and hide business and that was the location he chose to go.  I don’t know any details about it other than that.

Interviewer:     Were there other relatives there that maybe enticed him to settle there?

Brachman:       No and actually I believe that the agreement among the Jewish people in that part of the state was that they did not want to compete with each other so that if there was someone in the same business in a particular county, then someone else would go to a different county.  So I believe that’s why they went originally to Logan and then to New Lexington.  Also there, I believe, were other Jewish families in other small towns in southeast Ohio and they may have known each other in Europe although I don’t know that for sure.  But they did visit back and forth regularly.

Interviewer:     Can you tell us the nature of the business that your father was in, your father’s family?

Brachman:       Well when they came to Columbus, they were, they began a paint business, a paint and coating business, which the family’s still in.

Interviewer:     Well but about when they were in Logan.  What’s the nature of the, how that . . . .

Brachman:       It was a fur and hide business.

Interviewer:     That’s not an unusual thing for that era is it?  There were other Jewish families that were in that business.

Brachman:       And in a rural area like that.

Interviewer:     What, let’s talk about, let’s go into, continue with your father.  You said he, then he came to Columbus and he went into the paint business.

Brachman:       That’s correct.

Interviewer:     Was it his father that started it or?

Brachman:       Yes, it was.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  And your father’s name?

Brachman:       My father’s name was Jacob.

Interviewer:     Jacob Yenkin?

Brachman:       Yes that’s correct.  And then, and with him in business were my Uncle Abe and then my Uncle Ben and then my dad. And then there was one other sibling, Bes.

Interviewer:     Uh huh, Bes?  What was Bes’ last name?

Brachman:       Bes Yenkin Zeff.

Interviewer:     Okay.  We’ll talk more about those family members later.  And where were you born?

Brachman:       I was born here in Columbus.

Interviewer:     Do you remember very much about the family business once it was established in Columbus?  How involved you know, your family was.  Were they all working together?

Brachman:       Yes they certainly were.  They’re a very strong family unit.

Interviewer:     Was it mostly in-Columbus business or was it, did it spread out to other communities as well?

Brachman:       Well they certainly did business with, in other places as well.  But I really can’t give you a lot of details about the business end of it.

Interviewer:     Okay.  I’ll just insert here that I think eventually Merom will be interviewed too so maybe we can get a more complete picture of that.  Did your family move around very much, you, in your lifetime?

Brachman:       No, not really.  Growing up I lived at, well we lived with my grandparents when I was an infant and then we moved over onto Powell Avenue and then on to Drexel and that was it growing up.

Interviewer:     Which grandparents did you live with?  Tell us where the homes were, where they were.

Brachman:       We lived with my father’s parents when I was very little at 311 South Drexel, not 311, excuse me, 381 South Drexel.  And then my mother’s mother lived about a block and a half away on Bryden.  I don’t remember the address but it was between Drexel and Columbia on the south side of Bryden.

Interviewer:     And you lived in other homes as you were growing up, did you?

Brachman:       Just the three, one on 2735 Powell Avenue and 301 South Drexel.

Interviewer:     But you preferred Bexley, you were pretty much in Bexley all the time?

Brachman:       That’s correct, yeah.

Interviewer:     Do you remember any neighbors from your childhood and as you were growing up?

Brachman:       Well my aunt and uncle and cousins lived around the corner, Ben and Helen Yenkin and their children lived around the corner.  Behind us lived Gilbert Siegel and his wife.  His first wife’s name has escaped me right now, and their three children.

Interviewer:     So it was kind of a neighborly neighborhood.

Brachman:       Oh it was very much a neighborly neighborhood.

Interviewer:     That’s how it used to be all over.

Brachman:       Exactly, yeah.

Interviewer:     There was a lot of warm . . . .

Brachman:       Played on the sidewalks, played in the alleys between the houses which was not busy at all and then the streets.  There were not houses on all the lots so we could play in some of the empty lots around there too.

Interviewer:     You didn’t have the electronic age at that time so it was genuine playing and being more creative?

Brachman:       Exactly.  Shooed out in the morning and called back in in the evening.

Interviewer:     Tell us the names of your siblings.

Brachman:       Okay I only had one sister Cynthia, Cynthia Yenkin Levinson.

Interviewer:     And tell us about her and her children.

Brachman:       She is married and lives in Austin, Texas and has two girls, Mayera and Rachel.

Interviewer:     And do you see her very often?

Brachman:       Yeah, well we get together as often as we can.  And living pretty far apart we can’t get together as regularly as we’d like to but we do get together as often as we can.

Interviewer:     Can you share with us some of your other relatives and what you remember about them, about their families?  Try to get a picture of the background.

Brachman:       Well the Yenkin family was always very close and so when I was growing up we always celebrated holidays together and had, and when we were small actually, we used to go with our grandparents for Shabbos dinner on Friday night and Saturday lunch and . . . .

Interviewer:     The whole family?

Brachman:       Oh my grandmother was an absolute wonder to entertain all of us Friday night and Saturday for lunch.  And there was quite a crew to do that.  She never complained about it.

Interviewer:     Let’s talk more about your grandmother, as much as you can fill in for us, and then fill us in with who your uncles and your relatives, your cousins from the Yenkin side are.

Brachman:       All right.

Interviewer:     Okay, you were going to tell us about your grandmother.  Fill us in about her.  She sounds like a dynamite kind of person.

Brachman:       Well she was the neatest lady.  Never complained about anything and just was very, very strong in the family, as was my grandfather.

Interviewer:     Give us their names and . . . .

Brachman:       It was Jacob and Mary Yenkin.  And her name was also Loosa.   And she just took care of family things and never complained at all.  When my mother, when all the, when several of the children were married and lived with them on Drexel, she just apparently had the “patience of Job” to let the daughters-in-law do cooking in the kitchen at anything they wanted to make.  Never complained about a thing that they wanted to make jam or jelly or pickles or whatever.  She let them do whatever they wanted in the kitchen and then she’d just go in afterwards and cook a meal and not mind at all.  So she . . . .

Interviewer:     Was she kosher?

Brachman:       Oh absolutely.

Interviewer:     And particular about it then?

Brachman:       Yeah.  Didn’t mind as long as they were, of course, tending to being kosher but not, didn’t mind whatever they wanted to cook.

Interviewer:     Sure.  So they were comfortable being with her?

Brachman:       Yes.

Interviewer:     And as kids you probably certainly were comfortable?

Brachman:       Oh definitely, yes.

Interviewer:     And it gave you an opportunity to be with your cousins and the rest of the family?

Brachman:       Yeah, exactly.

Interviewer:     Well tell us about your cousins while we’re on the Yenkin side of the family.

Brachman:       Okay.  Well my Uncle Abe and Aunt Eleanor had three children.  Bernie is the oldest and then Sandra and Linda.  And then my Uncle Ben had also three children, Roberta, and Stanley and Susan and my Aunt Bess has two children, Elaine and Rita, and I should say that of all the cousins, Bernie, Stanley and Elaine and myself are the only ones who live here now.

Interviewer:     Well that’s a pretty good core.

Brachman:       Uh huh.

Interviewer:     As a very young person do you remember family vacations?

Brachman:       Yeah, my Dad had hay fever and so we frequently would try go somewhere where he would escape from the pollens in the late Summer and go just different places where he could, to Michigan or New York State or wherever that would be good for him and to avoid his allergies.

Interviewer:     Yeah Ohio’s pretty torturous for people who have hay fever in the Summertime. That’s a remembrance that I have too.  All right, tell us about your children.

Brachman:       Okay.  We have three girls.  Lavea is the oldest and she and her husband Andrew live here in Columbus.

Interviewer:     Can you tell me their last name?

Brachman:       Lavea goes by Lavea Brachman and her husband is Andrew Smith.

Interviewer:     Oh, okay.

Brachman:       And they have two children, Ezer and Eliya.

Interviewer:     And how old are they?

Brachman:       Ezer’s 12 and Eliya is nine.  And our daughter, Sarai, Sarai Brachman Shell, she and her husband David have two boys and they live in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Eli is eight and Caleb is five.  And then our daughter Shael who also goes by Shael Brachman is married to, she’s a doctor and her husband who is Mohan Thanicachilam, who is also a doctor.

Interviewer:     I’m going to ask you to spell these names because we have a transcriber who will twitch me if I don’t get the spelling.

Brachman:       Okay which ones?

Interviewer:     Start with the beginning.

Brachman:       Okay, well it would be Lavea, L-A-V-E-A Brachman, B-R-A-C-H-M-A-N.  And Andrew Smith.

Interviewer:     Okay, that’s easy.

Brachman:       And then Ezer, E-Z-E-R, Eliya, E-L-I-Y-A.  And then Sarai, S-A-R-A-I Brachman Shoup, S-H-O-U-P and her husband David. And then there’s Eli, E-L-I, and Caleb, C-A-L-E-B.  And then our youngest is Shael, S-H-A-E-L Brachman and her husband is M-O-H-A-N and his last name is T-H-A-N-I-C-A-C-H-I-L-A-M.

Interviewer:     Wow, well I’m glad you spelled it.

Brachman:       Well I probably better write it out just to make sure I have it, spelled it . . . .

Interviewer:     Well you’ll have it on that form that we’re going to be giving you.

Brachman:       Okay, fine.

Interviewer:     But I just thought I’d help the transcriber a little bit.  Do you get to see your grandchildren very often?

Brachman:       Well I do.  The ones here of course I see quite regularly because they only live several blocks away from us and the ones in Ann Arbor, we travel up there regularly or they come down here.  So we do get to see them quite often.

Interviewer:     So they’ll have fond memories of their grandparents like you had or your grandparents?

Brachman:       Well hopefully they will.  Now the, Ezer’s preparing for his Bar Mitzvah now and Eliya is taking Hebrew lessons.  And Sarai and David and the boys are going to Israel for a year beginning in August.

Interviewer:     Oh that’s interesting.

Brachman:       Yes.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  Well you’ll be able to visit there.

Brachman:       I hope so, yeah.

Interviewer:     Yeah, I hope so too.

Brachman:       Because it’s a long time not to see them.

Interviewer:     Yeah, yeah I can understand that.

Brachman:       Little ones.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  Do you have opportunities where you all get together during the year?

Brachman:       Well yeah, we, sometimes we’ll get together for holidays and it just depends on what day of the week the holiday is on and who can travel where.

Interviewer:     It becomes more complicated, doesn’t it, as life goes on?

Brachman:       Yes.

Interviewer:     We didn’t talk much about your mother’s family yet but we will.

Brachman:       Excuse me for interrupting but I’ll just add one thing about our youngest daughter who works and she has a half-time position at OSUMedicalCenter and she is a physician in the hospital there.  So she works at OSU.

Interviewer:     Hospital?

Brachman:       It’s a new position I had not been familiar with it before called “Hospitalist” and it’s doctors who work only in the hospitals and this is wonderful because they coordinate the care so if you’re in the hospital for a particular reason and you’re seeing specialists, the Hospitalist will get all the background information on you, coordinate with the specialist and if there’s more than one and whatever tests are being done, with your family physician.  Because family physicians frequently don’t come to the hospital any more.

Interviewer:     That’s right, uh huh.

Brachman:       So it’s an innovation that seems to be very efficient and very good for the families and the patient as well.

Interviewer:     Well I’m glad you shared that with us.  It’s a learning experience.  It’s always a learning experience for us here.

Brachman:       Yeah that is true, yeah.

Interviewer:     It’s interesting.  Do  you know, can you tell us how your parents met?

Brachman:       I think they met through a mutual friend I think when they were going to OhioStateUniversity as a matter of fact.  They might have met on the street car because they didn’t live very far from each other.  They, I mentioned that my father’s parents lived on South Drexel and my mother’s family lived on Bryden so they were only a couple of blocks apart and they may have actually met through mutual friend taking the street car up to University which is what most students did in that era.

Interviewer:     As I remember through other interviews, the street car went down Drexel.

Brachman:       That’s what I, yes, you’ve got a good memory.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       That’s what I understand, yeah.

Interviewer:     I don’t remember the street car itself but I remember people telling us about it that that was interesting.

Brachman:       I do remember the street car so I . . . .

Interviewer:     Well it was exciting ’cause it meant going away and going someplace interesting.

Brachman:       Yeah, yeah.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  Tell us about, well tell us about your mother’s family.

Brachman:       Okay.  My mother’s mother was Bertha Schneider Levin and she married Louis Levin.

Interviewer:     Spell Levin for us.

Brachman:       L-E-V-I-N.

Interviewer:     Okay.

Brachman:       And Schneider was S-C-H-N-E-I-D-E-R.

Interviewer:     Okay.

Brachman:       My grandfather Louis Levin came from a place in Northern Russia but I can’t tell you where exactly.  I think I have it written down somewhere.  And I believe he came here as a teenager or as a very young adult.  My grandmother, Bertha Schneider Levin, came here as an infant.  Her parents and I’m not going to remember their first names . . . .

Interviewer:     Well tell us, do you know the year or approximate time that your grandfather came?

Brachman:       No I don’t.  Not without, I’d have to go back and look or call my cousin in Florida who keeps those records.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  It would be nice to have that for yourself, for your family . . . .

Brachman:       Yes, yes.

Interviewer:     of all that information.

Brachman:       Well he’s, my cousin in Florida, Jordan, did this elaborate family tree because there were many siblings.  My grandfather had a number of siblings and he figured all that out and actually I think put together a history as well so I have to see if I can find that.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  Well that’s valuable information for your family.

Brachman:       Yeah.  And I might just add that my grandfather had a wonderful voice.  He had a very fine voice and he served as the cantor for Tifereth Israel and I believe also as the rabbi before they actually had a permanent rabbi.  This was I think just strictly as a volunteer, he served as the cantor and the rabbi in its very early years.

Interviewer:     Was your mother musical?

Brachman:       She was.  Yes my mother was a musician. She played the violin and was in the orchestra, what was then called the Columbus Philharmonic Symphony.

Interviewer:     Oh.

Brachman:       For a number of years.

Interviewer:     And that is now the Columbus Symphony?

Brachman:       Right, yes.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       And she was there in the very early years and when it became professional under Izler Solomon, for the length of time that he was there too.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  So you remember a lot of music in the background?

Brachman:       Indeed, yes.  My mother was a very fine violinist and my aunt, her sister Evy, Evelyn, was also a fine musician.  She was a pianist.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  Did anybody in this generation inherit any of those . . . .

Brachman:       Well my daughters play musical instruments, one the piano, or two of them piano and Lavea and Sarai also play the flute and Shael plays the violin.  And my sister’s older daughter played the bass and her younger one also played music as well and we actually have a cousin, my Aunt Evy’s grandson, who is actually quite a well-known professional singer, Josh Groban.

Interviewer:     Oh well, we’ve heard that name.

Brachman:       A lot lately.

Interviewer:     Yeah.  He has a marvelous voice.

Brachman:       Yes he does.

Interviewer:     And a great style.

Brachman:       Yeah and his dad was a very good trumpet player.

Interviewer:     Hmmm.

Brachman:       Never professional but he played the trumpet.

Interviewer:     So his dad was your cousin?

Brachman:       My first cousin.

Interviewer:     First cousin?

Brachman:       Uh huh.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  The family just keeps going and going, doesn’t it?

Brachman:       And not to interrupt you but just to go on a little bit about my mother’s family.  And I wanted to talk a little about my grandmother Bertha Schneider Levin.  My grandfather died actually before I was born.  I’m actually named after him.  He had a very fine tailoring shop on Mt. Vernon Avenue but he died of cancer when my mother was in college I think and my aunt and uncle, I don’t think I mentioned my uncle Alvin Levin.  But he, Alvin, was a very young child and I think my Aunt Evy was in high school.  At any rate, my grandmother then who was very energetic and very modern. She was always willing to try something new and delve into anything.  She had a terrific personality, always wanted to learn, read everything.  She then took over the tailoring shop and ran that and she did remarry.  She married Joseph Newman and they were married for a number of years until he passed away and she then ran a paint store up in Delaware.

Interviewer:     Oh.

Brachman:       She and my Uncle Al for a number of years.  She was always willing to try anything new.

Interviewer:     Did it have anything to do with Majestic Paint?

Brachman:       It did.  It did indeed.  But she was always willing to try something new.  She had not, well maybe she did, yeah she I think had run one of the paint stores before that here in Columbus and then she ran that one up in Delaware and did home decorating as well from the paint store ’cause she just had a knack for . . . .

Interviewer:     Very talented person, huh?

Brachman:       Indeed she was.

Interviewer:     And she encouraged her children to delve into music?

Brachman:       Yes, yes she did.  She was very strong in encouraging that.  She and my grandfather both.  And as I said, my mother played in the symphony for a number of years and played for a number of other events for Jewish organizations and all kinds of . . . . over the years.

Interviewer:     I remember hearing, listening to her many years ago too when I first came to Columbus.  So you have a lot of relatives on both sides that you seem to be close to and can relate to?  Tell us about your schooling.

Brachman:       Okay.  I went to Bexley Elementary School, Cassingham, through fifth grade and then I went to Columbus School for Girls and I graduated from there in 1956 and I went to College, to Radcliffe College which was actually part of Harvard but then it was separate in the sense that the dormitories were separate and some of the activities were separate, although the classes were together.  And I took a year off and then I graduated in 1961 and then went back and got a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from OhioState.  I got my degree in 1976.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  Well that was an ambitious program for a woman at that time, wasn’t it?

Brachman:       . . . .  Yeah I think that when I started there was only one other woman in the program.  It didn’t occur to me that there wouldn’t be women in the program but there weren’t.

Interviewer:     What got you interested in that?  I mean, it’s not lawyer, doctor, merchant.

Brachman:       Well I know.  I had always been, I majored in Anthropology in college and I was interested in lifestyles and how people made their surroundings, ones that were, fit their way of life and were good places for them to live and so I got interested in urban planning from that.

Interviewer:     Well it’s a lot about history.

Brachman:       That’s true, yes.  There was a lot of history involved there as well.

Interviewer:     Well that’s interesting, really interesting.  And then how were you, continue with your, you graduated from OhioState?

Brachman:       Uh huh.

Interviewer:     And then after that?

Brachman:       Then I went to work.  And let me just stop once for one minute and go back to . . . .

Interviewer:     Okay.

Brachman:       one thing I just want to say about my mother who unfortunately died quite young.  She . . . .

Interviewer:     What year was that?

Brachman:       She died in 1960 I think, yes, 1960. She was 44.  So she died of cancer when she was quite young.  I just wanted to insert that.

Interviewer:     Sure, sure.

Brachman:       She was a lovely person that people, many people still remember.

Interviewer:     That’s right.  I do.  But she always saw what direction you were going in, your siblings?

Brachman:       Yeah, my sister was still in high school actually at the time.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       She was just 15.

Interviewer:     Well who took over the family at that point?

Brachman:       Well my dad did and then he remarried but it was a short marriage and then they were divorced and then he was on his own for a number of years.

Interviewer:     Yeah, he was a strong person too.

Brachman:       Yes he was, yeah.  With any number of interests.  Always had lots of intellectual interests of all kinds.  Very interested in history and also was a very strong Zionist.  Was very active in the Zionist movement not only here in Columbus but nationally . . . .

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       as well.  In fact one of my memories at a child is having the doorbell ring and having somebody from Western Union delivering a telegram about what was going on.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  Good old Western Union days.

Brachman:       Yes, if you can believe that now.

Interviewer:     Well yeah.  And now we have the Internet.

Brachman:       Yes.

Interviewer:     Well I know that they were very active, your uncles as well.  Uh huh.  What about your training for, your Hebrew training.  Did you have a Bat Mitzvah?

Brachman:       I didn’t have a Bat Mitzvah.  I only remember one girl having a Bat Mitzvah.

Interviewer:     They weren’t very popular at that time?

Brachman:       No they were not and I did go to HebrewSchool, the ColumbusHebrewSchool, for several years and then had private lessons with my cousin Roberta and Elaine for a number of years after that as well so I did have quite a bit of Hebrew background, yeah.

Interviewer:     Uh huh

Brachman:       But did not have a Bat Mitzvah.  I was confirmed at TempleIsrael and so I’d actually gone to three different Sunday schools.  I went to Agudas Achim, no first I went to Tifereth Israel which is where my mother’s family had all gone and that family still has a strong affiliation with Tifereth Israel.  And then I went to Agudas Achim and then went to TempleIsrael.

Interviewer:     Oh so you’ve had a little bit of everything then?

Brachman:       Yes.  And the way, we always went to Agudas Achim for the High Holidays.

Interviewer:     Where do you and Merom go to now?

Brachman:       We actually go to Beth Tikvah.

Interviewer:     Oh okay.  Well you’ve hit every one of them almost.  Almost, not quite.

Brachman:       Not quite.

Interviewer:     Not quite.  What about activities that you remember as a youngster?

Brachman:       Oh golly.

Interviewer:     School activities, social events?

Brachman:       I’ll have to ponder that a little bit.

Interviewer:     Jewish Center?

Brachman:       Oh yes . . . . went to the Jewish Center but I was already in high school by the time the Jewish Center, here, was moved on College Avenue.  I remember going to the SchonthalCenter, not as often but I do remember going there.  That was when it was on Rich Street, is that where it was?

Interviewer:     Yeah, Hebrew School, right, across from the HebrewSchool.

Brachman:       Yeah, uh huh.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       Well I remember going there but my memories of that are vaguer I have to say.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  What about youth synagogue?  Were there activities . . . .

Brachman:       Well they used to, you know, some things that, what did they call it, the TempleYouth, the TempleIsrael . . . .

Interviewer:     USY?

Brachman:       Y.F.T.L., is that what they called it?

Interviewer:     Well there are different initials.

Brachman:       I can’t remember what it is now.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  Our kids . . . .

Brachman:       And also Councilettes, the young part of the Council of Jewish Women.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       We called it Councilettes in those days.  I don’t know if they have that any more now.

Interviewer:     It doesn’t sound familiar to me.

Brachman:       And Young Judea too although I was not, I think that’s when I went to SchonthalCenter was for Young Judea.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       But I don’t have a good memory of that.

Interviewer:     What about at school?  Were you involved in activities there?

Brachman:       Just there in elementary school.  I don’t remember any particular activities when I was there.

Interviewer:     What was it like on campus at Radcliffe?  Were there situations where you became involved with Hillel or any of those kinds of . . . .

Brachman:       Yeah the Hillel then, the Hillel at Harvard now is wonderful.  It was not as active then.  It was very nice to go to for the holidays or Passover for the Passover meals and for services but it was not close by.  Now it is just . . . . right in the middle of campus.  You can use your meal card to go there whenever you want to to get all your meals there because it’s kosher.  And because it’s so close to the residential halls, it’s very, it’s wonderful.  It was not as involved then but of course, I don’t know that people even thought about asking for them to provide all the meals that it has now.  Although, one thing was surprising was the number of Jewish people, Jewish students.  It was about 25%.

Interviewer:     Oh that’s interesting.

Brachman:       Yes, yes.  So it was a high percentage.

Interviewer:     Well you have to be a pretty good student to get accepted there too so that probably maybe has something, some encouragement for it then too.

Brachman:       Although interestingly, it was an era when not everybody was as actively Jewish as they are now.  And in fact some of the people that were in the dormitories, I was certainly very forthright about it but some of the people in the dormitories in Carroll, which is 1960, the war came in the Middle East.  There were people you didn’t know were Jewish who suddenly . . . .

Interviewer:     They wanted to latch onto it . . . .

Brachman:       became, began to identify.

Interviewer:     It became more of a sense of pride and . . . .

Brachman:       Yeah I think so.

Interviewer:     you didn’t have to hide about it as much?

Brachman:       Uh huh.

Interviewer:     I’m curious to know why your daughter and son-in-law are choosing to go to Israel.

Brachman:       Our daughter does foundation consulting, primarily with Jewish foundations, primarily on Jewish Education.  And some of the foundations that she works with have offices in Israel or even their primary office in Israel.  And so she, for her it’s a good opportunity, but the business part of it is really more that it works out nicely.  What she really wanted to do was have her family spend a year and have her children have an opportunity to go to Israeli schools and they’ll be going to schools that are all Hebrew-speaking.

Interviewer:     Oh well they’ll certainly have a complete background of Judaism for sure.

Brachman:       Yes, yeah.

Interviewer:     Well what about your son-in-law?

Brachman:       Our son-in-law’s a social worker and so he’s really going to be spending a lot of his time in an ulpan so that he can really improve his Hebrew a lot as well.  So it should be a very good year for them.

Interviewer:     What city will they be living in?

Brachman:       In Jerusalem.

Interviewer:     In Jerusalem?

Brachman:       Yeah.  And he’s also an attorney and part of the work that he does in Ann Arbor is related to the law and his consulting into social work, so.

Interviewer:     That’ll be an ambitious year.

Brachman:       Yeah it will be.  I think that will be an enjoyable one for everybody.  The kids are already working on their Hebrew.

Interviewer:     Good.  Well it will be fun for you and your husband to visit there and see how they’re progressing.  Can you share with us any thought, remembrances that you might have as a child in terms of the games that you played or songs?  We didn’t watch, the kids didn’t watch television quite as much at that point.

Brachman:       We did not have television until I think I was in high school so we didn’t watch much TV.  We had a lot.  I was a big patron of the Bexley Public Library.  Used to either, in those days, there was a Bexley bus and we could walk over and as kids, would cost a nickel and you could ride the bus over to Main Street.

Interviewer:     Was in Bexley, your . . . .

Brachman:       Yeah we had the buses.  Actually there were two Bexley buses.  There was a North Bexley bus and a South Bexley bus.  And I can’t remember which one we took.  We took it at the corner of Cassingham and Powell.  We could walk up that far ourselves.  As little kids, things that kids can’t do these days.

Interviewer:     Yeah in terms of security.

Brachman:       Exactly, yeah.

Interviewer:     Yeah.

Brachman:       But we’d go up and catch the bus and get off and go to the Library. We were so young we couldn’t cross Main Street ourselves so we’d have to wait until the bus went around, turned into South Bexley and went around to . . . and on the south side of Main Street and we’d get off.

Interviewer:     Was the Bexley Library where it is today?

Brachman:       Uh huh, uh huh.

Interviewer:     Probably hasn’t changed very much from the outside?

Brachman:       Not from the outside.  It looks different on the inside.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  It’s a fine library.

Brachman:       It has a nice collection of Jewish things in it..

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  Yeah.  I’ve been in there on Sabbath and I see some Jewish people who don’t ride on Sabbath and they would be in there reading.  I found that very interesting.  It was comfortable, it was comfortable.  What about toys and games that you played as kids?

Brachman:       Oh, of course we played outside a lot in the Summer on our bikes and wagons and that kind of thing.  We played a lot of board games.  We used to do things like make pot holders which we were always trying to sell to our relatives and neighbors and .

Interviewer:     And they couldn’t refuse?

Brachman:       Naturally.

Interviewer:     Do you remember going shopping as a youngster, going, you know, with maybe your mother downtown Columbus.  That was . . . .  Okay we’re curious now about what stores you might remember or going downtown or what it was like shopping in Bexley.  Did you, did you shop in Bexley?

Brachman:       Oh yeah.

Interviewer:     Some of those kinds of things.

Brachman:       Yeah we used to go over, when we were old enough to go to Main Street ourselves, we’d ride our bikes over there.  What was it called, Seckle’s, can’t remember the drug store.  There was of course Wentz’s and Mr. Wentz lived right next door to my grandmother, to Bertha Newman, and so we knew him and the soda fountain there and there was also Gray’s Drug Store which is . . . .

Interviewer:     Wait, let’s stop this and tell us about what happened to it now.

Brachman:       Wentz’s was on the corner of Drexel and Main and was in business for any number of years and then finally it turned into an ice cream parlor.

Interviewer:     So we’re still eating ice cream there?

Brachman:       That’s right. And they even have a sundae named after Roy Wentz.

Interviewer:     Oh do they?

Brachman:       Yeah.

Interviewer:     I didn’t know that.  Uh huh.  But the soda fountain was a very popular place, wasn’t it?

Brachman:       Yes it was, yeah.  It was a wonderful pharmacy and had those old glass jars in the window and it looked like a compound that would make pharmaceuticals from in the days when they did make them and I think that Roy Wentz, Sr. probably did.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       Used a mortar and pestle in the old days to make . . . .

Interviewer:     Make them from scratch, yeah.

Brachman:       You know.  And it was an old-fashioned soda fountain and magazine stand and everything was behind the counter.  You had to ask for it and they were very helpful.  Across the street was Gray’s Drug Store which was also a place that had a soda fountain in the old days.  We would go there too.  The Drexel Theater of course.  Still in existence but then it only had one theater.

Interviewer:     One big theater, uh huh.

Brachman:       And the Bexley Theater which had two theaters and in the old days no candy counter.  On occasion on Saturdays they would give out free candy.

Interviewer:     Oh.

Brachman:       It cost 20 cents to go to the movie and you went to, moving ahead, a candy counter.  Most of the candies cost a nickel so for 25 cents . . . .

Interviewer:     You had an afternoon?

Brachman:       That’s exactly right.

Interviewer:     Did you have any favorite movies that you remembered as a kid?

Brachman:       We went to . . . .  When we were at our grandparents’ for lunch, we would each get a quarter and we’d walk down to the Drexel.  If there wasn’t something we wanted to see at the Drexel we’d walk on west to the Eastern or the Main so we’d walk a pretty big distance then.

Interviewer:     Those are not neighborhoods you want to even drive in today.

Brachman:       Unfortunately those theaters don’t exist any more.  Neither does the Bexley any more.  In those days we used to walk over to those and occasionally we’d walk over to the Livingston but that was not quite, that was a little further.

Interviewer:     That was a big walk, yeah.  Were you ever involved in sports?  No interest?  What about football games at Bexley or OhioState?

Brachman:       Yeah we used to go to the football games.  I’m sorry to say I still can’t understand football.

Interviewer:     Well it’s not for everybody.  Not everybody loves doing that.

Brachman:       No I loved to ride my bike and I walked but that’s the extent of my athletic endeavors.

Interviewer:     Do you remember when television started?  What were some of the shows that were big hits?

Brachman:       We used to go to my grandmother’s, my mother’s mother, I can’t remember what night of the week it was but every week we went over there to watch Milton Berle.

Interviewer:     Tuesday night.

Brachman:       Tuesday night!  How did you remember that?

Interviewer:     ’Cause that’s what I remember (laughter).

Brachman:       My gosh . . . .

Interviewer:     That’s a fond memory, isn’t it?

Brachman:       Yes.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       We were so fascinated by television we would watch the test pattern.

Interviewer:     I know, isn’t that strange?  That is funny.  But that’s the way it was and television was such a phenomenon and not everybody had television yet so . . . .

Brachman:       We did listen to the radio a lot.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       We used to listen to programs in the late afternoon and then Sunday afternoon and evenings.

Interviewer:     What kind of, do you remember what some of those programs were?

Brachman:       . . . . listen to “The Shadow”.  That was a weekday program.  “Inner Sanctum”.

Interviewer:     Yeah the serials that you got kind of hooked on.

Brachman:       Did you listen to those too?

Interviewer:     I did, I did, uh huh.  And I remember some of the commercials.  It was fun.  Yeah.  Those are good memories.  We’re reaching the end of Tape 1, Side A.  I’m going to stop and turn the tape over to the other side.  We are now on Side B of Tape 1 and we’ll continue.  We got all excited talking about old television and radio shows and sharing some of that information, walking to school and talking about neighbors of your youth.  Okay, did you have any very close friends other than family?

Brachman:       Oh we had this neighborhood group and Bonnie Gertner was in our group and Cyril Seigel who lived behind and her sisters, Debbie and Roz, Joe Zuckerman. And those were kind of our neighborhood group that did things together.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  Do you still see some of these people or?

Brachman:       None of them live in town that I’m aware of to tell you the truth.  And then when I was in Confirmation Class, we actually had, we did walk, that was when TempleIsrael was on Bryden Road . . . .

Interviewer:     Yeah I remember that.

Brachman:       yeah, halfway into that town, and we had a whole group of us then would go together, we would take the bus, took the Main Street bus, and get off, I can’t remember what the cross street was, and then walk over to Bryden.  But I lived the furthest from Main Street so I’d start out and I’m walking up Roosevelt, pick up Patty Gurwin and then we would pick up Susan Abel as we walked closer to Main Street.  Then we would pick up George Rosenfield and then we’d all catch the bus together and go to our Confirmation Class.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       And catch the bus and come home again.

Interviewer:     Confirmation Class, what day was that on?

Brachman:       I think it was on Saturday.

Interviewer:     Probably, probably.

Brachman:       I think.  Yes it was because then we went to services after- . . . .

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       wards, yeah.  Saturday . . . .

Interviewer:     Did you enjoy that part of Temple?  You know, sometimes it was a chore to be Bar or Bat Mitzvahed.  For instance the kids didn’t like going to Hebrew classes.  It wasn’t always a real pleasant experience but . . . .

Brachman:       It was fine.  I don’t know that education was looked at, Jewish education was looked at in the same way it is now in terms of providing a content to the history to make it more understandable.  And of course that was, some of the time that I was going to Sunday School was during World War II and there really was not a lot of understanding what was going on in terms of the Holocaust in big detail, that we now understand it.

Interviewer:     Do you remember any of your teachers of at HebrewSchool at that point, Confirmation?

Brachman:       At HebrewSchool of course there was Mr. Solomon was the first teacher.

Interviewer:     Oh he was an icon, wasn’t he?

Brachman:       He was.  He was.  And then of course who was the principal?

Interviewer:     Bernard Solomon.

Brachman:       Yes, yes, right.  And what was that Mrs., Ms., can’t think of her name, the Hebrew teacher, the woman teacher.  Remember her name?  I can’t remember her name, Mr. Comenetsky and Mr. Harrison.

Interviewer:     Oh yeah.

Brachman:       Daniel Harrison.

Interviewer:     Daniel Harrison.

Brachman:       Yeah.  And his daughter Shoshona was a friend of mine.

Interviewer:     Oh.

Brachman:       Yeah.  Used to keep up with her even after she moved away and got married, I used to keep up with Shoshona.

Interviewer:     I think she was in town several years ago, that I remember meeting her.

Brachman:       Huh.

Interviewer:     Were there opportunities for synagogue, for Temple suppers or picnics, festivals?

Brachman:       I don’t remember that.

Interviewer:     There’s so much . . . .

Brachman:       I remember going to some things at the old Agudas Achim at Washington and Donaldson, down there in the lower level.  In fact that’s where I went to Sunday School was down there and they had those green curtains that separated the class- rooms.

Interviewer:     Yeah, yeah.

Brachman:       You remember that?

Interviewer:     Yeah.

Brachman:       And going to Junior Congregation down there . . . .

Interviewer:     Well sometimes that’s a fun experience, a good time to see kids you don’t see any other time.

Brachman:       Yeah and Hebrew School too.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  Do you have memories, very many memories of World War II.  What are some of the thoughts that you recall?

Brachman:       I don’t remember a whole lot about World War II, I have to say.

Interviewer:     Do you remember anybody going into the service, that had to serve?

Brachman:       Yeah . . . . I think my mother’s cousin Manny, Manuel, anyway . . . .

Interviewer:     Well you were probably too young to think too much of . . . .

Brachman:       As I remember, I think I remember seeing him in uniform and my Uncle Al who was, didn’t serve in the Armed Forces.  I think his eyes were not good enough and so he served in the Merchant Marines during the war.  And then I remember ration stamps of course.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       And the difficulty in getting meat.  Going to the kosher butcher and the difficulty in getting . . . .

Interviewer:     It was limited.  You were very limited.

Brachman:       Yeah.

Interviewer:     And there were a lot of other items that were limited too.

Brachman:       Oh yeah, sugar.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       All things.

Interviewer:     I remember we used to do some trading like if one person didn’t bake a lot, they would give somebody else their baking, the baking effects . . . .

Brachman:       Uh huh.

Interviewer:     sugar and flour and margarine.  So that was a time that you were young enough not to be terribly involved but kids were patriotic though.  You knew about being patriotic?

Brachman:       Oh very, very.  And of course we used to save tin cans and people had VictoryGardens.

Interviewer:     Right, right.  Tell us about some of the jobs that you’ve worked at, some of those experiences.

Brachman:       Okay.  I will focus on my more recent history on that so after I . . . .

Interviewer:     Okay.

Brachman:       I got my Urban Planning Degree, I worked for the State of Ohio starting in 1977 and worked first in the Department of Development doing housing planning.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       And then in, when did I go with . . . .

Interviewer:     Now was this in Columbus?

Brachman:       Right, yeah it was.  And I meant . . . .

Interviewer:     Talking about your professional career.

Brachman:       Okay.  At any rate I worked for the better part of a year for the Ohio Department of Development here in Columbus and then I transferred to the Governor’s Office to handle the Federal Grants coming into the State and headed up the, what was called the State Clearing House, dealing, looking at all the Federal Grants, reviewing all the Federal Grants that came into the State.  And I was there until, let’s see, 19–, odd to put that in the bio and then I mail in because I think it was 1982 and then I went, worked for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban development until 1989 and part of the time I worked heading up the Ohio Office here in Columbus and part of the time I served as the Regional Administrator in Chicago for about a year and a half.

Interviewer:     Did you go back and forth between . . . .

Brachman:       Yeah I did.  I commutted, I would be in Chicago maybe three days a week and then I could work out of the Columbus office as well so I worked in Columbus and the Regional Office was in charge of the six states in the Midwest Region . . . . in terms of population and actually the fund that flowed through the office, it was the largest office in the country by far.  And it had, was very interesting and challenging in a lot of ways.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       And then I was the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at HUD in Washington for two years and commuted home on weekends, which I always say is what saved me because I realized that when I came home on the weekends, my neighbors were not interested in anything that I did as long as it didn’t cost them any money.

Interviewer:     (laughs) . . . .

Brachman:       It made me realize that not everything that went on, went on in Washington.  There were a lot of important things that went on right here in Columbus, Ohio.

Interviewer:     Yeah.  But for you it was a different lifestyle.

Brachman:       Well I was, well I was there and I traveled quite a bit too.  But I worked, just worked all week since I didn’t have any family there.  Just spent the whole week working and it was a historic time actually in many ways because the Fair Housing Act had been passed in 1968 as the last of the Civil Rights legislation and in some ways it was a capstone because it was the first time that it really guaranteed that people could live anywhere that they wanted to live regardless of their race, gender, religion, national origin, etcetera.  The dilemma was that the legislation didn’t really have any strong teeth in it so there wasn’t a lot that could be done if it was violated and so the, what we really worked hard to do was to get what were called strengthening amendments passed to the legislation and they were passed in 1988 when I was there and so that was a real milestone to be able to have that legislation in place that put down in statutes the fact that there were serious repercussions if discrimination occurred and that it, the Act, had to be followed very seriously.

Interviewer:     Were you instrumental in promoting that legislation?

Brachman:       We worked very hard on letting people know and it was important that people who lived in all parts of the country were aware that that legislation was under consideration.  And it was quite a contrast in terms of when the passage in ’68, which was very controversial.  By ’88 it passed with a vast, vast majority of people recognizing it.  And the discrimination, which has a history for Jewish people as well in terms of where they could live and covenants that had been in effect before the Fair Housing Act and then after that, of course, were illegal, discrimination had been quite settled.  And so the Act dealt with insuring that people weren’t steered away from looking where they wanted to look, that there wasn’t block-busting, which of course historically the block-busting was something that actually broke up a number of historic Jewish neighborhoods.  People in Chicago and Detroit and other places were actually frightened out of their neighborhoods by the fear of some unknown group of people coming in and creating crime and that kind of thing.  So it had two effects actually on Jewish people.  One in the old days where there were neighborhoods that Jewish people couldn’t purchase houses and then in terms of solid Jewish neighborhoods where institutions, synagogues, all kinds of community institutions existed, and these people were simply frightened out of their neighborhoods and left in huge numbers in a very short period of time.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       At any rate the thing in ’88 then that was so interesting was that after the Act was passed, the Secretary of HUD said that he wanted to have the regulations in place before he left.

Interviewer:     Who was the Secretary at that . . . .

Brachman:       Sam Pierce.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       And he wanted very much to have those regulations in place before he left office which would be in early ’89 when President Reagan’s office, tenure, time in office was finished.  And I should say that my position was one that was a nomination by the President, by Ronald Reagan, and had to be confirmed by the Senate so there was a whole process to go through just to be confirmed.  Then once that statute was passed, we were on a very fast track to get those regulations written and published and that is not a short term process because this is brand-new legislation and in terms of federal law, the regulations must be published first as proposed regulations that anyone who has an interest can comment on.  All those comments had to be taken into account and then the final regulations have to be published. And all that had to be done between, oh gee, this was the Spring or Summer of ’88 and the end of ’88.  And we then invited in all the different kinds of organizations that would be involved with fair housing.  We invited in the, and I should say that the statute for the first time also included families with children and people with disabilities.  So before that time those people had not been included in the law in terms of not discriminating even then.

Interviewer:     Even children, even families with children?

Brachman:       They were not included . . . .

Interviewer:     Interesting.

Brachman:       before that time.  Yeah, so you could say, “I’m sorry, we don’t take children.”

Interviewer:     Huh!

Brachman:       So the other side of the coin was that there was some set-aside, I shouldn’t say “set-aside,” some determination for certain kinds of facilities or residencies for older adults or seniors.  But they had to be inclusive in terms of the kinds of things that they provided.

Interviewer:     Hmmm.

Brachman:       But at any rate, we invited in the bankers, we, mortgage brokers, the realtors, the Fair Housing Organization, anybody who was going to be prosecuting the law, just a whole raft of people to ask all of their views on fair housing and what should be done in terms of the regulations because a law is always the foundation but on that are the regulations and unless the regulations are detailed and strong, then people can get around it.  And so we worked very hard to get all of that done.  And that was a really important accomplishment to get . . . .

Interviewer:     Well you had to have . . . .

Brachman:       completed.

Interviewer:     a lot of satisfaction being able to work on that level.

Brachman:       Well that was, it was, met a lot of interesting people, people who were very committed to the cause, so that was a very interesting part of it.  And interestingly on a related topic, our area, Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity was also responsible for insuring that any other federal funds coming through HUD were also utilized in a non-discriminatory way.  And I happened to be at a Fair Housing Conference about a year ago and had several people come up to me to tell me that a letter that I had sent out in ’86 or ’87 dealing with funds that go to communities called “Community Development Block Grant Funds”, that letter set out the guidelines that are still in use across the country for insuring that those funds, when they go to neighborhoods, are used in a fair manner across all the neighborhoods.

Interviewer:     Well sure.  It opened a lot of doors, didn’t it for people who were unable to have fair housing in the past?

Brachman:       Yeah, yeah, that’s true.  So it was nice to think about.  Then I finished there in ’89 at the end of Ronald Reagan’s term and actually ended up doing something in 1990 that I had never thought I would do.  I was actually drafted to run for State Treasurer in Ohio, the first woman on the Republican ticket and actually the first Jewish person on a state-wide ticket on the Republican side other than the Supreme Court.  So it was interesting.  I didn’t win but I learned a lot about the process and I have a much better regard for elected officials than I ever did before that.  It gives you a lot of insight into how hard they work and how challenging it is to put together policies that are collaborative and inclusive and really move a state forward.

Interviewer:     Sure, a lot of satisfaction in that direction . . . .

Brachman:       Uh huh.

Interviewer:     helping to get things established.

Brachman:       Yes.

Interviewer:     So it was an interesting time for you to be doing . . . .

Brachman:       Well and it was, I can’t tell you how helpful people were, particularly the Repub- lican women all over the state were extremely helpful.  And the fact that I was a Jewish candidate was, I think, new for them but they were delighted and delighted that I was a woman running and could not have been more helpful in . . . .

Interviewer:     Terrific.

Brachman:       every area of the state.

Interviewer:     Yeah you were totally accepted . . . .

Brachman:       Yeah.

Interviewer:     in that level.

Brachman:       But they could not have been more welcoming.

Interviewer:     What about today?  Are you finished with all of that background . . . .

Brachman:       I am.  After that, Governor Voinovich appointed me to his Cabinet as a Director of the Department of Aging and so I spent eight years as the Director of the Depart- ment of Aging and during a time when the resources for older adults grew tremendously.  Governor Voinovich was very kind to older adults, but now Senator Voinovich.  And increased the funding for programs, particularly for low- income older people to remain at home.  And that, which was very important and is important . . . .

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       because of course people would much rather stay at home than . . . .

Interviewer:     Sure.

Brachman:       to go into a nursing home.  And there’s nothing wrong with nursing homes.  It’s just that the people prefer to be at home.

Interviewer:     More comfortable and it’s something that you want to encourage if it can be done.

Brachman:       Yeah.  Well and it turned out not only to be something the people wanted but it actually, because this program called “Passport” was a Medicaid-funded program for lower income people.  It was also much more cost effective than if they were in a nursing home in Medicaid . . . .

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       so it really saved the State a considerable amount of money too and we really set the stage for larger expansion of the program . . . .

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       at the end.  Did some things to insure that the program was very well run and high standards for the kinds of care that were given all across the state.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  Are you involved any more with those activities?

Brachman:       Well I’ve been doing a program, weekly, short weekly program on WOSU Radio voicing issues of interest to older adults and their caregivers which I’ve done for about eight years and, I guess it’s, yeah, more than eight years I guess.  And people seem to think it’s interesting and focused primarily on older adults and their caregivers and have been interested because there are lots of Baby Boomer caregivers out there who are finding out the challenges of taking care of their parents.

Interviewer:     Baby Boomers are popping up as older people now.

Brachman:       Yes, yes.  They themselves are, yeah.

Interviewer:     Uh huh, yeah.

Brachman:       And they have also done some things on other health-care-related programming.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       Also we had for a period of time the Bexley Task Force on Aging which was also quite interesting to Jewish Family Services and Wexner Heritage as well because so many of the older adults that they work with live in Bexley as well.

Interviewer:     So you still have your hands on that interest?

Brachman:       Yeah.  I do continue to . . . .

Interviewer:     That’s good, that’s good.

Brachman:       . . . . that interest and also am involved nationally with one of the UJA committees that is working on things relative to Baby Boomers actually.  We’re working on a presentation for Baby Boomers dealing with aging issues and a variety of things of that nature as well.

Interviewer:     I wonder how long we can get away with “Baby Boomers”.  It sounds like a term that is going to have to be replaced very soon.

Brachman:       That’s a good point . . . .

Interviewer:     Yeah, yeah.  They’re not babies, that’s for sure.

Brachman:       No they’re . . . .

Interviewer:     They’re our kids but they’re not babies.

Brachman:       (Laughter)  Well and also depending on when they were born, they have different interests, different experiences, etcetera.

Interviewer:     Sure, sure.  Uh huh.  Well you’ve had a fascinating background as far as your career is concerned and very daring.

Brachman:       Well I feel very grateful to have had these experiences . . . .

Interviewer:     And helpful to many people too.  It has been very helpful, I’m sure.

Brachman:       And I am also the Consumer Member on the State Board of Nursing.

Interviewer:     Oh.

Brachman:       Which has been very interesting for me.  I’m a non-nurse and so I’ve learned a great deal about nurses and I have a lot of admiration for that profession . . . .

Interviewer:     Yeah, yeah.

Brachman:       But I also am fortunate to be able to be the consumer and remind them of the interests and needs of consumers.

Interviewer:     Absolutely, absolutely.  What about, well I want, I don’t want to forget this part of it before our tape runs out.  Although you’ve had a fascinating background and still are involved, there’s a lot to be proud of.  Are you involved in, will you be involved in the political campaign which seems to be going on for two years?

Brachman:       (Laughs)  I don’t anticipate it now.  I was, I did serve as the chair of the senior campaign for George Bush in ’04 which was very exciting.  I enjoyed it a lot.  And of course we were successful so we felt good about that.

Interviewer:     Sure.

Brachman:       Including the senior vote which, and it required a tremendous amount of work, I have to say.  As a volunteer it turned out to be almost a half-time job.

Interviewer:     Wow, uh huh.

Brachman:       Very interesting.

Interviewer:     Well you put a lot of yourself into all these efforts, I know that.  An important part of your life which I certainly am not overlooking, I want you to tell me how you met your husband, about your marriage, and so forth.  Okay?

Brachman:       I met my husband at college.  Actually I was, met him through some cousins of mine who, well actually, that isn’t quite right.  I was sitting out on the lawn in front of my dorm actually, right before school started my freshman year.  And my twin cousins on my mother’s side were sophomores at Harvard and they came over to visit and . . . .

Interviewer:     What were their names?

Brachman:       Their names were Mike and Rick, Richard Lockshin, L-O-C-K-S-H-I-N, and they actually grew up in Mansfield and then moved to, it was Hampton or Springfield, Massachusetts.  I’m forgetting which.  But at any rate, and I was sitting out on the lawn with them and my husband happened to come over to Radcliffe with a friend of his who was from Columbus and who I didn’t even remember was at Harvard and he introduced us.  So we met actually at the beginning of my freshman year.

Interviewer:     So Merom was just visiting somebody there?

Brachman:       Well he was at Harvard.

Interviewer:     Oh he was at Harvard?

Brachman:       He was a junior at Harvard.  I’m sorry, I wasn’t clear on that.

Interviewer:     Uh huh, uh huh.

Brachman:       Yeah.

Interviewer:     And where was he from?  Where was Merome from?

Brachman:       He was from Fort Worth, Texas.  So . . . .

Interviewer:     Well you got a . . . .

Brachman:       his family actually, his parents both grew up in Marietta so he had . . . .

Interviewer:     Oh.

Brachman:       a lot of . . . .

Interviewer:     Ohio ties, uh huh.

Brachman:       Yes, as well.

Interviewer:     Well isn’t that interesting how the wheel turns and that happened in my family too so I understand that.

Brachman:       Is that right?

Interviewer:     Yeah, my children.  But we’re talking about you now.  Let’s go on with that.  How long did you date before you got married?

Brachman:       Well we eloped in the middle of my sophomore year.

Interviewer:     Oh.

Brachman:       So . . . .  We went out for about a year and a half and we were already engaged and we were planning a wedding and we really wanted to have a small wedding.  But we wanted to include all of our families including our first cousins and Merom’s family is probably larger than mine and so by the time we added up all those people, we wanted to be married in my house.  It was over a hundred people and that didn’t even include friends and, we wanted to invite.  And we could see that it was going to be more than we could manage so we eloped.  And actually the person who married us was a colleague of Merom’s father.  Merom’s father was a rabbi and he would have been the person to marry us but this was a colleague of his up in the Boston area in Somerville, who married us.  He had gone to rabbinical school with Merom’s dad.

Interviewer:     Hmmm.  So were your immediate families there at all?

Brachman:       No.

Interviewer:     No parents or . . . .

Brachman:       We sent them a telegram and told them we had gotten married.

Interviewer:     Ohhhh.

Brachman:       And so my parents were planning an engagement party and they just turned it into a wedding party instead.

Interviewer:     Oh so you did celebrate your wedding then?

Brachman:       Indeed, yes.

Interviewer:     Your marriage, rather.

Brachman:       That’s right.  That was about, I think we came home three days later.  We had a short honeymoon and came home three days later and . . . .

Interviewer:     Uh huh. Where did you have your honeymoon?

Brachman:       We went to Lake Placid, New York.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  So you parents were okay with it all and they . . . .

Brachman:       Yes, well they had of course met Merom and they were delighted, looking forward to having him as a son-in-law.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  Well that worked out and you made it a lot easier for everybody then just eloping.  Sometimes that’s the best way to do it.  What about trips that you’ve taken with your children during their lifetime?

Brachman:       Oh well, I think, we took several driving trips west that I think everybody enjoyed, which were nice.  And we used to go down to Fort Worth very regularly to see Merom’s parents and family down there.  We tried to do and to have everybody at all the milestones, not only within our family but in our greater family, Bar and Bat Mizvahs and weddings and . . . .

Interviewer:     The happy occasions?

Brachman:       Yes, yes.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  Does Merom still have family at all in Texas?

Brachman:       He does.  He still has some cousins . . . .

Interviewer:     Uh huh.

Brachman:       that live in Fort Worth still.

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  Well since he’s going to be interviewed, we’re not going to get too much into his . . . .  I mean, I do want a touch of that.  You both are involved in the community in some ways, I think, aren’t you?

Brachman:       Yeah, yeah.

Interviewer:     I mean.

Brachman:       You’ve heard a little bit about what I’ve done.

Interviewer:     Yeah, yeah.  You know I’m just, I think that we pretty much have you covered unless you have some other thoughts that you can share with us.

Brachman:       No I can’t think of anything else that, just, I’ve mentioned our daughters and as it turned out, all three of them went to Harvard as well so we’ve just . . . .

Interviewer:     Well maybe you’ll have some grandchildren going there.

Brachman:       Well we’ll see what their interests are . . . .

Interviewer:     Yeah, yeah.

Brachman:       as they get older.  But all of them have certainly done things in their own right as well.  I think I’ve talked about what Sarai did and that Shael is a physician and I didn’t mention Lavea who is an attorney and an urban planner and is working in the area of the city redevelopment to get cities to be as vital as they once were, and at the same time looking at preservation of farmlands and that suburbs don’t grow so big that they swallow up all the rural areas in Ohio.

Interviewer:     Seems like that’s happening a lot, doesn’t it . . . .

Brachman:       Yeah.

Interviewer:     today?  Uh huh.  Well Columbus is going through a burst of growth.

Brachman:       Yeah.

Interviewer:     It seems like a lot of it is centered on the Bicentennial, 2012.

Brachman:       Uh huh.

Interviewer:     So there’ll be a lot of changes by then.

Brachman:       Yeah, yeah.

Interviewer:     I just went to a meeting where the Museum announced their plans.

Brachman:       Oh is that right?

Interviewer:     Uh huh.  But there are a lot . . . .

Brachman:       I saw something in the paper.

Interviewer:     Yeah, there are a lot of other things that are going to be happening.

Brachman:       Uh huh.

Interviewer:     A lot of excitement in Columbus, Ohio.  Well I certainly have enjoyed sharing all these experiences with you.

Brachman:       Naomi, thank you for being so patient with me.

Interviewer:     Well it’s . . . .

Brachman:       And I appreciate your willingness to sit down and do this.

Interviewer:     It’s very much appreciated.

Brachman:       . . . . and being so comprehensive.

Interviewer:     Yeah.  And whenever you have time, if you can put together your bio and . . . .

Brachman:       Okay.

Interviewer:     all the information you may have, it will be greatly appreciated.  But on behalf of the Columbus Jewish Historical Society I want to thank you for your time and . . . .

Brachman:       And thank you Naomi.

Interviewer:     I enjoyed being with  you.  Okay. Thank you.


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