This is July 20, 2005. My name is Naomi Schottenstein. I’m an interviewer with the Columbus Jewish Historical Society and we’re at the Historical Society office at 1175 College Avenue in Columbus, Ohio. I’m going to be interviewing Marty Hoffman this afternoon and Marty has a large family, a large extended family, he’s been a member of this community for many, many years and we’re going to find out a little bit about his life. Marty, tell me your Jewish name.

Hoffman: Moishe ben Joseph Halevi.

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

Hoffman: I was named after my grandfather. My father was Joseph and he was named after his father who was Joseph.

Interviewer: Uh huh. So you’re named after your paternal…

Hoffman: Right, exactly.

Interviewer: grandfather? And your English name?

Hoffman: Martin Hoffman. No middle name.

Interviewer: No, no middle name?

Hoffman: Too many children. We ran out.

Interviewer: Yeah. In those days we were lucky to have two names, huh?

Hoffman: That’s right. I was the youngest of 12 children.

Interviewer: Wow.

Hoffman: Six boys and six girls.

Interviewer: That’s a wonderful family. But we’re going to find out more about them as we go along. Your nickname is Marty?

Hoffman: Exactly.

Interviewer: Okay and that’s what most people call you?

Hoffman: Exactly.

Interviewer: Great. Your original family name, was it Hoffman?

Hoffman: Always.

Interviewer: It was always Hoffman?

Hoffman: Right.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Tell us where you were born.

Hoffman: I was born in Columbus at 598 E. Mound Street and you want to know the rest…

Interviewer: I want to know when you were born.

Hoffman: I was born in 1931.

Interviewer: Great. Okay. Can you tell us about some of the other houses that you lived in as a…

Hoffman: We lived there for eight years and then we moved to 693 South Ann Street. We lived at 693 South Ann Street which was the dramatic move from the downtown so to speak on Mound and Fulton Street to the South Side. And we lived there for eight years. We lived there for eight years and then we stayed there and then we moved to Bexley.

Interviewer: Okay, that was Marty’s cell phone ringing. We have to add a little background music here. So that was the second house that you lived in?

Hoffman: Yes.

Interviewer: And how long did you live…

Hoffman: I lived there, let’s see, 971 S. Euclaire until I was 18. I graduated from South High school when I was age 17 and I enlisted in the Air Force when I was 18.

Interviewer: Uh huh. So you went right from high school to the Air Force?

Hoffman: Exactly. I worked for one year.

Interviewer: So your whole family lived on Euclaire? Is that…

Hoffman: Well at that time there were only three sisters, my mother and one brother. My father had passed away.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Okay. When your, tell me how your father came to Columbus? What was that about? Where did he come from?

Hoffman: My father came to the United States from Russia. He came with his cousin. He was 15 years old.

Interviewer: Who was his cousin?

Hoffman: His cousin, his name was Myron Hoffman and he was from Coshocton. His parents were already there. So they sponsored my father to come with him and he came from Columbus, he came from New York to Columbus and then they took a bus to Coshocton.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Why was that family in Coshocton? Do you know why they settled there?

Hoffman: Because they had some friends there. He had, his two uncles were there and they had some friends there so they came in. My father lived there for two years; he didn’t like it. So he came to the capital of Columbus.

Interviewer: Columbus was the State Capital?

Hoffman: Exactly.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Yeah I’m always curious about how people go to these other communities like Circleville and Coshocton and Lancaster. There’s some reason that brings them there, business or…

Hoffman: Right.

Interviewer: family or something. So what business did your father go into eventually?

Hoffman: He was in the cooperage business. They used to make wooden barrels and he worked for a man whose name was Jake Mattlin and he had a cousin in Cincinnati so he went to Cincinnati on business for…

Interviewer: Your dad had a cousin?

Hoffman: No my, Jake Mattlin.

Interviewer: Oh Jake Mattlin, uh huh, Jake Mattlin.

Hoffman: So he sent my father to Cincinnati to do some business there where he met my mother who was from Ludlow, Kentucky. She was born in Ludlow.

Interviewer: She was born there, uh huh.

Hoffman: So he dated her for like six months and they got married. Then she moved to Columbus and he worked for Jake Mattlin until 1933.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Always in the same business?

Hoffman: Then he went into business for himself in 1937.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Did any other members of your dad’s family come with him or come to the States eventually?

Hoffman: Well some other cousins came. They moved to New York.

Interviewer: But did he have brothers or sisters?

Hoffman: The brother, that lived in New York.

Interviewer: Uh huh, just, that’s the only sibling that he had?

Hoffman: Yeah, that’s it.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: And the two uncles in…they’ve all passed away. Oh his mother came to New York. That’s right. His father passed away.

Interviewer: Uh huh. But you didn’t know your grandparents did you, or did you?

Hoffman: I knew my mother’s parents.

Interviewer: Did you? Your mother’s parents?

Hoffman: Their name was Rosenthal.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: She was a Rosenthal.

Interviewer: Okay. Tell us about her family.

Hoffman: She had a brother, she had a brother named Lou Rosen–, Louis Rosenthal. That was her youngest brother, her other brother whose name was Abe Rosenthal and Israel Rosenthal. And they lived on Carpenter Street.

Interviewer: So they lived in Columbus?

Hoffman: Right.

Interviewer: Uh huh. It seems like there were a few Rosenthal families.

Hoffman: There were. My uncle started in business with Abe Wolman. They were in the insurance business.

Interviewer: Oh.

Hoffman: Abish Wolman.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: And my uncle started the business.

Interviewer: So that was a long time ago wasn’t it?

Hoffman: Big business.

Interviewer: Uh huh. And did he stay with Abe or did they break off eventually? How did…

Hoffman: No he was in business with him and they, he passed away, my uncle passed away in 19–, let’s see, 1937.

Interviewer: Oh. Well let’s talk about, let’s talk about how your family related at home. Did everybody speak English for instance? I’ve talked to some families where the parents only spoke Yiddish or Russian and the kids spoke English all the time.

Hoffman: Well we all spoke English. We all spoke English. And my parents spoke English. And when they didn’t want us to understand, you know, they’d speak in Yiddish.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: So sooner or later you’d pick up Yiddish.

Interviewer: So your mother was born in Kentucky…

Hoffman: Ludlow.

Interviewer: So she had her education then didn’t she?

Hoffman: Yes, she was educated in Cincinnati.

Interviewer: Uh huh. What about your dad? Was he able to go to school?

Hoffman: He never went to school. He went to a Yeshiva in Russia.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: He was a Levi. He studied with the, he went to the Yeshiva, with the big Yeshiva, with the, I forgot the name of it. He studied with the Goin, the Yeshiva.

Interviewer: Was he very religious?

Hoffman: No not really, but he could be.

Interviewer: But he had the background?

Hoffman: Oh yeah.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Was your home a kosher home, a Judaic…

Hoffman: Yes, yes, yes.

Interviewer: traditional…

Hoffman: Uh huh.

Interviewer: All right. Now tell us about your siblings. I know you told us that you come from a family of 12. That’s one of the larger families in Columbus.

Hoffman: I was the youngest of 12. My oldest brother’s name was Herman and between he and I there were 20 years difference. And in the 20 years we had ten more children.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Can you go through each one of your siblings and tell us, you know, about their families and what happened to them?

Hoffman: Well…

Interviewer: What happened to your…

Hoffman: My brother Herman, he moved to, he used to work for Gilbert’s Shoe Store. Then he moved to Steubenville and he had two children, Louis Hoffman, who’s five years younger than me. He’s a very successful attorney today in Dayton, Ohio. And his daughter passed away eight years ago. And he passed away, Herman passed away 19 years ago, 20 years ago.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Who was he married to?

Hoffman: He was married to Mildred Topper.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: Then when Mildred Topper passed away he sold his business in Steuben- ville and he married a woman, he married Florence Parrish’s sister and, Annabelle Snider’s sister Edith.

Interviewer: Oh, I see.

Hoffman: And they moved to Florida.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: And he passed away. She’s still there. She’s 90 years old.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: And my next sister’s name is Sarah Topy. She was married to Murray Topy and she passed away 44 years ago. And she had two children and one daughter passed away and the other daughter lives in California.

Interviewer: Yeah. Whenever you can if you can remember names, you know, help us fill in with that.

Hoffman: Her name is Sarah Topy. Her husband’s name is Murray Topy and he came from nine brothers, the Topolosky brothers. And then my, this name was Marilyn Topy and she lives in California. And her sister’s name was Arlene. She passed away 21 years ago.

Interviewer: You’re pretty good at recalling all these times.

Hoffman: Yeah.

Interviewer: That’s a lot to remember. Okay. So that was the second sibling.

Hoffman: And the next sister’s name was, no, next brother’s name was after that in age was my brother Phil. Still alive. He’ll be 90 years, he was just 90 years old.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: He’s still here.

Interviewer: Uh huh. And who is he married to?

Hoffman: He’s married now to Sonia Hoffman. Her name was formerly Gurevitz. You know, Sonny?

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: Then my other sister…

Interviewer: Did Phil have children?

Hoffman: He has one adopted son who’s a doctor in Seattle.

Interviewer: And his name?

Hoffman: His son’s name?

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: His son’s name is Frankie. And then I have, had a sister named Lena.

Interviewer: Lena, okay.

Hoffman: Rapkin. And she passed away 21 years ago. She had two children.

Interviewer: Who was she married to?

Hoffman: She was married to Milton Rapkin. And he passed away a year after she did.

Interviewer: And did they have children?

Hoffman: They had two children. One child, his son’s name is Sandy and he lives in Los Angeles. And the daughter passed away five years ago.

Interviewer: Her name?

Hoffman: Uh…

Interviewer: Well it’ll come to you.

Hoffman: Yeah.

Interviewer: When you have to think about it, sometimes it doesn’t pop into mind.

Hoffman: The next sister’s name is Molly.

Interviewer: Okay.

Hoffman: Molly passed away last year. She never married and then I have another sister after Molly.

Interviewer: What did Molly do?

Hoffman: Molly worked for the Liquor Control for 21 years and then she retired working for the Igel, George Igel Company. Then the next sister’s name was Leah. And she passed away 13 years ago. And she had two children and she retired from the Democratic Party.

Interviewer: As a worker, I mean, paid worker?

Hoffman: No. She was the Secretary, Secretary-Treasurer of the Democratic Party…

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: in Franklin County.

Interviewer: Was that a volunteer…

Hoffman: No.

Interviewer: No? Okay.

Hoffman: Tie in.

Interviewer: Okay. Who was she married to?

Hoffman: She was married to, well he passed away three years ago. His name was James Newbacker.

Interviewer: Okay. You know, it’s kind of nice to have…

Hoffman: Next I have a sister Mildred. Mildred is now, she’s, Mildred is 79 years old and she’d in a nursing home but she’s okay.

Interviewer: Was she married?

Hoffman: No.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: I have a sister named Annette who’s in a nursing home. She never married. She’s…

Interviewer: What nursing home are they in?

Hoffman: Right across the street from Temple Israel.

Interviewer: Oh so they’re in Columbus?

Hoffman: Oh yeah.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: My sister Mildred was the Valedictorian of her class from Ohio State University, University of Education. She got her Doctor’s Degree and her Master’s Degree and then she went to school in Oxford, Ohio, and she got a Master’s there and her doctorate. She’s the youngest principal in the city of Columbus School System. She’s the Principal of one, two, three, four schools at one time.

Interviewer: She was?

Hoffman: She was offered the position under Orin Smucker to be the Superintendent of Schools, but she refused it.

Interviewer: Well that was a big job.

Hoffman: And my other sister Annette, she was the proofreader for the Greenfield Publishing Company and she retired from Greenfield Publishing after 44 years.

Interviewer: Wow that’s…

Hoffman: And then there’s me.

Interviewer: pretty impressive.

Hoffman: So there’s all left now, there’s two brothers, two boys and two girls out of twelve. I had another brother who passed away at eight months old of diphtheria. That’s where the other brother is…

Interviewer: Uh huh. What was his name?

Hoffman: Israel.

Interviewer: Okay. I just wanted to make sure everybody’s accounted for.

Hoffman: That’s twelve.

Interviewer: I have ten. Herman, you had a sister and then Phil.

Hoffman: Sarah.

Interviewer: Sarah we don’t have.

Hoffman: No Sarah’s listed, Sarah Topy.

Interviewer: Oh okay. I got you. Got it.

Hoffman: And Lena.

Interviewer: Got Lena, okay. Lena and Leah.

Hoffman: Yeah.

Interviewer: Okay. Now where, you had some pretty educated members of your family.

Hoffman: Exactly.

Interviewer: Were your parents able to send them to college? How did they get their education?

Hoffman: They sent, everybody had, they could have gone. But the only ones who went was Annette and Mildred and that’s it.

Interviewer: I guess what I’m trying to bring out is, I’m just remembering from my husband’s family that a lot of the kids, you know, worked…

Hoffman: That’s right, they did.

Interviewer: to pay their tuition and took the bus to get to campus and that doesn’t happen very much in today’s world.

Hoffman: Well they didn’t stay at campus. They lived at home.

Interviewer: Uh huh. They didn’t live in dorms…

Hoffman: No.

Interviewer: or, the dorm was home?

Hoffman: No.

Interviewer: Uh huh. So they went back and forth and they were able to manage to work and go to school?

Hoffman: I never went to college.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Well you’re a self-made man. But we’re going to get around to that. So you said you remembered grandparents too. Tell us what you remember about your grandparents, their names and…

Hoffman: My mother’s parents were Bennett and Rosa Rosenthal and they lived in Columbus and he was a tinner and he worked for George Shustick and Sons for 45 years.

Interviewer: And what kind of business was that?

Hoffman: They did roofs. But he invented the machine that made the gutters.

Interviewer: Oh.

Hoffman: What they did is that he invented the machine and then they got the patent and he got nothing.

Interviewer: He got wiped out of that, huh?

Hoffman: He worked for them.

Interviewer: Isn’t that amazing? He probably wasn’t a happy person then about…

Hoffman: He was okay. He lived with it.

Interviewer: Lived with it? Okay. Well you learn to live with a lot of things. Tell us about your life as a kid. I mean with all those kids there, you didn’t need a whole lot of…

Hoffman: No.

Interviewer: other entertainment.

Hoffman: We lived on Mound Street and one block away at Washington and Mound was… We had down there, I could tell you, there was a fish market there with the fish market where they had, Mellman had the fish market. Next door was Willy Schwartz’ bakery and then across the street down on Washington Avenue was Levin’s Fish Market. Next door to them was the shochet, Yablick. Across the street from there was Kroll’s. Going up on the other side was…

Interviewer: What was Kroll’s?

Hoffman: Kroll’s Delicatessen.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: And going up on the next corner was Harry Center Sons, the Kosher Meat Market. Around the corner was Restaurant Food Supply.

Interviewer: Wow. So it was all right there? Uh huh. What about, what did you do to entertain each other? Did you play in the street? Did you go to the Jewish Center?

Hoffman: Oh no, no, no. We went to Schonthal Center. It was one block over on Rich Street.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: Then they, we, us, we went to the school over there too. You know, right across the street from the Schonthal Center, was the Hebrew School.

Interviewer: Uh huh. What…

Hoffman: I went to Hebrew School there.

Interviewer: What was your, what were your memories of Hebrew School? Was it a pleasant situation? You can be honest. (laughter)

Hoffman: I used to jump out the window.

Interviewer: Oh you were one of those huh? Who was your teacher?

Hoffman: Mr. Metchnik.

Interviewer: Okay. You’re not the first one that’s told us things like that so you’re on the right track. I think going to Hebrew School then was really quite…

Hoffman: But we grew up…

Interviewer: it was like a sentence.

Hoffman: Then we got fancy. We moved to Ann Street. Now across the street from us was the Charmings. Then lived Schlomo Melmed the, oh gosh, Abe Robins, next door lived the Schlonskys. Then one block over lived the Geichmans. Then down the street lived the Levys, Butch Levy’s parents. Next door to them lived Ephriam Schottenstein. That’s Jerome’s mother and father. Then going down a little bit further lived Rosens. And then going over on the other side lived the Beckmans. Then go over to Wager Street and… lived Charlie Young. Next door to Charlie Young was the Gurevitzes. Then lived the Dolingers, Mr. and Mrs. Dolinger. And then lived the Floxes, Morris Flox, that’s Blanche Young’s mother and father, Harold Flox and Irv Flox.

Interviewer: Sounds like my neighborhood right now. A lot of these people live in our building.

Hoffman: No. On the other corner lived the Polings. Next door to the Polings was the, oh I forgot it. Oh Gaisers lived on the other corner. Then Marty Weinberg lived in the other building. Then the Greenbergs, that’s Barbara Greenberg’s mother and father. He drove a truck for the bakery, Louis Greenberg. Then going down the street lived Menasha Goodman and his father who was the Shames of the shul.

Interviewer: Yeah. That’s how it goes. Uh huh. So did you interact as kids? Did you go to each other’s houses?

Hoffman: Oh yeah.

Interviewer: You went to each, it was easy to get around?

Hoffman: On Friday night we’d walk over to my grandparents’ house, every Friday night.

Interviewer: Did you have dinner with them?

Hoffman: Yeah.

Interviewer: Your whole family?

Hoffman: Well parts of them, who was home.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: I don’t think at one time we ever had, at one time we never had over eight kids at home. The rest of them were out working to help the other ones.

Interviewer: Uh huh. So that’s interesting, an interesting point too because I remember in talking to other people that at that stage, some of the kids that were working, they would just bring their pay home and Mom and Dad got it. Maybe you got some of it.

Hoffman: We had three bedrooms on 598 Mound Street. We had eight children and my parents lived there. Of course my parents had their own bedroom.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: The rest of us slept three in a bed.

Interviewer: So there were beds for everybody? How many bathrooms in that house?

Hoffman: One.

Interviewer: One bathroom. Okay. I think that might be…

Hoffman: No air conditioning.

Interviewer: No air conditioning. Well you didn’t know anything about air conditioning.

Hoffman: Had a coal furnace.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Coal furnace? I had to explain to my grandchildren what coal was.

Hoffman: Right across the street from us lived the Cabakoffs. The Cabakoffs was Bella Wexner’s former name.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: Bella Wexner was at my bris.

Interviewer: Oh.

Hoffman: I was the first patient that Dr. A. H. Kanter ever delivered.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: He delivered me in my house on Mound Street and he had to carry my mother down the steps and they delivered me on the dining room table.

Interviewer: Oh my. Well that was dramatic. You were the baby too.

Hoffman: That’s right.

Interviewer: Wow! Now you mentioned bris. What about your Bar Mitzvah? You’ll remember the Bar Mitzvah better than the bris. Would you tell us how you were Bar Mitzvahed?

Hoffman: I was not Bar Mitzvahed. I had to go to work. But I studied enough for it. When I was Bar Mitzvahed, I was Bar Mitzvahed at the Wall in 1981. I went there with Rabbi Stavsky’s group…

Interviewer: In Jerusalem?

Hoffman: In Jerusalem at the Wall.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: And Jack Rubin was the Cohen. I was the Levy. And Rabbi Stavsky was there. He had aliyah. And Richard, let’s see, Richard Kohn was there. He had aliyah. Everybody was there.

Interviewer: Course Bar Mitzvahs when you were younger…


Interviewer: was not like it was…

Hoffman: No, no.

Interviewer: today. It was not a big deal.

Hoffman: No, no.

Interviewer: It was just a ceremony in shul and that was about it.

Hoffman: Yeah.

Interviewer: Yeah. But you caught up with it so…

Hoffman: Yeah.

Interviewer: that was okay. Do you remember any games you guys played when you were little, you know, when you were young? How did you, did you have bicycles? Did you play ball?

Hoffman: Oh yeah, I had a bicycle. I went to Schonthal Camp when I was younger too.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: ‘Cause it was a charity camp. At Magnetic Springs.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Just for a week or so? How to…

Hoffman: Oh I used to go for like, when I was younger I used to go there for three weeks. Then I got older, I’d go there for six weeks. I went there with Maynard Goldmeier. I went there with Jonathan Horwitz. You remember Jonathan Horwitz?

Interviewer: I don’t but…

Hoffman: He’s a rabbi today in Atlanta.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: I went there with oh gosh, a whole bunch of people from Columbus. My brother Meyer was a counselor there with Buster Berliner and the girls slept in one end of the camp. They had like 18 cottages. It was a nice camp.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: Right by Delaware.

Interviewer: Well you were lucky you had that opportunity. So that’s a good memory, isn’t it?

Hoffman: Yeah. Then when days got better later on when I had children, I sent my kids to Blue Star in North Carolina.

Interviewer: Uh huh. We’re going to talk about your kids in just a little bit.

Hoffman: Okay.

Interviewer: Tell us about the schools you went to.

Hoffman: I graduated…

Interviewer: Starting at the beginning.

Hoffman: I went to Fulton Street Elementary for 15 years. No I didn’t. (laughter) Then went on…

Interviewer: You didn’t jump out that window?

Hoffman: No, I went from there to Roosevelt Junior High School. From Roosevelt I went to South High School and I graduated in 1948.

Interviewer: And did you, tell us about, you served in the service, didn’t you?

Hoffman: That’s right.

Interviewer: You went to the service? Tell us about what happened around that time after you got out of high school.

Hoffman: I went to the Air Force and I volunteered in 1950. But I went, I volun- teered in January and I didn’t leave until, I left February 3. And I took my training, my basic training in Texas at San Anton. My basic was 12 weeks, 16 weeks. Then they sent me from there to Greenville, South Carolina, and I took my other training and I qualified for flying but my brother didn’t want me to fly so I…

Interviewer: This is your big brother?

Hoffman: Max ’cause he had been in the Air Force.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: And so then I took my training and I became a Logistics Planning. Then I was shipped to Arizona State College in Tempe to take some special training. I took the special training for four months until, then they shipped me to Korea in 1951 and I was there for 47 months and five days.

Interviewer: Wow! Forty-seven months?

Hoffman: Four tours.

Interviewer: Wow, that was a long time.

Hoffman: They made, what they did is I wanted to be a Pathfinder…

Interviewer: You wanted…explain…

Hoffman: A Pathfinder is the people that go in and they jump and they map all everything out and then they pick them up in a helicopter and take them out and then the troops come in to take the property.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Take the property so that it becomes part of, who owns the property then?

Hoffman: They take it over from the Communists.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Well that was interesting. Was it…

Hoffman: I only did that for two months and then they discontinued it and they went to the Army. The Ninth Army did it theirself.

Interviewer: Huh.

Hoffman: ‘Cause then I became a Logistics Planner to go bring back information and I ran an office and I would direct the people how to make the plans up.

Interviewer: Uh huh. So all this training you got while you were in the service…

Hoffman: It was a good education.

Interviewer: By the way, you mentioned your brother Max. We didn’t talk about Max when we were talking about your siblings.

Hoffman: Yeah.

Interviewer: So tell us about Max’ family. I want to, don’t want to leave that out.

Hoffman: Max has three children. He has twin boys Robert and Richard, a daughter named Judy. His wife’s name is Shirley. She’s the former Shirley Goldman.

Interviewer: Uh huh. When did Max pass away?

Hoffman: Max passed away, it’ll be nine years on Yom Kippur, the first day.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Tell us about the business that you eventually went into. When you came out of the service, what did you do?

Hoffman: I came out of the service and my father had passed away and left me a third of the Hoffman Container Company.

Interviewer: And who had the other thirds?

Hoffman: Meyer and Max.

Interviewer: Okay. So you all were in business together then?

Hoffman: We were in business together and then Meyer unfortunately he had a change of life when his son passed away… and we bought him out and we did it ourself.

Interviewer: Uh huh. So it was just you and Max?

Hoffman: Right.

Interviewer: Uh huh. And you were in that business until you retired? And then what happened?

Hoffman: Oh let’s see.

Interviewer: With the business?

Hoffman: When Max…

Interviewer: What was the name of the company?

Hoffman: Hoffman Container Company.

Interviewer: Okay.

Hoffman: And then when Max, he had a stroke 13 years ago and couldn’t work so I took over the company and I ran it and he still was a partner and then he passed away and then I turned it over to my son Bradley and his son Robert.

Interviewer: So Max’ son Robert and your son Brad?

Hoffman: They run the business.

Interviewer: Uh huh. And it’s still operating?

Hoffman: Oh yeah.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: And then I was retired. My wife passed away 17 years ago.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: And I, after she passed away, I was widowed for four years and then I sent Seth off to school and nobody was home and so then…

Interviewer: Well wait. Don’t go too far ahead ’cause we’re going to go back a little bit. We’re almost at the end of Tape Side A, Tape 1. I’m going to stop now and turn the tape over. All right, we’re on Side B of Tape A. But you just, a couple of seconds ago you mentioned your brother Meyer and I think this is going to be happening through this tape that we’re going to pick up the rest of your siblings ’cause I didn’t count 12 siblings when we first talked about it. Tell us a little bit about Meyer. We don’t have any information on him.

Hoffman: Meyer had one adopted son and his son is four months apart from his blood son. The son was born four months after the adopted son. And his true son…

Interviewer: Tell me the name of…

Hoffman: Craig was the adopted son.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: And Bruce was his birth son.

Interviewer: Birth son?

Hoffman: Bruce.

Interviewer: Okay. Okay.

Hoffman: Both of them went to college. Craig went to Ohio State and he became a CPA. And Bruce went to University of Wisconsin. He was on the swimming team and he passed away on his 21st birthday when he was 21 years old, of cancer.

Interviewer: Bruce? Uh huh.

Hoffman: His wife’s name was Evelyn. She’s still alive. Her name was formerly Greenberg, Evelyn Greenberg. She lives in Columbus.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: Craig lives in Cleveland.

Interviewer: Now Meyer wasn’t in your business?

Hoffman: Yes.

Interviewer: He was in the business also?

Hoffman: He was in drum business until his son passed away and then we bought him out.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: He went into real estate.

Interviewer: Yeah I remember him from the real estate business. Okay, I didn’t mean to divert but I don’t want to leave anybody out if we can possibly help that. Okay so after the service you came home. You were in the business. And how did you meet your first wife? Let’s go into that part of your life.

Hoffman: I came home and I went to the Jewish Center. I still had my blues on and I had two good friends, Phil Beckman and Meyer Weisman. And so Phil Beckman says, “You have to see this cute little girl in the bowling alley.” I see this little girl in the white Keds and a little, short skirt and he says, he calls her up and he says, “I want you to meet somebody.” I met her and she was very shy. So I went down with the boys and we played racquet- ball, came back up and I asked her for a date and that started it.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: So I used to pick her up at high school, South High School.

Interviewer: Let’s, give me her name at that time.

Hoffman: Her name was Rita Katz.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: She was a Holocaust survivor.

Interviewer: She actually was in the Holocaust, in the Holocaust?

Hoffman: Well she was never captured. They hid in the forest.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Who were her parents?

Hoffman: Her parents was Ben Katz and Sonia was her stepmother.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: Her mother and her brother were perished in the Holocaust.

Interviewer: And Sonia’s still living?

Hoffman: Yeah she’s still living.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: Ben passed away in 1980.

Interviewer: Okay, so you met her and you went out. You were attracted to her immediately and how long did you date until you got married?

Hoffman: Thirteen months.

Interviewer: Thirteen months. Did you have a big wedding?

Hoffman: We had like, we got married on Bulen Avenue at Beth Jacob. We had like…

Interviewer: Bulen Avenue?

Hoffman: Yeah.

Interviewer: That’s where Beth Jacob was? Uh huh.

Hoffman: Considering, yeah it was a big wedding. We probably had like 150 people.

Interviewer: Well that was…

Hoffman: That’s a…

Interviewer: that’s a pretty good size, yeah.

Hoffman: Rabbi Stav—, no, he didn’t marry us. He wasn’t here yet. We had, I forgot the Rabbi’s name, Rabbi Popka. It was the third wedding he did and then he left and Rabbi Stavsky came.

Interviewer: Okay so tell us about your family now. You have your, you’ve estab- lished your own life as a married man and where did you and Rita first live?

Hoffman: We lived, first we lived at 3053 Ruhl, Apartment C. We had a two-bedroom and the rent was $52.50 a month. That was with the $5.50 utility charge.

Interviewer: Wow.

Hoffman: No air conditioning, just heat. No garage. One car, a 1941 Plymouth and…

Interviewer: Do you remember what you paid for your car?

Hoffman: I don’t remember. It was used.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: So I used to work from, I used to work in the drum business from 6:00 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon. Then I would go home and wash and eat and go to work in the surplus store and work till 9:00. And be off on Saturday and go to shul and on Sunday I used to work from 7:00 in the morning till 9:00 at night.

Interviewer: Now the surplus store, was that your business or did you work for some-body?

Hoffman: It belonged to my brother Meyer and Max, Bargain Land USA, and they finally took me in and gave me 25% of it.

Interviewer: Uh huh. And they sold what kind of surplus merchandise?

Hoffman: Government surplus.

Interviewer: Uh huh. And what happened to that business eventually?

Hoffman: Well they became bigger. They had to, they ended up with one, they had that store and made a store at 2252 S. High. They had one up on Windsor Avenue in Cleveland and they had one at 4494 West Broad. They had one up on Arcadia and High and we had one at Second Avenue and High Street. And what we did, we bought the property. I became a partner in all the property, the real estate.

Interviewer: Uh huh. And you still owned the drum business, you did, I mean you and…


Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: Then we moved to 104 South Dawson. We bought the house there and that’s where four of my five children were born.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: Then from there we moved to 2678 Bexley Park where my fifth son, my fifth child, was born.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: And…

Interviewer: Did you build the house on, the last one, or you bought it?

Hoffman: No it was six years old. We bought. It was like brand new.

Interviewer: Yeah ’cause I remember it as being a fairly new house.

Hoffman: It belonged to Dr…

Interviewer: Goldberg?

Hoffman: Yeah, Jack Goldberg.

Interviewer: Jack Goldberg? Uh huh. That’s the one thing about Bexley, the houses get named and pretty much stays that name. So tell us about your children, your first-born and so forth.

Hoffman: My oldest son is Bradley Hoffman. He’s 40, he’ll be 48 years old August 3rd. He took over the business. He graduated from Case Western as a lawyer. He practiced for 12 years and then he went into the business. Then my next son is Eric.

Interviewer: Now wait a minute. Is, he’s married?

Hoffman: He’s married to a girl named Robin. She’s a psychologist.

Interviewer: Where was she from?

Hoffman: From Cleveland.

Interviewer: Uh huh. And they have children?

Hoffman: Yeah they have two adopted children, Alex and Gabrielle.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: And they both go to Torah Academy. All my children went to Torah Academy. And then my next son is Eric Hoffman. Eric is 46 years old. His wife’s name is Annie Almasano Hoffman and she has a, she’s a dentist and practices three days a week. Supposed to be three but she works like four and a half and they have three boys. The youngest one is Noah. The next one is Jordan and the oldest one’s name is Aaron. Then…

Interviewer: Aaron was just Bar Mitzvahed wasn’t he?

Hoffman: He’s going to be Bar Mitzvahed October 16th.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Okay.

Hoffman: And then I have, then the next daughter, I’m going by age…

Interviewer: Okay.

Hoffman: is Cheri Friedman. She’s married to Tod Friedman. They have three children. The oldest one is a daughter named Rachel. She, Rachel is 16. Then the next one is a son named Ross. He was just Bar Mitzvahed. Ross Friedman. He is 14. He’ll be 15 in January. Then the next daughter’s name is Kara. Kara is 7 years old going on 15, 18.

Interviewer: She’s one of those that’s…

Hoffman: Yeah.

Interviewer: takes after her older siblings.

Hoffman: Yeah. Now Rachel goes to, now goes to Bexley. She went to Torah Academy. Ross goes to Bexley now. He finished at Torah Academy. Kara goes to Torah Academy. And the next daughter is Devorah, Devorah Breindel. She’s married to Jeff Meyer. They have three boys. The oldest boy’s name is Chad. The next one’s name is Josh. Chad is 11. Josh is eight. And they have a, little one’s name is Will. Will will be three. They all go to Torah Academy. Will’s in the, he goes to the Jewish Center camp. Then the next, is my youngest son whose name is Seth. He lives in Chicago. He’s married to Leslie. She’s an endocrinologist in residency and he is a gastroenterologist. And they have one daughter. Her name is Becca, Rebecca. And they live on Larabie in downtown Chicago.

Interviewer: Uh huh. I just met Becca…

Hoffman: Did you?

Interviewer: at a shower. She was with her mother. Sweet, sweet little baby, really.

Hoffman: Yeah she’s something.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Well you have canahora, a beautiful family and they’re beautiful inside and out. I know your kids, most of them, I know.

Hoffman: Larry is the best friend of Cheri and Tod.

Interviewer: Uh huh. My son Larry?

Hoffman: Yeah your son Larry.

Interviewer: Right. Uh huh.

Hoffman: He’s like a movie star, Larry.

Interviewer: My Larry? Oh thank you. He’ll be happy to hear that.

Hoffman: I tell him all the time.

Interviewer: So you, you’re able to see your children a lot ’cause they’re all, most of them except Seth, are right here in…

Hoffman: I see him.

Interviewer: in Colum–, you see Seth a lot too?

Hoffman: I go there on business so I go to see him.

Interviewer: Your business…

Hoffman: I talk to him every day, all my children.

Interviewer: Do you really?

Hoffman: All of them.

Interviewer: Every day?

Hoffman: Every day.

Interviewer: That’s amazing. You call them, they call you?

Hoffman: As I walked up then, he just called me on the machine.

Interviewer: Uh huh. They’re keeping track of you Marty, that’s what it is. Okay well it sounds like you had fun raising your family. They’re all close. They seem to be very close. And did they all have big weddings? Do you remember planning and doing all those kinds of things that…

Hoffman: The sky’s the limit.

Interviewer: The sky’s the limit. Well I know you’re a great dad. Tell us what happened eventually with Rita. I know that she became ill. When did she pass away?

Hoffman: She passed away in 1988. She got sick in ’86 and then she really got bad in ’87. She passed away the 26th of December, 1988. She was 52 years old. Breast cancer.

Interviewer: Were some of your children married by then?

Hoffman: Cheri and Brad.

Interviewer: Just Cheri and Brad? Uh huh.

Hoffman: Sherry was married and then she planned the wedding for Eric. She passed away in December and the wedding was the following July.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: And she planned the whole wedding.

Interviewer: Rita with Cheri or how…

Hoffman: No. Well that one she planned everything.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Hoffman: She planned the wedding for Eric.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: She and Lazar, Gerda Almasano…

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: and Rita fixed up Eric with Annie.

Interviewer: Yeah I know that family too and they’re a great family. So you’re able to interact with your grandchildren and your kids and they’re all around. Did you take trips with your children when they were younger? Vacations?

Hoffman: I took them all to Israel, all of them. All the children in 19–, well Rita and I went the first time in 1961, just she and I.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: ‘Cause she had two uncles there she’d never seen, her mother’s brothers. So we went there in 1961 and we spent like 33 days there. And from there we went to Switzerland. From Switzerland we went to, we went to Switzerland. Then I went up to Frankfurt to pick up the blood money. She wouldn’t go there to get the money that she had for loss of education.

Interviewer: Oh.

Hoffman: Then we took the money and gave the $55,000 to, they brought the plaques back from their synagogue in Trafomore in Poland and we donated the money to them.

Interviewer: Oh to the synagogue there? Uh huh.

Hoffman: They built one in Israel.

Interviewer: Is that right? Hmmm, that’s interesting.

Hoffman: And her parents’ name is on the wall.

Interviewer: Hmm. Well that’s a legacy that you, that she was able to leave, and for your children know all that. So that’s a valuable thing for them to remember. And then you said you took them to Israel.

Hoffman: I took all the kids to Israel.

Interviewer: All at once?

Hoffman: Yeah all at once. Both of us did. We took them in 19–, well we had been in between. We took them in 19–, let’s see, 1977. But she and I had, we were there in 1967, right after the war she and I went. We took Sonia and Ben with us.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: In 1967, right after the war. And then we went back again in 1968, she and I. Just she and I. Then we took the kids back in 19–, well we went back in ’72. That was right after they had the war, Yom Kippur war, she and I. Then we went back again with all the kids in ’77.

Interviewer: Well that was a memorable time, wasn’t it?

Hoffman: Oh yeah.

Interviewer: Did you make all your own arrangements to go on that trip?

Hoffman: She did.

Interviewer: Uh huh. So how long did you spend then?

Hoffman: We never went less than a month.

Interviewer: Even with the children, with all the kids?

Hoffman: Oh yeah.

Interviewer: Wow! That’s a long time. So you must have…

Hoffman: We had all the kids, you have to understand. I had all the kids with the pictures on one passport.

Interviewer: How’s that?

Hoffman: Different times.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Hoffman: I would come in, they couldn’t believe it. See all these kids and me with one passport.

Interviewer: But it worked? Well you used to have passports in Europe to go from one country to another.

Hoffman: We stayed, well you could get an Interpass, you could get a pass in those days.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: But we didn’t, with the kids, we only went to Israel.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: She and I went everywhere in one ticket. You could make as many stops as you wanted to.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Well that was a wonderful opportunity for your kids.

Hoffman: When we first came to Israel in ’61, we flew in. We were the second airplane to come in on El Al. They circled Israel and then they came in to Lod and we landed at Lod. They had the balcony and all the people would be upstairs, her relatives were there.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: And they set a red carpet. We came down off the plane, walked down the steps, came in and they they played “Hatikvah”.

Interviewer: You mean that was the second flight that…

Hoffman: The second big flight from the United States from El Al.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Wow! That was a history-making time then wasn’t it?

Hoffman: And when they, when we were there for the parade, my wife’s uncle was so, his good friend was, oh, what was his name? He was the Prime Minister. I got a picture of him holding Seth on his lap.

Interviewer: Oh.

Hoffman: At the King David.

Interviewer: So did you take a lot of pictures?

Hoffman: I got ’em all.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Well that’s something they’ll remember and…

Hoffman: We sat with Moshe Dayan and the President of Israel, right below him, ’cause my uncle knew them all, at the parade.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: And when the tanks came through from, that they built the special road going from one to the other West Bank, the tanks were tearing up the blacktop when they went by and they were playing the music.

Interviewer: Wow! Huh.

Hoffman: It was a memorable day.

Interviewer: It sure was. And I’m sure…

Hoffman: And I have a tape of everything.

Interviewer: Did you have movies too? Did you take…

Hoffman: Yeah. I have it all.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Well I’m sure your kids have seen it over…

Hoffman: They have.

Interviewer: and it’s still, it instilled a lot of interest in them for Israel and…

Hoffman: And my wife’s, when they interviewed her from the Holocaust survivors, is right in the Ebner Building right now.

Interviewer: Oh is that right?

Hoffman: You can go down and push the button…

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: and her interview comes up, her life interview.

Interviewer: Uh huh. That was a great thing that Murray did for the community, Murray Ebner…

Hoffman: Yeah.

Interviewer: opening the building across…

Hoffman: Yes.

Interviewer: the street from here with a museum. And I’m sure that museum will expand as time goes on.

Hoffman: Yeah right.

Interviewer: Yeah. So it’s something that people will have forever.

Hoffman: Just like this.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Yeah. So then you were left a widower for a few years, right?

Hoffman: Yeah four years.

Interviewer: Four years? What did you do about the house? Did you stay in that house?

Hoffman: When Seth went to college, I sent him on to Emory. Then Debbie, I had taken Debbie out of Ohio State to help with her mother. I sent her back to school. Sherry was already, she was in college at Ohio State. Bradley, Bradley was at Case and he got married. He lived there when he was married. Eric was on his own. So…

Interviewer: Did Eric go to school in Columbus or, uh huh?

Hoffman: Eric went to Ohio State and then he went to, what’s the other school he graduated from here, Capital?

Interviewer: Capital?

Hoffman: He graduated from there.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: He’s a criminal lawyer. Debbie is a personal shopper for herself.

Interviewer: (laughs) Personal shopper?

Hoffman: Sherry’s a music teacher. Teaches at Torah Academy and of course Seth’s a doctor.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: Seth went to Emory and…

Interviewer: They’ve all done well, thank goodness. I know you have a very proud family.

Hoffman: Yes.

Interviewer: All right now tell us about your second marriage.

Hoffman: I got married to a young lady by the name of Geraldine Schottenstein.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: On March 23rd of 19–, 13 years ago.

Interviewer: You remember all these dates.

Hoffman: Yeah. And she’s your cousin.

Interviewer: Yes she is, uh huh.

Hoffman: And…

Interviewer: That makes you my cousin too.

Hoffman: That’s right. And her husband went to school with me at South High School, where he was ahead of me and they lived two blocks from me on 18th Street when I lived on Ann Street. I knew the mother and the father, Ephriam and Anna.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: I knew your father-in-law when they had the furniture store, Royal Furni- ture on Main Street, on Parsons Avenue.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Steelton Furniture.

Hoffman: Steelton Furniture.

Interviewer: Uh huh, all that evolved through the years. Things changed.

Hoffman: I knew all the children when they lived on Linwood Avenue.

Interviewer: You mean my husband’s children, my husband’s family?

Hoffman: I knew them all.

Interviewer: They lived on Bedford.

Hoffman: Bedford.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Yeah. It’s coming back into style I understand.

Hoffman: Yes.

Interviewer: And now are you retired? Yeah?

Hoffman: Yes.

Interviewer: Yes? Okay. Tell us what your work is. Tell us what your job is.

Hoffman: I’m supposedly in real estate.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Oh, okay.

Hoffman: Then I have my own real estate.

Interviewer: You still have your own properties that you…

Hoffman: It runs itself.

Interviewer: Oh well that’s, what kind of properties are those?

Hoffman: Commercial.

Interviewer: Uh huh. So that keeps you busy?

Hoffman: Yeah it’s okay.

Interviewer: It’s okay? You make a buck here and there, huh?

Hoffman: I don’t need much.

Interviewer: And do you spend most of the winter away?

Hoffman: I spend six months in Florida, six months here. Then when we’re here, we… We’re going to go to California next Tuesday.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: No.

Interviewer: So you do some traveling?

Hoffman: Yes.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Well that’s good. You have to do that as much as you can while you can.

Hoffman: That’s right.

Interviewer: That’s great. Have you been to Israel lately?

Hoffman: No we were there two years ago. We’re going to go back next year. We could have gone this mission but it’s too quick, the eight days is too much.

Interviewer: Yeah it is. It’s really intense.

Hoffman: So we’re going to go back, we’re going back there next year just, we’ll go over there… Gloria and Mike Haffer. The four of us are going to go.

Interviewer: Uh huh. It’ll be a more relaxed time.

Hoffman: Yeah.

Interviewer: Do you enjoy your stay in Florida?

Hoffman: Yeah.

Interviewer: Where do you live in Florida?

Hoffman: We live in Aventura. That’s like North Miami.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: Have a place there and then we’re moving from there to Bal Harbour.

Interviewer: Yeah that’s, Geraldine was telling me about that recently. So you manage to keep busy when you’re here?

Hoffman: Yeah there too. I have an office there.

Interviewer: Do you? Uh huh. So you’re very actively involved there too. I know you’ve been active in the synagogue that you belong to, Beth Jacob, for a number of years.

Hoffman: All my life.

Interviewer: Tell us about what activity, what you’re involved with with them.

Hoffman: I’m right now on the Development Fund of the Foundation and I’m going back on the Federation Board. I’m going back on the Heritage House Board and the Jewish Center. I was active before and I’m the chief fund- raiser for Beth Jacob and I have been, served everything but President of Beth Jacob.

Interviewer: How did you miss being President?

Hoffman: I didn’t figure I was capable of sitting on the bima. I’m not that religious. I know people do but I was Vice President, I did Treasurer, I’ve been the Secretary.

Interviewer: So it was a matter of principle…

Hoffman: Yeah.

Interviewer: at that point.


Interviewer: Uh huh. But you still are act—, very actively involved.

Hoffman: Oh yeah.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Did you know that at this stage of your life you should be slowing down a little bit?

Hoffman: Somebody told me that.

Interviewer: Nobody told you that?

Hoffman: Somebody told me.

Interviewer: Oh somebody told you. Okay. Don’t ever do that.

Hoffman: No.

Interviewer: It’s good for you.

Hoffman: That’s right. Keeps your mind going.

Interviewer: It sure does. Well you’re pretty sharp.

Hoffman: I’ve had a couple strokes.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: And I take a medication called Aricept.

Interviewer: Okay.

Hoffman: That keeps your mind sharp.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Hoffman: That’s for people who have Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Hoffman: Aricept is very good.

Interviewer: Yeah my husband takes Aricept.

Hoffman: Aricept.

Interviewer: So I’m counting on it.

Hoffman: It depends on how much you can take.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Yeah. Well thank goodness for all these new drugs. They…

Hoffman: Exactly right.

Interviewer: There’s a lot to be thankful for.

Hoffman: My father passed away at 63 of emphysema. I never smoked a cigarette in my life. Nor did my children.

Interviewer: But you’re enjoying health, your health now, aren’t you?

Hoffman: Yeah I’m…

Interviewer: Everything’s okay. Well you have to take each day as you come to it.

Hoffman: Right.

Interviewer: Yeah. Well Marty I know you’ve enjoyed your life with your family and you’ve raised a beautiful family. What are some things you tell your kids, you know, as far as leaving message for future?

Hoffman: Well I teach my children the same thing my parents taught me. My father and mother, they didn’t have a lot of money. My father always said that he went on the assumption that a person that has something has to share it with someone who doesn’t have. On Friday, my father used to shut down his business at noon and he used to go and give a hundred dollars a week to Restaurant Food Supply on, across from us. And Mrs. Bornstein used to open up her place to widows and people who didn’t have money, they couldn’t afford it. And they would give them food for the Shabbos and for the week if it worked.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: And my father used to go over to Goldfarb’s and give Goldfarb’s $25 to give chickens to the widows. Goldfarb’s is right down the street from Levin’s. So he taught me that if you have a loaf of bread, that you should share half a loaf with somebody who doesn’t have any.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: And if you have two loaves of bread, you should share with two other families and give each one of them a half of the other…

Interviewer: Okay.

Hoffman: I teach them to give charity, tsedakah, ’cause I give tsedakah because my father used to give tsedakah, my wife’s family gives tsedakah and I give tsedakah. I support Torah Academy. I support the Foundation, the Feder- ation, I support, I’ve been the Chairman of the Cemetery Committee for 42 years at Beth Jacob. And we have a fund there for people who can’t afford it that we help to it.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Well that’s a beautiful legacy for…

Hoffman: That’s right.

Interviewer: your family.

Hoffman: And they give too.

Interviewer: Uh huh. It makes you feel good and it makes a lot of other people feel good.

Hoffman: Yeah. If you, if it makes you not feel good to give something, you can’t give.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: You got to be earnest and sincere when you make a gift.

Interviewer: Give from your heart.

Hoffman: Exactly.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: Exactly.

Interviewer: Well that’s wonderful that you are able to do that and that you do. And a lot of people who are even not able still can do it in some way.

Hoffman: Exactly, exactly.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Well that’s a beautiful lesson to teach your family. Marty I think as far as I can come up with ideas, we’ve pretty much covered your family and your ideas of living in today’s world and are there any thoughts that you want to discuss any further?

Hoffman: No I just think it’s a wonderful thing that you’re doing. I think that more people should relate their lives that they’ve had so that people today will really realize what it means to be a citizen of the Jewish community in a city like Columbus.

Interviewer: That’s right.

Hoffman: We’re losing so many people. They move away. The people that are left have got to remember the legacy.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Well that’s why I think it’s so important to have this history and I’m glad that you shared that thought with me and I’m going to continue doing this. It’s a wonderful thing…

Hoffman: Exactly.

Interviewer: for, and your kids will be able to listen to this, your grandchildren…

Hoffman: That’s right because I know you so well…

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: and I think that it’s important that somebody that knows you interviews you.

Interviewer: That’s true, that’s true. I think you can pull out a little more information that way.

Hoffman: I mean I probably know more people in the community than know me.

Interviewer: Well you’ve lived here all your life and when you grow up in a community like this, it was a smaller community. And being active as you are, you’re probably still friendly with a lot of…

Hoffman: Exactly.

Interviewer: …people that…you were all your life.

Hoffman: All my life.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Hoffman: All my, wherever I go, I know people. Wherever.

Interviewer: Well you’re a very personable person anyhow so that’s not hard to do. But on behalf of the Columbus Jewish Historical Society I wanted to thank you for the time that you’ve spent with us this afternoon and we wish you continued good health and enthusiasm to enjoy your life and your family.

Hoffman: Thanks very much.

Interviewer: Thank you.

Hoffman: Thanks very much.


Transcribed by Honey Abramson

Proofread by Marvin Bonowitz

Edited by Toby Brief

Corrected by Marty Hoffman