Interview SummaryWeissbach explains how he was born in pre-state Palestine in 1947. His father was born in Alexandria, Egypt and his mother in Norfolk, Virginia. They met in Tel Aviv, Israel in the 1930s. They immigrated to the United States in 1952 and settled down in Cincinnati, Ohio. His parents opened the Yavneh Day School which was the community Hebrew school of Cincinnati where they both taught Hebrew. Weissbach's wife, Sharon Goller (later Sharon Weissbach) was born in Lexington, Kentucky where her grandfather worked as a kosher butcher. Her family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio where she met Lee Shai while they were members of the Habonim youth group. The Habonim youth group was a Labor Zionist Youth Group. Their involvement in the youth group put them together for many years as youth before they began dating just before college.
Weissbach discusses how he was hired at the University of Louisville to fill a French history teaching position. He also began teaching Jewish history courses, and eventually was given a state grant to hire someone in a Jewish Studies full-time position. Weissbach discusses how his research into French Jewish history became very comparative to research into small town Jewish communities in the United States which led to his books "Synagogues of Kentucky: Architecture and History" and "Jewish Life in Small-Town America." Weissbach discusses the impact Kentucky Judaism had on his home family life, which he said was very little.
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Interview UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Weissbach, Lee Shai Interview by Janice W. Fernheimer. 20 Oct. 2015. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Weissbach, L.S. (2015, October 20). Interview by J. W. Fernheimer. Jewish Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Weissbach, Lee Shai, interview by Janice W. Fernheimer. October 20, 2015, Jewish Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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