Philip Garfinkel, one of six children of Sam and Hannah Garfinkel, natives of Divin, Russia, grew up in the 1930s and '40s in Charleston, South Carolina. Philip discusses his siblings, friends from the St. Philip Street neighborhood, and the family's religious practices. He fondly recalls summers on Sullivan's Island and afternoons at the Jewish Community Center on St. Philip Street.
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Philip's parents, Hannah (Annie) and Sam Garfinkel, were distant cousins and teenage emigrants from Divin, a small Russian town near Brest-Litovsk. Soon after their marriage in 1913, they moved from New York to Charleston, South Carolina, where Sam joined his brother Harry in a mattress-making business. Philip describes his parents and siblings, the schools he attended, and the traditional Jewish foods the family enjoyed. Other topics relating to his years growing up in Charleston include AZA activities, the Orthodox synagogues, Brith Sholom and Beth Israel, the subtle anti-Semitism he encountered, summers spent on Sullivan's Island, and the Jewish Community Center on George Street where he developed championship table tennis skills. Philip also talks about his college years and his career in business administration. See also interviews with other members of the Garfinkel family: Helen Rosenshein, Olga Weinstein, Sandra Shapiro, Nathan and Frances Garfinkle (Nathan spells the family name differently), Max and Jennie Garfinkel, and Alex Garfinkel.