D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives
The following collections describe aspects of Jewish life in Asheville and Western North Carolina, documenting how individuals and organizations have helped shape the cultural and economic landscape of the region. These collections include photographs, newspaper clippings, oral histories, synagogue records, family papers, and miscellaneous materials that were donated by various individuals, organizations and businesses. This aggregate of collections is intended to grow and attempts to represent Jewish life in Asheville and Western North Carolina from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.

Oral Histories

Jewish Businesses in Western North Carolina [OH-JBWNC]

A collection of oral histories compiled by Sharon Fahrer and Jan Schochet of History @ Hand which discuss Jewish owned businesses in downtown Asheville from 1880 to 1990. The collection provides vital information about downtown Asheville during both its formative and revitalization periods.

Jewish Heritage in Western North Carolina [OH-JHWNC]

A collection of oral histories conducted by David Schulman and History @ Hand as well as recordings of presentations from the Jewish Culture in the South conference held by the Center for Jewish Studies on April 15-17, 1988. There is also a set of interviews on remembering Sidney Schochet. Interviews engage in discussion about general regional history and Asheville's Jewish cultural history. CJS presentations cover a variety of topics related to Southern Jewish life.

Leo Finkelstein Oral History [OH-VOA]

Leo Finkelstein talks about his experience working in the pawn shop that he inherited from his father. Topics include anecdotes about customer, the effects of the Depression, his involvement with the Lions Club, the Jewish Aid Society, the Jewish Community Center, and his activity in both of Asheville's Synagogues. Much of this interview consists of discussions about the operation of his business, and the people with whom he came in daily contact. There are several anecdotes about Asheville, its environs, and its inhabitants.

Choosing to Remember: From the Shoah to the Mountains [OH-SHOAH]

Contains summaries and/or transcripts of twenty-five interviews with people who escaped the persecution of Jews in Europe before and during World War II, and who eventually relocated to Western North Carolina. No audio recordings of the interviews are included.

Manuscript & Photograph Collections

Agudas Israel Synagogue Collection [M2013.01]

The Agudas Israel Synagogue Collection contains primary and secondary materials documenting the history of Agudas Israel Synagogue in Hendersonville, NC, from 1920 through 2007. Documents consist of synagogue office records, ledgers, land deeds, membership lists, donation request letters, synagogue constitutions and by-laws, committee meeting minutes, photographs, and newspaper articles.

Beth Ha Tephila Congregation (Asheville, NC) [M79.13]

The collection includes various temple activities, minutes of meetings, photographs, membership lists, service bulletins, and the plans for construction of the temple and religious school. It also includes papers relating to the Board of Trustees of the Congregation (minutes, annual reports and correspondence); the correspondence of Rabbis Unger (1951-1961), Bloom and Funston; the activities of the Temple Sisterhood and Brotherhood (minutes, correspondence and assorted papers).

Congregation Beth Israel (Asheville, NC) [M2008.03]

The collection includes various documents of synagogue activities, minutes of meetings, photographs, membership lists, service bulletins, and the plans for construction of the synagogue and some financial records. It also includes papers related to the Board of Trustees of the Congregation (minutes, annual reports and correspondence) and the activities of the Synagogue Sisterhood (scrapbook and assorted financial records).

The Family Store: A History of Jewish Businesses in Downtown Asheville, 1880-1990

This collection is a 12-panel exhibit displayed in a variety of locations in downtown Asheville in the fall of 2006 by History @ Hand, an independent research group. Sharon Fahrer and Jan Schochet organized the research group to bring attention to the large Jewish population in Asheville and the many contributions of Jewish businessmen to Asheville's history and growth, including the University of North Carolina Asheville.

Gus and Emma Adler Collection [M2011.10]
A small group of photographs and documents of Gus and Emma Adler that cover their years managing the Sky Club, a fine-dining establishment in Asheville in the early 20th century. Includes photographs of famous people who came to the club and who knew the Adlers.
Blomberg Family Papers [M2004.2]
The collection contains personal papers, letters of correspondence, some in Yiddish, telegrams and congratulatory letters for community service and personal achievement. Correspondence related to the Louis Blomberg family businesses and related Jewish businesses in Asheville, N.C. Note "Blomberg" is used interchangeably with "Blumberg" in many early documents.
Joseph Dave Family Papers [M2004.12]

Joseph Dave was the founder of Dave Steel Company, Inc. Asheville, North Carolina. The Joseph Dave papers are related to the creation of Dave Steel Company, Inc. and to Joseph Dave's personal life and that of his immediate family. Documents, letters, photographs, ephemera, newspaper clippings, biographies, and architectural details related to Dave's long career as a civil engineer are included in the papers.

Sharon Fahrer Collection [M2010.10]

Materials include various loose items, scrapbooks, and books donated by local historian Sharon Fahrer.

David Gross Family Collection [M2010.02 Virtual]

The photographs and newspaper clippings in this collection depict the life and business of the David Gross family both before coming to Asheville and after the family arrived in the community. The original photographs and newspaper clippings were returned to the family at their request and D.H. Ramsey Library reproduced the images to tell the story of the owner and operator of the Gross Cafe and his family.

Judaica Collection [M2012.04]

A small collection of miscellaneous publications and works related to Jewish Studies.
Morris Karpen Family Collection [M2010.15]
A small collection containing personal papers ; letters of correspondence ; records of philanthropic work with the Asheville community, particularly the sport of soccer ; participation in union activities ; personal family records and other related materials.
Hadassah Collection [M2016.09]
Scapbooks/albums, newsletters, and other materials from the Asheville Hendersonville Chapter of Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America
Ari Landau Collection [M2016.05]
Documents and photographs chronicling the life of Ari Landau’s father, Fiszel Landau, a Polish Ashkenazi Jew who survived the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp and the Mauthausen-Gusen slave labor camp.
Herschel Lange Family Collection [M2006.11]
Photographs and genealogical information related to the family of Herschel Lange, a Jewish businessman in Asheville, NC. Received from Mrs. Herschel Lange in 2006 through Sharon Fahrer, History @ Hand.
Lipinsky Family Collection [M06.1.1]
A collection of material related to members of the Lipinsky family of North Carolina. The Lipinsky family has contributed generously to the building of the University of North Carolina Asheville. Lipinsky Auditorium on the campus of the university bears the name of the family and is indebted to the generosity of the Lipinskys, particularly in support of our performing arts.
Ernest A. Mills Family Collection [M2010.17]
The collection contains personal papers, correspondence, records of philanthropic work with the Asheville community (particularly the as it relates to Mills Hall at the University of North Carolina Asheville), personal family records, photographs and other related materials. A second donation of material was made in July of 2011 that contained additional photographs, including WWII photographs of the New York manufacturing plant. These photographs provide an intimate look at manufacturing for the war effort and describe the construction of fragmentation bomb parachutes for the war effort. In addition, a variety of promotional literature accompanied the donation and graphically portrays the evolution of Mills Manufacturing in New York and in Asheville.
Michalove Collection [M2008.02]
A small collection of materials related to the Michalove family and their years in Asheville, NC. Largely related to Dan Michalove and his various businesses.
Lou and Ada Pollock Collection [M2003.10]
A collection containing the personal papers, business items, newspaper clippings, publications, and photographs from Ada and Lou Pollock. Also included are many of the Jewish cemetery records, duplicated from the original bound version held by the Pollock family. The materials in the collection relate to the Asheville years of the family and their stewardship of the Jewish cemetery.
Lorence Rapoport Family Papers [M2001.6]

Lorence Rapoport served as president of the Beth Ha Tephila Brotherhood, and the collection includes meeting minutes, attendance sheets, and notices related to the Brotherhood as well as documents covering the Temple Club and Sisterhood. The collection also includes youth publications and miscellaneous papers from the 1950s through the 1980s.

Samuel Robinson Papers [M96.3]
Personal papers and awards of Asheville optometrist and civic leader Samuel Robinson. A leader in environmental issues, he was active in the Carolina Mountain Club and the Boy Scouts of America. He worked to recognize George Masa's work with the Great Smoky Mountains and to name one of the peaks for Masa, a local photographer, and founding member of the Carolina Mountain Club. The collection includes photographs, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, awards, correspondence, essays, speeches, and a personal diary.
Jacob Rosen Collection [M2007.5.virtual]
A collection of material related to the lives of members of the Rosen family of North Carolina.
Schandler Family Collection [M2004.05]
A collection of material related to the lives of members of the Schandler family of North Carolina.
Sidney Schochet Family Papers [M2006.9]
A collection of materials related to the lives of members of the Schochet family, Asheville, North Carolina.
Sol Schulman Collection [M2003.7]

A collection of materials related to the life of Sol Schulman, entrepreneur and businessman in Sylva, NC.

Sprinza Weizenblatt Collection [2009.12.01 virtual]

A virtual collection of assorted photographs (18) that visually recall the Asheville ophthalmologist Sprinza Weizenblatt. The collection also includes a series of postcards.