The Albert and Pauline Dubin Oral History Archives

This collection includes stories from influential leaders, philanthropists, and those who have helped to shape the Detroit Jewish community.


Avern Cohn

In this interview, Judge Avern Cohn discusses both his parents and his grandparents. He recalls childhood memories about his neighborhood, Russell Woods, the schools he attended, and his Jewish Education. He mentions some of the camps he attended as a child, including Camp Tamakwa.

Irwin I. Cohn

Irwin Cohn talks about his early life growing up in Detroit. He talks about his father’s company which operated until 1917: Detroit Dry Goods Wholesale Company. He talks about life revolving around the synagogues and temples, and how they worked to help immigrants. He was a proponent of Hebrew Schools and discusses his role of support for Hebrew and religious education. Irwin also discusses his role with the Jewish Welfare Federation, working to raise money for the Federation, and his involvement with the creation of Sinai Hospital. He also talks about the Jewish Children’s Home and finding the property for Camp Tamarack. Irwin speaks about then need for cohesion within the Jewish community and the need for families and young people to continue to serve the community.

William Davidson Part I

In this interview, William Davidson mentions his mother’s family, the Wetsmans, and their move from Iowa to Detroit in the early 1910s.  He comments on the family being Zionists and that though he has little memories of him, he knows that his grandfather attended the Second Zionists Congress.

William Davidson Part II with Dorothy Gerson

In this second interview with William Davidson, he goes into more detail about his grandparents, aunts, and uncles.  He talks about a recently found letter from Henrietta Szold to his mother about her time at Davidson’s grandparents’ home where she stayed for a few days and where the formation of the Detroit chapter of Hadassah was formed.

Sol Drachler (Part I)

In this interview, Sol Drachler speaks about his parents and their immigration to Canada, and then to the US, and ultimately in Detroit by the time he was two years old.  He has memories of the entire family working in the laundry business after his father had a stroke while he was young.   He discusses growing up in a poor school system where he was promoted and tutored other children.

Sol Drachler (Part 2)

In this continuation of Sol Drachler’s interview, he speaks about some of the things he went over in the last interview, such as his involvement with the centennial celebration of United Jewish Charities. He goes over the work done to preserve Jewish Community history.

Elaine Driker

In this oral history interview, Elaine Driker speaks about her early upbringing in a Jewish household, and attending and graduating from religious school.

Eugene Driker

In this oral history interview, Eugene Driker talks about his parents’ immigration to the US, how they eventually made it to Detroit and met each other taking English classes.  Driker remembers growing up in a dense Jewish population.

Oscar Feldman

In this interview, Feldman speaks about his parent’s immigration to the US.  He then talks about his move to Michigan to join the band at University of Michigan.  He mentions his experiences in the Army during World War II, and then describes moving back to Michigan to get a Master’s in business administration.  Later, he got a law degree at Columbia University.

Samuel Frankel

In this interview, Samuel Frankel discusses his early childhood and education and how he entered the grocery business and later, real estate.


This collection is generously supported by the Albert and Pauline Dubin Oral History Archive fund.

Usage Rules

The Archive prohibits use of the oral history interviews in any way that infringes on individual right to privacy or results in libelous statements or slander, in accordance with U.S. law.

Copyright to the recorded interview(s) and/or subsequent transcript(s) of such remains with the Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives. Please use the following citation format:

© Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives. [Name of Subject] Oral History Interview, [Date of Interview].