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ACCESSION DETAIL
Audio/Visual
Atlanta, Georgia
August 7 and October 14, 1989; February 25 and April 2, 1994
Tapes/transcripts
233 pages
Blumberg Janice Rothschild OHC.JPG

Janice Oettenger Rothschild Blumberg was born in Atlanta on February 13, 1924. Her mother, Carolyn Goldberg Oettinger, was born in Columbus, Georgia. Her father, Waldo Edouard Oettinger, was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Janice attended North Druid Hills High School. She started college at the age of 15 and graduated from the University of Georgia during World War II when she was 18. During the war, Janice took a civil service position at Fort Benning and worked for the Corps of Engineers in the country of Panama. She spent time in Mexico with the Experiment in International Living. In Vermont she worked with the organization’s founder, Donald Watt, on the book, Education for One World. When she returned to Atlanta after the war she met Jacob Rothschild, rabbi at The Temple. They were married in 1946 and had two children, Marcia and William. On October 12, 1958 the Temple was bombed. Janice testified in court against George Bright, the primary suspect in the bombing. During desegregation, she worked on behalf of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. She served as a panelist with Coretta Scott King and others speaking to groups about “Raising Children of Good Will.” After leading the congregation through a time of transition and growth, Rabbi Rothschild died of a heart attack in 1973. In 1975 Janice married insurance executive David Blumberg who served as international president of B’nai B’rith. They lived in Washington D.C. After her second husband passed away, she returned to Atlanta. She is a civic leader and has held leadership positions in numerous organizations including the B’nai B’rith Klutznick Museum, American Jewish Historical Society, and the Jewish Society of Greater Washington. She served as president of the Southern Jewish Historical Society. Janice is the author of several books including Prophet in a Time of Priests: Rabbi Alphabet Browne 1845-1929 and One Voice: Rabbi Jacob M. Rothschild and the Troubled South. She has contributed to publications including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Southern Israelite, Encyclopedia Judaica, Education for One World, and The Jewish Georgian. SCOPE OF INTERVIEW Janice begins the interview with a detailed account of the events of the day the Temple in Atlanta was bombed. She gives historical context, talks about the subsequent trial and gives her insights into how the bombing affected the congregation and her family. Janice shares information about her family and their background, going back several generations. She reflects on growing up in Atlanta with parents who were not entrenched in the Jewish community, and how she had little religious education or tradition in her home life. Janice talks about starting college when she was just 15. She discusses graduating from the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia) during World War II, working in civil service positions at Fort Benning and in the country of Panama, and her experience with the Experiment in International Living in Mexico. Janice tells how she and Rabbi Jacob Rothschild met when she returned to Atlanta after the war. She is candid about the challenges they faced both as a family and a congregation as the Temple was moving through a time of great transition. Janice talks about some of the opportunities she had to write earlier in her life. She discusses becoming an author and several of her books. The conversation with Janice is rich with stories about Atlanta, southern Jewish history, the civil rights movement, and her family’s wisdom and humor. Transcript of oral history can be found here:

OHC-Janice Rothschild Blumberg

Janice Rothschild Blumberg (1924 - ) - Oral History

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