Interview SummaryCarol Wirtschafter speaks at length about her childhood growing up in a Reform Jewish family in the small town of Petersburg, Virginia. Her family traveled frequently to Richmond, Virginia and was well-known within the Jewish communities of both Richmond and Petersburg. She discusses early lessons in feminism and racial justice learned from her activist mother, the Girl Scouts, and summer camp. After high school, her education took her to Northampton, Massachusetts where she attended Smith College and further developed her identity as a feminist.
The years following college led her to marry physician Dr. Jonathan Wirtschafter. The couple then moved nearly every or every other year for several years across various states due to Jonathan Wirtschafter’s career and started their family along the way. They eventually settled in Lexington, Kentucky in 1967 during what Wirtschafter refers to as "turbulent times." Wirtschafter discusses both inclusion in Lexington's Jewish community and marginality in Lexington's broader social and political environments. Key activities within the Jewish community included volunteer work and founding and directing Camp Shalom, Lexington’s Jewish day camp. During her time in Lexington, she also completed a PhD in Educational Psychology at the University of Kentucky in the 1970s, embarked on a sabbatical to Israel in 1973, and raised five children. She experienced desegregation of Lexington public schools, the political climate of the anti-war rallies, and the George McGovern campaign. Throughout the interview, she addresses her career as an educator, including Holocaust and diversity education, Jewish practices and values, and feminism.
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Interview UsageInterviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, 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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Wirtschafter, Carol L. Interview by Beth L. Goldstein. 03 Aug. 2018. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Wirtschafter, C.L. (2018, August 03). Interview by B. L. Goldstein. Jewish Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Wirtschafter, Carol L., interview by Beth L. Goldstein. August 03, 2018, Jewish Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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