Interview with Mike Ades, June 22, 2016

Project: Jewish Kentucky Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Mike Ades begins the interview by detailing his family background, including how in 1895 his grandfather, David Ades, immigrated from Lithuania to Baltimore, Maryland and then later joined his brother in Lexington, Kentucky. He discusses how his family played an integral role in the founding of Ohavay Zion Synagogue: Mike's grandfather, David Ades, and his brother Max Ades were two of the synagogue?s original founders in 1912. The Ades family owned and operated the Ades-Lexington Dry Goods Company in Lexington, Kentucky from 1925 to 1977. Ades discusses how even today he still will drive by the old building located at 249 West Main Street because it holds very fond memories of his childhood, from playing with the toys on the third floor as a young boy to working at the store over the summers in high school. He also discusses how his grandfather was a member of Temple Adath Israel (a Reform congregation in Lexington, Kentucky.) Mike talks about how his father grew up in both Temple Adath Israel and Ohavay Zion Synagogue, and married a reform Jewish woman, and how this impacted his life growing up in a Jewish household as his Jewish upbringing was split between both the conservative Ohavay Zion Synagogue and the reform Temple Adath Israel.

Ades also discusses his various leadership roles in the community as well as his work with the Spinoza Society. He says that his primary motivation for taking on these leadership roles is from his grandfather, David Ades, and how involved his grandfather and his parents were in the Jewish community. He then talks about his work with the Spinoza Society (a society founded in 1880 that created a place for Jews in Lexington to be buried together). Mike became a member in the mid-1980s and has since served on the board of the society and as the chair. He goes on to discuss his practice as a commercial attorney, his work with the Lexington Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission, various healthcare institutions, and the Plantory organization. He concludes the interview by discussing how the traditional ethical values of Judaism (being involved in the community, helping others who are less fortunate, and doing the right thing and encouraging others to do the same) which stem not only from his Jewish faith but also his Jewish heritage, helped shaped who he is as a member of the Lexington community. They also help to explain why he has done, and continues to do, so much community-based service for not only the Lexington Jewish community, but the Lexington community in general.

Interview Accession

2016oh149_jk024

Interviewee Name

Mike Ades

Interviewer Name

Janice Crane

Interview Date

2016-06-22

Interview Rights

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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Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Ades, Mike Interview by Janice Crane. 22 Jun. 2016. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Ades, M. (2016, June 22). Interview by J. Crane. Jewish Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Ades, Mike, interview by Janice Crane. June 22, 2016, Jewish Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7h9w09062p